What the Islamic State “Caliphate” Means in Reality

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Over the past few weeks, the world has gotten its first look at how the Islamic State (IS) Caliphate would function, and it has not been a pretty sight.

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Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State Caliphate

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Since the declaration of the Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)—now named the Islamic State (IS)—many jihadist groups have taken a position either for or against the new entity. Online and through public statements, there has also been a great deal of debate among influential members of the jihadist community over the entire issue. One organization has, however, been noticeable for its absence in the debate: al-Qaeda’s (AQ) high command.

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Islamic State Supporters Rally behind New Caliphate

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Supporters of the Islamic State—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)—have taken to Twitter to support and celebrate the group’s announcement of Caliphate.

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ISIS Declares the Caliphate: An Analysis

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) has declared a Caliphate in the territory it claims to control.  The leader of the group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has taken the title “Caliph Ibrahim” and, henceforth, ISIS will be known simply as the “Islamic State.” This is a momentous occasion for the jihadi-salafist movement, since the creation of a Caliphate is one of the stated goals of extremist groups around the Muslim-majority world.

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The "Comical Caliphate"

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Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani’s 34-minute speech titled “This is the Promise of Allah”—which declares ISIS as Caliphate under the name “Islamic State,” along with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s status as the Caliph—has reignited the recently quieted conflict between ISIS, al-Qaeda (AQ), and AQ’s Syrian branch, al-Nusra Front.

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