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The Organizational Hubris of the Islamic State

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Jul 3, 2014 | 08:07 GMT
A video taken July 5, 2014, shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom the Islamic State called Caliph Ibrihim.

This July 5, 2014 photo shows an image grab taken from a propaganda video released by al-Furqan Media allegedly showing the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Baghdadi, who on June 29 proclaimed a 'caliphate' straddling Syria and Iraq, purportedly ordered all Muslims to obey him in the video released on social media. In early 2014 the self-styled Islamic State entered the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, declaring it their capital and beginning a reign of terror marked by grisly public executions. Armed sharia police patrolled the streets as 'enemies' of the regime were crucified or decapitated, their severed heads impaled on spikes in the city square. / AFP PHOTO / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

The Islamic State's establishment of a caliphate is the latest example in a larger trend of bold endeavors by jihadist groups and risks the same potential downfalls of its predecessors....

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