BOOK REVIEW: The rise of the terrorist group ISIS

Friday, March 31, 2017

Black Flags: the rise of ISIS, Joby Warrick, Transworld Books, 2015

Be warned reader: this book can make you sick! Why? Because it describes in inimitable terms, the nasty work and tactics of the evil group called Islamic State aka ISI aka IS which today is in its dying kicks in Syria and Iraq, where it held territory.

The Washington Post writer Joby Warrick won a Pulitzer prize for this book in 2016 and so this is indeed a wonderful work on a dark and evil group.

There is nothing Islamic in the IS. Instead, the book shows that IS is a piece of evil shrouded in death and destruction and floating in a pool of gore.  The book traces the meteoric rise of the terror group from 1999 when the government of Jordan granted amnesty to a group of political prisoners among whom was Abu Musab al-Zarghawi, the ‘terrorist mastermind’  who was soon to become the founder of the IS.

This is why the early chapters (pages 39-140) of the book trace this evil mind’s rise from a petty criminal to a terror master. From how he started petty in Northern Iraq throwing small bombs to 2003 when after the capture of the unlamented tyrant Saddam  Hussein, Iraq descended into chaos and gave petty criminals like al-Zarghawi to turn big time terror master under the flag of Bin Laden’s al Qaeeda.

It was while under al Qaeeda that Zarghawi was killed, bombed to bits by USA IN 2006 (P.287). But even though he was dead, his evil network of death lived on. One of his disciples was called Al Baghdadi, another ‘Al’ with a woeful record. He stepped into the shoes of his dead master and formed the IS (P.346).

The 2011 and 2012 Arab uprisings against their pitiable tyrants provided the chaos that Baghdadi needed to start his terror network once more. This he got when parts of Syria became ungovernable and parts of Iraq undependable. Thus the terror IS rushed into to fill in the gaps or vacuum. In 2013, he declared an Islamic Caliphate in parts of present day Iraq and Syria.

Soon thousands of disaffected Muslims from all corners of the globe rushed into fight with IS against anybody who does not share their warped interpretation of Islam. IS offers a radical, extremist and unyielding almost atavistic interpretation of Islam. And their terror did not stop at suicide bombings but also terrorise the people under their control with hangings and immolations in public. This is why the author insinuates that IS is like a huge swarm of locusts: they leave nothing green behind. So do they really want to build a state then with such brutality and cruelty? On pages 394 395, the author gives a very graphic account of the wickedness and utter brutality that IS visit on Raqqa, a village in Syria where they established their HQ.

On pages 404-405, the author ends by describing the Sunni-Shia animosity that has divided the Arab Muslim world since the 7th century and how IS should be seen as a Sunni sect intend on annihilating the Shia, Christians, Jews, Hindus etc etc. In few words, IS is set to annihilate civilization.

This book offers an interesting insight into the workings of the world’s worst terror group.

Available at Timbooktoo, tel 4494345.