The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2015 M09 22 - 242 pages
"The so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, has inspired young men and women around the world to commit heinous acts in its name. By the thousands, they have flooded into the Islamic State's stronghold in Syria and Iraq, and in nearly every continent they have carried out attacks under its black banner. The Islamic State has become one of the most popular and successful jihadist groups on the planet, surpassing even al-Qaeda. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more messianic, and more devoted to empire-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam--the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world--into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic--including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few outsiders have seen--The ISIS Apocalypse by William McCants explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophesy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future"--
 

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User Review  - pheditor - LibraryThing

Timely offering.The author is not a journalist, but a Brookings scholar. Good insights into Islamic history and culture. The author clearly rushed this into print and could have used a reasonable editor to help with organizing themes, chronology and word choice (fanboy?). Read full review

Contents

Mahdi and Mismanagement
31
Bannermen
47
Resurrection and Tribulation
73
Sectarian Apocalypse
99
Caliphate Reborn
121
Conclusion
145
Sunni Islamic Prophecies of the End Times
161
The Mahdi Is Preceded by an Islamic State
177
Index
233
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About the author (2015)

William McCants directs the project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution, is adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins, and is a former U.S. State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism. He has written many articles on al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, including the tenth anniversary article on 9/11 for Foreign Affairs. McCants translated a jihadist book on strategy favored by Islamic State adherents and founded Jihadica.com. He lives in the D.C. area.

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