Summary of Profiling the Islamic State

Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper

Brookings Institution,

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Profiling the Islamic State summary
Islamic State is trying to gain control in the Middle East through military, political, socioeconomic and religious intervention.


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The violent acts of Islamic State (IS) capture global attention. IS has characteristics common to terrorist organisations; it is a professional organization trying to gain control through military, political, socioeconomic and religious intervention. In this paper for the Brookings Doha Center, researcher Charles Lister explains the rise of IS and analyzes its military and political strategies. getAbstract recommends Lister’s perspective to members of antiterrorist squads, policy makers, and those interested in politics and international relations.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Islamic State (IS) is more than just a terrorist group,
  • How IS is exploiting prevalent conditions in Iraq and Syria for its own benefit, and
  • What counterterrorism strategies might effectively oppose IS activities.


Islamic State (IS), founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as Jama‘at al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad (JTWJ), was originally established as the protector of the Sunni community and to restore the Islamic caliphate in Iraq and neighboring regions. IS is now a multifaceted organization that professionally grooms its ...
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About the Author

Charles Lister is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. His current research assesses the state of the insurgency in Syria, particularly the growth of Salafi and jihadi groups.

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