Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick

Title: Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS
Author: Joby Warrick
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Doubleday
Publish Date: September 29, 2015
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "When he succeeded his father in 1999, King Abdullah of Jordan released a batch of political prisoners in the hopes of smoothing his transition to power. Little did he know that among those released was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a man who would go on to become a terrorist mastermind too dangerous even for al-Qaeda and give rise to an Islamist movement bent on dominating the Middle East.

     Zarqawi began by directing hotel bombings and assassinations in Jordan from a base in northern Iraq, but it was the American invasion of that country in 2003 that catapulted him to the head of a vast insurgency. By identifying him as the link between Saddam and bin Laden, the CIA inadvertently created a monster. Like-minded radicals saw him as a hero resisting the infidel occupiers and rallied to his cause. Their wave of brutal beheadings and suicide bombings continued for years until Jordanian intelligence provided the Americans with the crucial intelligence needed to eliminate Zarqawi in a 2006 airstrike.

     But his movement endured, first called al-Qaeda in Iraq, then renamed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seeking refuge in unstable, ungoverned pockets on the Iraq-Syria border. And as the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, ISIS seized its chance to pursue Zarqawi's dream of a sweeping, ultra-conservative Islamic caliphate. 

     Drawing on unique access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Joby Warrick weaves together heart-pounding, moment-by-moment operational details with overarching historical perspectives to reveal the long trajectory of today's most dangerous Islamic extremist threat."

My Two Cents: 

"Black Flags" is a fantastic book that explores the origins of ISIS/ ISIL/ da'esh (choose your fave) and why and how the group has become such a force for evil throughout the world. If you paid any attention to this past election cycle in the United States, you couldn't go but a minute for without hearing something about ISIS. The terrorist group is one of the number one threats (if not the number one threat) causing disruption throughout the entire world. This book explores how ISIS came to be and especially focuses on Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, one of the masterminds of the organization.

This is such an important read in order to understand how this group came to be and why it is so difficult to combat them. I thought that the author did a really good job of explaining the situation to people who may not think about current events so much as well is giving new information and insight to those who follow current events very closely. Especially in the political climate of today, books like this are so important to thoroughly read in order to understand what is going on and what we are facing in the broader scope of the world. This book has a ton of detail and I thought the author did a good job of making information accessible to everyone. This is definitely an important read and a well-done one at that!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad to read this review and will definitely be getting this book. It's a book we all need to read.


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