The terrifying rise of ISIS: Map that shows how terror group’s tentacles now reach from Algeria to Afghanistan
ISIS began as Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2004 and militants had just 1,000 soldiers, but it has grown to more than 30,000
Reach of ISIS now spans Middle East and northern Africa, with only the Mediterranean sea separating from Europe
Terrorist groups around the world now pledging allegiance to Islamic State as groups seize destabilised countries
Experts say ISIS’ control in Libya could create potential ‘disaster scenario’ and coalition airstrikes are fueling the militants’ manipulative propaganda
ISIS has 31,500 loyal fighters according to CIA but estimates place this far higher at around 200,000 militants
Born out of the Iraqi War in 2003, Islamic State’s deadly grip has stretched across the Middle East and into northern-Africa where today, only the Mediterranean Sea separates the militants from Europe.
It has conquered regions of Iraq, Syria and recently Libya while building a terrifying support structure in Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s Sinai Province, Afghanistan, Tunisia and Algeria.
And this tyrannical expansion is all part of its ‘global strategy’ to seize control of destablised countries while ‘engaging in all-out battle against the West,’ The Institute for the Study of War told MailOnline.
Counter-terrorism analyst Harleen Gambhir said: ‘What we’ve started to see is ISIS has begun to accelerate its operation to activate these sleeper groups that its reaching out to and it’s having international effects.’
The vastness of its influence went largely unnoticed among the wider public until Sunday when it released a gruesome video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.