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The ISIS Terrorism Crisis

The ISIS Terrorism Crisis


Earlier this year, a dangerous organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) emerged as a potent terrorist threat with daunting power and brutality. ISIS is currently terrorizing large parts of Syria and Iraq, killing many innocent people as they storm through towns in the Middle East. Adeptly describing this ruthless group, President Obama stated, “Let’s be clear about ISIS. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in acts of cowardly violence.” A few examples of ISIS’ cruel nature include: killing three women for refusing to provide medical care to ISIS soldiers, killing two men for refusing to pledge allegiance to ISIS, and killing a female Muslim doctor for organizing a peaceful protest of an ISIS mandate. This terrible organization must be stopped in order to save the lives of thousands of people.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Background Information

In April 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), which was a particularly brutal faction of the well-known terrorist group, al Qaeda. Al-Baghdadi became increasingly extremist as he led ISIS further and further away from al Qaeda until February 3, 2014, when al Qaeda officially renounced all ties it had to ISIS. ISIS’ first act of terrorism occurred in May 2014 when it kidnapped 140 Kurdish boys from Syria, forcing them to learn extremist Islamist theology. Since then, ISIS has committed constant acts of terrorism, becoming a major target for United States anti-terrorism

Public Executions

Some of the most outrageous acts of terrorism by ISIS are the cold-blooded executions of five innocent westerners. ISIS has not only beheaded five men, three American citizens and two British citizens, but also recorded the executions and posted the videos on the Internet, trying to taunt the rest of the world. On August 19, 2014, ISIS first posted a video on YouTube showing ISIS soldiers decapitating an American journalist, James Foley. Similar videos appeared for another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, British aid workers, David Haines and Alan Henning, and most recently an American aid worker, Peter Kassig.

What is the United States Currently Doing?

While President Obama has recognized ISIS as a force to be reckoned with, he has yet to establish a solid plan of dealing with ISIS. Early in September of this year, Obama announced that he was taking a tepid approach to the threat, organizing a non-existent global coalition and focusing America’s military resources on arming the Syrian rebels and the Iraqi army. He regressed in his plan by failing to recognize the enemy, by stating that ISIS is “not Islamic” and “not a state.” But, ISIS is definitely Islamic, as are the Syrian rebels that he wants to help. As of now, Obama is focusing more on helping the Syrian rebels, rather than focusing all available American resources on destroying ISIS. The current strategy, dropping only one airstrike two months ago and bombing a few armored trucks, is still ambiguous as the United States has neither fully devoted itself to stopping ISIS nor has it announced that it would stay out of the matter.

What Should the United States Do?

The strategy of the United States should be very clear: either stay out of the ISIS ordeal completely or put forth full effort to destroy the ISIS organization. With full effort, the United States could be using air strikes and bombings to eliminate as many of the terrorists as possible. While the United States continues to provide support for the Syrian rebels, CENTCOM commander Lloyd Austin and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have admitted that there is a possibility that the Syrian rebels are actually working with ISIS and giving our weapons to them, arming the terrorists we are trying to fight
with our own weapons. Instead of possibly arming its enemies, the United States should focus on destroying its enemies.

Does ISIS Present a Direct Threat to the United States?

The only direct threat that ISIS currently presents to the United States is by sending agents here. The United States has done little to limit these foreign agents from coming in, thus, allowing a security threat to enter the country. There are confirmed cases of ISIS agents entering the United States, then later returning to the Middle East to fight for ISIS. If the United States is serious about fighting terrorism, then it must defend American soil by screening people who are coming into the country from this volatile region.


President Obama should submit an official request to Congress for the authorization of military force to destroy ISIS. If he does this, our immensely powerful military will extinguish this ruthless terrorist organization.