On June 27, headlines the world over carried news of four bloody carnages in three continents: an assault on a Shia mosque in Kuwait, in which 25 worshippers were killed and more than 200 injured; a suicide attack on foreign tourists at a resort in Tunisia in which 37 people were killed; an attack in Lyons in south-east France in which one man was decapitated and an attempt to detonate gas cylinders at an industrial gases factory was foiled; and, a two-day assault on the recently ???liberated??? Kurdish town of Kobane at the Syria-Turkey border in which over 200 ordinary townspeople were killed.All these attacks were the handiwork of one group, the Islamic State (IS). At the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan last week, its spokesman, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, had warned that Ramadan would bring ???calamity for the kuffar (unbelievers)???. The IS had fulfilled its promise.Military conquestsThe IS story is just a year old. In June last year, in a dramatic manoeuvre, fighters of a jihadi group in the town of Fallujah moved nearly 400 km across Iraq to the town of Mosul, and, after a siege of three days, on June 10 took over the town and its population of over a million and a half. Mosul had had a garrison of 20,000 soldiers who fled in civilian clothing, leaving behind their uniforms, weapons, artillery pieces, tanks, and a full treasury. Within three weeks, this group took town after town in northern and western Iraq, so that by the end of the month its fighters were poised just a few kilometres outside Baghdad.On June 29, the ???spokesman??? of the group, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, announced that the caliphate of the Islamic State (IS) had been set up in the territories occupied by the ???Islamic State of Iraq and [Greater] Syria??? (historically, ???Sham???, that covers present-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria). Five days later, the mysterious leader of the IS mounted the pulpit of the great mosque of Mosul and declared that he, Abu Bakr al Baghda
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