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Background The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a brutal Sunni Muslim terror organization that gained traction and came to prominence in 2012-2014 during and after Syria's civil war. ISIS had close ties with Al-Qaeda until early 2014 and have made direct threats against the United States and Britain, including beheading US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines. ISIS poses a direct threat to international safety and security, as they are the