In the capital of Kabul, the bombing took place in an area near an Afghan spy agency facility as well as the U.S. embassy and other Afghan and international institutions
What is ISIS, also known as Islamic State and ISIL?
Islamic State is a jihadist group that that follows a strict and extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam. It was established as a breakout of Al-Qaida in Iraq, emerging out of the upheaval in the country that followed the U.S. invasion in 2003, and gained notoriety during the Syrian uprising and ensuing civil war, attracting foreign fighters and capturing strategic areas in both countries. Originally calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the group changed its name in June 2014 to Islamic State, declaring a new caliphate and instating its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph – the head of state.
Goal and Territory:
The group's declared goal is to form a medieval Islamic state, a caliphate. It has captured swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, and declared Raqqa, a city in northeastern Syria along the Euphrates River, its capital. This is where its headquarters and power base are. It also has a presence or affiliated groups in Yemen, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and across North Africa.
Resources and Operation:
The group is funded by a combination of oil revenues, ransom payments, extortion and foreign fighters. Its resources are vast, including oilfields, refineries and agricultural land. It operates more like a regular army with a recruiting network, training camps and a propaganda machine.
Islamic State is infamous for its barbaric violence, including beheadings, immolation, targeted killings, mass shootings, forced conversions, sexual abuse and torture. Its persecution of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and Turkmen has been described as "ethnic and religious cleansing." Children belonging to targeted minorities have been forcibly recruited and positioned on front lines. Its use of extreme violence helps it seize power and recruit members.
Anti-Islamic State Coalition:
Since the summer of 2014, a United States-led coalition of countries has been conducting air strikes against the group and empowering local militias and armies with training and weapons. Despite that, the group has continued to advance. After having extracted American soldiers from the war in Iraq, U.S. President Barack Obama has been reluctant to put boots on the ground to fight Islamic State there. He is also cautious of intervening in the Syrian civil war.
The Foundations of a State:
The Islamic State already has the foundations of a state. It controls territory that includes major cities and covers large portions of Iraq and Syria; it has its own military and security force, a self-proclaimed administration that runs daily life - schools, government offices, utilities, hospitals, taxation and a judiciary system that follows Sharia law.
Mosul and Raqqa are now conducting the war after the war, which is no longer interesting to the world and easily forgotten
Any war between Israel and Iran and its allies would also risk dragging in the United States and Russia
The success last year follows reports in May that Israel helped stymie an attempt by the group to put a bomb on a passenger plane
The peninsula's residents live under the threat of terror on the one hand, and the military crackdowns on the other
If Trump decides to 'punish' the Kurds and deny them the funding that his administration is giving them, Russia would be happy to step in
Within a week, al-Qaida-affiliated rebels shot down a Russian jet, Kurdish fighters downed a Turkish helicopter, Israel downed an Iranian drone and the Syrian army shot down an Israeli F-16
The Pentagon requested $300 million for Syrian 'train and equip activities' and $250 million for border security requirements, according to a copy of the budget
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking at a meeting in Kuwait of the U.S-led global coalition against ISIS pledged an additional $200 million of aid to stabilize liberated areas in Syria
The leader, unable to walk by himself, is being treated for 'fractures and serious wounds' and psychological problems in a hospital in Syria