On Sunday, an American-born terrorist named Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 49 and wounded 53 in Orlando. In a 911 call during the attack Mateen pledged his allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS. Although the group also claimed responsibility for the attack, U.S. officials said they haven’t seen a direct link between the gunman and the terrorist group.
Here are five facts you should know about ISIS:
1. ISIS (aka ISIL, Islamic State, IS, Daesh) is the name of an Islamic militant group that was established in Iraq in 2004 and pledged allegiance to “Al-Qaeda in Iraq.” They later broke away from Al-Qaeda because of differences in doctrine and objectives and formed a distinct organization. From late 2006 to mid 2013, the group called itself the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). From 2013 to mid 2014, when they expanded into Syria, they called themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Most Western media translate “Levant” as “Syria,” hence ISIS.) Since 2014, they have expanded their ambitions to be a global organization and today simply refer to themselves as “Islamic State.” Enemies of ISIS sometimes refer to it as Daesh, a loose acronym of the Arabic for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham).