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Foundations of the Islamic State: Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005-2010

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Technical Report

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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The group calling itself the Islamic State, which is based primarily in Iraq and Syria, presents a grave threat to the people and countries throughout the Middle East and a growing threat to nations outside that region. Despite the apparent surprise of the groups stunning takeover of Mosul, Iraqs second-largest city, in June 2014, the Islamic State is not new. Rather, the Islamic State is the successor of al-Qaida in Iraq AQI and the Islamic State of Iraq ISI, which the United States, coalition partners, the government of Iraq, and the people of Iraq have fought since the coalition invasion of Iraq. This report examines foundations of the Islamic State. Research was substantially completed in 2014, with selected updates in 2015.The report presents a comprehensive examination of the organization, territorial designs, management, personnel policies, and finances of AQI and ISI. The report draws from an examination of more than 140recently declassified ISI documents, which are now available in their original and translated forms on the website of the Combating Terrorism Center CTC at West Point www.ctc.usma.eduisil-resources.The report also presents recommendations applicable to countering the Islamic State.

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