By John Ubaldi
Columnist, In Homeland Security
„The world became aware of ISIS in 2014, but the group’s origins pre-date the Iraq War, when Jordanian-born Iraqi militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi became the force behind the group’s predecessor, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
Al-Zarqawi was radicalized and reinvented himself in a Jordanian prison in the 1990s from a basic street thug into a ruthless terrorist. After his release, he tried to join al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but was told he was too extreme even for that organization.
Al-Zarqawi differed from al-Qaeda with regard to organization and strategy, and had no desire to appeal to all Muslims. Instead, he believed in creating a theocratic Sunni state. The indecision and chaos that followed the U.S.-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 allowed him to foment sectarian violence inside the country.“ (…)