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Over the past year and a half, the Al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has taken control over numerous cities and major oil fields in Syria and Iraq. In contrast to its predecessor and now rival, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State emphasizes violent expansion of its self-declared caliphate in Sunni lands and the immediate imposition of its radical version of Islamic law. Some say the group's rapid gains and almost indiscriminate brutality have excited a new generation of radicalized youth in a way Al-Qaeda has not for years, but with enemies bearing down on it from all sides, there is reason to doubt the caliphate can survive.
See the regions they control and recent attacks with the map below.