Born out of the Iraqi War in 2003, Islamic State’s deadly grip has stretched across the Middle East and into northern-Africa where today, only the Mediterranean Sea separates the militants from Europe.
It has conquered regions of Iraq, Syria and recently Libya while building a terrifying support structure in Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s Sinai Province, Afghanistan, Tunisia and Algeria.
And this tyrannical expansion is all part of its ‘global strategy’ to seize control of destablised countries while ‘engaging in all-out battle against the West,’ The Institute for the Study of War told MailOnline.
Counter-terrorism analyst Harleen Gambhir said: ‘What we’ve started to see is ISIS has begun to accelerate its operation to activate these sleeper groups that its reaching out to and it’s having international effects.’
The vastness of its influence went largely unnoticed among the wider public until Sunday when it released a gruesome video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.