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Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) stunned the world when it overran an area the size of Great Britain on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border in a matter of weeks and proclaimed the birth of a new Caliphate. In this timely and important book, Abdel Bari Atwan draws on his unrivaled knowledge of the global jihadi movement and Middle Eastern geopolitics to r ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by University of California Press (first published May 2015)
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Tariq Mahmood
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book if you really want to understand the genesis of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in any detail. The book covers its history, its present ideology and its future aspirations. Atwan presents a much needed view of the new revolutionary and deadly Islamic militancy from the inside. Atwan is not a Western view apologist and has refused to label ISIS a terrorist organization, and I agree with his approach. I also agree with Atwan that ISIS is here to stay, so this current Western ...more
Norbert Hapfenstrudel
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
An excellent overview of the Islamic State, its history, how it came to being and an insight into how it is organized. This book is also a good resource on recent Middle East conflicts that lead to the rise of the most dangerous terrorist organization of our times.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you've followed all the New Yorker and Washington Post exposés about ISIS, you'll know most of what's written here already. It already feels a bit dated, but it's good to know because the internet is a powerful place for political organization and it may be relevant once again in the future. In spite of these things, it's worth the read. ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In Abdel Bari Atwan's book, "Digital Caliphate," Atwan gives substantial information on the Islamic State. Drawing on connections, Atwan is able to provide readers with a good idea of the terrorist group. While news reports tend to focus on the atrocities committed by the terrorist group, "Digital Caliphate" contains information on ISIS's infrastructure, history, and short biographies of key people.

Atwan does not spend much time discussing how the United States and other Western countries should
Jumatil Fajar
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Luar biasa hebatnya ISIS dalam masalah digital. Para da'i mesti menggunakan dunia digital untuk lebih hebat dalam berda'wah. ...more
Abdel Bari Atwan is extremely well versed in the early days of the Islamic State of Iraq (back when they were merely ISI). He also has an ideological axe to grind against the neocons that taints most of his prose. Whereas few may find this annoying, I could not help but notice that he, like a few of his contemporaries, find scoring points against old enemies more important than learning about this group. That said, read this book, as it lends a lot of insight as to how ISIS recruits, grooms and ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you ever thought to yourself, "I wonder how ISIS came about?" this is the book for you. While the book is not a gripping, autobiographical account of an experience with the group - it gives a wonderful history lesson in Islam and how ISIS has derived their own interpretation of what it means to live in a caliphate.

Despite enjoying the book overall, there was too much history and not enough of a discussion about their use of technology. After all, I did pick up the book intending to learn abo
An in-depth and well-argued analyis of the origins of the IS/Daesh group from a writer with strong credentials in analysing Islamic radicalism (he interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1996), and who has a strong personal connection to the wider Middle East region. Abdel Bari Atwan is of Palestinian arab background, and is familiar with the wider region through his editorship of the London-based Arabic language newspaper 'Al Quds al Arabi' for many years. I found the book both well-informed and well-wr ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's a really great book that gives rich narratives on how IS came about and their development. Granted, this is the first book on the subject I read. Atwan brilliantly explains the geopolitics of Middle East that makes it easy even for those unfamiliar with the topic to follow, but without sacrificing the depth of his research.

The only criticism I have is just that the chapters have obviously been written as separate article and some repetitions occur in the following chapters.
Motaz Larnaouti
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
really its a good book from Abdel Bari Atwan he explained everything from that prophet Mohamed until this days.
evedince and interviews to take more information some of them from the mean inside the Islamic state '' IS'' and some of them from Al Qaida people and others as Expert with Al Qaida he made it more clear from where IS they bring that kind of thinking.
am not going to say more but am going to leave the reast to you .
Alex Crowther
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of the best books I have read so far. It explains in detail how Islamophobia affected Muslim teenagers and adolescents living in western Europe after 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings. It gives a person a good understanding how "Daesh/ISIL" uses social media to gain supporters and even "soldiers" though twitter and facebook. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the current events going on in Syria/Iraq at the moment. ...more
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eye opening detailed book about Isis and other jihadi groups this book tells us how they came to exist and all the other jihadist groups involved ,it also tells us why what where when the west help shape the Middle East and how the fighters and leaders use the media for propaganda,great book I recommend this book .
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not super well edited
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Abdel Bari Atwan is a Palestinian writer and journalist. He was the editor-in-chief at the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi for twenty-five years and now edits the Rai al-Youm news website – the Arab world’s first Huffington Post-style outlet. He is a regular contributor to a number of publications, including the Guardian and Scottish Herald, and is a frequent guest on radio and television, inc ...more

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