A picture taken from a video released on Jan. 4, 2014, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria's Al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIS fighters marching at an undisclosed location. AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA
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The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, which dealt a spectacular blow to Baghdad's Shiite-led government by grabbing Iraq's second city Mosul, now poses a threat across the Middle East.Known for its ruthless tactics and suicide bombers, ISIS has already controlled the Iraqi city of Fallujah for five months, and is also arguably the most capable force fighting President Bashar Assad inside Syria. ISIS is led by the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and backed by thousands of Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq, many of them Westerners, and it appears to be surpassing Al-Qaeda as the world's most dangerous jihadist group.ISIS appears to have the greatest appeal, with King's College London Professor Peter Neumann estimating around 80 percent of Western fighters in Syria have joined the group.Zawahri has urged ISIS to focus on Iraq and leave Syria to Nusra, but Baghdadi and his fighters have openly defied the Al-Qaeda chief and, indeed, have fought not only Assad, but also Nusra and other rebel groups.
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