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The Obama administration's Iraq policy seems premised on the idea that the terrorist Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, is so toxic that it will be self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating.Under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group has rebounded from about 1,500 fighters in 2010 to well over 10,000 today – becoming a global jihadist organization that communicates in many languages.The briefers were skeptical that Baghdadi can be deterred from attacking America by the threat of pulverizing attacks.The portrait of Baghdadi and his Islamic State was chilling.Baghdadi's fighters began to evolve from Al-Qaeda's traditional terrorist tactics to actually holding ground, as in their self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Baghdadi styles himself as the true successor to Osama bin Laden, although he has defied bin Laden's warnings against declaring a caliphate too quickly. Because of his deviations, Baghdadi's group was expelled in April by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
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