Top U.S. officials warned Wednesday that a Sunni extremist group that controls parts of Syria and Iraq has morphed into a threat that is "worse than Al Qaeda."
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) “is al Qaeda... it may have changed its name, but it is al Qaeda. In fact, it is worse than al Qaeda." Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary of state, told lawmakers at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
When his factory was bombed in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the businessman considered two bleak options: to remain at home and risk dying in the next airstrike or flee like hundreds of thousands of others to a refugee camp in Turkey.
Instead, he took his remaining cash east and moved to a neighboring city, Raqqa, the de facto capital of the world’s fastest growing jihadist force. There he found a degree of order and security absent in other parts of Syria.
By 1 p.m. on Friday almost every Christian in Mosul had heard the Sunni militants’ message — they had until noon Saturday to leave the city.
Men, women and children piled into neighbors’ cars, some begged for rides to the city limits and hoped to get taxis to the nearest Christian villages. They took nothing more than the clothes on their backs, according to several who were reached late Friday.
More than 200 Assyrian families fled in panic from Mosul on July 17 and 18 as the ISIS deadline for converting to Islam approached. ISIS had issued a statement asking all Christians in Mosul to convert to Islam, pay the jizya, the poll tax on Christians, or face the sword. ISIS gave July 19 as the deadline to comply with its demands. Most Assyrians of Mosul responded by fleeing the city.
Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.