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The Doomsday Ideology of Islamic State's Leader

  • France escalates air campaign in Raqqa after Paris attacks
  • Baghdadi's propaganda says fighting will lead to apocalypse
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Islamic State Filling Void of Fractured Islamic Hierarchy

Ever since Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi put on a black robe and turban to ascend a mosque pulpit in Iraq and proclaim to rule over the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims last year, he’s surrounded himself by symbols of doomsday. 

In addition to his attire, he named the group’s English-language magazine after the Syrian town where some Sunni tradition says Islam’s Armageddon is supposed to happen. Many of his foreign fighters were lured to the self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq by the promise of a ringside seat for the end of the world.