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The truth about the caliphate

To tackle Islamic State, we need to understand the dream of the caliphate and its real roots in history

By Jason Burke   September 2015

Twenty-five Syrian soldiers about to be executed by Islamic State in the Roman amphitheatre in Palmyra, western Syria, in July

In March, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a former stonemason who is the chief spokesman for Islamic State (IS), issued an audio clip to acknowledge a pledge of allegiance from the Nigerian group Boko Haram. This expansion into a part of the world in which it had previously had no presence…

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