Yet, even as ISIS gains ter­ri­tory in Iraq, many ter­rorism experts say it’s over­hyped and a ben­e­fi­ciary of the failure of Shiite leaders to appeal to Sunnis.

U.S. intel­li­gence reports say the Islamic State makes up less than 20% of the Sunni rebels in Iraq. “The media is grossly over­hyping the rise of ISIS,” said Max Abrahms, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor who studies ter­rorist groups. “We are cur­rently looking at the hey-​​day of this group. Things are only going to go downhill.”

But for the moment, no fighting force has been able to stop him.

 

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