ISIS: Mapping A Militant Expansion

To let the media tell it, ISIS has launched a successful “offensive” of late, taking control of Palmyra, a Syrian city that’s home to ‘treasures of antiquity’, as well as Ramadi, which gives the group control of  “strategic highway linking Iraq and Syria.”

ISIS has also claimed responsibility for a mosque bombing that claimed the lives of 21 Saudis on Friday. 

As the US moves closer to putting boots on the ground, The New York Times is out with a series of graphics which document the group’s spread. 

Note that the last graphic — which depicts a giant globe with highlights on “countries with groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS” — makes it look like ISIS has launched a Naziesque blitzkrieg on the way to invading multiple countries. This, of course, is completely absurd. There are a lot of groups who can claim membership in a lot of countries meaning that we could produce a lot of these maps if we wanted to, but it wouldn’t mean that any of said groups were on the verge of a Napoleonic global conquest.

But reality never got in the way of a good story.