The notion that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group emerged suddenly this past June when they took violent control of parts of Iraq has been dismissed by a U.S. Army report, which asserts the militants have been amassing their power over the past four years.
According to the Washington Times, the West Point counterterrorism center concluded that since 2010, "the Islamic State patiently prepared operations that managed to dissolve some of Iraq's security forces by targeting and demolishing the homes of its soldiers or, in some cases, assassinating troops."
According to the report, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "rebooted" the group in 2010, and between 2012 and 2013, members of the group had organized and carried out 20 "synchronized car bomb attacks."
The Times also noted that the report suggests the four-year growth-spurt of an organization Obama compared to "a jayvee team" "could foreshadow a significant future threat."
The Islamic State has thus far captured the city of Mosul, armed its militants, and freed Iraqi prisoners, but the Army report questions whether the group's success will be long-term: "As a defensive force, ISIS may struggle to hold terrain if it is attacked simultaneously at multiple points or if its auxiliary allies begin to defect."