June 29 marks one year since a group of Sunni rebels declared themselves a caliphate — an Islamic government headed by a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad — and announced the establishment of the Islamic State.
"It's been a great year for ISIS," head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center Matthew Henman told NBC. "This would be close to a best-case scenario for them."
"They've been able to hold ground for a year," James Mattis, a retired Marine general and former chief of the U.S. Central Command, said. "The longer they hold territory it becomes this radioactive thing, just spewing out this stuff as fighters go there and then come home again."
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As their anniversary falls during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani said earlier that jihadist attacks would be rewarded "tenfold" by Allah throughout Ramadan's duration, from June 17 through July 17. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Tunisia that killed 38 and a Kuwait City mosque bombing that killed 27.
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