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MAP ISIS strongholds all over world

Issued: 2018-03-13

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Since declaring its self-styled caliphate in June 2014, the terror group has conducted or inspired hundreds of terror attacks - leaving thousands dead

SINCE declaring its self-styled caliphate in June 2014, ISIS has conducted or inspired hundreds of terror attacks around the world.

At the height of its powers it was feared the terror group had more than 80,000 jihadi fighters in Iraq and Syria alone.

And although it is now on the run in the middle east, security experts insist the group is still a major threat to global security.

With martyrdom a key factor of ISIS ideology many members still expect to die for the cause  - and not just on the battlefield.

This is why so many have gone underground and formed "sleeper cells" in their countries of origin or other safe havens.

Now they lie in wait ready to stage attacks on locations around the world.

Here is what remains of the terror group's deadly network...

Even though ISIS has been largely wiped out in Iraq, its presence is still being felt in the war-ravaged country.

It carried out several suicide attacks in January 2018 in and around Baghdad, leaving dozens dead.

An estimated 4,000 jihadis are still hiding out on the border between Syria and Iraq.

Hundreds of ISIS fighters are said to be in hiding in the vicinity of Damascus, with dozens of others located in the west of the country.

It also retains a very strong presence in the Deir a-Zour region where it's feared it still has hundreds of die-hard warriors ready to fight.

Other battle-hardened militants, some with training in chemical weapons, have defected to al-Qaeda in Syria.

After the fall of the former ISIS strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul, thousands of jihadis fled if fear for their lives.

Many are believed to now be in hiding out in Turkey - waiting for the green light to carry out more atrocities.

The problem was highlighted when a lone gunman killed 39 clubbers in Istanbul on New Year's Eve 2016.

State cops  later arrested 75 ISIS fighters over fears of carbon copy attack.

ISIS launched a bloody attack on a Sousse beach in 2015 killing 38 people - including 30 British tourists.

Ever since then country had been dogged by regular gun and bomb attacks inspired by the group.

In November, a suspected Islamist terrorist stabbed two cops near Tunisia's parliament.

ISIS is still extremely active in central and southern Yemen - launching regular attacks on the authorities.

While the civil war makes it easier for ISIS to grow, the strong al-Qaeda presence makes strong ISIS growth difficult.

The US has carried out numerous attacks on ISIS targets in Yemen because of the threat posed by the terror group there.

In the first week of January, Jordan's authorities arrested 17 ISIS members who were planning numerous attacks on "sensitive" locations.

Jordanian border guards are now on a constant state of alert over fears of ISIS jihadis entering from Syria.

Last June, a suicide attack left seven security forces dead. It was the first attack of its kind targeting Jordan's borders.

Even though ISIS lost the battle in Libya it still has secret cells located outside the country’s main cities.

However, some estimates suggest its fighting force in Libya has dropped from thousands to just 500 men.

Libya is still seen as crucial to the group as they see it as a launchpad to attack Europe.

Egypt, and particularly the northern Sinai region, is ISIS’ stronghold in Africa.

Until recently, ISIS (fighting under the flag of Bayt al-Maqdis) put most of its efforts in the region.

Terrorists were carrying the ISIS flag when they killed 305 people during an attack on a Sinai mosque in November 2017.

And at Christmas a gunman shot dead nine worshippers at a Christian church in Cairo.

Afghanistan is ISIS’ key stronghold. Its fighters there don’t face the same restrictions as those in Syria and Iraq.


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