What is the Difference Between ISIS and ISIL?

By December 6, 2015Veterans

I know this post has nothing to do with Fort Worth Criminal Defense or Texas Criminal Law, but as a Marine officer and Reserve Military Judge, I am often asked about the threats facing our Marines and our nation.  As I was watching President Obama tonight talk about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino and the terror group ISIL, a friend of mine asked, “Why is he saying ISIL? Doesn’t he mean ISIS?”

Is there a difference between ISIS and ISIL?

The answer is yes (kind of).  The President knew exactly what he was saying.  ISIL stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”  ISIS stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”  ISIL is really the next (and bigger) iteration of ISIS.  The Levant is a large area in the middle east that is being held by ISIL.  However, since ISIS has become a household name, most news agencies continue to say ISIS, when ISIL is the correct name.

Want to Learn More About ISIL’s Ideology and How ISIL Grew to Power?

Check out the video below of a Marine Corps briefing by Dr. Sebastion Gorka, one of the nation’s leading experts on Islamic terrorism. This is an actual brief that was provided to high ranking Marine officers. I will warn you, this video is long. One hour long, to be exact. But as Dr. Gorka points out at the beginning of the video, he teaches a 16-week course on this topic, so one hour is really only the wavetops.  If you are the type who likes to post your opinions about this topic on social media, you should really take the time to watch this video.  Enjoy.