Who: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).
Where: Iraq and Syria.
What he wants: To establish his own Islamic state (or caliphate) that would range from northern Syria to eastern Iraq and become a leader known as ‘Caliph Ibrahim’ to whom all Muslims would pledge allegiance. Isis has also released an ambitious map detailing a five-year “expansion plan,” which takes in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, northern Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
What he does: al-Qaida cut ties with the group earlier this year because of its brutality, but Isis has gone on to control more than half of Iraq, enforcing the harsh Wahhabi version of Islam and imposing a strict version of Sharia in the areas under its control.
How he can be stopped: “Airstrikes targeted at Isis training camps in Iraq and Syria,” says Evan Kohlmann, a terrorism analyst and chief information officer of Flashpoint Intel. “Also, the mobilisation of Sunni tribesman to take up arms against Isis, who disagree with their strict interpretation of Islam and ignorance of national borders.”