conspiracies ISIS Conspiracy Theories That'll Freak You Out  

Jacoby Bancroft
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ISIS stands as one of the deadliest threats facing the world in the 2010s. The terrorist group is well-organized, well-equipped, and has tremendous global reach and capabilities. Given ISIS's status in the public consciousness in 2016, it's no surprise there are plenty of conspiracies surrounding the organization.

It's totally natural to wonder where ISIS came from, how the group became so well organized and funded so quickly. Without a complex knowledge of politics and history in Syria, Iraq, and the post-World War II Muslim world, these aren't easy questions to answer. Enter conspiracy theorists, who've cooked up plenty of ideas. Read on for a list of freaky, and in some cases very plausible, ISIS conspiracy theories. 

The ISIS Beheading Videos Are Fake


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In a somewhat shocking Washington Post piece from 2010, former Army Intelligence Officer Jeff Stein revealed that the CIA filmed a fake Osama Bin Laden video in the lead up to the Iraq War in 2003. This development had unintended consequences, as many draw comparisons between old Bin Laden videos and ISIS beheading footage. Several facets of the ISIS videos have come under scrutiny; for instance, as production value of the videos rose from cellphone footage to high definition digital work, the brutality lessened, to the extent that many beheading videos are edited so viewers don't see the actual beheading. 

The United States Funded the Creation of ISIS


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The fear surrounding ISIS picked up tremendous momentum in 2013, but as this theory explains, the group started cooking with gas in 2010, thanks to the United States. At that time, the US was adamant about overthrowing the dictator in Syria, and so funded anti-government terrorist groups. The current leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, took over ISIS in May 2010. It's rumored he was able to do so thanks to a donation of about $20 to 30 million, which he received during the period of alleged US funding of Syrian terrorist groups. 

This theory is not without historical precedent - in the 1970s, the CIA funded and trained Mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan to repel invading Soviets. That group evolved into the Taliban. 

ISIS's Leader Is Being Mind Controlled by the CIA


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Is it possible ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is mind-controlled by the CIA as means of gathering together Iraqis who are anti-America? According to this theory, that's exactly what's happening. It's been reported that al-Baghdadi was arrested and held in American custody in Iraq for almost a year, in 2004. Conspiracy theorists would have you believe he was actually detained for more than five years, at Camp Bucca, Iraq . Why would the government lie about this? Because during those five years, the CIA turned al-Baghdadi into a Manchurian Candidate.

So why gather all these people, if they're anti-American? Well, if they're all together, they can be killed together. 

The theorists behind this idea believe the CIA has a track record of brainwashing. They point to the Reverend Jim Jones, a clergyman who convinced hundreds of people to commit suicide with him, as another example of CIA brainwashing. 

Operation Hornet's Nest


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Is it possible the the United States, UK, and Israel worked together to create ISIS? According to Edward Snowden, the answer is yes. As per an unsubstantiated report from Gulf Daily News in Bahrain, Snowden claims to have documents proving that the intelligence services of those three countries worked together to create a terrorist organization able to attract all the extremists in the world to one place.

Why would they do this? To destabilize the Middle East and protect Zionist identity. The document Snowden supposedly leaked states, "the only solution for the protection of the Jewish state is to create an enemy near its borders." The thinking is that having such a dangerous enemy would give the Jewish state motive to wipe out Muslim extremists once and for all.

Most evidence attesting to the veracity of this claim appears exclusively on conspiracy theory, anti-American, or antisemitic websites. Take that as you will.