Islamic State (Isis) has released an infographic detailing its claimed expansion, to mark the second anniversary of the formation of its so-called caliphate. In the aftermath of the Istanbul airport bombing, the terror group announced that it has "covert units" stationed across the globe, including in France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
IS-affiliated Amaq News Agency released a new propaganda infographic on 29 June, which showed the extremist group's purported expansion since it first emerged in 2014, the Voactiv reported. This comes after the suicide bomb attack which claimed the lives of 42 people at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on 28 June. The list features numerous countries across the world, however France was the only Western country with "covert units".
The terror group also claims the extent of its "spread" across the globe as falling into three ranks – areas of "major control", "medium control" and "covert units". The extremist group has listed Syria and Iraq in the first category, where the group has been losing ground, thanks to a counter-offensive by a coalition of international forces.
Countries such as Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia and Philippines, among others, were listed by IS under its "medium control" category. All of the countries listed in this specific category incorporate the areas where IS has announced its official presence and/or has claimed responsibility for conducting terror attacks.
Under the "covert units" category, IS listed countries including Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Lebanon, Algeria and Turkey. IS has claimed responsibility for conducting attacks in all of these countries in the past two years. Turkey's government also blamed IS for the Istanbul suicide bomb attack in January 2016. However, it is still uncertain if the extremist group had a hand in carrying out those attacks.
The recent attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport is widely speculated to be the work of IS as well. Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also singled out the extremist group as the possible perpetrator of the attack, claiming that the incident bore all the hallmarks of an attack conducted by Isis. However, no terror group has officially claimed responsibility for the recent attack.