Politics Islamic State 'caliphate' defeated, yet threat persists Updated : March 24, 2019 09:10 AM IST Originally an offshoot of al Qaeda, IS took large swathes of Iraq and Syria from 2014, imposing a reign of terror with public beheadings and attacks. Some IS fighters still hold out in Syria's remote central desert, and in Iraqi cities they have slipped into the shadows, staging shootings or kidnappings. The United States believes the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in Iraq. Subscribe to Moneycontrol PRO at just Rs.33/- per month for the first year. Use code SUPERPRO. Limited period offer. Available on Web and Android.