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President Barack Obama talks about the war on terrorism and efforts to degrade and destroy the Islamic State group, during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

No, Obama isn't the 'founder' of ISIS. This guy is.


No, Obama isn't the 'founder' of ISIS. This guy is.

In a matter of days, President Obama went from being the "worst president in the history of the United States" to the "founder" of the world's most dangerous terrorist group. At a rally in Florida Wednesday, Donald Trump straight up called Obama the creator of ISIS. 


I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Co-founder. Crooked Hillary Clinton.

Trump has previously accused his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton of creating the group. On Wednesday, he said she was merely the group's "co-founder."

While the name ISIS is somewhat new, the group was around well before President Obama and Secretary Clinton took executive office. 

What you should know about the actual ISIS founder

ISIS traces its roots to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born high school dropout, who formed Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, or the Organization of Monotheism and Jihad, in 1999.  

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, his group's ruthless tactics caught the attention of al-Qaeda. In 2004, Zarqawi swore an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden and renamed his group Al-Qaeda in Iraq. 

Using beheadings, kidnappings and bombings, Zarqawi's organization attacked American troops and Shiite holy sites in Iraq in an attempt to ignite a sectarian conflict and undermine U.S. forces.

After Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, his followers rebranded AQI as the Islamic State of Iraq and in 2014, renamed it the Islamic State.  The group has since split with al-Qaeda and is now led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

U.S. President George W. Bush, reacts, after shoes were thrown at him, by a correspondent, during a joint press conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, not seen, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008. On an Iraq trip shrouded in secrecy and marred by dissent, President George W. Bush on Sunday hailed progress in the war that defines his presidency and got a size-10 reminder of his unpopularity when a man hurled two shoes at him during a news conference. (AP Photo/ Thaier al-Sudani, Pool)

Who's to blame for ISIS?

Democrats tend to blame President George W. Bush because al-Qaeda expanded following the toppling of Saddam Hussein.  

Bush himself acknowledged as much in a 2008 interview with ABC

BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take -

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.

The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant.

Republicans, on the other hand, say Obama created a security vacuum that ISIS exploited when he ordered U.S. troops withdraw in 2011.

Three years later, Obama was famously criticized for underestimating ISIS when he referred to it as a "JV" team in an interview with the New Yorker.  

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