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Good Question: What Does ISIS Want?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In a video released Monday, a group claiming to be ISIS warned the U.S. would suffer the same fate as France. They said they will strike Washington D.C.

At this point, the Department of Homeland Security says it doesn't have any credible information about any potential attack. But, over the past two weeks, the terrorist group has claimed responsibility for hundreds of deaths.

That has Martha from Plymouth and Anne from Maple Lake asking: What does ISIS want?

"They would like the entire world to be Muslim, but they want the world to be Muslim in a very, very narrowly defined manner," says William Beeman, chair of the anthropology department at the University of Minnesota. "They are fundamentalist Muslims and their idea of Islam is quite different from the rest of the Islamic world."

Beeman says ISIS trying to recreate the Islamic caliphate that was active in the Islamic world from the time of the Prophet to 1926 when the caliph was abandoned.

"They want that caliphate worldwide, including here in the United States," says former CIA deputy director and CBS News Contributor Mike Morell. "It means we'll all live under their very extreme religious rules about how you should conduct your life day to day."

That would include repression of things that are pleasurable, including music or images. Under ISIS ideology, women should have no role outside of the home.

Beeman says it's important to understand ISIS is not Islam, but that ISIS leaders have cherry picked portions of the Quran to justify their tactics. The vast majority of Muslims have condemned the ISIS attacks.

"Terrorism has no religion," CAIR-MN's deputy director Nausheena Hussain said on Monday.

Committing terrorist attacks outside of Iraq and Syria also garners worldwide attention, which can lead to more recruits.

Beeman says the ISIS leaders believe in their extreme ideology, but it's likely some of the younger recruits, many of whom were not practicing Muslims, were more excited about the idea of contributing to a bigger cause.

As for why ISIS attacks stadiums, concert halls and restaurants in Paris, Beeman says it's because ISIS is opposed to what they consider colonial domination by Europeans and Americans in the Middle East.

"They want the U.S. to declare war in the worst way," says Beeman. "Because by doing battle, they think they will eventually succeed, they eventually will conquer and establish their domination over the world. it's a bit of megalomania."

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