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Press release

ICCT Press New Book - Holding ISIL Accountable: Prosecuting Crimes in Iraq and Syria

10 Jun 2024

Ten years ago, on June 10, 2014, the armed group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized control of the city of Mosul, laying the ground for the declaration of its "caliphate" weeks later. In the ensuing weeks, months, and years, the armed group committed almost unimaginable atrocities against individuals and communities across Iraq and Syria. Although ISIL was territorially defeated in March 2019 in Baghuz, Syria, efforts to carve a path to justice and accountability for victims and survivors are ongoing.

Today, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) and Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) are pleased to release the new book "Holding ISIL Accountable: Prosecuting Crimes in Iraq and Syria". This book brings together eight experts who conducted original research on the inner workings of ISIL. The authors are recognized inter-disciplinary experts on ISIL —some of whom have served as expert witnesses in U.N.-led investigations and domestic criminal proceedings. These papers are intended to serve as a summary of their research and a starting point for prosecutors and other authorities conducting investigations and building cases around crimes committed by ISIL. This book was originally published as a paper series by CJA in 2023.

The book seeks to collect and analyze evidence relating to crimes committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's self-declared "caliphate," the international community has grappled with the question of how to achieve accountability for crimes committed by the armed group.

This book is open-access and is a must-read for policymakers, practitioners, academics, and anyone interested in understanding the contemporary challenges of terrorism and counter-terrorism. It is published by ICCT Press and is now available for free download here.

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is one of the leading think tanks on counter-terrorism worldwide. It provides research, policy advice, good practices recommendations and capacity-building support for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers worldwide. It was founded in 2010, and is based in The Hague, Netherlands.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Francesca Merletti at or + 31 (0) 70 7630059