clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Watch: The origins of ISIS, explained in 3 minutes

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

According to French President François Hollande, the terrorist attacks in Paris —which claimed more than 120 lives — were the work of the Islamic State, better known as ISIS. The group rose to prominence in June 2014, when it seized Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

But to understand the militant group, you have to understand where it came from — a story that really starts in the aftermath of America's invasion of Iraq. The above video explains.