ISIS are a terrifying, devastating Sunni militia that emerged out of the Iraqi insurgency and the anti-Assad jihad … except they aren’t particularly religious! And their origin story makes no sense. And militarily speaking they are a joke who could be wiped out within weeks if NATO wanted that. In this episode I take a sideways look at the Islamic State, which isn’t very Islamic and isn’t a state, and ask what they really are, if anything. I focus in on two elements of their PR that have been particularly effective: the development of the Al Qaeda myth (of which ISIS are an offshoot) and the beheading videos of 2014. I wrap up by suggesting that ISIS are the first truly postmodern terrorist group, who exist almost entirely as a media entity.