“In the Crossfire of Terrorism: Islamic State” by Māris Kūlis

The book examines the background, formation and existence of the terroristic organization known as the Islamic State or ISIS, Daesh. It consists of an up-to-date overview of the Islamic State, it’s history and main ideas as well as a description of this organization in the context of philosophical, political, social, cultural movements in both the Middle East and the globalized world.

The book is structured in three parts accompanied with a prologue and an epilogue, as well as endnotes, a glossary, and a bibliography. The First part, “Soil”, is an overview of the main political, cultural and religious factors that have fostered the creation of the Salafi-jihadi movement. The Second part, “Creation”, is devoted to the history of the Islamic State. The Third part, “Idea”, investigates the religious, cultural, ideological, economic, and strategic ideas of the Islamic State.

Book is 523 pages, hard cover, size A5, printed in Jelgavas tipogrāfijā.
Book contains maps, pictures, diagrams, index, b&w and color pictures.
ISBN 978-9934-506-53-6

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The author has received official recognition from the University of Latvia on excellence of his book and the book has been included among the top 10 publications of University of Latvia in 2018

table of contents


First part. Soil

New Era

Hate triangle — Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia


Second part. Creation

Zarkawi — from petty gangster to the leader of the movement

Iraq war — the finest hours of Zarqawi

Humiliation of Iraq and the great chance for Zarqawi’s gang

The insurgency of Zarkawi’s mujahideen

On the brink of collapse

Islamic State in the Iraq and Levant


Triumph and Disaster

Third part. Idea



Islam of the Islamic State





The end without end



Mēģināt šos ar mūsdienu globalizētās sabiedrības iekšējiem konfliktiem un ar negaidīti tiešiem un nepastarpināti nežēlīgiem nāves draudiem saistītos fenomenus aplūkot un skaidrot plašākā kultūru un civilizāciju attīstības un savstarpējo attiecību vēsturiskā un – svarīgi! – nākotnes perspektīvā, – to šodien uzņemas darīt pavisam nedaudzi. Vēl vairāk: skatīt Islāma valsti ne tikai kā labi drīz iznīcināmu ļaunuma centru vai draudu, ar kuru jātiek galā sabiedroto spēku koalīcijai vai tās atbalstītiem reģionāliem militāriem spēkiem, bet gan arī kā fenomenu, kas vairāk, daudz vairāk pastāsta par Eiropu un Rietumiem – šāds uzdevums nu reiz ir īsts kaskadiera cienīgs pienākums.

Dr. phil. Raivis Bičevskis
Latvijas Universitātes Vēstures un filozofijas fakultāte

The detailed work by Dr. Maris Kulis on the Islamic State is a very needed, expected, and timely addition in the research of radical Islam. This is the first study of this scale available to readers in Latvia in their mother tongue. Even though it seems like the Islamic State is about to draw its last breath, many of its supporters will remain in countries across the Middle East and Europe. The fight against the Islamic State and the battle for control in reclaimed territories will continue and will have long-term consequences. Poor integration, exclusion of immigrants, and possibly a youth fatigued by freedoms in the western societies are just some of the reasons that will enable the terrorists to replenish their ranks from western societies as well. The faster we move from talking about society problems to actually facing the harsh realities, the more success we will have in protecting our people and families from the threats of radical Islam. The academic research done by Dr. Maris Kulis on the Islamic State is a good road sign and adviser for decision makers and opinion leaders brave enough to call things as they see them.

pabriks - kopija
Dr. sc. pol. Artis Pabriks
Minister of Defence, Republic of Latvia

The book by Maris Kulis on the Islamic State is without a doubt an excellent and timely work. The first highlight is the way the author presents his research. An analytical approach produces a clear text without affecting a synthetic observation of the Islamic State phenomenon. The serious analysis provides a thorough look at a topic that is often depicted in a simplified and superficial way in our information environment with an ideological slant and lacking a differentiated perspective.

jerumanis - kopija
Dr. theol., Dr. med., prof. Andris Marija Jerumanis
Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano, Šveice

The monograph “In the Crossfire of Terror: Islamic State” has arrived at exactly the right moment as the local problems of the Middle East have grown into a global conflict that impacts all countries in the world, including Latvia. The author has undertaken a massive endeavour by offering a comprehensive insight into the genesis of the Islamic State ideology, the historical development of the movement and its latest trends.

Monograph by Maris Kulis “Crossfire of Terror: Islamic State” is a significant contribution to the intellectual book publications in Latvia since it provides a comprehensive overview of the most essential modern socio-political problems, enables us to make sense of them, and encourages a search for solutions.

Anita Stašulāne
Dr. theol., prof., Daugavpils Universitāte
Dr. theol., prof. Anita Stašulāne
Daugavpils Universitāte

Monograph by Maris Kulis “In the Crossfire of Terror: Islamic State” is a work of academic and social significance that provides our society with competent, accessible and comprehensive information on “Islamic State”. The monograph of Maris Kulis is a dialogue that engages its reader in a conversation about what is the IS idea and why does it entice people from the Western culture dominated by consumerism and materialism and seems attractive when viewed against the background of a “liquid society” (term by Z. Bauman) as regards ideals, objectives and values.

kiope - kopija
Dr. phil., prof. Māra Kiope
(Rīgas Augstākais Reliģijas zinātņu institūts)


Authort of “In the Crossfire of Terrorism: Islamic State” is Maris Kulis, researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology University of Latvia.

  • Interview in newspaper Latvijas avīze (seet)
  • Interviews on humanities and security in journal Innovation (see)
  • Article in magazine Klubs, August 2018, pp. 36–40. (see)
  • Articles in Delfi (see 1 / see 2 / see 3)