ISIS declares creation of Mideast caliphate across Iraq and Syria

“The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas,” al-Adnani said.

Al-Baghdadi rose through the ranks of the organization before becoming emir some time in 2010-2011. The group relies on a handful of senior decision makers, but al-Baghdadi has the final word, according to the intelligence official. Most of its funding comes via robbery, extortion and smuggling, with a small percentage coming from donations. ISIS has also reportedly looted banks in some of the cities its seized.

Al-Adnani said that with the creation of the caliphate, the group was changing its name to just the Islamic State, dropping the mention of Iraq and the Levant.