During the American occupation of Iraq, the group was a major participant in the Iraqi insurgency, first as JTJ and then, after swearing fealty to Al Qaeda, as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Facing backlash from the community and increased pressure from American and Iraqi forces, the group declined in strength and influence. However, this downward trajectory reversed in 2011. The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq created a power vacuum. AQI stepped in to fill this vacuum, while the onset of the Syrian Civil War provided the group ample space to grow in both size and influence. In 2013, the group changed its name from AQI to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Throughout 2013 and 2014, the group seized territory in Syria and Iraq. ISIS changed its name to the Islamic State (IS) and declared the establishment of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria in June 2014.
Both Masri and Baghdadi were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid on April 18, 2010. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (not to be confused with the deceased, Abu Umar al-Baghdadi) then assumed control of the organization. AQI continued to struggle to maintain relevance through 2011. Coalition forces withdrew later that year. 2b1af7f3a8