(NBC News) In a matter of months, the terror group ISIS has risen from an obscure Al Qaeda offshoot to one of the greatest emerging threats against the United States and now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the ISIS threat is beyond anything we've seen.
The execution of American journalist James Foley has changed Washington's focus on the terror group.
"They are an imminent threat to every interest we have whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else," Hagel says.
With U.S. air support, Iraqis are gaining back ground, but America's top general insists it will take more than bombs to crush ISIS.
"This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end of days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated," says Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.
ISIS is now threatening to execute a second American journalist - Miami-based writer Steven Sotloff, and calling for attacks on other American targets.