Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

partners-300x191By Caroline Glick:

Hamas’s war with Israel is not a stand-alone event. It is happening in the context of the vast changes that are casting asunder old patterns of behavior and strategic understandings as actors in the region begin to reassess the threats they face.

Hamas was once funded by Saudi Arabia and enabled by Egypt. Now the regimes of these countries view it as part of a larger axis of Sunni jihad that threatens not only Israel, but them.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and its state sponsors Qatar and Turkey, are the key members of this alliance structure. Without their support Hamas would have gone down with the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last summer. As it stands, all view Hamas’s war with Israel as a means of reinstating the Brotherhood to power in that country.

To achieve a Hamas victory, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood are using Western support for Hamas against Israel. If the US and the EU are able to coerce Egypt and Israel to open their borders with Gaza, then the Western powers will hand the jihadist axis a strategic victory.

The implications of such a victory would be dire.

Hamas is ideologically indistinguishable from Islamic State. Like Islamic State, Hamas has developed mass slaughter and psychological terrorization as the primary tools in its military doctrine. If the US and the EU force Israel and Egypt to open Gaza’s borders, they will enable Hamas to achieve strategic and political stability in Gaza. As a consequence, a post-war Gaza will quickly become a local version of Islamic State-controlled Mosul.

In the first instance, such a development will render life in southern Israel too imperiled to sustain. The Western Negev, and perhaps Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod, will become uninhabitable.

Then there is Judea and Samaria. If, as the US demands, Israel allows Gaza to reconnect with Judea and Samaria, in short order Hamas will dominate the areas. Militarily, the transfer of even a few of the thousands of rocket-propelled grenades Hamas has in Gaza will imperil military forces and civilians alike.

IDF armored vehicles and armored civilian buses will be blown to smithereens.

Whereas operating from Gaza, Hamas needed the assistance of the Obama administration and the Federal Aviation Administration to shut down Ben-Gurion Airport, from Judea and Samaria, all Hamas would require are a couple of hand-held mortars.

Jordan will also be directly threatened.

From Egypt’s perspective, a Hamas victory in the war with Israel that connects Gaza to Sinai will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic State and other allies. Such a development represents a critical threat to the regime.

And this brings us to Islamic State itself. It couldn’t have grown to its current monstrous proportions without the support of Qatar and Turkey.

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British Islamic State Jihadists outnumber British Muslim military members

Originally posted on Cultural Jihad:

… there are approximately 600 British Muslim service members in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. Official government estimates put the number of British Islamic State fighters operating in Syria and Iraq at up to 800.

Britain’s Muslim community has just received much international attention with speculation that the ISIS/IS (Islamic State)  murder of journalist James Foley was done at the hands of a British citizen.  Now USA Today is reporting:

More British Muslims fight for Islamic State than Britain

From: USA TODAY
By: Kim Hjelmgaard and John Bacon, August 21, 2014

LONDON — It is likely that there are now more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for Britain’s military.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense confirmed to USA TODAY that there are approximately 600 British Muslim servicemembers in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. Official government estimates put the number of British Islamic State fighters operating…

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Eric Holder Launches Criminal Probe Into Foley Beheading

Fox News:

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that his Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation into the brutal execution by Islamic State militants of American journalist James Foley, in the latest move by the administration to use the criminal justice system to pursue terrorists.

The announcement comes as the Obama administration steps up its airstrike campaign against the same militant organization — and mulls additional American boots on the ground in Iraq.

Holder, during remarks in Washington, confirmed the “open criminal investigation” into Foley’s beheading, which was recorded and posted online this week.

“Those who would perpetrate such acts need to understand something — this Justice Department, this Department of Defense, this nation, we have long memories and our reach is very wide,” Holder said. “We will not forget what happened, and people will be held accountable, one way or the other.”

The remarks seemed to leave open the possibility of military action to seek justice in Foley’s killing. The pursuit of a criminal probe, though, immediately raises questions about how investigators will be able to operate.

“This is more nonsense,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., an Iraq war veteran, said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “What’s most aggravating is that either in Foley’s situation, or the other Americans in captivity, the Defense Department is being forced to take a backseat to the FBI and DOJ.”

The administration also faced Republican criticism from some corners for pursuing a criminal investigation into the Benghazi terror attack in 2012. One suspect in that probe, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, was captured by U.S. forces in June and brought to the U.S. for a civilian court prosecution.

Holder has stood by the use of the American criminal justice system as a vehicle to try terrorists, pointing to past convictions in both the Bush and Obama administrations.

But U.S. investigators reportedly had trouble with access in the Libya probe — an issue not likely to improve if they attempt to enter Syria, which is an active warzone, or even Iraq where large swaths of territory across the country’s north are controlled by militants. Intelligence officials have said privately, before the Foley execution, that operating in both countries was extremely difficult.

Hunter said the U.S. military has a “deep network” that can “exceed whatever the FBI or DOJ can do.”

FBI Director James Comey, though, reportedly said the “full force” of the government would be brought to the case.

“I’m very, very, sorry to say that these savages have turned it into a homicide investigation,” Comey reportedly said in Denver.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and FoxNews.com’s Judson Berger contributed to this report. 

****

Retired Intel Officer: Foley Rescue Attempt Failed Because Obama ‘Dragged His Feet’

 

Iran links Iraq role to lifting of sanctions

Iran is ready to join international action against militants in Iraq provided the West lifts crippling sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

His comments followed a call by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday for all countries in the region, including Iran, to join the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters who have seized swathes of Iraq as well as neighboring Syria.

“If we agree to do something in Iraq, the other side of the negotiations should do something in return,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying.

“All the sanctions that are related to Iran’s nuclear program should be lifted,” he said.

It is the first time that Iran has explicitly linked its readiness to work with the West in Iraq with a lifting of the crippling EU and U.S. sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

Those sanctions are the subject of ongoing talks between Tehran and the major powers that are due to resume before the opening of the U.N. General Assembly next month.

In return for lifting the sanctions, the Western powers are demanding that Iran sharply rein in its nuclear program to ally international concerns about its ambitions as part of a comprehensive deal they are seeking to strike by November.

The Iranian foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that discussions were under way with several European governments about the possibility of joint action against ISIS in Iraq.

Zarif said tough negotiations were still under way over what role Iran might play in Iraq and what the reward might be for its cooperation.

“It is still not clear what we have to do in Iraq and what they have to do in return,” the Mehr news agency quoted the Iranian foreign minister as saying.

“And that’s exactly the difficult part.”

Iranian and U.S. officials discussed the jihadists’ lightning offensive in Iraq in June on the sidelines of nuclear talks with the major powers but both sides ruled out joint military action at the time.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, although they have had contacts over Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

MPAC, Hamas-linked CAIR, ISNA, Muslim leaders condemn Islamic State

 

Jihad Watch, By Robert Spencer:

Here yet again we see Muslims condemning an act of jihad terrorism — in this case, the murder of James Foley by jihadis of the Islamic State — without addressing the Qur’anic case justifying the atrocity. Consequently, it is hard to see how any member or supporter of the Islamic State could watch this video and be convinced that what the Islamic State is doing is wrong on Islamic grounds. Most of it is just platitudes.

There is one scrap of a substantive argument when Maher Hathout says that Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. Islamic State jihadis, however, would almost certainly respond that Foley was not innocent: he was an Infidel and a citizen of a state that the Islamic State has already announced it is at war with. The Islamic State has already warned that it would target American civilians; this would “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60). They can point to this hadith: “It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.” (Sahih Muslim 4321) “They are from them” — i.e., the women and children of the polytheists are from the polytheists and can lawfully be killed.

Ironically, Hathout warns against people who quote Qur’an verses to show the Islamic State’s justification for their action. He says that people who quote the Qur’an in this way don’t understand the nuances of Arabic or Islam. He does not, however, quote a single Qur’an verse himself to show how the Islamic State is wrong. Nor does he give us any specific explanation of how the Islamic State or the “Islamophobes” who are supposedly all over the media are misquoting the Qur’an and misrepresenting Islam.

The other substantive point comes in a statement from Hamas-linked CAIR: “The Geneva Conventions, the Quran – Islam’s revealed text – and the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad all require that prisoners not be harmed in any way.” And yet a manual of Islamic has this:

As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first, to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, “When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [Islam] then strike [their] necks” (Qur’an sura 47, verse 4) (Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance).

Hamas-linked CAIR does not explain how Qur’an 47:4 does not justify the beheading of Infidels. Nor do they explain how al-Mawardi and other Islamic jurists got the idea that killing prisoners was an option permissible in Islam. And so here again, there is nothing in CAIR’s statement that would change the mind of a supporter of the Islamic State. And without that, these condemnations are worthless.

Note also that appearing in the MPAC video is Jamal Badawi, an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas jihad terror funding case.

Financial war on terror: recommended reading

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

  • Time for a good old-fashioned asset freeze, arms embargo, and international travel ban against 6 ISIS terrorists… more>>
  • The beltway chatter is that the U.S. can’t do much to stop the financing of ISIS because it makes millions locally, which is harder to interdict that international funds transfers. Newsmax disagrees… more>>
  • ISIS may be behind high-profile cyber-hacks against Tony Blair, P-Diddy, and banks in order to finance their terror in Iraq… more>>
  • A British mosque will host a fundraiser with a speaker from the radical Hizb ut-Tahrirmore>>
  • U.S. taxpayer dollars fund UNRWA, a UN agency in the Palestinian territories staffed by a Hamas-run labor union whose members’ salaries are siphoned by Hamas as union dues… more>>
  • The German daily Süddeutsche Zeitungreports that the main civilian airport is Iran has been transformed into a “hub of terror” for arms shipments by the IRGC to Hezbollah… more>>
  • The…

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Time to Part Ways with Erdogan

erdoganby Ari Lieberman:

There is no question that Turkey, because of its size and geo-strategic location maintains a pivotal role in NATO. Its armed forces are NATO’s second largest and its troops had acquitted themselves well during the Korean War. Turkey had also played a constructive role in bridging relations between Israel and the Muslim world acting as an effective interlocutor. But with the ascent of the Islamist Justice and Development party in 2002 and the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as party boss, things have taken a stark turn for the worse.

Under the stewardship of an increasingly unbalanced Erdogan, Turkey has renounced secularism in favor of Islamist dogma and creeping sharia. Turkey’s new president elect has, through intimidation and strong-arm tactics, usurped control of Turkey’s judiciary and press. Indeed, Turkey holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest incarcerator of journalists followed only by Iran and China.

An increasingly paranoid Erdogan has also declared war on social media and in March threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube, accusing the sites of “every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends.” Erdogan had already banned YouTube for two years though the restriction was lifted in 2010.

Erdogan’s disloyalty to the United States and NATO began early in his term of office as prime minister but his betrayals have only increased in recent years.

In March 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Turkey refused to allow the deployment of US troops on Turkish soil which would have enabled the US to open a second front against Saddam Hussein. Turkey also refused to allow the US to utilize Turkish airspace and airbases to launch strikes against Iraqi forces.

In 2010, Turkey was one of only two nations in the UN Security Council (the other being Brazil) that voted against imposing sanctions against Iran in connection with its nuclear proliferation activities. Turkey (along with China) is currently taking a lead role in helping the Islamic Republic circumvent sanctions, often fronting for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and instituting various other schemes to bypass legal obstacles.  Turkey’s stance on Iran has even drawn praise from mullah’s official propaganda outlet, Press TV.

It is clear that Turkey, acting as Iran’s conduit to Europe has become the Islamic Republic’s premier enabler. Turkey’s outreach to Iran represents a disturbing pattern by Erdogan to curry favor with nations and entities whose interests substantially diverge from Washington’s. Turkey has established itself as the world’s foremost supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are listed as terrorist organizations by the United States.  Turkey has also opted to purchase air defense platforms from a Chinese firm already on a designated sanctions list for violating embargoes against Iran and North Korea. Moreover, the Chinese systems are incompatible with NATO platforms but to Erdogan, NATO’s defense needs play second fiddle to his disconcerting policy of thumbing his nose at the West.

Central to any defense pact and cooperation between allies is trust. But Erdogan has proven that he is anything but trustworthy. In fact, he has established himself as the premier betrayer of trust when, in violation of all norms and protocol within the intelligence community, he betrayed a network of spies working to compile data on Iran’s proliferation activities.

Read more at Front Page

Is Obama’s Detached Demeanor a National Security Risk?

obamamAmerican Thinker, By Susan D. Harris, August 21, 2014:

I don’t know if something is medically or psychologically wrong with President Obama; whether it’s simply stress or if, God forbid, he has some sort of addiction that is causing him to look like an aging skeleton.  But for some reason this supposedly “charismatic” leader and “great orator” keeps crawling out from his party down private life to address the American people with an apathetic monotone voice and lackadaisical gaze.  He consistently avoids direct eye contact with the camera in the same way a guilty child avoids his parent’s glare.

The only time we see him animated and excited is when he’s brimming with hatred at the “right”  that’s when his eyes turn dark and he shoots daggers…exposing an intense anger.

It’s disturbing to see an American president more animated and angry over his failed gun legislation than the gruesome beheading of an American citizen perpetrated by a group that his own defense secretary called, “The most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen…”  On Wednesday, the president meandered up to a podium to deliver prepared remarks on the beheading of freelance photojournalist James Foley:

From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread.  There has to be a clear rejection of these nihilistic ideologists.

On vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, not bothering to put on a tie, and still trying to shake off grogginess; his strongly written words carried no weight when delivered with the same enthusiasm he’d use to order dinner at one of his favorite trendy restaurants.

Having studied dramatic arts, I couldn’t help but listen to Obama deliver the line, “We will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope…”, as I envisioned a drama coach yelling in exasperation:  “One more time and say it like you mean it!”

And while Obama claimed to be feeling the “ache of (Foley’s) absence” and “mourning his loss” — he was anxiously waiting to get to the Vineyard Golf Course to meet NBA star Alonzo Mourning and others for yet another round of much needed rest and relaxation.

Time and again, one word seems to keep popping up when discussing Obama:  Detached.

Back in 2011, Dana Milbank described the President in the Washington Post saying, “He seemed detached…as he pivoted his head from side to side…”

Three months later, an associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Ynetnews that Obama was “detached from reality.”

During the Sochi Olympics in February, 2014, Obama’s interview with Bob Costas raised eyebrows as some people questioned whether he might actually have been stoned.

Since then, the President has increasingly been referred to as “detached;” a term driven home by Charles Krauthammer in a July column he wrote which began:  “The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people.”

That same month, liberal NPR called the President “detached” when discussing the issue of missing Nigerian schoolgirls.

Also in July, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) Texas, told ABC News that Obama was starting to “look detached” by choosing not to visit the border during his trip to Texas.  Cuellar added “aloof” and “bizarre” to his presidential adjectives during an interview on MSNBC.

Obama’s appearance and demeanor have deteriorated even more since Britain’s Daily Mail questioned his weight in 2012, adding he looked “extremely tired and frail.”

The president’s delivered remarks on the beheading of Jim Foley were downright embarrassing — the juxtaposition of British Prime Minister David Cameron cutting his vacation short and rushing to London caused a collective American face palm in comparison.

Since Obama reportedly gets most of his briefings on his iPad, he might as well have whoever writes his prepared statements send them to the American people in the same manner; then he wouldn’t have to interrupt his presidential revelries.

In an engaging piece of hypothetical creative writing, Huffington Post blogger Marco Cáceres recently asked, “What if Obama really went off the deep end like Honduras’ Mel Zelaya? What are the options?”

With civil wars, global strife and ISIS directly threatening to attack American and European targets, Obama’s detached demeanor may be becoming a national security risk in and of itself. I’m not sure we have time to put the world on hold to send our president for group therapy.

Susan D. Harris can be reached at http://susandharris.com/

 

Inside Hamas: How To Understand the Global Jihadist Threat

 

PJ Media, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

In-depth reporting by the Wall Street Journal’s Nicholas Casey and Adam Entous takes us inside Gaza, into the minds, indoctrination and support system of Hamas. The report is here (but behind the paper’s subscriber wall).

It will be a tough one to refute for the willful blindness crowd – i.e., the bipartisan Beltway ruling class and its cooperative mainstream media – who insist that Islam is innately a religion of peace. The report illuminates the reality that Islamic study is the basic pathway to jihadist militancy and that, for members of Hamas, the jihad against Israel is not a parochial political affair but part and parcel of a global ideological movement that is very much driven by a perception of divine directive.

To observe what Hamas members and their supporters believe, and to learn that even non-adherents of Hamas respect the organization’s tenets as an entirely legitimate construction of Islam, is to elucidate the stubborn stupidity of the claim that “true” Islam is unconnected to terrorism committed by Muslims – and that we should regard such Muslims as irrational “violent extremists” rather than jihadists.

The report introduces us first to Abu Thoraya, a Hamas jihadist killed in the recent fighting:

[He was] in some respects a typical young man in his 20s. He was unmarried, worked a clerical job and lived with his parents, whom he and his brother supported. He took long morning runs down the Gaza Strip toward Egypt. He had a pious side which drew him to Hamas. He made connections to the group at the Abu Salim Mosque, an old stone prayer hall down the street from his home.

We learn from his brother that family members “didn’t share the same views” as Abu Thoraya, but it quickly becomes clear that the narrow disagreement is about jihadist aggression. The report explains that the brother is an “Islamist.” This means (although the report does not go into it) that he is an Islamic-supremacist: a supporter of sharia government – i.e., imposition of Islam’s societal framework and legal code. That is Hamas’s goal as well. The only real difference is that the brother belongs to an Islamic supremacist faction, the Dawa movement, that does not have a military wing.

Why is it so important to understand the ideological sympathies, rather than narrow disagreements about tactics that Western leaders obsess over? Because it shows that even dissenters from Hamas respect the terrorist organization’s beliefs and goals. Despite their differences, the report explains, “the family accepted and supported Mr. Abu Thoraya’s decision to plumb the world of Hamas through Islamic study and religious training.”

And, whether we choose to see it or not, fundamentalist Islamic religion includes the call to violent jihad and the veneration of it as the highest service to Allah – the surest path to paradise. The Obama administration can try to erase this incontestable fact out of the materials used to train the intelligence, law-enforcement and military personnel charged with protecting us. It will not, however, be erased from the scripture-based materials used to educate and indoctrinate Islamic supremacists. As the report relates Abu Thoraya’s seamless transition from education to indoctrination to terror:

At some point, religious study transitioned into fighting. “You start as a fan of Hamas, then eventually, if they trust you, you join the armed movement,” said his brother.

Of course, besides the Palestinian families that may disagree with Hamas’s tactics but “accept and support” their sons’ decision to join the jihad are the families that are with Hamas all the way. Such was the family of 39-year-old Abdullah Al Masri, also killed in the recent fighting. The report recounts:

He worked as a police officer in the Hamas-run city bureaucracy and was known as the most devout of a strongly Muslim family. “We were almost brought up at the Abu Salim Mosque,” said his brother, also named Mohammed. Following Friday prayers, Mr. Al Masri would spend the afternoon lecturing children on the virtues of Islam.

He joined Hamas more than a decade ago and told his family about the decision a few years ago, his brother said. “We were absolutely OK with this. There was an Israeli occupation that he needed to fight against,” his brother said, citing the justification many Palestinians give for attacking Israel. The Israeli government considers any attacks for political purposes to be terrorism.

While the enthusiasm of Al Masri’s brother for the Islamic-supremacist cause is so common as to be unremarkable, his mother’s incitements are chilling, even though they, too, are ubiquitous in Gaza. The report describes the lead-up to the battle that led to Al Masri’s death:

Mr. Al Masri’s mother, Latifa, was with him in the living room during the daytime Ramadan fast when they heard the sound of tank shelling outside Deir Al-Balah. “Are you afraid of it?” she said her son asked. “Because I’m not. What better thing than to be a martyr during Ramadan.”

Toward the conclusion of the report, we are left with the mother’s response to her son’s death in the jihad:

“God be praised,” she said. “We knew he was part of the resistance and we knew the day would come that he would die.”

It is a global jihad. Like the Israelis, the United States and the West are up against an ideologically driven enemy that believes, based on Islamic teachings that are mainstream in the Middle East, it is under a command from Allah to conquer non-Muslims. Its jihadists are willing to die to carry out the mission – having been indoctrinated to believe that that death in the cause is better than life on earth.

We will never design an effective global strategy to defeat the threat unless and until we finally open our eyes and understand it.

Also see:

IDF Scores Hits on Hamas Military Leaders in Gaza

Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra'ad Atar, 39

Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra’ad Atar, 39
Source: General Security Service of Israel

By Jerry Gordon:

The Hamas breach of the 12th cease fire unleashed a new phase by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge to take down Hamas military leaders. By going after Hamas military commanders via air assaults based on intelligence gathered by Shin Bet, it has scored some important hits, including operatives involved in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. Schalit was held in captivity for five years by Hamas until his release in October 2011 in exchange for 1037 Palestinian prisoners. The IDF announced the killing of Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra’ad Atar, 39 and a third operative in an IAF air assault on a Rafah location in southern Gaza. The significance of the killing of both Smalla and Atar was their involvement in several operations, notably the 2004 tunnel attack in the Philadelphi corridor that sparked IDF tunnel detection developments and the recent cross border tunnel attacks in Operation Protective Edge. See our recent Iconoclast post, “How Israel’s Military Bureaucracy Bungled the Terror Tunnel Threat”.

Further, there are conflicting reports that the IAF may have taken down the head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif. However, Hamas only acknowledges that Deif’s wife and infant child were killed in the attack on their home in Gaza. Hamas is now concentrating its rocket barrages on Southern Israel and strategic launches against the Tel Aviv area in central Israel seeking to score another hit near Ben Gurion Airport. An earlier rocket hit in late July on a residence near Ben Gurion Airport brought about an order from the US FAA resulting in temporary suspension of flights to Israel by US and international carriers.

Read more at New English Review

Also see:

Aggressive Propaganda Helps Islamic State Lure Followers Away From Al-Qaida

by John Rossomando
IPT News
August 20, 2014

1050Battlefield success by the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), may be translating into a competition with al-Qaida for brand loyalty among jihadist recruits.

These successes have intelligence experts worried. Al-Qaida and the Islamic State are now locked in competition to become the “premier terrorist organization,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Sunday.

“Before 9/11, there were single-level threat streams coming to the United States. So, pretty serious. Obviously they got in and conducted the attacks on 9/11. Now you have multiple organizations, all Al Qaeda minded, trying to accomplish the same thing,” Rogers said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The Islamic State has tactical advantages over al-Qaida, which formally renounced ISIS in February. These advantages over al-Qaida also include at least $1 billion in precious metals, tanks, helicopters, heavy weapons and control of an area the size of Indiana, Rogers said.

Rogers also noted that the Islamic State earned an estimated $1 million per day from illicit oil sales. Islamic State terrorists have better training than their current al-Qaida competitors.

Much of the Islamic State’s ability to compete with al-Qaida for new recruits, in hopes of becoming the world’s top terrorist organization, stems from its aggressive propaganda campaign on social media. Its supporters tout their successes on Twitter virtually every day.

Videos and images showing violent acts by Islamic State fighters tell potential recruits that they will be fighting to abolish divisions among Muslims and recapture lost glories such as Jerusalem and al-Andalus (Spain) if they join the jihad. The group’s beheading Tuesday of American photojournalist James Wright Foley and threat to kill journalist Steven Joel Sotloff in retaliation for the American bombing campaign will no doubt heighten its stature among hardcore jihadists.

Reports now say that the Islamic State recruited 6,300 men in Syria during July – about 1,000 of whom were foreign fighters. Early estimates suggest the terrorist group numbered around 15,000 in total. This recruitment surge followed the Islamic State’s successes in Iraq where it captured large stockpiles of American arms.

All signs indicate the Islamic State wants to expand beyond Iraq and Syria and obtain a global reach that rivals al-Qaida’s.

Thousands of jihadists have sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi in Indonesia, where the group has launched an aggressive recruitment effort across the island nation’s 16 provinces. A massive infiltration of pro-Islamic State terrorists has been reported in Aceh in the western part of the country.

A man identified as Abu Jundullah, reportedly the head of the Islamist movement in Aceh, said his group placed itself directly under al-Baghdadi’s authority. Abu Jundullah also noted that his movement did not proclaim itself as the Indonesian branch of the Islamic State.

The Islamic State is publishing a jihadist magazine, Al Mustaqbal, which has beendistributed in Indonesia’s Java province. It is similar to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’sInspire magazine. Indonesian and neighboring Malaysian leaders are particularly worried. Malaysia has arrested 19 suspects with ties to the Islamic State in the past seven months. These suspects told police that they planned to attack the Malaysian government and attack nightclubs and bars in Kuala Lumpur and a Carlsberg brewery in Petaling Jaya.

A series of raids in the Indonesian province of East Java led to additional arrests of Islamic State terrorists and the seizing of guns, Islamic State flags and literature praising jihad.

Jihadists in the nearby Philippines similarly threw their support to the Islamic State. Jihadists from Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, which is suspected of having al-Qaida ties, also gave their allegiance to Baghdadi in recent weeks. A spokesman for the smaller Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) told Agence France Presse his group maintains an alliance with the Baghdadi and the Islamic State.

Spanish jihadists aligned with the Islamic State showed their desire to return Spain to its Islamic past. One enthusiast posted a photo on Twitter in June of the Islamic State’s black flag in front of Spain’s medieval Islamic Aljaferia Palace, with the inscription, “We will be back for you #Andalucia. Support from #Spain.”

Spanish and Moroccan authorities arrested nine men suspected of recruiting jihadists to join the Islamic State Thursday.

“The dismantled network was dedicated to the recruitment, financial support and dispatch of jihadists for the terrorist organization ‘Islamic State,'” Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A Jordanian Salafist group calling itself the “Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad” proclaimed its loyalty to Baghdadi. It includes 6,000 members and could potentially become a fifth column for the Islamic State in Jordanian society. Worry abounds in Jordan that it could become the Islamic State’s next victim. A video surfaced in July of Salafists in Jordan’s Zarqa governorate proclaiming their loyalty to Baghdadi, adding to the unease.

“We should always remember that the Islamic State is present to our east [in Iraq's Anbar province] and is growing in Syria’s east and south,” political analyst and former Jordanian Minister Taher al-Adwan wrote earlier this month.

Al-Adwan also called on Jordanian authorities to pay closer attention to strengthening the home front against a possible incursion by the Islamic State. Jordanian authorities face increasing calls from its citizens to crack down on jihadists to ensure the Islamic State does not get a foothold in the kingdom.

Despite these gains by the Islamic State, most top al-Qaida leaders have shown little willingness to break with Ayman al-Zawahiri and recognize al-Baghdadi as caliph. Al-Baghdadi’s pretension has been met with scorn from leaders of many of al-Qaida’s franchises. Abu Qatada, an al-Qaida linked cleric in Jordan, accused al-Baghdadi of “deviating” and issued a fatwa saying the declaration of the caliphate was “null and void.”

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) stopped short of endorsing Baghdadi as caliph, but has lavished praise on the Islamic State nonetheless. Last week, AQAP called for attacks against the United States and declared itself in solidarity with the Islamic State in response to American airstrikes in Iraq.

Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau voiced his support for al-Baghdadi last month following the declaration that the caliphate had been re-established

Also see:

What is ISIS, Where did it Come From, and When Did the US Know it was There?

by Shoshana Bryen and Michael Johnson
Jewish Policy Center
August 20, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL), currently controls about one-third of Iraq. It is a combination of:

  • A non-al-Qaeda revival of the al-Qaeda-sponsored Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) organization that tried to take over western Iraq 2003—2006, and
  • Sunni Syrian rebel groups including the Nusra Front (Jabhat al Nusra), which also has ties to al Qaeda.

Turkey, Qatar, and – indirectly – the United States supported the Nusra Front early in its existence in the Syrian civil war, although it is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. In 2011/12, the U.S. was supplying arms from Libya to Turkey for distribution to Syrian rebels, and both Turkey and Qatar provided them to their preferred radical jihadist groups, not the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels at least politically favored by the U.S. The Nusra Front was a recipient of both arms and money. The CIA was working in the area at the time, ostensibly helping the Turks “vet” the opposition groups and providing them “non-lethal” aid.

Current ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (as the self-styled Caliph of the Islamic State, he is now known as Amir al-Mu’minin Caliph Ibrahim) was an early follower of Abu Musab al Zarkawi, a Bin Laden loyalist. In 2003, al Zarkawi’s “Group for Monotheism and Holy War “(JTJ) bombed the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, killing 34 people. In 2006, after al Zarkawi was killed, the group became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) under the control of Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian. The American “surge” in Iraq pushed ISI across the border to Syria in 2006/7.

After both al-Masri and al-Baghdadi were killed in 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi assumed leadership of ISIS.

IS gunman in Syria.

IS gunman in Syria.

ISIS has enormous financial reserves. When Iraqi forced killed the ISIS commander of Mosul in June 2014, they retrieved 160 computer flash drives – which the CIA, among others, has been combing for information. According to The Guardian newspaper, the drives contained “noms de guerre of all foreign fighters, senior leaders and their code words, initials of sources inside ministries and full accounts of the group’s finances.” A British official told the newspaper, “Before Mosul, their total cash and assets were $875 million. Afterwards, with the money they robbed from banks and the value of the military supplies they looted, they could add another $1.5 billion to that.”In April 2013, ISIS announced that the Nusra Front in Syria was affiliated with al Qaeda and the two would work together in Syria and Iraq. There were reports that ISIS had waned in influence early in 2014 and in February, al Qaeda separated itself from ISIS. This may have accounted President Obama’s comment that the group was “the jayvee team” – a reference to the apparent rise of the still AQ-affiliated Nusra Front at the expense of ISIS. But in June 2014, the Nusra Front was reported to have merged into ISIS, providing it with an additional 15,000 soldiers for its latest push across western Iraq.

ISIS, then, was not unknown to American, British, Iraqi or other intelligence services before it began its streak across the Syrian-Iraqi border and the acquisition of territory in which it has declared its caliphate.

Background & Resource Material

The group has changed from an insurgency in Iraq to a jihadist group primarily in Syria, to an army largely in Iraq. Following the past of least resistance, the group moved from Iraq to Syria, then Iraq again and today is in control of parts of both countries.

  • Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi established al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in April 2004 and swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. [i]
  • The Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) fought multiple battles with U.S. and kidnapped American soldiers.[ii] It also carried out IED and suicide attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces.
  • Following the 2006-07 surge, many of the group’s members, including al-Zarqawi, were killed by Iraqi or U.S. forces; some remained in hiding. As of 2010, the U.S. considered the group to be dislodged from central AQ leadership. [iii]
  • Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi – ISI leaders – were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi mission in April 2010, leaving the leadership of ISI to Abu Bakr.[iv]
  • In 2011, all U.S. combat troops had left Iraq, but ISI predominated on the Syria-Iraq border. Had Syria not collapsed, ISI would have had a harder time gaining territory and funds.
  • By late 2012, much of the group’s reformed leadership was already targeted by the U.S. treasury. [v]
  • The Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL), another name for the same group, started operations in Northern Syria following large demonstrations against Assad.[vi]
  • ISIL officially declared its governance over the Levant in April 2013
  • In August 2013, U.S. officials said ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was operating from Syria, but directing suicide attacks in central Iraq[vii]
  • The group refocused efforts on Iraq-Syria border after fighting began with other rebel groups and Assad in late 2013 early 2014 [viii]
  • AQ Central and ISIS split due to differences over methodology and fighting in early 2014 [ix]
  • ISIS pushed deeper into Iraq, capturing Fallujah in Jan 2014[x] and Mosul in June.

Early Funding

Early funding of ISI (later ISIS) included many rich and religiously connected Gulf donors. One of the most notable is Nayef al-Ajmi, Kuwait’s former Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs and Endowments. The U.S. Government later sanctioned al-Ajmi for sending money to Syrian Jihadists. [xi] The whole al-Ajmi family appears to have been involved in financing jihadists. Sheikh Hajjaj al-Ajmi used his 250,000 Twitter followers and some of his own wealth to fund various radical Sunni groups in Syria, sending over $1 million. Syrian rebels even sent him “thank you” videos on Youtube.[xii]

The former Head of British MI6 says the Saudi government probably not sending money, but overlooking when citizens do [xiii] Qatar appears to be the only country openly funding jihadist groups in Syria, but the money tail appears to include a number of rich families in the Gulf.

Ad hoc funding included bank robberies and the looting of antiquities. [xiv]

Later Funding

  • Raiding oil fields and processing facilities in Iraq. Oil cannot be shipped out of the country – ISIS doesn’t have the transportation capacity and no one on the outside will buy it, but there are ways to make it profitable internally.

– Traders sell both refined and crude oil to nearby groups including Kurdish smugglers.[xv]

– Iraq’s Anbar Province, the ISIS stronghold, doesn’t have much oil, but Northern Nineveh and areas around Kirkuk do.[xvi]

– ISIS has taken control of Baiji, the site of a large refinery that supplies oil to much of Iraq

  • In June, ISIS looted the central bank in Mosul, taking away an estimated $429 million

– With that, it is estimated that “ISIS could pay 60,000 fighters $600 a month for a whole year.”

  • Money is also made from business and personal “protection” taxes extorted from residents of areas captured by ISIS.

Footnotes:

US launched raid in Syria to rescue American hostages held by Islamic State

Published on Aug 20, 2014 by Mass Tea Party

 

Long War Journal, By

The US military attempted to rescue “a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State,” the Department of Defense’s spokesman said today. The rescue attempt failed as the hostages were not at the location of the raid.

“The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the [Islamic State,or ISIL],” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement released on the Department of Defense’s website. “This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.”

The exact location of the raid inside Syria was not disclosed by the US military.

Kirby indicated that top tier US special operations forces, likely Navy SEALs or Army Delta teams, were involved in the rescue operation. “In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home,” Kirby said.

Kirby indicated that the military will continue to seek to free the US hostages.

“The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can,” he said. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

The Islamic State is known to hold one American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, who was captured near the Syria-Turkey border in August 2013. Kirby was clear that there are multiple hostages. At least three other Americans, Austin Tice, and two others who have not been named at the request of their families, are known to have disappeared in Syria. A US intelligence official told The Long War Journal that Tice and the other two Americans are also being held by the Islamic State.

The US has launched at least one other special operations raid in Syria since 2008. In October 2008, special operations forces killed Abu Ghadiya, a senior al Qaeda leader who has been in charge of the group’s Syrian network since 2005, and several aides during a raid in Albu Kamal. The Al Nusrah Fornt, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, have named a training camp after Abu Ghadiya.

Military continues airstrikes against Islamic State despite threats

The military’s announcement of the hostage rescue operation took place just one day after the Islamic State beheaded James Wright Foley, an American journalist who was captured by the group in Binesh, Syria on Nov. 22, 2012. A videotape of the execution was released on the Internet.

The Islamic State has threatened to kill Soltoff if the US does not end the airstrikes against the jihadist group in northern Iraq.

“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the Foley’s executioner said as he grasped the collar of the orange jumpsuit worn by a terrified Sotloff.

But the US military said today that it is continuing air operations in Iraq. In a press release issued by US Central Command, the military said it executed 14 airstrikes against Islamic State “terrorists in support of Iraqi security force operations, using fighter, remotely piloted and attack aircraft.”

“The strikes destroyed or damaged six ISIL Humvees, three IED emplacements, one mortar tube, and two armed trucks,” CENTCOM said.

CENTCOM confirmed that the US military has launched “a total of 84 airstrikes across Iraq … and of those 84 strikes, 51 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam.”

The US military aided the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga’s advance to retake the Mosul Dam and nearby towns after the Peshmerga withdrew with little opposition in early August.

Earlier today, US Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the Islamic State as “evil” in a statement condemning the execution of Foley.

Also see:

 

ISIS, James Foley and the President’s Tepid Response to the “Religion of Peace”

isis-foley-676x450

ISIS BEHEADS American Journalist James Foley in Video Message Released By ISIS

Thomas More Law Center:

As ISIS videotaped the brutal beheading of an American journalist, its spokesman, in perfect English, warned President Obama and the American people that more deaths are coming if the US does not submit to their demands. The President’s tepid response this afternoon was disappointing.

Even at this time of sorrow for the barbaric murder of Jim Foley, President Obama could not help but to give credence to the “good cop/bad cop” routine which Muslims have consistently used to blunt our ability to effectively deal with the true threat posed by radical Islam itself.

But Obama’s approach is not new.  For years Americans have endured the deception spewed out by politicians pandering for Muslim votes, our own government, and Muslim apologists that “Islam is a religion of peace”. . .

. . . even as fellow Americans were being blown to bits and murdered by Islamic terrorists, from the 9/11 attacks, to the Fort Hood massacre, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

And now, James Foley.

WWII could have been prevented and millions of lives saved if only our leaders had taken more seriously what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf and said in his speeches.

Koran-believing Muslims consider the slaughter of Americans moral and holy.

Let’s not make the same mistake with these jihadists as we did with Hitler.  Take them seriously.

The Koran commands Muslims to engage in a holy war (Jihad) in order to impose Islam and Shariah Law on the entire world.

“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in  wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” (Koran 9:5)
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood told a youth conference in Toledo, Ohio in 1998,

 “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America.”

The horrific 9/11 attacks were sanctioned by the Koran’s mandate to wage Jihad (holy war) against non-Muslims.  How can anyone call Islam a religion of peace!
  • “[D]ismember [the American] nation, tear them apart…destroy their embassies…shoot down their planes…kill them on land, at sea, and in the air.  Kill them wherever you find them.”
– Islamic cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (The Blind Sheikh)
  •   “The real matter is the extinction of America.  And, God willing, it will fall to the ground.”
                  – Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar
With the help of the Obama administration, Islamists have infiltrated the highest echelons of our government and are on the road to achieve their goal to destroy America from within — unless you and I do something about it.
  • Numerous Islamic terrorism experts who used to give hundreds of presentations on Islam’s true threat to America are now banned from speaking at government counter-terrorism classes and conferences.
  • General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered all training material used by military professional colleges and combat units scrubbed of any content offensive to Islam.
  • General Dempsey also caused the firing LTC Matthew Dooley as an  instructor at the National Defense University teaching the course on Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism because it was offense to Islam.  Up to that point LTC Dooley was a rising star in the military. (The Thomas More Law Center is representing LTC Dooley)
  • John Brennan (now Director of the CIA), during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argued that the terms “jihadist” or “jihad” should not be used to describe America’s enemies.  His reason: Jihad is a holy struggle and a legitimate tenet of Islam. 
  • Caving-in to Muslim demands, the FBI purged 876 pages and 392 presentations that were deemed offensive to Islam.
  • When Muslim U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 30 in the Fort Hood massacre, the government called it workplace violence.  The 86-page official report on this massacre didn’t once mention Muslim or Jihad.  But it mentioned workplace violence 16 times.
  • An Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney in Tennessee threatened to prosecute anyone who made inflammatory statements about Islam.

So how can we defeat our enemies if our leaders refuse to allow patriotic Americans  to accurately identify them!

Islam is more than a religion.  It is a political ideology that calls for Islamic domination of the world.  Moreover, it’s incumbent on Muslims to make war upon non-Muslims until all nations submit.

And that includes the United States.

This is what the co-founder of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) said to a California audience in 1998:

 “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Also see:

JIHADIS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS WANT A USG RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM

muslimgroupcoalitionBreitbart, by CLARE M. LOPEZ:

In a chilling 14 August 2014 letter to Lisa O. Monaco, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism advisor at the National Security Council (NSC), reminiscent of the Red Chinese and Soviet gulags, a group of 75 signatories urged the Obama administration to “implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state, and local law enforcement officers” who have been exposed to “anti-Muslim” training.

Former FBI counter-terrorism Special Agent, former head of the FBI SWAT team and former combat Marine John Guandolo– a member of the Center for Security Policy (CSP) Team B IIand Founder of Understanding the Threat– was singled out for particular criticism, as was FBI analyst William Gawthrop.

Among the signatories to the letter are CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations, the U.S. HAMAS wing), the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), which includes Helping Hand for Relief & Development USA, the charitable wing of Muslim Brotherhood front group, Islamic Circle of North America), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), whose Executive Committee includes the likes of Siraj Wahhaj (named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Ihsan Bagby (member of several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)). To round out the Islamic representation, there are two Shi’ite affiliates, the Imam Hussain Islamic Center and Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA, which seems to have only a Facebook presence online).

Joining them in signing the letter was a gaggle of fellow travelers drawn from across a span of leftist organizations. Perhaps it’s all the ghastly publicity from the Middle East that’s been drawing attention to how Islamic Law (shariah) really looks when it’s implemented in all its barbaric fulsomeness. Or maybe the signatories just decided it was time for the old Red-Green alliance to reprise the glory days of its original efforts to remove training about how Islamic terrorism takes its inspiration from Islamic doctrine, when a 19 October 2011 letter to Monaco’s predecessor, John Brennan, succeeded in launching a U.S. government-wide purge of such curriculum. Then again, it’s possible somebody pulled out a dog-eared copy of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to review some tips on how to neutralize Guandolo’s stunningly effective law enforcement training about Islam, shariah, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Red-Green coalition obviously has realized (likely with dawning horror) that even if Guandolo weren’t still out there reaching sheriffs’ departments across the country, the residual effects of earlier pre-purge training still inform countless law enforcement counterterrorism programs. And the thought that such training lately must only be reinforced by the never-ending stream of atrocities out of the Middle East may have been just enough to tip the group over into serious panic. Hence the letter to Ms. Monaco to urge a little brainwashing, just to make sure nobody somehow connects any of those awful beheadings and crucifixions with Islam (see Qur’anic verses 8:12 and 5:32-33 for details).

First came the physical purge of the training materials. Now must follow the psychological purge of all those minds that absorbed that training. Stalin and Mao—never mind Qutb and Khomeini—would be so proud.

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

Also see: