Dr. Sebastian Gorka on Conventional vs Irregular War and the Cult of Complexity

Dr. Sebastian Gorka briefing at SOCOM Wargame Center

Dr. Sebastian Gorka briefing at SOCOM Wargame Center

May 2, 2015 Webinar: 

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I highly recommend watching this 2012 interview of Dr.Sebastian Gorka:

Gorka interview with Ginni

http://thegorkabriefing.com/leaders-with-ginni-thomas/

The Daily Caller spoke with Gorka about President Obama’s muddled foreign policy choices, the threat political correctness poses to our national security, the threats to our constitutional order from forces both outside and inside our borders, myths of conventional thinking on national security matters and much more.

Questions asked:

  • Help us make sense of President Obama’s foreign policy
  • What is at stake in America right now?
  • Have conservatives, Republicans and their donors put too many eggs in the political basket?
  • What is your background and your mission in life?
  • If you could have national attention for a moment, what would you tell every American?
  • What are three myths of conventional thinking?
  • What is the optimal way to oppose jihadi ideology?
  • How would you balance liberty and security in practical circumstances?
  • What gives you hope, and what can ordinary citizens do to help?

Also see:

FBI Speaks To Bergen County High School Students About ISIS Recruitment Threat

al hayat mediaHACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The FBI has targeted Bergen County, New Jersey to stop Islamic State militants from getting a stronghold there – and agents have been going to high school with a message.

Christine Sloan was there when agents visited a Bergen County school on Tuesday. An FBI intelligence analyst who did not wish to be identified spoke at the Bergen Arts and Science Charter School in Hackensack.

He warned students about a new threat – a sophisticated recruitment video trying to lure them into joining the terrorist group ISIS.

“There’s a role for everybody. Every person can contribute to the Islamic State,” a young Canadian man tells viewers in the recruitment video. “You can even come here and rebuild.”

“”It definitely was eye-opening,” said high school senior Zoey Zibor. “You know, you learn that it’s in your own backyard. It’s Americans citizens wanting to join these terrorist groups.”

The young Canadian who appears in the recruitment video ended up dying while fighting as a member of ISIS in Syria.

“It’s definitely a bad thing,” said senior Basik Gorkem.

The Bergen County school was one of many the FBI has come to with its alarming message – regular American kids could be vulnerable to this kind of propaganda.

“It was videos and all social media that no one is really that aware of what’s happening; how deep they go into Facebook and Twitter now,” said senior Aaron Brunert.

“I would say I am more interested than I am scared,” said senior Robert Harris. “I want to know how to find terrorists; how to stop them from doing things.”

The FBI said more than 150 Americans have traveled abroad to join ISIS – some of them teenagers.

“Our students; our young people have to understand that they have a part to play in counterterrorism operations here,” said Leo McGuire, security director at the Bergen Arts and Science Charter School.

The FBI is planning to take its message to other schools in the Tri-State Area to reach kids at critical adolescent ages. They hope to make sure they don’t fall prey to propaganda that ISIS is putting on the Internet.

In the past, the FBI community outreach program in the past focused on issues such as cyberbullying.

George W. Bush Didn’t Create ISIS; Islam Did

pic_giant_052115_SM_ISIS-FightersNRO, by David French, May 21, 2015:

There are few things the Left loves more than a college liberal “speaking truth” to conservative power. Days ago, 19-year-old University of Nevada student Ivy Ziedrich seemed to enjoy just such a moment and “made headlines around the world” when she confronted Jeb Bush about ISIS. Ms. Ziedrich had the gumption to confront Bush in the midst of a scrum of reporters and confidently recite leftist conventional wisdom about the current Middle East crisis, declaring: “Your brother created ISIS!” After all, according to accepted academic conventional wisdom, the war in Iraq is the source of all (recent) jihadist evil.

And with that statement, the clock started running on 15 minutes of fame — no, 15 minutes of public adulation. Interviews with ABC News, the New York Times, and other outlets followed, with reporters eager to hear her thoughts on the Middle East. And while Ms. Ziedrich is no expert, there is one thing she said that is all too true: “It’s frustrating to see politicians ignore the origins of our conflicts abroad.”

Yes, Ms. Ziedrich, it certainly is. And if you’re on the left or from some quarters of the right, it must be downright exhausting to not only “understand” those origins but also link them in some way to the failings of American, Israeli, or imperialist European policies. Here’s the current scorecard: ISIS is George W. Bush’s fault. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban exist because of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (through the Afghan war against the Soviets and then the Desert Storm-related American troop presence in Saudi Arabia, of course), with the various al-Qaeda franchises in Syria, Yemen, and North Africa merely the fruit of the same poisonous Reaganite tree. The jihadist destruction of ancient — pre-Muslim — world heritage sites? That’s just collateral damage in the war against Reagan and the Bushes. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO are easy to peg — Israeli creations, one and all, existing solely because of the “Occupied Territories.” As for Libya, we actually put those jihadists in power. But what about Boko Haram? I’m sure any decent professor can tell me some way we’re responsible for their atrocities.

But that’s just the last few decades. What about tracing further back? To the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood or to the Ikhwan of the Arabian peninsula? The Ikhwan — as savage as ISIS — trace their origins back to 1913, before the Europeans dominated the Middle East. What about the centuries of conflict between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire? Vienna must have richly deserved its sieges. After all, Europeans launched the Crusades, right?

And before the Crusades, when jihadist Muslim armies invaded and conquered the Christian lands of the Middle East and North Africa, capturing the Iberian Peninsula and threatening modern-day France, there’s little doubt that they were simply striking out at . . . something the Christians did. No, Ms. Ziedrich, George W. Bush didn’t create ISIS. Islam did. Embedded within this faith is a concept called “jihad,” and no matter how many professors tell you otherwise, there are countless millions of Muslims throughout more than a millennium of history who’ve interpreted “jihad” not as a mandate for self-help and personal improvement but as a mandate for war and conquest, a mandate to purify and spread the faith at the point of the sword. The influence of militaristic jihadists waxes and wanes, but it is there, always.

To believe that American actions have created the jihad is to give America greater influence over the Muslim heart than Allah. The current jihad is an extension of the ancient jihad. The foes have changed (the Habsburgs are long gone, and the Holy League peaked at Lepanto in 1571), but the motivation is the same. Why did Osama bin Laden mention “the tragedy of Andalusia” (the more than 500-year-old reconquest of Muslim Spain) in his post-9/11 address? Because, for the jihadist, it’s all one war.

So, by all means, let’s not ignore “the origins of our conflicts abroad.” Regarding our conflict with Islamic terrorists, the origins lie in a religious imperative, one that predates the founding of the United States by more than ten centuries. George W. Bush is no more responsible for creating that conflict than he is for writing the Koran, passing down the Hadith, or establishing the first Caliphate. And in confronting that foe, our choices are the same choices faced by the great non-Muslim powers that came before us: convert, submit, die, or fight. Given those options, there is but one valid choice for a free people. It’s too bad that Ms. Ziedrich, her peers, and her media cheerleaders can’t see past the politics to understand the troubling truth. After all, it will soon be her generation’s turn on the wall. Will they accept the challenge? — David French is an attorney, a staff writer at National Review, and a veteran of the Iraq War.

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Daniel Greenfield explains another leftist narrative:

Strategic Failures, the US and the Fall of Ramadi

Islamic State fighters celebrate their take over of Ramadi with a victory 'parade.' (Photo: Islamic State social media)

Islamic State fighters celebrate their take over of Ramadi with a victory ‘parade.’ (Photo: Islamic State social media)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, May 21, 2015:

The Islamic State (ISIS) has captured Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, reportedly “terrifying” Iraqi officials who now foresee a “tsunami of international terror.” It is an important achievement for the terrorist group aimed at pre-empting a potential Sunni tribal uprising.

The Sunni tribes in Anbar Province were critical to the success of the 2007 “surge” that ousted the Islamic State’s predecessor, Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The deterioration in the relationship between these tribes and the central Iraqi government was likewise critical to the terrorists’ comeback in Iraq.

The Islamic State remembered these lessons and acted quickly as the Iraqi government began training tribal fighters and the U.S. defense budget allotted $179 million to Kurdish and Sunni tribal forces. The U.S. forgot these lessons and has long rejected Sunni and Kurdish pleas for direct aid to fight the Islamic State.

The Obama Administration is now planning to change course and directly arm and train the Iraqi Sunni tribes after the fall of Ramadi. The White House previously chose to work only through the central Iraqi government that has given the Kurds and Sunnis inadequate support.

A delegation of 11 Sunni tribal leaders, including Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, the President of the Anbar Awakening Council, flew to the U.S. on January 18 to plead for direct assistance. Former President George W. Bush called Abu Risha and listened to his complaints for 20 minutes and offered to help. Administration officials were less willing. One tribal official said, “I wouldn’t call it the ‘cold shoulder,’ but it certainly was a cool one.”

The Obama Administration told them that it would only work through the elected central government. Its viewpoint was that working with forces outside the government’s authority undermines the Iraqi leadership and threatens the country’s unity.

That standpoint ignores what was learned after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Nothing threatens Iraq’s unity and the government’s authority more than instability. Direct U.S. aid to the Sunni tribes helped save Iraq from disintegration into sectarian enclaves ruled by terrorists and militias.

The Islamic State struck Ramadi during a sandstorm that delayed American air support. Former U.S. Central Command advisor Ali Khedery says that a Kurdish member of parliament informed him that 6,000 Iraqi Security Forces fled when faced with a mere 150 Islamic State fighters. About 500 Iraqi security personnel and civilians died in two days. The Iraqi officials spoke straight forwardly and  admitted that the current strategy is failing.

The Pentagon says it has finished training about 7,000 Iraqi Security Forces and another 3-4,000 are in the process of training, but training won’t solve the problem of collapsing Iraqi forces. The U.S. trained the Iraqis from 2003 until the withdrawal in 2011. The strategy of waiting for the Iraqi security forces to become strong enough to stabilize the country is the same strategy that failed before the surge.

Iraqi personnel flee because they don’t want to die for a lost cause or to fight for a replacement worse than the Islamic State.

The Iraqi Security Forces face a fundamental disadvantage when battling the Islamic State: They want to live and their enemies want to die. This disadvantage is further compounded by a lack of confidence. If given the choice to die fighting in a losing battle or to flee and perhaps regroup later with better chances of victory, they will choose the latter.

An Anbar official placed the blame on the Iraqi government, telling CNN, “If 10% of the government’s promises had been implemented, Ramadi would still in our hands and the Islamic State wouldn’t dare to be anywhere near the city.”

Iraqi Sunnis are faced with a terrible choice. The Iranian-backed Shiite militias are often nicknamed “Shiite ISIS” because their crimes are comparable to ISIS but are less known by the West because they aren’t broadcasted. However, the Anbar Provincial Council is officially welcoming them now out of desperation and perhaps an awareness that their opposition will be ignored anyway.

The Shiite militias should be expected to mistreat the local Sunnis the second after the Islamic State is expelled or even during the fighting. Tribal support is far from unanimous. The son of the largest tribe’s leader is in the U.S. asking for support right now and bluntly warned that sending the Shiite militias into Anbar Province “will cause a civil war.”

The New York Times has noticed the change in American attitude towards the Shiite militias. Pentagon spokesperson Col. Steve Warren said, “As long as they’re controlled by the central Iraqi government, there’s a place for them.” Yet, only two months ago, Central Command Commander General Austin said, “I will not—and I hope we will never—coordinate or cooperate with Shiite militias.”

The U.S. must correct its strategy by sidelining Iranian-backed militias and terrorists, leveraging influence with the Iraqi government and significantly increasing assistance to the Anbar tribes, Kurds, Iraqi government and to the persecuted Christian minority that is forming its own self-defense force.

Recent history has shown that the Iraqi government will choose the U.S. over Iran if compelled.

In March, the U.S. withheld support to Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State in Tikrit because of the involvement of Iranian-backed militias and the Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Iranian proxies stalled and could move no further, displaying the value of U.S. air support. The Iraqis chose America and the Iranians were removed from the battle. U.S. aid delivered the victory that the Iranians could not.

The Iraqis had been asking for U.S. for more help including possibly advisors on the ground since October 2013. By March 2014, the Iraqis were asking for airstrikes on the Islamic State. The Islamic State blitz into Iraq began in June.

The Iraqi ambassador complained that the U.S. had denied requests for help including Apache helicopter sales, thereby putting Iraq “in an uncomfortable position in seeking support from whoever is available on the ground.” He emphasized that the “U.S. is our strategic partner of choice.”

Iran opposed the return of U.S. soldiers on the ground in Iraq as advisors. The Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to attack the advisors and two other Iranian-backed militias also forcefully opposed U.S. involvement. The Iraqi government went ahead anyway.

Even now, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in Russia and talking to China and Iran about delivering arms that the U.S. refuses to provide.

The U.S. needs to give the Iraqi government a clear choice: Iran or us.

The Iraqi government should be put on notice. If it is willing to restrain the Shiite militias and work with us to disband them, then we will provide all necessary aid. We will help negotiate with the Sunni tribes so their local forces operate within a national framework.

If the Iraqi government chooses Iran, then we will cut our aid and redirect it towards our Sunni, Kurdish and Christian partners while maintaining contact with friendly Shiites. We will not act as the air force for Iranian proxies. If necessary, we will talk about a role for the forthcoming Arab force led by Egypt to replace yours.

It is positive news that the Obama Administration is reversing its stance and will directly help the Sunni tribes, but the anti- Islamic State strategy requires an anti-Iran strategy.

***

Gen. Jack Keane: ‘We Are Not Only Failing, We Are In Fact Losing This War’

‘I can say with certainty [Obama’s] strategy will not defeat ISIS’

Also see:

So, according to Dempsey, the Islamic State didn’t launch a multitude of suicide assaults on the Ramadi government center, Anbar Operations Command, Camp Ar Ramadi, the Justice Palace, and other locations between May 15 and May 17. Instead, we are told, a sandstorm, which inhibited US air power, caused an Iraqi general to order his military and police forces to just drive out of two military bases and a government center, and a multitude of police stations and checkpoints, to a “a more defensible position,” presumably in Habbaniyah, about 15 miles away.

The US military command is in complete denial about what is happening in both Iraq and Syria. Military officials are continuing to tell us that the strategy to defeat the Islamic State is working, even as major cities fall under the control of the jihadist group (see this DoD News article, Centcom Officials ‘Confident’ Iraqi Security Forces Will Recover Ramadi from today).

ISIS recruitment from Phoenix Mosque for attack in Garland Texas clearly shows why US District Court should not stop the NYPD from surveilling mosques.

CEzqeu3VAAAVaK0Florida Family Association, May 21, 2015:

Mohammad Elshinawy, Asad Dandia, Masjid At-Taqwa, Masjid Al-Ansar, Muslims Giving Back and Hamid Raza sued the City of New York in an attempt to force the New York Police Department to remove their report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat.   The lawsuit also sought to stop the New York Police Department from surveilling them and their mosques.  More details regarding this lawsuit are posted below under Florida Family Association’s January 18, 2015 email alert.

Raza et al v. City of New York et al is pending in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York.

CEzxMOuW8AATJEZImam Siraj Wahhaj who runs the Masjid At Taqwa  mosque was the key note speaker at the Garland Texas Islamist rally on January 17, 2015 that called for the defeat of Islamophobia.  “Ready to defeat Islamophobia?  This is not an event. It is the beginning of a movement. A movement to defend Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message. Salla Allahu Alaihe wa Sallam.  This benefit will raise funds to establish a Strategic Communication Center for the Muslim community, which will develop effective responses to anti-Islamic attacks.

Two former attendees of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP), Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were killed by police on May 3, 2015 after they shot at security detail for the “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland Texas.  The “Draw Muhammad” contest was held in response to the Ready to Defeat Islamophobia conference held at the same convention center on January 17, 2015 just ten days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France.   The “Draw Muhammad” contest also focused on concern that American leaders are espousing Sharia condemnation for daring to rightfully criticize Muhammad.

The president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Usama Shami, said Simpson had attended the center for years. / Ross D. Franklin / AP http://www.worldtribune.com/2015/05/06/the-texas-gunmen-were-inspired-by-islamist-organizations-in-the-united-states/

The president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Usama Shami, said Simpson had attended the center for years. / Ross D. Franklin / AP
http://www.worldtribune.com/2015/05/06/the-texas-gunmen-were-inspired-by-islamist-organizations-in-the-united-states/

CEz7Qk2WMAAtaxKIslamic Community Center of Phoenix now has four terrorists linked to their mosque. Usama Shami, president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, said Simpson and Soofi attended prayers at the mosque but were not regular members.  However, this Islamic Community Center of Phoenix Youtube.com promotion video shows that Simpson was a regular member.  Simpson and Soofi were not the only two terrorists spawned from ICCP. Two other previous ICCP mosque attendees — Hassan Abu-Jihaad and Derrick Shareef — are currently in federal prison on terrorism-related charges.

ISIS proclaims 71 soldiers in 15 states will kill the leader of the “Draw Muhammad” event and everyone who supported the event.

To our brothers and sisters fighting for the Sake of Allah, we make dua for you and ask Allah to guide your bullets, terrify your enemies, and establish you in the Land. As our noble brother in the Phillipines said in his bayah, “This is the Golden Era, everyone who believes… is running for Shaheed”.

PamGellerThe attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter. This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her: this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah.

black is flagWe have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.

The next six months will be interesting, To our Amir Al Mu’mineen make dua for us and continue your reign, May Allah enoble your face.

May Allah send His peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhummad and all those who follow until the last Day.

Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki

The original ISIS fatwa order is posted here.

Clearly, an order by the U.S. District Court restraining the NYPD from surveilling mosques for potential terrorist activity and/or censoring the NYPD report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat would have dire consequences for the public safety of all Americans.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send that urges Judge Chen and Magistrate Azrack not to restrict law enforcement from surveilling mosques and not to censor the NYPD report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.

Please click here to send your email urging Judge Chen and Magistrate Azrack not to restrict law enforcement from surveilling mosques and not to censor the NYPD report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat.  

Florida Family Association January 20, 2015 email alert.

The New York Post reported on January 18, 2015 “NYC may yank terrorism report to appease mosque ‘spying’ critics”:  The article states in part:

In top-secret talks to settle federal lawsuits against the NYPD for monitoring mosques, the city is weighing a demand that it scrub from its Web site a report on Islamic terrorists, The Post has learned.

The groundbreaking, 92-page report, titled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat,” angers critics who say it promotes “religious profiling” and discrimination against Muslims. But law-enforcement sources say removing the report now would come at the worst time — after mounting terror attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris, Boston, Sydney and Ottawa.

The federal lawsuit mentioned in the first paragraph of the New York Post article is Raza et al v. City of New York et al.  This lawsuit seeks to stop the New York Police Department’s surveillance of specific Muslim individuals and mosques.

Peter G. Farrell, Senior Counsel for the City of New York, wrote a letter to United States Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack in which he outlined some serious issues regarding is Raza et al v. City of New York et al.

Regarding Plaintiff Masjid At Taqwa

The NYPD’s investigation of certain individuals associated with Plaintiff Masjid At Taqwa was based upon information about their lengthy history of suspected criminal activity, some of it terroristic in nature.  This information includes but is not limited to: illegal weapons trafficking by members of the mosque’s security team and the mosque caretaker both within the mosque and at the store adjacent; illegal weapons trafficking by certain attendees of the mosque; allegations that the mosque raî a “gun club”; and allegations that the assistant Imam had earmarked portions of over $200,000 raised in the mosque to a number of US Government-designated terrorist organizations. 

Certain individuals associated with Masjid At Taqwa have historical ties to terrorism.  The mosque’s Imam, Siraj Wahhaj, was named by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York as an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to bomb a number of New York City landmarks in the mid-1990s (the “Landmarks Plot”).  Omar Abdel Rahman, known as the “Blind Sheikh,” who is serving a life sentence in federal prison for his role in the Landmarks Plot, lectured at Masjid At Taqwa.  Wahhaj testified as a character witness for Abdel Rahman during Abdel Rahman’s terrorism trial.  V/ahhaj also testified as a character witness for Clement Hampton El, a Masjid At Taqwa attendee who was convicted as one of the Blind Sheikh’s co-conspirators in the Landmarks Plot.  Members of the mosque’s security team have instructed individuals on how to disarm police officers and have led martial arts classes involving individuals convicted on terrorism charges.  Since at least 2003, Masjid At Taqwa members have participated in and sponsored paintball exercises and survival training outside New York City, activities which have been carried out for training purposes by violent extremists in multiple terrorism cases in the United States and abroad-such as the “Virginia Jihad” case, the Fort Dix plot, the 717 attacks in London, and the UK fertilizer bomb plot (“Operation Awakening”). On one of these outings, the leader of Masjid At Taqwa’s security team instructed the members of his paintball team to “form up, jihad assassins” and called them his ‘Jihad warriors”.  Farooque Ahmed, who is currently incarcerated after pleading guilty to terrorism charges in connection with a plot to bomb the Washington, DC metro, promoted and participated in at least one of these trips.

Mr. Farrell’s letter outlined many more public safety concerns related to this lawsuit.  Click here to read Mr. Farrell’s letter.

The Masjid At Taqwa  mosque is run by Imam Siraj Wahhaj who was the key note speaker in the Garland Texas Islamist rally on January 17, 2015 that called for the defeat of Islamophobia.

The Islamist lawsuit was assigned to United States District Judge Pamela K. Chen.  The case was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack.

Contact information is being omitted for strategic reasons.

Report: Syria Conflict Makes World Bloodiest in Decades

ISIS-Video-Yemen-640x480Breitbart, by Oliver Lane, May 20, 205:

The “spectacular brutality” of the Islamic State and raging conflict in the Levant is making the world less settled and more dangerous than it has been for decades.

A report by a globally-respected think tank has revealed that despite the number of individual conflicts raging across the world falling dramatically since 2008, conflict deaths have actually tripled in just seven years. The International Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IISS) Armed Conflict Survey, released today, tracks the changing nature and scope of war across the globe. Its findings should set alarm bells ringing for strategic planners in the Western world.

Of more immediate concern for European nations struggling to deal with the weight of refugees arriving on their doorsteps, this wave of people appears to be just the beginning. The increased brutality of conflicts means 2013 was a record year for refugees – it was the first time since 1945-6, at the end of the Second World War, that more than 50 million people were on the move because of conflict, and the trend is deepening with ever passing year.

The conflict in Syria, and the rise of ISIS, has much to do with the deteriorating world security picture. Speaking at today’s launch, IISS director and former MI6 director Nigel Inkster noted ISIS’s “spectacular brutality”, while a colleague said the past year has been a watershed moment in developing global jihad, changing it from comparatively primitive terrorism into a “state building exercise” which is “fundamentally new”.

Alia Brahimi of the IISS said of the Islamic State: “The aim of imposing vision of society radically changes the jihad enterprise”, and that the seizure this week of the regional capital Ramadi from the Iraqi government by ISIS forces shows “evidence of sophisticated tactics” that are “of high order” which were able to “overmatch Iraq’s forces”.

Remarkably, more people were killed in the Syria conflict in 2014 than in the Iraqi, South Sudanese, Mexican, and all Central American wars combined:

Syrian war graph

Which in part has accounted for the shocking rise of conflict fatalities worldwide. Although the number of active wars being fought fell from 62 to 42 from 2008 to 2014, the number killed tripled, to 180,000 worldwide.

IISS News tweet

The Islamic State has only been matched in its brutality in its apparent appeal to would-be Jihadists around the globe since it declared a new Caliphate, replacing the defunct Ottoman empire which collapsed at the end of the Great War, last year. Cadet branches of the Islamic State have emerged in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with bloodthirty Boko Haram in Nigeria even pledging allegiance to the new Caliphate.

The Islamic State has repeatedly made claims on territory in Europe, reclaiming areas lost since Christian civilisation pushed back against Muslim conquests which took lands in the Iberian Peninsula, Apennine Peninsula, the Balklands, and even laid siege to Vienna, now the capital of Austria. As reported by Breitbart this week, the Islamic State has been posting images of its supporters living undercover in Europe, holding up ISIS signs near prominent landmarks, including the Coliseum in Rome.

The propagandistic images came only days after European leaders were warned by a regional government in Libya that ISIS fighters were disguising themselves as refugees to sneak into Europe undetected in migrant boats. Last month, Breitbart London published an exclusive interview with retired Royal Navy Admiral and Ministry of Defence strategic planner Chris Parry, who warned ISIS would not be content with just sneaking fighters into Europe by boat, but would inevitably launch marine-style speedboat raids on Southern European coastal towns, as terrorists had in the Mumbai attack in 2008.

RAdm. Parry told Breitbart: “If you look at the maps put out by the Islamic State, it is pretty clear what they want back. Italy, Spain. They want back what they once had. Islam is a very territorial religion.

“If there isn’t the political will or military ability to face down threats off the North African littoral, be it migration, criminality, or terrorism, then we will get progressive erosion. We will get raids on coasts, we will get yachts intercepted at sea, we will get merchant ships subject to terrorist, pirate, or criminal attack.

“The Western world needs to have more self belief in its own values, it has to hold its nerve, and we have to rediscover a lot of self-reliance”.

Also see:

Terrorists Value U.S. Citizenship More Than Our Politicians Do

Frontpage, by Michael Cutler, May 19, 2015:

Rampant, blind greed warps the perspectives of those who suffer from that ailment. Consider politicians who have declared that aliens who trespass on the United States and evade the inspections process conducted at ports of entry are “entitled” to United States citizenship or, at the very least, lawful status.

The outrageous view ignores both commonsense and the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and the 9/11 Commission Staff.

Our borders and our immigration laws are America’s first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals, but you would never know this by reading most newspapers or watching most “news programs” in the mainstream media. You also would not learn the true importance of our borders and our immigration laws if you listened to Mr. Obama, leaders of his administration ranging from Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security or Loretta Lynch, the newly confirmed Attorney General.

You also would not learn this by listening to the mayors and governors who have declared their cities and states to be “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens and are providing them with driver’s licenses and municipal identity documents.

On the May 15, 2015, CNN posted a report, “Terror arrest in Texas shows new stance after Garland” [2] that began with this statement,

Washington (CNN) The FBI on Thursday arrested an Iraqi-born American citizen in Texas, alleging he traveled to Syria to fight with ISIS terrorists and returned to the U.S.

The case against Bilal Abood is one indication of federal counterterrorism officials’ new stance on terrorism cases in light of the recent foiled terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, against a Mohammed cartoon contest event.

Prosecutors charged Abood with lying to the FBI, but the case represents much more. Abood is one of hundreds of people the FBI is monitoring in some way, many of whom investigators suspect could be motivated to carry out attacks but though the evidence remains difficult to assemble.

Abood, who formerly worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Iraq, migrated to the U.S. in 2009.

The FBI alleges that agents stopped Abood as he tried to travel in 2013, when he claimed he was planning to visit family in Iraq.

He later told the FBI in an interview in 2013 that he actually was planning to travel to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army, a rebel faction fighting the Assad regime that has in the past enjoyed some U.S. support.

Abood later left the U.S. for Turkey via Mexico, the FBI alleges.

He returned months later and claimed to the FBI that he had been fighting with the FSA.

Bilal Abood

Bilal Abood

The CNN report and other reports about this case neglected to make some important connections.

Bilal Abood purportedly immigrated legally to the United States in 2009 and subsequently became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He had worked as a translator for the U.S. military in Iraq. He also showed some real sophistication in traveling to the Middle East from Mexico. It must be presumed that he entered Mexico with his U.S. passport. It is likely that had he attempted entry with his original Iraqi passport, the Mexican immigration authorities would have been reluctant to admit him.

Let me begin by being very clear: Mr. Abood enjoys the presumption of innocence at this point and therefore he may have worked loyally and with great integrity. Until he is found guilty, we must not presume anything about his conduct as a translator. I am simply concerned that a former translator is now the target of a prosecution about involvement with a violent anti-American terror organization.

A translator occupies an extremely sensitive position. I am extremely familiar this having worked with translators and interpreters throughout my 30-year career with the former INS.

Translators have access to our officials and to the people with whom our officials interact and need to communicate with. This could involve suspected terrorists and insurgents. This could also include people seeking to provide information to our military.

A translator is the eyes, ears and mouth of the people they work with. They are in a position to alter the questions and answers being exchanged during an interview. They often have access to sensitive documents. They are in the position to know who is attempting to cooperate with our government, and this could put these people’s lives and the lives of their family members in immediate jeopardy.

They can feed false information (disinformation) to our intelligence officials that could get Americans killed.

The adjudications process for his application for citizenship should be scrutinized, but, given the posture of the administration, and given previous similar cases, it is unlikely that this will be done.

On February 24, 2015, Progressives For Immigration Reform posted my article, “The Immigration Factor – Naturalized U.S. Citizen Added to FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List” [3] that was predicated on a January 29, 2015 FBI press release, “Naturalized U.S. Citizen Born in Somalia Added to FBI List.” [4]

Here are three brief paragraphs from that FBI press release:

Liban Haji Mohamed, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia, has been named to the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, and a reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. Mohamed is charged with providing material support and resources to al Qaeda and al Shabaab, a Somali-based terrorist organization.

Traveling with his U.S. passport, Mohamed is thought to have left the United States on or about July 5, 2012. Before his departure, the 29-year-old lived in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. where he worked as a cab driver.

It is important for us to locate Mohamed because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings. This makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.

This is not the first time that a translator was charged with involvement with a terrorist organization.

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Did U.S. Policy Allow Ramadi to Fall?

ISIS held a massive parade in West Anbar province celebrating victory in Ramadi.

ISIS held a massive parade in West Anbar province celebrating victory in Ramadi.

PJ Media, By Jonathan Spyer On May 18, 2015:

The fall of Ramadi to the fighters of the Islamic State is a disaster for the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The taking of the city brings IS to just over 60 miles from Baghdad.

In addition to showcasing the low caliber of the Iraqi security forces, the events surrounding the fall of the city lay bare the contradictions at the heart of Western policy in Iraq.

Prime Minister Abadi had ordered the garrison in Ramadi to stand firm. He hoped to see a successful stand in the city as a prelude to a government retaking of Anbar province, over half of which is still in IS hands. But in a manner reminiscent of the fall of Mosul in June 2014, Iraqi security forces ignored orders to defend Ramadi, and fled eastwards to the neighboring town of Khalidiyeh.

This left Ramadi to the tender mercies of the fighters of the Islamic State, who have reportedly since slaughtered at least 500 people.

It is important to note that even U.S. airstrikes were not sufficient to prevent the debacle.

As of now, Shia militias are heading for the city’s outskirts. A militia-led counterattack is expected in the coming days. A further advance eastwards by the Sunni jihadis, at least in the immediate future, is unlikely.

So what is behind the failure of the Iraqi security forces and the continued advance of the jihadis?

On the simplest level, the greater motivation and determination of the IS fighters explains their continued successes against the Iraqis. The jihadis are all volunteers. Not all of them are highly skilled fighters, but their level of motivation is correspondingly very high. By contrast, Iraqi soldiers are often serving far from home, defending communities for whom they have little concern. Most joined the army for the salary. Their unwillingness to engage against the murderous jihadis of the Islamic State is not hard to understand or explain.

However, this problem has now been apparent for nearly a year, ever since the Sunni jihadis first crashed across the border from Syria last June. So why has it not been addressed? The blame for this cannot be placed at the feet of low ranking Iraqi soldiers.

The blame lies at the policymaking level.

The United States is committed to the territorial unity of Iraq. It therefore is determined to relate to the government of Haider al-Abadi as the sole authority in the country.

The problem with this stance is two-fold.

Firstly, it precludes providing arms directly to the elements who are most willing to use them against the Islamic State (namely, the Kurdish Peshmerga and further south, the elements among the Sunni tribes whom the U.S. aided during the “surge” in the 2006-2007 period).

In the north, this has not prevented the Kurds from successfully defending the area west of Erbil (with the vital assistance of coalition air power). But it has served to keep the Kurds militarily dependent on the coalition, thus reducing the possibility of their making a bid for independence from Baghdad in the immediate future.

Secondly, and more importantly, the U.S. commitment to the territorial unity of Iraq is leading to a willful blindness regarding the actual nature of the government in Baghdadand its true sources of strength and support.

The supposedly legitimate armed forces of Baghdad are, as has been witnessed again in Ramadi, not fit for the purpose. The true defenders of Baghdad and of the government are right now heading toward Ramadi. They are the forces of the “Hashd al-Shaabi” (popular mobilization). They are the Shia militias, supported by Iran. These militias are the wall behind which the Amadi government shelters.

The West insists on maintaining the illusion that the government in Baghdad is something other than a Shia sectarian-dominated entity in the process of entering a de facto military alliance with the Iranians. This stubbornness is producing the current absurd situation in which Western air power is being used in support of Shia Islamism.

It is important to understand that this is not taking place because there is no other option for stopping the advance of the Islamic State. There is another, more effective option:  direct aid to the Kurds, and to the Sunni tribes further south.

This support of Shia Islamism is taking place because of the conviction in Western capitals — most importantly, of course, Washington, D.C. — that the advance of Iran and the building of Iranian strength in Lebanon and in the collapsed states of Iraq and Syria is not a phenomenon to be prevented.

Rather, Western capitals believe that growing Iranian influence can be accommodated and perhaps even allied with.

This conviction combined with the desire to maintain the fictions of “Iraq” and “Syria” are the foundations of current policy. For these reasons, in the coming days we will witness U.S. and Western air power, astonishingly, supporting Shia Islamist militants as they battle with Sunni Islamist militants. Meanwhile, overtly pro-Western forces further north lack arms.

The Islamic State just took Ramadi. In Western capitals where Middle East policy is made, folly is engaged on a similarly triumphant march.

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Reaction from the ‘Special Report’ All-Star panel. Why the fall of Ramadi is a significant setback

Col. Oliver North on the importance of Ramadi in Iraq and why its fall to ISIS is much more than a mere ‘setback’. Political Obama WH downplays Ramadi as ‘setback’

The Fall of Ramadi is a Catastrophe

Gen. Dempsey says fall of Ramadi to ISIL in Anbar province is not central to Iraq's future, with US senators slamming his comments saying that it was an insult. http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/158044/us-senators-slam-general-on-ramadi-comments

Gen. Dempsey says fall of Ramadi to ISIL in Anbar province is not central to Iraq’s future, with US senators slamming his comments saying that it was an insult. http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/158044/us-senators-slam-general-on-ramadi-comments

CSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 18, 2015:

Although the Obama administration has rightly portrayed a raid by Army Special Forces last week in Syria that killed ISIS top official Abu Sayyaf as a big win in the war against ISIS, this win has been overshadowed by the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to ISIS fighters over the weekend.

The fall of Ramadi is a catastrophe for U.S. policy and the credibility of the Iraqi government.  The ability of ISIS to seize control of this city despite U.S.-led airstrikes proves that it is not on the defensive as Obama officials have claimed.

Ramadi fell despite being defended by the Iraqi army.  Baghdad did not send in reinforcements to defend the city because it said it could not spare the troops.

Now the Iraqi government is planning to retake Ramadi using Iranian-trained Shiite militias.  Since Shiite militias looted the Sunni town of Tikrit after they helped take it back from ISIS in late March, their presence will not be welcomed by Sunnis in Ramadi.

The fall of Ramadi will further damage the Baghdad government’s tenuous ties to Iraqi Sunnis and likely will drive more Sunnis to side with or cooperate with ISIS.  Sending Shiite militias into Ramadi will make this situation worse.

The Obama administration still has no strategy to defeat ISIS in Iraq.  It must begin to arm the Iraqi Kurds and Sunni militias.  The effort to train and equip the Iraqi army needs to stepped up.  U.S. diplomats must increase pressure on the Baghdad government to resolve its differences with Iraqi Sunnis.  The number of airstrikes against ISIS targets also must be significantly increased.

Also see:

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CSP’s Jim Hanson on the recent Delta Force raid and the need or a comprehensive strategy to fight ISIS:

John Huddy reporting from Jerusalem:

Jennifer Griffin reporting from the pentagon:

Insight from Col. Cedric Leighton, former Joint Chiefs of Staff deputy director. Is ISIS an existential threat to Iraq?

US Army’s Delta Force Kills ISIS Oil Financier in Syria Raid


May 16, 2015 / ISIS Study Group

Abu Sayyaf was a midlevel financier that oversaw oil revenues for the Islamic State in Deir al-Zour. The raid was said to be authorized by President Obama after being briefed on the intelligence that had been collected. The US military and intelligence community had been working for weeks to build a pattern of life on Abu Sayyaf using human sources, electronic surveillance and aerial reconnaissance of the particular areas of interest.

site of raidThe raid to capture or kill Abu Sayyaf was carried out by approximately 24 members of the US Army’s Delta Force in the vicinity of Amr within Deir al-Zour Province in eastern Syria. The infiltration for the raid was conducted using Blackhawk helicopters and V-22 Ospreys. The raid is the first successful raid against an Islamic State target since the military campaign against the terrorist army began after the beheading of James Foley. A previous raid in the summer of last year attempted to free James Foley and other hostages, but was not successful due to the hostages having been moved or the intelligence being incorrect.

Abu Sayyaf was killed during the raid after he attempted to engage members of Delta Force as they approached the room he had tried to hide in with his wife. As the operators entered the room Abu Sayyaf was said to have opened fire on them resulting in his death from return fire. None of the Delta Force members were injured in the raid and up to a dozen Islamic State fighters were said to have been killed in the raid.

Abu Sayyaf’s wife Umm Sayyaf is reportedly involved in the human trafficking operations of the Islamic State in the area. She was captured and the operators also rescued an 18 year old Yazidi girl. The Islamic State has been capturing and selling female captives throughout Syria and Iraq where they have been able to seize terrain. The sexual slavery of female captives has been well established from the interviews with those that have escaped the Islamic State.

There were no civilian casualties during the raid as the highly trained operators were able to distinguish between combatants and noncombatants on the objective. The raid demonstrates the United States has the capability to reach out and strike the Islamic State at will if it so chooses with minimal dangers to its forces. The successful collection on a midlevel target also shows the US is gaining influence on the ground with sources and that it is likely growing that network rapidly to begin identifying and locating higher priority targets.

While this is a significant event, it still has not done serious damage to the Islamic State. The death of Abu Sayyaf will not hamper the terrorist organization dramatically as he will likely be easily replaced. It does however send the message that the US will come after targets that it deems worthy of the risk. This means the higher priority targets in the hierarchy of the group are definitely being developed as this is being written. It is too early to say if this is a turning point in the Obama strategy which thus far has been tepid at best as the Islamic State has expanded outside the primary areas of Syria and Iraq. Without significant military operations against the group it will continue to develop its tactics, techniques and procedures. The raid is little more than a pin prick against an ever growing beast.

Sources:

ISIS Official Killed in US Raid in Syria, Pentagon Says

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/world/middleeast/abu-sayyaf-isis-commander-killed-by-us-forces-pentagon-says.html?_r=0

Army’s Elite Delta Forces Kills Top ISIS Official, Abu Sayyaff, in Rare Syrian Raid

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/16/us-conducts-raid-on-isis-in-syria-kills-top-official/

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Pentagon struggles to counter success of Islamic State social media, info war

The Islamic State’s latest mass-beheading video purports to show the executions of dozens of Ethiopian Christians against multiple backdrops — including one replete with blood-colored waves lapping up from the Mediterranean. (Associated Press)

The Islamic State’s latest mass-beheading video purports to show the executions of dozens of Ethiopian Christians against multiple backdrops — including one replete with blood-colored waves lapping up from the Mediterranean. (Associated Press)

The Washington Times – Wednesday, May 13, 2015:

The Pentagon is struggling to counter the information warfare efforts of the Islamic State terrorist group that are effectively exploiting U.S. social media and Western press freedoms to recruit jihadists and communicate among themselves.

Bureaucratic red tape within the military, specifically the U.S. Central Command and Pentagon, is preventing rapid responses to IS propaganda and activities, Inside the Ring has learned from knowledgeable sources.

One problem is the cumbersome approval process needed before U.S. information warriors can carry out counter-actions online. Prior to doing so, they’re required to go through several layers of approvals along a lengthy chain of command.

As a result, in some cases U.S. information operations against IS propaganda were delayed for days or weeks, often making the responses ineffective or useless.

Additionally, U.S. information operations have been weakened and limited in conducting counter-information attacks because of concerns the American hand will be exposed. Another problem has been fear among U.S. higher-ups that IS will step up both information and kinetic attacks in response.

Outright lies — such as false reports of U.S. troops deployments — are more easily countered. But those cases are infrequent. Aggressive online programs to dissuade would-be jihadists and expose IS propaganda programs and activities have been stifled. Counter cyber attacks against known IS operators also have been limited.

The U.S. information warfare effort has been hampered by officials have said is a cultural bias against propaganda activities, which are sometime regarded as contrary to U.S. freedoms. That is said to be changing, however, as terrorist groups like IS and al Qaeda are increasing their use of soft power methods to attack the West. Nation-state information warfare, particularly by China, Russia and Iran, also is gradually being recognized as a growing strategic threat.

The IS information threat was highlighted by the alert issued last week raising the security threat level on U.S. military bases. The alert was prompted by an IS-linked hacker group that posted a notice online warning of an “another surprise for America” — interpreted as a possible attack.

As a result, U.S. Northern Command commander, Adm. Bill Gortney, ordered military bases to tighten security from “Alpha” to “Bravo” level around the country. Force-protection level Bravo is ordered in response to a somewhat predictable terrorist threat.

The group making the threat was the same hacker group that successfully conducted a cyber attack on Central Command’s social media accounts in January, replacing web pages with IS propaganda and the name “Cybercaliphate.”

The group conducted some low-level cyber attacks against several Pentagon web sites last week in attempted “denial-of-service” cyber strikes whose impact was limited.

One example of IS’s online agility is its use of Twitter. IS operatives and supporters are using multiple Twitter accounts to send well-crafted videos and propaganda materials. Usually, IS terrorists open up to six Twitter accounts, with successive accounts being used after one or more of the accounts are shut down by the social media giant, often at U.S. government urging.

One effective propaganda and recruiting video was posted on a Russian Internet site and targeted Central Asia Muslims. The five-minute video was described as extremely professional in both content and production values.

Another trend is a recent shift by IS away from Web-based social media sites to mobile devices that are being used to communicate through text messaging, and propagandize by mobile videos shared directly between hand-held devices.

Additionally, IS information operations to inspire Islamists to conduct attacks in the United States also are shifting to the so-called “Dark Web,” the gray Internet underworld used by criminals to share information and software.

IS also appears to have studied information dissemination methods used by neo-Nazi groups, in order to communicate and spread their message in the English-speaking world.

The target audience for IS includes Islamist sympathizers who are not directly linked to the Syrian/Iraqi based IS terror group.

Iraqi Immigrant Arrested in Texas After Pledging Allegiance to ISIS

Breitbart, by John Hayward, May 15, 2015:

A naturalized American citizen from Iraq named Bilal Abood was arrested by FBI agents in Texas on Thursday, on charges of lying to law enforcement about his formal pledge of allegiance to ISIS and its “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Abood worked as a translator for the U.S. military before moving to the United States.  He was living in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite at the time of his arrest, and was a licensed security guard, according to NBC 5 News in Dallas.

Abood has been on the counter-terrorist radar screen since 2013, when he was prevented from boarding a flight to the Middle East at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and interviewed by the FBI.  He initially claimed he wanted to visit his family in Iraq, but later admitted his intention was to make his way to Syria and take up arms against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.  At the time, he said his sympathies lay with the Free Syrian Army, a prominent “moderate” rebel group supported by the U.S. government.

The New York Times says that about a month later, an FBI informant said Abood was “watching videos about the Islamic State and had said that he wanted to support it.”  He made another attempt to reach Syria, this time traveling from Mexico to Turkey first, and was successful.

Upon his return to Texas in September 2013, he told the FBI he spent his time in Syria training with the FSA, but “became frustrated with a lack of action,” so he gave up and returned to the U.S.

At this point, the Abood saga assumes a rather… leisurely pace, considering he had all the telltale signs of a “lone wolf” jihadi.  Ten months after Abood came home from Syria, the FBI obtained a warrant, searched his computer, and found his oath of fealty to the Islamic State “caliphate,” delivered via Twitter.

NBC 5 says his browser history also indicated a taste for ISIS beheading videos, and he used Twitter to spread information about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Evidently the Bureau kept this discovery quiet, because nine months later, agents asked him about his pledge of allegiance to ISIS, which he falsely denied making.  Another month would elapse before Abood’s arrest on Thursday.

“It was not clear why agents waited nearly a year to arrest him,” writes NBC 5 News  “Abood does not face a terrorism charge, and there is no allegation he was planning any attacks in the United States.”

FBI officials told the New York Times the timing of the arrest “reflected increasing wariness about the possible threat posed by known devotees of the Islamic State inside the United States.”

The Dallas Morning News says that “if found guilty, Abood is looking at eight years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.”

The obvious reason for leaving Abood to his own devices for a year would be keeping him under surveillance and hoping he led agents to other suspicious individuals.  CNNsuggests the jihad attack on Pamela Geller’s Mohammed Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas prompted more aggressive action against “lone wolf” suspects already under observation, saying FBI Director James Corner “ordered counterterrorism investigators last week to reassess cases of people who the FBI was already tracking to determine whether more action was necessary against suspects.”

The emphasis now, according to what officials told CNN, is on “moving more quickly to take possible threats off the streets, instead of waiting longer to monitor and build an investigation against suspects.”

Also see:

ISIS: 700 Brit terror suspects have travelled to Syria with HUNDREDS returning to UK

ISIS: The terror group holds territory in the war torn country

ISIS: The terror group holds territory in the war torn country

Mirror, by John Shammas, May 14, 2015:

More than 700 British terror suspects have travelled to Syria – with hundreds returning to the UK, Scotland Yard confirmed.

Experts estimate that around half of the people of “significant concern” who have made the journey to the war-torn country are believed to have come back.

Their travel comes as terror group ISIS holds a large amount of territory in Syria.

It has also been revealed in new figures that suspected terrorists are being arrested at a rate of almost one every day.

Scotland Yard disclosed that a record 338 people were detained on suspicion of terrorism offences in 2014/15 – a rise of a third compared to the previous year.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the national police lead for counter-terrorism, said that more than half of the arrests were related to Syria.

Yesterday the government announced powers to target radical Islamists with “extremism disruption orders”, close community centres used to encourage youngsters to wage jihad and tackle TV channels screening “extremist content”.

Vowing to confront “head-on the poisonous Islamist extremist ideology”, Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the proposals will be included in a Counter Extremism Bill due in this month’s Queen’s Speech.

New orders will be introduced to ban extremist organisations whose actions fall short of proscription under existing laws, and place restrictions on those who seek to radicalise youngsters.

Authorities will also be given powers to close premises which harbour extremists.

ISIS have carried out brutal executions across the country, including the beheading of journalists, gay people, alleged adulterers and more recently claimed to have killed ‘an Israeli spy’.

The terror group, also known as Islamic State, aims to establish a caliphate in Sunni majority regions of Iraq and Syria.

In June 2014, they seized control of Mosul, Fallujah and Tikrit in northern-Iraq in large scale military offensives, but have since been knocked back in Iraq by army forces.

Also see:

The War on the Islamic State: Discouraging Numbers

Islamic State fighters prepare to behead Coptic Christians

Islamic State fighters prepare to behead Coptic Christians

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, May 14, 2015:

The Islamic State (ISIS) is losing ground in Iraq and Nigeria, the terror group continues to make up its losses by recruiting foreign fighters, gaining ground in Syria and establishing international affiliates.

On March 3, the Pentagon estimated that it killed 8,500 Islamic State members in total since August when the campaign began. That’s a kill rate of roughly 1,200 per month. To put that in the proper perspective, the size of the Islamic State must be determined.

The CIA’s official estimate of the Islamic State’s total number of fighters (itself an undefined term) in September was between 20,000 to 31,500. This would mean that the Islamic State lost between 27% and 43% of its strength—if the estimate is accurate and if ISIS isn’t recruiting more fighters. And that’s where the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

The Size of ISIS Forces

Firstly, it must be recognized that the U.S. intelligence community has a history of underestimating the Islamic State’s strength. By President Obama’s own admission, U.S. intelligence didn’t see the Islamic State’s offensive into Iraq coming. In June 2014, the CIA estimated that the Islamic State had only 4,000 fighters. Only three months later, we were given the current numbers that have not been revised since.

Some of that increase may be attribute to increased recruitment and arrival of foreign fighters, but the CIA’s estimate increased by 500% to 800% over just three months, raising the question if the CIA is yet again underestimating the Islamic State’s numbers.

In August, a month prior to the revised estimate, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Islamic State had 50,000 fighters in Syria alone, after recruiting 6,000 new fighters (including 1,000 foreigners) in July. A security expert in Iraq put the total number at around 100,000.

In November, Kurdish President Barzani’s chief of staff gave a figure f 200,000. Terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross looked at the conflicting estimates and the land mass controlled by the Islamic State and concluded that the U.S. estimates are “clearly unrealistic.” He determined that the 100,000 figure is most credible.

Part of the differing numbers is due to the definition of “fighter.” Gartenstein-Ross writes that the Kurdish estimate included all the Islamic State’s security forces, such as those being trained, logisticians and those who enforce rule within the caliphate. This broader definition pushes the number closer to 200,000.

And, this number does not appear to include Islamic State members who serve in non-combat functions like infrastructure management. It may also not include allied armed groups like the forces under the command of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a former leader in Saddam Hussein’s regime who was killed in April.

The U.S. government is probably either honestly underestimating Islamic State’s strength or using a narrow definition of “fighter” to deflate the number or both.

ISIS’ Growth Rate

The kill rate of 1,200 Islamic State “fighters” per month can only be judged if we know the rate of replacement.

In late February, Director of National Intelligence James Clappertestified that the number of foreign fighters within the Islamic State grew from 16,000 during the fall of 2014 to 20,000 in February 2015. That’s an increase of 4,000 over roughly five months or an average increase of 800 per month, but Clapper suggested this may be due to our intelligence community detecting more rather than an actual numerical increase.

Various sources suggest that is wishful thinking.

The Washington Post reported a flow of 5,000 foreign fighters between October and late January, citing the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence. That’s a rate of 1,250 per month. In February, the Daily Beast reported that the flow of foreign fighters was nearly equal to the number of overall Islamic State deaths reported by the U.S.

If you consider the Islamic State recruiting within Iraq and Syria, then their manpower is probably increasing despite the campaign. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, bluntly told the outlet after a briefing, “The numbers are not moving in our favor.”

And it’s only getting worse. In February, National Counter Terrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen said the flow of foreign fighters has increased by 25% since November, including a 70% increase in Western fighters.

“The rate of foreign fighter travel to Syria is unprecedented. It exceeds the rate of travelers who went to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years,” he said.

The Islamic State’s losses since then have not discouraged foreigners from coming in. According to the Daily Beast, nothing has changed.The likelihood of death is actually incentive to these recruits. In fact, the End Times prophecies cited by the Islamic State predict heavy casualties and desertions.

In sum, the U.S. numbers indicate the coalition is killing 1,200 ISIS “fighters” per month, but they are replenished by 800 to 1,250 foreign fighters per month and an unknown number of new Syrian and Iraqi recruits. Plus, the significance of the U.S. numbers is exaggerated by the government’s likely underestimation of the Islamic State’s strength and low-balling with its narrow definition of “fighter.”

The picture gets bleaker when you look at the broader picture. Progress in shrinking the Islamic State is exaggerated when the definition of that caliphate is narrowed to only Iraq and Syria.

Read more

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