CNN documents Qatari funding of terror

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

The jihad in Syria against the Alawites has been wholeheartedly funded by millionaires in Qatar. The Qatari ministry of culture oversees some of the volunteer operations to fund terrorism like this, and counter-terrorism expert Juan Zarate says the financial support for jihad comes “from the top.” This isn’t new information, but seeing video of the players involved may help some people to grow up and out of the old-fashioned 1990s view of Qatar as an ally in the Gulf.

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports:

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Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Hamas Have Become Oxymorons

hamascharter-viby IPT NewsJul 15, 2014

Over the years, we at the Investigative Project on Terrorism and many others have called on American Islamists to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. They have steadfastly refused.

Fine. But if Palestinian advocates really want a better life for the people of Gaza, today’s events make it clear they must condemn Hamas for making the plight of the people there demonstrably worse.

For six hours, Israel stopped bombing Gaza, accepting a cease-fire put forth by Egypt. All Hamas had to do was stop firing rockets at Israeli civilians and the people of Gaza could start trying to resume their lives, confident that the latest conflict had ended.

For all the talk of disproportionate casualties on the Palestinian side, the decision to reject the cease-fire guarantees more Palestinians will die. Israel stopped, and would have stopped. But Hamas prefers to continue firing rockets that stand a better chance of being intercepted, or missing the civilians at which they are aimed, than doing anything to make life better today.

And it follows a Hamas official nonchalantly saying his group isn’t trying to bring destruction to the Palestinian people. Rather, “We are leading our people to death.” (Note to Palestinian politicians: do NOT let Sami Abu Zuhri write your campaign material. He’s terrible at it.)

Hamas objected because the cease-fire didn’t grant it any of its demands. Those include an end to a blockade on Gaza – imposed to stem the flow of weapons and materials used to make them – and the release of Hamas prisoners arrested by Israel after last month’s murder of three Israeli teenagers in what appears to have started as a kidnapping attempt.

It’s not clear why the guy who starts the bar fight, then gets punched out, should be the one to dictate terms of how the fight ends. It’s even less clear how more-of-the-same from Hamas does anything but increase Palestinian suffering. The immediate goal was an end to the violence. Israel accepted. Hamas did not.

Some in neighboring Egypt have lost patience. A compilation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows several examples in just the past week of television hosts blasting Hamas for bringing more damage to Gaza.

“But our people in Gaza must come to the realization that such idiotic decision-making pertaining to religion and politics forces the Gaza Strip and its people, as well as the entire Arab Nation in its entirety, to pay a very steep price in fragmentation, in humiliation, in martyrs and, unfortunately, in blood – shed in vein (sic), with no prospects for victory,” host Khaled Salah said on Al-Nahar television last Wednesday.

“We pray for Allah to bestow upon the Hamas leaders a bit of common sense, so they will get a grasp of the map of the region, and of the degree to which the Arab nation is fragmented. Unfortunately, it was they and their ilk in other Arab countries who caused this fragmentation.”

Palestinian advocates will continue to blame Israel. But that’s just a knee-jerk reaction. The truth requires some painful introspection.

Also see:

A Rational Study of Radical Islam, by Dr. Bill Warner

Originally posted on The Counter Jihad Report:

Dr. Bill Warner talks about Islam, Muslims, Hadith, Sira and the Koran to (Islamic Doctrine), give a better understanding of such things as dualism, the law of Islamic saturation and how it effects us, the Kafirs.

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Dialing for terror dollars: recommended reading

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

  • The disembowling of Iraq by Al Qaeda (ISIS) is being funded by Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia… more>>
  • ISIS’s annual report is more than a balance sheet or summary of operations.  It’s actually an appeal to potential investorsmore>>
  • The Taliban taxes poppies and blackmails businessmen.  But the dirty little secret behind most of the Taliban’s wealth lies with Arab sheikhs, say Afghan reporters… ground truth>>
  • An Arab interest group in New York opposed to NYPD tactics turns out to be funded by Qatar, the de facto sponsor of the global Muslim Brotherhood… more>>

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Undaunted ISIS Begin Building Their New Caliphate Into a State

An image from a propaganda video by ISIS showing their expansion plans from Iraq into Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

An image from a propaganda video by ISIS showing their expansion plans from Iraq into Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

By Bridget Johnson:

WASHINGTON — Since establishing their Islamic state, the terrorists who obliterated the border between Iraq and Syria have set about the business of turning their caliphate into an actual state.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) — now, since Sunday, known as the new caliph — issued a message Tuesday to the mujahidin and Muslim community chock full of Quranic verses and calls to arms.

“Muslims’ rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Shām (the Levant), Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Ahvaz, Iran [by the rāfidah (shia)], Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, in the East and in the West,” al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim, said. “So raise your ambitions, O soldiers of the Islamic State! For your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades.”

“Soon, by Allah’s permission, a day will come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master, having honor, being revered, with his head raised high and his dignity preserved. Anyone who dares to offend him will be disciplined, and any hand that reaches out to harm him will be cut off,” he continued. “So let the world know that we are living today in a new era. Whoever was heedless must now be alert.”

“Whoever was sleeping must now awaken. Whoever was shocked and amazed must comprehend. The Muslims today have a loud, thundering statement, and possess heavy boots. They have a statement that will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism, and boots that will trample the idol of nationalism, destroy the idol of democracy and uncover its deviant nature.”

But in addition to the standard battle cry, the new caliph also got down to the brass tracks of trying to stock his new state with the necessities and infrastructure beyond just a dusty lot roped off for terrorist training.

“O Muslims everywhere, whoever is capable of performing hijrah (emigration) to the Islamic State, then let him do so, because hijrah to the land of Islam is obligatory,” al-Baghdadi said. “…We make a special call to the scholars, fuqahā’ (experts in Islamic jurisprudence), and callers, especially the judges, as well as people with military, administrative, and service expertise, and medical doctors and engineers of all different specializations and fields.”

On Twitter, where ISIS-affiliated accounts have grown like weeds, there was a call for translators to come and join the new Islamic state: “Speakers of #Urdu, #Hindi, #Bengali and other languages will be welcome.”

“Is their any other nation on earth that cares enough 4 its citizens to burn $100 000′s worth of cigarettes, rather than reap the profits?” tweeted another ISIS-affiliated account.

At the Pentagon on Tuesday, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the assessment teams sent to Iraq by President Obama to figure out what’s going on with the ISIS takeover — a swathe of claimed land larger than Jordan stretching from the Turkish border in Syria sweeping down past the edge of Baghdad — were getting their bearings.

Read more at PJ Media

Also see:

CIA Under Fire for Failure in Iraq

 

People inspect buildings damaged by an Iraqi government airstrike on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant controlled city of Mosul / AP

People inspect buildings damaged by an Iraqi government airstrike on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant controlled city of Mosul / AP

By Bill Gertz:

The CIA failed to provide adequate warning of the recent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant military incursion into Iraq despite having a significant presence of agency officers in the country, according to U.S. officials and security analysts.

Critics of the agency said the intelligence failure was made worse by a failure of the Obama administration to recognize the threat posed to the country by the ISIL, which last week renamed itself simply the Islamic State (IS) and declared its captured territory in Syria and Iraq is now a “caliphate.”

The so-called caliphate region is under harsh Islamic law and led by IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as its “caliph” or Islamic leader.

“This is an absolute intelligence failure on the part of the CIA,” said Bill Cowan, a former Special Forces officer who worked until recently as a contractor in Iraq.

During U.S. military operations in Iraq, military intelligence agencies set up robust spying—both human and electronic—throughout Iraq that provided a clear picture of the insurgents, including the former Saddam Hussein military officials who currently are a major component of the IS operation.

However, with the Obama administration’s decision to pull out all troops, the military intelligence coverage was removed at the end of 2011.

“With all military intel out of the picture, the CIA takes primary responsibility for HUMINT activities in Iraq. Where were they? No interaction with tribal leaders who probably watched the build up? No interaction with the [northern Kurdish] Peshmerga? The agency isn’t on the radar screen, but they should be.”

A Kurdish security official with the regional government in northern Iraq said intelligence on key figures in the terrorist group, including the locations of IS training camps and the movement of vehicle convoys from Syria was provided to both Baghdad and western intelligence agencies.

“It all fell on deaf ears,” said Rooz Bahjay, the security official. “The west failed to act, and now it’s failing to react. The longer they wait, the more people are going to be killed.”

Cowan said the failure to provide warning and alert in advance of the incursion, which began in early June, made it impossible to take steps that could have blunted the advance, which currently controls major cities in central Iraq and at least one oil field, failure that will produce dire strategic consequences for the United States and states in region.

The CIA denied it is to blame for any intelligence failure on Iraq. “Anyone who has had access to and actually read the full extent of CIA intelligence products on ISIL and Iraq should not have been surprised by the current situation,” CIA spokesman Christopher White when asked about whether the agency was guilty of an intelligence failure.

A U.S. intelligence official did not directly state whether CIA or other spy agencies provided advance word of the IS invasion. However, the official said IS was tracked for years and “strategic warning” of its growing strength and increasing threat to Iraq were reported.

The official also said policymakers were warned about difficulties within the U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces. Several divisions of Iraqi troops fled during the IS incursion.

Read more at Free Beacon

Expressions Of Solidarity With ISIS In The West

from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) June 30, 2014:

In April 2013, a rift was created in the global jihadi movement when the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) announced that it was expanding into Syria and that it was changing its name to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Following this announcement, another jihadi organization in Syria, Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN), rejected ISIS’s authority, remaining loyal to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri. ISIS even challenged Al-Zawahiri himself, refusing to follow his instructions to restrict itself to operating in Iraq. In early 2014, the rift escalated to violent conflict – ISIS versus JN and other jihadi organizations in bothIraq and Syria.

Having taken control of large areas of Iraq in recent months, ISIS is now enjoying increasing shows of solidarity from the Middle East and from across the Muslim world – and also from Western countries. Several factors contribute to its popularity, among them its jihad against the Americans in Iraq prior to its expansion into Syria, when it was ISI; its current struggle against Iraq’s Shi’ite government and its security forces – perceived as apparatuses for Shi’ite suppression of Sunnis; and its war against the Alawi Assad regime, which is an ally of the Shi’ites. ISIS’s activity on these fronts has helped bolster its image as the spearhead in the war against the enemies of Islam within and without the Muslim world, and raised its stature among supporters of global jihad.

Further adding to its popularity are ISIS’s achievements on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, and its image as the only organization today that is actualizing authentic Islamic ideals and striving towards establishing the Islamic idea of a greater caliphate. It casts itself, and its propagandists depict it, as a legitimate sovereign body implementing shari’a law in areas under its control, and spreading Islam by means of jihad, thus forming the core of this future caliphate. Recently, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-‘Adnani even called on Al-Qaeda to swear fealty to his organization, because the “state” it embodies supersedes any organization.[1]

Sympathy for ISIS extends also to its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who is seen by the organization’s fans as the legitimate leader of all Muslims. This is because of his religious education, his lineage, and his jihadi past. As a challenger to Al-Zawahiri, he is considered more charismatic and more capable of leading the Muslim ummah towards the longed-for caliphate. Thus, under Al-Baghdadi’s leadership, ISIS is emerging as an alternative to Al-Qaeda, and is seen as working diligently to actualize the Muslims’ goals without Al-Qaeda’s religion-based reservations about, for example, imposing the jizya poll tax on Christians or conducting mass killings of Shi’ites.

The persecution of ISIS, even by Al-Qaeda, adds to its status in many circles as an “underdog” fighting for the goals of Islam and the good of all Muslims. Additionally, its highly efficient propaganda apparatus circulates videos and publications via jihadi forums and social media, praising itself and criticizing its rivals and opponents.

Westerners Joining And Promoting ISIS

The Westerners who are leaving their home countries to join ISIS in its fight in Iraq and Syria also add to the organization’s prestige, both inside and outside the Muslim world. These volunteers are widely covered by the media in their own countries, and each new arrival also receives a fanfare in the organization’s local press outlets and social media; these volunteers themselves are usually very active users of social media, communicating with friends and family back home as well as followers and engaging in their own efforts to promote and recruit for the organization in the West.  

Further evidence of its sweeping popularity was the June 19, 2014 “One Billion Muslims Support ISIS” campaign, which urged ISIS sympathizers worldwide to express their support for the organization on  Friday, June 20, and even devised a special Twitter hashtag for the purpose. The campaign elicited considerable response from supporters in numerous participants, who posted images and videos expressing their support for ISIS.[2]

This Western support for ISIS is crucial to the group’s propaganda efforts; in addition to swelling the ranks of its fighters and bringing in funds and logistical support, it increases its prestige and deters its rivals.

Elements Used In Expressions Of Support For ISIS

These expressions of solidarity with ISIS on social and other media use common ISIS symbolism. They include posters of support for it and for Al-Baghdadi; the use of the slogan baqiya wa-tatmaddad, “will remain and spread”;[3] the black tawhid flag, widely used by other global jihad elements; and ISIS nasheeds, or Islamic songs.

Other expressions of solidarity include: photos of ISIS posters next to Western landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, the Atomium building in Brussels, and the Coliseum in Rome; photos of ISIS posters alongside Western passports; and other images shared on social media. All these add to ISIS’s image of an organization on the rise, and may also indicate its expansionist ambitions.


Tawhid banner used by ISIS


A poster supporting the “One Billion Muslims” campaign (Source: Twitter.com/Minbar_s, June 19, 2014)

This report will present examples of support for ISIS from the West. A future report will present similar examples of support from the Middle East and the Muslim world.[4]

U.S.

At least two contributions to the One Billion Muslims campaign came from the U.S. One was a photo of a drawing of ISIS emblem against the backdrop of the New York City skyline, and the other was a photo of a sign of support for ISIS taken in downtown Chicago.


Source: Twitter.com/truthsMaster, June 20, 2014.


Sign reads: “The soldiers of the #Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will soon pass through here… ” June 20, 2014. Source: Twitter.com/msn291.

Read more at MEMRI

U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Political Party Convenes for Inaugural Banquet in Washington, DC Area

USCMOCenter for Security Policy, June 30, 2014:

Weeks following the March 2014 announcement in Washington, D.C. by executive leadership from some of the most prominent American Muslim organizations about their formation of the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood political party, and indeed the first religious identity political party in the history of this country, began preparing for its inaugural banquet to be held at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel on Tuesday, 10 June 2014.

While limited information exists regarding the actual content of speeches and proceedings from the USCMO inaugural banquet, the Muslim Link Paper reported nearly “250 guests of the member organizations, leaders and imams of masajid, elected and government officials, dignitaries, civic and interfaith partners attended the banquet.” Two members of the U.S. Congress, Representatives André Carson (Democrat, IN-7th District), Keith Ellison (Democrat, MN-5th District), and Hassan El-Amin, Associate Judge, Prince George’s County Circuit Court, 7th Judicial Circuit (Maryland) joined together on the speaker’s dais with Muslim Brotherhood leadership to address the attendees.

Selfie

A guest at the inaugural USCMO banquet takes a “selfie” photo with Congressman Andre Carson.

ellison

The founding leaders of USCMO react to Congressman Keith Ellison’s address.

Icnarelief

ICNA Relief’s board chairman Mohsin Ansari talks to Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota

ICNA

US Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson with USCMO Members

 

As reported by the United States Council of Muslim Organizations, confirmed speakers for its inaugural banquet included the following:

carsonCongressman
Andre Carson

kEllisonCongressman
Keith Ellison

NyangProf. Suleiman Nyang

bagbyDr. Ihsan Bagby

WahhajImam Siraj Wahhaj

MustafaSister Ayesha Mustafa SuleimanImam Omar Suleiman El-AminJudge Hassan El-Amin BillooSister Zahra Billoo HusainDr. Altaf Husain

Dr. Ihsan Bagby, who delivered the keynote address, is from the University of Kentucky and a convert to Islam, board member of both ISNA and CAIR, and General Secretary for the Muslim Alliance in North American (MANA). Bagby shared with the audience “a short sojourn through the history of American Muslims starting from the early Africans who were forcibly brought by slave traders to early immigrants to the present. He traced the history of other umbrella organizations that had formed and pointed out the reasons of their demise, urging the council to learn from their mistakes.”As reported by the Muslim Link Paper, others in the speaker line-up included Dr. Ousama Jammal, Secretary General, USCMO; Dr. Osama Abu-Irshaid, Board Member, American Muslims for Palestine; Nihad Awad, National Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations; Naeem Baig, President, Islamic Circle of North America; Mazen Mokhtar, Executive Director, Muslim American Society); Khalil Meek, Executive Director, Muslim Legal Fund of America; Imam Delawar Hussein, Dr Lynne Muhammad, Founder, Making A Difference Through Discoveries, American Islamic College, Whitney Young Magnet High School; and W.D. Mohammed II, President, Mosque Cares.

The June 2014 USCMO inaugural banquet was sponsored by Helping Hands USA (also known as Helping Hand for Relief and Development), ICNA Relief USA, and Guidance Residential, the largest U.S. provider of Sharia-compliant home financing. Notably, the only Muslim charity invited to speak at the formation of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations in March 2014 was ICNA’s fund, ICNA Relief USA.

Maqsood Ahmad, Executive Director, ICNA Relief USA stated during the banquet that “America is our home and ICNA Relief USA has a goal of making it a better place with Islamic values of compassion, care and giving.” Recall that ICNA is the progeny the Muslim Students Association and the jihadist Jamaat-e-Islami movement.

In 2012, ICNA Relief USA received a $30,000 grant from none other than Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a Michigan-based Islamic charity with links to a Pakistani front charity that funds HAMAS. In 2006, the Pakistani charity Al-Khidmat Foundation gave a 6 million rupee check to HAMAS leader Khaled Meshaal.

Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, who established the al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin in Egypt in 1928 is quoted in the 1988 HAMAS Charter declaring that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

The Muslim Link Paper declared that “the [USCMO] banquet was the official introduction for the Muslim community to a platform that promises to open effective communication between Muslim organizations in America and build a national vision.”

Imam Omar Ahmad Suleiman, member of ICNA’s Shariah Council, represented next generation Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the U.S. and “spoke about what diversity and race relations means to his generation. He expressed great hope for the growth of the council.”

The USCMO’s selection of Zahra Billoo and Altaf Husain as its emcees for the June 2014 inaugural banquet is regrettably notable, especially as USCMO General Secretary Ousama Jammal began the day by introducing “the mission of the council to the audience: bringing American Muslim organizations together.” In scope and ambition, this mission appears to be part of the “broad agenda” that Nihad Awad discussed – “In the past, many people have tried to unite on a limited agenda, but this is a broad agenda for the American Muslim community” – when the USCMO officially announced its formation in March 2014. Broad, indeed, in an anti-American, antisemitic agenda if public statements of at least one of its emcees are part of that. Earlier that same day before the USCMO inaugural banquet began, Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of CAIR’s San Francisco Chapter, known for her history of publicly-expressed anti-American and anti-Israel sentiment, revealed on Twitter her sympathies for the Taliban, stating that she felt “more responsible for and outraged by US military terrorism in Pakistan than Taliban terrorism there. I fund the former not the latter.” Billoo self-describes as an “American, Pakistani, litigious, feminist, hippie, anarchist, outspoken, rebellious, socially conscious Muslimah.”

Tweet

Although the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is not yet an official member of the USCMO, emcee Altaf Husain is a member of ISNA’s Majlis Ashura. Husain serves as a faculty member of COMPASS – the Muslim Student Association’s state of art management training program; he is also a board member and chair for ISNA’s Leadership Development Committee. He was past two-term national president of the Muslim Student Association and an executive committee member of the Muslim Alliance in North America. It is likely only a matter of time before ISNA officially joins forces with the USCMO.

Since the announcement of the USCMO’s formation in March 2014, three new Islamic organizations have joined its founding members: Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, United Muslim Relief, Virginia, and Islamic Center of Wheaton, Illinois. Just over eighteen months ago, Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, served as a catalyst for action from Muslims in the U.S.

On Sunday, 21 December 2012, Ramadan issued a strong directive to Muslims participating at the 11th Annual MAS-ICNA Convention in Chicago, Illinois, and emboldened the audience when he stated,

So this is why Muslims when they say we are at home should institutionalize the presence in the country…We     are at home, show it! Not show it with what you say, show it with the institutions you have in this country –        institutionalize the Muslim presence as Americans. This is home; this is where we can say ‘that’s where we are’…I think we are reconciling the West with the very essence of our universal principles – if we understand Islam the right way, if we understand why we are experiencing this historical moment of the Muslim presence in    the West.

As the USCMO members actively institutionalize their presence, the new coalition of U.S. Muslim organizations would seem to be off to a successful launch, a feat that eluded earlier efforts to unify ideologically-similar but nevertheless discrete American Muslim Brotherhood groups under any sort of political umbrella organization. Previously, in December 1997, seven national Islamic organizations had convened unsuccessfully in Sunnyvale, CA to “signify support for the unity process” and provide “coordinated advice to America’s six million Muslims on political issues and candidates with creation of a national Coordination Committee.” Those organizations at the time included the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Fremont, CA; American Muslim Caucus (AMC), Dallas, TX; American Muslim Council (AMC), Washington, DC; Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Washington, DC; National Council on Islamic Affairs, New York City; the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Los Angeles; and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

This history of failed efforts by earlier U.S. Muslim organizations to combine efforts and unify leadership for political ends underlines the importance of the current and apparently more successful USCMO initiative. Certainly, the current political climate offers opportunity not previously available to achieve the long-time Brotherhood goal of advancing the “Phases of the World Underground Movement Plan” in accordance with the framework articulated by influential Muslim Brotherhood theoretician Sayyid Qutb in his seminal 1964 monograph Milestones.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Iraq’s Collapse, America’s Interests

Published on Jun 30, 2014 by securefreedom

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Friday, 27 June, 2014

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Major General Horner Chair of Military Theory, Marine Corps University; National Security Affairs Editor, Breitbart.com.

 

See also:

Jihadist Ideology: The Core Texts by Sebastian Gorka

ISIS ENABLERS: SCORECARD OF THE GUILTY

IraqISISAPBreitbart, by THOMAS ROSE:

How could a force of less than 15,000 fighters overrun a lavishly equipped modern army 20 times its size with no outside help? In the case of ISIS, the answer is that it could not, and did not, overrun Sunni Iraq without help. ISIS had help. Plenty of it.

For those interested in keeping score, here is a partial list, in alphabetical order, of those forces, countries, and people most active in helping the ferociously brutal al-Qaeda heirs seize contiguous and virtual sovereign control over territory larger than Jordan with more than six million people, spanning the borders of four countries, complete with extensive modern infrastructure, as well as of some of the most oil-rich real estate in the Middle East.

The signs of Iraq’s accelerating decline have been evident since last December when ISIS fighters took the city of Fallujah. But ISIS’s recent advance would not have been possible had it not been able, last January, to seize and hold the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa that has given ISIS the staging ground from which it has been able to plan bigger advances and seize Syrian oilfields.

1. Bashar Assad, President of Syria: guilty of spending the last three years cynically insuring that ISIS could gain a battlefield advantage over other rebel groups also fighting to overthrow his own brutal regime. First, he sprung hundreds of ISIS terrorists from his jails to join the ranks of the rebels while selectively choosing to spare ISIS forces from bearing the brunt of government offensives. Assad correctly gambled that once the world saw just how violent, fanatical, and dangerous it was, it would balk from doing much of anything to help any of the rebel groups, for fear of aiding ISIS.

It was in Bashar Assad’s Syria that ISIS earned its fighting chops and became the experienced, well-disciplined, and highly effective fighting force it is today. It was in Syria that ISIS extorted the millions of dollars it needed to finance its war by ransoming dozens of the Europeans it took hostage, which has netted a seasoned and experienced fighting force, all while Bashar Assad looked the other way.

Arming moderate Syrian rebels would weaken Assad, the most sinister single party to this conflict. It is Assad who simultaneously incites ISIS and protects ISIS; all so he can present himself to the world as a more reasonable alternative. Assad’s approach has been sinister, cynical, and quite effective.

2. British Colonial Office, 1916-1920: Its century old decision taken during and after the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire to draw an entirely new map of the Middle East did much to exacerbate today’s violent sectarian conflict in Iraq. Winston Churchill, then-colonial secretary, thought the best way to prevent Muslims, whose support Britain needed to maintain control of India and the Middle East, from rising against British rule as they had just successfully risen against Turkish rule was for Colonial Office bureaucrats to create entirely new and artificial states to be led by entirely new and artificial “monarchies.” The borders of these new states were drawn with little account given to the very tribal and sectarian battle lines being fought over today.

3. Erdogan, Recep Tayan, president of Turkeyguilty from the earliest stages of the Syrian civil war of abetting ISIS fighters by granting them full use of its side of the Syrian-Turkish border from which to stage their attacks against the Syrian regime. Even now, despite European Union pressure, Turkey continues to provide ISIS forces as well as other less radical anti-Assad rebel groups with sanctuary and support inside Turkey. Turkey regards the Assad regime as an extension of the radical Shi’a regime in Iran, its primary foe.

4. European Unionguilty of having done virtually nothing to prevent the self-reinforcing supply of European Muslims from using their EU passports to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq. Thousands of ISIS trained fighters carry European passports.Hundreds are thought to have returned to their respective EU home countries after having been radicalized. Last month’s terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum of Brusselswas carried out by an ISIS trained jihadist carrying an EU passport. Spanish authorities broke up a suspected ISIS cell in Madrid last week.

5. Maliki, Nouri al, Iraqi Prime Minister: guilty for becoming increasingly despotic and sectarian following the withdrawal of the last U.S. forces from his country in 2011. He fatally undermined the integrity and effectiveness of the Iraqi army by purging from its ranks all Sunni and Kurdish officers, replacing them with members of his own Shi’a sect. The day after the final U.S. soldier left Iraq, Maliki had Iraq’s Sunni vice presidentarrested on trumped-up charges of treason, for which he has been sentenced to death in absentia. Until the ISIS rising, Maliki’s security forces would sweep through Sunni towns and villages, arresting thousands of ordinary Sunni men with little or no pretext. He has used the army to punish opponents and reward his supporters, alienating nearly all non-Shi’a Iraqis.

At the bidding of his Iranian mentors, Maliki starved all funding and support to the Sunni clans that proved so vital to defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) forces during the 2007 Sunni Awakening. He responded to last December’s fall of Fallujah to ISIS forces by launching massive and indiscriminate bombing raids on the Sunni city that killed far more people and caused far more damage than the ISIS takeover. This pushed Iraqi Sunnis into the waiting arms of ISIS and Iraq’s Kurds to the verge of declaring their own independent state. Iraq’s 6.5 million Kurds–whose fierce and loyal Peshmerga fighters breezily swatted away the ISIS fighters that briefly seized abandoned Iraqi army posts–are the only Iraqis who stand to benefit from the country’s crisis. Kurds have long demanded the right to export their own oil and to their full share of federal budget proceeds. Now, they may have the leverage to finally win those demands.

6. Obama, Barack: By insisting upon the removal of all U.S. forces from Iraq, the American president deprived that country’s army of the confidence and strategic support it used to effectively crush both Sunni and Shi’a armed risings. President Obama’s insistence on the total withdrawal of all forces also robbed Iraq of the very impetus its fragile national government needed to keep the country together. His oft-stated objective of “lowering” America’s “regional profile” has done wonders to raise the profile and confidence of America’s enemies.

The current leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is a former U.S. detainee at Camp Bucca, Iraq. According to an unclassified 2005 U.S. intelligence report, Baghdadi was arrested by U.S. forces in 2005 in connection to the intimidation, torture, and murder of hundreds of local civilians in Qaim. Upon the order of the American Commander-in-Chief, and against the strong objections of the Iraqi government, al-Baghdadi was released in 2009.

The predictable outcome of President Obama’s refusal to secure the detention of al-Baghdadi not only accelerated the creation of a barbaric new Sunni-Islamist terror state encompassing Sunni areas of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, but it also wiped away the last remaining obstacle preventing an ever greater threat–a nuclear-armed Iran.

7. Qatar: The tiny rich gulf state, together with Kuwait, continues to serve as ISIS’private banking center, where individuals and groups supporting the terrorist group can freely raise money and plot strategy.

8. Saudi Arabia: The oil-rich kingdom, birthplace of Islam, and self proclaimed protector of Sunni interests helped light the fuse of Syria’s civil war and has stoked the fire ever since by arming and training most of the Sunni rebel groups fighting to overthrow the Assad regime as a way to weaken its mortal enemy Iran, which has spent billions of dollars and sent tens of thousands of its own troops to defend its Syrian ally.

If anything favors keeping Iraq intact, it is that all of the players and parties mentioned would, if forced to confront it head-on, view ISIS as a direct and existential threat. ISIS’ ruthlessness and brutality are shocking, even to the hard-to-shock-senses of the Middle East. Its wholesale slaughtering of Shiites and the speed with which the brutality of Christian executions has become routine is enough to disturb even the most disturbed of Mideast minds.

ISIS’s original piggy bank was Saudi Arabia

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

Could the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) terrorists truly have funded their ascendancy solely through extortion against local businessmen in northern Iraq? True, that has helped ISIS, and Money Jihad has covered these extortion operations several times (here, here, etc.). But we have also seen repeatedly that successful and multifaceted terrorist groups tend to rely on state sponsorship, whether it’s the Taliban’s seed money from Pakistan, Hezbollah’s support from Iran, or IHH’s money from Turkey.

As Money Jihad has always said, Saudi Arabia didn’t just fund 9/11—it funded the Iraq insurgency. The same elements Saudi Arabia funded during Operation Iraqi Freedom continue to be funded by Saudi Arabia today. Iraq says that this is the case. German security expert Günter Meyer says it is the case as well. The only person denying it is some flunky quoted in this article who lives in a bubble and works…

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ISIS Tries to Grab Its Own Air Force

1403702329319.cachedBy Eli Lake:
In its march to Baghdad, ISIS seized the heavy weapons of a modern army. Now, the jihadists are attacking Iraq’s biggest air base – and could soon be able to attack from the sky.
TheIslamicState of Iraq and al-Sham is threatening to take control ofBalad Airbase, Iraq’s largest airfield and one of America’s most important military outposts during its occupation of the country.Today, Balad still has plenty of vehicles and aircraft on the base that any terrorist group would covet, including Russian-made transport helicopters, surveillance planes, and a fleet of pickup trucks fitted with heavy machine guns.

Now, that airbase is coming under fire—and is in danger of falling into the hands of ISIS, according to U.S. intelligence officers, internal reports from Balad, and outside analysts. Reuters reported Wednesday that the base was now surroundedon three sides by insurgents and taking heavy mortar fire.

“We assess the group continues to threaten the air base and Iraqi Security Force control of the air base as it moves south towards Baghdad,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told reporters Tuesday.

Of course, even if ISIS were to gain control of Balad, there is no guarantee its fighters would know how to operate or maintain the aircraft that are stored there. But an ISIS takeover of Balad would be significant nonetheless. As NBC News reported Tuesday, Iraqi officers say without air support they are on an equal footing with ISIS fighters.

Jessica Lewis—the research director for the Institute for the Study of War and a former U.S. Army intelligence officer who served in Iraq—told The Daily Beast, “It would mean that ISIS can beat the best that the Iraqi Army can muster, not just the northern units that have been ignored. It would mean strategic defeat for the Iraqi Army.”

Lewis estimates that Balad and neighboring Taji base are likely some of the next targets of the ISIS campaign. “Both of these bases are critical military sites for the Iraqi Army. Neutralizing one or both would demonstrate that ISIS can beat the Iraqi Army strategically.”

This is in part because a defeat for Iraq’s army at Balad would also deprive Iraq’s military of the air assets it already has—and is set to acquire. In December, Russia began to deliver Mi-35 attack and transport helicopters. The first of 36 American F-16 fighters were scheduled to be delivered to Balad in September 2014.

Some attacks on Balad already began this month. The last American contractors at Balad—many of whom were working to modernize the base to be ready for the F-16s—were flown by the Iraqi Air Force to Baghdad on June 13 in a dramatic airlift operation reminiscent of the fall of the U.S. embassy in Saigon.

A June 11 situation report produced by one of the military contractors at Balad said some ISIS fighters were warning local Iraqis in a nearby district to remain indoors and that the fighters had intended to attack Balad. The report said the fighters were possibly an advance force and warned that intermittent probing attacks—small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades—“should be considered imminent on the base.” One military contractor working at Balad who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity confirmed that there were some probing attacks on the base before the airlift on June 13.

Read more at Daily Beast

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