US Absolutely Slaughters ISIS Suicide Bombers Attacking Base In Iraq

Marines with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, reload their 240B machine gun at a support by fire-position during a company-sized attack on Range 401 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 26. The battalion is currently conducting the Integrated Training Exercise in preperation of their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi/released)

Daily Caller, by Saagar Ejeti, Sept. 18, 2017:

The U.S. military killed several Islamic State suicide bombers that attempted to breach a base in Iraq Sunday, Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon told the Associated Press.

U.S. forces shot and killed two of the ISIS fighters, while the other two blew themselves up prematurely after they realized they could no longer advance. The attack occurred near the city of Hawija where the U.S. backed Iraqi Security Forces are preparing to advance on one of the terrorist group’s last strongholds in the country.

Direct ISIS attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria are relatively rare, with airstrikes or allied fighters killing militants long before they can get close. The terrorist group will, however, likely adjust its tactics in the future as it loses significant territory in Iraq and Syria, trying more last ditch attacks on U.S. troops and committing flagrant acts of terror.

This tactic was on full display Thursday when the group dispatched a team of terrorists to kill nearly 80 Shiite pilgrims at a restaurant in southern Iraq. The attack was a well-planned, multi-prong suicide attack which involved guns and suicide bombs to first breach a checkpoint.

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The Unaccompanied Muslim Minor Refugee Terror Attack in London

Taking in refugees causes terror.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 18, 2017:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Last decade, Ronald and Penelope Jones were being feted for their work as foster parents. Now their suburban Surrey home was raided in an investigation into the train bombing in London.

The Joneses had won praise for fostering hundreds of children. But their growing interest in taking in refugees from Muslim countries turned their pleasant home with its wooden fences and green backyard into a ticking time bomb.

And that bomb may have gone off at the Parsons Green station leaving behind flash burns and horror.

Earlier, the Joneses had admitted that, “We’ve had a real mix of children from Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Albania and Afghanistan.” The tidal wave of refugees from these countries has swept across Europe bringing terror and death.

Ronald Jones, 88, and Penelope Jones, 71, like so many well-meaning Westerners, had no idea what they were letting themselves in for until the police were hammering at their door. Now they themselves have been turned into refugees, seeking shelters with relatives, while the police search for clues to the latest terror attack.

The couple became interested in fostering “refugees” when the media barraged helpless listeners with sob stories of Syrian suffering. But while they spoke often of children, the actual migrants are adults.

At the center of the case is Yahyah Farroukh, a Syrian, in his twenties. Farroukh was no child.

Neighbors described a constant flow of traffic to the Jones home. The visitors wore the traditional Islamic clothing often associated with the Jihadists who are the core of the European terror threat.

Prayer mats were set out in the garden. And there were constant cell phone conversations.

Farroukh allegedly invaded Europe by taking a migrant boat from Egypt to Italy.

Another of the alleged Jones “refugees” is an 18-year-old Iraqi from Baghdad who had apparently been monitored by law enforcement. And may have even been previously arrested. A refugee charity allegedly helped bring him to the UK. And arranged to have him placed with the Joneses.

The Iraqi had overloaded even the endless generosity of the Joneses who reportedly found him troublesome and dangerous. And that must have taken some doing.

It was this Iraqi whom police may suspect planted the bomb at Parsons Green station. And when the bomb went off on a crowded train on Friday, the holiest day in the Islamic religion, the manhunt began.

The Iraqi refugee was arrested trying to buy a ticket to Calais.

Calais to Dover is the route that refugees take to penetrate the UK. The Joneses had spoken of one “boy” in their care who had “managed to get in a lorry travelling through Calais.”

The Iraqi refugee suspect had originally come through Calais, but now he was headed the other way.

France has even better developed Islamic terror networks than the UK. And from Calais, it’s a few hours to the terrorist no-go zones of Brussels in Belgium, where terror plots originate and anything goes, or to the Islamic suburbs of Paris like Sevran. And the terror traffic may go both ways.

Last month, Bachir Hamou, an Algerian, rammed a car into French soldiers near Paris. He was caught by French authorities in Pas-de-Calais. Where was he headed? The Joneses may not be the only ones who take in “refugees”. Westerners take them in before they kill. Their Islamic comrades take them in afterward.

The Iraqi suspect in the Parsons Green attack had come by way of Calais and its infamous “Jungle camp”. Had he reached his destination, he would have found illegal contacts and allies to move him onward. The UK had already taken in “vulnerable” minors from the “Jungle” as part of a deal to dismantle it despite warnings that they might represent a terror threats. But the horde of migrants from Muslim countries are still besieging the UK and France.

The news reports say that he penetrated the UK as an “unaccompanied minor”. And minors need foster parents to “care” for them. That was how the Joneses came into the story.

But many of the “unaccompanied minors” who arrived during the migrant surges that plagued Europe and America were never minors. They were adult men pretending to be teenagers.

The Iraqi suspect in the Parsons Green bombing case hasn’t been named. The Syrian has. But the names and ages mean very little. Despite the vocal protestations of refugee activists and the media, we cannot vet or verify the masses of migrants who claim to be arriving from war torn terror states.

The names and ages are meaningless.

In Sweden, the migrants can be listed as “children” if they “don’t look over 40”. Back in the UK, a 12-year-old “child refugee” from Afghanistan raised his foster mother’s suspicions when she noticed how hairy he was. He turned out to be a decade older. His last words to his foster mother were, “I’ll kill you and I know where your children are.”

Back when they were being feted for their dedication to fostering children, Mrs. Jones had said, “I treat them how I would like to be treated if I was in that situation.”

The trouble though is that Islamic terrorists aren’t Mrs. Jones. And when the shoe is on the other foot, it turns out to have a bomb in it.

Westerners opened their hearts to the “child refugees”, but the children turned out to be violent men with a nasty tendency to kill, threaten and rape. The cuckoo’s eggs have hatched into vicious bombings and horrifying attacks. Sympathy for the Syrian devil ends in coffins and hospitals.

We don’t know everything that there is to know about the Parsons Green attack. And considering the tendency of the authorities to minimize the terrorism angle, it’s possible that we never will.

But we do know that thoughtless kindness to evil can be the worst sort of cruelty.

Leftist critics tell us that Islamic terrorism is blowback for the cruelty of our foreign policy. But it is most often blowback for the misplaced kindness of their immigration policy. As we once again debate the Muslim travel ban, we ought to consider the case of an elderly British couple who just wanted to help.

But their kindness was sadly misplaced. The wages of that kindness allegedly burst into a fireball in the London Underground, scorching commuters who only wanted to make it to the weekend.

The Joneses had wished to take in vulnerable children. Instead they housed angry men. And those angry men are suspected of setting off a bomb on a train packed with children. It was these children, not the migrant refugees playing at being unaccompanied minors, who were the true vulnerable children.

It was they who deserved kindness and care. Not their attempted murderers.

This was the horror that the misplaced kindness of taking in Muslim migrants brought to the UK.

“There was a poor little boy smashed into the floor with his face bleeding and screaming. There was a woman shouting that she was pregnant… Kids were being pushed out of the way and their nannies and mothers were trying to grab them… There was a girl with no skin on her legs, one with the back of her garment burned away.”

Those who made it possible for the terrorists to commit this atrocity were not being kind. They were being cruel.

Welcoming terrorists to the United Kingdom or the United States, to Canada or to Australia, is not kindness. It is cruelty. What feels good can end with children screaming in the London Underground.

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In fact, a recent report examining 63 Islamic terror incidents over the past three years in Europe and North America – killing 424 people and injured nearly 1,800 – found that 74 percent of the attackers were already known to authorities.

How many more have to die at the hands of “Known Wolf” terrorists before government officials take the problem seriously? Many more, it seems.

As of June 30, according to the UK Home Office, “there were 204 persons in custody in Great Britain for terrorism-related [offenses], an increase of 35% on the 151 persons in custody as at the previous year.” This continues “the upward trend seen in terrorist prisoners over the last few years.”

Of the 204 people in custody, “the majority (91%) held Islamist extremist views.” A “further 5% held far right-wing ideologies, and 4% other ideologies.” In its report earlier this month, the UK Home Office published the bar chart below showing the number of people in custody due to suspected terrorism-related offenses since June 2015:

Earlier this year, British officials said they were investigating 500 possible plots involving 3,000 people on the “top list” of suspects at any given time. In addition, 20,000 other people are on the counterterrorism radar for one reason or another and are still considered potentially problematic.

The British government previously warned that the Islamic State has created an “unprecedented” level of threats, both in terms of “range” and “pace.”

Al-Qaeda-Inspired Group Launches as Islamic State Alternative in Pakistan

AFP/STR

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, Sept. 12, 2017:

Former al-Qaeda fighters have launched a new group in terrorist safe haven Pakistan for jihadists who have severed ties with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) branch in the region.

Although the new group claims it has no official links to al-Qaeda or any other foreign terrorist group, it concedes that Osama bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda leader who was killed by the U.S. military, inspired its ideology, reports Voice of America (VOA).

ISIS and al-Qaeda are considered to be enemies.

Two former al-Qaeda members who had grown disgruntled with the terrorist group this year reportedly assembled the new jihadist group, dubbed Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan.

“The group was allegedly created to operate as a platform for militants who have parted ways with IS [Islamic State] in the country, it said in an online statement. It claimed to be active in several parts of the country,” notes VOA.

In an announcement disseminated through a Twitter account, Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan declared, “We give glad tidings to Muslim Ummah [community] that a large number of Mujahideen [jihadists] from Karachi, Punjab, and tribal areas are leaving ranks of IS and announce disassociation with [it].”

ISIS has “spread differences” and “secession instead of unity,” said the new terrorist group, which has vowed to continue its struggle through “jihad” against “infidel and apostates.”

VOA concedes that it was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the Twitter account linked to the newly formed jihadist organization.

However, the counterterrorism department of the Karachi police has acknowledged the new group’s existence, revealing that it maintains a presence in the Pakistani territory between Sindh and Baluchistan provinces.

Pakistani authorities believe the newly-emerged group primarily operates out of Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, which is also considered to house a significant presence of terrorists affiliated with the South Asia-based al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) branch.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Saeed, the head of the Rangers paramilitary security force in Karachi, told local reporters that among the members of the new group are individuals with masters degrees in applied physics.

As it expanded its foothold in Pakistan, the local Islamic State branch known as the Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) reportedly recruited from a pool of individuals with sophisticated skills at universities across the country, including students, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and businessmen, and also used women for its fundraising operations.

Maj. Saeed revealed that Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan also has female members.

Terrorist groups in the region, namely the Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have been engaged in efforts to recruit female jihadists, taking a page from ISIS’s playbook.

The U.S. military has linked TTP with the Islamic State, noting that the majority of ISIS-K members are former Pakistani Taliban jihadists.

Afghan and Pakistani Taliban members considered themselves to belong to two distinct groups with separate goals and led by different people.

The formation of the new jihadist group is a testament to the ongoing presence of al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, nearly 16 years after the U.S. military was deployed to defeat the terrorist organization in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the American homeland.

Despite the trillions of American taxpayer dollars invested in defeating the Afghan Taliban and its ally al-Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the thousands of U.S. military service members killed and injured trying to carry out that mission, the two groups are believed to have grown stronger in recent years.

In its latest assessment of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which began in October 2001, the Pentagon notes:

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region remains a sanctuary for various groups, including al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e- Tayyiba, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), ISIS-K, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Sanctuary on the Pakistan side and presence on the Afghan side remain a security challenge for both countries and pose a threat to regional security and stability.

Echoing Indian and Afghan officials, the Pentagon has long accused Pakistan of harboring terrorist groups, particularly the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their ally the Haqqani Network, considered one of the top threats facing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Islamabad denies the allegations.

Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan, the newly formed terrorist group, has already been linked to several terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, notes VOA, citing counterterrorism authorities in Islamabad.

The name “Ansar al-Sharia” has been used by jihadists groups in various countries affiliated with al-Qaeda.

In particular, the allegedly dissolved al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya that the U.S. believes was behind the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans called itself Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL).

Nevertheless, the newly-formed Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan insists it is not officially linked to any foreign terrorist organization, particularly al-Qaeda.

Europe’s Worst Nightmare May Be Coming True As ‘Hundreds’ Of ISIS Fighters Seek To Come Home

Daily Caller, by Saagar Enjeti, Sept. 13, 2017:

Hundreds of foreign Islamic State fighters have gathered on the Turkish border, desperately trying to break through security parameters and make their way home, The Guardian reports.

Turkish border guards remain vigilant but it is virtually impossible to stop many of the fighters getting through via smuggling networks. The intended exodus of the foreign fighters comes as the U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces enclose on ISIS’s capital of Raqqa, the Syrian regime batters them in Deir e-Zour, and the U.S- backed Iraqi Security Forces remove their last vestiges from Iraq.

Many of the ISIS fighters are reportedly Saudi, which has thousands of young men who fled to Syria to join the terrorist group. The mass fleeing, however, highlights the potential threat of fleeing ISIS fighters.

Returning foreign fighters to Europe are of deep concern to Western intelligence agencies, who fear some will not have renounced Jihad and will pursue terrorist operations at home. Worse, many of the fighters will have combat skills, weapons, or explosives experience which could be put to good use.

The Europe-based International Center for Counter-Terrorism noted in April 2016 that, while some foreign fighters returning to Europe may be disillusioned with the terrorist group, “others may return with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks, with reports suggesting that IS may systematically export terror cells to Europe.”

Already, the U.S. Department of State believes nearly 30 percent of european foreign fighters for the ISIS have returned to the continent. The number of European fighters who traveled to fight for ISIS is unknown, but estimates range in the thousands. U.S.-based security intelligence advisory firm, The Soufan Group (TSG), estimated that approximately 5,000 Western European fighters traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS in 2015 alone. TSG also noted that 4,700 fighters were estimated to come from the former Soviet republics.

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Here’s Where ISIS Wants New Recruits To Go, And It’s Not Syria

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country. Picture taken June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Daily Caller, by Saagar Enjeti, Sept. 13, 2017:

A recent Islamic State video calls upon would-be jihadis to join the terrorist group in the Philippines rather than the core caliphate in Syria, an NBC News analysis reveals.

The video specifically instructs any would-be travelers in the Asia-Pacific region to go to the Philippines instead of trying to travel to the core caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

“Come forth to the land of jihad. Perform hijrah. Come forth to … Marawi,” a militant instructs in the video.

ISIS fighters remain besieged in the Filipino city of Marawi, where it has mounted a months-long surprisingly robust insurgency. The battle for Marawai has displaced hundreds of thousands of residents and began during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The terrorist group frequently uses the holy month as an excuse to mount some of its deadliest operations. Dozens of Filipino soldiers have been killed in the ensuing siege.

The group’s loss of territory has caused a concerted change in the terrorist organization’s propaganda efforts, which now tell fighters to either carry out attacks in their home countries or travel to one of the group’s affiliate chapters.

ISIS also has active affiliates in Afghanistan, Egypt, and Libya, each of which command the loyalty of hundreds, if not thousands, of fighters. Many of its affiliates have been linked to high-profile attacks in their host countries and even plots against the West.

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Islamic State’s Rumiyah magazine glosses over losses to boost terrorist morale

Airstrikes targeted Islamic State positions in July after Iraqi prime minister declared “total victory” in Mosul. (Associated Press/File)

Washington Times, by Rowan Scarborough, Sept. 12, 2017:

The Islamic State is trying to buck up terrorist followers with a glowing report on killings around the globe as its home base “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria continues to crumble.

In its latest edition, the glossy online magazine Rumiyah, Islamic State’s flagship media production, ignores the shrinking base and focuses instead on the “massacring” the terrorist group is still able to foment.

“As the soldiers of the [caliphate] continue waging war on the forces or kufr [nonbelievers], we take a glimpse at a number of recent operations conducted by the mujahedeen of the Islamic State that have succeeded in expanding the territory of the [caliphate] or terrorizing, massacring and humiliating the enemies of Allah,” the magazine states.

The propaganda goes on to list what it calls successful attacks, including the Aug. 17 carnage in Barcelona, Spain, and more obscure but deadly operations. These include such targets as the Taliban and allies in Afghanistan and the Philippine military.

“These operations are merely a selection of the numerous operations that the Islamic State has conducted on various fronts across many regions over the course of the last few weeks,” says Rumiyah.

Launched last year, the magazine is published in various languages, including English, French and German, with the aim of attracting recruits from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Rumiyah is putting its best face on a deteriorating situation that has stanched the flow of fighters.

Although Rumiyah does not tell its readers, Islamic State is losing its main selling point: a self-governing caliphate.

The one-of-a-kind terrorist army has been vanquished from its Iraqi capital of Mosul and has lost the key towns of Ramadi, Fallujah and, most recently, Tal Afar. In Syria, Arab and Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. and allied air power and special operations forces, have taken a majority of the neighborhoods in Raqqa, Syria, Islamic State’s proclaimed capital. Russian-backed Syrian government forces also have recaptured large swaths of territory from the terrorist group.

As a result, much of Islamic State’s current propaganda focuses on conflicts far from its onetime Middle East stronghold.

“Lots of their propaganda content is dealing with Philippines and other territory and activity like in Afghanistan-Pakistan,” said Steven Stalinsky, who directs the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which tracks jihadi media. “Also, they are still putting out content including life-as-usual [pieces] in the caliphate. Many of their known media groups and followers on social media are expressing that they are still winning.”

Trying to inspire attacks

Even as it loses its grip on a swath of Iraq and Syria, Islamic State is still able to conduct and inspire mass-casualty attacks.

Rumiyah editors hope that that track record is sufficient to persuade followers globally to keep killing.

The headline “Military and Covert Operations” lauds the cell in Catalonia, which executed two deadly operations on a tourist-packed Barcelona street and in the nearby Spanish town of Cambrils.

“On [Aug. 17], two covert units comprised of several mujahedeen set out in a coordinated manner and targeted the gatherings of the crusaders in Spain,” the article says. “The blessed raid resulted in the killings and wounding of at least 146 citizens of the crusader coalition.”

Spanish officials put the number of victims at a fraction of the number claimed by the Islamic State propaganda organ.

In Afghanistan, Rumiyah claims that a burgeoning Islamic State has attacked the Taliban and allies and repelled counterassaults by the Afghan army. A follower assassinated a Pakistani intelligence operative, and another detonated a vehicle bomb that killed Pakistani soldiers.

The magazine claims successful strikes in July and August in the Philippines, Tunisia, Yemen, Somalia, Egyptian Sinai, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Russia.

Rumiyah makes dubious claims to back up its case, even listing an attack on an Iraqi army barracks that, rather than happening recently, occurred more than a year ago. Likewise, the intelligence officer was gunned down in 2016.

Then there is the pivotal Iraqi town of Tal Afar, a crossroads between Mosul and the Syrian border.

Rumiyah depicts Islamic State militants waging a heroic battle to keep the city first seized from Iraqi government control in June 2014.

“The soldiers of the [caliphate] for the second consecutive day repelled a crusader and Rafidi [caliphate rejectors] campaign against the city of Tal Afar, whose western and eastern axes witnessed fierce fighting,” the magazine said.

In reality, the city fell to the coalition in August.

“We are seeing steady progress and overwhelming momentum in the fight to defeat ISIS in Iraq,” U.S. Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, a command spokesman in Baghdad, told reporters on Sept. 7, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “Iraqi security forces rolled over ISIS in decisive operations in Tal Afar. The [Iraqi Security Forces] are now quickly transitioning for follow-on operations in the few remaining ISIS-held areas in Iraq.”

He added, “We are witnessing the continued degradation of a morally bankrupt terrorist fighting force whose leaders are detaching more and more often from their foot soldiers.”

Ruthless Iranian militia vows to turn against U.S. troops once Islamic State is defeated in Iraq

Photo by: Hadi Mizban
In a show of support, Iraqi Hezbollah scouts parade with a portrait of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran’s most violent proxy militia in Iraq has vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled. (Associated Press/File)

Washington Times, by Rowan Scarborough, Sept. 7, 2017:

The U.S. military is keeping a wary eye on Iran’s most violent proxy militia in Iraq, which has vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled.

With the Islamic State’s defeat in Iraq coming closer — the U.S. estimates that the once 25,000-strong terrorist group is down to a few thousand followers at most holding only pockets of resistance — the danger from the Hezbollah Brigades is fast approaching.

A commander in the Shiiite battalion, also known as Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and the largest and most ruthless Iranian-trained militia fighting in Iraq and Syria, warned Americans on Sunday that they must leave Iraq or face a new war, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.

Said the Fars headline, “Iraqi Popular Forces Warn to Target US Forces after Defeating ISIL Terrorists.”

Spokesman Jafar al-Hosseini issued a similar threat in March. His scripted messages on Beirut’s al-Mayadeen Arab-language TV station suggest the militia is not bluffing and is preparing for that day.

A military official told The Washington Times that the U.S. has plans to counter KH if it begins attacking Americans.

“Regarding the sense of Iranian malign influence, we’re trying alert NATO, the coalition, the State Department, the U.N. and the Gulf countries,” the military official said. “It’s a really big question. We’re very aware of it. We’re watching the move to post-ISIS. What the Iranians are saying is of significant concern.”

The Hezbollah Brigades of 5,000 fighters already has American blood on its hands.

Tehran organized the group in 2007 via its Quds Force, an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, to target American troops in Iraq.

Quds operatives schooled the Shiites in building improvised explosive devices and rocket systems that ultimately killed about 500 U.S. personnel, the Pentagon reported.

Analysts say Iran’s broader goal is not just the defeat of the Salafist Sunni Islamic State in Iraq but also to spread a crescent of Shiite hegemony across IraqSyria and Lebanon. Tehran finances and equips the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah.

The 2015 nuclear deal with the Obama administration provided Tehran with billions of dollars to increase the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps budget and pay various militias, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

Standing in the way is the U.S. military, which wants to maintain some force presence in Iraq and nurture a more independent Baghdad not controlled by Tehran.

“With the Iranians, clearly the goal is a pathway all the way to Lebanese Hezbollah,” the military official said.

This is why scholars such as Michael Rubin at the American Enterprise Institute say that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “has a history of saying what it means, no matter how inconvenient that might be for the wishful thinking in which so many in Washington and Europe engage.”

He added, “Iranian leaders aren’t willing to let U.S. forces stick around. They see U.S. commitment as weak, especially on the homefront, and they believe that so long as they use proxies, they can enjoy plausible deniability. After three decades of not being held to account for their actions, the Revolutionary Guards has grown cocky.”

The military official said the U.S.-led coalition’s downing of an armed drone in Syria in June shows how closely it watches Iran’s proxies. U.S. Central Command described the drone’s operators as “pro-regime.”

“Our actions speak for ourselves,” the U.S. source said. “We’ve shown that if they come even close to threatening any position, we’re going to take action in self-defense. We absolutely take it seriously.”

The official said U.S. commanders talk to the Russians about the Shiite militia activities because Russian officials “talk to people we don’t talk to.”

There is a big difference in the Iraq battlefield from what it was in 2007 and 2008. At the peak of the troop surge, over 157,000 Americans fought in Iraq, primarily against a Sunni insurgency, al Qaeda in Iraq.

Today, only about 5,000 U.S. military personnel are inside Iraq. As trainers and advisers, they maintain an arm’s length from ground combat.

“We really changed our strategy,” the official said. “The good news is there is not a lot of force presence to be targeted for that sort of thing. That makes it a little less complicated for us.”

If the Hezbollah Brigades turns from being an odd U.S. ally against the Islamic State to a direct foe, then American troops will be facing an organization so dangerous that the Obama administration added it to the official list of terrorist groups.

“Kata’ib Hezbollah is one of the biggest and most vicious and dangerous Iraqi militia and terror groups,” said Shahin Gobadi, spokesman for the Iran opposition organization People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK).

“It was one of the main Iraqi militia groups that the Quds Force dispatched to Syria to assist the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in massacring the Syrian people,” he said. “At some points, up to 2,000 of Kata’ib Hezbollah forces were sent to Syria to help Assad.”

A report by the bipartisan Counter Extremism Project states, “KH earned a reputation for planting deadly roadside bombs and using improvised rocket-assisted mortars (IRAMs) to attack U.S. and coalition forces.

“According to U.S. diplomat Ali Khedery, KH is responsible for ‘some of the most lethal attacks against U.S. and coalition forces throughout [the war.] The group is suspected of involvement in extrajudicial killings and abductions in Iraq’s Anbar province, including the May 27, 2016, abduction of more than 70 Sunni boys and men from al-Sijir, and the murder of 49 men from Saqlawiyah,” the project’s report stated.

The State Department

In June 2009, the State Department put the Hezbollah Brigades on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, calling the group “an anti-Western establishment and jihadist ideology that has conducted attacks against Iraqi, U.S. and coalition targets in Iraq.”

“KH has ideological ties to Lebanese [Hezbollah] and may have received support from that group. KH gained notoriety in 2007 with attacks on U.S. and coalition forces designed to undermine the establishment of a democratic, viable Iraqi state. KH has been responsible for numerous violent terrorist attacks since 2007, including improvised explosive device bombings, rocket propelled grenade attacks and sniper operations. In addition, KH has threatened the lives of Iraqi politicians and civilians that support the legitimate political process in Iraq,” the State Department wrote.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, who commanded troops in Iraq, said American diplomacy post-Islamic State must persuade the Iraqi government to blunt KH’s anti-American messaging in the country and make U.S. troop security a top priority.

Part of KH’s propaganda war via Iranian media is to tell Shiites falsely that the U.S. created the Islamic State and is helping it on the battlefield.

Mr. Dubik, an analyst at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, questioned whether the Trump administration is planning for a new Iraq.

“Reading between the public statements does not lead me to conclude we have a strategy beyond ‘eject ISIS,’” he said.

He said one important agreement would be to have U.S. intelligence and special operations forces working closely with Iraq’s counterterrorism squads to track Iran’s militias.

Washington must also issue a clear warning to Tehran, Mr. Dubik said, one that would “make clear our intent to expose their nefarious actions, something that at times we refused to do, and to protect our own forces.”

The Washington Times asked the joint Iraq task force if it had plans to deal with Iran-backed militias once the Islamic State is defeated, but the statement declined to specify.

“Force protection is a critical element of coalition operations. However, in order to ensure operational security, force protection and tactical surprise, we do not confirm or deny information about capabilities, force numbers, locations, or intent for future operations, in or out of Iraq and Syria. Forces are always prepared to act in self-defense and plan accordingly,” the command said.