Observations on the New Islamic State Video ‘Structure of the Caliphate’

structure of the CaliphateMEF, by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  •  Jul 6, 2016
Cross-posted from Aymennjawad.org

Readers of this blog will have known that a long-standing interest of mine has been the structure of Islamic State (IS) administration, focusing primarily on internal documents. To mark the start of Eid, IS has released via its central media outlet al-Furqan Media a video on the very subject, entitled ‘Structure of the Caliphate’. Below are some observations of mine:

1. The list of “wilayas” (provinces) of the Islamic State in the screenshot at right is particularly interesting. In total, IS counts 35 wilayas: 19 inside Iraq and Syria and 16 outside of Iraq and Syria. Most notably, despite widespread speculation of IS gearing up towards announcing a new wilaya in the Philippines and claims that IS is now operating as a wilaya in the Philippines, there is no mention of the Philippines as a wilaya. Nor is there any mention of Tunisia, Indonesia, Somalia and Bangladesh: countries where IS has also claimed operations. The last real expansion on the geographic stage on the international level was the Caucasus wilaya a year ago.

In my view, the lack of new wilaya announcements reflects an IS strategy of avoiding wilaya announcements because they lack credibility without realisation of governance and administration on the ground akin to the system in place in IS-controlled territories in Iraq and Syria. With the exception of Libya (though this too is now in doubt with the attacks on the IS stronghold of Sirte), the wilaya projects abroad have been disastrous in so far as achieving administration on the ground (Arabic: tamkeen). Internal dissent in IS (which I will discuss in a later post using some unseen internal documents) long recognized this problem, and advised against wilaya announcements and that allegiance pledges should be taken secretly. While the latter point has not been heeded, IS now seems more cautious in translating allegiance pledges into the creation of new provinces.

The term Wilayat al-Sahel (Coast Province) featured in a claim of attacks in Tartous and Jableh, but is not mentioned in this video.

In terms of other wilayas, it should be noted that Wilayat al-Bahrain (for eastern Saudi Arabia) and Wilayat al-Sahel (for the coastal areas of Tartous and Latakia in Syria) are absent, despite references to such entities in IS propaganda elsewhere.

2. The diwans, committees and offices listed in the video generally correspond to the documentary evidence I have uncovered but naming is not always consistent. For example, the office for public relations and tribes sometimes comes under the diwans designation in the documents. Likewise, the investigations and studies office has also appeared as a diwan (Diwan al-‘Eftaa wa al-Buhuth). In addition, no mention is made of the Diwan al-Wilaya or the Idarat Aama (‘General Administration’) on the more local level. Certain functions do not always come under the same diwans, and sometimes names for separate diwans come up, raising issues of how centralized administration truly is and how much autonomy wilayas have. For example, I have previously seen documents that talk of the Diwan al-‘Aqarat (“Real Estate Diwan”). There is also no mention of the General Supervisory Committee (Al-Lujna al-Aama al-Mushrifa) that has issued wider notifications to the wilayas, diwans and committees, though it appears to be the same as the Delegated Committee (Al-Lujna Al-Mufawwadha) mentioned in the video, to which more serious matters can be referred by the wali in addition to responsibilities for supervising other committees.

3. Functions of Diwans can overlap in ways not mentioned in the video. For example, the Diwan al-Hisba is well known for enforcing Islamic morality, but it can also deal with issuing temporary exit permits for residents of IS territories and Internet security regulations. Some functions are not mentioned, like the Diwan al-Rikaz’s management of activities, or that the Hijra Committee manages border crossings for temporary visitors to IS territory in places like Dabiq.

4. The media section makes no reference to Amaq News, which arguably fits in with the modus operandi of an IS “auxiliary outlet” whereby links to IS are not officially admitted, even as most observers now recognize the outlet’s real function.

5. Note the mention of the Distant Provinces Administration, whose name first emerged in leaked documents during the controversy of dissent in the Yemeni affiliates.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a research fellow at Middle East Forum’s Jihad Intelproject.

***

Here is the video (source: http://jihadology.net/2016/07/06/new-video-message-from-the-islamic-state-the-structure-of-the-caliphate/)

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Islamic State expands in Europe, Mideast, North Africa, Asia

It took just a few hours for the Islamic State group’s opportunistic propaganda machine to take responsibility for recent bloodshed in Florida and France. The Arabic text reads: “The large bill. America is paying the price.” (Associated Press)

It took just a few hours for the Islamic State group’s opportunistic propaganda machine to take responsibility for recent bloodshed in Florida and France. The Arabic text reads: “The large bill. America is paying the price.” (Associated Press)

Washington Times, by Bill Gertz, July 6, 2016:

Two years since it shifted from terrorist group to governing organization holding territory, the Islamic State is expanding to seven emerging areas of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, according to a State Department security report.

“In addition to establishing its base in Syria and Iraq, and naming official provinces in numerous countries, [the Islamic State group] has demonstrated a heightened capability to carry out and operate in the [seven] countries,” the report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council states. The council is a State Department organization that provides security support to American businesses operating overseas.

The seven new theaters of operation are Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, France, Belgium, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is active in other locations as well, but the seven locations “represent areas where there is expected to be a continued interest in operating, support networks to do so, and a likelihood for more than a one-off attack,” the report states.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in June 2014. Since then, the group has sought to establish political and military authority over the Muslim world. The Islamic State group has named “wilayats,” or provinces, of the caliphate that attracted the loyalty of a number of former al Qaeda affiliates. The terrorist group uses a centralized decision-making but a decentralized attack system under which local terrorists choose tactics and targets.

The Islamic State group “promotes an idea that the apocalypse will be brought about following a major victory in the Syrian city of Dabiq,” the report says.

“Two years after declaring their caliphate, the group has declared numerous wilayats globally, inspired several lone-wolf style attacks abroad, orchestrated complex, coordinated attacks in Europe, and maintains control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria,” the report said.

The most recent attacks included the nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, the shootings and suicide bombings at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and a massive suicide bombing in Baghdad.

The Syrian conflict, according to the report, has produced an unprecedented number of jihadis, far more than earlier Islamic conflicts in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia and Chechnya. From 2011 to 2016, between 27,000 and 31,000 foreign jihadis from 86 nations joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The foreign fighter flows came from six major states: Tunisia (6,000), Saudi Arabia (2,500), Russia (2,400), Turkey (2,100), Jordan (2,000) and France (1,700). An estimated 280 foreign fighters joined the Islamic State from North America.

The Islamic State is the most successful and active terrorist group in the use of the internet for recruitment and propaganda. But it has not shown the ability to conduct major cyberattacks despite aspirations to do so.

“Analysts agree that ISIL displays the intent to conduct cyberattacks against the energy grid, nuclear facilities, or other critical infrastructure systems, but there is currently little evidence to show that ISIL possesses this capability,” the report says.

Another unique feature of the migration is that foreign noncombatants have traveled to live under or support the Islamic State.

Despite its successes, the Islamic State, which controlled about one-third of Iraq and Syria and 9 million people at the end of 2014, lost about 22 percent of that territory by early this year, the report noted. The Islamic State is estimated to deploy 19,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, and the flow of foreign fighters appears to be on the decline, but that number could fluctuate significantly, the report said.

Key operating areas outside of Syria and Iraq include Libya, where up to 3,000 Islamic State fighters have controlled a 120-mile stretch of territory around the coastal city of Sirte. “Libya has become a regional hub for recruitment of foreign fighters, with ISIL’s Libya elements training regional operatives,” the report said.

In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Islamic State-affiliated group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has some 1,000 fighters. Another 300 Islamic State fighters are operating in Yemen, and Islamic State terrorists mainly have targeted Shiites in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia. In Africa, Boko Haram has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. In Russia’s Caucasus region, the Islamic State has the Kavkaz province, which has absorbed a number of Islamist groups. The Afghanistan affiliate is the Khorasan Province, and the Algerian affiliate is a breakaway element of al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb.

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Homeland Security Advisory Council: Covering for the Enemy Threat Doctrine

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton

America is at war and we continue to be prevented from identifying and understanding our enemies as a result of influence operations targeting our bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus.

The latest evidence of this long-standing and, unfortunately, very effective influence campaign comes from the revelation that the “Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee” of the Homeland Security Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a recommendation that urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as “jihad” and “shariah” in communications about the threats that we face….

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/homeland-security-report-calls-rejecting-terms-jihad-sharia/

This is nothing new. We have heard CIA director John Brennan reject the term “jihadist” and the State Department under Condoleezza Rice rejected the use of the term as well.

We have covered the damaging efforts by our enemies to prevent the actual correct use of the term “jihad” extensively here on Terror Trends Bulletin in the past…

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/01/13/cairs-new-disinformation-campaign-on-jihad/

But the effort to suppress even mere mention of the word “shariah” is actually much more damaging than the suppression of the word “jihad.” That’s because shariah is THE enemy threat doctrine.

To understand our enemies, their motivations, their intentions and their strategy, one must study shariah. Shariah is everything to the jihadists. It is the code that they follow and its full implementation is their goal.

Forbidding the use of the term shariah, much less suppressing study of shariah in the present conflict is the equivalent of forbidding intelligence agencies from studying Mein Kampf in World War II or the works and words of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao during the Cold War.

Anyone who would recommend that we avoid studying and talking about shariah simply must have a nefarious purpose.

By way of review, shariah is Islamic law. The terms shariah and Islamic law are completely interchangeable; they refer to exactly the same thing. Shariah is an immutable theo-political-legal-military code derived from the Islamic doctrinal trilogy, made up of the Quran, the Sirah (the biography of the prophet Mohammed) and the Hadith (traditions, sayings and stories compiled about the life of Mohammed).

Every single Jihadist terrorist group in the world–without exception–has as its stated goal the imposition of shariah: the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Lashkar e Taiba, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyah, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Al Shabaab–all of them.

So, while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be carefully avoiding the use of the term shariah, our enemies have been using it quite commonly, frequently and prominently, as if to illustrate the absurdity of the DHS recommendation.

What follows is a compilation of quotes from jihadi leaders and Al Qaeda and Islamic State documents that reveal the central importance of shariah to their movement. This is why Americans must familiarize themselves with shariah.

SHARIAH ACCORDING TO THE JIHADISTS THEMSELVES

• The sharia has forbidden us from taking infidels as confidants, inducting them into our secrets.
• The sharia forbids us from appointing infidels to important posts.
• The sharia forbids us from adopting or praising the beliefs and views of the infidels.
• The sharia forbids us from assisting infidels against Muslims; even the one who is coerced has o excuse to fight under the banner of infidels.
• The sharia commands us to battle infidels—both original infidels and apostates, as well as hypocrites. As for waging jihad against the infidels who have usurped the lands of Islam, this is a duty considered second only to faith, by ulemaic consensus.
• The sharia does not accept the excuses made by hypocrites—that they befriend the infidels because they fear the vicissitudes of time.
• We are duty-bound by the sharia to help Muslims overcome the infidels.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

Osama bin Laden sits with his adviser and purported successor Ayman al-Zawahiri during an interview in Afghanistan, Barack Obama

Democracy is based on the principle of the power of creatures over other creatures, and rejects the principle of God’s absolute power over all creatures; it is also based on the idea the men’s desires, whatever they may be, replace God absolutely, and on the refusal to obey God’s law. In Islam, when there is a disagreement or a difference of opinion, one refers to God, his Prophet, and the commands of sharia.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

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If Every ISIS Fighter Was Killed – The Global Jihad Would Roll On

isis

Understanding The Threat, by John Guandolo, April 11, 2016:

For several years after 9/11/01, the American government focused all it’s energy hunting down Al Qaeda and its leaders.  The American public was told it was in a war against Al Qaeda.  Yet today, it is as if Al Qaeda evaporated from the planet and our only adversary is ISIS.

The fact is, if every Muslim jihadi fighting for ISIS were killed today, the global Islamic jihadi Movement would not stop.

ISIS is not THE enemy.  ISIS is a part of a much larger threat to the West.  The enemy we face calls itself the Global Islamic Movement.  It is a global jihad to establish Islamic rule on the planet.

This Movement is primarily led by the International Muslim Brotherhood, but there are other parallel Islamic Movements working together.  There are many violent jihadi organizations like ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbollah, and hundreds of others battling in Iraq, Syria, Libya, parts of Africa, and elsewhere.

The leadership of the international Muslim community is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which is made up of every Islamic nation in the world at the head of state and king level.  It is the largest voting block in the United Nations.  The OIC’s stated goal is the implementation of Sharia (Islamic Law) across the world.

ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, all of the other jihadi organizations, as well as the leaders of the entire Islamic world have the same objective:  the establishment of a Caliphate under Sharia.  Each facet uses a different avenue to the same objective.

A Caliphate under sharia is also the objective of Islam as defined in all Islamic Law (Sharia) which comes from the Quran and the example of the prophet Mohammad.

When the West collectively decides to understand the threat as it truly is, we will have the clear ability to strategize a war plan to defeat it.

Report: 31,000 Islamic State Women Pregnant with Jihadi Babies

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by MARY CHASTAIN, March, 7, 2016:

A report claims that Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists have impregnated 31,000 women and girls inside their Caliphate.

The Quilliam Foundation, a UK think tank, released its Children of Islamic State report on Monday.

“That 31,000 women are pregnant in the ‘caliphate’ is very worrying indeed,” stated senior researcher Nikita Malik. “It is imperative that the international community takes a proactive rather than a reactive approach when focusing on these children.”

The Islamic State has used social media to recruit women to help it populate its Caliphate since invading Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014. Many of the women come from the UK, Australia, and the United States.

“ISIS is recruiting these women in order to be baby factories,” Mia Bloom of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell said in September 2014. “They are seeing the establishment of an Islamic state and now they need to populate the state.”

Other women openly volunteer to engage in jihad al-nikah, or sexual jihad, with the ISIS fighters. The terrorists assure the women that premarital sex is acceptable because sexual jihad is a legitimate form of holy war. Malaysian authorities believe more than 50 Malaysians are with ISIS, many women.

“These women are believed to have offered themselves in sexual comfort roles to Isis fighters who are attempting to establish Islamic rule in the Middle East,” said one source in Malaysia, adding, “This concept may seem controversial but it has arisen as certain Muslim women here are showing sympathy for the Isis struggle.”

In Raqqa, Syria, the terrorists created a marriage center where women register to become a wife for a jihadist. The jihadists also force women in the conquered towns into these positions against their will. Jihadists kidnap married and unmarried women and force them into sex slavery.

The terrorists then use the resulting children in their efforts to spread terror and murder. They place the children in front during public executions, including stonings, crucifixions, and beheadings.

“Children not only get desensitised to violence, but they also deem these practices as normal, and eventually defend them,” continues the report. “Children have been seen accompanying prisoners to their death and, in one example, distributing knives to adults before a mass beheading.”

ISIS terrorists have released pictures of their children in the past. One image published online showed a baby surrounded by grenades and Kalashnikov rifles. Another displayed a one-year-old with a Kalashnikov rifle in his lap.

“Firstly, children are a completely blank slate and so don’t have the cognitive abilities or the adult decision-making processes, so they can be manipulated because they are vulnerable to do all kinds of things,” said Malik. “The families play a key role in doing this as well. Mothers play a key role: they read story books on martyrdom to their children at night. The families are teaching them what is right and wrong. This purity angle is very interesting.”

The Islamic State then enrolls these children, some as young as six, into training camps. One video, titled “School of Jihad,” shows children learning how to behead and torture “infidels” and handle weapons.

The group also released a video in August 2014 with Omar al-Shishani, a prominent Chechen leader in the Islamic State. One of the oldest kids shows his ability to quickly take apart the gun, reattach it, and load the ammunition. After that, the kids hide behind a wall and perform a mock military exercise for al-Shishani.

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Toronto Star: The Islamic State has no connection to Islam; just a “criminal gang”

Muslim mujahideen of the Islamic State. Photo: screenshot ISIS video

Muslim mujahideen of the Islamic State. Photo: screenshot ISIS video

CIJ News, by Jonathan D. Halevi, March 4, 2016:

The Toronto Star has decided to use the Arabic word Daesh as an alternative to the Islamic State, a.k.a the Caliphate, IS, ISIS and ISIL.

Daesh (داعش) is the Arabic acronym of the al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), the original name of a group which split off from Qaeda. Later in 2014 its name was changed to the Islamic State or the Caliphate.

The Toronto Star favored the old long name to be used in the news reports of the paper effective of March 3, 2016.

Michael Cooke, Toronto Star’s editor-in-chief, described the Islamic State/ Caliphate/ Daesh as “multinational gang of killers and rapists” who “have no legitimacy as a state” explaining that the “name change helps emphasize that.”

Olivia Ward, Toronto Star’s Foreign Affairs Reporter, elaborated on the new policy: “That’s because the criminal gang that has murdered, raped and pillaged its way across the Middle East, while sending sycophants to slaughter civilians abroad, is neither Islamic nor an internationally recognized state.”

The Star’s position which denies any connection between the Islamic State to Islam goes in line with the official policy of the Liberal government.

John McKay, parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan told CBC’s Power and Politics that Minister Sajjan considers ISIS as “kind of criminal enterprise” requiring, in his words, “significant changes” to how the government will approach a new mission.

“You have to look at what the core issues are, and that this is, in fact, basically a criminal organization with a religious veneer on it”, said McKay.

It is worth noting that since winning the elections the Liberals have issued six statement condemning terrorist attacks carried out by two major global Islamic terrorist organizations – ISIS and al-Qaeda – but in all six statements the word “Islamic” is absent, and neither the Islamic motivation behind the attacks nor the name of the terrorist organizations which claimed responsibility for the attacks is mentioned.

On November 13, 2015, Sajjan also told the CBC that Canadians have no reason to fear ISIS and suggested that before ISIS ballooned into a global monstrosity, Western powers could have dealt with it “diplomatically”. However, according to CSIS and RCMP, more than 140 Canadians were involved in terrorist activities abroad and 80 have returned to Canada. Each one comprises a potential threat to the country’s national security.

Bonnie Crombie (Liberal), the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario the sixth biggest city in Canada, espouses the same position.

Attending a vigil service at the City of Mississauga’s Celebration Square commemorating the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris on November 15, Mayor Crombie, a prominent member of the Liberal Party, said among other things the following:

“The heinous acts of terror that have been perpetrated against our fellow human beings in these countries are beyond comprehension because those who committed these vile crimes – who so thoughtlessly and cavalierly took the lives of so many innocent people – are not human.

“They have lost their humanity. Their actions are pure evil… To try to understand their motives is futile because their motives are pure and unmitigated evil. These criminals are not motivated by any recognizable religion, but by a perverse view of the world. This is not religion. This is hate. We must recognize this in order to retain our own humanity.”

ISIS’ claim of responsibility of Paris attacks emphasizes its Islamic motivation

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent

Allah (ta’ala) said, They thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah but Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision [Al-Hashr:2].

“In a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah, a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate (may Allah strengthen and support it) set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe — Paris. This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of His religion, His Prophet (blessing and peace be upon him), and His allies. They did so in spite of His enemies. Thus, they were truthful with Allah — we consider them so — and Allah granted victory upon their hands and cast terror into the hearts of the crusaders in their very own homeland.

“And so eight brothers equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the center of the capital of France. These targets included the Stade de France stadium during a soccer match — between the teams of Germany and France, both of which are crusader nations — attended by the imbecile of France (Francois Hollande). The targets included the Bataclan theatre for exhibitions, where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice. There were also simultaneous attacks on other targets in the tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth districts, and elsewhere. Paris was thereby shaken beneath the crusaders’ feet, who were constricted by its streets. The result of the attacks was the deaths of no less than two hundred crusaders and the wounding of even more. All praise, grace, and favor belong to Allah.

“Allah blessed our brothers and granted them what they desired. They detonated their explosive belts in the masses of the disbelievers after finishing all their ammunition. We ask Allah to accept them amongst the martyrs and to allow us to follow them.

“Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets, which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris. Indeed, this is just the beginning. It is also a warning for any who wish to take heed.

Allah is the greatest.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is co-founder and editor of CIJ news and a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is also a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.

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The Strategic Threat of Islamic State Child-Fighters

9343By Brian Fairchild, February 25, 2016

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

  • The Islamic State regards its child-fighters as central to its grand strategy because they constitute the caliphate’s next generation, and it operates an extensive educational/training infrastructure that routinely produces them. Child-fighters are deployed as equals to adult fighters and assigned missions as suicide bombers, combatants, and as cold-blooded executioners.  Their participation in violent operations is accelerating, and they will increasingly confront coalition forces on the battlefield, as well as on American soil in terrorist operations.  They constitute one of America’s least understood strategic threats, but the U.S. is currently ill-prepared to deal with them.

On February 9, 2016, the US Director of National Intelligence testified before congress that the number of foreign fighters flocking to Syria and Iraq in the past few years is “without precedent”, reaching over 38,200 from 120 nations, including, at least, 6,900 from Western countries.  This explosion is both alarming and historic.  Western European leaders in particular were stunned by the November 2015 attacks in Paris, and they fear the worst is yet to come – intelligence indicates that the Islamic State is currently planning simultaneous attacks against several European cities.

But the explosion of foreign fighters tells only part of the story.  There has also been a qualitative change in their character – they are more ideologically extreme, and much more brutal than the jihadists of al Qaeda.  Because of the Islamic State’s (IS) widely disseminated propaganda of beheadings, crucifixions, rape, torture, the revival of slavery, and the inhumane execution of prisoners, there can be no doubt that, even before they leave home, the thousands of radicalized Western Muslims that continue to flood into the Islamic State do so fully understanding and embracing its barbaric ideology and actions.

Of particular note, and the subject of this analysis, is that the Islamic State has intentionally and strategically focused its barbaric ideology on the most impressionable and vulnerable segments of its ever expanding population – its children, who constitute one of America’s least understood strategic threatsThe evidence indicates that the number of pre-teen and early-teen child-fighters involved in combat and violent attacks is increasing.

NOTE:  This report uses the time-tested intelligence analysis format of Facts, Findings, and Forecast.  It will provide relevant facts from primary sources and then make general findings from those facts.  Finally, it will forecast likely future strategic developments based on these facts and findings. 

FACTS:

Islamic State strategy regarding child-fighters:

The Islamic State uses child-fighters as a fundamental part of its grand strategy.  In the 12th issue of its official Dabiq magazine, the Islamic State revealed, for the first time, that a strategic document titled Management of Savagery:  The Most Critical Stage through Which the Umma Will Pass “describes very precisely the overall strategy” that it has followed for over a decade.  Indeed, it gives this strategic guide high praise stating that when its revered leader, Abu Musab az-Zarqawi read it, he commented – “It is as if the author knows what I’m planning.”[1] 

Management of Savagery, published in 2004 specifically to provide salafi jihadis with a strategic guide on how to successfully create a new Islamic caliphate, emphasizes that training Muslim youth in sharia law and military skill is one of the most important strategic goals for the jihad.  So important, in fact, that it ranks fifth out of 12 key requirements it must accomplish to establish the caliphate.  Indeed, the fifth requirement emphasizes the importance of:   

  • Raising the level of faith and combat efficiency during the training of the youth of the regionand establishing a fighting society at all levels and among all individuals by means of making them aware of its importance.”

Management of Savagery insists that brutal violence against enemies must be constantly used, and that the education of Muslim youth must not be confined to the classroom, but that the caliphate’s next generation of leaders and fighters must be taught in the furnace and brutality of war, declaring:

  • Active jihad is the greatest means of educating the MuslimsBy its means, true leaders will be brought forth… That is because speaking on the pulpit is easy and in the newspaper even easier and in books even easier than that. As for having (one’s) home destroyed and one’s family made homeless and one’s mother and sister torn to pieces, only the most extraordinary men are capable of (bearing) that.  Great leaders and hardened troops will not come forth save in an atmosphere like this.”[2]

Proof that the Islamic State has followed this strategic guidance is found in its own statements and videos, as well as in the reporting of journalists, the United Nations, and NGOs (Non-governmental organizations).

For example, the Islamic State has explicitly echoed much of the Management of Savagery’s guidance in its article The Lions of Tomorrow, which appeared in the March 2015 issue of Dabiq magazine, in which it said:

  • “…there is a new generation waiting in the wings, eagerly anticipating the day that it is called upon to take up the banner of īmān. These are the children of the Ummah of jihad…The Islamic State has taken it upon itself to fulfill the Ummah’s duty towards this generation in preparing it to face the crusaders and their allies in defense of Islam and to raise high the word of Allah in every land. It has established institutes for these ashbāl (lion cubs) to train and hone their military skills, and to teach them the book of Allah…”[3]

Islamic State Educational Infrastructure:

The militarization of pre-teens and early teens is also well documented by journalists, the United Nations, and Non-Governmental Organizations:

  • A new study conducted by Georgia State University researchers and published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, reveals that the Islamic State employs child soldiers in a uniquely different way than child soldiers were used in African conflicts where they were coerced into service and used as fodder. The Islamic State does not recruit children out of desperation to replace lost adult fighters, but treats them as equals “fighting alongside, rather than in lieu of, adult males and their respective patterns of involvement closely reflect one another”.  Highlighting their fundamental value as the caliphate’s next generation, the study concludes that the Islamic State:
  • “…is integrating children into its project in a way that is more reminiscent of a state than a non-state actor. It’s thinking with the long term in mind. It’s not just bringing children into its ranks and using them immediately on the battlefield. What it’s doing is bringing them in, indoctrinating them, training them, spending a lot of time instilling them with jihadist ideology.”
  • Children are so important to the future of the Islamic State that in every location it rules, one of its first actions is to establish a system to indoctrinate them. According to a local teacher, after it took control of Deir az-Zor, Syria, the Islamic State shut down schools until all teachers could be re-educated according to its religious and ideological doctrine, and the curriculum could be radically adjusted.  When the schools re-opened, gone were chemistry, physics, philosophy, the social sciences and math, replaced by courses on Islamic law, the biography of the Prophet Muhammad, biographies of Islamic leaders, and English translations of the Qur’an and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet).
  • The June 2014 Human Rights Watch research paper “Maybe We Live, and Maybe We Die” revealed that “both children and adults who fought with ISIS consistently reported seeing children 13 years old or younger undergoing the same training and performing the same military duties as adults.”
  • During the period of July to September 2014, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq received confirmed reports that children as young as 12 or 13 received military training.
  • Yet another UN report described a school in Raqqa that trains over 350 boys between the ages of 5 and 16 “for combat roles”. This report emphasized that the Islamic State systematically uses education as a tool of indoctrination to ensure that the children grow up to be its loyal next generation, and it highlighted the fact that “children are gathered for screenings of videos depicting mass executions of Government soldiers, desensitizing them to extreme violence”.

Islamic State child-fighters are increasingly involved in violent attacks:

Islamic State schools and training centers are succeeding as a production line for fighters.  Rising statistics show that once child-fighters are indoctrinated with jihadist ideology, they kill for the caliphate.  From January 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016, at least 89 child-fighters died while fighting in battles, and sixty-six percent of them were between 8-16 years old.[4]

Worse, their participation in violent operations is accelerating:

  • On a month-by-month basis, the rate of young people dying in suicide operations rose, from six in January 2015 to 11 in January 2016. The rate of operations involving one or more child or youth is likewise increasing; there were three times as many suicide operations involving children and youth in January 2016 as the previous January (2015).”[5]

Child-fighter Executioners:

In a phenomenon unique to the Islamic State, it has specifically groomed pre-teen and early teens to be cold-blooded executioners:

  • In March 2015, Islamic State videos highlighted two non-Arab boys estimated to be under 11, executing kneeling prisoners by shooting them in the back of the head. This execution was featured in the article The Lions of Tomorrow that appeared in issue 8th issue of Dabiq magazine:
  • It is these young lions to whom the Islamic State recently handed over two agents caught spying for Russian Intelligence and an agent caught spying for the Israeli Mossad, to be executed and displayed as an example to anyone else thinking of infiltrating the mujāhidīnAs expected, the kuffār were up in arms about the Khilāfah’s use of “child soldiers.”[6]
  • In a May 4, 2015 video a Caucasian boy of 14 is shown calmly selecting and loading a 9mm handgun and then executing a kneeling prisoner. Afterwards, he makes a statement vowing terror attacks around the world.
  • In mid-July 2015, an Islamic State video highlighted a boy of no more than ten years old beheading an Islamic State prisoner.
  • On February 6, 2016, the Islamic State released a video of an English-speaking boy around 10 years old beheading a prisoner and threatening the United States.
  • On February 10, 2016, the Islamic State released a video of a four year old boy, pressing the detonator button to blow-up Islamic State prisoners handcuffed inside a car. The boy, Isa Dare, is the son of a radical mother who emigrated from Britain to Syria with Isa in 2012.

Child-fighter combatants:

  • In January 2015, an 11 year old suicide bomber named Abu Imara al Omri drove a truck laden with explosives into a group of Syrian soldiers in the town of Ghazi.
  • In early July 2015, the Islamic State celebrated a 14 year old suicide bomber by the name of Omar Hadid al-Muhammadi who killed 50 Kurdish militants in northern Syria by driving a truck filled with explosives into a military checkpoint.
  • In October 2014, Islamic State twitter accounts praised their youngest “martyr”, a 10 year old boy who was killed by coalition air strikes in Syria while fighting alongside his jihadi father.
  • In March 2015, a 13 year old French boy was described as the youngest French “martyr” when he was killed while on patrol at an Islamic State border post in Western Syria near the city of Homs.
  • In August 2014, a news article highlighted a young radical fighter named Younes Abaaoud, the 13 year old brother of Abdelhamid Abaaoud who was the Belgian ring leader of the November 2015 Paris attacks, who smiles for the camera as he holds his right index finger aloft while holding an AK-47 in his left hand.
  • In November 2014, a video documents two French boys that look younger than 10, brandishing weapons and speaking fluent French telling other children “Over there, you’re in a country of infidels. Here, we’re mujahedeen. We’re in Syria, we’re in Raqqa here. It’s war here”.

Child-fighter lone wolves:

  • In the November 18, 2015 issue of Dabiq magazine, the Islamic State lauded young jihadis for conducting attacks in their countries, specifically praising their youth and inexperience:
    • “They did not use a younger age or lack of training as an excuse to be mere bystanders. They sacrificed their souls in the noblest of deeds in pursuit of Allah’s pleasure…Amongst these brave knights of tawhīd and jihad was fifteen-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, who on “2 October 2015” struck the crusaders of Australia and killed one of their personnel…”
  • In October 2015, Australian police revealed that a 12-year-old boy is suspected of helping Farhad Jabar attack the police officers in Australia.
  • On April 23, 2015, British police arrested a 14 year old boy and charged him with 2 counts of inciting a person to commit an act of terrorism overseas. The boy, inspired by the Islamic State, was taken into custody after encouraging an attack against police officers in Australia.   It was through the boy’s online communications with two 18 year olds in Australia that police uncovered an active plot by the two Aussie teenagers to run over a police officer with an automobile after which they would finish him off with knives, and then take his gun and go on a shooting spree.
  • On May 27, 2015, A 14-year-old boy from Austria plead guilty to terrorism charges and was sentenced to a two year jail term for downloading bomb-making plans onto his PlayStation and for contacting Islamic State militants in Syria.
  • On April 5, 2015, British anti-terrorist police arrested a 14 year old boy who was preparing for an act of terrorism on behalf of the Islamic State.

FINDINGS:

  • The Islamic State’s strategic guide (Management of Savagery), as well as its declarations and actions reveal that it develops child-fighters as an essential part of its grand strategy designed to produce the caliphate’s next generation of “great leaders and hardened troops”.
  • The Islamic State asserts that its child-fighters are religiously sanctioned. It explains in the Lions of Tomorrow, that today’s child-fighters are no different than the child-fighters that fought for the prophet Muhammad in Islam’s very first caliphate:  (NOTE:  Translations in parentheses were added by author for clarity) :
  • “As expected, the kuffār (infidels) were up in arms about the Khilāfah’s (Caliphate’s) use of “child soldiers.” Yet this was the Sunnah (teachings, deeds, and sayings) of Allah’s Messenger (the prophet Muhammad)…who would allow those capable from amongst the young Sahābah (Muhammad’s companions) to participate in his battles against the mushrikin (polytheists)… And just as the children of the Sahābah stained their swords with the blood of yesterday’s tāghūt (tyrant)…so too will the children of the Khilāfah stain their bullets with the blood of today’s tawāghīt (tyrants)…”
  • Under Islamic State rule the indoctrination of youth is routinely carried-out via an extensive educational/training infrastructure that successfully produces child-fighters who are deployed in the same manner as adult fighters: They fight and die side-by-side with their adult counterparts as suicide bombers, combatants, and executioners.
  • During the first year of the caliphate, all Islamic State executioners were adult males. But, in March 2015, the Islamic State embarked on a calculated program to highlight pre-teen and early-teen executioners.  This did not occur by happenstance, but because the caliphate finds unique value in using child-fighters in this role to terrorize its enemies, and to use as propaganda to recruit additional children.
  • The Islamic State undoubtedly employs a selection process to identify child-fighters who are religiously, ideologically, and physically able to participate in higher level operations. Participating in executions to demonstrate their commitment and loyalty is likely part of this process.  Indications are that this selection process was also used to select the fighters who conducted the Paris attacks.  This was revealed when an Islamic State video, released after the attacks, highlighted the fact that all of the Paris attackers had previously executed prisoners.
  • The Islamic State actively and successfully encourages young radical Muslims around the world to conduct lone wolf attacks in their countries by expending enormous resources to propagandize, radicalize, and recruit them. It is estimated that the Islamic State and its supporters produce 90,000 messages on social media each day.
  • Islamic State child-fighters are not limited by nationality and race to only Arab children from Iraq and Syria, but they hail from numerous countries, including: Tunisia, Tajikistan, Morocco, Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Libya, Lebanon, France, Australia, Britain, Belgium, and Austria.

FORECASTS:

  • Because the Islamic State regards child-fighters as its next generation, it will continue to indoctrinate and use them operationally throughout the areas it controls as long as the caliphate remains. The fact that these child-fighters are purposely groomed to take on the mantle of leadership in an environment where death and brutality are routine ensures the continuation of violent jihad for, at least, the next 25 years.
  • Islamic State child-fighters will increasingly confront coalition forces on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria and all the other areas the Islamic State controls (i.e. Libya, Nigeria, Yemen), as well as in terror operations in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Inevitably, child-fighters will be used in terror operations in the United States. When this occurs, the Islamic State will likely maximize the propaganda value of these operations by ensuring that they are as brutal and horrific as possible.
  • The United States is particularly vulnerable to attacks by Islamic State child-fighters because they are generally not considered to be threats, and they can easily enter the United States, either documented as the children of adult travelers, or via human smuggling networks. Once in-country they can easily be hidden in plain site by support networks and can carry-out their operational tasks unmolested.
  • Because they have not heretofore been considered threats, there are currently no intelligence or law enforcement mechanisms, databases, or operations to track or neutralize child-fighters.
  • The U.S. legal system is not designed to deal with cold-blooded pre-teen and early-teen suicide bombers and combatants. S. law currently protects all children under the age of 18 “minors” who cannot be given the death penalty in murder cases, and who must be afforded special legal considerations such as having a parent present during questioning, and serving prison time in juvenile facilities.  As confrontation with child-fighters increases in the near future, new legal mechanisms will have to be created to deal with this new threat.

Brian Fairchild was a career officer in CIA’s Clandestine Service.  He has served in Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, and Afghanistan.  Mr. Fairchild writes periodic intelligence analyses on topics of strategic importance.

[1] The Revival of Jihad in Bengal, Dabiq Magazine, Issue 12, November 2015, footnote 2, page 39.

[2] The Management of Savagery:  The Most Critical Stage through Which the Umma Will Pass, published online in 2004, Abu Bakr Naji, p. 58.

[3] The Lions of Tomorrow, Islamic State, Dabiq magazine, Issue 8, March 30, 2015, pgs. 20-21.

[4] Depictions of Children and Youth in the Islamic State’s Martyrdom Propaganda, 2015-2016, Mia Bloom, John Horgan, and Charlie Winter, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, CTCSentinel, February 2016, Vol 9, Issue 2, pgs. 29-32

[5] Depictions of Children and Youth in the Islamic State’s Martyrdom Propaganda, pg. 31

[6] Lions of Tomorrow, pg. 20

Radical Canadian Imam: “Rome Will Be Conquered”

by IPT News  •  Feb 23, 2016

A radical Canadian imam called for Muslims to “look forward” as “Rome will be conquered,” in a Friday sermon posted on the Internet on Feb. 16 and translated by the Middle East Monitoring Research Institute (MEMRI).

“The prophecies of the Prophet Muhammad came true. But some prophecies have not come true yet. Look forward to it, because the Prophet Muhammad said that Rome would be conquered! It will be conquered,” preached Imam Shaban Sherif Mady.

Mady, based in Edmonton, also spoke of restoring the “rightly-guided” Islamic Caliphate.

His reference to conquering Rome mirrors a similar call by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills,” Baghdadi preached in an attempt to garner more recruits to ISIS.

Mady’s Facebook page reveals the extent of his radicalism, boasting a cover photo featuring Muslim Brotherhood leaders including ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

1360In one photo, Mady is shown signalling the infamous Muslim Brotherhood four-fingered salute.

On Tuesday, Mady shared a Hamas propaganda video on his Facebook page depicting terrorists sniping and killing Israeli soldiers, issuing threats to Israelis in Hebrew and Arabic. Mady captioned the video by writing: “Qassam (Hamas’ terrorist wing), the earth’s best soldiers.”

1361Moreover, on Feb. 13, Mady posted photos of Hamas terrorists celebrating “the martyrdom of Imam Hassan al Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) translation.

A day later, Mady shared a gruesome video of a wounded woman and called for the destruction of Israel.

“Israel is a terrorist state, in its government and people…The Intifada continues until we restore all of free Palestine…And Jerusalem is the capital of righteous Islamic Caliphate,” Mady wrote in the caption accompanying the video.

Mady was a scholar at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University and served with the Egyptian Ministry of Education. He is now an imam in Edmonton and has preached extremely radical Friday sermons in the past to his Muslim congregation in Edmonton, reports CIJ News.

He recently praised Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for welcoming Muslim refugees, but also called on Allah to destroy enemies of the faith:

“Why (was the Muslim Brotherhood movement was designated as) a terrorist organization? Because it calls for the return of the Caliphate (Islamic State). If so, I’m an operative of the Muslim Brotherhood, I’m a terrorist… (O Allah) to those who want to harm Islam and the Muslims, make their animosity annihilate themselves, make them kill themselves, destroy them completely, annihilate them all, like you did to the peoples of A’d and Thamoud…O Allah, support all mujahideen in any place around the globe.”

ISIS: The Latest Phase of the Jihad

Hoover Institution’s Strategika, by Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 5, 2016:

The best way to understand the Islamic State (ISIS) is to see it as the next phase of al-Qaeda. All Sunni Islamic jihadi groups—Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, even Hamas—share the same motivations based on a literal and orthodox reading of Islamic history and doctrine: resurrecting a caliphate (which existed in various forms from 632 to 1924) that implements and spreads the totality of sharia, or Islamic law.

ggAccordingly, ISIS’s notorious atrocities—beheading, crucifixion, sexual enslavement, and destruction of non-Sunni places of worship—are being committed by other jihadi groups (e.g., Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, both of which pledged allegiance to ISIS) and even by some Muslim governments (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and individual Muslims around the world.

Conversely, although al-Qaeda (AQ) adheres to the same sharia that ISIS implements, it has long waged a propaganda war against the West. AQ portrays all terrorist attacks on the West, including 9/11, as mere payback for the West’s unjust polices against Muslims, including support for Israel and Arab dictators.[1]

To maintain this “grievance” narrative, AQ knows that the innately supremacist and violent aspects of sharia—for example ISIS’ destruction of churches and subjugation of “infidel” Christian minorities—need to be curtailed or hidden from the Western world.  Otherwise AQ’s efforts of portraying jihadis as “freedom fighters” resisting an oppressive West risk being undermined.[2]

Regardless, AQ’s strategy of turning Western opinion appears to have borne fruit in one pivotal area: canceling longtime Western support for secular Arab dictators. In the context of the “Arab Spring,” the Obama administration turned its back on America’s Egyptian ally of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak; helped ISIS-affiliated jihadis overthrow Libya’s Gaddafi (even though he was complying with Washington); and continues supporting ISIS-affiliated “moderates”[3] to overthrow Syria’s Assad. Idealists in both government and media forgot a primary reason the U.S. had formerly supported secular Arab dictators: they single-mindedly opposed the jihadis.

The result has been a new and emboldened phase of the jihad, a.k.a., ISIS. Born and entrenched in precisely those nations that U.S. leadership brought “freedom and democracy” to—Iraq, Syria, and Libya—ISIS (or al-Qaeda 2.0) is now indifferent to Western opinion. By widely broadcasting its savage triumphalism in the name of Islam, ISIS forfeits the “grievance card” but plays the “strength” card, thus inspiring millions of Muslims. According to the Pew Research Center, in 11 countries alone, at least 63 million and as many as 287 million Muslims support ISIS.[4]

Yet even ISIS works in stages. When criticized by Muslims for killing fellow Muslims and not attacking Israel—the supreme enemy—ISIS responded by saying it was following the pattern of the historic caliphate founded in 632.[5] Then, Caliph Abu Bakr beheaded and crucified tens of thousands of Muslims for apostatizing. Only after the rebel tribes were brought back into the fold of Islam were they set loose to conquer European/Christian territories during history’s early Muslim conquests (634–750). Indeed, it is believed that ISIS’ caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took this name to signify his focus, that is, terrorizing all “hypocrites” and “apostates” until they unify under the caliphate’s banner.

It still remains to be seen whether ISIS’ strategy—inspiring Muslims but losing Western opinion—will succeed. According to polls, “Islamophobia” is on the rise in the West, especially after the rise of ISIS, prompting several politicians to speak more candidly about the catalysts for terrorist violence.

The Obama administration’s weak responses feed into AQ’s narrative that Islamic terrorism at least in part reflects Islamic grievance; and it refuses to connect the actions of any jihadi organization—whether ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, et al—to Islamic teaching.

Time will tell whether the next administration will remain willfully ignorant of the nature of its jihadi enemy—which is fatal in war according to Sun Tzu’s ancient dictum, “know your enemy”—or whether reality will trump political correctness.

[1] See “An Analysis of Al-Qa’ida’s Worldview: Reciprocal Treatment or Religious Obligation?” Also, The Al Qaeda Reader, which separates the organization’s communiqués into two groups: “Propaganda” messages to the West portraying jihadi terrorists as mere freedom fighters, and “Theology” messages to fellow Muslims, preaching the same Islam of ISIS.

[2] See “Al-Qaeda: Defender of Christians?” for a more elaborate explanation of this theme.

[3] For the Syrian Free Army’s role: “Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria Ignored.”

[4]Pew poll: Between 63 million and 287 million ISIS supporters in just 11 countries.”

[5]New Islamic Caliphate Declares Jihad on … Muslims.”

Dutch Intelligence Report Exposes Horrors of Daily Life Under ISIS

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
February 4, 2016

1349When the leaders of ISIS declared the caliphate of the Islamic State in June 2014, the world already had a strong idea of who they were: a jihadist group so violent, so barbaric, so extreme, that even al-Qaida, with whom they had once been affiliated, wanted nothing more to do with them.

But as the world soon learned, it would get even worse.

The founding of the Islamic State brought some of the most inhumane violence of modern civilization: captives held in cages and burned alive; beheadings captured on video and broadcast on the Internet; mass enslavement and rape of non-Muslim women; and the genocide of Iraq’s Yazidi tribe.

Coupled with this has been a perverse propaganda campaign that makes the Caliphate look like a teenage summer camp, aimed at recruiting Westerners to join the jihad and enjoy life in their idyllic, Allah-blessed commune-on-the-sea. And for thousands of Western Muslims, it has worked, either by inducing them to make the journey, or hijrah, to Syria and Iraq, or by motivating them to carry out terrorist attacks on Western towns and cities.

This is what we know.

What we have not known has been the reality of life in the Islamic State, including the social order, the availability of housing and health care and other basic necessities and the treatment of women and children.

A new report by the Dutch Intelligence Service (AIVD) now shines a spotlight into the heart of the Islamic State, its workings, and the psychology of its leaders. The picture it paints is no less terrifying than one might expect, a society increasingly paranoid and totalitarian, devoid of human empathy, lacking in the most vital resources, and yet somehow, still surviving through a combination of propaganda, lies, oppression, violence, and the profound power of delusion.

It is that delusion which seems most apparent in the AIVD report: the myth of a life of comfort and companionship and a coziness with God that ISIS’s propaganda promulgates, promotes, and perpetuates on social media; the delusion of those who manage to equate murder and enslavement with religious duty and moral good; and those delusions with which ISIS leaders fill the minds of children raised in their domain – and so, build and secure the future of their narrative and their jihad.

“Violence is inherent to ISIS,” the report says. “On a daily basis, it is practiced, glorified, and preached.” Through that violence has emerged a state (such as it is) that is at once overbearing, tyrannical, and powerful and yet, at its core, vulnerable, fragile, and afraid.

Following are highlights of the AIVD report, which was compiled on the basis of 18 months of research.

DAILY LIFE

While many Westerners make hijrah not to fight, per se, but for the glory of living in a true Muslim state, the reality that greets them is not what they likely anticipate, the AIVD reveals. Constant bombardments from Assad troops, allied forces, and Russia mean that every day is lived in perpetual fear and danger. The trauma this brings to children, especially, and particularly those who travel to the caliphate with their parents from the West, is incalculable.

Moreover, despite photographs ISIS distributes on the Internet of houses with exquisite views and happy families, most homes are in disrepair. There are food shortages. Medical care is as minimal as one might expect in a war zone that receives no legal imports or medicines, where there are excruciatingly few doctors or nurses, and daily streams of wounded. Electricity is also scarce; most homes can rely on only an hour or two of power every day.

And while all men receive a state salary (with supplements for wives and children), those salaries were recently halved – an unwelcome development for Caliphate citizens at a time when oil income has fallen and prices for basic necessities, especially food, skyrocket.

MEN

Men and women are separated on arrival, according to the AIVD. Men are required to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph, before being interrogated to ensure they aren’t spies. They are then sent into military training. Though not all men sign up to fight, all must be prepared to join the battle if called upon and participate actively “in ISIS-led executions, torture, and rape.”

From here, they are generally able to select their own roles, be it as marketing advisers, bus drivers, doctors, or warriors. Some, however, are assigned roles. Reports the AIVD, “specifically-selected men can be trained by ISIS and sent back to stage attacks in Europe.”

WOMEN

While many women make hijrah with the idea of joining in battle, in actuality women are forbidden to participate in what is viewed as men’s work. They also cannot work closely with men who are not family, a law that further bars them from the battlefield.

They have their own parts to play in the Caliphate, the most important of which is childbearing: as many and as fast as possible. Reports the AIVD, “Mothers are [then] required to raise their sons to be ISIS fighters. Daughters, for their part, are to marry fighters and, with the same purpose as their own mothers, to bear children.”

In addition, women can play an active role in recruiting, largely through social media. Others join the all-women Al-Khansaa brigade, which enforces sharia law as it applies to women, be it their manner of dress or their public behavior. “If a woman is apprehended by the brigade and convicted, then another woman carries out the punishment,” the AIVD report explains. “Hence even Western women who have joined Al-Khansaa will execute the lashings of women who have, according to ISIS, violated rules and boundaries.”

CHILDREN

It is the children, however, who suffer most in the Islamic State – children whose lives are made of daily confrontations with death and agony and fear. Nonetheless, shockingly more and more Western families are making their way to ISIS territory with their children, or with pregnant mothers wishing to give birth there. And then there are the children born not just to ISIS brides, but to rape victims and sexual slaves such as the Yazidis.

But where most boys of 7- or 8 years of age may go on fishing trips with their fathers or play soccer in local parks, these frequently are brought to observe public executions and beatings. Parents may pose their child with the head of a beheaded enemy. At school, they learn English, Arabic, and the tenets of ISIS doctrine alongside lessons in the use of firearms and “execution practice.” By the age of 9, girls are expected to cover themselves in public, while their male schoolmates are ushered off to training camps to learn to fight.

“Children take an increasingly frequent role in ISIS propaganda,” states the report. “In various execution videos made by the group in the first half of 2015, boys between the ages of ten and twelve served as executioner, shooting or beheading prisoners. The use of children in propaganda fits the strategy of ISIS, which largely hopes to use media images to shock and so, gain attention. Through this propaganda, which is often picked up by regular mass media, it becomes clear that parents who travel to the ISIS territory have a fully realistic view of what awaits their children when they get there.”

The Overview

Increasingly, it appears that life in the Caliphate is becoming tougher. A growing paranoia and fear that disillusioned fighters might leave and counter their propaganda with the truth – not to mention a concern about spies attacking from within – haunts ISIS leaders. They are cracking down in response. It is becoming harder and harder to leave the Islamic State, even for temporary, medical reasons.

Similarly, contact between residents of the Caliphate and those on the outside is being increasingly controlled. “Since July, 2015, it is no longer permissible to use wireless internet in Raqqah,” according to the report. “The Internet can only be accessed through ISIS-approved Internet cafes, where careful watch is kept over which sites are visited. In some cases, permission must be granted by a military leader or emir to spread information to the outside. Whoever fails to observe these rules must appear before a sharia court.”

Such measures ensure that the myth of an idyllic state continues, along with the flow of new warriors and the women who will give birth to them.

Ultimately, concludes the intelligence agency, “the so-called caliphate of ISIS stands far from what the organization purports it to be. The region that is occupied by ISIS is not a holy state or ideal society in its infancy. ISIS functions as a totalitarian regime. Whoever emigrates to the ISIS territory makes a conscious, deliberate choice to take part in an organization, an institution that commits terrorist activities and conducts attacks in Europe. In practice, this means that men as well as women who join the Islamic State, armed or otherwise, take part in ISIS’s jihad.”

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Guandolo: Understanding the Threat

UTT, By John Guandolo, Jan. 5, 2016:

As we enter 2016 and the global jihad grows, it is critical for discerning Americans, and all people in the free West, to understand the threat we face in order to address and defeat it.

Massacre-Those-Insult-Islam

Our enemy identifies itself at the “Global Islamic Movement.”  It takes many forms and comes at us in many different ways.  The International Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the primary driving force behind the global Movement, but there are parallel movements aligned with the Brotherhood such as Tablighi Jamaat, Jamaat e Islami and others.  These groups focus on bringing the Muslim community back to authentic Islam while softening the non-Muslim world to accept their “civilization alternative” to Western culture.

As the Muslim Brotherhood’s by-laws state, they do their work by making “every effort for the establishment of educational, social, economic and scientific institutions and the establishment of mosques, schools, clinics, shelters, clubs as well as the formation of committees to regulate zakat affairs and alms.”  Today, across Europe and North America, the Muslim Brotherhood created and controls a large portion of the Islamic organizations.  Yet, it is in the United States the MB has their greatest influence.

Apart from the MB and related jihadi movements, there are military jihadi organizations like Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hizbollah, and hundreds of others.

100% of these organizations and their members state they are Muslims waging jihad in the Cause of Allah (Jihad Fisabilillah) in order to establish the caliphate under sharia.

shariah signs

Sharia is everything in this war.  It is what the enemy seeks to impose on the world, and it is the blueprint for how they do everything they do.  That is why sharia is taught at the first grade level to Muslims in Islamic schools and mosques across the planet.  Islam teaches that Islam is “a complete way of life” – social, cultural, political, military, and religious – governed by sharia (Islamic Law).

100% of all published sharia obliges jihad until the world is under Islamic rule.  100% of sharia only defines jihad as “warfare against non-Muslims.”

shariah for britainSharia is a totalitarian system of governance, not a religious edict.

Why don’t “moderate Muslims” teach a softer “version” of Islam?  Because it is a capital crime in Islam for a Muslim to teach another Muslim something that is not true about Islam.  You would actually have to read sharia to know this.

Hint:  When buying books on Islam, do not go to your local bookstore.  Go to the mosque bookstore and buy books written by Islamic authorities for a Muslim audience.  Then ask yourself  “Why is this information exactly opposite of the information that is written in books for the non-Muslim audience?”

zone

Sharia is the threat doctrine of our enemy.  If you read and understand Sharia, you will:  know why Muslims yell “Allahu akbar” before they commit an act of jihad; understand why in 15 years “Islamic advisors” to our government have not mentioned that “Jihad” is only defined in Islamic law as “warfare against non-Muslims”; and you will see why “Islamophobia” is not a random term but a term of art meant to identify people who violate the Islamic Law of Slander (a capital crime in Islam), which is defined as saying anything about a Muslim or Islam that a Muslim would “dislike.”

Sharia is the threat doctrine.  Those who practice Sharia and seek to impose it by all means necessary are the threat.

sharia poster

There is only one organization in the United States teaching law enforcement, military, and community organizations about the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadi Movement and network here, their doctrine (Sharia), their modus operandi, and ways law enforcement can identify and defeat the network in their area – Understanding the Threat (UTT).

UTT intends on fighting the good fight until the fight is done.  UTT needs allies who know and understand the threat.  Join us!

It’s Not ISIS We Need to Beat — It’s the Caliphate

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Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Dec. 29, 2015:

A recent report by, of all places, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, found that the Syrian rebels were mostly Islamic Jihadists and that even if ISIS were defeated there were 15 other groups sharing its worldview that were ready to take its place.

And that’s just in Syria.

The official ISIS story, the one that we read in the newspapers, watch on television and hear on the radio, is that it’s a unique group whose brand of extremism is so extreme that there is no comparing it to anything else. ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. Or with anything else. It’s a complete aberration.

Except for the 15 other Jihadist groups ready to step into its shoes in just one country.

Islamic Supremacist organizations like ISIS can be graded on the “Caliphate curve”. The Caliphate curve is based on how quickly an Islamic organization wants to achieve the Caliphate. What we describe as “extreme” or “moderate” is really the speed at which an Islamic group seeks to recreate the Caliphate.

ISIS is at the extreme end of the scale, not because it tortures, kills and rapes, but because it implemented the Caliphate immediately. The atrocities for which ISIS has become known are typical of a functioning Caliphate. The execution of Muslims who do not submit to the Caliph, the ethnic cleansing and sexual slavery of non-Muslims are not aberrations. They are normal behavior for a Caliphate.

The last Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, was selling non-Muslim girls as sex slaves after the invention of the telephone.  A New York Times report from 1886 documented the sale of girls as young as twelve, one of them with “light hazel eyes, black eyebrows and long yellow hair”. An earlier report from theLondon Post described Turks, “sending their blacks to market, in order to make room for a newly-purchased white girl”. This behavior is not a temporary aberration, but dates back to Mohammed’s men raping and enslaving non-Muslim women and young girls as a reward for fighting to spread Islam.

The ISIS behaviors that we find so shocking were widely practiced in even the most civilized parts of the Muslim world around the time that the Statue of Liberty was being dedicated in New York City.

To Muslims, the end of slavery is one of the humiliations that they had to endure because of the loss of the Caliphate. Europeans forced an end to the slave trade. The British made the Turks give up their slaves. The United States made the Saudis give up their slaves in the 1960s. (Unofficially they still exist.) When the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt, its Islamist constitution dropped a ban on slavery.

The Muslim Brotherhood is on the moderate side of the Caliphate curve not because it doesn’t want to bring back the Caliphate, it does, or because it doesn’t want to subjugate non-Muslims, it does, but because it wants to do so gradually over an extended period of time using modern political methods.

But whether you take the long road along the Caliphate curve or the short one it still ends up in the same place. Everyone on the Caliphate curve agrees that the world, including the United States, must be ruled by Muslims under Islamic law and that freedom and equal rights for all must come to an end.

ISIS is just doing right now what the Muslim Brotherhood would take a hundred years to accomplish.

We are not at war with ISIS. We are at war with everyone on the Caliphate curve. Not because we choose to be, but because like Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich or Communism’s vision of one world under the red flag, the Caliphate is a plan for imposing a totalitarian system on us  to deprive us of our rights.

The Nazis and the Communists had a vision for the world. So do the Islamic Supremacists who advocate the restoration of the Caliphate. All three groups occasionally played the victim of our foreign policy, but they were not responding to us, they were trying to bring about their positive vision of an ideal society.

Nazi, Communist and Islamist societies just happen to be living nightmares for the rest of us.

No one on the Caliphate curve is moderate. Some on the Caliphate curve are just more patient. They put up billboards, create hashtags and try to ban any criticism of their ideology as Islamophobic. But that’s just Caliphatism with a human face. And that makes them a much more dangerous enemy.

ISIS is in some ways our least dangerous enemy. We haven’t defeated ISIS, because we haven’t even tried. Instead Obama fights a war in which 75 percent of strikes on ISIS are blocked and leaflets are dropped 45 minutes before a strike on oil tankers warning ISIS to flee. If we were to fight ISIS by the same rules as our wars in the last century, the Islamic State would have been crushed long ago.

A insta-Caliphate like ISIS isn’t hard to beat. The global networks of Al Qaeda employing more conventional terror tactics are a trickier force because they are embedded within the stream of Muslim migration. And the Muslim Brotherhood is the trickiest of them all because it is so deeply embedded within Muslim populations in the West that it represents and controls those populations.

What ISIS accomplishes by brute force, the Muslim Brotherhood does by setting up networks of front groups. Both ISIS and the Brotherhood control large Muslim populations. ISIS conquers populations in failed states. The Muslim Brotherhood however exercises control over populations in the cities of the West. We could bomb Raqqa, but can we bomb Dearborn, Jersey City or Irvine?

This is where the Caliphate curve truly reaches its most terrifying potential.

The original Islamic expansionism was so devastating not because it managed to seize control over the hinterlands of Arabia, but because it conquered and subjugated civilized cities such as Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Athens and Delhi. ISIS envisions repeating these conquests and more, but if it succeeds it will not be because of its military strategy, but because it targets have been colonized.

We can destroy ISIS tomorrow, but we will still be in an extended war with a hundred other groups who all have a vision for restoring the Caliphate. This war will never end until we crush their supremacist agenda by demonstrating that we will never again allow such a horror to exist on this earth. As long as Muslim groups hold out hope for a restoration of the Caliphate this war, in its various forms, will go on.

We are not at war with an organization, but with the idea that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims and are endowed by Allah with the right to rule over them, to rob them, to rape them and enslave them. ISIS is the most naked expression of this idea. But it’s an idea that everyone on the Caliphate curve accepts.

Until we defeat this racist idea, new Islamic groups will constantly keep arising animated by this vision. Wars fueled by supremacist beliefs have historically only ended when the illusion of superiority was destroyed by utterly defeating and humiliating the attackers. It worked with Japan and Nazi Germany.

Our war now will not end until we destroy the supremacist faith in the Caliphate curve.

***

Watch Muslims, in their own words, vowing to to install a worldwide Caliphate:

The Isis papers: leaked documents show how Isis is building its state

The leaked Islamic State document sets out a blueprint for a building a state

The leaked Islamic State document sets out a blueprint for a building a state

Blueprint lays bare new contours of Islamic state, complete with civil service, regional government and Soviet levels of economic control.

Guardian, by Shiv Malik, Dec. 7, 2015:

A leaked internal Islamic State manual shows how the terrorist group has set about building a state in Iraq and Syria complete with government departments, a treasury and an economic programme for self-sufficiency, the Guardian can reveal.

The 24-page document, obtained by the Guardian, sets out a blueprint for establishing foreign relations, a fully fledged propaganda operation, and centralised control over oil, gas and the other vital parts of the economy.

The manual, written last year and entitled Principles in the administration of the Islamic State, lays bare Isis’s state-building aspirations and the ways in which it has managed to set itself apart as the richest and most destabilising jihadi group of the past 50 years.

The Isis papers: a masterplan for consolidating power

 

Together with other documents obtained by the Guardian, it builds up a picture of a group that, although sworn to a founding principle of brutal violence, is equally set on more mundane matters such as health, education, commerce, communications and jobs. In short, it is building a state.

As western aircraft step up their aerial war on Isis targets in Syria, the implication is that the military task is not simply one of battlefield arithmetic. Isis is already far more than the sum of its fighters.

The document – written as a foundation text to train “cadres of administrators” in the months after Isis’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria on 28 June 2014 – sketches out how to organise government departments including education, natural resources, industry, foreign relations, public relations and military camps.

Dated some time between July and October 2014, it details how Isis will build separate training camps for regular troops and veteran fighters. Veterans, it says, should go on a fortnight’s refresher course each year to receive instruction in the “latest arts of using weapons, military planning and military technologies”.

It says they will also be given a “detailed commentary on the technologies” of the enemy and “how the soldiers of the state can take advantage of them”.

The statecraft manual recommends a department for administering the military camps, a complex arrangement that, as described, goes well beyond the capabilities of al-Qaida in Afghanistan during the time it plotted the 9/11 attacks.

The document reveals for the first time that Isis always intended to train children in the arts of war. Isis propaganda from this year has clearly shown children being drilled, and even made to shoot captives.

But the text, authored by an Egyptian called Abu Abdullah, is explicit about the intention to do so from mid- to late 2014. Children, it says, will be receive “training on bearing light arms” and “outstanding individuals” will be “selected from them for security portfolio assignments, including checkpoints, patrols”.

The text highlights the need for Isis to achieve a unified culture encompassing foreigners and natives and sets out the need for self-sufficiency by establishing its own independent “factories for local military and food production” and creating “isolated safe zones” for providing for local needs.

The document came from a businessman working within Isis via the academic researcher Aymenn al-Tamimi, who has worked over the past year to compile the most thorough log of Isis documents available to the public.

For safety reasons, the Guardian cannot reveal further information about the businessman but he has leaked nearly 30 documents in all, including a financial statement from one of Isis’s largest provinces.

Isis has suffered military setbacks in recent weeks, and some Sunni Arabs from Raqqa have indicated that its statecraft might be better on paper than it is in practice.

But Tamimi said the playbook, along with a further 300 Isis documents he has obtained over the past year, showed that building a viable country rooted in fundamentalist theology was the central aim. “[Isis] is a project that strives to govern. It’s not just a case of their sole end being endless battle.”

Gen Stanley McChrystal (retired), who led the military units that helped destroy Isis’s predecessor organisation (ISI) in Iraq from 2006 to 2008, said: “If it is indeed genuine, it is fascinating and should be read by everyone – particularly policymakers in the west.

“If the west sees Isis as an almost stereotypical band of psychopathic killers, we risk dramatically underestimating them.

“In the Principles in the administration of the Islamic State, you see a focus on education (really indoctrination) beginning with children but progressing through their ranks, a recognition that effective governance is essential, thoughts on their use of technology to master information (propaganda), and a willingness to learn from the mistakes of earlier movements.

“It’s not a big departure from the works of Mao, the practices of the Viet Minh in Indochina, or other movements for whom high-profile actions were really just the tip of a far more nuanced iceberg of organising activity.

Charlie Winter, a senior researcher for Georgia State University who has seen the document, said it demonstrated Isis’s high capacity for premeditation.

“Far from being an army of irrational, bloodthirsty fanatics, IS [Isis] is a deeply calculating political organisation with an extremely complex, well-planned infrastructure behind it.”

Lt Gen Graeme Lamb, former head of UK special forces, said the playbook carried a warning for current military strategy.

Referring to sections of the statecraft text in which Isis repeatedly claims it is the only true representatives of Sunni Arab Muslims in the region, Lamb said it was all the more important to ensure wider Sunni leadership in the fight with Isis, or risk “fuelling this monster”.

“Seeing Daesh [Isis] and the caliphate as simply a target to be systematically broken by forces other than Middle Eastern Sunnis … is to fail to understand this fight.

“It must be led by the Sunni Arab leadership and its many tribes across the region, with us in the west and the other religious factions in the Middle East acting in support.

“It is not currently how we are shaping the present counter-Isis campaign, thereby setting ourselves up for potential failure.”

Also see:

Islam, Jihad, and our Ignorance

mosqueinabujaPolitically Short, by Nick Short on Nov. 28, 2015:

“Ignorance kills. In war, ignorance brings defeat, especially for those who are sworn to support and defend us,” writes Stephen Coughlin in his latest book Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad. Coughlin continues, “While ignorance is not a crime for the average person, it is for professionals concerning subject matter that is the object of their professions. Why shouldn’t this hold true for national security professionals? For them, one requirement is that they know the enemy by undertaking real threat identification of entities that constitute actual threats to the Constitution and people of the United States.”

The refusal to account for the doctrinal elements of Islam in our national security analyses constitutes the professional malpractice that Coughlin was alluding to as our threat doctrine has been reduced to strategic incomprehension and incoherence. In wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that took the lives of 130 and injured 350 others, Coughlin ominously warned back in April that this strategic incoherence in the War on Terror “will increasingly be measured by news stories that reveal senior leaders’ inability to answer basic questions about the nature of the enemy and his environment. It will also manifest itself in official responses to terrorist attacks that become progressively less reality-based.” Yet, as Americans, Parisians, and virtually every citizen living within Western society grows more outraged by yet another failure of intelligence in stopping the latest jihadist attack, “those professionally and constitutionally tasked with keeping them safe continue to lack awareness, understanding, and even professional curiosity about the doctrines that drive the enemy to action,” notes Coughlin.

For our enemies, the implementation of Islamic law known as sharia is both the objective and the basis in which they routinely states their justification for attack. Our enemy openly declares that they are engaged in a global jihad as Islamic law serves as their doctrinal driver to commit murder in order to establish an “Islamic state”, or Caliphate, governed by Islamic law.  Osama bin Laden stated the following in 2002:

Muslims, and especially the learned among them, should spread Shari’a law to the world — that and nothing else. Not laws under the “umbrella of justice, morality, and rights” as understood by the masses. No, the Shari’a of Islam is the foundation. … In fact, Muslims are obligated to raid the lands of the infidels, occupy them, and exchange their system of governance for an Islamic system, barring any practice that contradicts Shari’a from being publicly voiced among the people, as was the case in the dawn of Islam. … They say that our Shari’a does not impose our particular beliefs upon others; this is a false assertion. For it is, in fact, part of our religion to impose our particular beliefs upon others. … Thus whoever refuses the principle of terror[ism] against the enemy also refuses the commandment of Allah the Exalted, the Most High, and His Shari’a.

“Jihad in the cause of Allah” is what the enemy claims it is doing, whether it be the now deceased leader of al-Qaeda or the current leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To the exclusion of all other reasons, including “underlying causes” such as economic deprivation, “climate change”, or poverty, the root cause always traces back to Islam itself and the enemy doesn’t just make this claim. What the jihadis say they will do tracks exactly with what they do.

The concepts of jihad given expression by so called “extremists” can be found in the body of Islamic law as defined by recognized authorities and authoritative sources as the legal description has remained consistent across the 1400 year span that incorporates today’s recognized authorities. Defined as “warfare against non-muslims to establish the religion,” the rules of Islamic law pertaining to jihad have remained consistent regardless of whether it was defined by an eighth century Arab, a ninth century Uzebki, a 12th century Spaniard, a 14th century North African, or even a 20th century Arab, Pakistani, Indian, Malaysian or American. “All conformed to the idea that jihad does not end until the world has been made the dar al-Islam,” notes Coughlin, adding “because there is agreement among the scholars on the status of jihad, it belongs to the fixed inner sphere of Islamic law that can never be changed.

“Yet, the requirement of jihad neither begins nor ends with the kinetic aspects of warfare. Coughlin notes that Islamic law divides the world into two states, dar al-Islam (the house of Islam and peace) and dar al-harb (the house of War, which is the world of the infidel and the region of perpetual warfare) with jihad being an unabrogable obligation for Muslims until the dar al-harb is eliminated and the people of the book ‘pay the jizya (tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (Qur’an 9: 29).” Anyone who comes from the dar al-harb has the status under Islamic law of harbi (enemy). As a country not governed by Islamic law, the United States resides in the dar al-harb, therefore we Americans are harbi.

To elaborate on this concept, Coughlin cites Majid Khadduri, a professor at John Hopkins University who wrote War and Peace in the Law of Islam (1955) and published his translation of the classic 8th-century treatise Shaybani’s Siyar (1966). The Siyar is among the oldest testaments on international relations and the law of war in Islamic law. Khadduri in War and Peace in the Law of Islam writes:

It follows that the existence of a dar al-Harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam is permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-Harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all-embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.

It’s imperative to understand this concept for even when a fighting jihad is not underway, a “continuous process of warfare” is waged at the psychological and political levels. Khadduri states this as a matter of doctrine— because the “dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; … the dar al-Islam is permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence.” It is from this context that those who believe, as our current adminstration repeatedly reminds us, that we are “not at war with Islam” can be refuted as Islam has and will continue to remain at war with us as a continuous process of psychological, political, and kinetic warfare.

Through this concept of Islamic warfare, a substantial effort is placed on the “preparation stage”, the object of which is to induce a collapse of faith in the cultural, political, and religious institutions underpinning the target. A very clear example of this doctrine is Pakistani Brigadier General S.K. Malik’s The Quranic Concept of War. As Coughlin explains, “In the Quranic Concept of War, Malik emphasized the importance of laying the groundwork for successful military operations. He explained this preparatory stage as a ‘dislocation of faith’ in the target nation’s sense of security and in the capability of its leaders to defend its territory. The inability of the target population’s leadership to protect its citizens in the face of a terror campaign signals the beginning of kinetic operations in earnest. At some point, dawah (issuing of summons) transitions to jihad.” Elaborating on the concept of dawah, Coughlin highlights that it is “often defined as the ‘invitation’ or ‘call to Islam,” the meaning and purpose of which is more extensive and closely associated with jihad. In fact, much of what is popularly called “stealth jihad” are actions taken in preparation for jihad in the dawah phase of operations as explained by Malik when he states the following:

The Quranic strategy comes into to play from the preparation stage, and aims at imposing a direct decision upon the enemy. Other things remaining the same, our preparation for war is the true index of our performance during war. We must aim at creating a wholesome respect for our Cause and our will and determination to attain it, in the minds of the enemies, well before facing them on the field of battle. So spirited, zealous, complete and thorough should be our preparation for war that we should enter upon the ‘war of muscles’ having already won the ‘war of will’. Only a strategy that aims at striking terror into the hearts of the enemies from the preparation stage can produce direct results and turn Liddell Hart’s dream into a reality. To instill terror into the hearts of the enemy is essential in the ultimate analysis to dislocate his faith. An invincible faith is immune to terror. A weak faith offers inroads to terror.

In the early phases of dawah, one should expect to see an emphasis on penetration and subversion campaigns directed at cultural, political, media, and religious institutions. Actions taken in the early dawah phase are aimed at compromising a community’s core beliefs which substantially contributes to the sense of hopelessness that is exponentially magnified when a jihadist finally commits an act of terrorism. From this perspective and contrary to Western notions of “separation of church and state,” Islam in general defines itself in unitary terms as a complete way of life governed by a single body of law that comes from Allah who retains sole sovereignty. Thus, Islamic law is the legal system “extremists” emulate and seek to impose when fighting jihad both kinetically and non-kinetically.

The refusal to understand the enemy’s doctrine, which tells him not to strike until he has assessed that we are already defeated in our own minds, lends credence to the notion of why we are so routinely caught of guard when a jihadist strikes. Judging by the fact that the FBI currently has nearly 1,000 ongoing ISIS probes in the United States with 82 individuals affiliated with ISIS having been interdicted by law enforcement since March of 2014, the enemy has assessed that the time has come to unleash kinetic attacks as we have already been defeated within our own minds.

“Most importantly,” notes Dr. Sebastian Gorka in his latest ThreatKnowldgeGroup special report on ISIS: The Threat to the United States, “nearly one third of the domestic ISIS cases in the past 18 months involved people who planned to carry out attacks against Americans on U.S. soil. In other words, one third of those interdicted calculated that the best way to serve the new Islamic State and its Caliph, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, is to wage jihad here on the soil of the infidel.” The primary reason that we have seen a 300 percent increase in terrorist arrests in the United States beginning in 2014 compared to the average monthly arrests of al Qaeda suspects since the 9/11 attacks of 2001 is because of the proclaimed caliphate established on June 29, 2014.

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch explains that “the Islamic State’s June 29, 2014, proclamation of itself as the caliphate, which in Islamic theology is the Islamic nation, embodying the supranational unity of the Muslim community worldwide under a single leader, the caliph, is the key to [understanding] its appeal to so many Muslims worldwide.” Spencer elaborates, “the caliph is the symbol of the unity of Muslims worldwide, in traditional Islamic theology, Muslims worldwide constitute a single community [known as an umma] and are rightfully citizens of the Islamic Caliphate.” Moreover, if we look to the book Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law that has the imprimatur of Al-Azhar University in Cairo which is the intellectual heartbeat of Islam, we find that it certifies as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community” in which only the caliph is authorized to declare “offensive jihad” in order to “make war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.” The caliphate, this Sharia manual says, is “both obligatory in itself and the necessary precondition for hundreds of rulings established by Allah Most High to govern and guide Islamic community life.” It quotes the Islamic scholar Abul Hasan Mawardi explaining that the caliph’s role is “preserving the religion and managing this-worldly affairs.”

As Spencer notes, “since the caliph is obligated to wage offensive jihad, we can expect that with the coming of the Islamic State caliphate there will be even more jihad in the wold than here has been recently.” This is because of the appeal that the Caliphate has upon Muslims who are devoutly religious and since the Islamic States’ theology is straightforward with the Qur’anic justifications for their actions being based on the plain words of the text, the appeal will continue as the tens of thousands of Muslims who have already joined ISIS from all over the world testifies to the resonance of their literal reading of Islam’s holy book.

In closing, since adherents to sharia and a strict interpretation of Islam have sworn to destroy us, it is their doctrine that we are required to know. Whether that doctrine is judged by us or this adminstration to be accurate with “genuine” Islam is wholly irrelevant. If it can be demonstrated, which it has been, that the enemy that attacks and kills Americans and seeks to subvert our Constitution refers to and relies on the implementation of sharia to guide and justify his actions, then that is all that matters in terms of the enemy threat doctrine U.S. civilian and military leaders must thoroughly understand and orient upon for the purpose of defeating such foes. As Coughlin concludes, “failing to orient on an enemy’s self-identified doctrines not only violates our own doctrine on threat analysis but renders us unable to defeat the enemy because we have failed properly to identify him.” Such a catastrophic failure of intelligence defies the rules of warfare reaching back to Sun Tzu on the requirement to “know the enemy.” It also completely defies common sense and the canons of professional conduct of our leadership.

We are at war and it’s time we as a nation orient our strategy to reflect it.

Nick Short, a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. Politically Short offers a millennials perspective over today’s news outside the beltway of Washington D.C.

Nick is also a contributor to Western Free Press and Western Journalism 

Follow Nick on Twitter , LinkedIn and Google+ 

Email him at Nds56@nau.edu

Audio: Clare Lopez on the Global Islamic Jihad Movement

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This is an excellent wide ranging interview with Clare Lopez by Roy “Backpack” Baron and Yoda of Global Voices of Freedom radio. Visit their website: http://www.magnifiedview.com/

Topics covered:

  • The Global Islamic Jihad Movement
  • Pre-violent civilization and violent jihad 
  • America’s First Principles vs. Sharia
  • Refugee resettlement and vetting for ideology
  • Need for local police departments and sheriffs to learn about jihad and what to look for (32 min. into audio)
  • Mosques as command and control centers for jihad
  • US Middle East Policy 

Resources mentioned:

Clare Lopez audio widget

Ms. Lopez manages the Center for Security Policy’s counterjihad and shariah programs, bringing with her also an expertise on Iran, Hizballah, and southern border issues. From 2010-2014, she was a Sr. Fellow with the Center. Lopez began her professional career as a CIA operations officer and later applied her national security expertise as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher in various contract positions within the defense sector. She has been an instructor for military intelligence and Special Forces students and lectures widely on Iran, Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood around the country. Earlier an advisor to EMP Act America, in February 2012 Ms. Lopez was named a member of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which focuses on the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat to the nation and is a member of the Center’s Secure the Grid Coalition.

Lopez is the co-author of two published books on Iran, author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby, and co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, “Shariah: The Threat to America”. Ms. Lopez received a B.A. in Communications and French from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia before declining a commission to join the CIA.