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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The State Department

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTT Throwback Thursday: US Already Apologizing to the Enemy in Afghanistan – Again

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 7, 2017:

At what point do American citizens call for our military generals to be tried for criminal negligence as well as Aiding and Abetting the enemy for continuing their grossly unprofessional conduct and failure to make the slightest effort to understand the enemy 16 years after 9/11?

In February 2012, General John Allen apologized to muslims because allied forces “improperly disposed of Qurans.”

This week U.S. Major General James Linder apologized to muslims in Afghanistan for offending them by dropping leaflets containing the image of a dog with the Islamic shahada on it – “there is no god but allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

Americans have just redeployed to Afghanistan and the United States is already apologizing to Islamic leaders.

Why don’t U.S. leaders man-up and  begin speaking to the Islamic world in language they understand?

How about our leaders tell the Islamic world to end the global jihad or we will obliterate it.

How about our leaders tell Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, and all the other Islamic countries funding the global jihad that if they do not turn the money spigot off immediately, the U.S. will turn their countries into parking lots – and keep their money.

How about our leaders shut down every Islamic school, mosque and organization that teaches jihad, seize the property, and arrest their leaders.

What if, and this is a big IF, U.S. generals actually read sharia and come to understand the enemy so they will realize that apologies from them endanger U.S. troops and emboldens the enemy.

The United States is again surrendering to an enemy we should be decimating.

ISIS Instructing Jihadists to Add Cyanide to Grocery Store Goods

Constitution, by Andrew West, Sept. 6, 2017:

As if the world didn’t have enough reason to fear the radical Islamic terror emanating from the middle east, ISIS has new instructions for their worldwide network of operatives.

Months ago, the worldwide leader in terror instructed their jihadists stationed in Europe to begin using cars and trucks to attack those who were not of the Muslim faith.  Shortly thereafter, a rash of just such attacks began occurring all over the continent, with France, England, and Finland all succumbing to the dastardly tactic.

Europe has been especially hard hit due to their lax border policies enacted in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, which has allowed ISIS terrorists to pose as asylum seekers and move freely about the country.

Now, the caliphate leadership is announcing a new initiative in their holy war, and it is certainly meant to frighten the entire civilized world like never before.

“After urging its supporters in the west to turn cars into weapons, guidance that inspired terror attacks in the UK, Spain and France, ISIS is now calling for sympathizers to poison the food in US supermarkets with cyanide, according to SITE.

“In recent days, channels associated with the terrorist army have posted calls for attacks on Europe, Russia and the United States to mark the occasion of the Islamic ‘Sacrifice Feast’ Eid al Adha. In the third part of an English-language series on jihad, IS advised would-be attackers to inject food for sale in markets with cyanide poison. According to Spiesa, the organization has tested these methods on prisons, causing horrifically painful deaths.

“’The Islamic State group used prisoners as “human guinea pigs,” carrying out chemical weapons experiments in order to plan for attacks against the West, documents found in Mosul have revealed. The papers detailing the tests, which led to the agonizing deaths of prisoners, were discovered at Mosul University in January when it was recaptured by Iraqi special forces. The documents verified by United States and British forces were detailed by The Times in a report published Saturday.’

“‘Prisoners had their food and water contaminated by the sprinkling of chemicals found in easily accessible pesticides. The US and Britain now fear that the same methods could be used on a larger scale to contaminate food supplies in the West.’

 “Aside from the obvious death toll, we imagine that a terror attack in an American grocery store would annihilate billions in grocery stock market cap, adding to the industry’s Whole Foods Market-inspired woes. Investors who once saw grocers as an oasis in the troubled retail sector are increasingly balking now that Amazon has promised to use sensors and automation to save on staffing costs and undercut rivals on pricing. And the terror threats won’t help.”

Terror in the United States has often taken a much more grandiose approach, attempting to strike fear into Americans via enormous, symbolic actions.

In this case, however, ISIS is looking for a subtle, slow-developing fright to creep into our everyday lives.  Should this vile and heinous plan come to fruition, it could be weeks before a particular store or pattern is established, especially given the rarity of cyanide poisonings that our modern hospitals are accustomed to.  By the time a case of such poisoning has been identified, it would be a race against time to determine the source, the affected locale, and the possible products that were used to relay the chemical.

UTT Throwback Thursday: US Government’s Failure to Address Domestic Threat

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Aug.24, 2017:

Summary

The attacks of 9/11 were conducted against the U.S. homeland with support from the Islamic Movement inside the United States.  The U.S. government’s response to fight on battlefields overseas, while leaders of the U.S. Islamic Movement exclusively provided “advice” to our leaders, led to strategic defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq despite the fact the U.S. military crushed the enemy on the battlefield.

Why?  How did this happen?

The United States lost and is losing this war today because, contrary to U.S. warfighting doctrine, the United States government has failed to identify the enemy we face and the doctrine they use as the basis for why they are fighting.

The enemy clearly articulates that sharia (Islamic Law) is the basis for everything they do.

Now the United States is re-engaging in Afghanistan using some of the same leaders who crafted the losing war strategy in the first place, who still have not defined the enemy, using the same allies who are still our enemies (eg Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, et al), while ignoring the massive jihadi network in the United States, which is the primary front for our enemy in this war.

Then (Post 9/11)

After 9/11, President Bush stated the purpose for our operations in Afghanistan was to “make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans,” and that U.S. military actions are “designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice.”

During the entire Bush administration the United States never defined the enemy.  Yet, the administration and all key government agencies were primarily advised by Muslim Brotherhood leaders which led to the United States writing constitutions for Afghanistan and Iraq (2005) creating Islamic Republics under sharia (Islamic Law), thus achieving Al Qaeda’s objectives in those two countries.

That is when we lost the war.

Now (August 2017)

In announcing renewed military operations in Afghanistan, President Trump stated the objectives of this endeavor include:  “Attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing Al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terrorist attacks against America before they emerge.”

First, if we kill all ISIS fighters, the Global Islamic Movement will roll on.  This is bigger than merely ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

As UTT reported on Monday in its article “US Islamic Movement Enters Final Stage” the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and its allies INSIDE the United States are experiencing the culmination of six decades of work domestically to overthrow our nation.  At the same time, the State Department is meeting with representatives of Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which raises grave concerns.

Mr. Trump’s original instincts were correct.  He should stick with his gut.  We should not engage in Afghanistan as his National Security Advisor and others recommend.

This is a strategic distraction from the real war here at home.

The pattern we see between the U.S. government response after 9/11 and today are very similar:

9/11:  Jihadis attack the homeland using airliners killing nearly 3,000 Americans.

Response:  U.S. fails to define the enemy in any of its national security documents. U.S. military attacks targets in Afghanistan, while using U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders as primary advisors on how to fight the war.

Result:  Strategic loses in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Significant gains for Islamic Movement inside the U.S.

Today: U.S. Islamic Movement in “Final Stage” of its Civilization Jihad using hard-left Marxists as leading edge of their violent actions.

Response:  U.S. fails to define the enemy in any of its national security documents.  National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster demonstrates no knowledge of enemy doctrine (sharia).  U.S. Launches renewed military operations in Afghanistan, while failing to pursue the MB and designate it a terrorist organization.  The U.S. government continues to allow the MB to operate in the open in the United States.

Result:  While the U.S. puts its strategic focus on Afghanistan, the cooperating Islamic and hard-left/Marxist Movements will achieve the intentional outcome of their campaign – increased civil disorder, chaos, and a high likelihood of open civil war.

The Islamic Movement in the United States includes over 3000 Islamic centers/mosques, over 800 Muslim Student Associations (MSA) on every major college/university campus, over 255 Islamic Societies, and many others as has been detailed in previous UTT reports.  Nearly all of the jihadi attacks on the United States in the last 16 years, including the attacks of 9/11, had direct support from this network.

The 9/11 attacks had direct support from Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar.

Yet, this network remains untouched by the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security.

If the United States government wants to thin the jihadi herd, as the President states is his desire, he can begin with dealing with the mothership of their Movement – the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) – and jihadi leaders inside America like Nihad Awad, Ibrahim Hooper, Oussama Jamal, Salam al Marayati, Mohamed Magid, Azhar Azeez, Javaid Siddiqi, Sayyid Syeed, Muzammil Siddiqi, and so many others, as well as those aiding and abetting them like the President of the Southern Poverty Law Center Richard Cohen and the entire SPLC, and Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson.

Barcelona Terror Imam’s Familiar Path From Prison to ISIS Soldier

by Patrick Dunleavy
IPT News
August 23, 2017

In the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Barcelona that killed 15 people and injured as many as 120, including 7-year-old Julian Cadman, authorities are trying to understand how a group of young Moroccan men went from football teammates who occasionally smoked marijuana together to radical Islamic terrorists.

The man who has emerged as the leader of the group and most influential in their radicalization is the imam from the Annur Islamic mosque in Ripoll, a small Spanish town near the French border.

Abdelbaki Es Satty was hired by the Annur Islamic Community in 2016. But before that, authorities have learned, he was an inmate in the Spanish prison system, convicted in 2012 for smuggling hashish from Morocco into Spain. People who knew him then said that he was not religious and occasionally smoked marijuana. Then he met several al-Qaida members in prison, including Rachid Aglif. Also known as “The Rabbit,” Aglif was serving an 18-year sentence for his part in the 2004 Madrid train bombing that killed 190 people and injured more than 1,000.

It was there in prison where Abdelbaki Es Satty was believed to have been radicalized. Authorities from the Annur Islamic mosque said that they were unaware of Es Satty’s criminal history and admitted that they did not properly vet him. They simply examined his knowledge of the Quran and felt that was sufficient.

They also seemed unaware that Es Satty became known to counterterrorism officials during an investigation into radical Islamic influences in the small seaside towns surrounding Barcelona. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Jackal,” resulted in the arrest and conviction of five radical Islamists for attempting to send young men to Iraq to fight alongside ISIS.

So, two important themes in understanding radical Islamic terrorists are surfacing again, prison radicalization and someone “known to authorities.” There is a third: Immigration. Following his release from prison, Spanish authorities attempted to deport Es Satty back to Morocco. An order for his expulsion from Spain was issued in April 2014 citing his criminal history as a narcotics trafficker. Spanish immigration law subjects any foreign national who is sentenced to a year or more in prison to deportation.

Es Satty argued that deportation violated his human rights and won an appeal.

He then was granted asylum, which gave him the right to travel throughout the European Union. He used this privilege to make several trips to Belgium, spending three months in a Brussels suburb called Vilvoorde in early 2016. That town has seen its share of radical Islamic influences, with as many as 30 young men leaving to fightwith ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Just after Es Satty left Vilvoorde, two coordinated terrorist attacks took place in Brussels that left as many as 35 dead and 300 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Abdelbaki Es Satty became an imam at the Ripoll mosque after returning from Belgium and began to draw young men to the jihadi cause. The process took at least a year. Small groups met in a van, and sometimes in Es Satty’s sixth-floor apartment. When group members attended the local mosque, they took precautions to mask both their radical beliefs and their intimate relationship with each other.

Two months before last week’s the attacks, Es Satty told the mosque he was returning to Morocco.

In fact, Es Satty went to a house in Alcanar, a town 120 miles south of Barcelona. There, along with several others, he began to construct improvised explosive devices to be placed in vehicles as car bombs. They used gas canisters and a highly explosive substance made from acetone and hydrogen peroxide known as TATP.

This was the same substance that was used in the Brussels attacks.

One week ago, an explosion rocked Alcanar, destroying the house where the bombs were being built. Authorities first thought it was the result of a gas leak but, upon investigation, forensic trace evidence of TATP was found. Several charred bodies also were found in the house.

A lone survivor, Mohamed Houli Chemlal, was taken in to custody by police. Authorities believe Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty was killed in the explosion.

It was a fitting conclusion for someone whose life traversed the path from common criminal to radicalized inmate to a religious leader who deceived the minds of the young men of Ripoll.

Prison radicalization, open borders, lax immigration laws and the all-too-familiar case of a terrorist previously “known to authorities” have come to the surface once again immediately following a terror attack.

At some point, authorities must focus on these three areas and come up with a strategy to tighten the loopholes that allow radical Islamic terrorists to thrive.

With ISIS’s continued losses in Syria and Iraq, it has now turned its attention and remaining assets toward the West, inspiring and exhorting people to attack in their home countries. They really don’t care how many plots are thwarted or how many young lives are wasted. Death is their goal.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for these latest attacks and has hailed the Barcelona terrorists as soldiers of the Islamic State and “Caliphate soldiers in Spain.”

If that is so then we must treat them as such – enemy combatants whether captured or killed.

Anything less is both foolish and dangerous.

Terrorist Plan to Blow Up Airplane With Explosive Barbie Doll Foiled

Etihad Airways airplane / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Conor Beck, Aug. 22, 2017:

Authorities foiled a plan by Lebanese terrorists to blow up a commercial airliner by smuggling explosives in a large Barbie doll and a meat grinder.

Lebanese Interior Minister Nohan Machnouk said the terrorist plot would “probably” have been successful if the luggage had not exceeded the weight limit, Israel Hayom reported.

Machnouk told reporters at a press conference Monday that a suicide bomber intended to blow up a passenger plane belonging to Etihad, the United Arab Emirate’s national airline carrier. The plane was scheduled to fly from Sydney, Australia to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The UAE is among the Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states that are opposed to the Islamic State.  Australia is a strong U.S. ally that has experienced a growing threat from violent jihadist extremism in recent years.

The Lebanese official said Lebanon and Australian intelligence agencies worked together to foil an ISIS plot to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack.

The suspect’s arrest led authorities to three other Lebanese nationals who helped plan the attack. The cell members were recruited by a Muslim cleric who lives in Australia and has ties to ISIS, according to Lebanese media.

New ISIS Video Features 10-Year-Old American Living in Raqqa

PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 23, 2017:

A new video circulating today from ISIS features a 10-year-old kid, Yusuf, who claims to live in Raqqa and who warns that America’s fight against the terror group will “end in your lands.”

The video is the fourth in a series called “A Fertile Nation” and begins with scenes of ISIS fighters preparing for battle in what appears to be Raqqa. Coincidentally, the fighters huddle over an iPhone looking at a map of the city, presumably preparing their defensive positions against coalition forces.

Then Yusuf is introduced, reading quickly from a prepared script. He identifies himself and says that he is an American who made hijrah two years ago “from the land of kufr (infidelity)” to the Islamic State. The video then shows drone footage of what appears to be Los Angeles.

Yusuf then claims that his father is a former American soldier who fought “against the mujaheddin” in Iraq.

In the next scene, another boy, 7-year-old Abdullah, is introduced by Yusuf. Abdullah is seen performing ablution presumably before prayer.

He says that he was taken by ISIS from Sinjar, meaning that he may be one of the captured Yazidi children taken when they overran that area in northern Iraq three years ago this month.

Yusuf continues:

We live in a small city called Raqqa. This city has scared the whole world because the Muslims who live in it have learned the meaning of jihad and have established the rule of Allah. Because of this all the nations of the world who are led by America have gathered to scare us away from what we have established. More and more there is more random bombings, including phosphorus bombs, and all kinds of planes, including B-52s, from jets to drones.

Yusuf and Abdullah then walk through the rubble of Raqqa. The video shows scenes of a damaged mosque and a destroyed playground.

A graphic is shown representing the purported damage to Raqqa from coalition bombing.

After a message about the travails of Muslims throughout history, scenes of ISIS fighters are shown, such as an anti-aircraft gun being fired at a coalition jet.

Yusuf then gives the following message:

My message to Trump, the puppet of the Jews, Allah promises victory and promised you defeat. This battle is not going to end in Raqqa or Mosul. It’s going to end in your lands. By the will of Allah we will have victory. So get ready for the fighting has just begun.

And continuing in Arabic, he concludes:

Do you think that we’re going to leave? Do you think that we’ll be finished? Never! We will remain until the Day of Judgement, with Allah’s permission.

The video ends with scenes of Yusuf working with an ISIS sniper team by loading up AK-47 magazines and then him looking through the scope of an American-made sniper rifle.