Tagged: caliphate

Islamic State returning to insurgent roots as caliphate disappears

(CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR) — After being nearly defeated on the battlefields of its would-be caliphate, the Islamic State group has reverted to what it was before its spectacular conquests in 2014, analysts say – a shadowy insurgent network that targets civilian populations with guerrilla-style attacks and exploits state weaknesses to incite sectarian strife.

In Iraq and Syria, hardly a week goes by without the group staging an attack on a town or village, keeping its opponents on edge even as it fights US-backed forces advancing on the last remaining slice of territory under its control near the countries’ shared border.

Hisham al-Hashimi, an IS expert who advises the Iraqi government, said the group now operates like it did in 2010, before its rise in Iraq, which culminated four years later with the militants seizing one of Iraq’s biggest cities, Mosul, and also claiming the city of Raqqa in Syria and declaring an Islamic caliphate across large areas of both countries.

Mr. Al-Hashimi said the world’s most dangerous insurgent group is trying to prove that despite losing its territorial hold, “it still has long arms to strike.”

While it fends off attacks on its remaining pockets in Syria, a recent surge in false claims of responsibility for attacks also signals that the group is struggling to stay relevant after losing its proto-state and its dominance on the international news agenda. The main figures behind the group’s once sleek propaganda machine have mostly been killed. Raqqa fell a year ago this month, and the group has lost all but 2 percent of the territory it held in Iraq and Syria.

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‘Our lions have infiltrated’: ISIS video depicts future caliphate located in the West

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

The pro-ISIS group that in January depicted the invasion of Washington and in February declared “Paris before Rome,” depicting a terrorist invasion that began with cells in the countryside outside Paris before attacking the city, today released a new video depicting a global caliphate.

The Al-Abd al-Faqir Media video shows, as described at the beginning, “an imaginary chat in the future between an old immigrant to the land of the caliphate where he talks to his friend ‘John’ who’s a new convert to Islam after Allah has fulfilled his promise and the caliphate reached east and west … in the near future inshallah.”

ISIS Focuses on U.S. Embassy Attacks, Kidnappings of Westerners

A young man in a living room labeled as being in Baghdad, wearing khakis and a blue button-down shirt, opens a laptop to a Facebook-styled page with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the banner photo, an ISIS flag as the profile pic, and his profile name Al-Mohajir.

His clicks to a profile of “John Stephen,” a white man with a closely trimmed beard and an image of the White House exploding in flames as his banner photo.

ISIS supporters,future caliphate,Al-Abd al-Faqir Foundation

Al-Mohajir strikes up a chat with Stephen, identified as being located in Belgium, who reminisces on the days “when I took pride in sinning with my companions” and says he wishes he would have converted sooner to “this true religion.”

Al-Mohajir tells Stephen not to think about the past but “strive for what is coming.”

The westerner declares to his Baghdad friend that “the banner of Islam has preceded you, flying in the skies of our country! … and the parents are eager to meet you.”

Al-Mohajir declares that earlier jihad campaigns were “the beginning of the planting… and now the time of harvest came.” He then asks about “the status of soldiers of the caliphate with you” in the West.

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Trump: ‘End of the ISIS caliphate is in sight’

(CNN) — By Miranda Green, CNN

President Donald Trump said Saturday that the United States would soon transition into a “new phase” of involvement in Syria after US-backed forces drove ISIS members from Raqqa, the city they deemed their capital.

“The defeat of ISIS in Raqqah represents a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS and its wicked ideology,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.

“We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace, so that the terrorists cannot return to threaten our collective security again,” Trump said.

The US and its allies would support diplomatic negotiations to end the violence, to allow Syrian refugees to return to their homes, and to make way for “a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people,” the President added.

US-backed forces fighting ISIS in Raqqa announced this week that “major military operations” in the city have ended and that the terrorist group has lost control of its self-declared capital.

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Fears of Islamic State’s long game persist as caliphate crumbles

(VOA) — By Jeff Seldin

Across much of Iraq and parts of Syria, the Islamic State terror group is in retreat. Yet, Iraqi and U.S. officials tell VOA they have a creeping fear that the larger war is still very much undecided.

To be clear, few worry IS will again be able to make the kind of sudden, massive land grab it did in 2013 and 2014 when, bolstered by tens of thousands of foreign fighters, it captured one Iraqi city after another.

Rather, they fear something more subtle: that the resilient terror group has played the long game well enough that even as its self-declared caliphate teeters on the verge of collapse, it will be a force to reckon with for some time to come.

“They have sleeper cells. They have networks,” Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Iraq’s Kirkuk province, said during a recent visit to Washington. “They exist everywhere.”

The extent to which IS has permeated Iraqi society, despite losing its grip on upward of 65 percent of the territory it once controlled, is difficult to estimate. But Iraqi and U.S. officials caution that IS has found ways to slip past even the most watchful eyes.

Teenage fighters

Perhaps the terror group’s most successful and insidious tactic is its use of teenagers, young enough to avoid suspicion but old enough to be highly effective. U.S. and Iraqi officials describe them as the first wave of brainwashed youth truly capable of serving IS’s cause.

“Those who were 14 or 15 years old when ISIS came, now they are very active,” Karim said, describing them as hardened veterans.

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Turning kids into killers: Islamic State creates lost generation of Iraqi youth

(MIDDLE EAST EYE) — Mosul, Iraq – Hasan thought he had seen everything after fighting Islamic State in Fallujah in Tikrit. Then he came to Mosul, and a boy no older then 10 tried to kill him.

“It was utterly shocking,” said the 40-year-old soldier, dragging nervously on a cigarette as he remembers the child among a group of young IS suicide bombers.

“I found myself in front of children full of hatred. They all had explosive belts and they were all ready to die. It isn’t anything like killing an adult. But we had to do it.

“It’s a cruelty that has no end. For us it is a violent pain, we know we have to fight against children who have been indoctrinated in the name of a sick religion.”

This is the reality of war in northern Iraq, where IS is throwing everything – and everyone – at Iraqi forces as they slowly take back Mosul and the surrounding areas in a bitter war that has destroyed the very social fabric of the city.

Children have been spared nothing: poverty, malnutrition and cruelty under IS control; then forced onto the frontlines to be used as spotters, fighters, human shields and suicide bombers as the battles began to rage.

These are tactics that have destroyed family life in the city and its surrounding villages, where IS scooped up youngsters to teach them the ways of their “Caliph”.

In Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, Amir tells Middle East Eye of his own son, Mushak, who swore allegiance aged 11 soon after IS arrived in 2014.

“My children had never gone to school,” he said, his face a contortion of fatigue and pain.

“When Daesh arrived my son was a boy full of anger, he could not read or write. They taught him the hatred of the infidels. They taught him to kill.

“In two-and-a-half years he became a soldier of the Islamic police. He wasn’t even 14. I tried to stop him swearing allegiance to the Caliph, and he told me: ‘Shut up or I’ll cut your head’.”

“One day he came home with a gun and threatened me – an armed child who comes into the house saying I cannot criticise Daesh – and broke his mother’s arm as she begged him to stop.”

All villages had recruiters, said Amir, adding that more than half of the children of Hamam al-Alil have been recruited, many of them never been seen again.

Amir has lost his son: “I’m not scared he is dead. I do not care. Mushak is the shame of our family.

“Now here everybody hate us, we are desperate, we can not even go to the shop, we live locked in the house, for fear of being lynched in the street. We lost everything, a son, home, dignity, everything.”

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Iraqi sinkhole mass grave for 4,000 ISIS victims

(RT) — The bodies of some 4,000 Islamic State victims have been buried in the Khasfa sinkhole in Iraq’s desert, making it the country’s largest mass grave, according to locals, police, and activists, as cited by The Telegraph.

The sinkhole is located near the Baghdad-Mosul highway, only eight kilometers from Mosul, the daily reports.

Witnesses and police, as well as human rights organizations, say that Islamic State (IS, Daesh, formerly ISIS/ISIL) murdered and dumped the bodies of thousands of Iraqi troops into the sinkhole after they captured Mosul three years ago.

The majority were shot and thrown into the pit, locals said.

“Daesh would drive the victims to Khasfa in convoys of minibuses, trucks and pickups. The men had their hands bound and their eyes blindfolded. They were taken to the sinkhole and shot in the back of the head,” 40-year-old local villager Mahmoud told The Daily Telegraph.

The terrorist killers were masked, the witness added.

Earlier this week, the Telegraph reportedly went to the Khasfa sinkhole following the recapture of the western half of Mosul by Iraqi troops.

The city has been under IS control since 2014, and the offensive to retake it began in October.

On Friday, Iraqi forces seized the city’s airport.

Over the past years, IS is believed to have conducted a campaign to hunt down and murder policemen and soldiers and toss them into mass graves in the desert.

Human Rights Watch reported last November that IS had executed at least 300 policemen and buried them in a mass grave some 30 kilometers from Mosul.

Another mass grave containing 100 beheaded bodies was found earlier that month in a school just outside of Mosul.

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How to bring an end to Islam

PEOPLE WHO ARE TERRIFIED BY THE RELENTLESS advance of Islam should take comfort in the fact that no one in Athens today believes that Zeus resides on Mount Olympus or that no one in Rome still worships at the temple of Jupiter.

These were myths that bound Greek and Roman civilizations together, but they were ultimately discarded when people began to see they were nothing more than fabulous stories.

Why this should be comforting to people today is the fact that Islam is based entirely on a myth, one whose demise is long overdue. This is the myth that God talked to Muhammad, that he was God’s “messenger.” Everything Muslims believe and everything they do is derived from that primary, bedrock myth.

Given that Islam aspires eventually to take over the entire world and that it is making rapid progress in infiltrating and undermining the West, isn’t it time to go after the myth that sustains it? To destroy the myth about Muhammad is to destroy what he created. Read more »

Major Muslim leaders declare that within seven years the Muslim caliphate will be established and Erdogan will be caliph of the Muslim world

(SHOEBAT) — Its time we put this puzzle together, especially when all these major Muslim figures are discussing that the caliphate is to emerge in seven years from now. It could even be quicker as we see reported this morning that Erdogan’s new caliphate presidential system will be taken to a referendum in early April, just two months from now.

“Allah will complete the divine light” says Suat Ünal, a board member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), on Saturday, couple days ago.

Ünal was not messing around. He was referring to Erdoğan’s appointment as “Caliph” who is Allah’s “divine light” which he posted a photo with “Allah” hovering over Erdogan who is depicted as a cherub.

He even spilled the beans and leaked the date: “2023”, which is earlier than what has been declared by others “2024”.

So why 2023-2024? Westerners do not know the Hadith. Muslim theological sources explain this calculation:

“The Islamic Caliphate fell at the hands of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924 and in the Hadith, prophet Muhammad states “Allah will, on the new years of every one hundred years, will send to the Umma (Muslim World) one who will re-arise to renew its religion” (Abu Daud, 4/178)

One can also find this Hadith in the most reputable of Muslim sources including even the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

The Muslim Brotherhood who have been working very closely with Erdogan are proud to claim the initiation of the century struggle when Egyptian Hassan Al-Banna began this revival right after the fall of the Ottomans.

So 2023-2024 is a century after the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate, when the West wounded its head.

So it must be after 100 years. They are bound by it.

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It’s not the bombs, it’s not the guns, it’s not the trucks: It’s Islam

(COUNTER JIHAD) — In the wake of the Nice terror attack, former US Special Forces Master Sergeant Jim Hanson told journalists that the use of the truck proved that we can’t stop this kind of terrorism by focusing on the method of killing. “It’s not guns, it’s not bombs, it’s not trucks,” he said, but rather, “the ideology of sharia and jihad that motivates them to kill.”

This week has borne him out on that point.

Most famously, an Afghan refugee — allegedly 17, but he arrived unaccompanied and without records — undertook to hack German train passengers with an axe. The German government, following the lead of Angela Merkel and defending her refugee policy, refused to refer to this attack as terrorism. The German media followed suit:

German media have been describing the event as an “attack,” not a “terror attack.” And the event seems even less like an orchestrated act of Islamist terror since there have been indications that the young man may have turned into a radical Islamist within only a few days after hearing about the death of a good friend back in Afghanistan.

But whatever the terminology may be: Many people see something systematic in the series of large and small attacks carried out without exception by Muslims. Many are afraid their own lives are at risk – and that’s the very point of terrorism.

As noted in the article, the young man clearly thought of himself as an actor in service to the Islamic State (ISIS). He not only filmed a video explaining his intentions and loyalties, he sent it to them so that they could claim him after the fact as one of their own. They likewise recognized his claim to be a citizen of their caliphate, and did indeed accept the legitimacy of his claim that he had the right to act on their behalf as a “soldier of the caliphate.”

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ISIS has up to 42 million supporters in the Arab world

(THE CLARION PROJECT) — by Ralph Mauro

An analysis of four polls surveying Arab public opinion towards the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) reveals that the group has a bare minimum of 8.5 million strong supporters and that’s a conservative estimate. If you include those who feel somewhat positively towards the Islamic State, the number rises to at least 42 million.

The estimate is based on a March 2015 poll by the Iraq-based Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies; a November 2014 poll by Zogby Research Services; another November 2014 poll by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies and an October 2014 poll by the Fikra Forum commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The following is a breakdown of the support for the Islamic State in 11 Arab countries:

Iraq

The November 2014 poll by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies found that 2% of Iraqis view the Islamic State positively and another 4% view it positively to some extent. The March 2015 poll found that 5% do not consider the Islamic State to be a terrorist group.

With a population of 32,586,000 according to the CIA World Factbook, that means the Islamic State has between 651,720 and 1,955,160 supporters in Iraq.

Syria

Seventeen percent of Syrians said that they completely support the Islamic State’s goals and activities in the March 2015 poll. That statistic grows to 27% when you account for Syrians who do not consider the Islamic State to be a terrorist group.

The November 2014 poll interviewed 900 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey and found that 4% are positive towards the Islamic State and another 9% are somewhat positive. This should raise serious concerns for countries that are accepting refugees from the civil war.

With a population of 17,952,000, that means the Islamic State has between 3,051,840 and 4,847,040 supporters in Syria.

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