Tagged: Middle East

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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Venezuela may have given passports to people with ties to terrorism

(CNN) — The stunning postcard-perfect vista surrounding Misael Lopez in this town about one hour from Madrid belies his constant anxiety, even fear.

That’s because the former legal adviser to the Venezuelan Embassy in Iraq is revealing secrets he says his government doesn’t want disclosed.

“I’m concerned about my safety and my family’s safety everywhere I go,” Lopez said as he walked the cobble-stoned streets of Toledo.

Lopez, 41, says he reported what he says was a scheme to sell passports and visas for thousands of dollars out of the embassy and repeatedly turned down offers to get a cut of the money. But it was the response from his government — which has denied his allegations — that surprised him the most.

CNN and CNN en Español teamed up in a year-long joint investigation that uncovered serious irregularities in the issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas, including allegations that passports were given to people with ties to terrorism. The investigation involved reviewing thousands of documents, and conducting interviews in the U.S., Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.

One confidential intelligence document obtained by CNN links Venezuela’s new Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and ID’s that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The accusation that the country was issuing passports to people who are not Venezuelan first surfaced in the early 2000s when Hugo Chavez was the country’s president, interviews and records show.

A Venezuelan passport permits entry into more than 130 countries without a visa, including 26 countries in the European Union, according to a ranking by Henley and Partners. A visa is required to enter the United States.

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Iraqi Army confirms: ISIS leader was target of last night’s airstrike

(JERUSALEM ONLINE) — Yesterday evening (Feb. 12), various news agencies around the world reported that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was either seriously injured or eliminated in an Iraqi airstrike backed by the U.S. Army.

Conflicting reports led to serious confusion about the terrorist’s condition. However, the Iraqi Army announced today that while al-Baghdadi’s fate is still unknown, the airstrike was carried out by F-16 aircraft that were targeting him.

“The airstrike was carried out on a location where al-Baghdadi meets with other ISIS leaders, according to information we possess,” stated the Iraqi Army. The army also added that 13 senior-level ISIS terrorists were eliminated in western Iraq but al-Baghdadi was not one of them.

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Global terrorism soars with number of attacks rising 25% every year – and ISIS are responsible for a third

(UK MIRROR) — Global terrorism is soaring with the number of attacks increasingly rapidly by more than 25% every year.

Islamic State fighters were responsible for more than a third of the world’s 24,202 deaths from terrorism last year.

In 2015 there 18,987 terror attacks in the world, with terrorism being defined as violence committed by “armed non-state groups and individuals”.

The feared terror group ISIS was behind just 18% of all of last year’s recorded attacks worldwide but remains the priority for most western security forces.

Research shows the group is the most effective at killing sworn enemies as in the years 2015 and 2016 its fighters launched 4,236 attacks resulting in the deaths of 10,807 civilians or other non- militants, such as soldiers.

And the latest figures suggest ISIS killings outside the Middle East are on the rise – as figures for non-Middle East ISIS attacks in 2015 rose from eight per cent to sixteen per cent the following year.

These figures reflect the number of deaths from ISIS-affiliated attacks across Europe in the past two years.

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2 car bombings over last 24 hours: more than 60 dead, 130 wounded in Iraq and Syria

(GATEWAY PUNDIT) — Religion Of Peace Strikes Again

Islamic Terrorism is responsible for scores of deaths in 2 car major car bombings over the last 24 hours.

Iraq

At least 12 people have been killed and 50 wounded in a blast from a car bomb in eastern Baghdad, police and doctors say, according to Reuters.

Syria

A car bomb exploded in a busy commercial district in a rebel-held Syrian town Saturday, killing a minimum of 48 with some reports saying at least 60 have been killed.

Rescuers and doctors said the explosion was so large there were nearly 100 wounded and burned. The carnage was so severe that many victims had to be transferred to other towns as local hospitals couldn’t handle the high volume.

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Suicide terrorism across the globe hits record high in 2016

(BREITBART) — A total of 469 suicide bombings carried out by 800 perpetrators across 28 countries, causing the deaths of about 5,650 people made 2016 the worst year ever for this deadly form of terrorist atrocity.

According to figures released by the Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict Research Program at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Islamic State continues to be the world’s leading perpetrator of these mass casualty attacks – and 2017 may be even worse.

In 2016, Islamic State attackers were directly or indirectly responsible (through organizations that swore allegiance to it and joined its ranks) for approximately 70 per cent (322) of suicide bombings. See INSS figures below:

Rather than an indicator of strength, the report says increasing numbers of suicide attack represent a reaction by Islamic State to “territorial losses and the increasing international efforts to drive it out of the areas it controls.”

The report goes on to warn that “suicide terrorism will be a key tool for the Islamic State in consolidating its image as invincible, creating deterrence against its enemies, and taking revenge for the international activity against it. The Islamic State’s partners and other terrorist groups will also likely redouble their efforts to carry out mass casualty large scale terrorist attacks.”

In the Middle East, the number of suicide bombings rose 45 per cent in 2016 over 2015 (to 298 bombings from 207). Year on year, the number of suicide bombers and victims also rose significantly (513 suicide terrorists and approximately 3,915 fatalities in 2016, compared with 353 suicide terrorists and 2,294 fatalities in 2015).

The vast majority of the suicide bombings in the region, about 90 per cent, were carried out by the Islamic State and its affiliated organizations.

According to the report, the involvement of women in the suicide bombings in 2016 was again significant. It states:

“A total of 44 suicide bombings were carried out during the year with the involvement of 77 women in 8 countries around the world, causing the death of approximately 400 people. Although the number of suicide bombings carried out by women fell sharply, compared with the record number of 118 suicide bombings in 2015, it appears that the use of women as suicide terrorists expanded this year, primarily in theaters in which they had not previously operated: France, Austria, Morocco, Libya, Bangladesh, and Indonesia (most of these operations were foiled by the security forces).”

The Middle East alone is not the only target of suicide bombers, according to the research.

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Tips for Trump on terrorism

(FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE) — The amazing 2016 election is in the books and, despite countless prophecies to the contrary, Donald J. Trump will be the new commander-in-chief of U.S. Armed Forces, the most powerful man in the world. That is an ideal position to take long overdue actions on the terrorist front. As a brief review confirms, there is no place like home to begin.

On November 5, 2009, at Ford Hood, Texas, U.S. soldiers were getting their final medical checkups before deploying to Afghanistan. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist and self-described “Soldier of Allah,” began gunning down the soldiers, yelling “Allahu akbar” as he did so. His victims, all unarmed, included Francheska Velez, a 21-year-old private from Chicago who pleaded for the life of her unborn child.

The Muslim major killed two other women that day along with 10 men, more than twice as many victims as the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. This was the deadly attack that the current commander-in-chief called “workplace violence,” exempting Hasan from “gun violence,” one of the current president’s favorite themes.

Hasan also wounded 33 others including Sergeant Alonzo Lunsford, who played dead then fled the building. Major Hasan chased down Lunsford, an African-American, and shot him seven times, including one bullet in the back. Lunsford later complained that Hasan got better treatment than his victims, which was true. One victim said that Major Nidal Hasan did not deserve to live, and that is also true.

To serve the interest of justice, at the first opportunity President Trump should have this Islamic terrorist mass murderer executed. The president should also remove from their positions those intelligence officers who knew about Hasan’s murderous plans and chose to do nothing.

On September 11, 2012, the current president did nothing as terrorists killed four Americans in Benghazi, including ambassador Chris Stevens. The president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton essentially parroted jihadist propaganda and blamed an internet video. President Trump should take a different and more activist approach.

Every year, he should use the 9/11 anniversary to send a message by busting up some terrorist enterprise and taking down as many terrorists as possible. Perhaps this could take the form of a special-forces raid such as the one that took out Osama bin Laden. After all, it’s a target-rich environment all around the world.

Maybe President Trump could change up the day to maintain the element of surprise. In any case, he should keep his campaign promise to “bomb the shit out of ISIS,” also known as the Islamic State. Iran is also an Islamic terrorist state, and of course President Trump needs to shred the Iran nuclear deal on day one. He also needs to fulfill his promise to halt the Syrian refugee program.

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ISIS chainsaw massacre: Nine youths literally sawed in half, accused of being part of a resistance faction

(INQUISITR) — Just when you thought ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) could not possibly develop more heinous ways of executing captives and prisoners, news out of the besieged city of Mosul, Iraq, reveals that a group of youths have been put to death in what amounts to nothing short of a chainsaw massacre. According to a source, nine Mosul youths were killed, all accused of belonging to an anti-ISIS resistance faction.

Iraqi News reported August 31 that nine youths were convicted in an Islamic State sharia court of being members of a resistance faction in the city. They were summarily sentenced to a public execution. The nine were then tied to a pole Wednesday and cut in two with a chainsaw by ISIS militants.

A source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Iraqi News, “The death sentence pronounced by ISIS sharia court stated that the men should be tied to an iron pole in the center of Tal Afar Square in Mosul and then sliced into two with an electric chainsaw.”

The news outlet went on to note that ISIS has executed thousands of the city’s citizens since taking over Mosul in June 2014. Although allegations and charges have varied, most of those killed by the extremists were convicted of collaborating with enemy forces.

The ISIS chainsaw killings come just a week after Islamic State extremists, after convicting six individuals of collaborating with the enemy in sharia court, killed the group by lowering the then still living men into boiling vats of tar. According to Inquisitr, the killings were also a public execution in Mosul, the carrying out of the sentence said to have been done to instill fear in the citizenry.

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Hat tip to The Long War Journal for the story link to the Inquisitr

2021: The United Shariah States of America

(WND) — A note from the year 2021:

The Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein warned us. Spelled it all out, albeit it in Arabic, for us all to read. Told us all that this was the plan. Back in 2005 he penned the warning shot in his book “Al-Zarqawi: The Second Generation of Al Qaeda.”

What exactly did he warn about?

That damn 20-year plan.

The evil, ambitious, prescient plan that led us to where we are now, here in 2021, where ISIS has Islamized America.

Where Christians, Jews, homosexuals, atheists, and moderate Muslims have been choked out of their right to conscience.

Where the sight of a beautiful woman’s hair is a faded, distant memory now covered by a hijab in perpetuity.

Where the surviving remnant of yesterday’s Western elite now cower in submissive fear to their newfound Islamic power brokers.

Where rock ‘n’ roll, as AC/DC once deeply protested was patently untrue, has now been outlawed and legally deemed noise pollution.

The 20-year plan has unfolded with terrifying precision in accordance with its blueprint.

Phase 1 (2000-2003): Poke, irritate and provoke the West. USS Cole. 9/11. DONE.

Phase 2 (2003-2006): Normalize apocalyptic Islamism throughout the Muslim world. Establish Iraq as a centerpiece of operations for jihad. Create an army there. Establish contingent bases firmly placed in other Arabic states. DONE.

Phase 3 (2007-2010): Expand the fight and target those with secular governments averse to Islamism. Hyper-focus on Syria. But also Jordan, Turkey and, of course, Israel, the little Satan. DONE.

Phase 4 (2010-2013): Dismantle the infidel regimes of the Middle East through popular revolts and revolution. Stoke the flames of insurgencies. The Arab Spring. Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Yemen. Continue cyber-attacks on the U.S. Intensify the cyber propaganda campaigns.DONE.

Phase 5 (2013-2016): Formally declare an established caliphate. The one that the Western media mocked any commentator for warning about. Exploit the weak Western will and re-create the first caliphate in nine decades. This is the first step in creating the Islamic New World Order in which a clear divide exists between a united Muslim community of believers (dar al-Islam) and the unbelievers (dar al-harb), or house of war. ISIS, ISIL, IS. Whatever the iteration, it has now been placed firmly on the to-done list. DONE.

Phase 6 (2016-2019): Move toward total confrontation. Use the caliphate as a catalyst for a focused instigation of the West. Through continued attacks, force the West to muster their last long-drawn effort to attempt to confront the inevitable growth of the caliphate. Orlando. Paris. Brussels. Nice. DONE.

Phase 7 (2020): Push through into definitive victory. The caliphate crosses the line into victory over the West. The West’s effort to use supreme technology to defeat the caliphate is impotent as the nimbleness of jihad proved to be more of an asset than the West’s supreme technological power. The caliphate attracts more followers exponentially, leaving it as the world’s lone remaining superpower with the strength of 1.5 billion Muslims. Borderless and asymmetrical as hell. DONE.

Today is Thursday. The last one in September. The autumn leaves are as beautiful as they ever were this time of year, except for the light, consistent layer of soft ash that floats down on them periodically throughout the day. The ash that comes from the incinerator just down the street. Thursdays are their biggest production day. Wednesdays are drop-off days for that week’s collection activity, so Thursday is when most of the burning happens. Hence, more ash. I escaped the incinerator by pledging my life to Islam. A coward I am. Those who are brave, the collected ones – all the infidels – Christians, homosexuals, atheists and especially the Jews, they get the fire. Some days I wish I chose to be with them.

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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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