Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon

2016-02-02 | Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Part One: Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon

  • isis_coptsThe Islamic State is a terrorist state with almost all governing elements. Over the last four years, it has developed from an extremist fringe and marginal faction to become the strongest, most ferocious, best funded and armed militia in the religious and ethnic war that is waged today in Syria and Iraq.
  • ISIS rules today over a swath of land bigger than the United Kingdom, with a population of almost 10 million. ISIS changed its name to the Islamic State to illustrate that its goals are not limited to Iraq and the countries of the Fertile Crescent.
  • Since the fall of Muslim empires and supremacy, Muslim scholars and philosophers have tried to understand the reasons behind its collapse. The conclusion of most was that Muslim civilization had drifted away from the teachings of the Koran and adopted foreign and heretical inputs that had destroyed its fabric. The remedy they proposed was to return to “pure Islam” and reconstruct Muslim society.
  • After the U.S. occupational authority in Baghdad disbanded the Iraqi army in May 2003, thousands of well-trained Sunni officers were robbed of their livelihood with the stroke of a pen, creating some of America’s most bitter and intelligent enemies. In addition, many Islamic State terrorists spent years in detention centers in Iraq after 2003.
  • Never in the modern history of the Muslim world has a conflict drawn so many jihadists, who seek to participate in the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to rule the world after the defeat in battle of the Western powers and their local Arab allies.
  • For many, life in the Islamic State is better than in their country of origin. This is particularly the case for Chechen fighters who flock to the IS because the conditions of combat in Iraq and Syria are less harsh than against the Russians.

Much has been written about the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (the Levant) — ISIS. Most of the analysts have looked at ISIS as another terrorist organization, an al-Qaeda off-shoot, waging a guerrilla war with cohorts of unorganized thugs. The Afghani-style gear, the pickup trucks, the all black or army fatigue uniforms that most ISIS fighters wear, the unshaven beards, the turbans, hoods and head “bandanas” with Arabic inscriptions have added to the confusion.

In fact, ISIS is much more than a terrorist organization; it is a terrorist state with almost all governing elements. Over the last four years, since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, the Islamic State developed from an extremist fringe and marginal faction participating in the civil war to become the strongest, most ferocious, best funded and armed militia in the religious and ethnic war that is waged today in Syria and Iraq.

ISIS rules today over 300,000 square kilometers, a swath of land roughly bigger than the United Kingdom with a population of almost 10 million citizens. In the course of its first year of expansion, ISIS has changed its name to the Islamic State, a choice made to illustrate that its goals are not limited to Iraq and the countries of the Fertile Crescent. Moreover, the IS caliphate now has 10 branches, following pledges of allegiance in the past few months from new fronts including Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and, most recently, the Caucasian Emirates.

Factors behind the Establishment of the Islamic State

To understand the IS phenomenon, it is crucial to examine the factors that contributed to its emergence.

Since the fall of Muslim empires and supremacy, Muslim scholars and philosophers have tried to understand the reasons behind its collapse, its domination by Western Powers, its colonization and its incapacity to reproduce the genius that so much characterized the Muslim civilization following the conquests that stretched the Muslim lands from Spain to India, West Asia, and China. Most, if not all the scholars tried to analyze the characteristics behind the “Golden Age” of Islam and why at a certain point, the Muslim world stopped producing innovations in science, medicine, algebra, mathematics, military warfare machines and graphic arts. The conclusion of most was that Muslim civilization had drifted away from the teachings of the Koran and adopted foreign and heretical inputs that had destroyed its fabric. The remedy they proposed was to return to the “pure Islam” which would heal the wounds and respond to the West by first reconstructing the Muslim society according to their raw interpretation of the Koran and organizing to defeat Western power.

Indeed, since the fall of Muslim Spain in the fifteenth century and especially since the beginning of western colonization of Muslim territories, the Muslim world has witnessed the rise and fall of successive radical movements whose prime aim was to combat the West while regenerating the original Muslim society of Prophet Mohammad which was thought to be the cure for all ailments. Muslim thinkers like Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani (late 19th century), Muhammad ‘Abduh (19th century), Sayyed Qutub (20th century), Muhammad Iqbal (early 20th century), and the Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi in Sudan (19th century) are only a few examples of Muslim radicals who inspired upheavals against Western powers. ISIS is but another refined product of the radicalization of the Sunnis in West and Central Asia.

Since the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, foreign military intervention in the latter part of the 20th century, be it Soviet or American , was greatly responsible for the awakening of Sunni radicalism in West and Central Asia and to its expression today as a Holy War against the West, its allies and Israel. The perception that the West led by the United States are the new Crusaders trying to subdue Islam has nurtured extremists ideologies and created many militant organizations whose mission is to fight “the infidels.” This perception should be considered to be at the root of the creation of Al-Qaeda whose raison d’être is to fight the West and to strive to re-create a Muslim ( Sunni ) caliphate in the areas extending from North Africa to “Ma wara al Nahr,” meaning Central and Eastern Asia, the historical boundaries of the once Islamic empire.

The civil war in Syria transformed very quickly into a radical Sunni armed insurrection against the Alawite Iranian-backed Assad regime. The Muslim Brotherhood, which led the battle against the regime at the beginning of the conflict, was soon joined by radical organizations financed not only by Saudi Arabia and Qatar but also by other actors such as the United States, UK, France and Turkey. Qatar alone is said to have poured into the conflict more than $500 million. The Syrian scene provided all the ingredients for the radicalization of Sunni organizations. The Syrian civil war is an “all-in-one” situation in which all the previous factors are involved: foreign presence, Sunnis against Shiites, Iran and Hizbullah, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the United States, France and Turkey and an international coalition led by the United States fighting Islamic militants in the lands of Islam.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund Islamic organizations all over the world, nurturing mainly the Salafi-Wahhabi schools at the expense of traditional and moderate Islam. Most of the Muslim states have been exposed for a long time to Wahhabi proselytism that is by essence opposed to the “moderate” Sufi Islam practiced in North Africa. No wonder after the revolution in Libya and the takeover of Mali by Islamic fundamentalists, the Muslim militants destroyed all religious shrines, an exact copy of the reality in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, it appears now that Saudi Arabia is apprehensive of what seems to be the result of its actions: One of the biggest contingents fighting in Syria and Iraq is Saudi (almost 2,500). As a consequence of the assessment that these Jihadist organizations could harm the monarchy, Saudi Arabia and all Gulf states have adopted a sort of “Patriot Act” and designated all those volunteers as terrorists.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has also played a major catalyst role in contributing to the polarization of the Muslim world into two rival camps, Shiites and Sunnites. Since the beginning of the Khomeini takeover in 1979, Iran has been preaching a pan-Islamist ideology while sealing alliances with Islamic movements in the Arab world, Africa, and Asia. Iran concealed its Shiite philosophy and succeeded in creating the illusion that it was transcending its origins and its identity as a Shiite entity. It was not until the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring” that the Arab nations realized the Iranian scheme. The war in Syria and Iran’s open alliance with the Assad regime and the Shiite regime in Baghdad, Iran’s subversive activity in Lebanon through Hizbullah and the Houthis in Yemen, unveiled the implications of the Iranian contribution: the transformation of local conflicts in West Asia into a Shiite-Sunni open conflict over hegemony. Moreover, the Arab perception that the U.S. administration was looking to mend the fences with Iran at the expense of it historical clients in the Middle East accelerated the crisis between the Arab world and Iran and justified in the eyes of many the armed struggle waged by the Islamists against Iran and its allies in the region.

Another factor in the rise of the Islamic State is the so-called “Arab Spring” which was the expression of the failure of the Arab nation-states. The events in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen were exploited by Islamic militant movements which found the right opportunity to rise from their clandestine activities after years of oppression and persecution by the different Arab regimes to the forefront of the political struggle for power. Years of military rule did not eradicate the Islamic political forces that had remained in the shadow and camouflaged themselves under the cover of charitable organizations, social assistance and non-profit entities. However, after a first round in which the Islamists seemingly won in Tunisia and Egypt, the secular forces backed by the military succeeded in overcoming the Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood was dealt a heavy blow both in Syria and Egypt. However, the different regimes were unsuccessful in eradicating the plethora of militant terrorist Islamic organizations that are still conducting their deadly attacks against the different regimes. Some regimes survived – even though deeply shaken and destabilized – like Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco – while others like Libya deteriorated into failed states, and others are struggling for their survival such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

The second American war in Iraq in 2003 dealt a death blow to the Sunni minority that had ruled Iraq since its separation from the Ottoman Empire by British colonialism. The Americans, striving to establish a new world order with democratic regimes as a copy of the West, established an unprecedented Shiite regime which in turn discriminated against the Sunnites who found themselves out of jobs, positions, army command, and Baath party offices. Paul Bremer, then head of the U.S. occupational authority in Baghdad, disbanded the Iraqi army in May 2003. Thousands of well-trained Sunni officers were robbed of their livelihood with the stroke of a pen. In doing so, America created its most bitter and intelligent enemies. This was the fertile ground that welcomed Al-Qaeda and allowed the symbiosis between the Sunnite opposition to the Shiite regime and the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Until the schism with ISIS in 2013, Al-Qaeda was, in fact, the sole quasi-military opposition to the U.S.-led coalition campaign:

Amazingly, the Islamic State terrorists who have emerged in Iraq and Syria are not new to the U.S. and Western security agencies. Many of them spent years in detention centers in Iraq after 2003. “There were 26,000 detainees at the height of the war,” the New York Times reported, “and over 100,000 individuals passed through the gates of Camps Bucca, Cropper, and Taji.” The leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was incarcerated in Camp Bucca in southern Iraq. “A majority of the other top Islamic State leaders were also former prisoners, including Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, Abu Louay, Abu Kassem, Abu Jurnas, Abu Shema and Abu Suja,” the Times detailed. “Before their detention, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and others were violent radicals. Their time in prison deepened their extremism and gave them opportunities to broaden their following.”

Unfortunately, the phenomenon went unnoticed for most American decision makers. “The prisons became virtual terrorist universities,” the Times reporters Andrew Thompson and Jeremi Suri wrote. “Policies changed in 2007… Where possible, the military tried to separate hardline terrorists from moderates.” But after the American withdrawal these prisoners were placed in Iraqi custody. The Islamic State freed these extremists as they swept across parts of Iraq. “With a new lease on life,” the New York Times reported, “these former prisoners are now some of the Islamic States’ most dedicated fighters.”

Never in the modern history of the Muslim world has a conflict drawn so many jihadists as is the case with the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars, surpassing wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Since the outburst of the conflict in Syria in 2011 and the 2014 takeover of Mosul by the IS (the Islamic State), Syria and Iraq have become the epicenter of the global Jihad. Thousands of jihadists originating from more than 90 different nationalities have flocked to Syria and Iraq to be part of the battle against the Assad regime and the Shiite regime in Iraq. The latter two are reinforced by Hizbullah and Iran.

The jihadists seek to participate in the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to rule the world after the defeat in battle of the Western powers and their local Arab allies. The attraction the Islamic State is exercising on Sunni Muslims around the globe and jihadists in the Arab and Muslim world is tremendous. The Islamic State has become the beacon to rally thousands of militants in Iraq, Syria and around the globe.

The attraction is not limited in space or time. The movement is in Europe, the United States, Australia, Xinyang and also in the Arab world and Africa. As a matter of fact, most of North Africa’s jihadist groups were hesitant to associate themselves with the Islamic State until the United States commenced its military intervention in Iraq and Syria in August 2014.

Part II: Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon

2016-02-02 | Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Part II:

Profiling the Jihadist

isis_toyotaAlmost all of those who join the armed Jihad, Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State fall into two primary categories:

Criminals, often recruited in prison by radical imams who manage to rally those individuals to their cause by promising them that if they continue their actions on behalf of Islam – and not just for their only personal enrichment – their actions will become lawful and consistent with the will of Allah.
The “exalted” and the “deranged” who dream of war and action, seeking to assert their manhood at all costs and who are in search of violence and epic adventure to express it. For these individuals, jihad offers a unique opportunity to indulge their inclinations and publicize them to satisfy their deranged ego.
Religion doesn’t have much to do with the jihadists’ actions. Most know nothing about Islam and mindlessly repeat some verses that have been hammered into them by radical imams, less stupid than them, but much more dangerous. Those who are outside these profiles are only a tiny minority – exceptions that confirm the rule. Jihadist university graduates, for instance, are often frustrated individuals who have failed to integrate into society through work, study, socialization, marriage, etc. There again, radical imams succeed to convince them that their failures are not of their making but that of the environment that dismisses them. They teach them the idea that it is legitimate that they restore the situation to their benefit and by acting with force.

In fact, all jihadists have a psychiatric pathology, characteristics of obsessive-compulsive, even depressive disorders, as well as an inability to be socialized. The study of their past reveals that they had left homes and families voluntarily, that many had been the witnesses of family crises, and that they were often unemployed. Some have even made use of drugs when they were not directly involved in its trafficking.

The Islamic State has an undeniable power of attraction over these individuals. Indeed, it controls a territory on which it can implement the life principles that guide its action. Thus, young men leaving to join the IS receive on the spot what they have lacked in their previous homeland: On the one hand, they receive a reason that spares them the need to reflect, to earn a salary, to court women, while on the other hand they are offered warlike activities that become an outlet for their frustrations.

For many, aspects of life – physical, sexual and sentimental – in the Islamic State are better than in their country of origin. This is particularly the case for Chechen fighters who flock to the IS because the conditions of combat in Iraq and Syria are less harsh than against the Russians. Many young jihadists in the Arab world believe the Islamic State offers them greater social justice. No doubt they hear of the permission to murder, torture, rape, and entering into forced marriage of non-Muslims, or even of Muslims when they are not quite as radical. And, of course, there is the extermination of the Shiites.

Why North Africans?

Out of the thousands who volunteered for jihad, about 5,000 fighters, originating from North African countries, have joined the ranks of IS and the Jabhat al-Nusra fundamentalist organizations active in Syria and Iraq. The biggest contingent is composed of Tunisians (3,000), followed by Moroccans (1,500) and Algerians (500-800) representing roughly 50 percent of the foreign fighters. These numbers exclude the European fighters of North African origin (mostly from France, 1,800, and Belgium, 400-600).

Ironically, most of North Africa’s jihadist groups were hesitant to associate themselves with the Islamic State until the United States commenced its military intervention in Iraq and Syria in August 2014. Jihadists such as Abdel Malek Droukdel from AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), Mohammed Zahawi , from Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia, and Mokhtar Belmokhtar from al-Mourabitoun, who fought alongside Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, had refused, sometimes openly, to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State — even after it captured swathes of territory in Iraq in June 2014 and declared a caliphate. Recently, however, North Africa’s younger jihadist generation has become emboldened to break away from al Qaeda, seeking instead to join Baghdadi’s IS caliphate to benefit from its success and wealth. Rather than deterring these groups, the U.S.-led coalition’s sporadic airstrikes in Iraq and Syria seem to have afforded the Islamic State even more legitimacy in the eyes of North Africa’s jihadists.

Some of the Moroccan militants are filling senior positions in the Islamic State as are “emirs,” ministers (Justice, Finance, Interior), as well as a Military Emir (Military Chief) and even the head of a geographical region (the Turkman Mountain). However, 75 percent of the North Africans are “Inghimasiyyine,” an Islamic State terminology for an undercover operative responsible for protecting convoys and serving as the second wave of attack when an offensive mission or targeted attack is carried out.

During the first days of the civil war in Syria, the North Africans were organized in brigades, one of which was named “Sham al-Islam” and headed by a Moroccan, Ibrahim Benchekroun, alias Abu Ahmad EL-Maghrebi. Some even nicknamed the brigade as the “Liwa al Infransiyyoun” (the French Brigade) since the combatants communicated among themselves in French; some of its members were French nationals, mostly of North African origins, who were integrated into the North African French-speaking brigade. The ill-fated brigade that was active in the Latakia region of Syria was almost annihilated by the Syrian army loyal to Bashar Assad. The remaining members were scattered in different units created since then by the Islamic State.

Considered by the Islamic state as “Muhajirun” (immigrants), the North African fighters receive a monthly salary of $2,000-3,000 (compared to $500 paid to the local fighters). If married, the volunteer receives an additional $200 and $50 more for each of his children. A new born child will automatically generate a “bonus.”

Part III: Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Multiple Motives for North African Jihadists

3d43ff9f-174e-4a34-8d0f-1c0ff85d0e04Why are so many North Africans keen to join the Jihadist effort? What stands behind this massive mobilization and readiness of young people to leave everything behind, cut their ties with family, disappear from their milieu without any announcement, smuggle themselves to the Syrian or Iraqi arenas (at great risk from their respective countries and under the constant watch of the security and intelligence agencies that monitor movements to and from the Middle East), and of course ready to sacrifice their lives in Syria, Iraq or in Europe for a cause fought thousands of kilometers away from their native North African country?
The explanation may be found in the following:

1. North Africans have always wanted to be close to the “core” of the Middle East, feeling marginalized by historical events taking place in the Arab-Israeli conflict away from their region. North African states sent expeditionary troops to the Middle East after the 1967 Six-Day War to take part in the battle against Israel. Morocco sent two brigades (one was deployed in the Syrian Golan Heights and one in Egypt) while Algeria sent a brigade to Egypt. Those troops were actively engaged in combat during the Yom Kippur 1973 war against Israel and suffered heavy losses.

2.North Africa is the setting for developing jihadist movements partly inspired by the war in Afghanistan and by the Khomeini revolution in Iran. But the unsatisfied needs of young, mostly unemployed people, left behind by the process of modernization and westernization and an unwillingness to accept the reality of power also plays a role. The disintegration of Libya after Qaddafi and the takeover of the country by jihadist militias have served as a contagious example to North African jihadists, meaning that what has been achieved in nearby Libya by jihadists could be repeated in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

3. The North Africa states have been exposed for a long time to Wahhabi proselytism that is opposed to the “moderate” Sufi Islam practiced in North Africa. Morocco and Tunisia were tolerant to the Wahhabi theological invasion while Algeria chose to fight it by all means. Identification with the Wahhabi ideology is only one step from joining soul mates to fight the “heretics” leading “heretic” regimes. Oddly enough, northern Morocco, which seems to be the area that has drawn the most jihadists to the Islāmic State, is a region were strict Salafi sheiks dominate the religious scene and do identify openly with the ideology of the Islāmic State and its targets.

4.There is also an economic factor one cannot ignore. Most of the Moroccans who have joined the Islāmic State come from the north of the country that has been neglected by former King Hassan II. The northern region of Morocco is hit by severe unemployment and subsequent radicalization. The fact that the Islāmic State pays salaries that cannot even be imagined in Morocco is a factor in the enrollment of jihadists by the Islāmic State.

5. Finally, one cannot under-estimate the geographic factor: North Africa is very close to southern Europe and the jihadist network existing there, which makes coördination and recruitment easier. Those networks appeared first during the second Iraqi war (2003) when people thought it acceptable to travel to Iraq and join the fight against the “American aggressor.”

What Are the Ultimate Objectives of the Islamic State?

The answer is simple, and it lies in the publications of the Islāmic State: establish an Islāmic Caliphate that would restore Islam’s historical splendor. According to the maps published by the Islāmic State, the Islāmic State will include Andalus in the West (Spain) and stretch from North Africa — the Maghreb — (and the whole of West Africa including Nigeria) through Libya and Egypt (considered one geographical unit – Ard Al-Kinana), include what is called in Islāmic state terminology, Ard el Habasha (from Cameroon in the west, Central Africa, the Lake Victoria states, Ethiopia and Somalia), the Hijaz (Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States), Yemen until Khurasan in the east – defined as the Central Asian Muslim Republics beginning with Azerbaijan and including Pakistan and the southwest part of China, land of the Muslims of Turkish origin, the Uyghurs. The Islāmic State also includes Iran and Turkey (named Anatol) in their entirety and parts of Europe (mainly the Balkans, more or less conforming to the borders of the defunct Ottoman Empire with the Austro-Hungarian territories).

The Islāmic State has made no secret who is its enemy: In an audio-taped message, Al-Baghdadi announced following his self-proclaimed caliphate that the Islāmic State would march on “Rome” in its resolve to establish an Islāmic State from the Middle East across Europe. He said that he would conquer both Rome and Spain in this endeavor and urged Muslims across the world to immigrate to the new Islāmic State.

On November 13, 2014, exactly a year before the Paris terrorist attacks, a voice message attributed to Al-Baghdadi vowed that IS fighters would never cease fighting “even if only one soldier remains.” The speaker urged supporters of the Islāmic State to “erupt volcanoes of jihad” across the world. He called for attacks to be mounted in Saudi Arabia—describing Saudi leaders as “the head of the snake” – and said that the U.S.-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq was failing. He also said that ISIL would keep on marching and would “break the borders” of Jordan and Lebanon and “free Palestine.” Al-Baghdadi also claimed in 2014 that Islāmic jihadists would never hesitate to eliminate Israel just because it has the United States support.

The distillation of these warlike declarations could only mean a continuation of the IS war effort directed at:

  1. Toppling the Shiite regime in Iraq and containing Iran.
  2. Taking control of the Syrian-Turkish border.
  3. Reaching Tripoli in Lebanon to secure a harbor on the Mediterranean Sea and by extension to destabilize Lebanon.
  4. Toppling the Assad regime in Syria.
  5. Destabilizing Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
  6. Destabilizing Europe and the U.S. through terrorist acts. Blowing up the Russian plane flying out of Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai and the Beirut and Paris terrorist attacks definitely fit in this IS strategy.

ISIS Vs. ISIL – Something to Consider

Wonder why all Obama administration spokespersons including the CIA Director now exclusively use the term ISIL rather than ISIS?

They are not exactly synonymous. One explanation is proffered here.

ISIS-ISIL

Here is an explanation of the difference between the terms ISIS and ISIL. I have been suspicious of the term ISIL to which the administration stubbornly clings.

ISIS = Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Iraq is to the east of Jordan (shaped like the hatchet) and Syria is to the north.

ISIL = Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Iraq is still to the east of Jordan, and “the Levant” is a term that comes from “the rising (of the sun, i.e., to the east)” – and is basically the land along the Mediterranean – that includes Lebanon, Israel, and those countries along that region.

By saying ISIL, you “negate” Israel as its own country and lump it in with the rest of the countries along the Mediterranean – and Israel sort of disappears (loses its sovereignty) and becomes part of “the Levant ” – which is therefore part of ISIL.

If you’ve wondered, as I have, why all government agencies and especially Obama calls it ISIL and even spells it out every time it’s used, instead of ISIS as the rest of the world, here’s the answer.

Decoding Obama’s speech reveals some startling revelations. In one press conference after another, when referring to the Muslim terror super-group ISIS, United States President Barack Obama will use the term ISIL, instead of their former name ISIS, or current name Islamic State.

Have you ever wondered about that? Here is the difference: What makes up the near exact center of the Muslim Levant? Israel.

ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Now, to us Westerners we don’t really make much of a distinction, do we? No, honestly from our perspective it’s all about the same. But how would a Muslim living in the Middle East view it? Just what is the Levant anyway? Let’s take a look.

The geographical term LEVANT refers to a multi-nation region in the Middle East. It’s a land bridge between Turkey to the north and Egypt to the south. If you look on a map, however, in the near exact middle of the nations that comprise the Levant, guess what you see? It’s Israel.

When Barack Obama refers over and over to the Islamic State as ISIL, he is sending a message to Muslims all over the Middle East that he personally does not recognize Israel as a sovereign nation, but as territory belonging to the Islamic State.

Now you know why Obama says that he has no plan, no goal, and no stated aim for dealing with ISIS. But he does have a plan, and it’s a really nasty, diabolical one. Obama’s plan is to drag his feet for as long as he can, doing only the bare minimum that Congress forces him to do. His plan is to buy ISIL as much time as possible to make as many gains as they can.

Listen as Obama, his press secretary, the spokesperson for the State Department, and his Joint Chiefs of Staff painstakingly spell out the letters I-S-I-L so there is no doubt in your mind. And it’s working.

The Islamic State has garnered millions of dollars, a vast cache of weapons, and in their latest foray have captured Syrian fighter jets and now 12 commercial passenger planes. With each passing day that Obama fulfills his stated aim of doing nothing, the Islamic State grows by leaps and bounds.

The ultimate goal, of course, has not changed and will never change. The ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel. Obama does choose his words so carefully.

You can find one very excellent post from the “Inquisitor.”
You may also find the “Independent” article on this topic of help. ISIS vs. ISIL

NYT: US Assisting Hezbollah in Its Efforts to Oust ISIS From Lebanon

This article appeared on Monday, 22 Sep. 2014
By Jennifer G. Hickey in Newmax

In its campaign to prevent The Islamic State (ISIS) from securing territory in Lebanon, the United States is finding itself allied with some unsavory groups, even sending indirect military aid to the terrorist group Hezbollah, reports The New York Times.

The aid, which came in the form of new weapons, was channeled via the Lebanese Army, which closely coordinates with the Hezbollah terrorist group, according to Mohammad Afif, Hezbollah’s newly appointed head of public relations.

In addition, U.S. intelligence is being channeled to Hezbollah as well, according to Lebanese sources.

This would explain how the terrorist organization was able to pinpoint its first UAV bombing so precisely against the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, which is not associated with ISIS and which in fact currently is fighting against the organization.

Al-Qaida has denounced ISIS as “too brutal.”

According to experts who spoke to The Times, American and weapons intelligence have been shared with the Lebanese army, which has aided Hezbollah’s efforts to deter suicide attacks in areas of southern Beirut that are controlled by the group.

“The international community has an interest in isolating the Syria crisis,” said Afif . “All have an interest to keep the peace” in Lebanon and Afif added that “everyone has their own ways.”

Kamel Wazne, an analyst who studies Hezbollah and American politics, told The Times that by engaging in a battle against ISIS could bring both de facto American collaboration with Hezbollah, as well as covert coordination through intermediaries.

Walid Phares, a Lebanese analyst, warns we should learn the lessons of history calling any cooperation with Hezbollah a “serious mistake.”

“The problem is that Hezbollah is omnipresent in the Lebanese government and has a lot of influence within the Lebanese Army, including the intelligence services,” Phares said in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

Hezbollah, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization, is using the fight against ISIS as a means to boost its legitimacy and to claim it is necessary to have the group remain in Syria.

“Day after day, it is becoming clear to Lebanon, the Arab, Muslim and international communities that there is a great need for Hezbollah to remain in Syria. The current situation today imposes on Hezbollah to stay in Syria more than any other time,” said Nabil Qaouk, the deputy head of the party’s executive council, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.

But, the rise of ISIS also has Lebanese reconsidering their opposition to Hezbollah possessing weapons.

“I used to be against Hezbollah keeping weapons and wanted them to hand them to the Lebanese army,” says Rita Sfeir, a Christian woman from north Lebanon, told The Christian Science Monitor. “Now I am more concerned about the Islamic State and I’m thinking at least Hezbollah has weapons to defend us from those butchers.”

ISIS or ISIL?

Everyone except the WH says ISIS? If you do just a little research—The Term LEVANT does include the Land of Israel.

Scary, huh?’ Scroll down…

In one press conference after another, when referring to the Muslim terror super-group ISIS, United States President Barack Obama will use the term ISIL instead of their former name ISIS or current name Islāmic State. Have you ever wondered about that? We have.

What makes up the near exact center of the Muslim Levant? Israel.

ISIL stands for the Islāmic State of Iraq and Levant. Now, to us Westerners we don’t really make much of a distinction, do we? No, honestly from our perspective it’s all about the same. But how would a Muslim living in the Middle East view it? Just what is the Levant anyway? Let’s take a look.

The geographical term LEVANT refers to a multi-nation region in the Middle East. It’s a land bridge between Turkey to the north and Egypt to the south. If you look on a map, however, in the near exact middle of the nations that comprise the Levant, guess what you see? Come on, guess!

It’s Israel.

When Barack Obama refers over and over to the Islāmic State as ISIL, he is sending a message to Muslims all over the Middle East that he personally does not recognize Israel as a sovereign nation, but as territory belonging to the Islāmic State.

Now you know why Obama says that he has no plan, no goal, and no stated aim for dealing with ISIS. But he does have a plan, and it’s a really nasty, diabolical one. Obama’s plan is to drag his feet for as long as he can, doing only the bare minimum that Congress forces him to do. His “plan” is to buy ISIS as much time as possible to make as many gains as they can.

And it’s working.

The Islāmic State has garnered millions of dollars, a vast cache of weapons, and in their latest foray have captured Syrian fighter jets. With each passing day that Obama fulfills his stated aim of doing nothing, the Islāmic State grows by leaps and bounds. The ultimate goal, of course, has not changed and will never change.

The ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel.

Now you know a little bit more why Obama chooses his words so carefully, and what’s really in a name.

Shakespeare had it right.

Th Islamic State: The Enemy Within?

On Wednesday August 20, Act for America posted the following …

Last night, amid the tragedy and ongoing drama that continues to unfold in Ferguson, Missouri, a shocking image appeared which should serve as a reminder for every American about the threat we face from jihad…

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In this image from CNN’s coverage of the events in Ferguson, a marcher can be clearly seen in the background holding a sign that says: “ISIS HERE.”

ISIS, of course, is the acronym formerly used to refer to the jihadist terrorist organization that is widely referred to as the “Islamic State.”

The Islamic State has committed unspeakable atrocities in the Middle East, slaughtering Christians and Muslims alike.

But they also are targeting America, both with potential acts of jihad and propaganda.

In fact, the ISIS sign at the Ferguson march is perhaps no surprise given that the Islamic State has made extensive use of social media to conduct outreach to protesters there.

We can hope that the Islamic State’s efforts to win support for their cause here in the U.S. will be totally unsuccessful, but hope is not a strategy.

And, as we have warned repeatedly already, there is no doubt that the Islamic State wants to target the U.S. and Americans both here and around the world.

In fact, just Monday, the Islamic State issued another threat to the U.S., promising “We will drown all of you in blood.”

In an interview with VICE media, Islamic State spokesman Abu Mosa had this to say: “I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

Last week, an unnamed intelligence official told the Washington Post that the Islamic State viewed conflict with the U.S. as inevitable.

It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is that America remain vigilant at this time. There are many competing news stories out there right now, but none of the issues that America must face are as significant as the threat from jihad. Our national security and the safety of our citizens must remain paramount.

President Obama Shows Why He Cannot Beat ISIL

ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching at a mosque in Mosul, Iraq

               ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching at a mosque in Mosul, Iraq

By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | August 21st, 2014 at 04:30 AM |

Credit where it is due: for once “No Drama Obama” showed some real anger and emotion. In addressing the nation about James Foley, President Obama had a level of righteousness in his voice he does not often have. While I think it unseemly that he was literally within ten minutes of his speech on a golf course, I appreciate the righteousness in his statement. But his words bother me greatly. His words expose why he can never beat ISIL.

In his speech the President said a few things.

There has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, there is no clear rejection of this nihilistic ideology. And while you and I may agree ISIL “has no place in the 21st century”, a lot of people do think it has a place. He said “ISIL speaks for no religion,” but they do. He and so many refuse to recognize that. It may not be Islam, but it is certainly a religion and it has many adherents.

The biggest issue, taking into account all of the above, was this:

People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.

ISIL, The Five year plan of Conquest

     ISIL, The Five year plan of Conquest

Herein lies the problem and why the President cannot beat ISIL. He is fond of talking about the arc of history bending in various directions. The truth is the arc of history does not bend on its own. People bend the arc. History bends in the direction of those who fight to bend it. As Mollie Hemingway notes, what President Obama said is “is literally Mickey Mouse philosophy. And I don’t mean that in a good way.”

The future is often won by those who fight to destroy. History bent toward the West after World War II because we destroyed the Nazis, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and so much more. History bent toward Alaric I and the Visigoths when they sacked Rome. In the long game, we face what we face in the Middle East today because of the sacking of Constantinople and the destruction of the last vestiges of the Byzantine Empire.

“[D]estruction after all is a form of creation,” wrote Graham Greene. There is a lot of truth in that. Combine President Obama’s naivety on this point with his statement on “nihilistic ideologies.” President Obama’s progressive ideology is nihilistic and deeply naive. Both the progressive ideology and ISIL end up in much the same place — progressive, secular utopia always ends in totalitarianism. It always ends in a police state where the state controls freedom. The victims of the utopia may be different from ISIL’s utopia, but there are still victims. History is filled with progressive utopias and those who suffer under them.

This arrives at the ultimate end and folly. Mr. Obama seems to think that if we can all just reject these silly ideologies and religion that we will order ourselves in a proper, tolerant society. Had he any sense of history he would know how wrong he is.

Men are brutal creatures when left to their own devices. Men in their natural state are savages who move immediately toward survival of the fittest. We do not order ourselves into utopia when stripped of ideology. We run headlong into the very nihilism Mr. Obama says we should reject. And here, friends, is where we reach the great point of division.

The world is divided into two groups: those who embrace the history and lessons of the West’s faith heritage and those who do not. Those who do not may divide among atheists, agnostics, and even ISIL. Those who embrace our heritage and that of the West know that men can be called out of their depravity and nihilism to a higher power and cause greater than themselves. But that cause is neither the collectivist state nor Muhammad. It is, instead, the one true God and Truth so many pretend do not exist.

Because too many of our political and intellectual leaders reject that altogether, they will only go for half-measures thinking ISIL cannot win on the arc of history and that it speaks for no man or religion. All those presuppositions are wrong and potentially fatal to more than those, like James Foley, who stepped too close documenting this evil.

Islamists Around the World Rushing to Join ISIS

Sunday, 10 Aug 2014 09:56 AM
By Greg Richter

Members of al-Qaida in Yemen and Africa are leaving in large numbers to join the rival terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, The Washington Post reports.

The success of ISIS, or the Islamic State, as the group is also known, in taking over several cities in northern Iraq and eastern Syria may be behind the surge in recruitment, U.S. officials told the Post.

The United States has been making airdrops of supplies to Christian and Yazidi groups forced to flee to mountains in Iraq in fear of their lives and is prepared to strike ISIS members who threaten American interests.

On Sunday, Iraq’s human rights minister told Reuters that militants had killed at least 500 members of Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic minority during their offensive in the north. Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said the Sunni militants had also buried alive some of their victims, including women and children. Some 300 women were kidnapped as slaves, he added.

“We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,” Sudani told Reuters.

Sinjar is the ancient home of the Yazidis, one of the towns captured by the Sunni militants who view the community as “devil worshipers”.

“Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar,” Sudani said.syrians-flee-to-turkey-border-data

ISIS has said it desires a direct conflict with the United States on American soil, and the current conflict may also be serving as a lure for new members.

“Small groups from a number of al-Qaida affiliates have defected to ISIS,” a U.S. official told the Post. “And this problem will probably become more acute as ISIS continues to rack up victories.”

It is not known whether airstrikes will deter recruitment or increase it, though the jihadist forum Shumukh al-Islam suggested the strikes should rally more to the cause.

So far, the defections appear to be of single members or small groups, counterterrorism analysts say, and no complete al-Qaida nodes or senior leaders have defected to ISIS, the Post reports.

Most defections have come from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] in Yemen and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. AQAP is behind many of the terror plots aimed at the United States, including the failed underwear bomber on Christmas Day 2009.

ISIS has stated it intends to form a caliphate, or Muslim religious state, and is known for its brutality, including beheadings, of non-Muslims and even non-Sunnis. It formerly was an al-Qaida affiliate, but broke from the group after al-Qaida criticized it for its tactics.

Members of the Iraqi army laid down their arms and fled earlier this year as ISIS forces advanced. As a result, ISIS now possesses American weapons left for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki. It also has raided banks and taken over oil wells, adding to its power.

They also have the advantage of being battle-tested.

“They are demonstrating just how advantageous it is to a terrorist insurgent group to be fighting in the field for years and years as they have been in Iraq and Syria,” Daniel Benjamin, a professor at Dartmouth University and a former State Department counterterrorism official, told the Post.

“They are not constrained by that fear of failure other al-Qaida groups have shown,” Benjamin said.

Of ISIS’s estimated 10,000 members, up to half are thought to be from outside Iraq and Syria. And about 100 Americans are thought to have tried or succeeded in traveling to ISIS territory. That trouble’s U.S. officials because they fear those Americans could return to launch terror attacks on the homeland.

Editorial Note: It appears that America is being left without defense, not because of ISIS, but because we have a president and administration who are unable to define our enemy. How long will we be an undefended prey from our enemies who have declared they will fly their flag over our capitol and behead us the infidels?

ISIS: “We Will Raise Flag of Allah in White House.”

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 09:18 AM
By Drew MacKenzie

With all that has transpired around the world these past couple of weeks, there are still multitudes American strides unable to believe there is such a reality as Radical Islamics. For these believe the propaganda that comes from our own state department and current administration, I share the following.

The Islāmic State has warned the United States that it plans to attack America and raise “the flag of Allah in the White House.”

“I say to America that the Islāmic caliphate has been established,” Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the terror group, also known as ISIS, told Vice Media in a video interview posted online Thursday.

“Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

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Story continues after video.

See Parts 2 through 5 in side bar to the right.

The nine-minute video is the first of a five-part series from Vice Media after reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with ISIS fighters, gaining unprecedented access to the terror group.

In the first video, Dairieh heads to the Syrian city of Raqqa, where the brutal extremists are building a regime while also laying siege to a Syrian army base.

The ISIS threat to conquer the United States was issued before President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he planned to authorize “targeted” airstrikes against the hard-line Sunni jihadists to prevent the genocide of ethnic minorities in Iraq, including tens of thousands of fleeing Christians, as well as to protect U.S personnel in Irbil and Baghdad.

The Islāmic State has captured vast swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria as it attempts to create a caliphate in the region. with its shadowy leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph.