Why is ISIS Baffling US Intelligence Agencies?
Research Credit to @YallaSouriya
On August 14th, The Daily Beast headlined with "ISIS Baffling U.S. Intelligence Agencies." In the article it said, "The U.S. intelligence community is still trying to answer basic questions about the jihadists." It went on to say the U.S. was trying to determine the real names of ISIS leaders from records of Iraqis who were in American custody during the US Occupation of Iraq.
ISIS Isn't an Enigma
If the U.S. Intelligence agencies were on the ball and following the obvious trail of ISIS, they would see the clues laid out before them. Rather than look internally at U.S. records from the Iraq occupation to gather intelligence, it would be more helpful for US political policy makers and analysts to listen to experts who are currently working in the Middle East. Why look backwards, instead of looking in the moment or what ISIS has defined as their strategy for the future?
What Do We Know Right Now About ISIS?
Jamal Khashoggi, a noted Saudi journalist said in a January 2014 Al-Arabiya article:
"ISIS is more of an idea or approach rather than an organization, and it has been labeled several names throughout history. Islamist activists, who have been in contact with it, have known it as "moukaffaratiah," and this is what I heard Sheikh Abdullah Azzam call it. Other Arab activists, who preceded ISIS in Afghanistan and Peshawar, also called the group as such. Egyptians in al-Jamaa al-Islamiya and Arabs from various nationalities, who were spurred on by prison torture and anger, are the nucleus of this repugnant ideology; their faith is based on seeking the atonement of regimes and rulers."
How Do You Seek Atonement of Regimes and Rulers?
According to Nehad Ismail, an expert on Middle East issues and policies, who commented on June 15, 2014 in Gladstone Institute Journal, "ISIS is a gang of hired terrorists. They work for Tehran and Damascus, and in Syria are fighting other rebels. The Assad regime never targeted ISIS. ISIS never attacked the regular Syrian army. Only the Free Syrian Army is fighting ISIS in Syria."
Over the past year, ISIS has been doing a pretty good job of "seeking atonement of regimes and rulers" They have been "key players" in a wickedly woven TERROR NETWORK funded by Iran that includes the Iraqi PM, Assad, Hezbollah, and ISIS. According to Nehad Ismail, when Assad's regime was at risk, Iran and Assad colluded to invite ISIS into Syria to destabilize the Syrian Revolution. Suddenly in Syria the Free Syrian Army were not only fighting Assad's forces, but were constantly being pulled in opposite directions by ISIS. ISIS has taken a terrible toll on the Syrian people, not just in their fighting with the FSA but with their raping, pillaging and destroying the fabric of communities.
Most recently, as the US was jumping to the rescue in Iraq, Syrians were once again left to pick up the pieces with no help to be found. ISIS fighters who had left Syria to go to Iraq were pouring back into Syria as US strikes hit areas in Northern Iraq.
@KimberlyJoneswa @AlHadath @NajKassem From Arabic Ghassan Yasin: After US strikes on #ISIS in #Iraq, #ISIS returned to concentrate on #Syria- Eagle Syrian (@EagleSyrian1) August 19, 2014
What Does Dr. Yusuf Al-Qardhawi Have to Say?
In Q&A blog "Fellow Muslim Calls," Dr. Yusuf Al-Qardhawi, a well-thought-of cleric in the Middle East, discusses Mengkafirkan People or "Islamic fundamentalists." Dr. Al-Qardhawi says, "It is very dangerous and has become a great concern for the Muslims in particular, because there is a mind that is too extreme." He outlines a plan to deal with this extremism which is discussed in short as follows:
"Every thought or opinion should be countered by thoughts, views and treated with strong evidence and arguments to eliminate any indecision or confusion regarding views of it [ISIS]. If violence is the only tool used, it certainly will not bring benefits.
He discusses the fact that people are generally good, with strong faith and diligent worship. Al-Qardhawi says that even good people can be shaken by things contrary to Islam and arising in the Muslim community such as bad morals, corruption and destruction. However, good people always seek and invite goodness.
Al-Qardhawi warns to increase transgression and disobedience, it [ISIS] uses religion as a propaganda tool to add "crash-crash" behavior. He says this produces an "illegal underground." This is what happens when there is lack of knowledge about the religion and the interior of the sciences and the laws of Islam (all of this as a whole). Sincerity and enthusiasm alone is not enough to feed yourself, especially about justice ... those who worship but lack foundation and science take up the sword to fight mankind (even Muslim brothers)."
Al-Qardhawi does not explain what he means by not using "the violence only tool," however, if ISIS is avenging their long line of persecutors it makes sense. As the saying goes "violence begets violence."
ISIS Is a Recruiting Machine
Eric Davis, professor of political science and former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University, describes ISIS as "unlike the subservient Muslim clergy who submit to Western dictates." He says ISIS is engaged in a "defensive Jihad (al-jihad al-dafi'a)" to protect Muslim countries from "latter day Crusaders." ISIS brings this point home by posting photos of meetings between Middle East and Western leaders where Muslim Clerics are in meetings. Professor Davis points out that ISIS grabs onto these "photo opportunities" to further their recruiting efforts, by spinning theories of conspiracy and victimization to mobilize and create solidarity among their members.
The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, that very closely follows everything in Syria, says that ISIS (Daesh in Arabic) has been busy recruiting as always. The numbers sound astounding but this is after all an idea they are selling, and sell they do with slick videos using a young Canadian who talks of Nirvana targeting Westerners. Five thousand Syrians have joined, including 800 from the Islamic Front, JAN (AQ) and other voluntary fighters. Thirteen hundred are other Arabs, Europeans, Caucasians, Asians, Chinese, and Kurds. Eleven hundred entered Syria from Turkey from Syria. Only 200 left to go to the Islamic Front or JAN.
Taking Young Kids Is a Recruiting Machine?
Raqqa children attend youth camp to learn combat skills and to bring "new blood" to ISIS future.
Raqqa Media Center
Hungry kids in Raqqa are "lucky" they get to have a hand-out meal from ISIS.
Raqqa Media Center
ISIS has recently stepped up its "youth recruitment program, which is a boot camp for young boys as young as 13 year old, where they are taught combat skills. It is said ISIS persuades parents to send their kids in exchange for money to offset the severe living conditions and abject poverty Syrians are living in these days. Not all youth go to camp voluntarily. In some cases, the boys go without parents' permission which has been described as nothing short of kidnapping. Children are recruited through a "tent advocacy" ceremony held in Raqqa province. At these "tent advocacy" ceremonies, ISIS members preach their ideology and attempt to attract young children to boost the idea/group/organization with new blood. The word CULT comes to mind.
And The Collusion Never Ends
@EagleSyrian1 @AlHadath @najkassem @SenJohnMcCain @JohnKerry @SyrCoalition The Human Monster and his Satanic Band colluding in #Syria- Kimberly Jones (@Kimberlyjoneswa) August 19, 2014
As the US was bombing sites in Northern Iraq, they called upon all Syrians to turn their fight upon ISIS. Assad and ISIS immediately moved into collusion mode to see what kind of show they could put on to impress the Western Political and War Analysts. By the end of the week, with a little effort, they could have everyone in Washington DC thinking Assad bombed the entire ISIS contingency in Syria. ISIS is really good at spreading bad morals, corruption and destruction, and Assad has taken "lies, lies, and more lies" to new heights.
So Here Is What Really Happened In Syria
They are out to create a caliphate and they have twisted jihad to fit their mission. In Islam, it is acceptable ... even encouraged to take up the sword against innocents who have had an injustice done against them. The besieged Syrians in Homs or El Ghouta are innocents who have had an injustice done against them. ISIS has mutilated the meaning of "Jihad" by saying that they take up the sword against those who "oppose" them. In other words, they use Jihad as a means of self-preservation.
ISIS Murders Those Who Oppose Their Way
In Raqqa, 12 individuals who were determined to oppose ISIS were killed. They were shot dead, then two of the men were hung on a crucifix in the public square with a sign attached. One of the men had a sign pinned to him that read, "This man was a fighter against Muslims and threw a grenade here."
Vice News reported that "Five of the twelve that ISIS killed were part of the FSA. The others were random and two were children, aged 13 and 16."
Man shot then hung on crucifix with sign saying, "This man was a fighter against Muslims and threw a grenade here."
Does Assad Really Bomb ISIS in Raqqa?
"In Raqqa, Syria, Activist Abu Khalil Alraquaoui told the Syria News Office that over the past two days, more than 14 buses have been moving Daesh fighters and their families from the police housing compound and Ta'meer area, to Ferdaws area outside the City of Raqqa. Yesterday, the Syrian army warjets targeted the city and the town of Raqqa with 15 raids, which led to the martyring of many civilians and wounding of others.
Activist Hassan Salem reported to Syria News Office that seven air strikes targeted different areas in the town of Tabaqa, that resulted in the killing of civilians and material damage in the town. While warplanes bombarded the town of Raqqa, Hassam Salem added eight raids were monitored on several areas including Al Meqas barrier Police HQ building, the old school Marwan Owaied's pool, the water pump near the old bridge, which damaged the turbines and water supply was cut off to the city of Raqqa and villages nearby during several hours. He also added that the airstrike killed 2 and wounded 14 civilians. Additionally, 15 airstrikes hit Raqqa city killing almost 11 civilians. No ISIS dead or injured as they were AWOL from the bombing event.
The activist in Raqqa, Hamoud AL Musa said that regime warjets carried yesterday some 25 airstrikes, 14 on the city of Raqqa, killing 11 civilians and injuring 27 others, plus 4 Daesh members who control the city."
You would think with a target as big as this, Assad pilots could make the target ... unless they were told not to ...
In total over 40 sorties were flown by Assad's warplanes dropping bombs. Additionally, helicopters were flying low dropping barrel bombs full of TNT. As big and ostentatious as they are, not one of the ISIS buildings including their headquarters building all decorated in black was hit once.
@hhassan140 First time in the history of warfare a group puts up big banners ANNOUNCING location of HQ and "enemy" leaves it alone- Aboud Dandachi (@AboudDandachi) January 31, 2014
There was a video here, named "ISIS Comes Back to Raqqa to Report on the Disaster From Their Video Network." The video has now been removed.
ISIS Settling the Score
What is ISIS settling the score for? "ISIS is settling the score of all egregious actions ever taken against their kind." But in recent history, it can be put in terms of anyone who has opposed them in Iraq and Syria; however, their vision seems to run much further with scary talk of sights on Medina and Mecca. They chatter about having been wronged in Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Libya, and Central Africa. Interestingly or not, ISIS has shown its ugly brand of terror recently in Palestine saying it supports Hamas, and in Libya declaring the Islamic State - Libya.
As Jamal Khashoggi said, ISIS is an idea or concept that will spread like any fundamentalist idea based on hatred or satanic messages. Yes we have seen this before and ISIS may be the hottest group by far, but not the only group to tread this world.
ISIS, which has been known through history, as "Settling the Score" according to the Middle East media Research Institude (MERMRI). The government of Iraq has been running "public service ads" on television that are downright scary. If the imagery doesn't get the message across, the ending line states it very clear - "ISIS - Settling the Score."
The imagery in the video of the Iraqi soldier kicking open the door, shining light on the ISIS terrorist who screams and bursts into flames, implies the Iraqi soldier is the portrayal of good and the ISIS terrorist "burns in hell"
Kimberly Jones is a global nomad who writes about international issues, however, she has a special interest in Middle East and North Africa affairs. Read more stories by Kimberly Jones.
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