Let’s Talk Terrorism (Again)

A subject that gets little attention these days is that of terrorism…..the media is too consumed with the 2020 elections and whatever silly utterances come from the mouth of our Dear Supreme Leader……

IST would like to keep a finger on the pulse of our potential threats…..most namely AQ and ISIS…..

ISIS has been defeated according to the words of Trump…..sadly that is BS….ISIS doing what AQ did after Afghanistan in 2001….re-group and re-direct energies…..

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) is not defeated despite the loss of the territory it claimed as its so-called ‘Caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria. It is stronger today than its predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was in 2011, when the U.S. withdrew from Iraq. AQI had around 700-1000 fighters then.  ISIS had as many as 30,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria in August 2018 according to a Defense Intelligence Agency estimate. ISIS built from the small remnant left in 2011 an army large enough to recapture Fallujah, Mosul, and other cities in Iraq and dominate much of eastern Syria in only three years.  It will recover much faster and to a much more dangerous level from the far larger force it still has today.

[Download the full report here.]

http://www.understandingwar.org/report/isiss-second-comeback-assessing-next-isis-insurgency

ISIS has eyes on South Asia……

the Islamic State (IS) formally announced the creation of wilayah (provinces) in Pakistan and India. The announcement was made by the Islamic State’s media front, the Amaq News Agency.

The two provinces have been carved out of the erstwhile Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), which encompassed the Af-Pak border region. ISKP, which was founded in January 2015, months after IS had announced its so called caliphate in the Iraq and Levant, spearheaded all activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and was the source of IS-affiliated militant activity in India as well.

The two IS provinces in India and Pakistan were announced in the immediate aftermath of the group claiming responsibility for gun attacks on security forces in Shopian district of Indian-administered Kashmir. During the same week, IS claimed a similar gun attack in Mastung district of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/islamic-state-comes-for-south-asia/

Keep in mind that old saying…”You can kill the messanger but not the message”…..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Learn Stuff!

 

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Where The Hell Is “Sahel”?

I am a student of history and of conflict…….I try to let my readers know what is happening around the world because eventually the US may be fighting yet another war.

I have a friend that studies the region in Africa known as the “Sahel”…..but most of my readers will be asking WTF?

Let me help out….

Image result for sahel

I have written about this region on occasion but not in-depth…..most of mine has been about the deaths of American SOF troops or the terror that is Boko Haram….but there is so much more to this region that some small posts of mine.

I introduced my reader to the “Sahel” when I reported on the deaths of American soldiers in Mali and Niger.

There is so much going on in this region with the US and France using soldiers to try and control the developing situations.

thousands of miles away, in the deserts and scrublands of West Africa’s Sahel – a semi-arid belt of land on the southern edge of the Sahara – another jihadist insurgency has been spreading like wildfire, with far less international attention.

The civilian toll in numbers

  • Civilian fatalities rose 7,000 percent in Burkina Faso, 500 percent in Niger, and 300 percent in Mali compared to the previous year
  • 440,000 people displaced by conflict, a five-fold increase over the previous year
  • 1.8 million people face food insecurity
  • 5.1 million people require humanitarian assistance
  • 157 men, women, and children killed in March in one attack in Mali

In recent months, a surge in violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger – three Sahelian countries with shared borders and common problems – has left more than 440,000 people displaced and 5,000 dead, as militants – some with links to al-Qaeda and IS – extend their grip across the region.

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/in-depth/sahel-flames-Burkina-Faso-Mali-Niger-militancy-conflict

The UN has isolated several problems other than the rise in terrorist activity……food, environmental, fragile economies as well as political instability……

https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/december-2013/sahel-one-region-many-crises

Let’s be honest the Sahel is quickly becoming a hot bed for terrorist activity……

Violent extremist organizations in the Central Sahel (the Fezzan in Libya’s south, Niger and the Lake Chad Basin) are exploiting environmental change, economic grievances, and longstanding social cleavages to recruit and expand. United States Africa Command is explicitly tasked with countering significant terrorist threats but fluctuating resources and underuse of diplomatic and economic tools risks allowing extremists to consolidate their gains and establish safe havens.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/07/08/assessment_of_rising_extremism_in_the_central_sahel_114562.html

I admit that this region does not get the copy it deserves here on IST……a situation I shall try to rectify.

This is a region that the US has entered into with our military and that may not be the best way to handle events in these countries.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Let’s Talk Terrorism

Our attention has been successfully diverted by the media to more mundane things like awards shows or whose book is doing what when we should be focused to the ascendance of Al Qaeda…that is right it is not “defeated” as some would have you believe….

Is AQ today is more powerful and influential than it was on 9/11?

Al-Qaida has recruited an estimated 40,000 fighters since Sept. 11, 2001, when the Osama bin Laden-led extremist group attacked the United States, according to the not-for-profit Council on Foreign Relations.

Despite a United States-led global “war on terror” that has cost US$5.9 trillion, killed an estimated 480,000 to 507,000 people and assassinated bin Laden, al-Qaida has grown and spread since 9/11, expanding from rural Afghanistan into North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, the Gulf States, the Middle East and Central Asia.

In those places, al-Qaida has developed new political influence – in some areas even supplanting the local government.

So how does a religious extremist group with fewer than a hundred members in September 2001 become a transnational terror organization, even as the world’s biggest military has targeted it for elimination?

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/07/02/al-qaida_is_stronger_today_than_it_was_on_911_114551.html

One of the biggest lies in this situation is that AQ and Iran are in bed and working against the US……yes I said this is a LIE!

Nothing about that lie is accurate in any shape…..

As the U.S. government continues to escalate its policy towards Iran, it would be sensible to eliminate al-Qaeda’s historical ties to Iran from its list of grievances. President Trump cited these ties when, in May 2018, he announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). For years, Iran detained al-Qaeda militants and their families who fled Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, causing some U.S. officials to question whether Iran then enabled the detainees to carry out terrorism. Although mindful of the ideological differences between Iran and al-Qaeda, former DNI James Clapper still characterized the relationship as a “marriage of convenience.”

Thanks to the declassified documents recovered in May 2011 during the U.S. Special Forces’ raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, scholars (with Arabic fluency) can now provide a clear assessment of the nature of al-Qaeda’s ties to Iran. The Abbottabad documents, described as “intelligence jackpot,” were al-Qaeda’s secrets. As fortune would have it, bin Laden did not destroy the electronic files on his computers, as one of his associates in Waziristan had instructed him to do a month before the raid.

Al-Qaeda and Iran: The Bond that Does Not Exist

Time for the MSM to focus on what is important after the election in 2020…..we do not need another bite in the ass.

When Are They Friends?

We have been fighting Al-Qaeda and ISIS for going on two decades…AQ more so than ISIS….then came Syria and we seem to side with AQ …the AQ that did the 9/11 attacks…..to fight ISIS in the Levant….

Seriously!

I read a couple of disturbing reports about these two barbarous groups….

First a report for about a year ago…..

Less than two decades after the attacks of September 11, the U.S. government has now effectively allied with the Al Qaeda terrorist group it has long blamed for planning and executing those attacks, which still remain the worst terror attacks to have ever taken place on U.S. soil.  

Despite the U.S. having launched the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the years-long “War on Terror” as a means of allegedly countering Al Qaeda and its affiliates, the past year has revealed several instances in which Washington has been making “deals” with, protecting, and even (indirectly but knowingly) arming Al Qaeda operatives in countries like Yemen and Syria. The about-face has come as the U.S.’ interest in “counter-terrorism” throughout the Middle East has been superseded by regime-change policies targeting countries like Yemen, Syria and Iran.

 
Secondly……ISIS…….

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said on the senate floor Thursday, before a vote that would bar U.S. arm sales with three Arab states: “The facts are not contested. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain have allowed U.S. arms to be funneled to radical Islamist groups throughout the Middle East.”

Paul is right. No one really contests this.

 
I have written about this in the past….US tax dollars supporting the most barbarous groups on the face of this world.
 
The voters need to know….we get so much BS as news while the real stuff goes on and no one notices thanks to the lousy reporting of the MSM…..keep us fed with sex and TV and we will follow the most despicable candidate…as 2016 proved.
 
Who is the good guy?  Who is the bad guy?
 
Why do we continue to allow crap to be the way this country does business?
 
We cannot save ourselves from ourselves……until we learn to look deeper we will continue to allow mental midgets to run our lives for us.

ISIS In The Shadows

Do not think for a moment that ISIS is defeated.

It may have gotten a bloody nose in Iraq and Syria but that is only a setback  not a defeat.

ISIS has announced the new “caliphate” being born…..the region of Kashmir on the sub-continent is a region of violence and what better place for ISIS to resurrect its barbarity?

In mid-May 2019 ISIS announced the establishment of a province in India. The newly dubbed “Wilayah of Hind” (Indian Province) was announced by its Amaq News Agency. The same statement claimed the infliction of casualties on the Indian Army in Amshipora in the Shopian district of Kashmir.

There are at least five things that are clear:

  1. There is no physical geographical “province” called “Wilayah of Hind.” The claim is not true and the so-called province is not real.
  2. While the claim of provincial establishment may seem preposterous, it is not so in light of the larger strategy. An austere and hardline form of Islam has roots in India as far back as the mid 18th century, often centered around the teachings of Shah Waliullah Dehlawi. ISIS is very likely attempting to inspire Indian Muslims with a very personal narrative regarding this iconic Shah.
  3. The combined statement of the very real and confirmed strike in Kashmir along with the illusory claim to have established a province in India are a continuation of the ISIS strategy of attempting to establish global meaning of regional conflicts and also to reinvigorate their ultimate victory narrative recently suffering dramatic setbacks in the Levant.
  4. The fact that ISIS claimed a province in India rather than Kashmir may indicate the interests of its financiers. The group’s report card is not looking good as a result of its territorial withdrawals and its financiers may be re-enthused by in-roads into India.
  5. The group is recruiting in Kashmir for strikes in India.

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/05/08/islamic-state-education-children/

There are ways of making sure that the ‘caliphate’ continues ….the education of children…..and ISIS has a sure fire system in place……

The so-called Caliphate has been territorially defeated, but Islamic State has left behind a dangerous legacy. Thousands of children are stuck in camps in Iraq and Syria, while some children of foreign parents have been able to return to their home countries. ISIS spent years indoctrinating them, including through a form of formal schooling. Textbooks used by ISIS show one part of its efforts to corrupt a new generation with its extremist ideology.

Islamic State had long harbored goals of becoming more than an insurgent group. Military victories through 2013 and 2014 saw it sweep across Iraq and Syria, capturing territory the size of Great Britain, and giving it the resources and population needed to start building a proto-state.

Among its state-like endeavours was a formal education system.

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/05/08/islamic-state-education-children/

Bombs and bullets kill the flesh but the hearts and minds is hard to defeat without a proper attack plan…..so far I have seen nothing to lead us to neutralize the damage this education does.

ISIS is not dead…just waiting for the time to re-establish itself.

Watch This Space!

Closing Thought–17Jun19

Something we hear very little about these days, with all the election and legal wrangling to news of our War on Terror……believe it or not we are still trying to counter terrorism across the world………and as a law the president must inform Congress of our efforts as a national security thing…..

The text of the letter sent by President to the Congress outlining the US military efforts across the world……

Dear Madam Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS

In furtherance of counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed United States combat-equipped forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counterterrorism operations. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/text-letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-president-pro-tempore-senate-6/

This is a good idea but my question is…what about the troops in Central Asia….are they not armed and ready for combat?

Slice And Dice Death

Recently there has been a rise in civilian deaths….both reported and those that are hidden from the light…..and it is not limited to one conflict or another it is across the spectrum in our War on Terror…..

“There is no military solution” is an often-heard saying since the “global war on terror” began almost 18 years ago.

We need political solutions to the military conflicts we’ve embroiled ourselves in over the last two decades, most policymakers agree. But in the meantime, the last three administrations have sent in the military to pave the way for a political solution—and have kept them there, allegedly to protect civilians from the Taliban in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia, among other militant groups.

Yet all too often, these civilians become casualties of the very military forces Washington supposedly deployed to protect them.

A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians—including children—in ever rising numbers.

 
The Pentagon has come up with a solution to the alarming rise in civilian deaths……a new missile!
Ever heard of a missile that doesn’t explode? That, the Wall Street Journal reports, is a key feature of a secret weapon adapted by the US military. It’s a modified version of a Hellfire missile that hits pinpoint targets but doesn’t explode on impact, meaning reduced damage and less risk of civilian casualties. The weapon, which the Journal likens to a “speeding anvil” falling out of the sky, is known as R9X. But it also has a nickname, “the flying Ginsu,” inspired by its hidden ring of six blades, which emerges just before impact and shreds anything it meets. The missile was in development as early as 2011—a similar weapon was reportedly considered in the plot to kill Osama bin Laden—but so far the Journal has found only two instances in which it’s been used.
 
Essentially, the weapon is employed when a regular airstrike on a high-value target would pose a risk to innocent bystanders. Aware that the US would want to avoid civilian casualties, terrorists routinely hide in places with women and children. With the R9X, the US can minimize the risk. After the CIA used the R9X to kill an al-Qaeda terrorist traveling by car in Syria in 2017, for example, photos showed a large hole in the vehicle’s roof, along with some cracks in the windshield. Otherwise, the exterior of the car appeared in pretty good shape. Gizmodo notes rumors have been swirling about a secret weapon since that time.
 
(antiwar.com)
 
The key to the claim is the term “minimize” civilian deaths…..then they, the civilians, are still at risk just a lower risk than say a Hellfire…..
 
Sorry I am still not impressed….it is still an implement of destruction that will continue the killing of civilians but at a lower rate (does anyone see how silly that sounds?)