ISIS–The Return

Now appearing in a geopolitical theater near you.

These days with the craziness around the issues for the 2020 election we do not hear so much about that almost defeated foe, ISIS.

But guess what?

They may not be slinking away into oblivion after all….

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.

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

The Pentagon has issued a report that states that there is a major struggling dealing with a resurgent ISIS in the Middle East…..

Between April and June 2019, the Islamic State terror group “solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was resurging in Syria,” the Department of Defense Inspector General Quarterly Report says.

The report references significant changes in the region. In addition to the president’s sudden announcement of a drawdown of U.S. troops in Syria -– against the counsel of military advisers -– the report raises concerns that ISIS is gaining a renewed foothold in Iraq because U.S. personnel there were evacuated from diplomatic posts due to rising tensions with Iran. Experts told NBC News that as a result, that also has led to less surveillance of ISIS activity in Iraq.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/u-s-backed-forces-struggling-quell-isis-insurgency-syria-iraq-n1040186

While the media and the public chases the shiny objects that the government throws out there…ISIS is returning to prominence in the Middle East as well as around the world in regions like Afghanistan, South Asia, etc.

ISIS and al-Qaeda are rebuilding and should not be taken lightly….that happen before and we know how that ended don’t we?

The problem as I see it is that we are using tactics from 50 years ago….we need an upgrade……

I am in my second year of teaching a U.S. CT policy course to adult students ages 50-90. I have learned a few lessons from trying to explain our CT policies since the 1970s. The biggest lesson is that while administrations change the headline for our policy each time the other political party takes the helm; from “combating global terrorism” (Nixon and Republicans) to using a “law enforcement model” (Carter and Democrats), they really don’t change the underlying policy. Each administration since Richard Nixon has actually looked at the previous polices and kept the concepts they think are most important. The strategy only gets richer and more detailed. So, the U.S. counterterrorism policy hasn’t been re-written every 4 years anew; instead its been steadily evolving and trying to adapt to our enemies use of terror. That’s oversimplifying it for sure, but I want to get us to the current solutions.

https://news.clearancejobs.com/2019/08/08/the-future-of-countering-terrorism-ideas-not-bullets/

After 18+ years we are still reacting to the so-called jihad…..

While the media talks mindlessly about Greenland an old danger, no an old evil, is returning…..but why is it returning?

A report from the Pentagon inspector general found that President Donald Trump’s decision to rapidly pull troops out of Syria and divert attention from diplomacy in Iraq has inadvertently aided the Islamic State’s regrouping in Syria and Iraq.

The Department of Defense’s quarterly report to Congress on the effectiveness of the US Operation Inherent Resolve mission said that “ISIS continued its transition from a territory-holding force to an insurgency in Syria, and it intensified its insurgency in Iraq” — even though Trump said ISIS was defeated and the caliphate quashed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

https://www.businessinsider.com/pentagon-blames-trump-for-return-of-isis-syria-and-iraq-2019-8

Now that is a pro-war excuse…..but at least it can explain the new rise…….

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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”…..

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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.

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Afghanistan…The Way It Is

We hear a lot these days about the US Troops in Afghanistan…..just what will it take for the war to be declared a success and the troops brought home.

One thought is that as soon as we can get the Afghan troops into a place where they can take control then ours can come home. Yet another is that the talks with the Taleban could bring about a cessation of hostilities and the troops can come home…..and yet another says we are there for the foreseeable future with NO chance of our troops coming home.

And then there is one more aspect that is usually missing from these calculations…..ISIS remember them?

ISIS has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters, and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to US and Afghan security officials. Nearly two decades after the US-led invasion, the extremist group is seen as an even greater threat than the Taliban because of its increasingly sophisticated military capabilities and its strategy of targeting civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad, the AP reports. Concerns run so deep that many have come to see the Taliban, which has also clashed with ISIS, as a potential partner in containing it. A US intelligence official based in Afghanistan says a recent wave of attacks in the capital, Kabul, is “practice runs” for even bigger attacks in Europe and the US.

“This group is the most near-term threat to our homelands from Afghanistan,” the official tells the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity to preserve his operational security. Their “core mandate is: You will conduct external attacks” in the US and Europe. “That is their goal. It’s just a matter of time,” he says. “It is very scary.” He says ISIS fighters captured in Afghanistan have been found to be in contact with fellow militants in other countries. Authorities have already made at least eight arrests in the United States linked to the IS affiliate in Afghanistan. “One of the hopes of a negotiated settlement is that it will bring the Taliban into the government and into the fight” against ISIS, the official says. “They know the mountains, they know the terrain. It’s their territory.”

Read more…….https://www.apnews.com/0a4f38c0ead84ecba2e0102c8b3b0b40

Let’s face reality…..US Troops are there for the long run …..the troops may never come home in my lifetime…there will always be an excuse for them to stay in country.

At least the Russian had the good sense tp get out when they could….but our MIC is just too powerful to allow the troops to leave……the profits would cease and we cannot have that no matter how many lives it costs.

Will ISIS Rest In Peace?

Just yesterday our beloved Supreme Leader issued a proclamation that ISIS will be gone in 24 hours……

ISIS is down to its last scrap of territory and it will be “gone by tonight,” President Trump declared Wednesday, showing reporters at the White House two maps of Syria and Iraq. “I brought this out for you—this is a map of everything in the red, this was on election night, in 2016, everything red is ISIS,” he said, pointing to a map with large areas in red. Pointing to a second map, he said: “When I took it over it was a mess, now on the bottom it’s the exact same. There is no red,” he said, ABC reports. “In fact there is a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight.” At a tank factory in Ohio later in the day, Trump brought the maps out again, saying the “caliphate is gone as of tonight,” the AP reports.

Trump has announced the imminent defeat of ISIS before, but the battle for the tiny enclave of Baghouz has dragged on for weeks longer than expected. Authorities say the offensive was slowed down when an unexpectedly large number of civilians fled the village—up to 30,000, most of them believed to be the families of militants. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have now taken control of the village, though some fighters are still believed to be holed up with women and children in a sliver of land by a river. With that area still controlled by ISIS, “it would be weird to expect an announcement in the next day,” an SDF official tells the New York Times.

Since most Americans have the info retention of a goldfish maybe I should refresh some memories……

 

ISIL began as an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which in 2006 became known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). The movement, led by key al-Qaeda figures, played a major role in driving the sectarian conflict that followed the US invasion in 2003.

ISI carried out deadly attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, during this period, targeting Western-allied tribal leaders and US army posts before eventually being pushed out.

Undeterred, it soon pitched up in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which it then used as a hub to continue its attacks.

In 2010, the group’s current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named ISI chief. Two years later, he mandated ISI affiliates to set up an offshoot in Syria – a country that had been forced to contend with its own civil war.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/anatomy-caliphate-rise-fall-isil-190320140536453.html

There has been lots written here in the West about Islamic Extremism….but just what does that entail?


The Islamist worldview is in direct opposition to contemporary Western ideas about government, society, and the role of religion in everyday life.  Despite this opposition, or possibly because of it, the Islamist movement is gaining popularity around the globe.  The apparent failure of Western ideologies, unequal distribution of wealth for natural resources exacerbated by globalization, and on-going conflict between Israelis and Palestinians have contributed to Muslim masses to seeking solutions from more traditionally-minded leaders who promise a return to Islamic Golden Ages via rejection of secularism in favor of Islamic fundamentalist ideologies.  This, however, sets many on a path of conflict with the West.  Examples of radical Islamist organizations abound: Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, ISIS, and Hezbollah.  Such organizations fill Western minds, as well as Middle Eastern governments, with great concern if not outright fear, but what exactly is an Islamist worldview?  Does it inherently include violence?  What are its origins and targets of critique?  How has it evolved in the twentieth century and why do its tenants appeal to so many in the Muslim world today?  This article will briefly look at each of these questions in order to provide a perspective on contemporary Islamism and facilitate a better understanding of the phenomenon as a whole, thus providing some insight into the recent wave of unrest across the Middle East.  Ultimately, Islamism is a unique and diverse collection of ideologies and doctrines that range from the progressive to the radical.  It is my assessment that one must not make the mistake of lumping all Islamist ideologies, movements, and organizations into a singularly narrow, one size fits all category, nor should one automatically consider Islamism a threat in the Muslim world or beyond.  Rather, Islamism is simply another ideological option that must be weighed in terms of its effectiveness and appeal, while recognizing that there is a potential for extremism similar to that manifested in other secular and sacred movements.  Because of this, it is imperative for Western nations to open lines of communication with leaders of the protest groups and insurgents in such places as Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain in order to develop an understanding of their motivations, ideologies, and their goals for the Middle East.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/overview-islamic-fundamentalism-primer-understanding-extremist-islam

Now that I have filled in as many blanks as I could the question remains…..Is The Islamic State defeated?


President Trump has insisted in recent months that the United States has defeated the Islamic State. “We just took over 100 percent caliphate,” he told reporters on Feb. 28. “That means the area of the land. We have 100 percent.” He has made similar claims for months, tweeting in December, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria.” Others, including senior government officials, have disagreed with this characterization. In January, former presidential special envoy for the Counter-ISIS Coalition Brett McGurk said that “ISIS is not defeated” and that the administration’s new policy of reducing U.S. troop presence in Syria would give the group “new life.” Citing the terrorist attacks committed in the Islamic State’s name, most analysts argue that the group has not been entirely eliminated and cannot be considered defeated.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/islamic-state-defeated

It, ISIS, will rear its ugly head again…….and there is thoughts on that as well…….http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2018/10/isiss-second-resurgence.html