ISIS–Wave Two

These days with the news fixated on the pandemic and then those protests it has all but forgotten about the danger of ISIS….and sadly there will be a second wave of their ascendance…….

ISIS has been beaten but not defeated….they still lurk in the shadows waiting……waiting for the next wave to begin.

Today, Islamic State barely exists in Iraq and Syria, its leader is dead and its recruits are scattered, languishing in jail or hunted throughout the Middle East and Europe.

But the threat of ISIS and of extremism has not gone away. Both on the battlefield of ideas and on the real battlefield, a second wave is certainly coming.

That wave will crash first across West Africa, where clashes between militant groups and national armies are taking place in every country of the Sahel region. The coalition has recognized this; only last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo singled out ISIS attacks in West Africa and said the United States was seeking a global fund of $700 million to continue the fight against ISIS in 2020.

A second ISIS wave is lurking in the dark

I posted last month on the possibility of ISIS scoring heavy in Africa…the Sahel region to be specific…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/08/remember-isis/

Keep in mind….ISIS maybe be out of sight….but they are far from gone the way of the dodo……

It is only a matter of time before they return to the world stage.

Now the big question will be….Will we be ready for the return?

America’s intelligence agencies risk slipping back into dangerous pre-9/11 habits, a recently departed top counterterrorism official is warning in his first public remarks on the matter.

Russell Travers, former head of the U.S. government’s hub for analysis of counterterrorism intelligence, was so alarmed that he shared his concerns with the intelligence community’s top internal watchdog in his final weeks on the job.

“I think there are really important questions that need to be addressed, and I don’t think they have been thus far,” said Travers, who ran the National Counterterrorism Center until March of this year. “And that has me worried, because I do think we could very easily end up back where we were 20 years ago.”

Travers detailed his concerns, much of which remain highly classified, to the intelligence community’s inspector general. About a week later, he was summarily ousted, he says — and the Trump administration official who fired him didn’t explain why.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/09/travers-terrorism-warning-355734

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Those Terrorists Remain

Protests….Racism…..Pandemic…..all of the top stories from the MSM in the last couple of months…..even though they are out of mind of the media by no means they are gone….defeated….or any other term one would care to employ.

To illustrate this is the testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security…..

Thomas JoscelynJune 24, 2020Foundation for Defense of Democracies3www.fdd.org•Al-Qaeda has survived the post-9/11 wars and America’s counterterrorism campaign. The group’s base has spread from South Asia into multiple other countries. Several organizations, often described as al-Qaeda “affiliates,” serve as regional branches. These branches are each led by an emir who swears his allegiance to the head of al-Qaeda. Since Osama bin Laden’s death in May 2011, that leader has been Ayman al-Zawahiri. The official al-Qaeda branches are: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent,and al-Shabaab in Somalia. To thislist we can add the “Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims” (Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, or JNIM), a wing of AQIM.Hurras al-Din in Syria is also part of al-Qaeda’s network, as are other groups based in Idlib. But al-Qaeda’s chain-of-command in Syria has been upset by a number of internal rivalries, power struggles,and arguments over jihadist strategy.2In addition, al-Qaeda works through other groups that are not official al-Qaeda branches but are nonetheless part of its web. Such groups includethe Pakistani Taliban.Still other jihadist organizations are closely allied with al-Qaeda.•ISIS and al-Qaeda remain locked in a competition for the fealty of jihadists around the globe. Much of this competition will take place at the local level, but international terrorism could play a role in the rivalry, as these groupslook to outbid one another for the affection of would-be jihadists. While there may be some cooperation between individual commanders, the two mother organizations are at odds. ISIS has developed an institutional hatred for al-Qaeda. In some areas, such as Iraq, ISIS is definitively stronger. In other areas, such as Somalia and Yemen, al-Qaeda has the upper hand. In West Africa, the two are currently close in strength, though that can change. Any assessment of relative strength in Syria is difficult due to al-Qaeda’s management problems and other factors. And an assessment of their relative positions in Afghanistan is complicated by the fact that al-Qaeda and affiliated groups areembedded within the Taliban-led insurgency. Al-Qaeda has deliberately sought to mask the extent of its operations in Afghanistan.

Click to access Thomas-Joscelyn-ISIS-AQ-testimony.pdf

Now this is a report issued by the Dept. of State……

Click to access Country-Reports-on-Terrorism-2019-2.pdf

My point is that these groups are not so much in the news these days….but they by NO means have disappeared……

Both reports are worth the read if you think that terrorism is not so much a problem these days…..

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Just How Serious Is This Virus?

This is not me trying to downplay the seriousness of this rapid moving virus…..

I know you have been watching the news and reading the reports….and yes it is very very serious.

So damn serious that a group that orders is members to kill themselves have issued a warning not to travel to avoid contamination and death………..

After years of urging its terrorists to attack major European cities, ISIS is now telling them to steer clear due to the coronavirus.

Any sick jihadists already in Europe, however, should stay there — presumably to sicken infidels, according to a “sharia” directive printed in the group’s al-Naba newsletter, the Sunday Times of London reported.

The “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” the newsletter advised.

The newsletter instructs jihadists that the “plague” is a “torment sent by God on whomsoever He wills.”

Iraq, where most of the surviving fragments of the group remain, had 110 reported coronavirus cases on Sunday morning, 10 of them fatal, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the contagion.

(nypost.com)

And that is just how serious this virus has become.

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“lego ergo scribo”

ISIS In The Shadows

Our mash up with Iran seems to be dialing down….kinda like all other “crisis” in this era of Trump.

We are laser focused on Iran and its proxies in Iraq (BTW contrary to the idiots on the Right ISIS is not an ally of Iran)…..but problems could be brewing elsewhere…..

In an emergency session of Iraqi parliament, a bill was passed revoking Iraq’s request for US help in fighting ISIS, and calling for the government to expel US forces. The US troops may not be leaving, but they’d already suspended their operations.

Over the weekend, US officials reported that they suspended their training missions for Iraqi forces to scale up defense of their own base security. On Sunday they confirmed that the anti-ISIS mission is also suspended going forward.

While President Trump is threatening sanctions against Iraq for wanting the troops out, he seems comfortable with them not actually doing anything other than staying in Iraq for its own sake. The US command in Iraq says it is “committed” to the mission, though the mission isn’t entirely clear at this point, beyond staying and threatening Iraq with sanctions.

How many troops are required for this non-mission remains to be seen, but indications are that the US is going to keep adding troops to Iraq and Kuwait, and President Trump will react furiously to any indication that Iraq doesn’t want the occupation to continue.

(antiwar.com)

Do not take your eye off the real enemy…ISIS…..

The militants are now more skilled and more dangerous than al-Qaeda, according to Lahur Talabany, a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official.

“They have better techniques, better tactics and a lot more money at their disposal,” he said. “They are able to buy vehicles, weapons, food supplies and equipment. Technologically they’re more savvy. It’s more difficult to flush them out. So, they are like al-Qaeda on steroids.”

The veteran intelligence chief delivered his stark assessment in a London accent – the legacy of years in the UK after his family had to flee from the regime of Saddam Hussein.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50850325

Never a good idea to overlook the obvious…..but then I am not part of the Trump foreign policy team……

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Terrorists: Will They Go Or Will They Stay?

The evacuation of Kurds and US troops from Northern Syria left “many many” (a Trumpian term) ISIS prisoners in limbo…will they stay of will they go?

SecState has demanded that countries take their terrorist back,,,,,,

European and other members of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group must take back and prosecute their nationals detained in Iraq and Syria to help keep IS from regaining territory, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday. Pompeo told foreign ministers and senior officials from some 30 coalition members that it’s imperative that they hold thousands of detained foreign fighters accountable for atrocities committed while the Islamic State held swaths of territory in the two countries. Many of the detained foreign fighters are from Europe, the AP reports, but countries have been reluctant to take them back and officials acknowledged there are still differences of opinion among coalition partners about how best to deal with them.

The meeting came amid concerns about the US commitment to the fight against IS remnants. Those concerns have increased as President Trump has pressed to withdraw American troops from Syria. It was also the first meeting at such a senior level since IS was driven from the last of its major strongholds in March and the first since the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, killed himself during a US raid last month. Pompeo said bringing the foreign fighters to justice in their home countries is critical to preventing IS from resurrecting its caliphate and exporting its ideology. “That work begins with carrying out justice against those who deserve it,” he said. Recent court rulings in Europe have required the governments to repatriate their nationals, per the Washington Post. The governments “are fighting a losing battle,” one lawyer involved in the cases said.

I found a wrinkle in Pompeo’s demands/ultimatum…….it begins in Alabama……

A woman who moved from Alabama to Syria, pledged allegiance to ISIS, and burned her American passport will not be getting a new one. A federal judge ruled Thursday that 25-year-old Hoda Muthana, who is currently in a refugee camp in Syria with her 2-year-old son, is not an American citizen, the Wall Street Journal reports. Judge Reggie Walton of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in the support of the State Department’s decision that Muthana should never have been granted US citizenship, despite having been born in New Jersey, because her father was in the US as a Yemeni diplomat when she was born. Her passport was revoked by the Obama administration in 2016.

Muthana, who grew up in Alabama, was detained by Kurdish forces in Syria earlier this year. She says she was “brainwashed” by ISIS members she encountered online, reports the AFP. After she moved to Syria, she married three different foreign fighters, all of whom were killed in combat, and urged the group’s supporters worldwide to carry out terrorist acts against non-Muslims. Her lawyers say they plan to look at further options. Muthana says she regrets “every single thing” and is willing to face prosecution if she is allowed to return to the US with her son. “Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were,” she told NBC in a recent interview.

Will the US let her return to her country of origin?  Will they disobey a edit issued by SecState Pompeo?

Just a thought?

More information on these people……https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/syria/208-women-and-children-first-repatriating-westerners-affiliated-isis

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That ISIS Thing

We have not had much news about ISIS…as it should be because according to Trump he defeated them single handed….and yet they still exist….

Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State, Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate.

“Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the president said apropos of nothing during a news conference with the Australian prime minister on September 20. “I defeated the caliphate — ISIS.”

At a press conference on October 21, after pulling troops out of Syria, Trump put himself even closer to the battle with the Islamic State: “I’m the one that did the capturing. I’m the one who that knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.”

The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion

A look at this ISIS thing through the eyes of a Neocon think tank……

Almost as soon as it became clear that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, the revisionism began about whether this was actually a good thing.

Some analysts predicted that al-Baghdadi’s death as a “martyr” would inspire others, becoming a “propaganda bonanza” for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

We should not be so gloomy. The death of such a sadistic killer and serial rapist is unambiguously good news.

It was also the last thing that ISIS needed. Caliphate relinquished, the group’s operations inevitably will be disrupted by the death of its emir, especially with Abu Hassan al-Muhajir—a potential successor—killed in a U.S. airstrike just hours later.

5 Things to Watch in Tracking the Future of ISIS

The group has been diminished but not gone……and they have a new tactic of terror….FIRE

A media outlet affiliated with ISIS has been instructing the group’s radical adherents to set forest fires in the United States and Europe to cause mass ecological disasters, according to posts on an internet forum dedicated to the terror group.

At least four propaganda posters that have appeared on the pro-ISIS Quraysh media outlet have urged followers to “ignite fires” as part of an ongoing jihad against America and its allies.

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/isis-tells-followers-to-set-forest-fires-in-u-s-europe/

The caliphate is down but not out……

Just months after the Islamic State militant group lost the last of its territory in Syria, and days after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S.-led raid, the group has found safe haven in a remote, ungoverned space in Iraq, as foreign fighters move across the border from Syria, military officials tell NBC news.

“The fight against ISIS is continuous,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William Seely, commander of Task Force-Iraq. “We’re seeing ISIS fighters move from Syria across hundreds of miles of desert.”

Their goal, Seely says, is to re-establish their physical caliphate in the region.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/defeated-isis-has-found-safe-haven-ungoverned-part-iraq-n1076081

How many times must I say this….ISIS IS NOT DEFEATED!

It is only napping waiting for the day to return.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Take Me To Your Leader

I can hear the Who in my head and think an episode of CSI is about to begin….but NO….I am wondering who will lead the leaderless ISIS now that Baghdadi is no longer among the living.

My intel files has several candidates to lead ISIS……

the most likely candidate to succeed Baghdadi is Abdullah Qardash, also known as Abu Omar Turkmani, a former Iraqi military officer under Saddam Hussein.

A former senior leader of al-Qaeda, Turkmani was detained in Camp Bucca along with other IS leaders, the paper said.

According to Iraqi sources quoted by the paper, “Qardash is characterised by cruelty, authoritarianism and militancy, and he was among the first people to welcome al-Baghdadi in Mosul in 2014.”

The second nominee for the group’s leadership is Haji Nasser, or Abd al-Nasser, who has been on the US terrorism list since the end of 2018. Haji Abd al-Nasser is known for belonging to the most radical trend within IS.

The third nominee is Mu’taz al-Jaburi, better known as Hajji Taysir. A senior IS leader, Washington has set a $3m reward for whoever gives information leading to him.

Sami al-Jaburi, the fourth candidate, is the former IS financial affairs director and was in charge of the group’s oil and gas sales, according to the paper.

The fifth candidate, according to Arabi21, is Abul Hassan al-Muhajir, IS’s official spokesman since the end of 2016 – but he was reported killed at the weekend in another US-led raid.

Muhajir is out…….so that leaves 4 candidates….who are you….who….who?

And now we have a winner!

Abdullah Qardash

ISIS already has a new leader — a feared former officer for Saddam Hussein known as “the Destroyer,” according to reports.

Abdullah Qardash was reportedly already running day-to-day operations and kill campaigns for the terror group and formally took over its leadership after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death on Saturday.

“Baghdadi was a figurehead. He was not involved in operations or day-to-day,” a regional intelligence official told Newsweek in confirming the successor. “All Baghdadi did was say yes or no — no planning.”

Qardash had been loyal to Baghdadi after they were held together at the Camp Bucca detention center in Basra after being jailed by US forces over their links to al Qaeda in 2003, the Times of London has said.

(NY Post)

You have your answer now let the hunt begin…..tic toc……

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Please Take Your Bows

Breaking News:  The top spokesperson for ISIS has been killed…..

Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, the successor to lead the Islamic State was killed in what is believed to be a U.S. airstrike in northern Syria, just one day after U.S. special operations forces raided a compound and took out the terrorist organization’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Muhajir, a spokesman for the ISIS terror group and the likely successor to Baghdadi, was being smuggled across northern Syria in the back of an oil tanker truck when the truck was hit by what appeared to be a U.S. airstrike, New York Times reported Sunday.

Now for the news of the day yesterday about the raid and the aftermath……

I listened to Trump and his 40 minute diatribe on why he is the best and smartest person on the planet when he should have been discussing the death of Baghdadi…..and now in his own words….

You have listened and now the rest of the world wants to take a bow for the death of the ISIS leader…..

First Iraq says they gave the info to the US…..

Iraq said on Sunday that its National Intelligence Service found Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s location and provided it to the United States, which carried out a raid that killed him.

“After constant monitoring and the formation of a specialised task force over an entire year, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service acting on accurate information was able to locate the den in which the head of Daesh terrorists Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and those with him were hiding in the Syrian province of Idlib,” the Iraqi military said in a statement.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-baghdadi-iraq-statemen/iraq-says-it-provided-u-s-with-baghdadis-location-statement-idUKKBN1X60HG

Turkey wants to claim they gave the info to the US on Baghdadi’s whereabouts…..

Turkey on Sunday said there was “coordination” between Ankara and Washington before the operation which US media reports said targeted and killed Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Prior to the US Operation in Idlib Province of Syria last night, information exchange and coordination between the military authorities of both countries took place,” the Turkish defence ministry said in a tweet.

It did not give details.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/10/27/turkey-syrian-kurds-claim-credit-in-baghdadi-death-operation

So many taking credit and so little time to actually care…..as long as the SOB is still DEAD.

But finally what does the death of Baghdadi’s death really matter?

The complex heliborne raid occurring yesterday killed the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The long sought after terror leader’s death marks a milestone for the U.S. campaign to defeat the Islamic State, particularly at a time when the U.S. has precipitously drawn down its forces in Syria. What should we make of al-Baghdadi’s death?

How much does Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death matter?

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/10/28/how_much_does_abu_bakr_al-baghdadis_death_matter_114816.html

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Baghdadi–Death Of The Salesman

After 5 years of trying to rid the world of the leader of the ISIS Caliphate the US has overseen his destruction…..

President Trump grabbed the world’s attention Sunday with major news: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was dead. Now details are emerging about the US military raid against the Islamic State leader. Turns out one of Baghdadi’s wives and a courier were arrested this summer and revealed his location in a part of Syria where rival al-Qaeda groups hold sway, US officials tell the New York Times. An elite Army unit devised and rehearsed the raid, which involved eight American helicopters flying from Iraq to an area north of Idlib city in western Syria, drawing gunfire on the 70-minute trip. Commandos then blew out a wall of Baghdadi’s compound and killed several people in a gun battle. For more:

  • ‘Whimpering and crying’: Trump said Baghdadi killed himself and three children using a suicide vest, “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.” All true? “Well I don’t—I don’t have those details,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on This Week, per ABC News. “The president probably had the opportunity to talk to the commanders on the ground but, clearly, the guy was a coward and a murderer.”
  • Russia first: Nancy Pelosi praised military and officials behind the raid, per USA Today, but said “the House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top congressional leadership were notified of in advance.” Trump said he didn’t tell Pelosi because “I wanted to make sure this kept secret.”
  • The Kurds: The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces called the raid a “joint operation” between Americans and Kurds, per the Washington Post. Kurds provided more intel than anyone, a US official tells the Times, even after Trump ordered US troops to leave Syria and let the Kurds battle Turkish forces alone.
  • Witnesses: A family in Syria apparently witnessed the night raid. “They said foreign soldiers with machine guns stormed in and took [people] away,” a Syrian journalist tells the Independent. “People they had never seen before. … When they left, after taking prisoners and killing the rest, a plane came and struck the house to completely destroy it.”
  • Trump’s team: The White House has released images of Trump and his national-security team stoically watching the raid, per USA Today. One Twitter user contrasted it with President Obama’s staff observing the Osama bin Laden raid.
  • Who was Baghdadi? A jihadist whose Islamic State captured Iraqi and Syrian territory, establishing a “caliphate” that was lost in 2019 fighting against US-led forces. Baghdadi also inspired terror attacks worldwide, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • Not over: More attacks on terrorists in Syria may follow, a US defense official tells CNN. Indeed, Newsweek reports that US strikes killed Islamic State spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in Aleppo province on Sunday.

The announcement of the death by Trump turned into a 40 minute of him, Trump,  being victimized and getting no credit for his amazing (in his mind) presidency and his person.

With the death of Baghdadi the barbaric group known as ISIS will soldier on…they will not disappear because their leader popped the cork on his suicide vest……

While US officials are taking the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a major victory, analysts are saying it is unlikely that this will spell anything like the end to the ISIS organization, or its insurgency.

It is not immediately apparent who Baghdadi’s successor would be, as little is known publicly about the inner workings of ISIS. His death clearly means a leadership reshuffle, however, and for such groups in the past, that has often meant worsening insurgencies as new leaders try to put their stamp on the organization.

Indeed, with ISIS barely existing in Iraq or Syria anymore,  it is possible that ISIS leadership might come from a different region. ISIS has active affiliates across Asia and Africa and becoming the new hub for the group might give those groups a major shot in the arm.

Ultimately, some are seeing ISIS as potentially reinvigorated by Baghdadi’s death, and even if that doesn’t happen, the individual affiliates are likely to keep plugging away no matter who is in charge.

(antiwar.com)

My question now is….who will get the $25 million reward for the location and death of Baghdadi?

I believe that is enough said about the SOB….He is dead and the world is a better place.

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Breaking News–Syria

I try to keep the news out of my weekend posts but some times it just too important to wait for a week day…..today is one of those reports….

The news has just been put out on the air waves….ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, has been killed by US military action….

US officials are reporting that a Saturday special operations raid against northwestern Syria killed a “high-value” target, and that the Pentagon has “high confidence” that they had killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Baghdadi has been reported killed or gravely wounded several times in the past, only to reemerge unharmed. The Pentagon suggested that further verification is pending, but that the man believed to be Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest after a brief firefight.

President Trump declared ‘something very big has just happened” on Twitter,and White House officials say he is planning an official announcement of Baghdadi’s death for 9:00 AM on Sunday morning.

The leader of ISIS since 2010, Baghdadi has been considered one of the highest value targets on the US list ever since. This would have been a much bigger deal when ISIS was an active force in Iraq or Syria, but is still significant to the group’s operations. It has never been entirely clear who would replace Baghdadi, despite his regularly being reported taken out of action.

It’s also not clear what this will mean for the US war in Syria, though since the war has already been transitioning to being about controlling Syria’s oil, which probably won’t be changed by this killing.

(antiwar.com)

Good news if accurate….but keep in mind al-Baghdadi has been said to be dead on at least two occasions that I know of and injured in several others.

We await an official announcement from our Fearless Leader…..keep in mind he said Obama did not kill Osama it was the soldiers……which is correct of course…..I want to watch the spin.

I will post more as facts become known…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

I return IST to its normal posting schedule…….