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

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Waiting For ISIS To Die

The barbarous group known as ISIS is cornered in a small village in Eastern Syria…..they are being pounded by the Kurds and the SDF and yet they hang on to life and fight back viciously….

As we sit and wait for ISIS to die there are a few thoughts that we need to consider…..

The U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation March 1 backed by U.S. artillery and air support in an effort to defeat the remnant core fighters of the Islamic State in the last sliver of the militant group’s self-declared “caliphate,” the term it used to describe the territory in Syria and Iraq it conquered and governed under its austere interpretation of Sharia. With the destruction of the so-called caliphate imminent, many have begun to wonder if the jihadist group could ever recover. But this is the wrong question. Instead of asking whether the Islamic State core can recover as many — including Stratfor — did when the group was on the ropes in Iraq in 2010, the proper question is whether the Islamic State core will be permitted to recover again. The difference between these two questions is subtle, but vitally important

 
The West has fought this extremism but is it possible we may have gotten somethings wrong?
 
The ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis has become fashionably outdated but still shapes the way we understand the connection between Islam, terrorism and the Middle East.  In 2019, it is time to ‘forget the Middle East’ and change the way we perceive Islam.  Vera Mironova, in ‘The New Face of Terrorism’, claims that the way Westerners think about ‘Islamist terrorism has grown dangerously outdated’, and the terrorist attacks at Western targets have been increasingly coming from militants of the former Soviet Union, not the Middle East. Following on these insights, I argue that it is time not only to ‘forget the Middle East’ but also stop essentializing Islam in the Middle East.
 
 
They, ISIS, may be suffering staggering losses in Syria and could possibly be defeated (not destroyed) but they will raise their ugly head once again in Southeast Asia….
 

Across the islands of the southern Philippines, the black flag of the Islamic State is flying over what the group considers its East Asia province.

Men in the jungle, two oceans away from the arid birthplace of the Islamic State, are taking the terrorist brand name into new battles.

As worshipers gathered in January for Sunday Mass at a Catholic cathedral, two bombs ripped through the church compound, killing 23 people. The Islamic State claimed a pair of its suicide bombers had caused the carnage.

The lesson we should learn is one that is being overlooked with all the glad handing for victory…..we cannot defeat an idea and ISIS will rise again to continue their push for extremism…..

Why Not Paraguay?

The big news on the world stage is the mash up the US is having with Venezuela……there are many reasons but oil is probably the only reason.

First, let me ask…..are we still fighting a War on Terror? Is the money trail of the terror groups still one of the prongs of that war?

If so then why are we not paying closer attention to Paraguay?

Paraguay?

The U.S. Department of Justice last year designated Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militant group, as a transnational criminal organization, thanks to its long-standing and well-documented partnership with Latin American drug cartels. A focal point of Hezbollah operations in the Western Hemisphere is the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, a sanctuary for all sorts of organized crime. Numerous terrorism financing, money laundering, and drug trafficking cases in U.S. courts involve Hezbollah-aligned Lebanese nationals who operate there. Argentina and Brazil have shown an increased readiness to take action against Hezbollah, but Paraguay, the country where Hezbollah is most vulnerable to action, is the most reluctant to recognize the challenge.

Paraguay’s president, Mario Abdo Benítez, in power since last August, is under pressure to change that. Despite a promising start, his administration remains plagued by the same problems his predecessors could not overcome, and a reckoning is coming. This year, the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization, will evaluate Paraguay to assess the effectiveness of Asunción’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism finance systems, for which the task force sets global standards. Countries that do not measure up, such as Iran and North Korea, have to contend with cumbersome restrictions that inhibit trade and investment.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/02/14/paraguay-is-a-fiscal-paradise-for-terrorists/

This is a good thing…..the country is trying to break its association with terror groups……why is the US not more involved in this situation? (well not known to the public)

The president of Paraguay is doing what DC wants so he is in good standings…..as opposed to Venezuela.

Is Al-Qaeda A Friend?

Remember 9/11?

Most Americans do. The bastards that committed the atrocities on that day were members of the extremist group called al-Qaeda whose leader Osama bin Laden ordered the attacks.

We invaded Afghanistan on the pretext of hunting down the culprit and destroying the organization so they could never again be so brazen.

We took our eye off the target by the BS of Iraq and we invaded yet another country in 2003…..we finally found and executed Osama over a decade after he ordered the attacks of 9/11….but that aside he is dead and AQ is on their back foot right now and have been replaced by yet another extremist group named ISIS.

After about 5 years of constant war ISIS is on their back foot….not defeated just a bloody nose and a period of decline (for now)……

The US conned its allies into supporting the war on ISIS…..we groomed many “freedom loving” factions to do the fighting in the region (mostly Syria)……one of the groups that we “armed” either directly or through proxies was…….wait for it…….Al-Qaeda.

I have tried to focus my reader’s attention on the war against ISIS and the use of AQ as an ally…….https://lobotero.com/2017/07/26/where-oh-where-has-al-qaeda-gone/

More confusion comes out our “war” on ISIS……this time from old friends and new……https://lobotero.com/2015/03/02/israel-working-with-al-qaeda-lobelog/

I understand the Saudis supporting AQ for they share an extremist view of Islam….but not to the point of total support against ISIS (another extremist view)……

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.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has issued a letter demanding that President Donald Trump’s administration explain a recent report suggesting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates transferred U.S. weapons to Al-Qaeda.

Warren’s letter came in response to an investigation by CNN, which uncovered reports earlier this month that Saudi Arabia and its ally, the UAE, have taken weapons provided by the U.S. and given them to fighters linked to the Sunni Muslim militant group Al-Qaeda and other organizations as part of a secret, shared initiative to defeat Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebels known as Ansar Allah or the Houthis in Yemen. The document was addressed to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“If this report is true, it raises serious concerns that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other governments have violated their end user agreements with the United States by diverting American weapons to terrorists and other extremists without prior authorization from the United States,” Warren said, as reported Friday by CNN.

https://www.newsweek.com/elizabeth-warren-saudi-arabia-giving-us-weapons-al-qaeda-trump-administration-1341323

I am sorry but I cannot see why we would supply implements of destruction to a regime of wankers that will use them against us…….

I still do not trust the Saudis as far as I could toss their fat butts……plus I am not convinced that they did not know or support the terrorists on 9/11 after all most of them were Saudis…….but this is a good piece that ask an important question……

The BBC’s article merely reports what is accepted as common knowledge and documented fact regarding the inception of this now enduring, notorious and shape-shifting terrorist organization… that it was the initial creation of joint US-Saudi interests.

This fact would carry with it an ironic sting in 2001 when Al Qaeda, allegedly led by Bin Laden, struck the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, killing nearly 3,000 people and precipitating now over 15 years of global war.

Without doubt, the US and Saudi Arabia created Al Qaeda, and many believe still control the terrorist organization citing that the immense material support it and its subsidiaries require along with the virtual impunity they enjoy as they operate worldwide could only be due to substantial and influential state sponsorship.

Many have postulated that because the 15 years of war following September 11, 2001 have benefited only a handful of special interests both in the US and Europe, as well as in the Persian Gulf, that it cannot be ruled out that these interests were also somehow involved in the attacks that justified this enduring war to begin with.

At least one center of power involved in Al Qaeda’s creation, has been called out by members of the United States government as having continued to support the terrorist organization, including on September 11, 2001. Riyadh.
https://journal-neo.org/2016/05/06/saudi-arabia-supported-al-qaeda-before-and-after-but-not-on-9-11/

This situation with AQ is disturbing…..as is the Saudis support for AQ with weapons and stuff……(keep in mind that the majority of the attackers on 9/11 were Saudis)…….

The US needs to keep an eye on AQ, ISIS, Syria and Saudis and their allies….I do not trust them and neither should the US regardless of what deals Supreme Leader Trump has made with MbS…..PERIOD!

Bin Laden Makes News (Again)

We all remember the name of the bastard that lead the attacks on 9/11…Osama bin Laden…..now that he is dead we should be free of the name right?

NO!

His son is making a name for himself…..Hamza bin Laden…..and the US is offering a reward for information on his location…..a million bucks….kinda low for info on a known terrorist…..

“Submit a tip, get paid,” reads the tweet from the State Department’s Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. In this case, the US is looking for a big tip—and offering a handsome reward: The US announced it will pay up to $1 million for information leading to Hamza bin Laden, the 30-year-old son of Osama. The State Department describes him as an emerging al-Qaeda leader who has issued audio and video threats against the US and Western nations loyal to it in revenge for his father’s death. The BBC reports that letters found in the compound where Osama was killed in 2011 indicated Hamza was the son he was grooming to take over for him. He was added to the US’ Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in 2017, and he has another familial terror tie: Relatives in 2018 said he had married the daughter of Mohamed Atta, the eldest of the 9/11 hijackers.


As for his general whereabouts, “We do believe he’s probably in the Afghan-Pakistan border [region] and… he’ll cross into Iran. But he could be anywhere though in … south central Asia,” said Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Michael Evanoff. NBC News reports the UN took action against Hamza as well on Thursday: Member states are required to freeze his assets and adhere to a travel ban and arms embargo against him. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia has made its own move against the young bin Laden: Per the kingdom’s interior ministry, his citizenship there has been taken away, the Independent reports. The Washington Post notes that the revocation actually occurred by royal decree in November; it’s not clear why it’s coming to light only now.

Hamza’s luck is running out……but is he truly a threat or are we just trying to eliminate a problem before it becomes one?

All Bow Down! ISIS Defeated!

The fighting against the barbaric group we call ISIS has been raging for 6 years, since 2013 and in multiple countries Syria, Iraq, Somalia, etc and now we have a new president and after 2 years he has declared that ISIS has been defeated.

All praise him!

So now our weary troops can return home to the friends and families and get some much deserved rest, right?

Probably not!

President Trump says that in the coming week the US and its allies will announce that they have captured all of the land previously controlled by Isis. He claims that US-led forces “have liberated virtually all of the territory previously held by Isis in Syria and Iraq … we will have 100 per cent of the caliphate.“

The prediction has sparked a sterile and misleading debate about whether or not Isis is finally defeated, something which will remain unproven since the movement is unlikely to run up a white flag and sign terms of surrender. The discussion has – like all debates about foreign policy in the US – very little to do with the real situation on the ground in Syria and Iraq and everything to do with the forces at play in Washington politics.

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/trump-says-isis-is-defeated-he-is-ignoring-the-bigger-picture/

ISIS is a jihadi group that believes an extreme form of Islam, which originated in Saudi Arabia (go figure), regardless what Trump said he is mistaken……oh Hell let’s call it for what it is….he LIED!

US President Donald Trump crowed victory over the so-called Islamic State in his State of the Union Address. Like so many before it, his claim was premature. The United States and its partners have indeed reduced the Islamic State’s control of territory to about 20 square miles in Syria, down from the more than 35,000 square miles the group controlled at the peak of its expansion. The Islamic State’s black flag no longer flies over land it governs. Meanwhile here in America, homegrown terrorist attacks seem to be tapering off, and neither al Qaeda nor the Islamic State has pulled off another 9/11-style attack. Many observers, including the president, look at these outcomes and deem the terrorist threat finished — but our enemies take a different view. They think they’re winning, and they are right.

http://www.aei.org/publication/the-salafi-jihadist-movement-is-winning/

Trump says ISIS has been defeated…..maybe maybe not…..but the one thing that is a constant is the ISIS needs the US to survive…….

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote. He later expanded on that sentiment in a video message, posted on Twitter. “Our boys, our young men and women, are coming home now,” Trump noted. “We won.”

But a recent attack on U.S. forces in Syria, carried out by a suicide bomber which ISIS claimed was operating on its behalf, has led to an outpouring of criticism of Trump’s precipitous decision. “ISIS has claimed credit for killing American troops in Syria today,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted in the aftermath of the attack. “If true, it is a tragic reminder that ISIS not been defeated and is transforming into a dangerous insurgency. This is no time to retreat from the fight against ISIS. Will only embolden & strengthen them.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/make-no-mistake-isis-needs-the-u-s-to-survive/

Now the question is…..if the US pulls out of the battle will ISIS just slink away and die or will it join with others like AQ or will it reinvent itself?

Questions need answers……

But then ISIS may not be “defeated”……

Few weeks after United States President Donald Trump announced that Daesh has been defeated in Syria, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were waging a major battle on Monday against what has been described as the terrorist group’s last foothold in the war-torn country. By Tuesday, the SDF, comprising mainly Kurdish and Arab fighters and supported by coalition air strikes, was closing on the town of Baghouz Al Fawqani — few kilometres from the Iraqi border, where about 500 Daesh terrorists were entrenched and holding more than 1,000 civilians hostages.

https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/its-too-early-to-declare-that-daesh-is-defeated-1.62073434

ON the upside….ISIS is on its last leg……

From a self-proclaimed caliphate that once spread across much of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State group has been knocked back to a speck of land on the countries’ shared border, the AP reports. In that tiny patch on the banks of the Euphrates River, hundreds of militants are hiding among civilians under the shadow of a small hill—encircled by forces waiting to declare the territorial defeat of the extremist group. A spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting the militants said Sunday that the group is preventing civilians from leaving the area, closing a corridor from which nearly 40,000 residents have managed to escape since December. “They are taking their last breath,” says an SDF fighter.

For weeks, the militants fought desperately for their shrinking territory. Once in control of about a third of Syria and Iraq, they now are down to what SDF officials describe as a small tented village atop a network of tunnels and caves. But they are holding on to hundreds of civilians—some of them possibly hostages—taking cover among them at the edge of a village in eastern Deir el-Zour province in Syria. As civilians trickled out of the enclave in recent weeks, the SDF and coalition officials screened them. Khatib Othman, an SDF fighter, came back from the front line a few days ago to take a break. “We want to take revenge,” he said. “We will not let the blood of our martyrs go to waste.” The capture of the last pocket of IS territory in either Syria or Iraq would mark the end of a four-year global campaign to crush the extremist group’s so-called caliphate.

Turn The Page!

Africa: East And West

I try to keep my readers up to date on the happenings in Africa….especially the terrorists operating within the continent.

Recently there was an attack in Nairobi Kenya….all fingers are pointing at al-Shabaab, originally from Somalia….but this group is known but that is about all that can be said…..but who and what is al-Shabaab?

Al-Shabaab is the deadliest jihadi group in sub-Saharan Africa, largely operating in Somalia but known for brutal attacks on neighbouring Kenya.

Founded in 2006, the group – whose name translates from Arabic as the “The Youth” or “Mujahideen Youth Movement” – began as the militant arm of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an alliance of hard-line Sharia courts in southern Somalia who sought to rival the Transitional Federal Parliament for control of the country.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/al-shabaab-who-africa-terror-group-jihadi-group-somalia-islamist-a8728921.html

Then we go to the West of the continent……Burkina Faso

I recently wrote a post about the situation in the country……https://lobotero.com/2019/01/08/in-the-land-of-the-lost/

After that post I read a report on an uptick of terrorism in the country of Burkina Faso……

Ten years ago, the prospect that Nigeria would become a jihadist hotspot—let alone the world’s third “most terrorized” country after Iraq and Afghanistan—received hardly any consideration (Africanews.com, December 6). Nevertheless, much has changed in ten years. Today the situation in northeastern Nigeria is worse than any predictions made a decade ago. Moreover, the violence from Nigeria has spilled over into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. This begs the question—are there “peaceful” countries today in West Africa that ten years from now could spiral into jihadist violence?

This article examines the security situation in southern Burkina Faso, which shares borders with “peaceful” countries on the West African coast, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin. Those countries have largely been spared from jihadist violence, with the exception of the 2016 Grand Bassam attack in Côte d’Ivoire that left 16 dead. Now, however, they appear to be on the verge of suffering from jihadist spillover from Burkina Faso into the northern regions of their countries. This article first reviews recent attacks that have occurred in southern Burkina Faso and discusses the networks of groups operating there. It then highlights certain structural factors in coastal West African countries that jihadists could exploit to launch attacks similar to what they have done in Nigeria, if not Burkina Faso and Mali as well.

https://jamestown.org/program/burkina-faso-and-the-looming-jihadist-threat-to-coastal-west-africa/

There have been increases in terrorist activity in Africa….but so far it has been contained to regional attacks and concentration……but they could expand their reach at anytime…especially if they learn to work together instead of factionalism.

As Africa comes out of the tag of Third World the opportunities for terrorists groups gets better and better…..African nations need to be vigilant to try and prevent the rise as permanent.