ISIS: the savage jihadists laying waste to Iraq

ISISIraq is rapidly spiraling into anarchy and civil war.

In the face of rapid territorial takeovers by the Al Qaeda-affiliated ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants, Iraq’s senior Shiite Muslim cleric is taking matters into his own hands.

On Friday, June 13, 2014, the cleric issued a decree, calling on every able-bodied Shiite man to go to war against the Sunni ISIS. Thousands of Shiite Iraqis — many with militia experience from the 2006-2008 Sunni-Shiite sectarian war that killed thousands — are flooding the cities of Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala to enlist in organized battle units.

Oil industry analysts are warning the turmoil in Iraq could reduce the flow of Iraqi crude and  send gas prices soaring in the United States. Already, the price of crude oil has shot up to $107 per barrel – the highest in 10 months. Oil industry analyst Phill Flynn said if Baghdad falls to ISIS, “the price you’re paying at the pump today is gonna look like a bargain in a couple weeks.”

On Friday, June 13, as he departed for a long weekend in California of golf and political fundraising, President Obama said the U.S. will not send troops but America will “do our part” to help Iraq, whatever that means. The next day, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an aircraft carrier moved into the Persian Gulf, readying it in case CIC Obama decides to pursue “a military option.”

Yesterday (Sunday), June 15, USA Today reported that as deadly explosions rocked Baghdad, “some” staff from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad are being evacuated and security beefed up.

Meanwhile, the ISIS claims it has massacred 1,700 Iraqi soldiers. Photos (see below) posted on a militant website show masked ISIS fighters loading captives onto flatbed trucks before forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch with their arms tied behind their backs. The bodies of the captives are then shown, soaked in blood after being shot. The authenticity of the photos have been confirmed by Iraq’s top military spokesman, Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi.

ISIS mass murder of Iraqi troops

To further complicate matters, neighboring Iran has sent 2,000 advance troops to Iraq. Tehran even hinted that Iran is prepared to cooperate with the “Great Satan” U.S. to support the beleaguered Iraqi government.

So who are the ISIS?

ISIS

FOUNDING

Formed in the early years of the Iraq War in 2004 as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad or The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad (JTJ), the group went through at least four name changes before it adopted its present name on April 9, 2013, after it had expanded into Syria.

NAME

Today, the group is known variously as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The word “Sham” means Levant; Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey. All of which speaks to the territorial ambitions and objectives of ISIS.

For the sake of convenience, in this post, the group will be referred to as ISIS, even its pre-2013 versions.

ASSOCIATION WITH AL-QAEDA

When it was first founded in 2004, ISIS had pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda when the group’s then leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi swore loyalty to Osama bin Laden. In February 2014, however, after an 8-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with ISIS.

IDEOLOGY AND GOALS

ISIS is animated by the beliefs of Wahhabism, the same radical offshoot branch of Sunni Islam as al-Qaeda’s. Wahhabism aims to return to what adherents believe to be the earliest fundamental Islamic sources of the Quran and Hadith (Muhammad’s teachings and deeds), with inspiration from the teachings of Medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyyah and early jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

In 2004, the U.S. State Department classified ISIS – under its former name of Al Qaeda in Iraq — as a terrorist organization. In July, 2013, the European Parliament identified the Wahhabi movement as the source of global terrorism and a threat to Muslim cultures across the whole world.

The goal of ISIS is to install a “pure” (i.e., Wahhabi) caliphate or pan-Islamic state, led by a supreme religious and political leader, the caliph. In other words, ISIS aims to create an Islamic theocracy, ruled by Sharia law, over a wide swath of land in the Middle East, including Cyprus, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey.

LEADER

ISIS is led by an ambitious Iraqi militant known by his nom de guerre of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head. Incredibly, the United States once had him in custody at a detention facility in Iraq, but Barack Hussein Obama let him go. In 2009, Al Baghdadi was among the prisoners released from the now-closed Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr in Iraq.

Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiThese are the only two known photos of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Left photo was taken 5 years ago; right photo is more recent.

MEMBERSHIP AND TERRITORIES

On 13 October 2006, ISIS announced the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq, which claimed authority over Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, Ninawa and parts of Babel. In 2012, ISIS in Iraq more than doubled the number of its members to about 2,500. Fox News says ISIS commands as many as 10,000 fighters.

Following the 2013 expansion of the group into Syria and the announcement of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the number of provinces it claimed increased to 16. ISIS in Northern Syria is described by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as “the strongest group” in that region. In early June 2014, ISIS began large-scale offensives in Iraq. It has seized control of Tikrit, most of Mosul – the second most populous city in Iraq – and the surrounding Nineveh province, and is advancing on Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

ISIS territories

FUNDING

The funding of ISIS comes from several sources, including:

  • Extortion: demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses.
  • Robbery: robbing banks and gold shops
  • Looting: During the battle of Mosul in June 2014, ISIS allegedly became the richest terror group in the world after looting US$429 million and a large quantity of gold bullion from Mosul’s central bank. That would explain why jihadists from around the world, including the UK and US, are flocking to Iraq. Analyst Brown Moses wrote on Twitter, “With $429 million, ISIS could [recruit and] pay 60,000 fighters around $600 a month for a year.” The group has recently started paying $200 a month to each of its fighters to boost recruitment, according to the U.S. Army War College.
  • Private donations: French television channel France 24 reported that ISIS “receives funding via private donations from the Gulf states.” In an interview with France 24, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of openly funding the ISIS. (Note that the Obama administration, in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, had released five senior Taliban terrorists from Gitmo to precisely Qatar. See “The law that Obama violated in releasing 5 terrorists from Gitmo in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl” and “Obama ignored advice of military & CIA against Bergdahl prisoner swap“.)

Sources: WikipediaFox NewsDaily Mail.

~StMA

StMA’s post originally appeared at Consortium of Defense Analysts.

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9 Responses to ISIS: the savage jihadists laying waste to Iraq

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  2. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

    We fixed Iraq in the name of liberty and human rights but did nothing but loot and profiteer for our oen kind. Now these people . . . No matter their faith . . .have no rights at all.

    But if we don’t move back in, who does? Iran’s ayatollahs? Russia who love a foothold in the Persian Gulf? Britain and France whose duplicitous games after WW I created the MidEast accident that ignored 1500 years of history? Asians who will strike any bargain anywhere to keep their tankers filled?

    No, we must fix this ISIS problem with force because they are a fundamental threat to all those who believe in the sanctity of human rights. But we must also fix ourselves.

    Let us pay to police the lawless parts of the world with a high tariff AGAINSST IMPORTED OIL.

    CUT OIL DEMAND TO SELF SUFFICIENT LEVELS and reduce our dependency on the most precious commodity in the world’s worst hellholes. Then, when we go in, we aren’t protecting the oil companies — we are protecting something that IS worth fighting for!

    • Mac in AZ says:

      If Bush had insisted we drill EVERYWHERE = we’d be laughing at these sub-human goat screwers killing themselves…. but whoa, Nellie – he wanted to “work with” Democrats…who killed this economy on purpose….got away with “blaming Bush” and ushered in the worst fool to have ever led this nation….

      WE WON IN IRAQ…. but it still needed a strong hand to control those stupid sand niggers and Satan’s disciples….

      Instead – your fucked up messiah Obama left a fucking vacuum in Iraq – like the demented fool he is = now he can realize his $15 per gallon punishment to America – exactly what he WANTS….

      It’s indoctrinated useful idiots like yourself that have been fooled into thinking “OIL BAD… MAN BAD…. Free market capitalism BAD….. America Bad…..

      So – go fuck yourself… liberal asshole…. you got what you fucking wanted….

      Looks like we might have to take matters into our own hands and kick the federal govt. the HELL out – since they fuck up everything they touch….

      America can be a great country again – if we wake up – blow away all of you jack-offs…. get the Hell out of the way of FREE MARKET ENTERPRISE which made this the greatest country on earth – once upon a time.

      FUCK EVERY DEMOCRAT ASSHOLE = you’ve gone & ruined this country…. time to pay the piper….. go to Hell and I’d love to be instrumental in sending you there.

      • We won the war but lost the Peace.

        We were too busy profiteering to set up lasting governments that had a chance and to support them through their growing pains…say 10-20 years. Our war aims were to unseat, destabilize, and turn onthe oil…and maybe to loot some antiquities while.we were at it.

        For this, we blew our moral superiority in front of the world, and our legitimacy to stomp out evil in other places we might find it. The claim to American Exceptionalism has been squandered and we are hated by therest of the world.

        Both administrations are complicit on this.

        There is no money left to.fund a military mission to Iraq, without creating another recession, or runaway inflation. It’s gun vs. butter economics.

        Demand for oil has fueled our insecurity for 100 years. We have LOTS of oil here that could be developed…IF the price were high enough. It is, however, cheaper to let the ‘miserable little goat skewers’ sell it to us abroad, than to even think about things like shale refining or synthetic fuels or electric cars. That cheapness exists ONLY SO LONG AS THE US MILITARY MAKES IT SAFE TO DO BUSINESS THERE.

        Demand for oil can be reduced IN THE LONG TERM. It was done in the 1970’s and 80’s and it got millions of gas guzzlers like my Delta 88 (8 mpg) off the road. But when OPEC manipulated the price lower, we took the cheap oil bait andthe result was … Explorers, Escalades, Hummers, and little to no investment in domestic engine technology (hybrids).

        We already pay an oil tax…in lives. That is the real price of doing business with people who hate us.

        Just ask the British Empire what the endgame was for this type of thinking.

        • Mac in AZ says:

          It’s been over 1400 years – you idiot – you think Islam is going to change?

          Their fucked up book – the Koran – compels them to murder – they’re sub-human and have a “manifest destiny” for Sharia law = tyrannical rule….

          Oil?… there’s enough under OUR feet to last 100yrs….

          WASHINGTON isn’t “allowing” us to get it.

          Time for Washington to get blown away – for they are our greatest threat for the very survival of this republic.

          • No I don’t think Islam will change, anymore than I think YOU will change.

            Great short term thinking…it took hundreds of millions of years to produce that oil, and you ate satisfied to use it all up in the next 100 years??

            Hope you like the state of perpetual warfare that implies for what is left of America before that 100 years passes…like maybe sacrificing your gas guzzler for a sail-powered skateboard

          • Mac in AZ says:

            No – ignorant soulless indoctrinated useful idiot…. the 100 yrs I was referring to was just the proven amounts we’re already aware of – I have enough faith that we’ll not run out of oil until such a time as science will provide viable alternatives…. perhaps 400+ years…. until then, let’s utilize our God given natural resources – which for your edification – 1 good volcanic eruption would equal everything man has spewed out in our entire history – including your farts asshole….

            Like I said – you dipshits deem mankind as being bad….

            … why don’t you fucking kill yourselves & eliminate your stinking carbon footprints, then?…. if you’re too much of a chicken shit – I’ll volunteer to blow you away…. you being amoral & not Christian…. who the Hell cares if you go to Hell?…. Love to hasten your trip.

    • Ol' Vet says:

      No, we have no business in that mess and didn’t when boosh selected his tyrant for those people….it was shite against sunni, and it still is. The lives of Amerikan soldiers were for naught that is ZERO, just Vietnam all over again with the dogeater giving them anything they want. How about the 200,000 M16s that were lost in Iwack? I guess these guys got what they wanted, and the whole country is wanting the same thing. Let ‘em go do what they want, it’s their country, and it’s not worth one more wounded or dead soldier.

      Time to leave it to their people and dogeater has given them their leaders again, and money and weapons. Perhaps we need to drop him from an airplane without a chute and let him lead those people, and it would be in no time that they are in the same shite as we are.

      T;hink about it. What good would it be to try to make the Amerikan people think we owed any of the middle east anything, especially soldiers and money. Keep both at home. we need them all.

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