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Islamic State approaches Israel

Prediction: If the Islamic State gets into a position to threaten Israel in any serious way, we will start seeing the mainstream media grow markedly sympathetic to it, with a spate of articles hailing the new “maturity” and “moderation” of the Islamic State.

“ISIS Approaches Israel: Islamic State Loyalists Thwarted By Syrian Rebels Along Golan Heights Border,” by Morgan Winsor, International Business Times, May 20, 2015:

Islamic State loyalists in Syria have made attempts in recent weeks to expand the extremist group’s territory near the border with Israel, but have been twice thwarted by Syrian rebels along the Golan Heights. Israel has not yet responded to the incidents, even as mortar shells from the battles with ISIS fighters landed across the border into Israeli territory, Israeli news site Ynetnews said.

In the past, Israel has increased its forces in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border when shells fired by the Syrian army spilled over into Israeli territory, the Jerusalem Post said. However, Israel has remained quiet during the past two weeks as rebel fighters from Syria repelled militants loyal to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The ISIS-loyalists have so far failed to gain foothold on the Golan Heights border, which would allow the Islamic State to set up a base for operations against Israel, Ynetnews said. Their attacks have been thwarted by the Free Syrian Army, which reportedly receives Israeli humanitarian aid, in cooperation with the Nusra Front, a Sunni Muslim branch of al Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon….

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“Let Your Blood Be [The Caliphate’s] Fuel”

On Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, a photocopy of a printed statement allegedly distributed by the Aleppo Center of Preaching and Mosques of the Islamic State (IS) began circulating online on unofficial Twitter accounts of IS members/supporters (documents available on CTC website). Dated Monday, April 27th, 2015, this statement was issued under the authority of the Caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and called for the emirs and fighters within IS’s Syrian provinces to volunteer to fight in the ongoing battles in Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn provinces in Iraq. While we have not seen a similar statement posted online from other Syrian provinces, the opening sentence of this statement made clear that it was intended for all Syrian provinces under IS control, not just Aleppo.

While the fact that the IS is seeking reinforcements to send to the frontlines in Iraq is not surprising, this statement has several noteworthy features, including a brief view into how the Caliph is thinking about the way forward as he prosecutes a multiple-front war and how he interacts with local leaders in regards to troop mobilizations and deployments.

The first potential take away from the statement is that it included an injunction for those who wanted to volunteer to report within 48 hours. The short temporal expiration date on this order suggests a certain urgency in the request. Given the time it will take to organize and deploy fighters, this suggests that IS sees the next several weeks in both Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn as critical.

But a quick response was not the only thing the Caliph wanted. The statement also contains a call for a specific type of fighter: suicide bombers and soldiers willing to sacrifice themselves in assaults/battles (suicide fighters). The “single-use” nature of these forces potentially suggests that a shortage of such fighters exists in Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn or that IS is preparing for a counteroffensive. And what is more, the call clearly wants those who are the best of the best: “religiously dedicated, patient ones, and war experts who don’t look back, fight and don’t lay down their weapons until they get killed or God grants them victory.” The statement conveys not just a need for fighters, but a need for the best and most committed fighters.

And there already appears to have been some response to this kind of call in the recent past. Almost three weeks ago, on April 11, 2015, a video surfaced from Al-Raqqah that showed a group of individuals dressed in combat fatigues pledging allegiance to the Caliph. The pledge itself was relatively similar to a previous pledge, except that it included a general pledge to the death, with the fighters stating “There is no return after today.” The video then proceeds to show the fighters allegedly traveling from Al-Raqqah to Salāh ad Dīn.

Additionally, there is an important corollary from this latest statement to the Caliph’s view of the current fight and the value he places on Iraq relative to Syria. If he is willing to call for the best of the best out of Syria and push them to Iraq, what does this mean about the value he places on Iraq relative to Syria? What is more, how do the local leaders feel about this call? It seems unlikely that governors in Aleppo and Raqqa enthusiastically send their best fighters away, never to return. It is certainly plausible that the Caliph feels that his governors in Syria can bear sending away some of their troops to Iraq, but the dynamic nature of the conflict both in Iraq and Syria is forcing the Caliph into a delicate balancing act regarding which front of the conflict is more important and how to avoid alienating local leadership.

Another point worth noting is the fact that although Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn are mentioned together in the statement, this does not suggest that they are considered of similar importance to IS. The fighting in Salāh ad Dīn has been intense (particularly around and inside the Baji oil refinery), but is most likely viewed as a stalling action by IS to prevent / prepare for an eventual campaign against Mosul. Al-Anbar, on the other hand, with its large Sunni population and critical geographic location, is a territory that is essential to the IS’s strategy in Iraq.

Finally, there is a curious matter within the statement that asks for volunteers among already existing IS forces to go fight in Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn. The Caliph presumably has the authority to order such individuals, who have already joined the military side of the IS, to mobilize and deploy. In thinking about why the statement is asking for volunteers, there are two important sub-points.

First, it may be that the Caliph is less sure of his control over individuals and events in Syria. It is possible that he is concerned about undermining his own leadership by giving an order that may not be obeyed by emirs and fighters in Syria. Nevertheless, there is a pressing need for additional fighters, so the compromise approach appears to be asking for volunteers rather than ordering them.

Second, the statement specifically says that volunteers are to report to the local office of “Preaching and Mosques.” This creates a mechanism for the local governor (wali) to exercise oversight over the process of sending fighters from Aleppo to Iraq. Again, presumably the Caliph does not need to defer to local leaders on this issue, but such deference provides insight into the calculations of the Caliph in managing local issues with the broader needs of his “state”…a classic governance challenge.

Some of these inferences are reinforced by the IS’s own self-reported attack data over the past week. IS has been conducting a daily news rollup of military activities within its Caliphate using the Al-Bayan radio station. Of course, one should accept those numbers cautiously as they are self-reported.

With that understanding, from April 21 – April 29, there were a total of 229 news items detailed in Al-Bayan daily reports. Over 28% of these (64 in total) reported on military activities in Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn. When one considers that the reports contained news from approximately 14 provinces during this period of time, the fact that such a high number came from two provinces alone is telling.

This number of attacks greatly increases if one takes three other areas bordering Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn provinces into account: Diyala, Northern Baghdad, and al-Janub (south of Baghdad and north of Wasit and Babil provinces). This number certainly stands in contrast to the 35 (15%) news items coming out of Syrian provinces of the IS. While there are still important developments going on in Syria, IS sees the battles in Iraq as critical.

To support the idea that particular types of fighters are seen as valuable to the campaigns in Al-Anbar and Salāh ad Dīn, consider the fact that of the 8 suicide bombings claimed by the IS in the Al-Bayan reports over the past week, all 8 occurred in Al-Anbar (7) and Salāh ad Dīn (1).

The past several weeks of conflict in Iraq have been characterized by advances and setbacks for both sides. In response, both IS and the Iraqi government have been adjusting their strategy and forces as needed.  However, while the responses of the Iraqi government have been subject to public scrutiny, the responses of IS have not been transparent. In that sense, this statement, taken together with the video showing the death pledge by fighters moving from Al-Raqqah to Iraq, sheds light on the current and future challenges of IS.

ABOUT MUHAMMED AL-UBAYDI AND DANIEL MILTON

Muhammad al-`Ubaydi is a research assistant at the Combating Terrorism Center and monitors Arabic jihadist websites. Daniel Milton is an Assistant Professor at the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Muhammad and Daniel would like to thank Nelly Lahoud, Bryan Price, and Krissy Hummel for their insights and assistance in preparing this piece. The views presented are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, or any of its subordinate commands.

Dom: The Conservative Lady Warrior

dom the conservativeMeet, Dom -The Conservative, blogger, wife, Mom, counter-jihad warrior! Sometimes it’s funny how life provides positive developments from extremely bizarre situations.

On May 3, 2015, Dom was one of the attendees at the Pamela Geller – Muhammad Art Exhibit and was there to support the American doctrine of freedom to speak and freedom to assemble. Little did she realize how her life would be changed by being one of the people under attack from Muslim terrorists who were intent on killing the participants simple because they were at the event?

In the midst of the “controlled” confusion of the evening our United West team met Dom, interviewed her and became friends with a very serious, very intelligent woman who has a critically important message for all freedom-loving Americans.

Listen to what Dom has to say and then, JOIN THE FIGHT!

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The Mind of the Islamic State — Part 2

In part 2 of this Micro Series we will delve into the mind of the Islamic State terrorist. Why killing Jews, American, and infidels is his or hers only option. In the Islamic State’s online publication Dabiq the Islamic states depicts clearly their purpose and Islamic world view.

As ten’s of thousands flock to the Islamic state worldwide, this series will illustrate motivations, desires and tactic for world domination.

How is ISIS Recruiting So Many in the Face of Beheadings, Enslavement & Other Outrages?

ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has burst into the global consciousness with dramatic beheadings of Western journalists and aid workers. As ISIS has conquered territories in Syria and Iraq, its terrorizing of native Yazidis and sexual enslavement of Yazidi women, immolation of a captured Jordanian pilot, and beheadings of Coptic Christians have been widely publicized. Yet more than any of the jihadist movements – Iran’s Muslim Brotherhood and offshoots, al-Qaeda, for example, ISIS has drawn thousands of followers from all over the world, including the West, to ISIS controlled territories in Syria and Iraq.

To better understand the seemingly improbable recruiting success, and to explore what the United States can do, ‘Morning in America,’ the syndicated radio program hosted by Bill Bennett, welcomed in the vantage point of forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner, M.D., Chairman of The Forensic Panel. Dr. Welner, whose pioneering Depravity Standard research in criminal and everyday evil impacts the discussion of war crimes, unexpectedly characterized the beheadings and social media efforts of ISIS to be a distraction from the real reasons for its momentum.

In a lengthy interview that Bennett, the former United States Secretary of Education, termed ‘a masterful explanation,’ Dr. Welner pointed out the unique messianic quality that ISIS embodied in the declaration of a Caliphate by its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. ISIS, he noted, was appealing to the devout with a utopian message of nation building, and touching fundamental Muslim tenets and traditional longings to serve the Caliphate. Be it to Salafist groups annihilating those around them of other faiths, or quietly devout females or recent converts in Europe, the ideals of the Caliphate, now restored after over a 1,000 year absence, include idealized proscriptions that encompass even social welfare. ISIS message of traditional and unadulterated Islam, strictly adhering to the Qu’ran, insulates it from rejection from Muslims for whom criticism of the Qu’ran is strictly forbidden,  echoing political correctness, observed Dr. Welner.

Dr. Welner proposed a variety of underutilized solutions available to America, cautioning that the messianic quality of ISIS endowed it with the unusual determination that would need to be aggressively confronted while its forces are comparatively smaller and more easily defeated.

Listen to the full interview here:

Egyptian Journalist speaks against an Islamic Caliphate: ‘So What If Muslims Ruled the World?! So Did Hitler’

Leading Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Issa recently stated the case against the Islamic Caliphate. “If you say that the Caliphate was the model of excellence… you are insisting upon a stupid, nonsensical, and meaningless lie,” said Issa on his Nugum FM radio show. The video was posted on the Internet on February 3, 2015.

Issa, who moderates a daily talk show on the Egyptian ON TV and has edited several leading Egyptian newspapers, was a harsh critic of Mubarak. In 2007, he received a prison sentence, but was later pardoned by Mubarak.

This journalist must be protected by Egyptian President al-Sisi to say this publicly and remain alive.

EDITORS NOTE: Video courtesy of MEMRI TV.

An American Caliphate: The Alternate Media are Catching Up to Me

Back on June 15th of last year, I wrote an article so controversial and scary that some of my usual blog publishers passed on it. I knew they would and I knew why. I had come out and said that Washington D.C. was the seat of the Muslim caliphate, and I had provided details to demonstrate that.

Back during the Vietnam War years, there was a slogan among conservatives that went “America right or wrong.”

At one time, most Americans, conservatives in particular, didn’t like to criticize their government in war time because they thought that would be blasphemous to those brave young Americans who had died on the battlefield. Thus instead of laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of those politicians and foreign policy strategists who had cynically squandered these American lives for their own ideological purposes or self-aggrandizement, they chose to cover up the ignominy of the loss and pretend it was a good cause. That ill-conceived practice enabled more and more vain deaths, and is doing so to the present day.

It is a mindset that dies hard.

But if I had had a son back then who had been drafted and killed, I can’t imagine having pretended that he died for a holy cause, and I didn’t understand those parents who took that attitude. Why send more young men to die when you can stand up for what you believe in and hopefully halt the senseless killing?

I am not, of course, referring to justified war to truly protect the homeland. In fact, I cringed a few nights ago while watching a talk show on German cable channel Deutsche Welle where one freelance reporter who had been embedded with ISIS claimed that all the West needs to do to halt the hostility in the Muslim world is to stop the bombing. I immediately thought of Boko Haram, which has never been bombed or shot at, and which recently killed 2000 Christians. There’s no bombing to halt, stupid!

The article I found at American Thinker, which suggests there is at least some realization that the U.S. is pursuing a caliphate, states:

…Islam is on the march. Meanwhile, the West remains mired in cowardice and complicity. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in Europe, which is on the fast track to join the Caliphate.

Not to be outdone by Europe’s madness, the United States is traveling down the same bloody path, importing large numbers of Muslims from Islamic countries thanks to the Islamophile sitting in the Oval Office and a nation full of dhimmis.

This bold statement, reflecting my commentary from last June, suggests that America has now turned a bit of a corner, and that selling baseless wars has become a significantly tougher job for the warmongers in Washington, D.C., and that is partly because none other than Barrack Hussein Obama has joined the ranks of those war mongers and it is therefore politically correct for conservatives to talk plainly about this. It also shows that it is now ok to suggest that Washington DC is the seat of the caliphate, as I did back in June. Now if Mitt Romney were president, I would not bet that the comments, if any, would be this bold. After all, media, whether alternative or mainstream, are beholden to political groups. To put it bluntly, there is no fourth estate. Perhaps there never was.

We still have a long way to go before the public wakes up and realizes, for example, that the Ukraine debacle was a sales job to promote isolation of Russia, if not war with Russia, to the world. But even there, progress is being made by the inch, particularly in Europe.

On the other hand, let us never let anyone tell us that the best policy to use against heartless terrorists is to turn the other cheek.

We will eventually have to engage ISIS.

So how are we doing so far?

Aside from largely ineffectual drone attacks in Syria and Iraq, we’re sending 400 troops to train “moderates” in Syria in hopes of taking out the only man standing between Syrian Christians and death!

Almost all of the reports on this major advance in the war against Christians and innocent minorities in Syria are written with a mesmerizing blandness suggesting that all is well and that the lives of innocent Syrians are an acceptable price to pay to rid the world of Bashar al-Assad and replace him with a considerably more radical Islamist government that will install brutal sharia law enshrining violence against women and introducing death penalties to non-Muslims, for example, who speak their mind about the “prophet.”

Not a single feminist group has protested, of course. Their sole raison d’être is to annoy as many people as possible.

I found on article that sums up how U.S. policies kill Christians abroad as though it were our designated policy to kill them. The one comment in the forum accompanying the article was a mindless complaint about Christians “imposing their values” on others, as if trying to prevent the deaths of innocent Christians were an imposition of values peculiar to Christians. How quaint of us to oppose murder.

Meanwhile, the protests against U.S. Christian-killing policies such as the military opposition to al-Assad are scant and scarcely reported. The most successful ones that get past the media firewall are organized by leftist groups that oppose war on principle and would not fight even if their families were attacked.

Then there have been church protests, but mostly by Orthodox churches (e.g. Antiochian Orthodox  in PA), as well as small, poorly organized worldwide protests during the crisis over Syria in 2013, involving a few hundred protesters each.

If the Satanic forces in Washington succeed in taking out Assad and plunging Syria into chaos, it is hard to imagine salvation for the U.S. What kind of God would forgive us? Not mine!