Tag Archives: Islamic State

Five IS Leaders Captures with App

Good!

A jubilant President Trump tweeted on Thursday to announce that five of the ‘Most Wanted leaders of ISIS’ have been captured after they were lured from Syria to Iraq with fake Telegram messages.

Iraqi officials used the cell phone of already captured ISIS lieutenant Ismail al-Eithawi to send instructions via the app for the four other leaders to come to Iraq, where they were seized.

The encrypted app was officially named by ISIS as one of its favored mobile messaging services in 2015 and has been regularly used by the terror group for private communication and to spread propaganda.

IS Pushed Completely Out of Iraq

Good news!

(CNN)The Iraqi military has “fully liberated” all of Iraq’s territory of “ISIS terrorist gangs” and retaken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border, it said Saturday in a statement.

“Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on his Twitter account. “We defeated Daesh (ISIS) through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people.”

Last IS Strongholds Fall

Now the traditional antagonists in the region can get back to fighting each other.

The success of the Syrian government forces inevitably raises the potential for clashes between them and US-backed, predominantly Kurdish units who hold a significant swathe of northern Syria.

It is a powerful reminder that while the war against the IS “caliphate” is well on the way to being won, the situation on the ground in Syria is becoming ever more complex.

With Iran eager to consolidate its influence, questions remain as to the Trump administration’s future policy direction now IS is collapsing. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has consolidated his position and looks to squeeze opposition forces in the months ahead.

ISIS Almost Dead

Excellent. It’s good to see success in the field.

ISIS’s reign of terror is rapidly coming to an end. Within a matter of days, the jihadist menace that shocked the world for years with its pathological sadism will lose its final strongholds within the Syrian city of Raqqa. It has taken 5 months of bloody struggle but the de facto capital of the Islamic State will soon be entirely in the hands of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Across the border in Iraq, the process of rebuilding the devastated city of Mosul is underway after its liberation from the so-called caliphate in July. There are still areas of ISIS control in both Iraq and Syria, but the jihadists have lost over 60 percent of the territory they once held. Their sources of funding are drying up, hostile forces surround them, and ISIS can no longer count on tens of thousands of recruits to flood into Syria to replenish their ranks.

If the Islamic State’s fanatics were running an actual state instead of a glorified death cult, they would be negotiating terms for surrender and laying down their arms already.

The U.S. and its allies have effectively beaten the Islamic State. While the process has been slow and riddled with setbacks and restarts, this is a substantial accomplishment. In 2014, ISIS seized Mosul in a blitzkrieg and was threatening to march on the Kurdish city of Erbil.

Iraq Declares Defeat of IS

I sure hope so.

Iraqi troops have seized the ruins of Mosul’s grand mosque from Isis, the military said in an announcement, declaring the extremists’ reign in the country to be over.

“Their fictitious state has fallen,” military spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told state TV on Thursday – three years to the day since Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the so-called caliphate from the same spot.

IS Continues Genocide

Horrible, horrible people.

(CNN)ISIS rounded up and killed 284 men and boys as Iraqi-led coalition forces closed in on Mosul, the terror group’s last major stronghold in Iraq, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN.

Those killed Thursday and Friday were used as human shields against attacks forcing ISIS out of southern parts of Mosul, the source said.
ISIS dumped the corpses in a mass grave at the defunct College of Agriculture in northern Mosul, the intelligence source said.
The victims — some of them children — were all shot, said the source, who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. CNN could not independently confirm the killings.

One Shot. Four Kills.

Nice work.

A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report.

The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back, the UK’s Daily Starreported Sunday.

The pack exploded, killing the sadistic terrorist and three of his flunkies, who were supposed to film the execution, last month, the paper said.

The ISIS butcher — who reportedly delighted in burning hostages alive — had been on a US “kill list” for several months, sources told the paper, which did not identify the sniper or the executioner.

He and his band of wicked men had been traveling around ISIS-held compounds in Syria slaughtering civilians labeled as spies.

Their prisoners were tied to stakes or thrown in cages before being torched by the executioner, according to the report.

ISIS started using flamethrowers after the torture method was popularized in North Korea.

CIA Director Says Islamic State is Using Refugees to Insert Terrorists

Of course they are.

But he said, as in Orlando and the attack in San Bernardino, California, last December, Islamic State is attempting to inspire attacks by sympathizers, even as it explores ways to send operatives to the West via refugee flows, smuggling routes and other methods of travel.

Deadly IS Attack in Orlando

Brutal.

Orlando, Florida (CNN)A gay nightclub here was the scene early Sunday of the worst terror attack in U.S. history since 9/11.

* 50 people were killed inside the Pulse club and at least 53 people were injured, police say.
* The gunman was Omar Mateen of Ft. Pierce, Florida, a law enforcement source told CNN.
* Orlando police shot and killed Mateen
* Mateen called 911 around the time of the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mention the Boston bombers, according to a U.S. official.
“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said early Sunday. The shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack on jihadi forums, but ISIS sympathizers have reacted by praising the attack on pro-Islamic State forums.

Soldier Sues Obama Over IS War

He has a point.

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Army captain sued President Barack Obama on Wednesday, alleging that he doesn’t have the proper congressional authority to wage war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Capt. Nathan Michael Smith filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Washington as the president is deploying more special operations forces to the region — and a day after a Navy SEAL was killed in combat in Iraq, the third since a U.S.-led coalition launched its campaign against the Islamic State in the summer of 2014.

Smith supports the war on military and moral grounds and considers the Islamic State an “army of butchers.” But he wants the court to tell Obama that he needs to ask Congress for a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

The White House did not comment on the lawsuit.

To fight IS, Obama has been relying on congressional authorizations given to President George W. Bush for the war on al-Qaida and the invasion of Iraq. Critics say the White House’s use of post-9/11 congressional authorizations is a legal stretch at best.

I suspect that the courts will be very reluctant to intervene in this separation of powers issue.

ISIS Strengthening in Libya

Yikes

Key Takeaway: ISIS is executing a sophisticated, multi-front campaign against Libya’s oil facilities, demonstrating the organization’s growing capability abroad. President Obama reportedly ruled out significant military intervention against the group as of February 18. The administration opted to continue intermittent strikes against ISIS leaders in Libya instead, such as the strike on an ISIS leader in western Libya on February 19. This surgical approach is unlikely to defeat the group, which maintains more than 5,000 fighters and is reinforced by leadership sent from Iraq and Syria. Libyan ground forces are also unlikely to expel ISIS from its areas of control. ISIS’s safe haven in Libya will allow it to survive even if it is defeated in Iraq and Syria.  ISIS will use its Libyan base to exacerbate regional disorder and likely to attack Europe.

Fueled by Libyan and Iraqi oil, ISIS is doing nothing but growing stronger.

Obama Blames Failure of IS Strategy on Media

Once again, this president blames others for his failures. It is not that he is wrong… it’s that the American people are too stupid to appreciate his brilliant strategy and the media isn’t helping.

“We haven’t on a regular basis, I think, described all the work that we’ve been doing for more than a year now to defeat ISIL,” Obama told NPR in an interview taped before he departed for his holiday vacation in Hawaii. He called the communications blunder a “legitimate criticism of what I’ve been doing and our administration has been doing.”

But he also pinned Americans’ renewed unease about terror attacks on U.S. soil to blanket media coverage of ISIS attacks. The November ISIS terrorist massacre in Paris, which left 130 people dead, led to “a saturation of news about the horrible attack there,” Obama said in the interview.

“If you’ve been watching television for the last month, all you have been seeing, all you have been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you,” he said in the NPR interview. “So I understand why people are concerned about it.”

“Look, the media is pursuing ratings,” he added later. “This is a legitimate news story. I think that, you know, it’s up to the media to make a determination about how they want to cover things.”

Saudi Arabia Announces Military Alliance

It’s nice to see them stepping up. I hope there is some real commitment and force behind this.

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published on state news agency SPA.

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said.

A long list of Arab countries such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, together with Islamic countries Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Gulf Arab and African states were mentioned.

Obama Speaks

And America largely ignores. What strikes me most about Obama’s speech last night is how little people are noticing today. Part of that is because he mostly just reiterated what he’s already said. Part of it is because America has tuned out the president and his professorial lectures about what he perceives as our “shared values.”

The only tangible thing I can see from his speech was this:

And he called on Congress to take several steps: Prohibit people on the so-called “no-fly” list meant to keep terrorists off airplanes from buying a gun; curb Americans’ access to “powerful assault weapons”

No. The no-fly list is useful, but it is a list that the government puts people on without any due process. We can not strip people of constitutional rights just because the government puts them on a list on suspicion of criminal activity. Imagine, if you will, if Obama was advocating people on the no-fly list being stripped of their 1st or 4th Amendment rights… we wouldn’t stand for it. We shouldn’t stand for stripping people’s 2nd Amendment rights on that basis either.

IS Already Has WMDs in Europe

I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

SIS has recruited experts with chemistry, physics and computer science degrees to wage war with weapons of mass destruction against the West, a shocking European Parliament report has claimed.

The terror organisation, according to the briefing document, ‘may be planning to try to use internationally banned weapons of mass destruction in future attacks’.

The document, which was compiled in the aftermath of the deadly attacks on Paris claimed that ISIS has already smuggled WMD material into Europe.

Doesn’t the Islamic State’s success validate the strategy of President Bush? After 9/11, Bush’s strategy was to launch a war to kill the terrorists in their strongholds. The theory was to take the battle to them in their home to prevent them from bringing it to our home. In the case of the Islamic State, we have allowed them to grow in strength and capability with only a limited effort to mitigate their spread. The result is that they have grown in strength to the point that they are launching attacks in Europe and America.

“more dangerous than those from al-Qaida”

Lovely.

The Austria Press Agency cited German federal police chief Hans-Georg Maasen as saying that some who blend in with the migrants fought with IS and are planning a “combat mission” once they arrive in Europe. He said Thursday that his office knows of 7,900 Islamic radicals in Germany who advocate violence to advance their goals, with some trying to win migrants to their cause.

He said German authorities receive one or two “fairly concrete tips” a week of planned terrorist activity. And he described IS extremists as “combat-hardened professionals” more dangerous than those from al-Qaida

ISIS Investigation in Every State

This is comforting.

The United States has 900 investigations pending against suspected operatives it says ISIS inspired. There is at least one investigation in every state.

Obama Takes Harsher Tone on IS

Apparently, Obama’s harsh tone is supposed to make our enemies think he’s serious this time.

(CNN)U.S. President Barack Obama toughened his rhetoric against ISIS at a weekend press conference in Malaysia that concluded his nine-day trip abroad.

The group responsible for the Paris terror attacks is “a bunch of killers with good social media,” he said. “They are dangerous and they’ve caused great hardship to … an overwhelming majority of people.”

The global coalition formed to destroy ISIS “will not relent,” he vowed. “We will not accept the idea that terrorist assaults on restaurants and theaters and hotels are the new normal, or that we are powerless to stop them.”

The Islamic State rends the fabric of Western civilization

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here it is:

It had been a long time since a foreign power darkened the City of Light, but the Islamic State did just that last week. Hours after President Barack Obama declared that “we have contained them,” the Islamic State killed at least 129 people and injured hundreds more in synchronous suicide attacks on several locations in Paris.

The Paris attack is, sadly, another in a string of attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State as they have continued their aggressive growth. From a small band of terrorists forged in the power vacuum of Iraq in 2011, the Islamic State has grown into a powerful, depraved quasi-nation with separatist outposts on three continents.

Since June, the Islamic State has killed 38 tourists on a beach in Tunisia; 102 people in Ankara, Turkey; 224 people on a Russian airplane leaving Egypt; 18 people at a funeral in Baghdad; 44 people in south Beirut; and many other smaller attacks. They have been flexing their terrorist muscles on foreign soil in an effort to strike terror into their enemies, recruit more fanatics to their cause and fulfill what they believe to be their sacred duty to kill anyone who does not share their Islamic faith.

The attacks in Paris were not an aberration. They were the furtherance of a strategy. There will be more. Many more.

How should America respond to the certainty that America will soon see attacks like those that have been spreading to other nations?

On the defensive side of the coin, there is a lot that we can do. The Islamic State has shown an affinity to strike at soft targets — places where there are large groups of unarmed people. Take the Paris attacks as an example. The attacks were coordinated to happen at the same time, but they were not particularly sophisticated. They did not require a tremendous amount of preparation, money or time to carry out. It took less than 10 fanatics who were willing to die for their cause to assemble some crude, inexpensive weaponry, and fan out into the city at the same time. A couple of the thugs failed to penetrate a stadium and were limited to only killing a couple of people. Some of them just massacred theatergoers without any plan other than to kill until they were killed. What should worry us is the ease of which a handful of slapdash terrorists can kill so many.

These kinds of attacks could easily happen in America. One way to make them more difficult and mitigate the damage when they occur is to harden our targets. Americans have long been a proud, independent, free people who took responsibility for safeguarding their liberties against all threats. Any American who is able should consider it their duty to arm themselves and be prepared to defend themselves and others. When a terrorist reaches his hand out in America, he should feel the thorns instead of the rose.

Our public policy should align with supporting a free people vigorously protecting their liberties. Instead of politicians carving out more soft targets with gun-free zones and onerous restrictions on law-abiding citizens, they should remind Americans that each of us take responsibility for the liberties that we all share. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is advocating policies that would disarm more Americans in a naive and disingenuous promise that the government can protect us all the time. It is worth remembering that Paris has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the world.

On offense, the choices are far less clear. The Islamic State is run by people who consider it their religious duty to kill us. In fact, they consider killing us to be a path to paradise. Such people cannot be swayed with diplomacy or soothed by concessions. The only way to stop them is to imprison them or kill them — and there are not enough jails to imprison all of them.

But America should not be the only nation to expend blood and treasure to eliminate a threat to all of Western civilization. While the Islamic State can reach America, its proximity to other nations makes their cooperation both necessary and possible. America should lead in building a broad coalition of international forces to invade the Islamic State’s strongholds with overwhelming force. They cannot be defeated with drones and squads. They can be defeated with tanks and divisions.

Unfortunately, building such a coalition is unlikely with President Barack Obama in office. Under his direction, America has retreated from world leadership and ceded too much power to other nations. From his early abandonment of the Iranian rebels, to the evaporation of his “red line” for Syria, to his estrangement from Israel, to his silence on Ukraine, to his cold shoulder to Poland, foreign leaders do not trust Obama enough to enter into such a precarious enterprise with him. Much like Obama is incapable of building coalitions among his own countrymen in Congress, he lacks the skills and temperament to build and lead an international coalition against the Islamic State. Americans will just have to hunker down and wait for the next president to take on the difficult task of eliminating the Islamic State.

France Strikes Back

Good.

(CNN)French fighter jets bombed a series of ISIS sites in Raqqa, Syria, on Sunday in what officials described as a major bombardment.

The targets included a command center, a recruitment center, an ammunition storage base and a training camp for the terror group, said Mickael Soria, press adviser for France’s defense minister.

ISIS claims Raqqa as the capital of its so-called caliphate. The airstrikes come two days after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which France’s President described as “an act of war.”