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The brains behind ISIS: 100 Saddam era officers

by Phantom Ace ( 165 Comments › )
Filed under Chechnya, Iraq, Islam, Islamists, Syria at August 10th, 2015 - 9:00 am

The success of the Islamic state against the Iraqi Shiites, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hezbollah and the Syrian Army over the past two years has caught many analysts off guard. Recently many journalists and researchers began to uncover the facts that ISIS is really a combination of Iraqi Baathists, Arab Sunni Jihadists and Chechens.

As ISIS overran the Sunni heartland of Iraq, they installed ex Baathists into position of power in the towns they took. This was no coincidence as the brains behind ISIS are over 100 Saddam era Iraqi army officers. This has given the Islamic State an advantage over its adversaries and making them way more dangerous than al-Qaeda or Hezbollah ever was.



Once part of one of the most brutal dictator’s army in the Middle East, over 100 former members of Saddam Hussein’s military and intelligence officers are now part of ISIS.

Now they make up the complex network of ISIS’s leadership, helping to build the military strategies which have led the brutal jihadi group to their military gains in Syria and Iraq.

The officers gave ISIS the organization and discipline it needed to weld together jihadi fighters drawn from across the globe, integrating terror tactics like suicide bombings with military operations.


Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer who has served in Iraq, said Saddam-era military and intelligence officers were a ‘necessary ingredient’ in the Islamic State group’s stunning battlefield successes last year, accounting for its transformation from a ‘terrorist organization to a proto-state.’

‘Their military successes last year were not terrorist, they were military successes,’ said Skinner, now director of special projects for The Soufan Group, a private strategic intelligence services firm.

The group’s second-in-command, al-Baghdadi’s deputy, is a former Saddam-era army major, Saud Mohsen Hassan, known by the pseudonyms Abu Mutazz and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, according to the intelligence chief.

Hassan also goes by Fadel al-Hayali, a fake name he used before the fall of Saddam, the intelligence chief, who spoke under the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.


‘IS’s military performance has far exceeded what we expected. The running of battles by the veterans of the Saddam military came as a shock,’ a brigadier general in military intelligence told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic.

‘Security-wise, we are often left unable to know who replaces who in the leadership. We are unable to infiltrate the group. It is terrifying.’

Estimates of the number of Saddam-era veterans in IS ranks vary from 100 to 160 in mostly mid- and senior-level positions, according to the officials.

Typically, they hail from Sunni-dominated areas, with intelligence officers mostly from western Anbar province, the majority of army officers from the northern city of Mosul and members of security services exclusively from Saddam’s clan around his hometown of Tikrit, said Big. Gen. Abdul-Wahhab al-Saadi, a veteran of battles against IS north and west of Baghdad.

For example, a former brigadier general from Saddam-era special forces, Assem Mohammed Nasser, also known as Nagahy Barakat, led a bold assault in 2014 on Haditha in Anbar province, killing around 25 policemen and briefly taking over the local government building.

Many of the Saddam-era officers have close tribal links to or are the sons of tribal leaders in their regions, giving IS a vital support network as well as helping recruitment.

These tribal ties are thought to account, at least in part, for the stunning meltdown of Iraqi security forces when IS captured the Anbar capital of Ramadi in May.

Several of the officers interviewed by the AP said they believe IS commanders persuaded fellow tribesmen in the security forces to abandon their positions without a fight.

Skinner, the former CIA officer, noted the sophistication of the Saddam-era intelligence officers he met in Iraq and the intelligence capabilities of IS in Ramadi, Mosul and in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.

‘They do classic intelligence infiltration. They have stay-behind cells, they actually literally have sleeper cells,’ Skinner said.

Despite being stopped cold by the Kurds, in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State continues to advance against Assad’s forces. They have recently took the village al-Qaryatayn in Homs which puts them 30 miles to the Lebanese border and potentially cut off Assad’s forces in northern Syria and threaten Hezbollah’s heartland in the Bekaa valley.

The Islamic State is a just a rebranded version of the Iraqi Baathist party.

ISIS’s female Gestapo wreaks terror on their own sex

by 1389AD ( 58 Comments › )
Filed under British Islamic Jihadists, Islamic Supremacism, Sharia (Islamic Law), Syria, UK at July 13th, 2015 - 7:00 am
Yazidi and Christian women being sold as ISIS slaves
A group of captured Yazidi and Christian women are chained together and marched to a sickening sex slave market where they are sold to become wives for Islamic State fighters

Daily Mail (UK): They bite and whip any woman who steps out of line and force girls to become sex slaves. Most shocking of all? SIXTY of them are British

The loud knock on the family’s farmhouse door was at midnight as they got ready for bed. Outside, five Islamic State fighters, Kalashnikovs hung on their shoulders and faces hidden by black scarves, were searching for girls to kidnap.

‘We opened the door and they saw my wife’s teenage sisters Sabiha and Sajida. The fighters told us they were going to steal them because they were beautiful,’ says Kafi Osman, anger still burning in his eyes at the memory.
‘We cried and the girls wept as they were led outside and driven away in an open truck. We have heard nothing of them since.’

The girls’ kidnap in the northern Iraqi town of Makhmur came as jihadis from Islamic State (also known as IS and Isis) took control of it street by street. They beheaded men, raped women and then captured their trophies of war — virgins to be sex slaves or jihadi brides.

The Osman family now believe that Sabiha, 18, and Sajida, 16, are prostitutes in Raqqa, a seven-hour drive across the Iraqi border in Syria and the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital, awash with jihadi fighters.

It is a place of medieval barbarism, terror, torture, abuse and odious controls over the 100,000 women who live there. Some women are trapped in the city against their will.

They did not escape before IS marched in two years ago, building a Sharia court on the football pitch and imposing a regime where grisly public executions take place by stoning and crucifixion in the main square after mosque prayers on a Friday.

Others are radicalised jihadi brides from the West, including three pupils from Bethnal Green, East London, who were pictured last week walking in the town with a woman minder in a burka holding a Kalashnikov.

The third group of women are the unfortunates kidnapped in enemy territory by IS fighters, taken to Raqqa, and imprisoned in a life of sex slavery.

Whatever the reason for living in this hellish place, all women are prohibited from going outside or travelling without a male relative. Islamic State imposes a strict dress code demanding all females from puberty upwards wear two gowns to hide their body shape, black gloves to cover their hands, and three veils so their faces cannot be seen, even in direct sunlight.

Women have been publicly buried alive in sand for breaking the code. One former Syrian schoolteacher trapped in the city told Channel 4 in a documentary, Escape From Isis, to be aired next week: ‘We have no freedom. We cannot go out on the balcony or look through the window. They will arrest a woman if she wears perfume or raises her voice. A woman’s voice cannot be heard.’

The teacher told of her horrifying capture by the city’s ruthless all-women police unit, the Al-Khansa brigade, created to enforce IS rules. ‘They said my eyes were visible through my veil. I was tortured. They lashed me. Now some of them punish women by biting. They give you the option between getting bitten or lashed.’

As many as 60 British women, including Aqsa Mahmood, the 20-year-old Glaswegian woman who left her family to become an Islamic State apparatchik last year, are thought to be members of the brigade. They are paid up to £100 a month, a fortune in the Islamic State bad-lands.

One former Al-Khansa enforcer, a young Syrian woman called Umm Abaid, told the filmmakers how she had led a normal life until the arrival of IS and the imposition of Sharia law in Raqqa, once a cosmopolitan city where the sexes mixed freely.

‘I went to school, to coffee shops,’ she said, ‘but slowly, slowly my husband [a Saudi Arabian IS fighter killed in a suicide bomb attack] convinced me about Islamic State and its ideas. I joined the brigade and was responsible for enforcing the clothing regulations.

‘Anyone who broke the rules, we would lash. Then we would take her male guardian, her brother, father or husband, and lash him, too.

‘Even when I was off duty, if I was with my husband in the car and we saw a woman dressed wrong, he would stop and tell me to deal with her.

‘I remember one woman walking with her husband wearing a robe with images on it. We arrested her and took her to the Al-Khansa base. I lashed her with my own hands.’

Umm fled to Turkey after IS tried to force her to remarry within weeks of her husband blowing himself up.

The terrifying brigade even stops buses to check women passengers. If one is found breaking the code, all the passengers are forced to get off and the bus is refused permission to proceed. The driver can be lashed because he let the woman on board.

Some of the Al-Khansa members operate undercover, posing as housewives, mingling in the crowds to listen for any dissent.

They also run brothels where kidnapped girls, like Sabiha and Sajida, are expected to satisfy fighters returning from battle. Those who have escaped, by a miracle, say they have slept with 100 different fighters in a few weeks.

Even girls who have gone willingly to Raqqa, thinking they were going to marry one fighter, have found they are expected to spend a week with their new ‘spouse’ before they are ‘divorced’ by an Islamic cleric and married to another fighter for a week.

And so the marriage merry-go-round goes on.

Yet, incredibly, still more Muslim girls and women from Europe, and notably the UK, are arriving in Raqqa to join IS. What can possibly induce them to run away to join its ranks?

Emily Dyer, a research fellow with the Henry Jackson Society, a respected Westminster think-tank, spends hours each day tracking social media messages sent to the West by jihadi brides.

‘The fighters are seen as lions and wives as lionesses raising future jihadists,’ she says. ‘Joining up is seen as an adventure for girls who are bored with life here. You cannot overestimate the seductive attraction of IS to some of them. They see Muslims being attacked abroad and want to do something about it.

‘Even the violence and sexual abuse against women don’t seem to stop them leaving. In Britain, they are exposed to a barrage of brainwashing on social media coming from the Islamic State. It tells them that not supporting the “cause” is wrong. There is strong moral pressure on Muslim women to go and play their part in building an IS caliphate.’

Explaining the recruitment process, she says: ‘Their friends come online with a cool new identity and tell them it is paradise, with groceries supplied, medical help for free, a place to stay. They meet a fighter online, he proposes, and says come to Syria.

‘It sounds an attractive option when being a Muslim woman in the West may be a hard prospect.’ Emily suggests the possible difficulties: perhaps a forced marriage, a limited life outside the home, and a lack of freedom compared with their non-Muslim peers.

Once they arrive, their dreams can be shattered. Emily’s analysis of internet messages shows that many jihadi brides find Raqqa a shock. Under IS prohibitions, single women live in all-female safe houses called maqqars. If they are married, they must be only mothers or housewives unless selected to be IS ‘enforcers’ or fighters.

A girl tracked by Emily on Twitter said: ‘I’m fed up. They make me do the washing up.’ Another said: ‘I’ve done nothing except hand out clothes and food. I help clean weapons and transport dead bodies from the front. It’s beginning to get really hard.’ One complained: ‘My iPod doesn’t work any more. I have to come back [to the West].’

A fourth wrote: ‘They want to send me to the front but I don’t know how to fight.’

Another grim glimpse of life in Raqqa emerged last weekend from Amira Abase, who was 15 when she and fellow Bethnal Green GCSE pupils Shamima Begum, 16, and Kadiza Sultana, 15, ran away from home in February. Two of the girls have since married jihadi fighters, although they refuse to say which of them is still single.

Amira, in messages on Twitter and Kik Messenger (an encrypted service) said that women in maqqars are forbidden access to mobile phones or the internet. They are then prepared for marriage to a jihadi, even if they are young teenagers. ‘The Prophet Mohammed’s favourite wife, Aisha, got married to him when she was nine,’ she said.

She advised British girls wanting to join IS not to tell their families, to bring as much money as possible, ‘lots of bras’, black khimars (long Islamic dresses) and black niqabs (full face veils) — ‘you can’t leave the house without a niqab.’

It was fear of IS’s treatment of women that led Kafi Osman, a 27-year-old Iraqi Kurd and Muslim, to flee with his 44-year-old wife Balqesa and children, Sara, four, and Elaf, three, the day after Sabiha and Sajida were taken.
After a month hidden in the back of a truck, which crossed into Turkey then drove through Eastern Europe and Germany, they arrived on the northern coast of France. They had paid £16,000 in cash, which Kafi had hidden at the family’s farmhouse, to an Iraqi agent.

‘How could we stay in a town run by the Islamic State when we have our little daughters to protect? We were frightened the fighters would want them too.

The jihadis took over Makhmur in 20 minutes, killed the men, and then began knocking on doors looking for girls to steal.’

Continue reading…

Russia vetoes Srebrenica resolution

by Phantom Ace ( 6 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, Balkans, Headlines, Hezballah, Islamists, Kosovo, Serbia at July 9th, 2015 - 9:54 am

Russia vetoed a UN resolution to recognize the Serb victory at Srebrenica over Bosnian Muslims, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah as “genocide.”

Russia vetoed a draft UN resolution Wednesday that would have recognized the Srebrenica massacre as genocide, saying it unfairly singled out Bosnian Serbs for war crimes.

Britain had put forward the text to mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre of 8,000 Muslim boys and men by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.

Angola, China, Nigeria and Venezuela abstained from the vote at the 15-member Security Council while 10 other countries voted in favour of the text that also condemned genocide denial.

The Russian veto was welcomed by Serbia’s president, who said it was “a great day for Serbia,” but the head of the Mothers of Srebrenica group accused Moscow of “supporting criminals, those who killed our children.”

Good on Russia for blocking this pro-Islamic crap. It’s funny that many Americans who claim to be such holy Christians despise the one nation on the planet that stands up for Christians.

The Latest on Greece.

by coldwarrior ( 202 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Europe, Open thread at July 5th, 2015 - 6:00 am

Today is the big day in Greece. This article sums it up perfectly, do have a read and enjoy the show.


Whether Greece votes yes or no, the euro cannot survive in its current form

Best case scenario? The EU will undergo years of painful convulsions, precipitating a new treaty that imposes greater centralisation and restrictions on the fiscal independence of nation states

Whether Greece votes to back or reject austerity on Sunday, the euro in its current form is dead, and rightly so. The defective structures that underpin it have been shattered by the Greek nightmare, and trust within Europe is at a low ebb. Even a yes vote would not undo the damage, and a no vote would lead to an almost immediate Greek departure from the euro.

Germany’s best-selling newspaper, Bild, is a great barometer of opinion in the eurozone’s dominant power: it is staging its own, fake “referendum” among its readers, asking them whether they want to continue bailing out Greece or whether they should cut them off. There are no prizes for guessing which way the paper’s furious readership is inclined.

Meanwhile, in Athens, the levels of hatred towards the Euro-establishment from supporters of the “No” side are remarkable; it is hard to see how any meaningful negotiations will ever be possible if Syriza remains in power. For all of those deluded Europhiles who believed that enforcing an artificial, imperfect currency on 19 different, divergent nations was a good idea that would help bring about peace, friendship and prosperity, the events of the past few weeks have surely been devastating.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras

The Eurosceptics were right; the problem now is that in the best case scenario the region will undergo years of painful convulsions, precipitating a new treaty that imposes greater centralisation and restrictions on the fiscal independence of nation states. Such a move would outrage Eurosceptics, needless to say, and could lead to a collapse of the whole project if it is rejected by voters, but it is the only hope for the single currency’s long-term survival. Reopening treaties properly would create a major opportunity for the UK, albeit one that may come too late for David Cameron’s renegotiation.

So what are the options after the Greek vote? If they vote No, it’s game over for Greece’s membership of the single currency. The country’s banks don’t have enough money to last for much longer, and there is little reason why the European Central Bank would wish to extend them billions more if it is snubbed by voters. Either the banks would have to stay shut, which means that the country will run out of food and essentials as it becomes impossible to pay for imports, or depositors would have to be bailed in, wiping out a large chunk of their wealth but recapitalising financial institutions.

The only other alternative would be for the Greek state to introduce IOUs and then a new physical currency, while re-denominating all Greek bank accounts into drachmas. The national debt, which is owed in euros, would explicitly be repudiated, triggering a major crisis and inflicting vast losses on the European Central Bank, IMF and other creditors. The new drachmas would, of course, plummet in value, and it would be hard to avoid widespread chaos and hyperinflation if the government is forced to crank up the printing presses to pay for its bills.

Long-term, however, a Grexit accompanied by a sound new currency could help transform the economy – but that would require a sensible, credible economic policy, rather than more of the same left-wing rabble-rousing.

If, on the other hand, Greece votes yes, the government will collapse and new elections called. The Europeans would pump money into the Greek banking system, allowing branches to reopen. But sensible Greeks would continue their run on the banks, draining the economy.

Worse, Greece would be unlikely to get the comprehensive debt write-off it needs, and bailout negotiations would drag on, with the country eventually plunging into another crisis. The Greeks may even elect another hard-left government, guaranteeing another showdown.

Sunday’s vote may be too close to call, but we already know that there will be no winners from the referendum, only losers.