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British Muslims Flock to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)
By Dominic Kennedy
Two British jihadists appeared in a terrorism recruitment video for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the insurgent group now on a bloody rampage towards Baghdad, urging Muslims to fight in Syria. Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, both 20, went to the Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff, which is aligned to the ultra-conservative Salafi wing of Islam. The Salafis have seen their places of worship increase by 50% in four years and are poised to control half the mosques in Britain within a generation.
While in the US, 56% of mosque leaders there have a modern outlook, only two out of nearly 1,700 mosques in the UK are controlled by modernists. (Times of London-UK)
A glimpse of the passionate loyalty inspired by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, comes in a recent video made by a 20-year-old Muslim recruit from Cardiff, Wales. “In a few days we will go to Iraq and will fight them and will even go to Lebanon and Jordan, wherever our sheik [Baghdadi] wants to send us. Send us, we are your sharp arrows. Throw us at your enemies, wherever they may be,” pledges the young man to Baghdadi on the video.
Baghdadi’s ability to inspire such intense support worries US officials. His fighters combine a fanatical passion with an unusual degree of organization, technical skill and tactical planning. Baghdadi is creating his own “emirate,” guarded by tanks and heavy weapons, something bin Laden only dreamed of. (Washington Post)
II Cooperation with Iran on Iraq Is Foolish and Immoral
By Zalman Shoval
There are voices in Washington who want to join forces with Iran to fight the Sunni Islamists threatening to roll through Baghdad. There is no doubt that ISIS is the sworn enemy of the US and the West. However, the claim that this justifies cooperation with Iran is foolish and immoral. There are no good guys or bad guys here, rather two unequivocally bad sides.
Iran is striving to acquire nuclear weapons and has threatened to commit genocide; it is a country headed by a regime that is the world’s primary exporter of terrorism and whose interests and ambitions are completely contradictory to the interests and hopes of the free world.
Any warming of relations with the US – and this will be the immediate outcome of American-Iranian synergy — will grant further legitimacy to the ayatollah’s regime, strengthen its hand in nuclear negotiations and lead to the permanent deployment of Iranian military forces in Iraq, meaning the “Eastern Front” will draw even nearer to the Jordanian and Israeli borders.
The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to the US (Israel Hayom)
III ISIS Success in Iraq and Syria: Strategic Ramifications
By Kobi Michael and Udi Dekel (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
The takeover of northern and northwest Iraq by ISIS is further evidence of the growing strength of the radical jihadists. The Sunni attack has resulted in the disappearance of the Syrian-Iraqi border and has provided a tailwind for ISIS forces in Syria and strengthened their hold on the country’s eastern sector.
Captured US weapons, especially anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, are being moved to Syria. It is only a matter of time before ISIS gears up for an attack on southern Syria and the capital city of Damascus.
Jordan is confronting a growing number of cells of jihadist organizations infiltrating the state under the guise of refugees and through assistance and supply channels to the rebels in Syria. Jordan needs a clear strategic military ally. Although it cannot admit it openly, its only such ally is apparently Israel.
What is needed now is a joint U.S.-European effort (with low-profile Israeli involvement) to strengthen Jordan both economically and militarily. Israel must continue to prepare for a scenario in which recent events spill over its borders. As such, it will have to prevent the penetration of influence by Islamist-jihadist elements.
The time may have come to prepare conceptually as well as practically for the formation of a new organizing principle of the Syrian-Iraqi region, whose main point would be the dissolution of existing nation states and the establishment of ethnic nations: Alawite in western Syria, Kurdish in northern Iraq and Syria, a Sunni nation in northwest Iraq and northeast Syria, and a Shiite State in central and southern Iraq.
(Makes a whole lot of sense if the Arabs would subscribe but, good luck and someone tell Obama/Kerry to keep their noses out of it. They obviously have no idea what they are doing) jsk
Kobi Michael served as deputy director and head of the Palestinian desk at the Israel Ministry for Strategic Affairs. Brig. Gen. (ret.) Udi Dekel served as head of the IDF Strategic Planning Division.
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