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Thread: ISIS: an essential reading collection

  1. #21
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ISIS and the Use and Abuse of Early Islamic History

    A month ago Professor Hugh Kennedy (SOAS, London) and an acknowledged SME on Islamic history gave a lecture @ Birmingham University - it was excellent. From the organisers summary:
    Hugh’s lecture interrogated the rise of ISIS, breaking down the often-quoted notion that Western intervention in the Middle East was the sole cause of the rise and popularity of IS. Instead, he linked this as one contributing factor with the failure of Middle Eastern nationalism and socialism. IS seeks to break both of these down; national borders won’t matter in the Caliphate, and neither will the will of the people – only the will of Allah.
    Link:https://cesmabirmingham.wordpress.co...lamic-history/

    Now there is a YouTube video (51 mins):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoYAPFPYqgw
    davidbfpo

  2. #22
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ISIS: a rhetorical pillar for the “theology” of jihadism.

    An excellent article on the arguments used by ISIS to justify their jihad against:
    ...the primary target of Isil and similar groups is not the West. It is other Muslims. Above all, Shia Muslims.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...fantasist.html

    The full title and sub-title are:
    Anyone who thinks Westerners are flocking to Isil because of the Iraq war is a fantasist; Isil and its jihadist ideology uniquely exploit underlying conflicts and offer the conspiracy theory solution: none of this is your fault.
    On radicalization:
    Radicalisation is complex phenomenon. There are as many reasons for radicalisation as there are radicalised young Muslims. Each one of them has their own story with a complex mix of reasons, more or less rational, for why they have come to have the radical world view. Nonetheless, we can also observe some strong patterns amongst those radicalised emerging from the increasing body of interdisciplinary research on radicalisation. For example, most come from unsafe, unstable social environments and have histories of petty crime, as well as drink and drugs problems. It is also notable that this tendency is especially acute amongst white Western converts. They may feel that their lives lack direction, but also feel disempowered and disenfranchised. They feel that they are not in control of their own destinies.
    What an organisation like Isil offers them is instant reception. And moreover, a purpose. A direction in life.
    Author's slim, UK bio:http://www.rai.ox.ac.uk/fellows/ibrahim
    davidbfpo

  3. #23
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ISIS: two essential reads

    First a "one stop" explanation from the BBC 'Islamic State group: The full story' and then a Salon article, which includes a Q&A with Will McCants; with a sub-title:
    Simple-minded analysis of religion, history and our challenge in the Middle East leads to the wrong policy choices
    The BBC:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35695648

    Salon:http://www.salon.com/2016/03/19/the_islamic_state_would_not_be_with_us_today_if_th e_united_states
    _hadnt_invaded_iraq_islam_religion_and_the_intervi ew_donald_trump_and
    _ted_cruz_must_read_now/

    Thread created for maximum visibility; there is a main thread already on watching ISIS.
    davidbfpo

  4. #24
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Malcolm Nance on defeating ISIS

    Two options to learn Malcolm Nance's viewpoint, a short written article and a 48 minute podcast. He is an expert and author of akey book on Iraq; see an old, closed 2015 thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=22337

    A slim bio:
    ...former Arabic speaking naval intelligence counter-terrorism and intelligence officer Malcolm Nance. After spending 35 years participating in field and combat intelligence activity including both covert and clandestine anti & counter-terrorism support to national intelligence agencies...
    The article which was written after Brussels:http://www.politico.eu/article/five-...evastate-isil/

    Podcast via the Intl Spy Museum:http://s3.amazonaws.com/spy-museum/f...3_18_nance.mp3
    davidbfpo

  5. #25
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator's Note

    Six substantial threads have been merged here; they all refer to defeating ISIS beyond and on the battlefield. Several were "stand alone" threads and one had several posts in response.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-28-2016 at 08:31 PM. Reason: 24.3k views to date.
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  6. #26
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default What next?

    Jason Burke's column after Brussels has the headline 'The tyranny of Isis terrorism will not always be with us. But history shows that a new militant threat will emerge' and sub-titled:
    Is this now the new normal? In the capitals of the west, should we simply get used to living with routine fear? Jason Burke sees cause for hope in a weakening of Isis, but cautions that Islamic militancy does not begin nor end with that group’s savagery. He traces the shifts in extreme factions and twisted ideologies, and ponders how terror might next mutate
    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...eat-what-next?
    davidbfpo

  7. #27
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Why ISIS wants a 'clash of civilizations'

    An article via CBC from a Belgian SME on terrorism and ISIS. A key passage:
    "What they really want … is the clash of civilizations," he says. Revenge for what ISIS claims the West has done to Iraq and Syria. And the more ground ISIS loses there, the more the group lusts for bloodshed in Europe.
    Then a "lesson learnt":
    He points to the Brussels suicide bombers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui as prime examples. "They weren't known as radicals. They were known as hardened criminals. The police were using two lists. The list of people you should be looking for because they are known for radical Islam, and the other list, people known for violent crimes. But they didn't cross-reference them. Nobody actually had any idea that they had to look on the other list."
    He says the allure of criminals for ISIS is significant. They have useful connections to weapons, money laundering, fake IDs, safe houses. And, crucially, they aren't as hard to convince to engage in violence.
    Link:http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/brussel...dism-1.3529884
    davidbfpo

  8. #28
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    A summary of this week's two-day conference @ Kings College London, hosted by ICSR, on ISIS in Europe, with a variety of SME:
    The ICSR event was divided into four panels of experts who discussed ISIS as an organization, its online presence, and the state of research on this 'fourth wave' of militant jihadism in Europe and beyond.
    Link:https://gem.godaddy.com/p/154e78?fe=...ab264d28e853b3
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-05-2016 at 09:30 PM. Reason: 31,167v
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  9. #29
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    Default Nada Bakos: How Zarqawi Went From “Thug” To ISIS Founder

    Nada Bakos, an ex-CIA analyst and highly regarded by a some here, was interviewed in May 2016, which I missed and caught today via Twitter; yes after Mr Trump's claim ISIS was created by "not the usual suspects":http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/nada-bakos-how-zarqawi-went-from-thug-to-isis-founder/?

    Fascinating.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-11-2016 at 07:24 PM. Reason: 31,642v
    davidbfpo

  10. #30
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    Default A New American Leader Rises in ISIS

    A New American Leader Rises in ISIS

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

  11. #31
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Meet ISIS leader Zulfi Hoxha...

    ..the son of an Albanian-American pizza-shop owner from New Jersey.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...-hoxha/550508/

    First there’s the defunct Twitter profile, which at one point engaged in a conversation with a State Department counter-propaganda account about the Islamic State. Then there’s the fact that he used the social-networking site Paltalk, a communications platform reportedly popular among Western jihadis. But none of it compares to the ISIS propaganda video that, according to multiple law-enforcement officials, shows Hoxha beheading captured Kurdish soldiers. If they are right about his identity, Hoxha is the first American Islamic State member known to be beheading individuals in such a video.
    Albanian ... Pizza shop... New Jersey. Sounds familiar.

    Anyone remember the 'Fort Dix Six'? See
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/us/09plot.html
    or
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Fort_Dix_attack_plot

    2007 vintage thread (now locked) on these guys.
    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...light=fort+dix
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  12. #32
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    Default Moderator adds

    This thread was closed in 2016 and now has 130,435v (up from 31,642v).
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-07-2018 at 08:06 PM.
    davidbfpo

  13. #33
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    Default Advice for the Leaders and Soldiers of the Islamic State

    I am aware that ISIS publishes on-line and the pointer for this came from Professor Paul Rogers (who I cite often). His review opens with:
    The ISIS media office recently circulated the PDF of an e-book written at least eight years ago by one of the movement's leading paramilitary specialists (Abū Hamzah al-Muhājir, aka Abu Ayyub al-Masri). Advice for the Leaders and Soldiers of the Islamic State is a guide on how to wage an insurgency. The decision to circulate it openly now, when ISIS has lost control of almost all its geographical caliphate yet survives and even thrives elsewhere, is an intriguing development. It may well prove useful not just to its intended readership, but to others wanting to know how ISIS intends to pursue its strategic aims.

    (Later) published in eleven languages: Bosnian, English, French, German, Indonesian, Kurdish, Pashto, Russian, Turkish, Uyghur and Urdu. This alone points to some of the regions that the ISIS leadership sees as having growth potential.
    He concludes:
    As ISIS moves towards becoming a decentred, transnational insurgency, spreading its knowledge as widely as possible makes grim sense. Advice for the Leaders and Soldiers of the Islamic State, new edition, is a potent reminder that ISIS sees its recent setback as but an episode in a very long war.
    Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/isis-in-eleven-shades-of-black?

    The article in English is within an issue of Dabiq and was found on a non-Jihadist website:https://clarionproject.org/docs/isis...waziristan.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-23-2018 at 12:14 PM. Reason: 407v before being merged to here
    davidbfpo

  14. #34
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    Default ISIS Is Ready For a Resurgence

    https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/201...seone_today_nl

    For nearly a year, Islamic State-watchers had wondered whether Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the group, was alive. Then on Wednesday, he resurfaced for the first time in 11 months, releasing a recorded speech to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. In the 55-minute speech—his longest of those that have been made public—he referenced recent events, indicating that it was recorded over the past few weeks.
    Aside from its preachy opening, Baghdadi’s speech charted a course for ISIS to regroup. In one key passage, he called for lone-actor attacks in Western countries, including bombings, car-rammings, and gun and knife attacks. Previously, such calls only came from ISIS’s former spokesman; coming from the self-styled caliph himself, they’re likely to carry more weight. Baghdadi even quantified his expectations: One attack in the West equals a thousand in the Middle East—a ratio that recalls the Irish Republican Army’s campaign of terror in Britain decades ago, which stipulated that one bomb in Britain was worth 100 in Northern Ireland. ISIS, like the violent Irish nationalists before it, knows that such attacks will garner more publicity and spark greater reaction than the slaughter of 200 Druze civilians in southern Syria or a car bombing in the heart of Baghdad.
    His speech made it clear that ISIS remembers the lessons of the past two decades very well. Whether his enemies also do is the difference between victory and defeat.
    A lot more in the article, to include how they are conducting targeted killings in Iraq to weaken Sunni resistance to ISIS reemergence. No idea how accurate the reporting is, but the author of the article wrote the go to book on ISIS, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, so I assuming he knows what he is talking about.

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    Good news, but in the end is there really a so-what factor? Rinse, repeat, we keep repeating the same successes multiple times a year, and 17 years later we're still fighting in the same terrain.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/02/polit...tan/index.html

    US forces in Afghanistan confirmed Sunday that the head of ISIS in the country was killed in a strike a little over a week ago.
    The death of the leader is the third time US forces have killed a self-proclaimed head of ISIS in Afghanistan since July 2016, according to the US.
    Yet even with a shared goal of eliminating ISIS from Afghanistan, the Taliban still view the US and the Afghan government with distrust.
    "Enemy is first ISIS, then government," Taliban commander Agha said.

  16. #36
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Good news, but in the end is there really a so-what factor? Rinse, repeat, we keep repeating the same successes multiple times a year, and 17 years later we're still fighting in the same terrain.
    Bill,

    It's Tuesday, it must be ISIS day. I write this as The Soufan Group has a similar commentary, which starts with - their emphasis:
    Bottom Line Up Front

    • Small pockets of Islamic State fighters have regrouped throughout parts of Iraq and Syria.
    • Jihadists are becoming more brazen, executing coordinated attacks on security services and oil fields.
    • The Islamic State’s remaining war chest could prove to be sufficient for the group to fund its resurgence.
    • Engineering a comeback is part of the group’s current strategy of resting, rearming, and recuperating.

    With the renewed vigor of the so-called Islamic State in areas north and west of Baghdad, a residual American military presence in Iraq is necessary to keep the terrorist group from staging a comeback in areas previously considered ‘liberated.’
    Link:http://thesoufancenter.org/intelbrie...pt-and-evolve/
    davidbfpo

  17. #37
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    The first known private military contracting and consulting firm catering just to jihadists issued a new online fundraising appeal for help in arming fighters while also noting this week that donors came through to build a training camp for jihadists in Syria.

    "We have finished our project about the building new training camp for brothers and I am so glad. And we are going to start the new lessons after a few days, inshallah, special courses for shooters of PKM and RPG," Malhama Tactical leader Abu Salman Belarus said in an English-language video posted to his Twitter account Wednesday, thanking those who "supported our project."
    https://pjmedia.com/homeland-securit...th-donor-help/

    Malhama Tactical, referred to as Blackwater for jihadists, offers trainers who hail from Russia's Caucasus region and the former Soviet states. Excerpts of training videos are frequently posted online.

    Their contracting clients have included Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, the umbrella group known as al-Qaeda in Syria that includes the former al-Nusra Front. Then-leader Abu Rofiq, an Uzbek who said he was a veteran of the Russian military, told Foreign Policy magazine last year that territorial setbacks for jihadist groups didn't dampen their business demand, yet they were also considering new regions to branch out their business.

    Malhama Tactical launched in May 2016 and by the end of that year was advertising on Facebook for trainers to come join their “fun and friendly team” with vacation allowance and a day off per week. The group also manufactures and supplies certain equipment to jihadist groups.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  18. #38
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Reminder: OSINT sources can be fallible.

    Last edited by AdamG; 10-23-2018 at 12:03 PM.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  19. #39
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Cost of Crying Victory: Policy Implications of the IS’s Territorial Collapse

    An Anglo-Dutch report 'The Cost of Crying Victory: Policy Implications of the Islamic State’s Territorial Collapse' by ICSR and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT).

    The Summary opens with:
    In light of the territorial demise of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, this report analyses the continued risks posed by IS. Given that IS is playing a long game, the report calls upon policymakers to keep up the counter-terrorism pressure, to sidestep policy fatigue at all costs to avoid undoing years of progress, and to continue fostering the emergence of resilient and inclusive societies.
    Link:https://icct.nl/publication/the-cost...rial-collapse/

    I have not read it, but Charlie Winter & Shiraz Maher (ICSR) are experts on IS.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-07-2018 at 08:05 PM. Reason: 154,415v today
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  20. #40
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    The new leader of the United Kingdom’s army said that Russia is a bigger security threat than the Islamic State group (ISIS) in his first interview since becoming chief in June.
    https://globalnews.ca/news/4695735/u...eat-than-isis/
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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