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Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri The Coordinator 2015 Part 19-138-Caliphate- The State of al-Qaeda-7


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Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri The Coordinator 2015 Part 19-138-Caliphate- The State of al-Qaeda-7

  1. 1. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri The Coordinator 2015 Part 19-138- Caliphate- The State of al-Qaeda-7 Zawahiri’s Strategic Window of Opportunity. As radical Islamic groups continue to pursue the imposition of their ideologies and grab for power around the Middle East and North Africa, a prominent al-Qaeda ideologue has called on groups working within the framework of the infamous radical group to adopt a new strategy to infiltrate legitimate regimes in the region and build their influence and power from within C: What many reporters and writers simply forget is that despite Daesh: with itself declared caliph Ibrahim, being by western media and politicians in the focus and attention the consolidation and spreading of Daesh is still in line with AQSL plan strategic Phase V, and like it or not they are on track. Moreover two key leaders both Mullah Omar; the other caliph and al Zawahiri: the commander of the Vanuard has fallen of the attention radar, a disturbing trend. • the current antiterrorist policies are marked by confusion, --Secretary General for the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA/NATO) Jason Wiseman • underlined the media appetite for "infotainment," involuntarily becoming a terrorist propaganda broadcasting channel -- Andreea-Paula Ibanescu, programme manager and researcher within MEPEI, • not only terrorists are trying to draw the media attention, but the media is also running after the terrorist groups." -- Mostafa Zahrani, Director-General of the Institute for International and Political Studies of Iran," But it's al Qaida, which perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and continues to have widespread influence abroad, that remains a greater danger, he added. "The most significant threat to the homeland today," Morell said, "still comes from al Qaida." • "A series of operations initiated by the different branches of al-Qaeda on the orders" of Zawahiri. The 2012 DIA declassified documents warned that “if the situation unravels” there is the possibility these safe havens could lead to the establishment of “a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria.” Nevertheless, the document says “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” -- . “This creates the ideal atmosphere for [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria,” the document says. Islamic State of Iraq, as the nascent group was then known, “could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria,” the document predicts. It warns that this “will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.” Cees: Have any words come back to haunt President Obama so much as his description of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant last team as a “JV” - junior varsity - team of terrorists? This wasn’t al-Qaeda in its 9/11 pomp, he said; just because a university second team wore Manchester United jerseys didn’t make them David Beckham. How times change. As of this Cees: Intel to Rent Page 1 of 14 02/06/2015
  2. 2. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence weekend, the JV team is doing a lot better than Manchester United. With its capture of Palmyra, it controls half of Syria. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian,” Mr. Obama told The New Yorker June 13, 2014. After admitting that the Pentagon had not anticipated the fall of Mosul, Gen. Dempsey told PBS that officials underestimated the group’s ability to form a lasting coalition with ideological allies. “Look, there were several things that surprised us about ISIL. The degree to which they were able to form their own coalition, both inside of Syria and inside of northwestern Iraq; the military capability that they exhibited; the collapse of the Iraqi Security Forces. … Yeah, in those initial days, there were a few surprises,” the general told PBS for its “Obama at War” special. ISIL poses an unprecedented danger to Middle East political stability, existing regimes, the population of all confessions and various American security interests as presently defined. It may eventually threaten acts of terrorism in the United States, although it does not as of now. The scope and magnitude of its disruptive potential outstrips that of the old al- Qaeda. Yet, the Obama administration gives no sign of having a coherent, credible strategy for addressing this multi-pronged danger. Indeed, much of what it is doing in the Middle East is having counter-productive consequences. Wisdom begins with the recognition that ISIL is a sophisticated, multifaceted movement led by able people as clever as they are ruthless. That leadership includes ex-Ba'athists in addition to Salafists. We have underestimated them from the first as evinced by President Obama's puerile remark just a year ago that they were al- Qaeda's "junior varsity." In truth, they have a refined reading of currents in the Arab world, of sensibilities and of evocative themes. America can't match it. Ever since Isil emerged in its current form in 2013, military and political analysts have been saying that its success is due to its grasp of both tactics and strategy. We still have non. Early May, According to The Washington Post, Michael Morell writes that the CIA compounded its failure to anticipate the Arab Spring movement in the Middle East and North Africa by predicting that the unrest would deal a devastating blow to the terror network. "We thought and told policy-makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative," Morell writes in his book "The Great War of Our Time," due out later this month. The protests resulted in the overthrow of governments in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia. In Syria, demonstrations against President Bashar al- Assad led to a bloody civil war that has spawned several terror groups. Most notoriously, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has overrun large parts of Syria and Iraq since last summer. As a result, the Post reports that U.S. officials expect regional conflicts exploited by extremists, like those roiling Syria, Libya and Yemen, to take at least a decade to resolve. C; A look back; To “degrade and ultimately destroy” “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists – Meanwhile, some security experts have cautioned the United States and allies, that while focusing on the Islamic State, they should not lower the guard on al-Qaeda even though its leader Ayman al Zawahiri has been relatively quiet for many months. The experts from Atlantic Council panel recently shared their views at the Washington, D.C. think tank, during a discussion. Bruce Hoffman, a long-time counterterrorism expert and professor at Georgetown University, said Zawahiri is unpredictable and he may be planning something, given his intent to remake the terrorist group not just an Arabian Peninsula phenomena, but a global outfit by turning attention to India, which has the second largest Muslim population in the world. It also has plans to build cadres in Myanmar, Maldives, Philippines, Malaysia and beyond. "They always believed time was on their side and they're just playing the long game," he said Cees: Intel to Rent Page 2 of 14 02/06/2015
  3. 3. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Here Are al-Qaeda’s Guidelines for Which ‘Blasphemers’ to Assassinate "A series of operations initiated by the different branches of al-Qaeda on the orders" of Zawahiri. Two weeks after the latest murder of a blogger for professing disbelief in the Islamic prophet or simply promoting a secular society, al-Qaeda’s new chapter in southeast Asia has issued an update about who will be targeted next. The bloggers hacked to death in brazen, public attacks thus far have all been in Bangladesh — one of the three victims in less than three months was an American citizen — but the English-language posting of the terrorists’ target list suggests that forthcoming attacks may not be limited in scope. Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh considers itself a “brother” of al-Qaeda, as Ayman al-Zawahiri has united South Asia jihadist groups under al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. The chapter was announced last September after what al-Zawahiri said was two years of set-up work with regional Islamist leaders, with a consultative council already operating for a year before the official announcement. Their newest warning posted online vows to target: • “Those who are insulting our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Allah (S) and our religion Islam. We have no problem with the atheists bloggers, atheism or with other religions or belief but we will not tolerate insulting out Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We are targeting those who are insulting our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the name of atheism.” • “People who are not allowing to follow the rulings of shariah. He/She might be a teacher of a University, College or School. He/She might be a leader of a certain area or locality or a political party. He/She might be a Judge, Advocate, Engineer or Doctor etc.” • “Those who are presenting Islam wrongly in His/Her writings or talks and trying to keep Muslims far from the real teaching of Islam which is one of the main agendas of crusaders in the Muslim nations all over the world. He/She might be a well known writer. He/She might be a poet or free thinker or so called intellectuals. He/She might be an editor of a newspaper of magazine. He/She might be a actor, journalist, producer, director or actor etc.” • “Those who are opposing, lowing and presenting wrongly the rulings of shariah by his/her talks or writings using media or any other means of publications.” • “Those who are trying to destroy Muslim social values by introducing and spreading the nudity and zina [sex outside of marriage] among the Muslim youths.” • “Those who are tying to remove the shariah rulings from the existing Islamic systems, values, cultures and economics.” • “Those who are trying to stop the establishment of Islamic rulings (Shariah).” The al-Qaeda chapter claims it won’t target any people just for not being Muslim, but declared open season on “those who are trying to insult our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Allah (S) and our religion by any means such as writings, talks or physical works.” Ananta Bijoy Das, a science writer whose numerous books included one on evolution, was hacked to death by four men wielding machetes and cleavers May 12 as he went to work in the city of Sylhet. AQIS issued a statement afterward announcing they were “delighted” to be responsible for “one Islamophobic atheist blogger sent to hell.” They accused Das of “taunts” to Islam. Das knew his life was in danger, and tried to get a visa to go to Sweden for a press- freedom event. Swedish officials denied the request last month, afraid that the writer wouldn’t return to Bangladesh. In February, Bangladeshi-American secularist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death on a Dhaka street. “The target was an American citizen.. 2 in 1. #America recently martyred 2 of Cees: Intel to Rent Page 3 of 14 02/06/2015
  4. 4. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence our brothers in #Khurasan & #Shaam. #Revenge+#Punishment,” Ansar al- Islam Bangladesh tweeted afterward. Roy was a dual U.S.-Bangladesh citizen who lived in Georgia and was in Bangladesh for a month. His wife, Rafida Ahmed Bonna, was with him at the time of the attack and was severely wounded, with one of her fingers severed by the pair of machete- wielding attackers. His blog in the 90 percent Muslim country,, translates to “free thinking” and featured atheist, humanist and nationalist writers. He was also an author whose books included The Philosophy of Disbelief and The Virus of Faith — further stoking outrage of Islamists. After Roy’s murder, secular blogger Washiqur Rahman wasn’t going to take it from the Islamists. He posted a Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoon and used the hashtag #IamAvijit. Rahman was hacked to death at the end of March. Two suspects out of three attackers were seized at the scene of the crime: students at an Islamic school who said they were acting on orders to kill Rahman. Al-Qaeda issued a video at the beginning of this month saying AQIS was behind those assassinations and more, including the February 2013 murder of secularist Bangladeshi blogger Rajib Haider. “Praise be to Allah, these assassinations are part of a series of operations initiated by the different branches of al-Qaeda on the orders of our respected leader Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri (may Allah protect him),” AQIS leader Asim Umar said. “It is equally part of our commitment to fulfill the oath of Sheikh Osama [bin Laden] (may Allah have mercy on him).” The assassination campaign, Umar stressed, is teaching “a lesson to blasphemers in France, Denmark, Pakistan and now in Bangladesh.” Though not specifically mentioned by the al-Qaeda directive, the message was released two days before Friday’s “Draw Muhammad” event outside of a Phoenix mosque. • C: Additionally, The “directives that come to us from Dr. Ayman [al Zawahiri], may Allah protect him, are that the Al Nusrah Front’s mission in Syria is to topple [Bashar al Assad’s] regime” and defeat its allies, especially Hezbollah, Julani explained. Concurrent with Assad’s planned downfall, Al Nusrah has been ordered to reach “a mutual understanding with other factions to establish a righteous Islamic rule.” “We have received guidance to not use Syria as a base for attacks against the West or Europe so that the real battle is not confused,” Julani said • Jihadists from “Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh” listed seven categories of potential targets for killing, including any male or female academic, actor, blogger, doctor, engineer, judge, politician, or writer who insults the Prophet Muhammad and distorts Islam and its rulings. Qaeda theorist calls for infiltrating political systems Author: Ali Hashem May 29, 2015 As radical Islamic groups continue to pursue the imposition of their ideologies and grab for power around the Middle East and North Africa, a prominent al-Qaeda ideologue has called on groups working within the framework of the infamous radical group to adopt a new strategy to infiltrate legitimate regimes in the region and build their influence and power from within. The logic is that this approach will allow them to better establish a lasting presence and implement their vision. Abdullah Bin Mohammed has written several articles on al-Qaeda's strategies and conducted research on jihad in the region. Among his works is “Strategic Diaries,” available online, and “The Strategy of the Regional War in Syria.” His Twitter account, “Strategic Affairs,” has attracted some 242,000 followers. Abdullah Bin Mohammed, an al-Qaeda member, is the ideologue representing a new path for the movement, not just a different current. Marwan Chehadeh, an Cees: Intel to Rent Page 4 of 14 02/06/2015
  5. 5. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence expert on islamists groups, told Al-Monitor, “Bin Mohammed is an expert on security and military affairs. I believe he’s from the Arabian Peninsula and introduced some new concepts, including political guerrilla wars. Bin Mohammed calls for changing thinking about ruling in Islam. He is against jihadi emirates.” Bin Mohammed believes the outcome of the jihadi effort of the last three decades justifies a change in strategy. In his article “Political Guerilla Wars,” he wrote, “The jihadi group’s main problem isn’t finding a way to fight the international system, as al-Qaeda provided an answer to this issue. The main problem is how to be able to rule under such a system. This needs political guerilla war.” He clarified his thinking, stating, “The military calculations proved to us that an open confrontation with a strong enemy like the US is military suicide. Therefore we had to go a different way in military confrontation, and in politics an open confrontation like declaring a state is also political suicide, as the West has the power to weaken us, pressure our societies, and at the end uproot us as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. Therefore, we have to build a new strategy that can enhance our resilience.” Bin Mohammed cited the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group as an example, explaining that it was able to build solid alliances with other Islamic and revolutionary groups and was flexible toward the outside world. “They issued a fatwa that allowed them to participate in the democratic regime after they demanded that Sharia be a main source of legislation. Next they will start working on building their Islamic regime,” he explained, also using images to denounce the tendency of some groups toward beheadings, which he said gives the West a pretext to intervene militarily. In an interview with Al-Monitor, bin Mohammed stated, “I discussed the idea [of a new strategy] with some jihadi leaders a year ago and had a positive interaction.” He further stated, “As a jihadi current, we have two examples: either we continue along the path of al-Qaeda, without entering political life, or the path of [Islamic State, or IS], which declared a state and started open war on everyone. The first succeeded during the Arab Spring and then failed due to the counterrevolutions, which proved the need to take up arms, while [Abu Bakr] al- Baghdadi’s [IS] gained ground after the counterrevolutions, but is now losing ground, after deciding to fight all parties together. I’m suggesting a flexible strategy that can help us live within the given environment and with new challenges. I wrote the piece ['Political Guerrilla War'] and other ones to promote this idea among jihadi supporters to prepare them to accept a solution in this regard in Syria and Yemen.” When bin Mohammed published his new vision on the Internet, it elicited several replies from prominent jihadi personalities, including Jabhat al-Nusra’s second in command, Abu Mariah al-Qahtani, who welcomed the idea, praising its importance. Qahtani wrote, “Those who understand the current situation are going to value this approach. It needs to be set within a Sharia framework to enhance it.” Another supporting voice came from Abu Mohammed al-Sadek, the mufti of Ahrar al-Sham, who wrote, “If Jihadi groups failed in managing the jihad to attain their goals and adapt to changes and use these changes in whatever way possible, then they are going to stay imprisoned in a circle of failures.” The famous Palestinian jihadist Abu Qatada, however, expressed skepticism. “The act of jihad is what can help us reach our goals and defeat the circles of apostasy,” he asserted. Abu Qatada agreed, however, that there is a need to stop publishing pictures and footage of beheadings, but said it is difficult to build alliances with Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. “The jihadi movement agreed previously to make an alliance with the Taliban, who are not Salafists, so why not with the Muslim Brotherhood? It’s because of them, not the jihadi movements.” Characterizing the reactions he received, bin Mohammed told Al-Monitor, “It was encouraging. There were several debates and responses. The crisis al-Qaeda is facing isn’t in recruitment, because the chaos in the region is increasing the number of volunteers. The Cees: Intel to Rent Page 5 of 14 02/06/2015
  6. 6. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence problem is in the management of the [group's] presence.” Bin Mohammed said of relevant criticism, “Those who rejected [my thesis] doubted its strategic usefulness. There were no solid dismissals.” Bin Mohammed explained the purpose and use of his writing, stating, “I’m interested in jihad and make sure not to appear like I am writing for al-Qaeda. This might lead to my prosecution in my country.” He further explained, “I wrote several pieces and research that were used by jihadi groups as references for student guides for preparing warriors. I also wrote, the ‘War of Minds,’ and this is being taught to the mujahideen in Syria.” It is believed that bin Mohammed’s strategy of political guerrilla war has made its way to being adopted by some of al-Qaeda’s affiliated groups, primarily in Syria. Reports have suggested that the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, might be moving toward a rebranding phase as a result of pressure exerted by allies in the region who want to legitimize the group so it can play a role in Syria's future. The idea to create the Army of Conquest (Jaish al-Fatah), with all the Islamist groups fighting under one banner legitimized by regional and international backers, might well have been influenced by bin Mohammed's theory. Qaeda's strategy in Syria is working; As former Israel Defense Forces intelligence officer and Terrogence analyst Waleed Rikab told Business Insider, Nusra has a strategy of gradually co-opting more secular or nationalist Syrian rebel groups, both by making itself an indispensable battlefield ally and by exhibiting a willingness to cooperate with non- jihadist or non- Islamist opponents of the Assad regime. In the interview, Jolani took a conciliatory approach to Syria's minorities, vowing not to actively persecute the country's Christian and Druze populations. On the Alawites, the minority religious sect to which Syrian President Bashar Assad and many of his top lieutenants belong, Jolani said he didn't consider Alawites to be his "brothers" but said he had no current desire to carry out genocidal reprisal attacks. He said explicitly that Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri had prohibited Nusra from using Syria as a base to plan and execute attacks against Western targets, meaning Cees: Intel to Rent Page 6 of 14 02/06/2015
  7. 7. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence the group has been ordered to focus its efforts solely around the Syria conflict. In the interview, Jolani tried to make Nusra seem like a reasonable alternative to Assad while not backing down from its Al Qaeda affiliation or permanently repudiating more extreme aspects of jihadist ideology. The interview shows that Nusra — and, by extension, Al Qaeda — has a plan to edge into the mainstream of the Syria conflict and thus into any post-Assad political dispensation. It's evidence that Al Qaeda has a sophisticated long-game — and that it's playing it effectively. Read more: r=US#ixzz3bhwbiQIs The Foreign Policy Essay: Where is Al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri? By Bruce Riedel Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM Editor’s Note: After 9/11 Ayman al- Zawahiri became the face of Al Qaeda, giving speeches and sending out videos to guide the now-scattered jihadist flock. And of course after Bin Ladin’s death Zawahiri’s stature rose even further. Yet as my Brookings colleague Bruce Riedel points out, Zawahiri has gone silent in recent months despite the turbulence all around him. *** Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of Al Qaeda since 2011, has not spoken publicly since last September. This eight-month gap is his longest absence from the public stage since the fall of Kabul in 2001. It is likely he is biding his time for a special purpose but his motive is elusive. The 63-year-old Egyptian has been a jihadist fighter and plotter since 1981 when he was part of the conspiracy that assassinated Anwar Sadat. Born into the upper elite of Cairo society, Zawahiri turned to jihad out of a deep hatred of Israel and America’s support for Israel. He has been a brutally tortured prisoner, a fugitive for decades wanted by dozens of intelligence services, and a prolific writer of books about the global jihad. Zawahiri has been a constant on Al Qaeda’s Al Sahab propaganda medium for a dozen years with scores of taped messages. On September 4, 2014, Zawahiri announced the formation of a new Al Qaeda branch in the Indian subcontinent. He said it had been in development for years and would seek to intensify jihadist activity in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, and the Maldives. He promised this group would restore Islamic rule in South Asia like it was during the Mughal Empire. Within days the new group took credit for an attempt to hijack PNS Zulfiqar, a Chinese-built Pakistani Navy frigate equipped with ship-to-ship missiles, from a naval base that houses nuclear weapons in Karachi. The plot was spearheaded by Al Qaeda-recruited Pakistani navy personnel. The goal was to use the hijacked Zulfiqar to attack U.S. Navy and allied ships in the Arabian Sea, but it was foiled before the ship left Karachi harbor. Al Qaeda had wanted to attack an American aircraft carrier, its most audacious plot since 2006 when it conspired to simultaneously blow up a half-dozen jumbo jets over the Atlantic en route to Canada and the United States from London. If the Zulfiqar plot had succeeded it might have provoked war between America and Pakistan. It was an attack intended to change history like 9/11. Since then the new Al Qaeda group has taken credit for a wave of assassinations of secular opponents of jihadism in South Asia. As Zawahiri promised last September, Bangladesh has been a major target for these attacks. Cees: Intel to Rent Page 7 of 14 02/06/2015
  8. 8. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence But Zawahiri himself has been uncharacteristically silent. He did not comment when Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January, an attack AQAP said Zawahiri had ordered. Zawahiri had been calling for an attack in France for a decade so his silence is all the more notable. It was a triumph but the emir said nothing. Nor has the emir commented on developments like the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen; the succession in Saudi Arabia; or jihadi attacks in Australia, Canada, and elsewhere. In the past such events routinely got detailed commentary from Zawahiri. Nor has he eulogized Al Qaeda’s recent martyrs. The drone mission that inadvertently killed an American and an Italian hostage in Pakistan last January also killed Ahmad Farouq who was the second in command of the Al Qaeda Indian subcontinent branch. Farouq was in charge of operations in Pakistan and presumably behind the Zulfiqar plot. Zawahiri would usually have issued his own eulogy for a martyr of this stature. Nor has he praised the years of jihadi service of the AQAP leader Nasr bin Ali al-`Ansi who issued the claim for the “Blessed Battle of Paris” when a drone strike killed him in Yemen this month. Zawahiri is almost certainly not a martyr himself. Al Qaeda has never failed to announce the death of its leaders since it takes great pride in their martyrdom. Al Qaeda has already named Zawahiri’s heir, AQAP leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi, so there is no succession issue. So what explains his silence? Of course only he and his inner circle know. We can only surmise Zawahiri is biding his time for reasons unknown. He may have plots in the works even more audacious than the Zulfiqar. He may be waiting to strike the match for some spectacular operation. Perhaps he is waiting for the demise of his nemesis Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the self- appointed Caliph Ibrahim of the Islamic State, who is widely rumored to be injured. (Until this past Thursday, Baghdadi himself had not released a message since November.) Zawahiri was a scathing critic of Baghdadi’s mentor Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi a decade ago but he kept his critique private even when Zarqawi was killed by an American air strike. Maybe Zawahiri is waiting for another air strike to shake off the upstart caliph. It is safe to conclude Zawahiri has his reasons for his silence. *** Bruce Riedel is senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency, including postings overseas. He was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. His new book JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War will be published this fall. June 1, Pakistan, In the popularity contest between al Qaeda and the Islamic State, score one for the godfathers of terror. the ongoing competition for top dog among international jihadi groups, the Islamic State currently reigns supreme. The group holds a huge chunk of territory in Syria and Iraq, and has established a caliphate that purports to bring back an extreme form of Islamic law. It attracts more recruits than any other group and has won the allegiance of a large number of jihadi organizations around the world. But the Pakistani Taliban is not impressed and on Thursday announced in a statement it is rejecting the Islamic State’s caliphate, its leader, and its tactics. In an essay released online, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said that the Islamic State has pursued too aggressive a policy by opening fronts against multiple enemies, destroying apostate shrines, and overextending itself in an effort to prematurely establish a caliphate. The essay argues that the actions of the Islamic State will bring about “disastrous results,” according to a translation provided by the SITE Cees: Intel to Rent Page 8 of 14 02/06/2015
  9. 9. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Intelligence Group, which monitors online jihadi activity. The destruction of religious shrines by the Islamic State has managed to unite religious minorities and Shiites against the group in an unprecedented coalition. The TTP essay instead urges caution in the destruction of such shrines and compares the Islamic State’s actions with those of the Afghan Taliban, who, as an example, waited until they had pacified most of Afghanistan before destroying the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan. “We do not mean that blowing up shrines and deforming polytheist antiquities is not permissible as per Shariah, but what we want is prioritizing and using wise policy,” the essay contends. In opening a number of fronts in Iraq and Syria, the essay also argues that the Islamic State has failed to heed the example of the Prophet Mohammed. “It was from the wise policy of the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, to reduce the number of enemies,” the essay notes, referring to his military campaigns. “He, peace be upon him, did not open endless fronts at the very beginning.” "Fighting Terrorism and the Need of Security Culture"- debate organised in Bucharest Monday, June 1, 2015 Terrorism combating cannot be efficient only by adopting some force measures against terrorist groups, it needs an approach taking into account the profound causes of the phenomenon, but also the education of the population, mostly of the youths, who are most vulnerable to the propaganda of these groups, as revealed by the great number of those choosing to become Jihadist fighters. These are the conclusions of the "Fighting Terrorism and the Need of Security Culture" debate, organised on Thursday by the Embassy of Iran in Romania, the Middle East Political and Economic Institute (MEPEI) of Bucharest and the European Institute for Risk, Security and Communication Management (EURISC). The expansion of the Islamic State (IS) Jihadist Group gave terrorism a new dimension, which is no longer limited to punctual attacks against western civilizations, as was the case with the Al-Qaeda organisation, but is aimed at creating territorial entities. In the opinion of Malaysian antiterrorism expert Andrin Jerome Nevis Raj, the ultimate goal of the IS is the creation of a multinational Islamic State, comprising not only the territory it is currently controlling in Syria and Iraq, but also territories of the majority Muslim states of the Middle East, Africa and even Europe (such as Turkey, Albania or the preponderant Muslim areas of Bosnia), using for this purpose a multitude of affiliated groups, a sort of IS "franchise". As for the main factors that fuelled the advance of this group, the aforementioned analyst enumerated the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the historic rivalry between the Shiites and Sunnis and the weaponry supply to Jihadists by other Arab states. Director of Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies (IMESS) in Tehran Kayhan Barzegar also mentioned the involvement of these external factors discreetly supporting the IS among the causes of the Jihadists' success, another one being the economic underdevelopment in the areas where the IS took control. As for the means to combat the terrorist danger in Europe, where, same as in the United States, the current antiterrorist policies are marked by confusion, Secretary General for the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA/NATO) Jason Wiseman said the need to act both on the Cees: Intel to Rent Page 9 of 14 02/06/2015
  10. 10. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence fight against terrorist groups and on the motivations determining an increasing number of Europeans to become sympathisers or combatants of these groups. As an important step in the creation of a security culture, the draw up of awareness raising programmes in education, helping the young generations to acknowledge this risk and providing certain reference points preventing them from being persuaded by the subtle media propaganda of the terrorist groups, was a proposal emphasised during the debates. Moreover, this propaganda and the role of the press in disseminating it were at the centre of the discussions. Thus, Andreea-Paula Ibanescu, programme manager and researcher within MEPEI, underlined the media appetite for "infotainment," referring to the excessive exposure of everything related to terrorist groups, thus leading to the mass-media involuntarily becoming a terrorist propaganda broadcasting channel, the other main channel being the internet. She highlighted, in context, a basic element of the strategy of Al- Qaeda group set forth by its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who ten years ago was saying that "more than half of the battle takes place on the mass-media front." In his turn, Mostafa Zahrani, Director-General of the Institute for International and Political Studies of Iran, noted the fact that today "not only terrorists are trying to draw the media attention, but the media is also running after the terrorist groups." At the same time, he warned that "terrorism is a consequence of globalisation, but is now fighting against globalisation." Playing with the Fire of Terrorism May 31, 2015 By pandering to Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-controlled Gulf states, the U.S. government is playing with fire, allowing the spread of Sunni radicalism to destabilize targeted governments like Syria but unable to control the resulting terrorism, writes Joe Lauria. African nations were in the forefront of opposing a U.N. Security Council resolution in mid-May that sought to curb the global traffic in small arms because the resolution made no mention of extremist groups obtaining such weapons. Angola, Chad and Nigeria joined Russia, China and Venezuela in abstaining on the resolution, which barely passed with the minimum 9 votes. Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins, the Angolan ambassador, told the council that Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab terrorists benefit from the supply of small arms. There has long been speculation that Western nations and their Gulf Arab allies have secretly armed and supported extremist and even terrorist groups in the Middle East and Africa to further their strategic goals. It’s accepted today that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan worked together to back mujahedeen rebels who came from across the region to Afghanistan in the 1980s to expel the Soviet Union’s army supporting a leftist and secular regime in Kabul. Out of those groups emerged Al- Qaeda. The question is, after the Russians left, what happened to the relationship with the Islamist militants? There have been persistent reports that Saudi individuals, if not the government, continued support to jihadists, perhaps in the Balkans, but certainly by 2003 in Iraq and 2011 in Syria. Then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a 2009 classified memo revealed by Wikileaks, wrote: “While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” But whatever the level of actual U.S. concern about this, there’s no indication Washington has used its considerable leverage with the Saudis to try anything beyond persuasion. In spite of all this, a smoking gun pinning support for terrorism not only on the Gulf, but also on the West, has been elusive. Cees: Intel to Rent Page 10 of 14 02/06/2015
  11. 11. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Until last week, that is, when a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency document from August 2012 was declassified and made public after the agency lost a freedom of information request in court. The document says the West, Turkey and Arab Gulf states have supported a Syrian opposition that includes Salafists and al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch. It says this opposition, with support from militants on the Iraqi side of the border, in 2012 was “trying to control the eastern areas [of Syria] … adjacent to the Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar).” “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” to “prepare safe havens under international sheltering,” the document says. The documents warned that “if the situation unravels” there is the possibility these safe havens could lead to the establishment of “a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria.” Nevertheless, the document says “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” The supporting powers are the West, the Gulf Arab States and Turkey. So this U.S. intelligence document says the West at least up until 2012 was supporting Al- Qaeda and Salafists in Syria in their quest to set up a safe haven to put pressure on Damascus that it correctly predicted would turn into the Islamic State. U.S. officials were warned. “This creates the ideal atmosphere for [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria,” the document says. Islamic State of Iraq, as the nascent group was then known, “could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria,” the document predicts. It warns that this “will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.” Mosul and Ramadi are the two principal Iraqi cities that the Islamic State has taken over. The document is prescient not only in predicting the rise of the Islamic State, but in warning that it could become a Frankenstein turning on the interests of its backers. A US official declined to interpret the contents of the document, which he said was raw intelligence. But the document appears to prove that supporting “non-state actors” is a Western, Gulf and Turkish strategy, and that playing with fire will often get you burnt. Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. ** Regards Cees C: Over the past weeks we are told, and read that the downfall of ISIS/Daesh is coming HOWEVER. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns; Even if Daesh is destroyed something will emerge under a different name,” that brings us to the main and key question is Who will fill the Void and physically destroying does by no means stopping the spread of their ideology. As a result claiming a defeat could fool us, the battles will be far from over. Even if we manage to defeat Daesh thinking we will be able of restoring the Middle East as we knew it is impossible. Additionally the fallout of the events and the than new void created will be filled, and so far there is no comprehensive plan other than that of the AQSL. President al-Assad Interview: “If support to Terrorism continues, al-Qaeda will be the future of Europe and the Region” This area will have only one future; al-Qaeda future, which is ISIS, al-Nusra, and Muslim Brotherhood, and this is going to be your backyard, I mean the European backyard. Of course it is, because you can take procedures against many things, but ideology you cannot control. When it is instilled, it’s very difficult to get rid of. So, when it’s instilled, this is the only future of the region. Cees: Intel to Rent Page 11 of 14 02/06/2015
  12. 12. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Also, Al-Qaida a bigger threat than ISIS, the CIA's former deputy director Honcho warns; The Islamic State group has attracted foreign recruits for its war in Iraq and Syria because the extremist network has what it sees as a compelling story to share with them, according to. "Their narrative is that the West, the United States, the modern world is a significant threat to their religion [and] that they have an answer to that threat to their religion, which is the establishment of this caliphate" But it's al Qaida, which perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and continues to have widespread influence abroad, that remains a greater danger, he added. "The most significant threat to the homeland today," Morell said, "still comes from al Qaida." Aaron Zelin about the state of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has more or less remained resolute in its methodology, even codifying its rules of engagement/guidelines authored in September 2013 by Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al Qaeda is more about patience, biding time, and exploiting the right opportunities. Zawahiri provides strategic advice and directives, which are then used by the leaders of its branches in Yemen, Syria, North Africa, Somalia, and elsewhere to implement tactics and operations based on the local dynamics that those in that particular conflict zone would have a better understanding and appreciation. • Additionally, Zawahiri is the fountainhead of a vanguard, where as Baghdadi is a self-styled Caliph, meaning he views himself and is viewed by his followers as the leader of the entire Muslim world as well as a particular government structure being implemented in the areas his so-called Caliphate controls. Therefore, he Baghdadi is attempting a nation-building and state-building project, while Zawahiri is attempting to awaken the masses and conduct terror attacks on the West, while allowing his local branches to facilitate the conditions on the ground for a future Islamic State when he or his successor(s) feel it is ripe. “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists,” -- retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Feb 2015. We will crush al-Qaida “What I have said is we're going encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our non-military aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants. And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority.” Sources: Second presidential debate: foreign policy, -- Obama Oct. 7, 2008 In announcing Osama bin Laden"s death Sunday night, President Barack Obama said U.S. military and counterterrorism professionals have "made great strides” in the effort to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" al-Qaida. -- President Barack Obama Monday, May 2nd, 2011. "Overall, I think it's very difficult to imagine anyone who voted for the president on the basis of his promise to crush al-Qaida would be satisfied with the current state of affairs," Berger said. -- J.M. Berger, a Brookings Institution fellow and an expert in extremism, 2015 Because there hasn't been much progress since we last checked in, we'll leave this promise at a Compromise. (Al-Qaida's core is weakened, but some affiliates are growing -- By Louis Jacobson on Friday, December 7th, 2012 "Any assessment about the status of al-Qaida being ‘crushed' must be tempered” by the resilience of its regional affiliates, --Paul Stares, senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations.. “According to every metric of significance, Islamic extremism has grown over the last year, 2014” said retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, in remarks submitted to the House Armed Cees: Intel to Rent Page 12 of 14 02/06/2015
  13. 13. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Services Committee. “We are at war with violent and extreme Islamists (both Sunni and Shia) and we must accept and face this reality.” “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists,” -- retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Feb 2015. In analyzing how well Barack Obama has fulfilled his promise to "crush al-Qaida,” the rating depends heavily on how you define "al-Qaida.” –C April 2015. C: Back in 2000, Abu Musab al Suri, one of the most influential theoreticians of the jihadist movement of the last twenty years, argued that al Qaeda was conceived only as a temporary entity, whose very existence was only propaedeutic to the creation of independent jihadist groups throughout the world. “Al Qaeda is not an organization,” he argued, “it is not a group, nor do we want it to be. It is a call, a reference, a methodology.” • The West’s ability to correctly assess the status of al Qaeda will improve only once it will focus less on the group’s tactics and more on the ideological aspects of the movement. As al Suri said, al Qaeda’s essence is not made of weapons and military tactics but by an ideology. And as Mike Rogers, the chairman of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and a fervent critic of the Obama administration’s approach to terrorism stated “the defeat of an ideology requires more than just drone strikes.” Washington seems to forget that just about every smart idea for solving one problem creates some hideous new problem. It’s been a long quarter-century since the first President Bush put the U.S. on the road to an Iraq-Afghanistan quagmire. It’s been barely a year since ISIS became a national obsession. The West has finally acknowledged that all these developments clearly indicate that al Qaeda is not defeated, neither ideologically nor operationally. Rather, it has just changed into something different and potentially more dangerous. It is increasingly clear that some the movement’s offshoots pose an existential threat to some of the West’s core allies and interests in the Muslim world Twenty-five years of this! And we were almost out of there when ISIS came along, through a door we opened to them in the first place. The Arabs always said...we will never let the Infidels and Crusaders back, and if they come; it's Holy War.... Thomas J. M. Chairman of the Board : Centre For The Study Of Intelligence Operations Retired generals: Be afraid of ISIS , By Michael Flynn, James Livingston and Michael Smith April 27, 2015 (CNN)Be afraid -- be very afraid. This is the warning the world deserves to hear. Because the leader of the free world refuses to look with clear eyes at the chief security challenges of the 21st century: the fruits of radical Islam. The results of the Obama White House's innovative efforts to make the world a better place can be accounted for in the ever-growing numbers of victims of radical Islam in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Not to mention here in the United States, Canada and Europe. Let us walk back in the recent past: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said; Yet to defeat an enemy, you first must admit they exist, and this we have not done”. Obama from a May 1, 2012, speech in which he said, "The goal that I set to defeat al- Qaida and deny it a chance to rebuild is now within our reach." Flynn said that goal still isn't within reach. "I can't sit here and tell you that we are," he said. Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 The claims made by President Barack Obama during his 2012 re-election campaign that al-Qaida was "on the run" did not match the information Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was seeing as Defense Intelligence Agency director, he told Fox News Cees: Intel to Rent Page 13 of 14 02/06/2015
  14. 14. By Capt (Ret) C de Waart, feel free to share: in Confidence Flynn told host Bret Baier that documents recovered in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden showed that al-Qaida was gaining ground. Flynn left his position last year. Flynn told Fox News that the "facts" he saw showed that the size, scale and numbers of organizations were increasing and that there was a "thickening of lines between different groups" in Pakistan, Yemen, East Africa, Maghreb, and Mali. "So who is briefing the president? How does he get to those sentences?" Baier asked. "For me to sit here and tell you why he says what he says, I don't know," Flynn said. "What I know, the intelligence said was not necessarily what we hear." Dec 2013, Al-Qaeda more dangerous than ever. For the experts gathered in Washington, Syria’s civil war – which has attracted Islamist volunteers from Muslim communities in Europe as well as Arab countries – has worked greatly to Al-Qaeda’s advantage. “The Al-Qaeda affiliated groups have created an alliance which disposes of 45,000 guerrilla fighters across the country,” said David Kilcullen, a renowned counterinsurgency expert who has advised US forces in the field. “It’s a very significant number, almost twice as many as we see in terms of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan,” he said. “We’re seeing a recovery on all fronts for Al-Qaeda.” For Bruce Riedel, a three-decade CIA veteran who now works for the Brookings Institution, Al-Qaeda’s resurgence is proof that it has managed to ride out and ultimately profit from the revolts that have roiled the Middle East and North Africa. “Al-Qaeda’s narrative was challenged in 2011 by the Arab Spring. Peaceful demonstrations succeeded in toppling dictators. Al-Qaeda’s narrative was at risk. Terror had not produced change, Twitter had,” Riedel said. “But today, everything is different. Al- Qaeda’s narrative is validated in 2013, most notably in Egypt. The counterrevolution has succeeded; the army has overthrown the elected government. “For those who want to join Al- Qaeda’s movement, events in Cairo, in Damascus have validated what they long said: Jihad is the only solution to the problem of change in the Muslim world today.” And armed groups in Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and West Africa have flocked to his banner and Al-Qaeda is rebuilding its influence and recruiting fighters across the region. “Their leadership has been hit very hard, but this brand is still growing. And it’s growing from an increased number of safe havens,” said retired US Marine Corps general James Mattis. Between 2010 and earlier this year, Mattis led US Central Command, in charge of prosecuting Washington’s long war against extremists in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa. Now he has hung up his uniform, but admits the war is far from over, warning: “The congratulations that we heard two years ago on the demise of Al-Qaeda were premature and are now discredited.” And today: While the Islamic State group is getting the most attention, another band of extremists in Syria — a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe — poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, American officials say. The Khorasan militants did not go to Syria to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say. Instead, they were sent by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al- Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.- bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials. National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen warned "ISIL poses a direct and significant threat to us" and "has the potential to use its safe haven to plan and coordinate attacks in Europe and the United States," Olsen said, speaking at an event hosted by the Brookings Institute. But he said the group is not as capable of carrying out a large-scale attack as al Qaeda was before 9/11, Olsen said.— Cees: Intel to Rent Page 14 of 14 02/06/2015