Skip to comments.All You Need to Know About ISIS and What is Happening in Iraq
Posted on 06/29/2014 2:45:18 PM PDT by lbryce
As ISIS, a group thought to consist of only a few thousand people led by a shadowy figurehead, defeats forces many times its size to capture a large part of Iraq, RT looks into what is ISIS, and how has it achieved its terrifying triumphs.
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So, what is ISIS? And is it even ISIS, or is it ISIL? The worlds most committed and fanatical radical organization has only recently gone by its current name, after the unrecognized Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) was proclaimed in April last year. Al-Sham has been most commonly translated from Arabic as the Levant, hence ISIL. It was previously known as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic State of Iraq.
The frequent name changes are not cosmetic but the direct result of the transforming circumstances which have allowed ISIS to rapidly flourish. Initially focused on achieving dominance in Iraq, it was kept under control in the relatively calm period between the initial sectarian strife that broke out following the US-led invasion in 2003, and the outbreak of hostilities following the American military withdrawal in 2011.
Since then, it has become a major player, receiving another critical boost when the civil war in Syria turned into a sectarian conflict, bringing in millions of dollars in funding and thousands of fresh recruits from around the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at rt.com ...
While Al-Qaeda, in its most well-known forms, is a terrorist organization, with sleeper cells, training camps and terrorist attacks, ISIS as of now is more a militia and a rogue territory with its own infrastructure, more similar to Boko Haram and other localized fiefdoms that have spawned in lawless or failed African states. ISIS is part of and similar to Al-Qaeda, right? No, it is significantly worse. Al-Qaeda has been the touchstone for the Western understanding of terrorism ever since 9/11, but ISIS differs from it philosophically, organizationally, and even officially, as it has declared itself an entirely separate body. If anything the two organizations though both espousing Sunni Islam are currently more rivals than allies.
While Al-Qaeda, in its most well-known forms, is a terrorist organization, with sleeper cells, training camps and terrorist attacks, ISIS as of now is more a militia and a rogue territory with its own infrastructure, more similar to Boko Haram and other localized fiefdoms that have spawned in lawless or failed African states.
An image uploaded on June 14, 2014 on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executing dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members at an unknown location in the Salaheddin province. (AFP Photo)An image uploaded on June 14, 2014 on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executing dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members at an unknown location in the Salaheddin province. (AFP Photo)
Al-Qaeda has become more conscious of avoiding acts of indiscriminate or counter-productive brutality since the demise of Osama Bin Laden, but ISIS revels in it, espousing a religious philosophy so uncompromising it appears almost nihilistic.
The areas it has secured have been kept under control by an endless stream of floggings, mutilations, beheadings and crucifixions. The targets can be well-chosen or arbitrary, but no one is spared Shia opponents, Sunni rivals, captured soldiers or immoral women.
ISIS 'execute' 1,700 Iraqi soldiers, post gruesome pictures (GRAPHIC)
Unsurprisingly, although the first leader of ISIS, the late Abu Musab, did swear fealty to Al-Qaeda back in the early 2000s, the two organizations have fallen out.
The breaking point was the internecine fighting between ISIS and Al-Qaeda-backed Nusra in Syria. Pleas by Al-Qaeda to divide spheres of influence were flatly rejected by Abu Bakr, the ISIS leader, who spent four years in US captivity, before being released in 2009. After increasingly testy communication between the sides, Al-Qaeda disowned ISIS earlier this year, in return provoking ISIS to call the organization traitors and a joke.
With the rise of ISIS, many say that it is now Al-Qaedas Ayman al-Zawahiri who should be pledging allegiance to the 43-year old Abu Bakr.
How is ISIS funded? ISIS operates as a half-mafia-style commercial enterprise, half pious international charity, looking for wealthy donors in the Gulf States and throughout the globe.
It is certainly not lacking in opportunism in commercializing its military activities. In 2012 ISIS or ISI as it was then took over oil fields in Syria, reaping profits from selling the oil at discounted prices to anyone willing to pay. It has traded in the raw materials in areas it has captured, and even dabbled in selling antiques from monuments under its control.
a religious philosophy so uncompromising it appears almost nihilistic.
Gee, ya think? (Rhetorical, not you.)
Things just got a whole lot worse for all of us.
So are these moderate Islamists? They all seem berserk. Are these the ones Obama and McCain and Linsdey Graham support? Or are their terrorists some differ erect nicer Islamist fighting Syria.
S/b different nicer terrorists
Far as I can tell, the same ones, not a smidgeon of
How did I do?
Yep, same people run in both groups as far as I can tell too. Only difference is a few at the top of the pyramid.
Blair was clueless after 9-11 blaming the Muslim problem on "grievances".
He hasn't learned yet "It's the religion! Stupid!".
His expressed naiveness has plenty of company at high levels of all Infidel Govts. and the Vatican, that won't admit the problem is the religion itself. -Tom
How refreshing to get news analysis from Russia Today instead of the democrat party line MSM.
We still have not determined if they are militant or peaceful.
After all, not every ISIS member has publicly executed captives by putting a bullet in the back of the head.
Let’s not be too judgmental.
True enough, let’s not tar them all with the same
brush, some of them are people just like our president.
If only the two could square off an have at it
Far as I can tell, the same ones, not a smidgeon of
I hate you satan dog ... stab you in the gut.
I an ambivolent, and peaceful .. stab you in the gut.
When the shooting starts, don't discriminate against the different Islamic sects, just kill them all.
These are the MODERATE Islamists.
How long before our fearless leader recognizes the new “state.”
But our purposefully dithering president is on the side of of the conquering hordes....and the above photos are just the beginning of the atrocities that are and will be committed in the coming days. Only intense public pressure will force him to take action...maybe.
And remember, just a week ago these brutal savages were there in the open desert with all their equipment, moving steadily in groups,...... like several thousand ducks in a pond.......