Skip to comments.What Baghdadi’s Death Tells Us About the Real Terror Threat
Posted on 10/30/2019 4:35:19 PM PDT by MacNaughton
Whats the best place to look for the terrorist leader of a defeated Islamic terrorist group? When his men are on the run, look for his hideout in or near the country that sponsors him.
We didnt find Osama bin Laden hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, but in a compound in a Pakistani military city. And Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former Caliph of ISIS, wasnt hanging out in his home turf, but in an area controlled by Turkey and its allied Islamist militias right off the Turkish border.
Osama bin Ladens death confirmed the reports of his ties to Pakistan, and Baghdadis death confirmed the rumors of the links between ISIS and Turkey. Those links may not as run as deep as those between Pakistan, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, but when Baghdadi wanted someplace to hide out with his family, he didnt huddle with his forces, but picked a location under the shadow of the Turkish military.
As Robert Spencer, an expert on the theology and geopolitics of Islamic terrorism, noted, It strains credulity that Turkey, with its interests in northern Syria, did not know he was there. Al-Baghdadi was killed in Barisha in the Idlib province, a town of no more than 2,500 people right on the Turkish border.
Where did we actually find the Caliph of ISIS? Allegedly, he'd been living in the home of Abu Mohammed Salama, a Hurras al-Din leader. The Islamic terror group, whose name means Guardians of Religion, had been listed as Al Qaeda in Syria in its Specially Designated Global Terrorist designation. Hurras al-Din had formerly been part of Tahrir al-Sham which has been cooperating closely with Turkey.
One of Tahrirs four components was the Al-Nusra Front, which was formerly the official Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. While the US bombs Tahrir al-Sham, Turkey, a NATO member, works with it.
If a NATO member is openly working with an Al Qaeda faction, how can it possibly be trusted?
Both Hurras and Tahrir play a dominant role in Idlib. They, supposedly, dont get along. And they, likewise, supposedly are hostile to ISIS. Except that Baghdadis death tells us thats a sham.
While ISIS was calling Hurras apostates, and Tahrir was supposedly hunting Baghdadi, he was living under their protection, not those of his own men, which he wouldnt have done without a deal. And there wouldnt have been a deal unless it was part of a much broader operational arrangement. Its hard to believe that Turkey would not have been clued in on a deal involving its own Islamist terrorist allies.
Earlier this year, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the head of Al Qaeda, had ridiculed Jihadist groups in the area for operating under Turkish authority. Al Qaedas Jihadists have been debating whether to accept Turkeys support. Baghdadis death tells us how it all played out. Turkey worked with Tahrir while ISIS worked with Hurras. The two Al Qaeda splinter groups pretended to be feuding, but were really a pipeline.
ISIS connected to Hurras which linked in to Tahrir which is under Turkish authority. Thats why Baghdadi was in Idlib. Meanwhile the Al Qaeda splinter groups in this drama were pretending to fight ISIS.
Its the same old story.
There are no lone wolf terrorists or lone wolf terrorist groups. Like Marxist terror groups, Islamic terrorist organizations dont exist in isolation. Even ISIS, despite its insistence that Baghdadi was the sole source of legitimate Islamic authority, was not without its state sponsors. Much like its Al Qaeda parent.
The root cause of the problem is not Islamic terror groups. Its Islamic terror states.
September 11 would never have happened without Pakistans ambitions for Afghanistan, and Qatari and Iranian backing for Al Qaeda. ISIS would never have become a major terror threat without Assads use of Al Qaeda to attack American soldiers during the Iraq War, and the entire Arab Spring project by Qatar, its Muslim Brotherhood allies, the Gulf states, and the regions motley assortment of Islamists. On the Shiite side, every Islamic Jihadist group, from Hezbollah to the Houthis, begins in Tehran. And Irans backing has kept even, supposedly, hostile Sunni groups like Muslim Brotherhood terror organizations, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda afloat.
Islamic terrorism is not something that happens because teenagers watch videos on the internet. It doesnt happen because of a few guys in a cave. Those are the end products of state sponsorship.
The entire existence of ISIS is due to the nature of Islamic terrorism as a defining state institution. When we tried to shut down Saddam Husseins support for Islamic terrorism, the Sunni and Shiite parts of the country fragmented into dueling Islamic terror groups. Saddams old Sunni loyalists poured into what would become ISIS. The Shiite majority built up Islamic militias under Iranian control.
The Arab Spring had the same effect, shattering countries like Libya into their defining components. And those components are tribal identity groups with Islamic militias as their offensive and defensive arms.
Islamic terrorism is a fundamental feature of Islamic civic life at every stage of development. Thats why Islamic terrorism doesnt go away. The names of the groups change. The leaders and the fighters die. But the endless war goes on because its an expression of Islamic tribal, religious, and state institutions.
Pakistan will keep on backing Islamic terrorists because that gives it influence and control over parts of its country, of Afghanistan, and over the United States. Iran will keep on backing terrorists because thats the best way for a Shiite Islamic minority state to project its power. Qatar will keep backing Islamic terrorists because thats the only way for a miniscule rich state to gain enormous territorial influence. Turkey will keep backing Islamic terrorists as long as Islamists who dream of rebuilding their own Caliphate are running the show in Istanbul. Thats why the terrorists will always keep coming back.
This is a problem that goes back to the founding of Islam. Mohammed and his followers started out as the original Islamist militia, leveraging tribal alliances and conflicts to take over a big piece of the world. The Islamic State, like so many Jihadis over the centuries, was just trying to follow in his footsteps.
We cant fix the problems of Islamic societies. But we have to recognize that this is the root cause.
Islamic theology transformed tribal warfare into a religious experience. It made killing, raping, and enslaving enemies into a meaningful way of life, not just for those who partake in it, but for the countless millions who support them. Exporting democracy to the region was always a fools quest. Islamic societies already have their own form of democracy. Its ballots are bombs and bullets.
Power struggles arent settled with political compromises, but the old-fashioned way, by war. Thats the endless war.
Americans have constant elections. Muslim societies in the region are constantly fighting. Theres never a final settlement, just as theres no final election that determines once and for all who runs America.
Instead of exporting our way of settling differences to the Muslim world, theyve exported their way of settling differences to the United States and to Europe. And, instead of convincing Muslim countries that multilateral diplomacy is the way to channel their global ambitions, they have managed to enlist us and involve us in their traditional form of multilateral diplomacy, supporting multiple terror groups.
Fighting Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS as if they were an isolated phenomenon is as pointless as insisting that every single Islamic terrorist is really a lone wolf. It ignores reality.
Islamic terrorist groups cant be defeated without dealing with the states that sponsor them.
I read somewhere on FR today that there are currently 3,000+ mosques/ masjid in the U.S.
As I have said the Sunnis and Shias can be at each others throats but one thing they can religiously agree on, is us Infidels have to be subjugated or killed. - Tom
Muhammadanism was born swinging a scimitar. Muhammad couldn’t attract flies, much less converts, until he started waging wars of conquest.
Really good analysis...this must be a professionsl cia/sos/dod type.
These facts are being avoided when MSM reports and media portrays a Moslem cleric as a saint. Those facts are; The cleric was following their book of Gods commands one of which orders beheading unbelievers and chopping their heads off. So by US stopping that cleric who dies when doing so. That makes him a hero and a saint. When the Pope thinks when dealing with moslems whatever they believe and do its OK Hes never commented anything about the horrors in that book and some claim even kissed that book and praises them because they believe in the same God. Following the Popes lead We shouldnt expect any different facts and viewpoint from the lefty media.