ISIS’ strategy for fighting the West has certainly brought terrorism into the 21st century. Their battlefield is shifting away from the real world and into social media, where they can indoctrinate people living in the West, and convince them to carry out terror attacks in their name. And rather than being sophisticated attacks that cause mass casualties, ISIS promotes multiple smaller attacks that can be spread out throughout a targeted country. It’s easier to cause these kinds of incidents, and a lot harder for authorities to foil them. It’s a strategy that is as simple as it is brilliant. They can wreak havoc on the societies that oppose them with little cost, and without lifting a finger. It’s such an effective strategy that it’s now being picked up by other terror groups like Al-Qaeda. Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is the group’s chief bomb maker, recently published a document in a magazine (it should be noted that the idea of a terrorist group having a slick magazine is also borrowed from ISIS) that shows any would-be lone wolf terrorist how to inflict mayhem on a critical component of America’s infrastructure.
This post was published at shtfplan on August 15th, 2017.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a man who dares not travel in many parts of the globe due to fears of arrest, just made one of the most stunning admissions of his career to date. In an article for CapX, a British online news website founded by the Centre for Policy Studies, Kissinger warned against defeating ISIS because doing so could lead to an ‘Iranian radical empire.’ He warned: ‘In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy. The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions.’ Unsurprisingly, Kissinger, a documented war criminal, displayed a complete disregard for international law while expressing his major concerns. Kissinger said: ‘The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration. Most non-Isis powers – including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states – agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran?’
People living in the West have given up a lot to satisfy their government’s concerns over terrorism. Here in the US for instance, our right to privacy in our homes, on our persons, and especially in our communications, has essentially died since 9/11. Everything we say on our phones or search on the internet is catalogued by the NSA without a warrant, we can’t fly on an airplane without being groped and prodded by TSA agents, it’s now fairly common to be forced through police checkpoints many miles away from any border. The US isn’t alone in this regard. Across the board, every Western nation has sacrificed essential freedoms in the name of combating terrorism. The only difference is that unlike in the US, most Western nations have sacrificed more speech related freedoms rather than privacy (though all Westerners have lost both rights to some degree). This is especially true in Europe and Canada, where expressing right wing opinions or criticizing Islam is now considered a hate crime, and is believed to be an invitation for more terrorist attacks. Australians however, seems to be close to losing their right to practice any religion they want. That’s what the Jewish community in Sydney learned recently when they tried to build a synagogue. Residents and city council members decided to not let the structure come to fruition because they feared it would invite terrorist attacks.
This post was published at shtfplan on August 7th, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… This report is still unconfirmed, but based on the current strategic situation in Syria, this apparent behind closed doors agreement would be a practical decision.
Ever since ISIS became prominent in northeastern Syria in 2014, the United States gradually moved in to back the Kurdish defense forces and militias, including the YPG and a new Kurdish fighting group set up by Pentagon called the ‘Syria Democratic Forces’ (SDF). The US and Israeli objective appears to have been to allow ISIS to gradually depopulate the area, and then once ISIS could be moved out of their stronghold in Raqqa, then Washington would use their Kurdish proxies to occupy strategic towns and cities – including the area around Raqqa. This appears to have been very poor planning by the Pentagon, as it not only ignores the demographics of the area (Arab majority), but it’s also ignorant of the fact that not all Kurds desire an independent state or Rojava canton. The US deep state’s masterplan for a federalized partition of Syria also appears to have ignored another obvious factor – that Syria was not going to hand over any of its territory in a US-led course of action.
Now that ISIS – the perpetual scapegoat for US intervention in the Syrian proxy war – is no longer viable, with the Qatar, Saudi-funded and Pentagon-equipped terrorist organization scattered and on the run, and there is no longer an imperative to remove Assad from power as the Qatar natgas pipeline to Europe is mothballed indefinitely while Russia and Iran are the de facto undisputed rulers of Syria, it is time to focus popular anger against ISIS elsewhere… like in the Philippines. And not wasting any time, NBC reports that the Pentagon is considering a plan allowing the U. S. military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines. Unlike in Syria where the US arrived (and is now on its way out) to wage war against the Assad regime ISIS uninvited, the authority to strike ISIS targets as part of collective self-defense could be granted as part of an official military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, said the anonymous officials who spoke to NBC. The strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.
The Pentagon has just confirmed deployment of US Special Forces in Lebanon to support the Lebanese Army in an upcoming coordinated military campaign aimed to clean out an ISIS border pocket in the country’s northwest. Regional media outlets are describing the coming major new offensive as “imminent”. But awkwardly for the US, the fight will necessitate some level of coordination with Hezbollah, which the US considers a terrorist organization. On July 21st the Lebanese Army in cooperation with Hezbollah intensified operations to root out ISIS from the environs of the Sunni border town of Arsal, while at the same time the Syrian Army attacked from the Syrian side in the western Qalaman mountains. The region’s mountainous terrain and dozen or more refugee camps has made it an ideal place for ISIS and other jihadists to embed themselves throughout much of the Syrian war. The first major ISIS assault on Arsal came in 2014, which resulted in significant Lebanese troop casualties and kidnappings. Since then the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah have effectively contained ISIS and allied jihadist groups to a barren border zone which includes refugee camps. Syrian refugee presence in and around Arsal numbers in the tens of thousands – many of which have scrambled to flee the area over the past weeks.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 6, 2017.
Back in June, less that 24 hours before James Hodgkinson decided to open fire on the GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, radio host Michael Savage was commenting on developments that had escalated the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ such as comedian Kathy Griffin’s ISIS-style photo shoot of the decapitated likeness of Trump and the ‘Julius Caesar’ play in Central Park featuring the assassination of a Trump-like figure, and predicted “there are people out there who are marginal, who are going to go off like a rocket and kill somebody.’ Here’s what he said: ‘I don’t know how much more of this the country can take,’ Savage said. ‘We are at a boiling point.’ he told his listeners Tuesday. ‘If they keep this up, I’m telling you there’s going to be an explosion in this country.’ ‘Do you understand that there are people out there who are marginal, who are going to go off like a rocket and kill somebody?’ Savage asked. ‘Do you understand what this left-wing is becoming in this country Little did he know at the time, within 24 hours his prediction came true as Hodgkinson opened fire on a GOP baseball practice in a mass assassination attempt that nearly claimed the life of Majority Whip Steven Scalise.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 5, 2017.
Toward the end of last year, leaked audio of then-Secretary of State John Kerry went viral across the independent media because it appeared to confirm that the U. S. was watching ISIS and allowing the group to grow in order to exert pressure on the Syrian government, a long-time adversary of the Obama administration. However, more stunning than this apparent admission was the fact that Kerry confirmed what Anti-Media has been warning about for some time now regarding the legality of America’s Syrian operation. In the leaked audio, speaking to Syrian opposition members at a meeting that took place at the Dutch mission to the United Nations, Kerry stated: ‘The problem is that the Russians don’t care about international law, but we do. And we don’t have the basis – our lawyers tell us – unless we have the U. N. Security Council Resolution, which the Russians can veto, and the Chinese, or unless we are under attack from the folks there, or unless we are invited in. Russia is invited in by the legitimate regime – well it’s illegitimate in our mind – but by the regime. And so they were invited in and we are not invited in. We’re flying in airspace there where they can turn on the air defenses and we would have a very different scene. The only reason they are letting us fly is because we are going after ISIL. If we were going after Assad, those air defenses, we would have to take out all the air defenses, and we don’t have the legal justification, frankly, unless we stretch it way beyond the law.’ [emphasis added]
As ISIS has shown in their own magazine, they’ll probably never try to pull off a massive terror attack on American soil. Instead, they’ll indoctrinate useful idiots who already live here, and convince them to engage in numerous small attacks, similar to the bombings, knifings, and shootings that have plagued Europe in recent years. It’s a strategy that is far less likely to be foiled, costs significantly less, and can be maintained long after ISIS is overrun in the Middle East. And what also makes this strategy so enticing is that these small attacks, which are so much more difficult to prevent, is that they can add up over time. They have the potential to accumulate death tolls that dwarf previous terror attacks, and there is little doubt that groups like ISIS are working to make that happen right now. For instance, a 22-year-old man named Amer Sinan Alhaggagi from Oakland, California was indicted on terror related charges last week, after he allegedly ‘attempted to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).’ However, that justice department statement is a very sanitized version of what he’s actually being accused of. His plans, which were unearthed by undercover agents working for the FBI, suggest that he intended to kill as many as 10,000 people in the Bay Area with a wide variety of attacks; which included bombings, mass poisonings, and arson.
This post was published at shtfplan on July 31st, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… Here’s a story that you will never see mentioned across the entirety of the western mainstream media. Why? Because this man was covering the Syrian conflict from the perspective of the Syrian people, and not the highly distorted and constantly misleading western narrative.
Yesterday, a 25 year-old Syrian journalist, Khaled Al-Khateb, was killed by an ISIS rocket attack in Homs province. He had just recently joined RT Arabic as a stringer covering fighting in the Homs region. Today RT Arabic lost a young colleague, journalist Khaled Alkhateb. This is very painful news for all of us,’ the head of RT Arabic, Maya Manna, said in a statement. ‘This morning, together with soldiers of the Syrian Army, he was heading to the town of al-Sukhnah, where heavy fighting is currently underway to free it. On their way there, not far from Homs, the convoy was attacked by IS militants,’ she explained.
Regime change advocates are in continued meltdown mode. Last week’s announcement of Trump’s shutting down the CIA’s covert weapons and aid program to anti-government insurgents in Syria – a move now widely interpreted as marking the end of the years long US push for overthrowing Assad – has deep state hawks and their media allies throwing repeat public fits and tantrums in all the usual op-ed pages and cable news panels (though it appears the Pentagon is still ramping up its presence in Syria, ostensibly to fight ISIS). Even John McCain found time, a day after announcing his diagnosis with brain cancer, to compose a statement which said: ‘If these reports are true, the administration is playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin.’ On Monday night Trump gave confirmation of the closure of the program while taking issue with The Washington Post’s reporting: The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has stepped up US military strikes against al-Shabaab, the ISIS-affiliated terrorist group based primarily in Somalia, despite promises to avoid more foreign entanglements. In May, a Navy SEAL died during a mission targeting a compound of al-Shabaab militants, becoming the first US soldier to die in Somalia since 1993, when 18 US service members were killed in what became known as the battle of Mogadishu, later memorialized in the film ‘Black Hawk Down.’ In June, the US killed 8 militants during a drone strike against what US officials described as one of the group’s primary training camps and bases. While al-Shabaab lacks the resources to launch an effective counterattack against the US, the group instead opted to mock Trump in a new propaganda video. In it, the group responds to Trump’s violent escalation by calling him a ‘brainless billionaire’ and criticizing US voters for electing ‘arguably the most stupid president a country could ever have” – echoing sentiments commonly expressed by left-leaning voters in metropolitan hubs like New York City.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 2017.
Jordan has just released the previously suppressed CCTV video footage of last year’s heinous attack on 3 Green Berets by a Jordanian soldier and ISIS-sympathizer as they entered a desert facility to conduct training operations as part of a CIA secret program aimed at regime change in Syria. Last week we reported the following: “The Jordanian government had a strong incentive to gloss over the murders of the three Green Berets. Likewise, the CIA was scared of potential blowback and the exposing of their covert program,” says investigative journalist Jack Murphy, himself an Army special forces veteran. A premeditated green-on-blue attack in Jordan outside of King Faisal Air Base (at al-Jafr in Southern Jordan) late last year resulted in the deaths of three elite US Green Berets in what the media initially dubbed a mere unfortunate gate incident and what the Jordanian government dismissed as a “a tragic accident devoid of any terrorist motives”. But the whole event and subsequent attempts at cover-up just as Obama was leaving office enraged both the families of the slain and the US special forces community; and it further threatened to blow wide open the CIA’s illegal Syrian regime change operation, called Timber Sycamore, which involved American special ops soldiers being tasked with training so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels in Jordan and Turkey as part of an inter-agency program.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 24, 2017.
Covering the recent battle for the city of Marawi on Mindanao Island in the Southern Philippines, the Western media has been grossly exaggerating unconfirmed reports and rumors. It has been spreading twisted information and ‘facts’. At the beginning of July, I visited Mindanao as one of only a few foreigners allowed inside the besieged city of Marawi and to its surrounding area. I spoke to local people, to the IDPs – those who managed to escape the city taken over by the jihadists. I also managed to discuss the situation with the highest commanders of the military in charge of the combat, including General Ramiro Rey and Lt. Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera. I encountered many soldiers, civil servants, and relief workers. My contacts in the capital informed me via text messages that I had been ‘red-flagged,’ clearly, by the pro-US faction in the Philippine military. So before my presence was finally cleared from Manila, I was detained and held in a provisional military base in the city of Saguiaran. Here I was ‘softly’ interrogated by military intelligence. A few steps away, a howitzer was firing artillery toward ISIS positions in Marawi, some 10 kilometers distant.
During a visit to the Pentagon last week, President Trump said he may not send additional soldiers to Afghanistan, in spite of consistent reports to the contrary. Asked whether or not he would make the deployment, Trump answered ‘We’ll see. And we’re doing very well against ISIS. ISIS is falling fast,’ according to the Washington Post. While Trump already delegated the authority to Defense Secretary James Mattis to send up to 3,900 additional troops to Afghanistan more than a month ago, the president’s recent remarks are sending mixed signals regarding his stance on the deployment. Just last week, Mattis made the rounds on Capitol Hill with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford briefing lawmakers on the White House’s strategy for Afghanistan. That strategy has been widelyreported to include the deployment of several thousand new troops to the war-torn country. The administration was expected to make an announcement for the deployment weeks ago, but it has yet to come.
When the Islamic State captured the city of Mosul in its 2014 blitzkrieg, the militant group obtained access to a highly lethal material that would have been useful for a ‘dirty weapon,’ the Washington Post reports. In taking Mosul, the Islamic State controlled a city filled to the brim with with guns, bombs, rockets and tanks, due in part to the number of military garrisons and bases located all over the city, but these were by no means the most deadly of the weapons to be found there. Hidden away in medical devices stored on a college campus in Mosul were two quantities of cobalt-60, a synthetic radioactive isotope produced artificially in nuclear reactors. The isotope emits gamma rays at high intensity, making it effective in radiotherapy cancer treatments, however its high radioactivity also makes it perfect for a ‘dirty bomb,’ or a weapon that uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials across a targeted area, making it uninhabitable.
In what may be one of the most significant foreign policy decisions of his first year in office, Trump is shutting down the CIA’s covert program to arm rebels fighting the Syrian government. This would constitute a monumental shift in terms of US priorities in Syria which throughout most of the 6-year long war have focused on removing Bashar al-Assad. The Washington Post reports: Officials said Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H. R. McMaster ahead of a July 7 meeting in Germany with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The move is consistent with signals coming out of the White House over the past months, as well as in keeping with Trump’s early campaign promises that he would seek to wind down the war in Syria by making ISIS the only objective, and not the removal of Assad. There have been additional hints at willingness to work closer with Russia in a strategic anti-terror partnership in Syria. Secretary of State Tillerson’s said in an April interview with ABC News, as well several weeks ago, that Assad’s fate would be up for the Syrian people to decide, adding that: In that regard, we are hopeful that we can work with Russia and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on the way forward, and it is through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will lawfully be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 19, 2017.