Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts

December 20, 2016

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Terror Attack in Berlin

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the truck attack in Berlin on Monday. The attack has left at least 12 dead and dozens more injured.
NBC reports the Pakistani migrant who was arrested Tuesday as a suspect in the deadly truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Germany has been released because of insufficient evidence. 
The man was arrested not far from the scene of Monday night's carnage in the German capital, where 12 people were killed and nearly 50 others wounded. 
But the Federal Prosecutor’s Office released him Tuesday night after investigators said they could not prove he was in the cabin of the truck during the rampage.
Local media identified the suspect as "Naved B.," a 23-year-old who entered Germany via Austria on Dec. 31, 2015. He was reportedly already known to police for minor offenses. Those reports could not immediately be confirmed by NBC News. 
De Maiziere said only a few of the victims had been identified so far, and that 18 of the 48 wounded had suffered severe injuries. 
Among the dead was a Polish man found shot to death inside the cab of the stolen truck. The weapon has not been found. 
Bloodstained clothing was also found inside the cab, but the suspect in custody was wearing clean clothes, Frank said. 
Christmas markets in Berlin were closed Tuesday as a mark of respect for the victims, but the interior ministry said other events around the country would take place with increased security measures.

August 23, 2016

Boy Part of ISIS Wave of Attacks in Turkey is Disrobed of Explosives in Kirkup

~You might find video graphic~
 Guards carefully remove vest full of explosives from boy’s chest

The boy was part of a wave of Islamic State attacks on the city of Kirkuk. Kurdish officials apprehended him in a Barcelona Lionel Messi jersey, and said he burst into tears when initially questioned by a security officer.

The video shows Kurdish police carefully holding the boys arms apart as they carefully remove the explosive belt full of shrapnel from underneath his shirt.

Hours before the boy’s arrest, an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Shiite Mosque, wounding three. At the same time, one of the boy’s accomplices blew himself up near a checkpoint, but did not hurt any one else. “There is a dangerous campaign tonight against Kirkuk,” a Kurdish security official told Rudaw news after the arrest.

The boy told Kurdish intelligence officials he was kidnapped by ISIS fighters in Mosul, and that the terrorists had forcibly strapped the bomb to him. Intelligence officials indicated the boy’s story may not have been a ploy to avoid punishment by security forces.

The boy’s arrest came just 24 hours after another ISIS child soldier between the ages of 12 and 14 blew up a bomb at a Kurdish wedding party in Turkey Saturday, killing 50 people and wounding nearly 70. Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan indicated the boy may have been wearing a remotely-controlled suicide belt.

The suicide bombing wave in Kirkuk is likely an attempt to weaken Kurdish resolve as preparations continue for an assault on the city of Mosul. ISIS seized Mosul in 2014, and it is the last major city inside Iraq that it fully controls. The U.S. plan to encircle Mosul, relies heavily on Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who have proven to be the most militarily capable force inside Iraq.

@TheLibRepublic on Twitter

July 29, 2016

ISIS Loosing Grip of Territory Changes Narrative


Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the official spokesman for ISIS, has come pretty close to acknowledging that the territory controlled by the group is slipping away. 

In a statement released in May, Adnani warned the enemies of ISIS, “O America! Listen, O Crusaders! Listen, O Jews!”

“You will never be victorious. You will be defeated,” he said. “Do you, O America, consider defeat to be the loss of a city or the loss of land?” 

“And would we be defeated and you be victorious if you were to take Mosul or Sirte or Raqqa or even take all the cities and we were to return to our initial condition? Certainly not!” Adnani added.

Back in 2014, after its fighters shocked the world by seizing vast territories in Iraq and Syria, the messengers from ISIS made a pitch to young Muslims that went something like this: Come join the caliphate of the prophecy! Be part of history by helping to build the Islamic state described in the Quran. 

ISIS was never just about state-building, says Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “That being said, as they lose ground, they need to show that they’re still strong,” he says.

The terrorism campaign launched during this past holy month of Ramadan is a case in point. 

“It was an extraordinarily bloody month, with multiple terrorist attacks across at least 10 different countries across the globe that were claimed in the name of ISIS,” Gartenstein-Ross says. 

“Losing 25 percent or 40 percent of their ‘state’ doesn’t mean that they lose 25 or 40 percent of their capabilities to carry out attacks abroad,” he adds. 

ISIS is not giving up on state-building either, says J.M. Berger of George Washington University. He’s a co-author of “ISIS: The State of Terror.” 

But the group’s propaganda has shifted. Instead of calling followers from the West to the caliphate, it's now asking them to stay put and carry out terrorist attacks where they are, no matter how small. 

Does its shrinking "state" undermine the legitimacy of ISIS? 

“It takes a lot of air out of the balloon. But not all of it,” Berger says. 

“A lot of their initial success and propaganda was based on a narrative that they were a very successful group, that they were holding this territory, that they had done things that nobody else had ever done,” Berger says. 

“It will be harder for them to mount that claim. I think it’s going to hurt them. But I don’t think it’s going to end them.”

The followers of ISIS are extremists, which means that many of them will not be easily dissuaded by facts on the ground, Berger says. 

“We’ve seen that ISIS itself is really a mutation that was born out of intense pressure and near-defeat” in the wake of the Iraq War. “When they face that [same near-extinction], we will see a new mutation.” 

Berger says it is too early to be optimistic about the defeat of ISIS as a network, which is quick to claim responsibility for all kinds of violent attacks. 

“What we’re seeing now is an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks that are emanating from ISIS, whether they’re actually directing those attacks … inspiring those attacks, or … successfully claiming credit for people who are mentally ill and carry out [acts of] violence.” 

European police say about 5,000 foreign fighters have answered the ISIS call to go fight in Iraq and Syria, and now about a third of those people have returned to Europe. 

However, Rob Wainwright, the director general of Europol, said recently that he believes ISIS is in decline. 

“I do think that in the end like all forms of terrorism, like all forms of terrorist groups, both domestic and international, they are ultimately defeated. And ISIS will be as well. How long it takes, I don’t know. Between now and then we live in a dangerous time,” Wainwright said.
Matthew Bell (follow)
 Navy Seals Deploy in Afgh.

~~~~~~~~US Gets Hold of Terabytes of Data from ISIS

The U.S. is sifting through more than four terabytes of data gleaned from the U.S.-led coalition’s offensive on the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in the Syrian city of Manbij. It is the biggest data seizure from the radical Islamist group since the U.S. special forces raid on its finance chief Abu Sayyaf in May 2015.

Manbij has acted as a landing and sorting station for many ISIS foreign fighters after they have entered into Syria from Turkey, officials say, making the information vital to understanding the workings of ISIS’s foreign fighter network and preventing their return to Europe to carry out attacks.

“We think this is a big deal,” Colonel Christopher Garver, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told Pentagon reporters in a video briefing from Baghdad on Wednesday, ABC reported. “We're learning about how they ran Manbij as a strategic hub.”

He continued: “It is a lot of material, it is going to take a lot to go through, then start connecting the dots and trying to figure where we can start dismantling ISIS.”

Members of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attend the funeral of eight fellow fighters who died during an assault against ISIS in the town of Manbij, in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on June 24. The fighters have retrieved a huge trove of data that U.S. intelligence is using to learn about the group's foreign fighters, officials say.

The gathered material, mostly in Arabic, includes items ranging from notebooks to laptops, as well as textbooks and USB drives.

“As a foreign fighter would enter, they would screen them, figure out what languages they speak, assign them a job—and then send them down into wherever they were going to go, be it into Syria or Iraq, somewhere,” he added. But he noted that no evidence had been discovered that suggested ISIS was sending fighters westwards to Europe.

After helping Iraqi forces capture Fallujah from ISIS in western Iraq last month, the U.S.-led coalition’s focus has been on liberating what is known as the “Manbij pocket” from ISIS.

The coalition is supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters, with air strikes and special forces operating in an advisory and support role.

The SDF forces have advanced to the city’s outskirts and have given ISIS two 48-hour deadlines to leave the city, in order to prevent civilian casualties. While many ISIS operatives have fled, the coalition still needs to clear the city of remaining fighters before it can claim that it has been fully liberated.

July 22, 2016

US Backed Syrian Fighters Give IS Ultimatum of 48 hrs To Get OUT Manbij

U.S.-backed fighters in Syria Thursday gave Islamic State jihadists 48 hours to evacuate their stronghold in the northern city of Manbij. The forces surrounded the city last month and have been slowly closing in on it.

According to a statement from the Manbij Military Council, the IS fighters would be afforded the opportunity to leave the city with light weapons, without interference.

"This initiative is the last remaining chance for besieged members of Daesh [IS] to leave the town," said the Manbij Military Council, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance.
The SDF is allied with the U.S.-led coalition of forces fighting against IS in northern Syria. The statement from the military council comes at the same time as tensions are flaring in the country following the reported deaths of dozens of civilians in air raids carried out by coalition forces.
Heavy civilian toll

Air raids near Manbij Tuesday killed at least 56 civilians, including children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Activists are planning protests across Syria and opposition government leaders are now calling on Western countries to halt airstrikes.

Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters man a checkpoint as civilians on pick-up trucks evacuate from the southern districts of Manbij city after the SDF advanced into it in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016.

Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters man a checkpoint as civilians on pick-up trucks evacuate from the southern districts of Manbij city after the SDF advanced into it in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016.

By Thursday, activists had taken to social media to organize protests and ask people from around the world to take to the streets to call attention to the casualties. One Syrian news page on Facebook encouraged its followers to demonstrate in opposition to “the massacres carried out by coalition warplanes.”
“We ask all Syrians, whatever their affiliations or sects, and all free people of the world and especially the people of Manbij to stand in solidarity with our devastated city on Sunday, July 24," wrote one page that publishes local news about Manbij.

Several other local news pages from Manbij posted photos from protests that took place Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Syria’s main opposition leader has called for the air strikes to be halted until a full investigation can be conducted into Tuesday’s civilian deaths.

“It is essential that such investigation not only result in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also inform accountability for those responsible for such major violations," Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah wrote in a letter to foreign leaders.

The UN has also condemned the raids, which it said caused the deaths of more than 20 children.
“Such horrific incidents confront parties to this conflict with their shared responsibility to respect international humanitarian laws that protect children in war," said UNICEF's Syria representative, Hanaa Singer.

In a statement, the U.S.-led coalition said that it had conducted the air strikes and it was gathering information about the reports of civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, Syria’s main opposition leader has called for the air strikes to be halted until a full investigation can be conducted into Tuesday’s civilian deaths.

“It is essential that such investigation not only result in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also inform accountability for those responsible for such major violations," Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah wrote in a letter to foreign leaders.

The U.N. has also condemned the raids, which it said caused the deaths of more than 20 children.
"Such horrific incidents confront parties to this conflict with their shared responsibility to respect international humanitarian laws that protect children in war," said UNICEF's Syria representative, Hanaa Singer.
In a statement, the U.S.-led coalition said that it had conducted the air strikes and it was gathering information about the reports of civilian casualties.

Voice of America

March 25, 2016

ISIS Targets Destroyed by American Air Strikes

Image result for us air force strikes isis


February 6, 2016

Sanders and Trump Seem to be Ahead by a hair but ISIS Could Undo Both


Some might ask why Trump? (getting undone now)Trump has no particulars on how to address the ISIS problem. For voters that don’t know a single thing about ISIS and their strength you could fool them by saying you are going to “kick their asses” like trump has said. Reality tells most people you need to have a strategy. ISIS not being a nation like Iran which you can attack in a cohesive manner. As a matter of fact you can’t even say you are going to kick any nation butt’s with a lot of manpower. We saw it even in nations we attacked after the Spanish-American war. We could not beat Korea, Vietnam which were and are third world nations and even on WW2 we know how many men we lost and years it took to beat Japan (The Americans were the only strong power fighting Japan since Japan attacked the US and everyone else was busy with Germany) and only then we had to use the Atomic bomb.

Coming back to Trump, eventually he is going to have to set a coarse on how to deal with foreign policy which he knows nothing about.

On the Number one on Iowa is a Senator who is vastly disliked by his peers and people that get close to him. He also has not set fourth a comprehensive plan dealing with foreign problems. The politician down the line is Rubio. A Senator not known for his smart remarks or position on foreign policy but he is likable particularly with women. I am not sure that the GOP women would be looking at his hands when he shows on a map what he plans to do with ISIS. It will be foolish this early to make predictions, particularly when there is a lot of money waiting on the side lines, like the Bushes and others which could kinked the plans of the current running group. This is a strange season for the GOP in which they have a bunch of very unlikeable candidates, nationally that is. I don’t see a North Eastern rich dude with no manners and no political knowledge winning  many primaries by literally cursing out the opposition. Changes will happen as we go into the regular primary season. 

In the last Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton went on the attack against Bernie Sanders. The former secretary of state did so by focusing on the Vermont senator’s perceived weak spot: foreign policy.

Given that many voters seem to care a great deal about America’s role in the world, that could yet prove a fatal vulnerability.

Sanders, who polls predict will win easily in New Hampshire on Tuesday, appeared to be out of his depth when pressed about how his administration would handle foreign policy issues.

Two particular stumbles stood out. First, when asked about the presence of US ground troops in Afghanistan, Sanders replied: “We can’t continue to do it alone.” America isn’t alone in Afghanistan, where the Nato coalition is still present; Sanders’ answer was far more relevant to US troops in Iraq.

Live Sanders and Trump lead as New Hampshire vote looms – campaign live
Live coverage of another day on the primary election trail after Clinton puts Sanders on the defensive in heated Democrat debate
Second, when asked whether North Korea, Iran or Russia posed the greatest threat to the US, Sanders said Islamic State did. Pressed further, Sanders said North Korea, “because it is such an isolated country run by a handful of dictators, or maybe just one”.

Clinton’s vote for the Iraq war – when she was a senator from New York – could also leave her vulnerable but the former secretary of state was quick to shift the focus back to Sanders’ inexperience, saying: “When New Hampshire voters go on Tuesday to cast your vote, you are voting both for a president and a commander in chief.”

But does foreign policy even matter to those who were watching the debate and making up their minds?

In short, yes. It might even be fair to describe foreign policy as the defining issue of this election, if public polling from Pew Research Center is to be believed.

 Threat perception, according to the Pew Research Center. Photograph: Pew Research Center
In December 2011, US adults were asked about the most important issues facing the country on the eve of the 2012 election: 55% mentioned economic concerns and only 6% mentioned foreign affairs.

When Pew offered the same options to respondents in December 2015, only 23% chose economic concerns – and 32% said foreign affairs.

More specifically, terrorism is a growing issue. In December 2014, just 1% of respondents said terrorism was the most important issue facing the country. A year later, that had risen to 18%.

There are, however, clear partisan divides here. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say that Iran’s nuclear programme, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and China’s power are the top threats to national security. Democrats are almost as likely to consider global climate change a national threat as Isis.

Unless Sanders can build confidence in his ability to handle foreign policy (or convince Democrats that the economic issues which form the centerpiece of his electoral platform are the most pressing facing the country) his efforts to reach the White House may well be in trouble.

With the New Hampshire primary just three days away, a poll from CNN and WMUR published on Monday morning is particularly interesting.

The survey is based on interviews with 837 adults in New Hampshire before the Iowa caucuses and 556 adults after them. Not all the individuals questioned said they planned to vote in either party’s primary, and the margin of error on these numbers is over 5%. In other words, be cautious interpreting these numbers.
The poll suggests Sanders has not been harmed by his very narrow defeat in Iowa. The Senator could win 61% of support in New Hampshire; Clinton is backed by just 30% of possible voters.

Those numbers are largely consistent with the averages Real Clear Politics creates across dozens of polls, which also suggest that Sanders has a 31% lead.

Another poll, from NBC/WSJ/Marist and published on Thursday, tells a slightly different story. The 2,551 adults interviewed 2-3 February gave Sanders a 20% lead on Clinton.

Finally, a survey from the Lowell Center for Public Opinion suggests the race is even tighter, with just 15% between the two Democratic candidates.

Among Republicans, polls published since the Iowa caucus suggest a slight dip in support for Donald Trump, but not enough to make a dent in his considerable lead in the state. An average of all polls currently suggests Trump is 17% ahead of his closest rival in the state, Marco Rubio. The Florida senator overtook Ted Cruz two days ago – a trend that might yet be reversed.
The Guardian

February 5, 2016

Some ISIS Running Away to Libya


Eyes, guns and missiles are aimed at Iraq and Syria, with allied and Russian airstrikes mounting pressure against Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. But as the West doubles down and the militants’ territorial losses rack up, the jihadists may simply be moving on to Plan B. When the going gets tough — for the tough guys themselves — will they head for the hills or simply move the fight … to Libya?

For many, the going got tough in Syria and Iraq, and they got going. Millions have escaped and continue to flee, braving treacherous maritime crossings — often dying — and months in freezing European camps in the hope of carving out a better life. But now the militants are also feeling the heat, and possibly taking more advantage of Libya’s instability. Already, experts say, they’ve lost up to 25 percent of their territory in Iraq, along with some key oil refineries, and pressure’s mounting, thanks to allied and Russian airstrikes. Combined, it’s getting harder for ISIS to protect the areas they “govern” and keep their machine running by collecting taxes without expanding into other areas. Meanwhile, says Joshua Meservey, the Heritage Foundation’s policy analyst for Africa and the Middle East, Libya has become a “backup plan” or “haven” for if and when things turn sour in Iraq and Syria.

Of course, ISIS isn’t on its back heels. The caliphate model of gaining territory and taxing local populations is still going strong, and the militants are putting more resources into the Maghreb. And while the group has had a presence in Libya since 2014, it’s increasingly shifting eggs from one basket — Syria and Iraq — to the late Moammar Gadhafi’s homeland, where two governments are now vying ineffectively for control. That leaves loads of groups duking it out in a vacuum that ISIS has proven all too effective at monopolizing before, especially in Syria.

It’s going to become increasingly important to focus on Libya.
Right now, ISIS has anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 fighters in Libya, experts estimate. That’s a relatively small number when looking at the country as a whole, though it’s significant if ISIS members are concentrated in a town or specific area because “they can run little areas,” says Professor Daniel Byman of Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. And this piecemeal grabbing of land, and then exploiting resources and local bank accounts, is exactly how the militants roll.

Indeed, the militants have carved out a beachhead in the coastal city of Sirte and are upping attacks against oil fields in a bid to secure lucrative resources in the north. So far these efforts have been fairly amateur, says Madeleine Moreau, a strategic media analyst for Global Risk Insights based in Beirut. But she notes that high-level ISIS leaders are leaving Syria and going to Libya to take advantage of the chaos, especially in the north, fueling fears that over the next six months, “it’s going to become increasingly important to focus on Libya.”

January 20, 2016

ISIS Fighters Pay Cut and Jihadi-John Pulverized by US Drone in the Sky

“Jihadi John”

The Islamic State jihadist group has announced plans to halve the monthly salaries of its members in Syria and Iraq as the economic reality of waging war on several fronts takes its toll.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists, medics, and fighters across Syria for information on Isis, published what it said was an official statement from the militant group announcing the cuts. 
“Because of the exceptional circumstances that the Islamic State is passing through, a decision was taken to cut the salaries of the mujahedeen in half,” the Arabic statement said.

“No one will be exempt from this decision no matter his position, but the distribution of food assistance will continue twice a month as usual,” it said.

Isis has declared a self-styled “caliphate” across swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, imposing its harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

According to Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman, the salary cuts meant Syrian Isis fighters would see their salaries drop to about $200 a month.

Foreign fighters, who were paid double the Syrian militants, would have their monthly income reduced to $400, Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The jihadist group strives to show that it operates a full-fledged state, with government institutions, hospitals, and schools.

The financial strain could be a result of intensified air strikes on its oil infrastructure in Syria and Iraq.

A US-led coalition is conducting an air war on the group in both countries, and Russian warplanes are also targeting the jihadists in Syria. 

The Observatory also noted that Isis has released 270 of an estimated 400 civilians, most of them women and children, who were kidnapped at the weekend when its fighters attacked Syrian government-held areas in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor.

The Observatory said, however, that the ultra-hardline group rounded up another 50 men on Tuesday during raids on houses in areas seized during four days of fighting in the provincial capital.

Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory’s head, said that the group has kept male prisoners between the ages of 14 and 55 for more questioning.

“Those who they see have ties with the regime will be punished and those who (do) not must undertake a religious course based on the group’s interpretation of Islam,” he said.

The civilians released will remain in Islamic State-run villages in the province of Deir al-Zor, which links the group’s de facto capital in Raqqa with territory controlled by the militant group in neighbouring Iraq.

The group, which controls of most of the province, has laid siege since last March to remaining government-held areas in the city of Deir al-xor.

                                                             Welcome to the Virgins?
Islamic State has acknowledged the death of the masked militant Mohammed Emwazi, who appeared in several videos depicting the beheadings of western hostages, the Site Intelligence Group reported on Tuesday.

Site, which monitors terrorist activity, reported that Isis published a “eulogizing profile” of Emwazi in Dabiq, its English-language magazine, on Tuesday.

Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British citizen, was referred to in some reports as “Jihadi John”.

“His harshness towards the kuffar [non-believers] was manifested through deeds that enraged all the nations, religions, and factions of kuffar, the entire world bearing witness to this,” the Dabiq article said, according to a translation provided by Site.
Dabiq also described him as an “honourable brother” known for his “mercy and generosity” who once gave away a concubine as a gift “to an unmarried injured brother”.

A US military spokesman, said in November that the army was “reasonably certain” that a drone strike in Syria had killed Emwazi, who spoke in beheading videos with a British accent as he wielded a knife.

Separately, another US official said three drones – two US and one British – targeted the vehicle in which Emwazi was believed to be traveling in Raqqa, the capital of Isis’s self-proclaimed caliphate in northern Syria. The official said the US drone fired a Hellfire missile that struck the vehicle.

Enwazi appeared in videos posted online by Isis starting in August 2014 that depicted the beheadings of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

In the gruesome videos, a tall masked figure clad in black and speaking in a British accent typically began with a political rant taunting the west and a kneeling hostage clad in an orange prison-style jumpsuit before him, then ended it holding a knife in his hand with the headless victim lying before him in the sand. The videos don’t make clear if he carried out the actual killings.

He also appeared as a narrator in videos of other beheadings, including the mass killing of captive Syrian government soldiers.

Emwazi was believed to be in his mid-20s when he was killed. He had been described by a former hostage as a psychopath who enjoyed threatening his western captives.

Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa, who was held by Isis in Syria for more than six months after his abduction in September 2013, said Emwazi would explain precisely how the militants would carry out a beheading.

The hostages nicknamed three British-sounding captors “the Beatles” – with “Jihadi John” a reference to John Lennon, Espinosa said.

Emwazi was born in Kuwait and spent part of his childhood in the poor Taima area of Jahra before moving to Britain as a boy, according to news reports quoting Syrian activists who knew the family. He attended state schools in London, then studied computer science at the University of Westminster before leaving for Syria in 2013.

Airstrikes by the United States and its international partners as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, targetting the Islamic State. Data tracks strikes since August of 2014.
Total Strikes
Total Strikes
Updated Daily

December 30, 2015

Twitter Confusion and Seemingly call to war by ISIS to be Answer by Mormons “Sorry watching Star Wars, etc”

 Because of inflation should there not be more?

Over the weekend, news emerged that the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had released a message to his followers. Delivered through ISIS-aligned social media accounts, the 24-minute audio address served as a rallying cry to Muslims around the world to join the cause and taunted the group's growing number of adversaries heading into 2016.

"Crusaders and Jews don't dare to come on the ground because they were defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said, according to the Telegraph. "Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets." 

The call to the faithful, however, fell on deaf ears for most Muslims — if the response of Iyad El-Baghdadi's Twitter trolls are to be believed. El-Baghdadi, a prominent human rights activist, was originally mistaken by many online as an ISIS follower or al-Baghdadi himself, after he tweeted a number of the ISIS chief's messages, like this: 

Only later did El-Baghdadi have to provide context to inform some members of the media he was not a terrorist leader.

"Perhaps the funniest/weirdest response was when ISIS supporters (I mean real ISIS supporters) were actually offended that I was mistaken for their great leader," he told Mic in an email. "I think that tweet is down coz the account must have been suspended after I brought attention to it."

The response to his tweets of the messages from ISIS was revealing. Rather than take up arms, rather than kill infidels, rather than enslave women, Muslims of Twitter said they had better things to do, like see Star Wars.

It wasn't simply about waging jihad against Kylo Ren or surrendering to Disney's slick marketing. Muslims and other happy trolls of Twitter in general responded with mockery to the Islamic State's call — proving the tweet can be mightier than the sword. 

While the Twitter confusion offered an amusing venue for ISIS troll to go to town, the actual terrorist organization is said to be at a critical crossroads even as it had widened its scope of operations to a global level. On the ground, battlefield setbacks like the loss of Ramadi in Iraq and the free Kurdish stronghold of Rojava in northeastern Syria have brought increased pressure to bear. On both sides, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, one of the many regional groups contending for power, is reportedly inching closer to the ISIS capital of Raqqa.

Airstrikes from the United States and Russia have continued to pummel the group, denting oil revenues and even reportedly wounding al-Baghdadi in October. 

The ISIS crossroads mirrors a similar crisis of confidence in the United States, where a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Monday showed 40% of Americans believed terrorists were winning in their struggle against the United States, while another 40% suggested neither side was dominant. Only 18% gave the United States the upper hand. 

The year 2016 will likely see the battle continue. With ISIS social media engagement a critical component of the group's operation, effective trolling has never been relevant. 

The Call to War: 

ISIS leader: This isn't just a new crusade, the entire world has joined forces against us. But don't worry, our state persists and expands.
ISIS leaders: We urgently call upon every Muslim to join the fight, especially those in the land of the two shrines (Saudi Arabia), rise.


@iyad_elbaghdadi Sorry but I’m watching Star Wars, maybe tomorrow...
Sorry mate, I don't want to risk dying before the next Star Wars comes out. 

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