The terrorist group ISIL seem to be growing stronger and bolder with time. Either heed the intelligence, or ignore it at everyone’s risk.
BBC Panorama‘s latest episode dealt with ISIL in Iraq and Syria. According to the BBC war correspondent, who traveled across the region in search of stories and images that capture the turmoil befalling the region, the situation on the ground is as serious as it is disturbing.
The documentary focused on a few key points. Here they are, in no particular order.
ISIL [ISIS] started of posing as a caring and charitable organization to gain local support. Once it established a cultural and political foothold, it morphed into a ruthless enforcement agency that stopped at nothing to promote its version of extremist sharia law.
Numerous captives were slaughtered in public by ISIL’s hand. Their bodies were left in plain sight for the locals to behold. Most locals didn’t support ISIL but were too afraid to voice their dissent. Confusingly enough, it was also reported that many Sunnis were sympathetic to the jihadi cause on account of the persecution they were facing under Iraq’s Shia- dominated administration.
The Iraqi army didn’t stand and fight when ISIL advanced, because many of the Sunnis soldiers were reluctant to fight against their Sunni brothers. As for the Shia soldiers, they weren’t interested in defending Sunni towns. Many of them deserted before confronting the jihadis. The fear of being killed or captured — which probably meant getting slaughtered and decapitated — did little for the morale of those who kept their ground.
ISIL is very active on the web. It has a Twitter page, where it posts images and videos of prisoners being manhandled, whipped and executed.
Footage retrieved from a captured ISIL member showed scores of executed people being dragged to mass graves with tractors and pickup trucks.
ISIL never leave their dead behind. One of the reasons for this is that they don’t want to give away the identity of their foreign-born members. If they cannot take a body back with them, they destroy its face by emptying an entire magazine in it.
An unrecognizable body was found wearing clothing items of British origin. Shia militias are manning the front lines to fight against ISIL. Their aim is either victory or martyrdom.
Many locals, including Sunnis, believe that ISIL represent only 10% of Iraq. Give them their rights and they will go away, they claim. Others disagree. They believe that the jihadis will not stop until they get what they want, or die.
An ISIL defector reported that when he ‘asked out,’ he was told there was ‘no getting out of this business.’
There are an estimated 2000 jihadi sleepers in Iraq. A Briton who joined ISIL to become a martyr told the BBC reporter that any hostility against them and their ‘brothers around the world’ would be met with violence, no matter the country of origin. Special mention was made to the US and the UK. During a Friday prayer in Mosul, ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has declared himself caliph of all muslims, said verbatim: ‘O Allah, honor Islam and Muslims, and humiliate those who worship others than You, and grant victory Your warriors who only worship You, through the East and the West of the earth.’ (translation by the BBC.) The war correspondent correctly likened al-Baghdadi’s statement to a call for global war and world domination. Conflict with ISIL and their self-proclaimed Islamic State is inevitable, says radicalization expert Shiraz Maher of King’s College. The dilemma is whether to engage them now or later. Both alternatives involve great risks.
Photo Evidence of Mass Shootings from ISIL’s social media
These photos from July were authenticated by the Iraqi Army’s top spokesman showed Iraqi soldiers loaded onto trucks then driven to their mass execution. ISIL posted this and other photos on social media accounts.
The men with tied arms were lined up over a shallow ditch and executed (Image source: jihadi social media postings)
Image source: ISIL social media postings.
This image posted on a militant website on Saturday, June 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. (AP Photo via militant website).
It’s a disturbing tale that rekindles nightmares long forgotten. The religious clashes between the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox people of Europe that plagued the continent for centuries have found a fresh conduit in the sectarianism between Shiites and Sunnis in the Middle East, which is threatening to export itself across the globe. The world is getting gradually sucked into another age-old conflict with a vengeance, facing a religious fascism so organized and well-funded, so utterly unhinged, one cannot look the other way without risking total degeneration. Pandora’s box has been jacked wide open and the spirits of rancour are blowing strong. Appeasement and peace are no longer an option.
Razed To The Ground
Facing a religious fascism so organized and well-funded, so utterly unhinged, one cannot look the other way without risking total degeneration
ISIL seem to know their military history. They understand all too well that the only lasting way to remove a civilization from their midst is to raze it to the ground, leaving behind no trace of it. Rumors of Shia and Christian holy sites being destroyed to serve the purpose have been backed up by video footage.
Here is the destruction of the tomb of the biblical saint Jonah.
Here is news coverage of the destruction of various Shia mosques and shrines.
It all sounds too scary to be true, and you may think I’m engaging in good old scaremongering. Maybe so, but before you make up your mind, let me refer you to my previous article on ISIL, where I laid out in plain terms why its actions affect people all over the globe.
ISIL A Little Silhouette (Scary-douche, Scary-douche)
Before you go, take a look at this Almonitor article. It reports how the black flag of the caliphate was raised in the town of Tell Abyad, Syria, near the Turkish border.
Who cares, you say? It’s too far away, too close to the hostilities? True, so here’s a picture of the ISIL black flag in the family-oriented tourist resort of Bodrum, Turkey, far away from the war zone.
It looks photoshopped to you? Then click here for a video by CNN Turk to corroborate its finding.
Moving further out, here’s a picture from Theva, Greece, where a black flag was raised near a power station.
Creepy enough for you? Maybe not, because this image could have been photoshopped. The previous video doesn’t make this or any other picture any more authentic.
Be Careful What You Place Your Faith In
I have a confession to make. The video above isn’t what I made it out to be, as the Turkish speakers among you already know. Here’s an article that explains how the black flag in the video above merely resembles the ISIL flag. It was crafted by your average Yusuf, who wrote something on it about where he lays his head to sleep (Metallica fan?). The issue was eventually resolved without incident and your average Yusuf went back to his home on the sea, where he probably made tea, not bombs.
Why did I lead you astray? I wanted to make the point that one shouldn’t believe whatever one reads, or sees, or thinks one has heard. With all the fear and suspicion going around, it pays to be discerning. Speak boldly and carry a big pouch of salt, is what it’s all about.
Even so, just because there’s loads of crap out there, that doesn’t mean everything out
there is crap. Each case should be judged on its own merit, according to the evidence.
Should there be a lack of evidence, all prospects should be kept open until one of them becomes more plausible than its alternatives.
Hence the black flags ostensibly seen in Tell Abya and Theva are not necessarily a cock-and-bull story. There may be merit in the reports after all.
Before you go, please consider the following. Remember the point I made earlier about an unrecognizable body having been found among the ISIL dead, wearing clothing items of British origin? Let me elaborate. The clothing items Panorama was referring to weren’t a Lillywhites shirt and a Nike scarf that some Jihadi tourist bought in London. It was a pair of gloves featuring the insignia of Gold’s Gym in Surrey.
Creepy enough for you now?
From your devious, populist, common-sensical Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.