Worrisome: Islamist Fighters Are Abandoning Al-Qaeda Affiliates To Join ISIS Caliphate
This Beast is hungry …
Daniel 7:7, “… a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it …”
By Greg Miller, The Washington Post – “U.S. spy agencies have begun to see groups of fighters abandoning al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Africa to join the rival Islamist organization that has seized territory in Iraq and Syria and been targeted in American airstrikes, U.S. officials said.
The movements are seen by U.S. counterterrorism analysts as a worrisome indication of the expanding appeal of a group known as the Islamic State that has overwhelmed military forces in the region and may now see itself in direct conflict with the United States.
‘Small groups from a number of al-Qaeda affiliates have defected to ISIS,’ as the group is also known, said a U.S. official with access to classified intelligence assessments. ‘And this problem will probably become more acute as ISIS continues to rack up victories.’
The influx has strengthened an organization already regarded as a menacing force in the Middle East, one that has toppled a series of Iraqi cities by launching assaults so quickly and in so many directions that security forces caught in the group’s path have so far been unable to respond with anything but retreat.
U.S. officials attribute the Islamic State’s rapid emergence to factors both psychological and tactical. Its core group of fighters honed their skills against the armies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the United States when it occupied Iraq. The group has used raids and ransoms to stockpile weapons and cash. And its merciless reputation triggered rampant defections among Sunni members of Iraq’s security forces already disenchanted with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
Even before its assault on Kurdish territories in northern Iraq this month, analysts said the Islamic State had shown an almost impulsive character in its pursuit of territory and recruits, with little patience for the elaborate and often time-consuming terror plots favored by al-Qaeda.
Counterterrorism analysts at the CIA and other agencies have so far seen no indication that an entire al-Qaeda node or any of its senior leaders are prepared to switch sides. But officials said they have begun watching for signs of such a development.” Read more.
Flashback: ‘Islamic State’ Cleric To Muslims: Pledge Allegiance To The Caliphate Leader, ‘The Prince Of The Faithful’ – “Your leader [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] is a descendent of Hussein and the tribe of the prophet. We ought to love the family of the prophet. You have to support him by paying your money, sacrificing your life, and anything you can do. In the name of God the merciful we swear allegiance… To the Prince of the Faithful… And the Caliph of the Muslims… Abu Bakr al-Qurashi [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi].” Read more.
Flashback: ISIS Caliphate Leader To Muslim World: ‘Obey Me’ – “The leader of ISIS, al-Bagdhadi, has given a message to the entire Muslim world: ‘obey me…’ The entire message goes as follows: ‘The mujahedeen have been rewarded victory by God after years of jihad and they were able to achieve their aim and hurried to announce the caliphate and choose the Imam… It is a burden to accept this responsibility to be in charge of you…I am not better than you or more virtuous than you. If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt time. And obey me as far as I obey God.’ What happens to those who do not obey? Here is a photo of one of Baghdadi’s recent victims …” Read more.