Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > New York Times: The Islamic State Is Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base

New York Times: The Islamic State Is Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base


Or horns, perhaps? Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch …

Daniel 7:7, 24, “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, 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, and it had ten horns… The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones …”

By Eric Schmitt and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times – “The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, American intelligence officials assert, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror.

Intelligence officials estimate that the group’s fighters number 20,000 to 31,500 in Syria and Iraq. There are less formal pledges of support from ‘probably at least a couple hundred extremists’ in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen, according to an American counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information about the group.

Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in an assessment this month that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was ‘beginning to assemble a growing international footprint.’ …

The sudden proliferation of Islamic State affiliates and loyalist fighters motivated the White House’s push to give Mr. Obama and his successor new authority to pursue the group wherever its followers emerge …

The Islamic State began attracting pledges of allegiance from groups and individual fighters after it declared the formation of a caliphate, or religious state, in June 2014. Counterterrorism analysts say it is using Al Qaeda’s franchise structure to expand its geographic reach, but without Al Qaeda’s rigorous, multiyear application process. This could allow its franchises to grow faster, easier and farther…

The Islamic State’s attraction, even in the West, was proved when Amedy Coulibaly, one of the gunmen in the Paris terrorist attacks last month, declared allegiance to the group.

In Afghanistan last week, an American drone strike killed a former Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and had recently begun recruiting fighters…

Any authorization to use American military force against the Islamic State could arguably also cover interventions in Egypt and Libya, where active militant organizations have pledged allegiance to the group and have received its public acknowledgment as ‘provinces’ of the putative caliphate.

Although there is little or no public evidence that the Islamic State’s leaders in Syria and Iraq have practical control over its North African provinces, its influence is already apparent in their operations and is destabilizing the countries around them. A publication released by the central gro…up last week included a photograph of fighters in Libya with its affiliate there parading 20 Egyptian Christian captives in the Islamic State’s trademark orange jumpsuits, indicating at least a degree of communication.

In Egypt, the Sinai-based extremist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis sent emissaries to the Islamic State in Syria last year to seek financial support, weapons and tactical advice, as well as the publicity and recruiting advantages that might come with the Islamic State name, according to Western officials briefed on classified intelligence reports.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis began adopting the Islamic State’s signature medieval punishment, beheadings, even before a formal merger.” Read more.

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