U.S. intelligence paints gloomy picture of the deteriorating situation in Iraq
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/25/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The ultimate goal of the Islamic terrorist organization the Islamist State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) is to set up an Islamic state to provide a launch point for terrorist attacks against the United States, says a new congressional report.
Considered too extreme for al-Qaeda, the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant has made incredibly gains in Iraq since the early 2014 capture of Fallujah.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kicked out of al-Qaeda for being too extreme, the terrorist organization has conquered vast swathes of land in Syria and Iraq. The group is less than 40 miles from Iraq's capital Baghdad and continues to fight the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army in that country's bloody multi-party civil war.
Four analysts from the Congressional Research Service made this assessment after examining intelligence gathered about the organization and the words of the group's leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
The report made the point that ISIL is a very well organized and extremely well-funded organization which has clear and concrete goals, which include conquering territory, killing unbelievers and attacking the U.S. and other western nations.
"Several leading representatives of the U.S. intelligence community have stated that [ISIL] maintains traning camps in Iraq and Syria, has the intent to attack the United States and is reportedly recruiting and training individuals to do so," says the report which was published on June 20.
The report quotes al-Baghdadi as he threatened the U.S.: "Know, O defender of the Cross, that a proxy war will not help you in the Levant, just as it will not help you in Iraq. Soon, you will be in direct conflict-God permitting-against your will."
The report notes that one of the things which make ISIL so dangerous is the financial backing it receives from wealthy Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. These oil-rich, Sunni dominated states consider the Shiite-led regimes a threat, including Iraq, Iran, and the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The organization has also managed to steal millions of dollars, including hundreds of millions in the robbery of a bank in Mosul, Iraq, which made ISIL the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world. ISIL also coerces money from businesses in the cities it conquers, including most of the Sunni-dominated cities in northern Iraq like Fallujah and Ramadi.
Currently ISIL seems unstoppable in Iraq. The Shiite-dominated government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki has been powerless to stop the advance. Iraqi army units have constantly fled in the face of numerically inferior ISIL fighters, and have remained on the defensive since the fighting began in early 2014.
"[ISIL's] attempts to assert control over the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in Iraq's Al Anbar province, and its June 2014 offensive in northern Iraq underscored the group's lethality and ability to conduct combat operations and manage partnerships with local groups in multiple areas over large geographic distances," the report stated.
Retired U.S. army officer and military analysts Robert Maginnis made an even darker analysis of the situation.
"It already has many hundreds of jihadists with Western nation passports," he said. "Those battle-proven jihadists will eventually return to their Western homelands to carry on the jihad using the violent ways learned in Syria and Iraq. And now that [ISIL] controls a giant swath of the Middle East, the Western jihadists have a training platform, financing and a cheer-leading state sponsor."
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