A new report from the West Point counterterrorism center says the Obama administration ignored warning signs as ISIS grew and trained over a four-year period following the US withdrawal from Iraq.
As President Obama dithers about whether to strike the Islamic State’s sanctuary in Syria, a report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point shows how we got to this point. Obama simply overlooked the “JV” team until it was ready for terrorism’s Pro Bowl.
Instead, he was focused on getting us out of Iraq and creating a power vacuum that the terrorist group was all too willing to fill.
“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014,” the report states. “It has been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years.”
The Islamic State’s rapid expansion into Iraq was “the result of years of patient preparatory operations,” wrote the report’s author, Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
United States intelligence officials tried to claim they were blindsided back in June when fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seized two major Iraqi cities and sent Iraqi defense forces fleeing. “With U.S. troops long gone from the country,” the story goes, “Washington didn’t have the spies on the ground or the surveillance gear in the skies necessary to predict when and where the jihadist group would strike.”
What a load of malarkey.
As the West Point report notes, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “re-booted” the group in 2010 into a “highly motivated cadre of quality light infantry forces,” beginning a nationwide campaign of car bombings in Iraq in 2013.” Their attacks were reported on and evident to anyone with an internet connection.
In August 2013, the Iraqi government even reached out to the Obama administration for help.
Bloomberg News reported that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari arrived in Washington seeking “U.S. advisers, air surveillance, or even drone strikes” to deal with the growing ISIS threat.
Zebari returned home empty-handed, ignored by an Obama administration more intent on keeping a campaign promise to withdraw from Iraq than in dealing with the new terror threat. Zebari’s requests were apparently lost between all those fundraisers and rounds of golf.
Earlier this year, Iraq continued pleading for help. As we noted, according to a June 11 piece in the New York Times, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met on May 11 with American diplomats and Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of Central Command, asking the U.S. for the ability to strike IS using drones.
If that wasn’t doable, al-Maliki said that he would approve U.S. drone strikes or airstrikes. That plea also fell on deaf ears.
The question is – why? Obama knew there was an uber-terrorist group rampaging through Syria, with its sites set on the fledgling democracy of Iraq – where so many American troops had made the ultimate sacrifice to secure. Was it not in America’s interest to stop the growing menace before it got to Iraq?
Its “blitzkrieg” into Iraq was due less to the failure of Iraqi forces than to IS’ methodical training, preparation and planning — sort of like the Wehrmacht’s advance into France in 1940.
Their blitzkrieg was also due to the Obama administration’s funneling of advanced weaponry to ISIS infested rebel fighters in Syria – ostensibly to help them topple the Assad regime. The Obama administration began funneling the weapons from Libya after Qaddafi was overthrown, murdered, and dragged through the streets by Islamists in 2011.
(Has anyone but me noticed that all of the Middle East revolutions that have been facilitated by the Obama Regime – Libya, Egypt, Syria - have benefited Islamist Jihadi head-cutters? Yet Obama wanted nothing to do with the pro-Democracy Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. He fought the overthrow of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Morsi Regime in Egypt in 2013.)
Seymour Hersh reported on the Obama Regime’s role in creating a weapons funneling “rat line” to Jihadists in Syria:
The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)
In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)
The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.
The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’
Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels.
Remember the picture of the ISIS commander holding an RPG inside a USAID tent in Syria that made the rounds, last year?
Here’s what I wrote at the time:
I know I’ve been saying for weeks that the United States has been siding with the terrorists, but I didn’t mean it literally. I meant that our policy of arming the Syrian rebels was indirectly aiding the Jihadists, because they have been fighting alongside the so-called “moderate” rebels and it would seem to me that the weapons would inevitably be shared.
I didn’t think I meant that the United States would directly and purposefully give aid and comfort to al Qaeda. (ISIS)
The image above reportedly came from the front line of the Syrian war, seeming to confirm our worst fears that these demonic brutes were being assisted by the United States. Most Americans hadn’t heard of ISIS, yet. A year ago, most of us thought al Qaeda were still the baddest kids on the block.
This appears to prove all the concerns among U.S. lawmakers and analysts that aid to the Syrian rebels could end up in the hands of Al Qaeda.
The photograph allegedly shows Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) linked Commander Muhajireen Kavkaz wa Sham, along with other rebels donning battle-gear and an RPG, inside a USAID tent.
A year ago, I followed the growing terrorist menace rampaging through Syria slaughtering Christians and other minorities by the thousands. I was horrified at the thought that our government was arming them and preparing to go to war against the Syrian government over trumped up charges that they crossed Obama’s “red line.” It wasn’t the Syrian government that used Sarin in a gas attack last year. It was the terrorist rebels aided by Turkey. Obama backed away from his war plans only after the “intelligence” that blamed Syria for the gas attack, completely unraveled.
Meanwhile, Christian minorities who were being slaughtered by the Obama administration’s terrorist allies, were forgotten and forsaken – insignificant collateral damage.
The statues of the Virgin Mary and Christ were shrouded in smoke and dust, as every few minutes a tank shell crashed into the mountainside. Christ’s message of forgiveness had been forgotten here, the Bible’s teaching that the peacemakers are blessed seemed to echo from another world.
Syria’s soldiers were angry and frustrated. Many didn’t want us to show their faces or film their failure to recapture one of the jewels of Syria’s multi-faith mosaic. Others kissed crucifixes they wore and cursed the Nusra Islamists who, as more than one assured me “were helped and trained by Britain and America”.
The rebels claim they took Maaloula to punish the Christians there for supporting the Assad government, a support that is real but tepid. For most Christians in Syria the fear of what Islamists might do if they win this war outweighs any dislike they have for Assad’s system.
On Saturday, in a Damascus church heavy with gold and grief, they mourned the Christians killed in the battle. The framed photographs of the dead sat next to the holy icons of the Greek Orthodox faith, some men in the pews bandaged from injuries they’d received. “We blame Obama”, one woman in black yelled at me, “he should have the Nobel peace prize taken away from him – he is helping the rebels who killed our Christian brothers”.
This video was put out by Christian Refugees in July of 2013.
Blogger David Wood created a bedtime story called Barack Obama’s Escape from Planet Reality to help expose the Obama administration’s lie that Islamic terror is a perversion of “the religion of peace.”
Wood brilliantly uses clips of Obama’s speech in which he denies the very things taught in the Koran. Yes, the same Koran, Obama, with perfect Arabic accent, calls the “holy Koran.”
Twitchy: Whoa! Enraging: Fox News reports Obama briefed on ISIS for A YEAR. Still no strategy?
Do we have a STRATEGY yet? BBC News – Steven Sotloff: Islamic State ‘kills US hostage’
What Obama’s allies have planned for the West: End Times Are Near: ISIS Plans To Kill Millions In Europe And U.S. Through Bubonic Plague And Other Diseases:
“Authorities in both Europe and the United States are to be extra vigilant as members of the ISIS terror group could already be in their respective countries, preparing to unleash terrifying atrocities in the next two months at least.” So says King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
But his statements are not simply words. A computer laptop seized in northern Syria by pro-Western rebels from a Tunisian jihadi revealed plans to develop and use biological weapons and authorities nonetheless have raised its terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe” to warn citizens that a terrorist attack is “highly likely.”
The computer laptop that was seized in a raid in January in the Syrian province of Idlib, near the Turkish border, reported seeing thousands of files of schemes, bomb-making instructions and research on building a homebrew biological weapon of mass destruction.
Foreign Policy described the contents as “a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organisations — and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State’s deadly campaigns.”
One such document was done in 19 pages in Arabic language where the topic was how to develop biological weapons and how to use as a weapon the bubonic plague from infected animals.
The document owner was identified as Muhammed S., a Tunisian national who was a former chemistry and biology student at a Tunisian University.
AoSHQ: Jen Psaki Psplutters and Pstutters For Three Minutes Trying to Explain Why Obama Won’t Say That We Are at War with IS (Or Even That IS Is At War With Us)
Obama’s psokesmen exist, of course, in that Orwellian sort of fashion, in order to obscure information rather than reveal it.
Previously (in order of newest to oldest):
Did the Obama White House Pressure General Dempsey To Walk Back ISIS Comments? (Video)
President Vineyard’s Big Day – Fundraising, ‘Somber ISIS Statement’, And Golf
Video: Syrian Kurdish Fighters Rescue Stranded Yazidis While US Backs Away
Analysis of Rocket Used in Syria Chemical Attack Shows “Administration Narrative Not Even Close To Reality”
Seymour Hersh: Obama Didn’t Tell The Whole Story on Syrian Chemical Attack – Knew Rebels Had Access To Sarin Gas
“Scandalous”: Israel Fuming About WH Leak Confirming Their Strike on Syria
Why Was An Al Qaeda Commander Photographed Inside a USAID Tent? (Video)
More Tales Of Woe From The Christians Of Maaloula Syria
Obama Waives Federal Law That Prevents Arming of Terrorists So He Can Arm The Syrian Rebels
Grief Stricken Christian Woman in Syria Lashes Out: ‘We Blame Obama!…He Is Helping The Rebels’…
Maaloula: The battle for Syria’s ancient Christian Village continues (Video)
Syrian Rebels Infested With ‘Muslim Brotherhood-Type Islamists and Al Qaeda Fighters
Video: Tearful Christian Woman Terrorized Out Of Her Syrian Village Begs Obama To Stop Arming The Rebel Jihadists
Iranians Warned U.S. That Syrian Rebels Had Chemical Weapons Over a Year Ago…
Hostage Released From Syrian Prison Says he Overheard Rebel Captors Admitting Insurgents Used The Chemical Weapons (Video)
Justin Amash: Obama “Embellished” Syria Information – Says Briefings Have Made Him “More Skeptical” (Video)
Video: Senator McCain Gets An Earful From Passionate Syrian Woman At Town Hall
Obama’s Smoking Gun Proof That Assad Was Behind Chemical Weapons Attack Was Doctored?
Putin Throws Down: How About Showing Us Some Convincing Proof Syrian Regime Used Chemical Weapons?
Post Holiday Weekend Link-Around: Will Congress Authorize ‘Operation Don’t Make Obama Look Bad’?