This is how ISIL developed.

And here’s a portal to the mentality that appears to have manipulated ISIL (while maintaining decent relationships with Hamas, Hezbollah, and PFLP):

And here’s a little bit of history on the relationship between the Soviet Union and the application of political terrorism as a normal part of its politics:

Of course, every “Allahu Akbar” attack promotes a strong patriotic and nationalist response, but if the same were normal or normative throughout Islam, the Kingdom, for starters, wouldn’t have to defend itself from such “challengers”, and Muslims, in general, would not be the first to be assaulted in the path of “jihad”.  They would all be on the same page, right?

Islam, in both cultural and religious facets, has issues, no doubt, and it has its internal struggles to allay the same, but what the 1920s — Stalinism first (1920s), then the Muslim Brotherhood (1928), then Nazism (1930s as a nascent movement)) has just about planted in our 2020s needs to be recognized.

Islam is in the chaos, for sure, but it’s Moscow stirring it.

New thought? New data?

Have a look. Take it apart.

I hope we do not come to mirror the values of our fascist enemies.

Medieval Political Absolutism


Modern and Checked Distribution of Power


This blog — and blogger — has been through this region in thought a few times, but a post like this one has to do with compression and distillation: how is one to wrap a lot of story into a brief post online that works both as a doorway and window into a world where the dots connect and the data may be fact checked, reviewed, worked, and still found standing?

Metonyms “Putin”, “Moscow”, “Russian State” may be considered as separate from Russia and the Russian People, who now have a troubled economy and have been once again subjugated by a powerful authoritarian state and kept dark and disinformed by state-controlled media.

The conversation to which the top portion of this post responds was pitched against Islam in its totality and the kind of barbarism and tribalism that have made the names of so many despotic states and terrorist organizations.   I took exception to that approach because it’s the one that sustains issues central to conflict with and within Islam, for in the black and white and magical thinking — and fear — associated with the medieval mode, no one wins the war that becomes the war of all against all.

To get ahead of that kind of behavior demands having another look at how it developed both across long time and more recently in the worst of the “realpolitik” of the last century.

Update – December 5, 2016 – Related Reference

“The regime did not just open the door to the prisons and let these extremists out, it facilitated them in their work, in their creation of armed brigades,” said the former member of Syria’s Military Intelligence Directorate, one of more than a dozen of Syria’s secretive intelligence agencies.

The former officer said most of the releases happened over a period of four months up until October 2011 and that the project was overseen by the General Security Directorate, another of Syria’s widely feared security organisations and one of the most important.

Sands, Phil, Justin Vela, and Suha Maayeh.  “Assad regime set free extremists from prison to fire up trouble during peaceful uprising.”  The National, January 22, 2014.

“State media tells Russians that their military is only killing Islamic State fighters in Syria,” he says.

“Do you believe this is true?”

He grimaces and gestures for me to switch off my recorder.

It’s an understandable reaction. Rafiq’s not only afraid of Syrian intelligence officers; he’s also worried about Russian authorities who are increasingly intolerant of dissent. “If Russia really was just destroying Islamic State, that would be great,” he says. “But this is not the case, unfortunately. It is also killing many civilians and moderate rebels. My people are suffering every day from Russian bombs.”

Bennetts, Marc.  “Putin’s War in Syria: Why Russians Don’t Seem to Care About It.”  Newsweek, October 10, 2016.

Alghorani is convinced that members of ISIS were released strategically by Assad. “From the first days of the revolution (in March 2011), Assad denounced the organisation as being the work of radical Salafists, so he released the Salafists he had created in his prisons to justify the claim … If you do not have an enemy, you create an enemy.”

Cordall, Simon Speakman.  “How Syria’s Assad Helped Forge ISIS.”  Newsweek, June 21, 2014.

This three-part series documents the Syrian dictator’s sinister contributions to this tale of terrorism and horror. First, he tried to ingratiate himself with Western leaders by portraying the national uprising against him as a terrorist-led revolt. When that failed, he released jailed Islamic extremists who’d fought against U.S. troops in Iraq, then staged phony attacks on government facilities, which he blamed on terrorists. Far from fighting ISIS, Assad looked the other way when it set up a state-within-a-state with its capital in Raqqa, and left it to the U.S. and others to counter the Islamic extremists.

Gutman, Roy.  “Assad Henchman: Here’s How We Built ISIS.”  The Daily Beast, December 1, 2016.  Part II: “How Assad Staged al Qaeda Bombings.”  The Daily Beast, December 2, 2016.   Part III: “How ISIS Returned to Syria”, The Daily Beast, December 5, 2016.

Hebbo, Mahmoud.  “U.S. Accuses Assad of Aiding ISIS Through Airstrikes.”  Newsweek, June 2, 2015.

As AQI metastasized across Iraq and eventually became ISIS, Iran sought to position itself at the vanguard of the global effort against the terrorist group, claiming that it was dedicated to beating back its advances. However, Iran and its clients, particularly Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have notably failed to dislodge ISIS from any significant territory. Former U.S. military intelligence officer Michael Pregent observed in May that Iran and its allied militias in Iraq did not extend themselves to fight the terror group, and concluded that “Iran needs the threat of ISIS and Sunni jihadist groups to stay in Syria and Iraq in order to become further entrenched in Damascus and Baghdad.” A month later, U.S. officials similarly charged Syria with bombing non-Islamist rebels “in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo,” which helped the terror group push back Syrian opposition factions that were fighting Assad’s regime.

Monday’s Ynet report on Iran’s ongoing financial support of Hamas, which the Gaza-based terrorist group partially uses to fund ISIS’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, shed more light on Iran’s strategy of using its proxies to bolster ISIS.

The Tower.  “Analysis: The Different Stages of Iranian Support for ISIS.”  December 16, 2015.

Decker, Benjamin T.  “Iran is More Deeply Tied to ISIS Than You Think.”  The Tower, December 2015.

Moore, Jack.  “ISIS’s Multimillion-Dollar Deals with Assad Regime Uncovered in U.S. Special Forces Raid.”  Newsweek, April 26, 2016.