As the Barack Obama administration seeks reliable allies to confront the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL)– the official U.S. Department of Defense nomenclature for the newest radical Islamist bogeyman that has eclipsed “Al Qaeda” as global “public enemy number one” – the United States is on the precipice of falling into another Middle Eastern quagmire.
The deeper one digs into the operations surrounding the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), or, as it is variably called, “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” (ISIS), “Al Dawlah” (the State), or “Da’ish” (a concatenation of “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham,” the more the Islamist insurgent group’s links to Western and Israeli intelligence are revealed. ISIL is an outgrowth of the Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers or Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. As with the current leader of ISIL, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, questions surrounded the background of Zarqawi.
As described in a PowerPoint slide created by the Multinational Force – Iraq (MNFI), Zarqawi was largely a menacing character created by the Pentagon’s psychological operations, media operations, and special operations to leverage a xenophobic response from Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups, including Shi’as, moderate Sunnis, Sufis, and Kurds.
In a 2004 slide titled “Result,” the MNFI bragged that its creation of the Zarqawi threat had the following desired results:
“Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now represents:
a. Terrorism in Iraq
b. Foreign Fighters in Iraq
c. Suffering of Iraqi People (Infrastructure Attacks)
d. Denial of Iraqi Aspirations (Disrupting Transfer of Sovereignty”
The slide concludes with a description of the effect of promoting Zarqawi as the top threatening terrorist in Iraq, which was to:
“Eliminate popular support for a potentially sympathetic insurgency. Deny ability of insurgency to ‘take root’ among the people.”
According to The Washington Post, General Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. Central Command’s chief public affairs officer in Iraq stated in a 2004 internal CENTCOM briefing that “The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.”
After the Iraq debacle, many of Zarqawi’s U.S. intelligence-controlled terrorist “assets” moved to Syria, where they now threaten the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Some of these elements stormed across Syria’s border to threaten the Shi’a-dominated government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil. The newest bogeyman is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a former lieutenant under Zarqawi, who has proclaimed himself “emir” of a new caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Zarqawi’s real name was Ahmed Fadeel Nazal al-Khalayleh. He was born in the Jordanian town of Zarqa. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was an alias as much as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an alias today for the leader of ISIL. Al Baghdadi, a native of Samarra, Iraq, is actually Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai. Before he joined the mujaheddin war against the Soviets, Zarqawi was known as a drunk and drug abuser, hardly material for the fundamentalist Islamists bankrolled by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.
Like Baghdadi, Zarqawi proclaimed himself the “Emir of Al Qaeda in the Country of the Two Rivers,” which means Iraq. Some U.S. intelligence sources claimed that Zarqawi was a “myth” invented by the neocons to justify continued U.S. military operations in Iraq. Iraqi Sunni and Shi’a leaders rarely agree, however, a Sunni insurgent leader told The Daily Telegraph that he believed that Zarqawi was an American or Israeli agent and Iraqi Shi’a leader Muqtada al Sadr claimed that Zarqawi was a fake radical Islamist takfir who was in the employment of the United States.
While Zarqawi was hyped as one of America’s most dangerous enemies, the man who eventually succeeded him as the head of ISIL in Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, became one of America’s trusted allies. Al-Baghdadi, along with the leaders of the Al Nusra Front, initially placed their forces under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army. However, there is every indication that al-Baghdadi is as much a creation of the CIA as was Zarqawi.
Nabil Na’eem, a former top Al Qaeda commander and founder of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party in Lebanon told Beirut’s Al-Maydeen television network that ISIL is a creation of the CIA and Mossad. Na’eem also stated that the intent of ISIL is to implement Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 1996 “Clean Break” policy, also known as the A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm and crafted by America’s leading Zionist neocons. The Clean Break laid the groundwork for the U.S. Syrian Accountability Act of 2003, the blueprint for American intervention in Syria to overthrow Assad.
Al-Baghdadi is reported to have undergone Mossad military and Islamist theology training in Israel for a year. Na’eem also said that the commander of the Al-Nusra Front, Mohammed al-Jawlani, who swore allegiance to ISIL, is a CIA operative.
A videotaped speech by Al Baghdadi at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, in which he claimed to be the caliph of all Muslims, was deemed a fake by an Iraqi government official.
The Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) and its component Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), backed by key American neo-conservatives like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as well as neocon non-profits like the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, maintain close links with ISIL and al-Nusra. SRF commander Jamal Maaroud, a nom-de-guerre, has publicly stated that the SRF will fight ISIL but not “Al Qaeda: although there is little evidence on the ground in Syria and Iraq that suggests there is a difference between the two groups.
The FSA and ISIL reportedly joined ranks in the invasion of Lebanon during the Battle of Arsal in August. ISIL and the FSA took several hostages after they attacked Lebanese army units and the local police. FSA commanders also stated that they and ISIL and al-Nusra terrorists had joined ranks in attacking Lebanese units in Arsal and the border Qalamoun region.
There is every indication that ISIL has significant links to Israel. Although there are claims to the contrary, ISIL absorbed most of the ranks of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) Islamist insurgent group in Syria. Al Nusra Front has coordinated its seizure of Syrian army positions along the Golan Heights border with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Rather than hit back at Al Nusra positions on the Syrian side of the Golan frontier, the Israelis attacked Syrian army positions, giving a boost to the Syrian campaigns of Al Nusra in particular and ISIL in general. There are reports that the Israeli military has been given the coordinates of Syrian army and Hezbollah forces, as well as “Committees for the Defense of the Homeland” militia forces of Alawites, Shi’as, Christians, and Druze, by Al-Nusra/ISIL to launch missile and drone attacks from the Israeli side of the border.
Israelis so sanguine about ISIL, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz has reported that Israeli authorities routinely permit Israeli tourists, armed only with cameras and binoculars, visit the Golan Heights and peer out over the valley of Quneitra to witness Al-Nusra/ISIL jihadists fighting the Syrian army. Israel has even supplied large telescopic viewers for Israelis to peer down on the fighting in the valley. Israelis, some who bring their lunch, coffee, and lawn chairs, spend the entire day watching Arabs killing other Arabs.
In Germany, a German Muslim volunteer for ISIL, Kreshnik Berisha, is on trial for being a member of ISIL. Berisha, before joining ISIL , played soccer for TuS Makkabi Frankfurt, Germany’s largest Jewish soccer team.
The Israeli complacency about the jihadists suggests a deal having been worked out between the Israeli government and the Syrian jihadists not to bring the conflict across the Golan frontier into Israel. Or, the Syrian jihadists are under some type of operational control by Mossad and the IDF and are under strict orders to not attack Israeli targets.
Israelmasks its cross-border infiltration and exfiltration of Al Nusra/ISIL guerrillas into and out of Syria by claiming it is rendering medical assistance to wounded Syrian rebels. Some of these activities were witnessed by Philippines and Fiji UN peacekeepers who were ultimately attacked by Al Nusra/ISIL. The terrorists took 45 Fijian peacekeepers as hostages and were not released until Qatar paid a hefty ransom, thus enriching ISIL’s already-sizable coffers of cash. Another Syrian “moderate” group said to receive assistance from both Saudi Arabia and Israel is the “Southern Front” grouping led by someone named Bashar al-Zoubi.
In the internecine battles in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and probably soon in Jordan and the Sinai peninsula of Egypt, shifting loyalties, deep-pocketed Gulf Arabs, and an increasingly close relationship between Israel’s right-wing Zionists and the House of Saud, provide all the ingredients for a quagmire. Thanks to the neocons plunging the United States into another absolute mess, America has not seen the last steady influx of body bags to its Dover Air Force Base, Delaware mortuary command.
Wayne MADSEN | SCF