The Islamic State (ISIS), the Pentagon’s “Caliphate Project” and the “Global War on Terrorism”

Global Research, December 24, 2017

This article was first published by Global Research in July 2014

The Al Qaeda legend and the threat of the “Outside Enemy” is sustained through extensive media and government propaganda.

In the post 9/11 era, the terrorist threat from Al Qaeda constitutes the building block of US-NATO military doctrine. It justifies –under a humanitarian mandate– the conduct of “counter-terrorism operations” Worldwide.

Known and documented, Al Qaeda affiliated entities have been used by US-NATO in numerous conflicts as “intelligence assets” since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. In Syria, the Al Nusrah and ISIS rebels are the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance, which in turn oversees and controls the recruitment and training of paramilitary forces.

While the US State Department is accusing several countries of “harboring terrorists”, America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism”: The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) –which operates in both Syria and Iraq– is covertly supported and financed by the US and its allies including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Moreover, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Sunni caliphate project coincides with a longstanding US agenda to carve up both Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan, among others.

The US-led Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) constitutes the cornerstone of US military doctrine. “Going after Islamic terrorists” is part and parcel of non-conventional warfare. The underlying objective is to justify the conduct of counter-terrorism operations Worldwide, which enables the US and its allies to intervene in the affairs of sovereign countries.

Many progressive writers, including alternative media, while focusing on recent developments in Iraq, fail to understand the logic behind the “Global War on Terrorism.” The Islamic State of Iraq and Al Cham (ISIS) is often considered as an “independent entity” rather than an instrument of the Western military alliance. Moreover, many committed anti-war activists –who oppose the tenets of  the US-NATO military agenda– will nonetheless endorse Washington’s counter-terrorism agenda directed against Al Qaeda:. The Worldwide terrorist threat is  considered to be “real”: “We are against the war, but we support the Global War on Terrorism”.

The Caliphate Project and The US National Intelligence Council Report

A new gush of propaganda has been set in motion. The leader of the now defunct Islamic State of Iraq and Al Cham (ISIS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced on June 29, 2014 the creation of an Islamic State:

Fighters loyal to the group’s proclaimed “Caliph Ibrahim ibn Awwad”, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as he was known until Sunday’s July 1st announcement, are inspired by the Rashidun caliphate, which succeeded the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, and is revered by most Muslims.” (Daily Telegraph, June 30, 2014)

In a bitter irony, the caliphate project as an instrument of propaganda has been on the drawing board of US intelligence for more than ten years.  In December 2004, under the Bush Administration, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) predicted that in the year 2020 a New Caliphate extending from the Western Mediterranean to Central Asia and South East Asia would emerge, threatening Western democracy and Western values.

The “findings” of the National Intelligence Council were published in a 123 page unclassified report entitled “Mapping the Global Future”.

“A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system”  (emphasis added)

The NIC 2004 report borders on ridicule; it is devoid of intelligence, let alone historical and geopolitical analysis. Its fake narrative pertaining to the caliphate, nonetheless, bears a canny resemblance to the June 29, 2014 highly publicized PR announcement of the creation of the Caliphate by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The NIC report presents a so-called “fictional scenario of a letter from a fictional grandson of Bin Ladin to a family relative in 2020.”  It is on this basis that it makes predictions for the year 2020. Based on an invented bin Laden grandson letter narrative rather than on intelligence and empirical analysis, the US intelligence community concludes that the caliphate constitutes a real danger for the Western World and Western civilization.

From a propaganda standpoint, the objective underlying the Caliphate project –as described by the NIC– is to demonize Muslims with a view to justifying a military crusade:

“The fictional scenario portrayed below provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity could emerge.

Under this scenario, a new Caliphate is proclaimed and manages to advance a powerful counter ideology that has widespread appeal.

It is depicted in the form of a hypothetical letter from a fictional grandson of Bin Ladin to a family relative in 2020.

He recounts the struggles of the Caliph in trying to wrest control from traditional regimes and the conflict and confusion which ensue both within the Muslim world and outside between Muslims and the United States, Europe, Russia and China. While the Caliph’s success in mobilizing support varies, places far outside the Muslim core in the Middle East—in Africa and Asia—are convulsed as a result of his appeals.

The scenario ends before the Caliph is able to establish both spiritual and temporal authority over a territory— which historically has been the case for previous Caliphates. At the end of the scenario, we identify lessons to be drawn.”(“Mapping the Global Future”.  p. 83)

page 90 of the report

This “authoritative” NIC “Mapping the Global Future” report was not only presented to the White House, the Congress and the Pentagon, it was also dispatched to America’s allies. The “threat emanating from the Muslim World” referred to in the NIC report (including the section on the caliphate project) is firmly entrenched in US-NATO military doctrine.

The NIC document was intended to be read by top officials. Broadly speaking it was part of the “Top official” (TOPOFF) propaganda campaign which targets senior foreign policy and military decision-makers, not to mention scholars, researchers and NGO “activists”. The objective is to ensure that “top officials” continue to believe that Islamic terrorists are threatening the security of the Western World.

The underpinnings of the caliphate scenario is the “Clash of Civilizations”, which provides a justification in the eyes of public opinion for America to intervene Worldwide as part of a global counter- terrorism agenda.

From a geopolitical and geographic standpoint, the caliphate constitutes a broad area in which the US is seeking to extend its economic and strategic influence. In the words of Dick Cheney pertaining to the 2004 NIC’s report:

“They talk about wanting to re-establish what you could refer to as the Seventh Century Caliphate. This was the world as it was organized 1,200, 1,300 years, in effect, when Islam or Islamic people controlled everything from Portugal and Spain in the West;all through the Mediterranean to North Africa; all of North Africa; the Middle East; up into the Balkans; the Central Asian republics; the southern tip of Russia; a good swath of India; and on around to modern day Indonesia. In one sense from Bali and Jakarta on one end, to Madrid on the other.” Dick Cheney (emphasis added)

What Cheney is describing in today’s context is a broad region extending from the Mediterranean to Central Asia and South East Asia in which the US and its allies are directly involved in a variety of military and intelligence operations.

The stated aim of the NIC report was “to prepare the next Bush administration for challenges that lie ahead by projecting current trends that may pose a threat to US interests”.

The NIC intelligence document was based, lest we forget, on “a hypothetical letter from a fictional grandson of Bin Ladin to a [fictional] family relative in [the year] 2020”. “The Lessons Learnt” as outlined in this “authoritative’ NIC intelligence document are as follows:

  • the caliphate project “constitutes a serious challenge to the international order”.
  • “The IT revolution is likely to amplify the clash between Western and Muslim worlds…”

The document refers to the appeal of the caliphate to Muslims and concludes that:

“the proclamation of the Caliphate would not lessen the likelihood of terrorism and in fomenting more conflict”. [sic]

The NIC’s analysis suggests that the proclamation of a caliphate will generate a new wave of terrorism emanating from Muslim countries thereby justifying an escalation in America’s Global War on Terrorism (GWOT):

the proclamation of the caliphate … could fuel a new generation of terrorists intent on attacking those opposed to the caliphate, whether inside or outside the Muslim World.” (emphasis added)

What the NIC report fails to mention is that US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6 and Israel’s Mossad are covertly involved in supporting both the terrorists and the caliphate project.

In turn, the media has embarked on a new wave of lies and fabrications, focusing on “a new terrorist threat” emanating not only from the Muslim World, but from “home grown Islamist terrorists” in Europe and North America.


Debate: The end of Daesh and its caliphate


Voiceover by Harold Hoover

The Syrian Army and its allies have been attempting to capture the Abu Khashbah area in the eastern Damascus desert.

On Wednesday, government troops advanced in the area south of Ar-Ruhba in order to close and encircle the area controlled by US-backed militants south of the al-Seen military airbase.

If government troops liberate the Abu Khashbah area and clear the militant pocket west of it, they will significantly shorten the frontline in southeastern Syria and make another important step in the isolation of US-held garrisons at the border with Iraq.

There is no evidence that ISIS Top Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive, according to US Army Lt.  Gen.  Stephen Townsend who currently commands the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.  However, Townsend said that he cannot confirm that the top ISIS member is dead.  Since June, reports have been circulating that al-Baghadi was killed in a Russian air strike on an ISIS command post in the province of Raqqah in May.  Earlier this week, the Al Sumaria TV channel reported, citing its own source in Iraq, that ISIS had released an internal statement confirming the death of al-Baghdadi.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have repelled ISIS counter-attacks in the eastern and western parts of the city of Raqqah.

The SDF found 3 tunnels and 4 VBIEDs abandoned by ISIS members and destroyed at least 3 vehicles.

Intense fighting continued in Old Raqqah as the SDF attempted to develop momentum in the area.  However, US-backed fighters have not been able to break ISIS defense lines.

The SDF faces especially fierce resistance by ISIS in the Diriyah area.

US-led coalition airpower destroyed a part of the Abbasi Historic Wall in the Old Raqqa area, according to local sources.  The site was a part of the ISIS defense.

The US-backed Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra militant group operating in southeastern Syria has refused to work alongside another US-backed faction – the SDF, according to pro-militant sources.  Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra has allegedly denied that it intends to redeploy to the Shadadi area in the northern Syrian province of Hasaka and to participate alongside the SDF in the expected US-backed advance on Deir Ezzor.

Earlier this month, reports appeared that the US is going to build a military garrison at Shadadi with the aim to use it as a foothold for the anti-ISIS operation in the province of Deir Ezzor.

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The (In)significance of Baghdadi Being “Dead”

Hopeful onlookers should recall how Bin Laden’s death was followed by the expansion of terrorism, not its defeat.

July 11, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Reports have once again emerged that the supposed leader of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed – possibly in a recent Russian airstrike in Syria.

News confirming the death of Baghdadi, would appear to have significant implications regarding the terrorist organization and its now global-spanning operations stretching from North Africa, across the Middle East and Central Asia, and even reaching into Southeast Asia as ISIS-linked militants continue to occupy a city in the south of the Philippines.

However, beyond the possibility of undermining the US rationale for maintaining a significant and growing military presence across regions of the planet inflicted with ISIS operations, Baghdadi’s death would have little to no impact at all on these actual operations.

ISIS is a State-Sponsored Militant Proxy – Not an Independent Organization 

ISIS is first and foremost a proxy military organization, created by and for the state sponsors that fuel it politically, financially, and militarily. As revealed in a 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document (PDF), these include the United States itself, its European partners, NATO-member Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan, as well as Israel.

The summation of ISIS’ fighting capacity stems from a torrent of cash, weapons, supplies, and military protection provided to the group, particularly in the establishment of safe havens within Turkey, Jordan, and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights where Syria and its allies are unable to strike.

Image: US presence in Syria is large and growing. It will only “pull the plug” on ISIS if it plans on replacing it with something more permanent. ISIS itself has many other “safe houses” worldwide to preserve itself in, courtesy of US foreign policy.

Within Syria itself, virtual safe havens have been likewise established by US and Turkish occupations, preventing Syria and its allies – including Russia and Iran – from fully rooting the organization from within Syria’s borders. On numerous occasions, Syrian forces have even come under direct US military attack while engaging ISIS militants.

Furthermore, as the US footprint in Syria expands, its need for ISIS as a pretext to build the necessary infrastructure to encircle and pressure Damascus with wanes. Replacing ISIS with something more permanent – such as US occupied “safe zones” Syrian forces and its allies cannot attack – appears to already be underway. “Pulling the plug” on ISIS in Syria would be of paramount political convenience, allowing ISIS fighters to redeploy to other “safe houses” US foreign policy has afforded them – particularly Libya and Afghanistan.

The death of a single figurehead – under these geopolitical conditions – would have virtually no impact on the organization. Only identifying, exposing, and disrupting the state-sponsorship of ISIS would impact its activities on the ground in any of the now numerous countries it is operating.

Bin Laden’s “Death” Followed by Al Qaeda’s Renascence

In many ways, the death of Al Qaeda’s supposed leader – Osama Bin Laden – was nothing more than America’s way of closing the book of “Al Qaeda the villain” and opening another where the villainous nature of Al Qaeda could be portrayed as somewhat more ambiguous – with its activities, agenda, and motives running parallel to that of Washington and its allies – and at times – cooperating with the West.

While many believed the death of Bin Laden would be followed by the fall of Al Qaeda, today the terrorist organization has standing armies in Syria, Libya, and Iraq, with the entire northern Syrian city of Idlib under its control and sections of Libya ruled by warlords tied to the terrorist organization, thrust into power by NATO’s 2011 overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.

There is also Al Qaeda’s lingering presence even in Afghanistan itself where the US is preparing to enter its seventeenth year of occupation allegedly aimed at preventing the Central Asian state from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorism – despite clearly being one at the moment.

ISIS Will Effortlessly Survive Baghdadi’s “Death”  

The elimination of these figureheads – whether it is Baghdadi or his predecessor Bin Laden – serves only to manipulate the narratives behind which geopolitical agendas unfold. The agendas themselves, along with the wealth and power driving them, require a much more robust and practical approach to challenge, obstruct, or defeat altogether.

The process of identifying the sources of wealth and power, as well as practical alternatives that can challenge and eventually replace them upon the geopolitical gameboard are the only means of truly defeating the sort of proxy terrorism Al Qaeda and ISIS represent. Before this takes place, more immediate, but costly and uncertain military operations like those currently underway by various nations around the globe including in Syria seek to isolate and eliminate proxy terrorism within their specific borders.

Such military campaigns are not only costly, but ultimately unsustainable if the root cause of proxy terrorism and the state sponsors perpetuating and exploiting it are not ultimately dealt with. As long as the true source of ISIS’ power remains intact in Washington, London, Brussels, Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha, ISIS itself will effortlessly survive Baghdadi’s otherwise insignificant passing.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Confirms Daesh Chief Baghdadi is Dead

June 30, 2017

Sputnik International reports:

The elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard verified the death of Daesh mastermind Abu Bakr al-Bagdhadi “through multiple channels,” a representative said Thursday.

Ali Shirazi, a top Iranian cleric, told Asr-e Iran News Agency there is “no doubt” Baghdadi is deceased. Irib, Iranian media outlet, has posted photos of Baghdadi’s dead body. The man’s face resembles Baghdadi extremely closely.
Sputnik has learned that the photo is from 2015 and is actually a fake.
Reports have circulated for weeks that a Russian sortie may have eliminated al-Baghdadi during an airstrike on a suburb south of Raqqa, Syria.

“It is highly likely that Daesh leader al-Baghdadi was eliminated as a result of a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on the terrorists’ command post in the southern suburb of the city of Raqqa in late May this year,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told Sputnik last week.Counterterrorism sources have noticed increased conflict within the ranks of Daesh over its top leadership spot, which analysts interpret as a signal that al-Baghdadi has been killed, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov told Sputnik on June 29. “If he were alive, then as a demonstration of power and as a means of increasing war morale, a refutation would have already been announced,” Pushkov added.

On June 11, US officials told Voice of America they could not confirm that al-Baghdadi was killed in the strike. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation on June 29.
According to Islamabad-based analyst Nauman Sadiq,
“It is not in Washington’s interests right now to confirm the deaths of the Islamic State’s top leaders even if it has received credible reports of their deaths because the US troops and affiliated local militias have mounted offensives against the Islamic State’s strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa which have caused colossal loss of human lives.”
Al-Baghdadi gained worldwide notoriety for declaring a new caliphate in the Middle East in 2014. The al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Iraq, where he proclaimed the caliphate, was liberated by Iraqi security forces on June 29, according to the Independent.”It’s now undeniable that reduced external support for the ‘rebels‘ was a critical turning point for really crushing ISIS,” said Max Abrahms, a political science professor at Northeastern University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Report: ISIL Chief Forcing Foreign Militants to Choose Suicide Attacks in Mosul or Returning Home

Report: ISIL Chief Forcing Foreign Militants to Choose Suicide Attacks in Mosul or Returning Home
TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has set an ultimatum on foreign militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul to either carry out suicide attacks against Iraqi security forces or return to their home countries, a source told local media on Monday.

The source told Al-Sumaria News that the ISIL leader also gave the militants the promise of going to heaven and being rewarded with 72 virgins, however the ISIL leader seems desperate to talk them into conducting suicide attacks, as they are, otherwise, destined to be executed with the ISIL group being known to harshly kill militants who try to leave the terrorist outfit.

However, it can also be assumed that convincing the terrorists to return to their home countries is for conducting terror attacks or initiating their own insurgencies, he said.

The take-it-or-leave-it offer to ISIL’s foreign militants comes as other reports said earlier that the terror outfit ringleader has demoted the group’s commanders in Eastern Mosul due to dramatic losses to Iraqi government forces over the past two weeks.

A source said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi withdrew the “emir” designation from all leaders of the militant group in the Eastern part of the city due to “delinquency and escaping” at battlefields in face of advancing Iraqi government troops.

“Baghdad has proscribed the occupation of any leading position by emirs in the Eastern section, and to instead deploy them to the frontlines as regular fighters as a sort of punishment,” said the source, who asked not to be identified.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a aircraft and advisers from a US-led military coalition, launched two weeks ago the second phase of a major campaign that started in October to retake Mosul from ISIL militants. Since then, reports have been recurrent about divisions, infighting and accusations of treason among the group’s leaderships.

Iraqi military and police commanders have said recently they became in control over 90 percent of the eastern region of Mosul, and hope to move onwards to the West, where ISIL still maintains outstanding strongholds, and where Baghdadi is widely believed to shelter.

Earlier this week, Iraqi troops have retaken the Mosul University campus, the most remarkable ISIL stronghold in Eastern Mosul.

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ISIL Leader Baghdadi Losing Control of His Troops

November 3, 2016

ISIL Leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

ISIL group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is losing the ability to keep control of his troops as the battle for Mosul rages on, a US military official said Thursday.

ISIL earlier released an audio message purportedly of Baghdadi, in which he urged his ‘jihadi’ followers not retreat as Iraqi security forces continue their push toward Mosul.

Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition attacking ISIL in Iraq and Syria, said the military had not officially verified the authenticity of the recording but noted it was “clearly” an effort for ISIL to communicate with fighters.

“One of the interesting things that we have seen in the English translation of this is that Baghdadi is saying, ‘Don’t fight amongst yourselves,’” Dorrian told reporters.

“This is the type of thing that a leader who is losing command and control and ability to keep everybody on the same page says. We don’t believe it is going to work.”

Rumors have abounded about the Iraqi ‘jihadist’ leader’s health and movements but his whereabouts are unclear.

Source: AFP

ISIL’s Baghdadi Urges Mosul Militants to ‘Fight to the End’, Attack Saudi, Turkey

The leader of the Takfiri ISIL group broke a nearly year-long silence as Iraqi forces closed in on Mosul Thursday, urging his militants to hold their ground.

It was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s first statement since Iraqi forces launched a massive operation on October 17 to retake Mosul, where the ISIL chief declared the group’s “caliphate” two years ago.

“Do not retreat,” Baghdadi said in a purported message released by an ISIL-affiliated outlet. “Holding your ground with honor is a thousand times easier than retreating in shame.”

The “caliphate” has been shrinking steadily since last year and Iraqi forces earlier this week reached the outskirts of Mosul, the terrorists’ last major stronghold in Iraq.

If authentic, the recording entitled “This is what God and his messenger has promised us”, would be Baghdadi’s first since December 2015 and a rare sign of life.

Rumors have swirled about the Takfiri leader’s health and movements but his whereabouts are unclear.

In his latest message, which is undated but makes reference to events that are at most a few weeks old, Baghdadi also calls for attacks against Saudi Arabia — a favorite target — and Turkey.

Ankara has troops stationed at a base just outside Mosul and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s escalating rhetoric has raised fears of a unilateral Turkish intervention in Iraq.

Baghdadi also said that his followers who could not travel to Syria or Iraq should aim for Libya and urged all ISIL insurgents to remain ‘united in adversity’.

Source: AFP

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