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Archive for August, 2015

Tribal gathering in Mosul to pledge allegiance again to ISIS (ISIL)

Tribal gathering in Mosul to pledge allegiance again to ISIS (ISIL)

Written By: FA ME

When George W. Bush came to Iraq in 2006-2007 and orchestrated the establishment of “Awakening Movement”, which was led by some famous Iraqi tribes in Anbar Province under the rule of former Prime Minister Al-Maliki, the Bush administration came under scrutiny because these tribes had been involved in nurturing and fostering Al-Qaeda Organization in Iraq because of their shared anti-American anti-Shia agenda, also to attack both U.S. and Iraqi Forces. But this alliance between Iraqi government and U.S Forces from one side, and Arab tribes in Western Iraq from the other side succeeded at some point and contributed in neutralizing insurgency, until they were abandoned by the US and became target for militants.

But how does this tribal system work?

The tribes are bond by certain norms and laws among other tribes and within. In addition to alliances created from long time between each other, also kinship and affinity rule to these laws. In history, members of these tribes have chosen to be living away from the authority of any ruler, because the structure of their laws is in paradox with constitutional items. For instance, if a feud rises between two tribes, and one is killed among them, the other tribe is obliged to shed blood and revenge to that death, or in other cases “blood money” is asked in compensation.

When Britain occupied Iraq back in 1916-1920, the British introduced a legal code that aimed to rule over tribal areas, claiming that some stipulations and laws don’t apply to tribal areas, these areas were also under their occupation, so they incorporated what was known as (The Tribal Criminal and civil Disputes Regulations) into the Iraqi constitution. This code allowed tribal members to have their own “Tribal Council” to decide on their disputes and litigations by appointing prominent figures or head of tribes to run this council in accordance to their tribal traditions and laws.

Since 2003 the Shia majority successive governments in Iraq have failed to meet the needs of Sunni tribes and Sunni people in general. When Sunnis were ruling Iraq for more than 30 years, they came to realize that the throne has been taken away from them after the US invasion to Iraq. The Sunnis in Iraq (The majority are members of famous tribes and clans) have enjoyed prestigious positions at the time of Saddam, they were given high ranks in the Army, and access to authority that no one else could have ever enjoyed. As a result to the disastrous decisions made by the former US governor to Iraq Paul Bremer, who disbanded the Iraqi Army and leaving big sector of Sunni people neglected and underprivileged of their social and economic status, therefore, Ba’athists switched to Terrorists!

The weakness of Iraqi governments and of civil society institutions and political parties caused to make the tribe the only “institution” to embrace youngsters’ sense of belonging. It also made tribalism predominate over the sense of citizenship. “There has been a consistent trend that it is not about performance-based selection. And there’s cronyism involved, there’s tribalism involved, there’s a number of factors that ought not be influencing, you know, putting the best leader qualified to provide the leadership to a particular mission.” said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn US Army’s number two General talking about training and forming Iraqi Forces.

Despite the considerable impact that tribalism has had on the Iraqi society, a closer look to that impact shows that it started to fade out before ISIS “ISIL”, the latter is using the carrot and stick policy to induce or subjugate these tribes. Controlling vast majority of areas by ISIL where these tribes are inhabiting in both Iraq and Syria, was huge factor to rift traditional tribal solidarity, these tribes who were indivisible at some point became divided over joining ISIL’s newly established state and “Caliphate”. The tribal loyalty is key for ISIL militants to consolidate their authority over areas they control, therefore, tribal chieftainship is put under threat of losing their presence, money, belongings, and even girls into slavery if they chose not to plead allegiance with ISIL. Several clips circulated on the internet show the “Sheikhs” of these tribes pleading allegiance especially in Anbar Province in Iraq. Refusing to do so might result in a massacre, the same we saw against “Al-Shiettat” Sunni tribe in Syria who was fighting ISIL militants and lost about 900 of their men in some heinous ways of executions and decapitation.

Tribe leaders are gathered with their tribe members and pledging allegiance to ISIS (ISIL)

Tribal leaders are gathered with their tribe members and pledging allegiance to ISIS (ISIL)

Popular Mobilization Units “PMU” members of Shia tribes.

As a result for the rapid advance made by ISIL, joined by some tribal members whom plead allegiance to the jihadi organization earlier, as some observers noted that Al-Bu-Ajeel tribe accused of carrying out the massacre of Iraqi recruits in Spyker base near Tikrit in 2014, this triggered hidden sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni people. Therefore, the Popular Mobilization Units were created by a Fatwa “Religious Opinion” introduced by the highest Shiite authority in Iraq Ali Al-Sistani.

The fatwa states that Iraqi citizens who are able to take up arms should volunteer in the ranks of the security forces to defend the country against ISIL. However, there are some who considered the fatwa a call for Shia to take up arms against the Sunnis, despite the fact that the fatwa identified thwarting the terrorist threat as a collective responsibility and not the responsibility of a specific sect or party.

Taking in consideration that the majority of fighters among the Iranian-backed PMU are members of Shia tribes, parallel to Sunni tribes who joined ISIL, they as well have been isolated disconnected from their tribal traditional coherence by following a religious issued law. Even though the future of PMU as some experts see will be an armed wing for the Shia in Iraq similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon, still tribes of both sects are driven by religious motivation and each is seeking to destroy the other.

A sense of loss and despair is prevailing among Iraqis who have been caught between the hammer of a weak and corrupted government and anvil of scarce international attention to their ordeal. One thing contributed to leaving Iraq in this chaos is the poor judgment of withdrawing US troops from Iraq, a decision made by President Obama in 2009 and was backed by some prominent army and security experts who found that Iraqi Forces are capable of securing the country, while indeed they were not.

Iraqi people’s struggle with ISIL is widening the gap between its different sects, the lack of trust and insecurity is common feeling sensed by every individual, besides the vast number of people displaced internally and outside Iraq reflects the inadequate performance of the Iraqi government to protect its people, by favoring nepotism and tribalism over the qualification of individuals. However, serious steps are being taken now by Iraq’s younger generation represented in demonstrations in different cities of Iraq, calling upon the government for overhaul and holding corrupt officials responsible to improve the reality of their life, a hope that everyone seeks in this torn apart country.

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FA ME (Source of Information: RaymondIbrahim.com)

(In one of my recent posts – The Citizenship Dilemma – back in December of 2014, where I focused on the issue of Allegiance towards America and American people, and it took eight months until someone intensively focused on this problem which is huge and complicated. Rymond Ibrahim nailed it down and identified the problem surrounding US Oath and Pledge of Allegiance, therefore, I have included this article for its importance).

The Obama administration recently made changes to the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in a manner very conducive to Sharia, or Islamic law.

On July 21, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced some “modifications” to the Oath of Allegiance which immigrants must take before becoming naturalized.

The original oath required incoming citizens to declare that they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States” when required by the law.

Now the USCIS says that “A candidate [to U.S. citizenship] may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection.”

The new changes further add that candidates “May be eligible for [additional?] modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.”

These changes serve incoming Islamic supremacists especially well.  For, while Islamic law allows Muslims to feign loyalty to non-Muslim “infidel” authorities, it bans Muslims from living up to the pretense by actually fighting or killing fellow Muslims on behalf of a non-Muslim entity, such as the United States.

The perfectly fitting story of Nidal Hassan—the U.S. army major and “observant Muslim who prayed daily” but then turned murderer—comes to mind and is illustrative.

A pious Muslim, Hasan seemed a “regular American,” even if he was leading a double life—American Army major and psychiatrist by day, financial supporter of jihadi groups and associate of terrorists by night.

However, when time came for this American soldier to “bear arms on behalf of the United States”—to quote the original Oath of Allegiance—against fellow Muslims, things got ugly: he went on a shooting spree in Fort Hood, killing thirteen Americans, including one pregnant woman in 2009.

Much of Hasan’s behavior is grounded in the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity.  According to this essential teaching, Muslims must always be loyal to Islam and fellow Muslims while having enmity for all non-Islamic things and persons.

However, whenever Muslims find themselves under the authority of non-Islamic institutions and persons, they are permitted to feign loyalty—even to the point of cursing Islam and pretending to have abandoned it—with one caveat: Muslims must never take up arms on behalf of “infidels” against fellow Muslims.  In other words, their loyalty to non-Muslims must be skin deep.

Many are the verses in the Koran that support this divisive doctrine (3:28, 4:89, 4:144, 9:23, and 58:22; the last simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin”).

Most germane is Koran 3:28: “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels rather than believers: and whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.”

The words translated here as “guard” and “precaution” are derived from the Arabic word taqu, from the trilateral root w-q-y—the same root that gives us the word taqiyya, the Islamic doctrine that permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims whenever under their authority.

Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), author of one of the most authoritative commentaries on the Koran, explains taqiyya in the context of verse 3:28 as follows: “Whoever at any time or place fears … evil [from non-Muslims] may protect himself through outward show.”  As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad’s close companion Abu Darda, who said, “Let us grin in the face of some people while our hearts curse them.”

Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923), author of another standard commentary on the Koran, interprets verse 3:28 as follows:

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

And therein lies the limit of taqiyya: when the deceit, the charade begins to endanger the lives of fellow Muslims—who, as we have seen, deserve first loyalty—it is forbidden. As al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri puts it in his treatise on Loyalty and Enmity, Muslims may pretend to be friendly and loyal to non-Muslims, so long as they do “not undertake any initiative to support them [non-Muslims], commit sin, or enable [them] through any deed or killing or fighting against Muslims” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 75).

Thus the idea that Nidal Hasan might be deployed to a Muslim country (Iraq or Afghanistan) was his “worst nightmare.”   When he realized that he was about to be deployed, he became “very upset and angry.”  The thought that he might injure or kill Muslims “weighed heavily on him.” He also counseled a fellow Muslim not to join the U.S. Army, since “Muslims shouldn’t kill Muslims.”

Hassan is not the only Muslim to expose his disloyalty when pushed into fighting fellow Muslims on behalf of the United States.

Asked by the judge about his oath upon being sentenced for the attempted May 2010 Times Square car bombing, naturalized U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad replied, “I sweared [sic], but I didn’t mean it.”

Asked by the judge about his oath upon being sentenced for the attempted May 2010 Times Square car bombing, naturalized U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad replied, “I sweared [sic], but I didn’t mean it.”

In 2010, Naser Abdo, another Muslim soldier who joined the U.S. Army, demanded to be discharged on the claim that he was a “conscientious objector whose devotion to Islam has suffered since he took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies.”  The army agreed, but while processing him, officials found child pornography on his government-issued computer and recommended that he be court-martialed.  Abdo went AWOL and later tried to carry out a terrorist attack on a restaurant with the use of weapons of mass destruction.

And in April 2005, Hasan Akbar, another Muslim serving in the U.S. Army, was convicted of murder for killing two American soldiers and wounding fourteen in a grenade attack: “He launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq.”

In short, the first loyalty of any “American Muslim” who follows the Koran is to fellow Muslims, regardless of their nationality.  It is not to American “infidels,” even if they be their longtime neighbors whom they daily smile to (see here for examples).  Hence why American Muslim Tarik Shah, who was arrested for terrorist-related charges, once boasted: “I could be joking and smiling [with non-Muslims] and then cutting their throats in the next second”—reminiscent of the aforementioned quote by Muhammad’s companion.

Now, in direct compliance with Islamic law, the Obama administration has made it so that no Muslim living in America need ever worry about having to defend her—including against fellow Muslims or jihadis.

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Islamic_State_(IS)_insurgents,_Anbar_Province,_Iraq

Source: BBC World

Researchers in the US have used artificial intelligence to better understand the military strategy of Islamic State extremists.

Analysis established a causal link between air strikes and roadside bomb attacks as well as a connection with the jihadists’ use of military tactics.

The algorithmic system analysed 2,200 recorded incidents of IS activity from the second half of 2014.

A paper on the findings will be presented at a conference next week.

One feature they noticed was spikes in the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Shifting strategies

Paulo Shakarian, one of the co-authors of the paper and a US army officer who served in Iraq in 2006, told the BBC: “When they experience a lot of air strikes against them they shift away from a large infantry-style operation and use IEDs.”

Researchers also discovered that the use of vehicle-borne bombs increased prior to large infantry operations by the militants. One example of this occurred in Iraq.

“We believe this relationship is because they want to prevent reinforcements from the Iraqi army getting out of Baghdad,” explained Dr Shakarian.

A finding that initially baffled the researchers was sharp increases in arrests by Islamic State following Syrian air strikes.

Dr Shakarian said they now believed that these might be retaliatory attempts to weed out Syrian intelligence agents who might have played a role in the targeting of the strikes.

Military insights

He added that the tactics of IS differed markedly from those of the enemy forces he faced in Iraq nine years ago.

The extremist group, he said, was more complex and dynamic, which was why the nature of their strategies was not always obvious without computational analysis.

Elizabeth Quintana, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), said forces targeting Islamic State were likely to find research like this useful.

“The military has access to a lot of information,” she said, “They need a way to bring it down to a digestible format. Analytics is definitely the way to do that.”

Noel Sharkey, a computer scientist at the University of Sheffield, added that the approach might help predict likely types of attacks.

“It suggests that [IS] has a predictable operational strategy rather than an arbitrary one, or a new one for each attack,” he commented.

“Of course, the problem is that this could change suddenly and particularly if they noticed that other military forces were acting on their predictability.”

Dr Shakarian will present the paper to delegates of KDD 2015, a conference on data analysis, in Sydney, Australia, next week.

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