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ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:25 am

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Kurdish forces arrest ISIS suspects

Kurdish security forces on Sunday announced the arrest of a group of suspected Islamic State (ISIS) members who were planning terror acts in Erbil city, including targeting a busy market, foreigners, and security forces

“A group of ISIS terrorists were arrested by Kurdistan’s general counter-terrorism directorate… they were planning to carry out terrorist activities inside Erbil city,” the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council (KRSC) said in a statement published along with video confessions from the suspects.

The group was ordered to carry out activities in Erbil by an ISIS emir known as Abu Harith and they attempted to bring explosive devices into the city, to plant “inside Erbil city’s bazaar and also target foreign and security personnel,” said the KRSC.

They were apprehended in a joint effort by the counter-terror directorate and Erbil’s Asayish (internal security forces).

“Abu Harith asked us to specify some locations inside the bazaar to attack, that will go viral in the media,” said Haidar Abdulwahab, one of the suspects who was asked to form a group by an acquaintance of his father, who was an ISIS member and killed in an airstrike.

The group had met in Erbil citadel where they were tasked by Abu Harith to film ISIS members inside and near the bazaar and publish the videos on Telegram to show militants present inside the city.

Abu Harith also asked them to specify some places “that have foreigners” and “asked us to target a place around the citadel,” said Ahmed Haitham, another of the suspects.

Erbil citadel sits at the heart of the Kurdistan Region capital. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals, and overlooks Shar Square and the central bazaar.

Three of the seven suspects are minors. KRSC said ISIS is recruiting teenagers, especially those who have family members tied to ISIS, and forces them to work for the group.

Although ISIS was territorially defeated in Iraq in 2017, remnants of the terror group remain active across the country, particularly in areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil.

Kurdish forces have made two other major arrests of ISIS suspects this summer. Five were arrested in Sulaimani and Halabja in late July. Another five were arrested in Erbil two weeks earlier.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/050920214
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:39 pm

French company supported ISIS

A top court in France on Tuesday said that a French cement company operating in Syria should be investigated on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity for allegedly financing the Islamic State (ISIS) group and other militants during the early years of the civil war in northern Syria

“The indictment of the company for terrorist financing is confirmed,” the Court of Cassation said in a statement.

Lafarge is accused of financially supporting militias, including ISIS, in order to keep its factory operating during the 2011 conflict in Syria. In 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal dismissed the charge of crimes against humanity saying it has accepted that the payments were not aimed at the terrorist group and its agenda of torture and executions.

However, the company still faced three other charges of financing terrorism, violating a European Union embargo, and endangering the lives of others.

A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria turned into a civil war ten years ago. The conflict has left millions of people dead and displaced. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) documented the deaths of 387,118 people by December 2020, among them 116,911 civilians.

Three years later, ISIS seized control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The last of its so-called caliphate was defeated in Syria in 2019, but the group remains a threat on both sides of the border.

Lafarge, which merged with the Swiss group Holcim in 2015, has acknowledged that its Syrian subsidiary paid middlemen to negotiate with armed groups to allow the movement of staff and goods inside the war zone, according to AFP. It has fought to drop this case.

There are scores of companies that are accused of crimes against humanity for their activities in areas of conflict but they are rarely brought to trial.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/world/08092021
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:33 pm

Anti-ISIS coalition shifts to advisor role

Command of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group (ISIS) was handed over to a lower rank general as the United States formally shifts its mission in Iraq from combat to advise and assist

“It’s not terribly common that we assign a 2-star to command a CJTF [Combined Joint Task Force] headquarters with so many contributing nations. But with this transition, OIR [Operation Inherent Resolve] is no longer a common task force,” commander of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, said in a press release on Friday.

“By January 1st, it will have completed its transition from a warfighting headquarters to one focused entirely on advising and assisting our hosts in those areas where we can be most helpful,” he added.

Major General John Brennan replaced Lieutenant General Paul Calvert in a ceremony in Baghdad on Thursday.

The coalition “is ready to take our advisory assistance to the next level with our able partners from the Joint Operating Center - Iraq, the ISF [Iraqi security forces] and SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] in order to promulgate the enduring defeat of Daesh,” Brennan said.

The 83-member coalition in July 2020 announced its presence in Iraq will shrink as its focus shifts to high-level advisory work. Since then it has taken several steps to make the transition. This year, the US reduced its number of troops in Iraq to 2,500, down from 5,000, a move Washington said was "consistent with Operation Inherent Resolve's transition from major combat operations." Coalition forces have also left a number of Iraqi bases, in an effort to reduce their “footprint” in the country, its spokesperson said last year.

The US-led Global Coalition was formally established in October 2014 after ISIS took control of large swathes of territories in Iraq and Syria.

Forces within Iraq are pressuring the US to withdraw. Sites housing US personnel have frequently been the target of Iran-backed militias. In late July, US President Joe Biden received Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Washington and announced that the US combat mission will be over by the end of the year.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/10092021
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:32 am

ISIS allowed to repopulate Raqqa

More than 300 people affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) left the notorious al-Hol camp in Western Kurdistan to return to their homes in Raqqa on Wednesday, according to local media

A total of 324 people from 92 families were allowed to exit, marking the 18th batch of residents leaving the camp,

The process of sending the people back from al-Hol will “continue gradually to reduce the economic and security burdens that the Autonomous Administration bears in al-Hol,” ANHA cited Sheikhmus Ahmed, who supervises the administration of Western Kurdistan's IDP and refugee camps as saying.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested thousands of ISIS fighters and their wives and children when they took control of the group’s last stronghold in Syria in March 2019. Most of these people are held at al-Hol which is home to over 60,000 people - mostly women and children from different nationalities.

60,000 ISIS supporters - remove their Burkas - show their identities - save the children - keep adult ISIS supporters locked up for life - these vile people should not be allowed to repopulate Raqqa - it will make ISIS strong again

There have been several repeated calls from Kurdish and US officials asking the international community to repatriate their nationals from overcrowded camps where children are exposed to an extremist ideology. But only a few countries have responded positively. Most are worried about security concerns and are generally limiting repatriations, even for children. The United Nations in February called on 57 member states to repatriate their nationals.

Western Kurdistan handed over two ISIS-linked orphans to the Palestinian consulate in Erbil last month and 16 people, including 10 children to Brussels in July.

Nearly 300 people left the camp on July 15.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/150920212

Do not fall under the misconception that the female ISIS supporters are weak and innocent, incapable of any violence - approximately 50% of the PKK freedom fighters are female and fought against ISIS alongside their male counterparts
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:07 pm

Main ISIS hideout destroyed

Iraqi security forces on Thursday destroyed the main Islamic State (ISIS) hideout in the Hamrin mountain range that crosses Kirkuk and Salahaddin governorates, as Erbil and Baghdad work towards forming a joint brigade to counter the militant group’s remnants

In coordination with the Joint Operation Command, an airstrike targeted an ISIS hideout that is “considered to be the operation center for launching terrorist attacks in Kirkuk,” the Security Media Cell said.

Four members of the militant group died, it added, as the search for other ISIS hideouts continues.

Kirkuk has been a hotspot for ISIS activity and has seen a recent increase in attacks.

The militant group seized control of swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The group was declared territorially defeated in Iraq in 2017 and Syria in 2019, but remains a threat on both sides of the border, carrying out bombings, hit-and-run attacks, and abductions across several provinces.

Thirteen Iraqi police officers were killed and injured after the group targeted a federal checkpoint in the province earlier this month. A number of civilians were injured and abducted in a separate attack on September 2.

The US-led global coalition destroyed five ISIS hideouts in the Hamrin mountain range in May.

ISIS has exploited a security vacuum in territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad. The Peshmerga ministry announced in July they were working on the formation of two joint brigades of Iraqi and Peshmerga forces to counter ISIS remnants in the disputed areas, cooperating in order to reduce the threat of the group’s resurgence.

The brigade is expected to be completed after elections.

Militants have conducted around 134 attacks in disputed territories so far this year, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Jabar Yawar told Rudaw last month, noting that most of the attacks took place in areas between Kifri and Tuz Khurmatu, as well as in eastern and western Kirkuk.

In the latest edition of its weekly propaganda magazine al-Nabaa, ISIS claimed it carried out 22 attacks in Iraq, killing and injuring 49 people.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/230920213
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:21 pm

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Top ISIS financier arrested

Iraqi security forces announced on Monday they arrested the internationally wanted head of Islamic State group (ISIS) finances in an operation outside its borders on Sunday, as millions of Iraqis cast ballots in the parliamentary election

Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jaburi, “general supervisor of the financial and economic files” for ISIS, was arrested during a “special operation outside the borders,” the Security Media Cell tweeted.

Jaburi was also a deputy to former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and is close to the group’s current leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, the military statement added.

The statement did not detail where Jaburi was arrested. An Iraqi military source told AFP he was arrested in Turkey.

The United States offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Jaburi’s arrest, saying he has been “instrumental in managing finances for ISIS’s terrorist operations.”

“While serving as ISIS deputy in southern Mosul in 2014, he reportedly served as the equivalent of ISIS’s finance minister, supervising the group’s revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities, and minerals,” according to the US Department of State.

ISIS was territorially defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria in 2019, but remnants of the group remain a threat on both sides of the border. Attacks by ISIS increased over the summer, according to a Pentagon report released in August, which described the group as “well-entrenched in rural areas of Iraq and Syria.”

The US Treasury estimates ISIS has tens of millions of dollars stashed across Iraq, Syria, and Turkey and “continued to raise funds through extortion of oil smuggling networks in eastern Syria, collecting kidnapping ransoms, looting, and possibly the operation of front companies in both Iraq and Syria,” according to the Pentagon.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/11102021
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:43 pm

Rising ISIS threat in post-election Iraq

The Islamic State (ISIS) could attempt a resurgence in Iraq if the ongoing post-election dispute results in instability or even armed conflict, a Peshmerga spokesperson warned on Wednesday

Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced the final preliminary results of Iraq’s early parliamentary elections on Oct. 16. Iran-backed Shia parties lost a large number of seats compared to the 2018 election.

As a result, leaders of these parties, their supporters and militias took to the streets of Baghdad, demanding a recount of the vote and accusing the electoral commission of “playing with the results”.

ISIS is waiting for these protests to generate instability and possible armed conflict in the country so it can take advantage of it, Colonel Osman Mohammad, the spokesperson of Peshmerga ministry, told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday.

“It is during these times that ISIS can and is willing to pose threats in those areas in which it wants to do so,” Mohammad said.

The Peshmerga official also said that all sides in Iraq need to be “more vigilant than before” regarding the ISIS threat in the post-election period.

The commission, after reviewing all the electoral complaints, will announce the final election results and send it to the Iraqi federal Supreme Court for approval.

While ISIS lost all the Iraqi territory it conquered for its so-called caliphate by 2017, remnants of the group are still operating in Iraq and launch hit-and-run attacks against Iraqi and Peshmerga forces.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/25 ... ction-Iraq
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:46 pm

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Man Guilty of Providing ISIS Material

An Illinois man pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Al-Nusra Front (ANF). As part of his plea agreement, the defendant agrees to the entry of an order of removal so he will be removed from the country after completing his sentence

According to court documents, Dilshod Khusanov, 36, of Chicago, encouraged individuals to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad, or holy war in 2014 and 2015. For example, on Sept. 28, 2014, Khusanov urged co-conspirator Akmal Zakirov to engage in jihad: “I hope that the only [reason] that is preventing you from jihad is some mistakes and flaws that are occurring among” the other fighters. Khusanov explained that it would be better to help those fighters, rather than criticize them.

Later in 2014, two Brooklyn residents, Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov, began planning to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS. A group of individuals in a domestic network based in New York and elsewhere, including Khusanov, worked together to raise and contribute money to help fund that trip to Syria. In February 2015, Abror Habibov, Zakirov, Azizjon Rakhmatov and Kasimov discussed providing money to support Saidakhmetov’s travel and expenses in Syria. Rakhmatov and Zakirov also agreed to solicit money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel. Zakirov contacted Khusanov, then-based in Illinois, and asked him to contribute money for Saidakhmetov’s travel and to ask another individual to contribute money as well. Khusanov agreed and arranged for money to be deposited in Zakirov’s bank account before Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure. Saidakhmetov was arrested in February 2015 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, as he boarded a plane bound for Istanbul, Turkey, a transit point for foreign fighters bound for Syria.

Khusanov is the last charged defendant in this plot to be convicted. Juraboev, Saidakhmetov, Habibov, Zakirov and Rakhmatov previously pleaded guilty, and Kasimov was convicted at trial. Juraboev and Saidakhmetov each were sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, and Rakhmatov was sentenced to 12 and a half years imprisonment. Habibov, Kasimov and Zakirov are awaiting sentencing.

“With today’s plea, Khusanov admits to providing financial support to individuals seeking to travel to Syria to join ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization that seeks to wage war on the United States and other countries,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “This office will continue to work tirelessly with its local, national and international law enforcement partners to eliminate ISIS’s jihadist regime and threat of terrorist violence.”

“Money is the oxygen that feeds the flame of any organized terrorist activity,” said Commissioner Dermot Shea of the New York Police Department (NYPD). “This case makes it clear that whether you are a terrorist bomber, a planner, or simply the facilitator who raises the money to pay for their travel, you will be a target of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force. They are the most experienced detectives and agents in the country in these cases.”

Khusanov pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS and faces a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David K. Kessler, J. Matthew Haggans, and Jonathan E. Algor for the Eastern District of New York, and Trial Attorney Steven Ward of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

The FBI and NYPD are investigating the case.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-a ... sra-front/
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