Category Archives: Jihad

Economics of Terrorism in Iraq and Syria: Follow the Money if You Can………


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“The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region……….. But in the years they were getting started, a key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sometimes the support came with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes; often, it took advantage of poor money laundering protections in those states, according to officials, experts, and leaders of the Syrian opposition, which is fighting ISIS as well as the regime. “Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”…………..”

The money
, it all comes down to the money. Any army or militia needs a source of money: zealotry alone is useless. God will surely not help an army or militia that is flat broke. Thousands of Wahhabi terrorists in Iraq and Syria would not function long without money, a lot of money. It is not money from captured oil fields in Iraq and Syria. It is not from taxes in impoverished western Iraqi regions. It is not locally printed money. It is not from ransoms paid for hostages: most of the hostages are poor pilgrims or soldiers who can’t afford a ransom. It is hard currency, mainly U.S. dollars. I have posted on this in the past, more than once. Yet nobody seems able to discover the exact source and route of the money. Correction: we can guess the sources of the money, but nobody wants to come out and say it publicly and do something effective about it. And who has that kind of money, to spend many millions without having to get anyone’s approval?

In the case of Kuwait the writer exaggerates: it has been the pro-Wahhabi elements of the private sector that aid and abet the Jihadis, rather than the government. In the case of Qatar and Saudi Arabia (and possibly the UAE) the situation is different: the princes and potentates started throwing money and weapons at the Jihadis in Syria early on. Some of the same princes and potentates are still at it, financing the terrorists even as official policy seems to be against it. Instability in Iraq has always been part of the strategy of the princes and oil potentates.………… 

is what I posted one year ago about The Economics of Jihad in Syria
“Local Kuwait media report that the tribal Islamist opposition has called for a mobilization for war in Syria (they called it for Jihad in Syria). A bunch of former opposition tribal Islamist MP’s held a sort of tribal charity ball but stag, a large gathering of men to start a campaign to raise money to equip and arm 12 thousand ghazis (ghazi is Arabic for invader, raider, meaning here Jihadi) for Syria. They have called for every family (that listens to them) to equip and arm one Mujahid to go to Syria to fight. One of them suggested that 700 Dinars (about US $2400) would prepare and send a Jihadis to battle in Syria. (No idea if this amount covers one or multiple multiple wives). That of course does not cover the current cost of operations: food, bullets, shelter, bribes, booze, weed, women, etc. All that minus current revenues: whatever can be looted as war booty or obtained as ransom for hostages the FSA and Jihadist militias like to take (they are avid hostage-takers and are still holding two Christian bishops and two other priests hostage, in addition to many Alawis and Shi’as). Some of the well-heeled tribal Islamists at the gathering contributed new non-Islamist cars. One gave a new heathen-made Chevrolet Suburban, another donated a new infidel-made Mercedes-Benz. One former member of parliament got a family to pay for the arming and equipping 28 ghazis (raiders or Jihadis) for Syria. Another former member deposited funds to cover three Jihadis………………”

If $2,400 will send one terrorist fighter to Syria or Iraq. One thousand jihadis would cost $ 2.4 million (as a starting fixed cost, not counting current expenses). Add all other expenses over time, and you do the rest of the math. Take into consideration that the $2,400 might just be a ‘teaser’, a hook, to get things started.



Jihadist Blitzkrieg in Iraq: Unsustainable Un-Islamic Warfare……


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“Militants stormed the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and kidnapped 48 people including the head of the diplomatic mission, a Turkish government official said. “48 Turks including the consul, staff members, guards and three children were abducted,” the official told Agence France Presse, speaking on condition of anonymity. “All are doing well,” the official said. The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said fighters from the powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized 28 Turkish truck drivers. In a spectacular blow to the Shiite-led government in Iraq, jihadists spearheaded by ISIL on Tuesday seized Mosul, its surrounding region of Nineveh and areas of Kirkuk and Salaheddin province…………Militants also took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days………”

Jihadists have got some more oil fields under their control now. Let’s us see if the Turks will buy their oil. They have also apparently taken Tikrit, hometown and graveyard of the late non-lamented president Saddam Hussein. He has been freed, for the time being. Now if Iraqis settle back on reelecting the incompetent Al Maliki again as prime minister, they are in for a miserable year or two, and they would probably mostly deserve it. 

Even if, as I know, this Jihadist blitzkrieg and its gains are not sustainable. Eventually they will be rolled back, but eventually also sounds ominous. 
Come to think of it, Blitzkrieg is supposed to be un-Islamic, a heathen style of war only reserved for non-Muslims. Only Germans and Israelis are supposed to wage such heathen war: they have proven that they know how to use the panzers and tanks, we only know how to use microphones and television studios (and Twitter). Blitzkrieg is supposed to be kosher for them but definitely not halal for us. After all it sounds both German and Yiddish, hence it is haram


So, Which Foreigners Did You say Are Interfering in Syria?………


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“More recently, however, the mainstream rebels’ allies—chiefly the United States, Britain, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia—have begun to expand their efforts to help those they consider worthy of support. They have been chuffed by the rebels’ war on ISIS. And they are co-ordinating efforts to help them better. An increasing number of vetted fighters in both the north and south of Syria have been trained in Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, given money to pay salaries, and supplied with anti-tank weapons, albeit so far in limited quantities. Meanwhile, Gulf donors are said to have cut off funds to some of the more zealous Islamist groups, including the Islamist Front, a coalition dominated by Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafist outfit…………..”

The Economist has been hawkish on Syria, but only on Syria of all the Arab uprisings. It has been pissed (to put it succinctly) by Obama’s reluctance to attack Syria for the past three years. It, like other Western and Arab media and their officials, has been critical of ‘foreign’ intervention in Syria. Not all foreign intervention in frowned upon: only Russian and Iranian and Lebanese intervention. Other sources of intervention: European, Turkish, American, Gulf GCC, Saudi, Qatari, Jordanian, and Al Qaeda intervention on the side of the Jihadists is apparently kosher and halal and seeks democracy and freedom and human rights in Syria. That has been obvious from past experience when the Jihadis took over towns and neighborhoods and immediately started to apply democracy, freedom, the chopping of heads, the kidnapping of nuns and priests, among other blessings of what the rest of Syrians can expect.

Hopeless Jihadi Manifesto: Rebels of Syria, Unite! Sans Marx and Engels………


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“The largest coalition of Islamist rebels in Syria issued a manifesto over the weekend that calls for the increasingly fractious rebels to unite around the notion of liberating the country from the government of President Bashar Assad and installing a free state that will protect the rights of religious minorities, not an Islamist state. The position spelled out in the statement, titled the “Revolutionary Manifesto of the Islamic Front,” marked a reversal of a policy articulated last year that called for creating an Islamist state after the defeat of Assad. Analysts and observers agreed that the statement seemed directed at the international community, particularly the United States, which has been reluctant to support widespread military aid for the rebels over concerns about radicalism. he statement, which was released as an audio posting on jihadi websites…………….” 

An interesting “manifesto” by the so-called Islamic Front, but many days late and many dollars short. The old one by Marx and Engels was more eloquent and more succinct. There is nothing new here in spite of some gushing by the usual Western think tank analysts and experts. Hell, even I would call for them to unite just out of curiosity if not out of any good will toward these sectarian Jihadis.
One major problem with these rebels is that they all want everybody else to unite…….. behind them. Even Saudi-appointed Ahmed Al Jarba controls only his own media room in Turkey and all the GCC media microphones. He also travels to Washington and Europe, which can be fun but he controls about as much ground inside Syria as old Joe Lieberman and John McCain did. 
Their other and main problem is that the tide and momentum of the civil war turned last year, and the other side is winning every battle now. Al Assad’s days are not as numbered now as they were three years ago. Au contraire, he has outlived a gaggle of predecessors of Al Jarba, and if the war continues another year, he will almost certainly outlast Jarba as well.

Nano Rebellion in the Syrian Swamp: from Al Nusra to FSA to Furqat Hassaballah to Abu Lahab…….


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Nano Rebellion is what I can call the Syrian case. So many factions and groups and sub groups and sub-sub factions, all allegedly on one side. Splitting and sprouting and spawning new groups in the swamp that is the ‘Syrian opposition’……….” I, moi, я, ich, ana, ma,n…….

“The existence of Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi as a front group for ISIS perhaps reflects a wider pro-ISIS trend across central North Africa with the Ansar ash-Shari’a movements in Tunisia and Libya. In the former country, Ansar ash-Shari’a takes an official pro-ISIS line that dates back to at least the summer of last year (likely explaining the disproportionate number of Tunisian fighters in ISIS’ ranks). In the video linked to, Ansar ash-Shari’a in Tunisia’s official spokesman hails ISIS for making “the Jews, Rafidites [Shi’a] and Nasara [Christians] cry” in addition to freeing Muslim brothers from their prisons. In a document dated to 26th June 2013 and written by Sheikh Abu Ja’afar al-Hatab, a member of the organization’s Shari’a committee, it is argued that “the bay’ah [pledge of allegiance] of Jabhat al-Nusra is false in every aspect, so whoever pledges bay’ah to Jabhat al-Nusra, his bay’ah is corrupt, and there is no bay’ah to him or on him, and the members of Jabhat al-Nusra must repent to God and switch their bay’ah to the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham.”………….”
Nano Rebellion is what I can call the Syrian case. So many factions and groups and sub groups and sub-sub factions, all allegedly on one side. Splitting and sprouting and spawning new groups in the swamp that is the “Syrian opposition”. New factions and groups and militias split or emerge almost every day
Syria‘s civil war evolved from early protests in 2011 into a civil war. It probably would not deserve the title of “civil war’ if it were not for the various tough Jihadist groups that entered the country and were joined by some locals. At one stage the so-called ‘more moderate’ rebels groups were so fractured that they became ineffective on the ground. That is why the rest, including the Free Syrian Army and the SNC, came out strongly in support of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Nusra Front) when the United States correctly condemned it as a terrorist group. They knew it was the only effective military force, relatively speaking. 
Now that particular advantage of the more extremist Jihadists has dissipated with the breakup of some groups into factions and the emergence of new groups. 
Of course in Syria it is all relative: moderates can kidnap and cut throats and hold for ransom as well as the extremists. They can kill civilians of other faiths or sects as eagerly. It is all a matter of degree. The regime can and has inflicted more damage on towns and casualties on civilians only because it has better and heavier weapons (both sides are happy to use whatever they have). Not necessarily because it is more vicious than the rebel militias.

Syrian rebel groups are becoming harder and harder to follow and distinguish. Some of the names are bandied about in the media and there are probably others started in garages that I have never heard of, even as I write this. A few of the names are just anticipations on my part (lol if you must):

Islamic State of Iraq and Ash-Sham (ISIS) –Jabhat al-Nusra – Not Quiet Free Syrian Army – Islamic Army of Syria – Syrian Islamic Council (SIC) – Syrian National Council – Syrian National Coalition- Syrian Opposition Coalition – National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – Supreme Military Council – Muhajireen Battalions of Syria – Islamic Front – Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union – Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi – Ansar ash-Shari’a (Supporters of Shari’a) – Ahfad Mohammed (grandchildren of Mohammed) – Kataeb Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair (Brigades of ABZ) – Kataeb Al Bu Omar (Brigades) – Kataed Al Bu Lail (Brigades)- Jaish Al Q’aQa’a Army – Ahl Al Sunna Wal Jama’a – Jaish Al Qadisiya – Military Council Brigades – Kataeb Al Farooq Brigades – Jund al-Sham – Army of Mujahedeen – Ansar al-Islam – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan – Junud al-Sham (Chechen group) – Liwa al-Tawhid wal-Jihad – Army of Mujahedeen – Harakat Fajr ash-Sham al-Islamiya (Syrian Dawn Islamic Movement) – Martyrs of Syria Brigades – Northern Storm Brigade – Ahrar Souriya Brigade (Free Syrians) – Liwa al-Haqq (Righteousness Brigade)- Liwa al-Tawhid (Monotheism Brigade) – Suqour al-Sham (Eagles of Syria) – Syrian Islamic Liberation Front – Liwa Fath al-Sham – Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade – Jaysh al-Muhajirin wa al-Ansar – Ghuraba Al Sham Free Officers Movement – Furqat Hassaballah (Hassaballah Band)  – Serial Polygamy Brigade – Syrian Tea Party – Diwaniyat Sho’ara Al Nabat (Nabati Poets Society)……..
The names of their leaders (often called Emirs) range from: 
Abu Qatada, Abu Mus’ab, Abu Shallakh, Abu Lahab, Abu Lam’aa (Al-Assli), Abu Bin Adham, Abu Tibin, Abu Sinatra, Abu Boo Boo, Abu Polygamy, among others………