WATCH: How Al-Qaeda’s Branch In Syria Has Become A Bigger Danger To The World Than ISIS

While all eyes are on the Islamic State’s activities in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Israel and other countries in the Middle East and beyond, an even bigger danger is threatening the world but has remained largely unnoticed say the Institute of War (ISW) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

According to the think tanks new report, the West has been ‘dangerously underestimating’ what al-Qaeda is doing in Syria. Both think tanks believe al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra is an even more dangerous group than the Islamic State (Daesh).

According to Business Insider, the report says Jabhat al-Nusra poses ‘one of the most significant long-term threats’ of any jihadist group.

Furthermore, it says that Jabhat al-Nusra has established a huge network of partnerships with Syrian opposition groups that have sworn allegiance to the organization. “It’s defeat and destruction must be one of the highest priorities of any strategy to defend the United States and Europe from al-Qaeda attacks,” the report warned.

“Jabhat al-Nusra has weakened the moderate opposition and penetrated other Sunni opposition groups in Syria so thoroughly that it is poised to benefit the most from the destruction of ISIS and the fall of the Assad regime,” the IWS and AEI reported.

The think tanks wrote that the most likely outcome of the current strategy in Syria will be the establishment of an Al-Qaeda emirate because Jabhat al-Nusra has the backing of many other militias and significant parts of the Syrian population.

At the end of 2015, VICE News released a revealing video report on Jabhat al-Nusra’s strategy in Syria that showed the group is much more than simply a militia fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The group provides, for example, education to children who are trained to become Jihadi’s and are brainwashed into believing that killing Jews is the holy duty of every Muslim.

You can watch the documentary here:

 

ISW and AEI predict that after achieving its goals in Syria Jabhat al-Nusra will join al-Qaeda in a new offensive against the West. Kimberly Kagan, the president of ISW told Business Insider that the United States is too focused on ISIS and is ignoring the threat Jabhat al-Nusra is posing.

The group is working according to a long-term strategy, Kagan said.

“ISIS is overt about its presence and al-Nusra is covert about its activities in Syria,” the ISW director said.

This is one of the reasons the U.S. is not sufficiently focused on the activities of the Syrian al-Qaeda branch, according to Kagan. Al-Nusra wants to be underestimated because it serves it’s long term goals. A defeat of the Islamic State in Syria will “likely increase the capability and strength of Jabhat al-Nusra,” Kagan added.

With or without an ISIS defeat, Jabhat al-Nusra is on the march in Syria.

Yesterday the group staged a massive show of force in Aleppo, the second city in Syria. The al-Qaeda branch drove a huge convoy of 200 vehicles with heavily armed fighters through the streets of the city ahead of a re-deployment in the area.

The El-Dorar news site reported that al-Nusra was reinforcing its troops north of Aleppo in anticipation of a new offensive by the Russian-Iranian-led pro-Assad coalition. The reinforcements arrived from Idlib province in northwest Syria near the Turkish border where al-Nusra is controlling large swaths of territory.

Syrian and Lebanese sources reported that the pro-Assad coalition aims to lift al-Nusra’s siege on two Shiite villages north of Aleppo. The villages have been surrounded by the al-Qaeda branch since the summer of 2012. Jabhat al-Nusra fighters have also taken control over neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo. Residents of the city fear that al-Nusra’s ultimate goal is to gain control over all of Aleppo and to impose Sharia law on the city.

The Free Syrian Army in Aleppo expects that a battle for control of Aleppo will start soon after a large number of masked Nusra fighters deployed in the city and began setting up checkpoints in residential areas. A commander of Jabhat al-Nusra denied that the group will start an offensive in residential areas and said that the checkpoints were erected for security reasons only.

If you want to get a better idea about Al-Nusra’s fighting capabilities, this video gives more information about the assault on the Syrian village of Banes in South Aleppo on December 8 2015.

US Think Tank: ISIS And Al-Qaeda Are Existential Threat To U.S. And Europe

Analysis

On Wednesday, Western Journalism reported Islamic State in Libya had released a new video in which it called upon all Muslims to join the organization and advance its goal of world domination.

Today ISIS launched a new media campaign directed at Muslims in Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Algeria and Marocco to oust the governments of these countries, which are ‘apostate’ in the eyes of Islamic State. The apostate governments must be replaced with Islamic regimes that adhere to Sharia law, according to Islamic State.

The Jihadist organization blames the governments of the Maghreb countries in Northwest Africa for westernizing Muslims by promoting and cultivating a Western lifestyle. In the videos released by several ISIS affiliates, Islamic State attacked Tunisia because it joined the international coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

In one video, a Tunisian ISIS member calls upon fellow Muslims to carry out attacks against Tunisia. He referred to the ISIS atrocities in France when he called upon Muslims to follow in the footsteps of the “brothers in Paris.”

“Follow in the footsteps of your brothers in Paris. Is it easier to bypass the security measures in Paris than in Tunisia? No. But we know Tunisia and we know its coward policemen. Hence, you can do twice as much as your brothers have done in France,” the ISIS spokesman said.

Tunisia and Marrocco are facing growing civil unrest and mass protests by the population who took the streets to demand better economic and social conditions in the countries.

In Tunisia, the protests have already turned violent and led demonstrating citizens to block roads.

The protests started in the city of Kasserine after a man set himself on fire to protest high unemployment and inflation in Tunisia. From there the protests, like the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011, spread to other parts of the country and to the capital Tunis, where protestors blocked streets.

Security forces in Tunisia tried to disperse the demonstrations by using tear gas and chasing protesters.

The so-called Arab Spring (already dubbed the emerging ‘Islamic Winterby Israeli experts at the start of the unrest in Egypt) began in Tunisia in December, 2010.  Mass protests erupted after fruit merchandiser Mohammed Bouazizi committed suicide by setting himself on fire. His action set off a chain of events that brought down the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya and facilitated the rise of Islamic State and other Islamist groups.

The new ISIS campaign directed at the Maghreb countries comes on the same day the ISIS online magazine Dabiq launched a campaign to incite Sunni Muslims to mass murder on their Shiite fellow Muslims.

The English version of Dabiq published several articles that explained Shiites are, in fact, apostates who deserve to be killed. The magazine went to great lengths to justify genocide on Shiites who make up only an estimated 11 percent of the Muslims in the world. Most of them live in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The schism between the Sunni Muslims and the Shiites dates back to the days of the early Muslims, following the death of the prophet Mohammed. His close confidante was appointed the first Caliph while Shiites believe Mohammed’s son-in-law, Al bin Abu Talib, was his true and rightful heir.

The current conflicts in many Arab countries have a lot to do with the old schism between the Sunnis and the Shiites.

The Shiite regime in Iran is involved in the civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Iran also controls Lebanon via Hezbollah, and supplies weapons and money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the territories under control of the Palestinian Authority.

Saudi Arabia, the current leader of the Arab Sunni’s, supports Sunni militias and terror groups in the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, but also directly fights the Shiite Houthi militia in Yemen that is supported by Iran. In addition, Saudi Arabia provides financial aid to Egypt, who is embroiled in a war with ISIS affiliate Waliyat Sinai; the Lebanese army and Palestinian groups.

Both Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are participating in coalitions that officially fight Islamic State — but in reality, they are more interested in protecting their own interests and in advancing their regional agendas.

Iran, for example, has invested a lot in preventing the collapse of the Assad regime in Syria and to ensure Iraq is dominated by a Shiite regime. But it has done little to prevent the rise of Islamic State.

The same can be said of Saudi Arabia. In December, it formed a coalition of Islamic States to battle terrorist groups such as ISIS, but has yet to start fighting Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and other regions.

Instead of fighting Islamic State, both countries are battling each other via proxies. Saudi Arabia executed a popular Shiite cleric and the Shiite regime in Tehran allowed the ransacking of Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic missions in Iran. This was followed by other actions – among them the expulsion of diplomats – that brought the countries to the brink of war.

Islamic State has taken advantage of this situation and benefits from the fact none of the powers involved in the battle against ISIS has used its full military potential to crush the Jihadist group. The result is ISIS continues to “metastasize across the region in places like Afghanistan, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, and Egypt,” as Sen. John McCain put it Wednesday, and has set its sights at the Maghreb countries.

Western military chiefs have now announced they will intensify the fight against Islamic State and other Jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. The Free Syrian Army has, for example, gotten orders from its Western backers to stop fighting the Assad regime and instead focus their efforts against Jabhat al-Nusra.

But The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) think tank has come to the conclusion the current U.S. strategy doesn’t work and will not achieve its objectives. “Current counter ISIS and al Qaeda policies do not ensure the safety of the American people or the homeland,” wrote AEI in a new report titled, “Al Qaeda and ISIS: Existential threats to the U.S. and Europe.”

“American and Western security requires the elimination of ISIS and al Qaeda regional bases and safe havens,” the report said.

“Americans must confront the magnitude of the security disaster we face squarely, neither simplifying the challenges nor minimizing the requirements. Yet we must not throw up our hands in despair and retreat behind our own walls. Retreat will cause a terrible situation to become much worse and will raise the cost and difficulty of repairing it in the future by orders of magnitude. Enemies and adversaries, such as al Qaeda and ISIS, will thrive. Focusing inwardly and defensively will severely undermine core American values such as liberty and diversity. Retreat will accelerate the collapse of the global order and economy, thereby severely damaging America’s prosperity and the well-being of all Americans.

The argument for caution, passivity, and delay is easy to make. The desire to turn away from a vexing and complicated problem is strong. Nothing about the situation in Syria, Iraq, or in the Middle East generally inspires optimism. But inaction is also action, and refusal to choose among bad options is a form of decision. Drifting along the current path in order to avoid dangerous and unpleasant action will almost certainly fail to achieve vital American national security interests and will put the safety of the American people and their allies in greater danger.

The U.S. must choose a new course — risky and costly as it will surely be. This project will ultimately recommend such a course as it evaluates options, but its primary purpose is to reframe the debate and discussion in the hopes of igniting well-grounded creative thinking that may produce a better way out of the shadows in which we now find ourselves.”

The conclusions of AEI fly in the face of what President Obama said during his state of the union address, when he declared Islamic State does not pose an existential threat to the United States.

Obama Admin Just Quietly Sent 10 Gitmo Detainees To An Extremely Disturbing Place

Ten Yemeni terrorists have been given a ringside seat to the violence and civil war wracking their homeland now that the Obama administration has quietly transferred them from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Middle East of nation of Oman, right next door to Yemen.

Oman officials announced the 10 were in the country as part of a “temporary stay.” The U.S. could not ship the terrorists from Gitmo to Yemen because federal law prohibits such direct transfers due to the war and chaos in Yemen, which is the home base of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). At least three former Gitmo detainees have assumed leadership roles with al Qaeda after the Obama administration freed them.

The release was harshly criticized by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

“Yemen is engulfed in civil war, serves as the headquarters for al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, and one or more of the Charlie Hebdo attackers is believed to have travelled from Oman to Yemen to receive training from AQAP,” Ayotte said. “This … transfer is all the more troubling in light of the fact that Ibrahim al Qosi, who was released from Gitmo by the Obama administration in 2012, is now reportedly a leader and spokesman for AQAP.”

Ayotte also believes the administration “has not been forthright with the American people about the terrorist affiliationsand activities of these detainees or provided sufficient assurances that they will not return to the battlefield.”

Obama has said he wants to close Gitmo by the end of this year. This transfer reduces the number of detainees to 93.

h/t: Fox News

Revelation About New Terrorist Leader Strikes Massive Blow To Obama’s Longstanding Plan

One of the first executive orders that President Obama signed was Executive Order 13492 which ordered the closure of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention camp (GITMO) where extremely dangerous members of al-Qaeda and other terrorists were housed. To date, the detention facility is still running and Obama’s executive order has not been fully fulfilled. That may be because the prisoners at the facility are considered a threat to national security and the military has been slow to release them, as 1 in 3 return to the jihadi battlefield to wage war against U.S. forces.

In May of 2014, the Obama administration traded five GITMO prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who the military later charged as an Army deserter. The highly criticized, and some say illegal, five for one deal appeared to some as a way that Obama showed his displeasure with his executive order remaining unfulfilled. The Obama administration failed to file a 30-day notice of the deal, violating the National Defense Authorization Act.

Now, another former GITMO detainee has been seen in jihadi propaganda videos promoting individual and small cell jihad against the U.S. and other Western countries. Ibrahim Qosi was released from GITMO in 2010. Qosi was a part of a group of Osama Bin Ladin’s “Dirty 30” as the U.S. had identified him. He was arrested in Pakistan after fleeing Bora Bora and was sent to GITMO in 2001. After pleading guilty in a military court, he was released, having served 9 years as a prisoner in the facility.

While at GITMO, it was the determined by investigators that Qosi would reengage in hostilities toward the U.S. if he were ever released. The assessment appears to be correct as Qosi is now using his words to encourage other radical Islamic terrorists to engage in jihad against the United States. The Long War Journal reported that while detained in GITMO, Qosi said that it was his “religious duty to defend Islam and fulfill the obligation of jihad and that the war between America and al-Qaeda is a war between Islam and aggression of the infidels.”

Wow: ISIS Just Suffered A ‘Severe Blow’ From The Most Unlikely Of Sources

ISIS has recently struck tremendous blows against its enemies, from the Paris terror attacks, the bombing of a Russian plane above the Sinai Peninsula, to a bombing in Beirut.

However, ISIS is not only striking significant blows- it is also receiving them.

Al Qaeda recently sent a suicide bomber and took out the entire top command of ISIS for a region of Syria known as the Golan Heights

Al Nusra Front, the Syria affiliate of Al Qaeda, quickly took credit for the attack, calling the attack upon ISIS “heroic” on Twitter.

Al Nusra Front and ISIS, both radical Sunni Islamic factions, have been embroiled in not only a war against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, but also in a bitter war against each other.

Their conflict is most intense in southern Syria, where the Golan Heights are located.

Al Nusra Front, like ISIS, hopes to set up an Islamic state. Al Nusra, however, plans to confine its hope for an Islamic state to Syria, whereas ISIS hopes to control the entire Muslim world with a new caliphate.

Alex Fishman, a veteran military correspondent for Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, said: “The Islamic State [ISIS], that controls the closest area to the Israel border in the Syrian Golan Heights, suffered a severe blow and lost its entire top command in the area in one fell swoop.”

The command oversaw a unit known as the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a key ISIS militia.

Fishman also stated: “It’s not unlikely that the deadly attack that took out the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade’s leadership in the area was actually a sign marking the end of ISIS control of the Golan.”