• Ici, le courant du Futur fait savoir qu’il trouverait insupportable que l’armée libanaise combatte contre Nusra-Al-Qaeda et contre ISIS. (Les mêmes prétendent que Nusra et ISIS sont en réalité des produits du régime syrien.)

    Hezbollah, Syrian regime battle rebels in northeast Lebanon

    Most of the fighters belong to the Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front, the security source said. But some of the fighters are believed to have pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda splinter group the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), after its advances in Iraq.


    Labweh’s mayor Ramez Amhaz told The Daily Star that a coordinated push including Hezbollah, the Syrian and the Lebanese armies targeting armed groups in the mountainous terrain surrounding the town of Arsal is being planned, but declined to specify the time of the operation. He said efforts were underway to ensure that Arsal was not involved or affected by the operation.

    Word of the campaign provoked a response by the Future Movement’s coordinator in Arsal Bakr Hujeiri, who said the Lebanese Army must explain if it is fighting in an alliance with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah.

  • Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror

    While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just last year.

    In news releases and statements, the United States Treasury Department has cited ransom amounts that, taken together, put the total at around $165 million over the same period.

    These payments were made almost exclusively by European governments, who funneled the money through a network of proxies, sometimes masking it as development aid, according to interviews conducted for this article with former hostages, negotiators, diplomats and government officials in 10 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The inner workings of the kidnapping business were also revealed in thousands of pages of internal Qaeda documents found by this reporter while on assignment for The Associated Press in northern Mali last year.


  • L’argent du pétrole alimente désormais directement l’État islamique...

    The Islamic State Is the Newest Petrostate

    The Islamic State Is the Newest Petrostate
    The Islamic State, the world’s richest terror group, is reaping millions of dollars a day from selling stolen oil to shady businessmen across the Middle East.


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    The homicidal maniacs of the Islamic State, like many shady and not-so-shady groups before it, are apparently getting into the oil business. And it seems to suit them as they reportedly are making millions of dollars per day off of it.
    The militants who have conquered broad swaths of Iraq and Syria are turning to good old-fashioned crime — oil smuggling, in this case — to underwrite its main line of work. The money it can earn from illicit oil sales further bolsters the group’s status as one of the richest self-funded terrorist outfits in the world, dependent not on foreign governments for financial support but on the money its reaped from kidnappings and bank robberies. The group has also managed to steal expensive weaponry that the United States had left for the Iraqi military, freeing it from the need to spend its own money to buy such armaments.
    But even the millions of dollars a day that the Islamic State seems to be raking in by trucking stolen oil across porous borders is not enough to meet the hefty obligations created by the group’s own headlong expansion. Taking over big chunks of territory, as in eastern Syria and in northern Iraq, could also leave it forced to take on the sorts of expensive obligations — such as paying salaries, collecting the trash, and keeping the lights on — usually reserved for governments.
    “They’ve gone from being the world’s richest terrorist organization to the world’s poorest state,” said Michael Knights, a Middle East expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
    “They’ve gone from being the world’s richest terrorist organization to the world’s poorest state,” said Michael Knights, a Middle East expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
    As with much of what the Islamic State purportedly does, the group’s actual role in trading illicit Syrian and Iraqi oil is hard to pin down. The Islamic State seemingly controls the majority of Syria’s oil fields, especially in the country’s east; human rights observers say 60 percent of Syrian oil fields are in the hands of militants or tribes. The Islamic State also seems to have control of several small oil fields in Iraq as well, though reports differ on whether most of those wells are capped or whether the Islamists are producing and shipping serious volumes of stolen Iraqi oil across the border.
    In all, energy experts estimate that illicit production in Iraq and Syria — largely by the Islamic State — is north of 80,000 barrels a day. That’s a tiny amount compared with stable oil-producing countries’ output, but it is a lot of potentially valuable oil in the hands of a group that even al Qaeda considers beyond the pale.
    If that oil fetched global market prices, it would be worth a small fortune: $8 million a day. But as the Sunni militant group’s new neighbors in Iraqi Kurdistan have discovered, it’s not easy to get top dollar for what many consider black-market oil. The Islamic State allegedly sells much of its production to middlemen in Syria, who then bring it to refineries in Turkey, Iran, or Kurdistan.
    That oil is essentially fenced and likely fetches only about $10 to $22 a barrel, said Valérie Marcel, an oil expert at Chatham House in London. Crude trades just above $100 a barrel in New York and London.
    In Iraq, the Islamic State apparently cut out middlemen and uses its own fleet of tankers, which means it can reap between $50 and $60 a barrel, Marcel said. Other reports put the terrorist group’s Iraqi oil proceeds as low as $25 a barrel.
    “They’re taking a massive discount, and they’re only achieving a small fraction of the value” of the oil, the Washington Institute’s Knights said. Altogether, the group’s oil smuggling could be generating on the order of $1 million to $2 million a day. Other analysts say the Islamic State’s oil income could be as much as $3 million a day.
    The United Nations is taking notice. On Monday, July 28, it warned countries against buying oil from militants in Iraq or Syria, saying that such purchases would violate U.N. sanctions on the terrorist group.
    With the Islamic State at the helm, that oil boom certainly won’t last forever. The old oil fields in Syria and Iraq need lots of care, such as injections to keep the pressure up and output reliable; the lack of trained technicians and the frequent turnover have been a nightmare for proper reservoir management and will ultimately lower future output at those fields, Marcel said.
    Still, all else being equal, that kind of control over oil fields, oil revenues, and petroleum products would be a financial shot in the arm for any terrorist outfit. Control of oil products, from gas canisters needed for cooking to fuel needed for transport, gives the group additional local leverage. And the revenue bolsters the Islamic State’s ability to recruit and pay fighters and to buy weapons.
    However, that money is also desperately needed to cover the salaries of public workers in places the militants now occupy. Providing basic public services to show that they can do more than conquer and crucify, but can govern to a limited extent, also costs money. Serving as an unelected proxy for ousted or absent governments has long been a way for Islamist groups, from Hezbollah to Hamas, to broaden popular support.
    “They need to keep their war machine going, but they also need to govern, and that’s costing them money,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He estimates that most of the oil revenue is quickly spent pacifying restless tribal leaders, bribing coalition partners, and paying to keep functional the basic sinews of daily life.
    “If they don’t make happen the things that people are used to see happening, their rule is going to look really, really bad,” he said.
    Here’s the thing about the Islamic State’s newfound oil wealth: Big money is not unique among terrorist groups, and in this case, it’s probably not enough.
    Here’s the thing about the Islamic State’s newfound oil wealth: Big money is not unique among terrorist groups, and in this case, it’s probably not enough.
    Oil money is just one slice of an illicit pie funding the group. In Syria and Iraq, protection rackets, extortion, local taxes, and other forms of smuggling all pour millions of dollars into the Islamic State’s coffers. Brett McGurk, the State Department’s point man on Iraq, told Congress last week that even before the militants captured Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, the group was raking in $12 million a month from illicit activities there.
    And in the pantheon of terrorist groups, none of which has conquered the world, top-line illicit revenues of a few hundred million dollars a year are not unusual. The U.S. government estimates that more than a score of the groups on its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations are deeply involved in transnational criminal activities.
    The Taliban in Afghanistan, for example, raked in between $100 million and $200 million annually from the drug trade and smuggling timber and minerals. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took home dozens of millions of dollars a year from ransom kidnappings; over a decade, the group possibly netted as much as $200 million. Hezbollah took a page from The Sopranos and made a fortune off stolen or counterfeit cigarettes. Al-Shabab fueled its fight with proceeds from human trafficking, while cocaine money kept Colombia’s FARC in the field for decades.
    More importantly, the Islamic State’s access to some oil revenues pales in comparison with its obligations and points to the group’s longer-term vulnerabilities.
    Part of its illicit empire, such as extortion and shakedowns in towns across northern Iraq, is crumbling after Baghdad froze public salaries for those areas. That’s a double blow to the group: No local incomes to extort, and now the Islamic State has to pay the payroll tab itself. At the same time, the group’s barbarity, lack of outreach to even like-minded Salafi groups, and territorial overreach may have sown the seeds of its own downfall.
    “They’re overplaying their hand everywhere they have a hand, and that’s going to come back and hurt them,” Gartenstein-Ross said.
    Moreover, control of a few small oil fields that translates into heavily discounted smuggling revenues won’t be enough to give the Islamic State staying power.
    “They can bring power, fear, and intimidation, and they can even bring unsophisticated social services,” Knights said. “What they can’t do is bring the resources of the Iraqi state,” a $120 billion national budget underwritten by the nearly 3 million barrels of oil shipped daily out of southern Iraqi oil terminals.
    “Without that oil from Basra, then ISIS are just Palestinians,” Knights added.

  • Clashes kill 12 in southern #Yemen

    Two Yemeni soldiers and 10 jihadists were killed Sunday in attempted car bomb attacks on army posts and subsequent clashes in the southern province of Abyan, a military official said. He said dozens of suspected Al-Qaeda militants took part in simultaneous attacks on three army posts in the Mahfad area of Abyan. Two car bombs exploded before reaching their targets, while a third went off at the gate of a base, he added. “The alertness of the soldiers foiled the militants’ attempt to seize the military posts,” the official told AFP, declining to be named. read more

  • ’Qaeda’ suspects kill army officer in #South_Yemen

    Al-Qaeda suspects on a motorbike shot dead an army officer Thursday in Lahij province of southern Yemen, a local security official said. The gunmen opened fire at Major Bilal Karo near his home in Thalab town, “immediately killing him,” the source said, adding that the militants “suspected of belonging to Al-Qaeda” fled on their motorbike. A medical source said Karo’s body was taken to Ibn Khaldoun hospital in the province. #motorbikes in the impoverished country have become a tool for hit-and-run shootings which have killed dozens of officials in past years. read more


  • ‘Foreign Fighters’ for Israel -
    Les combattants étrangers en Israël

    The Washington Post
    By David Malet July 22

    The deaths on July 20 of two Americans serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) provided an opening for critics of Israel to compare them to the foreign fighters of the Islamic State, formerly referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Similar complaints have already called for other governments to criminalize volunteering for Israel to create equivalence to the prosecution of would-be jihadi Islamists. The IDF reports 4,600 foreign “Lone Soldiers” currently serving, over one-third of whom are American (it is unclear how many hold dual citizenship). Are IDF Lone Soldiers comparable to al-Qaeda-inspired jihadis or the volunteer brigades who joined the Spanish Civil War?

    The question hinges on both definitions and connotations of what a foreign fighter is. Consideration of foreign fighters by international security analysts is less than a decade old and, as political scientists inevitably do, researchers employ slightly varied definitions, so there are no universal criteria for identification. Crucially, however, most studies have assumed foreign fighters to be insurgents fighting against the government. Scholar on Islamist militant groups Thomas Hegghammer’s definition of foreign fighters specifically “excludes returning diaspora members,” and this would encompass Lone Soldiers such as Nissim Sean Carmeli, an Israeli-born Texan who was one of the Americans killed. No published academic definitions of foreign fighters would therefore include diaspora Jews fighting in the IDF.

    Beyond definitions, the term “foreign fighter” generally carries an implication of illegitimacy. In late 2001, al-Qaeda’s “foreign fighters” were shipped off to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba because they were regarded as both uniquely dangerous and uniquely “unauthorized enemy combatants.” They did not uphold international norms of citizenship and military allegiance, and stated that they in fact wished to destroy the international system itself. They were also not the primarily profit-seeking mercenaries already banned under international law.

    Nearly every academic study has focused exclusively on Sunni jihadis, some incorporating Islamism in their parameters, although counterterrorism and Middle East security expert Daniel Byman has recently examined the substantial number of pro-regime Shiite volunteers who arrived in Syria from elsewhere in the region. The phenomenon is far wider than just Islamists, however. In my book “Foreign Fighters,” I analyze the surprisingly common strategy of armed groups that persuade volunteers abroad that they have a duty to protect fellow members of a transnational group facing a threat to its survival. This approach has been used by ideological affiliations including the Communist International for the International Brigades, and by religious groups like the Catholic foreign fighters on the other side of the Spanish Civil War, who were told their souls would benefit from martyrdom for Christ. It also holds for ethnic groups like the nearly 200 Albanian-Americans who joined the Atlantic Brigades to fight for the Kosovo Liberation Army, and the European volunteers defending fellow White Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the Texas Revolution who outnumbered Texan-born fighters at the Alamo three-to-one. The particular identity of the group does not affect this approach to recruitment. Today it is being used by jihadis for the Islamic State and also pro-Russian fighters for the Orthodox Dawn in eastern Ukraine.

  • Lebanese soldier defects to al-Nusra Front

    A Lebanese army soldier defected to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front after abandoning his post in the eastern town of #Ersal overnight Tuesday, security sources told Al-Akhbar. Atef Saadeddine left the army to join the jihadi group after making off with three M16 rifles, night vision goggles and a walkie-talkie, the sources said. Saadeddine’s disappearance was initially believed to have been the result of a kidnapping, but it was quickly deduced that he had left voluntarily.

    Rameh Hamieh

    read more


  • Three dead in clash between al-Qaeda gunmen and Yemeni army

    Two Yemeni soldiers and a suspected Al-Qaeda gunman have been killed in a clash following an ambush in the southern province of Shabwa, security and tribal sources said on Friday. The gunmen ambushed an army vehicle late Thursday on the main road in al-Aram, a security official said, adding that the soldiers fired back at the assailants. He said two soldiers were killed in the confrontation and another was wounded. A tribal source, meanwhile, said that one attacker was shot dead in the clash and four were wounded. read more


  • #al-Qaeda gunmen attack police camp, kill two

    Gunmen have killed two Yemeni police in an attack on a camp for anti-riot forces in the central province of Baida, an al-Qaeda stronghold, an official said Thursday. The assailants on board two vehicles fired machine-guns at the camp in the town of Rada late on Wednesday, and on-duty policemen shot back at them, said the regional government official. “Two policemen were killed and a third was wounded” in the clash, he said, adding the assailants fled after failing to storm the camp. The official was unable to say if there were any casualties among the attackers. read more

    #News #Yemen

  • Qaeda gunmen rob Yemeni post office, kill policeman

    Suspected #al-Qaeda militants attacked a post office in #Yemen's southeastern Hadramawt province, killing a policeman and making off with two million riyals (US $10,000), security officials said Wednesday. The policeman was guarding the post office in the town of Hura when attackers late Tuesday killed him and fled with the cash, the officials said. Robberies in Yemen by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) jihadists are common as the network attempts to finance itself. read more


  • ISIS in control of 60 percent of Syrian oil: sources « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

    ISIS in control of 60 percent of Syrian oil: sources
    Al-Qaeda-splinter group expanding oil production efforts in Syria

    London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is preparing to seize one of the few remaining major oil production centers in Syria not under its control, according to Syrian opposition officials.

    “ISIS is already in control of more than 60 percent of Syria’s oil, with a total production rate of 180, 0000 barrel per day” and now plans to seize facilities in the northern province of Hassakah, an official from the Ministry of Energy in the interim Syrian opposition government, Yamin Al-Shami, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    Having seized control of the majority of oil fields in Raqqa province, in central Syria, and Deir Ezzor province, along the Iraqi border, ISIS is preparing to mobilize fighters in a new push towards the town of Rmelan, home to the largest oil fields in Hassakah. Rmealn is under the control of Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

    Shami warned that oil production constitutes a significant source of revenue for ISIS, adding that the Islamist militant group is able to sell a barrel of crude oil for around 18 US dollars. Brent crude, a global benchmark, currently sells at around 107 US dollars.

    Oil is transported from ISIS-held areas with the help of local and foreign brokers, Shami said.

    Despite its recent advances in Iraq, ISIS has been unable to take control of oil resources comparable to those it holds in Syria, and its recent attempt to capture the key Baiji refinery was successfully deterred by Iraqi forces. But Iraq’s oil infrastructure is far from secure, and there are frequent reports that huge amounts of crude oil are being smuggled out of the country by militants.

    “Militant groups, along with ISIS, are stealing crude oil from fields near the Hamrin mountains” in northeastern Iraq, a local administrative official, Shallal Abdool, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    “Kurdish Peshmerga forces that control the area have seized more than 50 tankers loaded with stolen crude oil,” he added.

    When asked about the destination to which oil is being taken, Abdool said: “There are many sides inside and outside Iraq that buy crude oil . . . and there are smugglers and brokers in Iraq who buy it for a cheap price in order to sell it abroad.”

    Valerie Marcel, of London-based Chatham House think tank, said: “Fighters from ISIS can sell oil on the black market to buyers from Turkey, the Kurdistan region and Iran.”

    “ISIS’s use of temporary refineries allows them to sell oil more easily.”

    But, pointing to the fact that oil smuggling has been a problem for decades, others played down worries about ISIS’s oil activities.

    “Oil smuggling operations from these sites exist and have been taking place for a long time before ISIS took over Nineveh province,” the governor of Salah Al-Din province, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Jubouri, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

  • #rockets fired from #Lebanon strike Israeli occupied territories

    Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israeli occupied territory on Friday and #Israel's army responded with artillery fire, Lebanon’s military said, adding it was unclear who was behind the initial attack. In the past, militants linked to al-Qaeda have claimed such attacks. The rockets were fired from the Marjayoun — Hasbaya area towards occupied Palestinian territories, a statement from Lebanon’s army said. The projectiles were launched in the hours before dawn. read more

    #Abdullah_Azzam_Brigades #Palestine

  • #Iraq PM accuses Kurds of providing cover for militants in Erbil

    Iraqi Prime Minister #Nouri_al-Maliki said on Wednesday the Kurdish-controlled city of Erbil was becoming an operations base for the #Islamic_State militant group that seized swathes of northern and western Iraq last month. Maliki is under pressure as militants, led by the #al-Qaeda offshoot Islamic State, hold large parts of the north and west of the country and have threatened to march on the capital. “We will never be silent about Erbil becoming a base for the operations of the Islamic State and Baathists and al-Qaeda and the terrorists,” Maliki said in his weekly televised address. read more


  • Iraq shelling strikes northern #Saudi_Arabia

    Three mortar bombs landed inside Saudi Arabia on Monday close to its northern border with Iraq, where Islamist militants have grabbed land in a lightning advance, officials said. The mortars caused no casualties but will stoke security fears in Saudi Arabia, which is also facing militants on its southern border with #Yemen, where at least 10 people died in an #al-Qaeda raid into the kingdom on Friday and Saturday. Authorities in Saudi Arabia said they were still looking into who fired Monday’s rounds, which landed near a block of flats outside the northern town of Arar. read more

  • #Yemen air raids kill 70 rebels

    The Yemeni air force bombed fighters north of Sanaa on Saturday in fighting that killed at least 70 people, local officials said, after a truce reached last month between the insurgents and government forces collapsed. The fighting in northern Yemen, which has taken on a sectarian tone, is further destabilising a country struggling to overcome a range of problems including a secessionist movement in its south and the nationwide spread of an al Qaeda insurgency. read more

    #Houthis #Islah_party

  • Six dead in southern Saudi suicide attack: Al Arabiya

    Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Saturday that two suspected al-Qaeda militants who had been surrounded inside a government building in southern #Saudi_Arabia after an attack on a border post with Yemen blew themselves up early on Saturday. The satellite channel gave no further details on casualties from the blast. Saudi security forces had been searching for militants who had fled after the attack, in which six people, including one suicide bomber and two security personnel, were killed. (Reuters)

  • « La faute à Obama » ?, par Serge Halimi (juillet 2014)

    Etait-il imprévoyant, cet élu de l’Illinois qui estimait dès octobre 2002 qu’une invasion de l’Irak ne ferait qu’« attiser les flammes au Proche-Orient, encourager dans le monde arabe les pires impulsions et renforcer le bras recruteur d’Al-Qaida » ? Fut-il plus visionnaire que lui, le vice-président des Etats-Unis qui promit alors que les armées américaines seraient « accueillies en libératrices » ? C’est pourtant le second, M. Richard (« Dick ») Cheney, qui accuse aujourd’hui le premier, M. Barack Obama, d’avoir agi en Irak comme un traître doublé d’un benêt. Et qui conclut avec un culot singulier : « Rarement un président des Etats-Unis se sera autant trompé à propos d’autant de choses au détriment d’autant de gens. »

  • What is the origin of the name #al-Qaida? | Books | The Guardian

    In October last year, an item appeared on an authoritative Russian studies website that soon had the science-fiction community buzzing with speculative excitement. It asserted that #Isaac_Asimov's 1951 classic Foundation was translated into Arabic under the title “al-Qaida”. And it seemed to have the evidence to back up its claims.

    The Arabic word qaida - ordinarily meaning “base” or “foundation” - is also used for “groundwork” and “basis”. It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example. Lane, the best Arab-English lexicon, gives these senses: foundation, basis of a house; the supporting columns or poles of a structure; the lower parts of clouds extending across a horizon; a universal or general rule or canon. With the coming of the computer age, it has gained the further meaning of “database”: qaida ma’lumat (information base).

    @nidal @alaingresh

  • Israel offers to help “moderate” Arab nations over Iraq crisis - Ahram Online

    Lieberman said Israeli interests were converging with moderate Arab nations “with both sides dealing with the threat of Iran, world jihad and Al-Qaeda, as well as the spill-over of conflicts in Syria and in Iraq to neighbouring countries.”

    “Today, there is a basis for the creation of a new diplomatic-political structure in the Middle East,” his office said in the statement.

  • Suicide bomber kills two soldiers as clashes erupt in Southern #Yemen

    A suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into the entrance of an army base in the central Yemeni city of Seiyun, killing two soldiers on Thursday, security officials said. At the same time, soldiers clashed with suspected #Al_Qaeda militants at the city’s nearby airport, the officials told Reuters. Western powers fear al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) could use Yemen as a springboard for future international attacks. read more

  • In devising a plan in Iraq, U.S. looks to its Yemen model,0,4478205.story

    As they plan their response to the crisis in Iraq, President Obama and his top aides are hoping to replicate elements of an often-overlooked and relatively successful U.S. military operation in another war-ravaged Middle East nation: Yemen.


    Obama cited Yemen as a model when he sketched out plans Thursday to send up to 300 military advisors to Iraq to help its struggling security forces beat back Sunni Muslim militants from an Al Qaeda splinter group who have overrun parts of the country.


    “Yemen so far has worked,” said Anthony Cordesman, a former intelligence director at the Pentagon now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s not stable. It’s not clear what direction it is moving in, but the U.S. has exercised considerable influence there.”

    Yet limits of the Yemen strategy are clear.

    Despite an influx of military aid and nearly 100 drone strikes, plus about a dozen reported attacks with cruise missiles, since Obama took office, the U.S. effort has not eradicated the militant threat in Yemen, only contained it.

    Political changes that might address the root causes of the unrest have been slow and uneven, despite a compliant and cooperative leader.

    It is likely to prove more difficult in Iraq.

    Why the ’Yemen model’ may not work in Iraq — or Yemen | Public Radio International

    Middle East watcher Gregory Johnsen thinks that’s a bad idea; he’s not even sure what Obama is seeing in Yemen should be called success.

    “It just seems that the US doesn’t have a very good grasp of what’s happening on the ground in Yemen or what’s happening on the ground in Iraq, or how to solve either of these problems,” he says.

    Johnsen says the US military strategy used to hunt al-Qaeda members in Yemen has been ineffective, or even counterproductive.

    “About four-and-a-half years ago, when the US started this program of drone strikes, special forces advisors on the ground, al-Qaeda in Yemen numbered about 200 to 300 people. Now today, there are several thousand people. So what the US is doing in Yemen isn’t working.”

    He notes that US drone strikes on al-Qaeda targets, in sparsely populated regions of Yemen, have led to civilian deaths and engendered ill-will among Yemenis. 

    “The problem for the US is that if they can’t even hit the right targets in Yemen, when the targets are isolated, how do they hope to hit the right targets in Iraq, when the targets are sort of cheek-and-jowl with the civilians there,” Johnsen says.

  • Militants attack major Iraqi air base

    Militants attacked one of #Iraq's largest air bases on Wednesday as the first US teams arrived to the country. Two weeks of advances by militants spearheaded by al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has threatened to rupture the country 11 years after the US-led invasion shattered Iraq’s stability. Militants including #ISIS and allied tribes battled Iraqi forces in the town of Yathrib, 90 kilometers north of Baghdad, into the early hours of Wednesday, witnesses and the deputy head of the municipality said. Four militants were killed, they said. read more

  • #al-Qaeda affiliates keeping a watchful eye on #ISIS' conquests

    A file image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on August 23, 2013 allegedly shows a member of Ussud Al-Anbar (Anbar Lions), a Jihadist group affiliated to the Islamic State of #Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda’s front group in Iraq, holding up the trademark black and white Islamist flag at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Anbar province. (Photo-AFP/Youtube) A file image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on August 23, 2013 allegedly shows a member of Ussud Al-Anbar (Anbar Lions), a Jihadist group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda’s front group in Iraq, holding up the trademark black and white Islamist flag at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Anbar province. (Photo-AFP/Youtube) (...)

    #Mideast_&_North_Africa #Abu_Bakr_al-Baghdadi #Abudallah_Azzam_Brigades #Al-Nusra_Front #al-Zawahiri #Articles #Ayman #Baghdad #Caliphate #Homs #Lebanon #Mosul #syria

  • Tu te souviens, quand Rumsfeld et les grands médias internationaux ont inventé le bunker secret d’Al Qaeda creusé dans la montagne ?

    Rumsfeld: Oh, you bet. This is serious business. And there’s not one of those. There are many of those. And they have been used very effectively. And I might add, Afghanistan is not the only country that has gone underground. Any number of countries have gone underground.

    Une rumeur largement reprise dans la presse à l’époque fut qu’à Tora Bora se trouvait un gigantesque complexe souterrain. Tout est apparemment parti d’une description faite dans le New York Times des grottes de Zhawar Kili dans la province de Paktiyâ d’après le récit d’un vétéran russe, Viktor Kutsenko, un sapeur chargé de les détruire en 1986. Selon Kutsenko, il y avait 41 grottes, fermées par des portes en acier, où l’électricité était installée, comprenant diverses installations très équipées dont un hôpital avec une machine à ultra-sons, et l’une d’elles contenait même un char T-342. Divers articles de journaux ont ensuite repris la description de cette « forteresse souterraine », en la situant à Tora Bora au lieu de Zhawar Kili, en l’amplifiant en parlant d’une véritable fourmilière creusée à 300 mètres sous la montagne, pouvant accueillir des centaines voire des milliers d’hommes, équipée de systèmes de ventilation, etc., le tout parfois illustré de vues d’artistes spectaculaires3. Finalement, aucun complexe souterrain sophistiqué n’a été trouvé à Tora Bora, mais de nombreuses grottes qui servaient d’abris à personnel, d’hôpital et d’entrepôts à munitions4.

    • Flashback: What Neocons Told Us about Iraq - Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

      Paul Wolfowitz:
      – “It’s hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine.” Feb. 27, 2003 (Source)
      – "Peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests. There’s been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia along with the requirement for large policing forces to separate those militias.” Feb. 27, 2003 (Source)
      – “These are Arabs, 23 million of the most educated people in the Arab world, who are going to welcome us as liberators.” Feb. 27, 2003 (Source)

  • The Iraq-ISIS Conflict in Maps, Photos and Video -

    De la part de notre copain Jacopo Ottaviani ‏@jackottaviani

    Having occupied crucial sections of Syria over the past year and more recently seizing vast areas of Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria controls territory greater than many countries and now rivals Al Qaeda as the world’s most powerful jihadist group.

    #irak #syrie #isis #eiil