129 innocent people were killed and several 100ds seriously injured in five different incidents in Paris in the evening of 13th of November. This is one of many severe attacks done by the so called IS this year. This «trend» includes attacks: on university students and socialist youths in the Turkish town Suruç near Syria border in July, 33 people killed in a bomb blast, against socialists, labour unionist and activists in the Turkey’s capital Ankara during a “Peace Rally” in October, over 100 killed in twin bombings (both no organisation has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, but one of the two suicide bombers was officially identified as the younger brother of the perpetrator of the Suruç bombing), and, against civilians in the Lebanon‘s capital Beirut in November, where to suicide bombers killed between 37 to 43 in a densely populated area. This terror attack came twelve days after the bombing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula killed 224 people and a day before the Paris attacks. And let us not forget the killings of civilians in Syria and Iraq all most daily, done by war, bombings and terror. Let us mention killings of civilians in Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, too! Perpetrated by other terror groups than IS as well.
Together these atrocities against mankind have to remind us to ask two major questions: How can IS be possible historically and who are the terrorists sponsors?
Let us start with what Nafeez Ahmed, an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar, wrote in an article earlier this year «Military action is necessary to halt the spread of the ISIS/IS “cancer,” said President Obama. In his much anticipated address, he called for expanded airstrikes across Iraq and Syria, and new measures to arm and train Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces.» BUT.. «Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).
Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of the persistent influence of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East.»
AND.. «Early during the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the US covertly supplied arms to al-Qaeda affiliated insurgents even while ostensibly supporting an emerging Shi’a-dominated administration.»
This tells the bad story about the West’s complicity in the craving after resources (mostly oil) and geopolitical dominance in the Middle East. A struggle which at least has been going on since the aftermath of the World War One and where the partitioning of at the time Ottoman Empire still rock the Middle East. This war has correctly, I think, been called «the father of modern conflicts».
The terrorists sponsors – The next major questions will then be: Financing of the islamic state, by what means? And, which countries are supporting IS?
It has been known for a while that IS is a rich and well funded terror organisation, with a long range of means of income and revenue. But in what way and from how many different networks and areas they have operated, have been more uncertain. Until lately. According to FATF (FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE, an independent inter governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction), in the rapport FINANCING OF THE TERRORIST ORGANISATION ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ AND THE LEVANT (ISIL), there are many factors and areas where IS have their financing options. These are:
1. Illicit Proceeds from occupation of territory including extortion and theft
2. Bank Looting, Extortion and Human Trafficking
3. Control of Oil and Gas Reservoirs
4. Extorting Agriculture
5. Other Resource Extraction and Production Facilities
6. Cultural Artefacts
7. Illicit Taxation of Goods and Cash that Transit Territory where ISIL Operates
8. Salary Payments to Iraqi Government Employees
9. Kidnapping for ransom
10. Donations including by or through non profit organisations (NPOs)
11. Material support to include foreign terrorist fighters
12. Fundraising through modern communication networks
What this rapport fails to cover however is the question of direct or indirect support from governments. One reason for this might be that FATF promotes policies to protect the global financial system and therefore are not too keen about too much fuzz on nations? This question have to be open for debate. Countries like Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi-Arabia, have for a long time been suspected for sponsoring IS in one way or another. This is an issue which is hard to prove, mainly due to secret national budget (like Saudi-Arabia) and lack of government’s transparency. Western powers (which Nafeez Ahmed writes about) have also indirectly or directly supported terrorist groups like IS and Al-Qaeda financially and militarily, in the past at least. The «cyber currency» bitcoin have also been suspected to be used by IS as an area for financing. An Israeli cyber intelligence analyst claims that ISIS is using the dark web and bitcoin for recruitment and fundraising. But this cannot be verified yet. Jimmy Gurule, an international criminal law expert on terrorism and terrorist financing and former under secretary in the Bush junior era, had to admit that “there is some concern regarding Qatar” as a source of funding for ISIS. He claims this is an issue that the US government raises with the Qataris in official meetings. Well, well..(my comment)? At the same time there is no guarantee, he acknowledged, that money and weapons given to the “moderate” Syrian opposition by the US do not end up in the hands of ISIS, or other terrorist groups in the country (rt.com).
To get more opinions and ask more questions on these problems, were all are not in safe conclusions yet, the readers of my blog can f. ex. go to the site quora.com. for discussions. The Wikipedia site «State-sponsored terrorism» is also an informative place, as far as it looks. And WikiLeaks, a very important source on disclosing international policy, diplomacy and secrecy. Here are some links: PUBLIC LIBRARY OF US DIPLOMACY, IMAGE LIBRARY Example of search on the WikiLeaks site: Saudi-Arabia IS support
GOOD READING AND INVESTIGATION!