Thursday, 21 January 2016

Silviu Craescu: The Islamic State For The Perplexed

The Islamic State: 100,000 armed people with two billion dollars at their disposal. 
Their leaders were trained, including militarily, in Europe and the United States and have bought weapons from Yanukovich, thus leaving Ukraine disarmed when faced with the Russian invasion. Now ISIS wants to conquer the world, including Romania, in the name of Islam - even though they don't follow the Quran.

The Islamic State (also known as ISIL or ISIS) is an unrecognized enclave state, founded by a Sunni group affiliated to Al Qaida and organized as an Arab caliphate having Ar-Raqqan (Syria) as its capital. This new Islamic State is extended geographically in a part of Syria and Iraq, and controls territories in Turkey and Lebanon. More recently, it has expanded to Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Last summer, ISIS forces have surprisingly occupied in one week a quarter of Iraq, its northern part, without serious opposition. Even since then, the leaders of the Islamic State have promoted a map according to which they will establish a Muslim caliphate comprising South Asia - from the Mediterranean to China and India -, Eastern Europe (including Romania), and North Africa.

Initially the maps have provoked smiles, but now the jihadists have managed to create enclaves in Libya and are in conflict with Egypt. They set foot on Northern Africa. Meanwhile, they have occupied a part of Syria and Lebanon. The fact that they are constantly beheading Westerners, and their countries look powerless, should raise questions concerning the real interests of the West: why were they allowed to grow?

The jihadists have already arrived in Libya, Nigeria, and Yemen.
The Islamic State surpasses the size of a typical terrorist organization. It is organized as a network-type irregular army with 100,000 armed agents, of which 40,000 are Westerners, and with hundreds of thousands of supporters. Their financial resources amount to two billion dollars, not to mention access to non financial resources, especially oil resources.

Generally speaking, ISIS money is dirty money. On the 11th of June 2014, for example, they have stolen 425 million dollars from the Mosul branch of the Iraqi Central Bank.The movement has developed and gained followers following a regional anti-Western movement of neocolonial liberation, supported by Iran, generalized poverty in the area, and the emancipatory and democratic movement known as "the Arab spring", which was supported by the West itself. The great Western powers have an interest in using this terrorist hotbed in order to control the entire area, especially Iran, and in drawing China towards a cooperation in the field of counter terrorism. Other interests include those of Russia, in the context of the Ukrainian conflict.

The main terrorist organizations, including European and eurosceptic extremist movements, have become closer to ISIS at the beginning of this year, when the organization has tripled its number of recruited members and expanded its actions and organizational structure in Libya, Nigeria, and Yemen. The "ISIS joke" is no longer looking as one and the map they launched last year begins to materialize.

They recruit civilians whom they threaten to behead should they refuse the Quran.

The Quran has never incited to beheading or killing an innocent man. At the Turkish border an ISIL security staff was captured trying to run away with two people and a fortune consisting of gold and 200,000 euros, found in his vehicle. We do not agree with the name they have chosen for themselves, the Islamic State, which would imply that all they do is in the name of Islam. They have members from the Syrian security, Persian, Iranian, Russian securities, and the securities of Arab countries which do not want an Arab Spring on their territories. There is another category, civilians who join them out of fear of being beheaded. Then, Arab fighters: these people want anti-American leaders, they are looking for a symbol. They would join anyone calling them to fight against Americans. And this is a mistake.

It is a unique phenomenon, a terrorist organization that wishes to found a state. It is a symbol of the world yet to come, unless we take measures now. 

The Russians already share a border with Romania and nobody seems to notice it. Security threats are real in the Balkans in the upcoming period and they involve ISIS combatants.