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FTR #880 The ISIS File: The Myth of the Moderates

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by late spring of 2015. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #850 [1].  

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [6]

Intro­duc­tion: With reportage of ISIS dom­i­nat­ing the news cycle in the after­math of the sec­ond Paris mas­sacre [7] of this cal­en­dar year (“Machi­avel­li 3.0”?) and the San Bernardi­no shoot­ings, we explore the gen­e­sis and oper­a­tions of the orga­ni­za­tion. (Please exam­ine this show–the descrip­tion for it in particular–to see the extent to which it frames the polit­i­cal rhetoric on the Islamist and “Euro-reac­tionary” sides. That rhetor­i­cal dynam­ic has only increased in the wake of the most recent attacks.)

We begin by review­ing the fact that evi­dence that CIA is aid­ing [8] the so-called “mod­er­ate” rebels in Syr­ia, and by exten­sion, ISIS, is strong. They are work­ing with the Syr­i­an Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in that capac­i­ty.

This should be eval­u­at­ed against the back­ground of: the use of Islamists as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia and Chi­na; the transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions embrace of the “cor­po­ratist” eco­nom­ics of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (par­ent insti­tu­tion of al-Qae­da and its relat­ed orga­ni­za­tions) and the high­ly muta­ble [9] nature of the Islamist mil­i­tants in Syr­ia (ele­ments of the Nus­ra Front–an al-Qae­da affiliate–have read­i­ly embraced ISIS).

After review­ing ISIS founder al-Baghradi’s “for­mer” mem­ber­ship [10] in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, we exam­ine [11] sev­er­al arti­cles relat­ing infor­ma­tion [12] from a de-clas­si­fied DIA doc­u­ment [13] that details the sup­port of Amer­i­can allies Sau­di Ara­bia, Turkey and Qatar for the estab­lish­ment of a Sun­ni caliphate in Syr­ia as part of the pres­sure on Pres­i­dent Assad.

Even Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden not­ed the role [14] of Amer­i­ca’s allies in the growth of ISIS (fail­ing to men­tion covert sup­port for their efforts by ele­ments of CIA.)

A VERY telling com­ment was made in Octo­ber by the chief of Turk­ish intel­li­gence. In effect, it was an oblique endorse­ment [15] of ISIS.

The pro­gram reviews a short quote from Zbig­niew Brzezin­s­ki, read by Eliz­a­beth Gould in FTR #872 [16]. Brzezin­s­ki is quite open about the util­i­ty of using Islamists to desta­bi­lize Rus­sia and Chi­na.

We note in that con­text that the Al Kifah orga­ni­za­tion switched its focus [17] from sup­port­ing the Muja­hadin in Afghanistan to sup­port­ing the Islamists from Chech­nya. ISIS appears to have drawn heav­i­ly on Chech­nyan jihadists and now Chechens have mate­ri­al­ized in Ukraine.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1a. The evi­dence that ele­ments of CIA is aid­ing the so-called “mod­er­ate” rebels in Syr­ia, and by exten­sion, ISIS, is strong. They are work­ing with the Syr­i­an Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in that capac­i­ty.

“C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steer­ing Arms to Syr­i­an Oppo­si­tion” by Eric Schmitt; The New York Times; 6/21/2012. [8]

A small num­ber of C.I.A. [25] offi­cers are oper­at­ing secret­ly in south­ern Turkey, help­ing allies decide which Syr­i­an oppo­si­tion fight­ers across the bor­der will receive arms to fight the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment, accord­ing to Amer­i­can offi­cials and Arab intel­li­gence offi­cers.

The weapons, includ­ing auto­mat­ic rifles, rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, ammu­ni­tion and some anti­tank weapons, are being fun­neled most­ly across the Turk­ish bor­der by way of a shad­owy net­work of inter­me­di­aries includ­ing Syr­ia [26]’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and paid for by Turkey, Sau­di Ara­bia and Qatar, the offi­cials said. . . .

1b. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagh­da­di has been iden­ti­fied by key Mus­lim Broth­er­hood cler­ic Youssef Qaradawi as a “for­mer” mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. In the arti­cle below, note that Qaradawi notes the key ter­ror­ist lead­ers that were “for­mer” mem­bers of the Broth­er­hood. The “for­mer” is to be tak­en with a huge dose of salt–Muslim fas­cists are as capa­ble as Euro­pean and Amer­i­can fas­cists at imple­ment­ing “plau­si­ble deni­a­bil­i­ty.”

“FEATURED: Youssef Qaradawi Says ISIS Leader Was Once Mus­lim Broth­er­hood; First Eng­lish Trans­la­tion of State­ment”; Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Watch; 10/21/2014. [10]

The GMBDW has dis­cov­ered what appears to be the first Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the video in which Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader Youssef Qaradawi can be seen refer­ring to what is almost cer­tain­ly Abu Bakr al-Bagh­da­di and explain­ing that he was once a mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. At time 0:44 of the video [27], post­ed on the Brotherhoodwatch.co.uk web­site, Qaradawi refers to “this young­ster” who once belonged to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood but desir­ing lead­er­ship and after a peri­od in prison (al-Bagh­da­di is thought [28] to have spent five years in an Amer­i­can deten­tion facil­i­ty) went on to join the Islam­ic State of Iraq and the Lev­ant (ISIL/ISIS). It would appear that al-Bagh­da­di joins the ranks of oth­er infa­mous ter­ror­ist lead­ers such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Khalid Mesha­lal who once belonged to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood before going on to join­ing lead­ing ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. In the video (time 1:12), Qaradawi also refers to uniden­ti­fied “young­sters” from Qatar who also joined ISIS. . . . .

1c. Our recent series of pro­grams fea­tur­ing Peter Lev­en­da dis­cussing The Hitler Lega­cy high­light­ed the gen­e­sis of “weaponized Islam” and the use of jihadists as proxy war­riors by Impe­r­i­al Ger­many [29] in World War I [30], Nazi Ger­many in World War II and, final­ly, the U.S. and the West [31] dur­ing the Cold War. [32]

In FTR #773 [33], we not­ed the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing. In that pro­gram, we opined that the evi­dence sug­gest­ed very strong­ly that ele­ments of U.S. and West­ern intel­li­gence were con­tin­u­ing to use jihadists as “proxy war­riors,” in this case against Rus­sia in the Cau­ca­sus.

In that pro­gram, we also sug­gest­ed that the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing itself, like 9/11, was “blow­back” from our con­tin­ued use of Islam­ic fas­cists as prox­ies.

We have also not­ed that, in effect, there is a proxy war com­po­nent to the bur­geon­ing Shia/Sunni con­flict in the Mid­dle East. Rus­sia is sup­port­ive of the Shi­ite nation­al com­bat­ant forces–Iran and Syr­ia, pri­mar­i­ly. This appears to be a gam­bit intend­ed, in part, to shield Rus­si­a’s south­ern flank from fur­ther assault by Sun­ni proxy war­riors.

There have been indi­ca­tions of Sau­di pre-plan­ning their anti-Shi­ite cru­sade. Prince Ban­dar spoke omi­nous­ly of a day of ret­ri­bu­tion against Shi­ites. In addi­tion, we have dis­cussed the “cor­po­ratist” eco­nom­ic view­point of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, an ide­ol­o­gy that frames that orga­ni­za­tion in the same con­text as Hitler, Mus­soli­ni and Impe­r­i­al Japan [34]. Although those coun­tries were bit­ter oppo­nents of the U.S. and democ­ra­cy itself, their anti-com­mu­nist and fas­cist [“cor­po­ratist”] ide­ol­o­gy made them desir­able to the transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions that helped to spawn the fas­cist pow­ers in the first place.

The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is the par­ent orga­ni­za­tion of Al-Qae­da, Hamas, Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad and, very pos­si­bly ISIS. (It’s head is a “for­mer” mem­ber of the Broth­er­hood.)

It should be under­stood that, for the transna­tion­als and the GOP and oth­er polit­i­cal ele­ments that sup­port them and are, in turn, sup­port­ed by them, the U.S. casu­al­ties from World War II, the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing are accept­able loss­es.” They are col­lat­er­al dam­age, accept­able under the cir­cum­stances.

Attacks like the Paris inci­dents of 2015 also serve as a de fac­to “strat­e­gy of ten­sion,” but­tress­ing the far-right and the forces of reac­tion and jus­ti­fy­ing intru­sions on civ­il lib­er­ties. Although we don’t think this is the pri­ma­ry moti­va­tion for the West­ern intel­li­gence col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sun­ni jihadists, the ben­e­fits of the “blow­back” are con­sid­er­able and wel­comed by fas­cists in this coun­try and oth­ers.

A recent post by Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy flesh­es out this line of inquiry. (Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy feeds along the low­er right hand side of the front page of this web­site.)

“The Jihad’s Use­ful­ness (II);” german-foreign-policy.com; 5/28/2015. [11]

A recent­ly declas­si­fied memo of the US Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA) reveals that the West had sup­port­ed the cre­ation of the “Islam­ic State” (IS). Using jihadist forces has been a West­ern tra­di­tion for decades, as the Afghanistan war in the 1980s and an analy­sis of the West­ern pow­er strug­gle with Iran (espe­cial­ly since 2003) show. In the 1980s, west­ern coun­tries — in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sau­di Ara­bia — had sup­port­ed jihadists asso­ci­at­ed with Osama bin Laden, to defeat Sovi­et mil­i­tary forces in Afghanistan. Since at least ten years, they have been sup­port­ing Arab jihadists in an effort to weak­en Iran’s main allies. These activ­i­ties, accom­pa­ny­ing the offi­cial “war on ter­ror,” are “a very high-risk ven­ture,” warn US intel­li­gence offi­cials. Sau­di Ara­bia, one of Ger­many’s main allies in the Arab world, is play­ing a cen­tral role in sup­port­ing jihadists.

Against the Sovi­et Union

West­ern pow­ers first used mod­ern jihadism on a major scale dur­ing the 1980s in Afghanistan. In their quest to defeat the pro-Sovi­et Afghan gov­ern­ment and the Sovi­et mil­i­tary sta­tioned in Afghanistan, the Unit­ed States, the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many and oth­er NATO mem­ber coun­tries banked, not only on the Afghan Mujahidin, but also Arab jihadists, includ­ing Osama bin Laden.[1] The then lit­tle known Osama bin Laden, and the oth­er jihadists were pro­mot­ed with Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s finan­cial and logis­ti­cal sup­port. The head of Sau­di for­eign intel­li­gence at the time and Bin Laden’s con­tact per­son, Prince Tur­ki al Faisal bin Abdu­laz­iz al Saud played a major role. Today, he pro­vides his polit­i­cal exper­tise to the “Advi­so­ry Coun­cil” of the Munich Secu­ri­ty Conference.[2] The Afghan Mujahidin and the grow­ing num­ber of Arab jihadists final­ly suc­ceed­ed in forc­ing the Sovi­et armed forces into with­draw­ing from Afghanistan. From the west­ern per­spec­tive, jihadism had there­fore proven its effec­tive­ness as an instru­ment in fight­ing sec­u­lar, social­ist forces.

Against Iran

The al Qae­da attacks on US embassies in Nairo­bi and Dar es Salaam (August 7, 1998), the US counter attack on al Qae­da bases in Afghanistan (August 20, 1998) and par­tic­u­lar­ly the 9/11 ter­ror attacks and the ensu­ing war on Afghanistan seemed to have led to an irrepara­ble rift between the West and the jihadists. How­ev­er, the “war on ter­ror” did not hin­der the West from again engag­ing in punc­tu­al coop­er­a­tion with Arab jihadists — this time, not a strug­gle against sec­u­lar social­ist forces, but an attempt at weak­en­ing Iran. With Iraq’s destruc­tion start­ing in 2003, the US-led war alliance had neu­tral­ized Iran’s tra­di­tion­al rival, inad­ver­tent­ly open­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty for Iran becom­ing a Per­sian Gulf region­al hege­mon­ic pow­er. To pre­vent this, West­ern pow­ers began an arms buildup of the Gulf dic­ta­tor­ships — par­tic­u­lar­ly Sau­di Ara­bia — to cre­ate a counterforce.[3] These dic­ta­tor­ships, in turn, soon began sub­vert­ing Iran’s region­al allies — for exam­ple Syr­ia and the Lebanese Hezbol­lah.

“High Risk Ven­ture”

This has led to Arab jihadists being called back into action. In 2007, the US jour­nal­ist Sey­mour Hersh exposed how the West, togeth­er with Sau­di Ara­bia, was mov­ing against Hezbol­lah in Lebanon.[4] While, on the one hand, for exam­ple the Ger­man Navy was par­tic­i­pat­ing in the UN mis­sion off the Lebanese coast to pre­vent arms sup­plies from reach­ing this Shi­ite mili­tia, Riyadh, on the oth­er hand, was build­ing up their most res­olute ene­mies, the Salafists and jihadists, whose hatred of Shi­ite Mus­lims is as strong as their hatred of sec­u­lar, social­ist forces. In ear­ly 2007, gov­ern­ment offi­cials from var­i­ous coun­tries had con­firmed to Hersh that the USA and Sau­di Ara­bia were pro­vid­ing Lebanese Salafist and jihadist orga­ni­za­tions with the means for fight­ing Hezbol­lah. A Lebanese gov­ern­ment offi­cial told Hersh, “we have a lib­er­al atti­tude, allow­ing those al Qae­da groups to main­tain a pres­ence here.” A for­mer agent from the Unit­ed States explic­it­ly admit­ted, “we’re financ­ing a lot of bad guys with some seri­ous poten­tial unin­tend­ed con­se­quences. It’s a very high-risk ven­ture.”

A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty

The fact that the West is fol­low­ing this same strat­e­gy in the war in Syr­ia has been con­firmed in a memo, dat­ing from August 2012, from the US Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA) and made pub­lic last week. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5]) Accord­ing to the memo, the cre­ation of a “Salafist prin­ci­pal­i­ty” in east­ern Syr­ia was seen as advan­ta­geous — to deprive the “Shi­ite expan­sion,” ema­nat­ing from Iran, its “strate­gic depth” in Syr­ia. The “Islam­ic State” (IS), in fact, has evolved from that “Salafist prin­ci­pal­i­ty.”

The Ban­dar Plan

The west­ern pow­ers along with their main region­al allies — Turkey and Sau­di Ara­bia — have active­ly built up the Salafist and jihadist mili­tias, in Syr­ia, with the ex-Sau­di Ambas­sador to the Unit­ed States (1983 — 2005), Prince Ban­dar bin Sul­tan bin Abdu­laz­iz al Saud play­ing a deci­sive role. In his func­tion as Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary of the Sau­di Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil (2005), Ban­dar bin Sul­tan sup­port­ed the Lebanese Salafists, and as head of the Sau­di intel­li­gence ser­vices, (2012), he was also involved in the Syr­i­an war. The “Ban­dar Plan,” named after him, called for form­ing and arm­ing insur­gent mili­tias in Syr­ia. In fact, this refers to the — pri­mar­i­ly Salafist — mil­i­tary units being financed by Sau­di Ara­bia. The plan also calls for the infil­tra­tion of Sau­di agents into al Qae­da allied groups and using oth­er means to influ­ence those jihadist mili­tias, where infil­tra­tion proved unfea­si­ble. With­in this frame­work Sau­di Ara­bia even pro­vid­ed aid to IS, albeit the financ­ing, in this case, was inof­fi­cial, fur­nished by pri­vate jihadist sup­port­ers, accord­ing to an Israeli analy­sis pub­lished in 2014.[6] Only after the IS began expand­ing in Iraq, in ear­ly 2014, and began cre­at­ing the sit­u­a­tion that the DIA had warned of in August 2012,[7] was Ban­dar bin Sul­tan relieved of his duties and flown to the USA “for med­ical treat­ment.” In the sum­mer of 2014, west­ern coun­tries found them­selves com­pelled to mil­i­tar­i­ly inter­vene against IS, which was gath­er­ing strength. This is the IS, the West had pater­nal­is­ti­cal­ly watched tak­ing its first steps in the strug­gle against the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Assad, their com­mon ene­my.

Destruc­tive Poten­tial

Even this has not put an end to the West­’s use of jihadists. Most recent­ly, the US-led “anti-IS coali­tion” stood by watch­ing as IS drove Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment troops out of Palmyra, a strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant city — a wel­come sup­port in the war on Pres­i­dent Assad’s gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to reports, Sau­di Ara­bia and Turkey have “again been close­ly col­lab­o­rat­ing” since March. Of course, in the war on Syr­ia “they do not have their sights on the IS, but rather tar­get Assad” — Riyadh and Ankara’s more polite for­mu­la­tion of the stan­dard Salafist and jihadist demand.[8] West­ern strate­gists have even begun propos­ing using jihadists in the strug­gle against the jihadists of IS, which has become much too pow­er­ful. Accord­ing to a recent web­site arti­cle of the US “For­eign Affairs” jour­nal, the al Qae­da should not be allowed to be fur­ther weak­ened. Al Qae­da must be allowed to con­tin­ue to exist to keep its sup­port­ers from defect­ing to IS. There­fore the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion should be kept “afloat and [Aiman az-] Zawahiri alive.”[9] Jihadists are only being fought, if they become too pow­er­ful — as in the case of IS — or if they begin to attack west­ern tar­gets. Oth­er­wise, their destruc­tive poten­tial is con­sid­ered a west­ern secret asset in its war on com­mon ene­mies.

[1] More infor­ma­tion on the Jihadists in Afghanistan and the West in: Steve Coll: Ghost Wars. The Secret His­to­ry of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Sovi­et Inva­sion to Sep­tem­ber 10, 2001. New York 2004.

[2] See Old Allies [35] and Good Guys, Bad Guys [36].

[3] See Gulf Sta­bil­i­ty [37] and Hege­mon­ic Con­flict at the Gulf (II) [38].

[4] Sey­mour M. Hersh: The Redi­rec­tion. Is the Admin­is­tra­tion’s new pol­i­cy ben­e­fit­ting our ene­mies in the war on ter­ror­ism? www.newyorker.com 05.03.2007.

[5] See Vom Nutzen des Jihad (I) [39] and A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty [12].

[6] Udi Dekel, Orit Perlov: The Sau­di Ara­bia and Kuwait “Out­posts Project”: Al-Qae­da and Its Affil­i­ates. The Insti­tute for Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies, INSS Insight No. 517, 16.02.2014.

[7] See Vom Nutzen des Jihad (I) [39] and A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty [12].

[8] Markus Bick­el: Fortschritte und Rückschritte in Syrien. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 09.05.2015.

[9] Barak Mendel­sohn: Accept­ing Al Qae­da. www.foreignaffairs.com 09.03.2015.

1d. Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy arti­cle presents more of the text of the DIA doc­u­ment excerpt­ed above.

“A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty;” ger­man-for­eign-pol­i­cy; 5/27/2015. [12]

In August 2012, the U.S. Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA) men­tioned a pos­si­ble “Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty” in East­ern Syr­ia and a pos­si­ble foun­da­tion of an “Islam­ic State”. german-foreign-policy.com doc­u­ments excerpts from the DIA paper.

Depart­ment of Defense: Infor­ma­tion report, not final­ly eval­u­at­ed intel­li­gence. 14-L-0552/DIA/287–293.
The gen­er­al sit­u­a­tion:
A. Inter­nal­ly, events are tak­ing a clear sec­tar­i­an direc­tion.
B. The Salafist, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, and AQI are the major forces dri­ving the insur­gency in Syr­ia.
C. The West, Gulf Coun­tries, and Turkey sup­port the oppo­si­tion, while Rus­sia, Chi­na, and Iran sup­port the regime.
3. Al Qae­da — Iraq (AQI):
A. AQI is famil­iar with Syr­ia. AQI trained in Syr­ia and then infil­trat­ed into Iraq.
B. AQI sup­port­ed the Syr­i­an oppo­si­tion from the begin­ning, both ide­o­log­i­cal­ly and through the media. AQI declared its oppo­si­tion of Assad’s gov­ern­ment because it con­sid­ered it a sec­tar­i­an regime tar­get­ing Sun­nis.
5. The pop­u­la­tion liv­ing on the bor­der:
A. The pop­u­la­tion liv­ing on the bor­der has a social-trib­al style, which is bound by strong trib­al and famil­ial mar­i­tal ties.
B. Their sec­tar­i­an affil­i­a­tion unites the two sides when events hap­pen in the region.
C. AQI had major pock­ets and bases on both sides of the bor­der to facil­i­tate the flow of materiel and recruits.
D. There was a regres­sion of AQI in the west­ern provinces of Iraq dur­ing the years of 2009 and 2010. How­ev­er, after the rise of the insur­gency in Syr­ia, the reli­gious and trib­al pow­ers in the regions began to sym­pa­thize with the sec­tar­i­an upris­ing. This (sym­pa­thy) appeared in Fri­day prayer ser­mons, which called for vol­un­teers to sup­port the Sun­nis in Syr­ia.
8. The effects on Iraq:
C. If the sit­u­a­tion unrav­els there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of estab­lish­ing a declared or unde­clared Salafist prin­ci­pal­i­ty in east­ern Syr­ia (Hasa­ka and Der Zor), and this is exact­ly what the sup­port­ing pow­ers to the oppo­si­tion want, in order to iso­late the Syr­i­an regime, which is con­sid­ered the strate­gic depth of the Shia expan­sion (Iraq and Iran).
D. The dete­ri­o­ra­tion of the sit­u­a­tion has dire con­se­quences on the Iraqi sit­u­a­tion and are as fol­lows:
1. This cre­ates the ide­al atmos­phere for AQI to return to its old pock­es in Mosul and Rama­di, and will pro­vide a renewed momen­tum under the pre­sump­tion of uni­fy­ing the jihad among Sun­ni Iraq and Syr­ia, and the rest of the Sun­nis in the Arab world against what it con­sid­ers one ene­my, the dis­senters. ISI could also declare an Islam­ic State through its union with oth­er ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions in Iraq and Syr­ia, which will cre­ate grave dan­ger in regards to uni­fy­ing Iraq and the pro­tec­tion of its ter­ri­to­ry.
3. The renew­ing facil­i­ta­tion of ter­ror­ist ele­ments from all over the Arab world enter­ing into Iraqi are­na.
1e. More about the declas­si­fied DIA memo (this arti­cle is the source of the screen shots of the memo.)
[40]“New­ly-Declas­si­fied U.S. Gov­ern­ment Doc­u­ments: The West Sup­port­ed the Cre­ation of ISIS;” Wash­ing­tons­Blog; 5/24/2015. [13]
Judi­cial Watch has – for many years – obtained sen­si­tive U.S. gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments through free­dom of infor­ma­tion requests and law­suits.

The gov­ern­ment just pro­duced doc­u­ments to Judi­cial Watch in response to a free­dom of infor­ma­tion suit which show that the West has long sup­port­ed ISIS. The doc­u­ments were writ­ten by the U.S. Defense Intel­li­gence Agency on August 12, 2012 … years before ISIS burst onto the world stage.

Here are screen­shots from the doc­u­ments. We have high­light­ed the rel­e­vant parts in yel­low:

 1f. Remarks by Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden height­ened sus­pi­cions about the West hav­ing mid-wived the birth of ISIS.

“Behind Biden’s Gaffe Lie Real Con­cerns About the West­’s Role in Rise of the Islam­ic State” by Adam Tay­lor; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 10/06/2014. [14]

. . . . When asked by a stu­dent whether the Unit­ed States should have act­ed ear­li­er in Syr­ia, Biden first explains that there was “no mod­er­ate mid­dle” in the Syr­i­an civ­il war, before chang­ing the top­ic to talk about Amer­i­ca’s allies:

“Our allies in the region were our largest prob­lem in Syr­ia. The Turks were great friends, and I have a great rela­tion­ship with Erdo­gan, [who] I just spent a lot of time with, [and] the Saud­is, the Emi­rates, etcetera.

What were they doing? They were so deter­mined to take down Assad, and essen­tial­ly have a proxy Sun­ni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars and tens of tons of weapons into any­one who would fight against Assad – except that the peo­ple who were being sup­plied, [they] were al-Nus­ra, and al-Qae­da, and the extrem­ist ele­ments of jihadis who were com­ing from oth­er parts of the world.

Now, you think I’m exag­ger­at­ing? Take a look. Where did all of this go? So now that’s hap­pen­ing, all of a sud­den, every­body is awak­ened because this out­fit called ISIL, which was al-Qae­da in Iraq, when they were essen­tial­ly thrown out of Iraq, found open space and ter­ri­to­ry in [east­ern] Syr­ia, [and they] work with al-Nus­ra, who we declared a ter­ror­ist group ear­ly on. And we could not con­vince our col­leagues to stop sup­ply­ing them. . . .

So what hap­pened? . . . .

2c. Dur­ing a Skype inter­view back in Octo­ber, Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s intel­i­gence ser­vice, railed against Rus­sia try­ing to sup­press Syria’s Islamist rev­o­lu­tion and assert­ed that “ISIS is a real­ity and we have to accept that we can­not erad­i­cate a well-orga­nized and pop­u­lar estab­lish­ment such as the Islam­ic State; there­fore I urge my west­ern col­leagues to revise their mind­set about Islam­ic polit­i­cal cur­rents, put aside their cyn­i­cal men­tal­ité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syr­ian Islamist rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies.”

“Turk­ish Intel­li­gence Chief: Putin’s Inter­ven­tion in Syr­ia Is Against Islam and Inter­na­tional Law, ISIS Is a Real­ity and We Are Opti­mistic about the Future”; AWD News [15]; 10/18/2015. [15]

Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s Nation­al Intel­li­gence Orga­ni­za­tion, known by the MIT acronym, has drawn a lot of atten­tion and crit­i­cism for his con­tro­ver­sial com­ments about ISIS.

Mr. Hakan Fidan, Turk­ish President’s staunchest ally, con­demned Russ­ian mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion in Syr­ia, accus­ing Moscow of try­ing to ‘smoth­er’ Syria’s Islamist rev­o­lu­tion and seri­ous breach of Unit­ed Nations law.

“ISIS is a real­ity and we have to accept that we can­not erad­i­cate a well-orga­nized and pop­u­lar estab­lish­ment such as the Islam­ic State; there­fore I urge my west­ern col­leagues to revise their mind­set about Islam­ic polit­i­cal cur­rents, put aside their cyn­i­cal men­tal­ité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syr­ian Islamist rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies,” Anadolu News Agency quot­ed Mr. Fidan as say­ing on Sun­day.

Fidan fur­ther added that in order to deal with the vast num­ber of for­eign Jihadists crav­ing to trav­el to Syr­ia, it is imper­a­tive that ISIS must set up a con­sulate or at least a polit­i­cal office in Istan­bul. He under­lined that it is Turkey’s firm belief to pro­vide med­ical care for all injured peo­ple flee­ing Russ­ian ruth­less airstrikes regard­less of their polit­i­cal or reli­gious affil­i­a­tion.

Recent­ly as the fierce clash­es between Russ­ian army and ISIS ter­ror­ists rag­ing across the war-torn Syr­ia, count­less num­ber of ISIS injured fight­ers enter the Turk­ish ter­ri­tory and are being admit­ted in the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tals name­ly those in Hatay Province. Over the last few days, the Syr­ian army with the sup­port of Russ­ian air cov­er could fend off ISIS forces in strate­gic provinces of Homs and Hama.

Emile Hokayem, a Wash­ing­ton-based Mid­dle East ana­lyst said that Turkey’s Erdo­gan and his oil-rich Arab allies have dual agen­das in the war on ter­ror and as a mat­ter of fact they are sup­ply­ing the Islamist mil­i­tants with weapons and mon­ey, thus Russ­ian inter­ven­tion is con­sid­ered a dev­as­tat­ing set­back for their efforts to over­throw Syr­ian sec­u­lar Pres­i­dent Assad.

Hokayem who was speak­ing via Skype from Wash­ing­ton, D.C. high­lighted the dan­ger of Turk­ish-backed ter­ror­ist groups and added that what is hap­pen­ing in Syr­ia can­not be cat­e­go­rized as a gen­uine and pop­u­lar rev­o­lu­tion against dic­ta­tor­ship but rather it is a chaos orches­trated by Erdo­gan who is dream­ing to revive this ancestor’s infa­mous Ottoman Empire.

3a. Next, we recap a short read­ing by Eliz­a­beth Gould of a quote from Zbig­niew Brzezin­s­ki about using Islamist forces to de-sta­bi­lize post-Cold War Rus­sia and Chi­na. (This was orig­i­nal­ly read in FTR #872 [41].)

3b. A major focal point of Chech­nyan jihadism is in Boston, evolved from the Al Kifah orga­ni­za­tion, renamed CARE (not to be con­fused with the UN char­ity.) That milieu is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Cen­ter.

“Boston’s Jihadist Past” by J.M. Berg­er; For­eign Pol­icy; 4/22/2013. [17]

When Boston Marathon run­ners round­ed the bend from Bea­con Street last week, they were in the home stretch of the race. As they poured through the closed inter­sec­tion, they ran past a non­de­script address: 510 Com­mon­wealth Avenue.

The loca­tion was once home to an inter­na­tional sup­port net­work that raised funds and recruit­ed fight­ers for a jihadist insur­gency against Russ­ian rule over Chech­nya, a region and a con­flict that few of the run­ners had like­ly ever giv­en any seri­ous thought. . . .

. . . . (The most impor­tant Chechen jihadist group has dis­avowed the attack, but has not unequiv­o­cally ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of some kind of con­tact with Tamer­lan.) . . .

. . . But if the lead pans out, it won’t be Boston’s first brush with that far­away war. Dur­ing the 1980s and into the 1990s, Islamist for­eign fight­ers oper­ated robust recruit­ing and financ­ing net­works that sup­ported Chechen jihadists from the Unit­ed States, and Boston was home to one of the most sig­nif­i­cant cen­ters: a branch of the Al Kifah Cen­ter based in Brook­lyn, which would lat­er be rechris­tened CARE Inter­na­tion­al.

Al Kifah sprang from the mil­i­tary jihad against the Sovi­ets in Afghanistan. Through the end of the occu­pa­tion, a net­work of cen­ters in the Unit­ed States helped sup­port the efforts of Afghan and Arab muja­hedeen, solic­it­ing dona­tions and recruit­ing fight­ers, includ­ing at least four from Boston who died in action (one of them a for­mer Dunkin Donuts employ­ee). When the war end­ed, those net­works did not dis­ap­pear; they refo­cused on oth­er activ­i­ties.

In Brook­lyn, that net­work turned against the Unit­ed States. The center’s lead­ers and many of its mem­bers helped facil­i­tate the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing, and they active­ly planned and attempt­ed to exe­cute a sub­se­quent plot that sum­mer to blow up the Lin­coln and Hol­land Tun­nels in New York, which would have killed thou­sands. . . .

. . . . When the FBI thwart­ed the tun­nels plot, the Brook­lyn Al Kifah office and most of the oth­er satel­lite loca­tions were shut­tered. But in Boston, the work con­tin­ued under a new name and with a new focus: sup­port­ing for­eign-fight­er efforts in Bosnia and Chech­nya.

The fol­low­ing nar­ra­tive is derived from inter­views and thou­sands of pages of court exhibits, includ­ing cor­re­spon­dence, Al Kifah and CARE Inter­na­tional pub­li­ca­tions, and tele­phone inter­cepts devel­oped over a years-long series of FBI inves­ti­ga­tions into the char­ity that were made pub­lic as part of mul­ti­ple ter­ror­ism-relat­ed pros­e­cu­tions.

Estab­lished in the ear­ly 1990s, the Boston branch had emerged from the World Trade Cen­ter inves­ti­ga­tion rel­a­tively unscathed. Lit­tle more than two weeks after the bomb­ing, the head of the Boston office, Emad Muntass­er, changed his operation’s name from Al Kifah to CARE Inter­na­tional (not to be con­fused with the legit­i­mate char­ity of the same name). . . .

. . . . It took longer to build a case against CARE. In 2005, pros­e­cu­tors in Boston went after the charity’s direc­tors using the Al Capone strat­egy. Muntass­er and fel­low Boston-area CARE offi­cials Samir Al Mon­la and Muhamed Mubayyid were charged with fil­ing false tax returns and relat­ed crimes, hav­ing mis­rep­re­sented their polit­i­cal and mil­i­tant activ­ity as relief for orphans and wid­ows in order to obtain a non­profit tax exemp­tion.

The strat­egy was not as suc­cess­ful as it was with Capone. The defen­dants were con­victed but received min­i­mal sen­tences after years of appeals and legal dis­putes. Muntass­er and Al Mon­la have since been released from prison and are liv­ing in the Unit­ed States, accord­ing to pub­lic records data­bases. Mubayyid was deport­ed after a short sen­tence and was last report­ed to be liv­ing in Aus­tralia. . . .

4. We high­light an arti­cle not­ing the mil­i­tary prowess and sophis­ti­ca­tion of ISIS. Crit­i­cal to this analy­sis is the appar­ent role of the Chechens in the tac­ti­cal devel­op­ment of the group. In FTR #381 [42]. we not­ed the role of the Al-Taqwa milieu in the fund­ing of the Chechen sep­a­ratists. U.S. and West­ern fund­ing for the Chechens appears to have con­tin­ued, as we saw in our analy­sis of the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing [33].

In the con­text of U.S. and West­ern sup­port for the OUN/B milieu in Ukraine, includ­ing the UNA-UNSO fight­ers who fought with the Chechens [21] and else­where in the Cau­ca­sus, we may well be see­ing “blow­back” from what we have termed The Earth Island Boo­gie in the devel­op­ment of ISIS’ sophis­ti­ca­tion. As dis­cussed in FTR #808 [43], the UNA-UNSO fight­ers were ini­tial­ly com­posed large­ly of Ukrain­ian vet­er­ans of the Afghan war. The orga­ni­za­tion gave rise direct­ly to Pravy Sek­tor.

As we have seen in FTR #878 [44], Pravy Sek­tor is work­ing with Chechen Islamists from ISIS, as well as Pan-Turk­ist Crimean Tatars.

“The Dura­bil­i­ty of Ukrain­ian Fas­cism” by Peter Lee; Strate­gic Cul­ture; 6/9/2014. [21]

. . . . One of Bandera’s lieu­tenants was Roman Shukhevych.  In Feb­ru­ary 1945, Shukhevych issued an order stat­ing, “In view of the suc­cess of the Sovi­et forces it is nec­es­sary to speed up the liq­ui­da­tion of the Poles, they must be total­ly wiped out, their vil­lages burned … only the Pol­ish pop­u­la­tion must be destroyed.”

As a mat­ter of addi­tion­al embar­rass­ment, Shukhevych was also a com­man­der in the Nachti­gall (Nightin­gale) bat­tal­ion orga­nized by the Wehrma­cht.

Today, a major pre­oc­cu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist his­tor­i­cal schol­ar­ship is beat­ing back rather con­vinc­ing alle­ga­tions by Russ­ian, Pol­ish, and Jew­ish his­to­ri­ans that Nachti­gall was an impor­tant and active par­tic­i­pant in the mas­sacre of Lviv Jews orches­trat­ed by the Ger­man army upon its arrival in June 1941. . . .

. . . . Yuriy Shukhevych’s role in mod­ern Ukrain­ian fas­cism is not sim­ply that of an inspi­ra­tional fig­ure­head and reminder of his father’s anti-Sovi­et hero­ics for proud Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists.  He is a core fig­ure in the emer­gence of the key Ukrain­ian fas­cist for­ma­tion, Pravy Sek­tor and its para­mil­i­tary.

And Pravy Sektor’s para­mil­i­tary, the UNA-UNSO, is not an “unruly” col­lec­tion of week­end-war­rior-wannabes, as Mr. Hig­gins might believe.

UNA-UNSO was formed dur­ing the tur­moil of the ear­ly 1990s, large­ly by eth­nic Ukrain­ian vet­er­ans of the Sovi­et Union’s bit­ter war in Afghanistan.  From the first, the UNA-UNSO has shown a taste for for­eign adven­tures, send­ing detach­ments to Moscow in 1990 to oppose the Com­mu­nist coup against Yeltsin, and to Lithua­nia in 1991.  With appar­ent­ly very good rea­son, the Rus­sians have also accused UNA-UNSO fight­ers of par­tic­i­pat­ing on the anti-Russ­ian side in Geor­gia and Chech­nya.

After for­mal Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence, the mili­tia elect­ed Yuriy Shukhevych—the son of OUN‑B com­man­der Roman Shukhevych– as its leader and set up a polit­i­cal arm, which lat­er became Pravy Sek­tor. . . .

5. Again, ISIS’ com­bat prowess is viewed by U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces as prob­a­bly hav­ing stemmed from the Chechen com­po­nent. Note that, in this sto­ry, ISIS is described as hav­ing evolved from AQI!

“ISIS an ‘Incred­i­ble’ Fight­ing Force, Spe­cial Ops Sources Say” by James Gor­don Meek; ABC News; 8/25/2014. [20]

With the Oba­ma White House left reel­ing from the “sav­age” slaugh­ter [45] of an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist held hostage by ISIS [46] ter­ror­ists, mil­i­tary options are being con­sid­ered against an adver­sary who offi­cials say is grow­ing in strength and is much more capa­ble than the one faced when the group was called “al Qae­da-Iraq” dur­ing the U.S. war from 2003–2011.

ISIS, the Islam­ic State of Iraq and Syr­ia [47], has been mak­ing a “tac­ti­cal with­draw­al” in recent days in the face of with­er­ing U.S. airstrikes from areas around Erbil in north­ern Iraq and from the major dam just north of Mosul it con­trolled for two nail-bit­ing weeks, accord­ing to mil­i­tary offi­cials mon­i­tor­ing their move­ments.

“These guys aren’t just bug­ging out, they’re tac­ti­cal­ly with­draw­ing. Very pro­fes­sion­al, well trained, moti­vat­ed and equipped. They oper­ate like a state with a mil­i­tary,” said one offi­cial who tracks ISIS close­ly. “These aren’t the same guys we fought in OIF (Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom [48]) who would just scat­ter when you dropped a bomb near them.”

ISIS appeared to have a sophis­ti­cat­ed and well thought-out plan for estab­lish­ing its “Islam­ic Caliphate” from north­ern Syr­ia across the west­ern and north­ern deserts of Iraq, many experts and offi­cials have said, and sup­port from hostage-tak­ing, rob­bery and sym­pa­thet­ic dona­tions to fund it. They use drones to gath­er over­head intel on tar­gets and effec­tive­ly com­man­deer cap­tured mil­i­tary vehi­cles – includ­ing Amer­i­can Humvees — and muni­tions.

“They tried to push out as far as they thought they could and were ful­ly pre­pared to pull back a lit­tle bit when we beat them back with airstrikes around Erbil. And they were fine with that, and ready to hold all of the ground they have now,” a sec­ond offi­cial told ABC News.

ISIS did­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly count on hold­ing Mosul Dam, offi­cials said, but scored a major pro­pa­gan­da vic­to­ry on social media when they hoist­ed the black flag of the group over the facil­i­ty that pro­vides elec­tric­i­ty and water to a large swath of Iraq, or could drown mil­lions if breached.

U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces under the Joint Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand and U.S. Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand keep close tabs on the mil­i­tary evo­lu­tion of ISIS and both its com­bat and ter­ror­ism — called “asym­met­ric” — capa­bil­i­ties, offi­cials told ABC News. A pri­ma­ry rea­son is in antic­i­pa­tion of pos­si­bly fight­ing them, which a full squadron of spe­cial mis­sion unit oper­a­tors did in the Inde­pen­dence Day raid [49] on an ISIS camp in Raqqah, Syr­ia.

“They’re incred­i­ble fight­ers. ISIS teams in many places use spe­cial oper­a­tions TTPs,” said the sec­ond offi­cial, who has con­sid­er­able com­bat expe­ri­ence, using the mil­i­tary term for “tac­tics, tech­niques and pro­ce­dures.”

In sober­ing press con­fer­ence Fri­day, Sec­re­tary of Defense Chuck Hagel [50] said ISIS has shown that it is “as sophis­ti­cat­ed and well-fund­ed as any group that we have seen.”

“They’re beyond just a ter­ror­ist group. They mar­ry ide­ol­o­gy, a sophis­ti­ca­tion of strate­gic and tac­ti­cal mil­i­tary prowess. They are tremen­dous­ly well-fund­ed,” he said. “This is beyond any­thing that we’ve seen.”

Pri­or ISIS’s recent pub­lic suc­cess­es, the for­mer chair­man of the 9/11 Com­mis­sion, which just released a tenth anniver­sary report on the threat of ter­ror­ism cur­rent­ly fac­ing the home­land, said he was shocked at how lit­tle seems to be known inside the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty about the Islamist army bru­tal­iz­ing Iraq as it has Syr­ia.

“I was appalled at the igno­rance,” for­mer New Jer­sey Gov­er­nor Tom Kean, who led the 9/11 Com­mis­sion, told ABC News last week.

Kean, a Repub­li­can, who with vice chair­man Lee Hamil­ton, a Demo­c­rat, recent­ly met with about 20 top intel­li­gence offi­cials in prepa­ra­tion of the commission’s lat­est threat report, said many offi­cials seemed both blind-sided and alarmed by the group’s rise, growth and com­pe­ten­cy.

“One offi­cial told me ‘I am more scared than at any time since 9/11,’” Kean recount­ed in a recent inter­view.

A spokesper­son for the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence defend­ed the intel­li­gence community’s track­ing of ISIS, say­ing offi­cials had “expressed con­cern” about the threat as far back as last year.

“The will to fight is inher­ent­ly dif­fi­cult to assess. Ana­lysts must make assess­ments based on per­cep­tions of com­mand and con­trol, lead­er­ship abil­i­ties, qual­i­ty of expe­ri­ence, and dis­ci­pline under fire — none of which can be under­stood with cer­tain­ty until the first shots are fired,” ODNI spokesper­son Bri­an Hale said.

Where did ISIS learn such sophis­ti­cat­ed mil­i­tary meth­ods, shown clear­ly after the first shots were fired?

“Prob­a­bly the Chechens,” the one of the U.S. offi­cials said.

A Chechen com­man­der named Abu Omar al-Shis­hani — who offi­cials say may have been killed in fight­ing near Mosul — is well known for com­mand­ing an inter­na­tion­al brigade with­in ISIS. Oth­er Chechens have appeared with­in pro­pa­gan­da videos includ­ing one com­man­der who was killed on video by an artillery burst near his SUV in Syr­ia.

Ear­li­er this year, ABC News report­ed [51] on the secret his­to­ry of U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces’ expe­ri­ences bat­tling high­ly capa­ble Chechen fight­ers along the Afghanistan-Pak­istan bor­der since 2001. In addi­tion, for decades Chechen sep­a­ratists have waged asym­met­ric war­fare against Russ­ian forces for con­trol of the North­ern Cau­ca­sus.

The Secret Bat­tles Between US Forces and Chechen Ter­ror­ists [51]

In the bat­tle against ISIS, many with­in Amer­i­can “SOF,” a term that com­pris­es oper­a­tors from all branch­es of the mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence, are frus­trat­ed at being rel­e­gat­ed by the Pres­i­dent only to enabling U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. They are eager to fight ISIS more direct­ly in com­bat oper­a­tions — even if unteth­ered, mean­ing unof­fi­cial­ly and with lit­tle if any U.S. gov­ern­ment sup­port, accord­ing to some with close ties to the com­mu­ni­ty.

“ISIS and their kind must be destroyed,” said a senior coun­tert­er­ror­ism offi­cial after jour­nal­ist James Foley was behead­ed on high-def­i­n­i­tion ISIS video, echo­ing strong-word­ed state­ments of high-lev­el U.S. offi­cials includ­ing Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry [52].

6. It should come as no sur­prise to vet­er­an lis­ten­ers that ISIS is park­ing its cash in bit­coin, the lat­est exam­ple of the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy being used  for nefar­i­ous pur­pos­es. In FTR #760 [53], we looked at evi­dence that Bit­coin may very well have been devel­oped by BND and the Under­ground Reich.

“ISIS Parks Its Cash in Bit­coin, Experts Say” by Heather Nauert; Fox News; 11/25/2015. [18]

Just days after the hack­er group Anony­mous pledged to hunt down Islam­ic State mem­bers and launch cyber­at­tacks against their accounts, a sep­a­rate group of techies claims it has iden­ti­fied a key fund­ing avenue for the ter­ror net­work – bit­coin accounts.

Ghost Secu­rity Group, a col­lec­tive of com­puter “hack­tivists,” says it has locat­ed sev­eral bit­coin accounts that ISIS uses to fund oper­a­tions. One account con­tained $3 mil­lion worth of bit­coin, a Ghost­Sec mem­ber told Michael K. Smith II, a co-founder of Kro­nos Advi­sory, a nation­al secu­rity advi­sory firm.

Ghost­Sec “wants to make an impact in coun­tert­er­ror­ism,” Smith said, adding that the Ghost­Sec mem­ber reached out to him because gov­ern­ment offi­cials were not pay­ing close atten­tion to the alle­ga­tions.

Smith said U.S. coun­tert­er­ror­ism offi­cials are con­cerned that ISIS is acquir­ing gold and using numer­ous finan­cial tools, includ­ing bit­coin, to tap into mar­kets. A Trea­sury Depart­ment spokesper­son said the agency couldn’t com­ment on accounts alleged­ly linked to ter­ror­ists unless the depart­ment has tak­en pub­lic action.

But bit­coin – an unreg­u­lated form of online cur­rency that cir­cum­vents the tra­di­tional bank­ing sys­tem – is on the government’s radar, since it could serve as an ide­al place­holder for ter­ror­ist assets and pro­vide a way for ter­ror­ists to exchange mon­ey. The bit­coin web­site, bitcoin.org, describes the ease with which any­one can send and receive vir­tual funds:

“Send­ing bit­coins across bor­ders is as easy as send­ing them across the street. There are no banks to make you wait three busi­ness days, no extra fees for mak­ing an inter­na­tional trans­fer, and no spe­cial lim­i­ta­tions on the min­i­mum or max­i­mum amount you can send.”

Bit­coin is con­sid­ered the first world­wide, decen­tral­ized cur­rency; it can be sent from per­son to per­son with­out the third-par­ty involve­ment of a finan­cial insti­tu­tion. Bit­coin accounts are set up with vir­tual mon­ey, but the dig­i­tal funds can be cashed in for real mon­ey or goods.

A Ghost­Sec mem­ber said ISIS’ vir­tual cur­rency amounts to between 1 per­cent and 3 per­cent of its total income – between $4.7 mil­lion and $15.6 mil­lion. The Trea­sury Depart­ment esti­mates that ISIS gen­er­ates between $468 mil­lion and $520 mil­lion annu­ally. The ter­ror group’s pri­mary sources of rev­enue are rob­bery, extor­tion, oil sales, ran­som pay­ments and over­seas dona­tions, accord­ing to the Trea­sury Depart­ment.

But it doesn’t take a for­tune to pull off a ter­ror attack. Even large-scale attacks can be rel­a­tively inex­pen­sive. The 9/11 Com­mis­sion deter­mined that it cost between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and car­ry out the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks on New York and Wash­ing­ton.

Ghost­Sec hack­ers insist the alleged ISIS bit­coin account was not linked to the Paris attacks, but they say it shows that ter­ror net­works have found a way to trans­fer assets with­out easy detec­tion.

Relat­ed: Sony’s PlaySta­tion 4 could be ter­ror­ists’ com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool [54], experts warn

“The bit­coin uni­verse is decen­tral­ized by design,” accord­ing to Juniper Research, a firm that iden­ti­fies online mar­ket trends. “They’re built by ran­dom play­ers around the world. They’re trans­ferred seam­lessly via name­less dig­i­tal wal­lets.”

Cyber­se­cu­rity expert Mor­gan Wright, a senior fel­low at the Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Gov­ern­ment, a nation­al research and advi­sory insti­tute on infor­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy poli­cies, says ter­ror­ists are increas­ingly uti­liz­ing 21st cen­tury tech­nol­ogy to trans­fer assets and finance oper­a­tions

“Ter­ror­ists need anonymi­ty,” Wright said. “Coun­tries have got­ten very good at track­ing ter­ror financ­ing in the years since 9/11. Net­works have looked for new ways to do it, and it appears they’ve found it in bit­coin.”

Relat­ed: Anony­mous declares ‘war’ on ISIS, vows cyber­at­tacks

Gov­ern­ment offi­cials have become increas­ingly con­cerned about these unreg­u­lated finan­cial sys­tems, and the U.S. is start­ing to apply mon­ey laun­der­ing reg­u­la­tions to cyber cur­ren­cies. Firms that issue or exchange bit­coin are required to main­tain records and report trans­ac­tions of more than $10,000.

Indi­vid­ual states, too, are pass­ing laws designed to reg­u­late bit­coin exchanges. New York recent­ly enact­ed a reg­u­la­tory frame­work, and Cal­i­for­nia will start gov­ern­ing the exchanges next year. “The U.S. gov­ern­ment is work­ing with a broad coali­tion of gov­ern­ments around the world to dis­rupt ISIL’s financ­ing and to sev­er its access to the inter­na­tional finan­cial sys­tem,” a Trea­sury Depart­ment offi­cial told Fox News.

But few for­eign nations, have spe­cific reg­u­la­tions that gov­ern bit­coin use. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is expect­ed to release reg­u­la­tions by 2017 that would affect Euro­pean Union nations. . . .

7. An inter­est­ing foot­note to the oper­a­tions of ISIS, as well as L’Af­faire Snow­den con­cerns the use by the Islam­ic State of a Berlin-based mes­sag­ing ser­vice to broad­cast their announce­ments.

With ele­ments of CIA, as well as over­lap­ping Under­ground Reich ele­ments back­ing the Sun­ni Islamists (al-Qae­da, its Syr­i­an off­shoot the Nus­ra Front and their spawn ISIS) we won­der to what extent the Snow­den “op” was intend­ed to run inter­fer­ence for the Earth Island Boo­gie, now under­way from Ukraine to Syr­ia to Iraq to Chi­na.

Recall that, when (in the sum­mer of 2009) the Angel of Mer­cy alight­ed upon the shoul­der of Eddie the Friend­ly Spook, infus­ing him with the spir­it of human benev­o­lence, he was employed by the CIA.

“Encrypt­ed Mes­sag­ing Apps Face New Scruti­ny over Pos­si­ble Role in Attacks” by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perl­roth; The New York Times; 11/17/2015; p. A12. [19]

. . . . Even if Apple and oth­ers in the Unit­ed States were com­pelled to weak­en the encryp­tion in their ser­vices, Amer­i­can author­i­ties still would have and no judi­cial author­i­ty over Telegram, the Berlin-based mes­sag­ing ser­vice, recent­ly used by Islam­ic State ter­ror­ists to broad­cast their com­mu­niques. . . .