Wahhabism, ISIS, and the Saudi Connection

By U.S. Department of State from United States - Secretary Kerry Sits With Saudi King Salman Before Bilateral Meeting in Riyadh, Public Domain, $3

Lincoln Clapper, Geopolitical Monitor
The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has become somewhat of a revelation to the international community over the last several months. Commencing with the desertion from Al-Qaeda, to the self-proclamation of Caliph by its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and finally the surge in Iraq and Syria, each move has occurred without a countervailing effort.

Eclipse of the Caliphate

by Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Report

Erbil, Iraq — Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in the last days of 2015 is a place that appears to have risen from a near-death experience.In the summer of 2014, the fighters of the Islamic State (IS) got to within 45 kilometers of this city. Around 30 percent of the inhabitants left. The foreign companies that had turned Erbil into a boom town hurriedly pulled out.

Containing Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia

By Jon Connars
“Our nation and people should not be afraid, we will not be defeated by these acts of terror”, said a calm Indonesian President JokoWidodo following the deadly January 14th terror attack in Jakarta, when eight people were killed by ISIS jihadists in broad daylight in the heart of the city – four of them civilians – by a group made up of Malaysian and Indonesian terrorists armed with weapons from the Philippines. The attack is the first time ISIS strikes so far from its Middle Eastern heartland and signals a strategic shift for the terrorist group that calls for a rethink of ASEAN’s counter-terrorism strategies.

ISIS Is Not the Main Problem in the Middle East

by Jonathan Spyer, PJ Media

Originally published under the title "We've Got It Wrong: ISIS Is Not the Main Problem in the Middle East."
On a recent reporting trip to Iraq and northern Syria, two things were made apparent to me -- one of them relatively encouraging, the other far less so. The encouraging news is that ISIS is currently in a state of retreat. Not headlong rout, but contraction.

More On The Turkey-ISIS Connection

Special Dispatch No.6267
In recent months, further information about the AKP government's support for ISIS and other jihadis in Syria has come to light. Turkish journalists who have documented their government's support for terrorists and who have published evidence of truckloads of arms and ammunition, as well as fighters, being sent into Syria have been threatened, arrested, and imprisoned by Turkish authorities.[1]Foreign media have also extensively covered Turkey's sponsorship of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, and documented the ease with which thousands of foreign and Turkish jihadis enter and exit Syria under the eyes of Turkish officials.

How Terrorism Came Back to Turkey

By Jonathan Schanzer, Merve Tahiroglu
Recent attacks are rooted in unexpected causes.
A suicide bomber identified as an Islamic State (IS) militant killed ten tourists and wounded fifteen others in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet neighborhood on Tuesday. The attack was the third IS-linked suicide bombing in Turkey in the last six months. But Turkey’s terrorism problem extends beyond the Islamic State. The country is now exposed to myriad enemies from a range of radical ideologies.

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