The international situation proves we are losing the war on terror, by failing to define the enemy and ignoring the battle ground. Western leader must acknowledge reality. Indeed, one of the wonders of human nature is how leaders transform information into knowledge, or perhaps better, how they disregard the hazards by ignoring, using mental agnosia, and appeasing. This politicians’ illness, the oblivion of reality, is pervasive, and “war on terrorism” has become a favorite slogan.
However, it is not only naïve, but also stupid as much as criminal to declare ‘we are at war with terrorism,” “we must fight terrorism.” We are not. We are at war with Islamic ideology, because Muslim groups and organizations has declared war against all other civilizations. Terrorism is a tactic, a means; one cannot be at war with a tactic, as if during WWII, the US went to war against the ‘Blitzkrieg’ or ‘Kamikaze.’
Those days, the free world was not afraid to clearly declare it is at war against Nazi Germany and Japan. Nowadays our leaders are afraid, terrorized, and intimidated, and that is why they even do not say ‘Islamic terrorism.’ Oddly enough they immediately reiterate that Islam is a peaceful and compassionate religion, and even that al-Qaeda and the Islamic Caliphate State are not Islamic. However, Islamic ideology is the only reason, the incentive, the motivation, and the only cause of the free world’s severe hazardous situation.
It is ridiculous to define the enemy as ‘al-Qaeda’ or ‘Islamic Caliphate State’ or ‘Taliban’ or ‘Hamas’ or ‘Hezbollah’ – and at the same time to “set free” the motivational force, the political drive of Islamic ideology to occupy the world. It is illogical let alone futile, not to courageously define the enemy, the rival you fight against. In World War II the Free World fought Nazi Germany and Japan on the international level. The aim was not the 16th German Armor Division or the 45th Japanese Regiment. Our leaders should loud and clear declare that we are fighting against Islamic ideology, Islamic ambitions to occupy the world. Our leaders must clearly assert that we are fighting against the ideology of Islam manifested in a tactical level as terrorism, Jihad, which knows no country and recognizes no borders. Our leaders must clearly establish that we are fighting against a world political movement, an imperialist colonialist political religion that seeks to submit and subdue us all and bring us to their 7th century desert.
In his Art of War, Sun Tzu remarks, “He who knows neither self nor enemy will fail in every battle.” This is exactly the contemporary Western world situation. It exhibits a catastrophic failure because it knows neither self nor enemy and stands as helpless as a kitten against the onslaught of Islam’s aggressive, political, ideological and territorial offensive. Where is the problem? It is exactly our leaders, our media, and academia. One can never awaken a man who is pretending to be asleep. One can never arouse a man who lives in utopian wishful world, and clearly denies the situation, and it is even unfortunate that one cannot bring knowledge to those who are in mental agnosia and ignorance. It is no less important to note that the conclusions we reach reflect the assumptions we make. Start with false assumptions and you reach false conclusions. Start with euphoric assumptions and you reach false peaceful conclusions.
However, data assembled from all reliable sources show that more than 70 percent of world violence and more than 90 Percent of world terrorism is connected directly to Muslims and Islamic ideology. Horrific data taken for more than twenty years also show that every minute there is at least one victim from the Muslims worldwide, most of them are Muslims by themselves. In 2015 there were 452 homicide bombings; all of them were Islamic. This date is crystal clear: the issue at stake is the Islamic ideology, and from here stem the targets and the means.
However, do our leaders really intend to combat Islamic terrorism to eliminating it, or perhaps they intentionally evade the issues by not truly defining it correctly? It is unfortunate to realize that the most salient characteristics of our generation is the deep crisis of leadership and the lake of statesmanship. It is pervasive and cut across all over the world. An accumulation of President Bush’s declarations show that he has never added the word “Arab” to terrorism, and when he said “Islamic terrorism,” he immediately adds that Islam is a peace-loving compassionate religion. Is it only a politically correctness? A denial? An ignorance? President Obama has adopted a worse policy: it is forbidden to put together “Islamic” with “terrorism;” it is imposed to utter that Islam is a “religion of peace;” and it is coerced to declare that al-Qaeda or the Islamic Caliphate State are nor Islamic movements, in fact they are anti Islam.
After London blasts of July 2005, British Prime Minister, and in many declarations, Tony Blair denounced “terrorism” and not “Islamic ideology. He persistently accused poverty, wretchedness and Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the causes of terrorism, while systematically said Islam is a religion of peace and the Qur’an is the book of wisdom. Almost the same ritual was reiterated by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the new elected Canadian Prime Minister, Trudeau, and even by the current Pope who declared that Islam “exemplifies shared belief of Christianity.”
The riots that erupted in France from the beginning of the 21st century, gives another example to the politics of oblivion and mental agnosia so characterizes Western leadership. Even the terrorist attacks in Paris, in 2015 and 2016, has not caused a strategic change in the operational code of the ideology and policy of France. Experts who watched closely these phenomena are amazed by the fact that also the reality of Muslims’ character and nature is distinct and obvious, there was consensus in France as much as in other states, among political leader and parties, the media and public opinion to deny the true reality that there was religious and cultural dimensions.
However, The folly of mental blindness and appeasement prevails, and hypocrisy combined with ignorance and political correctness, runs rampant: indeed, there are extreme verses as much as there are mild in the Qur’an, and this duality is found in every religion; and indeed, there are radicals among the Muslims just as in all societies, but they are just a minority, even weeds. The Muslim majority is different. However, this is the problem with all its severity, to be investigated by the following questions:
If that is the true situation – how do we know this? Are there any corroborating studies and data to substantiate this view? Or we only believe this is the reality? Even if a different peace-loving majority exists, is its voice heard? Does it have any influence in the decision-making processes and the policies adopted by the leaders? Or is it only in our mirror imaged personality? Where is public opinion voice, the political parties, the media, the leaders which prove there are other voices and policies? Or we just assume this is the situation?
How many peace movements, demonstrations and masses marching and rolling for peace and against terrorist perpetrators can be identified? Was any terrorist attack stopped or even just even denounced by the so-called majority? Or is it our own imagination alone? How many pressure and interest groups are there which actively function against Islamic fanaticism and Jihad terrorism? And if they do, to what extent do they influence? Or we just ignore reality out of politically correctness? How many NGO’s are there acting against the terrorist organizations and preventing aid from their reach? Do they even try to stop terrorism and convince it is act against humanity? Or we just want to believe that there are such? If there are moderate peace-loving political leaders, where are they? What influence do they have? Is their voice heard? What do they declare after the horrible acts of terrorism perpetuated, except of blaming the US and Israel? Or is it all our mental blindness and political denial?
Indeed, there are intellectuals and liberals, unfortunately very few, condemning the atrocious terrorist acts. However, who controls the Islamic communities and in the streets? Which voice is heard and is written in the communication Media? Who is more influential and admired by the youth; in the Madaris (school system)? In the mosques and in the media? Who are the heroes of the masses? And the biggest wonder of all, why do we always supply excuses and explanations to the horrific phenomenon we don’t understand culturally and ignorant religiously, and at the same time we do not demand from the others to apologize and act? Or we just have a death wish? Do we ignore reality out of confusion or the Stockholm syndrome is the cause, or the threatening lethal situation that frightens and horrifies us so deeply?
And if there is a silent majority, Nonie Darwish is correct by putting the blame on their silent which in fact means aiding and abetting the culture of hate, terror and beheadings. Moreover, Western and public opinion leaders dismiss the role of the religion and its deep influence on the Muslims. This situation is much worse, since our leaders totally deny what the Islamic terrorist organization clearly utter: that we are in a third world war, and it is a religious war. The latest example among the huge pile of Western denial declarations was the State Department spokesman, John Kirby that the terrorist attack in Brussels in March 2016, “was not about a religion… we don’t believe that it is indicative in any way of the Muslim faith or the people who practice Islam as a religion.”
Although the Qur’an is written in parables and vague; in a language full of contradictions, so that different people can choose passages to justify anything they want, the Qur’anic religious, ideological and political passages are clear and its targets are laid down clearly, and it commands its believers to accomplish them by all means. The aim is to occupy the world and to make Islam the only legitimate religion. Still, Western and public opinion leaders are unintentionally assisting Islamic victory by failing to know how to fight the enemy; by the politics of denial and ignorance of postponing decisions and activity to eliminate the threat by the media and the legal system; and by using mental blindness and mirror image instead of courageous policy.
Republican Senator, Allen West, is correct by insisting that the U.S. must understand 21st-century combat.
Today’s paradigm of battle and combat operations is completely different and more complicated. The conventional wars we knew have completely disappeared for an asymmetrical battlefield with non-uniformed, non-state belligerents, using unconventional weapons and tactics. Every nation that wishes to succeed in protecting its citizens and interests must quickly understand and adapt to the new battlefield. For the sake of our nation, and of all nations who seek freedom for their citizens, we must clearly identify the 21st century battlefield and ensure we are victorious on it.
Therefore, it is a must to deny the enemy sanctuary. Because this enemy has no respect for borders or boundaries, we must be willing to take the fight directly to him. It means to cut off the enemy’s flow of men, material and resources, and cordon off the enemy to reduce his sphere of influence, by denying immigration, expelling the radical Imams, and demanding the Muslims’ assimilation and integration. Above all, it is a must to win the information war. Unfortunately, the enemy is far more adept at exploiting the power of the Internet, broadcast media and dissemination of powerful imagery. It is exacerbated by Western media, seeing itself as an ideological political wing or at best as a neutral body.
Until the Free World nations are able to correctly and openly identify the enemy, we will continue to stumble and fail, and Islam continues to prevail. Once we have identified the enemy and the specific strategic level objectives, we must effectively fight. We have to be mindful of the wise words compiled by Sun Tzu in his “The Art of War” more than 25 centuries ago: “to know your enemy and to know yourself and to know the environment and countless amounts of battles, you will always be victorious.” However, the Free World leaders’ ‘war on terrorism’ has been exactly the opposite, as one cannot fight the means, but must fight by all means the perpetrator. There are still those who declare “the only way to defeat terrorism is to ignore it; as if it will disappear by itself. However, it is so crazy, meaning exactly to dance with death.
With Obama’s administration the situation has even worsen, as it is impossible to formally utter ‘Islamic terrorism’ together. There is Islam which is a religion of peace and compassion, and terrorism, which is al-Qaeda. Even the Taliban, the richest terrorist organization, is not completely a terrorist. It is even forbidden to use terms like ‘fighting jihadists,’ because ‘Jihad’ means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal.’ Those who do not agree with the administration show ‘inflammatory rhetoric, hyperbole, and intellectual narrowness.’
Continuing these lines, John Kasich said after the Brussels massacre: “We are not at war with Islam; we’re at war with radical Islam.” This is really a willful blindness that goes on after the Paris and Brussels Islamic terrorist attacks. Daniel Benjamin, former State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator, has essentially declared, what happened in Brussels is really just about Europe. It has nothing to do with the US; it can’t happen here. With all due respect any logical assessment must emphatically disagree. He is absolutely mistaken. Americans should fear exactly that.
Richard Perle said that the US administration “should keep eye on radical mosques,” and he two is wrong. All over the Free World’s governments should keep thousands of eyes on each and every mosque and directly monitor all Muslim Imams. It is a must. Everything begins with them, from radicalization to legitimization, and at the end of the continuum, the performance and execution of terrorist attacks.
There is also the case of Western media, its agenda is unfortunately different from the best interests of Western security. Perhaps it is the right time to demand the media just to tell the truth. After reporting the Brussels massacre, the media in the US was very busy with the probability of the “rise of the right wing in Europe.” The cover story was “terrorism;” not Islamic terrorism. The debates on the TV’s did not deal with the issues of Islam, they have given the audience an ample time to listen to Islamic and Western propagandists to exhibit a peaceful compassionate Islam. For the media, ‘the right wing’ is the problem and not Islamic atrocities.
There are so many issues to consider: the coercive terrorism-Jihad, exhibited as homicide bombings, beheadings, lynching. Hatred Terrorism, exhibited by violent demonstrations, Western women rapes, and rioting. Demography terrorism, mass immigration of young and able Muslims representing the arrow-head and forefront of Muslims to occupy and inherit. Deceiving terrorism–Da’wah: exhibited by NGO’s and organization acting legally and politically as interest and pressure groups. They use the ignorance of Western world public opinion to market totally different kind of Islam, as if it is a peaceful, tolerant, and compassionate.
There are more: Judicial terrorism. Through the NGO’s and other organizations, Muslims excel in suing and bringing to court according to Western legal system and laws anyone they blame of insulting them or insulting Islam according to their own judgment. This is very articulate and beneficial strategy: on the one hand they use hideous terrorism, and on the other, anyone who calls the spade, a spade is harassed and summoned to court. “Legal Jihad” is exploiting every provision of the law in free societies to promote Islam and to silence its critics through expensive exhausting lawsuits. There is also cultural terrorism: Western peoples wish to appear liberals, and not to be called racists or fascists. This is the course mainly in Europe, especially after its colonial past and the horrors of the two World Wars of the 20th century. Therefore, by violently intimidating and accusing all those who say anything against Islam, Muslims define him a racist, an Islamophobe, and a liar. They highly succeed in silencing out of intimidation, even forcing Western politicians to apologize and to make concessions.
There is also the academic terrorism. The most important case belongs to Edward Said, and his so-called “research,” Orientalism. He deliberately used West’s guilt remorse of the colonialist-imperialist era to produce a full of twisted ideas book, which is promoted by the leftist’s ignorant in the academia to dance on Western sensibilities. Reality shows: accuse the Europeans with anything, just don’t call them racists or fascists. The Muslims have taken the advantage and yield concessions and appeasement from Westerners by using their historic cultural invention of victimology and misery. This has also a direct link to displacement-transference terrorism, accusing Israel with all Muslims’ evil, describing it as a danger to world peace.
However, Arab-Muslims commit all these atrocities. This is exactly Islamic history represented by two words: Ghazawat (raids) on the infidels’ lands and Ghana’em (taking booty) from them. But it is washed away from world public opinion and attention by ignorance, promoted by the media in association with the academia. Indeed, the Middle East is an unprecedented greenhouse of conspicuous vicious trends, exemplifying the epitome of evil: politically, dictatorship of Arab-Islamic authoritarian regimes and corrupt patrimonial leadership; socially, poverty, wretchedness, and coercion of the miserable population (being the main reason for the huge mass-immigration to the Western countries); morally-ethically, murderous regimes that brutalize its peoples, with politics of mass-murder, genocide; abuse of human and civil rights; oppression of women and honor killings; lynching and beheadings that still exists and pervasive.
It is highly recommended to change our perceptions of Islamic ideology and practice: that the Free World is already engaged in the Third World War declared by Islam more than twenty years ago, That it is an existential civilization threat, no less hazardous than the enemies of World War II, but Western leaders do not yet grasp this to fight back. That although this is not a declared war between states, its consequences are no less lethal to the Free World’s existence. That terrorism perpetrators are perhaps not the tyrants of the past, but the new tyranny World Jihad much more lethal. That not like the ideological wars of the past, World Jihad’s ideology is religiously fanatic being without compromise and appeasement. That we are witnessing raids of terrorism and slaughter by fanatics determined to destroy Western culture and intended to bring our civilization back to their 7th century.
Oriana Fallaci, the late Italian intellectual, one of the earlier prophets concerning Islam, has put the mired lethal situation of the Western World perhaps the best in context. Her words were a warning signpost, a wake-up call, Western leaders did not want to listen even to notice:
Wake up people, wake up. Paralyzed by the fear of appearing racist, you do not understand that the reverse crusade has commenced. Drugged by the stupidity or by shortsightedness of the adherents of political correctness, you do not internalize that a religious war is transpiring here. A war, whose objective is to conquer our souls and rob our freedoms. A war conducted with the goal of destroying our civilization and our way of life.
Stunned by the preponderance of false propaganda, you do not want to get it into your heads that if we do not defend ourselves, if we do not battle, jihad will win. It will win and destroy the world which we were able to build. It will make our culture and identity disappear.
Debating them is pointless; conducting a dialogue with them is useless; and demonstrating tolerance towards them is suicide. How is it that leftists never open their mouths against the Muslim world’s primitive, theocratic regimes, which have no democracy, no freedoms and no individual rights? Why were we killed and die in wars declared against the enemies of freedom and civilization? Are these principles invalid to the despotic Islamic regimes?
Enough of your double standards of morality; enough of your opacity; enough of your hypocrisy. Crickets of all countries and languages stop the confusion and start along the path to sobriety. The mountain of Islam has not moved for 1400 years; a mountain that consciously opts for primitiveness and ignorance and is ruled by fanatics. Europe is becoming a province of Islam.
Beyond Bombs and Bullets: A Comprehensive Approach Needed to Defeat ISIS
Many articles with similar ideas have been written about the current situation with ISIS and what will happen to the terrorist organization in the future. Most of these articles, however, ask incomplete or incorrect questions, which leads to inaccurate assessments of the safety of the world when ISIS is defeated. The articles typically ask questions such as: Can it be claimed that removal of ISIS from the territory in which it operates mean the end to ISIS, or is it only the displacement of terrorism? Shall we celebrate the defeat of ISIS or still be concerned about it? These questions, unfortunately, are incomplete and do not address key elements of the issue. The critical, and more appropriate, questions to ask are: Will the violent and extreme mindset and ideology end when ISIS is defeated? Is it possible that ISIS will transform itself or merges with another terrorist group? Is hard power the solution?
ISIS is just another body into which the violent and extremist ideology of jihadi Salafism has entered. The body dies, but the soul does not. When the body dies, the bad soul will enter another body of a different name. In the case of a defeated ISIS, the organization will die physically but survive as others take up its cause. As long as the violent and extremist ideology and dark soul of ISIS survives, there will always be a body for the soul to wear. The jihadi Salafist ideology will live a new life in a body transformed into another shape and structure.
Failure to ask the right questions means being unable to see and diagnose the problem correctly, intervene correctly, respond correctly, offer the correct solutions, and correctly assess the outcome rightly. In other words, a mistaken first step often leads to subsequent missteps and dire consequences in the long run. For example, when tar is on fire, the expected and first response would be to douse the fire with water; however, the compounds in the tar render water ineffective in putting out the fire and may even make the situation worse.In terms of terrorism, ISIS is the tar, and the commonsense first response would be to use all power available to eradicate the organization.
The literature on terrorism acknowledges that terrorism and radicalization are complex and multidimensional concepts that involve social, psychological, political, financial, and educational issues. Given this mix of factors, could a military and/or law enforcement intervention be the solution to terrorism and radicalization? The answer is “no.” Could the hard power be the solution to some psychological factors (i.e., alienation) or political factors (i.e., political exclusion and oppression) of joining terrorist groups? Again, the answer is “no.” The answer will always be “no” until the solution offered addresses the multiple dimensions of the problem with a comprehensive, but individualized, approach. A reliance on bombs, bullets, and warfare alone will not suffice.
For example, if an individual joins a terrorist group because of a family issue—such as forced marriage, domestic violence, or alienation from close relatives, lack of love and respect among family members—then the approach should focus on family structures and family environments. If an individual whose spouse, children, or extended family members were killed by government security forces longs for revenge and is recruited as a suicide bomber, a military/law enforcement solution alone will not solve the underlying problem. Nor is it the correct approach when an individual has joined a terrorist organization in response to the lack of democratic and human rights. If militants are recruited and exposed to propaganda in virtual environments, then the counterterrorism approach should address those virtual environments to neutralize the terrorist indoctrination. If potential militants are easily swayed by radicals misinterpreting and exploiting religious scriptures because they are poorly educated and lack religious awareness and knowledge, then the counterterrorism approach should focus on counter-narratives and religion-awareness programs. A continued emphasis on tanks, gunfire, and bombs, is a waste of precious money, time, and effort, and lives and, worse yet, justification of terrorist narratives.
Jihadists of Katibat Imam al Bukhari are afraid of the US strike
The US State Department added Central Asian jihadist group Katibat Imam al Bukhari (KIB) to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorist organizations on March 22, 2018.
As noted in the statement “the Department of State has designated KIB as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes strict sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. This designation seeks to deny KIB the resources it needs to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of the group’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.”
It is already common knowledge that,KIB is fighting in Syria as part of the al Qaeda-linked rebel coalition Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham. The KIB detachment was created in Afghanistan on the basis of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. KIB also operates in Afghanistan and has pledged loyalty to the Taliban, who are in turn tight allies with al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network. After the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2012, KIB, on the recommendation of Al-Qaeda, moved to the province of Idlib and distinguished itself as one of the major rebel groups fighting against the regime of Bashar Assad. A group of the jihadists of the KIB is also based in Afghanistan today and is fighting together with the Taliban. About 200 militants are known to fight in the KIB. The propaganda materials of the group are actively disseminated in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Three days after the decision of the US State Department to include KIB in the list of global terrorist organizations, Shura of the KIB issued its own statementin response. In itsown statement, which was released via Telegram on March 25, 2018, KIB protested their designation as terrorists by the State Department. KIB states that it “was surprised by the American resolution to enlist the Imam al Bukhari Brigade on the world terror list notwithstanding that we do not have ideological or intellectual ties with any faction internationally enlisted.”
It is most interesting that Shura of the KIB, for its protection, used a lot of peaceful terms in their response such as «international law», «rights of freedom», “murderous Assad regime”, “struggle for а decent life of the Syrian people”, etc.
KIB claimed in their response, that their volunteers from many Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan, formed their brigade “as a result of the war’s long duration in Syria and the increasing number of expats.”Shura of the KIB described his mission in the Middle East as protecting the simple and peaceful Syrian people from the bloody regime of Assad and his external sponsors, Hezbollah, Iranian Shiite militants and Russia.
KIB also claimed that they’ve been fighting with the Free Syrian Army to protect civilians against threats like ISIS, “which pushed ISIS to assassinate our previous leader (Sheikh Salahuddin).””The classification of Imam al-Bukhari Brigade by U.S., turns a blind eye on thousands of the Iranian-backed foreign Shiite militias that commit war crimes against the Syrians, and proves that the U.S. applies double standards and it is only concerned about its interests,” KIB continued.The Shura of group vowed to stay the course “in spite of pains and problems whether in our country or by the world order.”
In this regard, it should be noted that the “justifiable arguments” of the KIB that its fighters are fighting against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and precisely because of this fact they should not be included in the list of world terrorist groups does not make sense.Firstly, not only the numerous factions of armed revolutionaries and the fragmentary Syrian opposition are fighting against the regime of Bashar Assad, but also the world jihadist groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda.However, their goals are completely different. If the peaceful Syrian opposition wants to build a democratic state in Syria in the future, then ISIS and Al Qaeda are fighting for the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East.Al-Qaeda backed KIB that affiliated with Jabhat al Nusra, completely shares the position of his patrons.
Secondly, radical Salafism and militant Takfirism are the fundamental basis of the jihadi ideology of the KIB.In accordance with the ideological doctrine of KIB that was recently published on its Telegram channel, the group considers its goal the construction of an Islamic state in Central Asia, the overthrow of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and the protection and spread of jihadi ideology around the world by force.
Thirdly, jihad is the main tool for KIB in achieving its goals, that is, in building the Islamic Caliphate.In their propaganda materials, KIB leaders urge Muslims to wage jihad against the godless regimes of Central Asia and the West.After President Trump decided the U.S. Embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, KIB leader Abu Yusuf Muhojir posted on his Telegram page a pledge to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and wage jihad on the West.
The Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) — a joint venture formed by Ahrar al-Sham and the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Movement in February — has joined KIB in denouncing the State Department’s designation as well.In its statement the SLF argues that the KIB is an “independent” faction comprised of Uzbeks who were “forced out of their country” and who now fight against the Assad regime and ISIS. It is known that Ahrar al-Sham is an al Qaeda backed Salafi-jihadi group who fought alongside Al Nusrah Front in the past.The SLF also points to the assassination of KIB leader Sheikh Salahuddinlast year, alleging that ISIS cooperated with “Russian intelligence” in the killing.
In this regard, it should be noted that the assassination of the leader of KIB Sheikh Salahuddin is related to the confrontation between ISIS and al-Qaida, which led to internal fighting among the Central Asian jihadists in Syria.His real name was Akmal Jurabaev and he was born and grew up in the Uzbek town of Namangan. He shared the religious views and Salafi ideology of the Taliban and al Qaeda. On April 27, 2017, during the evening prayer in the mosque of a Syrian city of Idlib, Sheikh Salahuddin was killed by an Uzbek militant who was a member of ISIS. The Islamic State distributed the following statement via Telegram messenger in this regard, “The emir of detachment of Katibat al-Imam Bukhari, Sheikh Salahuddin, was punished according to the Sharia law for all the betrayals he committed.”
The Uzbek militant from Tajikistan, known as Abu Yusuf Muhojir, was appointed the new leader of the group. The Uzbek social networks have characterized him as the distinguished military strategist who has implemented a series of successful operations against the army of Bashar Assad. After the comprehensive analysis of his public speeches in the audio format published on the Telegram, we can draw the following conclusions: Abu Yusuf Muhojirhas the deep religious knowledge, knew the nuances of the Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) and jihad.
It is no accident that in their statements, KIB and SLF appealed to the fact that the leader of the Uzbek jihadists, Sheikh Salahuddin,was assassinated by ISIS militants.Using this argument that Uzbek militants are fighting with ISIS and their leader has fallen by the hands of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi supporters, KIB is trying to justify its terrorist activities and to avoid international persecution in accordance with the US list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
This is not the first time that the United States has designateda Central Asian jihadist group on the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) list.After designation of a terrorist group in the list of global terrorists, the US special services are allowed to carry out operations to eliminate the leaders of those terrorist groups, to take decisive measures to destroy financial schemes and to effectively put international pressure on them.
As is already known, the US State Department has designated the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan(IMU) in the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list on September 25, 2000.As a result, the leader of the group Tahir Yuldash (2009) and the military commander of the group Juma Namangoni (2001) were killed as a result of US missile airstrike.
On June 17, 2005, the US State Department designated the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) to the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.The IJU is a splinter faction of the IMU, and a substantial number of its members are from Central Asia.The IJU has been waging jihad in the Afghan-Pakistan region for more than a decade. It maintains close ties with al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. The US has killed several top IJU leaders, including its emir, Najmuddin Jalolov, in drone strikes in North Waziristan 2009.
On December 29, 2004, the US State Department designated Uyghur Salafi-jihadi group the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (the Turkestan Islamic Party) to the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL).As a result, leaders of the Turkestan Islamic Party Hassan Mahsum (2003) and Abdul Shakur al-Turkistani (2012) were killed in US drone strike.
Based on this, we can assume what fate awaits the leaders and militants of the KIB in the near future. The designation of the KIB in the Specially Designated Global Terrorist list testifies to the US Government’s determination to combat the jihadist ideology of Salafism worldwide.This is a tangible support to the governments of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, which are facing a real threat of transnational terrorism.After all, the backbone of the KIB is made up of people from the Ferghana Valley of Central Asia, mainly of Uzbek nationality.
According to the Soufan Group, out of 5,000 people who left Central Asia for Syria and Iraq, about 500 jihadists in the ISIS ranks went back to their homes. But among the returnees, there are almost no militants KIB, Katibat al-Tawhidwal Jihad (KTJ), IJU and TIP, which are affiliated with al Qaeda. After the fall of ISIS, it is the militants linked with the al Qaeda that pose a big threat to the countries of Central Asia. Therefore, the emergence of two theatres of war for al Qaeda backed Central Asian militants in Syria and Afghanistan and the relative ease of transit between these two theatres via Turkey increases the threat that jihadists can return to Central Asia at an opportune moment, such as at a time of political, social or economic crises.This would be dangerous for the regimes of Central Asia.
Therefore, the designation of the KIB by the US government into the list of global terrorist organizations gives a positive impetus to the efforts of the Central Asian countries in respect to counterterrorism.But so far the Central Asian governments have not openly reacted to the initiative of the US State Department. Perhaps such a reaction followed through diplomatic channels, which are closed to the public.
The war in Afghanistan and in the Middle East over the past 17 years has shown that the United States is in the forefront of the fight against transnational terrorism and religious extremism. Therefore, it would be difficult for the Governments of Central Asia to do without US assistance in combating the radical ideology of Salafism and world jihadism.
The Central Asian states are in a bind insofar as there is little they can do to stymie the growth of the KIB, KTJ, IJU and TIP in Syria given their lack of influenceand likely also their lack of intelligence.As a result, the Central Asian governments will likely need to develop comprehensive national security strategies with allies both within the region and abroad to manage the complexities of emerging threats.To achieve results in the fight against jihadism, the Central Asian countries need to solve three main tasks.
First, to intensify cooperation with the United States and the exchange of intelligence data.Successful coordination between law enforcement agencies will help to block the channels of financial, material and military assistance to the jihadist groups from Central Asia, affiliated with al Qaeda.Joint cooperation will contribute to the dismantling of bases, camps and training centers for Central Asian jihadist groups in Syria and Afghanistan, neutralizing prominent leaders and identifying commercial organizations and foundations that subsidize them. The fight against Al Qaeda is a more difficult than with ISIS, as it does not have its own territory, which can be hit. In the fight against Al-Qaeda, the United States has significant anti-terrorist experience, effective intelligence tools and advanced technical capabilities.
Secondly, given the increased role of another Uzbek group Katibat al-Tawhidwal Jihad in the global jihad and their successful terrorist acts in Russia (the explosion of the metro in St. Petersburg) and in Kyrgyzstan (the explosion of the Chinese embassy in Bishkek), the governments of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan should lobby the US to include the KTJ in the list of global terrorist organizations.
Thirdly, for successful international coordination of anti-terrorist efforts, security agencies and special services of the countries of Central Asia need to get rid of block thinking and anti-American sentiment, which is a legacy of the Soviet empire and which is being initiated by Russia.Kremlinis known to consider Central Asia as an area of its influence. Putin is imposing its anti-American ideology on the countries of the region, which impedes the joint struggle against world jihadism. The confrontation between Russia and the West on the activities of the Taliban and the future regime of Bashar al-Assad enable jihadist groups from Central Asia to successfully assimilate into a global jihad. Therefore, the governments of Central Asia must work out their own self-position, which allows them to actively cooperate with the US in the fight against the global jihadist threat in the world and stop being a Putin’s “whipping boy”.
How to stop terrorism: EU measures explained
Stopping terrorism requires tackling issues such as foreign fighters, border controls and cutting off funds. Learn about the EU’s counter terrorism policies.
EU measures to prevent new attacks run from more thorough checks at Europe’s borders, to better police and judicial cooperation on tracing suspects and pursuing perpetrators, cutting the financing of terrorism, tackling organised crime, addressing radicalisation and others.
Improving border controls
In order to safeguard security within the Schengen zone, systematic checks at the EU’s external borders on all people entering the EU – including EU citizens – were introduced in April 2017.
To record the movements of non-EU citizens across the Schengen area and speed up controls, a new entry and exit registration system was agreed by Parliament and EU ministers on 30 November 2017. These new external border controls are expected to become fully functional by 2020 at the latest.
Stopping foreign terrorist fighters
At least 7,800 Europeans from 24 countries are believed to have travelled to conflict areas in Syria and Iraq to join jihadist terrorist groups, according to Europol. Although there is a decrease in travel, the number of returning foreign fighters is expected to rise if Islamic State is defeated militarily or collapses.
In order to criminalise acts such as undertaking training or travelling for terrorist purposes, as well as organising or facilitating such travel, Europe put in place EU-wide legislation on terrorism that, together with new controls at the external borders, will help to tackle the foreign fighter phenomenon.
Making use of air passenger data
Airlines operating flights to and from the EU are obliged to hand national authorities the data of their passengers such as names, travel dates, itinerary and payment method.
This so-called PNR data is used to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist offences and serious crimes. Negotiations took more than five years and Parliament insisted on safeguards for sensitive data (revealing racial origin, religion, political opinion, health or sexual orientation) and data protection.
Stepping up the exchange of information
The man who carried out the Berlin Christmas market attack used multiple identities to evade border and law enforcement authorities. This, and other similar cases, show the importance of effective information sharing between different authorities (law enforcement, judicial, intelligence) in EU countries.
The EU already has many databases and information systems for border management and internal security. The Parliament is currently focusing on rules that will enable the interoperability of the databases and allow for the simultaneous consultation of the different systems.
Europol, the EU’s police agency, supports the exchange of information between national police authorities as the EU criminal information hub. In May 2016 the Parliament agreed to give more powers to Europol to step up the fight against terrorism as well as to set up specialised units such as the European counter terrorism centre, which was launched on 25 January 2016.
Tackling the financing of terrorism
An effective measure to stop terrorists is to cut their sources of revenue and disrupt logistics. The Parliament wants EU countries to track suspicious financial transactions and charities and also look into the trafficking of oil, cigarettes, gold, gems and works of art.
MEPs have completed the latest update of the EU’s anti-money laundering directive, which tightens the rules on virtual currency platforms and anonymous prepaid cards.
MEPs also managed to secure additional resources in the EU’s 2018 budget to better fight terrorism and organised crime. The European Commission recently set up a blockchain observatory in response to Parliament calls to monitor virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, to prevent them being used to finance terrorism.
Reducing access to dangerous weapons
The EU does everything possible to prevent dangerous weapons falling into the hands of the wrong people. The revised firearms directive closed legal loopholes that allowed terrorists to use reconverted weapons, for example in the Paris 2015 attacks. It requires EU countries to have a proper monitoring system, while keeping exemptions for hunters, museums and collectors.
Most of the terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by home-grown terrorists. Parliament therefore proposed measures to fight radicalisation and extremism in prisons and online by making use of education and social inclusion.
The EU’s added value
The EU level is the main forum for cooperation between member states in the fight against terrorism, even though counter-terrorism policies are to a large extent the responsability of countries..
MEPs decide on a par with EU ministers on major EU counter-terrorism laws. Traditionally, Parliament makes sure fundamental rights and data protection are respected.
The EU’s counter-terrorism strategy is based on four strands: prevent, protect, pursue and respond. The current framework that the European Commission follows in its proposals is the European Agenda on Security 2015-2020, which aims to facilitate cooperation between EU countries in the fight against terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime.
In recent years there have been many EU policies on counter-terrorism and it involves many people, organisations and strategies. The Parliament set up a special committee to suggest ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the EU’s response to terrorism.
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