What We Can Do About ISIS Ideology
If you want to know what can be done to combat ISIS ideology, this is the best place to start!
Author and intelligence agent Malcolm Nance literally wrote the book on international terrorists like ISIS. Know their limitations on the ground. Learn how they use social media to hack susceptible minds and recruit even Americans into joining. NBC’s Richard Engel, Chief Foreign Correspondent wrote the foreword to this book. Malcolm is executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideologies. TAPSTRI is a small think tank which is dedicated to the the analysis of the global jihad movements. Their strategies, their broad stroke movements, and right down to the street level tactics that they use. Most importantly, we study not just the ideology of the groups. We studied counter ideological moves against these groups, what we call counter ideological warfare.
These books are great for facts you can use to deprogram a Trumpster. Or to just get a more sophisticated perspective on defending our country.
All Malcolm Nance’s books are packed with information. They build one upon another with hardly any repeated material. Buy here to support this site.
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Malcolm Nance On How We Deal With ISIS and It’s Ideology Now
ISIS is actually a very long standing organization that anyone who fought in the Iraq war between 2003 and 2011 might remember. They were called Al Qaeda in Iraq. Over that decade, they transitioned from a covert terrorist organization into an actual expeditionary warfare group. ISIS had decided that they were going to accelerate Osama Bin Laden’s timetable to create their Islamic Caliphate. This is something that Osama Bin Laden thought would take over a century.
They decided that they were going to seize all of the Sunni terrain in Western and Northwestern Iraq, all the Sunni terrain in Eastern Syria and carve out, not just an Islamic caliphate, but a Sunni homeland. By doing that with their operation out of Malawi, which was their invasion of Iraq. From the North and the West. They seized all those territories. And in doing so, they wiped out the entire political balance to a certain extent, most of the Levant since the Saxby code treaty in early 1900.
Do you think that that could have been predicted beforehand?
It was predicted to a certain extent. The US intelligence community wasn’t completely oblivious to the operations that were going on with ISIS. Throughout late 2013, they were actually carrying out what we call the decapitation operations. That was going on in Syria. They were attacking all of our allies of Free Syrian Army. Then they started attacking groups that were formally under that Jebel Nusrat and started killing all of the leadership, including Al Qaeda leadership in Syria. And then by January 2014, they started making offensives in Western Iraq and Anbar Province towards Ramadi and Fallujah. They were going to swing around to the North and seize Mosul and drive on Baghdad. That could have been better predicted, of course.
I wrote a complete intelligence community textbook on the evolution of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Iraqi insurgency called The Terrorists of Iraq. A lot of that research went into this book. What happened is Al Qaeda was always developed as a covert combat command. They had always intended to be an organization where you had five levels of security clearance. Where you were going to be trained as an operative, and then you were going to be reintroduced into your nation. Whichever your Jihad zone was to go back to. Destabilize that nation while Al Qaeda central did the strategic plan of fighting their far enemies, the United States. To provoke them to come into back into Afghanistan. ISIS was a component of that in 2003.
When they were Al Qaeda in Iraq, based on the Jordanian group led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. Once Zorqawi was killed, Osama Bin Laden wanted to transition the Iraqi Islamic insurgency to Iraqi command. So he put in a joint Egyptian and Iraqi commander. And those two commanders for about two years led the insurgency. While transitioning Iraqi leadership into Al Qaeda in Iraq. They were both killed simultaneously. Their deputy was Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. He took over and he created and unified the entirety of the Iraqi insurgency into an Iraqi command.
Now one of the components of that was he started to co op the 80,000 or so insurgents who were Saddam’s former Ba’athists. By bringing them in. Certainly after the missteps of the of the Iraqi government, where they had sidelined politically, the entirety of the people who joined the Iraq awakening. Who assisted the United States in getting Al Qaeda out. They came back merged all of the former insurgents into what we have today, which is an insurgent super group. Of all the people that we fought between 2003 and 2011.
Malcolm is also famous for his “Plot To” trilogy
You know there were missed opportunities. Only in the sense that the intelligence mission again so what we call Al Qaeda Jihad right started in 1991. After they had done a bombing attack on a hotel where Special Forces soldiers were holed up in Yemen. Over that time, it took between 1981 to 1996 when he declared his jihad against the United States. It just took a lot of time to develop good intelligence or what he wanted. By 1996 It was pretty clear that we had what we call the G J. M. global jihad movement. And that was solidified around the philosophy and ideology of Osama Bin Laden.
That’s why when we did our operation against this Baader terrorist’s base camp in 1997. It was a significant attack. We put 75 cruise missiles secretly across Pakistan without telling them with the sole intention of killing Osama bin Laden. However, cruise missiles, they’re restricted by space time and physics. So Osama Bin Laden had missed the attack. He had left the camp one hour earlier, before missiles went on target but we sent a significant message. Would that have stopped the 911 attacks even if we have killed Bin Laden? I don’t think so. The ideology is rooted in passing the lessons learned and maintaining corporate stability to all their lieutenants. They would only have accelerated their timetables.
How could apocalyptic ISIS ideology be disrupted?
What we fail to see, is it’s actually taken a long time to gain traction. Not just within the intelligence community, but within our political community. They need to understand that there is a driving ideology behind these groups. Only since the last year when they took Mosul. Then people actually wanted to discuss what do they want? ISIS is an apocalyptic Islamic cult, and I don’t use that word blithely. There have been, throughout Islamic history. Four other cults, one in the seventh century, one of the 12th century, one in the 19th century, and one in 1979. To a group that took the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
So what does ISIS and Al Qaeda believe? All of these ideologies are driven on the base ideology of Osama Bin Laden developed in 1988. When he decided at the end of the Afghan war that the Arab Afghan fighters would not go back to their nations and just live in peace. As his compatriot Abdullah Azzam, the chief commander of the Afghan Arabs, decided they would do. So he killed Abdullah Azzam, which made it very easy for me. He brought all of these people under the Al Qaeda organization.
In doing that, he brought forth the ideology that they were going to reestablish the caliphate across the Muslim world. That in turn has an apocalyptic nature, which is a religious basis within Islam. That is to force the hand of God to return to re-create the ground conditions for the return of their Savior. Bring about the other components of their version of Revelation. There are several books which are written about this and that’s why people call this ideology apocalyptic cult.
Un-Hack and De-Program Here And Abroad
Their goals are apocalyptic. They seem to feel that they are in a clash of civilization. Osama Bin Laden bought into Samuel Huntington’s belief of the clash of civilizations between East and West. He believes that the fall of the Soviet Union was caused by the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Which is why he carried out 911. To provoke the United States to come back to Afghanistan. He thought that he would break us economically and militarily. Then that would establish a clash of civilizations. Between his version of Islam after he took over the Muslim world and excised it of all traditional Islam. Then would have this war against the West.
You can’t carpet bomb this group out of existence. Secretary of Defense just recently made the comment that kinetics has a limitation there is an edge. As General Hayden himself said, we have to now start thinking asymmetrically. Which is using the strengths of ourselves and the weaknesses of our enemies to start going after their systems which are their most vulnerable. The one that they’re absolutely the most vulnerable, that the United States almost seems to refuse to touch, and for some good reason, is not discussing their belief system.
Abu Qaswarah, a deputy commander who now took over Al Qaeda said. If the Muslim world were to lose support in us and what we believe in, we would be crushed in the shadows. Now what we need to do is facilitate that the Muslim world rejects ISIS holy, there’s 1.6 billion people who have absolutely nothing to do with it, who understand what they are, and we need to help facilitate that rejection within the Muslim world.
Does the world underestimate ISIS?
I think the world underestimates them only in the fervor of their belief. Ragtag only in the sense that the systems that they have aren’t bought on an international scale. They gain their weapons by capture for the most part. However, that is the definition of an insurgent army. As an expeditionary Insurgent Army, they have the ability to fight on the terrain that they’re at. Placing pressure on them is like stepping on a ball of mercury. It breaks up its dissipates out into other areas. Now we’ve seen that they’re in Libya. They’re in Egypt, in Yemen,, in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, there’s just dozens of nations. You lift your foot, you take that pressure off, they congeal back together again, and they can go about their business in carrying out this apocalyptic vision.