June 18, 2014

Twitter Spy Reveals Baathist Alliance With ISIS

I've heard rumors that ISIS raises funds by selling oil from areas it controls to the Syrian regime, who are Baathists.

As FSA and the Islamic front pushed ISIS out of some areas into Eastern Syria ISIS feinted and upped its campaign in Iraq. Quite a good strategy. But lately there has been a wrench thrown in ISIS's works.

Daily Beast: A mysterious Twitter account is trying to stop ISIS’s rise to power by spilling the terror group’s secrets online. For more than six months a series of tweets have detailed the alleged covert alliances and conspiratorial machinations behind the ascension of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Islamist group taking over large parts of Iraq. Taken together, the tweets form a slanted but valuable picture of ISIS and one of the only portraits of its leaders. Perhaps even more important, the account is still active, sending out tweets days ago about ISIS’s current strategy in Iraq and what it plans to do next.

...erhaps the most significant charge @wikibaghdady made—and the one that now seems most prophetic, after the group took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city—is that ISIS’s inner chamber of power, hidden by Baghdadi’s public front, is led by a former Baathist and colonel in Saddam’s army called Haji Bakr. According to @wikibaghdady, it was Bakr who engineered Baghdadi’s rise to power after ISIS’s former leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, was killed in 2010 by a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation in Tikrit.

That Baathist connection resurfaced last week after ISIS’ Iraq offensive and has proven to be a critical aspect of the group’s strategy and a cornerstone of its current ability to take and hold ground.

Former Baathist groups in Iraq included he Naqshbandi Army mentioned in the article and the group Ansar al-Sunna later renamed Ansar al-Islam. The Sunni Baathists were second only to al-Qaeda in Iraq in their brutality during the US occupation.

Its appears that the Baathists believe they will be given the front seat of leadership in Sunni areas of Iraq after ISIS and various other Jihadi groups have secured their advance.

It remains to be seen if ISIS will allow the allied Sunni groups local control like the Kurds enjoy in the northeast or if ISIS will attempt to hold its leadership position and enforce its strict interpretation of Sharia, which differs substantially from most Iraqi Sunnis. Most Iraqi Sunnis of the Baathist persuasion tolerate minority Christians and Sufis, they also like to smoke cigarettes and have the occasional forbidden liquid called alcohol. While they are dedicated Muslims and resisted the occupation they are much more modern than the sixth century Taliban like rule that ISIS subscribes to.

Hat Tip: Noah.

Update: The Iraqi Sunni Clerics known as the Association of Muslim Scholars has also endorsed the ISIS advance calling it a "Popular revolution."

By Howie at 09:26 AM | Comments |