The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Idean Salehyan University of North Texas

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1 The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Idean Salehyan University of North Texas

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5 The Caliphate Successors to the Prophet Mohammad Merging of religious and political authority (1292 years!) Ottoman Empire Defeated in WWI Mustafa Kemal Ataturk abolishes the Caliphate on March 3, Abdul Mecid II, The Last Caliph

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7 Salafism/Wahhabism Movement within Sunni Islam Literalist, puritanical. Rejects modern approaches to Islam Rejects spiritualist sufi movements within Islam Deems Shiites to be heretics Minority within Islam About 6% of Egyptian Muslims consider themselves Salafis Not all Salafis espouse violence Top: Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Bottom: Salafi women

8 Al Qaeda Origins in Afghan war against USSR. 1979, Soviets invade. Afghan resistance organizations (mujahedin) based in Pakistan, supported by US. Foreigners from across Muslim world join the fight. Maktab al-khadamat founded by Osama bin Laden to fund Afghan war. Osama Bin Laden and the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait. Al-Qaeda founded in Sudan

9 Al Qaeda Taliban in Afghanistan Hosts OBL and AQ Al-Qaeda declares war on US in 1996, including plans to attack civilians embassy bombing in Nairobi and Dar Es-Salaam September 11, 2001.

10 Al Qaeda s Ultimate Goal Remove Authoritarian/Un-Islamic leaders and restore the caliphate: After the fall of our orthodox caliphates on March 3, 1924 and after expelling the colonialists, our Islamic nation was afflicted with apostate rulers who turned out to be more infidel and criminal than the colonialists themselves. AQ training manual.

11 Al-Qaeda and the US Near vs. Far Enemy Belief that if the US withdraws from the Middle East & ends support, secular regimes will fall, allowing Islamic governments to replace them. Parviz Musharaff (Pakistan) Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) King Abdullah II (Jordan)

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13 Al Qaeda 2001, US invades Afghanistan Al Qaeda faces a major set back Osama Bin Laden killed in 2011 Al-Qaeda franchises in Yemen, Algeria, Somalia, etc. 2003, US invades Iraq Shiites become dominant in Iraqi politics Jama at al-tawhid wal-jihad formed in 1999 Becomes Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2004 Abu Musab al-zarqawi

14 Iraq So yes, there are contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda. We know that Saddam Hussein has a long history with terrorism, in general. And there are some Al Qaeda personnel who found refuge in Baghdad. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, September 25, [Sadaam Hussein] has long-established ties with Al- Qaeda. US Vice President Dick Cheney, June 14, We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States. -9/11 Commission Report

15 Iraq "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-u.s. jihadists. Porter Goss, CIA Director. February 16, "the Iraq War has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists... and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives. US National Intelligence Estimate 2006.

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17 Al-Qaeda in Iraq AQI targeted US troops and Shiite institutions. Recruited from across the world. Often the most dogmatic, extreme. Initially cooperated with other Sunni groups, but most rejected their call for a theocratic state. AQI was the most brutal of the opposition groups AQI marginalized, Al-Zarqawi killed Sunni Awakening. Tribal groups and mainstream Sunnis turn on AQI.

18 Emergence of ISIS US pulls all troops out of Iraq in December, 2011 Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-maliki fires his Sunni Vice-President after US troops leave. Campaign of violence and purges against Sunnis Sunni Awakening groups turn to the insurgency

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20 Emergence of ISIS Syrian revolution Spring 2011, public protests calling for democracy, end to rule of Bashir al-assad. Sunni troops begin to defect to the opposition Free Syrian Army and the moderate opposition Calls for US to arm the opposition rejected by Obama Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front Becomes the best funded, best organized insurgent group

21 Emergence of ISIS AQI members go to Syria to regroup, train, fight. AQI reorganizes under new leader, Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi and becomes ISIS in Attempt to merge Al-Nusra with ISIS ISIS ends relationship with Al-Qaeda in February Return to Iraq; support in Sunni areas. June 29, 2014, Al-Baghdadi declares himself Caliph. Rejected by most Muslims (including Al-Qaeda) Huge symbolic move

22 Social Media

23 Foreign Recruits

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25 ISIS Atrocities

26 ISIS Atrocities Attacks on Yazidi Minority Siege of Kobani

27 Spread of ISIS Libya Egypt Algeria Pakistan Yemen Nigeria Chechnya Philippines Lebanon Jordan ISIS beheading Egyptians in Libya Boko Haram declares allegiance to ISIS

28 Sectarian War in the Middle East Hezbollah IRAN Assad Houthis Iraq

29 Combatting ISIS Strange bedfellows Opponents of ISIS Iraqi government Assad regime Free Syrian Army Regional governments Iran Hezbollah Kurdish forces

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31 Options for Dealing with ISIS Option #1: Resend troops to Iraq, perhaps Syria No boots on the ground? Option #2: Give increased funding, arms to moderate anti-isis groups. Free Syrian Army Kurdish forces Option #3: Join forces with anti-isis governments Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, already cooperating Befriend Syria, Iran? Option #4: Complete disengagement Focus on domestic policing

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Munich A few months ago Tony Blair apologised for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and said that without that war the Islamic State could not have taken

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