by WorldTribune Staff, June 23, 2016
Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is expanding in Africa and the Middle East, according to the U.S. Congress and the CIA, a direct contradiction of President Barack Obama’s claim that the terror organization has been “contained.”
ISIL “has created at least six functioning armies” in Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan, the Congressional Research Service said in a June 14 report.
“Only the naive believe the ISIL threat is diminishing,” said Robert Maginnis, author of the anti-jihad book “Never Submit”. He added: “Thankfully our CIA director is clearheaded enough to part with Obama’s misguided spin and confirm ISIL is a serious and growing threat to America’s homeland and our interests abroad.”
CIA Director John Brennan told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that ISIL’s ability to direct or inspire terrorist attacks remains robust.
“Our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach,” Brennan said.
The six ISIL affiliates singled out in the CRS report, “Islamic State and U.S. Policy,” are “viable armies with training bases, air-to-air missiles and anti-tank weapons, and hundreds, if not thousands, of fighters,” security correspondent Rowan Scarborough reported in The Washington Times.
According to Scarborough’s report, the six affiliates are:
1) Sinai Province in Egypt. Begun in 2014 in the Sinai Peninsula, the unit is attracting Bedouin Arabs, Palestinians from across the border and foreign fighters. The group may have more than 1,000 members, who one day envision and invasion of Israel. It claimed responsibility for bringing down Metrojet Flight 9268 over the Sinai on Oct. 31, 2015 with a bomb disguised as a soda can, killing all 224 people onboard.
2) The Islamic State in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-based jihadists have taken credit for a series of attacks since 2014, and calls on its followers to kill the kingdom’s clerics and security forces. A group fighter blew himself up in a Kuwait mosque last year, killing more than two dozen people. The Saudi government has arrested more than 1,600 Islamic State followers.
3) The Islamic State in Libya. With as many as 6,000 fighters, ISIL in Libya controls large sections of territory, but is under pressure from government troops who have captured much of the coastal city of Sirte.
4) The Islamic State in Nigeria. Also known as Boko Haram, the terror group has killed thousands of innocents and displaced more than 1 million people.
5) The Islamic State-Khorasan Province. The Afghan affiliate of ISIL has attracted hundreds of ex-Taliban and the Iraq-Syria base has provided financing as the group’s ranks have swelled to as many as 3,000. The U.S. command in Kabul, which generally ignored the affiliate for months, now is authorized to bomb Khorasan fighting positions that could directly threaten American troops.
6) The Islamic State in Yemen. The group is capitalizing on the country’s chaos, as Iranian-backed rebels and various Sunni groups fight for control, by unleashing a series of attacks on Shi’ite mosques.
“The Obama administration’s slow response to the rise of ISIS gave the group the freedom to franchise across much of the globe,” Maginnis said. “Add to that the explosive effectiveness of ISIL’s very effective public relations arm, billions of dollars in its treasury and a large and easily manipulated young male Muslim population, and no wonder ISIL’s caliphate now includes six armies and perhaps hundreds of thousands of supporters across at least 13 countries and growing.”
Brennan said that, although ISIL has lost territory, leaders and cash, it is still generating tens of millions of dollars and remains “a formidable, resilient and largely cohesive enemy, and we anticipate that the group will adjust its strategy and tactics in an effort to regain momentum.”
The six affiliates singled out in the CRS report are helping to “preserve its capacity for terrorism, regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.”