abr7

THE FIGHTING AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAK AND SIRIA I.

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The appearance of the Islamic State has supposed a qualitative change in the goals, the possibilities, the reputation and in the general and operational strategy of the salafist jihadists of the entire world. Till then, the ideological headquarters of the terrorist group al-Qaeda were establishing and ordering to his own groups or regional supporters, some punctual aims of assault and destruction of persons, goods and places. And its accomplishment, isolated and unconnected between them, operationally, temporally and locally, were marking the terrorists limits of the action and the propaganda, that the organization was looking for. They were acting, really, as a network.

But his “nodes” (the radiant local centers) were weak, without operational transcendence and were remaining too distant between them. These were joined by “ropes”, representing his potentials of communication, combined actions and mutual support, which were frayed, almost free. The design, the functionality and the absent and remote direction of this Network were not serving for anything more… In his history, the followers of Ben Laden never managed to control a sufficient extension of key territory. “Al-Qaeda is only a movement, we are already a State“, declared a proud salafist mujaidin of the ISSL. The reality is that the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant spreads diffuse and intermittently for a territory of the size of Spain, which goes from Aleppo up to Diyala’s Iraqi province, at the east of the country, with the Euphrates as vertebral column of his urban enclaves.

A LUXURY WATCH WASN’T USED BY THE PIOUS ANCESTORS OF THE ISLAM TO CONQUER HALF WORLD…

The Drawn Sword of the Islam.

His name is Ibrahim Anwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri. But the guy is in the line of the Popes and some political and military sheiks of the Islam, of the changing name on having ascended or been raised to the seat. And this way, he has named Abu Baker al-Baghdadi. That means, the Father of Baker, from Baghdad. It is a vague name, following the narrow structure used in the epoch of the Arabic tribes, inflamed of overwhelming zeal for the Islam. For it, he only might be recognize at home, at the eating times, if he did not have the well-deserved reputation of “Butcher of the Islam”. He was born in a village near to Samarra city, a provincial capital at north of Baghdad, in 1.971. The first witnesses indicate that he was a pacific, introverted and reserved man, who liked to read, to visit the mosque and to play football a place near home.

He had beard, was using with a white cap and dressed the dishdasha, the Iraqi masculine tunic. With 18 years he did the military service in the army of Saddam Hussein. Really, the EISL has altered the behaviors of the youth, presenting him much more pious and occupied for the Koran studies, that really he was. It seems that he took Islamic studies in Baghdad’s University. There are not many locate eyewitnesses of his life and his own family have fled from the city, pulled down of been related with this element. After the American invasion of 2.003 and the beginning of the sunni insurrection against the collaborating chiies and the tribal militias of the clergyman al-Sadr, al-Baghdadi took part in the rebel groups in what was called the “sectarian war (2.004-2.007)”.

During a pursuit against Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, the chief of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Baghdadi was arrested. The Americans classified it as a “civil intern”, that is, linked with the rebels, but not participant in their operations. And interned him in Camp Bucca, at the south of Iraq, a vague time between 1 and 2 years, as the whole mystery or trick that deliberately wraps this subject. This prison was more comfortable and, especially, more tolerant than the shameful Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad. Where the Americans were retaining, near his operational center of the capital, those who more worry them with theirs facts or relations with the rebels. Observed impassively by his lenient jailers, the interns of Camp Bucca realized contacts between them, were sharing Information, read the Koran, interpreting it in their radical and slanted way, and received yihadists harangues. And towards ends of 2.005 he was liberated.

Ibrahim Anwad began to form part of al-Qaeda in Iraq, where he pointed out in a short time for his organizational capacities. But, at June 7 of 2.006 al-Zarkawi died in a joint air raid of the USA and Iraq aviation, near Bakuba, approximately 65 Kms. at the north of Baghdad, where also died 7 assistants of the terrorist chief. In a few months, Ibahim Anwad took control of the organization in Iraq. By 2.007, Abu Baker, integrating also other yihadists bands in al-Qaeda, assumed the conductive command of the new Islamic State of Iraq, in whose name was stamping his style, capacity and intention. They were difficult, diminished and secret times for the group. The Americans were in Iraq; their anti terrorist strategy of dispersion and isolation of the rebels active bands, rested on the each disputed area in the self-defense tribal forces, the so called Sahwa or “sunni reappear” (sunni dawn), was working from 2.007, under general David Petraeus’ guidance; and the sunnis had left their politics of not take part in the Iraqi public life, dominated and without legal opposition till then by the chií majority.

Implacably chased by his threatened enemies from home and overseas, Abu Baker slips often in the immense desert zone of Syria (his oriental desert) and Iraq (Anbar’s frontier and desert province), stopping in the surroundings of the controlled cities by the ISSIL. The terrorists use small dispersed and camouflaged or masked groups of vehicles, which travel intermingling with the habitual traffic of the zone. That goes sticking to the course of the Euphrates, through the adjacent roads and ways in the desert. There have been realized several attempts of physical elimination of the caliph, using the air not crewed vehicles or by means of specific incursions at charge of a reinforced platoon of elites troops, with his missions of assault, support and isolation. The actions were approved after be detecting his probable presence, thanks to tale-bearings or intelligence operations. But, till now, only they have led to causing falls in his escort officials or his close co religionists, without reaching the slippery leader.

At the short distances, the Caliph, proudly, reserved and mercilessly, appears, according to witnesses information, despot and yet overwhelming, in the treatment with third parties foreign to his intimate circles. Unlike the previous chief of “al-Qaeda in Iraq”, Abu Baker takes very much care of his personal image and does not allow his capture by the means. His more extensive and trustworthy images date back to his proclamation in Mosul of the islamist Caliphate. Nevertheless, Ibrahim Anwad al-Badri’s first police photos show him with discontinuous and careless beard and something chubby for a man in the forties years of his life.

The Structure of the Caliphate.

The Administration created by al-Baghdadi is worthy of better destinations. And is a proof of his organizational capacities of political religious leader of the Islam. The executive dome of al-Imarah is formed by the Caliph, his two delegates for Iraq and Syria and the cabinet or council, integrated by 7 advisers. Al-Imarah means Muslim emirate. There exists a legislative organ for military and religious matters named the Council of the Shura, which depends on the al-Imarah governance, that is to say, of his three principal commands and the cabinet. Every national delegate possesses 12 regional governors, each attributed to important or key populations or to certain zones of each country. Also, every delegate has 8 secretaries or offices, dedicated specifically to the tasks or departments more important.

This way, they are: Assistance of the fighters, for the support of the foreign mujaidins. Finance, which controls the sale of oil and derivatives, hostages and confiscated objects and buys weapons and supply. Intelligence, which gathers information, elaborates intelligence and distributes it to the different interested parties. Legality, which entrusts of the legal matters, of the judgments and of the mujaidins and sympathizers’ recruitment. Leadership, which writes the laws and procedures and establishes the political strategy. Means, which regulates them and realizes all kinds of propaganda. Military, on whom depends the coordination of the defense and armed extension of the caliphate. Security, which carries out the internal vigilance and executes the death sentences, operating as a kind of politician delegation or religious police.

And, how many guerrillas possesses the ISSIL? The CIA valued few months ago it was possessing something more that 30 thousand mujaidins, of which 20% would be foreign. It is the source most serious and qualified to realize such difficult estimation. Some of them have been pulverized by the aviation of the Obama’s Coalition; some, of the foreign, hallucinated and stultified adventurers, have returned to their countries to do there the Jihad; and some thousands will have increased his ranges from the summer to now. In the worst of the possibilities for the freedom and the persons, the forces of the IS would not overcome the 45 thousand useful armed. And of them approximately 10 thousand are foreign, catechized in his places of origin and mesmerized by the facts and propaganda of the IS.

Jihadists in Syria.

The deep crisis of the Syrian civil society and the mismanagement produced by a civil war “in crescendo”, that already extends for 4 years, causing 200 thousand dead men, have allowed to the jihadists groups of the Near East to settle in Syria. His refuge zones and his areas of influence are not individually big, nor continue. They are rather dispersed and nearby between them. And none of them would resist a military serious harassment. The occupied zones form like amorphous and fluent “spots” in evolution, from which they withdraw if the military enemy pressure is strong and continued. To install in alternative positions the nearest possible, that allow them to keep a minimal operational connection with other regional positions.

In Syria have proliferated the “supporters sets” or bands of al-Qaeda. The reasons of why they have not been articulated an only terrorist Syrian group are different. One is the distance and the lack of control and ascendancy of al-Qaeda’s “head office”. This is the cross of his operational decentralization, for which the Network usually presumes and threatens to reach his enemies for half the planet. The communist parties, verified specialists in the capture of the power, always exhibited an ideological, operational and military monolithic unit, proper of warriors filled with enthusiasm monks, in their so called of “national liberation” fights for three continents. Another reason is that these “separated brothers” hate between them. The egalitarianism derived from the brotherhood in the salafist sunni doctrines, soon originates between the “equal ones”, a purulent and contagious infection of envy, ill-will and rancor. And vice versa, the existence of a capable, just hierarchy, respected and accepted in an organization, favors the emulation and the ascent of many of the most capable. A reason that weighs is also the ambition, the audacity, the overflowing aggressiveness and the lack of scruples of his military chiefs and locals sheiks. Their first bitter enemy is neither the Army, nor the SFA or the Kurds, Alauits, Christians or Druzes’ self-defense militias, according to the regions. Their more hated and dreaded enemies are the commands of other jihadists groups in Syria. Because they are the most related, their rivals for the command, that they who compete with them for the direction of the jihadism in Syria.

About the strategies of the 2 jihadists groups of Syria, the “Front al-Nusrah for the Liberation of the Peoples of the East” seeks to establish only a “Islamic radical emirate” in Syria. And the ISSIL, born in the guerrilla warfares in Irak after 2.003, wants to create a salafist Caliphate more extensive and permanent. And to install it, for the moment, in Syria and Iraq. Though already it has done punishment assaults to the Lebanese Shiites, in response to Hezbolá’s support to al-Assad. The first follows and goes in parallel with the strategy of al-Qaeda of favoring the creation and functioning of national or regional “representative cores”. That from his physical distance and with the structural laxity of the Network, could be controlled by her, about orders, strategies and operations and the use of “al-Qaeda’s brand”. But, the ISSIL looks for a functional independence and, probably also ideological, with “head office core” of the Network. Since the Islamic State would act as an “operational command” in a supranational zone. Which might include the whole southwest of Asia. This way, an administrator and absentee high headquarters, is of no use and irrelevant for the ISSIL.

Ayman al-Zawahiri confirmed in 2.013 the link of the Front al-Nusrah of Abu Mohammed al-Golani with al-Qaeda and denied any relation with the ISSIL. And he had to intervene in several occasions to deprive al-Baghdadi of authority. “The ISSIL must be abolished, whereas the Islamic State of Iraq must continue working”, he declared categorical al-Zawahiri in November, 2013. “Al-Baghdadi committed a mistake on having established the ISSIL without asking us for permission”, and, continued, the Syrian al-Golani also “has been wrong on having announced his rejection of the ISSIL, without our permission”. Al-Zawahiri ordered then that the Islamic State of Iraq should circumscribe his operations to that country, whereas the Front al-Nusrah is “an independent branch of al-Qaeda that reports before the general command (a kind of regional delegate)”. In addition, he recriminated both “brothers groups” for their acts of violence against other Muslims. In response, and in spite that the original group “al-Qaeda in Iraq” of Musab al-Zarkawi sworn loyalty to al-Zawahiri, al-Baghdadi declared in rebelliousness towards him. Producing an important crisis of leadership in the Network, which they tried to repair moving away from al-Baghdadi. This debilitated the fight against al-Assad, as the jihadists groups were spreading in Syria and her army was centering towards the great populations. And during the clashes between the rebels of first of 2.014, al-Golani offered his mediation to the groups, which it did not come to fruition, looking to give priority to plant face against to al-Assad. In this epoch the break between the 2 great jihadists groups complete, after a series of approximation talks between delegates of both branches, celebrated in the Syrian Kurdistan. In one of them Abu Baker appeared, forming part of the negotiating group, but without revealing his identity to his speakers of the Front al-Nusrah.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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Enrique Alonso nació en La Habana. Tras el establecimiento del régimen comunista se trasladó a España, licenciándose en Ciencias Químicas en la Universidad de Oviedo.

Es titulado por la Universidad Complutense en Química y Tecnología del Petroleo (dos cursos) y en Logística por la Cámara de Comercio de Madrid (un curso). Ha realizado su labor profesional durante más de 30 años en REPSOL y empresas anteriores, absorbidas posteriormente. Su trabajo se centró en la investigación de lubricantes (Centro de Investigación de la calle Embajadores), el área comercial y la logística de lubricantes (unas 100 mil Tm. al año de productos a granel y envasados, con un presupuesto total de unos 1000 millones de ptas).

Ha sido colaborador en la década de los 80, del diario Pueblo y, a través de la agencia EFE, de diversos diarios españoles e hispanoamericanos en temas de política internacional y militares.

Es autor de la novela “Operación Elefante”, publicada en 1982, que trata minuciosa y extensamente de las operaciones y tácticas de las guerrillas y contraguerrillas en la Angola socialista prosoviética de Agostinho Neto, apoyada desde 1975 por tropas cubanas. 

En 2005 publicó en inglés el ensayo “On the Nature of War”, que es una teoría de la guerra basada en el desarrollo y la aplicación práctica de 10 “sistemas operativos”.

Actualmente es colaborador permanente de la revista española War Heat International.

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