300 Americans fighting alongside Islamic State
The United States government is tracking as many as 300 Americans supposedly fighting with Islamic State, the jihadist group with a heavy presence in parts of Syria and Iraq, according to senior US officials.
Washington is worried that radicalized foreign fighters could become a risk to the US if they return to employ skills learned overseas to carry out attacks, anonymous US officials said, according to the Washington Times.
“We know that there are several hundred American passport holders running around with ISIS in Syria or Iraq,” a senior US official said. “It’s hard to tell whether or not they’re in Syria or moved to Iraq.”
Past reports have put the possible number of Americans who have flocked to the fundamentalist extremist group Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL) at around 100. IS, a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, gained strength fighting Bashar Assad’s forces in the Syrian civil war before turning to cross the border into Iraq, where they have made swift gains in western and northern sections of the volatile country.
The US State Department did not respond to the Washington Times when asked to comment on Americans fighting in Iraq or Syria.
The news of as many as 300 Americans fighting with IS comes one day after reports that a 33-year-old American, Douglas McAuthur McCain, was killed over the weekend in Syria while battling alongside Islamic State against members of a separate opposition group. Family members confirmed his passing to NBC News, and senior US officials acknowledged that they were aware of the man’s death.
U.S. identifies Americans fighting for Islamic State EFE
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have identified around a dozen Americans who have traveled to the Middle East to join the jihad led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, officials told The New York Times.
To the extent that ISIL has grown stronger in recent months, more foreigners have gone to Syria to fight in its ranks, which has forced European and American authorities to dedicate more resources to keeping them from leaving their countries of origin, the sources said.
ISIL has become more attractive than al-Qaeda for potential fighters because it rules the territory it controls with strict Islamic law. "ISIS is able to hold itself up as the true jihad," a senior U.S. official told the Times.
Another factor that seems to attract new fighters to ISIL is the group's brutality.
This month ISIL published a video of the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, while the Washington Post reported Friday that the reporter and at least three other hostages were subjected to waterboarding.
It is estimated that more than 100 U.S. citizens have fought with rebel groups - not just with ISIL - since the beginning of the civil war in Syria three years ago.
Since January the number of U.S. citizens fighting in Syria has doubled, the Times' sources said. EFE
"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years."
Palestine and the Arab counterrevolution
In an article published in Red Flag, Australian socialist Corey Oakley puts Israel's war on Gaza in the context of the counterrevolution against the Arab revolutions of 2011.
AS ALL the hideous machinery of industrial-scale death rains down on Gaza, ripping apart bodies, burying people under piles of rubble and even targeting ambulances as they rush to save the injured, it is difficult to do anything but rage at the crimes of the Israeli state.
But as the endless stream of horrific images from Gaza exposes the moral bankruptcy of Israel and its Western backers, it is important to understand that this crime against humanity is also the work of the vast counterrevolution that is sweeping the Arab world.
The Centers of Arab Reaction
The twin centers of this counterrevolution are the regimes in Cairo and Riyadh. Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi King Abdullah are determined to destroy every remnant of the Arab revolution that erupted in 2011.
4 Young Men Head for Iraq, Citing Fight for Islam, and India Wonders if More Will Follow
By ELLEN BARRY and MANSI CHOKSI
KALYAN, India — For more than a decade, as alienated young Muslim men from all over the world left home to fight on the side of Islamists in distant conflicts, it has been a truism that they were not coming from India, a country whose participatory politics and preoccupation with nearby enemies seemed to make it an exception.
That theory has been shaken this summer by an unusual case.
Four young men from this city on the outskirts of Mumbai — well-educated children of a rising middle class — disappeared from their homes with no warning in late May, leaving behind a note about fighting to defend Islam. Investigators traced them to Mosul and have said they were recruited over the Internet by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — a process that, while relatively well-known in the West, has not been documented in India.
He turned his back on America for the lure of “jihad cool” — but his twisted cause had deadly consequences.
A second American paid the ultimate price for joining up with the bloodthirsty Islamic State when he was killed in a weekend fight with a Syrian opposition group, officials said.
Abdirahmaan Muhumed, 29, a father of nine from Minnesota, was killed in the same Syrian battle as another homegrown terrorist, Douglas McAuthur McCain.
It was not known whether they knew each other, but the two died fighting for the same Islamic outfit
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