Monthly Archives: April 2016

The selling of bodies in Syria involves millions of dollars and more between Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iran.

 

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By Elijah J. Magnier (on Twitter @EjmAlrai )

 

Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah exchange prisoners and bodies in secrecy where millions of dollars, food, supplies and prisoners are part of on-going deals between these two enemies in Syria.

The Al-Qaeda franchise in the Levant, known as Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), differs in many ideological and tactical operational approaches from the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” known also as ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Although they are called Muwahhedeen Sunni and follow the same Handball School, their ideology observes a flexibility and adaptation to the circumstances and location in which they operate, making Al-Qaeda in Syria looking much more “pragmatic”…for the moment. The aim is not to tackle all the differences here, but to point out to one aspect of what is taking place in the Levant, related to the importance of recovering the fighters’ bodies killed in battle field or Prisoners of War on both sides.

The al-Qaeda’ adversaries consider it a “modern” reformist enemy in the battlefield. According to field fighters, Jabhat al-Nusra attaches importance to their dead, unlike ISIS. On one occasion, JN lost four fighters while trying to recover the body of a fighter killed in action. It seems the recovery of the body become an important, probably due to the importance of delivering the son to his parents to be buried in his native home.

JN is also aware of how its enemies, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Lebanese Hezbollah, attach the same importance to recovering bodies of fallen fighters. JN keeps bodies in a specific location in custody, knowingly that its adversary will ask for recovery. In one single negotiation, Hezbollah paid 200.000 U.S dollars to recover the body of one single fighter. The military level or responsibility of the dead fighter is irrelevant to all belligerents. It is “the dignity of the martyr” that matters for both parties.

Prisoners are a valuable asset on both sides, unlike ISIS that barks on about its brutality and makes boring Hollywood films that become uninteresting even to mainstream media. For ISIS, making a film featuring the revengeful execution by Jordan of Sajida Al Rishawi – an Iraqi woman who failed to detonate her suicide belt in Amman in 2005 – and Ziad al Karbuli – a former aide to Abu Musab al Zarqawi – was much more important than recovering these alive. ISIS opted to burn the captured Jordanian pilot Maath al-Kessasbah, rejecting millions of dollars and prisoner release, whereas JN looks after its prisoners and asks for important sums to exchange these. Hezbollah does the same, negotiation of release could take several months while both sides find a compromise to look after Prisoners of War and swap them.

Al-Qaeda demands money, bodies of its own fighters taken from battlefield, and provides logistic support to besieged fighters in Qalamoun or other places, a mobile hospital and the release of prisoners held by Damascus. Hezbollah and Iran negotiate – through third parties – the recovery of prisoners and bodies of killed fighters. When the demanded price is too high, the rule is well known: give it more time, interrupt the negotiation for several months or until more bodies are available, unless there is an urgent request for immediate recovery of an indicated body to respond to a family’s urgency and request. Once JN asked two million dollars for the recovery of a single Hezbollah body. The request was denied until an agreement was reached on a proper price.

For ISIS, a dead fighters, regardless of whether it is its own militant or an enemy, becomes a rotten insignificant corpse. Even prisoners held alive are good for films and training for militants to show courage: these, upon graduation, are asked to behead a prisoner to show commitment to the creed and a sign of “unhesitant courage”. In many circumstances, ISIS deliberately shows the face of many of its foreign fighters beheading their victims so these know they can’t return home without facing prosecution for murder. ISIS is very rigid in implementing its Sharia, executing any Shia or Alawite captured, civilian or combatant, unlike Jabhat al-Nusra.

Al-Qaeda in Syria follows the policy of “tamkeen” (waiting for better conditions to grow stronger). Al-Qaeda is no longer following the same circumstances Islam observed over 1400 years ago but adapts to the development of the society where it is in force. It avoids killing civilians, forbids attacks on mosques and avoids showing any brutality in its implementation of the sharia rules, the exact same ones as ISIS.

 

Original article via @AlraiMediaGroup  here:

http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2016/04/15/672696/nr/syria

 

Israeli Intelligence: “We Are Aware of Hezbollah’s Anti-Air Missiles”

 

A senior Israeli officer in the 8200 intelligence unit confirmed, “a few months ago, Hezbollah intentionally aimed its newly acquired anti-air system at a jet flying over Lebanon at medium altitude. This shows that Hezbollah has obtained medium range anti-air missiles, which pose a direct threat to Israeli helicopters, drones, and also to fighter jets when flying at low or medium altitude. The signal was picked up through the advanced radar and detection systems installed onboard, informing the pilot of a laser pointed missile that could cause a potential threat. The aim was to convey to us what kind of menace we could be facing in the upcoming war.”

“Hezbollah is used to conveying messages in a way that we understand. When it is exposing, intentionally, long range missiles for our drones to film, it is a way to inform us that (Hezbollah Secretary general Hassan) Nasrallah is ready to translate his threat to hit our facilities and make our lives difficult when the time comes. Basically, Hezbollah doesn’t want a war and is saying to us: let us avoid it because we are going to hurt each other,” the source said.

The Israeli intelligence officer referenced Nasrallah’s latest interview with the Lebanese television station Al-Mayadeen, where the leader of Hezbollah said “he was looking for an anti-aircraft missile to stop the regular reconnaissance flights over Lebanon”.

“This is the same tactic used by Iran. When Tehran says is it working on producing a certain kind of weapon, in reality, the armament is already being produced and exported to allies. Therefore, when Nasrallah says he is thinking of bringing in such weapons, it could strongly mean it is already in his stockpile. He showed it to us already, in his own way”, said the intelligence officer.

Another Israeli senior officer in the “AMAN” intelligence agency (Military intelligence) confirmed “Hezbollah is a highly organised guerrilla warfare group that learns from past experiences in order to develop its capabilities. This happens with the aid of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) experts who provide enhancements to the group’s capabilities, and new weapons and expertise to face the Israelis. Iran knows what to provide for a small and mobile force to face a classical army like Israel. In 2006, Hezbollah managed to down a YASUR CH-35 helicopter.  Further more, and most importantly, the hit to the Sa’er-5 vessel neutralised the naval force, causing the loss of one of our four military arms. It was indeed an intelligence failure where we couldn’t have known about Hezbollah’s capability before the war. We have posed to ourselves the possibility that Hezbollah could envisage developing its arsenal to face our Air Force by acquiring anti-air systems to use in the next war.”

According to the source who seeks anonymity, “since 2007, we have been registering an increase in reports related to shipments from Iran to Lebanon, via Syria, through Damascus airport and by sea through the Syrian coast. All indications lead to the fact that Hezbollah have acquired anti-aircraft weapons. This has also been hinted by Nasrallah in his latest television interview in a way he seemingly enjoys doing, sending mixed messages and waging his own psychological war upon us”.

“It is clear to our intelligence services what kind of weapons Iran possesses. As a result, it is not difficult to speculate on what Hezbollah can have and could use and deploy in a short time during a war in order to avoid being hit, especially since Israel would de-facto control Lebanon’s air space. Therefore, it is only natural that such a possibility exists in our plans before engaging in the next war.”

On when a war could possibly happen, the source said: “A war between Hezbollah and Israel would not be ignited tomorrow. Hezbollah is busy in Syria, and we don’t plan a war any time soon. This gives both sides the time to plan for a future confrontation. We threaten Hezbollah but so does Nasrallah, who lately, has decided to remove the gloves as he used to do in the past. He pointed to the Ammonia factory in Haifa and other facilities he already attempted to hit but missed in 2006. Today, he is in possession of the Syrian version M-600 and Al-Fateh missiles, which are both long range and accurate missiles. These ballistic missiles need launch pads and have specific trajectories. We have developed anti-ballistic missiles that are able to deal with Hezbollah’s newly acquired weaponry. We have been working to prepare a list of targets that would enable us to destroy these missiles before the launch.”

“What Hezbollah didn’t reveal is the fact that, in 2006, in the first week of the war, our intelligence was able to provide a rich bank of objectives to the Air Force, destroying Hezbollah’s main missile units. Hezbollah continue launching rockets because Syria has provided the group with a rich warehouse.  We are also aware that Hezbollah have upgraded its military structure creating many missile units to avoid total destruction. We also are adapting to the changes, preparing for the next confrontation. Don’t let anyone think that we are asleep or unaware of the changes. The battle between the two intelligence services never stops”.

Haaretz World News Editor Asaf Ronel said: “It is common knowledge that Hezbollah has a large missile capability. Hezbollah is bragging about its newly acquired weaponry. I think it is trying to tell us we have to think twice before moving against it in the future. Hezbollah is also using drones; I believe Israel has the technology to deal with the threat that drones might pose. It won’t seal the air space fully, but enough to diminish any menace to Israel. Moreover, Israel is regularly bombing shipments for Hezbollah, including advanced air defense systems. It’s only common sense to assume Israel can’t intercept all shipments, and, if Hezbollah doesn’t have these kind of systems already, it will in the future. This should also be the working hypothesis of the IAF (Israeli Air Force). It will probably limit its operations over Lebanon, but I don’t think it’ll stop the fly-over”.

“Even though Hezbollah is building what ever in Israel is seen as a fully operational army, its main advantage against IDF remains in asymmetrical warfare. It’s not certain how the new technologies Hezbollah is acquiring is helping it in this field. Nevertheless, in open warfare, Hezbollah doesn’t have a chance to compete with Israeli technological advantage,” Ronel concluded.

According to Haaretz’s correspondent Amos Harel, “Hezbollah is identified as the side that appears to have the upper hand in the war in Syria. The close work with Iranian commanders and, recently, to a lesser extent, with Russian officers as well, has upgraded Hezbollah’s fighting capability. Hezbollah has accumulated very valuable experience in difficult battles, engaging in a wide range of operations including joint actions with airplanes, helicopters, drone, artillery, tanks, and advanced intelligence capabilities. Today, Hezbollah has 45,000 fighters, including 21,000 standing forces, and more than 100,000 increasingly accurate rockets and missiles of which several thousands are mid and long range. Israel’s military now sees Hezbollah as an army in every sense.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during his speech at the UN General Assembly last October that it can be inferred that Hezbollah has succeeded in smuggling advanced weapons systems from Syria into Lebanon, including accurate surface-to-surface missiles, SA-22-anti aircraft missiles, and Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles (Al Rai reported this information two years ago).

Jabhat al-Nusra: Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence, Values and Ethics

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Jabhat al-Nusra: Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence, Values and Ethics

01 April 2016

By: Elijah J. Magnier (@EjmAlrai)

Facts:

This essay will focus on understanding the situation in which the intelligence activity needs to take place, the decision makers and consumers in the intelligence in relation to Jabhat al-Nusra[1] (JN), a branch that split from the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS)[2], and created a safe haven in Syria, becoming Qaedat-al-Jihad’ (AQC)[3] franchise. To protect itself from disintegrating within the mother organisation, its leader, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, declared loyalty to AQC leader Ayman al-Zawaheri[4]. JN is also known as “Al-Qaeda in Syria”. JN holds the Salafi ideology , or al-Salaf-al-saleh[5], means followers of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. It is a positive attribute describing non-radical Sunni believers. Not all Salafists are terrorist but all Sunni Jihadi movements are Salafists, also defined as Takferi[6].

JN’s allies are not only Syrians, but also foreign fighters, ex-Guantanamo prisoners and U.S “list of terror” individual’s leaders or Emir of groups, fighting in various Syrian provinces under various flags.

To evaluate JN, intelligence agencies need to collect and process information about possible threats the group could represent to the West, and to its allies in the Middle East. The intelligence’ customers requirement to know if and when JN, a well trained and highly ideologically motivated and experienced in warfare, is planning any direct or indirect attacks against western interests or at home. Moreover, it is essential to have a picture of JN’s role as part of global jihadist organisations with connection and networks overseas. It is also important to evaluate if it is going to evolve, once its objective in Syria is achieved, into another global terrorist group and network, since JN is an Al-Qaeda’ franchise.

Intelligence would carry forward to decision makers all necessary information, creating an understanding of JN’s ideology, composition, capability and future plans enabling anticipation, prevention, disruption and limitation of the threat. Furthermore, additional awareness can be created through the use of Intelligence partners domestically and overseas, operating a framework of teamwork, enabling the implementation of new anti terrorist measures and legislations.

As the number of Muslims in western societies increases, essential questions must be addressed: how many Muslims, living among us, are linked to Al-Qaeda or affected by its propaganda? How can intelligence services monitor communication between Jihadists abroad and those more vulnerable, watching and dreaming about the “glory of Islam”, prone to join Jihad overseas? What counter-propaganda policy could governments introduce to explain the nature of war in the Middle East and its political purposes? This is the role of intelligence to act and provide sufficient information to decision makers about what they are or they would most likely face or have to deal with.

 

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Intelligence Requirements:

Intelligence can be best met through the following broad categories: Human called “HUMINT”, offering advance warning and physical access to first hand information only to specific people; “SIGINT”, monitoring communication, encrypted messages or open platforms such as social media; “IMINT” by Satellite and aerial photography or images[7]; Open-sourced intelligence offers exclusive insight to information, but requires corroboration and special attention.

As JN was part of ISIS[8] and is, at the moment, part of al-Qaeda, it must be considered a potential threat. Therefore, the intelligence community needs an insight into its short, medium and long term strategy in order to determine the level of menace; its composition and leadership; the area and cities of its deployment; its communication system; a regular updates on the quantity and quality of weaponry the group is holding; Its security measures and electronic warfare; its frequency on social media; its propaganda machine; its military achievement; its kinetic development within itself and among other friendly or enemy local groups; its modus operandi and military capability and experience; its wealth and the taxes imposed within its controlled area; its financial capability and its international or regional donors; its connection with global Jihad; its ultimate goal and objectives and how JN intends to achieve these; and finally, the religious propaganda it uses to attract civilians and gather recruits.

JN leader Abu Mohammed al-Joulani claimed “the aim of the group is limited to Syria with no specific agenda to target the West”[9]. Unlike other religious extremists groups, JN has learned from AQ long experience “to earn the mind and the hearts of the people”[10]. It is essential for intelligence to learn which approach JN uses to achieve this goal. JN stroked alliances also with secular groups for convenience and tactical purposes, contradicting strict religious Islamic teaching. This shows a sophisticated tactic, ready to bypass religious obstacles in order to reach its ultimate goal. In fact, JN is adopting “Jihad al Tamkeen”[11]. JN is in a phase of gathering more power and a wider control over territory to blend with the population and reach the long awaited “Islamic State”. As an al-Qaeda franchise, it hosts foreign fighters[12] and adheres to al-Qaeda principles and objectives. This is one of the main intelligence requirements to monitor closely, since foreigners, including Europeans, have travel easily in western societies.

Policing at home is needed to gather adequate intelligence, with the involvement of the army (Special Forces), and the External Intelligence Service abroad for counter-terrorism activities to have access to specific key individuals, sensitive material, lower rank militants and potential relatives and friends orbiting in the same circle of JN. It requires a collaboration with local authorities when possible, a HUMINT among the group itself and within its entourage to be up-to-date with its plans. Moreover, monitoring open source information and social media offers a wide range of timely knowledge, insight and unwittingly shared information. Intelligence specialists are also interested in the evolution of open source, which has “blurred traditional distinctions between intelligence and information and the barrier between secret and non-secret”(Andrew et al 2009)[13].

 

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Challenges, VALUES AND ETHICS:

The real challenge for the Intelligence community is to find acceptance of their product among decision makers. Politicians have been delivering contradictory messages related to Syria, considering Al-Qaeda in Syria as part of the global moderate opposition[14]. The information delivered by the Intelligence community to the decision makers could also be incorrect, wrongly interpreted, incomplete or unsuitable for the decision makers’ political agenda. If politicians agreed to act against a potential threat, the challenge consists in identifying financial resources, the location and habits of leaders, and related cells abroad to cripple and contain when necessary.

According to Simon Hersh, “leaders may allow extremist Jihadists to proliferate”[15]. U.S. ex-General Petraeus campaigned to talk to Jabhat al-Nusra, defined as “al-Qaeda moderate”[16] to use against ISIS whereas no Al-Qaeda moderate ever existed. U.S President Barak Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry urged, “Russia to stop bombing Moderate Syrian rebels”[17], allowing the supply of weapons to flow into their hands[18]. Supplying weapons to al-Qaeda is neither legal nor ethical.

Concerning legal and ethical aspects, Martin Cook argued, “The individuals who initiated the terror attacks are clearly not soldiers in any moral or legal sense (..). This means that, if captured, they are not entitled to the benevolent quarantine of the POW convention or of domestic criminal law”[19]. Nonetheless, Michael Ignatieff[20] argues, “Exaggerated reactions to terror by democratic societies play into the strategy of terrorists in two ways. Defensives measures pose one kind of danger. When democratic society abandons its principles willy-nilly in the face of terrorism, it gives credence to the political argument of the terrorist: that the democratic legal order is only a mask of convenience, behind which lurk naked force and violent self-interest”.

In fact, the U.S occupation of Iraq – that Ignatieff supports by calling it a “pre-emptive war on terror” – has contributed to the creation of al-Qaeda in Iraq, transformed into ISIS,[21] and of which JN is the splinter. The shameful of Abu Ghraib torture and scandal[22], and the excess force used in Iraq played into the hands of terrorists. To disregard the value promoted in western societies, when fighting terrorism, is to help terrorists win. This is a hugely important issue: the nature and identity of democracy are put at risk when counter terrorism disregards values and ethics.

“What happens when counterterrorism, likewise, ceases to be motivated by principle and comes to be driven by the same complex or emotional drives”? (Ignatieff, p.114). He expresses great concern about a policing state, or a “security state” on permanent alert, causing a serious threat to freedom in society. “The challenge of an ethical life in a liberal democracy is to live up, as individuals, to the engagements expressed in our constitutions and to seek to ensure that these engagements are kept in respect of the least advantaged of our fellow citizens”(p.169).

Another ethical debate is raised by military intelligence’s use of drones. Some argue that it is a necessary technology to kill Al-Qaeda leaders[23], unaware that drones “cause far more civilian casualties than the government admits and that anger over them fuels terrorism”[24]. To kill few hundreds Al-Qaeda militants, drone missiles are responsible for the killing of over 1700 civilians, who’s family members would happily seek revenge and join Jihad.

 

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BENEFITS of using this intelligence in the wider counterterrorism campaign:

Taplin argues, “If an activity does not involve secrecy, it is not intelligence. Thus, the overt collection of information is not a part of intelligence” (1989). Many years later, the UK Security Service 2012 stated “Intelligence is information of all sorts gathered by a government or organisation to guide its decisions. It includes information that may be both public and private, obtained from many different public or secret sources. It could consist entirely of information from either publicly available or secret sources, or be a combination of the two”. Therefore, all kind of information collected, including open source, serves the counter terrorism campaign.

Intelligence supports decision makers to opt if there is a need to increase or decrease the level of concern and add resources to counter terrorism. Governments need to assess the consequences of their decisions to adopt the adequate response and prepare or protect the society from vengeful terrorists reaction, particularly in religious extremist groups[25] like Al-Qaeda and its franchises, including Jabhat al-Nusra.

When a foreign policy is clear and government objectives are shared and unambiguous, the potential participation of a public, eager to contribute, is realised. People want to be positively involved in helping to secure the society they live in. It is a challenge the intelligence community needs to meet. The war in Syria is attracting the World’s attention, but above all, the attention of the Muslim Youth around the globe. Millions of these live in western societies. Jonathan Evans, head of United Kingdom’s Security Service, MI-5, noted in November 2007 “his organisation had identified at least 2,000 individuals whom we believed posed a direct threat to national security and public safety, because of their support for terrorism. We suspect that there are as many again that we don’t yet know of”[26]. This is one of the biggest domestic challenges counter intelligence needs to face at home. The increase by governments of their counter terrorism budget is an important element to meet the domestic and international intelligence gathering[27] and challenges. Even if the number of victims of terrorist attacks in western societies is low[28], the violence and brutality expressed impose on the intelligence services to mobilise enough effort to prevent these attacks. Therefore, Intelligence is vital so that counter terrorism procedures can “prevent, pursue, protect and prepare”[29]. With the increase of extremist violence organisations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the easy access to destructive material, more effort is needed to keep pace with the evolving terrorist methods. Religious terrorist organisations are those who aim at bigger audiences and killing more people around the globe. Looking at history, religious terrorist groups, like Jabhat al-Nusra, take longer to contain and cripple than any other groups[30]. Understanding the values held by the leaders of JN is also important. Their leader Abu Mohammad al-Joulani is charismatic and a key figure: does his elimination increase the likelihood of collapse of the organisation? Jenna Jordan argues that decapitation is “only effective in 17% of all cases”[31]. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the internal dynamic of the group and the key figures in the organisation for a proper counter terrorism campaign when needed.

Providing first hand intelligence information about JN is time sensitive. It needs to be transformed from its raw data aspect into a usable product of value to decision-makers. A correct assessment can be reached through a combination of experience, accumulated knowledge, attention to minute details, and corroboration of the information to process. It is certainly not a single ability, more a task involving multiple functions and collective effort by many individuals and organisations, enabling access to comprehension of previously unknown material, liable to affect decision-makers’ policy and counter terrorism procedures. It requires experience, knowledge and analytical minds to assess, analyse, and interpret sensible material – all vitally brought together through teamwork. The use of intelligence in Counter terrorism efficiency can effectively be achieved through the collaboration of the various intelligence services to avoid intelligence failures, as in the cases of Al-Balwai[32] and the 9/11[33].

Example:

Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda in the Levant publishing a very recent  communiqué; Read the text carefully:

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“We, in Jabhat al-Nusra, are part of a Jihadi Sunni project, we fight to raise the word of God high AND to lift unjustness over the people of the Levant (or Sham, Syria)”.

Raising the World of God is not limited to a geography, city, country or continent. The selection of every single word or letter in Communiqué written by politico-Islamic scholars is meticulous and important, carrying a wider not limited horizon.

 

Notes:

[1] Cafarella, J., Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria, An Islamic Emirate for al-Qaeda, Institute for the Study Of War, December 2014. http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/JN%20Final.pdf

[2] Known as IS (The “Islamic State”), ISIS (“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”), ISIL (L stands for the Levant), Daesh (acronym translated from Arabic); A terrorist group emanated from the womb of Al-Qaeda franchise in Iraq and that expended to Syria and to various Middle Eastern and African countries. More information: Bunzel Cole, From Paper State to Caliphate: The Ideology of the Islamic State, N.19, March 2015. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2015/03/ideology-of-islamic-state-bunzel/the-ideology-of-the-islamic-state.pdf

[3] TRAC – Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, AQC. http://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/al-qaeda-central-command-aqc

[4] Khasraw, G., The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (Levant) ISIS, Global Security Studies, Vol 5, Issue 2, Spring 2014. http://www.globalsecuritystudies.com/Gulmonhamad%20ISIS%20AG.pdf

[5] Moussalli, A., Wahhabism, Salafism and Islamism: Who is the Enemy? Conflict Forum: Beirut – London – Washington, January 2009, p.5. http://conflictsforum.org/briefings/Wahhabism-Salafism-and-Islamism.pdf

[6] Oxford Islamic Studies Online. http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2319

[7] Intelligence Collection Disciplines (INTs), The FBI. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/intelligence/disciplines

[8] Mapping Militant Organisations, Stanford University, 2016. https://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/493

[9] Al-Jazeera, Nusra Leader: “Our mission is to defeat Syrian regime”, exclusive interview, 28 May 2015. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/nusra-front-golani-assad-syria-hezbollah-isil-150528044857528.html

[10] Venhaus, John, Col., Why Youth Join al-Qaeda, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report, P.7. http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR236Venhaus.pdf

 [11] The Union of the Islamic Ulema, Jihad al-Tamqeen, {Arabic] http://islamsyria.com/portal/article/show/5254 . A temporarily tactical attitude, allowed by Islamic scholars, that is not considered as a deviation from the path of Jihad. It is a temporarily stage, striking alliance for the sake of the bigger cause, until a group or a person becomes stronger and moves to the right implementation of the Shari’a, the Islamic law.

[12] Al-Jazeera, Nusra Leader: “Thirty percent of our fighters are foreigners”, exclusive interview, 28 May 2015. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/nusra-front-golani-assad-syria-hezbollah-isil-150528044857528.html

[13] Andrew C., Aldrich RJ., and Wark WK. (eds)2009 Secret Intelligence: A Reader. Abingdon: Oxon: Routledge 2009

[14] Bromwich, D., Huffiest Politics, Syria, the Times and the Mystery of the “moderate Rebels”, Oct 04, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bromwich/syria-the-times-and-myste_b_8236164.html

[15] Hersh, M. Simon, Military to Military, Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war, London review of books, Vol. 38 No.1, 7 January 2016. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military

[16] Timn, T., David petraeus’ bright idea: Give terrorists weapons to beat terrorists, The Guardian, 2 September 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/02/david-petraeus-bright-idea-give-terrorists-weapons-to-beat-isis

[17] Obama Urges Russia To Stop Bombing “Moderate” Syrian Rebels, HUFFIEST POLITICS, 02/14/2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-russia-syrian-rebels_us_56c0b21ee4b08ffac125a978

[18] Peter Oborne – BBC Radio – The Report – Al Qaeda in Syria, 17 Dec 2015, Listen to on the 29/12/2015. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06s0qy9

 [19] Cook, L. Martin, Ethical Issues in Counterterrorism Warfare, Markkula Centre for applied Ethics, Santa Clara University, Septembre 1, 2001. https://www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/more/resources/ethical-issues-in-counterterrorism-warfare/

[20] Ignatieff, M., The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror, 2005

[21] Leopold Jason, The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion,ViceNews, 19 March 2015, President Obama said: “ISIL is a direct outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion”. https://news.vice.com/article/the-cia-just-declassified-the-document-that-supposedly-justified-the-iraq-invasion

[22] Hersh Simon, Torture at Abu Ghraib, The New Yorker, 10 May 2014. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/05/10/torture-at-abu-ghraib

[23] Byman L. Daniel, Why Drones Worrk: The Case for Washington’s Weapon of Choice The Brookings, July/August 2013. http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2013/06/17-drones-obama-weapon-choice-us-counterterrorism-byman

[24] Mockaitis, Tom. Drones and the Ethics of War, Huffiest Politics, 12/Jan/2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mockaitis/drones-and-the-ethics-of_b_8961510.html

[25] Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), pp. 185–205.

[26] Jonathan Evans, “Address to the Society of Editors’ ‘A Matter of Trust’ Conference” (London: Security Service, November 5, 2007). https://www.mi5.gov.uk/home/about-us/who-we-are/staff-and-management/director-general/speeches-by-the-director-general/intelligence-counter-terrorism-and-trust.html

[27] European Parliament, Briefing, Counter-terrorism funding in the EU budget http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2015/559490/EPRS_BRI(2015)559490_EN.pdf

[28] Europol, Rise in terrorist attacks in Europe in 2012, The Hague, the Netherlands, 25 April 2013. https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/rise-terrorist-attacks-europe-2012

[29] GOV.UK, CONTEST, UK strategy for countering terrorism: annual report for 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contest-uk-strategy-for-countering-terrorism-annual-report-for-2014

[30] Jones, G.S. and Libicki, C. M., How terrorist Groups End, Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida, The Rand, 2008. http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG741-1.pdf

[31] Jordan, J,. When Heads Roll: Assessing the effectiveness of leadership decapitation, Rutledge, pp. 719-755, 2009. http://informationcollective.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jordan.pdf

[32] Warrick Joby, The Triple Agent: The Al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency, 2011. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol.-55-no.-3/the-triple-agent-the-al-qaeda-mole-who-infiltrated-the-cia.html

[33] Ross Brian, CIA didn’t share info about 9/11 Hijackers, abc News, 24 July 2016. http://abcnews.go.com/International/flight-crew-passengers-onboard-hijacked-egyptian-plane/story?id=37994528