Kurdistan Region Security Council says attack took place on a road between Mosul and Syrian border as forces fought to seize a supply line used by Isis
TheGuardian.com - Kurdish authorities in Iraq have said they have evidence that Islamic State (Isis) used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against peshmerga fighters, the latest alleged atrocity carried out by the extremist organisation now under attack in Tikrit.
The allegation by the Kurdistan Region Security Council, stemming from a 23 January suicide truck bomb attack in northern Iraq, did not immediately draw a reaction from Isis, which holds a third of Iraq and neighbouring Syria in its self-declared caliphate. However, Iraqi officials and Kurds fighting in Syria have made similar allegations about the militants using the low-grade chemical weapons against them.
In a statement, the council said the alleged attack took place on a road between Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and the Syrian border, as peshmerga forces fought to seize a vital supply line used by the Sunni militants. It said its fighters later found “around 20 gas canisters” that had been loaded onto the truck involved in the attack. read more...
Iraqi Offensive to Retake Tikrit From ISIS Begins
NewYorkTimes.com - The Iraqi military, alongside thousands of Shiite militia fighters, began a large-scale offensive on Monday to retake the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State, a battle that could either become a pivotal fight in the campaign to reclaim north and west Iraq or deepen the country’s bloody sectarian divide. Iraqi state television announced the beginning of the offensive Monday morning, a day after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the forces massed on Tikrit’s outskirts and delivered a speech in which he said “zero hour” for the liberation of Tikrit was at hand. read more...
ISIS threatens Twitter employees after account was blocked
Engadget.com - Middle Eastern terror group ISIS has apparently threatened the lives of Twitter's employees, as well as that of its chairman, Jack Dorsey. The threat was reportedly made as a response to the service's policy of blocking accounts that directly encourage acts of violence or illegal activities such as terrorism. BuzzFeed has translated portions of the message, part of which reads "when our lions come and take your breath, you will never come back to life." read more...
ISIS Threats: Sec. John Kerry on the Terror Group
YOUTUBE.com - The secretary of state is interviewed on “This Week” by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.
- ISIS Girls: Video Reportedly Shows 3 British Teens Believed to Have Crossed Into Syria - NBCNews.com
- Three Brooklyn Residents Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL - FBI.gov
- Three Brooklyn Residents Charged With Planning To Join ISIS And Attack The President - BUZZFeed.com
- Top-secret military warning on Ebola biological weapon terror threat - TheGuardian
ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group
CNN.com – The rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamist militant group that has seized a chunk of land stretching from northern Syria to central Iraq, has struck fear into the hearts of leaders around the world. CNN explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
The group began in 2004 as al Qaeda in Iraq, before rebranding as ISIS two years later. It was an ally of -- and had similarities with -- Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda: both were radical anti-Western militant groups devoted to establishing an independent Islamic state in the region. But ISIS -- unlike al Qaeda, which disowned the group in early 2014 -- has proven to be more brutal and more effective at controlling territory it has seized.
ISIS is putting governing structures in place to rule the territories the group conquers once the dust settles on the battlefield. From the cabinet and the governors to the financial and legislative bodies, ISIS' bureaucratic hierarchy looks a lot like those of some of the Western countries whose values it rejects -- if you take away the democracy and add in a council to consider who should be beheaded.
see infographics, video + read more...
Islamic State subway plots: What we know
USA TODAY – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi disclosed on Thursday that his government has received intelligence that Islamic State fighters have been plotting to attack the New York and Paris subway systems.
Al-Abadi, who visited New York for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, said the information was passed to his office by captured militants in Iraq who were planning the attacks from there. U.S. and French officials said they had no knowledge of the alleged plots.
Here is what we know about the plots:
What did al-Abadi tell a group of journalists?
"They (Islamic State) plan to have attacks in the metros of Paris and the U.S. I asked for more credible information. I asked for names. I asked for details, for cities, you know, dates. And from the details I have received, yes, it looks credible."
What did Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, say about al-Abadi's claim?
"We have not confirmed such a plot and would have to review any information from our Iraqi partners before making further determinations. We take any threat seriously and always work to corroborate information we receive from our partners."
What did Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Obama, say?
"What we have consistently said to the Iraqis is if they have information that is relevant to terrorist activity or terrorist plotting, that they can and should share that through our intelligence and law enforcement challenges."
Islamic State training pilots to fly in three jets: Syria monitor
Reuters - Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time that the militant group had taken to the air.
The group, which has seized land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report and U.S. Central Command said it was not aware of Islamic State flying jets in Syria.
U.S-led forces are bombing Islamic State bases in Syria and Iraq. The group has regularly used weaponry captured from the Syrian and Iraqi armies and has overrun several military bases but this was the first time it had been able to pilot warplanes.
"They have trainers, Iraqi officers who were pilots before for (former Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein," Abdulrahman said.
More Americans Say Boots Are Needed on the Ground to Fight ISIS
Time.com – Many believe the air campaign is not enough, a poll findsMore and more Americans say combat ground troops need to be deployed to take the fight to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), according to a recent poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.
Approximately 41% of Americans surveyed said the military campaign against ISIS should include “air strikes and combat troops,” compared with the 35% who said the offensive should be constrained to aerial bombardments. Of the individuals polled, just 15% said they believed no military action should be taken against the radical Islamist group.
- Fast Facts: Here's a look at Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - CNN.com
- ISIS Likely Captured Iraqi Chemical Weapons, New York Times Confirms - Huffington Post
- Feds warn of possible ISIS-inspired attacks on police, government officials, media - FOX News
- ISIS: ‘The whole world will be an Islamic state’ - New York Post
Iraqi PM says Islamic State plans subway attacks in U.S., Paris
Chicago Tribune – Iraq has "credible" intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, the prime minister said on Thursday, but U.S. and French officials said they had no evidence to back up his claims.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's comments were met with surprise by security, intelligence and transit officials in both countries. New York's leaders scrambled to ride the subway to reassure the public that the nation's largest city was safe.
Abadi said he received the information Thursday morning from militants captured in Iraq and concluded it was credible after requesting further details. The attacks, he said, were plotted from inside Iraq by "networks" of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
"They plan to have attacks in the metros of Paris and the U.S.," Abadi told a small group of U.S. reporters while in New York for the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. "I asked for more credible information. I asked for names. I asked for details, for cities, you know, dates. And from the details I have received, yes, it looks credible."
FBI expects Islamic State to retaliate for US-led air strikes
The Economic Times – US authorities believe the Islamic State jihadists will try to stage an attack in America in reprisal for US-led air strikes in Syria, the head of the FBI said Thursday.
"There's no doubt," said director James Comey told reporters. "They want to do things in retaliation for America's actions or its allies."
He added: "I'm sure they'll desire to find a way to strike here." The United States and Arab allies began bombing Islamic State targets Tuesday, and overnight Wednesday began hitting oil installations controlled by the group in a bid to cut off its money supply.
Since August 8 the United State has conducted around 200 air strikes against the group in Iraq.
"The logic is that if they aspire to be the leader of the global jihad you don't get there without striking America," he said.
"I have absolutely no doubt that if they have the capability, which I don't believe they have, to conduct some sophisticated simultaneous attack, they would," Comey told journalists.
September 10, 2014 | 6:30AM
Obama makes his case for increasing attacks on the Islamic extremist group
TIME.com - Massimo Calabresi
President Barack Obama will tell the country Wednesday why he is stepping up military action against the terrorist group that calls itself the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”, also known as ISIS or ISIL. His biggest challenge may be reconciling for war weary Americans his administration’s conflicting messages about whether the group poses an immediate homeland threat to the United States.
On the one hand, Attorney General Eric Holder has said western fighters joining ISIS and returning home radicalized are the national security danger he worries about most. “We are seeing, I would say, an alarming rise in the number of American and European Union nationals who have been going to Syria to help extremist groups,” Holder told TIME last month. “This represents a grave threat to our security,” he said.
But in a thorough presentation on Sept. 3 at the Brookings Institution, outgoing director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, presented a less scary picture. ISIS has no cells in the U.S., Olsen said, “full stop.” Further, Olsen said, “we have no credible information” that the group “is planning to attack the U.S.” ISIS, Olsen said “is not al Qaeda pre-9/11.”
So is the group a direct threat to Americans at home, and is Obama right to increase military action against the group?
Holder says the danger comes from the combination of westerners joining ISIS and the expert bomb-makers working for the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It is not clear what if any evidence exists of such collaboration yet. On the one hand, AQAP has issued statements in support of ISIS, and both groups are active in Syria and Iraq; on the other, al Qaeda and ISIS split in the last year after a debate over tactics and territory.
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Wikipedia
- Confronting the ISIS Threat - New York Times
- The Islamic State: Who Is ISIS? An Open Source Investigation - Global Research
- 17 Things About ISIS and IRAQ You Need To Know - Vox.com
- What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group - Time.com
- Homeland Security Bulletin: ISIS Can Attack U.S. Overseas With ‘Little to No Warning’ - The Blaze
- 9-11 Memorial Climbers Honor 403 First Responders Admist New Terror Threat - Breitbart.com