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Showing posts with label Biden's reaction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biden's reaction. Show all posts

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Bombings at Kabul Airport Entrance - Joe Biden's Reaction/Full Speech - Evac Flights Resume - Juan Cole Lays It Out - Amira Jadoon & Andrew Mines Report on ISIS-K

 By now, you all know about the bombings at the Kabul Airport entrance as forewarned by US, and other Western alliance intelligence (after posting some of those last night, I could not sleep). We are waiting of President Biden's statement (5PM EST). Already there are cries of hysteria that we cannot trust the Taliban from the "old guard" and that Afghanistan will become a haven for terrorists, that they could not control the entrances to the airport . Not so fast. Let's take a look...continuous updates, so keep checking those links.

 

 ~ From BBC:

 

 

 Snippet:

What did we learn from the Pentagon briefing?

 

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 ~  From AP

 

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 ~ From CNN

 

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Joe Biden's Reaction and Full Speech: 

 

 

 

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From what I've been hearing and reading, members of the G-7 are not backing down and the evac flights have resumed. Okay,I don't know about you guys, but this makes me incredibly nervous.It's going to be a long five days ahead of us.

Let's take a look at what Juan Cole reports, with excellent links:

 

 ~ From Informed Comment: 

With video on the link:

US Troops Caught Up In ISIL-K - Taliban Civil War : Why It Proves Biden Was Right To Leave

 

 

 "Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Al Jazeera Arabic reports that ISIL-K (the so-called “Islamic state group” of Iraq and the Levant in Khorasan) claimed responsibility for the horrific bombings in Kabul on Thursday near Baron Hotel and at Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

According to AP, the bombings killed 60 Afghans and wounded 140, and it killed 13 US service members and wounded 18, thought these totals could grow. It was the deadliest day for US service personnel in Afghanistan in a decade, and all the more tragic because these brave individuals had been on a mission of mercy to get people out of Afghanistan who were endangered by Taliban rule.

The hotel has been a processing site for evacuees and British troops were housed there. Abbey Gate, an entrance into the airport grounds could only be reached through a Taliban checkpoint.

The ISIL terrorist organization that took and lost eastern Syria and northern Iraq in 2014-18 established a small branch in Afghanistan, gathering new converts but also renegades from the Taliban and al-Qaeda. ISIL-K viewed the Taliban as its main competition for the Muslim fundamentalist base, and engaged in firefights with them.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August was viewed by ISIL-K rather as the Bolsheviks viewed the February, 1917, revolution in Russia. The Bolshevik Communists went on to make the October, 1917, Russian Revolution, displacing the liberal politicians of the first one. ISIL-K would very much like to come to power in Afghanistan on the back of the Taliban revolution, and then to subdue and destroy the Taliban, whom they view as soft liberals.

In an Arabic message released on Telegram News, ISIL-K said its operative, suicide bomber Abdul-Rahman Logar, had penetrated the security around Kabul airport and slipped into a crowd of “American forces, translators and spies cooperating with them” before detonating his explosive belt, resulting in the killing and wounding of 160 persons, among them, it said, 20 elements of the US forces, for which they praised God. They warned “the crusaders and their helpers” that the troops of the caliphate would continue to target them for death.

As BBC Monitoring notes, the communique seems confused about the geography of the attacks, only mentioning “Camp Baron,” by which they meant the Baron Hotel, and not saying anything about Abbey Gate, where most casualties were and where the suicide bomber blew people up. It makes you think whoever issued the communique was maybe not in Afghanistan and did not know Kabul.

ISIL-K was not just targeting Americans and their allies, it was targeting the Taliban, whom it accuses of abandoning Islam for an alliance with the United States. The US service personnel who died so tragically on Thursday were victims of an internal civil war between radical Muslim movements, and were pawns in that struggle.

Once Trump reduced US forces to 2,500 and promised all would be out by May 1 of this year, he opened American troops to such attacks, since they were too few to ensure they could not be attacked. They were essentially hostage to the good will of the Taliban, who pledged not to attack them as long as they left by the deadline. The Taliban even extended the deadline for President Biden until August 31. But there are other forces in Afghanistan even more sinister than the Taliban, who took advantage of Trump’s draw-down and pledge to leave, which left the US too weak to defend itself from terrorism.

Rather than arguing for the US going back into Afghanistan, the ISIL-K – Taliban Civil War that just broke out again is an incontrovertible argument for the US departure from that country. The other times the US got in the middle of a civil war were Vietnam and Iraq, neither of which went well, to say the least.

So, back to the Afghanistan Civil War:

To give you a sense of the bad blood between ISIL-K and the Taliban, Arabi21 reported on the August 19 communique on the Taliban victory published by ISIL-K in its al-Naba newspaper. It noted that they described the Taliban as apostates who had abandoned Islam and who had been defeated by the United States, as shown by the way the talks in Doha, Qatar, had turned them from fighters into mealy-mouthed “negotiators.” ISIL-K accused the Taliban of practicing a defective form of Islamic law or sharia, and of having nestled “in the bosom of tyrants.” It was, the radicals said, the Taliban’s agreement with America that allowed it to come to power, and it warned Muslims against this “new Taliban model,” saying, “The victory of Islam does not pass through Qatar’s hotels or the embassies of Russia, China and Iran!! The victory that America signed onto and which is sponsored by Qatar and its media, and blessed by the Sururiya, the Murji’ah and the [Muslim] Brotherhood is an illusory victory.”

The Sururiya denounced here are followers of Muhammad Zayn al-Abidin Surur, a Syrian fundamentalist who is said to have synthesized Saudi-style Salafi thought with Muslim Brotherhood ideas. The Murji’a was an early Islamic sect that denounced the notion of excommunicating Muslims, saying that God would judge who would be a good Muslim at the end of time and until then we have to accept claims of membership in the Muslim community at face value. Most Sunni Muslims have been reluctant to excommunicate avowed Muslims, so maybe this is their way of referring to ordinary Sunnis, who comprise 90 percent of the world’s Muslims.

BBC Monitoring further summarized the al-Naba article, in which ISIL-K had denounced the Taliban take-over as the result of craven Taliban kowtowing to the Americans through negotiations rather than holy war, and called the Taliban a tool of the United States that would be doing America’s “dirty work” and misleading Muslims.

The ISIL-K group looks back to medieval Islamic history (though it completely misunderstands that history), when eastern Iran, Afghanistan and some of Central Asia was termed Khorasan, a geographical term. Hence, it is ISIL-K. The Afghanistan National Army and US troops defeated it by 2019, capturing nearly 2,000 militants. Someof these appear to have been among the 5,000 prisoners the Trump administration forced the government of Ashraf Ghani to release last year, as part of his February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban, which I explained here.

So Trump’s strong-arm tactics on Kabul may have helped ISIL-K reconstitute itself in a small way. I’m sure that the Taliban did not actually want those particular fighters released.

As for the danger of terrorist cells in Afghanistan, they are no greater than those in Yemen (from which AQAP attacked Detroit), and the US hasn’t dealt with the threat in Yemen by trying to occupy that country. It has used drones and sent in special ops forces in a targeted manner. Sometimes those operations have not been precise, creating tragedies, but many, many fewer tragedies than a full-scale military occupation would incur. Moreover, movements like al-Qaeda have often (not always) turned inward. The biggest al-Qaeda concentration is in northwest Syria, but they have the Baath government of Bashar al-Assad on their minds, not the US. In fact, the CIA has supported some of their battlefield allies against the Syrian regime, so we’re back to the 1980s when the US power elite was willing tacitly to ally with al-Qaeda when that suited them.

The US was never able to defeat the Taliban, who in recent years have gone from strength to strength in the countryside. Even before Trump’s peace deal of February, 2020, the Taliban controlled about a third of the country and had a presence in half of it. If that was all the US could achieve in 20 years with an expenditure of $1-$2 trillion and the loss of over 2500 American troops and nearly 4,000 contractors, it was time to get out of the swamp and let the crocodiles and alligators brawl with one another."

 

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 ~ From The Coversation ...via Informed Comment: 

Added video on the link: 


What is ISIS-K, the Organization that Bombed Kabal Airport?

 

"An attack on a crowd gathered outside Kabul’s airport on Aug. 26, 2021, has left at least 60 people dead, including at least a dozen U.S. Marines. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the coordinated suicide bomb and gun assault, which came just days after President Joe Biden warned that the group – an affiliate of the Islamic State group operating in Afghanistan – was “seeking to target the airport and attack U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians.”

Amira Jadoon, a terrorism expert at the U.S. Military Academy West Point, and Andrew Mines, a research fellow at the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, have been tracking ISIS-K for years and answered our questions about who the terrorist group is, and the threat it poses in a destabilized Afghanistan.

Who is ISIS-K?

The Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is also known by the acronyms ISIS-K, ISKP and ISK, is the official affiliate of the Islamic State movement operating in Afghanistan, as recognized by Islamic State core leadership in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS-K was officially founded in January 2015. Within a short period of time, it managed to consolidate territorial control in several rural districts in north and northeast Afghanistan, and launched a lethal campaign across Afghanistan and Pakistan. Within its first three years, ISIS-K launched attacks against minority groups, public areas and institutions, and government targets in major cities across Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By 2018, it had become one of the top four deadliest terrorist organizations in the world, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index.

But after suffering major territorial, leadership and rank-and-file losses to the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan partners – which culminated in the surrender of over 1,400 of its fighters and their families to the Afghan government in late 2019 and early 2020 – the organization was declared, by some, to be defeated.

Can you tell us a little more about the group’s background?

ISIS-K was founded by former members of the Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Over time, though, the group has poached militants from various other groups.

One of the group’s greatest strengths is its ability to leverage the local expertise of these fighters and commanders. ISIS-K first started to consolidate territory in the southern districts of Nangarhar province, which sits on Afghanistan’s northeast border with Pakistan and is the site of al-Qaida’s former stronghold in the Tora Bora area.

ISIS-K used its position on the border to garner supplies and recruits from Pakistan’s tribal areas, as well as the expertise of other local groups with which it forged operational alliances.

Substantial evidence shows that the group has received money, advice, and training from the Islamic State group’s core organizational body in Iraq and Syria. Some experts have placed those figures in excess of US$100 million.

What are its aims and tactics?

ISIS-K’s general strategy is to establish a beachhead for the Islamic State movement to expand its so-called caliphate to Central and South Asia.

It aims to cement itself as the foremost jihadist organization in the region, in part by seizing the legacy of jihadist groups that came before it. This is evident in the group’s messaging, which appeals to veteran jihadist fighters as well as younger populations in urban areas.

Like the group’s namesake in Iraq and Syria, ISIS-K leverages the expertise of its personnel and operational alliances with other groups to carry out devastating attacks. These attacks target minorities like Afghanistan’s Hazara and Sikh populations, as well as journalists, aid workers, security personnel and government infrastructure.

ISIS-K’s goal is to create chaos and uncertainty in a bid to push disillusioned fighters from other groups into their ranks, and to cast doubt on any ruling government’s ability to provide security for the population.

What relationship does ISIS-K have with the Taliban?

ISIS-K sees the Afghan Taliban as its strategic rivals. It brands the Afghan Taliban as “filthy nationalists” with ambitions only to form a government confined to the boundaries of Afghanistan. This contradicts the Islamic State movement’s goal of establishing a global caliphate.

Since its inception, ISIS-K has tried to recruit Afghan Taliban members while also targeting Taliban positions throughout the country.

ISIS-K’s efforts have met with some success, but the Taliban have managed to stem the group’s challenges by pursuing attacks and operations against ISIS-K personnel and positions.

These clashes have often occurred in tandem with U.S. and Afghan air power and ground operations against ISIS-K, although the full extent to which these operations were coordinated is still unclear.

What is clear is that the majority of ISIS-K’s manpower and leadership losses were the result of U.S. and Afghan-led operations, and American air strikes in particular.

How much of a threat is ISIS-K in Afghanistan and to the international community?

As a relatively weakened organization, ISIS-K’s immediate goals are to replenish its ranks and signal its resolve through high-profile attacks. Doing so can help ensure that the group doesn’t become an irrelevant player in the Afghanistan-Pakistan landscape. It is interested in attacking U.S. and allied partners abroad, but the extent to which the group is able to inspire and direct attacks against the West is an issue that has divided the U.S. military and intelligence community.

In Afghanistan, however, ISIS-K has proved itself to be a much greater threat. In addition to its attacks against Afghan minorities and civilian institutions, the group has targeted international aid workers, land-mine removal efforts and even tried to assassinate the top U.S. envoy to Kabul in January 2021.

It is still too early to tell how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will benefit ISIS-K, but the attack on the Kabul airport shows the continued threat posed by the group.

In the short term, ISIS-K will likely continue its efforts to sow panic and chaos, disrupt the withdrawal process and demonstrate that the Afghan Taliban are incapable of providing security to the population.

If the group is able to reconstitute some level of territorial control in the longer term and recruit more fighters, it will most likely be poised to make a comeback and pose threats on the national, regional and international levels."

Amira Jadoon, Assistant Professor at the Combating Terrorism Center, United States Military Academy West Point and Andrew Mines, Research Fellow at the Program on Extremism, George Washington University

 

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 BTW, I think I mentioned it before, but if you go to the Conversation link, you can sign up for their newsletter.


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Well, Biden is in the thick of it - he is also battling Trump appointed Judges rulings against his halting of the "Stay In Mexico" program in addition to the Supreme Court blocking his eviction moratorium, which I believe was only an extension of a few weeks !

Meanwhile go here for the local reports: Zeta Tijuana.

Take care y'all .