Terrorist groups throughout the world began to form and exercise their religious, political, or ideological goal to commit violent acts. Throughout this assignment, it will note the greatest threat to the United States national security, stability, and development attributed to a terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ISIS terrorist group have adopted their concept of philosophy and ideology that threatens the whole world through fear that result in bombings, shootings, hijackings, and kidnappings by causing massive casualties, a large-scale of the destruction of property, displacement of a large population of people, and devastating economic loss.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is a terrorist group that derived from Al-Qaida. Islamic leader Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi had personal ties with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan at the end of the war with the Soviet Union Army. After the result of the war, Al-Zarqawi founded a group named Jamaat al-Tawhid W-l-Jihad (JTWJ) that later became Al-Qaida in Iraq (The Canadian Press, 2015). The J.T.W.J. Organization parted ways from Al-Qaida due to the conflict in strategies and tactics regarding Osama bin Laden. Within one year, Zarqawi established a jihadist training camp in Afghanistan.
The Islamic State is currently an active militant Sunni jihadist group. The J.T.W.J. organization had increased around 2000 to 3000 militants and adopted the lessons of Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (Leksing, 2016). The reason why the organization changed its name to the ISIS because it had one goal in mind, and that is to take control of territory. The goal was to force a population of people to believe and witness the rise of a unified expansion of Islamic civilization caliphate across the nation. Which means that ISIS enclosed its slogan ‘The Islamic State Remains, The Islamic Expands’ (Jeenah, 2015).
The Islamic State also experienced different leadership within its organization. The following will list the names of ISIS leadership and order of term served, within the militant organization: “Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi served from 2002 until his assassination on June 7, 2006,
Ayub-al Masri served from October 2006 to April 18, 2010, Abu Umar al Baghdadi served fromB 2010 until the present” (Stand ford University, 2018). Leader Baghdadi adopted a new name for the organization and called it the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and al-Sham.
Ideology, Goals & Objectives
ISIS presents the greatest threat to the western world, the United States of America national infrastructure, and non-Muslims. Members of ISIS demand that other jihadist groups accept their supreme authority all over the world. This terrorist organization is more than a network of cells or a militia. It can almost be called an independent Islamic nation because they have their own philosophy and ideology. The ISIS organization have developed a readiness towards an act of violence at any place and at any time. The ISIS organization do not rely on theology to justify its actions but adheres to war with no constraints. The members feel invincible and have no remorse by savagely killing, abducting, beheading and other atrocities to Western captives.
In the eyes of a terrorist, it is acceptable to bring forth violence to the enemy outside the organization. The motivations for joining the Islamic State can vary, and different ethnicity of people who can become radicalized. Individuals may seek an adventure, join to have a sense of belonging, and attracted to the radical ideology (Hong, 2015). The recruits usually come from poverty and reside in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and other parts of the world. Recruits are isolated from their family and friends and sworn to secrecy. In punishment, the only way to leave the group is by a gruesome death.
Isis famous ideology is coming up from “Salafi Jihadist,” meaning the old generation of Islam (Fernando, 2014). According to ISIS, Salafi jihadist is a transnational religious-political ideology based on a belief in violent jihadism. The belief is that ISIS will destroy and harm all things. Here are some highlights of the paraphrased and direct translations:
- It is an obligation to follow Allah’s rule.
- If Muslims prayed daily, but committing acts of adultery, consumed alcohol, or smoke cigarettes they were considered apostate.
- Anyone trying to defend a non-Islamic leader will be called an apostate and killed.
- Ahli al-Kitab (people of the book) and others must bow down to ISIS, and make an agreement to follow ISIS, and then accept every condition from ISIS.
- Believe each abomination is illegal, and taking others broadcast.
- Seventy lashes are given for whoever says the word “Daesh.” (Svirsky, 2015)
Collection and Analysis on ISIS
The role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation domestic counterterrorism and Joint Terrorism Task Force is to investigate terrorist activity. The task force manages law enforcement on all levels to assist with investigating criminal activities by collecting leads, gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and respond to threats immediately. The federal government is most successful in collecting information on ISIS would be through HUMINT and SIGINT databases.
Many civilians were informants or spies for the United States and Iraqi government who could provide intelligence about ISIS. To collect and analyze on ISIS, the government must rely on leads and monitor various charities who are protecting them. The methods used to obtain information on ISIS militants were to maintain a discrete profile, review photographic and video materials published online, to identify members. In some instances, the government can monitor global daily transactions to search for evidence of terrorist activity.
Terrorist Funding & Capabilities
The ISIS organization rely on funding from local sources and external donations. It is considered the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world. Members have the authority to levy businesses and individuals' taxes and took over the oilfields under the region it controls. The profit from the oilfields make an estimated million dollars a day generating revenue. Their operational aspect of funding their criminal activities come from extortion, kidnapping, stealing, smuggling, and trafficking offenses to obtain money (Shatz, 2019).
Social media channels, media propaganda, and the military is another way ISIS terrorist organization wheel in its supporters and contributors. The terrorist group ISIS portray themselves to become more actively violent and suggest they are a better investment (in terms of value) than other jihadist groups.
The Vision of ISIS
The United States is continuously under attack by ISIS terrorist organization. The face of terrorism is changing, along with terrorist tactics. Members of ISIS are no longer utilizing their old tactics to apply any future attacks. Besides, members are mastering their tactical patterns with creativity to use in the homeland. Their attacks are more planned (because terrorist lives for the future) will be carried out with more CBRNE and weapons of mass destruction.
The Superbowl 54 is a major impending “hypothetical” location of a future terrorist attack. The event will be held in South Florida in 2020, and the stadium is receiving a significant upgrade in their pitches to the sports league. Americans who currently reside within the United States are aware of this massive event that involves musicians, famous football players, first responders, and the event is expected to fill the stadium with over 500,000 visitors. The event is covered live by entire sports league stations, the media, radio stations, and all social media channels.
As an ISIS leader, I am using social media to recruit people who possess a unique talent and coerce them to visit Syria and Iraq on their own expense. According to Smith (2008), Terrorist organizations such as ISIS prepare for their attacks with surveillance and intelligence gathering relatively near their relative's homes” (Journal No. 260). For several months, ISIS leader had current militants who were former Americans plan and attack with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) which are called drones. Throughout the day, ISIS members would maneuver the drones by attaching barbells to determine the weight capacity and how long it can maintain at higher distances within the vicinity of the stadium.
The plan is to attack highly sensitive missiles to the drones that contain potent, sulfur-based mustard gas. The missiles and chemicals will weigh nearly the size of a barbell, and up to ten drones can be operated on one remote controller. Terrorist monitored traffic congestion and how the main roads merge with the local expressways to conduct traffic management. There is always a mastermind who orchestrates a “dry run” before the attack is carried out. The Federal Bureau of Investigation received intelligence regarding Americans who became ISIS militants, but they failed to disseminate the information to other agencies within homeland security.
The dry run consists of attending a regular football game to monitor security entrance and exit checkpoints. Monitor how well the security team searches spectators who enter the stadium. The number of beat officers directing traffic in the street, standing stationary on corners, and inside of the stadium. ISIS terrorist group discretely encountered every civilian who appeared to be relaxed, and very inattentive during their daily commute. As a terrorist, they seek vulnerability, easy targets, and those who will get the most publicity.
On Superbowl Sunday, the crowd continuously grew in large numbers throughout the day, enjoying the festivities in the area. The event starts promptly at 2000 hours in military time, but the plan is to deploy the attack at half-time at 2200 hours. ISIS militants stood approximately one to two blocks away and stored over one-hundred drones inside of several rented U-Haul trucks. The group sent a signal via use of hand-held prep radios and ordered the deployment of the drones. The drones flew over the open stadium and fell into the immense crowd of spectators. The spectators thought the drones were a part of the half-time performance. The chemical agent immediately made contact with the spectators causing painful skin blisters on their skin, extreme eye irritation, and swelling, and experienced shortness of breath (Centers for Disease Control, 2018).
First responders were on scene, but unfortunately there were unable to administer any CPR because they too were affected from the chemical attack. Shortly after the drones were released the ISIS militant vanished in the area while innocent bystanders, spectators and first responders ran for their lives. A male witness saw the second deployment of drones falling down on the large crowd of people and ran into the restroom to dial the police. Outside law enforcement agencies received information of a massive terrorist attack and recalled additional personnel, specialized units, and additional resources.
Prior to or during an event, law enforcement should employ more undercover agents and explosive canine dogs who are trained to identify certain threats and suspicious activity. Law enforcement must also think like a terrorist to beat them in their own techniques. Sharp shooters should be used as a disguise on tall buildings to scan and watch, use them as decoy spectators and provide a strong officers presence.
The Department of Homeland Security noted that “local law enforcement plays an important role in preventing and responding to current and future incidents of terrorism within the United States” (Docobo, 2005). There is always a need to provide front line of defense with working updated equipment to locate and apprehend members of the ISIS organization.
In conclusion, the objectives and goals of this assignment has been achieving, which identified how ISIS have a different concept of philosophies and ideologies from other terrorist groups. ISIS philosophy is to build the Islamic State by financially funding their activities, savagely murdering Western Captives, enemies, and outsiders who fail to accept their supreme authority over the world. ISIS militants are very unpredictable, creative, challenging to locate, and have no remorse for their violent behaviors. A future terrorist attack by ISIS shows that the United States intelligence community need to cooperate and share vital information that could have saved lives.
- Centers for Disease Control. (2018). Emergency Preparedness and Response. Facts about Sulfur Mustard Gas. Retrieved on August 21, 2019, from website https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/sulfurmustard/basics/facts.asp
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- Shatz, H. (2019). Follow the Money. How the United States Can Counteract the Islamic State’s Plans for a Comeback. Retrieved on August 21, 2019, from website https://www.rand.org/news/press/2019/08/08.html
- Smith, B. (2008). National Institute of Justice. A Look at Terrorist Behavior: How They Prepare, Where They Strike? Retrieved on August 21, 2019, from website https://nij.gov/journals/260/Pages/terrorist-behavior.aspx
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