While most American attention has been on the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), another danger has been building over the past few months. Since early July, al-Qaeda’s (AQ) affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) or al-Nusra Front, has been quietly on the move.
In my last post I outlined the ideology that underlies the atrocities carried out in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). I also noted that, while welcome on humanitarian and national security grounds, the actions taken so far by the Obama administration are insufficient to guarantee the defeat of the extremists.
Over the past few weeks, the world has gotten its first look at how the Islamic State (IS) Caliphate would function, and it has not been a pretty sight.
Libya is once again in the news as the collapse of the country continues apace. Two weeks ago, the U.S. and other nations evacuated their diplomatic corps from the capital of Tripoli while fighting raged across the city and militants assaulted the international airport. The weak central government in Tripoli has been incapable of stopping the violence; the parliament itself is being forced to hold sessions away from the capital.
Earlier, I posted on the declaration by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)—of a Caliphate that included territory in both Iraq and Syria. The post made several points about this momentous event, including the real potential for resistance from both ordinary Iraqis and other militant groups. As I noted then, everywhere that IS has attempted to implement their extremist version of shari’a on ordinary Muslims who do not support or affirm IS’s vision for the future of Islam, have fought against the militants.