ISIS Shows Its Brutality, But Has Its Weakness Exposed As Kurds Retake Mosul Dam
To many in Britain it was not a surprise to recognize the voice narrating the videotapes murder of American journalist James Foley as one of their own. In recent years, Britain has become one of the major exporters of jihadists, writes Douglas Murray in The Spectator.
There are an estimated 4,000 British citizens who have believed to have received terror training in Afghanistan and there are an estimated 500 to 1,500 British citizens who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.
“Involvement in Syria spreads across Britain. As with other conflicts, a large proportion of the Brits going to fight in Syria appear to be — like the murderer of James Foley — from London. This is in line with other work, including a list of all terrorism convictions in the UK to date, which shows that almost half of Islamism-inspired terrorism offences and attacks on UK soil over the last decade were perpetrated by individuals living in London at the time of their arrest,” writes Murray.
As dangerous and relentlessly brutal as ISIS has proven to be, two positive developments occurred in the last week. Perhaps the more important event was the declaration by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in the country, on Tuesday that the militant groups Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda were “enemy number one of Islam” and not in any way part of the faith.
Saudi Arabia opposes Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, but has funneled arms and money away from ISIS and Al-Qaeda towards other opposition groups.
The second development was the recapturing of the Mosul dam from ISIS forces. As Hussein Ibbish noted in his recent column, the success by Kurdish fighters was secured by American military support, but “it’s still striking that Islamic State militants appear to have crumbled when confronted with a concerted military opposition.”
He added: Even an unlikely and jerry-rigged combination of forces demonstrated that these extremists are highly vulnerable to any robust challenge.