Who’s Funding the Islamic State?

The two articles talk about how the Islamic State is being funded and the countries the donors actually come from. Many questions have come up of how ISIS is being funded and both of the article explain a bit of who and what they are doing with the money they receive. The first article is called, “Who’s Funding ISIS Wealthy Gulf ‘Angle Investors”, this article goes in depth about where the major investors actually come from. The Islamic State likes to called their investors the”angle investors” Most of these investors are rich Arabs. These investors essentially help the group get on their feet and once they are, ISIS will then turn to other means to get their money. The article states that the group will “kidnapping, oil smuggle, sell women into slavery, ect.” This article also says, that most of the investors come from Qatar rather than Saudi Arabia. It’s sad that very little of ISIS total annual income comes from outside sources like investors. The article also mentions that ISIS makes around $1m a day from all sources, which include oil smuggling from the Turkish border. Even though is making all this money there is a flaw to it. Many U.S. officials state that as the group expands, the more enemies they gain the more vulnerable the group will become. In the second article talks about how ISIS is actually getting the money to finance their wars. The Islamic State has taken over many of the oil and refineries in northern Iraq and northern Syria, which is where they get most of their wealth as well as other means like I mentioned before. This oil is being smuggled into Turkey because there oil is a “prized commodity.” The cost of gasoline in Turkey is about roughly $7.50 per gallon. A way the international community has done to cut the capita going into ISIS is by destroying some of the oil facilities they have taken over. It is believe that ISIS makes millions of dollars a month due to their oil smuggling business and about 1 to 2 million dollars a day. According to Mathew Levitt (director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute), ISIS “funded like no other traditional terrorist group in the past. Besides revenue from oil smuggling, the group receives money through donations from wealthy sympathizers in countries including Qatar and Kuwait.” Another way the group makes money is by tax anything they want in the areas they control,”They’re taxing the people; that’s a huge revenue,” he says of ISIS. “But not only that. They also control sort of the breadbasket of Syria, in terms of Raqqa (their defacto capital). They’ve got the cotton and the wheat and all these other things. All of these serve as sort of economic and powerhouse or funding for ISIS.”As we can see from both article is that ISIS is completely different than any other group we have see in the way they make their money as well as who’s funding them. I believe that the people that are funding ISIS, are funding global terrorism and encouraging them. But at the same time ISIS are finding their own ways of making money, which is something very dangerous because of the fact that they are learning how to support themselves.

ISIS Makes Millions Each Day for Oil

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The Trojan Horse Campaign

Both of these articles have to do with the Islamic State and how they are trying to find their way into Western Europe. The article by the Daily Mail is talks about how ISIS is trying to find it’s way into Europe by “disguising” themselves as refugees. Turkey is an easy path for them to take since border control there is very flexible, they has kept there borders so open to let the Syrian refugees in, so up to this point it has been very hard for they to track down any ISIS members that are passing through there. The article also states that many of these Islamic State fighters have fake passports, so once they get to Turkey it will be very easy for them to get to their destination, which is Europe. A U.S. intelligence source state that this can be very dangerous because it might lead to “devastating terror attacks”. In the Buzzfeed article, we get the other side of smuggling ISIS members. In this article they interview a man named, Hassa (not his real name). He states that he thinks he has helped members of ISIS get into Europe. The reason why Hassa thinks he has helped IS members is because of the way they acted. He said that many would be to themselves and not talk to the other refugees, especially the time he interacted with a man. His man stated, “The Western world thinks there is no ISIS in their countries — that all the jihadis have gone to fight and die in Syria,” Hassan said. “But this man said, ‘No. We are sending our fighters to take their places” and once that man was in Greece he told Hassa that “we want you to bring our brothers too.” Hassa also said that many of these men he was helping would pay more than the other refugees about $1,000 more. When the U.S. State Department and the E.U. officials were asked about this they said they had no evidence that IS members were entering Europe like this because it’s very hard to control the Turkish boarder at this point. At the end of the article Hassa stated that he only really cared about the money and that he supported ISIS, but later reconsidered a stated, “I fear I am sending them to fight in Europe,” he said. “This is not what my work is supposed to be.” These two articles talk about the two sides of smuggling ISIS members into Europe, one is about what we hear in the news and the other is a personal account of what the process of human smuggling ISIS members into Europe. I thought these articles were very interesting because it’s something I never really considered because of their current locations in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, but to hear the personal account of how they want to attack Europe is bizarre to me. ISIS is becoming a global problem, it’s not just affecting the Middle East anymore. Global terrorism is nothing new, but when new terrorist groups emerge into the global arena that’s when it becomes a problem.

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ISIS using Chemical Weapons

Both of the article have to deal with the Islamic State using chemical weapons on the civilians in different areas that are dominated by the Islamic State. The article, “Has ISIS Crossed a New Red Line?” talks about how the Iraqi government accused the Islamic State of using chemical weapons on a couple of their officers in the town of Dhuluiya. The Iraqi government declared the doctors confirmed that the chemical weapons being used was chlorine. They also claimed that ISIS had used chloride on two separate occasions. The State Department stated that they couldn’t confirm his information, but if so this would “affect tactical decisions within that strategy”. The Kurds are other people that are being affected my the chemical weapons. The city of Kobani is one that is being affected by these weapons. They suspect that the weapons were obtained through a “seized Iraqi army bases where they were stored.” ISIS took control over the “Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons programme”, which lead them to having there hand on the chemical weapons. Many people in the area have come in with blister, vomiting, burning eyes and nose, as well as having trouble breathing. “Some of the doctors say that it might be phosphorus or poison gas of some kind”, but it has been very hard to get doctors in the area. I would consider ISIS view on this as very radical in the approach they are taking when it comes to chemical weapons. The chemical weapons that ISIS has obtained are a threat to global health and safety, especially for the people in these areas close to the Islamic State.



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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Alive?

Last week the U.S. dropped an air strike in the area that the rumored Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was suppose to be. There were rumors that he had injured or maybe even killed, but today news has come out the the Islamic state leader might be alive. This the first article from The Guardian described Al- Baghdadi as a very high ranks in the Islamic State, he is said to be a self-proclaimed  “Caliph of the Muslims.” Both articles mention the 17-min. audio recording that clearly sounded like the al-Baghdadi. The audio was in classical Arabic “with expressions of Muslim piety in the extremist takfiri tradition.”In the audio tape he talked about several different topics. First was about how the “U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS was failing”. He went on to say that America and their allies were weak and powerless against them. Al-Baghdadi also talked about the rising support the Islamic State is gaining from countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. In this speech he mentioned about “fighting and kill Shia Muslims.” The article ended with   “Be assured, O Muslims, for your state is good and in the best condition,” Baghdadi declared. “Its march will not stop and it will continue to expand, by Allah’s permission. The march of the mujahidin [Muslim holy warriors] will continue until they reach Rome. And soon, the Jews and Crusaders will be forced to come down to the ground and send their ground forces to their deaths and destruction.”  Evidence that also backs-up the claims that he might be alive is the fact that he mentions events that happen recently. The Buzzfeed article, talks about the same audio recording. This article is very important because al-Baghdadi and his status in the Islamic State.  This relates to global terrorism and what ISIS has put the whole world into high alter when it comes to terrorism.


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Perspectives in Raqqa

The first article is about the activist group called “Raqqa is being slaughtered silently”. They are against ISIS and the way they protest is by posting photos of the city of Raqqa now that ISIS has taken. The group takes pictures with their cell phones showing the executions and other things going on in the city. Vice News was talking to Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, a member of this activist group that has fled the city since he was discovered, but his family is still in Raqqa. He talks about how life has changed there for women in the fact that they don’t have any right and how 90% of the people in Raqqa hate ISIS. He states the only reason everyone is so complaint is because of fear. He mentioned how if someone had 3 houses, ISIS would take two for them and one for the owner, so they can house the foreign fighters. Raqqawi, also mentions that they went from being under Assad’s regime to under ISIS’S control and now the only reason why the U.S. is willing to help is because it benefits them not the people of Raqqa The interview overall goes in depth about living under ISIS, when you are against everything they stand for. The other article is about a man named Abu Saif, that doesn’t fully agree with ISIS and their tactics, but does like how ISIS is implementing Sharia law as well as the system is the city. He states that it’s good how people in the town of Raqqa are now praying when they are suppose to and how ISIS is implementing new things in the city like the way they are keeping health codes in restaurants and how they punish their own when something is unfair. But doesn’t like how education and how women’s rights have been taken away. Both of these articles have to do with two very different perspectives in Raqqa, but both come together in not fulling agreeing with ISIS in some ways. ISIS is very radical in their way of thinking when it comes to the laws in Raqqa or any other place under their control. ISIS is essentially taking away basic human rights that the people under the ISIS control deserve. ISIS is not letting people believe or say anything they want to say against them.


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ISIL’s Conflict has Spread to the Children of the Region

The first article has to do how the terrorist group, ISIL, killed a 17 year-old boy because he took photographs of the headquarters in the city of Raqqa, which is something the group didn’t like.  The images showed how the teen was crucified with the sign around his neck stating that he was a apostasy, which means that he abandoned his religion.  Many people state the reason he was crucified  was is because it’s a Verse 33 in the Koran, but the article also states that in the Koran it also talks about forgiveness. The teen was paid approximately 500 Turkish lira for the photos inside the HQ. The images of the crucified teen were circulating around the internet, but it started with the anti-ISIL group in the city of Raqqa called, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. Then after they posted the picture online, other supports of the Islamic State also posted his photo. The second article has to do with photos of a baby girl being held down and having a knife being held to her neck. The phone images were recovered by a Kurdish soldier. In the photos you also saw an older women and an older child, who are believed to be the baby girl’s, mother and sister. The whereabouts of the women and children are unknown. But these were not the only images recovered, there were also images of the Islamic group playing football with human heads. Both of these articles have to do with how ISIL has no bounders and how they are willing to kill children to get there point across. This makes everyone in the region fearful because they are capable of killing anyone without mercy. This point of view of ISIL is very radical when dealing with people. We can clearly see that they don’t have bounders when it comes to their whole objective. ISIL is violating human rights in which they are complete going after people’s right of religion, in which they have implemented Sharia law in the region. They don’t let people be who they are because of ISIL beliefs.

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ISIL creating problems in Austria

The first article, Austrian youth flocking to ISIL, has to do with ISIL and the way it has started to created problem in Austria. Approximately, 140 young Austrian have fled to Syria and Iraq to join the fight with ISIL. With these teens moving to the Middle East to join the radical group it has started to create problems back home for Muslims in the country. A new wave of Islamophobia has hit Austria with the up coming events. Many people in the country are seeing this as a “Us vs. Them” like the article stated. The right-wing in Austria are using this when it comes to votes in the country saying things like, “Home instead of Islam”. As well as the right-wing, the Austrian government is now considering several measures in order to keep radicalism out of the country like “increasing border control for minors, laws forbidding the use of symbols associated with ISIL, and the withdrawal of Austrian citizenship for dual nationals.” This article also brings up the fact that Austria is a very polarized society.  The other article, Austrian teenage girl jihadis ‘want to come home’ from ISIL”, is about the girls from Vienna, Austria who fled to join ISIL in April, news of them has emerged and now they are stating that they want to come home. In April, these girls had left their home and stated “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah- and we will die for him”, a couple of months passed and there was speculation that one of them had died, but this week news comes out that both of these girls are pregnant and want to come back home to Austria. The problem with is that in Austria is very hard to go back because of the girls being attached to ISIL. The Austrian interior ministry spokesman stated, “Once the leave, it is almost impossible” to come back”. These two article are talking about how Austria is dealing with ISIL and how this radical group that’s very far away from them is affecting the country. With a new wave of Islamophobia as well as the youth fleeing to Syria and Iraq to join the fight. ISIL is affecting the world as a whole and also how people are viewing Islam. This would be a radical perspective in the way Austria wants to control the situation because of the new laws they are trying to implement so this radicalism won’t get to them.

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ISIS Saga Continues

Both of my articles this week have to do with ISIS. One article has to due with the fact that ISIS is gaining support from the Taliban. The Taliban send out a formal statement stating that they support them and in their efforts of creating this Islamic State. This is part of the statement,”Oh our brothers, we are proud of you in your victories. We are with you in your happiness and your sorrow, In these troubled days, we call for your patience and stability, especially now that all your enemies are united against you. Please put all your rivalries behind you. All Muslims in the world have great expectations of you… we are with you, we will provide you with fighters and with every possible support.” (Al Jazeera) This is a bit scary in the fact these are two of the largest threats the U.S. has, so both of these groups together can have unexpected consequences. The other article is from BuzzFeed and it states that ISIS has invade the Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani. This city is located between Turkey and Syria. ISIS was trying to take control over the are, but Kurdish fighter were trying to prevent this, so fighting erupted between both sides. The encounter came a day later where the Turkish government/lawmakers had stated that “they will do whatever they can against ISIS, which meant actually putting “boots in the ground” or military forces. The article state that around 150,000 people have fled the city in just two weeks and the approximately 4,000 refugees have fled the city on Wednesday. Both of these articles are about how ISIS is affect the world and the region around them. With the support of the Taliban, ISIS is becoming a bigger threat to the Middle East and to the Western World. And as we can see in the article of BuzzFeed, the efforts against ISIS have become more extreme as well as these countries in the Middle East have to work together against this group, ISIS.

Video of  forces fighting against ISIS:


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Women’s Fight Against ISIS

French Report: Syrian Woman Secretly Films Life in Raqqa under ISIL

The articles I saved on diigo were  about two different spectrums of the fight against ISIS and how women are involved in this fight. The first has to do with a woman risking her life and video taping what is happening in the Islamic State right now. The video showed how women are just walking around with AK-47 while taking their children to the park. In the video I thought that it was interesting how a man stopped her and told her to cover up even though she was already wearing a niqab, she had to apologize for this. And you also get to see how Western women are joining the fight with ISIS. The woman recoding the video went into a internet cafe and recorded French women speaking to their families stating that they were not going back to France. I thought that this was interesting because this allowed us to going into the everyday life of Islamic State. The second article was about how the first woman in the UEA lead the air strike against ISIS. Mariam al-Mansouri, was the woman that is rumored to be the leader of his air strike. She graduate from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007 and has a degree in English Literature. I feel like this is a significant thing in the Middle East because women do have high position in UEA, but it’s still a man’s world. With Mariam al-Mansouri being the first woman to do this sort of thing is a break though because it shows how women are capable this and so much more. The Islamic State is a big foreign issue right now that many countries are trying to deal with. I believe both of these articles are showing how people are trying to deal with this terrorist group and how women are becoming a bigger part of this fight against ISIS. For me these two articles are very interesting because they show how women are becoming an important part in global politics in general.

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The Women of ISIS

My two Diigo bookmarks have to with the women of ISIS. Both of the articles  have  to do with the reasons why women would decide to join ISIS or any  other “violent movements” around the world. The article in Buzzfeed, has to do with how the women of ISIS use social media. In this article we see that the women used social media like tumblr and twitter as a way to spread the word about the cause and use social media as a platform to recruit other women. For example, there are online guides on how to get to ISIS controlled territory. As well as trying to warn women that are interested to be careful  “sisters who are coming dont take your eyes of ur luggage or u’ll never see it again. keep it with u so I don’t have to tell u #itoldyouso“. The other article is from Foreign Affairs and it talks about the reasons why women join ISIS or any other militias around the world. One reason the article talks about is the fact that it’s better to join than to be killed or raped by these groups. Another, reason was because they felt like they can identify with the group and what they are fighting for. This article brings up a very interesting point because it states, ” for women, gender and politics can overlap in ways that they do not for men”, which I find to be true.

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