Tags: Al-Qaida | Emerging Threats | Exclusive Interviews | Homeland Security | Iran | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | Middle East | MidPoint | Syria | War on Terrorism

Security Analyst: ISIS Deliberately Stokes Sunni-Shia 'Inferno'

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 08:29 PM

By Sean Piccoli

The Sunni radicals carving a new "Islamic state" out of seized Middle Eastern territory are a smart, adaptive group that doesn't repeat mistakes and is not done testing its strength or expanding its reach, a threat-assessment expert told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has "learned lessons from past mistakes when they were previously al-Qaida in Iraq, and then the Islamic State of Iraq, then ISIS, and now the Islamic State," Thomas Sanderson, co-director and senior fellow on the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

Story continues below video.

Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now

"They made big mistakes when they governed western Iraq several years ago," said Sanderson. "They've learned a lot from their activities in occupying parts of Syria. They knew which strings and which chains to pull among Shiites and Persians and others in the region, and they will continue to do this."

In one provocation, a new ISIS video purports to show a Sunni militant taking a sledgehammer to the burial tomb of a revered Shia prophet in the captured city of Mosul, the Daily Mail reported.

The vandalism, if confirmed, makes good on an ISIS promise to loot and defile sacred Shia religious sites that exist within the boundaries of the new, Sunni-only Islamic State.

"Iraq is home to some of the holiest places in Shia Islam — just as Saudi Arabia is to Sunni Islam — and what we're seeing from a group like ISIS is this destruction of religious figures associated with [Shiites]," said Sanderson. "This is to be expected from this group, and it certainly will incite and inflame what is already an inferno between Sunnis and Shias."

The risk for ISIS as it tries to will a country into being is that the chaos also may consume the group. Too many taunts and too much territorial ambition could spark a backlash, including military strikes by other Middle Eastern countries, including the region's dominant Shia power, Iran, Sanderson said.

"They do need to be careful that they do not overstep and draw the Iranians in in a comprehensive way," said Sanderson, "because that could spell the end for them."

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

The Reaper: Howard Dean Clueless to 'What We Go Through'

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 16:28 PM

A decorated U.S. Army Ranger and master sniper says he doesn't forgive former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for comparing fan . . .

Marsha Blackburn: Loretta Lynch Doesn't Accept the Constitution

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 12:57 PM

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch's testimony shows that she questions both the Constitution and the rule of law, s . . .

Rep. Marsha Blackburn: How I Plan to Repeal Obamacare

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 11:49 AM

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn has introduced a measure in the House designed to repeal Obamacare. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved