Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | War on Terrorism

Jihadism Expert: Obama Tipped Off ISIS With 'Gift' Speech

By    |   Monday, 15 Sep 2014 08:09 PM

President Barack Obama's speech on Wednesday detailing the battle plan against the Islamic State was a "gift" to the violent Islamists in Iraq and Syria, who have already taken defensive measures in response to the president's disclosures, an Iraqi expert on jihadist movements tells CNN.

"The mistake was announcing too much of the strategy, and this was a free gift to [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr] al Baghdadi, to prepare and counter what has been revealed," Hisham Alhashimi told CNN in a report aired on Monday.

"They moved a lot of weapons and ammunition into depots in valleys and the desert between Iraq and Syria," said Alhashimi. "Al Baghdadi moved elite Arab and foreign fighters among civilian populations, knowing well that the U.S. or coalition air force[s] cannot target civilians."

Alhashimi also told CNN that a U.S.-led coalition campaign against the Islamic State, or ISIS, could draw al-Qaida and other terrorist groups into the battle as ISIS allies.

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But the U.S. and its allies must press ahead anyway, he said, adding that help is needed "in fighting ideology with ideology" — specifically from religious figures in Saudi Arabia and Egypt who must condemn ISIS' jihadist vision and violent interpretation of Islam.

Alhashimi said that unlike in Iraq, routing ISIS from Syria will require ground forces, because arming and training the rebels of the Free Syrian Army — whom the U.S. has identified as an ally — will not be sufficient.

He also said ISIS has likely begun the next phase of its operations, which is to carry out terrorist attacks inside countries that have joined the anti-ISIS coalition.

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President Barack Obama's speech on Wednesday detailing the battle plan against the Islamic State was a "gift" to the violent Islamists in Iraq and Syria, who have already taken defensive measures in response to the president's disclosures, an Iraqi expert on jihadist movements tells CNN.
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2014-09-15
Monday, 15 Sep 2014 08:09 PM
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