03.29.2016 07:25 AM

Inside the Islamic State – and Canada

Outstanding (and frightening) investigative reporting work by the Times, here.

What I found most interesting was this section:

Intelligence officials in the United States and Europe have confirmed the broad outlines of the external operations unit: It is a distinct body inside ISIS, with its command-and-control structure answering to Mr. Adnani, who reports to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State.

The unit identifies recruits, provides training, hands out cash and arranges for the delivery of weapons once fighters are in position. Although the unit’s main focus has been Europe, external attacks directed by ISIS or those acting in its name have been even more deadly beyond Europe’s shores. At least 650 people have been killed in the group’s attacks on sites popular with Westerners, including in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, according to a Times analysis.

Within the hierarchy, Mr. Abaaoud was specifically tasked with mounting attacks in Europe, according to the French police report and intelligence brief.

If Adnani’s name sounds familiar to Canadians, it should.  He is the IS leader who had very specific things to say about Canada in the Fall of 2014, just after the assassinations of two CAF members.  He said “what lies ahead [for Canada] will be worse — with Allah’s permission.”

He went on to say his network would “target the crusaders in their own lands and wherever they are found.” He said they would use explosives, guns, knives, cars, rocks “or even a boot or a fist.”

“Indeed, you saw what a single Muslim did with Canada and its Parliament of shirk [sic], and what our brothers in France, Australia and Belgium did, may Allah have mercy upon them all and reward them with good on behalf of Islam,” he said.

“And there were many others who killed, ran others over, threatened, frightened and terrorized people, to the extent that we saw the crusader armies deployed on the streets in Australia, Canada, France, Belgium and other strongholds of the cross.”

As in my Hill Times column, this week, we are at war with the Islamic State.  You can call the war, and the Islamic State, whatever you like.  But no one should be under any illusion about who they are, or what we are doing.

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