Anatomy of a “wannabe” caliphate.
The Sunni jihadist group known as the Islamic State (IS) is the most organized, well-funded and militant terrorist group the world has ever seen. It proclaims itself as a caliphate, claiming religious authority over all Muslims.
ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) are currently both being used to refer to Iraq’s Islamic extremist terrorist organization, but recently there has been confusion over what to call the jihadist group. The President and the U.S. Department of State both refer to them as ISIL while the majority of the American media refer to them as ISIS.
As reported at Examiner.com, there were documents seized from the house of a member of the Islamic State in a raid by the Iraqi military. Now for the first time and in acute detail, the leadership structure of this secretive organization is revealed.
Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based expert on Islamist groups, outlined and described the ISIS leadership structure to The Wall Street Journal. His information has been corroborated by other experts and U.S. intelligence sources.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sits at the top of the organization naming himself caliph. Baghdadi has two top deputies: Abu Ali Al-Anbari is responsible for Syria and Abu Muslim Al Turkmani for Iraq. Both of these men were former generals under Saddam Hussein. All three of these leaders are referred to collectively as “Al-Imara” or “The Emirate.”
There are twelve governors in ISIS that report to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Ali Al-Anbari. Each of the nine “councils,” report to them as well. The councils create policy and run the Islamic State.
Here is what each of the nine councils handle.
The leadership council: This body is responsible for making laws and handling many important decisions. Those decisions are subject to approval by Mr. Baghdadi, but they–the members of the leadership council–have the right in theory to depose the caliph.
The Shura council: weighs in on religious and military matters, and advises the leadership council. It’s composed of nine people who are versed in Islamic Law.
The military council: calls the shots on fighting, and defense of the Islamic State’s acquired territory.
The legal council: handles family disputes and religious infractions. It’s in charge of recruitment of followers, and also makes decisions on punishments — often in the form of executions.
The security council: handles the internal policing of the controlled territory, including checkpoints. It also carries out executions.
The intelligence council: provides information to the leadership on the Islamic State’s enemies.
The financial council: functions as the organization’s treasury. It handles oil sales, weapons deals, and oversees cash estimated to be in the many millions of dollars.
The fighters assistance council: supports the jihadists arriving from other countries. It finds them housing. It also helps smuggle foreign fighters in and out of Iraq and Syria.
The media council: issues the organization’s official pronouncements and declarations and manages its social media.
In January, President Obama dismissed ISIS as the equivalent of a “jayvee team” in an interview with The New Yorker. Eight months later he has changed his tune and realized the major global threat the Islamic State represents.
On Sunday, the President said that the United States will “go on the offensive” against Islamic State militants in the Middle East and that he intends to “degrade and destroy” them.
It will be interesting to see what President Obama says to the nation Wednesday. He is expected to warn the nation that Islamic militants pose a threat to U.S. national security and that the American people should expect the fight against the terror group will require a longstanding commitment, according to the White House.
We the people of the United States do not need President Obama to read a rhetoric and blame filled speech off of the teleprompter. It is time for the President to finally govern and act as Commander-in-Chief like many of the great men that held the office before him. He needs to speak loudly and carry a big stick. September 11th is here again and with it brings a clear threat to our national security, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the same day in 2001.
This article has been crossposted.