New ISIS Leader Sends Recruitment Message While ISIS Takes Syrian Border Town

I'm going to continue using ISIS instead of IS, at least for now.

The new leader of the caliphate Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Husayni al-Qurashi al-Baghdadi, has sent out “A Message to the Mujahidin and the Muslim Ummah in the Month of Ramadan” from Amirul-Mu’minin Abu Bakr al-Husayni al-Qurashi al-Baghdadi." The English version is here.

Here's a news article describing it. It makes no reference to specific imminent attacks. It reads more like a recruiting announcement. It says the state is particularly looking for "“judges and those who have military and managerial and service skills, and doctors and engineers in all fields.”

Today there are reports ISIS has now taken the Syrian side of the Qaim border, Albu Kamal, also called Al-Bukamal. More news articles here and here. [More...]

I want to know more about "Abu Saffiya", the supposed Chilean ISIS fighter who speaks such good English in this video released Sunday. Which Syrian-Iraq border crossing is he at? Al Waleed (Walid) or Qaim which ISIS took on June 21? (More here.) Photos from the same blowup were posted on ISIS-associated Twitter accounts on June 20. Qaim is about 120 miles north of al Waleed, which is near Rutbah.

Is Abu Saffiya really a fighter, or an actor hired by ISIS's production company? He seems straight out of central casting. Where is he really from? I haven't seen pictures of him anywhere else. Would ISIS trust a basic street fighter to give such an important tour? Or does he play a prominent role in the group? He is very comfortable in front of the camera -- too comfortable for a "nobody."

What happened to the prisoners in the video? There are more than a dozen captured border patrol police and army prisoners together in a room. al-Saffiya says some claim to be Ahlus-Sunnah but they are lying and worship the devil. I don't think they were inside the police station and blown up, as one news station reported. It seemed to me they were being held in a different building, with a garage-door opening. After showing the prisoners, it seems he moves to a different building, the police building, which he says they will now blow up as they are blowing up all Government buildings. He gives a little tour and there are no prisoners. Also, he has to drive to get to the spot where he watches the explosion. But since there are no timestamps, it's really hard to say.

34 soldiers were killed at Qaim during fighting. Were these them?

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  • Display: Sort:
    That's one crazy video (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:30:18 AM EST
    Obviously Abu Saffiya has never experienced an American air strike :)

    I was a little shocked that we talked the Iraqis into having something labeled Border Patrol, Berm Patrol might have been better.  I suppose we can't help trying to recreate images of ourselves.  And Iraq had Shia administering "Border Patrol" to Sunnis who have never considered the berm a border, at this point what could go wrong?

    Recent conversations here at TalkLeft about American military patches, the Iraqi Border Patrol and I will guess military too has "Americanized" patches.  My husband brought home a military uniform from Saddams military, no patch insignia at all.

    They Velcro'd the back of their patches too as did we about 18 months into Iraq.  Before my husband left in 2003 his command allowed him to affix Velcro to the back of all his patches and a Velcro bed to his uniforms.  I spent hours doing that, good thing I sew well.  That was specifically allowed though in case he was shotdown or captured, he could ditch all of his military insignia quickly and offer very little information.  It makes moving around in the military easier too, it's just a Velcro patch now when you get reassigned but they are slowly going back to wanting insignia sewn on again.  It was just very strange hearing that the captured men had ripped their patches off when they fled.  Does everybody need that capability in the Sunni Triangle?  Just weird familiarity.

    IS fighters in the video are very confident, doesn't seem like they've met much opposition they couldn't handle in Iraq.  As for the prisoners, they are dead.  I don't know where they killed them, but IS has too few fighters it seems to me to look after prisoners, and when that happens people are killed simply to remove their potential in the conflict.  IS is very strategic if nothing else.

    That F-350 though, do they have a diesel mechanic?  Abu Saffiya says they have aircraft too, dude....who can fly them?  Yadda yadda yadda Saffiya!  Saffiya doesn't seem like a great fighter to me.  The four guys in the hall though, two of them with their faces masked..those guys!

    "blowing up all Government buildings." (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:45:16 PM EST
    We should be flattered.  They're following the American model...