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Indonesia Refused U.S. Request in Fight Against ISIS

Indonesia's former foreign minister says the U.S. asked Indonesia to send ground troops to Iraq to fight ISIS, and it refused: It didn't want to upset "radical Muslims" at home.

Indonesia was asked by the United States to send troops to join the fight against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq but declined because it feared a backlash among radical Muslims at home, the country's former foreign minister has revealed. Marty Natalegawa, the long-serving top envoy under Jakarta's previous administration, said Indonesia felt it could better contribute by tackling its own domestic extremism problem, whereas sending forces would be "cosmetic".

Maybe the next time it gets hit by a massive Tsunami, our response should be "We can better use that money at home."

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Islamic State One Year Later: Lasting and Expanding

The Islamic State is one year old today. Its long term goal remains the creation of a "lasting and expanding" Caliphate.

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ISIS-Inspired Attacks: 3 Hours, 3 Countries, 3 Continents

When ISIS official spokesman Mohamed al-Adnani gave his audio speech last week at the beginning of Ramadan, he ended it with a call for more attacks:

“O mujahedeen everywhere, rush and go to make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels.”

On June 25 and June 26, ISIS launched a surprise attack in Kobane, Syria, killing around 200 people.

On June 26, within a span of three hours, lone wolves struck alone or in a pair in 3 countries: France, Tunisia and Kuwait. ISIS has taken credit for the attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia. [More...]

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ISIS Publishes Video of Extremely Cruel Killings

ISIS continues to shock the world with atrocity killings. Its latest video, filmed in or around Mosul and released by the Nineveh Wilayat, is titled "If You Promised We Came Back." I won't link to it, but I did watch it.

In the 7 minute video, orange-clad prisoners are divided into three groups. Each makes a statement. The first group is put inside a vehicle. An ISIS member fires a grenade missile launcher at the car, blowing it up and setting it on fire. The prisoners burn to death inside the vehicle.

The second group are put in a cage, suspended over water. The cage is lowered and they drown to death. There's a camera underwater filming their painful drowning.[More...]

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Benghazi Suspect Ali Awni al-Harzi Killed in Mosul Drone Strike

Ali Awni al-Harzi, a suspect in the 2012 Benghazi embassy attack, has been killed by a U.S. drone strike in Mosul.

Ali, a Tunisian, was arrested in 2012 for his suspected role in the embassy attack, and freed by Tunisia in January, 2013. [More...]

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al-Baghdadi's Ex-Wife Gives Birth in Lebanon

Back in December, 2014, Lebanon claimed to have arrested Saja Abdul Hamid al-Dulaimi, the wife or ex-wife of ISIS leader al Baghdadi. She was caught using a fake passport at the border, along with one of her small children.

Lebanon news is now reporting she has just given birth. She was three weeks pregnant when arrested. Her current husband is Kamal Khalaf, a Palestinian.

The baby was born in a military hospital and she and the baby are now at a General Security detention center. [More...]

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ISIS Child Recruits Train in Raqqa

ISIS yesterday released a new video of kids in Raqqa training to be fighters and snipers. In it, they talk about the Crusaders, defeating opposing forces and threaten to kill President Obama. The physical training is almost the same as in the adult training videos.

What's unusual is that some of these kids these do not appear to be children of ISIS sympathizers, but Syrian kids who were traumatized by the Bashar regime. [More...]

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Obama and the 450 Military Trainers for Iraqi Forces

President Obama has ordered 450 military trainers to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces in the Anbar region. The new training facility would be at Taqaddum, which is near Ramadi in the eastern part of the province.

Obama decided on the new troop deployment in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the White House said. The two leaders met on the margins of the G7 summit in Germany earlier this week.

The White House press release is here. [More...]

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USAF Finds ISIS Headquarters Via Social Media and Bombs It

Just another reason not to restrict ISIS accounts on Twitter - a careless ISIS member posted a picture of himself standing outside an IS headquarters on an open forum. The U.S. was able to identify it and bombed it.

Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, described Monday how airmen at Hurlburt Field, Florida, with the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, recognized a comment on social media and turned that into an airstrike that resulted in three Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) missiles destroying am Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) headquarters building. “It was a post on social media to bombs on target in less than 24 hours,” Carlisle said. #8220; Incredible work when you think about.”

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Tweeter Shami Witness Charged With Terror Crimes in India

Mehdi Masroor Biswas, aka @ShamiWitness, has been charged with numerous terror crimes for his favorable tweeting about ISIS. He was arrested in December. Most of the charges carry a maximum of seven years in prison.

Joint Commissioner of Police, M. Chandrashekhar said Mehdi was charged with eight sections of the Indian penal Code (IPC) including unlawful activities, conspiracy, supporting a terrorist organisation, waging war against the State, sedition and promoting enmity. The charge-sheet, containing 36,986 pages, was submitted to the Court on Monday.

The charges were filed by the Bengaluru police in the Metropolitan Magistrate Court. I haven't been able to find the actual chargesheet, but more descriptions are here and here. [More...]

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India Prepares 28k Chargesheet Against Shami Witness

The Bangladore Police say they will file charges against Mehdi Masroor Biswas, aka @Shami Witness, next week.

We have finally received the MHA’s approval. Now, we will file the chargesheet against him next week. We have built a solid case. We had to prove how he conspired and helped the IS. Consequently, the chargesheet is one of the longest in recent times,” a source in the Bengaluru Police said. The chargesheet is supposed to be in excess of 28,000 pages.

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U.S. Blames Ramadi on Iraqi Forces

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the Iraqi Forces are to blame for ISIS' recent takeover of Ramadi. He says they lack the will the fight.

They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight and withdrew from the site,” he said. “That says to me and, I think, to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”

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Obama Interview on ISIS, Iraq and Syria

The Atlantic has a new interview with President Obama on ISIS, Iraq and Syria. He doesn't think "we're losing." He calls Ramadi a "tactical setback."

ISIS continues its attacks today. It is also taking credit for a suicide bomb attack at a Shi'a mosque in Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday it released Dabiq Issue 9. (John Cantlie provides the last article, the first sign in a while he's still alive.) You can read it here.

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Another Name Floated for Abu Sayyaf

CNN quotes an anonymous U.S. official who tells them the real name of Abu Sayyaf is Fathi ben Awn ben Jildi Murad al-Tunisi. Every media outlet seems to be running with the story.

ABC News has been reporting for a while that U.S. officials believe Abu Sayyaf and his wife have information on deceased hostage Kayla Mueller. (I already wrote about all this here.) A congressman today confirmed this is being investigated.

CBS says the raid was months in the planning.

I'm not buying this new identity. It's another name that has not appeared anywhere as far as I can tell.[More...]

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Loss of Ramadi

The New York Times, among many others, say the loss of Ramadi is ISIS' biggest victory of the year. Once again, the Iraqi army fled.

The fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State, despite intensified American airstrikes in recent weeks in a bid to save the city, represented the biggest victory so far this year for the extremist group, which has declared a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the vast areas of Syria and Iraq that it controls. The fall of Ramadi also laid bare the failed strategy of the Iraqi government, which had announced last month a new offensive to retake Anbar Province, a vast desert region in the west of which Ramadi is the capital.

“The city has fallen,” said Muhannad Haimour, the spokesman for Anbar’s governor. Iraq's response today is to vote to send in the Iranian backed Shi'a militia.

ISIS also gained a huge cache of weapons the fleeing Army left behind, that had been sent by the U.S. and Russia to Baghdad. [More...]

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