ISIS has released a new propaganda video featuring U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump in what appears to be the first time in the group’s ‘official’ propaganda videos.
Set in Kirkuk, Iraq, the video originates from the Islamic State’s main propaganda arm, as opposed to recent propaganda put out by accounts labeled by experts as ‘ISIS-linked,’ ‘pro-ISIS’ or ‘ISIS-inspired.’
The video, entitled “Kirkuk: The punishment for traitors,” opens with a montage of several media outlets followed by an image of Donald Trump, as a voice reads, “The Crusaders of the West.”
The dawn of the new year has unsurprisingly witnessed global media turn toward the incoming U.S. administration with an intensity bordering on the obsessive. Cabinet confirmations, Russia’s alleged hacking activities, and intelligence agency squabbles now dominate international headlines.
Meanwhile, events of arguably equal or greater importance are sacrificed in favor of the story of the day. Nowhere is this failing clearer than with the lack of recent coverage of the ongoing campaign to drive the extremist group Islamic State (IS) from one of its last remaining urban strongholds: Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul.
A deadly shootout at the construction site of the new American Consulate occurred this week in a Mexican border town where Islamic terrorists and drug cartels plan to launch attacks against the U.S. during the period surrounding the presidential inauguration, high-level government sources tell Judicial Watch. An unknown number of gunmen fired multiple rounds adjacent to the new U.S. Consulate compound in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a crime-infested city in the state of Tamaulipas that lies directly across from Laredo, Texas.
The Mexican military responded to the attack, law enforcement sources on both sides of the border confirm insisting that their identities be kept confidential for security reasons, and at least three soldiers were either killed or critically wounded in the ambush. A local newspaper in Tamaulipas reported that 13 people died during a shootout in Nuevo Laredo, referring to the deceased as heavily armed “delinquents” with an arsenal that includes 12 automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, grenade, loads of ammunition and drugs in three vehicles, one of them armored. The deceased have not been identified and Mexican authorities will continue to investigate, the article states, attributing the information to a press release issued by Mexico’s Defense Secretary.
As jihadis lose territory, defectors have become a black-market prize
In the murky world of Syria’s war economy, Isis has been one of the main drivers of human trafficking during nearly six years of civil war. First, it was the biggest buyer. Now, its fighters are a top commodity.
Isis militants have become one of the most lucrative targets for smugglers and rebel groups — including factions armed by foreign powers such as the US and Turkey.
“Every faction trades in Isis fighters. Don’t believe anyone who says they don’t,” says Abu Yazan, who, like most rebels interviewed, asked for his real name not to be used due to the sensitivity of the subject. A fighter in northern Syria for the Jabha Shamiya rebel group that has been supported by Ankara and Washington, he has shuttled Isis militants from the group’s territory to rebel areas.
Islamic State has stopped paying the salaries of its fighters in Mosul, just as they face the fiercest part of the battle for the city, residents have said.
The militants usually receive a monthly wage of around $350 but Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has reportedly stopped the payments in recent weeks, indicating the terror group may be low on funds.
Isis chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdidi is alive despite numerous attempts on his life, the Pentagon has confirmed.
Rumours swirled earlier this month that the terror group’s leader had been killed after activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London, reported that senior Isis figures had gathered for an emergency meeting in Iraq.
Charges that Islamic State (IS) engages in organ trading — taking body parts from their victims in Iraq and Syria and selling them to traffickers in Turkey — have surfaced again.
The Iranian news network Alalamreported on October 6 that IS has set up a market in Turkey where it sells human organs stolen from innocent people. Alalam also posted a photograph of a person whose organ was taken.
The Iraqi News also reported that IS has kidnapped and sold many children in Syria to Turkish organ traffickers in order to finance its operations.
Turkey’s government-funded news service, Anadolu Agency,reported months ago that ISIS opened a “medical school” in Northern Syria.
Islamic State commanders in Syria have communicated with jihadis attempting to stage terrorist attacks in Britain in the past year, counter-terrorism investigators believe.
The intention was to add Britain to the list of western countries hit in the past 12 months. An attack in 2017 is still deemed highly likely and the severe terrorist threat level is expected to remain.
A source said: “There is an assumption that it won’t abate in 2017. People do not believe that it is going to get better.”
The Berlin lorry attacker urged his teenage nephew to kill his uncle to prove his allegiance to Islamic State, according to Tunisian police.
Ferjan Fadi,18, was arrested over the weekend in his hometown of Oueslatia, along with two others, believed to be cousins of the family, suspected of being members of a “terrorist cell” that supported Anis Amri.
Amri sent Fadi money to join him in Europe some time before he ploughed a truck into a Christmas market in Germany, killing 12, the Tunisian Interior Ministry said.
Recent military developments in Mosul, Iraq and Aleppo, Syria highlight the mounting successes of both those regimes and their armed forces, backed by outside powers. In contrast, the Syrian rebels and iSIS in Iran are in significant retreat. Islamic State (once called Daesh – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has lost extensive swathes of territory within the last few months and the largest city under its control, Mosul, is under siege. Iraqi government forces, augmented by Kurdish Pesh-murga and Afghan Shiite militias, threaten to invade the city and engage in house to house combat with Islamic State Jihadists.
Rumors, possibly planted as psychological warfare, report an emerging coalition of forces that will invade the Raqa, capital city of Islamic State, and bring it back under Syria’s wings.
Officials have hiked up a reward for details on “Islamic State” leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reports suggest the elusive terror figurehead is most likely still in Iraq.
The US State Department’s Rewards for Justice program will award $25 million (23.9 million euros) for information that will help locate, arrest or convict the head of the “Islamic State” (IS) jihadi group.