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December 3, 2015

What are the origins of ISIS?

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry

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Two recent soccer matches in Turkey were supposed to open with public minutes of silence to remember victims of the terror attacks in Paris and Ankara. Instead, the gesture of respect was shattered by voices shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) in support of ISIS, which has once again claimed responsibility. The Turkish media, but not the Western media, reported the incident.

But what are the real origins of this terrorist organization, also variously known as DAESH, ISIL or IS? What is the role of Turkey? The US? Israel? Saudi Arabia and Qatar? These questions are almost never raised by the Western media. But why?

And no one in the West seems to be voicing other crucial questions either, such as; who is still funding and enabling ISIS?

In fact, although it’s barely ever discussed, Turkey – a NATO member and ally of the West – is the gateway for adventure-seeking ISIS recruits, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, an army of some 30,000 strong terrorists drawn from more than 50 countries.

In addition to supplying abundant stores of American weapons and spare parts, new four-wheel-drive vehicles, food, communication equipment, IT technology, military and intelligence training, media and political coverage, Turkey also even provides wives to the fighters.

With the shooting down of a Russian SU-24 plane just a few days ago, the eyes of the world are suddenly turned on Turkey, making this a good time to question whose side it’s really on.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been less than convincing in response to Turkey’s blind eye on the flow of foreign fighters transiting through it to Syria.

“We don’t claim there are no ISIS militants in Turkey today,” he said. “Foreign fighters have gone to Syria from France, Britain and Germany … [but] they couldn’t have crossed from Turkey to Syria if we had received certain information. What can we do if we don’t get information? Are we supposed to stop tourist entries and exits? They would then start screaming that Turkey has banned freedom of travel.”

Similarly, what roles are the affluent Saudi Arabia and Qatar playing in financing ISIS? And are Israel and the US its unacknowledged founders? What are the not-so-explicit agendas at play among the various contestants who claim to be at war against ISIS?

The world should also be demanding to know precisely how the CIA, along with intelligence agencies of France, the UK, Canada, other NATO countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel are involved.

And who coordinated the export of this terrorist group to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Lebanon?

Canadian Prof. Anthony Hall, Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge asks: “Why has there been no follow-up on the fact that an agent of the Canadian embassy in Jordan was caught helping to recruit for ISIS last March?”

“What about the concept of mercenary soldiers covertly funded to bring about outcomes that have nothing to do with creating a global caliphate?” Dr. Hall continues. “Why is (Vladimir) Putin’s war on ISIS so effective compared to the play-acting involved in seeming to fight the mercenaries assigned to overthrow (Syria’s Bashar) Assad?”

And, he adds, “For how many more years must we in the West be subjected to the steady diet of disinformation depicting the imagery of self-contained Islamic extremists acting absolutely autonomously and independently out of no other motive than a radical religious ideology?”

In the same vein, more Westerners should be wondering why their politicians insist on “fighting ISIS” but never focus on those responsible for its origins and ultimately for its agency in killing so many innocent people, including journalists.

Shouldn’t all those responsible – financially, politically, morally – for founding, arming and supporting ISIS be brought to the International Court of Justice and tried for what amounts to blatant war crimes?

And that includes those who’ve lured disaffected young Muslim Westerners to join ISIS and let them back into their own countries to commit acts of terrorism. Who then is deriving advantage and power from ramping up the political exploitation of Islamophobia?

Canadian Prof. Michael Keefer of the University of Guelph, writes: “The Erdogan government is very obviously in bed with ISIS. There’s good analysis of massive Turkish complicity with ISIS from (London School of Economics) Professor David Graeber (‘Turkey could cut off Islamic State's supply lines. So why doesn’t it?’ The Guardian [November 18]), and from Nafeez Ahmed (‘NATO is harbouring the Islamic State,’ Insurge Intelligence [November 2015]), among others.”

Canadian Prof. John McMurtry, also from the University of Guelph, comments on the silence of the Western media and “the very big and continuing lie of omission of the covert US-led founding, funding and instrumentation of the jihadi terrorists from 1980s Afghanistan to ISIS today. Through Libya to Syria to Mali, the links are so well established and known that it can only be a propaganda site and agents that would still repress the facts, even if at a preconscious opportunist level.”

Unless the West comes clean about ISIS and admits to complicity in the gigantic mistake of creating and sustaining it; and unless it unequivocally demands that Turkey cease providing a lifeline to ISIS – there is no hope that the killing and destruction inflicted on Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon and even in the heart of Europe, will cease anytime soon.

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