Of course U.S. intelligence underestimated the Islamic State. U.S. intelligence is bound as a matter of policy to pretend that there is no Islamic jihad terrorism, and that when Muslims commit acts of jihad terror, they are misunderstanding their own religion and misapplying its tenets. That means that U.S. intelligence is forbidden to understand the enemy properly; is it any wonder that it underestimated the Islamic State?
“Obama says misread Islamic State; Qaeda warns of attacks on West,” by Mariam Karouny and Jonny Hogg, Reuters, September 29, 2014:
BEIRUT/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has acknowledged that U.S. intelligence underestimated the rise of Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, where the head of an al Qaeda branch warned militants will attack the West in retaliation for U.S.-led air strikes….
U.S.-led air strikes overnight hit a natural gas plant controlled by Islamic State fighters in eastern Syria, a monitoring body reported, part of an apparent campaign to disrupt one of the fighters’ main sources of income.
The monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said planes also struck a grain silo in northern Syria killing civilians. This could not be immediately confirmed.
Of course. Strikes against jihadis always kill innocent civilians. The “Palestinians” have taught us that.
U.S.-led strikes have so far failed to halt an advance by fighters in northern Syria on Kobani, a Kurdish town on the border with Turkey where the past week’s battle caused the fastest refugee flight of Syria’s three-year civil war….
The head of Syria’s al Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front, a Sunni militant group which is a rival of Islamic State and has also been targeted by U.S. strikes, said Islamists would carry out attacks on the West in retaliation for the campaign.
“Muslims will not watch while their sons are bombed. Your leaders will not be the only ones who would pay the price of the war. You will pay the heaviest price,” Abu Mohamad al-Golani said in an audio message posted on pro-Nusra forums….
Obama has worked since August to build an international coalition to combat the fighters, describing them last week in an address to the United Nations as a “network of death”.
His acknowledgment in an interview broadcast on Sunday that U.S. intelligence had underestimated Islamic State offered an explanation for why Washington appeared to have been taken by surprise when the fighters surged through northern Iraq in June.
The militants had gone underground when U.S. forces quashed al Qaeda in Iraq with the aid of local tribes during the U.S. war there which ended in 2011, Obama told CBS’s “60 Minutes”.
“But over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swathes of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos.”
Some of the U.S. president’s opponents at home have seized on a remark he made in January using a sports metaphor to dismiss Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. He compared them to a low-level school basketball team posing as professionals.
“If a JV (junior varsity) team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told the New Yorker magazine in January….