FPI / October 28, 2019
What strategic impact will the death of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have on the U.S.’s 18-year war on terror?
While indeed it is a win for the U.S., Baghdadi’s death will likely “not have any significant strategic impact in the broader Islamic movement across the globe,” which aims to institute sharia law on a global scale, analyst John D. Guandolo wrote for Understanding The Threat on Oct. 28.
Since the U.S. has not really “identified the enemy,” Guandolo wrote, “as a practical matter, it is impossible to develop a coherent strategy for victory in this war if the enemy and the enemy’s doctrine are not clearly defined.”
Guandolo served as an Infantry/Reconnaissance officer in the United States Marines and is a combat veteran, served as a Special Agent in the FBI from 1996-2008, and was recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense to conduct strategic analysis of the Islamic threat.
The U.S. military confirmed that al-Baghdadi was in U.S. custody for ten months in 2004 and then released.
Why was he released? “Like thousands of other jihadis, al-Baghdadi was released because U.S. officials thought he was not ‘significant,’ ” Guandolo wrote. “Despite information al-Baghdadi was involved with the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man, many officials believed he was ‘radicalized’ during or after his imprisonment.”
Guandolo continued: “U.S. officials making decisions on which prisoners to keep in custody and which prisoners to release had, and still have, no understanding of sharia and how it drives jihadis on the battlefield. This makes it very difficult to discern which prisoners truly constitute a long-term threat and which ones do not.”
President Donald Trump said in his Sunday address to the nation:
“They (ISIS) killed many, many Americans. Their murder of Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller, were especially heinous. The shocking publicized murder of a Jordanian pilot…he was burned alive in a cage for all to see. The execution of Christians in Libya and Egypt, as well as the genocidal mass murder of Yazidis rank ISIS among the most depraved organizations in the history of our world.”
ISIS, Guandolo noted, “holds daily classes on the Koran, hadith, tafsir, and matters of sharia” in combat zones when the terror group’s jihadists are not engaged in combat.
“ISIS published magazines, videos, and online articles detailing why they do what they do. The Islamic State consistently states they do what they do because it is a command from Allah to wage war against non-muslims until sharia is the law of the land on the planet,” Guandolo wrote.
“It should be noted that it is a capital crime in Islam, under the Law of Apostasy, for Muslims to teach other Muslims anything about Islam that is incorrect,” Guandolo wrote.
Guandolo cited the example of the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive by ISIS.
“Two of the four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence – the Shafi and Maliki schools – agree those found guilty of killing Muslims without right under sharia ‘should be killed with a weapon which is similar to the weapon he used in his crime and in the same mode of his execution of it.’ ”
The Jordanian pilot bombed people, and bombs kill people in a number of ways including via fire. “Therefore, setting him on fire was a lawful action in Islam,” Guandolo wrote.
Al-Baghdadi “did not make up his war-fighting methodology. He simply followed the example of Islam’s ‘beautiful pattern of conduct’ (Koran 33:21) for all Muslims for all times – Mohammad – who beheaded people and participated in/condoned killing those who mocked him, torture, sex slavery, and all other kinds of actions we see/saw from the Islamic State,” Guandolo wrote.
“The fact Americans are shocked when Islamic leaders and Islamic armies wage war the way Islam commands is quite perplexing. It reveals a lack of understanding of the threat – Islam and its doctrine,” Guandolo wrote, concluding that “when the American national security apparatus decides to acknowledge the enemy and its doctrine, America’s ability to win the war will increase exponentially.”
Free Press International