ISIS… The mentality and founders
HASSEN REMO/ NEWS DESK
No one expected an organization to go beyond al-Qaeda, control large swaths of lands, spread in many countries, and commit massacres across the globe, but ISIS dissented all expectations and in a short period of time became an organization that the whole world fears. And the question that arises is that from where ISIS appeared, what is its ideology and who leaded it until it reached the form we have known at the moment. In this case, we will discuss the stages of IS development and its leaders and ideologies.
The beginning and the activity areas
Since its foundation in 2003 by al-Qaeda leader Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, ISIS has changed its name several times. It was first formed under the name of "al-Tawhid and al-Jihad Group" in September 2003 after the US intervention in Iraq from 19 March 2003, al-Zarqawi fought the US forces in Iraq and launched attacks on the Shiites in the country. This was the reason for his disagreement with al-Qaeda's leaders, especially Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda's leaders were afraid that the attack on the Shiites would negatively affect them.
Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, known as Ahmad Fadil Nazzal al-Khalayleh, born on 30 October 1966, from the Jordanian city of al-Zarqa, went to Afghanistan in the late 1980s and received military training there. He met Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, announced al-Bay'ah (Pledge of allegiance) in October 2004 to organize al-Qaeda and changed the name of his group to "the organization of al-Jihad Qaeda in Mesopotamia" which was known among the people as "al-Qaeda in Iraq."
In order to strengthen the "the organization of al-Jihad Qaeda in Mesopotamia" Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi collected the rest of the armed groups that were active in the Sunni Iraqi provinces of Anbar, Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and parts of Babylon, Diyala and Baghdad, and formed the so-called "Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq."
Who is the true founder?
According to the writer who is specialized in terrorism issues and the author of the book "ISIS: Within the Terror Army," Hassan Hassan, who wrote an article for a US magazine, there is an Iraqi man who was the hidden force behind the formation of ISIS.
The author said "It is possible to say that the origins of ISIS were established long before the US invasion, although one of the leaders of the group is Abdurrahman al-Qadouli, an Iraqi from Ninewa, who is known as Abu Ali al-Anbari, not al-Zarqawi, that al-Anbari was the second-in-command of al-Qaeda in Iraq after al-Zarqawi. He is the one who set ISIS' approach, and whose authority was more systematic, longer and deeper than al-Zarqawi's authority."
The author obtained evidence proving this through a 93-page document, chronicling Anbari's life. Abdullah, the son of Anbari wrote his father's autobiography for ISIS to benefit from, which in turn published parts of it in its weekly Arabic magazine, al-Naba, in 2016, shortly after Anbari's death.
Abdullah said that the autobiography based on 16 years of working closely with his father, in addition to notes kept by al-Anbari, and direct accounts from al-Anbari's comrades within ISIS. "In addition to the biography of Abdullah, I have relied on a series of lectures given by al-Anbari in 2014 and 2015, and my observations from interviews with members of ISIS and Syrian opponents," Hassan Hassan said. It is clear that al-Zarqawi is likely to have been influenced by al-Anbari and not vice versa.
Who is Abdul Rahman Al-Anbari?
Al-Anbari was born in northern Iraq in 1959, form Turkish family and grew up in a religious atmosphere. He studied law at an institute in Tal Afar, northern Iraq. He graduated from the University of Baghdad in 1982 with a degree in Islamic Studies, and attended university with the current leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He served in the Iraqi army for seven years, participated in the Iranian-Iraqi War, and gained military capabilities. After completing his service, he taught Sharia in a small multi-religious and multi-ethnic town called Barzan.
In the 1990s, he returned to Tal-Afar. In this decade he returned to northern Iraq and joined Kurdish jihadist organizations Ansar al-Islam. When Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi came to northern Iraq from Afghanistan in the spring of 2002, al-Anbari met him a month later in Baghdad.
Al-Anbari then began preparing for the insurgency in terms of funding, men and weapons. He benefited from Abu Musallam al Turkomani, the colonel in Saddam Hussein's army, as al-Turkomani became the third man in commanding ISIS leadership in Iraq later.
With al-Zarqawi'a announcement of al-Bay'a to al-Qaeda, al-Anbari became al-Zarqawi's deputy. Al-Anbari headed to Pakistan in 2005 and upon his return to form the so-called Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq in January 2006, al-Anbari took over the presidency and used his new name Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi.
With Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi assuming the leadership of ISIS, al-Anbari was assigned to communicate with al-Qaeda under the name of Abu Suhaib al-Iraqi. He also took over the ideological promotion of ISIS, and under his supervision, the Jordanian pilot Mowaz al-Kassabeh was sentenced to death by burning.
Later, al-Baghdadi has appointed al-Anbari to be the group's financial officer, a post involving ongoing flights between Iraq and Syria. In March 2016, on one of these frequent flights, al-Anbari was killed near al-Shaddadi, the Syrian city, along the border with Iraq. The US soldiers launched a raid in an attempt to kill him, but he blew himself up with a suicide belt.
The killing of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi
In 7 June 2006, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi was killed in an American raid on a house where al-Zarqawi was existed near Baqouba in Diyala province, it is said that 500 pounds of explosives were used in the air raid.
Islamic State of Iraq
Several months after the killing of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, and specifically on 13 October, 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council announced the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq, which included six Iraqi provinces: Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Saladin, Nineveh and other parts of Babil province. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was also appointed as the new organization's prince or "Amir."
The real name of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is Hamed Dawoud Mohammed Khalil al-Zawi who worked for Iraq's security service but became a chaser by Saddam Hussein's regime after 1985 because of his hard line approach. Abu Omar was the "Amir" of the so-called "al-Mansoura sect army" and then he pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and was succeeded by Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi under the name of Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi in taking over the leadership of the Islamic State of Iraq.
A month later, Abu Ayub al-Masri, the leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council, announced the dissolve of the Council in favor of the Islamic State of Iraq. In April 2007, Abu Ayub al-Masri (also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir) received the rank of Minister of War within the Islamic State of Iraq.
Abu Ayub al-Masri's real name is Abdel Moneim Ezzeddin al-Badawi, an Egyptian who traveled to Saudi Arabia, from there to Afghanistan and accompanied to Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, and in Afghanistan, he was bombed after the September attacks.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were killed
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri were killed together in April 2010. There are two accounts of the killing. On 19 April, 2010, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri were killed in an intelligence operation in al-Tharthar area in Salah al-Din north of Baghdad.
While the Islamic State of Iraq said that al-Baghdadi and al-Masri were in a house in Tharthar area. They were prepared themselves to meet with Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Army. This coincided with the passing of an Iraqi army patrol in the area. A clash broke out between the two sides and the US helicopter had raided several houses were bombed in the area, including al-Baghdadi and al-Masri, also the Ministry of Sharia Bodies announced in the Islamic State of Iraq, the news of the killing of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.
After the death of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the "Mujahideen Shura Council" later announced the assumption of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the Emirate of the Islamic State of Iraq.
From where ISIS draws its ideology
The prominent scholar of Islam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (780 to 855) who founded one of the four Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence and the Imam Ibn Taymiyah who came five centuries after Ibn Hanbal and died in prison in Damascus are considered the spiritual parents of those who came after them, and what movements emerged were later known as the "Salafi doctrine" which calls for a return to the platform of the righteous ancestor.
The two sheikhs were influenced by Muhammad Ibn Abed al-Wahab, born in Najd the Saudi Arabia in 1703, which is more rigid and strict than what he believed to be the original faith, developed it and sought to publish it by entering into agreements with political and military authorities.
But a man who brought Salafi thought to the 20th century is the Egyptian thinker Sayed Qutb, born in 1906 in al-Sayeid of Egypt who was executed by the Egyptian authorities in 1966 after being convicted of conspiring with "al-Ikhwan al-Muslemin" or Muslim Brotherhood to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser. Qutb worked to provide a bridge between the thought of Abdul Wahab and his predecessors and a new generation of jihadists, paving the way for the emergence of al-Qaeda and all that followed.
Qutb believes that al-jihad against the West and its agents in the region is the only way to restore the Muslim world, and this was in essence a kind of acceptance of the idea of "propitiatory" which does not justify killing a Muslim only, but makes the killing an obligation on which the doer is rewarded.
Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on Islamic movements, summarized the roots of ISIS and other groups that preceded him, "They are based on two things: a propitiatory doctrine derived from the writings of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, and methodically, the way that Sayid Qutb drew."
Tomorrow: ISIS and expansion from Iraq to Syria, taking advantage from Turkish support.