سر انتصارات داعش ضباط صدام السابقين في قيادة عميليات التنظيم في العراق وسورية

رئيس التحرير
2019.06.24 08:32


الانضيف جديد ان  البغدادي فوض بعض قادته لضمان بقاء التنظيم في حال مقتله
               

فقد عزز زعيم داعش أبو بكر البغدادي من سلطات الدائرة الضيقة لنوابه وقادته المحليين في سوريا والعراق، في إطار خطة لضمان سرعة تأقلم التنظيم ومواصلته القتال في حال تم قتله، أو القضاء على قادة آخرين.

وفي تحليل سياسي نشرته صحيفة نيويورك تايمز الأمريكية، قال مسؤولون استخباراتيون أمريكيون وعراقيون بأن أبو بكر البغدادي، فوض سلطات واسعة لوزرائه، أو أعضاء مجلس الشورى، والذي يضم وزراء الحرب والمال والشؤون الدينية.

وتكونت قيادة داعش بزعامة البغدادي من مصدرين، المقاتلون القدامى في القاعدة في العراق ممن نجوا من الحملة التي شنتها عليهم القوات الأمريكية، ومن الضباط البعثيين السابقين في عهد صدام حسين، ممن يملكون خبرات تنظيمية واستخباراتية وأمنية داخلية. ويقول مسؤولون إن دمج تلك المجموعتين جعل التنظيم قوة قادرة.

توزيع السلطات

ولكن بحسب مسؤولين أمريكيين وأكراد عراقيين، من المهم التنبه لمرونة أظهرها التنظيم عبر منحه قادة عسكريين، ممن تلقوا تعليمات وإرشادات عامة، سلطات حكم ذاتي لإدارة عملياتهم في سوريا والعراق. وهذا يعني بأن المقاتلين لديهم معلومات محدودة بشأن الخطط والعمليات التي يديرها داعش بحيث لا يقدمون، في حال تم أسرهم، معلومات مفيدة. كما رأى مسؤولون بأن السلطات الجديدة تعني سهولة استبدال القادة المحليين في حال تم قتلهم دون التأثير على هيكلية التنظيم ونشاطاته. وفي ظل هذه الهيكلية، ما زال العراقيون يشغلون أرفع الرتب، فيما يشغل التونسيون والسعوديون مناصب دينية.

وتشير الصحيفة إلى أن جزءاً كبيراً من المعلومات الجديدة عن التنظيم تم استقاؤها عبر الاطلاع على عمليات التنظيم المالية، وأساليب التجنيد والإجراءات الأمنية التي تم العثور عليها خلال غارة شنتها قوات خاصة أمريكية في شرق سوريا في مايو(أيار) الماضي. وقال مسؤولون أمريكيون إن جمع معلومات حول دخائل زعامة داعش الخفية شكل أولوية قصوى لهم.

ورأى ديبلوماسي غربي يعمل على متابعة التنظيم، بأنه بتفويضه السلطات، يكون البغدادي تعلم دروساً من مصير زعماء متشددين آخرين، ومنهم فرع القاعدة في اليمن (آكاب)، والذي فقد عدداً من زعمائه خلال غارات أمريكية متكررة بواسطة طائرات غير مأهولة.

حكم ذاتي

وأضاف الديبلوماسي الغربي تعلم داعش من تلك التجارب، وشكل هيكلية تستطيع البقاء إثر مقتل زعمائه، عبر منح قادة متوسطي الرتب درجة من الحكم الذاتي. وفي ظل الترتيب الجديد، لن تتأثر العمليات برمتها فيما لو أصيب البغدادي بجراح أو قتل فجأة.

وقال مسؤولون عسكريون واستخباراتيون بأن داعش درس المعلومات التي سربها ادوارد سنودون، عميل الاستخبارات الأمريكية السابق، حول كيفية جمع الولايات المتحدة للمعلومات عن المتشددين. ومن أكبر نتائج تلك الدروس قيام زعماء التنظيم باستخدام حاملي رسائل أو قنوات مشفرة يصعب على المحللين الغربيين فك رموزها.

ومن أبرز القياديين بعد البغدادي أبو علاء العفري، نائب سابق لأبو مصعب الزرقاوي، قيادي متطرف آخر في العراق، وفاضل الحيالي، والمعروف أيضاً باسم أبو مسلم التركماني، وهو ضابط عراقي سابق في القوات الخاصة من مدينة تلعفر، قرب الموصل. ولكن وردت تقارير غير مؤكدة عن مقتل كلا الرجلين في غارات أخيرة.

ادعاء

وبحسب مسؤول كردي، ليس من المعروف من سيحل مكان البغدادي الذي نصب نفسه خليفة، فيما لو قتل، ولكن المسؤول قال بأن العفري لن يكون ذلك الرجل، إن كان حياً، لأنه تركماني، والخليفة يجب أن يكون عربي من قبيلة قريش، ويدعي البغدادي بأن نسبه يعود إلى قريش.

وتعمل الولايات المتحدة على تصيد البغدادي، وقد سرت شائعات في بداية العام الجاري بأنه أصيب أو قتل. وقال وزير الدفاع الأمريكي، آشتون كارتر، لصحفيين قبل أيام بأنه لو سنحت الفرصة لمهاجمة البغدادي، فإننا سنهاجمه بالتأكيد.

وأشارت نيويورك تايمز إلى أنه بالرغم من كم المعلومات التي تم الحصول عليها في مايو(أيار)، يقول مسؤولو الاستخبارات الأمريكية وجهاز مكافحة الإرهاب، بأنه ما زالت هناك فجوات كبيرة بين ما علموه وبين كيفية عمل داعش وتفاعله مع عدد متزايد من التنظيمات الفرعية ومع أتباع آخرين بدءاً من نيجيريا وصولاً إلى أفغانستان.

وفي هذا السياق، قال مسؤول أمريكي دفاعي: ما زلنا بحاجة لبعض الوقت كي نتمكن من تجميع كل المعلومات. ووافقه الرأي قرابة عشرة مسؤولين آخرين التقى بهم مراسل صحيفة نيويورك تايمز في العراق، إذ وافقوا على مناقشة تقارير استخباراتية بشرط عدم ذكر أسمائهم.
 

The secret to ISISs success: Over 100 former Saddam Hussein-era officers run jihadi groups military and intelligence operations in Iraq and Syria  Intelligence source said 100 to 160 former Iraqi army officers with ISIS  The 2003 US led invasion of Iraq led Saddam Hussein to allow foreign fighters to join the resistance against the invaders  ISISs deputy leader Abu Muslim al-Turkmani was an Iraqi army major 

Once part of one of the most brutal dictators army in the Middle East, over 100 former members of Saddam Husseins military and intelligence officers are now part of ISIS.

Now they make up the complex network of ISISs leadership, helping to build the military strategies which have led the brutal jihadi group to their military gains in Syria and Iraq.

The officers gave ISIS the organization and discipline it needed to weld together jihadi fighters drawn from across the globe, integrating terror tactics like suicide bombings with military operations.

Self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in June 2014

While attending the Iraqi armys artillery school nearly 20 years ago, Ali Omran remembers one major well. An Islamic hard-liner, he once chided Omran for wearing an Iraqi flag pin into the bathroom because it included the words God is great.

It is forbidden by religion to bring the name of the Almighty into a defiled place like this, Omran recalled being told by Maj. Taha Taher al-Ani.

Omran didnt see al-Ani again until years later, in 2003. The Americans had invaded Iraq and were storming toward Baghdad. Saddam Husseins fall was imminent.

At a sprawling military base north of the capital, al-Ani was directing the loading of weapons, ammunition and ordnance into trucks to spirit away. He took those weapons with him when he joined Tawhid wal-Jihad, a forerunner of al-Qaidas branch in Iraq.

Now al-Ani is a commander in the Islamic State group, said Omran, who rose to become a major general in the Iraqi army and now commands its 5th Division fighting IS.

He kept track of his former comrade through Iraqs tribal networks and intelligence gathered by the governments main counter terrorism service, of which he is a member.

Surrounding al-Baghdadi, ex-Baathists continue to drive forward the groups military strategy in Iraq and Syria

One of the most prominent former Iraqi Army generals within ISIS was Abu Muslim al-Turkmani (left) who led the terrorists operations in Iraq until he was killed in an American airstrike last November. Abu Ayman al-Iraqi (right), a former colonel in Iraqi Air Force intelligence now plays a leading role in ISIS military council

Tyrant: Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein built his regime and cult of personality through his use of fear

Deadly: Foreign fighters have flocked from around the world, attracted by the brutal groups propaganda

They have been put in charge of intelligence-gathering, spying on the Iraqi forces as well as maintaining and upgrading weapons and trying to develop a chemical weapons program.

Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer who has served in Iraq, said Saddam-era military and intelligence officers were a necessary ingredient in the Islamic State groups stunning battlefield successes last year, accounting for its transformation from a terrorist organization to a proto-state.

Their military successes last year were not terrorist, they were military successes, said Skinner, now director of special projects for The Soufan Group, a private strategic intelligence services firm.

The groups second-in-command, al-Baghdadis deputy, is a former Saddam-era army major, Saud Mohsen Hassan, known by the pseudonyms Abu Mutazz and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, according to the intelligence chief.

Hassan also goes by Fadel al-Hayali, a fake name he used before the fall of Saddam, the intelligence chief, who spoke under the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

Earlier this year ISIS carried out mass execution in Syria
 

Targeted: Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi (left) - who had been the head of Baghdadis four man military council - was killed by a coalition warplane last year. Another militant reportedly killed in an airstrike was Abu Hajar Al-Sufi (right) who had been one of Baghdadis most trusted advisers on the Shura Council

US soldiers and Iraqi civilians pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein at the start of the 2003 Iraq War

ISISs strength of ideology in vowing to maintain an Islamic state governed by Shariah law, has attracted considerable support from Islamists

During the 2000s, Hassan was imprisoned in the notorious U.S.-run Bucca prison camp, the main detention center for members of the Sunni insurgency, where al-Baghdadi also was held.

The prison was a significant incubator for the Islamic State group, bringing militants like al-Baghdadi into contact with former Saddam officers, including members of special forces, the elite Republican Guard and the paramilitary force called Fedayeen.

In Buccas Ward 6, al-Baghdadi gave sermons and Hassan emerged as an effective organizer, leading strikes by the prisoners to gain concessions from their American jailers, the intelligence chief said.

Former Bucca prisoners are now throughout the IS leadership. Among them is Abu Alaa al-Afari, a veteran Iraqi militant who was once with al-Qaida and now serves as the head of ISs Beit al-Mal, or treasury, according to a chart of what is believed to be the groups hierarchy provided to the AP by the intelligence chief.

Al-Baghdadi has drawn these trusted comrades even closer after he was wounded in an airstrike earlier this year, the intelligence chief said.

He has appointed a number of them to the groups Military Council, believed to have seven to nine members - at least four of whom are former Saddam officers. He brought other former Bucca inmates into his inner circle and personal security.

Saddam-era veterans also serve as governors for seven of the 12 provinces set up by the Islamic State group in the territory it holds in Iraq, the intelligence chief said.

Iraqi officials acknowledge that identifying IS leadership is an uncertain task. Besides al-Baghdadi himself, the group almost never makes public even the pseudonyms of those in its hierarchy.

When leaders are killed, its often not known who takes their place - and several have been reported killed multiple times, only to turn up alive. Figures are believed to take on new pseudonyms, leaving it unclear if a new one has emerged or not.

Syrian activists secretly film life in Raqqa under ISIS rule
 

Brutal: ISIS continue to carry out horrific public executions and floggings in Syria and Iraq

Gunned down: Iraqi army recruits were executed in the Speicher massacre last summer

No mercy: The militants have targeted religious minorities, particularly the Yazidis and rebellious tribes

ISs military performance has far exceeded what we expected. The running of battles by the veterans of the Saddam military came as a shock, a brigadier general in military intelligence told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic.

Security-wise, we are often left unable to know who replaces who in the leadership. We are unable to infiltrate the group. It is terrifying.

Estimates of the number of Saddam-era veterans in IS ranks vary from 100 to 160 in mostly mid- and senior-level positions, according to the officials.

Typically, they hail from Sunni-dominated areas, with intelligence officers mostly from western Anbar province, the majority of army officers from the northern city of Mosul and members of security services exclusively from Saddams clan around his hometown of Tikrit, said Big. Gen. Abdul-Wahhab al-Saadi, a veteran of battles against IS north and west of Baghdad.

For example, a former brigadier general from Saddam-era special forces, Assem Mohammed Nasser, also known as Nagahy Barakat, led a bold assault in 2014 on Haditha in Anbar province, killing around 25 policemen and briefly taking over the local government building.

Many of the Saddam-era officers have close tribal links to or are the sons of tribal leaders in their regions, giving IS a vital support network as well as helping recruitment.

These tribal ties are thought to account, at least in part, for the stunning meltdown of Iraqi security forces when IS captured the Anbar capital of Ramadi in May.

Several of the officers interviewed by the AP said they believe IS commanders persuaded fellow tribesmen in the security forces to abandon their positions without a fight.

Skinner, the former CIA officer, noted the sophistication of the Saddam-era intelligence officers he met in Iraq and the intelligence capabilities of IS in Ramadi, Mosul and in the groups de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.

They do classic intelligence infiltration. They have stay-behind cells, they actually literally have sleeper cells, Skinner said.

ISIS explode car bomb in Kobane near Syrian border
 

The process of giving former Iraqi commanders senior roles was started by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadis predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi (left) who was a former Iraqi Army officer nother former member of Saddam Husseins army turned ISIS commander, Abu Musa al-Alwani (right), has also been killed

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syrias northern Raqqa province in 2014

Bleek future: With their black flags and military gear, the new ISIS recruits graduate in Deir ezzor

And they do classic assassinations, which depends on intelligence, he said, citing a wave of assassinations in 2013 that targeted Iraqi police, army, hostile tribal leaders and members of a government-backed Sunni militia known as Sahwa.

In the run-up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Saddam publicly invited foreign mujahedeen to come to Iraq to resist the invaders.

Thousands came and Iraqi officials showed them off to the media as they were trained by Iraqi instructors. Many stayed, eventually joining the insurgency against American troops and their Iraqi allies.

After the collapse of the Saddam regime, hundreds of Iraqi army officers, infuriated by the U.S. decision to disband the Iraqi army, found their calling in the Sunni insurgency. In its early stages, many insurgent groups were relatively secular.

But Islamic militants grew in prominence, particularly with the creation and increasing strength of al-Qaida in Iraq. Some Sunnis were radicalized by bitterness against the Shiite majority, which rose to power after Saddams fall and which the Sunnis accuse of discriminating against them.

Al-Qaida in Iraq was initially led by a Jordanian militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and had a strong foreign presence in its leadership. But after al-Zarqawis death in a 2006 U.S. airstrike, his Iraqi successor, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, began to bring in more Iraqis, particularly former Saddam officers. That process was accelerated when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over after his predecessor was killed in a 2010 airstrike.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadis first two deputies, who each played a major role in setting up what would become its sweep over Syria and Iraq, were both Saddam-era officers, according to those interviewed by the AP.

They were Sameer al-Khalifawy, an air force colonel killed in fighting in Syria in 2014, and Abdullah el-Bilawy, a former intelligence officer who was killed in Mosul by the Iraqi military in May 2014, a month before the city fell to the Islamic State group. He was replaced by the current deputy, Hassan.

Its clear that some of these (Saddam-era officers) must have been inside the core of the jihadist movement in the Sunni triangle from the beginning, said Michael W.S. Ryan, a former senior executive at the State Department and Pentagon, referring to the Sunni-dominated area that was the most hostile to American forces in Iraq.

Their knowledge is now in the DNA of ISIS, he said, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group.

This melding of the Iraqi experience and what we might call the Afghan Arab experience became the unique ISIS brand, said Ryan, now a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.

That brand ultimately became more successful in Iraq than al-Qaida in Iraq ... and, at least for now, stronger in Syria than al-Qaida.

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