“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The Foreign Component of ISIS


Even with many details of the case still unknown, law-enforcement officials see a chilling terror danger from extremist sympathizers who, unnoticed by authorities, are able to amass deadly arsenals to attack vulnerable gatherings anywhere in the U.S., writes the Wall Street Journal.
A study out of the Brookings Institution used Twitter to shine some light on this, comparing the countries where tweets from ISIS supporters originate. The study dealt with a sample size of 20,000 and found that Saudi Arabia is the top location claimed by Twitter users supporting ISIS in 2015. Syria follows, Iraq rounds off the top three and the U.S. takes fourth place.

The number of foreigners joining the conflict in Syria and Iraq has continued to rise in 2015, though this data doesn’t track these fighters to Islamic State, specifically. Nonetheless, the data paints a rough picture of where around the world ISIS is finding success in recruitment.
The number of fighters joining from Saudi Arabia is between 2,000-2,500, the largest total number, according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. Per capita, that represents 107 fighters per million people. On a per capita basis, Jordan tops the list, with an estimated 315 fighters per million people.
Belgium has the highest number of fighters per capita of any Western nation. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian-born senior Islamic State operative, was suspected to be the key mastermind behind the coordinated attacks on Paris in November. He was killed in a raid at an apartment building in a Paris suburb six days following the attacks.
France is the biggest source of fighters in Europe, contributing 1,200, or 18 per capita. Government figures have put the number of fighters closer to 1,600.
The U.S. is very low on this list — only about 100 fighters have come from the U.S.
An estimated 1,700 fighters have come from Russia, most of whom are thought to be from Chechnya and Dagestan, according to Russia’s Federal Security Service. Islamic State has said it brought down a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai region in late October with an improvised explosive device, killing all 224 passengers on board.
An estimated 1,700 fighters have come from Russia, most of whom are thought to be from Chechnya and Dagestan, according to Russia’s Federal Security Service. Islamic State has said it brought down a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai region in late October with an improvised explosive device, killing all 224 passengers on board.


  1. Remember when we were told by Nato of the importance of Kosovo to become independent from Serbia? Check the chart for Kosovo.

    1. Sweden had the most open society in welcoming immigrants from the ME. Check it out.

    2. Swedes are idiots, total dumb shits.

      The heart of the problem is in and around Malmo, which is the area my grandfather came the moslems have it.

      I am so happy he left.

    3. My brother, mom and dad, and I went through there around 1970. I can't recall anything about moslems in Sweden then, or seeing any.

  2. Well, let's see:

    Gun Deaths in the U.S. - 32,000

    Gun Deaths by IS sympathizers - 14

  3. For clarification, is Trump advocating "taking out" the six month old daughter of the San Bernardino shooters, or just their brothers, sisters, and parents.

    1. :)

      Running Mouth hasn't clarified that as of now.

      It's a minor point, anyway.

  4. Obama is going to make a big speech to us all straight from the Oval Office, tonight I think.

    After mentioning the terrorist attack in Santa Barbara, he'll make his pitch for gun control, which I imagine is the real purpose of the speech.

    1. The President may be declaring war on someone tonight… but who?
      posted at 11:01 am on December 6, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

      We learned last night that the President of the United States will be making a prime time address to the nation from the Oval Office tonight at 8 pm eastern, the first time he has done so since announcing the “end of the Iraq war” in August of 2010. (I’m guessing he plans on keeping it under half an hour or he’ll run into the kickoff of the Steelers game and his ratings will tank.) There are rumors circulating ahead of the speech, but the general concensus is that it will deal with the recent terrorist attacks and “keeping America safe” today and in the future. (Yahoo News)

      In his address from the Oval Office on Sunday at 8:00 pm (0100 GMT Monday), Obama will try to reassure Americans in the wake of the shooting, which the FBI is investigating as a possible act of terrorism.

      In addition to an update on the probe, Obama will “discuss the broader threat of terrorism, including the nature of the threat, how it has evolved, and how we will defeat it,” the White House said.

      “He will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL (IS) will be destroyed and that the United States must draw upon our values -– our unwavering commitment to justice, equality and freedom -– to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology.”

      If this were any other President in recent history I’d have a fairly good guess as to what the thrust of the message would be, but in this case I’m not so sure. Yes, the President will talk about the threat from terrorism, but he will also discuss what we’re going to do about it. When the threat remained overseas, that was probably an easier task for Obama to tackle. He’d simply tell us yet again about all the bombing runs and drone strikes, while insisting that we couldn’t have American boots on the ground and call for more help from the locals.

      San Bernardino changed everything, though. Now we have joined Paris and other locales in the club of those who have had ISIS killers shooting up their cities. If the President wants to be taken at all seriously, he’s going to have to own up to the fact that we’ve been hit in the heartland and tell us what he plans to do about that. He very recently said, “our homeland has never been more protected” but he’s in a rather small minority holding that opinion after last week.

      With that idea in mind, there are two possibilities which occur to me regarding who Barack Obama will be going after. One possibility is, of course, that the President will once and for all announce that we are at war with ISIS and he’ll be going after them at home as well as abroad. But we’re not really at war yet, are we? Congress hasn’t weighed in on the matter officially, so perhaps he will call on them to do so. At Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis made a case this week for having Congress stop shirking its constitutional duties and do just that.

    2. At the very least, Congress owes the American people an open debate on the President’s ISIS strategy. As it stands, after more than a year of a largely incoherent policy that has consisted largely of a series of fits and starts that have created a pattern of gradual escalation from humanitarian mission, to air support for Iraqi and Kurdish operations, to bombing operations in Syria and, now, the presence of American special forces on the ground in Syria, it may already be too late for that debate since the President has set the nation down a path that it will be hard to deviate from no matter what Congress on the American people want to do. Despite that, though, the debate should take place. The fact that it has not constitutes nothing less than an irresponsible shirking of Constitutional duties by Congress that the American people should be outraged about.

      Perhaps that will happen… perhaps not. If the President is ready to “keep America safe” on the home front, the other possibility is that he’ll use the San Bernardino attacks as an excuse to make it harder for them to get guns. If you doubt that he’s got something like that in mind, the Daily Caller reported last week that Team Obama has been working on just such a plan already.

      President Barack Obama’s aides are still working out a politically palatable way to implement a new gun control measure by executive order.

      Plans to target private gun sales have been in the works for some time, but the administration is wary of political and potentially legal consequences of implementing the changes via executive order. Officials are analyzing state and local gun control efforts to find what they consider a winning strategy that will prevent mass shootings, reports the Los Angeles Times.

      “That work includes looking at the gun show loophole,” a White House official involved in the work tells the LA Times. “But taking administrative action in this space is enormously complicated, with complex and intertwined policy, legal and operational considerations to take into account.”

      Which way will he go? This could make for something of a defining moment in Barack Obama’s presidency. The enemy has struck at us deep in our own territory. Will he declare war on Islamic extremists and their supporters here in the United States? (Including those who provide money and supplies or simply hide those promoting jihad by not revealing them to the authorities.) Or will he declare war on lawful gun owners under the cover of making it harder for the terrorists to get guns? I normally wouldn’t tune into something like this on a Sunday night, but in this case I’ll be there.

    3. December 6, 2015
      Obama to address Americans from the Oval Office tonight
      By Thomas Lifson

      For only the third time in his presidency, Barack Obama will commandeer the airwaves for an address to the American people directly from the Oval Office. I have to assume that Valerie Jarrett has become alarmed at the public reaction the his feckless response to the San Bernardino shootings, attempting to deny terrorism on the part of a couple one of whom posted her allegiance to ISIS.

      So what will he say? Predictions are always risky, of course, so let me outline some of the alternatives he could choose from and assess their probability.

      Alternative 1: Admit he underestimated the threat

      He could start by admitting that ISIS is not a jayvee threat, and then note that by reaching within our border to slaughter innocents, they are indeed a mortal threat to as many Americans as can be reached by radicalized Muslims, present and future.

      Probability: almost zero. Has anyone ever heard Obama utter the words “I was wrong”?

      Alternative 2: Triple down on gun control

      He could blame the San Bernardino attack on the ability of the weaponized Muslims to buy firearms. This would require studiously ignoring their pipe bombs that were not yet detonated at the time of their killing. He could announce executive actions to lmit the ability of law-abiding Americans to acquire scary-looking weapons that might be useful if attacked by radicalized Muslims.

      Probability: highly likely. Gun control fires up the Democrat donor base, and as a man who loves the sound of his voice to begin with, words like “assault weapons” and “access” make for perfect harmony.

      Alternative 3: Announce more boots on the ground special operators in Syria and Iraq

      This actually makes sense, but still has a chance. Special Forces are wildly popular and could guide bombing operations to enhance their effectiveness, cutting crucial supply lines, including the flow of petroleum that feeds the ISIS cash flow. Now that Ash Carter has announced that women will be permitted in all combat roles, Obama has the opportunity to salute the “brave men and women” of our Special Forces, bringing popularity and support from the feminists, normally not that concerned about Islamists that mutilate, rape and suppress women whertever they gain control.

      Probability: reasonably high.

      Alternative 4: Tout the “growing coalition” his leadership has mobilized to fight ISIS.

      Frau Merkel’s government has announced that it is joining the fight against ISIS. Not actually fighting, of course, but conducing reconnaissance and other support functions. Good enough for Obama to claim a historic first.

      Probability: pretty high

      Alternative 5: Announce a crackdown on domestic supporters of ISIS and jihad and a suspension of Muslim immigration

      OK, it is a theoretical possibility. An actual possibility after January 2017.

  5. The seven-state Emirates federation and neighboring Saudi Arabia are leading a coalition backing the internationally recognized government. The Emirati military has played a key role in helping to secure Aden.

    The Emirates also has been outspoken against the Islamic State group and is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group in Iraq and Syria.

    Separately, officials in President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's office say consultations with the Shiite rebels that control the capital will begin Dec. 15 in Geneva to discuss the implementation of a U.N. resolution aimed at ending months of heavy fighting.

  6. A passenger on a Lufthansa flight on its way from Frankfurt to Belgrade on Sunday was detained after he threatened to open the plane door and bring down the aircraft.

    Banging on a cockpit door, the man reportedly threated to down the Lufthansa plane as it was flying over Austria. Though he wouldn’t actually have been able to open the doors, he was restrained by the crew and some passengers, Lufthansa said.

    "A passenger got up and tried to do something at the door, but was stopped by crew members and other passengers," said Lufthansa spokesman Andreas Bartels.

    Flight 1406 eventually landed in Belgrade, its planned destination, where the troublemaker was handed over to local police and arrested. The crew never reported the emergency situation to flight control.

    The man, who turned out to be an American citizen of Jordanian descent, is currently being interrogated by the police and will spend 48 hours in detention before facing trial, according to Serbia’s public prosecutor, as reported by the Blic daily.

    Milan Djukic, a Serbian handball team player who was on the same plane, said the man had looked suspicious even before they boarded the plane.

    “About halfway into the flight he tried to open a plane door, but the cabin crew stopped him,” Djukic told Blic.

  7. Yemeni political analyst Hisham Al-Omeisy said the government had largely ignored the threat of groups such as Islamic State.

    “There is no plan to deal with the security situation in Aden. This instability has led to the creation of small gangs who are able to roam free.

    There is no security, no peace, nothing. It’s a mess.”