There has been much talk about the "Khorasan Group" over the past several weeks, including occasional sharp questions regarding its nature and provenance.
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A big Monday-morning quarterback question since ISIL began overrunning parts of Iraq as Iraqi military forces collapsed has been whether the United States should have kept in place a significant residual force, rather than withdrawing altogether after the U.S. combat mission there ended in late 2011. A significant part of this larger strategic question has been whether the United States could have secured agreement with the Iraqi government on a set of legal protections and immunities for U.S.
Jack is very generous to Glenn Greenwald in his post earlier today, in which he notes areas where he agrees with what he terms Greenwald's "skeptical takedown of the factual basis for the attacks on the Khorasan Group (KG) in Syria, and the American Press’s complicity, based on anonymous USG sources, in spreading war-mongering exaggerations about
Glenn Greenwald has a skeptical takedown of the factual basis for the attacks on the Khorasan Group (KG) in Syria, and the American Press’s complicity, based on anonymous USG sources, in spreading war-mongering exaggerations about KG’s imminent threat to the American public. Greenwald concludes:
So after spending weeks promoting ISIS as Worse Than Al Qaeda™, they unveiled a new, never-before-heard-of group that was Worse Than ISIS™.
The Guardian reports that USG bombing of Jabhat al-Nusra, the al Qaeda group (or AQ-affiliated group) in Syria that has been at odds with the Islamic State for a year or so:
Air strikes continued to target Islamic State (Isis) positions near the Kurdish town of Kobani and hubs across north-east Syria on Sunday, as the terror group moved towards a new alliance with Syria’s largest al-Qaida group that could help offset the threat from the air.
Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been at odds with Isis
Over at VICE News, reporter Jason Leopold has this very interesting story about the FBI investigation of Samir Khan, the AQAP propagandist and editor of Inspire magazine, who was killed in the strike against Anwar Al-Awlaqi. Khan, like Al-Awlaqi, was a U.S. citizen, though the government maintains that he was not the target of the strike that killed him.
[Cross-Posted at Just Security]
Last week Congress approved, and the President signed, legislation that authorizes the Secretary of Defense (see section 149) to "provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian g
Recently circulated by the United States in New York, in conjunction with the larger campaign against ISIS: a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution aiming to reduce the rising threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs)---or, as the resolution defines them, “individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terroris
Secretary of State Kerry said yesterday:
We're engaged in a major counterterrorism operation [against the Islamic State], and it's going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation. I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy . . .
Like Bobby, Wells, and Ben, I, too, was surprised to discover that the Obama Administration's legal theory (for the moment) appears to be that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) can be targeted under the 2001 AUMF despite its very public split from al Qaeda.