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Authors: Jay Sekulow

Rise of ISIS

BOOK: Rise of ISIS
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The Horror of Jihad


The Rise of Isis and the New Caliphate


ISIS: The World's Most Ruthless and Powerful Jihadist Army


Hamas: Architects of Eternal Jihad


Hamas: Israel's Most Relentless Enemy


Hamas Creates a Unity Government with Fatah, Then Launches War


Waging Lawfare: The U.N. Tries to Transform Our Soldiers into War Criminals


The 2014 Gaza War: Who Are the Real War Criminals?


Hamas Systematically and Intentionally Violated the Law of War


The Stakes Could Not Be Higher


Oppose, Don't Appease: The Way Forward Against Jihad


Link to a Song by the Jay Sekulow Band


The portions of this book describing the rise of ISIS and its military capabilities and describing Hamas, its history, and many of its tactics are adapted from a series of papers presented by Jay Sekulow in July 2014 at Oxford University's History, Politics, and Society program on Religion and Politics in the Middle East.


his past summer, I was privileged to participate in a number of informative discussions with members of the University of Oxford faculty regarding the current state of affairs in the Middle East. These conversations centered on the emerging threat to human values posed by ISIS and other groups. As a consequence my eyes have been opened wide to the bracing capacity of radical jihadists to engage in human savagery. Once exposed to evidence of brutality that includes the deliberate shooting of babies in the presence of their mothers, the rape of women who were then told that the only way to redeem their honor was to blow themselves up as suicide bombers, and the summary decapitation of men, women, and children when they failed to comply with conversion edicts issued by Caliph Ibrahim, the leader of the Islamic State, it becomes impossible to remain silent.

Given that ISIS poses an existential threat to a number of countries, including Israel, and represents a growing menace to
lives of Yazidis, moderate Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Kurds, Christians, and Jews, it is highly doubtful that anyone but the most naïve among us would believe that negotiations, led by the United Nations or anyone else, are the proper way forward. Instead, readers of this new book by Jay Sekulow and his team will discover that evil such as this must be met with force. Nothing else will do. Sekulow describes the origins of ISIS and its ideological links to other jihadists, and clarifies 1) the fractured relationship between ISIS, a radical jihadist group that was founded in Iraq and Syria and has directed its efforts toward the creation of an Islamic Caliphate, and al-Qaeda, which has oriented its terrorist attacks against Western and Arab governments, horrifically exemplified by the events of September 11, 2001; 2) the breathtakingly rapid advance of ISIS in Iraq, fueled by its striking commitment to terror, a development that has been fostered by the bewildering courage deficit of the Iraqi military forces; 3) the ideological and visionary links between ISIS and Hamas that combine to threaten Israel's existence; and 4) substantial evidence revealing how radical jihadist groups like ISIS pose a mounting threat to the American people. Adding urgency to Sekulow's analysis, a U.S. senator recently explained how radical jihadists have collected the components necessary to assemble a bomb to “blow up” a U.S. city.

Given these developments, it bears noticing that the Enlightenment dream of inevitable human progress, grounded in the claim that we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights, and premised on hope that the arc of history bends toward justice, is now in tatters. This outcome fundamentally
challenges Americans' endless pursuit of individualism and tolerance. Readers of this book will discover that in our postmodern era, certain things are indeed intolerable. The failure to face the facts richly addressed by the authors of
Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore
exposes democratic nations to the rising danger that they—perhaps misled by the persistent fecklessness of the United Nations and other institutions, which refuse to recognize the obvious threat to Western civilization posed by radical Islamist jihadists—will capitulate to the prospect of appeasement, disaster, and death. Capitulation will enable the murderous forces, which have already been unleashed in the Middle East, to expand their territory and reach by directly encroaching on the West. Hopefully readers of this vital book will be roused to prevent this from happening, in prelude to the pursuit of a durable peace in an epoch rife with persecution based on savage ethnic and religious intolerance, and short on reconciliation.

Harry G. Hutchison

Visiting Fellow, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford

Professor, George Mason University School of Law


t was the video no one wanted to see, that few people could bear to watch.

A young American, James Foley, was on his knees next to a masked, black-clad jihadist. The jihadist was holding a knife. Foley began reciting a prepared text—delivered under the ultimate duress—condemning America. When he finished, he visibly braced himself.

We all knew what was coming.

The Foley beheading video was too graphic for YouTube. Twitter banned users who tweeted its horrific images. And while few Americans actually watched the horrifying act, everyone knew what happened.

It was ISIS, a new and horrifying jihadist force that had been unleashed in the Middle East. And now they had slaughtered an American.

Except ISIS wasn't new. These horrible images weren't unusual.

Some of us had seen them before.

· · · · ·

The DVD was lying
in the dust.

Still weary from a midnight air assault where they'd attacked enemy-held objectives for hours throughout the evening and early morning, the troopers of the Second (“Sabre”) Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment almost missed the evidence as they searched an abandoned village south of Balad Ruz, Diyala Province, Iraq.

The village may have been abandoned, but people had recently been there. Clothes were scattered on floors, cars and trucks were still parked outside homes, and there was blood, lots of blood. And it seemed fresh.

It was a chilling sight. Soldiers stepped gingerly over children's sandals and little girls' dresses. They walked past bullet holes in walls, and they picked up cell phones left lying on tables in one- and two-room houses.

Our soldiers looked for anything that would provide a clue to the fate of the villagers, but the more experienced knew they were looking for one item in particular—a DVD.

In many ways, the DVD was a jihadist's calling card, his method of bragging about his deeds in the years before smartphones and instant YouTube uploads. Terrorists would compile “greatest hits” compilations, showing IED strikes on Americans, mass executions of Iraqis, and the detonation of suicide bombs. DVDs were so common that our soldiers were trained to expect an imminent attack if a civilian was spotted filming them with a video camera.

And there it was, in a courtyard, in plain view. The troopers picked it up and kept it safe until it could be airlifted out, along with fourteen terrorist detainees, to Forward Operating Base Caldwell, a small American base just miles from the Iranian border.

As soon as the DVD arrived, intelligence officers rushed it to their office, put it on computers set aside for reviewing terrorist material (which could always contain viruses or other malware), and started watching.

What they saw was nothing short of horrifying.

As with all jihadist videos, the camera work was shaky, and the sounds were chaotic and loud. While the cameraman yelled “Allahu Akhbar!” (God is great) into the microphone, a group of about thirty Iraqi men, women, and children were led at gunpoint into a field, a field our soldiers recognized as being near the abandoned village.

One by one, the Iraqis were separated from the group and placed in the middle of a small group of jihadists. The first one was a woman, not more than forty years old. As the camera zoomed in, she had a vacant, hopeless look in her eyes—a look of utter despair.

The shouts of “Allahu Akhbar!” intensified until they all blended into one long, loud cheer, like the frenzy after a goal is scored at a soccer match. Then—as the shouting reached its peak and the camera zoomed close—the terrorists beheaded the woman.

They didn't do it with a clean chop of a sword like one sees on television or in movies, but instead by sawing furiously
through her neck with knives. It wasn't over immediately. As she choked on her own blood, the jihadists kept sawing, and sawing, and sawing.

Finally, they pulled her head off, waved it to the camera, shouted in victory, and motioned for the next terrified victim to come forward.

How do we know this event occurred—one the mainstream media never knew about or reported? Because one of the authors of this book, a member of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Law of War team who was deployed to Iraq at the time, saw the video with his own eyes. He walked through the streets of that village himself, stepping over bloody clothes. And he remembers. In fact, he can never forget.

What was the name of that terrorist organization?

Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI.

And after al-Qaeda rejected AQI because of tactics such as this, tactics so depraved and brutal that they even repulsed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, what did AQI become?

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

It became ISIS.

· · · · ·

The sirens were some
of the loudest noises I'd ever heard. They blasted apart the stillness of the day, assaulted my eardrums, and made me involuntarily duck.

I was in Israel in 2008, just outside of the Hamas-held Gaza Strip. As chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, I was there (along with my son and coauthor of this book, Jordan) to meet with Israeli officials to discuss a response to
utterly frivolous claims that Israel's acts of self-defense against Hamas constituted “war crimes.”

BOOK: Rise of ISIS
11.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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