-- First, the crucial political effort to build more effective, inclusive, multi-sectarian governance.
-- Second and third are the DoD-led efforts to deny ISIL safe haven and build partner capacity in Iraq and Syria. DoD, alongside coalition partners, is conducting a bombing campaign from the air, advising and assisting Iraqi security forces on the ground, and training and equipping trusted local forces.
-- Fourth is enhancing collection of intelligence on ISIL.
-- Fifth is disrupting ISIL's finances.
-- Sixth and seventh are to counter ISIL's messaging and disrupt the flow of foreign fighters to and from the extremists.
-- Eighth is providing humanitarian support to people displaced by or vulnerable to ISIL.
-- Ninth is protecting the homeland by disrupting terrorist threats.
"The effective execution of all nine of these lines of effort by the United States and its coalition partners is plainly necessary to ensure overall success," Carter said. DoD's airstrike campaigns in Iraq and Syria have "produced some clear results in limiting ISIL's freedom of movement, constraining its ability to reinforce its fighters, and impeding command and control," Carter said. Airstrikes also helped local forces make key achievements, such as the success of anti-ISIL forces that took the key town of Tal Abyad over the weekend, he said. The airstrikes are also buying critical time and space required to carry out DoD's second line of effort -- developing the capacity and capabilities of legitimate local ground forces," Carter said. Calling the ground campaign a "work in progress," Carter said a combination of disunity, deserters and "ghost soldiers" -- who are paid on the books but don't exist -- have greatly diminished the capacity of Iraq's security forces. Given such challenges, ISIL's lasting defeat requires local forces on the ground, which Carter said the U.S. military will continue to develop and enable. "Putting U.S. combat troops on the ground as a substitute for local forces will not produce enduring results," he said. Both anti-ISIL campaigns in Iraq and Syria require capable, motivated, legitimate, local ground forces to seize, clear, and hold terrain for a lasting, enduring defeat, he said. Carter said ISIL's takeover of Ramadi last month was "deeply disappointing," but it highlights how important capable and motivated Iraqi ground forces are in the anti-ISIL campaign. After Ramadi's fall, DoD and White House officials determined that the existing strategic framework was still the correct approach, but enhanced training of the security forces was needed and the process to equip them was too slow, Carter said. Essential equipment deliveries, such as anti-tank capabilities and equipment to counter improvised explosive devices have since been expedited to Iraqi security forces and Kurdish and Sunni tribal forces, he said. "We also determined that we could enable Iraqi security forces with more tailored advice and assistance, including critical outreach to local Sunni communities," the secretary said. And based on DoD recommendations, the president authorized deployment of 450 personnel to Iraq's Taqqadum military base in Anbar province to establish an additional site for advising and assisting the Iraqi security forces, Carter noted. U.S. forces will also provide much-needed operational advice and planning support to the Iraqi security forces Anbar Operations Centre, he said. "We expect that this move will open a new dimension in our and Iraq's efforts to recruit Sunnis into the fight and to help the Iraqis coordinate and plan the critical effort to roll back ISIL in Anbar province," Carter said. But the lack of Iraqi security forces recruits has slowed training, the secretary said, adding that while 24,000 recruits were anticipated by this fall, only 7,000 were trained, in addition to 2,000 counterterrorism service personnel. All sectors of the Iraqi government must make a greater commitment to the recruitment and training effort, he said. Despite the challenges, positive signs exist, the secretary said, noting that he has met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani, and last week with Speaker Salim al-Jabouri of Iraq's parliament. "They fully understand the need to empower more localized, multi-sectarian Iraqi security forces and address persistent organizational and leadership failures," the defence secretary told the House panel. Because a sovereign, multi-sectarian Iraq is more likely to seal a lasting defeat of ISIL, the United States must continue working with and through the Iraqi government in all actions, including Kurdish and Sunni tribal forces support, he said. U.S. efforts must reinforce inclusivity and multi-sectarianism and not fuel a reversal to sectarianism, which would make the lasting defeat of ISIL harder, not easier, Carter noted. Syria's battle with ISIL extremists is more complex, Carter said, citing the lack of a legitimate government partner and many competing forces in that country. "Our train-and-equip mission in Syria has been challenging," he said, "but the requirement for a capable and motivated counter-ISIL ground force there also means we must persist in our efforts." Carter vowed to continue airstrikes against ISIL forces in Syria, and to work with Syrian neighbours to impede the flow of foreign fighters into and out of Syria and Iraq. "Success in this campaign can and must be assured," Carter said. "It will take time and require consistent effort on everyone's part -- the entire U.S. government, our entire international coalition, and most importantly, the Iraqi and Syrian peoples." "Together, and with your support, including your support for America's troops and their families, for which I, and they, are ever grateful -- we will achieve ISIL's lasting defeat," the defence secretary told the committee.
United States – The United States on the 17 Jun 15 said it was proving challenging to recruit Syrian opposition forces for a program to train and equip them to battle Islamic State militants, but that it was too soon to give up on the effort. "We have enough training sites and so forth. For now, we don’t have enough trainees to fill them," U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the training, which officials have said is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, had just started and that it was still too soon "to give up on it."
A U.S.-based group called Dawah Squad, which is active across various social media platforms, has been promoting jihad and radical Islamic ideology it was reported on the 17 Jun 15. The group is likely based in the U.S., as indicated by the fact that Verizon is the carrier for the account operator's phone. While blatantly jihadi symbols such as ISIS flags are not displayed, an analysis of the group's postings reveals pro-jihadi tendencies. The group is active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Kik. It resembles similar groups of online activists based in the West that produce slick pro-jihad propaganda, such as the Birmingham, UK-based Invite to Islam, which produces professional-looking jihadi memes that are widely circulated by ISIS fighters and their supporters. Dawah Squad appears to be more visually focused, adding short, snappy messages to images, as opposed to quotations from the Koran or hadiths. It should also be mentioned that the group supports the radical British cleric Anjem Choudhary and like-minded clerics, which places it in the circles of vocal pro-ISIS activists in Western countries. At the time of this writing, Dawah Squad's Instagram account has 1,326 followers.
Discovery of several hazardous objects, on a weekend (27/28 Jun 15) when the federal government is warning police about terrorism, forced the closure of Route 163 between Balboa Park and Mission Valley on the 27 Jun 15. San Diego Fire-Rescue dispatchers said their bomb squad was rolling to an undisclosed location on the freeway, north of University Avenue and south of Friars Road. That stretch of Highway 163 includes its interchange with Interstate 8. The CHP shut down Route 163 in both directions from Friars Road to University Avenue, including the interchange with I-8 in Mission Valley. At around 1515 hrs the freeway was once again opened to all traffic. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson said he did not know what the objects found were, but “it wasn’t anything dangerous.” The objects were later identified as mortars. The scare comes as federal anti-terrorism agencies have warned local police agencies of possible terrorist acts around the July 4 holiday. In a joint bulletin, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Centre and the Department of Homeland Security did not warn of any known active plot, but did warn that extremists could launch attacks tied to Independence Day or in reaction to perceived defamation of the Prophet Mohammed. “We are encouraging all law enforcement to be vigilant and prepared,” the statement read, in part. “We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people.”
United States/4 July/Islamic State/Da’esh – American police forces from coast to coast are on alert from federal officials that the Islamic State (ISIS) is planning to terrorize the country during the July 4 Independence Day holiday. Homeland Security, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Centre sent an intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies. No specific plots were spelled out but there was a general warning because of the holiday and the upcoming visit of Pope Francis. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on the 26 Jun 15, following multiple ISIS-linked attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia: We are encouraging all law enforcement to be vigilant and prepared. We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people. In Britain, the ISIS targeted the annual Armed Forces Day parade on the 27 Jun 15, but intelligence officials foiled the plot, which was discovered by an undercover British agent who was recruited by the terrorist group. The ISIS had told the investigator, according to the London Sun, “It will be big. We will hit the kuffar (unbelievers) hard InshAllah. Hit their soldiers in their own land. InshAllah. Soldiers that served in Iraq and Afghanistan will be present. Jump in the crowd and detonate the bomb. “They think they can kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan then come back to the UK and be safe. We’ll hit them hard InshAllah.” The multiple attacks on Friday indicate, whether coordinated or not, are clear signs that the Islamic State’s declared war on the world is more than rhetoric. Dismissing the murderers as “lone wolves,” as some of Israel’s security officials and leftist media try to do in order to play down Palestinian Authority-incited terror, is not going to satisfy the nationwide American fear of the ISIS. 361 COMMENT: Whilst the comments could be to install terror the Islamic State has warned, after France, Tunisia and Kuwait, that there was ‘worse to follow.” By targeting the Americans whether in the country or other locations where Americans live and work then this maybe part of a strategy to attack them anywhere and at anytime. By threatening the “non-believers” during Ramadan and to have the 4 July Independence celebrations at the same time could be what they are planning. As the Americans are thought to be the number one target the possibility of an attack on this day cannot be discounted. As already mentioned the IS did attempt to hit a major day in the UK on the Armed Forces Day. It would not have to be a huge spectacular but any attack on the 4 July will be used for huge propaganda purposes and be a large embarrassment for any country that the terrorist attack occurred in. COMMENT ENDS