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There are 6,000-7,000 ISIS active fighters in Iraq and Syria

Environments that do not trust the government effort and are not believing in democracy due to the absence of social justice and sectarian parties dominate the cities that ISIS occupied.

14 Juni 2020 14:54

Less than a year since ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) lost their ast bastin in Baghouz, Syria, this militia reemerged since early this year. Since January 2020, there has been increasing ISIS activities in Iraq and Syria.

According to Husham al-Hashimi, member of the Iraq Advisory Council and also researcher in extremisme and terrorism at the Center for Global Policy, at the present time ISIS needs self-financing and a foster environment and the departure of the international coalition and American forces to bolster their revival.

"These barriers that prevent ISIS from returning to military occupation operations, said Husham al-Hashimi in an exclusive interview last weekend with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp. "So if the barriers remain I think ISIS will occupy small cities in western Iraq and eastern Syria and not Mosul and Raqqa."

Excerpts:

Is the new leader of ISIS better than late Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi?

The new leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi al-Hashemi, is less charismatic than al-Baghdadi and he does not possess the religious-juristic scientific capacity that Baghdadi does, but he is a believer and a hardliner, and he has a long history of belonging to Salafi-jihadi groups since 2001, where he was with Ansar al-Islam and then joined Al-Qaidah in 2004.

How fast ISIS will capture more areas in Iraq and Syria? And what factors will support their revival?

The same objective reasons that made ISIS its growth and rise in 2013-2014 are still environments that do not trust the government effort and are not believing in democracy due to the absence of social justice and sectarian parties dominate the cities that ISIS occupied.

Do you think ISIS will reestablish their capital in Raqqah and Mosul?

At the present time ISIS needs self-financing and a foster environment and the departure of the international coalition and American forces, these barriers that prevent ISIS from returning to military occupation operations, so if the barriers remain I think ISIS will occupy small cities in western Iraq and eastern Syria and not Mosul and Raqqa.

How many ISIS members from Indonesia and what are their roles?

Very small numbers from East Asia may have fewer than 50 people, and their roles are mostly in logistical files, not operational combat files.

How many ISIS fighters currently operate in Iraq and Syria? And where are their operation areas?

In Iraq and Syria, we believe that many fighters active in ISIS are around 6000-7000 active fighters, and about 11,000-12000 inactive logistical personnel, concentrated in open areas, border areas, and areas with difficult and complex geographical topography, in eastern Syria, western Iraq, and northeastern Iraq.

How important Indonesia for ISIS?

Indonesia and East Asian countries have a good climate for money laundering, investing money, providing electronic publishing services, and media related to the organization.

How do you see Israel has got benefits from ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria?

ISIS in Syria provided a good atmosphere for Iran and Israel from defeating their common enemy, the jihadist Salafism, and Israel became safer than the attacks of Salafi jihadist groups, and also gave Iran and its allies expansion in the Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria under the pretext of fighting ISIS.

According to you, for how long ISIS and Al-Qaidah will dominate terrorism activities globally?

There is no doubt that ISIS and Al Qaeda are the climax of Sunni jihadist extremism in the world, and there is no specific period for their radical demise, and perhaps in the medium term these groups may return with understanding or a new union that gives them the power to return with great effectiveness.

Rekaman video pembakaran paspor oleh anak-anak Indonesia telah bergabung dengan ISIS di Suriah. (Faisal Assegaf/Albalad.co)

Peneliti ISIS tersohor dibunuh di Baghdad

Albalad.co bulan lalu sempat mewawancarai Husyam. Ketika itu dia mengatakan saat ini ada enam hingga tujuh ribu pejuang ISIS aktif di Irak dan Suriah.

UNHCR Eminent Advocate Dato Tahir bercengkerama dengan keluarga Abu Muhammad, pengungsi asal Suriah tinggal di kamp Azraq, Yordania, 3 April 2017. (Faisal Assegaf/Albalad.co)

Pemimpin Al-Qaidah di Suriah tewas

Khalid al-Aruri adalah sahabat dari mendiang pendiri ISIS Abu Musab az-Zarqawi.

Amir Muhamnad Abdurrahman al-Mauli as-Salbi, pemimpin baru ISIS. (Courtesy)

Pemimpin baru ISIS dikabarkan tewas di Idlib

Hingga kabar ini dilansir, belum ada pengumuman resmi dari pemerintah Amerika Serikat.

Mufti ISIS Syifa an-Nikmah ditangkap polisi Irak di Kota Mosul, 16 Januari 2020. (Twitter)

Pengadilan Mosul keluarkan vonis mati bagi mufti ISIS

Kedua putranya juga anggota ISIS: satu orang telah divonis mati dan seorang lagi menjalani hukuman lima tahun penjara di Irak.





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