‘They’re manufacturing a holy war between Islam and the West’
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is gobbling up more territory in preparation for striking Western nations, and a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer says the U.S. needs to stop underestimating the enemy and start engaging Sunnis in Iraq to stand up and fight for their homeland.
Retired Lt. Col. Scott Mann spent 23 years in the Special Forces, including 15 years of service as a Green Beret. He saw combat duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other spots around the world during his years in uniform. Mann points out that ISIS now controls a land area greater in size than the United Kingdom. He says the U.S. and its allies need to realize ISIS likely presents a greater threat to the West than any other group it has confronted since Sept. 11.
“These guys, in a lot of ways, are a lot more advanced than al-Qaida,” Mann said. “Al-Qaida always talked about re-establishing this caliphate, but I don’t think even bin Laden expected to see it in his lifetime. Whereas ISIS, not only have they established it, the caliphate is part of their legitimacy. So the expansion of this is a very real thing, and they’re going to keep going.”
After Sunday’s video release of the grisly beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, reports surfaced this week that ISIS plans to use North Africa as a launching pad for attacks in Europe. Mann believes that is definitely part of the plan.
“I fully believe they are looking to expand into Europe and even further, and I do think their activity in Libya and other places indicate that,” he said.
Mann said, for all of its horrifying actions, ISIS has been very clear about its intentions and the U.S. and other nations have been slow to take them seriously.
“It seems like we keep counting these guys out, or we keep missing what we’re capable of,” he said. “The reality is, these guys have a very powerful narrative that resonates with a lot people. And they follow an end-of-days kind of scenario here. They are manufacturing a holy war between Islam and the West, and they fully intend to fight it.”
Written by GREG COROMBOS
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