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Did the Islamic State Go Shopping For Weapons in Ukraine?

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  • Did the Islamic State Go Shopping For Weapons in Ukraine?

    It began with a feverish report in November from a little-known media outlet in the Persian Gulf. "Security forces have busted and dismantled a multi-national cell for the so-called Islamic State," trumpeted the Kuwait News Agency. "The vigilance of security agencies," it said, had dealt "a major blow to terrorist elements" amid a "crackdown on extremists in the state."

    Buried in the story was a claim that has tantalized journalists, and mystified weapons experts: The Islamic State has allegedly acquired missile launchers, the kind that can bring down a commercial airliner as it takes off and lands, on European soil. From Ukraine, no less a country now awash with weapons and destabilized by political crises and 19 months of war against Russian-backed forces.

    Kuwait's Interior Ministry claimed to have arrested six people in an extremist cell that was aiding the Islamic State (IS) by brokering arms deals, recruiting fighters, and raising money that was then sent to IS-related bank accounts in Turkey. The detained suspects included a Lebanese citizen, a Kuwaiti, an Egyptian and three Syrians. Two Syrians and two Australian-Lebanese dual nationals, officials said, remained at large.
    Vice News - Full Article

  • #2
    Lol! Let's just give Putin Ukraine AND Syria and all our problems are over! Brought to you by the same people who exposed Turkey and the US's support of terrorism. Thanks Rupert.

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    • #3
      From the article:

      Despite the explanations to the contrary, imagine for a minute that an extremist cell had indeed set a new precedent and brokered such a deal. Who would be the seller? A crooked official in the defense ministry? A rebel commander gone rogue? Perhaps one of Ukraine's ultranationalist paramilitary units?

      Certainly not the latter, argues Alexander Clarkson, a lecturer in European Studies at King's College London. "Ukrainian militias have a strong ideology and they hate jihadists," he said. "It's just not their thing. And if these weapons had gone to Syria through the Ukrainian militia network and their Chechen connections, they would have gone to Jabhat al Nusra, which still has a political and social network of Chechens, or Jaish al-Fatah. [They] would not have gone to IS, which insists new recruits break links with their pre-existing ethnic and political milieu."
      That's much more like wishful thinking than a scholarly statement. The

      NYT:

      Islamic Battalions, Stocked With Chechens, Aid Ukraine in War With Rebels

      Though religious, the Chechen groups in eastern Ukraine are believed to adhere to a more nationalist strain of the Chechen separatist movement, according to Ekaterina Sikorianskaia, an expert on Chechnya with the International Crisis Group.

      Not everyone is convinced. The French authorities, on edge over Islamic extremism in immigrant communities, detained two members of the Sheikh Mansur battalion this year on accusations of belonging to the extremist group Islamic State, the Chechen said. He denied that the two were members of the group.

      Chechen Jihadis Leave Syria, Join the Fight in Ukraine

      Among the irregular forces who’ve enlisted in the fight against the Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, few are more controversial or more dangerous to the credibility of the cause they say they want to serve. Russian President Vladimir Putin would love to portray the fighters he supports as crusaders against wild-eyed jihadists rather than the government in Ukraine that wants to integrate the country more closely with Western Europe.

      Yet many Ukrainian patriots, desperate to gain an edge in the fight against the Russian-backed forces, are willing to accept the Chechen militants on their side...

      ...“The Ukrainian government should be aware that Islamic radicals fight against democracy,” says Varvara Pakhomenko, an expert at the International Crisis Group. “Today they unite with Ukrainian nationalists against Russians, tomorrow they will be fighting against liberals.”

      Pakhomenko says something similar happened in Georgia in 2012 when the government there found itself accused of cooperation with Islamic radicals from Europe, Chechnya, and the Pankisi Gorge, an ethnic Chechen region of Georgia.

      For international observers covering terrorism in Russia and Caucasus in the past 15 years, the presence of Islamic radicals in Ukraine sounds “disastrous,” monitors from the International Crisis Group told The Daily Beast...

      ...“ISIS, terrorists—anybody is better than our lame leaders,” says local legislative council deputy Alexander Yaroshenko. “I feel more comfortable around Muslim and his guys than with our mayor or governor.”
      There are many more links and articles but I guess the point is obvious. I hope the usual suspects won't jump in screaming "Waaah! He's claiming ALL Ukrainians are Islamists!" just like when Russians point out to the significant role the ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis played in the Maidan they scream: "They call ALL Ukrainians are Nazis!!!!111".

      Basically the point is that the expert's strong confidence that the Chechens aren't likely to have connections with ISIS is not very well founded, to put it extremely mildly. Moreover, there numerous well-reported cases where "moderate rebels (tm)" turned coats en masse and joined the Islamic state.
      www.histours.ru

      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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      • #4
        Basically the point is that the expert's strong confidence that the Chechens aren't likely to have connections with ISIS is not very well founded, to put it extremely mildly. Moreover, there numerous well-reported cases where "moderate rebels (tm)" turned coats en masse and joined the Islamic state.
        Went to, or were forced to (offer you cannot reuse) join a better-equipped group.

        There are lots of Russian-manufactured weapons in Iraq and Syria used by insurgents, as well as European and American systems. It does not mean that any of the OEMs or their countries are actively supporting these people.

        BTW, are there not also Chechen battalions on the Pro-Russan side in Ukraine, suggestion that weapons and people end up on many fronts for different reasons?
        History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

        Pierre Vidal-Naquet

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bluenose View Post
          Went to, or were forced to (offer you cannot reuse) join a better-equipped group.
          Oh puhleeze, who can "force you" to abandon your commanders and fight for the cause you don't like? Even those who were captured and made to fight at gunpoint would normally desert as soon as possible, unless their families are held hostage. I know you're painfully desperate and grasping at straws to maintain the ridiculous charade of the "moderate rebels" which your "absolutely free and totally independent of anyone" media feeds you, but come on.

          There are lots of Russian-manufactured weapons in Iraq and Syria used by insurgents, as well as European and American systems. It does not mean that any of the OEMs or their countries are actively supporting these people.
          Deary me Are you that radically out of arguments? If you can't see the difference between US/Russian weapons sent to the region before 2011 and the same weapons sent directly to ISIS in 2015 - nothing can help you, really.

          BTW, are there not also Chechen battalions on the Pro-Russan side in Ukraine, suggestion that weapons and people end up on many fronts for different reasons?
          Yes, there were several Chechen battalions most likely outfitted by Kadyrov which fought there in 2014 for several months and they were withdrawn back in Autumn 2014 for political reasons in the aftermath of Minsk Accords. I guess the point that Kadyrov and his men are the worst enemies of Separatist and Islamist Chechens evaded you - unsurprisingly enough.
          www.histours.ru

          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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          • #6
            Wow, Shaa; you need to calm down a little bit. I appreciate that Russian conduct may be eating somewhat at your conscience, but despite the incessant reporting of your domestic channels, the world is not out to get you.

            Oh puhleeze, who can "force you" to abandon your commanders and fight for the cause you don't like? Even those who were captured and made to fight at gunpoint would normally desert as soon as possible, unless their families are held hostage. I know you're painfully desperate and grasping at straws to maintain the ridiculous charade of the "moderate rebels" which your "absolutely free and totally independent of anyone" media feeds you, but come on.
            How many Hiwis in Wehrmacht service again? It has happened on countless occasions; groups fluctuate and change, are absorbed or wiped out by others. Many with no strong feelings gravitate towards the pay, food and weapons.

            It is a shame that you need be so hysterical in your response

            Deary me Are you that radically out of arguments? If you can't see the difference between US/Russian weapons sent to the region before 2011 and the same weapons sent directly to ISIS in 2015 - nothing can help you, really.
            If you would stop to consider before throwing you're toys so resolutely around: there are a lot of weapons from a lot of different sources, some extant in the regions from before, some not. The OEM of the weapon and the route of supply are not necessarily connected as many pieces of equipment are either moved via entirely illegal means or 'donated' by third parties.

            Yes, there were several Chechen battalions most likely outfitted by Kadyrov which fought there in 2014 for several months and they were withdrawn back in Autumn 2014 for political reasons in the aftermath of Minsk Accords. I guess the point that Kadyrov and his men are the worst enemies of Separatist and Islamist Chechens evaded you - unsurprisingly enough.
            No, my point is that in an event closer to your shores (in which the Russian Army is of course in no way involved) there are troops from the same background on both sides: Chechens loyal to the pro-Moscow regime and those fighting against it based on hostility to Russia. My point - again, calm down and think about it - is that you will find civil conflicts results in a mixture of people, equipment, goals and ideologies on many sides. There are Syrian groups opposed to Assad that are not of an extremest Islamic bent (this is, after all, how the uprising started). There are also Al Qaeda affiliates and IS. Claiming that they are all the same is both willful blindness and deliberate misinformation.

            Calm down
            Last edited by Bluenose; 03 Dec 15, 09:30.
            History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

            Pierre Vidal-Naquet

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bluenose View Post
              Wow, Shaa; you need to calm down a little bit. I appreciate that Russian conduct may be eating somewhat at your conscience, but despite the incessant reporting of your domestic channels, the world is not out to get you.
              Basically you have nothing constructive to counter my arguments and you resort to the psychobabble. Yes, it might work on Youtube, try your skills there, but not here please

              How many Hiwis in Wehrmacht service again? It has happened on countless occasions; groups fluctuate and change, are absorbed or wiped out by others. Many with no strong feelings gravitate towards the pay, food and weapons.

              It is a shame that you need be so hysterical in your response
              Hysterical? When someone speaks obvious rubbish what else can I say? The situations are totally incomparable (Hiwis were predominantly civilians forced to work under threat of either execution or starvation, just for starters) and if these people started the fight in the civil war for political purposes, not speaking of being "fighters for democracy", they couldn't have switched to the side which is radically against these principles. And if they are into it just for pay, they are just regular mercenaries.

              If you would stop to consider before throwing you're toys so resolutely around: there are a lot of weapons from a lot of different sources, some extant in the regions from before, some not. The OEM of the weapon and the route of supply are not necessarily connected as many pieces of equipment are either moved via entirely illegal means or 'donated' by third parties.
              You are beating around the bush and bleating useless truistic phrases, trying to obfuscate the point of the argument. Surely, this is not a way to make your discussion opponents eager to carry on with a patient tone. Yes, I don't suffer such people gladly - suck it up or give up.

              Once again. Let's review the original argument and what I said.

              The author of the article rules out the possibility of Ukrainian weapons being sold by the new "Maidan" Ukrainian authorities/other Ukrainian parties to ISIS. He bases his conclusion on the assumption that Ukrainian Nationalist Battalions would not cooperate with radical Islamists. I've brought up several articles from the Western press which showed it's not the case. This was my point.

              So what was your answer? You squealed about "Russian domestic channels". Yeah, NYT is surely my channel alright! And another great argumentation point of yours was "Uh-oh, weapons may come from many places". Have you actually read what I was arguing about? And the psychobabble, of course. I mean, you've got to answer something, right?

              No, my point is that in an event closer to your shores (in which the Russian Army is of course in no way involved) there are troops from the same background on both sides: Chechens loyal to the pro-Moscow regime and those fighting against it based on hostility to Russia. My point - again, calm down and think about it - is that you will find civil conflicts results in a mixture of people, equipment, goals and ideologies on many sides. There are Syrian groups opposed to Assad that are not of an extremest Islamic bent (this is, after all, how the uprising started). There are also Al Qaeda affiliates and IS. Claiming that they are all the same is both willful blindness and deliberate misinformation.

              Calm down
              Do you really think repeating "Calm down" will make you look like a more reasonable side in the argument? I thought one needed facts and logic for that, but you seem to be sure you can handle it with ad hominem babble alone. Ok, speaking of Chechnya, there was a more secular independence movement at first which got overwhelmed and totally suppressed by the Islamists. Probably some of the people who were for the nationalist/separatist side joined the Islamists, however this was a one way ticket and they were rightfully treated as Islamists. There were manyChechens who fought with the Islamists and we should not be ok with the people who joined the terrorists because they wanted more money and food.

              Anyway, the groups fighting Assad and not being affiliated with the ISIS are a small minority and they will not be able to form a stable and viable government by definition. They are essentially local gangs with a slight veneer of political ideology to make them seem more legitimate. All they do is distract the few forces Assad has from fighting ISIS. There are only 2 forces able to stabilise and pacify the country: Assad and ISIS, and the choice between them is very obvious. Those who stand in the way of both fighting ISIS (by distracting governmental forces to other fronts) and establishing law and order should be disarmed or crushed. This is all.
              www.histours.ru

              Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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