Which mirrors what the marxistists in the government of Afghanistan’s Najibullah did after it fell, and joined the ranks of al-Qaida. 

The secret to ISIS’s success: Over 100 former Saddam Hussein-era officers run jihadi group’s military and intelligence operations in Iraq and Syria

Self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in June 2014

Self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in June 2014

  • Intelligence source said 100 to 160 former Iraqi army officers with ISIS 
  • The 2003 US led invasion of Iraq led Saddam Hussein to allow foreign fighters to join the resistance against the invaders 
  • ISIS’s deputy leader Abu Muslim al-Turkmani was an Iraqi army major 

Once part of one of the most brutal dictator’s army in the Middle East, over 100 former members of Saddam Hussein’s military and intelligence officers are now part of ISIS.

Now they make up the complex network of ISIS’s leadership, helping to build the military strategies which have led the brutal jihadi group to their military gains in Syria and Iraq.

The officers gave ISIS the organization and discipline it needed to weld together jihadi fighters drawn from across the globe, integrating terror tactics like suicide bombings with military operations.

While attending the Iraqi army’s artillery school nearly 20 years ago, Ali Omran remembers one major well. An Islamic hard-liner, he once chided Omran for wearing an Iraqi flag pin into the bathroom because it included the words ‘God is great.’

‘It is forbidden by religion to bring the name of the Almighty into a defiled place like this,’ Omran recalled being told by Maj. Taha Taher al-Ani.

Omran didn’t see al-Ani again until years later, in 2003. The Americans had invaded Iraq and were storming toward Baghdad. Saddam Hussein’s fall was imminent.

At a sprawling military base north of the capital, al-Ani was directing the loading of weapons, ammunition and ordnance into trucks to spirit away. He took those weapons with him when he joined Tawhid wa’l-Jihad, a forerunner of al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq.

Now al-Ani is a commander in the Islamic State group, said Omran, who rose to become a major general in the Iraqi army and now commands its 5th Division fighting IS.

He kept track of his former comrade through Iraq’s tribal networks and intelligence gathered by the government’s main counter terrorism service, of which he is a member.

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