WEST POINT STUDY: ISIS Steadily Strengthening For The Past Four Years
In January, President Obama called ISIS an al-Qaeda “jayvee team” and blamed the spread of the group on “alienated” populations. In July TGP reported that President Obama knew about ISIS and the United States had been closely tracking the al-Qaeda spinoff since 2012.
Now a West Point counterterrorism report has been released claiming ISIS has been four years in the making.
Fox News reported:
“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014: it had been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years,”the report from the West Point center said.
The report said that the “shattering” of Iraq’s security forces in June is a “case-in-point, the result of years of patient preparatory operations.”
The report, obtained in advance by Fox News, was published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, an independent, privately funded research group. It was written by Michael Knights, with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The report pointed to a long trail of warning signs, after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “re-booted” the organization in 2010. The report said it has developed a “highly-motivated cadre of light infantry forces” since 2012, while launching major attacks like a wave of car bombs across multiple cities that lasted until the end of 2013.
Despite these warning signs, President Obama earlier this year compared ISIS and related groups to a “jayvee team” during an interview with The New Yorker.