The Islamic State group’s top command is dominated by former officers from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s military and intelligence agencies, according to senior Iraqi officers on the front lines of the fight against the group, as well as top intelligence officials, including the chief of a key counterterrorism intelligence unit.
The experience they bring is a major reason for the group’s victories in overrunning large parts of Iraq and Syria. 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.
— Syrian Updates (@syrializer) 8 Août 2015
Officials say there are as many as 100 to 160 Saddam-era officers in the ranks of the terrorist group. It is also said that the officers are in mostly mid- and senior-level positions. The officers are believed to have contributed significantly to ISIL's advances in Iraq and Syria. The Saddam-era officers are reportedly entrusted by the terrorist group with such tasks as intelligence gathering, spying on the Iraqi forces, maintaining and upgrading weapons, and working for the development of a chemical weapons program. It is reported that the so-called leader of ISIL, Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, became familiar with most of the former Iraqi officers in the Bucca prison camp, which was run by the United States in the southern Iraqi city of Umm Qasr. According to the chief of a key counter-terrorism intelligence unit, who spoke on condition of anonymity, former Bucca prisoners are in charge of top positions in the leadership of the terrorist group. He said Abu Alaa al-Afari, an Iraqi militant serving as the head of ISIL's "Beit al-Mal" or treasury, at least four members of the terrorist group's so-called Military Council, and "governors" of seven of the 12 "provinces" set up by the terrorist group in the areas it holds in Iraq had been prisoners in Bucca. ISIL took over the city of Mosul in Iraq in June 2014 and later seized swathes of land in northern and western Iraq. The terrorists have since been committing heinous crimes against the people of all faiths and communities in Iraq, including both Muslims and Christians of either Arab or Kurdish ethnicity. Read the full report on PressTv
Saddam’s Ex-Officer: We’ve Played Key Role In Helping Militants
— Terrormonitor.org (@Terror_Monitor) 9 Août 2015
Photo source: Twitter