Sunday, June 30, 2019

FROM THE FLAMES ISIS poised for ‘devastating’ comeback thanks to secret billions and sleeper cells, new report warns

Patrick Knox
30 Jun 2019, 11:04
Updated: 30 Jun 2019, 14:18

ISIS is about to make a come back — but this time it “could be faster and even more devastating” than first time round, a new report warns.

The death cult’s Caliphate in Syria and Iraq collapsed this year but it is feared hardcore followers escaped as part of a tactical retreat.

Down but not out... it's feared ISIS lives on with sleeper cellsCredit: Alamy

The cult has retained its wealth, a study has foundCredit: Getty Images - Getty
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War is warning in a report that the brutal terror group is set to come back — bigger and more dangerous than before.

In Iraq, ISIS is already seizing control the study reveals.

The report warns: "ISIS has systematically eliminated village leaders and civilians who cooperated with anti-IS forces.

“It has reimposed taxes on local populations in its historical support zones, displacing civilians and de facto controlling small pockets of terrain in Iraq.”

Syria may prove more difficult for ISIS because of American and Russian backed forces there.

But the report argues that far from being defeated the terror group’s members has simply fanned out and are ready to regroup in a classic guerrilla warfare tactic.

ISIS retained a global finance network that funded its transition back to an insurgency
Institute for the Study of War i

It reads: “ISIS deliberately withdrew and relocated many of its fighters and their families.

“It’s forces are now dispersed across both countries and are waging a capable insurgency.

“ISIS also retained a global finance network that funded its transition back to an insurgency and managed to preserve sufficient weapons and other supplies in tunnel systems and other support zones in order to equip its regenerated insurgent force.”

The study argues ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been systematically reforming the group for a new wave of violence across the Middle East.

“The slow-motion reduction of ISIS territory and strength initiated by President Obama and continued by President Trump gave the group plenty of time to plan and prepare for the next phase of the war,” the report states.

“It’s forces are now dispersed across both countries and are waging a capable insurgency.”

The report chillingly adds: “Its successful reconstitution of a physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria would produce new waves of attacks in Europe and dangerously legitimise ISIS’s narrative of inevitable long-term victory.”

It also suggests President Donald Trump was wrong to announce the territorial defeat of ISIS.

It calls on the US to take “immediate steps” to quell the death cult’s resurgence in both Iraq and Syria.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 'seen in new video for the first time in five years'

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