Khorasan, al-Qaeda, ISIS – Branches of an evil tree


WASHINGTON, September 30, 2014 — The appearance of yet another terror group – Khorasan – in the Middle East makes understanding a confused tangle of terror groups even harder.

Al-Qaeda was, until the death of Osama bin Laden, the “big bad” in the region for most Americans. The expectation of many people who should have known better was that the death of bin Laden would deal a death blow to al-Qaeda, and thus put the U.S. one very big step closer to destroying the Islamist terror threat to America.

Killing bin Laden was no more deadly to al-Qaeda than the death of Steve Jobs was deadly to Apple; it was no more a body blow to Islamist terror than the death of Steve Jobs was a blow to smart phones.

Like Jobs and Apple, bin Laden and al-Qaeda helped define a market, but they didn’t create it. The al-Qaeda brand remains potent within that market, but it isn’t the only one. As with the computer and smartphone markets, we have seen innovation, knockoffs, new players, and shifting alliances.

One way to categorize Islamist terrorists is as Sunni or Shi’a. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are Sunni, as are Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, while Hezbollah is Shi’a. But within the category of Sunni terror groups, there are some dramatic differences.

Al-Qaeda was born of the struggle to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden wanted to expel a secular foreign influence and cleanse the Muslim community from that secular taint.

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, which include Syria’s al-Nusra and Somalia’s al-Shabaab, want to redeem the Muslim world. They see the Arab world as corrupted, and believe they must act violently to save it. But their goal is to redeem the sinful, not destroy them.

Osama bin Laden was influenced heavily by Wahhabist (Salafi) teachings, which are dominant in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is an ultra-orthodox movement that rests on a strict, literal interpretation of the Koran. It treats anyone whose beliefs are less literal – Muslim, Christian or Jew – as an enemy.

In this world, there are only two groups: Salafis, who are chosen and will go to heaven; and the rest. The rest include non-believers, Shiites, and Sunnis who are in any way less literal in their religious belief. The rest should all be put to death in order to cleans the community of believers.

But the focus of bin Laden’s rage was the secular world. He would cooperate with anyone to achieve his ends, including with Americans to get rid of the Soviets, and with the Shi’a group Hezbollah when it was time to turn on America.

Al-Qaeda tries not to antagonize potential allies. The Islamic State (ISIS) is more orthodox than that; they have no potential allies. You are one of the saved, or you’re a target.

Even though ISIS spun off from al-Qaeda, its leaders have always been more strict in their Wahhabism. They are even more militant than al-Qaeda. ISIS doesn’t seek to redeem the sinful or work with them, but to destroy them.

Hence ISIS destroys tombs, which are forbidden in their version of Islam; they destroy shrines sacred to Shi’a and Sunni alike. They execute Shiites, and they execute Sunnis who serve states like Syria. The only options ISIS gives to non-Salafis are conversion, expulsion or death.

ISIS is the most extreme Wahhabist group, but not the only one. Aside from ISIS and al-Qaeda other Wahhabi-influenced terrorist groups are the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian affiliate, Hamas.

Article 7 of the Hamas charter reads: “The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The day of judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews (and kill them), when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Hamas is no less extreme, in its way, than ISIS, but the main force of its extremism is directed at Jews. This Wahhabist streak is why Israelis can never come to terms with Hamas; the only acceptable conclusion to the struggle from the perspective of Hamas is to scrub the land clean of Jews. They can no more reach an accommodation with Israel than ISIS can reach one with Syria’s Assad or Iraq’s Shiites.

Former Hamas leader Abdel Azia Rantisi said, “The Jews will lose because they crave life, but a true Muslim loves death.” In 2010, Mahmoud Zahar said, “Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy.”

In 2011, Atallah Abu al-Subh, former Hamas minister of culture said that “the Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah. Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world.”

The Persian Gulf monarchies – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar – have supported the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and al-Qaeda. But Wahhabist as the Saudi princes are, they aren’t orthodox by ISIS standards. ISIS hates them as much as it hates Americans, and they know it, so they are ready to throw in with the West to deal with the threat.

Wahhabism isn’t all the joins and divides Sunni terror groups. Politics plays a role.

The Shi’a terror group Hezbollah is really a movement, not a group. The various Sunni groups are subsidized by wealthy sponsors – and to some extent by the United States government, which provided half-a-billion dollars to al-Qaeda and the mujahedeen when it sought to make them a weapon against the USSR – but Hezbollah is sponsored by the government of Iran.

Because of its state connections, and out of fear of growing Iranian power, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni groups consider Hezbollah even more dangerous than the Jews. Iranian support for the regime of Syria’s President Assad has unified the Sunni states against him.

Assad isn’t Shi’a, but Alawite; members of the Alawite sect dominate his country’s leadership. Alawites are related to Shiites not by belief, but by politics. The Alawites have been a persecuted minority in Sunni-dominated areas, and have formed a strategic alliance with Iran. Most Syrians are Sunni, but influential, non-Alawite members of the regime are members of the Baath Party, a secular party despised by Wahhabis.

The tangled web of religious, political and terrorist groups – groups which often overlap – in the Middle East creates a treacherous landscape for Western politicians to tread. The United States has supported Israel against all comers, Sunni and Shiite, but after the fall of the Shah of Iran, tended to favor Sunnis over the seemingly more dangerous Shiites.

The United States supported a Shi’a government in Iraq against a Sunni insurgency, and a Sunni insurgency in Syria against an Alawite-Baathist government. Our problem in Syria has been to decide which faction of Sunni insurgents to support against Sunni ISIS, the sudden appearance of Khorasan making it clear that some Sunni terrorists still hate us more than they hate wrong-thinking fellow Muslims.


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  • Ronnie the REAL Republican

    Oddly enough, there’s no trace of the alleged “Covenant” on any actual Arab websites.
    The “translation” offers no link to the original, nor even a file of the untranslated version for comparison.
    Nor is the translation credited to anyone, whom you would think would be proud to take credit for the work.
    Sounds more like a false document similar to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, one of the most heinous frauds ever perpetrated by propagandists.
    Can anyone provide a link (on a Muslim or Arab website) to the original so I can have it re-translated?
    Thanks in advance…

    • The Economist’s Friend

      The Center for Special Studies/Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, while admittedly a Israeli organization, purports to have the original document in Arabic. The Avalon Project at Yale has a translation in its archive of historical documents. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

      I would have included the links but CDN doesn’t seem to like links.

      • Harry


        To understand the relationship between Jews and Goyim, it is vital that one studies the relationship between the JEWel wasp and the Cockroach. You can Google them and watch them on You Tube.

    • Harry

      YO RONNIE,
      The ORIGINAL Protocols of the Elders of Zion can be found in the Jewish Bible!
      Go to Genesis ch 47 and see the modus operandi of the Jew on how to uphold the Dictator and destroy the people.

      OH YEAH!



      By Ben Abrahamson and Joseph Katz


      Upon the overthrow of the revolt and interruption of communication with Israel,
      Hananiah set about arranging the calendar, which hitherto had been the exclusive prerogative of the Israeli patriarch. Hananiah even considered the possibility of erecting a Jewish Temple in Nehardea, similar to the ones Onias IV had erected in Heliopolis in Egypt, and in Mecca in Arabia.59 The former had been closed up by the Romans; the later had fallen into idol worship and superstition. Fearing that Babylon may fall the way of Arabia, the Israeli authorities replied:

      “If you persist in your intention, seek for yourselves another hill, where Ahijah [the Exilarch] can build you another temple, where Hananiah can play the harp for you [he was a Levite, who were the musicians of the Temple], and confess openly that you have no more share in Israel’s God.”60

      This episode made such a strong impression upon the public mind that there are several accounts of it.61

      59 See the Author’s essay on “The Prophet Muhammed as a descendant of Onias III”

      These two temples were built about the time that Judah the Maccabee rededicated
      the Temple in Jerusalem. This could explain the Hadith where is says they were
      built forty years apart:

      “Narrated Abu Dhaar: I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon
      you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.” Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 636:


  • Fargo Wells

    In related news, here are the US deaths in Afghanistan, by year:Bush2001: 52002: 302003: 312004: 492005: 942006: 872007: 1112008: 151Total = 558Obama2009: 3032010: 4972011: 4942012: 2942013: 115Total = 1,703

    • Harry


  • Harry






    There is a man who is more dangerous to mankind than any other living person today. His
    name is Zbigniew Brzezinski, a CFR-member , Arch-Trilateral Commissionist, Bilderberger. He has been the evil spirit behind 5 US presidents, including Obama – and he is obsessed with but one thought: The US is to dominate a communist one world state.

    For that purpose, he sees Eurasia as his grand chessboard, where the battle is to be won. Like any chess player, he starts by occupying the centre of the chessboard, Central Asia.

    He wants peace there, friendly arrangements, in particular with China, if possible, so that he can pursue the goal of his obsession, i.e. the purpose of the Trilateral Commission created by him and David Rockefeller: To create a world state by fusing a coming North American Union, at which he is working through the CSIS, the Union for the Mediterranean – and a Far East block which is now being created.

    His aim is a communist one world state where Russia, which he hates, is subdued by being
    split into 3 republics in a loose confederation – and if that is not possible – then ultimately even by WW III. He and David Rockefeller are behind the fusion of world religions for peace in the world state. In stead he collaborates with Al Gore and Gorbachev to promote the environmental Gaia religion.

    In the Agenda 21 state people in the technetronic era will be totally controlled and via artificial intelligence (brain chipping) become post-human robots.

    He has worked on,

    Selling US infrastructure like harbours

    Outsourcing US jobs

    Giving the Panama Canal to the Chinese

    Selling illegal weapons to the Soviet, Iran, Iraq, Libya

    He nurtured the Taliban and Al Qaida and ignored Islamic fundamentalism.

    Advised by
    Zbigniew and his son, Ian, Obama is now encircling Russia and China, which has not been so cooperative as wanted by Zbigniew, with anti-ballistic missiles which can also be used to inactivate Russian and Chinese satellites, so as to hinder retaliation after a US first strike against the nuclear arsenals of those countries.

    Russia knows and is preparing for the possibility of having to deliver a preemptive attack –
    according to the chief of the Russian Joint Staff, Yuri Baluyevsky. These considerations are probably being accentuated by the fact that Russia can hardly afford a fresh weapons race.

    However, Brzezinski does not believe in Russia’s capacity to strike!


    The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller with Zbigniew Brzezinski as executive director, after Brzezinski published Between Two Ages, which became the blueprint for the TC. David read and appreciated his ideas, which included,

    “Though Stalinism may have been a needless tragedy for both the Russian people and
    communism as an ideal, there is the intellectually tantalizing possibility that for the world at large it was, as we shall see, a blessing in disguise.”

    “Marxism represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision. Marxism is simultaneously a victory of the external man over the inner, passive man and a victory of reason over belief.”

    “Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on
    allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control.”

    “The Soviet Union could have emerged as the standard-bearer of this century’s most influential system of thought and as the social model for resolving the key dilemmas facing modern man.”

    1973 founding members of the Trilateral Commission also included Jimmy Carter, who chose Zbigniew Brzezinski as his National Security Adviser during his presidency. Brzezinski, also a member of the CFR, wrote in his Power & Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Advisor, 1977-1981, on page 49,

    “The new President’s specific views on foreign affairs–going beyond his desire for a foreign policy governed by humane and moral concerns–had been formed during his time with the Trilateral Commission. Contrary to the myth, the Trilateral Commission is not a conspiracy designed to dominate the world but genuinely strives to engage Americans, Western Europeans and Japanese in a common endeavor to shape a more cooperative world…”

    On page 289, he wrote,

    ‘”Moreover, all the key foreign policy decision-makers of the Carter Administration had
    previously served in the Trilateral Commission….”

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is a CSIS Trustee and Trustee Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Professor of American Foreign Policy at the School of Advanced
    International Studies, the Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C. He is also Honorary Chairman of the AmeriCares Foundation; Member of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House;
    Trustee of the Trilateral Commission; Member of the Board of Directors of the
    Polish-American Enterprise Fund; Chairman of the American-Ukrainian Advisory Committee…”