DIA Chief: Al Qaeda Ideology Rapidly Expanding

More violent terror groups replace core al Qaeda
Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

The terrorist ideology behind al Qaeda is expanding significantly—contrary to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign theme that declared the Islamist terror threat in decline, according to the outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Dempsey: U.S. preparing options to defeat ISIL

Al Qaeda offshoot ‘very dangerous’
ISIL fighters marching in Syria / AP

ASPEN, Colo.—The U.S. military is preparing a strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) in Iraq to prevent the al Qaeda offshoot from becoming a larger global threat, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday.

Congress Seeks to Designate Muslim Brotherhood as Terror Group

Bill would sanction group and all its affiliates
Followers of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic movement burn a representation of an Israeli flag

Congress is moving to officially designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and impose sanctions on any person who provides the group and its affiliates with “material support,” according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Al Qaeda Targeting U.S. Infrastructure for Digital 9/11

Terrorists, nation states, criminal groups have capability of causing significant damage
DHS cyber security analysts / AP

ASPEN, Colo.—Al Qaeda, nation states, and criminals are preparing for major cyber attacks against U.S. infrastructure that could be comparable to the devastating September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, a senior Justice Department official said on Thursday.

Experts: American Adversaries Work Together Despite Differences

Middle East watchers say U.S. must craft new strategy
Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) try to calm civilians demonstrating against the rebel infighting in Aleppo

American adversaries in the Middle East continue to work together across sectarian and religious divides to harm U.S. interests and security, requiring a more nuanced response from U.S. officials to address the turmoil in the region, experts say.

ISIL Leader Appears in Mosul, Calls for Imposition of Islamic Law

Self-declared ‘Caliph’ Baghdadi mosque appearance said to counter claims he was wounded
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi speaking at the Mosul mosque / AP

The self-declared leader of all Muslims worldwide made a surprise appearance July 4 at a mosque in Mosul—the key trophy of last month’s military incursion into Iraq by his group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “I watched all the terrorist beheadings for the U.S. government, and here’s what I learned,” by Aki Peritz, in the Washington Post.

Official Al Qaeda Rebel Unit in Syria Joins ISIL

Merger a sign ultra-violent wing of al Qaeda gaining strength
al Qaeda

In other Iraq developments, the Iraqi government announced that its forces had taken full control over the Bayji oil refinery and that ISIL fighters at the plant had been defeated.

Power Precedes Politics

Column: What liberal internationalists don’t understand
An ISIL image shows the country’s largest oil refinery under ISIL control / AP

The situation on the ground: Iraq in flames. The black flag of al Qaeda over Sunni-majority cities, Shiite militias cleansing Baghdad neighborhoods of other sects and ethnicities, car and suicide bombs exploding daily, the government of Nouri al-Maliki looking insolent and ineffective, the Kurds hinting at independence. Civil war. Iranian meddling. American defeat.