What Hillary Clinton and ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Have in Common

Is aspiring caliph out of touch with mainstream terrorists? (AP)

ISIS frontman Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s much-anticipated public rollout has been plagued by some of the same problems that Hillary Clinton has experienced on her mediocre book tour.

The Telegraph reports that al-Baghdadi—a.k.a. “Caliph Ibrahim”—whose Islamist terrorist group recently seized up to $400 million from an Iraqi bank as part of its effort to establish a global caliphate, is under fire for sporting a flashy wristwatch in a video released last week:

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.

Watch Neera Tanden Take Credit for Obama’s Failed Iraq Strategy

CAP president takes credit for troop withdrawal plan in 2012 donor pitch
CAP President Neera Tanden speaks to the Democracy Alliance

The president of a leading liberal think tank took credit in 2012 for an Obama administration troop withdrawal plan in Iraq that has led to the de facto partition of the country and the near-collapse of its government as al Qaeda terrorists and Shiite militias run rampant.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, touted its cooperation with the White House on Iraq strategy in a 2012 pitch to members of the left-wing dark money group the Democracy Alliance.

Iran Sponsored ISIL Founder, Sheltered Him from U.S.

Iran’s ties to ISIL are closer, more complicated than U.S. officials believe
ISIL militiamen in Iraq / AP

Iran long provided shelter and protection to the founder and former commander of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the predecessor to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), which rose to power due in large part to Tehran’s support, according to multiple intelligence reports and outside experts.

AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was given protection by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGS) and was provided with resources to rebuild the infrastructure that has enabled ISIL to take over much of Western Iraq, according to these reports.

Two Men Arrested in Texas on Terrorism Charges

Wikimedia Commons

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Two men in central Texas have been arrested on charges of trying “to provide material support to terrorists,” with one of the pair seeking to aid extremist groups fighting in Syria, U.S. prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Israel Cracks Down on Hamas Following Kidnapping

Three youths, one an American citizen, feared dead
Israeli soldiers search a house looking for three missing Israeli teenagers / AP

JERUSALEM—As the search for three kidnapped Israeli youths enters its sixth day, Israeli security forces are cracking down on Hamas in an effort to break the back of the militant organization.

Some 300 Palestinians have been detained thus far, the bulk of them Hamas operatives and parliamentarians according to Israeli spokesmen.

Senior DHS Adviser: ‘Inevitable that ‘Caliphate’ Returns’

Only choice is ‘whether we support’
Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Egypt

A controversial senior adviser to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is receiving criticism for tweeting that the recent takeover of Iraqi cities by a violent terror group is proof that a Muslim “caliphate” is making an “inevitable” return.

Israeli Troops Searching Hebron for Abducted Teens

Three boys—two 16, one 19—kidnapped by Palestinians
Israeli soldiers search for three missing teenagers outside the West Bank city of Hebron / AP

JERUSALEM—Israeli troops today sealed off the West Bank city of Hebron and undertook house-to-house searches in an attempt to locate three Israeli teenagers kidnapped Thursday night.