Is ISIS the richest & most powerful terrorist organisation of all time?

Unknown but likely on both counts.

Hamas have received billions of dollars in aid for civic projects and reconstruction and used same to purchase weapons and construct defensive and offensive structures to wage war on Israel.

ISIS make millions (made millions before the drop in oil prices) per day illegally refining and selling contraband oil and oil by-products to Turkey. The illegal trade in tobacco and heroin has also been a source of large amounts of income, while nearly one billion dollars was looted from the Central Bank in Mosul when that city fell to them in 2014.

Add to that the billions from Saudi Wahhabi supporters and if they are not the richest of all time then they are in the top 5 IMHO.

Regarding their “power” – their influence and actions are global. Their campaigns international. Their recruits – cell based and lone wolf – are pervasive. And their ideology still gains traction.

The declaration of the caliphate made a universal call for Jihad beyond national and regional politics and as such created a global movement and an organisation and ideology with a reach not previously matched by any legacy terrorist organisation.

Regardless of the attitude to the declaration of the caliphate – it acts as a new departure in how radical Islam organizes and dispels with national and regional politics in favour of an over-arching unifying call to all Muslims in the context of the Mahdi and “end of days” concept.

As such its power is fundamental and has traction across all shades of Muslim opinion.

However, there are conflicting views.

Brian K. Price a twenty year and two war military veteran wrote on QUORA in response to the question that many sources do agree that ISIS is the richest terrorist organization of all time.

Here’s How The World’s Richest Terrorist Group Makes Millions Every Day

ISIS Is the World’s Richest Terror Group, But Spending Money Fast

ISIS – Annual Turnover $2 Billion – In Photos: The World’s 10 Richest Terrorist Organizations

There are many, many other sources which compare the dollar values of every terrorist organization. ISIS’s control of oil fields in eastern Syria and norther Iraq gives it unprecedented wealth.

Is it the most powerful? That’s a tougher question to answer. As far as deadliest, most sources claim that Boko Haram is deadlier:

The World’s Deadliest Terrorist Group

Boko Haram overtakes ISIS as deadliest terrorists: Study 

Though the title switches back and forth (and Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS, so there’s that…)

The 5 Deadliest Terrorist Groups on the Planet

But does highest kill count actually mean “most powerful”? Is the point of terrorism to kill people or to achieve one’s goals?

Both groups control large swaths of territory. So that could be considered a form of power and success. Al Qaeda successfully dragged the world into Afghanistan and led to the US invasion of Iraq.

These wars have cost trillions of dollars, beyond the economic down turn that occurred in the aftermath of 9/11, the Madrid bombings, and the London Underground bombings.

Financially, I think you could argue, AQ has still done the greatest amount of damage to the world. However, AQ achieved none of its goals (Brian K. Price’s answer to Did Osama bin Laden succeed in his mission?)

Achieving political goals and gaining enduring successes should be the measure of power. And in that case, it would appear that nationalist terrorist groups have been far and away far more successful than AQ or ISIS or Boko Haram are likely to be.

Their approach has left no room for compromise which means they either win everything or they lose everything. Nationalist groups were able to force their opponents to the negotiating table and to earn concessions that continue to exist well after their violent efforts. See How Successful Is Terrorism?

Terrorist groups associated with Algeria, Cyprus, and Palestine achieved their goals of mobilized populations and varying levels of independence. Other groups such as the ETA and the IRA have attained major objectives in the form of concessions from the governing powers.

So I would argue that ISIS is not the most powerful terrorist group. It has temporarily seized a considerable amount of territory but I do not expect this will last. It will be pushed back and eventually dispersed.

END.

Weak-willed West needs to aggressively assert its values

The bullets were still flying. People were still being killed. Yet even as the atrocity in Paris was unfolding in front of a horrified live TV audience, the appeasers, the justifiers and the outright sympathisers were quick to rush to the ramparts to engage in their own uniquely warped form of victim blaming .
This wasn’t a savage assault on the Western way of life perpetrated by Medieval savages. It was a response to the nasty West and our interfering ways. As Mick Wallace infamously put it: “So terrible for the victims but when is France going to stop it’s (sic) role in the militarisation of the planet?”
A tweet more suited to a 15-year-old kid who has just read Noam Chomsky and now insists on viewing everything through the prism of reflexive anti-Western sentiment that permeates the intellectual and political elites of the West; it showcased a perverse cultural self-loathing which rarely places the responsibility for Islamist crimes on the Islamist killers.
Wallace was hardly unique in this sentiment and it was hardly a surprise that Clare Daly, Clyde to his Bonny, would immediately endorse her friend’s idiotic message.
Wallace and Daly’s tweets were made notable only by the fact that they are both elected representatives of our national parliament, but anyone who has given their respective careers even a cursory glance would have known to expect no better.
They were not alone in their opinion. By midnight on Friday, ‘The Guardian’ was running pieces warning against Islamophobia and fretting about increased attacks on Muslims (there have been none). Salon used the attack to blame the Republicans and Fox News and we saw the emergence of ‘grief hipsters’ who tut-tutted at anybody who was shocked by the Paris attacks because, y’know, there was a suicide bombing in Beirut a few days earlier and people weren’t as upset by that as they were by the events on Friday night. Then we were bombarded by chin-stroking poseurs telling us that not all Muslims were terrorists and the rise of Islamic extremism was a direct consequence of disastrous interventionist policies in the Middle East and culturally insensitive laws here in Europe.
We were told that this form of genocidal fascism is merely the last resort of an oppressed minority.
It’s all rubbish.
The cause of Islamic extremism is Islamic extremism. Everything else is just a convenient detail for the eunuchs in the West to justify something that baffles them.
Isil is merely the logical conclusion of a brand of expansionist, murderously intolerant Islam which makes the Khmer Rouge look like a book club. In fact, Isil’s own brand of cultural Year Zero owes more to the Khmer than it does to the Nazis, who are the most frequently used historical analogy.
Take all the usual weasel words and justifications for the actions of Isil and discount them as reasons for these attacks. We could remove all kuffar from Muslim lands and bulldoze Israel into the sea and it still wouldn’t placate Isil.
After all, did they blame the Palestinian situation for the attack on the Eagles of Death Metal gig? No, they targeted that show because it was: “A place where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice.” Not only that, but they used religious texts to support and justify their attack.
Moderate Muslims may not like the way their religion is being used, but it is being used nonetheless and the supporters of Isil would be quick to argue that, actually, the ‘moderates’ are the ones who are betraying the faith.
These are people who still execute anyone accused of sorcery, as do their fellow travellers in explicitly Islamic terror groups such as al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, Boko Haram and the al-Nusra Front.
This is the aspect that Europe’s Left is too terrified to confront – Isil and their supporters don’t hate us because of geopolitical differences. They hate us because we don’t share their religion and they want to bring everyone back to the Bronze Age.
Unreasonable, but not irrational, there is a logic to their actions which, while undoubtedly twisted, is easily understood – convert or die. That remains a concept which a weak-willed West, with all its visceral self-hatred and internecine bickering, is ill-suited to fight.
We can fret about the potential rise of Islamic extremism in this country and fool ourselves into thinking that we are immune. But why should we be uniquely exempt from other European countries?
Extremism doesn’t even have to be violent to have an impact. Extremism can be seen in Muslim clerics who, post-‘Charlie Hebdo’, threatened prosecution of anyone who reprinted the offending cartoons.
Extremism is seen on Irish campuses where Shariah-spouting whackjobs are given a round of applause while anyone espousing liberal, Western values is shouted down as a racist – assuming they are allowed to speak in the first place.
The terrifying truth is not the strength of Isil’s convictions, but the weakness of ours.
Put simply, they want it more than we do and until we start to aggressively assert Western values in Western countries, is it any wonder that they despise us?
Frankly, I can’t say I blame them.
Acknowledgements: Lifted in its entirety from an article in The Irish Independent by Ian O’Doherty at 

Terrorist Hamas uses extreme violence but not to further the Palestinian cause or to defend Palestinians

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsI am vehemently anti-Hamas although not exclusively because they arm themselves and use violence. Every society past and present has used violence to defend itself and/or to protect its interests and will continue to do so. Some were/are “just” causes others were/are not. 

Violence is & always was an integral element of human nature

The type and scale of violence and the “standards” with respect to armed conflict that used to apply – in theory (a gentleman’s code if you will / Geneva Convention most recently) – have long since fell by the wayside. 

Violence is unsavoury in all its forms but Hamas’ use of violence and the methods of its equivalents (Radical Islamists) has passed all acceptable thresholds from as far back as the 1970’s. 

Hamas Hijacking: This time it’s the Palestinian Cause not an Airplane

Hamas claim that they use force to protect their “people” against oppression, occupation, injustice and persecution. This is simply not the case. This disconnect results in tacit and in some cases outright support in the West for the Palestinian cause “represented” by Hamas. However, Hamas has in fact hijacked the Palestinian cause to further an entirely different set of strategic goals. Many in the West who lend this support misunderstand or are taken in by the false propaganda that Hamas peddles to disguise the true objectives of its use of extreme violence and aggression. 

Western Audiences Rationalising the Unthinkable

People understand others based on their own experiences. When we approach a topic like suicide bombing which is alien to all right thinking people they ask: “Wow…what would it take to make me strap a bomb to my chest to blow up a bunch of innocent people in a neighbouring country?” 

Some would say that this type of barbarous activity could only be justified because of provocation of the most extreme kind that resulted in the death of family and friends, or intense humiliation, or pure desperation. The fact is no justification exists that could legitimise anyone committing such a dreadful act. 

The Role of Veneer Thin Analysis & Biased Media Reportage 

The Western media then showcases the actions of a large, modern, well-funded army (IDF) apparently crushing an underdog that is fighting with stones and light weapons. They publish pictures of bloodied children in Gaza, bombed out houses and dead civilians to generate the impression that these actions which they describe as atrocities or state sponsored terror fuel the response from Hamas. 


Extremism & Frames of Reference

Suicide bombing is extreme, but in the context of how the media report it some people see a kind of twisted rationale behind it. However, the public’s thinking short circuits when it comes to groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, which all view as barbarians. 

Every sane person draws a blank when asking themselves “What circumstances would it take for me to behead all the men in a neighbouring town, enslave the women, and rape them until they have my children?” They have no answer – they lack anything resembling a perspective that could comprehend this let alone justify it or support it. 

The Israelis as victims of Hamas, the Christians and Muslims of the Northern States of Nigeria as victims of Boko Haram and the Kurds as victims of ISIS and Turkish State Terror all understand the perspective they are dealing with. 

Hamas, Boko Haram and ISIS all use violence as a form of religious devotion justified by their twisted interpretation of a book that was written 1400 years ago and which they interpret to suit their agenda and to develop their charters. 

The key difference between Hamas and Boko Haram / ISIS is not its ideology, it is merely that Hamas’ military tends to lose more regularly and spectacularly and use that “underdog” being bullied by an aggressor (Israel) as the key ingredient in their propaganda and funding strategies.  

They share only one thing – they are murderous extremists who cannot be negotiated with and are entrenched in views which they will not compromise for the sake of peace because they feel their cause is divine. 

The West labels it all “extremism” without fully realising that in these societies for these people it is normality and indeed seen as a religious duty. 

The Actual Strategic Objectives of Hamas

Hamas’ goal with their use of violence is not peace nor is it the achievement of a two state solution and it most certainly is not the defence of the Palestinian people. 

The Hamas objective is the explicit destruction of the sovereign State of Israel, the elimination of all Jews – man, woman and child, and the purification of a land currently held by non-believing infidels – not just Jews but Christians, Hindu’s, Buddhists, minorities – all in fact who are not Radical Islamists. This is not conjecture. The following excerpts are from the Hamas founding charter:

On Hamas belief system: 
Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.

On killing Jews (pre-amble):
Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

On peace (article 13):
Peace initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.

On Israel (article 28)
Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.

Read in full the published document: The Charter of the Hamas

Fostering A Culture of Violence and Hate 

From cradle to grave, Hamas and its predecessors have attempted to ingrain in their people a belief that the highest form of religious sacrifice is to commit violence and to give ones life for their “truths” as interpreted by them to suit their sinister agenda. Those who make that sacrifice are honoured in this world and the afterlife – by the governemnt. Streets are named after martyrs: PA names Ramallah street after Hamas terror mastermind 

Money is paid to their families as incentives rather than compensation: Documents: Saudis Paid Bombers’ FamiliesPalestinians get Saddam funds

The government has and continues to support this sacrifice by their citizens including their children who they encourage to become Shahid (witness or martyr): Arafat – “Dead Palestinian Children are the Greatest Message to the World”


Children are taught their role in the struggle: MEMRI: Hamas TV Children’s Show Encourages Killing of Jews. Palestinian children aspire to death as martyrs:

And some children play a more active role: Israel Says Children Enlist Children as Suicide Bombers – here a 14 year old suicide bomber:

Hamas possesses a entirely different mentality than Boko Haram or ISIS. Hamas many misinformed Westerners believe use violence to resist the Israeli “occupation” without realising that Hamas refers to the mere existence of Jews in Israel as an “occupation”. 

Bodies of dead and injured civilians are released and picked up globally by a liberal anti-Israeli media and attract audiences who do not understand that Hamas encourages and highlights these tragedies as a key weapon in their black propaganda efforts. 

An entire Hamas industry exists to stage powerful propaganda videos to elicit sympathy from the broader world. 

What really happens in Palestinian Media: Pallywood

This is an interesting “60 Minutes” segment about how the Palestinians use their own camera crews and actors to basically set up war scenes in their favour. Observers call it Pallywood:


Global sympathy elicited from pictures and videos of dead children are Hamas’ primary defence against the technologically stronger IDF. Sympathy is their primary source of funding from nations and individuals abroad; whether it be from those that are sympathetic to the goal of destroying Israel or those who are sympathetic to Palestinian suffering.

And the real Palestinians are suffering. Through the deprivation of their basic rights, through the stifling of their freedom to live differently, and through the constant state of war they find themselves in from both within and without – fostered by their “protectors” – Hamas.  

In summary, I do not disapprove of the use of violence to protect rights and preserve justice and oppose tyranny. But the Palestinians have a government that uses violence for far different reasons and not as a last resort – and rather than protecting free speech they stifle it, rather than uphold the rights of women to vote they suppress it, rather than encouraging new ideas to flourish they crush them, and instead of defending the Palestinian people they place them in harms way – for their own sake, for their twisted ideologies and for their personal enrichment.

The Noble (and Uber Wealthy) Man of the People

Yasser Arafat was the original head of the PLO, the mastermind behind the suicide bombing tactic, and the leader of the Palestinian PR strategy. Hamas has since taken control of Gaza, but they mention their close relationship with the PLO in their charter. 

Arafat was estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of US$300m at the time of his death, and a peak net worth of over US$1b; almost all of which was international aid and donations. His wife was well-known for her extravagant lifestyle in France, where she rented entire floors of luxury hotels and spent millions on high fashion: Why was €1m a month sent to Arafat’s wife?

Sixty Seconds to Show You What Hamas Does With Foreign Aid for its People



Acknowledgements:

First published Anonymously on Quora here.

Boko Haram are out of control in Northern Nigerian states

The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad (Arabic: جماعة اهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد‎ Jamāʻat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-daʻwa wal-Jihād) better known by its Hausa name BOKO HARAM (pronounced [bōːkòː hàrâm], “Western education is sinful”) is an Islamic jihadist and takfiri militant and terrorist organization based in the northeast of Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger. 





Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the organisation seeks to establish a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law, putting a stop to what it deems “Westernization”. The group is known for attacking Christians and government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and police stations, kidnapping western tourists but has also assassinated members of the Islamic establishment. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013. 


The group exerts influence in the following Nigerian states:
  • Borno; 
  • Adamawa; 
  • Kaduna; 
  • Bauchi;  
  • Yobe; 
  • Kano. 

In this region, a state of emergency has been declared. The group does not have a clear structure or evident chain of command and has been called “diffuse” with a “cell-like structure” facilitating factions and splits. It is reportedly divided into three factions with a splinter group known as Ansaru. The group’s main leader is Abubakar Shekau. Its weapons expert, second-in-command and arms manufacturer was Momodu Bama.


Above is Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a still from a video taken 06.05.2014

Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped eight girls from a village near one of the Islamists’ strongholds in northeastern Nigeria overnight on 5th May 2014, while the United States made plans yesterday to help search for more than 200 schoolgirls seized by the militant group last month. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau threatened in a video released to the media on Monday to sell the girls abducted from a secondary school on April 14 “on the market”. The kidnappings by the Islamists, who say they are fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, have shocked a country long inured to the violence around the northeast.




They have also embarrassed the government before a World Economic Forum meeting on Africa, the annual gathering of the wealthy and powerful, in Abuja from May 7 to 9. Nigerian officials had hoped the event would highlight their country’s potential as Africa’s hottest investment destination since it became the continent’s biggest economy from a GDP recalculation in March. The forum has instead been overshadowed by the crisis over the girls, whose whereabouts remain a mystery.



That has thrown the government’s failings on national security into the spotlight just when it sought to parade its achievements such as power privatisation and economic stability to top global business people and politicians. Police and residents said the eight girls kidnapped overnight were aged 12 to 15.

Boko Haram, the main security threat to Africa’s leading energy producer, is growing bolder and appears better armed than ever. In a separate attack early on Monday, suspected Boko Haram gunmen shot or hacked to death at least 13 people in a raid on a market town in the northeast, a survivor said.


April’s mass kidnapping occurred on the day a bomb blast, also claimed by Boko Haram, killed 75 people on the edge of Abuja, the first attack on the capital in two years. Another bomb in roughly the same place killed 19 people last week.