US Intel Chiefs Hype ISIS in Funding Push

No Evidence, But Officials Predict ISIS Attack in 2016

No specific, credible intelligence is an ongoing theme with US officials when warning about ISIS possibly doing something, but the absence of evidence isn’t going to stop the top Intelligence officials, testifying to Congress, from hyping the threat.

DIA director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart testified that ISIS will “attempt direct attacks on the US homeland in 2016,” a prediction that as usual came with no evidence, and also comes amid the latest Pentagon push for an increased budget.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper,still in power despite lying to Congress in previous testimony on the NSA, talked up the idea that ISIS is sneaking into the US is refugees, even though this allegation has repeatedly been shot down as totally unfounded.

He also emphasized the several dozen ISIS-linked people the US arrested last year, ignoring that the FBI arrests of these “terrorists” were more or less exclusively people the FBI met online, with FBI informants pretending to be ISIS, gave fake weapons to, and then arrested for possession of those fake weapons in connection with FBI-invented plots.

While ISIS has shown some ability to carry out attacks internationally, the group’s links to attacks inside the US is tenuous, at best, and officials seem only to speak with certitude about the group’s power during these funding pushes.

by Jason Ditz

Pentagon Found Only 60 Syrian Rebels for Training Scheme

White House Concedes That’s Probably Not Enough

From the moment Congress put aside a huge chunk of money to train a new faction of pro-US Syrian rebels, the plan has been heralded by officials as an eventual game-changer. The Pentagon was to train some 5,400 rebels a year, a figure they later revised down to about 3,000.
There was a lot of debate about whether 3,000 or even 5,000 new rebels would be a difference maker, but all that debate seems sort of silly as officials today revealed that after many months of careful vetting, they’ve found a grand total of 60 rebels to train.

Since the Pentagon pumped some $500 million into this training program, they are getting Syrian rebels for about $9 million each, a bad deal even by Pentagon standards. Pentagon officials conceded this was “below expectations.”

The White House also felt the need to address the matter, with a similar understatement in which they conceded that the 60 rebels they’re in the process of training is “not enough” to win the war against ISIS.

War Against Isis: US Strategy in Tatters as Militants March on

American-led air attacks are failing. Jihadis are close to taking Kobani, in Syria – and in Iraq western Baghdad is now under serious threat

Pentagon Courts Contractors For ISIS Ground War

Companies Excited by ISIS ‘Marketplace’

US military contractors are champing at the bit to be included in a potential US ground war against ISIS, with analysts saying many of the companies see the ISIS “marketplace” as a potential gold mine.

Mideast Syria Rebel AttritionOfficials say that using contractors as the “boots on the ground” in Iraq would be a political boon for President Obama, who could sort of avoid going back on his promise not to get US troops into combat roles.

Nominally, the contractors aren’t supposed to engage in combat either, but analysts say that they are allowed to “provide security,” which in this case is a distinction without a difference.

During the last US occupation of Iraq, there were at times over 180,000 private contractors on the ground in the country. With the US hoping to do the next war with fewer US ground troops, the percentage of contractors are likely to be much larger.

by Jason Ditz

ISIS Offers Cash Rewards for Foreign Spies

Offers $5,000 for Anyone Collaborating With US

With foreign airstrikes becoming an increasing problem in ISIS territory, the Islamist group’s leadership is stepping up efforts to track down spies working for the US and its allies.

SyriaToday, ISIS announced it is offering $5,000 to anyone who can capture an informant or provide information leading to such a capture. Fliers announcing the deal have been reported around ISIS territory in Syria.

While they will no doubt eagerly take any spies for foreign powers, the effort seems in particular to find the spotters on the ground helping US warplanes pick out targets to bomb.

Such efforts are risky. Early in the US occupation of Afghanistan they offered similar cash for enemies campaigns, and it fueled a rash of kidnappings by people hoping to profit from the scheme. It is unclear how ISIS will verify that the captives are actually spies.

by Jason Ditz

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