Saturday, June 21, 2014

Iraq Insurgents Reaping Wealth as They Advance

By ROD NORDLAND and ALISSA J. RUBIN, NYT
JUNE 20, 2014

BAGHDAD — When Qaeda-style insurgents overran the northern city of Mosul, among the war booty they seized were what they claimed were five American-made helicopters.

Noting that they were still nearly new, the group said in a posting on Twitter, “We’ll expect the Americans to honor the warranty and service them for us.”

“Not only are they effective jihadists but they have a sense of humor,” said Toby Dodge, director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, who related that anecdote.

Behind the image of savagery that the extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria present to the world, as casual executioners who kill helpless prisoners and behead even rival jihadis, lies a disciplined organization that employs social media and sophisticated financial strategies in the funding and governance of the areas it has conquered.

(More here.)

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