The dreaded terrorist outfit ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) has released yet another video of beheading, this time of US aid worker Peter Kassig and 18 Syrian military personnel, in what seems like a desperate need to outcompete itself on the scale of cruelty. While ISIS has been waging war over the new Middle East, including huge swathes of Iraq, Syria and now inching closer to Egypt, Turkey as well as Iran, its periodical ‘beheading videos’ have been mostly targeted at the West, chiefly the US and UK, to send home a message of war.
Kassig, a former US soldier turned aid worker in Syria, was taken hostage some time back, and like his predecessors, photojournalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, aid workers Alan Henning, Herve Gourdel and David Haines, he was killed with a purpose. This technique of graphic execution, while it sends a spine-chilling shiver down our backs, also succeeds in capturing the sense of threat that the world is reeling under. Given that the stated aim of ISIS is to set up an ‘Islamic Caliphate’ and send large parts of the Muslim world back to the middle ages, it is only ironical how methodically the ISS carries out its tasks and functions like a giant corporation building new wars. Moreover, latest reports have suggested that instead of considering each other as rivals, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, the latter being the parent organisation, have now buried the hatchet and want to old truce and cooperation.
This after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS chief and undisputed head of all its, including financial and military, arms literally emerged from the dead when rumours of his apparent death by a US drone toured the circuits of global misinformation. It is obvious that US-led NATO’s botched adventure in Iraq and Afghanistan is the primary reason for ever more perverse versions of violent perpetrators of terror being pushed in our direction.
That at least ten of the top operatives in ISIS, including al-Baghdadi, were huddled and trained at secret US detention centre in Iraq called Camp Bucca speaks volumes on how treating extremely intelligent but ideologically corrupted militants like cattle could backfire. Camp Bucca was the perfect setting to inoculate Islamic radicals right under US nose, becoming the most dangerous force in the current scenario. A tragic comeuppance, this is.
It is deeply unfortunate that while ISIS honed its skills at an incarceration centre of the United States and emerged as an entity many times more radicalised, innocents like Kassig, Foley, Henning, Haines and others lose their lives to a war machine that has been indirectly lubricated by the US’ misguided Middle East policy.