Reported: U.S. viewed ISIS as tool for Syrian regime change
“The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.”
– The Levant Report
Earlier this month, Judical Watch announced that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State pertaining to the September 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The media has focused on data showing the attack had been planned up to 10 days prior to its execution and was committed by al Qaeda and a Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR).
The Levant Report picked up on something much more significant in the released documents. A heavily redacted Aug 12, 2012 DOD Information Intelligence Report (IIR) indicating that Western actions/policies in the area would facilitate the formation of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”. Specifically, the IIR reads:
THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME….
IIRs are considered raw field intelligence and meant to be compared and analyzed against other collection sources before a final distributed intelligence product. That being said, they are still distributed as needed and this one was addressed to DOD agencies as well as the CIA, FBI, State Department and Homeland Security. The Levant Report points out, “The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.“
The IIR also includes:
THE GENERAL SITUATION:
A. INTERNALLY, EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION.
B. THE SALAFIST [sic], THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.
C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.
In the above, AQI refers to Al Qadea in Iraq.
From the Levant Report:
The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.
While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario.
For a report on the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) response to the above mentioned Levant Report, CLICK HERE.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Most references indicate that the recent Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) was formed in 2013. The combined territories covering Syria and Iraq were declared the Islamic State in June 2014.
This wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. saw a terror group as a possible asset in meeting U.S. foreign policy goals – al Qaeda’s roll in the Soviet–Afghan War is such an example. The released documents paint a much more complicated picture than the theory ISIS is simply a result of a power vacuum created by the invasion of Iraq.
The mention of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood involvement ties into our 2014 report on how a Senate defense bill was most likely influenced through lobbying efforts. It would be naive to dismiss the likelihood that U.S based Syrian groups we highlighted are not coordinating with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
- Meet the 28-year-old pushing the US toward greater intervention in Syria – dailycaller.com, July 14, 2013
- How the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked Syria’s Revolution – yalibnan.com, March 13, 2013
- I Learned to Fight Like an American at the FSA Training Camp in Jordan – vice.com, April 3, 2014
- Once a top booster, ex-U.S. envoy no longer backs arming Syrian rebels – mcclatchydc.com, February 18, 2015