This month’s massacre in Paris was horrific — it stole the lives of 130 people and wounded more than 350 others — but may be only the beginning of a new era.
Da’esh (ISIS) has from the start made no secret of its intent to build a worldwide caliphate through brutality, violence and genocide. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is also clear about the organization’s perfect willingness to simply eliminate those standing in its way.
If al-Baghdadi is neutralized, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the organization will disband. In fact, it is highly likely that it will not: Al Qaeda has simply mushroomed and metastasized since the death of Osama bin Laden, probably as he intended and designed it to do.
The battle begun by Da’esh was likewise never intended to be limited to the Middle East, nor has it been: Da’esh attacks have been recorded throughout the Middle East – in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Israel, and Iraq, but also in Africa, southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
More than a third of Iraqi territory now belongs to Da’esh, stitched to the swathe of what formerly was known as Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has barely hung on to the province around the capital, Damascus — and even that only with the assistance of Russia, and Iran with its elite Revolutionary Guard troops and its Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist fighters.
Likewise, Da’esh has been clear from the outset that Israel is far from being an exception to the targets: it dreams of seizing the Holy Land for the crown jewel among its territorial conquests.
To that end, the terror group recently launched a cyber jihad fundraising campaign to provide arms to help Palestinian Authority Arabs in their attacks on Israeli Jews in this latest wave of terror.
Plus, in recent video threats Da’esh promised a Paris-style massacre “coming soon” to Washington DC, along with renewed attacks on Paris for good measure.
As all this Sunni-based radical Islamist activity takes place, however, Shi’a Iran is now becoming eligible to receive new uranium enrichment hardware from Russia, and economic sanctions that were slowing down its nuclear technology race towards an atomic weapon are now being relaxed as well.
But the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to keep up its end of the nuclear deal agreed upon by the six world powers in Vienna this summer. The uranium enrichment centrifuges already in its possession have not been powered down in the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran, according to international inspectors who monitor the plant. And there are other issues as well.
So it would seem that while Sunni extremists are on a rampage, Shi’a scientists are hard at work making sure their own proxies will have the proper equipment to finish the job.
The Iranians so far have fought Da’esh on behalf of Assad, and frankly, in fear that their own country would be swallowed.
Israel has fought them both.
But in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group — spawned by the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood — has strongly supported Da’esh, providing arms and technical support. This has taken place even though the two are bitter enemies in Gaza, where the Shi’ite Iranians still generously support Hamas against the increasing strength of the radical Islamist Da’esh, which insists that Hamas does not represent “true Islam.”
And it is here — in this dichotomy — that the seeds of a new Axis of Evil are beginning to sprout.
Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim terror factions normally at war with each other are perfectly willing to set aside their differences when presented with a common enemy. In Egypt, in the Sinai Peninsula, they are fighting together to rout what they perceive as “secular” government forces from the region, who ousted former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi from office.
Under the same banner, they are already beginning to unite in Judea, Samaria and elsewhere in Israel to share resources toward a common goal: annihilating Israel.
In the future, they will eventually do the same when aiming at America.
How will Europe, Russia and the United States respond on the day that Da’esh and Iran formally put aside their differences and unite their forces to attack?
Hana Levi Julian