The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”) is a jihadist fundamentalist militant group following the doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIS are also known as The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(“ISIL”) and by the Arabian acronym Daesh. The Islamic State controls Western Iraq and Eastern Syria as of January 2016, where it enforces Sharia Law and is held to be operational in over 18 countries. The mass exodus of large amounts of refugees from Syria to Europe is due by and large to the operations of ISIS.
The group is known worldwide for its violent actions including live beheadings of soldiers, civilians, journalists and aid workers which were uploaded to the internet. It has also been associated with the destruction of cultural heritage centers. These beheadings were met with an international condemnation of ISIS from individual countries as well as the United Nations.
1. Funded by Obama and Clinton
Insistent that bad US policies led to the birth and expansion of ISIS, Donald Trump blamed the emergence of the radical Islamic group on the Democratic party, playing into a popular theory in the Middle East. Trump, then running for President, told news channel CNBC that Obama was the founder of ISIS, that the soldiers should never have been removed, that they should not have invaded in the first place, and that Obama was definitely the founder. He also stated that people like it when he says Obama and Clinton were “co-founders” of ISIS. There is a view in the Middle East that the US is so powerful that they could easily defeat ISIS should they so choose. However, this is not actually the case. This was the mentality in the Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs which went quite badly for the US. Superior technology and weaponry does not hand a definite victory to invaders, particularly fighting against passionate nationalists in their home territory. Or in this case even a step further: radical fundamentalist jihadists. It is, however, taken as common knowledge among Syrians and Iraqis that the US created ISIS. While they unquestionably created the conditions for ISIS to thrive the question is whether or not they deliberately set up ISIS, for whatever shady reason. Trump seemingly wanted people to take him literally. A former CIA official has publicly stated that Trump’s theory is nonsense and the leaked memo which Trump regards as proof of his theory is nothing of the kind. An independent, objective analysis of the memo also shows that the document is far from proof that ISIS was funded by Obama and Clinton.
However, ex Al-Qaeda leader and founder of the Democratic Jihad Party in Egypt Sheikh Nabil Na’eem has claimed that ISIS was funded by the US for 30 million dollars. The reason given for the funding by the US was that the Western power was eager to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar El-Assad. This may not be quite as far-fetched as it appears. Parallels may be drawn between the US funding the Taliban to combat the Soviets in Afghanistan. He also claimed that all ISIS operatives were working for the CIA.
2. ISIS are fiction
One of the wilder Conspiracies surrounding ISIS is that they don’t exist in a sense they are known. An Egyptian Newspaper claimed that ISIS are a work of fiction created by the US to negatively portray Muslims and Islam. 9/11 was also cited in the same column as being a piece of work carried out by Western governments. It was suggested that ISIS operatives in the propaganda videos are nothing more than Western actors. Given the levels of immigrants fleeing the country and the live beheadings, this is one of the less likely theories, though ISIS may have had some Western influence.
3. Fake Videos
Another ISIS related Conspiracy is that the videos of the ISIS beheadings are fake. More often than not when a sensationalist video comes online, there will be one or more people claiming it to be fake. One particular of the beheading of David Cawthorn has drawn particular attention. There are few who actually watch the graphic videos that claim them to be fake, due to their graphic content.
4. Mind Control
Some conspiracy theorists go so far as to suggest that the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is under mind control from the CIA. There have been numerous books and interviews of CIA mind control, where the purpose of the CIA is not to interrogate the victim to elicit information but to break the individual and substitute themselves as parental figures, where they then take control of the person’s mind. The original CIA Mind Control allegedly started with the MK Ultra Mind Control programme in the 1960’s. Many internet sources claim that Al-Baghdadi was detained at Camp Bucca from 2004 to 2009 and that he also spent up to 10 months in Abu Ghraib, notorious for it’s violation of basic human rights. Many reputable online news outlets such as The Intercept and The New Yorker appear to have been given conflicting information about the detention in response to a records request. An NSA document revealed by whistle blower Edward Snowden did evidence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader, was a CIA intelligence asset. The document also states that ISIS was created by U.S., British and Israeli intelligence agencies and that Al Baghdadi was a Mossad trained operative.