ISIS ups savagery, burning alive 40

by Joni B. Hannigan , Editorial Staff |

((FILE) REUTERS/Stringer)A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa, Syria, June 29, 2014. This offshoot of al Qaeda has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared itself an Islamic "Caliphate," or Islamic government, calling on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance. The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as "Caliph" -- a political and religious successor to Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

AL-BAGHDADI, Iraq (Christian Examiner) -- ISIS is responsible for burning alive up to 40 people in the town of al-Baghdadi in the Anbar Province, according to an Iraqi official who gave the information to CNN Wednesday.

Those killed were police officers and tribesman, most of whom were "burned to death" just nine miles from where 400 U.S. military personnel are stationed in the fight against ISIS, Anbar Provincial Council Chairman Sabah Karkhout said.

At that base eight ISIS mililtants tried to blow themselves up, but were reportedly killed by coalition forces, according to a report in the International Business Times.

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, a former Saudi intelligence chief criticized air strikes against ISIS – calling them too limited and not well coordinated – and in Washington, the White House is hosting a summit on combating extremism.

CONFLICTING REPORTS?

CNN in its report said it cannot independently confirm those killed were burned to death. Iraqi Security Forces have given accounts that there were Iraqi forces and tribesmen killed by ISIS, but remain unclear on whether their bodies were burned before or after their deaths.

The Pentagon has said it heard about and had seen imagery, but ISIS has not published images of the apparent killings, as they have done previously.

Jhidasts released photos on social media showing they are in control of al-Baghdadi.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, in the CNN report, said in a Wednesday briefing although the situation is still being "analyzed" it would not come as a "surprise" if the information is verified.

"Certainly (it) wouldn't surprise any of us here if it turns out to be authentic and true, given the kinds of atrocities that this group continues to wage against innocent civilians. But we're -- we're looking at it now, and just not in a position to confirm," Kirby said.

IRAQ BORN PASTOR SAYS SAVAGERY IS ISIS TRADEMARK

An Iraqi-born Dallas pastor says the savagery is ISIS' "trademark" and is its way of getting attention.

Jalil Dawood, who leads the Arabic Church of Dallas, a Southern Baptist congregation, says ISIS will continue to exhibit unconscionable acts of violence because "this is based on the idea that if somebody is not of your faith, they are an infidel, and you can go after them.

"The killing to them is justified," said Dawood, and added, "Anybody who is standing in their way, as long as you are not with them, you will be considered to be subject to death -- if you are Christian, Yazidi, Sunni, and even Shia -- they will not take prisoners, they will kill them."

Dawood said Islam's Prophet Muhammad "never" took prisoners.

"You kill them and you get rid of them. It's as simple as that. You keep them until you kill them to show how powerful you are," he told Christian Examiner.

"They don't care about what anybody thinks of them," Dawood said.

SAUDI CRITIC

In the midst of the escalating on violence on-the-ground, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief who was also the ambassador to the United States from 2005-7, says in an NPR article the coalition effort is being undermined by politics and mistrust.

Faisal, 70, who no longer holds a post, but is a respected member of the royal family, notes points out that the U.S. Air Force is hitting ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, while other Western allies stay in Iraq.

"Because those guys [the Europeans] refuse to operate in Syria. Totally insane," he says. "It's the same target, but because this is Syria and this is Iraq, the Europeans don't want to hit Syria."

He also criticizes Gulf countries which strike only targets in Syria and avoid Iraq.

Faisal says ISIS is taking advantage of chaos. And, in the article, he says of ISIS, they are using extensive captured U.S. military equipment -- and supplies captured from the Iraqi military to wage its war.