|Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, ISIS founder, d June 20 2006|
Daesh (or ISIS/ISIL etc) is a cruel, tyrannical and criminal organisation that should not exist.
Getting rid of it in 2015 is a challenging task.
It would have been better if it had not been allowed to develop in the first place.
So how did it develop, and could we have done anything to stop it?
Daesh evolved out of Jama'at al-Tawid wal-Jihad (JTJ), which was set up by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999, and was active during the Iraq Insurgency against the US occupation of Iraq. JTJ allied itself with al-Qaeda (AQ) in 2004, and separated from them in 2014 (rumour has it that AQ thought they were too violent.)
There are three main possible responses to terrorism - military action, financial action, and intelligence/police action. The first is counter-productive, so financial and intelligence action is very important.
I wrote to my MP on 23rd March 2004 asking how well their financial action against terrorism was being conducted. Baroness Symonds of the FCO wrote back on 23 June 2004 quoting the various international agreements on freezing terrorist assets and saying that they, the FCO, were doing their job very well.
In September 2004 JTJ captured Ken Bigley and two US citizens, Armstrong and Hensley. The Americans were murdered in that month, and Ken Bigley was murdered on 7 October.
About that time the FCO announced that they were going to freeze the assets of JTJ.
It is therefore the case that the FCO did not know that JTJ was a terrorist organisation for the first five years of its existence, or that it did know of it but for some reason did nothing to freeze their assets.
Now look at this MSN site titled "Avoiding attacking suspected terrorist mastermind". MSN's chief Pentagon correspondent cites 3 occasions when the military was ready to kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at his ricin factory - in June 2002, Oct 2002 and Jan 2003 - only to be turned down by the Bush administration. The reason for this failure to act is given as the wish of the Bush administration to have an excuse to invade Iraq.
“People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of pre-emption against terrorists,” according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.
It certainly looks therefore as if the founder of Daesh/ISIS was spared financial action by the UK and military action by the US in the interests of building the propaganda case for the 20 March 2003 Iraq invasion.
More on how UK/US helped ISIS to form