@WikiBaghdady Tweets Reveal ISIS At Center of Iraq Coming Full Circle
In 2004, as an unrecognized state and active Jihadist militant group, ISIS was established in the early years of the Iraq War with a pledge allegiance to al-Qaeda. It's aim was to to establish and spread in the Sunni majority of Iraq and Syria. So while the U.S. government is contemplating reengaging, let's explore the new forces at work that look uncannily similar to our previous foes.
I Tweet, Therefore I Am . . .Appearing as a nemesis to this malevolent organization is @WikiBaghdady. As covert as some of the other "wikileaks" type groups, the intent of this mysterious Twitter account appears to be a steadfast desire to halt ISIS's power grab of Iraq by spilling the terrorists' top strategic secrets online. @Wikibaghdady began on December 10, 2013 with their first tweet marked “urgent” promising to “reveal the secrets of the organization of the State of Iraq and the Syria.”
What's in a Name?The name "WikiBaghdady" is actually a play on worlds. In the short time it's been in existence, one of its major coups was to out the true identity of ISIS’s shadowy leader known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or "Baghdadi" for short.
Since the actual identity of the @WikiBaghdady account's owner is unknown, there's speculation by various sources that the leaker(s) could be a former ISIS member or group who have defected. Since it's not yet been noticed to any significant degree by mainstream media, what's being accomplished by this account may help shape the public's understanding of ISIS's tactics and strategy.
What Goes Around, Comes AroundSince the US's departure from Iraq, many suspected that all the effort applied to steering this country into some form of a democratic government was for naught. Now with the @WikiBagdady's tweets coming to light, there appears to be evidence that those predictions are coming home to roost. In a Daily Beast report, titled, "ISIS's Secret Allies," @WikiBagdady is transmitting updates to the world noting this group didn't conquer a major chunk of Iraq on their own, but that in actuality, they had an assist from previous Saddamites.
Strange BedfellowsYes, as we all know, war makes strange bedfellows. So, as @WikiBagdady tweets intimated that the rapid takeover of Iraqi cities was not a solo effort, it didn't take long to connect the dots. This terrorist campaign is now relying on the cultivated network of partnerships between Sunni groups and what was once considered ISIS' ideological enemy - Saddam Hussein's Baathists.
The Twitter account with 36.3 followers (as of this post) and the online intrigue it has engendered might seem like a meager opposition attempt to thwart an organization that's amassed hundreds of thousands. But according to the Daily Beast post, "with so little known about ISIS and its leader Baghdadi, even accounts from self-interested parties can add valuable pieces to the puzzle."
How Many Reruns?
So, like that a rerun of a bad movie we had hoped never to watch again, it looks like ten years later we are right back where we started. The only difference being is Twitter didn't exist during the second Gulf War. And the only propaganda we were fed at that was the false information about non-existing WMDs.
Perhaps with this go-around, we might get some intel that's a little more reliable -- and if not totally accurate -- at least its being leaked by a source that's delivering it to us in real-time, and not through filtered govermental messaging. That would certainly be more helpful than the past, since by receiving it 24/7, it will allow us to fact-check on an ongoing basis. Stay tuned for more from the Dark Side, as soon as it breaks from it's microblogging site. (0h, and by the way, you'll need the Twitter translation tool to translate - as all the tweets are in Arabic.)