When the death of Osama bin Laden, former leader of Al-Qaeda, was announced in May 2011, the western world was assured that it had rid itself of the last great terror to plague the Earth for quite some time. After all, who or what would be able to cause more devastation than bin Laden when he orchestrated the attacks on the World Trade Centers, ultimately resulting in two wars and the loss of millions of people. Unbeknownst to the western world at the time, though, were bin Laden’s private fears. With the recent discovery of a 21-page article found in bin Laden’s final hiding place, those fears have been reified.
First unveiled by the Daily Mail, a British news publication, Osama bin Laden’s fears in 2011 centered around the rising power of the Islamic State of Israel and Syria (ISIS) – now simply referred to as the Islamic State (IS).
Even Bin Laden Found ISIS too Extreme: A letter discovered among Osama bin Laden's personal belongings warned … http://t.co/kvzyxfkYjN
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 11, 2014
The letter, the exact details of which having not been released yet, was apparently written by one of bin Laden’s top officials, cites IS’s extreme violence as the reason why bin Laden feared the group so much – acts such as the use of chlorine gas, mosque bombings, and the brutal massacre of Christians. In fact, Osama bin Laden was so worried about the reputation of IS ruining the already-tarnished reputation of Al-Qaeda so much that he pushed for the two organizations to part ways and cease support of one another – a move which Al Qaeda finally made earlier this year.
On June 29, 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of IS, proclaimed a caliphate for the organization and was named its caliph. As it currently stands, IS holds a chunk of land in Iraq bigger than the nation of England and has some six million people under its control. The objective of IS is to bring as much land and people under its caliphate as possible, with Syria and northern Iraq being the group’s immediate targets.
The United States has responded to the threat of ISIS by sending air strikes to northern Iraq in hopes of protecting the US embassy nearby. However, President Obama has stated that the bombing will not expand past the area of northern Iraq.
If Osama bin Laden was worried about the evil, brutal nature of the IS, then perhaps the United States should be, too.
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