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Abu Sayyaf, key ISIS figure in Syria, killed in U.S. raid

 
 
Ionus
 
Reply Sat 16 May, 2015 11:28 pm
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/16/middleeast/syria-isis-us-raid/

Quote:
National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Obama had authorized the raid "upon the unanimous recommendation of his national security team" and as soon as the United States was confident all the pieces were in place for the operation to succeed.

"Abu Sayyaf was a senior ISIL leader who, among other things, had a senior role in overseeing ISIL's illicit oil and gas operations -- a key source of revenue that enables the terrorist organization to carry out their brutal tactics and oppress thousands of innocent civilians," she said in a statement. "He was also involved with the group's military operations."
 
fresco
 
  4  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2015 11:57 pm
@Ionus,
Unfortunately, in a theocracy which devalues 'this life' in favor of 'the next', the death of any particular terrorist is unlikely to have any effect other than increasing the enthusiasm of those wishing to take his place.
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 03:44 am
@fresco,
Yep . I agree . I just hope they get enough info from his wife to take out some more of the leadership . If the leadership is in a state of transition, it might help turn the tide . I dont know what they can do once they reconquer the area . Syria still has a president somewhere . Iraq can reclaim its former lands and go back to enjoying car bombings . This will be decades before it is over .
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 04:04 pm

I don't know anything about IS leadership so I can't comment on this capture/killing, but there was another capture last year that went mostly unnoticed in the news, and that one is quite significant. Back in 2014, Egypt captured one of al-Qa'ida's top figures alive. Apparently he'd been in Libya to oversee the attack that murdered our ambassador.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/egypt-arrests-top-aide-al-qaida-chief

We've killed a handful of top al-Qa'ida figures over the years, but this is only the second time that one of their top figures has been captured alive (the first being KSM in 2003). I presume that he has since been questioned soundly by CIA officers.
Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 10:07 pm
@oralloy,
When they do capture people it is a very good day, but they are getting just as much information from computer hard drives . The captured people have to be tested for accuracy of information very carefully .
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 10:14 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
I presume that he has since been questioned soundly by CIA officers.
People who moan about torture argue it doesnt work . It DOES work, but unfortunately one of the groups it works the least on is the truly religious . They look at their torturer and think we will both be dead but I will be in heaven and you in hell so torturing the religious is mostly counter productive . There is humiliation type tortures that are more effective .
puzzledperson
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Oct, 2015 05:16 pm
@Ionus,
The leadership of major terrorist groups like Al Qaeda developed contingency plans for dealing with interrogation.

The simplest response to torture is to hold out long enough to make a "breakdown" plausible, then "cooperate" by providing two types of Information:

(1) The first type is seed information to establish bona fides. This includes information that is already known, information that applies to past events and cannot compromise current operations, information about things that will be changed as a result of the capture of the leader or with the passage of time, and in general information that is true but essentially useless to interrogators.

(2) The second type is disinformation about credible things that are difficult to independently verify precisely because it is known only to the leadership and so few of them are captured, as well as because the structure of terrorist cells is designed to compartmentalize information so as to limit the damage caused by captured operatives. This is designed to waste the enemy's time and resources by sending them on wild goose chases and simply confusing him. Information that doesn't pan out can always be blamed on changes to the terrorist network and its plans following the capture of a leader who knows things.

Another trick related to (2) is to implicate one's political or religious enemies or competitors.

Another problem with torture as an interrogation technique is that those being tortured may be likely to say whatever it appears or is supposed that the interrogators want to hear, in order to get the torture to stop or lessen.Interrogators whose biases are played to are much more likely to misjudge information gained as accurate or useful even when it results in little or no concrete results.

Interrogators attempting to confirm information given by one captive under torture from another captive interrogated on the basis of Information received from the first, are likely to give cues which cause false confirmation also. "We know you work with Abu Abu because he confessed" is likely, under torture, to elicit a seemingly corroborative admission of the relationship or other details, even when it isn't true (or especially then). This nested information mosaic based on tortured confessions is well known from the days of the Spanish Inquisition.
puzzledperson
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Oct, 2015 05:37 pm
@fresco,
Somewhat true, but one obvious exception is the top leader of ISIS, who must have special qualifications as a Caliph and cannot be replaced by just anyone.

While it is true that contingency plans now exist for the continuation of the "caliphate" in the result of his death, it is by no means clear that the patchwork of militant groups willing to work together under the banner of "Islamic State" and to submit to the absolute authority of a highly regarded Caliph will be willing to continue the same arrangement under a less religiously qualified set of replacements that function more as a military junta than as the anointed successor to the prophet Muhammad.

Also, Islamic militants bound to ISIS view its success as evidence of the approval of Allah and the legitimacy of the organization not merely as a militant group but as a caliphate. The death of its Caliph at the hands of infidels would seriously undermine this, with the result that the grand vision fueling new recruits and the obedience of old ones would be shattered.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 16 Oct, 2015 11:48 pm
@puzzledperson,
Quote:
Another problem with torture as an interrogation technique is that those being tortured may be likely to say whatever it appears or is supposed that the interrogators want to hear, in order to get the torture to stop or lessen.Interrogators whose biases are played to are much more likely to misjudge information gained as accurate or useful even when it results in little or no concrete results.

Interrogators attempting to confirm information given by one captive under torture from another captive interrogated on the basis of Information received from the first, are likely to give cues which cause false confirmation also. "We know you work with Abu Abu because he confessed" is likely, under torture, to elicit a seemingly corroborative admission of the relationship or other details, even when it isn't true (or especially then).

And how do these problems not exist in any interrogation method?
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Oct, 2015 03:27 pm
@Ionus,
False confessions do sometimes occur in the context of coercive interrogation techniques that aren't normally classified as torture. For example, it has been known that suspects, told that they've been positively identified by eyewitnesses or confederates, and that they will face the death penalty unless they confess and cooperate, will give false confessions. For example, the Temple murder case in Arizona:

http://archive.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/20110814buddhist-temple-murders-west-valley-impact.html

The suspects weren't physically beaten but they were denied adequate sleep and food and threatened with the death penalty if they didn't cooperate. Surprisingly, several false confessions were obtained.

But this points up the problem with coercive interrogation in general: and to the extent that torture is the ultimate in coercive interrogation techniques, the problem is exacerbated. The motive to "cooperate" is much stronger. Note also that the sleep deprivation in the Temple case interrogations was mild compared to that applied at Guantanamo and elsewhere in the "war on terror".

Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2015 05:02 am
@puzzledperson,
So you think if we ask nicely the terrorist will talk ? Abu ghraib was working . Interrogators found they were far more co-operative .
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2015 03:00 am
@Ionus,
The feds seem to do a pretty good job getting information from organized crime groups (mafia and other criminal gangs) through professional (not medieval) interrogation techniques; also from other methods consistent with the U.S.Constitution. This despite the viciousness and secrecy of these organizations and some of their members.

Local police seem to get a lot of Information from and/or about a lot of equally vicious but not so organized criminals these days, even after reading suspects their Miranda rights, and without electrodes and waterboards and all the other little toys that are associated with high levels of "cooperation" but low levels of accuracy and reliability.

I think that if the job of intelligence gathering was carried out by trained and experienced law enforcement investigators used to dealing with violent, secretive criminal gangs, using finely honed professional skills, instead of by easily frustrated amateurs whose idea of effective interrogation and intelligence gathering techniques comes from pulp fiction, the United States would gather more information more reliably, without playing into the propaganda of hostile forces, and at considerably less moral hazard.

Every time I turn on the news I am reminded that the U.S. has no intelligence on ISIS except what they can get from drones and from satellites and from NSA based telecommunications monitoring that collects nearly everything but nets nearly nothing because groups like ISIS and al Qaeda have relied on personal couriers for high level communications for a long time now.

The idea of learning a culture and a language and a religion, and getting to know somebody's landlord and do them or their families some really nice favors so that they might grant admission to someone's apartment under the guise of maintenance or just on the sly, and in general cultivating networks of local informants (whether through intermediaries or directly), who do their best for you because you have demonstrated your trustworthiness and helpfulness to them, seems woefully absent.

If you have enough eyes and ears in the right places and friends who can give you access to homes and businesses, or who can simply notify you when strangers behaving strangely pass through or where and when they meet, you might not have to monitor every radio frequency in the world 24 hours a day, accumulating such vast backlogs of (nearly all useless) information that takes so long to sort through and analyze that timely intelligence is nearly impossible to come by, much less to act on.

Who says Abu Ghraib worked? The troglodytes and perverts who ran it? I don't trust their judgment. See my earlier comments.
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2015 12:05 am
@Ionus,
P.S. The "ticking time-bomb" scenario is frequently invoked in arguments advocating torture as an interrogation technique.

The counterargument is that the individual being interrogated need only pretend to cooperate long enough to divert the resources of the interrogators (and the government they represent) into a wild-goose chase until the soon-to-explode bomb actually detonates.

He could also protect himself by claiming that for reasons of operational security the group has contingency plans so that in the case of the capture or unexplained disappearance of a cell member with knowledge of the operation, a pre-arranged alternative target is selected by the remaining leadership. That way the inaccuracy of his answer is accounted for.

Investigators overestimating the power of torture to determine the truth in such a case might not only waste time this way, but also fail to pursue other lines of investigation and/or interrogation techniques that could provide accurate and timely information.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2015 09:06 pm
Its a game of move and countermove. There are no perfect solutions.

The USA has been relying on electronic intelligence since the Cold War, whereas the Soviet Union relied on human information gathering . It is hard for a country to change its gathering methods but the USA has a particularly egocentric education system and seems ignorant of a lot of the world . This lack of knowledge of the world makes human intelligence hard to obtain .

The interrogators who received prisoners after Abu Ghraib found the prisoners very co-operative and received valuable information . Sexual humiliation works on the religious, pain and death threats not so much but these do have more effect on the non-religious .

If you could have tortured one person and prevented the Paris attacks, would you say no that you have your morals to think of ?

Does a prisoner have the right to withhold information that will kill the enemy when he is safe and secure courtesy of that enemy ?
0 Replies
 
 

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