The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) plans to use the territory it has recently secured as a launching pad for attacking the U.S. homeland, according to a new congressional report that cites comments by the leader of the al Qaeda-linked militant group.
The Washington Times reports:
The CRS [Congressional Research Service] report, delivered to members of Congress, makes the point that ISIL is a well-organized, well-funded terrorist group with definite goals to take territory and kill people it considers nonbelievers.
“Several leading representatives of the U.S. intelligence community have stated that [ISIL] maintains training camps in Iraq and Syria, has the intent to attack the United States and is reportedly recruiting and training individuals to do so,” says the June 20 report.
It quotes al-Baghdadi threatening the U.S.: “Know, O defender of the Cross, that a proxy war will not help you in the Levant, just as it will not help you in Iraq. Soon, you will be in direct conflict — God permitting — against your will.”
What makes ISIL even more dangerous is its ability to raise, and steal, money. Wealthy Sunni sheiks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have funneled money to ISIL to help it bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is an Alawite, an offshoot of Shia Islam. Mr. Assad aligns himself with Shiite-dominated Iran, and its proxy in Lebanon, the militant group Hezbollah.