In early 2015, Yousaf al Salafi, a man believed to be the Pakistani commander of Islamic State, confessed during investigations that he has been receiving money through the United States.
A few months after al Salafi revealed the funding he was receiving was routed through the United States, Michael Flynn, former director of Obama’s Defence Intelligence Agency, said he warned the Obama administration three years ago that the groups they were funding in Syria were actually Islamic jihadists. Now, a group of 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have complained that their reports on Islamic State and the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda were being incorrectly changed by senior officials.
On January 22, law enforcing agencies in Pakistan claimed they arrested not only al Salafi, but also two other people during a raid in the city of Lahore. A source familiar with the investigation told Daily Express that during the investigation al Salafi admitted he received funding to run the organisation in Pakistan and “recruit young people to fight in Syria.” The Pakistani-Syrian entered Pakistan via Turkey last year, but it was previously reported that he crossed into Turkey from Syria, was caught there but managed to escape and went to Pakistan to establish ISIS in the region.
Daily Express cited sources as saying that John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State was familiar with al Salafi’s revelations and so was CENTCOM chief General Lloyd Austin. Al Salafi confessed he was recruiting people with a Pakistani accomplice to send them to Syria and was receiving around US$600 per person.
A recently declassified 2012 document shows that “Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq]” were listed as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The document also revealed that “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition while Russia, China and Iran support the regime.” According to the declassified document, the Obama administration was warned in 2012 that these Islamic jihadists wanted to create a “Salafist principality in eastern Syria” and that ISI [Islamic State of Iraq] could declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”
Now, over 50 intelligence analysts have formally claimed their reports on Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria were altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast reported. An investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence has been opened.
A couple of months ago, two senior analysts at CENTCOM claimed in a written complaint to the Defence Department inspector general that the reports described the terror groups as weaker than they believe they are. The reports, some of which were briefed to the U.S. president, were altered by CENTCOM senior officials to make sure it adheres to the presidential administration’s public line that the United States is winning the fight against Islamic State and an al-Qaeda branch in Syria named al-Nusra, the analysts told the publication. The written complaint was supported by 50 other intelligence analysts.
In recent months, members of the Obama administration have tried to convince the population that the fight against ISIS may soon be over. “ISIS is losing,” John Allen, retired Marine general charged with coordinating the Islamic State campaign said in July.