The US, Europe and the Middle East are again refusing to connect the dots of the terrorist threat, recalling the denial that marked the peak period of Al Qaeda’s atrocities in the early 2000's.
When the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter trumpeted the Fallujah victory over the Islamic State on June 27, he neglected to disclose that the real victors were Iranians – not Iraqis. The next day, an ISIS suicide attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport overshadowed that success, killing at least 41 people including 13 foreign nationald and injuring more than 230.
As the Obama administration labored to conceal from the public in the West its strategy of using Shiite forces to hammer ISIS in Iraq and parts of Syria, the Sunni terrorists retaliated in Istanbul – and not just there.
Seven ISIS suicide bombers, some on motorcycles, exploded on Monday, June 27, in a Christian village in the Lebanon Valley near Baʿalbek. A week earlier, an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up at the gates of a large Jordanian military base on the Syrian border.
The connection between the ISIS arenas and cause and event is there for anyone who wants to see it.
ISIS has a ready store of suicide bombers who are willing to blow themselves up, not just because they are 'extreme fanatics' or “thugs” as President Obama insists on defining them, but because they believe they are fighting a religious war: Sunnis against Shiites, Sunnis against Christians and Sunnis against Jews.
On this point, Obama is in denial.
Turkey's Sunni President Tayyip Erdogan was swiftly punished for concluding a political-military-intelligence agreement with the Jewish state. That same day, three suicide bombers, probably waiting for months at a safe house near the Istanbul airport, were ordered from ISIS Syrian headquarters in Raqqa, to go into action.
Neither the dense US intelligence net in the region, nor Turkish and Israeli intelligence managed to intercept the order.
debkafile intelligence sources point out that the highly secure Ataturk airport, the third largest in Europe, is not the only one on the continent at which ISIS suicide units are lurking ready to strike.
American-European intelligence input points to their presence near at least two or three other airports in Europe. The problem is that the intel is very general, pointing to intent, with no specifics on countries or airports.
The public in the West and Middle-East are not told either about the 'small' victories scored by ISIS on the battle field. For instance, ISIS forces managed to block the Syrian-Hizballah advance towards the highway leading from Palmyra to Raqqa, inflicting heavy losses despite Russian air cover.
In Israel, where security awareness is usually high, no one was told about the successful ISIS engagement at the Syria-Jordan-Israel border junction bordering on the Israeli Golan against US-trained and armed Syrian rebels, who fought under artillery cover from Jordan.
In other words, ISIS has established itself on the Israeli border, a few kilometers away from the Sea of Galilee and Tiberius.
The Islamic State is fully geared to respond to such losses as Fallujah by going for strategic gains on the ground and inflicting horrible retribution on its victims by remotely activating sleeper cells of suicide killers.
Rather than being degraded, as Obama claims, ISIS is fully equipped to target its victims across several continents.
On Tuesday Istanbul airport was its chosen target. Now, we must wait and see who is next.