Sunday, September 21, 2014

NYT: Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United

By David D. Kirkpatrick

BAGHDAD — The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

“We know about who made Daesh,” said Bahaa al-Araji, a deputy prime minister, using an Arabic shorthand for the Islamic State on Saturday at a demonstration called by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr to warn against the possible deployment of American ground troops. Mr. Sadr publicly blamed the C.I.A. for creating the Islamic State in a speech last week, and interviews suggested that most of the few thousand people at the demonstration, including dozens of members of Parliament, subscribed to the same theory. (Mr. Sadr is considered close to Iran, and the theory is popular there as well.)

When an American journalist asked Mr. Araji to clarify if he blamed the C.I.A. for the Islamic State, he retreated: “I don’t know. I am one of the poor people,” he said, speaking fluent English and quickly stepping back toward the open door of a chauffeur-driven SUV. “But we fear very much. Thank you!”

The prevalence of the theory in the streets underscored the deep suspicions of the American military’s return to Iraq more than a decade after its invasion, in 2003. The casual endorsement by a senior official, though, was also a pointed reminder that the new Iraqi government may be an awkward partner for the American-led campaign to drive out the extremists.

Read the rest here.


  1. Does this not have a KONY2012 feel to it?

  2. The beheading videos reek of CIA. Most Americans probably think they never occurred until ISIS showed up in 2014. Did the CIA participate? They didn't have to. Perhaps an insider simply suggested that it might be a good idea. Asking for ransom is ok, but a beheading video will have the best weapons and training shipped directly to us.

  3. I had thought it entirely plausi that ISIS is a Neocon invention to keep the war machine going. But now that the NYT are speculating as much, I have to rethink it.