Explaining Germany’s Preparations for Islamic State

It is the first time in 21 years that the German government has updated its civil defense guidelines.

Last month, the German government promulgated a startling new set of civil defense measures. Most notably, they include the recommendation that residents stockpile ten days of food, water, and other essential supplies.

It is the first time in 21 years that the German government has updated its civil defense guidelines. They appear in an official report entitled, “Concept for Civil Defense,” which calls on Germans to be prepared “for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future.”

These guidelines were several years in the making. However, their emphasis and even, perhaps, the timing of the civil defense report, were very much influenced by recent events, a knowledgeable US intelligence source told Kurdistan24.

Earlier this summer, several European countries, particularly France and Germany, suffered a rash of terrorist attacks. A Frenchman of Tunisian origin killed 85 people on Nice’s beachfront on France’s national holiday. Subsequently, two teenagers killed a beloved 84-year old priest during morning mass before a small group of horrified parishioners.

Germany suffered four attacks in one week. Fatalities were limited, but they were the first Islamic State (IS) attacks on German soil. Moreover, three were committed by asylum-seekers from among the one million refugees who have recently entered Germany.

Those attacks precipitated a series of meetings: in France, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and in London. Those in attendance were dissidents within their intelligence organizations.

They believe that the former Iraqi regime lies at IS’ core, providing direction, expertise, and other resources. They see the Islamic extremists as the contemporary equivalent of Lenin’s “useful idiots”—passionate pawns.

These Western intelligence officials were joined in their meetings by a figure from Jordanian intelligence. Jordan has acquired alarming information about IS’ plans for terrorism following its detention of two relatives of Saddam Hussein, who are now senior IS figures, as Kurdistan24 earlier reported.

Phone intercepts corroborate the two men’s claim that IS is preparing “something big” in the West. The new Jordanian intelligence suggests a terrorist attack using chemical or biological agents.

Jordan can crack IS’ weakly-encrypted phone conversations. It has even identified at least one individual through voice prints. This person, a scientist involved in Saddam’s weapons programs, was held by US forces in Iraq. It also routinely collected biometric data on prisoners.

That is the information that precipitated the issuance of Germany’s new civil defense measures.

More broadly, this group of intelligence dissidents challenges the Western understanding of the “global jihad.” That view holds that the “global jihad” consists almost entirely of religious extremists, and ideology drives their violence.

This idea originated with Israeli intelligence, which first promoted it in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1992 election of a new Labor Party government in Jerusalem. The Israelis claimed that there was a new threat, represented by the extremists returning from Afghanistan after the Soviet defeat. This threat was radically different because it supposedly did not involve states.

Mossad (foreign intelligence) and Shin Bet (domestic intelligence) promoted this concept, according to an Israeli Military Intelligence source. However, Military Intelligence did not accept it and maintained its focus on the threat posed by hostile states. 

Indeed, the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan had been a major intelligence operation, involving the US, Pakistan, several Arab countries, as well as China. The intelligence agencies supported the Afghan mujahedeen and the extremists who fought alongside them! How could anyone be sure that intelligence agencies did not operate among the militants, even after they left Afghanistan?

This group believes that multiple intelligence agencies work within the “global jihad,” including elements of the intelligence agencies of regimes overthrown since 2003. Their focus is mainly the old Iraqi regime. One member of the group refers to the “global jihad” as “the Baathists 2.0.”

Their view closely resembles that of the Kurdish leadership. As the media advisor to President Massoud Barzani stated already in June 2014, “Most of the people in the region believe that the organization known as [IS] is actually founded and ruled by the Ba’ath.”

That, indeed, is the view of Jordanian intelligence.

Finally, this group of dissident Western intelligence officers has concluded that there is a major problem with the management of US intelligence, specifically at the CIA. Starting in 1993, it embraced the Israeli view of this violence. Twenty-three years later, it continues to do so! When presented with other information, like the Jordanian reports cited above, CIA management dismisses them as “contrary to current intelligence.”

This group finds the CIA attitude very frustrating. Jordan, reportedly, has complained formally. The US member of this group remarked to Kurdistan24 that CIA management was simply unwilling to acknowledge that it had misunderstood this violence long ago, and now, consequently, “They multiply the dangers to Americans and others.”


Editing by Delovan Barwari