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Defense One Radio

Dec 7, 2018

This week on the program: • The true origins of the Islamic State terrorist group. Hassan Hassan, a Syrian-born scholar of the Middle East, recently found a 93-page document from ISIS chronicling the jihadi landscape of pre-9/11 Iraq. New details show that the man originally thought to have created ISIS — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — was not at all the group’s creator. Hassan tells us all about a man named Abu Ali al-Anbari and this new, revised history of al-Qaeda in Iraq. • Then in our second half, we’ll consider the United States’ global war on terror now 17 years after 2001, what seemed to work, some things that didn’t, and where it could be headed in the years to come. *** Qs for Hassan Hassan: 1. [2:07] Can you remind our listeners who we all believed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to have been before you wrote your article? 2. [4:05] How did you come across this revelatory new information about Abu Ali al-Anbari? 3. [6:19] Why didn't you buy Zarqawi as the driving force others believed him to be? 4. [12:19] The “ideological contours” of al-Qaeda, as you called it — you write that these were in place in Iraq before Zarqawi entered the scene. Can you tell us a bit about why those things preceded Zarqawi? 5. [16:50] So what, if anything, does this change about how nations resist al-Qaeda and off-shoots like ISIS moving forward? 6. [18:00] What does all this suggest about the future of ISIS? 7. [22:05] Have you considered re-writing any portions of your 2015 book, “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror?” 8. [23:56] U.S. Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie — President Trump’s new nominee to lead U.S. Central Command — told lawmakers this week that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is "a very scared man running for his life in the desert." Is that your impression as well? 9. [25:48] How did Abu Ali al-Anbari get on the U.S. military's radar? 10. [26:24] What are your thoughts when you consider how long America has been openly at war with al-Qaeda — and offshoots of al-Qaeda? 11. [33:47] Is there anybody out there that you’ve seen who appears to be doing productive work or who is on the right track when trying to address the roots causes of extremism today? 12. [39:49] Has the U.S. overstayed its welcome in the Middle East? 13. [43:48] There's a tolerance developing in eastern Syria and parts of the Middle East where sectarianism had dominated in recent years?