The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, has abducted more Westerners. The latest captives include two Italian women and a Japanese national. They are reporters, photographers and aid workers.
Over the past six months Islamic jihadists in Syria have taken at least ten hostages from Western countries, including Spain, Denmark and France. The hostages were traded for ransom, but in the wake of the alleged execution of journalist James Foley the latest captives may suffer a more gruesome fate as the propaganda war ramps up ahead of a U.S. invasion of Syria.
The next victim will likely be Steven Sotloff, a freelance journalist who has contributed to Time and Foreign Policy. He was taken captive a year ago on the border of Turkey and Syria. Following the supposed execution of Foley, ISIS announced they will behead Sotloff if the United States continues its air strikes in Iraq.
The Obama administration and the Pentagon have announced they will continue attacking ISIS. On Wednesday, Obama said the U.S. would “do what we must to protect our people."
Although Obama insisted the U.S. does not plan to enter Syria, the administration later said several dozen special forces troops were on the ground there.
Additionally, the Pentagon has announced it plans to send ground troops "to better secure State Department facilities in Baghdad from possible attack by Islamic State militants," according to ABC News Radio.
Establishment Media: ISIS a Threat to "Global Community"
According to the establishment media, ISIS is goading the U.S. into invading Syria. "What the terrorists are trying to do is to intimidate and to some degree provoke the United States," former ambassador James Jeffrey told Fox News.
"They suffered a major defeat at the Mosul dam. What they are trying to say is: We’re back. We’re going to pursue our agenda of a total war against the rest of the global community… and we taunt you to do something about this."
On Wednesday it was announced the U.S. had launched nearly a dozen air strikes on ISIS near the Mosul Dam in Iraq. The dam is said to be now under Kurdish control.
Jeffrey characterized the bombing of northern Iraq as a success and said "all the pieces are in play for President Obama to move forward, cautiously, but still move forward on a campaign against these people."
"Sooner or later, we’re going to fight them," he predicted. "Because they want to fight us."
The chorus call for a wider war in the Middle East was echoed by the National Journal on Wednesday.
"When a centrist Democrat, a Republican hawk, a libertarian, and a tea partier all find common ground on Capitol Hill, it’s worth noting this rare outbreak of bipartisan consensus. Sens. Tim Kaine, James Inhofe, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz all believe the White House should seek new approval from Congress for U.S. military operations in Iraq. President Obama should give the senators exactly what they are requesting," James Kitfeild wrote for the magazine.
A former CIA deputy director, Mike Morell, who is now a CBS News national security analyst, said on Thursday ISIS may strike inside America.
“The short-term concern is the Americans that have gone to fight with ISIS and the west Europeans that have gone to fight with ISIS could be trained and directed by ISIS to come to the United States to conduct small-scale attacks,” Morell told CBS This Morning. “If an ISIS member showed up at a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised.”
In order to prevent this, Morell said, the United States should attack ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Morell said the effort would entail "taking territory away from them so they cannot use it as a safe haven to train. That requires airstrikes and that requires enabling the Iraqi military to do its job. The other thing it requires is to take the leadership of ISIS off the battlefield. That means capturing or killing them.”