LISTEN: Journalist recalls meeting man who now leads ISIS

LISTEN: Journalist recalls meeting man who now leads ISIS

Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:30 am

LISTEN: Journalist recalls chance meeting with man who now leads ISIS (23 min.)

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Wednesday November 18, 2015

The last two weeks have left a lot of people wondering what else ISIS might be capable of.

First the group took credit for bringing down a commercial plane flying out of Sharm el Sheik in Egypt. Then, it claimed to have set off the worst series of suicide bombings Beirut had seen since the end of Lebanon's civil war, 25 years ago.

And, of course, there was Paris. None of the attacks have yet been proven to be the work of ISIS. But the possibility that some, or even all, were organized by the group is far from being ruled out.

Before the attacks on Beirut and Paris, Anna Maria spoke with journalist Mitch Prothero about his insights into ISIS. He is the Iraqi Bureau Chief for McClatchy newspapers. They talked about Abu Omar al Shishani, one of the most respected and feared of ISIS' military commanders in Syria. Abu Omar al Shishani was born with the name Tarkhan Batirashvili.

"We all joked around, had kind of a nice time, and I ended up taking a picture with their commander. Ten years later, we discover that he is now top commander for the Islamic state." - Mitch Prothero on meeting ISIS commander in Syria

And the story of how he became Abu Omar al Shishani speaks volumes about the sometimes unseen forces shaping the Middle East and the Caucuses.

Mitch Prothero tracked down the story as part of our series, Ripple Effect, [ ... ppleeffect ] and discovered an unlikely chain of events that began with an old, fading photograph. We reached him in Erbil in northern Iraq, last week, by skype.

This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott.

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♦ How I met the man who became the Islamic State's military No. 1

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♦ U.S. training helped mold top Islamic State military commander
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