The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant marched across eastern Syria near the border with Iraq on Thursday, seizing towns, villages and the country's largest oil field as rival rebel factions gave up the fight, activists said.
The extremist group -- which controls large parts of northern Syria and captured vast swaths of northern and western Iraq last month -- is now in almost full control of a corridor stretching from the Syrian border town of Boukamal to the government-controlled provincial capital of Deir el-Zour to the northwest.
Led by an ambitious Iraqi militant known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant this week unilaterally declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the lands it has seized in Syria and Iraq. It proclaimed al-Baghdadi the head of its new self-styled state and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.
The new developments effectively expand and consolidate areas held by the group -- which has shorted its name to the Islamic State -- in territory straddling the border between the two conflict-ridden countries.
So, let me get this straight: with all the surveillance the NSA does, around the world, they bloody couldn't see this coming?!?
IF they did not see this coming, then every bit of surveillance done by the NSA is NOT about allegedly "keeping Americans safe"; it is about keeping Americans cowed and terrified.