Why Did ISIS Seize Ancient City and Destroy Roman Ruins?
They Want to Eliminate “False Idols” and Legitimize Themselves, Explains O’Neill.
ISIS isn’t satisfied with the destruction of human life. As we learned this week with news that the terrorist organization had taken over the 2,000-year-old Syrian city of Palmyra, they’re turning archeological wonders to a pile of rubble.
Adding insult to injury, the terrorist group beheaded an 82-year-old scholar and curator from the ancient city, an authority on Roman history.
Former Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill sat down with FOX News anchor Leland Vittert to offer his thoughts on why ISIS now has their sights set on ruining ruins.
Vittert: “Rob, for those of us who are not Roman-era archeologists and don’t spend a lot of time concerned with the fate of ruins… big picture: why does ISIS doing this matter?”
O’Neill: “This matters because they’re trying to establish the Caliphate, the Islamic State in that part of the world. They’re destroying these ruins and statues, because they’re trying to avoid idolatry. They don’t want false idols even though these ruins are older than the religion of Islam itself. They’re trying to legitimize themselves with potential recruits who want to be radicalized in parts of Europe, parts of the United States. They’re proving a point.”
Vittert: “We haven’t heard much from ISIS in the last couple of weeks. There’s been a lot of other news in the headlines. Is that good for ISIS or bad for ISIS? Is ISIS required to do more egregious things for more and more publicity, or can they simply build their State under the radar?”
O’Neill: “They’re not going to build it under the radar. Just because we haven’t been hearing from them doesn’t mean they’re not doing stuff. They’re big on social media, obviously, Twitter, Instagram, stuff like that. Everything that they’re doing from enslavement to rape…they’re putting all this stuff on social media, the underground web type stuff. The recruitment’s there. They are trying to one up. They are going to get a lot more attention from us once they… they’re trying to do more and more bad things, from drowning people alive in cages, burning people alive in cages, cutting people in half.”
Vittert: “It seems the depravity knows no end.”