Matthew Vadum: THE MUSHROOM CLOUD ISIS HAS IN STORE FOR US

The totalitarian mass murderers of Islamic State are hellbent on acquiring nuclear weapons and using them against their enemies in the West, a reporter who was embedded with the Salafi jihadist fighters in occupied Syria is warning.

German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer, who spent 10 anxious days living in Islamic State-held Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in Syria with the jihadists, wants the world to know that the terrorist group is deadly serious about unleashing a "nuclear tsunami" on those who oppose its efforts to create an Islamic caliphate.

"This is the largest religious cleansing strategy that has ever been planned in human history," he said.

The West has "no concept of the threat it faces" from Islamic State and "dramatically"  underestimates the threat posed by the group, said the former German politician who was allowed to embed with the group because of his high-profile criticism of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

"They are extremely brutal," according to Todenhöfer. "Not just head-cutting. I'm talking about the strategy of religious cleansing. That's their official philosophy. They are talking about 500 million people who have to die."

He describes his jihadist odyssey in a new book called Inside IS - Ten Days In The Islamic State. At time of writing it wasn’t clear if the author plans to release an English-language version. (The German-language book is titled Inside IS - 10 Tage im 'Islamischen Staat'.)

Todenhöfer's disturbing revelations come 20 months after President Obama sat down with David Remnick of theNew Yorker and dismissively likened Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) as a "jayvee," or junior varsity, team. "If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant," Obama said in January last year.

Congenitally in denial about the threat that Muslim expansionism poses to free nations, Obama said last fall that "ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim."

Even now as Islamic State continues racking up horrifying, barbaric atrocities, the Appeaser-in-Chief maintains that Islamic State can be vanquished with tough love and social programs.

At the United Nations yesterday Obama said waging war against such terrorist groups won't accomplish anything.

"Ideologies are not defeated with guns," Obama told UN delegates. "They are defeated by better ideas -- a more attractive and compelling vision."

As someone who spent time with the jihadists, Todenhöfer agrees with Obama that Western military intervention against Islamic State would be pointless.

"I don't see anyone who has a real chance to stop them. Only Arabs can stop [Islamic State]. I came back very pessimistic."

Islamic State fighters are significantly more "dangerous and organized" than people in Western nations assume and "completely sure they will win this fight," the Daily Mail (UK) reports the 75-year-old veteran war correspondent saying.

Islamic State "fighters are much smarter and more dangerous than our leaders believe. In the Islamic State, there is an almost palpable enthusiasm and confidence of victory, which I have not seen in many war zones."

The group uses its gruesome, graphic beheading videos to cow civilian populations into submission before invading an area, he added.

The newspaper account continued:

Mr Todenhöfer went on to say that ISIS have plans for mass genocide, with the aim of eradicating all atheists and religions that are not "people of the book" or who do not subscribe to their particular brand of Islam.

"The IS want to kill... all non-believers and apostates and enslave their women and children. All Shiites, Yazidi, Hindus, atheists and polytheists should be killed," he [wrote separately].

"Hundreds of millions of people are to be eliminated in the course of this religious 'cleansing.'"

"All moderate Muslims who promote democracy, should be killed. Because, from the IS perspective, they promote human laws over the laws of God.

"This also applies to - after a successful conquest - the democratically-minded Muslims in the Western world."

Todenhöfer covered some of the same ground in January when he spoke to Al Jazeera about what he experienced while living with the jihadists.

“I always asked them about the value of mercy in Islam,” but “I didn’t see any mercy in their behavior,” he said.

“Something that I don’t understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers… They also will kill Muslim democrats because they believe that non-ISIL-Muslims put the laws of human beings above the commandments of God.”

Todenhöfer was appalled at how “willing to kill” the jihadists were. “They were talking about [killing] hundreds of millions. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that."

According to the Daily Mail, when Todenhöfer arrived in Islamic State-controlled territory, the terrorists took away the mobile phones that he and his son, who worked as his cameraman, had brought with them. He had spent months communicating with the group over Skype before it granted him permission to enter its territory.

As he explained:

Of course I'd seen the terrible, brutal beheading videos and it was of course after seeing this in the last few months that caused me the greatest concern in my negotiations to ensure how I can avoid this. Anyway, I made my will before I left. People there live in shellholes, in barracks, in bombed-out houses. I slept on the floor, if I was lucky on a plastic mattress. I had a suitcase and a backpack, a sleeping bag.

As one might expect, Todenhöfer isn't exactly a fan of the U.S.-led Global War on Terror,  which in the eyes of some gives his words extra weight.

As an elected member of the Bundestag from 1972 to 1990, he was the Christian Democratic Union's parliamentary spokesman on disarmament, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW). "In 1980, he paid a visit to Soviet-occupied Afghanistan—the first of what would become many visits to crisis regions. Over time, he became a committed pacifist and critic of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Meanwhile, an American lawmaker warned that President Obama's cavalier approach to U.S. border security and insistence on importing thousands of Syrian refugees will help Islamic State in its quest to terrorize Americans.

“I don’t think that the United States needs to have an open-door policy—this Obama policy—that is going to allow ISIS to come into our country, set up bases of operation illegally at the taxpayers’ expense,” U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said.

Babin also blamed Obama for the bloody mess in Syria.

“I think that his weak, vacillated foreign policy and his decisions and him drawing the red line and then doing nothing after the red line is crossed by [Syrian dictator Bashar al-] Assad has created this entire situation.”

Increasing the quota for Syrian refugees beyond Obama's current limit of 10,000 is a “terrible and unwise idea,” the congressman said. Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, the administration's director of national intelligence, has warned that Islamic State operatives are hiding among the millions of Syrian refugees heading to Europe and the U.S.

And a report from Breitbart News yesterday served as a unsettling reminder of the consequences of President Obama's refusal to secure America's porous border with Mexico:

EDINBURG, Texas – One illegal immigrant has been formally charged with capital murder and another is expected to be charged soon in connection with the execution of two men and the burning of the victims’ corpses in Texas. The two jailed illegal immigrants are said to be members of a fearsome gang called the Tri-City Bombers which has been tied to multiple massacres and high profile murders in the past.

This week, investigators with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested 22-year-old Edwin Adrian Salinas for his suspected role in the case. Authorities had initially arrested him on unrelated drug charges, but once in custody, homicide detectives were able to link him to the double murder.