Due to a back injury there will be fewer posts until I recover enough to find a comfortable position with my laptop.
In the meantime you can keep up with news with the feeds in the right hand sidebar on the home page.
Due to a back injury there will be fewer posts until I recover enough to find a comfortable position with my laptop.
In the meantime you can keep up with news with the feeds in the right hand sidebar on the home page.
By Jamie Glazov July 31, 2015:
This special episode of The Glazov Gang was joined by Anjem Choudary, a London Imam, Robert Spencer, the Director of JihadWatch.org, and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
The three guests came on the show to discuss “Jihad in Chattanooga.”
Don’t miss the fireworks:
WND, By Leo Hohmann On 07/31/2015:
A Texas congressman has introduced legislation that would halt the resettlement of United Nations-certified refugees in the U.S. pending a full study on the program’s impact on the nation’s economy and national security.
Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, or HR 3314, which places an “immediate suspension on allowing immigrants into the United States under the refugee resettlement program, until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completes a thorough examination of its costs on federal, state and local governments.”
According to U.S. government data, nearly 500,000 new immigrants have come to the U.S. under the resettlement program since President Obama took office – with the state of Texas and its taxpayers taking in more than any other state.
Since 2002, a total of 69,490 refugees from more than a dozen countries have been resettled in Texas. That does not include “secondary migration,” which involves refugees moving into Texas after first being resettled elsewhere.
Texas, California lead the way
The Lone Star State absorbed 7,214 refugees in fiscal 2014, followed by California with 6,108 and New York with 4,082. Michigan received 4,006 refugees and Florida 3,519 to round out the top five. Minnesota, when secondary migration is included, also makes the top five with more than 4,000 refugees arriving every year.
The refugees pour in from Iraq, Somalia, Burma, Bhutan, Cuba, Afghanistan, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and even Syria, the world’s most active hotbed of jihadist activity.
And it’s not only major urban centers receiving refugees. Cities like Amarillo, Texas; Manchester, New Hampshire; Twin Falls, Idaho; Lewiston, Maine; Wichita, Kansas; and St. Cloud, Minnesota, have been slammed with thousands of refugees from the Third World over the past decade. Most arrive with no English or job skills, and the nine major resettlement agencies that get government cash to do the resettlement work typically only provide aid for three to five months. After that, the refugees are mainly the responsibility of state and local governments.
Almost all of America’s refugees are selected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
After they are assigned to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are responsible for screening them for connections to foreign terrorist organizations. FBI Counter-terrorism Deputy Director Michael Steinbach testified before Congress in February that it is impossible to screen refugees from a “failed state” like Syria, where the U.S. has no boots on the ground and no access to reliable law enforcement data. Somalia has similarly devolved into chaos.
‘Economic and social costs’ wearing on communities
“It is extremely unsettling that the Obama administration would continue to expand the U.S. resettlement program at such an irresponsible pace in light of our economic and national security challenges,” said Babin in a statement on his website. “While this program may be warranted in certain situations, it is continuing at an unchecked pace. For the past decade, the U.S. has been admitting roughly 70,000 new refugees a year, with little understanding of the economic and social costs on our communities.”
The costs of the resettlement program have ballooned to $1 billion a year, according to the government, and that only covers the costs of grants used to administer the program. The $1 billion figure does not include the cost of social welfare programs that refugees immediately qualify for upon entry into the country.
“Our legislation institutes a common-sense pause in the program so that we can better understand the long-term and short-term costs that this program has on local governments, states and U.S. taxpayers,” Babin said. “It also gives us an opportunity to examine potential national security issues related to entry and resettlement, particularly as federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about home-grown terrorists.”
Resistance growing in South Carolina, Idaho, Minnesota
A public backlash against the refugee resettlement program has sprung up in recent months in several communities, including Spartanburg, South Carolina; Twin Falls, Idaho; and St. Cloud, Minnesota.
The refugee resettlement industry, which includes legions of immigrant rights advocates, lawyers and community organizing groups funded by George Soros, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, among others, churned out a document in 2013 on how to deal with so-called “pockets of resistance.”
The document, authored by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one of the nine government contractors doing resettlement work, advised refugee advocates to research the backgrounds of local people who oppose resettlements and turn them over to the Southern Poverty Law Center for public shaming as “racists” and “anti-Muslim” bigots.
This strategy has already been employed to varying extents in Spartanburg, St. Cloud and Twin Falls as residents have become organized and started demanding answers about how many refugees will be arriving, from what countries, and what the social and economic impact will be on school systems, job markets, health care and housing.
American Thinker, by Carol Brown, August 1, 2015:
Can we stop this deadly Iran deal?
Should we try?
Yes. With every fiber of our being.
To the first point, there are two major hurdles that make stopping this deal nearly impossible.
First, there are the numbers needed in Congress to override Obama’s veto. At this time, the numbers aren’t there. But perhaps we can change that.
Second, even if Congress is able to override Obama’s veto, we cannot stop the full scope of the deal from going into effect. As John Bolton explained during an interview on Fox News, because Obama partnered with European nations, they will still honor the deal irrespective of our actions.
Obama intentionally surrendered our sovereignty to Europe.
And that doesn’t even take into account Russia or China.
According to Bolton, all Congress can do is stop Obama from lifting sanctions. And if that happens, it triggers a clause in the deal that releases Iran from its responsibilities with respect to nuclear agreements.
To the latter point, I’m not convinced it means much. There’s no reason to think Iran would uphold its end of the bargain no matter what the circumstance. Nor am I convinced the deal allows the West any meaningful ability to monitor Iran’s behavior. More importantly, I have no confidence the West would take action against Iran even if they did catch Iran breaking its end of the bargain. Quite the opposite.
But back to the sanctions for a moment. American sanctions have the strongest economic impact on Iran compared to sanctions from other countries. Sanctions relief will also increase the chances that Iran would have enough money to buy a nuclear weapon from another country, such as North Korea. Given the choice between the United States keeping sanctions in place, or not, it’s a no brainer to keep them in place. So while this would not “kill the deal,” as they say, it’s still meaningful.
In addition, a Congressional vote against the deal — one large enough to override Obama’s veto — would send a message to the rest of the world that America does not stand with a nuclear Iran. And we certainly don’t fund it to the tune of 150 billion dollars.
How surreal it is to type these words. We are writing, reading, talking, screaming, raging, witnessing, and fearing our country becoming an enabler of the largest state sponsor of terror in the world. That we are on the verge of helping a nation that wants to destroy us, acquire the weapons to do so. That we are aligning ourselves with the 21st century Hitler. And that we must take action — no less fight a nearly impossible fight — to curb this descent into evil, madness, and hell.
As John Podhoretz wrote in Commentary Magazine:
The United States and its allies have struck a deal with Iran that effectively ensures that it will be a nuclear state with ballistic missiles in 10 years, assuming Iran adheres to the deal’s terms, which is a very large assumption…The president and the secretary of state are making large claims for the deal that are not true; the same will be true of all of its signatories, who are seeing Nobel stars in their eyes…and while those of us who see Iran’s nuclearization as the threshold threat for the rest of the 21st century will not be silent and will not give up the fight against it, it is appropriate to take a moment to despair that we — the United States and the West — have come to this.
Yes. Despair. That it has come to this.
And, yes. Not giving up the fight.
Each of us must do everything in our power to create a small miracle — to maximize the chance that Congress can override the veto of the evil enabler of terror who sits in the oval office.
Will our actions matter? I don’t know. Like many readers, I have become cynical and increasingly hopeless. I have lost confidence that my voice counts for anything.
How can any of us live with ourselves if we didn’t do everything possible to ensure a future for ourselves and our children? To live.
You don’t have to be optimistic when taking political action. People can have serious doubts about the outcome of their efforts and still put forth the effort.
And mind you, the effort is nothing monumental. It doesn’t take an enormous amount of time or energy (not that that’s the point). It doesn’t require that we put our life in harm’s way or take a huge risk we are unwilling to take. (Obama is doing that for us.) All we need to do is contact our elected officials to say we are against the Iran deal.
Will they listen? I don’t know. Will they care? I don’t know. The cynic in me believes most are dug in and know how they will vote irrespective of how many call to voice their opposition.
Imagine your child or grandchild living in a world with a nuclear Iran. Imagine your child or grandchild asking what you did to try to stop it. And imagine you saying you couldn’t be bothered to take a couple of minutes out of every day for a few weeks to make a few phone calls.
Imagine your child or grandchild asking you why you didn’t do it. And imagine telling them you couldn’t be bothered because it wouldn’t matter. And when they ask you how you knew it wouldn’t matter, you tell them it hadn’t seemed to matter in the past so you assumed it wouldn’t matter now.
And they say: But still. Why didn’t you try?
And you have to look them in the eye and defend your cynicism and hopelessness, while all-the-while you want them to be fighters.
How can anyone be so cynical, so hopeless, or so apathetic to be unwilling to expend even an ounce of energy to press for votes against this deal?
Because unlike any other dangerous move Obama has made against America, this time the stakes are as high as they get. Obama has shoved the United States (and Israel) in front of a speeding train with barely room to maneuver to free ourselves.
Perhaps this precipice that Obama has brought us to is so unthinkable, so surreal, and so terrifying that it tests the limits of our ability to truly grasp what it means. Perhaps we retreat into denial. Or perhaps the prospect of a nuclear Iran is somewhat abstract. It’s a country far away from us. And maybe we somewhat simplistically think Israel will take care of Iran.
Whatever the case, we cannot allow ourselves to remain passive.
Taking action doesn’t require us to fit into a box or don a label, be it “conservative,” “grass roots,” “activist,” “patriot,” and so on. It’s enough that we’re American. And for that reason, we never give up.
Here is some information for those who will not give up, despite apathy, discouragement, disillusionment, hopelessness, frustration, as well as a hefty dose of rage. Time is of the essence. The vote is days away.
Contact your Senators and Congressional Representative. And do so as often as possible.
Contact those Senators we need to target who may (emphasis on “may”) break with party alliance and vote against the deadly deal. Thanks to Steve Chambers who wrote a piece for AT that provided names and contact information for the Democrats to target. (Note: The first five senators are up for reelection in 2016.)
Michael Bennet (CO) . bennett.senate.gov . (202) 224-5852
Richard Blumenthal (CT) . blumenthal.senate.gov . (202) 224-2823
Barbara Mikulski (MD) . milkulski.senate.gov . (202) 224-4654
Charles Schumer (NY) . schumer.senate.gov . (202) 224-6542
Ron Wyden (OR) . wyden.senate.gov . (202) 224-5244
Ben Cadin (MD) . cadin.senate.gov . (202) 224-4524
Robert P. Casey (PA) . casey.senate.gov . (202) 224-6324
Joe Donnelly (IN) . donnelly.senate.gov . (202) 224-4814
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) . gillibrand.senate.gov . (202) 224-4451
Heidi Heitkamp (ND) . heitkamp.senate.gov . (202) 224-2043
Joe Manchin (WV) . manchin.senate.gov . (202) 224-3954
Robert Menendez (NJ) . menendez.senate.gov . (202) 224-4744
Bill Nelson (FL) . billnelson.senate.gov . (202) 224-5274
Debbie Stabenow (MI) . stabenow.senate.gov . (202) 224-4822
Cory Booker (NJ) . booker.senate.gov . (202) 224-3224
Gary Peters (MI) . peters.senate.gov . (202) 224-6221
Mark Warner (VA) . warner.senate.gov . (202) 224-2023
Make this deadly deal a topic of interactions with others. Help them grasp the urgency and light a fire under them to speak out. Give them information to help them do so.
Keep printed materials with you to give to others. Print out the contact list, above. Print out talking points. Have materials on hand. Keep them in your car. Give them to people at the dry cleaners, the supermarket, everywhere you go. Help them understand what is at stake.
Use social media to educate others and convince them to take immediate action.
Support organizations that are lobbying Congress against this deal. Christians United for Israel, for example, has created a spin-off lobbying group (CUFI Action Fund) that has made the Iran deal it’s top priority for action.
Many clocks are ticking, ticking, ticking. Counting down to an Iran nuclear break out. Counting down to the 2016 presidential election. But the clock that will run out sooner than either of these is the one counting down the number of days before Congress votes on the Iran deal.
I implore every reader to take action.
Orwell could never have imagined this level of madness.
But here we are.
PLEASE SHARE THIS EVERYWHERE!
Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran on July 31, 2015:
Editor: This is a guest column written by reader Julia.
For all of you doing research on Refugee Resettlement where you live, you must now also find out what is happening on the low income housing front as well. You may find your local elected officials and local developers are too cozy with the federal bucks that come their way to advance the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing initiative. And, of course the big question is, would some squishy Republican president ever have the spine to turn this around once in office? Looks like it may be up to you, in‘pockets of resistance,’ to raise awareness and fight this locally for now in addition to hitting your US Senators and Members of Congress when they are home for the August recess.
Here is Julia (emphasis is mine):
Stanley Kurtz has done extensive writing on what is now titled the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation. Kurtz believes that Obama blames suburban tax-flight for urban decay and that AFFH is a way to annex the suburbs back into the cities.
But, let’s look at AFFH in context with other actions of the Obama administration and the Democrat party. These actions include in part, the Department of Justice’s actions to prevent the implementation of voter i.d. laws; challenges to state attempts to require proof of citizenship in voter registrations; lawsuits over state legislative redistricting; the efforts to increase immigration; and the push to get immigrants to become citizens.
Groups such as The New Americans Campaign, Cities for Citizenship, etc. are working in conjunction with the Obama administration to accomplish the administration’s push to get immigrants to become citizens. It is generally believed that these efforts along with the administration’s policy to increase immigration are being undertaken to further the Democrat party’s goal to create a majority Democrat voting populace.
AFFH will create a database that categorizes each zip code by race and establish rules that essentially have the goal of ensuring that no neighborhood will have a population of more than 50% whites.
The end result will be that no voting district in the United States will be majority white.
Since the Democrat party counts on minorities categorically voting Democrat, it can be concluded that the 50% threshold was set to ensure a majority Democrat voting populace in every legislative district in the United States.
AFFH will thus serve the same purpose as Obama’s immigration policies – pertaining to both legal and illegal immigration – to create a one party system by changing the population. Obama’s immigration policies will change the population in the aggregate by adding more minorities whom they call “new Americans” and AFFH will distribute them to each and every voting district.
Robert Romano, senior editor at Americans for Limited Government, presciently said in a 2014 WND article by Leo Hohmann, “[AFFH] allows (the feds) to gerrymander for political purposes. It’s a way to get around whatever Republican gerrymandering had gone on after the 2010 election cycle. If they are doing this for low-income or disadvantaged purposes, well, what does that tell you? Low income tends to vote for Democrats.”
It seems clear that the Obama administration, through AFFH, intends to take away any benefit that the GOP may have in current GOP dominated voting districts. If the Democrats are proved correct that minorities categorically vote Democrat, AFFH will ensure a never ending Democrat control of the U.S. political system.
Paul Sperry wrote in the New York Post that AFFH and its database infrastructure are intended to outlast the Obama administration. Cecilia Muñoz, co-chair of Obama’s White House Task Force on New Americans and Obama’s domestic policy adviser has said that she is tasked with “making sure Obama’s historic immigration policies get ‘institutionalized.”
If the GOP does not take action to counter these programs, the GOP may likely cease to exist and the country’s republic form of government may forever be a mere facade to Obama’s hope and change transformation.
See also, Stanley Kurtz’s recent article, “ How You Can Stop Obamazone.”
And, John Perazzo’s article “Black Skin Privilege: To Be The Wedge For a The Totalitarian Future – Obama’s race-based plan to turn Congress Democratic, forever.“
This post is filed in our category entitled, Comments worth noting/guest posts. We have also categorized it in our new ‘Pockets of Resistance’ category as guidance for resistance fighters throughout the country. Maybe assign a couple of members of your group to find out what is going on to bring low income housing to your town. Housing availability, of course, is the limiting factor determining how many refugees and other migrants will colonize your town.
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing Wednesday, July 29th, on Islamic State’s targeted violence against women and girls. The hearing featured Institute for Strategic Dialogue CEO Sasha Havlicek; Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Ariel Ahram; Director and producer of Escaping ISIS, Edward Watts; and Kathleen Kuehnast for The United States Institute of Peace.
Ms. Havlicek’s opening statement focused on the increasing numbers of women voluntarily choosing to leave their homes and families to travel and join Islamic State forces. While these women are not necessarily “foreign fighters”, given that they are prohibited to enter the battlefield, they are indeed “proving to be agents of the groups as much as the men”. These women, many traveling from western countries, are “terrific online and great for propaganda”-they speak to individuals who are unable to act overseas on the battlefield about acting where they are at home.
Havlicek later elaborated on the women making the decision to leave home “on their own volition” and join IS. Many come from western countries and have converted to Islam. The women joining IS are increasingly younger, which is more appealing to IS fighters who desire “untarnished and pure women” to become their wives.
Dr. Kuehnast discussed the role on young children in the Islamic State’s ideology. Dr. Kuehnast indicated that both young boys and girls are utilized by IS, stating that, “Boys as young as 6 are recruited as cubs in the lions’ den of the caliphate” and young women are “kidnapped, enslaved, and sold as child brides”. Because sexual violence is such a key component and tactic of the Islamic State, forced marriages and rape are not uncommon. Those born as a result of these incidents are then brought up to augment Islamic State forces.
Dr. Kuehnast also broached the issue of refugee camps that are available, particularly for the victims of Islamic State crimes. She and Mr. Watt’s discussed the severe physical and emotional trauma that these individuals endure that often alters them for the rest of their lives, and consequently why it is imperative to support the refugee camps. Mr. Watts, who in his film Escaping ISIS portrays “first hand accounts of women who escaped the brutal reign of ISIS”, spoke to the immense strength and perseverance of these young women and girls to survive and have a chance at a normal life again. However, for many female victims of the Islamic State, this may never be possible.
As Dr. Ahram highlighted in his opening statement, the sexual violence that the Islamic State employs is not only “emphasized in the war it’s conducting, but also in the kind of state it is building”. The goal of IS is to establish a global caliphate in accordance with what it calls the “prophetic methodology”. Not only would sexual violence be used to establish said caliphate, but it serves as a key component of enforcing its ideology and everyday practice.
Women and young girls, both Muslim and non-Muslim, face severe danger and violence while living under the rule of the Islamic State. As Watts said in his opening statement, “Renewed action is not only necessary, but urgent”.
– The Washington Times – Thursday, July 30, 2015
The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.
The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.
The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.
The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information onMrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.
A U.S. official directly familiar with the notification, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said the notification of possibly hundreds of additional emails with classified secrets came from the State Department Freedom of Information Act office to the Office of Inspector General for the Director of National Intelligence.
The inspector general, the chief oversight watchdog for the entire U.S. intelligence community, subsequently sent a letter to the Republican chairmen and ranking Democrats of the Senate and House intelligence committees, the official said.
“We were informed by State FOIA officials that there are potentially hundreds of classified emails within the 30,000 provided for former Secretary Clinton,” DNI Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III late last week wrote Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat; Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican; and Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat.
“We note that none of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings but some included IC-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked and transmitted via a secure server,” Mr. McCullough wrote the four lawmakers.
The U.S. official said the intelligence community has been informed that secret information had been contained in some of Mrs. Clinton’s private emails that originated from the FBI, the DNI and the CIA as well as a spy satellite agency. It is believed the 30,000 emails remain on a thumb drive in the possession of Mrs. Clinton’s private attorney, David Kendall.
The official said the intelligence community’s first response was to take steps to secure the handling of remaining 30,000 emails and make sure they were handled on top-secret servers to avoid any further breaches, and then to assess any damage to national security from the insecure handling and release of information already in some of the publicly disseminated emails.
“Containment first, then a damage assessment is how this must be handled,” the official said.
The official said the intelligence community was already concerned, for instance, that some classified information was inadvertently disclosed by the State Department in recent weeks when one of Mrs. Clinton’s emails about Libya was publicly released.
The inspector general’s notification to Capitol Hill and the Justice Department also opens possible legal exposure for Mrs. Clinton about improper handling of classified materials, something her attorney knows much about.
Mr. Kendall represented former CIA Director David H. Petraeus last year when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling national secrets because he gave some classified information to his mistress and biographer and stored a classified book of information in his home in an insecure manner.
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey asking him to explain what the bureau was doing to keep secure the classified information within 30,000 Clinton emails known to be on Mr. Kendall’s thumb drive.
“It’s a serious breach of national security if the United States government fails to secure classified material in the hands of people not authorized to possess it, no matter who they are. There are fundamental questions as to what the FBI is doing to securing these classified emails and why the State Department is not fully cooperating with the inspectors general at the State Department and the Intelligence Community to ensure that all of the appropriate emails are identified,” Mr. Grassley wrote.
Mr. Grassley also sent a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry inquiring about the delay in sending the 30,000 emails to intelligence community inspectors general.
Center for Security Policy, by Christopher Holton, July 31, 2015:
14 years ago America sent its military heroes overseas to defend us from Jihad.
Today, local police officers and sheriff’s deputies are being tasked with protecting military personnel and installations here in the United States from Jihad.
This is a profound shift in the nature of the war which is, unfortunately, lost on the vast majority of Americans, including our elected and appointed officials.
The global Jihadist insurgency has clearly become embedded in America and it is likely to get worse before it gets better. And the tip of the spear in this phase of the war is not our military. It’s not even the FBI or the bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus known as the Department of Homeland Security. The tip of the spear is now state and local law enforcement.
Who took down the Chattanooga shooter? It wasn’t the FBI or the Marine Corps. It was the Chattanooga PD.
Who apprehended the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston? It was the Boston police.
Who defended the Draw Mohammad Cartoon event in Garland, Texas by shooting and killing the two heavily armed Jihadis? A traffic cop.
The war has clearly changed and I’m not at all sure that Americans are prepared to deal with it.
The term “lone wolf” has become popular in US counterterrorism vernacular over the past few years in the wake of the repeated acts of Jihad perpetrated inside the United States.
But as counterterrorism expert John Guandolo points out, the term lone wolf does not exist in Islamic doctrine, but individual jihad does:
Much of the media and even our elected officials seem to take comfort when a Jihadi turns out not to have a formal affiliation with a known terrorist organization.
There is no reason for comfort. In fact, the fact that individuals are carrying out acts of jihad is indicative of a “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” in at least a segment of the Islamic community here in the US. This is a very dangerous situation. It is much more difficult to anticipate and prevent terrorist acts being carried out by individuals on their own initiative, as opposed to attacks carried out by terrorist cells at the direction of leaders of known organizations.
This revolutionary jihadist climate is borne out by the results of the recent poll conducted by The Polling Company for the Center for Security Policy:
One reason we are seeing the types of attacks we are seeing in the West, such as Chattanooga, Garland, Paris, Ottawa and Sydney is because of specific calls from the Islamic State for such attacks.
Below is an excerpt from a communication released by the Islamic State in September of 2014:
You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawāghīt [those who do not rule by that which Allah has revealed]. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war (the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims). Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn.
The best thing you can do is to strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American, or from any of their allies.
If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. Do not lack. Do not be contemptible. Let your slogan be, “May I not be saved if the cross worshipper and taghūt (ruler ruling by manmade laws) patron survives.”
If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops.
If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face. If your self refuses to do so, while your brothers are being bombarded and killed, and while their blood and wealth everywhere is deemed lawful by their enemies, then review your religion.
Unfortunately, individual Muslims are now acting on these types of calls.
It is important to realize, however, that this is not a new phenomenon. Jihadi ideologues have instructed their followers in Jihad as an individual obligation for all Muslims extensively for many years. Here are some examples (after reviewing these quotes, can there be any doubt as to why we are seeing more frequent Jihadi attacks here in the US?):
And ulema [Muslim legal scholars] have throughout history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty…On that basis, and in compliance with Allah’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it…We, with Allah’s help, call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.
Osama Bin Laden
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Amir of the Jihad Group, Egypt
Abu-Yasir Rifa’I Ahmad Taha, Egyptian Islamic Group
Mir Hamzah, Jamiat ul Ulema-e-Pakistan
Fazlur Rahman, Jihad Movement in Bangladesh
23 February 1998
Indeed, every person should according to Islam prepare himself/herself for jihad, and every person should eagerly and patiently wait for the day when Allah will call them to show their willingness to sacrifice their lives. We should ask ourselves, is there a quicker way to heaven? Only Islam can save mankind from itself. And jihad on the individual and international scale will be a necessary part of this process of change.
Dr. A.M.A. Fahmy
International Islamic Forum
Jihad is an obligation from Allah on every Muslim and cannot be ignored or evaded.
Founder of the Muslim Brotherhood
The establishment of an Islamic State is obligatory. If that state cannot be established without war, then that becomes an obligation also. So it is obligatory for every Muslim to seriously strive for the return of the caliphate.
Jihad becomes an individual duty in three situations:
- First, when two armies meet.
- Second, when the infidels descend upon a country.
- Third, when the Imam calls upon people to fight.
Know that when jihad is an individual duty, there is no requirement to ask permission of parents to wage jihad.
The Neglected Obligation
Muhammad Al-Salam Faraj
Leader of Jamaat al-Jihad, Egypt
The Book commands Muslims to wage their war with the spirit of a religious duty and obligation. This Quranic injunction adds new facets and depths to the concept of a total war. It makes a Muslim citizen answerable both to the state and to Allah in the fulfillment of this divine obligation.
The Quranic Concept of War
Brigadier General S.K. Malik, Pakistani Army
There is agreement among scholars that when the enemy enters an Islamic land or a land that was once part of the Islamic lands, it is obligatory on the inhabitants of that place to go forth to face the enemy. But if they sit back, or are incapable, lazy, or insufficient in number, the individual obligation spreads to those around them. Then if they also fall short, it goes to those around them, and so on and so on, until the individually obligatory nature of jihad encompasses the whole world. The individually obligatory nature of jihad remains in effect until the lands are purified from the pollution of the disbelievers.
The obligation of jihad today remains an individual obligation on all until the liberation of the last piece of land that was in the hands of Muslims but has been occupied by the disbelievers.
Join the Caravan
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
“Father of Global Jihad”
Founding member of Al Qaeda
Individual jihad has recurred throughout Islamic history. In the time of the Crusades…groups of mujahideen responded to the crisis. Many isolated expeditions and groups carried out the obligation of jihad.
Individual jihad using the method of urban or rural guerilla warfare is the foundation for sapping the enemy and bringing him to a state of collapse and withdrawal. It will pave the way for the desired strategic goal.
What mandates these methods as a strategic opinion is the imbalance of forces between the resistance and the large invading alliance of unbelievers, apostates and hypocrites.
We fight them for the sake of incidents to cause political pressure and psychological collapse, so that they leave our lands. Carrying out a small operation every month against the enemy will have more of an impact on him than a big operation every year or two.
Toward a New Strategy in Resisting the Occupier
Muhammad Khalil al-Hakaymah
Al Qaeda Chief of External Operations
Killed by US air strike in Pakistan in 2008
Successful jihad will only happen within an ummah [Islamic nation or community] in which the fighting creed is firmly established and clarified. This must happen in order to attain the “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” that will spontaneously give rise to instruments of resistance.
Violent jihad is as an individual duty obligatory upon every Muslim. All the ulema have said this…”
The Call to Global Islamic Resistance
Abu Musab al-Suri
Al Qaeda propagandist
Captured in Pakistan 2005
by IPT News • Jul 30, 2015
Palestinian summer camps in Jerusalem and Gaza are actively indoctrinating young children with radical jihadist ideology and preparing them for martyrdom (suicide) operations, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.
In an Islamic summer camp at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, little children are subjected to a radical sheikh’s lecture on the virtues of martyrdom.
“The martyr is absolved with the first drop of his blood…the martyr also gets to vouch for seventy family members (on Judgment Day)… the martyr gets two virgins of Paradise, but the murabit [someone guarding Islam against the infidel] gets 70 – 35 times more than the martyr,” preached radical cleric Khaled Al-Maghrabi.
The children generally appear like most children their age – fidgeting, looking around, some playing with toys, seemingly disinterested in the lecture. Al-Magrabi still appears determined to impart jihadist indoctrination into the next generation of Palestinians at a very early age.
A Palestinian bystander even confronts Al-Maghrabi and tells him his message isn’t appropriate for children.
“Listen, sheik, they do not understand what you are saying. They are children…you are talking to them about ribat, martyrdom, and the virgins of Paradise. Shame on you. You can teach these lessons to (adults) like us, not to them,” said the Palestinian man.
Unfortunately, Palestinians standing up against radicalization is all too rare of an occurrence. Al-Maghrabi carried on after the distraction, leading the children in chanting, “We shall sacrifice our souls and our blood for you, Al-Aqsa!” the children chant.
In a second video illustrating Palestinian indoctrination of its young people with hate, viewers are taken inside a Hamas summer camp called “Vanguard of Liberation.” Hamas hopes to provide 25,000 children and teenagers with military training to seed future terrorist operations against Israel. Similar to the Al-Aqsa camp, the Hamas camp heavily emphasizes religious indoctrination and radical jihadist brainwashing, according to a news report translated by MEMRI.
“The goal of the camps is to instil the spirit of Jihad and of fighting in these cubs, these youth, so that they will become the next generation of liberation,” says a masked Hamas operative and camp counselor.
“Liberation” in this context means taking over all of Israel since Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state in any form.
The video features the youth running through military style courses, weapons training, and even shows a junior version of a Hamas naval commando unit dedicated to infiltrating Israel and conducting terrorist attacks.
Center for Security Policy, by Jennifer Keltz, July 30, 2015:
On July 29, FBI Agents arrested Arafat M. Nagi for knowingly providing material support to a known terrorist organization, namely the Islamic State (IS).
Nagi was arrested in a home on Olcott Avenue in Lackawanna, New York. He is 44 years old and divorced with two adult children. He used to be employed as a deliveryman for a medical supply company but has not worked since 2009. He was previously arrested in 2013 for threatening to behead his daughter, who is now 21 years old.
In the criminal complaint lodged against Nagi, details are given as to the exact nature of the support he provided to IS. Nagi traveled to Turkey and Yemen multiple times in an attempt to enter Syria, and agents had probable cause to believe that he was able to join with IS operatives. He is believed to have used his family in Yemen as pretext to travel to the Middle East, giving him the ability to slip into Syria without drawing attention to himself. His now-defunct Twitter account offered praise to IS and to its proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The complaint also listed suspicious purchases he made online before his travels to Turkey, which included a tactical vest, combat clothing, and body armor.
Nagi’s defense attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, stated that the accusations against him are unfounded. Schwartz said, “He’s an American citizen, born here, and had no intention to engage in any terrorist activity.” Schwartz will plead not guilty on behalf of Nagi.
Lackawanna gained notoriety in 2002, when a group of six Yemeni-American men, known as the Lackawanna 6, was arrested for their association with Al Qaeda. The men had all traveled to Afghanistan, trained with Al Qaeda, and met Osama Bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attack in 2001. Nagi’s name appeared regularly in the early-2000s investigation of the Lackawanna 6. He apparently wanted to make the original trip with the 6 to Afghanistan, but was unable to do so, perhaps for financial reasons. He tried to take another, later trip but could not on account of the 9/11 attacks. According to Peter Ahearn, who ran the Buffalo FBI office that investigated the Lackawanna 6 in 2002, Nagi was never arrested or formally charged because “he never spent any money. He never provided the material support. He never really was able to get traction.”
The Lackawanna 6 were also connected to the Tablighi Jamaat Islamic movement. The movement is apolitical and mainly composed of South Asian Muslims, and it operates in 150 countries with somewhere between 70 and 80 million followers. It was designed to bring Muslims back to more orthodox roots. It is not violent by nature, but it does provide a conduit for violent, jihadist indoctrination because terrorist organizations use its message of calling Muslims back to their faith as a way to reach out to new recruits. Several Tablighi mosques operate in the US, and the movement’s US headquarters are in Queens, NY. The Lackawanna 6 was involved with Tablighi missionaries.
The criminal complaint filed against Nagi outlines years of hard work by the FBI to track his movements and learn about his sinister intent. Much of the information about Nagi’s activities in the Middle East is gleaned through conversations he had with family members, presumably his siblings. The complaint demonstrates the importance of the counterterrorism measures that exist in the US, but it also shows that the indoctrination of violent beliefs is not always an isolated event. Members of Nagi’s community, including close friends and family members, must be investigated too, lest they also try to run away to IS.
Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran, July 30, 2015:
Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) has introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act (H.R. 3314)which seeks to suspend refugee resettlement to America until economic costs are analyzed and national security concerns are put to rest.
I’ve been following this issue for eight years and this is the first time I have seen anyone in Congress (other than recent concerns about Syrian refugees) take a single step to begin to scrutinize the entire program.
Now, let’s see if Rep. Trey Gowdy will give the bill a hearing in his all-importantSubcommittee on Immigration and Border Security!
Just a reminder, Babin’s home state ofTexas is presently the number one state targeted by the UN/US State Department for refugee distribution.
Here is Babin’s press release late today (hat tip: Rosemary):
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) yesterday introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act (H.R. 3314), which places an immediate suspension on allowing immigrants into the United States under the refugee resettlement program, until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completes a thorough examination of its costs on federal, state and local governments. According to the U.S. refugee admissions database, nearly 500,000 new immigrants have come to the U.S. under the resettlement program since President Obama first took office – with the state of Texas and its taxpayers being asked to take in more than any other state.
“It is extremely unsettling that the Obama Administration would continue to expand the U.S. resettlement program at such an irresponsible pace in light of our economic and national security challenges,” said Rep. Babin. “While this program may be warranted in certain situations, it is continuing at an unchecked pace. For the past decade the U.S. has been admitting roughly 70,000 new refugees a year, with little understanding of the economic and social costs on our communities.
“Our legislation institutes a common sense pause in the program so that we can better understand the long-term and short-term costs that this program has on local governments, states and U.S. taxpayers. It also gives us an opportunity to examine potential national security issues related to entry and resettlement, particularly as federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about home-grown terrorists.”
This is a very big deal! Please! Thank Rep. Babin (202-225-1555) and put pressure on Gowdy’s subcommittee to give the bill a hearing! It is shameful that the program has not in all of its 35-year history been subject to a thorough review. Call Gowdy at 202-225-6030 even if you have done it before!
Consider sending your horror stories to Rep. Babin!
Center for Security Policy, July 30, 2015:
NATIONAL SECURITY ACTION SUMMIT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE FEATURED KEY LEADERS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES – NSAS-NH-Agenda-25July
Manchester, NH: On Saturday, July 25th, the Center for Security Policy, in partnership withFirst Principles and High Frontier, hosted The New Hampshire National Security Action Summit. A number of America’s most influential national security leaders addressed the current state of U.S. foreign and defense policies in an increasingly dangerous world. Its purpose was to ensure that the common defense receives the priority attention it requires from elected officials and their constituents, at both the federal and state levels.
Specifically, the event covered four key topics of interest to both our nation and the state of New Hampshire:
America’s Electric Power Grid and Threats to Critical Infrastructure
Border and Immigration Insecurity
America’s Military in Decline
Shariah, the Global Jihad Movement, and the Islamic Republic of Iran
he New Hampshire National Security Action Summit is designed to ensure that our national security receives the attention it requires from elected officials and their constituents alike – both at the federal level and the state level.
Previous National Security Action Summits have been hosted in South Carolina and Iowa, drawing hundreds of attendees, significant media coverage and a considerable online audience for the live-streamed events. Footage from those summits can be found at the following links:
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, said:
Americans are increasingly aware that the world is becoming an ever-more-dangerous place. They expect their leaders to protect them and our vital interests around the world. The National Security Action Summit is a place where the best minds convene to lay out the best ideas for doing that. At the state-level, these summits are an invaluable method of connecting a concerned citizenry to the forefront of policymaking, at both the state and federal levels. This program could not be more timely, more content-rich or more important.
Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, PhD. – July 28, 2015:
“We can give up the business of saying that this has nothing to do with Islam,” stated Hudson Institute scholar Hassan Haqqani while discussing jihadist violence at Washington, DC’s American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on July 21. Haqqani and AEI’s conference “Islamic Extremism, Reformism, and the War on Terror” examined insightfully radicalism’s literal rootedness in Islam and its reform prospects to a conference room filled with about 80 listeners.
Notwithstanding prevalent “political correctness,” AEI moderator Danielle Pletka stated that the atrocious Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria, or ISIL) “may not be the form of Islam that should be, but it is, in fact, certainly a form of Islam.” The ideology of groups like ISIL, noted the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Haqqani, “may be a variant, it may be a distortion, it may be an extreme view, but it does have to do with Islam.” Brookings Institution scholar Shadi Hamid noted that Graeme Wood, the author of the “great Atlantic article,” had once expressed on a panel with Hamid that, theologically speaking, “ISIL is an example of the Islamic reformation.”
Hamid explained that, by reverting to the sources of Islamic doctrine, Muslim “reform and reformation can lead to ascendant conservative forces.” A “reformation of sorts” by late 19th and early 20th century Islamic thinkers, for example, led to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Their “mainstream Islamism” is an “attempt to reconcile pre-modern Islamic law with the modern nation-state.”
Hamid questioned whether “Islam is uniquely resistant to secularization.” “Prophet Muhammad,” Hamid noted of Islam’s founding figure, “was not just a prophet or theologian, but also a politician, a warrior, a merchant, and, perhaps most importantly, a head of state, a small kind of mini-state.” Thus any advocacy in Islam of separating religion and politics must “go up against the prophetic model,” which “even not particularly religious Muslims really value.” “There are ways to do that,” he qualified, “but they are challenging and it’s unlikely to get a critical mass of support in the Muslim world.”
Hamid added that Islam’s “Quranic inerrancy” entails a “creedal requirement to believe that the Quran is not just the word of God, not just inspired by God, but God’s actual speech.” Contrary to Christian understanding of divinely-inspired, but man-made scripture, in Islam’s view of the Quran “every single letter and word is not mediated.” “Even a lax Muslim has a more intense commitment to the [Quranic] text theoretically than a right-wing evangelical does to the Bible.”
Against such dogmatism Abbas Kadhim, a School of Advanced International Studies professor originally from the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, presented a more flexible understanding of Islamic reform. For him this entailed “going back to the roots of Islam and then trying to derive from those roots what works for this time and this age, just like the Muslims throughout the centuries.” Appearing on the panel after Kadhim, the Gallup pollster Mohamed Younis appeared to concur, stating that Islamic law or “sharia is the utopian ideal” mediated in implementation throughout history by complex, prudential human jurisprudence. “ISIL is not a traditionalist movement,” he argued, but “actually a complete deviation or walking away from the traditions of jurisprudence within Islam,” demonstrating a “need to increase the jurisprudential literacy” of Muslims.
Kadhim took an almost iconoclastic approach to various Islamic tenets befitting his background in which, he argued, Shiite theology’s greater emphasis on ijtihad or individual intellectual exertion contrasted with Sunni doctrine. The Islamic doctrine ofQuranic abrogation, for example, entails that later revealed (and often more violent) verses in the Quran replace earlier (often more benign) verses. Yet German orientalist Theodor Nöldeke showed that “this is a mess here” trying to determine the Quran’s chronological order.
Kadhim also noted that Islam’s second canonical source, the hadith relating what Islam considers as Muhammad’s exemplary biography, are sayings about him recorded some 200 years after his death. Hadith validity therefore depended upon a narrator “chain of transmission” or isnad, yet Kadhim rhetorically questioned his audience “how many of you can reproduce what we said in the last 15 minutes?” He concluded that “Muslims have lied and attributed things to the prophet for 1,400 years,” dishonestly using Quran and hadith to “advance a certain agenda.” Nonetheless, “in certain schools of Islam certain dead people have an omnipresent authority,” like the 13th century Ibn Taymiyyah among the Sunni Hanbali legal school dominant in the Arabian Peninsula.
Such outside-the-box Islamic thinking appealed to Haqqani, who noted that groups like ISIL have a “radical ideology, and all ideologies when they are fought need an ideological counter-narrative,” like Cold War Communism. “Give a voice to the voices in the Muslim world that are being shut up” was his global strategy for encouraging Islamic diversity in the face of often repressive Muslim-majority societies. He noted, for example, an Egyptian scholar for whom the initial Muslim community under Muhammad in seventh-century “Medina was not really a state in the modern sense.” Similarly, panelist Jennifer Bryson, an Arabic scholar whopreviously questioned Pletka and others calling the Islamic State as such, described Muhammad “as more of a community leader.”
In this view, Haqqani stated, the “purpose of Islam is piety and not power” and the “whole notion of an Islamic state is flawed.” Given his apolitical, pietistic understanding of Islam, he noted that Islam’s Shiite-Sunni division derives from seventh-century conflicts over Muhammad’s choice of succession in the initial Muslim caliphate. “What relevance does it have in the 21st century?” he asked, and proclaimed among his mixed Shiite-Sunni fellow panelists “let the Shia be Shias, and let the Sunnis be Sunnis.”
Kadhim’s fellow Iraqi Shiite conference presenter, Zainab Al-Suwaij from the American Islamic Congress, concurred in a “need to diversify the voices” among Muslims. In particular, “certain organizations” in the United States habitually unnamed by her inappropriately claim to speak for all American Muslims. Did she have in mind the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose representatives were in the AEI audience?
Islamic diversity and nuance formed Bryson’s antidote for aggressive and authoritarian Islamic agendas. For the recentChattanooga jihadist, the “problem was that he was disconnected from the very rich and complex traditions of Islam” characterized by “ongoing discussion.” Yet precisely such variety explained for Hamid Islam’s recurring malign manifestations throughout the world. “If you want to find something in Islamic tradition to justify whatever you are doing,” he stated, “you probably will be able to find it somewhere because Islam is such a diverse, rich tradition.”
While groups like the Muslim Brotherhood or ISIL in fact have an anchoring in Islamic canons, protestations by Bryson and others of Islam’s diversity do not explain how benign Islamic views would necessarily overcome opposition. Kadhim’s scriptural critiques could just as well call into question Islam in its entirety and outrage the devout as lead to religious refinement. Haqqani’s appeal for Shiite-Sunni tolerance downplays recurrent historical hostility within a divided Dar al-Islam among theological groups whose cosmic conflicts are no less passionate than America’s Civil War. Making Islam, a faith not known for accepting debate and discussion, into a true religion of peace will be difficult indeed.
Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.
Fox News, July 30, 2015:
KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, who led the group’s self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered Al Qaeda through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops.
The Taliban Shura, or Supreme Council, chose Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who had served as Mullah Omar’s deputy for the past three years, as its new leader, two Taliban figures told the Associated Press, saying the seven-member council had met in the Pakistani city of Quetta.
Mansoor is considered close to Pakistani authorities, who hosted peace talks earlier this month, and his election could widen an internal rift between fighters who favor negotiations with Kabul and those who want to continue an insurgency that has gained speed following the end of the international combat mission last year.
The peace process was plunged into uncertainty earlier Thursday, when the Afghan Taliban indicated they were pulling out of the negotiations and Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said the talks, which were to be hosted by Islamabad, were postponed.
The Taliban said Mullah Omar’s family had confirmed his death and that he had died of an unspecified illness. In a statement emailed to media, the Taliban quoted Mullah Omar’s brother and one of his sons as asking for forgiveness for “mistakes” he made at the helm of the militant group.
The statement, issued in the name of Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, and his son, Mohammad Yaqub, came after the Afghan government announced Wednesday that Mullah Omar had died more than two years ago in a Pakistani hospital.
Senior Taliban figures told the Associated Press that Mullah Omar died. Yaqub also confirmed in a telephone call with the AP that his father was dead but did not provide any further details.
In the statement, Mullah Omar’s family praises his dedication to jihad, or holy war, against the international military coalition led by the United States and says it is the “duty of all Muslims” to follow his example by establishing Sharia law in Afghanistan.
“During 14 years of jihad against the U.S., Mullah Omar never left Afghanistan for one day, even to go to Pakistan or to any other country,” the statement said, saying he remained in Afghanistan through two weeks of serious illness before passing away, without providing further details.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were overthrown in a U.S-led invasion in 2001. It is widely believed that Mullah Omar fled over the border to Pakistan, where he lived under Pakistani protection until his death.
Following Mansoor’s election, the Taliban chose Sirajuddin Haqqani as its new deputy leader, the two Taliban figures said. Haqqani has a U.S. government bounty of $10 million on his head as a leader of the extremist Haqqani network, which is allied with Al Qaeda.
His election to the leadership of the Afghan Taliban confirms the group’s ties to the Haqqani network, which has been accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in the Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan, including a 19-hour siege at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in September 2011.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said Thursday it was postponing the talks due to the “uncertainty” surrounding Mullah Omar’s death but gave no new date for the negotiations.
“In view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015, is being postponed,” said the statement.
The first round of the official, face-to-face discussions was hosted by Islamabad earlier this month. The meeting was supervised by U.S. and Chinese representatives and ended with both sides agreeing to meet again.
It was not immediately clear if the latest developments had scuttled the peace process altogether or whether it was just a serious setback.
Political analyst Ahmad Saeedi said the Taliban’s statement could signal a total rejection of the talks.
“I’m pretty sure there will be no peace deal,” he said.
Despite operating in near-total secrecy, the reclusive one-eyed Mullah Omar had served as a unifying figure in the Taliban. But experts have long spoken of a divide in the opaque movement between those who favor the peace process and those who still believe they can overthrow the government.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has sought Pakistan’s help in bringing the Taliban to the negotiations, since Islamabad is believed to wield influence over the group.
A diplomat based in Kabul who is familiar with the peace process told the AP that since Ghani assumed power last year, the government’s position has been that “the real negotiation is between Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters on the ongoing talks.
Further splintering within the Taliban could see more local commanders defect to other groups. Already, the Islamic State group, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria, is believed to have recruited some disaffected Taliban members to its ranks as it tries to establish a presence in Afghanistan.
After the U.S.-led invasion, remnants of the Taliban led by Mullah Omar fled over the border into Pakistan, where they are believed to have the protection of Islamabad. Mullah Omar has not been seen in public since then, though statements have been issued in his name. The Taliban had denied previous reports of his death.
A statement purportedly by Mullah Omar was issued on the occasion of this month’s Eid-al-Fitr holiday, expressing support for the peace talks.
Gatestone, by Denis MacEoin, July 30, 2015:
On June 19, when Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke at the 2015 Global Security Forum in Bratislava, one section (under the heading ‘Clarity’) drew widespread attention from the media and politicians, and from some the religious realm.
In that passage, Cameron spoke about the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, or, in Arabic, Da’ish). “In ISIL,” he started, “we have one of the biggest threats our world has faced.” He went on to express concern about the way in which young British Muslims were being drawn into the ISIS web through the internet or within their communities:
The cause is ideological. It is an Islamist extremist ideology — one that says the West is bad and democracy is wrong that women are inferior, that homosexuality is evil. It says religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and Caliphate trumpsnation state and it justifies violence in asserting itself and achieving its aims.The question is: how do people arrive at this worldview?
How does someone who has had all the advantages of a British or a European schooling, a loving family, the freedom and equality that allow them to be who they want to be turn to a tyrannical, murderous, evil regime?
There are, of course, many reasons – and to tackle them we have to be clear about them. I am clear that one of the reasons is that there are people who hold some of these views who don’t go as far as advocating violence, but who do buy into some of these prejudices giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims, “you are part of this”.
This paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent. To go from listening to firebrand preachers online to boarding a plane to Istanbul and travelling onward to join the jihadis. We’ve always had angry young men and women buying into supposedly revolutionary causes. This one is evil; it is contradictory; it is futile – but it is particularly potent today.
I think part of the reason it’s so potent is that it has been given this credence.
So if you’re a troubled boy who is angry at the world, or a girl looking for an identity, for something to believe in and there’s something that is quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of your local community, then it’s less of a leap to go from a British teenager to an ISIL fighter or an ISIL wife, than it would be for someone who hasn’t been exposed to these things.
For what may be the first time, a head of state dared to make a connection between ordinary Muslims and extremism, by arguing that fundamentalist views might be quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of a local Muslim community.
A report written in 2007 by this author for the British think tank Policy Exchange, titled “The Hijacking of British Islam,” exposed the existence of hate literature in mosques across the UK. As soon as it was published, all hell broke loose, and everything possible was done to pretend that our evidence had been somehow faked. Many British writers and journalists such as Douglas Murray, Samuel Westrop and myself have tried over the years to draw attention to the realities of Islamic ideology and practice in schools, shari’a courts, and in politics, but we were severally rebuffed.
But now, over one thousand young British men and women have travelled to Syria and Iraq to support the Islamic State, and it is becoming clear to everyone that something is amiss — not with British society, values or aspirations, but in parts of our two million strong Muslim community. Innes Bowen’s study of the UK Muslim population, “Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam,” shows in some detail just where these radical influences may come from.
Inevitably, Cameron’s references to the Muslim community brought condemnation from the usual suspects (and one unusual one). Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of a Muslim think tank, the Ramadhan Foundation, found the remarks “deeply offensive.” The Muslim Council of Britain found Cameron’s statement “wrong and counter-productive.” In a radio interview, Muslim Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi argued that, “To make the comparison he has done the way he has done, it is not only unhelpful but actually wrong.” Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who sits in the House of Lords, described the speech as “misguided” and “demoralizing.”
That Muslim leaders might respond this way was not surprising. Muslims in the UK, with several notable exceptions such as Haras Rafiq and Majid Nawaz, have been in denial for decades, and show few signs of facing up to the dangers facing them any time soon.
The unusual rebuke came, not from a Muslim, but from Britain’s most important Catholic prelate, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster. Speaking on LBC Radio on the day of Cameron’s speech, the Archbishop spoke unfavourably about the Prime Minister’s remarks on Muslims. His remarks bear quoting almost in full here:
The interviewer started by saying that “he [Cameron] seems to be laying this squarely at the door of the Muslim community. Too many people in the UK are sliding into violent extremism. He’s warned that British Muslims risk quietly condoning ISIS. Do you think that’s fair?”
To this, Nichols answered:
No. I think the community is a very diverse community. I was at a Muslim meeting last Saturday week. It was a Shi’a Muslim meeting. It was looking at dialogue and how people live together. And then they were absolute in their condemnation of ISIS. So there are many voices, Muslim voices in this country, that condemn ISIS and condemn it absolutely. We don’t hear those [voices] in the public media very often, but they’re there. It is an enormous challenge to Islam in this country, and I know many of the Muslim leaders are deeply, deeply concerned about this. I would say for most of them and the families they represent, they feel a bit helpless in terms of the access to the Internet and to that whole seduction and manipulation that goes on. I think they need help with that.
On the face of it, the Archbishop’s remarks are worthy of respect, since he is active in interfaith work and considers it to be his mission, like that of the current Pope Francis, to work for peace and conciliation. But interfaith work can often be marred by an underlying refusal to come clean about beliefs that contradict those of others.
With Islam, I have to ask how it is possible to dialogue with a faith that denies the divinity of Christ, denies that he was crucified or resurrected, denies the Trinity, denies Mary as the mother of God, denies the belief in original sin and salvation through Christ, regards the Bible as corrupt, believes that all Christians are the inferiors of Muslims and are destined to hell fire? What is there to talk about if both sides are to be honest about their beliefs?
Even if a majority of Muslims may be concerned about extremism in their midst, there are reasons to think that David Cameron’s view is close to the mark: that some Muslims unwittingly or wittingly condone what goes on because much of it is in keeping with the Qur’an, the hadith [traditions], the Shari’a law books, and Islamic practice from the time of Muhammad.
Denis MacEoin was born in Belfast, where he learned at first hand the dangers of religious strife