The Watchman Show: ISIS in Your Backyard

StakelbackTerror_Blog_MD (2)CBN, by Erick Stakelbeck, Sept. 1, 2015:

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we examine the recent series of arrests of ISIS supporters in the United States and the terror movement’s plans for America.

We’re also joined by author Don Brown, who shares the shocking story behind his new book, Call Sign Extortion 17: The Shoot-Down of Seal Team Six.

Migrant crisis isn’t just Europe’s problem, it’s our problem, too

People receive food after they arrived at the Western railway station in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Some hundreds of migrants arrived by train from southern Europe, after making a perilous journey into Europe. (AP Photo/Hans Punz) (The Associated Press)

People receive food after they arrived at the Western railway station in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Some hundreds of migrants arrived by train from southern Europe, after making a perilous journey into Europe. (AP Photo/Hans Punz) (The Associated Press)

Fox News, by John Bolton, Sep. 1, 2015:

Europe’s illegal immigration problems are daily growing more serious, evidenced by the human tragedies of North Africans and Middle Easterners dying at sea or in overcrowded vehicles.  Precise statistics are in short supply, but the numbers involved are unquestionably at crisis levels.

While Americans may believe that Europe, long disdainful of our own intense debate over border-security problems, is getting what it deserves, we should nonetheless focus on both the potential threats and lessons applicable to us.  One critical cause of Europe’s illegal-immigration spike is the growing chaos across the greater Middle East.  This spreading anarchy derives, in substantial part, from Barack Obama’s deliberate policy of “leading from behind” by reducing U.S. attention to and involvement in the region.  When America’s presence diminishes anywhere in the world, whatever minimal order and stability existed there can rapidly evaporate.

For years, the central cause of population movements into Europe was economic:  North Africans crossed the narrow Strait of Gibraltar or headed to France or Italy.  Turks and Arabs entered through Greece and Eastern Europe.  Once into the European Union (“EU”), thanks to the Schengen Agreement, travel barriers are now almost nonexistent, and, as in the United States, illegal aliens can essentially travel freely.

Now, however, after years of benefitting from cheap immigrant labor, Europeans are worried their borders have been too open.  High birth rates among “non-nationals” (i.e., non-Europeans, in the politically correct phrase) are changing the very shape of their citizenry.  This is particularly dramatic on the Old Continent, which has nothing like America’s tradition of the “melting pot” to absorb diverse immigrant populations.  (Of course, even in this country, “Americanization” is under attack;  ask Al Gore, who once translated E pluribus unum as “out of one, many,” exactly opposite its true meaning.)  Europeans see growing immigrant communities living separately from “national” populations, but they have few if any ideas what to do about it.

Spreading terrorism, armed conflict and collapsing political authority in the Middle East are now powerful causal factors equaling or exceeding continuing economic disparities.  Europe fears being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people on the move, thereby losing control over decisions on who to admit and who to turn away.  These concerns are legitimate, but there are deeper risks as well.  Mirroring worries in Washington, there is a serious and rising Islamicist terrorist threat hidden within the tides of people seeking refuge.

Photos of immigrants trying to storm the Eurostar train’s “chunnel” entrance in France to cross under the English Channel to Britain compete with videos of the recent terrorist attack on the Thalys high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris.  How many boat people and others who seem to be economically motivated are actually terrorists, perhaps trained by the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq, seeking to conceal themselves among economic migrants to gain access to Europe?  This is the same issue America faces on the Mexican border.  Even the Obama administration recognizes the problem, as in 2011when it indicted senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards officials for plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington, using drug-cartel hit men who regularly crossed the Mexican border illegally.

Compounding the problem, tens of thousands of legitimate Middle Eastern refugees are fleeing religious genocide in their home countries, and several EU states, mostly in East and Central Europe, have moved quickly to grant them asylum.  These refugees are primarily Christians from Syria and Iraq threatened by the Islamic State or other radical jihadis, but non-Christian sects like the Yazidis are also properly and successfully seeking asylum.

Hard though it may be for some to acknowledge it explicitly, the receiving European governments feel that their humanitarian decision to provide refuge to Christians and others fleeing radical Islamicists is far safer than accepting undifferentiated populations that may contain terrorists using the true refugees as cover.  This is hardly farfetched.  In 1980, Fidel Castro deliberately and cynically emptied Cuban prisons of true criminals and allowed them to escape to American in the Mariel boatlift, along with over 100,000 legitimate refugees.  The Europeans are well to be cautious.

With the entire “European project” under enormous strain because of Greece’s financial crisis;  increasing awareness of the EU’s “democratic deficit” whereby unelected Brussels bureaucrats wield enormous authority with essentially no accountability;  and growing unease about the lack of American international leadership under Barack Obama, it is no surprise Europeans are nervous, many close to panic

The lesson for the United States is that reducing our global influence does not increase international peace and security. Quite the opposite.  Obama’s retreat from the Middle East, whether in the aftermath of Libya, his disinterest in the Islamic State’s continuing rise, or his surrender to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, are all part of the larger pattern.  Europe’s illegal immigration problem is our problem as well.

John Bolton was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 through 2006. He is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a Fox News contributor

Also see:

Germany’s Muslim Demographic Revolution

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, Aug. 31, 2015:

  • The surge in Germany’s Muslim population — propelled by a wave of migration unprecedented since the Second World War — represents a demographic shift of epic proportions, one that critics of the country’s open-door immigration policy warn will change the face of Germany forever.
  • “There are 20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe.” — Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.
  • According to Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, attendance at many mosques has doubled in the past month alone.
  • A large number (40%) are from countries in the Balkans, including Albania and Kosovo. This implies that nearly half of those arriving in Germany are economic migrants, not refugees fleeing war zones. — Thomas De Maizière, German Interior Minister.
  • Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of an imam. Once in Germany the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a “single parent with children.” — From an exposé broadcast by RTL television.
  • “For us today, what is at stake is Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations, and more precisely formulated, their transformation beyond recognition. Today, the question is not merely in what kind of a Europe we would like to live, but whether everything we understand as Europe will exist at all.” — Viktor Orbán, President of Hungary.

Germany’s Muslim population is set to skyrocket by more than 700,000 in 2015, pushing the total number of Muslims in the country to nearly 6 million for the first time.

The surge in Germany’s Muslim population — propelled by a wave of migration unprecedented since the Second World War — represents a demographic shift of epic proportions, one that critics of the country’s open-door immigration policy warn will change the face of Germany forever.

At a press conference on August 19, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière revealed that a record 800,000 migrants and refugees — the equivalent of nearly one percent of Germany’s total population — are expected to arrive in Germany in 2015, a four-fold increase over 2014. He said that 83,000 migrants had arrived in July alone, and that the figure for August would be higher still.

De Maizière said that although many of the migrants are from the Middle East and North Africa, a large number (40%) are from countries in the Balkans, including Albania and Kosovo. This implies that nearly half of those arriving in Germany are economic migrants, not refugees fleeing war zones.

According to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the Berlin refugee center pictured here receives up to 2000 applications for asylum per day. (Image source: Deutsche Welle video screenshot)

Of the 800,000 migrants and refugees arriving in Germany in 2015, at least 80% (or 640,000) are Muslim, according to a recent estimate by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland, ZMD), a Muslim umbrella group based in Cologne. This estimate is not in dispute.

In addition to the newcomers, the natural rate of population increase of the Muslim community already living in Germany is approximately 1.6% per year (or 77,000), according to dataextrapolated from a recent Pew Research Center study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe.

Based on Pew projections, the Muslim population of Germany reached an estimated 5,068,000 by the end of 2014. The 640,000 Muslim migrants arriving in Germany in 2015, combined with the 77,000 natural increase, indicates that the Muslim population of Germany will jump by 717,000, to reach an estimated 5,785,000 by the end of 2015. This would leave Germany with the highest Muslim population in Western Europe.

By way of comparison, the surge in Germany’s Muslim population would be equivalent to the Muslim population of the United States increasing by 3 million in just one year.

Critics say that German officials, under pressure to solve Europe’s migration crisis, are ignoring the long-term consequences of taking in so many migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition to security concerns (Islamic radicals are almost certainly trying to enter Germany disguised as refugees), they say, the surge in Muslim immigration will accelerate the Islamization of Germany, a process that is already well under way.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Germany. This is evidenced by the fact that an increasing number of churches in Germany are being converted into mosques, some of which are publicly sounding calls to prayer (the adhan) from outdoor loudspeaker systems. The increase is such that some neighborhoods in Germany evoke the sights and sounds of the Muslim Middle East.

Islamic Sharia law is advancing rapidly throughout Germany, with Sharia courts now operating in all of Germany’s big cities. This “parallel justice system” is undermining the rule of law in Germany, experts warn, but government officials are “powerless” to do anything about it. At the same time, German judges are increasingly referring and deferring to Sharia law in German law courts.

Polygamy, although illegal under German law, is commonplace among Muslims in all major German cities. In Berlin, for example, it is estimated that fully one-third of the Muslim men living in the Neukölln district of the city have two or more wives.

According to an exposé broadcast by RTL, one of Germany’s leading media companies, Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of an imam (Muslim religious leader). Once in Germany the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a “single parent with children.”

Although the welfare fraud committed by Muslim immigrants is an “open secret” costing German taxpayers millions of euros each year, government agencies are reluctant to take action due to political correctness, according to RTL.

Spiraling levels of violent crime perpetrated by shiftless immigrants from the Middle East and the Balkans have turned parts of German cities into “areas of lawlessness” — areas that are de facto “no-go” zones for police.

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SAVING AMERICA

american_flag_AP-640x480Breitbartby JAMES LYONS 28 Aug 2015:

Never in my lifetime, did I believe I would witness our great country being taken down and withdrawn from our world leadership role by our own administration.  The latest example is the flawed agreement with Iran on their nuclear weapons program.  This needs to be seen as another manifestation of President Barack Obama’s goal to fundamentally transform America.  All of the known concessions made by our administration to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism that has been at war with us for over 35 years, and has caused the loss of thousands of American lives, including the key support to the 9/11 hijackers without which that terrorist attack could not have been carried out, humiliated us before our friends, allies and most importantly, our enemies. We have been sabotaged from within.

          Every objective that we set out to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability was conceded to Iran.  Unbelievable! In fact, the administration went beyond what I could imagine by not only agreeing to assist Iran in the development of their nuclear program but also committing us to assist in the protection of their nuclear facilities against attack and sabotage, including cyber-attack. 

Further, the fact that no American inspectors are to be allowed in Iran and incredibly, that Iran is to be allowed to conduct its own evidence collection at the key military site Parchin, are simply mind boggling concessions!   Furthermore, with no constraints on either conventional arms or their ICBM program, we are not only jeopardizing our position in the Persian Gulf but we are ignoring Iran’s previous tests and preparations for conducting an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States.  Of course, Iran does not need an ICBM for such an attack.  It could be launched from a freighter, which they have tested, or from their missile base in Venezuela—which Ambassador Roger Noriega states is currently operational.  If such an attack occurred against our unprotected national electrical grid, an estimated two out of three Americans would die in a year due to starvation, lack of medical care, and societal collapse.    Everything that our modern society depends on would be shut down, and that includes our military forces.  This is a national security issue which must be addressed now.  As Bernard Lewis, the noted Middle East expert stated, once Iran gets a nuclear weapon deterrence will not work.  Game over!  In my view, this borders on treason!

          However, these concessions and commitments are totally consistent with President Obama’s strategy to fundamentally transform America.  In his warped view, America has caused many of the world’s problems and must be humbled.  Therefore, undercutting our status as leader of the free world is seen as being objectively progressive.

          His strategy is anti-American, and anti-Western. It is pro-Islam, pro-Iran and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.   This raises the question: why the Muslim Brotherhood has been so favored by this president?  Actually, it should be very clear.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s creed to destroy America from within by our own “miserable hands” makes the perfect book-end to Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”

          With President Obama’s Marxist background, it was a natural fit with Saul Alinsky who preached that, in the absence of a ripe revolutionary situation and a disciplined Bolshevik-like revolutionary party, you advance the “revolutionary cause” by under cutting the basic social and moral fiber of society, as well as the economic and military structural foundation of America at home and abroad.   Furthermore, causing agitation at low levels of society through community organizers is an important element in achieving transformation.  This explains why recent street rioting in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, combined with the administration’s policies initiated the so-called war on police, fit a pattern for social unrest. 

          Once the Saul Alinsky concept is understood, then the crushing debt of over 8 trillion dollars since 2009 plus destroying one of the world’s finest medical programs with the forced implementation of Obamacare that represents 1/6 of our economy all makes sense.  The out-of-control immigration policies of the Obama administration, including seeding tens of thousands Muslims with essentially no background checks who have no intention of assimilating also makes perfect sense.   So does dividing America by race and racial profiling.

          The unilateral disarmament of the world’s finest military force world while we are being challenged throughout the world only makes sense in the context of “taking America down.”  The emasculation of our military forces through the social engineering forced upon our military under the guise of “diversity” further jeopardizes our national security by destroying our warrior mentality and the “will to win.”  Our military leadership’s political correctness is clearly at fault here, and they must be held accountable. 

          The out-of-control policies of this administration must be stopped if America is to be saved.  Therefore, all Americans, flood your representatives in Congress with telephone calls, faxes and e-mails demanding that impeachment proceedings be initiated against Executive Branch officials—starting with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama.  The damage that this administration can do between now and January 2017 must be stopped now!

Also see – if you think you can handle it:

The Senate Must Sue Obama to Block the Iran Treaty

!cid_image001_jpg@01D0E449American Thinker, by Robert B. Sklaroff and Lee S. Bender, August 31, 2015:

When Congress returns from recess after Labor Day, one of the most pressing issues on the agenda is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as “the Iran deal.” Much has been discovered since the Corker-Cardin-Menendez bill was enacted, including the White House’s and State Department’s deceit which influenced the Senate to abandon its constitutionally-provided role regarding treaties.

Now it might take a lawsuit spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to reverse not only the damage to the Constitution but also potential damage to America and our allies as a result of the provisions of the Iran nuclear-deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has overwhelming justification to sue President Obama over the JCPOA which constitutes a treaty and thereby must be ratified by a 2/3-vote of those present prior to implementation.

Such a suit could ultimately prompt the Supreme Court to disclaim Obama’s portrayal of this document as an Executive Agreement. It could also sustain the overwhelming will of the American people–according to polling data—to trash this “legacy” effort, for reasons that have been exhaustively detailed.

Blocking implementation of the Iran nuclear-deal would thereby necessitate the legislative branch triggering a confrontation between the judicial and the executive branches.

Two essays {authored by RBS} published in The Hill explored the legalities of this initiative, focused on its “treaty” [July 29] and “rule-of-law” [August 25] components.

In the interim [USA Today, August 5], Professor Alan Dershowitz recognized that a Supreme Court opinion challenged the president’s power to enter into long-term deals with foreign powers without the consent of Congress. He is cannot avoid congressional oversight by simply declaring an important deal with foreign powers to be an executive agreement rather than a treaty [Gibbons v. Ogden]:  “[G]eneral and permanent commercial regulations with foreign powers must be made by treaty, but…the particular and temporary regulations of commerce may be made by an agreement of a state with another, or with a foreign power, by the consent of Congress.”

Two other authors, legal-authority Andrew C. McCarthy [National Review Online, July 17] and accomplished-author Caroline B. Glick [Jerusalem Post, July 21] also claimed the deal is a treaty, but none of these columnists proposed a remedy that would force a clash with this out-of-control Obama Administration. Jerry Gordon has detailed, comprehensively, “How Best to Overturn the Iran Nuclear Pact” [New English Review, August].

The drip-drip-drip of news about details of the deal as well as “secret” side arrangements that has emerged this summer congeals into two major rationales for such litigation, addressing both specifics and lack of transparency. Specifically, multiple side-deals between Iran and the IAEA satirize the concept of “anytime, anywhere surveillance” but, perhaps more important, Obama and his cabinet-members “inexplicably” failed to reveal this information to Congress as secrets.  Moreover, the Administration also misled Congress and the American public about the nature of the deal and the resulting preservation of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and right to continue advanced research that will provide it with a bomb when the pact expires in a mere decade to 15 years.

The “legislative intent” of the Corker-Cardin Bill (Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015) was focused exclusively on Iran’s nuclear program, contrasting with the final pact the Administration concluded that was expanded to allow lifting of conventional-weapon sanctions. Iran sought—and was granted—this specific concession at the very end of the negotiations.  This was outside what the Administration had originally advised Congress about the parameters of this deal, focused on nuclear-weapons capability and not conventional weapons (or ICBMs). Thus, the final version of the Iran nuclear-deal encompassed issues, such as weaponization, that the Administration did not disclose to Congress before it debated and passed the Corker-Cardin Bill.

(Other facets of the negotiation were also misrepresented by the Obama Administration prior to when Kerry inked the deal. For example, although release of American prisoners was not ultimately achieved, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on  January 21, 2015 that the Administration’s negotiators “continue to insist” that Americans held in detention be released.)

This pattern of deception started before the Corker-Cardin Bill was passed in May. It was even maintained by Iran when the Tasnim News agency reported [June 15] “Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani reiterated that negotiations between Tehran and six major world powers solely focus on nuclear topics, dismissing any talk of military subjects in the talks.” And, reflecting the persistence of the deception,  it was manifest one week prior to when the deal was signed [July 14] during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing via testimony from Defense Secretary Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey that the arms embargo, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1929, was not to be lifted [July 7].

Thus, overall, absent the ability to review all relevant data, the Senate (1)—cannot render an informed judgment, consistent with its “advise/consent” role, and (2)—cannot be viewed to be facing a 60-day deadline, for the Corker-Cardin Bill mandates that this “clock” start “ticking” only after the database has been completed.

Refusal to provide copies of side-agreements to Congress continues unabated, as per testimony on August 5 by chief-negotiator Wendy Sherman and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. We now know why normally-sedate Senator Corker exploded (“We cannot get him to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin”) because such inspections have been serially outsourced by Obama to the IAEA and then, we learned more recently, by the IAEA to Iran.

The “toughest inspections-regime in history” forces America (and the world) to allow Iran to provide proof that Iran is not making nukes in Iran.

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Petraeus: Use Al Qaeda Fighters to Beat ISIS

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The Daily Beast, by Shane Harris and Jason Reed,  Sep. 1, 2015:
To take down the so-called Islamic State in Syria, the influential former head of the CIA wants to co-opt jihadists from America’s arch foe.
Members of al Qaeda’s branch in Syria have a surprising advocate in the corridors of American power: retired Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus.The former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has been quietly urging U.S. officials to consider using so-called moderate members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to fight ISIS in Syria, four sources familiar with the conversations, including one person who spoke to Petraeus directly, told The Daily Beast.

The heart of the idea stems from Petraeus’s experience in Iraq in 2007, when as part of a broader strategy to defeat an Islamist insurgency the U.S. persuaded Sunni militias to stop fighting with al Qaeda and to work with the American military.

The tactic worked, at least temporarily. But al Qaeda in Iraq was later reborn as ISIS, and has become the sworn enemy of its parent organization. Now, Petraeus is returning to his old play, advocating a strategy of co-opting rank-and-file members of al Nusra, particularly those who don’t necessarily share all of core al Qaeda’s Islamist philosophy.

However, Petraeus’s play, if executed, could be enormously controversial. The American war on terror began with an al Qaeda attack on 9/11, of course. The idea that the U.S. would, 14 years later, work with elements of al Qaeda’s Syrian branch was an irony too tough to stomach for most U.S. officials interviewed by The Daily Beast. They found Petraeus’s notion politically toxic, near-impossible to execute, and strategically risky.

It would also face enormous legal and security obstacles. In 2012, the Obama administration designated al Nusra a foreign terrorist organization. And last year, the president ordered airstrikes on al Nusra positions housing members of the Khorasan Group, an al Qaeda cadre that was trying to recruit jihadists with Western passports to smuggle bombs onto civilian airliners.

Yet Petraeus and his plan cannot be written off. He still wields considerable influence with current officials, U.S. lawmakers, and foreign leaders. The fact that he feels comfortable recruiting defectors from an organization that has declared war on the United States underscores the tenuous nature of the Obama administration’s strategy to fight ISIS, which numerous observers have said is floundering in search of a viable ground force.

According to those familiar with Petraeus’s thinking, he advocates trying to cleave off less extreme al Nusra fighters, who are battling ISIS in Syria, but who joined with al Nusra because of their shared goal of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Petraeus was the CIA director in early 2011 when the Syrian civil war erupted. At the time, he along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly urged the Obama administration to work with moderate opposition forces. The U.S. didn’t, and many of those groups have since steered toward jihadist groups like the Nusra Front, which are better equipped and have had more success on the battlefield.

How precisely the U.S. would separate moderate fighters from core members and leaders of al Nusra is unclear, and Petraeus has yet to fully detail any recommendations he might have.

Petraeus declined a request to comment on his views from The Daily Beast.

“This is an acknowledgment that U.S. stated goal to degrade and destroy ISIS is not working. If it were, we would not be talking to these not quite foreign terrorist groups,” Christopher Harmer, a senior naval analyst with the Middle East Security Project at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War, told The Daily Beast. “Strategically, it is desperate.”

Privately, U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that any direct links with al Nusra are off the table. But working with other factions, while difficult, might not be impossible.

Still, the very forces that Petraeus envisions enlisting, and who may have once been deemed potential allies when they were fighting Assad, now may be too far gone. Moreover, there is no sign, thus far, of a group on the ground capable of countering ISIS, at least without U.S. assistance.

“As prospects for Assad dim, opposition groups not already aligned with the U.S. or our partners will face a choice,” one U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “Groups that try to cater to both hardliners and the West could find themselves without any friends, having distanced themselves from groups like al Qaeda but still viewed as extremists by the moderate opposition and their supporters.”

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Also see:

The Politicization of Intelligence

politicization-intelligenceThe Gorka Briefing, By Sebastian Gorka, Aug. 31, 2012:

Intelligence analysis that contradicts the “ISIS is Losing” narrative is ignored by the chain of command. I discuss the issue of politically-driven censorship on the John Batchelor radio show. 28 August 2015; 9 minutes. Audio HERE.

Related:

Spies: Obama’s Brass Pressured Us to Downplay ISIS Threat (Daily Beast)
U.S. intelligence analysts keep saying that the American-led campaign against ISIS isn’t going so well. Their bosses keep telling them to think again about those conclusions.

Senior military and intelligence officials have inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter their assessments about the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, three sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast.

Analysts have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is, according to these sources, and to paint an overly rosy picture about how well the U.S.-led effort to defeat the group is going.

Reports that have been deemed too pessimistic about the efficacy of the American-led campaign, or that have questioned whether a U.S.-trained Iraqi military can ultimately defeat ISIS, have been sent back down through the chain of command or haven’t been shared with senior policymakers, several analysts alleged.In other instances, authors of such reports said they understood that their conclusions should fall within a certain spectrum.

As a result, they self-censored their own views, they said, because they felt pressure to not reach conclusions far outside what those above them apparently believed.

“The phrase I use is the politicization of the intelligence community,” retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Daily Beast when describing what he sees as a concerted push in government over the past several months to find information that tells a preferred story about efforts to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups, including al Qaeda. “That’s here. And it’s dangerous,” Flynn said. . . (read the rest)

***

Is your government lying to you about the war against ISIS? by Lt Col Rick Francona

I thought we had put this issue to rest after the inflated body counts of Vietnam. Quite possibly the Obama Administration is playing a variation of that same alternate reality game. Virtually every assessment and announcement from either the White House or the Pentagon has told us that the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is going well and that the terrorist army of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is on the defensive.

As a military analyst for CNN, I follow the fighting in Iraq and Syria closely – I monitor a variety of media from all sides. That includes not only the American press, but official Syrian, Iraqi and yes, ISIS reporting, as well as a variety of social media sites that cover all aspects of the situation in the region.

As you can imagine, there are great discrepancies in the descriptions of the same events. At times, I have shaken my head at some of the pronouncements from the Pentagon press office and even from the U.S. Central Command, the combatant command conducting the military operations.

Normally the CENTCOM reports are factual accounts of sorties flown, weapons employed and damage assessments. On the other hand, Pentagon spokesmen tend to portray the Operation Inherent Resolve as stopping ISIS’s advances and forcing them into a defensive posture. There was certainly a disconnect in the reports of low sortie rates and just a few weapons actually being employed emanating from the theater versus the rosy portrayal coming out of the Pentagon.

I remember the reports of the “success” of the Iraqi Army in ejecting ISIS from the city of Tikrit, when most of the actual fighting was done by Iranian-trained and led Shi’a militias. As the Pentagon assured us that ISIS was now contained, the Islamists mounted a successful assault on the city of al-Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar province, located on the Euphrates River just 65 miles from Baghdad – all the while under attack from the air. This hardly fits the definition of “on the defensive.”

Obviously there is a problem here – either the intelligence community can’t figure out what is going on with ISIS or someone is misleading the public. Having spent a career in the intelligence business – most of it in the Middle East – I am opting for the latter.

In any case, the Department of Defense inspector general (IG) has opened an investigation. Unfortunately, from the wording of the available reporting it appears that the focus is going to be on professional military officers at CENTCOM rather than the political appointees (that means dyed-in-the-wool Obama supporters) at the Pentagon. Guess who is going to be thrown under the bus….

It is obvious that someone is taking the intelligence reporting and putting the best face on it. Actually, that is too kind – someone is cooking the intelligence to make it fit into the narrative dictated by the White House and the political leadership at the Pentagon.

The anemic air campaign – just 20 strikes today – is having an effect, to be sure, but the Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that ISIS is about as strong and capable today as it was when the air campaign began over a year ago. Much of that is due to the easy access to Syria via Turkey for supplies and the thousands of volunteers wishing to join ISIS. Hopefully Turkey’s recent decision to participate in the U.S.-led coalition will staunch that flow.

I suspect that at each intermediate echelon between CENTCOM’s forward headquarters in Qatar and the Pentagon, the intelligence and operational assessments of the military campaign against ISIS change slightly for the better. Everyone wants to cast the operation in a favorable light – accentuate the positive, downplay the negative. When it gets to the politicos at the Pentagon, I suspect it is tailored to fit the narrative emanating from the White House press room.

I applaud the Defense Department’s decision to launch an IG investigation – it is easily warranted. The IG is supposed to be an independent investigative agency that deals in facts and lets the evidence guide the investigation. Pardon me if I am not filled with confidence – some colonel at CENTCOM will take the fall.

Is our government lying to us? I fear that it is.

Islamic State-linked Twitter Account Threatens New Attacks In US For 9/11

IPT, by John Rossomando,  Sep. 1, 2015:

Several tweets from an Islamic State follower identifying himself as Abu Mohammed al-Khorasani hint that the terror group could be plotting new attacks inside the U.S. on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.

A tweet featuring the Twitter hashtags ILLINOIS#, #11septmber and #KillAllAmericans went out at 12:04 p.m. Monday Aug. 31 saying, “Peace on the P.K. [a kind Russian machine gun] Its shots are thematic (rhymes) It strikes America. Our State is victorious.” A photo of the second airliner just before it hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 appeared in the tweet.

Six minutes later, al-Khorasani tweeted the same hashtags together with a muddled Arabic phrase saying, “If you say to me, Dushka (a kind of Russian machine gun) Oh God, You have a petitioner (Masha, rhymes with Dushka) He strikes America [sic] and our State is victorious.” A graphic saying, “every American citizen is a legitimate target for us,” followed the text.

On Sunday, al-Khorasani wrote a similar threat, saying “SOON,” accompanied by an image of Osama Bin Laden and images of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

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He showed his affection for Bin Laden in a tweet today, taunting Americans, “When you killed Sheikh Osama thrown his pure body in the sea for fear of Dead But U did not know that we have millions of #Sheikh Osama.”

Talk and images of what appeared to be a suicide vest or vests immediately followed the threats which included the #ISIS and #IslamicState hashtags.

Al-Khorasani wrote in a tweet at 12:38 p.m., “You have the aircraft You have the rockets You have the launchers We have explosive belts to kill U #IslamicState.” He tweeted again at 12:44 p.m.: “You have F22 You have tanks You have guns But we have Belts #IslamicState #ISIS.”

These tweets follow a summer of Islamic State followers posting images of the Statue of Liberty in ruins, with New York in flames in the background, and saying, “Coming Soon.” Additionally, the image depicting the aftermath of an attack on an American city has not been isolated to New York. One such image tweeted from an Islamic State account on July 28 addressed to Lone Wolves showed a masked jihadist running from an explosion in an unnamed American city.

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A statement ominously saying, “O Cross Worshipers Lone Wolves Will Hunt You In America’s Streets” overlaid the graphic. Another tweet by Islamic State supporter nightwalker/lonewolfe posted Aug. 21 depicted jihadists in Times Square with the script, “We Are Everywhere.”

In April, the New York Post reported that Islamic State supporters released a video threatening to unleash a new September 11-style attack, saying that the group’s fighters are stronger than those who brought down the Twin Towers.”Thus they are able to burn United States again,” the video said.

One thing is clear, Islamic State supporters want to remind Americans the group wants to strike against Americans on their own soil at a time and place of the terrorists’ choosing.

Iran: Never Held Accountable

230730e (1)Center for Security Policy, by Christopher Holton, August 30, 2015:

The Obama administration has embarked upon a path to reward decades of bad behavior by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the futile hope that Iran will become benevolent and cease its warlike actions and intentions toward the West in general and the U.S. and Israel in particular.

As futile as the idea of negotiating a nuclear deal with the Ayatollahs seems to sober Americans and our allies today, we must first set the record straight on those policies of the past that Obama and his supporters say that they are determined to change: America has never had a “tough” policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran has been allowed to kidnap and kill Americans for decades, whether directly or by proxy, without fear of severe repercussions. For years the U.S. State Department has declared that Iran is the world’s “most active” sponsor of terrorism, yet the Ayatollahs have not been forced to pay a significant price. Iran has armed and aided our enemies –including al Qaeda-and threatened our allies and has gotten away with it.
Iran has killed Americans for over 40 years, sponsored Hezbollah, HAMAS and al Qaeda and has repeatedly threatened America and our allies.
Iran was complicit in the Hezbollah Islamikaze attacks on the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in April 1983 and the US Marine barracks there in October 1983. In the attack on the Marine barracks, 241 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers were killed. In fact, until September 11, 2001, Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization.
It should be pointed out that Iran is not just a sponsor of Hezbollah. Iran formed Hezbollah and has always trained and continues to train its operatives in Lebanon and inside Iran. Hezbollah basically operates as an Iranian foreign legion.
Worst of all, the Iranians have been developing nuclear weapons in violation of international law (along with the ballistic missiles with which to deliver them) and, still, there has been no tough policy toward Iran.
Though it may seem to many Americans as if the Iranian nuclear program has only come about in the past few years, it has actually been known to policymakers for a very long time.
Consider that over 20 years ago in the January 4, 1994 edition of USA Today, Clinton administration Undersecretary of State Lynn Davis had this to say about Iran’s nuclear program: “Iran’s actions leave little doubt that Tehran is intent upon developing a nuclear weapons capability. They are inconsistent with any rational civil nuclear program.”
What did the Clinton administration do to head off Iran’s nuclear program after this startling admission about Iran’s nuclear intentions? Virtually nothing.
For nearly three decades now since Iranian “students” invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took U.S. hostages, sanctions against Iran have been a widely believed urban legend – and nothing more.
Even during that hostage crisis of 1979-81, President Carter was unsuccessful in convincing our closest NATO allies and Japan to participate in economic sanctions against Iran. Not even Great Britain was willing to cut off trade with Iran during that crisis period.
The U.S. has had to “go it alone” on Iran for decades. But even the U.S. has imposed only limited unilateral sanctions against Iran and never broad, far-reaching sanctions. Three successive administrations, Clinton, Bush and Obama didn’t even bother to enforce our own sanctions against Iran.
The Iran Sanctions Act, authored by Sen. Alphonse D’Amato of New York passed both houses of Congress with virtually no opposition back in 1996. That bill would have placed any foreign oil company with over $20 million in investments in Iran’s oil and gas sector under U.S. sanctions. Companies like Shell and Total would have been forced to choose between doing business in America or in Iran. President Clinton signed it into law – and promptly issued waivers by executive order to every single oil company that would have been affected. Unfortunately, President Bush, on the advice of the geniuses at the State Department, continued that same waiver policy during his eight years in office. Unsurprisingly, Obama has followed suit as the list of foreign oil companies doing business in Iran became more Russian and Chinese in recent years.
Moreover, America has allowed our own corporations to bypass U.S. sanctions laws by using foreign cut-outs and subsidiaries to do business with the Ayatollahs. In fact, during the eight years of the Bush administration, U.S. trade with Iran actually expanded. This is especially shocking given that during much of this period Iran was operating directly in support of Jihadist insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan who were killing American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, providing the terrorists with training, logistics, safe haven and advanced weaponry.
Iran was the primary supplier of deadly EFP-IEDs (Explosively Formed Penetrator-Improvised Explosive Devices) to the insurgents in Iraq and operated training camps for those insurgents inside Iran.
As for sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, they have been even more limited to certain aspects of nuclear technology and arms, with virtually no impact on the Iranian economy. Even these limited sanctions have no teeth at all, which is why Iran’s largest arms suppliers, Russia and China, were willing to allow them to pass in the first place.
The fact is, Iran has felt little economic pressure due to sanctions since that day 21+ years ago in January 1994 when the Clinton State Department admitted to USA Today that Iran was working on nuclear weapons.
Our government has failed us. Our leaders have failed us.
What is so frustrating to those of us who are worried about the Iranian threat and have for years sought a peaceful means of addressing Iran’s nuclear program and its sponsorship of terrorism, is the fact that there have never been any meaningful measures taken to bring pressure on Iran.
It is especially disappointing that America and the rest of the Free World are not willing to apply economic leverage on Iran right now because now President Obama is poised to hand the genocidal Ayatollahs in Qom a windfall of hundreds of billions of dollars in both sanctions relief and freed assets.
President Obama has declared repeatedly that “there’s been a lot of mistrust built up over the years” between the US and Iran.
Given that Iran has made killing Americans its national sport and sponsoring Jihadist terrorist organizations its national pastime, why should America trust the Ayatollahs?
The next time someone tells you that we need to approve the Iranian nuclear deal “because sanctions haven’t worked,” you should point out that tough, comprehensive sanctions have never been imposed on Iran.
One day, we are all going to wake up, turn on the TV news and discover that the Ayatollahs have The Bomb. Our children and our children’s children will always wonder how we let it happen.
Also see:

“Analysis of the Iran Deal” with Lt. Col. Allen West

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Published on Aug 28, 2015 by emetonline

July 22, 2015 – EMET’s New York Chapter hosted Lt. Col. Allen West in New York City to provide an analysis of the Iran Nuclear Deal and also global radical jihadism.

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ICYMI:

Obama’s Politicized Intelligence

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or 'Islamic State') shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or ‘Islamic State’) shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Matthew Continetti, August 28, 2015:

The anniversary of the U.S. war against the Islamic State passed with little notice. It was August 7 of last year that President Obama authorized the first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, a campaign he expanded a month later to include targets in Syria. So far this month, the president has delivered remarks on the Voting Rights Act, his deal with Iran, the budget, clean energy, and Hurricane Katrina. ISIS? Not a peep.

Obama’s quiet because the war is not going well. Despite the loss of Tikrit earlier this year, the Islamic State’s western boundary is stable, and its eastern boundary now encroaches on Damascus. The president’s air campaign is one of the most limited and desultory America has fought in decades—ranking last in daily averages of strike sorties and bombs dropped. In late July, when the Turks permitted America the use of their air bases to launch attacks on ISIS, a “senior administration official” told the New York Times that the decision was “a game changer.” In the ensuing days the number of airstrikes in Syria actually fell.

The growing number of U.S. advisers—there are now more than 3,300 American military personnel in Iraq—has been unable to repair the damage wrought on the Iraqi Army by sectarian and political purges after our 2011 withdrawal. Even as the administration brags about killing more than 10,000 ISIS terrorists, a number that strains credulity, the Caliphate has become more deeply entrenched in its territory, and inspires attacks abroad.

Meanwhile the congressional authorization that the president sought is dead. One of our most gifted generals predicts the conflict will last “10 to 20 years.” And now comes news that the Pentagon is investigating whether intelligence assessments of ISIS have been manipulated for political reasons. “Analysts,” reports the Daily Beast, “have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is.” This sort of dishonesty helps no one—except a president whose primary concern is leaving office with his reputation for ending wars intact, and the military brass who wish to remain in his good graces.

What’s especially galling about this allegation is that Obama and the Democratic Party have spent years spuriously accusing President Bush of lying the United States into war in 2003. Spend a moment thinking of what the news cycle would be if George W. were still our president and the Pentagon inspector general opened an investigation into whether the bureaucracy was sprucing up intelligence to make it politically palatable: The chorus of “Bush lied, people died” would be deafening, Congress would demand investigations, the national security leak machine would start humming, John Conyers would reconvene his mock impeachment hearing, and the entire controversy would be set against the backdrop of antiwar marches and publicized denunciations of militaristic policy. What have we instead? ABC’s Good Morning America mentioned the Pentagon investigation. No other broadcast network did.

It’s an unanticipated consequence of Barack Obama’s presidency: his immobilization of the antiwar legions, the way his election immediately neutered the zealots who, if a Republican were in office, would be marching against drone strikes and mass surveillance and war in Afghanistan and air war in Libya, Syria, Iraq and proxy war in Yemen. What does it say about the left that the most spirited attacks on Obama national security policy have come from the right: On drones, surveillance, and congressional authorization for war, you are far more likely to hear criticism from Ted Cruz or Rand Paul than from the politicians who rode into office denouncing Bush’s misadventure in Iraq. The protestors who flooded New York in 2004 and fell to the ground at the D.C. “Die-In” in 2007—they either support the president or are too busy with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter to care.

Obama has thus been allowed to wage a war for more than a year not only without the authorization he called for but also without the accountability that pressure from his left would bring. He’s flying solo, and below him are an endless, inconclusive war, a terrorist state built on sharia law and sex slavery, rampant chemical weapons use, civilian casualties, and a refugee crisis that is causing social, economic, and political instability in Europe. The only thing missing from this picture is outrage—elite fury over the geopolitical and humanitarian results of the president’s evasive policy, of doing only the bare minimum necessary to convince people that you aren’t ignoring the problem.

There’s no outrage because the media, our bipartisan political establishment, and indeed the American people themselves are unwilling to face the scope of the challenge the Islamic State presents. To uproot it we would have to send U.S. ground forces to Iraq in large numbers, not just special forces operating in tandem with unrestricted air support. We would have to retake and hold ground lost in the years since we departed Iraq, and we would have to commit to remaining in Iraq and Syria for a long time. To deal a blow to radical Islam that would deter recruitment, stop the bandwagon effect, and secure America from attack by militants and their fellow-travelers would require a military and economic commitment the United States, and least of all our president, is simply not prepared to make.

Easier to perform the illusion of activity, of success and advance, so that all the boxes are checked, all our consciences placated. Easier to pretend that the problem of ISIS can be “contained” and that our new ally Iran can handle the situation in its emerging capacity as regional hegemon. Easier to go about our business, to spin or outright ignore the war our country has been waging in Iraq and Syria for more than a year. So much easier not to worry about what’s happening over there—until, that is, the enemy attacks us here.

Also see:

Building an Islamic State in America, One Church at a Time

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Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, August 27, 2015:

Across Europe, thousands of churches have closed and many of them have become mosques. The St. Mark’s Cathedral in London survived Nazi bombers in WW2, but fell to a new invasion and became the New Peckham Mosque. In France, where there are now more Muslims than practicing Catholics, the Islamic colonists demanded that thousands of empty churches be turned into mosques. The Capernaum Church in Germany has become the Al-Nour Islamic Center. In Amsterdam, the St. Ignatius Church was transformed into the Fatih Camii Mosque. Its name means ‘The Conqueror’s Mosque’.

The original Fatih Camii Mosque had been built by the Turkish invaders in Constantinople on the site of the Church of the Holy Apostles. Like their ISIS descendants, the Turks drove out the Greek Christians, destroyed the church and replaced it with a mosque named after the monster Mehmed II, who inaugurated Islamic rule over the fallen city with slavery, rape and beheadings in the ISIS style.

Today ‘Conqueror’s Mosques’ have sprung up not only in Istanbul and Amsterdam, but in Paris, Toronto, Melbourne and Brooklyn, where within sight of the Statue of Liberty extending her torch of freedom to the oppressed of the world, stands the grim squalid outpost of the oppressor of the world.

Mehmed and the Statue of Liberty, the armies of Islam and our way of freedom cannot long coexist.

Islam is conquering Europe. It is also conquering America.

In Syracuse, New York, the Holy Trinity Catholic Church has become a mosque. Despite the church being protected by the Landmark Preservation Board, its crosses were cut down and painted over. After the Islamic terror attacks of September 11, no more planes flew into buildings. Instead they landed at airports disgorging a different sort of conquering army that came with visas instead of boxcutters.

In the decade after 9/11, the number of Muslims in Onondaga County more than doubled.  A key role was played by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, which could not find the money and energy to maintain a church into which generations of immigrations had poured their hopes and dreams, but which served as one of the VOLAGs (voluntary agencies) filling the area with UNHCR approved refugees.

75% of the “refugees” colonizing Syracuse are Muslim. Almost a thousand refugees a year are inflicted on the people of Syracuse who already live in the 23rd poorest city out of the 575 biggest cities in the country. Half the children of Syracuse live in poverty. But each refugee means a $725 check for the VOLAG. Last year that meant a $3 million grant for Catholic Charities.

And while VOLAGs like Catholic Charities cater to migrants, churches are turned into mosques. The North Side, where Catholic Charities has been active in its “charity work” is now full of women in hijabs and the Holy Trinity Church is no more.

Yusuf Soule, who bought the church, explained why he chose it. “The North Side is the magnet for refugees.  The two agencies that work with refugees (InterFaith Works and Catholic Charities) are here.”

The more of these magnets we create, the fewer churches and synagogues there will be. Temple Beth El in Syracuse was hit by a Muslim terrorist who set fire to it while shouting, “I did this for you, Allah.”

No one had to set the Holy Trinity Church on fire. The Conference of Catholic Bishops took care of that.

Civilizations don’t fall because there are barbarians at the gate. There are barbarians at the gate because a dying civilization has lost touch with the values that made it great. The barbarians didn’t bring down Byzantium. They aren’t bringing down America and Europe. The barbarians of the prophet just show up to profit from the fall and we are the ones who open the gates and hand over the keys to our killers.

Islam is built on the bones of civilizations. Every Islamic mosque is a conqueror’s mosque.

The most thrilling experience for the new colonizers of the West is the taking of a church or a synagogue and transforming it into a mosque. While for the moment this has to be done legally, it is the closest thing to the ISIS experience that an Islamist can have in America or Europe without going to jail.

This tragedy isn’t only happening in Europe. As the events in Syracuse show, it is taking place right here.

And it isn’t only Catholic churches in New York that are falling victim to this new breed of immigrant Taliban demolishing the un-Islamic to make way for the Islamic.

Two Baptist churches in Louisville, Kentucky have been turned into mosques.

“On a trip to England a few years ago, I recall seeing dozens of churches that had become mosques and wondering how it could happen there; now it’s happening here,” Paul Chitwood, the executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said.

Louisville has the misfortune of being a “preferred resettlement site” which makes it a major dumping ground. The Syrians are on their way courtesy of Islamic Relief USA and it already has 1,605 Somalis and plenty of Iraqis too.

Churches are being turned into mosques all across America. The Abundant Life Family Church in Nebraska is now the Sabah Mosque. St. John’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis became the Darul-Uloom Islamic Center. In Detroit, Our Lady Help of Christians Church fell to the Islamic Center of North Detroit.

Slowly and quietly, this is happening all across America as the Immigration Jihad uses taxpayer money to accomplish what Mohammed, Al Qaeda and ISIS could not. Al Qaeda can destroy our buildings, but only our government can import Muslim colonists who will take over them as bases for their ideology.

Read more

French intelligence fears Islamist ‘missile strike on airliner’ or 9/11-style attack

French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest (file photo) Photo: Alamy

French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest (file photo) Photo: Alamy

Telegraph, by Henry Samuel and David Chazan, Aug. 27, 2015:

French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest and fear there could be a missile strike on a passenger airliner or a September 11-style attack, according to sources close to French intelligence.

“Airlines have been warned of a possible attack on a plane with an anti-tank missile,” a source told The Telegraph. “But pilots are unsure how to take evasive action.”

After Friday’s thwarted attempt to massacre passengers on an Amsterdam-Paris train and a series of terrorist attacks and attempted killings in France this year, President François Hollande warned the nation to prepare for more violence, considered inevitable as the Islamist threat grows.

The army has made contingency plans for the “reappropriation of national territory”, meaning to win back control of neighbourhoods where the population become hostile to the security forces and where guns are easily obtainable, according to the source.

“There are a lot of alienated and angry fourth-generation immigrant kids in the suburbs and the prospect of radicalisation is increasingly likely,” the source said.

“The idea that attacks like the one on the train are carried out by individuals acting on their own is not credible. We’re dealing with highly-organised networks of militant Islamists embarked on a campaign of violence and determined to intensify it.”

Kalashnikov automatic rifles — used by the train gunman and Islamist terrorists who killed 17 people in Paris in January — and anti-tank missiles are now obtainable in France. Many were smuggled in from the former Yugoslavia after the Balkan wars in the 1990s. More weapons have come in from Libya, the sources said, adding that organised crime and terrorist groups were working together to procure them.

“We don’t know what happened to the arms we (France) to Libyan rebels. It’s worrying,” the source said.

In the chaos following the fall of the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, French officials described the north African country as an “open-air arms market”. In 2011, France admitted to sending “light weapons” to Libyan rebels in 2011, but French media reported that consignments of heavier arms, including European-made Milan anti-tank missiles were also sent.

There were fears that Isil, al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups were procuring heavy weapons from the stocks of Gaddafi’s former army, and that rebel groups were losing control of their own arms.

As early as 2010, an anti-tank missile was seized by police along with several tons of cannabis. Since then, an unknown number of rocket-propelled grenades and missiles are believed to have been smuggled into the country.

A missile attack could be devastating for an airliner, particularly if the plane was taking off and full of fuel. The main Paris airport at Roissy is near drug-infested suburbs of the capital prone to violence.

Agents of the DGSI, France’s equivalent of MI5, warned they are powerless to improve surveillance of Islamist militants bent on losing their lives to cause maximum carnage, and have been “lucky” to have avoided far worse catastrophes since the Paris Islamist attacks in January that killed 17, Le Canard Enchaîné, the investigative and satirical weekly, reported.

An agent told the newspaper there were fears of “an upcoming 11 September à la française where (intelligence) services are mere spectators”.

Luck rather than judgment had allayed larger-scale strikes, another is cited as saying.

“We’ve been lucky. Passengers in a train who neutralise a suspect, another who shoots himself in the foot then calls the emergency services, and a third who fails to blow up a chemical factory; without these fortuitous turns of events, the human and material toll would have been much higher. And we wouldn’t have been able to change a thing,” he told the weekly.

“The truth is we’ve already tried everything. But we’ve reached the very limits of what we are able to do as much from a legislative and organisational as a financial point of view.”

European transport ministers are due to discuss more “systematic and coordinated” security checks across the continent in a meeting in Paris on Saturday, Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister announced on Wednesday.

“We must examine whether we can implement a system that allows for more systematic checks in airports, in public transport, in a more coordinated way,” he told France Inter radio.

Also see:

Curt Schilling and the Death of Free Speech

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Frontpage, by Robert Spencer, August 27 2015:

“Curt Schilling’s tweet comparing Muslims to Nazis is even worse than it sounds,” howled Max Fisher in Vox – one of the many voices this week screaming for Schilling’s head for transgressing against America’s new and unwritten, but nonetheless frightfully draconian, speech codes.

Fisher professes ignorance of the perp’s illustrious career, semaphoring that he is a good Leftist elitist, ignorant of Schilling’s brutish, bourgeois athletic achievements: “Curt Schilling, whom Wikipedia informs me is a former baseball star and current ESPN commentator, sent a tweet on Tuesday that seems to have emerged straight from the internet nether-void of racist email forwards.”

“Racist”? Schilling tweeted a graphic that read, “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” So where is the “racism”? What race are “extremist Muslims”? What race are Muslims in the aggregate? What race is Islam? Or did Fisher mean that Schilling’s tweet was racist against Germans?

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Fisher compounds this muddled thinking by doubling down on the false claim in his headline, that Schilling likened Muslims to Nazis: “The argument here is pretty clear, even if the numbers are pure nonsense, but just so it’s not lost: Schilling is saying that the religion of Islam is akin to Nazi Germany, and that the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are responsible for the actions of a tiny minority of extremists in the same way that Nazi-era Germans were complicit in Nazi crimes.”

Actually, Schilling’s tweet does neither of those things. It likens not the religion of Islam, but “extremist Muslims,” to Nazis, and it doesn’t say a thing about all Muslims being responsible for the crimes of Islamic jihadists. And Fisher’s woolly logic is typical of the firestorm that has engulfed Schilling, as he has been removed from ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series and is being pilloried everywhere. Schilling himself is repentant and apologetic, but it may do no good: he may be facing more punishment, and is taking a beating in the mainstream media for being “insensitive.”

But what exactly is so offensive about his tweet? Is it that he compared “extremist Muslims” to Nazis? Surely that can’t be it. The Islamic State hasn’t murdered six million Jews, but surely would if it could, and meanwhile its gleeful bloodlust, sex slavery, terrorizing of non-Muslims and all the rest of it make the comparison reasonable.

Or was Schilling “insensitive” for daring to suggest that peaceful Muslims aren’t doing much to rein in their violent coreligionists? Well, let’s see. Last month, Muslims in Ireland held a demonstration against the Islamic State. How many Muslims showed up? Fewer than fifty. And in October 2014 in Houston, a rally against the Islamic State organized by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew the grand total of ten people. In August 2013 in Boston, about 25 Muslims rallied against “misperceptions” that Islam was violent. About the same number showed up in June 2013 at a progressive Muslim rally in Toronto to claim that their religion had been “hijacked.”

And back in 2005, a group called the Free Muslims Coalition held what it dubbed a “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” intending to “send a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered … and to send a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them.” In the run-up to the event it got enthusiastic national and international publicity, but it ended up drawing about twenty-five people.

Read more

Actually the number of radical Muslims is higher:

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Canadian “Hate Speech” Proposal Threatens Free Speech

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
August 27, 2015

1223Thirteen years, thirteen honor killings, all in Muslim families, all of them in Canada. But if you should condemn those murders, you might find yourself the subject of investigation and convicted of a crime.

Quebec Human Rights Commissioner Jacques Frémont has proposed a bill “to prevent and combat hate speech and speech inciting violence.”

If adopted, the law known as Bill 59 would allow Quebec’s Human Rights Commission or members of the public “to initiate a ‘hate speech’ lawsuit against a person who makes a statement considered discriminatory against a group,” Marc Lebuis, director of Point de Bascule, an organization that tracks Islamist activities in Canada, said in a recent interview.

In addition, the bill would grant the commission power to investigate people alleged to have uttered hate speech, said Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée. Those convicted of promoting hate could be fined up to $20,000 and their names would be made public and posted indefinitely to a list available online.

Most view Bill 59 as a response to pressure from Muslim groups, who have filed several complaints of “Islamophobia” and anti-Muslim hate speech in recent years. In many ways, the bill resembles UN Resolution 16/18, an initiative of the 56 Islamic States who comprise the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and which restricts speech that could be considered “discriminatory” or which defames religion and can be considered “incitement to violence.” Only Bill 59 is worse: it pertains to personal, subjective, emotional responses that an individual has to something that he reads, hears, or encounters.

That this proposed statute flies in the face of everything we in the United States as well as in Canada believe to be fundamental to human and civil rights and the sanctity of free speech is not the only challenge the proposed bill presents. But it presents its greatest threat to democracy and the values the West holds sacred.

Ironically, Lebuis says, supporters justify the bill by suggesting it will protect democracy against terrorism. They reason that “terrorism is a reaction towards people who criticize their religion,” he explains, “so by banning the criticism of Islam, we would end terrorism.” Such arguments have been made both by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and by Muslim groups such as the Association of Muslims and Arabs for a Secular Quebec (AMAL). “Hate and Islamophobia drive certain people in groups subject to discrimination toward another form of extremism and violence,” said AMAL President Haroun Bouazzi in a recent presentation to the National Assembly during a debate over the bill.

But Canada’s federal criminal code already calls for imprisonment (up to two years) for “anyone who incites hatred against any identifiable group,” as the Montreal Gazettepoints out. Though the proposed bill addresses hate speech against individuals, not groups, it fails even to define what “hate speech” is. As attorney Julius Grey testified, “Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Voltaire could all be found to have incited violence and hatred. Should they have been censored?”

Moreover, because there is no clear definition of “hate speech” and no standard by which it can be measured, the bill leaves the door wide open for prosecution. “It is based on what people feel or could feel,” Lebuis said. “Public interest, the truth, facts or even intentions are no defense.”

That situation is made worse by the fact that conviction is based on the determination of the Human Rights Commission tribunal, overriding federal laws which require a determination of guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.” As columnist Don MacPhersonobserves in the Montreal Gazette:

“The federal Criminal Code defines ‘hate propaganda‘ as advocating or promoting genocide, inciting hatred against an identifiable group [that is] likely to lead to a breach of the peace,’ or ‘willfully’ promoting hatred against such a group … And an accused can’t be convicted ‘if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true” (as would be the case, say, with any condemnation of an honor killing).
But Bill 59 makes no such provisions.

Others, including (surprisingly) AMAL’s Bouazzi, have objected to the proposed creation of a permanent, public record of those found guilty of “hate speech” – a gesture that is not only defamatory but could even become dangerous should anyone seek retribution. Further, “hate speech” is not defined in the bill, so such a conviction has Machiavellian potential: For example, were you, to ascribe honor violence or terrorism to cultural or religious beliefs, you could be subject to prosecution. This would be the case even if the actual perpetrator claimed to act in the name of culture or religion. And while a terrorist will go to prison for his deeds, should you be found guilty of violating Bill 59, your name, not his, will be indelibly included on that list visible to the world.

As such, the potential for political parties to silence – let alone criminalize – those who oppose them lurks ominously within the reaches of such a law.

Among Muslims, according to Pakistani-Canadian activist Tarek Fatah, opinions seem to be split. “Ironically, some Islamist-promoting organizations and mosques have welcomed Bill 59, notwithstanding the fact they violate it every week when they start their Friday prayers with a ritual invocation that asks, ‘Allah to give Muslims victory over the “kufaar”(Christians, Jews and Hindus),'” he writes in the Toronto Sun. Others like himself, he says, “everything we can to make sure Quebec’s Bill 59 does not pass.” And if it does pass, he adds, “the first complaint to the QHRC will be against Islamist mosques for spreading hatred against Jews and Christians.

That is a promise.”

Judging from past efforts to legislate such issues in Canada and from the apparent opposition to Bill 59 being voiced in editorials around the country, the measure seems to have little chance of passing. A measure to legalize sharia tribunals, for instance, failed in 2005, though ironically, these tribunals – opposed vehemently by Muslim women, who recognized that such tribunals tend to discriminate against women in cases of marriage, forced marriage, domestic abuse and inheritance – were denounced by many as “Islamophobic.” (One has to wonder what the Quebec HRC tribunal would have to say about that issue: Islamophobia or misogyny? And what of the person accused of “Islamophobia” who in turn declares the term “Islamophobic” offensive and presses charges against his accuser?)

Pierre Trudel, a lawyer and professor of law at the University of Montreal, also feels that the bill in its current form stands limited chance of succeeding. But, he added in an interview, “it’s fair to expect that it will be amended to answer the objections of many opponents.” Otherwise, he said, the result will be “a significant chilling effect on speech.”

Ironic, then, that nothing else could better hand a victory to those very terrorists the bill was written to subvert. In the words of Benjamin Franklin (as Silence Dogood), “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

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