Obama Loyalists Pressured Intel Analysts to Downplay ISIS Assessments, Deleted Incriminating Emails

President Barack Obama delivers remarks after meeting with members of his national security team concerning ISIS at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on Monday, July 6, 2015. Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA

President Barack Obama delivers remarks after meeting with members of his national security team concerning ISIS at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on Monday, July 6, 2015. Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA

PJ Media, by Debra Heine, Nov. 25, 2015:

Whether it was because they understood that the president was determined to ignore inconvenient threat assessments, or because they were under direct orders, top Obama officials pressured analysts to downplay  “multiple assessments” from military intelligence and the CIA regarding the “rapid rise” of ISIS in Iraq and North Africa in the year before the group took over huge swaths of Iraq in 2014.

Emails obtained by the Pentagon inspector general reveal that intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command were pressured to avoid negative assessments about the Islamic State threat and were even at one point told to “cut it out.” Moreover, sources are accusing two senior intelligence officials at CENTCOM of “deleting emails and files from computer systems before the inspector general could examine them.”

Via Fox News:

Fox News is told by a source close to the CENTCOM analysts that the pressure on them included at least two emails saying they needed to “cut it out” and “toe the line.”Separately, a former Pentagon official told Fox News there apparently was an attempt to destroy the communications. The Pentagon official said the email warnings were “not well received” by the analysts.

Those emails, among others, are now in the possession of the Pentagon inspector general. The IG’s probe is expanding into whether intelligence assessments were changed to give a more positive picture of the anti-ISIS campaign.

“This is rich,” said Andrew Peek, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, on Fox News yesterday. “How rich was it for the president to give a news conference where he essentially explained to all the reporters who were too dumb to get it — and to all of us — how much better his advisers were to anyone else’s.”

“Of course he likes them, right?” Peek laughed. “They tell him what he wants to hear! I think this is appalling.”

It appears that Obama’s yes-men have been caught trying to cover their tracks.

The Daily Beast reports that the allegations of misconduct include a possible cover-up, with some analysts accusing two senior officials at CENTCOM, Maj. Gen. Steven Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman, of deleting incriminating emails.

One U.S. official said the alleged activity could amount to obstruction and interference with the inspector general’s investigation, which began last summer. He noted that files relevant to the investigation began to disappear from Centcom computers after the Pentagon watchdog’s staff began their work.Two sources said that investigators are piecing together a trail of emails and reports to find out what may have been deleted, as well as what officials outside CENTCOM knew about potential manipulation of intelligence.

The Guardian reported back in September that the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was in “frequent and unusual contact” with Army Major General Steven Grove – “which is highly, highly unusual,” according to a former intelligence official.

Grove is said to be implicated in a Pentagon inquiry into manipulated war intelligence.In communications, Clapper, who is far more senior than Grove, is said to tell Grove how the war looks from his vantage point, and question Grove about Central Command’s assessments. Such a situation could place inherent pressure on a subordinate, sources said.

As the Daily Beast reported, Grove is now suspected of deleting incriminating emails.

James Clapper, meanwhile, has been at the center of several Obama-era controversies.

In February of 2011, he testified before Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular,”  has “eschewed violence,” decries al-Qaeda as a “perversion of Islam,” and really just wants “social ends” and “a betterment of the political order in Egypt.”

This was a little over a year before the Obama administration’s preferred candidate — a  Muslim Brotherhood leader — won Egypt’s presidential election. It took only a year of his ruthless reign for Egyptians to throw Morsi and his Islamist henchmen out and have them arrested. So much for the “betterment of the political order in Egypt.”

On Sept 28, 2012, DNI James Clapper fell on his sword for Obama on Libya.

Regarding the infamous Benghazi talking points, he said, “I got it wrong – not the White House.”

Ace of Spades HQ made a very perceptive observation at the time.

Now people are saying it was indeed Clapper. Actually they’re saying it was his office — the Director of National Intelligence — and any of several people might have made the changes.But I will stick with Clapper. He’s proven himself to be a perfect Obama appointee, by which I mean incompetent and eminently malleable in his claims according to Obama’s political needs.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March of 2013, Clapper seemingly lied under oath.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) had asked him whether the National Security Agency collects data on millions of Americans.

Clapper insisted that the NSA does not — or at least does “not wittingly” — collect any information on Americans in bulk.After documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA collects records on virtually all U.S. phone calls, Clapper apologized for the false comment.

In early 2015, while the president was brokering a nuclear deal with Iran,  the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Communities did not include Iran or Hezbollah after years in which they were featured in similar reports.

Clapper cited “a change in formatting” as the reason for their removal, an explanation that John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, called a “flat lie.”

It’s worth noting here that investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson last week revealed that intel sources have been telling her that President Obama refuses to listen to intelligence assessments of certain terrorist groups which he doesn’t consider terrorists.

“Designated Fall Guy” James Clapper never did take the fall for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2012 over Benghazi, but three years later he and two officials at CENTCOM seem to be skating on very thin ice. It remains to be seen whether any of this tommyrot reaches the Oval Office.

Also see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Islamic State Radicalizes ‘Thousands’ in United States

Ahmad Musa Jibril (screenshot)

Ahmad Musa Jibril (screenshot)

Washington Free Beacon, by Daniel Wiser, Nov. 25, 2015:

The Islamic State has likely radicalized thousands of people in the United States, according to a new report, raising concerns that supporters of the terrorist group could be plotting domestic attacks similar to the recent shootings and bombings in Paris.

The Threat Knowledge Group, an organization led by the counterterrorism experts Sebastian and Katharine Gorka, has compiled a list of 82 individuals in the United States who were affiliated with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and apprehended by law enforcement officials, including those who traveled or attempted to travel to Iraq and Syria, launched domestic attacks, or participated in recruiting or fundraising.

The Gorkas note in a new report that almost one third of these individuals had plotted attacks against Americans on U.S. soil in the last 18 months. Sebastian is also an adviser to the Department of Defense, while Katharine has authored several publications about the terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.

Through Islamic State propagandists on Twitter and other social media sites, the terrorist group has been able to attract hundreds more supporters in the United States, they said.

Ali Shukri Amin, a 17-year-old Virginia resident and Islamic State supporter who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in August, used his Twitter account with 4,000 followers to raise funds for the group and encourage friends to join it overseas.

Ahmad Musa Jibril, an Islamist preacher in Dearborn, Michigan, who has also spent time in jail for money laundering and tax evasion, also points to the terrorist group’s online reach. Jibril has more than 38,000 Twitter followers, though he has not tweeted since last July and may have found other methods of communication. He is reported to have a large following among foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria.

“Based on the evidence available, the number of ISIS supporters in the United States measures in the thousands, rather than hundreds,” the Gorkas said in their report.

“Whether ISIS will launch an attack on the scale of the Paris attack is unknown, but it is clear that the United States is a primary target for ISIS and that ISIS has the necessary supporters in place and the financial means to carry out such an attack,” they continued. “The challenges of screening incoming refugees may further exacerbate the problem.”

The Islamic State has displaced al Qaeda as the top threat to the U.S. homeland, the Gorkas said. After examining arrests per month, they found that U.S. police are interdicting 300 percent more Islamic State recruits than al Qaeda supporters.

The Islamic State has been able to attract thousands of foreign fighters and U.S. supporters through its aggressive dissemination of propaganda on social media and urgent ideological and religious narrative.

Religious authorities for the group claim that the “end times” are swiftly approaching, a period when Muslims will defeat invading Christians in Syria in “the final jihad” before the world ends and devout Muslims ascend to heaven. “They are able to persuade many supporters to come fight on the grounds that this is ‘The Final Jihad,’” the Gorkas said.

The Islamic State also focuses on young recruits, who are more vulnerable to radicalization. The report notes that 63 percent of those arrested in the United States for supporting the group were between the ages of 15 and 25.

Islamic State supporters often recruit in clusters in the United States, with friends and family members forming a local jihad network.

“For law enforcement, it suggests that if one person in a community affiliates themselves with ISIS, one can expect to see more, especially among those who are close to the recruit,” the Gorkas said.

Still, Islamic State adherents in the United States are vulnerable to capture. Among the 82 cases of U.S. supporters studied by the Threat Knowledge Group, about 60 percent were identified by authorities through their social media posts or a tip from someone close to them. The Gorkas recommended that police build trust in communities so families and residents will feel comfortable turning in those that they suspect are radicalized.

Additionally, they urged law enforcement authorities to work with educators about identifying signs of radicalization among youth, focus more on tracking the Islamic State’s religious authorities online and their propaganda, and develop a more rigorous screening process for refugees from the Middle East.

The State Department recently issued a worldwide travel alert through Feb. 24, 2016, for Americans, urging them to “exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation.” Potential terrorist “attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests,” the department said.

“There is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis,” the department added.


Video: Stephen Coughlin unveils the dreadful lessons of ISIS’s Paris massacre

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We should expect to see large scale acts of terrorism culminating at the end of the year – Coughlin


This special edition of The Glazov Gang was joined by Stephen Coughlin, the co-founder of UnconstrainedAnalytics.org and the author of the new book, Catastrophic Failure.

He came on the show to discuss The Dreadful Lessons of ISIS’s Paris Massacre, shedding troubling light on Jihadists’ dire warning to America.

[See also Stephen on the Glazov Gang special: How “Rules of Engagement” Get U.S. Soldiers Killed.]

Also see:

No, the Islamic State Will Not Be Defeated — and if It Is, We Still Lose

GettyImages-497044984-640x480Breitbart, by Ben Shapiro, Nov. 24, 2015:

Barack Obama has now created an unwinnable war.

While all of the 2016 candidates declare their strategies for victory against ISIS, President Obama’s leading from behind has now entered the Middle East and the West into a free-for-all that cannot end any way but poorly.

The best way to understand the situation in Syria is to look at the situation and motivation of the various players. All of them have varying agendas; all of them have different preferred outcomes. Few of them are on anything approaching the same page. And Barack Obama’s failure of leadership means that there is no global power around which to center.

ISIS. ISIS has gained tremendous strength since Barack Obama’s entry to power and pullout from Iraq. They currently control northern Syria, bordering Turkey, as well as large portions of northern Iraq. Their goal: to consolidate their territorial stranglehold, and to demonstrate to their followers that they, and not other competing terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, represent the new Islamic wave. They have little interest in toppling Syrian dictator Bashar Assad for the moment. They do serve as a regional counterweight to the increasingly powerful Iranians – increasingly powerful because of President Obama’s big nuclear deal, as well as his complete abdication of responsibility in Iraq.

Iran. Iran wants to maximize its regional power. The rise of ISIS has allowed it to masquerade as a benevolent force in Iraq and Syria, even as it supports Assad’s now-routine use of chemical weapons against his adversaries, including the remnants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Iran has already expanded its horizons beyond Iraq and Syria and Lebanon; now it wants to make moves into heretofore non-friendly regions like Afghanistan. Their goal in Syria: keep Bashar Assad in power. Their goal in Iraq: pushing ISIS out of any resource-rich territories, but not finishing ISIS off, because that would then get rid of the global villain against which they fight.

Assad. The growth of ISIS has allowed Assad to play the wronged victim. While the FSA could provide a possible replacement for him, ISIS can’t credibly do so on the international stage. Assad knows that, and thus has little interest in completely ousting them. His main interest is in continuing to devastate the remaining FSA while pretending to fight ISIS.

Egypt/Saudi Arabia/Jordan. As you can see, ISIS, Iran, and Assad all have one shared interest: the continued existence of ISIS. The same is not true with regard to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, all of whom fear the rise of radical Sunni terrorist groups in their home countries. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, because openly destroying ISIS on behalf of Alaouite Assad, they embolden the Shia, their enemies. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan would all join an anti-ISIS coalition in the same way they did against Saddam Hussein in 1991, but just like Hussein in 1991, they won’t do it if there are no Sunni alternatives available. Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan are the top three sources of foreign fighters for ISIS.

Turkey. The Turks have several goals: to stop the Syrian exodus across their borders, to prevent the rise of the Iranians, and to stop the rise of the Kurds. None of these goals involves the destruction of ISIS. Turkey is Sunni; so is ISIS. ISIS provides a regional counterweight against Iran, so long as it remains viable. It also keeps the Kurds occupied in northern Iraq, preventing any threat of Kurdish consolidation across the Iraq-Turkey border. They will accept Syrian refugees so long as those other two goals remain primary – and they’ll certainly do it if they can ship a hefty portion of those refugees into Europe and off their hands.

Russia. Russia wants to consolidate its power in the Middle East. It has done so by wooing all the players to fight against one another. Russia’s involvement in the Middle East now looks a good deal like American involvement circa the Iran-Iraq War: they’re playing both sides. Russia is building nuclear reactors in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Iran. They’re Bashar Assad’s air force against both the FSA and ISIS. Russia’s Vladimir Putin doesn’t have a problem with destroying ISIS so long as doing so achieves his other goal: putting everyone else in his debt. He has a secondary goal he thought he could chiefly pursue in Eastern Europe, and attempted with Ukraine: he wants to split apart the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he rightly sees as a counterbalance to check Russian aggression. Thanks to today’s Turkish attack on a Russian plane, and thanks to the West’s hands-off policy with regard to the conflict, Putin could theoretically use his war against ISIS as cover to bombard Turkish military targets, daring the West to get involved against him. Were he to do so, he’d set the precedent that NATO is no longer functional. Two birds, one war.

Israel. Israel’s position is the same it has always been: Israel is surrounded by radical Islamic enemies on every side. Whether Iranian-backed Hezbollah or Sunni Hamas and ISIS, Israel is the focus of hate for all of these groups. Ironically, the rise of Iran has unified Israel with its neighbors in Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. All three of those countries, however, can’t stand firmly against ISIS.

All of which means that the only country capable of filling the vacuum would be the United States. Just as in 1991, a major Sunni power is on the move against American interests – but unlike in 1991, no viable option existed for leaving the current regime in power. And the US’ insistence upon the help of ground allies is far too vague. Who should those allies be, occupying ISIS-free ISISland?

The Kurds have no interest in a Syrian incursion. Turkish troops movements into ISIS-land will prompt Iranian intervention. Iranian intervention into ISIS-land would prompt higher levels of support for Sunni resistance. ISIS-land without ISIS is like Iraq without Saddam Hussein: in the absence of solidifying force, chaos breaks out. From that chaos, the most organized force takes power. Russia hopes that should it destroy ISIS, Assad will simply retain power; that may be the simplest solution, although it certainly will not end the war within the country. There are no good answers.

Barack Obama’s dithering for years led to this. Had he lent his support in any strong way to one side, a solution might be possible. Now, it’s not.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

Must Read Report – Islamic State: ‘The Threat to the United States’

isis-marching-AP-640x480 (2)Breitbart, by Jordan, Schachtel, Nov. 23, 2015:

A Mclean, Virginia-based defense think-tank has published a prescient white-paper on the Islamic State terror group, which has been made available exclusively to Breitbart News prior to its release.

The Threat Knowledge Group (TKG), headed by Katherine C. Gorka, its President, and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University and a Breitbart Contributor, released a comprehensive study Monday titled “ISIS: The Threat to the United States.”

After last week’s attacks in Paris that killed over one-hundred people and wounded hundreds more, particular national attention has turned to national security issues, as the American people continue to fear that the United States is becoming more vulnerable to jihadist attacks.

“The scope and lethality of the Paris attack changes everything. The U.S. will have to take the domestic threat of ISIS much more seriously now,” Threat Knowledge Group President Katherine Gorka told Breitbart News.

“We wanted to do this study because we felt that the Administration was downplaying the domestic threat of ISIS, focusing instead on ‘right-wing extremism.’ The problem with that is that it means law enforcement is not prepared. They’re looking out the window while the threat is coming in the door,” she added.

Threat Knowledge Group supports the Defense Department and FBI with strategic analysis and training, and this latest report unveils the Islamic State’s recruitment network inside of the United States.

They found that over 250 people from the United States have attempted to join ISIS, according to a report from the House Homeland Security Committee. Also, some 82 individuals in the United States have been interdicted by federal agents as part of ISIS plots, according to a database compiled by Threat Knowledge Group.

And the FBI already has almost 1,000 active ISIS investigations in the United States, the report adds.

In its study, TKG also compares and contrasts the Islamic State with Al Qaeda.

The report notes that “ISIS is a fully-fledged insurgency” and has been able to achieve far more than Al Qaeda has in its past. In such a short amount of time, ISIS has been able to recruit a force of tens-of-thousands of jihadis while also controlling territory, a feat that Al Qaeda has never accomplished by itself.

ISIS has trumped Al Qaeda’s recruiting capacity as well, according to the report. TKG found that from March 2014 to November 2015, ISIS arrests occurred over three times more often than for Al Qaeda members, with 4.1 ISIS cases per month compared to Al Qaeda’s monthly 1.5 average.

In an ultra-important measure to establish legitimacy in the Islamic world, ISIS “successfully declared the Caliphate after 90 years of absence, and it is growing,” the report adds.

The study also delves into several other issues related to understanding ISIS as a jihadi organization, covering topics such as “What ISIS believes in” and “Who is ISIS recruiting?”

TKG warns that the United States must steel itself for the “difficult times ahead” and be ready to counter the threats posed by ISIS inside of the United States. They recommend that U.S. officials follow five steps in countering the current threat environment.

In summary, TKG recommends that American officials should:

  1. “Stop downplaying the seriousness of the threat.”
  2. “Recognize that ISIS is targeting youth, and do more to protect youth from radicalization.”
  3. “Target the ideologues.”
  4. “Better utilize open-source intelligence.”

TKG Report the ISIS Threat

Travel Abroad Is Safe, Provided You Teleport Into Rural New Zealand

shutterstock_93273712.sized-770x415xcPJ Media, by Claudia Rosett, Nov. 24, 2015:

Over the years since President Obama first took office, he has lectured Americans about the receding tide of war, al Qaeda on the run, and, more recently, ISIS (or, as the administration has it, ISIL) being degraded, slated for ultimate destruction, and, even more recently, “contained.” Meanwhile, the world is getting ever more dangerous. Over the past six months alone, the State Department in its efforts to keep up with the turmoil and threats has issued more than three dozen travel warnings for Americans thinking of visiting places from Eritrea to Mali, Lebanon, Colombia, Sudan, El Salvador, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon, Burma, Nepal, Mali, the Philippines, Kenya, Turkey… and of course Syria, Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

Now, in the aftermath of the ISIS terrorist attacks on Paris, with ISIS threatening strikes on America, and Brussels heading into its fourth day on lockdown, the State Department is taking a more wholesale approach. Today, as PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson reports, the State Department issued a “Worldwide Travel Alert,” warning U.S. citizens of “possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats.”

The warning applies not only to the threats from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh (or whatever else we’re calling the Jayvee team these days) but also to threats from “unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations, but conducted on an individual basis” (in business, we’d call that a franchise). State’s worldwide travel warning gives examples of the kinds of events and locations that have been targeted this past year by “extremists,” and are presumably to be avoided, including “large sporting events, theaters, open markets, and aviation services.” State is advising Americans to “exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation,” and to avoid both crowded places and “large crowds.”

So, what might this translate into in practice?

Two things come to mind. On the lighter side, for the sake of the State Department I hope no one allows this travel warning to reach the university campuses of the United States. Trigger warning: State’s advice is on a collision course with those “safe spaces” that are now the prime mission of the academy. There’s a “conversation” in the making here that could rival the final moments of HAL the computer, in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Then there’s the broader question: For Americans who wish to travel, or even do business abroad, in this brave new world, with its “receding tide of war” and whatnot, what’s still safe to do?

Tough one. Aviation is threatened, and so are crowded places, so forget airplanes and airports. Forget most travel terminuses generally, because they are often crowded, and though State did not mention it in this global alert, past jihadi attacks have also targeted trains (Madrid) and other forms of public transportation (London), as well as hotels (Mumbai, Mali). Theaters and sporting events are potentially places of danger. So is anyplace that might attract a large crowd. So forget popular entertainment, busy hotels, lively restaurants, or major tourist attractions.

Open markets, as State reminds us, are also places of potential peril. So don’t figure you’re safe if you duck away from the train station, or the hotel, or the main tourist square, to go shopping among the locals. And be especially careful during the holiday season, or at “holiday festivals or events” — which, if you check the calendar of holidays worldwide, pretty much means that you should be especially careful most of the time, as well as pretty much anywhere.

So, for Americans who wish to travel safely abroad in this era of Obama’s outstretched hand, amid U.S. “engagement” with the world and the ending of “overseas contingency operations,” what’s left? Go figure. Maybe while sheltering in place some American tech wizard will come up with a way to teleport travelers direct to such havens as New Zealand — way out there in the Pacific, with lots of gorgeous terrain, inhabited by 4.5 million people and 30 million sheep. Though even there, in this era of the receding tide of war, the authorities have been warning of individuals with links to “extremist” groups — so maybe you still want to avoid the cities.


Post Paris: Can Sharia Law and the Constitution Coexist?


Published on Nov 18, 2015 PJ Media

After the terrors in Paris, Bill Whittle asks if we should just listen to our President and accept Islam as a progressive path for America… Can Sharia Law and The Constitution coexist?

Belgian Breeding Ground Fuels New Terror Wave

belgiumby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
November 23, 2015

Time was, thoughts of Belgium led to thoughts of rich, dark chocolate, of Old Master painters and delicate, handmade lace.

Now it brings a different image: of Islamic jihad and men armed with Kalashnikovs, and of secret meetings of Muslim youth plotting a new attack against the West. The country is in lockdown today, facing what authorities believe is an “imminent attack.” On Sunday, police raided 19 homes in and around Brussels, and made 16 arrests. Brussels continues to be the focus of their action.

There is good reason for this. The Nov. 13 massacres in Paris, we’ve since learned, were planned in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, sometimes called “little Morocco” for its large Moroccan immigrant population. The attack on Charlie Hebdo also was planned there, along with the foiled attack on a Thalys high-speed train between Brussels and Amsterdam. Mehdi Nemmouche, who killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in May 2014, spent time there.

But it isn’t only Molenbeek, and it isn’t only recently. Belgium has been a hotbed of radical Islam for more than a decade, breeding organizations like Sharia4Belgium – one of the most influential “Sharia4” groups globally – and the now-defunct Arab European League (AEL). The goal of the AEL, founded by the Lebanese-Belgian Dyab Abou Jahjah in 2001, was to form a “sharocracy” in which sharia and democracy ruled together across the West. The organization was based in Antwerp, where Jahjah and his friends also celebrated the attacks of 9/11 with laughter. “We couldn’t hold our joy,” he recalled later in his autobiography.

Other signs of radicalism, also connected to Jahjah, soon followed; in 2002, Jahjah helped orchestrate riots in Borgenhout, outside of Antwerp. And in 2004, after establishing a Dutch arm of the AEL, he declared, “I consider every death of an American, British, and Dutch soldier a victory.”

Jahjah was hardly alone. By 2006, Belgian journalist Hind Fraihi, herself a Muslim, discovered that books teaching Muslims to fight infidels were being freely distributed by radical imams who preached jihad in local mosques. Other books she found in Belgium included Guide For Muslims, a Dutch publication that encourages Muslims to throw homosexuals from tall buildings and to beat their wives. A Washington Post profile of Fraihi cited other books she found, including some that “advised readers to learn to communicate in symbols and secret code, and offered tips on how to do that.”

But the largest influence on Belgian Muslims, and the source of much of their extremism, was the creation of Sharia4Belgium in 2010. Thanks to that group, Belgium boasts the largest number of Muslims per capita who have joined the Islamic State and its jihad. According to the Wall Street Journal and others, “dozens” of Sharia4Belgium members have made the pilgrimage to Syria, and dozens more have been detained before they could make the trip. Three of them, all women, were arrested in May 2014, around the time of the Jewish Museum shooting. They were part of a larger group of 40 Belgians planning to join the jihad, and most of them had Sharia4Belgium ties.

This should not have been surprising. By 2012, Belgium’s security service director Alain Winants determined that “radical Islam forms the greatest threat” to the country. Salafism, he told Belgian daily de Morgen, is gaining followers who have built up a parallel community with its own values, its own banks, justice system, and educational program.

Sharia4Belgium’s founder, Fouad Belkacem, was tried and convicted in September 2014 for supporting terrorism, along with dozens of other Sharia4Belgium members, some of whom are still on the Syrian battlefields. But by then it was too late. The group, with its active Dutch- and French-speaking recruiters in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and – most of all – the Internet, had already infiltrated the minds of untold numbers of other Belgian youth.

And still, no one seems to be watching.

This is due in part to limits of Belgium’s intelligence facilities. While German intelligence, for instance, is currently stretched to its limits trying to track potential terrorists, Der Spiegel reports that Belgium’s threat has long since exceeded the its own intelligence capabilities.

Indeed, according to Dutch NOS TV, “the central counterterrorism unit of the [Belgian] police department has only one employee tracking radical [Islamic] activity on the Internet. And she only works part time.” The result, notes Der Spiegel, is that “many Muslims who have become radicalized or received military training and may even have been traumatized are returning home from Syria without anyone checking on them whatsoever.”

Moreover, Belgium’s disorganized police system – with six authorities for 19 districts in Brussels alone – coupled with a chaotic government and the European capital’s convenient location at the midway point between Amsterdam and Paris –combine to help French and Dutch Islamists take refuge there. Two of the Paris attackers, the French-born Bilal Hafdi and Brahim Abdelslam, were among them.

As recently as last month, an exploratory committee determined that Belgian police had failed to notice, let alone monitor, a “jihad camp” set up by Kurdish PKK members and Sharia4Belgium in the Ardennes.

But the truth is, the country’s “capabilities” are only part of the problem: political timidity and correctness carry a good share of the blame. Suspicious behaviors are too often overlooked for fear of being called “racist,” Alain Winants told de Morgen in 2012. That viewpoint has since been echoed in Belgian editorials since the Paris attacks, with journalist Luckas Vander Taelen noting that Molenbeek’s mayor had once called a journalist “Islamophobic” for reporting on the radical Islamic books being distributed there. “There are no problems here,” the mayor insisted at the time.

Since the Nov. 13 attacks, however, Belgium has rounded up dozens of jihadists, with nine raids leading to nine arrests on Thursday preceding Sunday’s additional raids. The speed with which these terrorists were located suggests that authorities were aware of them prior to the events in Paris. So why weren’t they captured earlier? Was it a matter of incompetence? Or a kind of narcissistic concern over image, a fear, as Winants suggests, of being seen as “racist?”

Hopefully, Belgium has now learned its lesson. The fight against terrorism is not a popularity contest. It’s a contest we fight for our lives.

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.

Who the ‘Syrian Refugees’ Are — Not All of Them Are Syrian


National Review, by Alex VanNess, Nov. 23, 2015:

President Obama has already started implementing his plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees to America. However, given that some of the terrorists who attacked Paris snuck into Europe using fake passports pretending to be Syrian refugees, coupled with several attempts by Syrian nationals to illegally cross our borders, most Americans are worried about the refugee policy and have called for it to be paused.

In response, President Obama has dug in his heels. He harshly criticizes opponents of his plan and dismisses anyone and any facts that run counter to his narrative — facts such as:

Europe, which is dealing with the brunt of the Syrian-refugee crisis, is contending with massive amounts of fraud committed by its refugee population. Many aren’t even “refugees.” Rather, they are “migrants” as defined by international law. A recent United Nations report indicates that only about half of the people entering Europe in this flood are from Syria. Europeans officials have raised concerns that about one-third of these self-identified refugees are lying about being Syrian in order to win residency.

Syrian passports are highly sought after by people hoping to enter Europe. For as little as $250 and a few days of waiting, you can buy a fake Syrian passport. Syrian passports are effectively worthless as identification, because of the thriving black market and a lack of records from the Syrian government.
President Obama has sharply criticized resettlement opponents, saying they were “scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America.” Military-age males were the “forefront of the human torrent flowing into Europe from Syria,” however, according to Time magazine. In to a Pew Research Center review of Eurostat data, 72 percent of asylum applicants are male, and over half are men under the age of 40.

RELATED: There Is Nothing Compassionate About Obama’s Refugee Policy
To substantiate their argument that that bad people aren’t coming into the country, refugee proponents often highlight the screenings, interviews, and length of time that the vetting process takes. Security screening involves our government’s checking documents, provided by the applicants, against the records of foreign government. But this has led many to ask, “How do you screen people from a war-torn country that has few criminal and terrorist databases to check?”

RELATED: Who Believes Obama’s Crew Can Vet the Syrian Refugees?

Senior officials from the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have echoed this concern regarding checks, indicating that we have very little data and lack the intelligence necessary to properly vet Syrian refugees. How good can this vetting process be if, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, more than 90 percent of Syrians applying for refugee status are approved despite the lack of reliable data to verify their identity?

We should ask whether this vetting will be any better than the vetting of Pentagon-trained Syrian fighters. That resulted in a minuscule number of fighters, some of whom handed their weapons over to the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

America evaluates refugees using a tiered system with three levels of priority. First priority is granted to those who have suffered compelling persecution. As Andrew McCarthy points out, under federal law we are “expressly required to take religion into account in determining who is granted asylum.”

Some 16 to 23 percent of the estimated 3 million Syrian refugees who have fled the country are Christians. Even though ISIS has specifically targeted religious minorities (notably Christians and Yazidis) for persecution, less than 3 percent of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States so far are Christian, and 96 percent are Muslim.

RELATED: Refugee ‘Religious Test’ Is ‘Shameful and ‘Not American’ — Except that Federal Law Requires It

When asked about the possibility of taking in Syrian Christians and other religious minorities ahead of Syrian Muslims, President Obama said that to use religion as a factor in determining whom we admit would be “un-American.”
In recent poll conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, respondents were asked, “Do you have a positive or negative view of ISIL?” Of those who were Syrian refugees registered, 13 percent answered “positive” or “positive to some extent.”

RELATED: There Are Serious, Unbigoted Reasons to Be Way of a Flood of Syrian Refugees

The Center for Immigration Studies calculated that it costs twelve times as much to resettle a refugee in the United States as in a neighboring country in the Middle East.
Despite ample room, the higher cost of relocating refugees in America, and the ethno-religious homogeneity of the people within neighboring countries, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates refuse to admit Syrian refugees. They argue that accepting a large numbers of Syrians would be a security threat, as terrorists could be hiding within the flood of people.

Moreover, numerous reports have circulated of widespread violence, rape, and child abuse in the migrant population now flooding Europe. Critics of President Obama’s plan for resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. are labeled xenophobic bigots by those seeking warm fuzzy feelings and accolades for doing the supposed “right thing.”

It’s time for the president to stop demonizing his opponents, take a look at the facts, realize that they run counter to his narrative, and change course before we’re placed in a dangerous situation similar to the one Europe now faces.

— Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.

Emails show DOD analysts told to ‘cut it out’ on ISIS warnings; IG probe expands

investigationFox News, by Catherine Herridge, Nov. 23, 2015:

Analysts at U.S. Central Command were pressured to ease off negative assessments about the Islamic State threat and were even told in an email to “cut it out,” Fox News has learned – as an investigation expands into whether intelligence reports were altered to present a more positive picture.

Fox News is told by a source close to the CENTCOM analysts that the pressure on them included at least two emails saying they needed to “cut it out” and “toe the line.”

Separately, a former Pentagon official told Fox News there apparently was an attempt to destroy the communications. The Pentagon official said the email warnings were “not well received” by the analysts.

Those emails, among others, are now in the possession of the Pentagon inspector general. The IG’s probe is expanding into whether intelligence assessments were changed to give a more positive picture of the anti-ISIS campaign.

The former Pentagon official said there were “multiple assessments” from military intelligence and the CIA regarding the “rapid rise” of ISIS in Iraq and North Africa in the year leading up to the group’s territory grab in 2014.

Similar intelligence was included in the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB – the intelligence community’s most authoritative product — during the same time period. Yet the official, who was part of the White House discussions, said the administration kept “kicking the can down the road.” The official said there was no discussion of the military involvement needed to make a difference.

The IG probe started earlier this year amid complaints that information was changed to make ISIS look more degraded than it really was.

Among the complaints is that after the U.S. air campaign started in August 2014, the metrics to measure progress changed. They were modified to use measures such as the number of sorties and body counts — a metric not used since the Vietnam War — to paint a more positive picture.

Critics say this “activity-based approach” to tracking the effectiveness of strikes does not paint a comprehensive picture of whether ISIS is being degraded and contained.

The New York Times first reported on Sunday that the IG investigation was expanding and adding more investigators, and that the office had taken possession of a trove of documents and emails as part of that probe.

Asked about the report, House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Sunday that his committee and others are involved in the investigation.

“We heard from a lot of whistle-blowers and other informants who have given us information. And not just … related strictly to the latest allegations,” Nunes said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Citing the renewed focus on ISIS after the Paris terror attacks, he added: “So the president, to have a successful strategy, is going to admit that they’ve got it wrong and they need to relook at a larger strategy that deals with north Africa, the Middle East, all the way over to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and then work closely with our NATO allies with what appears to be a command and control structure that ISIS has created successfully in Europe.”

President Obama, speaking at a press conference in Malaysia over the weekend, said he expects to “get to the bottom” of whether ISIS intelligence reports were altered – and has told his top military officials as much.

“One of the things I insisted on the day I walked into the Oval Office was that I don’t want intelligence shaded by politics. I don’t want it shaded by the desire to tell a feel-good story,” Obama said Sunday. “I believe that the Department of Defense and all those who head up our intelligence agencies understand that, and that I have made it repeatedly clear to all my top national security advisers that I never want them to hold back, even if the intelligence or their opinions about the intelligence, their analysis or interpretations of the data contradict current policy.”

At the same time, he said, “As a consumer of this intelligence, it’s not as if I’ve been receiving wonderfully rosy, glowing portraits of what’s been happening in Iraq and Syria over the last year and a half. … [I]t feels to me like, at my level at least, we’ve had a pretty clear-eyed, sober assessment.”

The president’s call for a thorough investigation was greeted with cynicism by those involved in the 2014 intelligence assessments, since the administration did not act on the earlier raw intelligence that painted a dire picture of developments, especially in Iraq.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Brussels, seat of NATO headquarters, held hostage by the Islamic State

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to keep Brussels on lockdown was based on 'quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3329175/Brussels-lock-second-day-police-troops-streets-hunting-suspects-Paris-terror-attack.html#ixzz3sLNO43mJ

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to keep Brussels on lockdown was based on ‘quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3329175/Brussels-lock-second-day-police-troops-streets-hunting-suspects-Paris-terror-attack.html#ixzz3sLNO43mJ

Center for Security Policy, by John Cordero, Nov. 23, 2015:

After uncovering the Islamic State cell that planned and executed the Paris attacks, Belgian authorities have increased the manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of being one of the gunmen in Paris and whose brother blew himself up in a suicide operation there.  Brussels, the location of NATO and EU headquarters, is now a city under military lockdown.  Subways and schools remained closed on Monday, as the threat of a “Paris-style attack” keeps residents and police on edge.

Hiding in plain sight within the large Muslim community centered in the Molenbeek neighborhood, the IS cell that executed the Paris atrocity may have prepared for another wave targeting Brussels,  according to Belgian authorities.

In response, they have urged the closing of popular bars and clubs, while hotels locked their doors, as a large number of travelers cancelled their stays.

The military personnel and armored personnel carriers now patrolling the streets evoke images of a city under occupation, and although 16 arrests have been made in connection with the attacks, Abdeslam and his accomplices remain at large.

As previously noted, IS has increased its operational capabilities beyond the borders of its self-declared caliphate and affiliated “provinces.”  Whereas, historically terrorist organizations executed operations in order to draw media attention for the announcement of clear political objectives, IS transcends traditional western concepts of terrorism. Instead, it is a global jihadist organization, seeking to goad Western powers into an apocalyptic conflict.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, organizations such as Hezbollah held hostages for years and carried out operations at the behest of Iran, a clear case of state-sponsored terrorism.  Nowadays, a self-declared religious state, with no international recognition and a self-sufficient financial structure, is able to hold entire cities hostage; cities that serve as headquarters for international military and political bodies are now at the mercy of jihadists who reject the Western concept of the nation-state.

In a propaganda masterstroke, the Islamic State has succeeded in achieving one of its key goals: “striking fear in the heart of the enemy.”

U.S. Officials Can’t Ask Syrian Refugees Key Questions

Photo Sadik Gulec / Shutterstock.com

Photo Sadik Gulec / Shutterstock.com

The Obama administration appears to have taken yet another terrorism-fighting tool away from U.S. law enforcement trying to screen Syrian refugees.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, Nov. 23, 2015:

U.S. law enforcement officials involved in screening Syrian refugees are forbidden from asking key questions about individuals’ religious affiliations or beliefs based on policy guidance created by the Obama administration, according to a recent report published at The Daily Caller.

The piece notes that both Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) policies have increasingly restricted the ability of law enforcement to query individuals about their religious behaviors or associations.

“These gradual but severe restrictions were coupled with a simultaneous reduction in accurate, fact-based training to address the nature of the threat we face, leaving us inadequately prepared for the challenges we face today,” The Daily Caller cites a “government source familiar with national security” as saying.

That means DHS officers screening for Syrian refugees are likely prohibited from asking questions like, “Are you a member or supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood or Tablighi Jamaat?”

These Are Dangerous Buddies to Have

The Muslim Brotherhood is the oldest global Islamist group in the world. Muslim Brotherhood thinkers formed the core ideology of al-Qaeda, and former FBI Director Robert Mueller testified in 2011 that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.” Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic proselyting group that al-Qaeda has used as a cover to facilitate moving across borders, and which U.S. intelligence has described as “willingly supporting terrorists.”

A 2005 report on the Pakistan-based group noted:

Tablighi Jamaat has also facilitated other terrorists’ missions. The group has provided logistical support and helped procure travel documents. Many take advantage of Tablighi Jamaat’s benign reputation. Moroccan authorities say that leaflets circulated by the terrorist group Al-Salafiyah al-Jihadiyah urged their members to join Islamic organizations that operate openly, such as Tablighi Jamaat, in order ‘to hide their identity on the one hand and influence these groups and their policies on the other.’

It would also prohibit law enforcement from asking key questions about how an individual views jihadist ideologues, such as Anwar Awlaki, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, or Yusuf al Qaradawi. That’s vital when such jihadi scholars have played roles in influencing terror attacks.

For example, support and admiration for Awlaki was key to terror cases including the Christmas Day underwear bomber, the Fort Hood shooter,the Charlie Hebdo killers, and the more recent Chattanooga Recruiting Center shooter.

Yet during an investigation into Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan before his attack, the FBI described email correspondence from Hassan to Awlaki as “not pertinent” to the investigation.

Islamist Sympathizers Place Pressure

In 2011, the Civil Rights Civil Liberties division of DHS launched an investigation into multiple Customs and Border Protection agents, because of complaints by groups like Hamas-linked Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) that agents were asking individuals questions about their affiliation with Islamic organizations (including those linked to the Muslim Brotherhood), or attendance at conferences where pro-jihadist ideologues are known to have spoken.

One officer was being investigated because he had asked for an individual’s view of Anwar al-Awlaki.

According to DHS authorities, one officer was being investigated because he had asked for an individual’s view of Anwar al-Awlaki. In another, FBI agents referenced the underwear bombing plot. Even that much was considered offensive.

The CRCL investigation was motivated by pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, CAIR, and Muslim Advocates, a group closely linked with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups and with a long history of opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

In response to lawsuits related to the issue of questioning by CBP officers, the DHS established a “hands-off” list of known individuals with terror ties,which included Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas finance trial. These individuals were given a green light to enter the country, and were not to be referred to secondary questioning. Sen. Chuck Grassley investigated the matter in 2014, calling it “disturbing.”

If U.S. law enforcement agents are no longer able to question individuals who are already known to have terror affiliations about their ideological views or the organizations with which they associate, how much more pressure will there be to avoid pertinent questions to Syrian refugees, a hot-button issue upon which the Obama administration has taken a strong public position?

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.
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REPORT — ISIS: The Threat to the United States


The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka,Nov. 23, 2015:

ISIS’s attacks in Paris, the deadliest targeting of civilians in France since the end of World War II, will change the political and security landscape of Europe irrevocably.

President François Hollande has promised a merciless response. Borders have been sealed — in direct contravention of the Maastricht agreement signed more than 20 years ago that within the European Union, national boundaries would be dissolved.

And most consequential in the short term, since it now appears that at least one of the terrorists posed as a refugee, Western governments are reassessing their immigration policies.

But what does this mean for the United States? Is America less vulnerable because of the greater distance between our country and the ravaged territories of the Middle East and North Africa?

Recent trends in law enforcement and intelligence indicate that we aren’t safer. On the contrary: The probability of a Paris-style attack has dramatically increased.

As part of its support to law enforcement, my training and analysis company, Threat Knowledge Group, has been collecting and analyzing the open-source information on ISIS arrests in the United States.

This report, ISIS: The Threat to the United States, contains our findings.




With the November 13th attack in Paris that killed 130 people and injured 368, many are asking what the risk is of a similar attack on U.S. soil. While France has a proportionately larger Muslim population than the United States (7.5% of the total population in France compared with .6% – 2.2% in the U.S.), ISIS has already recruited supporters in the United States with the intent of executing domestic attacks here in America. Key evidence includes the following:

  • 82 individuals in the United States affiliating with ISIS have been interdicted by law enforcement since March 2014 (including 7 unnamed minors and 4 killed in the course of attacks).  (For a full list of those individuals seewww.ThreatKnowledge.org)
  • More than 250 individuals from the United States have joined or attempted to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq according to the Final Report of the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel published by the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee in September 2015.
  • The FBI currently has nearly 1,000 ongoing ISIS probes in the United States, according to a recent report by Judicial Watch.
  • ISIS is recruiting within the U.S. at about three-times the rate of Al Qaeda.
  • Ali Shukri Amin, a 17 year-old Islamic State (IS) supporter from Manassas, Virginia, recently sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiring to provide support to ISIS, had nearly 4,000 Twitter followers, under the alias, ‘Amreeki Witness.’
  • Ahmad Musa Jibril, an Arab-American Islamist preacher living in Dearborn, Michigan, had 38,000 Twitter followers before his site went silent. A report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) found that 60% of surveyed foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria followed Jibril on Twitter.

What the numbers demonstrate is that ISIS has a significant base of support in the United States, including both those who have already traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight as jihadis, as well as terror suspects who have been interdicted for attempting to travel there, providing support to ISIS in other tangible ways, or attempting attacks.

Most importantly, nearly one third of the domestic ISIS cases in the past 18 months involved people who planned to carry out attacks against Americans on U.S. soil. In other words, one third of those interdicted calculated that the best way to serve the new Islamic State and its Caliph, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, is to wage jihad here on the soil of the infidel.

It is also essential to note the number of followers of ISIS propagandists Ali Shukri Amin and Ahmad Musa Jibril, which shows that domestic support for ISIS may reach well into the thousands. With Syrian refugees starting to arrive in the United States, these numbers may further increase.



Video Briefing: What Do You Need to Know About ISIS?

‘ISIS Delenda Est’—What the Romans Knew About Winning a War

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Breitbart, by James P. Pinkerton, Nov. 21, 2015:

I. The Roman Way

In writing about the Paris massacre in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan was blunt:

These primitive, ferocious young men will not stop until we stop them.  The question is how.  That’s the only discussion.

Okay, let’s take up Noonan’s challenge: How do we stop ISIS? Once and for all?

Let’s stipulate that President Obama, who has been waging a phony war against ISIS for over a year, is not the man for the job.  And let’s stipulate, also, that Islam is not “peace,” as George W. Bush so famously suggested back in 2001.

Islam is something different. Not all Muslims are terrorists, not by a long shot, but in its current form, Islam provides safe harbor for way-y-y too many Salafi jihadists, aka, terrorists.  Here at Breitbart, Pamela Geller provides a handy itemization; her list of Islamic terrorist groups runs a full 27 lines.

As the late Samuel Huntington wrote in his landmark 1998 book, The Clash of Civilizationsa work approvingly cited by Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this month—Islam has “bloody borders.”

History tells us that no attitude is permanent.  Yet for now, extremist elements within Muslim societies make it impossible for many Muslim states to get along with their neighbors, either near, in Eurasia, or far, in America.

So what should we do in the face of a relentless, and remorseless, enemy?  The Roman Empire had a good answer.  Yes, 2,000 years before Ronald Reagan summed up his Cold War strategy as, “We win, they lose,” the Romans had the same idea.

Rome’s dogged determination to prevail is perhaps best exemplified by its long struggle against the rival empire of Carthage, in what’s now Tunisia.

The Rome-Carthage conflict—the so-called Punic Wars, of which there were three—raged all over the Mediterranean littoral and lasted, on land and sea, for over a century, from 264 BC to 146 BC.  Interestingly, the single best general on either side was the Carthaginian, Hannibal.  His smashing pincer-movement victory over the Romans atCannae in 216 BC is still studied at West Point and other military academies.

And yet the Romans were more organized and resourceful, as well as determined, and, over time, those qualities gave them the edge. For literally decades, the Roman senator Cato the Elder closed every speech to his colleagues with the ringing words, Carthago delenda est—“Carthage must be destroyed.”  And yet Cato, who died in 149 BC, didn’t actually live to see the final victory, which came three years later, when the Roman legionnaires besieged and and conquered the city of Carthage itself.

Appian of Alexandria described the final victory in his Historia Romana, written in the second century AD.  Here’s Appian describing Rome’s final military operations against Carthage; as we can see, under the leadership of General Scipio Africanus, the Roman legionarii were not nice:

Now Scipio hastened to the attack [on] the strongest part of the city, where the greater part of the inhabitants had taken refuge… All places were filled with groans, shrieks, shouts, and every kind of agony. Some were stabbed, others were hurled alive from the roofs to the pavement, some of them alighting on the heads of spears or other pointed weapons, or swords. . . . Then came new scenes of horror.  As the fire spread and carried everything down, the soldiers did not wait to destroy the buildings little by little, but all in a heap. So the crashing grew louder, and many corpses fell with the stones into the midst.  Others were seen still living, especially old men, women, and young children who had hidden in the inmost nooks of the houses, some of them wounded, some more or less burned, and uttering piteous cries.  Still others, thrust out and falling from such a height with the stones, timbers, and fire, were torn asunder in all shapes of horror, crushed and mangled.

You get the idea. Tough stuff, to be sure, but after Scipio’s triumph, Carthage was never again a problem for Rome.  In fact, the Romans not only razed the city but, for good measure, plowed the ground with salt to make sure that nothing would ever grow there.

The Roman historian Tacitus quoted a barbarian enemy to make an approving point about the Roman strategic approach: “And where they make a desert, they call it peace.”  Yes, when the Romans wanted to make a point—they made a point.  We might note that the Roman Empire endured for another 622 years after the fall of Carthage, all the way to 476 AD.

Of course, Americans would never do anything like obliterating Carthage, even if the few German survivors of the 1945 firebombing of Dresden, or the even fewer Japanese survivors of Hiroshima, later that same year, might beg to differ.  Still, we might pause to note that both Germany and Japan—two countries once both full of fight—haven’t so much as raised their fist at us even once in the last 70 years.

II. The Challenge in Our Time

Today, there’s an echo of the old Roman resolve in the voice of many Republicans.  As Sen. Ted Cruz, who frequently quotes Reagan’s we-win-they-lose maxim, declared the other day, “In a Cruz administration, we will say to militants, if you wage war against America, you are signing your death warrant.”

Needless to say, Cruz doesn’t speak for the intellectually fashionable, who preach a kind of defeatist sophistry.  Among the smart set, it is often said that we shouldn’t attack ISIS because that’s just what they want.   CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, for example, writing of possible US retaliation in the wake of the Paris raid, assures us that ISIS “wants all of this.”  And Sally Kohn, also of CNN, adds her voice: “Bombing terrorists feeds their ideology.”

And we have this dire headline from the lefties at Salon:

We’re already caving to ISIS: Bloodthirsty jingoism is precisely what the terrorists want: The chief goal of these terrorists is to launch a “cosmic war.” Bigotry and calls for invasion provide exactly that.

Well, maybe the leftists are correct: Maybe it would be a mistake for us if we defeated ISIS—but maybe not.  Indeed, it sure seems that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is doing his best to survive.  To be sure, he says he’s ready for martyrdom, but he’s not seeking it out.  If he really wanted to be dead, he already would be.

Yes, there’s something to be said for winning, not losing—for living, not dying.  As Osama bin Laden himself observed, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.” And of course, it’s no accident that Al Qaeda went into eclipse after bin Laden was killed by US forces in 2011, to be replaced, alas, by ISIS.

To put the matter starkly, being killed suggests that maybe God is not on your side.  It’s perhaps glorious to die for a winning cause, but not so glorious to die for a losing cause.

So let’s hereby resolve that we will be on the winning side.  And let’s get right down to it, and name—yes, name—the central challenge of our time: Defeating the Salafi terrorists once and for all.

Michael Vickers, a counter-terrorism subcabinet official in the Obama and Bush administrations—and an operative with a record going back to the CIA campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan—is flatly declarative about what must be done; we must defeat ISIS, or ISIL, by depriving it of its territory.  By any name, they—including the remnants of Al Qaeda—need to be defeated and their home-base destroyed:

ISIL, as its name implies, is a de facto state. It holds territory, controls population, and funds its operations from resources that it exploits on territory it controls. If there’s one thing the American military knows how to do it is defeating an opposing force trying to hold ground.

So yes, we must defeat ISIS.  ISIS delenda est.  But yet there are more variables to consider: Unless we plan to do to the Jihadi Zone exactly what the Romans did to the Carthaginians—that is, kill them all—we need a plan for not only pacifying the area, but also for keeping it pacified.

Read more

A Band-aid On a Bullet Wound


stop_muslim_immigration_by_elvis4-d84nox9By Justin O. Smith

Temporarily stopping the influx of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into America in order to counter Islamic terrorism is like placing a band-aid on a bullet wound. Still, it is a good first step, and American families, who understand that Islamic terrorism is not isolated to some few “radical” groups like Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State, were well represented on November 16th and 19th, when at least thirty-one U.S. Governors and the House of Representatives set course to block President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into America next year.

By Tuesday, after the Paris terror attacks, twenty-eight governors were saying that Syrian refugees are not welcome in their state, and by Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 289-127 in favor of a bill that requires “greater scrutiny” of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Secretary of State John Kerry is advocating that 65,000 Syrian refugees be brought in next year. And Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton states that we must accept no less than 100,000.

If the House bill should fail in the Senate, all U.S. Governors should follow Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s example. He issued an executive order authorizing “all departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana … to utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees … while this Order is in effect.” The House should also revisit the matter in any upcoming spending bill, even if it means shutting down the government.

Most Americans, many of our leaders as well, are aware that terrorists infiltrating groups of refugees are only part of the problem. They are not speaking of imaginary space-aliens, when they cognitively and logically reason that the ideological doctrines within Islam, such as the mandated perpetual war between the House of Islam and the House of War (non-Muslims) and the supposed supremacy of Islam, creates the prime motivation for the endemic violence of Islam. Americans understand that the terrorists are found in the ranks of converts like Carlos Bledsoe, second and third generation U.S. Muslims like Anwar al-Awlawki and refugees like the Tsarnaev brothers; and, as such, it certainly does not make any sense to import tens of thousands of more potential terrorists, in the middle of a generational and civilizational war between Islamic and Western principles.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that we shouldn’t be accepting “any Syrian refugees without complete assurance those we are welcoming intend us no harm”, but when dealing with the agents of Islam, “complete assurance” would be a false assurance. One cannot offer an assurance against Muslims insidiously infiltrating any neighborhood, as they frequent ballgames, movies and restaurants and act like normal citizens, until they unleash bloodbath upon bloodbath, just like the Abdeslam brothers did in France, terrorist bomber Ramzi Yousef did at the World Trade Center in 1993, nineteen terrorists did on 9/11 and Abdulazeez did at the Chattanooga Naval facility.

Late Tuesday night, eight Syrian men were arrested in Honduras using stolen Greek passports. They were headed for the U.S., and they didn;t speak a word of Greek.

And, Sen. Rand Paul recently pointed out that two Iraqi Al Qaeda members were caught in Bowling Green, KY in 2009, as they attempted to buy Stinger missiles. He also noted the scores of Somalians who came here as “refugees” and then returned to Somalia to fight for Boko Haram.

From the G-20 conference in Turkey, Pres. Obama stated: “… a religious test for [people] fleeing from a war-torn country … is not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests for our compassion.” But, on November 19th, Speaker Ryan defended this legislation, which was supported by 47 Democrats, saying, “It’s a security test, not a religious test.”

Obama revealed himself once more to be an arrogant, condescending, hypocritical liar, since he led the legal battle to deport the Romeike family, German Christians, last year. A judge had acknowledged they were escaping religious persecution and initially granted them asylum, but Obama demanded their return to Germany.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott penned a letter to Obama that read “American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger” (i.e. Paris attacks), and he also stated that the federal government cannot guarantee the Syrian refugees would not contain a significant number of potential terrorists. “As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”

Isn’t keeping murderers out of America and defending America our leaders first duty?

On Nov. 16th, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told radio host Hugh Hewitt: ” I don’t trust this administration to effectively vet the people that they’re asking us to take in. we need to put the safety and security of the American people first.”

The security screening cannot be too precise and accurate, notwithstanding the fact that it takes 18 to 24 months. As many officials, like Rep. Bob Goodblatte (R) have observed, we cannot thoroughly screen someone, when we don’t have access to their actual records, due to the war.

Please also note that last year the Obama administration unilaterally relaxed the security assessments of an untold number of “refugees” who confessed to providing “limited material support” to terror groups.

Testifying on Capitol Hill last month, FBI Director James Comey once again acknowledged that database “gaps” seriously limit the U.S.’s ability to properly screen Syrian refugees: “If someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria … reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing showing up because we have no record of them.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, a top Democrat, is now saying, “We may need a pause in our refugee program.”

Resettle these “refugees” in Muslim majority nations. Let them go to Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates, the five wealthiest countries on the Arabian peninsula, which have not accepted a single refugee to date.

Aside from all of this, something is also horribly wrong with our passport tracking system. Terrorists from America and Europe are bragging about how easy it is to travel to Islamic enclaves and return, just like Paris terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Abdulazeez, who murdered the U.S. soldiers in Chattanooga, not to mention visa overstays.

America should not fall sway to Obama’s false piety, as he spoke at the G-20 conference of Syrian parents, children and orphans. Look at how easily and naturally Muslims booed and shouted “Allahu Akbar” at a soccer game on November 18th in Turkey, when a moment of silence was called for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks. Understand the prevalence of the “eye for an eye” philosophy ingrained in Islamic culture and applied against any perceived wrong, at the slightest provocation, across the entire world, from France to Mali, despite the fact their Islamic doctrines have created their own misery. And then, rather than open the door to thousands of more potential and active terrorists, remember American parents and children murdered on 9/11 and at Boston __ American children orphaned __ and act forcefully and effectively to ensure something similar or worse will never happen on our watch again: Press America’s leaders to halt all Muslim immigration now.