Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack; urges bombing of Vegas, military targets

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There could be some envy by AQAP that IS is now getting all the headlines

By :

A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and military colleges, and implies that an attack is imminent.

The online publication, called “Palestine-Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem” and put out by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, calls for Muslims around the world to follow “the recipe” provided to set off car bombs in crowded venues. It includes a timeline of “selected jihadi operations” that the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first flagged the slickly-produced latest edition of the terror publication, finds chilling.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack — implying that it is coming soon.” said MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky.

There is a suggested list of targets for lone-wolf, or individually executed, terror attacks, including New York’s Times Square, casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas, oil tankers and trains, the Georgia Military College, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and General Atomics defense contractor in San Diego.

“This recipe gives you the ability to make a car bomb even in countries with tight security and surveillance,” one article reads, before providing a “shopping list” of supplies needed to make such a bomb, including cooking gas, oxygen gas, a barometer, decoration lamps and matches.

There is also a list of targets in Britain including a military academy and the Marks and Spencers chain of department stores. The magazine calls for the stores to be hit on Friday during prayers so that Muslims won’t be affected.

Globally, AQAP calls for the targeting of tourist resorts frequented by Israelis, Britons and Americans.

Read more at Fox News

Also see:

ISIS Foreign Fighters: Implications for the US

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

By Brian Fairchild:

On August 17, 2014, The British Prime Minister announced that ISIS foreign fighters represent a “clear danger” to citizens “on the streets of Britain”.  In the United States, intelligence agencies report a significant rise in the number of foreign fighters pouring into Iraq and Syria, and warn that ISIS is now establishing cells outside the Middle East.  Any ISIS activity detected in the United States would represent a clear and present danger with national security implications, but to fully understand the nature of the threat, one must first understand the profound ideological and operational differences between core Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Al Qaeda is a Salafi-jihadi organization with a clear ideology, but it is also a practical organization willing to compromise on ideological matters for the sake of obtaining its goals.  Since its creation, it has focused its efforts on creating covert operational and support infrastructures in countries outside of the Middle East, while carving out niches for jihad groups in the ungoverned hinterlands of Yemen, Somalia, and the deserts of Algeria.

According to al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, the entire jihad movement is dependent on Muslim popular support for its survival.  Therefore, he refuses to sanction any operation that would alienate the Muslim community.  While he regards the majority of the world’s Muslims as misguided and ignorant of their “true” religion, and sees his mission as creating an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law, he doesn’t demand that Muslims immediately accept and live according to strict Sharia practices.  On the contrary, he has often advised jihad groups not to implement Sharia too rapidly for fear that the population would rebel.

Embracing the old Arabic adage – “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” – he also makes alliances with ideologically tainted entities, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Iran, and he has steadfastly refuses to sanction sectarian war with Shia Muslims.  He adamantly rejects the public slaughter of hostages.

Not all of his associates, however, have held the same convictions.  One in particular, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, rebelled against him.  Zarqawi was the original leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), from which the new Islamic State emerged, and he is revered by the Islamic States leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.  Despite Zawahiri’s preoccupation with popular support, Zarqawi personally beheaded two Americans on video, and uncompromisingly attacked Iraq’s Shia population in an attempt to foment sectarian war, both of which caused negative blowback from the Muslim community.  This prompted Zawahiri to write a revealing letter of reprimand to Zarqawi on July 9, 2005.  The following excerpts from the letter reveal Zawahiri’s preoccupation with maintaining Muslim support and his fear that Zarqawi’s actions jeopardized that support:

On the absolute need for popular support, Zawahiri stated:

  • “…the strongest weapon which the mujahedeen enjoy…is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq, and the surrounding Muslim countries. So, we must maintain this support as best we can, and we should strive to increase it…the mujahed (jihad) movement must avoid any action that the masses do not understand or approve…”

On his willingness to compromise on ideology for the benefit of the movement, Zawahiri stated:

  • “Also, the active mujahedeen ulema (Islamic clerics) – even if there may be some heresy or fault in them that is not blasphemous – we must find a means to include them and to benefit from their energy”.

Revealing his belief that bringing proper Salafi-jihadi ideology to the masses would take generations, he wrote:

  • “…correcting the mistakes of ideology is an issue that will require generations of the call to Islam and modifying the educational curricula…the mujahedeen are not able to undertake this burden, rather they are in need of those who will help them with the difficulties and problems they face…it is a duty of the mujahed (jihad) movement…to fill the role of leader, trailblazer, and exploiter of all the capabilities of the Umma (Muslim community) for the sake of achieving our aims…”.

Regarding his belief that attacking the Shia was a mistake, Zawahiri opined:

  • “…the common folk are wondering about your attacks on the Shia. My opinion is that this matter won’t be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it, and aversion to this will continue.

Revealing his total rejection of Zarqawi’s public beheadings of hostages, he said:

  • “Among the things which the feelings of the Muslim populace…will never find palatable…are the scenes of slaughtering the hostages.”

In response, Zarqawi ignored Zawahiri’s reprimand, and, approximately two months later, he launched an “all-out war” on the Shia.  His insubordination only ceased when he was killed by US forces in July 2006.

In 2013, Zarqawi’s successor and the current leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, received the same kind of reprimands from al Qaeda, and like Zarqawi, he rejected them.  His insubordination caused relations between him and al Qaeda to steadily deteriorate, and finally, in February 2014, the organization officially disowned him.  Al Baghdadi was not deterred, however.  Rather, he went to war with its Syrian affiliate the Nusra Front, and won, and in the process, walked-away with an estimated 80 percent of al Nusra’s foreign fighters.  By early July 2014, al Baghdadi’s ISIS forces swept through Syria and Iraq and established a new “Caliphate” in the heart of the Middle East, which claimed leadership of the worldwide Muslim community.  When al Baghdadi called for Muslims to emigrate to support the Caliphate the number of foreign fighters flooding into Syria and Iraq increased significantly.

In a disturbing new development, the main al Qaeda organizations, heretofore loyal to Zawahiri, appear to be switching sides.  Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered by the US government to be the leading threat to the homeland, expressed solidarity with the Islamic State after US airstrikes against it, and pledged to conduct attacks against the US in retaliation.  In addition, the leadership of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is reportedly fractured over support for the Islamic State, and analysts believe the leadership will either come out in support of al Baghdadi, or break in two with one faction supporting him while the other remains loyal to Zawahiri.  The notorious Boko Haram and other Salafi-jihad groups have also pledged allegiance to al Baghdadi.

Al Baghdadi is supremely confident in his leadership and the capabilities of the Islamic State.  So confident is he, that in March 2014, he challenged his nemesis, the al Nusra Front, to Mubahala – a ritual Islamic prayer asking Allah to show his favor for one of the parties while cursing the other.  In Muslim tradition repeated military success can only occur if Allah wills it, and al Baghdadi believes that his series of successes proves that Allah has chosen the Islamic State as the winner.  Moreover, in the latest issue of its official publication, Dabiq magazine, al Baghdadi goes one step further by using the story of Noah and the Ark to legitimize his strict adherence to Sharia law.  No doubt the article also reveals how he views his role as the new “Caliph”.  In the story, Noah is described as an uncompromising prophet who gave his people a single but profound choice:

  • “He didn’t say to them, for example: “I have come to you with the truth, and your leaders are calling you to falsehood, so you are free to choose whether to follow me or to follow your leaders.” In fact, he didn’t even say anything to the effect of: “If you follow me then you would be correct, and if you follow your leaders then you would be mistaken.” Nor did he say anything to the effect of: “If you follow me you will be saved, and if you oppose me and follow your leaders then your reckoning is with Allah, and I have done what is required of me and you are free to choose.” Rather, he told them with full clarity:  “It’s either me or the flood.”[1]

Armed with new success, swelling ranks and funds, and the belief that Allah is on their side, the Islamic State’s leadership and fighters offer a stark and severe contrast to old guard al Qaeda:

  • They don’t care about Muslim public opinion or opposition from core al Qaeda and other jihad groups.
  • They believe that Muslims have no degree of free choice regarding their beliefs.
  • They embrace an “it’s either me or the flood” mentality in which they see themselves as Allah’s chosen vanguard on earth that all other Muslims must follow.
  • They believe that all Shia Muslims are apostates and must be killed.
  • They embrace brutal public executions, beheadings, and crucifixions to send the simple message – Muslims rule, apostates die.
  • They believe their success is a result of divine intervention by Allah.

These attributes, then, define the threat from ISIS’ foreign fighters.  Zawahiri’s reticence to conduct any operations that would offend the worldwide Muslim community is no longer operative.  ISIS fighters have disdain for Muslim public opinion – to them, anything goes.  In 2003, al Qaeda had a terrorist plan to attack the New York subway system with cyanide gas.  The device they created worked and it would likely have killed hundreds, but Zawahiri called the attack off at the last minute, most likely because he assessed there would be a negative backlash from his Muslim support base.  Al Baghdadi’s fighters would have launched the attack.

Read more at Blind Eagle

U.S. Links Iran to Both Al-Qaeda and Taliban Terrorists

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The U.S. Treasury Department is again linking the Iranian regime to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. On August 21-22, it sanctioned several terrorists and disclosed their Iranian ties. Yet again, it is confirmed that Shiite and Sunni terrorists are willing to cooperate against common enemies.

An August 22 press release announces the sanctioning of Abdul Mohsen Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh, described as an Al-Qaeda facilitator and strategist in Syria. He is also a senior leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, and very active in social media.

The Obama Administration explains that he also played a leading role in Al-Qaeda’s pipeline in Iran that operates with the consent of the regime:

“Prior to his work in Syria with [Jabhat al-Nusra], al-Sharikh served in early 2013 as chief of al-Qaida’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network before the return of already designated al-Qaida facilitator Yasin al-Suri to the position. Al-Sharikh has also previously served al-Qaida as a key financial facilitator in Pakistan.”

A press release from a day prior announced that the Treasury Department was sanctioning the Basir Zarjmil Hawala based in Chaman of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province. Hawala networks are underground money transfer systems in the Muslim world.

The U.S. government says the Basir Zarjmil Hawala became the “principal money exchanger” for Taliban leaders in Pakistan in 2012. It provides a list of branch offices, with one being in Iran. Given the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime and suspicion of Sunni terrorists, it is inconceivable that the regime is unaware of this major operation. Other offices are in Afghanistan and Dubai.

The Clarion Project’s fact sheet on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism details how the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations have all asserted that the Iranian regime supports Al-Qaeda, despite their intense ideological divisions.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Iran and Al-Qaeda began collaborating in late 1991 or early 1992. Al-Qaeda operatives began receiving training, particularly in explosives, inside Iran and Lebanon.

The report leaves open the possibility that Al-Qaeda worked with Iran in carrying out the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996. The attack killed 19 U.S. soldiers. The Iranians wanted to expand the relationship after Al-Qaeda’s bombing of theUSS Cole in Yemen in 2000, but Osama Bin Laden was worried about losing Saudi supporters.

“The relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran demonstrated that Sunni-Shi’a divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations,” the 9/11 Commission concluded.

***

Iran is offering to help the U.S. defeat the Islamic State (formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq) if sanctions are lifted on its nuclear program. The Iranian regime is acting like a firefighter that sets blazes so it can come to the rescue.

The Shiite Iranian regime and the Sunni terrorists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State may kill and condemn each other, but they are far closer to each other than they are to us. The history of the relationship shows that they will work together against us, even as they fight tooth-and-nail in Syria and Iraq.

At the end of the day, Islamist terrorists will always choose each other over us. We ignore that demonstrated behavior at our own cost.

Read more at Clarion Project

Beheading as Symbolic Warfare

bn-450x251by Dawn Perlmutter:

The videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley on Tuesday August 19th has shocked the American public even though there has been thousands of beheadings by Islamist jihadists around the world. Last week at the Annual International Association for Identification (Crime Scene) Conference I presented a three hour lecture titled Beheading Epidemic and it was not nearly enough time to cover the forensic and investigation aspects of this widespread global phenomenon.

The videotaped murder of James Foley demonstrates the evolution of beheading as a jihadist tactic made popular by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor group of the Islamic State Army. The similarities and differences are significant. James Foley’s execution involved the classic Al Qaeda forensic signature. Similar to the dozens of Iraqi and foreign hostages that were beheaded by Al Qaeda in Iraq, James Foley had his hands cuffed behind his back, was kneeling in front of his captor and was dressed in the orange clothing symbolic of the type worn by detainees in U.S. prisons and Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Zarqawi’s videotaped ritual beheadings typically included a reading of offenses, confession, judgment, last words, execution, and a verbal statement of demands. The executioner was dressed in military type uniform consisting of black clothing, including ski mask covering his face and prominently displaying the murder weapon, his knife. The ritual pattern typically began with a statement from the executioner reciting the reason for the death sentence, which alluded to current political events, usually teeming with religious language justifying the violence, praise for Allah and often containing future threats. The victim then had the opportunity for last words; sometimes he confessed to being a spy or whatever the group had coerced him into confessing, or pleaded with the audience to acquiesce to the kidnappers’ demands and secure his release. At that point the head was cut off with a small knife by the leader, held in the air and then placed on the victim’s back.

Differences in the ISIS beheading video of James Foley include the high production value, outdoor scenic space and slick editing. Instead of an interior space decorated with terrorist group banners, it is a stark outdoor scene with just blue sky and desert as background placing all focus on the two men and the message to America. Instead of a flag hanging on the wall behind several terrorists, the ISIS black flag emblem is flying in the top left corner occasionally displaying the al-furqan media emblem underneath. Instead of nasheeds playing in the background, the quiet emphasizes both Foley’s scripted speech and the Jihadists threat to kill more Americans. Significantly the sound of screaming, the image of blood gushing out of the wound and the praising of Allah has been edited out. The only bloody graphic is a quick screen shot of the head placed on the center of the back of Foley’s body, proof of death and the classic Islamist Jihadist forensic signature. The impact of the film immediately cutting to and ending with the image of Steven Sotloff, another American journalist dressed in the same orange jumpsuit, the obvious next victim if President Obama does not meet their demands, is exceedingly powerful.

The most significant difference in the James Foley beheading video is the absence of religious language, particularly praising Allah during the execution. There should be no doubt that Allah was praised while cutting Foleys throat and that detail of the murder was deliberately edited out. Praising Allah ritualizes the murder and justifies the violence in the name of Islam. It is extremely atypical that the executioner and other participants during beheadings would not shout the phrase Allahu Akbar. The editing demonstrates that the focus of this propaganda video was political. The message to the American public was that Foleys death was not the result of Islamist ideology but that his death was the consequence of America getting involved in the war against ISIS. This message will most likely resonate with many Americans and illustrates the media savvy of ISIS.

Other than the ritual execution the most disturbing aspect of the murder is that the terrorist is speaking with a British accent. This high production beheading video served several purposes. One was to pressure the American public to stay out of Iraq and Syria and it also functions as a recruitment video for more Westerners to join ISIS. The British jihadist earned his stripes by murdering Foley and he will become a rock star among other radicalized Westerners.

Read more at Front Page

Voice of James Foley’s Executioner:

Published on Aug 20, 2014 by Pamela Geller

 

Also see:

Rogers: Competing Terror Groups Multiply Danger to U.S.

 

By Patrick Goodenough:

(CNSNews.com) – The terrorist threat facing the United States is greater now than it was before 9/11 and the failure to address the jihadist problem as “an ecosystem” is helping it to spread and become more dangerous, House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers warned Sunday.

“The difference here is that, before 9/11, there were single-level threat streams coming into the United States – some pretty serious,” the Michigan Republican said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Obviously, they got in and conducted the attacks on 9/11.”

“Now you have multiple organizations, all al-Qaeda-minded, trying to accomplish the same thing,” he said, citing the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda affiliated such as the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

 

“Thousands of individuals now signing up with ISIL to fight their jihad in Syria and Iraq have Western passports. That’s what’s so dangerous about this,” he said.

“We also know that they want to conduct an attack. But so does al Qaeda. And so now you have two competing terrorist organizations. Both of them want to get their credentials to the point where they can say, ‘We are the premier terrorist organization.’ Both want to conduct attacks in the West for that reason.”

“And guess what?” he added. “That means we lose at the end. If either one ever those organizations is successful, we lose.”

He pointed to concerns raised by Attorney-General Eric Holder recently about a rising terror threat from Yemen – “one of the things that keeps him up at night. I would concur with him. That is an attack that many believe is going operational. And that is what we should be worried about.”

Rogers said he believed the terrorist danger to the U.S. now is greater that before 9/11 because “the threat matrix is so wide. And it’s so deep. We just didn’t have that before 9/11.”

He observed that ISIS controls territory the size of Indiana, possesses sophisticated weaponry and is reported to have “as much as billion dollars in both precious metals, currency, and, by the way, selling oil on the black market to the tune of about a million dollars a day.”

Rogers pointed to parallels between ISIS’ viciousness and that of other terrorist groups.

“This is exactly the kind of thing – beheading people, convert or die, burning religious relics from the past – just the sheer brutality of it is exactly what AQAP pitches. It’s what Boko Haram [in Nigeria] pitches. When they took those 300 girls, that’s what that was all about.

“That’s what they’re practicing and putting into practice. That’s why this policy of not dealing with it as an ecosystem, I think, is wrong and has caused the spread and danger of these organizations.”

Syria and Iraq ‘one war’

Rogers argued that the U.S. would not solve the problem of ISIS without confronting the terrorist group both in Iraq and in Syria.

“I think the president said they’re not related. They are absolutely related,” he said.

Rogers noted that the caliphate declared by ISIS in June has its envisaged capital in Syria (the northern city of Raqqa, which has been under ISIS control for more than a year), and took issue with any attempt to distinguish between the Iraq and Syria situations.

“To say they’re not related, I think just diminishes our opportunity for a strategic victory.”

Read more at CNS News

Benghazi: When America Switched Sides In The War On Terror And Armed Al-Qaida

Clare Lopez2

Click here to go to the new 19 min. video

Daily Caller, by Ginni Thomas:

The Center for Security Policy’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, Clare Lopez, says in this exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller that very few have seemed to care that America switched sides in the global war on terror when President Obama deposed an erstwhile ally in the Middle East and provided weapons to al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Focusing on this under-reported, critical shift in American foreign policy, Clare Lopez discusses how an American ambassador and others were killed in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 because the Obama administration decided to promote and defend their narrative that “al-Qaida was on the run,” even as we were outright arming militants affiliated with the terrorist group.

Lopez spent 20 years as an undercover operations officer for the CIA. Believing she can now best serve her country in the policy arena, she has found a natural fit at a non-partisan non-profit that promotes American national security and foreign policy based on the principle of “peace through strength.”

This week, we feature part 1 of 2 of our video interview with Lopez on the topic of the Benghazi attacks. Lopez, who’s also a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, says, “Benghazi is symbolic of more than just a disastrous foreign policy or a disastrous attack on our mission that took the lives of four Americans serving there and injured many more. Benghazi is not just what happened on September 11, 2012 either. Americans really need to care about Benghazi and what happened there because that is the place, and 2011 and 2012 was the time, when America switched sides in the war on terrorism.”

To her, the American decision to overthrow the head of a sovereign government, Muammar al-Gaddafi, and to instead support al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood laid the important framework for a resurgence of global jihad.

Lopez says when we supported the local Islamic forces, America flipped in the global war on terror and we, the U.S. government, turned on our erstwhile ally and provided funding, backing, intelligence, our participation in a NATO effort and weapons for rebel forces.

“We facilitated the flow of weapons to the Gaddafi opposition, and we knew the opposition was dominated by al-Qaida. It was led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the fighting militia was dominated by al-Qaida. That’s who we helped,” she explained.

Later in the interview, Lopez discusses the important, unanswered questions on Benghazi before, during and after the 2012 attack. She discusses the weapons transfers happening in Benghazi that were at the heart of the controversial change in American policy, and the significance of the capture and prosecution of Ahmed Abu Khattala.

In addition, Lopez discusses the significance of the Muslim Brotherhood giving a “kill order” to al-Qaida, showing significant “command and control” as the global jihadist forces began a resurgence.

Lopez ends by bringing viewers back to the fall of 2012. When the reality of the Benghazi attack came to light due to Judicial Watch’s “smoking gun email,” we now know the Obama administration scurried to promote a narrative that did not challenge the President’s reelection mantra “Osama bin Laden is dead and al-Qaida is on the run.” Lopez says, “It would not have suited, at all, to be defending against a nonexistent al-Qaida!”

 

Busting the Media’s ISIS Myths

isis-426x350by Daniel Greenfield:

Know your enemy. To know what ISIS is, we have to clear away the media myths about ISIS.

ISIS is not a new phenomenon.

Wahhabi armies have been attacking Iraq in order to wipe out Shiites for over two hundred years. One of the more notably brutal attacks took place during the administration of President Thomas Jefferson.

That same year the Marine Corps saw action against the Barbary Pirates and West Point opened, but even Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and Howard Zinn chiming via Ouija board would have trouble blaming the Wahhabi assault on the Iraqi city of Kerbala in 1802 on the United States or an oil pipeline.

Forget the media portrayals of ISIS as a new extreme group that even the newly moderate Al Qaeda thinks is over the top; its armies are doing the same things that Wahhabi armies have been doing for centuries. ISIS has Twitter accounts, pickup trucks and other borrowed Western technology, but its ideology and brutality have always been part of Islam. They are not a new phenomenon.

Sunnis and Shiites have been killing each other for over a thousand years. Declaring other Muslims to be infidels and killing them is also a lot older than the suicide bomb vest.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are at odds because its Iraqi namesake had a different agenda. Al Qaeda always had different factions with their own agendas that were not more extreme or less extreme, but emerged from varying national backgrounds.

Bin Laden prioritized Saudi Arabia and America. That allowed Al Qaeda to pick up training from Hezbollah which helped make 9/11 possible. This low level cooperation with Iran was endangered when Al Qaeda in Iraq made fighting a religious war with Shiites into its priority.

That did not mean that Bin Laden liked Shiites and thought that AQIQ was “extreme” for killing them.

During the Iraq War, Bin Laden had endorsed Al Qaeda in Iraq’s goal of fighting the Shiite “Rejectionists” by framing it as an attack on America. AQIQ’s Zarqawi had privately made it clear that he would not pledge allegiance to Osama bin Laden unless the terrorist leader endorsed his campaign against Shiites.

Bin Laden and the Taliban had been equally comfortable with Sipahe Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which provided manpower for the Taliban while massacring Shiites in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year LEJ had killed over a hundred Shiite Hazaras in one bombing.

The narrative that ISIS was more extreme than Al Qaeda because it killed Shiites and other Muslims doesn’t hold up even in recent history.

The media finds it convenient to depict the rise of newly extremist groups being radicalized by American foreign policy, Israeli blockades or Danish cartoons. A closer look however shows us that these groups did not become radicalized, rather they increased their capabilities.

ISIS understood that targeting Shiites and later Kurds would make it more appealing to Sunni Arabs inside Iraq and around the Persian Gulf. Bin Laden tried to rally Muslims by attacking America. ISIS has rallied Muslims by killing Shiites, Kurds, Christians and anyone else who isn’t a proper Sunni Arab.

Every news report insists that ISIS is an extreme outlier, but if that were really true then it would not have been able to conquer sizable chunks of Iraq and Syria. ISIS became huge and powerful because its ideology drew the most fighters and the most financial support. ISIS is powerful because it’s popular.

ISIS has become more popular and more powerful than Al Qaeda because Muslims hate other Muslims even more than they hate America.

ISIS is not an outside force that inexplicably rolls across Iraq and terrorizes everyone in its path. It’s actually the public face of a Sunni coalition. When ISIS massacres Yazidis, it’s not just following an ideology; it’s giving Sunni Arabs what they want.

A surviving Yazidi refugee had told CNN that his Arab neighbors had joined in the killing. This wasn’t just ISIS terrorizing a helpless population. It was Islamic Supremacism in action.

Read more at Front Page

 

The ISIS Threat to the United States, in Six Sentences

iraq11n-1-webNational Review, By David French:

Let’s make this simple, shall we?

1. Al-Qaeda carried out the deadliest attack on American soil in American history and the most devastating foreign attack against an American city since the British occupied and burned Washington during the War of 1812.

2. ISIS is more brutal than al-Qaeda.

3. ISIS has more financial resources than al-Qaeda.

4. ISIS controls more territory — and possesses more firepower – than al-Qaeda.

5. ISIS has seized uranium in sufficient quantities to make a radiological weapon, a dirty bomb.

6. The leader of ISIS declared to his former American captors, “See you in New York,” and ISIS militants have pledged to raise the black flag of jihad over the White House.

In other words, ISIS is more capable in every way than the terrorists that hit America so hard on 9/11. Pinprick strikes weren’t enough to stop a much weaker Osama bin Laden. They will not be enough to stop a much stronger Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

ISIS so extreme, even al-Qaida worried it would “damage its reputation”

brutal-300x180By Allen West:

I am pleased to know the Obama administration has decided to provide weapons support to the Kurdish Peshmerga Army and bypass the Iraqi government — which under al-Maliki is in shambles. Our goal should be to assist in establishing an independent Kurdistan where Kurds, Christians and other religious minorities can live and thrive in peace. And a strategic part of that objective should be to destroy ISIS and deter the rising Islamist government in Turkey. After all, Southern Sudan was established based on religious persecution from the same folks: Islamists versus Christians.

And never forget that the Kurds are the words largest ethnic group without a homeland — the “Palestinians” are just hell-raising Arabs who were kicked out of Jordan.

But the purpose of this missive is to ask a question: How did ISIS kinda sneak up on the Obama administration? Do we have a failure in our intelligence gathering apparatus — or is this just an example of abject incompetence or worse, willful negligence?

Why do I ask this question?

Well, based on a report from the UK Daily Mail, ISIS was already ringing alarm bells on the radar screen of some major players a few years ago, and it might surprise you whose radar was twitching.

According to the report, “Lying among a pile of papers at the hideout in Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden was shot dead was a carefully worded 21-page letter. It warned of the rise of a new and ruthless group of Islamic extremists capable of such extreme brutality that al-Qaida should sever all links with them. In fact, it claimed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) had such complete disregard for civilian life that it could damage the reputation of al-Qaida – if such a thing were possible for an organization that has long traded in murderous terrorism.”

Here’s a particularly brutal video you may or may not want to watch on the Daily Mail’s website.

So let me get this right, Osama bin Laden was aware of ISIS back in 2011 and was concerned about ISIS damaging al-Qaida’s reputation? And how was it that President Obama referred to them as a “JV” team? Obama was beside himself with glee to lay claim to “killing” Osama bin Laden, but neglected to mention there was an even bigger threat looming.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/08/isis-extreme-even-al-qaida-worried-damage-reputation-video/#9mFe9PVgmJ2hwUzT.99

Read more at Allen West’s blog

FLASHBACK: Obama Administration Says Islamic Caliphate is “Feckless Delusion” That is “Never Going to Happen”

2014-07-23T200304Z_1_LYNXMPEA6M0WW_RTROPTP_3_IRAQ-SECURITY-BAGHDADIBy Katie Pavlich:

The brutal terrorist organization known as ISIS or ISIL, made up of former al Qaeda fighters, has renamed itself the Islamic State. The name “Islamic State” is self-explanatory and was chosen based on the group’s goal of establishing a caliphate by conquering as much land in the middle east and around the world as possible, beheading and killing anyone standing in their way.

Regardless of the terrorist group’s own classification and stated goals to implement and maintain an Islamist caliphate going back years, the Obama administration wasn’t worried about the “absurd” concept and had no plans to stop it from happening according to then White House Counter-Terrorism Advisor and current CIA Secretary John Brennen. From 2011:

“Our strategy is also shaped by deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics over the past decade. I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counter-terrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are,” Brennen said.

Watch here (15:38 to 16:07):

 

Sounds a lot like the administration treated these guys like a junior varsity team

Brennen argued the administration’s goal was to have “a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals,” yet ignored the greatest goal of all: an Islamic caliphate. We’re seeing the caliphate happen now. In fact, ISIS just started issuing caliphate/Islamic State passports.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has reportedly issued Islamic State passports as the group expressed desire to expand its territory in Middle East, parts of Asia and Europe.

The group has also threatened to to raise the jihadist flag over Downing Street and the White House.

The introduction of passports by ISIS is believed to be part of the group’s ongoing campaign of psychological warfare, with experts saying that the passports are little more than a symbolic gesture.

Photos of the passports based on the black jihadist flag flown by ISIS terrorists with inscription “State of the Islamic Caliphate” at the top of the passport, were circulated on social media websites.

As another reminder, this is the same administration that argued al Qaeda was “on the run” in 2012 while it was actually spreading. These are dangerous times and the administration has done very little to show Americans they take the threats and goals of al Qaeda/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State terrorists seriously.

Read more at Town Hall

The world is silent on genocide, rape in Syria, Iraq

Published on Aug 8, 2014 by Fox News

Lisa Daftari: Over the last month, as world attention has focused on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, terror group ISIS has had free reign in Iraq… killing thousands, ethnically cleansing the country of its Christian and Yazidi communities, while raping and abducting their young girls.

But these headlines are insignificant for the likes of Penelope Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem, along with many other celebrities, singers and directors, who were quick to condemn Israel for “genocide” while bringing attention to the vast difference in casualties. 64 for Israel, and over 1,800 for the Palestinians.

But do these two numbers tell the whole story? Do they describe the way in which Hamas uses Palestinians children as shields or hide their operatives and weapons in schools and civilian areas hoping to increase the death toll? Do they tell the story of how many Palestinians themselves now condemn Hamas?

They don’t. And here’s the advice for celebrities using their stardom and platforms to make a political statement: If you don’t know the facts, stay quiet. Otherwise, use your voice to address real global calamities.

Follow Lisa Daftari on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaDaftari

Flynn is Right, Ideology is The Problem

By Kyle Shideler:

LT. General Michael Flynn, outgoing head of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently told an audience at the Aspen Institute that the ideology of Al Qaeda was “expanding,” and that Al Qaeda was not “on the run” as the Obama Administration had repeatedly insisted during the 2012 election. Flynn said, “It’s not on the run, and that ideology is actually, it’s sadly, it feels like it’s exponentially growing,”

Flynn went on to point out that “the core” of Al Qaeda was not in fact a geographic designation, but instead a belief, “We use the term ‘core al Qaeda,’ and I have been going against these guys for a long time,” The Free Beacon reports Flynn as saying, “The core is the core belief that these individuals have.”

While Flynn does not go so far as to name the ideology which Al Qaeda acts in furtherance of (namely Shariah), he is clear that one can not solely counter an ideological threat kinetically.

Under Flynn, the DIA has been one of the few intelligence agencies to hold the line against the Obama Administration’s popular, if delusional, reimagining of the threat.  As Eli Lakenoted in a Daily Beast article discussing the connections between Al Qaeda and Boko Haram:

The dispute inside the intelligence community falls along familiar lines about al Qaeda. The White House has emphasized the distinctions between al Qaeda’s core and its affiliates and other aspiring jihadists, who the White House sees as operating almost entirely independent of the central group.

However, another faction inside the U.S. intelligence community—one that comprises the current leadership of the Defense Intelligence Agency and others working in the military—see al Qaeda as a flatter organization that coordinates between nodes and operates through consensus in the model of an Islamic Shura council.

The idea that DIA should need to wage an rearguard action around a concept as basic as the fact that Al Qaeda is organized along shariah-prescribed lines, is itself an example of how badly we have failed to understand the enemy’s stated threat doctrine.

While Flynn does not say so, the reason the ideology of Al Qaeda has expanded is we have failed to directly combat it. We have failed in combating the ideology, as the direct result of influence operations waged against U.S. policy making by affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has resulted in the purge of U.S. trainers who understood the enemy doctrine, leaving U.S policymakers, and law enforcement and intelligence officials unprepared.

One quibble however. LTG Flynn warns that Hamas ought not to be destroyed, as there is a risk that the Islamist groups that would replace it would some how be “worse.” There is not any substantial difference in ideological doctrine between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. they are all based upon the Shariah. Saying that Hamas must survive because ISIS is worse is the same kind of mistaken thinking that permitted some to argue that we could work with the Muslim Brotherhood to serve as a bulwark against Al Qaeda. There is no major doctrinal disagreement between Hamas and Al Qaeda, or ISIS. Hamas hailed Osama bin Laden as a “holy warrior” when he was killed by U.S. forces. The Muslim Brotherhood also recognized Bin Laden’s role as a legitimate jihadist.   The godfather of both Al Qaeda and Hamas was Muslim Brother and Islamic Jurist named  Abdullah Azzam.

But even this mistaken view of Hamas is itself evidence thats proves Flynn’s point. Without understanding the nature of the enemy’s threat doctrine and its primary thinkers (Like Azzam), we will not be successful in defeating it.

Why the Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas

An Islamic State fighter gestures as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014.  (photo by REUTERS)

An Islamic State fighter gestures as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014. (photo by REUTERS)

By Ali Mamouri:

Most of today’s Salafist jihadist movements have no interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the time being regarding it as irrelevant. Instead, their call is to engage in intense, bloody confrontations involving bombings, executions, and suicide attacks against governments headed by Muslims and against Muslim civilians.

Al-Qaeda has followed this course for decades, and now the Islamic State (IS) is following in al-Qaeda’s footsteps, fighting a brutal war across swathes of Iraq and Syria and in an effort to “purify” these areas through killings and population displacement. Once taking territory, it is not mobilizing the populations under its control in opposition to the Israeli military operations in Gaza. Why is this?

Some jihadists or pro-jihadist Salafists have issued video clips and tweets explaining their lack of assistance to the Palestinians. One tweet stated, “The Hamas government is apostate, and what it is doing does not constitute jihad, but rather a defense of democracy [which Salafists oppose].” Another tweet said, “Khaled Meshaal: Hamas fights for the sake of freedom and independence. The Islamic State: it fights so that all religion can be for God.” Meshaal is head of Hamas’ political bureau.

On July 22, the Egyptian Salafist sheikh Talaat Zahran declared that it is inappropriate to aid the people of Gaza because they do not follow a legitimate leadership, and because they are equivalent to Shiites since they follow them, referring to Hezbollah and Iran, with which the Sunni Hamas movement has been allied. Thus the jihadists’ position is not simply a political stance, but stems from Salafist theological principles.

Salafists believe that jihad must be performed under legitimate leadership. This argument is advanced through the “banner and commander” concept, which holds that whoever undertakes jihad must follow a commander who fulfills the criteria of religious and political leadership and has raised the banner of jihad. Given that there is neither a legitimate leader nor a Salafist-approved declaration of jihad in Palestine, fighting there is forbidden.

In addition, for Salafists, if non-Muslims control Islamic countries and apostates exist in the Islamic world, the Islamic world must be cleansed of them before all else. In short, the purification of Islamic society takes priority over combat against non-Islamic societies. On this basis, Salafists see conflict with an allegedly illegitimate Hamas government as a first step toward confrontation with Israel. Should the opportunity for military action present itself in the Palestinian territories, Salafists would fight Hamas and other factions deemed in need of “cleansing” from the land and engage Israel afterward.

Read more at Al-Monitor

 

 

Al Qaeda financiers use Qatar for international activities

The Terror Finance Blog, by A. D. Kendall:

In addition to institutional and charitable support by Qatar, Al Qaeda and its offshoots (including jihadists in Syria and Iraq) receive substantial financial support from private Qatari donors and bundlers. Here’s a quick who’s who:

Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaymi

Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaymi

Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaymi:  The U.S. Treasury Department describes al-Nuaymi as “a Qatar-based terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade. He was considered among the most prominent Qatar-based supporters of Iraqi Sunni extremists.” Al-Nuaymi transferred $600K to Al Qaeda in Syria in 2013, and sent $2 million monthly to Al Qaeda in Iraq for an undisclosed period of time. He is also described as an interlocutor between Qatari nationals and Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders.

Salim Hasan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari:  Treasury says al-Kuwari “provides financial and logistical support to al-Qa’ida, primarily through al-Qa’ida facilitators in Iran. Based in Qatar, Kuwari has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial support to al-Qa’ida and has provided funding for al-Qa’ida operations, as well as to secure the release of al-Qa’ida detainees in Iran and elsewhere.”

Abdallah Ghanim Mafuz Muslim al-Khawar:  According to U.S. officials, “Al-Khawar has worked with Kuwari to deliver money, messages and other material support to al-Qa’ida elements in Iran. Like Kuwari, Khawar is based in Qatar and has helped to facilitate travel for extremists interested in traveling to Afghanistan for jihad.

Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy:  The UN describes al-Subaiy as “a Qatar-based terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided financial support to, and acted on behalf of, the senior leadership of Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01). He provided assistance to senior Al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed prior to Sheikh Mohammed’s capture in March 2003. Since that time, he has provided financial support to Al-Qaida senior leadership in South Asia.” Al-Subaiy served a brief prison sentence in 2008 before being released by Qatar.

Yusuf Qaradawi:  The Egyptian-born, Qatar-based spiritual father of the international Muslim Brotherhood sits atop a massive terrorist funding network including the “Union of Good” umbrella network of charities that funds Hamas. Qaradawi was also a sharia adviser for Al Taqwa which provided banking services to Al Qaeda.

DIA Chief: Al Qaeda Ideology Rapidly Expanding

Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

By Bill Gertz:

The terrorist ideology behind al Qaeda is expanding significantly—contrary to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign theme that declared the Islamist terror threat in decline, according to the outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“It’s not on the run, and that ideology is actually, it’s sadly, it feels like it’s exponentially growing,” DIA Director Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said during a security conference Saturday.

Flynn was asked about the controversy over Obama’s statements during his 2012 reelection bid that al Qaeda had been “decimated” by the U.S. war on terrorism, and that the group was “on the run” as a result.

Flynn challenged use of the term “core al Qaeda” to identify the group once led by Osama bin Laden and now headed by his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri.

“My belief—so this is Mike Flynn—core al Qaeda is the ideology,” he said. “Al Qaeda command and control is where the senior leadership resides. So al Qaeda command and control resides today, Zawahiri, over in the [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], Pakistan.”

Flynn said al Qaeda’s leadership is being challenged by the offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS, whose leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who was once in U.S. custody, is declaring himself “caliph,” or leader of all Muslims.

Other Islamist terror leaders also are gaining influence.

“We use the term ‘core al Qaeda,’ and I have been going against these guys for a long time,” Flynn said. “The core is the core belief that these individuals have.”

A large number of young people in Africa and the Middle East are being sucked into Islamist terror groups.

“These organizations that are out there that are well-organized, they are well-funded, they reach into these young people and they pull them in,” Flynn said. “And there seems to be more and more of them today than there were when I first started this thing in, post 9/11.”

The comments by the DIA chief, an Iraq war veteran who announced in April he will retire in the fall, highlight what critics say is failure of the Obama administration to target the Islamist ideology. Instead, counterterrorism during the Obama administration has focused on “kinetic” operations, such as drone strikes and special operations raids aimed at killing terrorist leaders.

Many al Qaeda leaders were killed. But the newer generation of leaders, such as ISIL’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and leaders of groups like Yemen’s Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, appear more committed to imposing Sharia law and annihilating non-Muslims.

New video of ISIL-perpetrated beheadings appeared on the Internet over the weekend. Dozens of headless bodies were shown in a video from Syria with heads mounted on poles.

Obama has made ending the “war” on terrorism in place since 2001 a priority. The administration has asked Congress to end the authorization of the use of military force that was approved in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Critics of the administration’s counterterrorism policies say political sensitivities aimed at avoiding offending Muslims are preventing military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies from identifying the nature of the Islamist terror threat, a needed first step in developing an ideological counter.

For example, intelligence analysts at several U.S. agencies currently are constrained from using the term “Islamic” to describe terrorism over concerns it will upset Muslim activist groups.

Read more at Free Beacon