Reporters Mock State Dept for Downplaying Benghazi Terrorists Link to Al Qaeda


November 21, 2014 

Reporters poked fun at State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke on Friday as he tried to elaborate on the Obama administrations stance on the recent UN report linking Ansar al-Sharia to Al Qaeda.

“These groups are associated with Al Qaeda in Maghreb,” Rathke said, “but they are not arms of core Al Qaeda.

Ansar al-Sharia is said to be responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attacks on the U.S. consulate in which four Americans were killed.

Reporters gave Rathke some terms that they deemed more fitting, including, “Al Qaeda light”, “the jayvee team”, and a subsidiary of McDonald’s.

AQAP rejects Islamic State’s ‘caliphate,’ blasts group for sowing dissent among jihadists

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 9.36.48 AM-thumb-560x312-4579By

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an official branch of al Qaeda, has released a video rejecting the Islamic State’s announced caliphate and chastising the group for sowing discord among jihadists.

The newly-released video stars Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari, a senior AQAP sharia official, who responds directly to a Nov. 13 speech made by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State. The video is titled, “A Statement about What was Contained in the Speech of Sheikh Abu Bakr al Baghdadi ‘Even If the Disbelievers Despise Such’,” and was first translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

In addition to rebuking Baghdadi and the Islamic State, Nadhari also renews AQAP’s bayat (oath of allegiance) to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, and affirms Zawahiri’s oath to Taliban chieftain Mullah Omar. Nadhari says “it is known” that al Qaeda “has had a pledge of allegiance to Mullah Omar…for nearly twenty years.”

Al Qaeda has previously countered Baghdadi’s claim to rule as “Caliph Ibrahim I” by implying that Omar is the rightful caliph and, unlike Baghdadi, has the broad support of recognized jihadist authorities.

Nadhari begins by saying that AQAP “did not want to talk about the current dispute and the fitna [sedition]” in Syria given that the jihadists are in a “sensitive stage in which the enemies of Islam” have “gathered together to fight” the entire Islamic ummah [worldwide community of Muslims].

“This war was and still is a Crusader war against all the honest mujahideen,” Nadhari says, according to SITE’s translation. “We took the position incumbent upon us to support our brothers with what we can, and we still hold to that position, as we believe in the necessity to support our mujahideen brothers, including all of their groups and entities, regardless of their inclinations.”

However, according to Nadhari, the Islamic State has made it impossible to remain silent.

Read more at Long War Journal

UN recognizes ties between Ansar al Sharia in Libya, al Qaeda

Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL)

Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL)

Long War Journal, By

The United Nations Security Council today added Ansar al Sharia in Libya to its al Qaeda sanctions list. “As a result of the new listings,” the UN announced, “any individual or entity that provides financial or material support to” Ansar al Sharia Libya, “including the provision of arms or recruits, is eligible to be added to the Al Qaeda Sanctions List and subject to the sanctions measures.”

The UN notes that the Ansar al Sharia chapters in Benghazi and Derna are associated with one another, but lists them separately under a heading that reads, “Entities and other groups associated with Al Qaeda.”

Despite their separate listings, the two Ansar al Sharia groups operate together and have published their propaganda under a shared brand. Ansar al Sharia fighters from both Benghazi and Derna participated in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US Mission and Annex in Benghazi. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed during the assault.

According to the UN, both Ansar al Sharia groups in Libya are “associated” with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official branch of al Qaeda that remains loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. They are both also tied to Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia, which orchestrated the assault on the US Embassy in Tunis on Sept. 14, 2012.

The UN added Ansar al Sharia Tunisia to its al Qaeda sanctions list in September. The UN found that, like its sister organizations in Libya, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia has “links to” AQIM.

There are well-established ties between Ansar al Sharia in Libya and Tunisia. The UN notes in its designation that Ansar al Sharia in Libya has a “support network in Tunisia.”

In addition, the Benghazi chapter is tied to Al Mourabitoun, which is led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former AQIM commander who established his own jihadist group. Belmokhtar is openly loyal to Zawahiri and, according to a previous designation by the UN, still works with AQIM despite his differences with the group’s leadership.

Earlier this month, Agence France Presse obtained a copy of a dossier that was submitted to the UN to justify today’s action. The documents provided to the UN show that 12 of the 24 jihadists who participated in the January 2013 siege of the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria were trained in Ansar al Sharia camps in Benghazi.

Belmokhtar commanded the terrorists responsible for the In Amenas siege and claimed responsibility for the raid on behalf of al Qaeda.

Britain, France, and the US moved to have Ansar al Sharia Libya added to the UN sanctions list earlier this month, and all 15 members of the UN Security Council had until today to agree to the sanctions. A consensus was reached and the sanctions were approved.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond praised the UN’s decision in a statement. Hammond said that the Ansar al Sharia groups in Benghazi and Derna both “have links with Al Qaeda and are responsible for acts of terror in Libya, including bomb attacks, kidnappings, and murder.”

Ansar al Sharia camps in Derna and Benghazi have been used to funnel foreign fighters to Syria, according to the UN. The camps in Benghazi have also shipped jihadists off to Mali.

Today’s action by the UN confirms The Long War Journal’s reporting and analysis. Numerous pieces of evidence tie the Ansar al Sharia organizations in Libya and Tunisia to al Qaeda’s international network. See, for example, LWJ reports:

State Department designates 3 Ansar al Sharia organizations, leaders
Senate report: Terrorists ‘affiliated’ with multiple al Qaeda groups involved in Benghazi attack
Ex-Guantanamo detainee remains suspect in Benghazi attack
Al Qaeda and the threat in North Africa
From al Qaeda in Italy to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia
Al Qaeda ally orchestrated assault on US Embassy in Tunisia
Al Qaeda’s plan for Libya highlighted in congressional report

Jabhat al-Nusra Spokesman Rejects IS Alliance Rumors

syria-jabhat-al-nusra-natosource-28-3-2013IPT, by John Rossomando:

A Jabhat al-Nusra spokesman tells the blog Syria Direct that rumors of an alliance between his al-Qaida affiliate and the Islamic State are false.

Western media sources published reports last week that both jihadist factions reached an agreement at a Nov. 2 meeting to stop fighting each other and destroy the U.S.-aligned Syrian Revolutionaries Front.

The spokesman from Jabhat al-Nusra’s media office in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province, identified as Abu Azzam al-Ansari, confirmed that the group sent representatives to meet with those from the Islamic State.

But the Islamic State’s representatives rejected their offer of reconciliation, al-Ansari said.

He showed suspicion of the Islamic State in the interview, saying it has been “penetrated by American [spies]” to give the West an excuse for bombing everyone who “subscribes to the Salafi-jihadi strain of thought.”

Al-Ansari also dismissed the Obama administration’s use of the term “Khorasan Group” to describe a cell of al-Qaida fighters, saying that it really is his own group, Jabhat al-Nusra. The term was used to “mislead” people to hide the fact they were actually fighting al-Qaida in Syria.

Mentioning the recent fighting between Jabhat al-Nusra and the Western-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front that led to the rout of the latter, al-Ansari said his group opposed the “implementation of any foreign agendas” in Syria.

“We’re Muslims, and Allah – blessed be Allah exalted – ordered us to rule with Islam, and we won’t be satisfied to anything else,” al-Ansari said.

Also see:

Islamic State, Al Qaeda Make Pact to Wipe Out Rivals: Report

Jabhat Al-Nusra jihadis in Syria (Photo: © Reuters)

Jabhat Al-Nusra jihadis in Syria (Photo: © Reuters)

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaeda and other Islamists in Syria have reportedly mended ties in Syria, primarily to wipe out Kurdish and rival rebel forces. The two organizations have not confirmed the agreement and pro-Islamic State social media accounts are strangely silent on the matter.

Syrian opposition sources say the agreement was made on November 2 during a meeting that included the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch) and the Khorasan Group, an elite Al-Qaeda unit that the Obama Administration deceptively characterizes as an independent organization.

Also reportedly present were Jund Al-Aqsa and Ahrar al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda affiliate whose leadership was decimated in an Islamic State bombing. The inclusion of Ahrar al-Sham could neutralize the Islamic Front, an umbrella of Salafists that includes a proxy of Saudi Arabia. Al-Sham belongs to the Islamic Front and other components refuse to take on Al-Nusra.

Jund Al-Aqsa is a small but growing group that is pro-Islamic State but not necessarily anti-Nusra. A senior rebel commander, General Ahmed Berri, says the group is “more dangerous than Al-Nusra.”

According to the report, Al-Nusra and the Islamic State will team up to fight Kurdish forces in northern Syria and to destroy rival rebel forces linked to the U.S., specifically the Hazzm Movement (also called Harakat al-Hazm) and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front.

The popularity of Al-Nusra is why the Obama Administration has avoided targeting it broadly. The administration has also inaccurately described the Khorasan Group, an Al-Qaeda unit sent to work with Al-Nusra, as independent. The U.S. feared that striking the Khorasan Group would alienate other Syrian rebels who respect and/or fear Al-Nusra and work with the Al-Qaeda affiliate.

There is no confirmation or denial of the alliance by the U.S. government, the Islamic State or Al-Nusra. Pro-Islamic State and pro-Nusra social media accounts are not discussing it much.

The U.S. State Department said, “We haven’t seen signs of a strategic reconciliation and have no information corroborating a November 2 meeting between these groups.”

If true, the alliance cannot be permanent unless both the Al-Nusra group as well as Ayman al-Zawahiri , Al-Qaeda’s chief,  do an about-face and endorse the caliphate of the Islamic State.

Thus far, Al-Qaeda has rejected its legitimacy and Zawahiri is advertising Al-Qaeda’s own caliphate project in Afghanistan and the Indian Subcontinent.

Read more at Clarion Project

AP: Islamic State and Al Qaeda Reach Accord

isis-global-conquest-map1-450x251Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton:

The Associated Press is reporting that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have reached an accord after a summit meeting in northern Syria.

This is a very bad development, but not unexpected. Abu Sayyef in the Philippines,Boko Haram in West Africa, Al Shabaab in East Africa, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula all already pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Just this week, Egypt’s most dangerous Jihadist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, also joined the Islamic State. In addition, 5 prominent Taliban leaders also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

We are now seeing the dream of the Caliphate being realized by Jihadis worldwide. Far from having them “on the run,” they are making strides and unifying, fighting in more places with more fighters than at any time in the past several hundred years.

Half-hearted measures, micromanagement by unqualified politicians and a Vietnam-style strategy of gradual escalation are sure to fail and, unlike the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, today’s Jihadist enemies are already in our midst and plotting to attack us here.

Meanwhile, our irresponsible, feckless leaders focus on fringe pet issues of the Left rather than real national security issues, sitting by as the Islamic State spreads its violent Jihad from the Philippines to Libya and Nigeria.

Our children will pay the price for such horrible, misguided policies, which amount to perhaps the biggest strategic blunder in American history.

Also see:

***

CJR – There is some debate over whether top leadership of IS and al Qaeda have formally agreed to join forces:

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The Ideology Problem in Timbuktu Is Not al-Qaeda’s Making — It Is Classical Islam

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy:

Andrew’s post describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali is essential, if excruciating, reading. Beyond the monstrously cruel but all too usual punishments being imposed, I’m struck by two things, which really show how willful blindness leads inexorably to spring fever: The Guardian attributes the atrocious penalties to the “menace of al-Qaida”; it also notes, however, that the “ban [on music] comes in the context of a horrifically literal and gratuitous application of Sharia law in all aspects of daily life.”

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, al Qaeda did not make up sharia law. Islam did. And in the West, it is a key tenet of due process that law is imposed literally — ambiguous laws violate the principle that people of ordinary intelligence must be on fair notice of what is prohibited. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about applying as it is written.

16044762We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem. As I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that al Qaeda’s local franchise is enforcing in Mali is “literal” because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, while it seems only militant jihadists proudly urge this construction in practice, it is enthusiastically endorsed in principle by two of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East: al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Don’t just take my word for it. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law is not some al Qaeda pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s reliance (1)provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think-tank begun in the early eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”) — and from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West (“We certify,” the famed scholars wrote, that the “translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…. There is no objection to printing it and circulating it…. May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.” There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.).

#more#

Reliance is also endorsed by Islamic authorities in Jordan (leading influences on a largely Palestinian population that may well overthrow the pro-Western monarchy) and Syria (leading influences on the “rebels” on whose side interventionists — including both presidential candidates — would have us jump to abet the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing campaign to oust the minority Alawite Assad regime).

Here, as I summarize in Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about the arts:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

“Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage), and “[o]n the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” However, if unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Those sharia provisions are complemented by these — again, endorsed by al-Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and our “moderate” “allies” in the region:

Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

[Note: These latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah or the prophet are the basis for imposing death for blasphemy. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated worse than Muslims by sharia (see, e.g., Sura 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.”)]

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” (Reliance o9.0.)

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity” –zakat can only be given to Muslims and is designed strictly to fortify the Muslim community, not benefit the less fortunate generally); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster…. They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1-17.)

Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued, such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feast-days.” (Reliance o11.0 & ff.)

Offenses committed against Muslims, including murder, are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims. (Reliance o1.0 & ff; p2.0-1.)

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliancep50.0 & ff; p.74.0& ff.)

The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year.” (Relianceo12.0 & ff.)

The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death. (Reliance p17.0 & ff.)

A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam). (Reliance m6.0 & ff. – Marriage.)

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliancep42.0 & ff.)

A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child. (Reliance m13.2-3.)

A woman has no right of custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries “because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending to the child.” (Reliance m13.4.)

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Relianceo14.0.)

The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes.” (Reliance o16.3; p.14.2.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliancep7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Relianceo24.7.)

If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses.” (Reliance o24.9.)

The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male. “The Prophet … said, “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (Reliance o25.0 & ff; see also p28.0, on Mohammed’s condemnation of “masculine women and effeminate men.”)

This is not al Qaeda doctrine. This is sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. It is not the construction of Islam that many Muslims in the West wish to live under. But it is the mainstream supremacist Islam of the Middle East, which Islamic leaders — including those who come to the West to preach it — would not dream of discrediting, even if they are not as enthusiastic as al Qaeda where imposing it is concerned.

The State Department and the leading foreign policy voices of both major American political parties say sharia is perfectly compatible with “democracy” and the Western conception of human rights — of liberty and equality. Sure it is. And then you wonder why the Obama administration opens a consulate in Benghazi, one of the most perilous places in the world for Americans, refuses to safeguard it despite multiple pleas for beefed up security, and then fraudulently claims a pluperfectly predictable atrocity was caused by a video no one ever saw. If you’re going to live in a dreamworld, better get used to nightmare consequences.

The Beltway’s Syria Fairy Tales

pic_giant_111114_SM_Syria-Civil-WarNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Nov. 11, 2014:

Since the outbreak of the latest Middle East war a few years back, we have been chronicling the Washington political class’s Syria Fairy Tales. In particular, there is the story line that Syria is really teeming with secular democrats and authentic moderate Muslims who would have combined forces to both overthrow Assad and fight off the jihadists if only President Obama had helped them. But his failure to act created a “vacuum” that was tragically filled by Islamist militants and gave rise to ISIS. At this point in the story, you are supposed to stay politely mum and not ask whether it makes any sense that real democrats and actual moderates would agree to be led by head-chopping, mass-murdering, freedom-stifling sharia terrorists.

In point of fact, there simply have never been enough pro-Western elements in Syria to win, no matter how much help came their way. There was never going to be a moderate, democratic Syrian state without a U.S. invasion and occupation for a decade or more, an enterprise that would be politically untenable — and, as the Iraq enterprise shows, unlikely to succeed. The “moderate rebels” had no chance against Assad unless they colluded with the Islamist militants, who are vastly superior and more numerous fighters. And they would have even less chance of both knocking off Assad and staving off the jihadists.

The Obama administration and the Beltway commentariat have done their best to obscure these brute facts. Their main tactic is to exploit the American public’s unfamiliarity with the makeup of Syria. Obama Democrats and much of the Beltway GOP continue to invoke the “moderate Syrian rebels” while steadfastly refusing to identify just who those purported “moderates” are.They hope you won’t realize that, because of the dearth of actual moderate Muslims and freedom fighters, they must count among their “moderate rebels” both the Muslim Brotherhood (which should be designated as a terrorist organization) and various other Islamist factions, including . . .  wait for it . . . parts of al-Nusra — i.e., al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise.

We’ve also noted that a new wrinkle has recently been added to the Beltway’s Syria Fairy Tales: Obama’s Khorasan Fraud. In a desperate attempt to conceal the falsity of Obama’s boasts about destroying what is actually a resurgent al-Qaeda, the administration claimed that the threat to America that impelled Obama to start bombing Syria was not ISIS (supposedly just a “regional” threat), not al-Qaeda (already defeated, right?), but a hitherto unknown terrorist organization called the “Khorasan group.”

To the contrary, the Khorasan group, to the extent it exists at all, has never been a stand-alone terrorist organization. It is an internal component of al-Qaeda — specifically, an advisory board (or, in Islamic terms, a shura council) of al-Qaeda veterans who advise and carry out directives from Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s emir. During the fighting in Syria, some of these operatives were sent there by Zawahiri to conduct operations under the auspices of al-Nusra. These operations have included jihadist activity against both the United States and Assad allies, plus negotiations for a rapprochement with the Islamic State (or ISIS). The limited success of those negotiations has led to fighting among the jihadists themselves.

The ball to keep your eye on here is al-Qaeda. The al-Nusra terrorist group is just al-Qaeda in Syria. Even ISIS is just a breakaway faction of al-Qaeda. And the Khorasan group is just a top-tier group of al-Qaeda veterans doing al-Qaeda’s work in conjunction with al Nusra — i.e., al-Qaeda.

The Obama administration disingenuously emphasizes these various foreign names to confuse Americans into thinking that there are various factions with diverse agendas in Syria — that al-Qaeda is no longer a problem because Obama has already dealt with it, and what remains are sundry groups of “moderate rebels” that the administration can work with in the effort to vanquish ISIS. Meanwhile, you are supposed to refrain from noticing that Obama’s original Syrian project — remember, he wanted Assad toppled — has given way to fighting ISIS . . . the very Sunni jihadists who were empowered by Obama’s lunatic policies of (a) switching sides in Libya in order to support the jihadists against Qaddafi and (b) abetting and encouraging Sunni Muslim governments in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to arm Sunni militias in the fight against Assad — those militias having all along included al-Qaeda elements, some of which split off to become ISIS and now threaten to bite off the very hands that once fed them.

If you thought the Khorasan fraud was just a passing fad to get Obama through the initial stages of trying to rationalize his incoherent Syria air campaign, think again.

You see, Obama continues to have a problem. Everyone knows that ISIS, the main target of U.S. bombings in Syria and Iraq, cannot be defeated — or even stalled much — by a mere air campaign, which has been half-hearted at best anyway. Ground forces will be needed. So the administration and Washington’s foreign-policy clerisy keep telling Americans: Never fear, there is no need for U.S. ground troops, because we can rely on “moderate rebels” to fight ISIS. But the so-called “moderates” Obama backs have been colluding with al-Qaeda (i.e., al-Nusra) for years — at least when not being routed by al-Qaeda/al-Nusra.

Now, the sensible thing at this point would be to concede that there are no viable moderate forces in Syria, and that it would be folly for us to continue pretending those forces either exist or will materialize anytime soon. But no, that would be honest . . . which is not the Obama way — nor, frankly, is it the Washington way — to end our willful blindness to the lack of moderation among Middle Eastern Muslims.

So if honesty is not an option, what to do? Simple: Let’s just pretend that al-Nusra — part of the al-Qaeda network we have been at war with for 13 years — is, yes,moderate!

But wait a second? How can we possibly pull that off when we know al-Nusra/al-Qaeda is also plotting to attack the United States and the West?

Easy: That’s why we have the “Khorasan group”!

I kid you not. Even as al-Nusra/al-Qaeda mow down any “moderate rebels” who don’t join up with them, the Obama administration is telling Americans, “No, no, no: The al-Nusra guys are really good, moderate, upstanding jihadists. The real problem is that awful Khorasan group!”

Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio have the story at The Long War Journal:

CENTCOM draws misleading line between Al Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group

US Central Command [CENTCOM] attempted to distinguish between the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and the so-called Khorasan Group in yesterday’s press release that detailed airstrikes in Syria.

CENTCOM, which directs the US and coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, denied that the five airstrikes targeted “the Nusrah Front as a whole” due to its infighting with the Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front, but instead claimed the attacks were directed at the Khorasan Group.

“These strikes were not in response to the Nusrah Front’s clashes with the Syrian moderate opposition, and they did not target the Nusrah Front as a whole,” CENTCOM noted in its press release.

The CENTCOM statement goes a step further by implying that the Al Nusrah Front is fighting against the Syrian government while the Khorasan Group is hijacking the Syrian revolution to conduct attacks against the West.

“They [the US airstrikes] were directed at the Khorasan Group whose focus is not on overthrowing the Assad regime or helping the Syrian people,” CENTCOM continues. “These al Qaeda operatives are taking advantage of the Syrian conflict to advance attacks against Western interests.”

[Emphasis added.]

Read Tom and Bill’s entire report, which sheds light on the web of jihadist connections.

Understand, the Khorasan group is al-Nusra, which is al-Qaeda. The “moderate Syrian rebels” are neither moderate nor myopically focused on Assad and Syria. (Indeed, Syria does not even exist as the same country anymore, now that ISIS has eviscerated its border with Iraq while capturing much of its territory.) The overarching Islamic-supremacist strategy of al-Qaeda has never cared about Western-drawn borders. The ambition of al-Qaeda, like that of its breakaway ISIS faction, is to conquer both the “near” enemies — i.e., the Middle East territories not currently governed by its construction of sharia — and the West. Al-Qaeda (a.k.a. al-Nusra, a.k.a. the Khorasan group) wants to overthrow Assad, but it still regards the United States as its chief nemesis.

The Khorasan group exists only as an advisory group around Zawahiri. The Obama administration’s invocation of it to divert attention from al-Qaeda and launder al-Nusra into “moderate Syrian rebels” is sheer subterfuge.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s

ISIS and Al Qaeda Ready to Gang Up on Obama’s Rebels

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At a secret meeting in Syria brokered by the dreaded Khorasan group, the terrorist rivals discussed a merger.
By Jamie Dettmer:
ISTANBUL—Jihadi veterans known collectively as the Khorasan group, which have been targeted in two waves of airstrikes by U.S. warplanes, are trying to broker an alarming merger between militant archrivals the Islamic State and Jabhat al Nusra, the official Syrian branch of al Qaeda.
The merger, if it comes off, would have major ramifications for the West. It would reshape an already complex battlefield in Syria, shift forces further against Western interests, and worsen the prospects for survival of the dwindling and squabbling bands of moderate rebels the U.S. is backing and is planning to train.

“Khorasan sees its role now as securing an end to the internal conflict between Islamic State and al Nusra,” says a senior rebel source. The first results are already being seen on the ground in northern Syria with a coordinated attack on two rebel militias favored by Washington.

All three of the groups involved in the merger talks—Khorasan, Islamic State (widely known as ISIS or ISIL), and al Nusra—originally were part of al Qaeda. Khorasan reportedly was dispatched to Syria originally to recruit Westerners from among the thousands of jihadi volunteers who could take their terror war back to Europe and the United States. But among ferocious ideologues, similar roots are no guarantee of mutual sympathy when schisms occur.

Current and former U.S. officials say they are unaware of any cooperation between ISIS and al Nusra, and they doubt that a merger or long-term association could be pulled off. “I find it hard to believe that al Nusra and Islamic State could sink their differences,” says a former senior administration official. “The rift between them is very deep,” he adds.

But senior Syrian opposition sources say efforts at a merger are very much under way and they blame Washington for creating the circumstances that make it possible. Moderate rebels accuse the Obama administration of fostering jihadi rapprochement by launching ill-conceived airstrikes on al Nusra while at the same time adamantly refusing to target the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the U.S. military intervention in the region.

This, they say, has created the opening for a possible understanding between the jihadists and is creating sympathy for al Nusra. Other Islamist rebels and the wider population in insurgent-held areas in northern Syria question American motives and designs and remain furious at the U.S. decision not to help topple Assad.

“Al Nusra knows more airstrikes are coming, so why wait,” says an opposition source. If the Americans are going to lump them together with ISIS, maybe best to join forces. “What made the possibility of their coming together are the airstrikes.”

The opposition sources, who agreed to interviews on the condition they not be identified, warn that mounting cooperation between the two jihadist groups already is evident in specific operations.

Read more at The Daily Beast

Also see:

Exposed: Obama Helped Decade-Old Plan to Create IS


Frontpage, By Raymond Ibrahim:

Although the birth of the Islamic State and the herald of the caliphate are often regarded as some of 2014’s “big shockers,” they were foretold in striking detail and with an accurate timeline by an al-Qaeda insider nearly one decade ago.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

On August 12, 2005, Spiegel Online International published an article titled “The Future of Terrorism: What al-Qaeda Really Wants.”  Written by Yassin Musharbash, the article was essentially a review of a book written by Fouad Hussein, a Jordanian journalist with close access to al-Qaeda and its affiliates, including the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who pioneered the videotaping of beheadings “to strike terror into the hearts” of infidels (Koran 3:151).

As Hussein explained in the introduction of his book Al Zarqawi: Al Qaeda’s Second Generation: “I interviewed a whole range of al-Qaeda members with different ideologies to get an idea of how the war between the terrorists and Washington would develop in the future.”

And in fact the book details the master plan of al-Qaeda—in its “second generation” manifestation known as the “Islamic State” which follows much of Zarqawi’s modus operandi—to resurrect a caliphate.  This plan is sufficiently outlandish that Yassin Musharbash, the author of the Spiegel article reviewing Hussein’s book, repeatedly casts doubt on its feasibility.  Thus al-Qaeda’s plan is “proof both of the terrorists’ blindness as well as their brutal single-mindedness”; there is “no way” al-Qaeda can follow the plan “step by step”; “the idea that al-Qaeda could set up a caliphate in the entire Islamic world is absurd”; and the following “scenario should be judged skeptically.”

Yet it is all the more remarkable that much of this plan—especially those phases dismissed as infeasible by Musharbash (four and five)—have come to pass.

In what follows, I reproduce the seven phases of al-Qaeda’s master plan as presented in Musharbash’s nearly ten-year-old article (in bullet points and italics, bold for emphasis), with my commentary interspersed for context.  Phases four and five are of particular importance as they describe the goals for recent times, much of which have come to fruition according to plan.

An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps

•The First Phase Known as “the awakening”—this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby “awakening” Muslims. “The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaeda as very successful,” writes Hussein. “The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target.” The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard “everywhere.”

Much of this is accurate and makes sense.  Sadly, if any eyes were opened after the 9/11 attacks on American soil, they weren’t Western eyes—certainly not the eyes of Western leadership, mainstream media, and academia.  But to many Muslims, the strikes of 9/11 were inspiring and motivating, giving credence to Osama bin Laden’s characterization of America as a “paper tiger.” A few years after the Islamic strikes of 9/11, Americans responded by electing a man with a Muslim name and heritage for president, even as he continuously empowers in a myriad of ways—including banning knowledge of Islam—the same ideology behind the strikes of 9/11. Meanwhile, the average Muslim relearned the truths of their religion, namely that the “infidel” is an existential enemy and jihad against him is a duty, as al-Qaeda and others had successfully shown.

•The Second Phase “Opening Eyes” is, according to Hussein’s definition, the period we are now in [writing in 2005] and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the “Islamic community.” Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaeda wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an “army” set up there and bases established in other Arabic states.

This too is accurate.   Among other things, the “Islamic community,” the umma, began to be more visible and vocal during this time frame, including through a rash of attacks and riots following any perceived “insult” to Islam, growing demands for appeasement, and accusations of “Islamophobia” against all and sundry.  If there weren’t any spectacular terror attacks on the level of 9/11, young Muslim men were quietly enlisting and training in the jihad—or in western parlance, “radicalizing.”  Al-Qaeda went from being an “organization” to a “movement”—international “radicalization.”  Most importantly, Iraq, as the world now knows, certainly did become the “center for all global operations” with an “army” of jihadis set up there.

•The Third Phase This is described as “Arising and Standing Up” and should last from 2007 to 2010. “There will be a focus on Syria,” prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and—even more explosive— in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaeda’s masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger.

Much of this third phase as described and transpired seems to have been an extension of phase two.  In retrospect, there certainly appears to have been a focus on Syria, even if the jihad started there one year behind schedule (2011).  And many of the jihadis were “already prepared” and “some are in Iraq.”   None of this was a surprise, of course, as U.S. intelligence always indicated that if American forces withdrew from Iraq, the jihadis would take over.

•The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaeda will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that “the creeping loss of the regimes’ power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaeda.” At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism.

This is immensely prophetic.  Recall that the timeline given (2010-2013) coincides remarkably well with the so-called “Arab Spring,” which culminated with Islamic terrorists and their allies taking over the leadership of several Arab countries formerly ruled by secularized autocrats: Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood (which plays Dr. Jekyll to al-Qaeda’s Mr. Hyde); Libya, al-Qaeda/Islamic jihadis; ongoing Syria, al-Qaeda/Islamic jihadis (or their latest manifestation, the Islamic State, al-Qaeda’s “second generation”), etc.  It should be remembered that in each of these nations—Egypt, Libya, Syria—the Obama administration played a major role in empowering the jihadis, though in the name of “democracy.” 

•The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaeda hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.

Again, right on time: the “Islamic State” declared itself the “caliphate” in 2014, with many Muslim organizations and persons around the world pledging their allegiance, if not imitating their slaughter, with inspired “lone wolves” already beheading “infidels” in Western nations.   And if the administration helped empower jihadis during the “Arab Spring” and in the name of “democracy” in Egypt, Libya, and Syria, it helped the creation of the Islamic State by withdrawing U.S. military forces that were keeping al-Qaeda at bay in Iraq.  Recall that in 2007 George W. Bush said that “To begin withdrawing [military forces] before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States.  It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to Al Qaeda.  It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale.  It would mean we allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.  It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.” All of these predictions have proven remarkably prescient—not because Bush was a prophet but because U.S intelligence clearly understood the situation in Iraq, and briefed Obama on it just as it did Bush. Yet, in 2011, Obama declared the Iraq war a success and pulled out American troops, leaving the way wide open for the jihadi master plan of resurrecting the caliphate to unfold.

•The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of “total confrontation.” As soon as the caliphate has been declared the “Islamic army” it will instigate the “fight between the believers and the non-believers” which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden.

This needs clarification.  While many assume that the “fight between the believers and the non-believers” is between Muslims and non-Muslims, this is not always the case.  Soon after the announcement of the caliphate, the Islamic State made clear that it was in the phase of waging jihad on “apostates” and “hypocrites,” meaning all the “apostate” or “infidel” Arab leaders like Bashar al-Assad, as well as Muslim populations that are insufficiently “Islamic.”  It is for this reason that the new caliph took on the name of “Abu Bakr”—the name of the first historic caliph (632-634) whose caliphate was characterized by fighting and bringing back into the fold of Islam all those Arabs who broke away after Muhammad died.   Afterwards, when all the Arab tribes were unified under the banner of Islam, the great historic conquests, or jihads against neighboring “infidels,” took place.

•The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as “definitive victory.” Hussein writes that in the terrorists’ eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the “one-and-a-half billion Muslims,” the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn’t last longer than two years.

Phase seven remains to be seen, as it is has another five years to go.  As for the world being “so beaten down by the one-and-a-half billion Muslims,” actor Ben Affleck reflected this sentiment recently when he kept apologizing for Islam by saying Muslims “are a billion and a half.”   At any rate, considering that the preceding phases have all largely come to pass—with a passive West doing nothing to prevent them, that is, when not actively aiding them—there is certainly no good reason to think Western leadership will stop the final phase from occurring: a unified, aggressive, expansionist, and eventually possibly even nuclear armed caliphate preparing to terrorize its neighbors on a grand scale—just like its historic predecessor did for centuries.

Discussions of Broad ISIS- al-Qaeda Merger Overblown

Baghdadizawahiri (1)CSP, By Matt Bauer:

Al- Qaida disavowed ISIS (formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq or AQI) officially back in February 2014 after months of infighting due to ideological disagreements and a dwindling influence over ISIS leadership. Since the split between the organizations, the regional influence, recruitment, and military capabilities of ISIS have increased exponentially in a very small time frame. ISIS became a household name overnight and began to challenge al-Qaida’s long standing supremacy over the global jihadi movement, attracting a new and more radical youth generation to its ranks.

Sporadic clashes between ISIS and the Syrian al-Qaida group Jabhat al-Nusra have been occurring within Syria since the split but there’s some indication that this has changed. Recently, US intelligence and military officials have been closely monitoring the interactions between ISIS and al-Qaida groups within Syria and have noticed a change in posture. There is increasing concern that the formerly feuding groups are beginning to cooperate with one another as a result of the U.S. bombing campaign that began in September. For example, Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaida) fighters were just supported by ISIS militants in an effort that has effectively destroyed the U.S. backed SRF (Syrian Revolutionary Front).

So far the truces have been occurring sporadically in Syria and initiated only by local group leaders from both sides. The decreasing violence between ISIS and al-Qaida has been facilitated by calls to reconcile their differences and join forces to attack the West in response to the coalition airstrikes. Although this trend is concerning, there has been no indication that larger plans for any broad cooperation has been or is being discussed by the leadership of either organization.

The reluctance of ISIS and al-Qaida leadership to reconcile is important to note before jumping to any nightmare conclusions of the two groups merging back together. One of the reasons why an officially sanctioned merger between ISIS and al-Qaida is unlikely at this point is because the leaders of these organizations, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (ISIS) and Ayman al-Zawahiri (al-Qaida) remain completely at odds with one another.

These two leaders are unlikely to ever agree to a merger because they would not be able to share a leadership role. One group would have to be absorbed into another yet both ISIS and al-Qaida have established a recognizable brand name and would not be willing to give that up. The major reason why an official merger is unlikely is due to the fact that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has declared himself caliph, leader of the newly established IslamicCaliphate. In his mind and in the minds of his followers, this makes him the leader of all Muslims around the world and requires them to pledge their allegiance to him, including Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Zawahiri nor other high-ranking al-Qaida leaders accept this declaration and would never subordinate themselves under Baghdadi who essentially used to be one of  Zawahiri’s employees. Zawahiri is a highly respected figure within global jihad and before the rise of ISIS and Baghdadi, he was the de facto leader of the movement. Approaching  Baghdadi for reconciliation would greatly damage his reputation and add to Baghdadi’s legitimacy. Baghdadi approaching Zawahiri for cooperation would make him seem weak and make his followers question his supremacy as the leader of the Muslim world.

Baghdadi also openly defied Zawahiri during the months of infighting that inevitably lead to ISIS being disavowed by al-Qaida. Baghdadi’s actions demonstrated tremendous disrespect to Zawahiri and al-Qaida leadership and will not likely be forgotten any time soon. The only circumstance in which it becomes possible for the two groups to join forces against the West would be if one of these leaders is killed. The death of Zawahiri anytime soon is a longshot since he is well hidden in the tribal regions of Pakistan. However, due to Baghdadi’s location and current popularity with the U.S. and coalition militaries, it is much more likely that he will be killed first.

The death of Baghdadi would give al-Qaida a chance reconcile and possibly re-establish control over ISIS as one of their regional players. Yet even in the event of Baghdadi’s death, it is still unlikely that the remaining ISIS leadership would agree to a merger. They have already established a brand name on their own and no longer need the al-Qaida stamp. ISIS already has its own established networks and funding, essentially limiting the benefits of re-joining al-Qaida.

No matter how the situation develops, I cannot see these groups sharing control in a merger. One group will have to be under the other and neither group would be willing to make that compromise. As long as Baghdadi still breathes, the cooperation between ISIS and al-Qaida will remain localized within certain areas of Syria only as a temporary agreement of convenience.

Also see:

Foreign jihadists flocking to Iraq and Syria on ‘unprecedented scale’ – UN

An image grab taken from a video released by Islamic State group's official Al-Raqqa site via YouTube. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

An image grab taken from a video released by Islamic State group’s official Al-Raqqa site via YouTube. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

By Spencer Ackerman:

The United Nations has warned that foreign jihadists are swarming into the twin conflicts in Iraq and Syria on “an unprecedented scale” and from countries that had not previously contributed combatants to global terrorism.

A report by the UN security council, obtained by the Guardian, finds that 15,000 people have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the Islamic State (Isis) and similar extremist groups. They come from more than 80 countries, the report states, “including a tail of countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to al-Qaida”.

The UN said it was uncertain whether al-Qaida would benefit from the surge. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida who booted Isis out of his organisation, “appears to be maneuvering for relevance”, the report says.

The UN’s numbers bolster recent estimates from US intelligence about the scope of the foreign fighter problem, which the UN report finds to have spread despite the Obama administration’s aggressive counter-terrorism strikes and global surveillance dragnets.

“Numbers since 2010 are now many times the size of the cumulative numbers of foreign terrorist fighters between 1990 and 2010 – and are growing,” says the report, produced by a security council committee that monitors al-Qaida.

The UN report did not list the 80-plus countries that it said were the source of fighters flowing fighters into Iraq and Syria. But in recent months, Isis supporters have appeared in places as unlikely as the Maldives, and its videos proudly display jihadists with Chilean-Norwegian and other diverse backgrounds.

“There are instances of foreign terrorist fighters from France, the Russian Federation and and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland operating together,” it states. More than 500 British citizens are believed to have travelled to the region since 2011.

Read more at The Guardian

Islam’s ‘Good Cop/Bad Cop’ Routine

The “other face” of the Muslim Brotherhood

The “other face” of the Muslim Brotherhood

PJ MediaBy Raymond Ibrahim:

Yet one more piece of evidence tying the United States to the Islamic State recently came to light. In a new video interview, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most authoritative clerics in the Muslim community who has his own program on Al Jazeera and is chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, asserted that the leader of the head-chopping, infidel-crucifying Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was once a member of the Brotherhood, which the U.S. government, especially the Obama administration, has been allied with.

Indicators of a U.S./Brotherhood alliance are too many to list here and have been on open display from people like Hillary Clinton, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, and Sen. John McCain (who may have taken pictures not only with known Islamic terrorists, but with al-Baghdadi himself).

According to Sheikh Qaradawi, “this youth [al-Baghdadi] was from the start among the top ranks of the Brotherhood, but he was inclined to [positions of] leadership and so forth… Then, after he spent years in prison [for Brotherhood activities] he came out and joined with them [nascent Islamic State],” eventually rising to be its “caliph.”

Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments (Awqaf), Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Gom‘a said that “Qaradawi’s confession [concerning al-Baghdadi] confirms that the Brotherhood is the spiritual father to every extremist group.”

Even so, Qaradawi’s revelation was not meant to cast aspersions on the Brotherhood, especially as he is one of its spiritual fathers. More likely he was invoking the idea that imprisoning and suppressing “moderate Islamists,” namely the Muslim Brotherhood—most recently in Egypt’s last revolution—only leads to their “radicalization” and turn to violence.

This is a widely accepted meme, especially in the West. Al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri is another former Brotherhood member who is regularly portrayed as turning to “radicalism” and jihad after being imprisoned in Egypt in 1981—though any evaluation of the facts of his life demonstrate that he was a “radical” well before he was incarcerated, that he was imprisoned precisely because he was radical.

The idea that it is best to cooperate and ally with the “moderate” and “nonviolent” Muslim Brotherhood lest, aggrieved, it turns to “extremism, radicalism, and terrorism” has been swallowed by many Western academics and politicians hook line and sinker.

To understand this phenomenon, one need only turn to the “good cop, bad cop” routine and see how it captures U.S. behavior towards “moderate/nonviolent Islamists” (“good cops”) on the one hand, and “radical/violent Islamists” (“bad cops”) on the other.

According to the CIA Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual (as cited in the book Social Protest in Contemporary China, 2003-2010),

Good cop/bad cop, also called joint questioning and friend and foe, is a psychological tactic used for interrogation. “Good cop/bad cop” tactics involves a team of two interrogators who take apparently opposing approaches to the subject. The interrogators may interview the subject alternately or may confront the subject at the same time. The “bad cop” takes an aggressive, negative stance toward the subject, making blatant accusations, derogatory comments, threats, and in general creating antipathy between the subject and himself. This sets the stage for the “good cop” to act sympathetically, appearing supportive, understanding, in general showing sympathy for the subject. The good cop will also defend the subject from the bad cop. The subject may feel he can cooperate with the good cop out of trust or fear of the bad cop. He may then seek protection by and trust the good cop and provide the information the interrogators are seeking.

Consider how this definition applies to the U.S. government’s approach to the supposed Islamist dichotomy of “violence” and “nonviolence.”

The violent jihad—whether under the rubric of “al-Qaeda,” “Islamic State,” etc.—like the “bad cop” “takes an aggressive, negative stance towards the subject [U.S./“infidels”], making blatant accusations, derogatory comments, threats, and in general creating antipathy between the subject and himself.”

Thus the violent jihadis become the “feared enemies” who cannot be reasoned with.

This of course sets the stage for the “good cops,” the purportedly nonviolent Islamists, namely, the Muslim Brotherhood, to step in

appearing supportive, understanding, in general showing sympathy for the subject. The good cop [“moderate” Brotherhood] will also defend the subject [U.S. interests] from the bad cop [Islamic jihadis]. The subject [U.S.] may feel he can cooperate with the good cop [“moderates”] out of trust, or fear of the bad cop [terrorists].

This in fact is the idea long spearheaded by Mideast academics and talking heads—that there are “nonviolent” Islamists and “violent” Islamists, and that the best way to weaken the appeal of the latter is to cooperate with the former, which, after all, shouldn’t be too hard, since the “good cop moderates” come in suits, smile, and shake hands over cups of coffee.

For instance, CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, an Obama advisor, argues in his book, Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat, published by the Naval Institute Press (2010), that “It is the Militant Islamists who are our adversary. They represent an immediate threat to the national security of the United States. They must not be confused with Islamists.” Aboul-Enein, like many before and after him, argues that U.S. leadership should work with the nonviolent Islamists in order to weaken the appeal of the militants.

And yet, just as the “good cop/bad cop” is a false dichotomy in that the both “cops” are working together and for the same goal, so too is the “nonviolent Islamist/violent Islamist” a false dichotomy in that both groups of Islamists are working together and for the same goal—the resurrection of a Sharia-enforcing caliphate, which the Islamic State (“violent Islamist”), led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a former Muslim Brotherhood member (“nonviolent Islamist”), recently accomplished.

Al Qaeda Targets Oil Tankers, Sea Lanes

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Center For Security Policy, By Bill Gertz:

Al Qaeda is urging jihadists to conduct attacks on U.S. and foreign oil tankers and strategic sea lanes in a new global campaign of economic warfare against the United States, according to the terrorist group’s latest English-language magazine.

“Even if a single supertanker (or even an ordinary westbound cargo-vessel) were to be attacked in one of the chokepoints or hijacked and scuttled in one of these narrow sea lanes, the consequences would be phenomenal,” wrote al Qaeda member Hamza Khalid in the recently published, 117-page al Qaeda magazine “Resurgence.”

The magazine is a key recruiting tool and propaganda organ for English speakers from the group once headed by Osama bin Laden, whose death is lamented in one article by current leader Ayman al Zawahiri. The magazine contains articles on al Qaeda’s new drive in Southwest Asia, and recruiting women into its ranks, and makes vague references to al Qaeda’s current feud with the rival Islamic State, that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

The article on economic warfare includes maps showing strategic shipping lanes around the world and key oil chokepoints, like the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, where up to 35 percent of the world’s ship borne oil passes, and Southeast Asia’s Strait of Malacca, the strategic passage for oil from the Middle East to Asia.

“It represents the Achilles heel not just of the energy market, but also of western economies dependent on oil from the Muslim world,” Khalid stated.

“A sustained disruption in this supply system would not only increase insurance costs for international shipping, but also affect the price of oil globally.”

Khalid called for attacks on both U.S. military facilities near oil chokepoints and energy supply lines.

Attacks on oil tankers would cause a spike in oil prices, increases in shipping rates and insurance, and a boost in military spending to assure open sea lanes, he stated.

“Simultaneous attacks on western shipping or western oil tankers (a sea-based version of the cargo plane bomb plot) in more than one chokepoint would bring international shipping to a halt and create a crisis in the energy market.”

Khalid also called for attacks on western oil workers in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, as well as more sophisticated and hard-to-carry-out attacks against U.S. Navy facilities in Diego Garcia, Bahrain, and Djibouti.

“A coordinated effort to disrupt enemy shipping in the future in all of these regions would not only hurt the enemy economically, but also stretch their resources further in this global war,” Khalid stated.

American al Qaeda member Adam Gadahn stated in a second article headlined “besiege them” that “it is time for us to fight fire with fire, and impose our own blockade and embargo on the Jews and crusaders, by hitting them where it hurts and striking the heart and lifeblood of their economy, represented by international trade and finance.”

Gadahn said the global economic system currently is “fragile and vulnerable” as the result of unrest in the Arab and Muslim world and debt and budget crises in Europe and the United States.

Al Qaeda plans to use the current “war of attrition” underway against the United States to force the collapse of the global economic system.

Targets for the economic warfare campaign include cargo ships and merchant vessels in “Islamic waters,” actions aimed at closing off canals and straits, and disrupting shipping routes “wherever and however possible.”

“Any of their ships are legitimate targets, but exports are the key to any economy, including the economies of the West,” Gadahn wrote. “The mujahideen must seek to deprive the enemies of the precious oil and mineral resources they are stealing from us and using to fuel their war machine, by sabotaging crusader-run oil wells and mines in Islamic lands and destroying pipelines before the oil reaches the coast and falls into enemy hands, and by sinking their supertankers and sabotaging their oil rigs in enemy waters, and in the process, ruining their lucrative fishing industries.”

Other economic measures include a boycott of U.S. products and retailers including Walmart, McDonald’s, Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, Nestle, and Unilever. The use of banks also is to be avoided and al Qaeda is advocating reinstating the use of gold and silver as a medium of exchange.

Gadahn stated that al Qaeda wants Muslims to break away from the global financial system.

“The path to victory over our enemies and the establishment of our caliphate isn’t confined to armed action alone, but includes all legitimate ways and means which support, strengthen, and advance the military effort and lead to our success in this battle for the future of the Muslim [world],” Gadahn said. “So don’t delay, and play your part in the jihad today, whether your part be military, financial, economic, educational, motivational, or otherwise.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a former Special Forces commando and undersecretary of defense for intelligence during the George W. Bush administration, said Islamic terrorists are keenly aware of American reliance on Mideast oil.

“They know that our economy is fragile and can be devastated by sudden increases in the global oil prices,” Boykin said in an email. “It is obvious that they will try to attack our weaknesses and oil is clearly one of our major vulnerabilities.”

The article is another indication that Islamists “are indeed an enemy and they have in fact declared war on America,” Boykin said.

Kevin Freeman, an expert on economic warfare, said al Qaeda as early as 2005 outlined a timeline for its war against the West that included fomenting an Arab uprising and then launching an economic warfare campaign.

“It has always been an economic war,” Freeman said. “From the first attacks on the World Trade Center until now, al Qaeda has used an economic warfare playbook modeled on the Chinese doctrine of unrestricted warfare.”

Freeman said the al Qaeda magazine articles bolster the findings of a report to the Pentagon in 2009 on economic warfare outlining terrorists’ use of the tactic of attacking oil targets.

“Our enemies know that stopping the flow of oil, crashing our stock market, or collapsing the dollar are the paths to America’s destruction,” he said.

“The al Qaeda timeline has, since at least 2005, planned a new caliphate and Islamic State aimed against the West and Israel,” he added. “To accomplish this, they knew even back then, required an attack on Western economies.”

Freeman said the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems but has ignored repeated credible evidence of economic attacks and threats against our financial infrastructure and power grid.

The al Qaeda threat to oil shipments also underscores the need to end America’s reliance on foreign oil supplies with North American oil production, Freeman said.

“We also have to shore up our financial infrastructure, protect the dollar, and guard our power grid,” said Freeman, author of a book on the subject, Game Plan.

“Individuals must prepare their investment portfolios for resilience in an economic war.”2