Islamic State terror chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hunted by specially-formed elite military unit

Hunt for The Ghost: An elite force is targeting the fanatical head of the Islamic State

Hunt for The Ghost: An elite force is targeting the fanatical head of the Islamic State

By Chris Hughes:

A crack unit has been formed to hunt down the terror chief whose barbaric Islamic State group has blazed a trail of murder and mayhem across the Middle East .

Around 100 CIA spooks and special forces are hunting for 42-year-old Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, dubbed The Ghost because he leaves no trace despite running an army of followers.

It is the biggest counter-terror search since the Americans tracked down and killed al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Using unmanned spy planes, other aircraft and satellite imagery, intelligence experts are gathering mobile phone call data and movements on the ground in Iraq and Syria .

A source said: “Al-Baghdadi is elusive but he will be found eventually.

“His forces are stretched so phone calls will be made – that will be his weak point.”

Read more at The Mirror

ISIS Baffling U.S. Intelligence Agencies

1408103028210.cachedBy Eli Lake:
It’s been two months since ISIS took over Iraq’s second-largest city. But U.S. analysts are still trying to figure out how big the group is and the real identities of its leaders.
The U.S. intelligence community is still trying to answer basic questions about the jihadists who tried to wipe out Iraq’s remaining Yazidis and who now threaten to overrun the capital of the country’s Kurdish provinces.

In a briefing for reporters Thursday, U.S. intelligence officials said the government is re-evaluating an estimate from early this year that said the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) had only 10,000 members. These officials also said intelligence analysts were still trying to determine the real names of many of the group’s leaders from records of Iraqis who went in and out of American custody during the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

While many U.S. officials have warned publicly in the last year about the dangers posed by ISIS, the fact that the U.S. intelligence community lacks a consensus estimate on its size and the true identities of the group’s leadership may explain why President Obama over the weekend said the U.S. was caught off-guard by the ISIS advance into Kurdish territory.

That said, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that ISIS poses a particularly difficult problem. One American official said ISIS had attracted thousands of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, some of whom had returned to their home countries and formed terror cells in Europe.

U.S. intelligence officials said the Islamic State makes frequent mention of its intent to attack the U.S., though officials said there is no evidence yet that its operatives have the skills of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) master bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri. AQAP has tried to bring down U.S.-bound airliners three times using bombs he helped design or build.

Read more at Daily Beast

Also see:

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.

Prominent Islamists Blast NSA for Monitoring Emails

Nihad Awad, (r) founder and executive director of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Nihad Awad, (r) founder and executive director of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Surveillance of a handful of Islamists who been supportive of terror groups is hardly unjust or a persecution of all Muslim Americans.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A 45-member coalition — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities with extremist histories — is accusing the Obama and Bush Administrations of persecuting the entire Muslim-American community by monitoring the emails of five Muslims with links to terrorists.

The coalition is responding to a new report based on classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden. It focuses on the monitoring of five Muslim-American activists, including CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. The authors of the report are Glenn Greenwald, who has spoken for at least three CAIR fundraisers, and Murtaza Hussain.

The documents provide about 7,500 email addresses monitored by the U.S. government between 2002 and 2008. This is not a shocking number, especially considering the activists’ histories and that there are 2.75 million Muslim-Americans.

Of these, only 202 are listed as Americans and some of these are multiple accounts held by one user. The authors of the report were able to identify five activists who were being monitored.

The Director of National Intelligence said in a statement it is “entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights.”

Rather, before monitoring, an independent judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must be persuaded that there is strong enough evidence that the subject is linked to terrorism or under the control of a foreign power.

Public information, much of it cited by the authors, links each of the five to Islamist terrorists. The authors of the report admit they do not know what classified information the NSA and FBI is in possession of; nor do they have any evidence that the NSA failed to get a judge’s approval as required.

Yet, the monitoring of these five activists’ emails is depicted as a scandal by the authors of the report and the coalition, depicting this as an assault on the entire Muslim-American community. Further, the coalition includes groups with their own checkered histories like CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

There are very strong grounds to believe that the government has legitimate reasons for monitoring the five activists. They are as follows:

Read more at Clarion Project

Glenn Greenwald Enraged that Muslims with Terror Ties Under Surveillance

Screen-Shot-2014-07-09-at-1.03.34-PM-448x350by :

Glenn Greenwald and his fellow jihad-enabling “journalist” Murtaza Hussain on Wednesday published a major exposé, “Under Surveillance: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On,” about Muslim leaders who are being spied upon by the FBI and the NSA. The thrust of the article is that each one is as pure as the day is long, with the one sin of opposing U.S. government policies.

The idea, of course, that opposing U.S. government policies from the Left will get you placed under surveillance these days is beyond ridiculous: Obama’s IRS is targeting conservative groups, not Leftists, and claiming that “right-wing extremists” are a terror threat, with nary a word about genuinely violent Left-wing extremist groups such as the Occupy movement and others.

And so it is no surprise that Greenwald and Hussain make their case by glossing over the genuine reasons why the FBI and NSA have placed these men under surveillance — surveillance which, if it is still going on at this point, is sure to end now as a result of this article. The article highlights these five men, glossing over the very real reasons why surveillance is justified:

• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country….

Regarding Faisal Gill, Greenwald and Hussain write:

…After leaving the Navy, Gill worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council, which was founded by the political activist Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi to encourage participation by American Muslims in the political process. A Republican since high school, Gill joined the Bush Administration in the aftermath of 9/11, eventually moving to the White House Office of Homeland Security, where he briefly worked with Richard Clarke and obtained a top-secret security clearance. After roughly a year, he joined the Department of Homeland Security as a senior policy adviser, where he was cleared to access sensitive compartmented information, a classification level reserved for some of the nation’s most closely held secrets.

In 2003, al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty. Because Gill’s name had turned up in al-Amoudi’s papers, he was investigated by DHS security officials and asked not to report to work pending the outcome. He told investigators that he had met al-Amoudi only three or four times and didn’t work closely with him during his time at the American Muslim Council. After passing a polygraph test, Gill says, he was told by DHS that he was “good to go” and returned to work.

Greenwald and Hussain here establish the pattern of their entire piece: they leave out crucial details of the background of each of their supposed innocent victims of surveillance, thereby obscuring why they were put under surveillance in the first place. Faisal Gill worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council. He says that he only met Alamoudi a few times and didn’t work closely with him.

Very well. But Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention that, according to Discover the Networks, the plot to assassinate Abdullah involved “two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives,” and that he “ultimately pled guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization.”

So here is Faisal Gill, who was a consultant for a group founded and headed by a confessed senior al Qaeda financier. He hardly knew him — fine. He was cleared of any wrongdoing — fine. But is it not possible that Alamoudi or someone connected to him might try to contact Faisal Gill, and win this upstanding American patriot over to their side, or try to use him in some way? Is there not, then, a case for placing Faisal Gill under surveillance, given his association with a senior jihad terror financier?

Also, would Greenwald and Hussain be enraged if the FBI and NSA placed under surveillance someone who had worked as a consultant for a group headed by a senior Ku Klux Klan financier, even if the consultant had been cleared of any wrongdoing? I doubt it. Nor should they be.

Likewise with Asim Ghafoor:

In 2003, the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity, hired Ghafoor after its U.S. assets were frozen by the Treasury Department over claims that it funded terrorist operations. The government alleged that there were “direct links” between the U.S. branch of the charity and Osama bin Laden. Al Haramain had previously been represented by some of the biggest and most prestigious American law firms, including the D.C. powerhouse Akin Gump. Ghafoor’s work with Al Haramain led him to other controversial clients, including Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden who was the subject of FBI and CIA surveillance for years, as well as the government of Sudan.

This would seem to be enough in itself to keep Ghafoor under surveillance, in case one of his jihad terrorist clients gave out information that could stop a jihad terror attack. But there is more. Discover the Networks notes that “Asim Ghafoor was a political consultant, spokesman, and public relations director for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), which the U.S. government shut down in December 2001 because of the organization’s ties to terrorism….GRF is not the only organization with ties to terrorism with which Ghafoor has been involved. While he was with GRF, Ghafoor was also the spokesman for Care International. The December 6, 2002 Wall Street Journal reports: ‘Records indicate close ties between [Care International] and the Boston branch of Al Kifah Refugee Center, the Brooklyn branch of which was named by prosecutors as the locus of the 1993 conspiracy to bomb the World Trade Center.”

Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention any of that, of course. And their inclusion of Hooshang Amirahmadi is just bizarre. Greenwald and Hussain note that he “does not self-identify as a Muslim and describes himself as an atheist.” So why is he included in a piece entitled “Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On”? Apparently Greenwald and Hussain couldn’t find enough Muslim leaders whom they could even with the remotest plausibility portray as innocent victims of unwarranted surveillance, so they figured an Iranian atheist was close enough.

If a foe of jihad terror were that careless of the facts, Greenwald and Hussain would be among the first to pounce.

Read more at Front Page

Misleading Claims by Greenwald and New York Times on NSA/FBI Spying on American Muslims

867699397CSP, By Fred Fleitz:

The newest NSA document leaked by former NSA technician Edward Snowden indicates that NSA and FBI monitored the emails of seven prominent American Muslims.  While Snowden’s supporters are trying to spin this story as discrimination against Muslims and another case of illegal surveillance by NSA, such claims look far-fetched since this email monitoring took place with the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court and appeared to involve persons suspected of having links to Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and Iran.

This NSA document in question was described in an article in “The Intercept,” an online publication founded by Glenn Greenwald, a former London Guardian writer who facilitated most of Snowden’s leaks, and is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.  Greenwald is the co-author of the article.

The seven American Muslims named in Greenwald’s article are:

  • Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.
  • Samir Khan, an American Muslim who collaborated with al-Awaki and helped produce Inspire, an online al-Qaeda publication used by the Tsaranev brothers to construct the pressure-cooker bombs they detonated at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  Khan was killed by the same drone strike that killed Awaki.
  • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
  • Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Rutgers University professor who is president of the American Iranian Council.
  • Asim Ghafoor, a defense lawyer who has handled terrorism-related cases.
  • Faisal Gill, a former Department of Homeland Security lawyer who Greenwald says did legal work with Ghafoor on behalf of Sudan in a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorist attacks.
  • Agha Saeed, the national chairman of the American Muslim Alliance.

The NSA document listed 202 emails belonging to U.S. persons, 1,782 to non-U.S. persons and 5.501 listed as “unknown.”

Greenwald and the New York Times try to depict this surveillance as another example of the U.S. government spying on the American people in violation of the fourth amendment.  Both the Times and Greenwald suggest these men were monitored because they are Muslims.

Greenwald and the Times seem to recognize that government monitoring of the communications of al-Awlaki and Khan was a no-brainer.  For the other five, Greenwald says “it is impossible to know why their emails were monitored or the extent of the surveillance” and noted that they have not been charged with a crime.

But a closer look at Awad, Ghafoor, Gill, Saeed, and Amirahmadi suggests the government likely had good reasons to request court warrants to monitor their communications.

The Times said Awad’s CAIR organization is “a Muslim civil rights organization.”  However, the Times also notes that CAIR has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and in 2007 was an unindicted co-conspirator in its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity later convicted of providing material support for terrorism by funneling money to Hamas.

The Times described Saeed’s American Muslim Alliance as an organization “which supports Muslim political candidates.”  But Investor’s Business Daily reported on April 1, 2014 that Saeed’s American Muslim Alliance joined a coalition of other American Muslim organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – including CAIR – to launch their own political network to turn American Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc.

Greenwald’s article says Asim Ghafoor is an attorney hired in 2003 by the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity with alleged links to al-Qaeda, after its U.S. assets were frozen by the Treasury Department over claims that it funded terrorist operations.  According to the article, Ghafoor and al-Haramain sued the U.S. government and were awarded damages over government eavesdropping on Ghafoor’s attorney-client communications with al-Haramain.  The damages were later dropped on appeal.   According to Greenwald, Ghafoor claims the government monitored his communications “because of his name, his religion, and his legal work.”

Greenwald provides some idea as to about why Faisal Gill’s communications were monitored: he was a consultant for the American Muslim Council, a group founded by Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi who pleaded guilty in 2004 on financial and conspiracy charges for being a senior financier for Al Qaeda. He is serving a 23-year prison sentence.  Greenwald says Gill may have had troubling ties to al-Amoudi.  According to the Greenwald article:

“In 2003, al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty. Because Gill’s name had turned up in al-Amoudi’s papers, he was investigated by DHS [Department of Homeland Security] security officials and asked not to report to work pending the outcome. He told investigators that he had met al-Amoudi only three or four times and didn’t work closely with him during his time at the American Muslim Council. After passing a polygraph test, Gill says, he was told by DHS that he was “good to go” and returned to work.”

Hooshang Amirahmadi is a former candidate for the Iranian presidency with ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Iranian government.

Greenwald does not know the U.S. government’s justification for requesting court warrants to monitor the communications of Awad, Ghafoor, Gill, Saeed, and Amirahmadi.  He therefore does not know whether these men were collaborating in some way with foreign terrorist organizations or Iran.  However, since Greenwald knew about their suspicious affiliations, it was extremely dishonest for him to claim these are innocent American Muslims targeted by for illegal NSA and FBI electronic surveillance merely because of their ethnicity and religion.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy and Chief Analyst with LIGNET.com.

The Iraq Crisis Is Not a US Intelligence Failure

377919105CSP, By Fred Fleitz:

Stories are being circulated by Obama officials and some former intelligence officers that the Obama administration was caught off guard by the recent offensive in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist group because of a failure by U.S. intelligence agencies to provide warning about the ISIS threat.
Some former intelligence officers are blaming this failure on a lack of human intelligence sources in Iraq and an over-reliance on technical intelligence collection.
Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, disagrees. He says the Iraq crisis is a policy and not an intelligence failure.
Rogers says the signs were there about the ISIS threat and the deteriorating situation in Iraq but Obama officials ignored them. He contends that “It was very clear to me years ago that ISIS was pooling up in a dangerous way — building training camps, drawing in jihadists from around the world. We saw all of that happening.”
I agree with Chairman Rogers. There was a wealth of information in the news media over the last year that a sectarian war was brewing in Iraq and ISIS was gaining strength in both Iraq and Syria. I am certain U.S. intelligence agencies provided similar assessments to U.S. officials based on classified information.
The event that should have caused Obama officials to shift their approach to Iraq occurred last December when ISIS seized control of Fallujah and parts of the city of Ramadi. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn issued a public warning about the significance of this development in February when he testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that ISIS “will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group’s ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria.”
That sounds to me like a top U.S. intelligence official was doing his job by warning U.S. officials about major global security threats.
Some have claimed U.S. intelligence analysis about ISIS could have been better and that we lack enough human intelligence sources on the ground in Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed “nobody expected” ISIS to advance so rapidly against Iraqi forces” because “we don’t have people embedded in those units.” Kerry presumably meant CIA did not have sources within ISIS.
Intelligence in areas like Iraq is always going to be limited, especially in a country where there is no U.S. troop presence and high levels of anti-Americanism. Penetrating close-knit Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS is extremely difficult for CIA, especially when they operate in dangerous areas like Iraq and Syria.
Blaming intelligence agencies for not providing a precise warning about the ISIS assault on Mosul last month distorts the capabilities of intelligence analysts. While intelligence assessments often contain remarkable foresight, intelligence agencies don’t possess crystal balls and cannot predict future actions by human actors with 100 percent accuracy.
I believe the crisis in Iraq is a major U.S. policy failure due to the Obama administration’s failure to leave a small troop presence behind after the 2011 troop withdrawal and the repeated tendency by Obama officials to discount and downplay the continuing threat from radical Islamist groups. We saw this in September 2012 when Obama officials claimed the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the result of an anti-Muslim video and not an attack by radical Islamists.
The intelligence oversight committees should review classified analysis on Iraq, Syria, and ISIS produced over the last year to determine whether intelligence agencies failed to provide adequate warning of the ISIS threat. I believe such an inquiry will find that U.S. intelligence analysts provided the Obama administration with excellent analysis about ISIS and the deteriorating situation in Iraq but Obama officials ignored it.

CIA Under Fire for Failure in Iraq

 

People inspect buildings damaged by an Iraqi government airstrike on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant controlled city of Mosul / AP

People inspect buildings damaged by an Iraqi government airstrike on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant controlled city of Mosul / AP

By Bill Gertz:

The CIA failed to provide adequate warning of the recent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant military incursion into Iraq despite having a significant presence of agency officers in the country, according to U.S. officials and security analysts.

Critics of the agency said the intelligence failure was made worse by a failure of the Obama administration to recognize the threat posed to the country by the ISIL, which last week renamed itself simply the Islamic State (IS) and declared its captured territory in Syria and Iraq is now a “caliphate.”

The so-called caliphate region is under harsh Islamic law and led by IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as its “caliph” or Islamic leader.

“This is an absolute intelligence failure on the part of the CIA,” said Bill Cowan, a former Special Forces officer who worked until recently as a contractor in Iraq.

During U.S. military operations in Iraq, military intelligence agencies set up robust spying—both human and electronic—throughout Iraq that provided a clear picture of the insurgents, including the former Saddam Hussein military officials who currently are a major component of the IS operation.

However, with the Obama administration’s decision to pull out all troops, the military intelligence coverage was removed at the end of 2011.

“With all military intel out of the picture, the CIA takes primary responsibility for HUMINT activities in Iraq. Where were they? No interaction with tribal leaders who probably watched the build up? No interaction with the [northern Kurdish] Peshmerga? The agency isn’t on the radar screen, but they should be.”

A Kurdish security official with the regional government in northern Iraq said intelligence on key figures in the terrorist group, including the locations of IS training camps and the movement of vehicle convoys from Syria was provided to both Baghdad and western intelligence agencies.

“It all fell on deaf ears,” said Rooz Bahjay, the security official. “The west failed to act, and now it’s failing to react. The longer they wait, the more people are going to be killed.”

Cowan said the failure to provide warning and alert in advance of the incursion, which began in early June, made it impossible to take steps that could have blunted the advance, which currently controls major cities in central Iraq and at least one oil field, failure that will produce dire strategic consequences for the United States and states in region.

The CIA denied it is to blame for any intelligence failure on Iraq. “Anyone who has had access to and actually read the full extent of CIA intelligence products on ISIL and Iraq should not have been surprised by the current situation,” CIA spokesman Christopher White when asked about whether the agency was guilty of an intelligence failure.

A U.S. intelligence official did not directly state whether CIA or other spy agencies provided advance word of the IS invasion. However, the official said IS was tracked for years and “strategic warning” of its growing strength and increasing threat to Iraq were reported.

The official also said policymakers were warned about difficulties within the U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces. Several divisions of Iraqi troops fled during the IS incursion.

Read more at Free Beacon

NYPD Panders to Politics

U.S. May Have Missed Opportunity to Take Out Top Al Qaeda Leaders

Screen-Shot-2014-04-16-at-10.06.28-AMBY: Washington Free Beacon Staff:

April 16, 2014 10:14 am

Al Qaeda leaders were able to hold a large meeting somewhere in south Yemen despite U.S. drone warfare targeting that region, according to a video published on Hot Air.

The video comes from a CNN report:

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won’t comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

The video started appearing on jihadist websites recently, drawing the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. U.S. officials say they believe it’s authentic.

Hot Air writer Ed Morrisey wonders if the United States may have missed a “golden opportunity to take out a large number of al Qaeda leaders.”

Did the U.S. know about this [meeting] ahead of time? If they did, they must have either had difficulty arranging the logistics of an attack — or perhaps had other assets in place for other reasons. 

Morrisey speculates that the lost opportunity could have been caused by the effort to transfer the drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department.

NYPD’S Surveillance Program: It’s Not About Islam, It’s About Protecting New york

new-york-police-officers-afp


 Breitbart, by Dr.Sebastian Gorka:

National security should serve policy objectives. It should not be a victim of political correctness. Politics should be kept especially far away from the practice of intelligence.

Today’s decision by the NYPD to close the unit that was mapping Muslim communities in New York is very likely a product of political pressure. It is a decision that will make the city targeted in the largest terrorist attack in modern history less safe.

I have gone on record in the past—on Al Jazeera, of all places—to explain why the program was a good idea and crucial to preventing terrorist plots in the future.

In short: this was not a program to blanket surveil ​all Muslims living in and around New York. That would be pointless and impossible even for the NYPD. The fact is terrorists live in and exploit the communities Muslims have built. From Richard Reid the Shoebomber to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American al Qaeda leader in Yemen, terrorists have been recruited and have used mosques and Islamic centers around the world to organize and plan. A cop knows his community and who fits in and who doesn’t. That’s how you prevent all types of crime, not just mass-murdering terrorists.

After 9/11, the political leadership in New York determined that the federal government had failed the people of their city and decided not to rely on Washington to prevent the next attack. Fourteen of the 19 plots hatched by al Qaeda since 9/11 have targeted New York, so this was a very wise decision.

Subsequently, they built a world-class counterterrorism intelligence capability, deployed NYPD “attaches” to key CT-relevant cities around the world, and published the best operational analysis of jihadi radicalization available today.

This decision is likely the product of the successful campaign launched by CAIR and its allies to delink Islam and al Qaeda and otherwise undermine other counterterrorism efforts across America. See Patrick Poole’s excellent report on their assault on national security here. They are doing this despite the fact that CAIR and its compatriots have been designated in federal court as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorist financing trial in history, the Holy Land Foundation Trial. See the original documents here.

NYPD is target No.1 for al Qaeda. On the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, someone decided to make it easier for jihadi terrorist to attack it.

Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. is the National Security Editor for Breitbart News.

Report: US Knew About Tsarnaev Brothers Long Before Bombing

140324-boston-bombing-aftermath_9db7cf06bc8658793421e2cfb308ba49By Tova Dvorin:

US officials knew about the potential danger of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, according to a soon-to-be-released Congressional report – but a spelling error led them to miss his frequent flights out to Dagestan for terror training.

Russian officials warned the US that Tsarnaev was armed and dangerous as much as a year and a half before the April 2013 bombingNBC News reports Wednesday. But Tsarnaev’s name was misspelled in a security database, leading authorities to miss him completely.

In March 2011, Russian intelligence agency FSB notified the FBI with concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the Tsarnaev family, which had emigrated to Massachusetts nearly ten years earlier. In the letter, FSB included contact information, with addresses and phone numbers, for many of the members of the Tsarnaev family, including Tamerlan and his mother, and warned that Tamerlan was gaining a reputation for associating with violent Islamists.

That same month, the FBI recruited the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force, a multiagency anti-terrorism group, to open an investigation into Tamerlan Tsarnaev. An FBI member from the Force interviewed Tsarnaev, but no surveillance was conducted; another member then entered a memo about Tsarnaev into a Customs and Border Protection database called TECS, putting Tsarnaev on a “Hot List” every time he left or entered the US.

However, just four months later, the investigation was closed. According to the June 2011 report, “the assessment found no links to terrorism.”

US authorities missed the mark yet again in September 2011, after three Jewish men linked to Tsarnaev were found murdered in Waltham, Mass. Two years later, Tsarnaev’s associate, Ibragim Todashev told the FBI about the Waltham murders – but Tsarnaev himself was not questioned in the aftermath of the killings.

A US intelligence official confirmed to NBC News that the US missed yet another opportunity to catch Tsarnaev, however; this time, when the FSB contacted the CIA, shortly after the Waltham murders. The FBI allegedly did not reopen the case, despite the second warning.

On Oct. 19, 2011, the CIA shared information on Tsarnaev with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), DHS, the State Department and the FBI. The information shared included two possible dates of birth, his name and a possible alternate spelling of his name. The CIA then nominated Tsarnaev for inclusion on the terrorism watch list – the massive Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database – and it was. But there was one fatal error: the entry reads “Tsarnayev” instead of Tsarnaev.

Read more at Arutz Sheva

Because We Are at War

UTT, By John Guandolo:

“The Islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and the enemies of Allah as a prelude to establishing the Islamic State.”
By-Laws of the International Muslim Brotherhood
“Killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jizyah after they are humbled or overpowered.”
Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani
One of the leading Islamic Scholars alive today.
Deputy Chairman, Fiqh Council for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Former Judge, Pakistani Supreme Court
“We do not disassociate Islam from war.  On the contrary, disassociating Islam from war is the reason for our defeat.  We are fighting in the name of Islam. Religion must lead to war.”
Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al Qaradawi
Preeminent Islamic Scholar in the world
Leading Legal Jurist of the International Muslim Brotherhood
Chairman – International Union of Muslim Scholars
“This means that you wage war so that the evil sovereignty of beings other than that of Allah is wiped out and only the law of God operates in the world.”
U.S. Training Guide for Muslims published by
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS)
 
“To be true Muslims we must prepare and be ready for jihad in Allah’s way…The military education is glued to the faith and it’s meaning, and the duty to follow it.”
Islamic High School text book, Islamic Center of Oakland (and elsewhere)
“America will become a Muslim country.”
Former Islamic Advisor to President Clinton and convicted Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi
The civilian and military leadership in America, and much of the West, is strikingly blind to and grossly ignorant of the swiftly growing threat we face from the Global Islamic Movement.
Yet those inside government agencies, members of the military, and American citizens who have taken the time to get educated on this threat are horrified at the grand canyon size schism between the reality of the threat and the posture the United States government continues to take – a position which can only be characterized as “Aiding and Abetting” the enemy, Material Support for Designated Terrorist organizations (Al Qaeda and others), and Treason.
Patriots are asking themselves, “How can this be happening?
It is happening because we are at war – and we are losing.

In 2005, the current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri said “I say to you that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.  We are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Ummah (global Muslim community).”

Al Qaeda understands the majority of this war is being fought in the Information Battlespace – propaganda, influence operations, and political subversion, are but a few of the tools.
When the Muslim Brotherhood states in their strategic memorandum they are waging Civilization Jihad to “destroy Western civilization from within” and they are going to do it by getting U.S. leadership to do their bidding for them – they mean it.
We are in a war against an enemy who states they are Muslims fighting Jihad in the Cause of Allah in order to impose Islamic Law and re-establish the global Islamic State (Caliphate).  Al Qaeda says it, the Muslim Brotherhood says it, nation-states say it, martyrs say it on their videos, and all of the jihadis we have captured before or after the act (if they lived) all say they did what they did because it is a command to wage jihad until Sharia is the law of the land.  Yet, in the FBI, DHS, and U.S. military, all training on Islamic Law, specifically the requirements of Jihad and the Law of Jihad cannot be taught.  Why?
Because we are in a war – primarily an information war – and we are losing.
100% of all published Islamic Law only defines “Jihad” as warfare against non-Muslims.  Yet, at the leadership level of our civilian government and military, they are still “pondering” what the “root meaning” of Jihad really is.  How can something so objectively clear be so difficult for our leadership to grasp?
How can it be that the most prominent Islamic organizations in America have been identified as being a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement, yet their leaders serve in advisory roles across the entire spectrum of our government – including the FBI, CIA, and DHS?
In 2012, five Republican Members of Congress layed out the evidence of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in America and asked the Inspector Generals of key government agencies to consider opening investigations.  These Members of Congress were not publicly blasted by Democrats or the media for this, but by John McCain, John Boehner, Marco Rubio, Eric Cantor, and others.  Why?
Because we are losing in the Information Battlespace.  As a matter of fact, we are not even engaging the enemy there.
The U.S. Department of State wrote the Constitutions in Iraq and Afghanistan which created Islamic States under which Sharia is the law of the land.  Two check marks on Al Qaeda’s regional objectives list.  Civilization Jihad “by our hands.”  How could this happen considering our military crushed the enemy on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan?
How can Jewish Rabbis across America hold “religious outreach” events with known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who are usually also leaders of Hamas?  How was Sheriff Baca of America’s largest county – Los Angeles – able to regularly raise money for Hamas (dba CAIR) without being prosecuted after being told publicly in a hearing by a U.S. Congressman that CAIR is a Hamas entity?
How are elected and appointed officials and law enforcement officers able to publicly promote known Hamas, Al Qaeda, and Muslim Brotherhood organizations with no repercussions?
Because we are at war – a war in the information battlespace – and we are losing.
Our government provided material support to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda in Libya and are now doing the same in Syria.  Isn’t this in violation of U.S. law?  Wouldn’t any U.S. citizen be prosecuted for this?
Sharia Compliant Finance (SCF) is now promoted by major banks across the globe because Islamic Scholars (like Taqi Usmani and Yusuf Qaradawi – see above) tell the leaders of major financial institutions that SCF is simply a way for Muslims to handle their money in accordance with “religious practices.”  Yet, a portion of the money associated with SCF must go to support Jihad – “terrorism” – in accordance with Sharia.  How can this be?
Because we are at war – and we are losing.
Friends, our enemy has insinuated itself inside local school boards, civic groups, universities, political circles, and is driving the “religious outreach” efforts across this country.  Well intentioned but naive people are being drawn in an used by the enemy to defend the enemy and “stand up” for their “religious” rights.
Men and women in positions of leadership in this nation have not even taken the time to get to know an enemy that unequivocally states he wishes to destroy us.
But, the enemy has taken the time to know us.  This enemy knows us very well.  The enemy knows American leaders are more concerned with their reputations and not being embarrassed than defending the Constitution by all means necessary.
The enemy uses intimidation and pressure tactics – they call it the “political pressure approach” – to get what they want.  What do they want?  They never want us to look at authoritative Islamic Law.  They want to shut down all conversations about the Islamic threat.  They want us looking anywhere but to Islam to define the threat.  Therefore, “Violent extremism” or some other made up and useless phrase becomes the focus of the day.
Advising our senior leaders, controlling the language we use to describe the threat, and shutting down any critique of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Doctrine are their goals.  It appears they are batting a thousand.
This is much more a counterintelligence and espionage issue than it is a counterterrorism one.  So we will keep focusing on Counterterrorism – things that go boom and people who want to make them go boom.  That will be our focus.  And while we are doing it, the enemy will continue to work with our leaders to create foreign and domestic counterterrorism policy which serves the enemy’s purposes, softens the ground domestically gets law enforcement to back off so as not to “offend” the Muslim Community, and turns a blind eye to facts and evidence identifying the threat to the American people.
We will continue to let Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Al Qaeda leaders to teach our military and law enforcement about “Islam” while the Brotherhood and Hamas build $100 million dollar Islamic Centers across America which their own documents state are military outposts from which jihad will be launched.
And all the while the “mainstream” media in America – ABC, NBC, CBS – is silent…even when Al Qaeda is involved.
Friends, until we realize how dire the situation is, we cannot even begin to discuss solutions. Once you understand how dire the situation is, the solutions required become a whole lot clearer.

Justice Department to prohibit agents from considering religion in counterterror investigations

HOLDER-articleLarge-thumb-autox548-4682By Robert Spencer:

Because who ever heard of Muslims being involved in terrorism? The very idea is preposterous! Why would anyone get the idea that counterterror surveillance was ever needed in Muslim communities?

“U.S. to Expand Rules Limiting Use of Profiling by Federal Agents,” by Matt Apuzzo for the New York Times, January 15 (thanks to Linda Sarsour):

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.The move addresses a decade of criticism from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

Since taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions. “These exceptions are a license to profile American Muslims and Hispanic-Americans,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said in 2012.

President George W. Bush said in 2001 that racial profiling was wrong and promised “to end it in America.” But that was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. After those attacks, federal agents arrested and detained dozens of Muslim men who had no ties to terrorism. The government also began a program known as special registration, which required tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim men to register with the authorities because of their nationalities.

“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I’s claims that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups.

“Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, then it’s really irrelevant.

In other words, she even wants it to be forbidden for Muslims to be placed under surveillance in the interests of national security.

Read more at Jihad Watch

Zionist Squirrels and Other “Squirrelly” Accusations

This stork is a criminal! (Photo: AP)

This stork is a criminal! (Photo: AP)

By Y.K. Cherson and Rachel Molschky:

Muslims are alarmed! There is a massive conversion of animals to “Zionism”, but not a single animal has agreed to convert to Islam.

A hawk in Lebanon was recently accused of “collaborating with Zionists.” Three weeks before that, an “Israeli spy duck” in Egypt, and this just a couple of weeks after astork “spy” was found, also in Egypt. As if that’s not enough, earlier in the summer, a kestrel“Zionist spy” in Turkey was captured.

Palestinian Authority: “Zionist wild boars attack and rape innocent Palestinian girls.”

Syria: “Zionist wild pigs attack the Palestinian farmers and do not let them harvest olives.”

The Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Agriculture Mahmud Hussein: “Zionist rats penetrate into the Palestinian houses and make the owners flee in horror.”

Egypt: ” Zionist sharks attack the tourists and ruin the tourism in Egypt.”

Hamas: “Zionists have trained the wild dogs to chase and kill the freedom fighters.”

Hezbollah: “Zionists used the alligators during the Israeli raid on Tyr in July of 2006.”

Iran: “The ‘Zionist eagles’ were spotted flying over the village of Kamo, close to Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. Quoting ‘informed sources’, publications such as Asr Iran wrote that these eagles were seen to be carrying ‘listening devices like mobile phones, which were attached to the chest’. They were also reported to have had aerials attached to the heads, as well as ‘devices to receive and send intelligence.’”

The Saudis decided not to let some Persians be the leaders in hunting these “Zionist agents”, and as the eagles were already busy, they arrested a vulture and accused the poor bird of spying for the Mossad.Saudi Arabian security forces have captured a vulture that was carrying a global positioning satellite (GPS) transmitter and a ring etched with the words “Tel Aviv University.” Now the vulture is under arrest.

In a similar story, a “Zionist” vulture wandered into the Darfur region of the western part of the Sudan. The “spy” had a tag on its leg with the words “Israel Nature Service” and “Hebrew University, Jerusalem.” Of course the bird had no photography equipment on it, and the migration patterns of birds are often observed by scientists. Interestingly, the opposition in Sudan mocked the alleged “spy bird” on its website, according to Ynet. The Justice and Equality Movement wrote, “How is it possible that the regime was able to detect one vulture, but was unable to detect the jets that bombed the arms facility?”

Clearly, the highly intelligent “Zionists” would put signs on these “spies” which say “Israel” in order to announce to the world to whom these “spies” belong. Any spy would walk around with a big sign which states the name of his country, maybe even with some flashing lights just to make sure. Right?

And let’s not forget the 14 Zionist squirrels arrested in Iran. Iranian police commander Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqadam announced that: “The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services.”

Apparently, sharks are also “trainable spies.” Not too long ago, Egyptians killed two sharks that were suspected in a series of attacks on bathers. One of the sharks was 2.1 meters long and weighed 150 kg. The other was 30 cm longer and weighed 250 kg.

Afterwards, days passed, and Muslims were suspiciously silent. It almost seemed that the impossible happened, and Muslims began to recover from the collective schizophrenia 99% of them suffer and return back to normality, but…

Read more at Cherson and Molschky