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

Islamist Terrorists Shifting from Web to Social Media

AP453232788832-540x360By Bill Gertz:

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are grappling with terrorists who are moving from websites to microblogs as a way to spread propaganda, recruit members, and communicate.

U.S. officials familiar with efforts to monitor social media say Islamist terrorists have increased their use of social media in recent months.

Currently, numerous U.S. and allied intelligence agencies are engaged in large-scale efforts to monitor online activities by Islamists, jihadists, and terrorists.

Based on those agencies’ reports, the intelligence services are having a difficult time balancing the need to keep track of terrorist group members and their statements when the Twitter and Facebook accounts are shut down for advocating violence or otherwise promoting illegal activities.

On the one hand, spy agencies want social media to allow some of the terrorists’ Twitter and Facebook accounts to remain open to keep tabs on them. The postings often can provide clues to online friends’ and followers’ locations and in some cases they can be traced electronically.

In most cases, terrorists’ accounts that are closed or suspended for advocating violence are quickly re-opened using slightly different names.

But problems arise when social media accounts used by terrorists are taken offline, complicating real-time intelligence monitoring. In many cases it takes up to 18 hours to locate the new accounts that reappear under new names.

“They often come to us and say ‘do not take down these accounts,’” one social media executive said of the U.S. government.

The problem of counterterrorism monitoring of social media took center stage last month during the attack by the Somali al Qaeda Al Shabaab on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. In the midst of the deadly attack, which killed 68 shoppers and storekeepers, Al Shabaab opened multiple Twitter accounts, each replacing one that was deactivated by the site.

In all, the group operated seven Twitter accounts that were closed before another was opened.

The social media communications by Al Shabaab were the first time a terrorist group made public statements during an ongoing attack. The messages by the group were mainly propaganda statements explaining the goals of the attack. But all were closely followed by international news media and security services for clues to the group’s plans and operations.

read more at Free Beacon

 

Blockbuster Interview With Steven Emerson on the Glazov Gang

download (21)Front Page:

Steven Emerson recounts his career as a journalist from its beginnings in 1978 through the beginning of his focus on radical Islamic groups in the US after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The accumulation of massive amounts of data which resulted from research for his first documentary “Jihad in America”  led to the creation of the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 1995. His organization has become the world’s largest archival data center on radical Islam. As an investigative agency, Emerson says, “We are not a think tank, we are a “do tank”.

 

In this second video Emerson talks about CAIR and much more. He does not mince words and there are some explosive comments like “Eric Holder is a hit man and a thug and corrupt…and should be indicted. Information on his corruption will be coming out in the next few months and it will be pretty shocking”

 

You can follow Steve Emerson on twitter @TheIPT where he engages members of CAIR and others, lately using CAIR’s #LegislatingFear to rain on their parade.

 

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: The Terrorist Threat in North Africa: Before and After Benghazi

getproxy_oms1Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa | 2172 House Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Jul 10, 2013 10:00am

Full hearing:

 

Opening Statements:

 

 

 

 

Witnesses

Mr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Director
Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Aaron Zelin
Richard Borow Fellow
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Daniel L. Byman, Ph.D.
Professor
Security Studies Program
Georgetown University
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Mike Lovelady
Brother of Algerian gas plant terrorist attack victim, Victor Lovelady
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

U.S. officials: China, Russia gained access to Snowden’s secrets

Edward-Snowden-32BY: :

Intelligence agencies in China and Russia gained access to highly classified U.S. intelligence and military information contained on electronic media held by renegade former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, according to U.S. officials.

The exact compromise of the secret data held on Snowden’s laptop computers remains unknown but is the subject of an ongoing damage assessment within NSA and other intelligence agencies, said officials familiar with the case.

One of the biggest fears about the compromise is whether Snowden, an NSA contractor and former CIA technician who hacked into classified intelligence networks, gained access to new U.S. nuclear war plans, the officials said.

The nuclear war plans, among the most closely guarded U.S. secrets, were recently modified as a result of President Barack Obama’s shift in U.S. nuclear strategy.

The president last week signed new guidance for the Pentagon limiting the use of nuclear weapons in U.S. planning and strategy. The shift is the first step in the president’s plan to cut deployed nuclear weapons by one-third to about 1,000 warheads. That plan was announced in Berlin June 19.

“The Chinese already have everything Snowden had,” said one official who said there were intelligence reports indicating Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) agents have been in contact with Snowden during his month-long stay in Hong Kong.

Snowden had four laptop computers while in Hong Kong that contained what he asserted were thousands of classified documents he gathered while working at NSA and other intelligence agencies. He is known to have used encryption for his communications with news reporters.

Asked at a Chinese Foreign Ministry press briefing if Snowden was a spy for China, spokesman Hua Chunying said: “This is utter nonsense and is extremely irresponsible.”

The timing of Snowden’s disclosures of NSA surveillance and cyber reconnaissance of China—he first went public days before the summit between Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping—raised questions about whether he was under Chinese control. His disclosures of NSA’s PRISM program and other highly classified electronic spying muted U.S. efforts to press China on its cyber attacks.

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said Sunday: “What Snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies.” He did not elaborate.

Alexander said during earlier congressional testimony that Snowden, as a computer network administrator, had access to NSA “web forums” that limited his access to collected intelligence.

Snowden said in an online chat hosted by the Guardian newspaper June 17 that “I did not reveal any U.S. operations against legitimate military targets.”

The comment suggests Snowden had access to military secrets but had not at that point in his defection disclosed them.

U.S. officials believe Russian intelligence delayed Snowden’s departure from Moscow in order to question him about NSA programs targeted on Russia.

Snowden remained in Moscow on Tuesday and U.S. officials said it is “highly likely” that several laptop computer carried by Snowden were “imaged” by Russian intelligence, which would have access to everything carried by the former NSA contractor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Finland on Tuesday that Snowden “is a transit passenger in the transit zone and is still there now. … Mr. Snowden is a free man. The sooner he selects his final destination point, the better both for us and for himself.”

A former NSA official said Snowden’s claims of access to NSA surveillance programs appeared to be exaggerated. The former official said that most of what he has disclosed so far has been reported in the public domain in the past.

However, Snowden provided the Guardian and Washington Post with classified documents that indicated he was able to gain unauthorized entry into tightly guarded classified information systems. The documents included a presidential order on cyber warfare, PowerPoint slides from secret briefings on Internet data surveillance, and the first ever leak of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order for data records.

John Bolton, former undersecretary of state for international security, said the Snowden case could be a national security disaster.

“Many in the U.S. intelligence community fear the worst, namely that both Russia and China will have had full access to whatever documents Snowden has, plus whatever he has on the NSA laptop computers he took with him, plus whatever he told their respective authorities in debriefings,” Bolton told the Washington Free Beacon.

“All of this raises the question how much help he had either from his media handlers, WikiLeaks, or other sources of support.”

Bolton said earlier on Fox News Channel that the administration should take punitive action against China and Russia for not assisting in the repatriation of Snowden.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post in an interview that he initially took the position with the NSA contractor Booz Allen to gain access to intelligence he could take with him to expose what he believes is illicit U.S. electronic surveillance.

“Though he has posed as a lone wolf, you have to wonder if he had assistance or help since he has been in the United States,” Bolton said. “We know since he has been in Hong Kong he had help and financial assistance from WikiLeaks. The real question is did he have help before he departed?”

Bolton said intelligence provided by someone in Snowden’s position could be used to counter U.S. electronic spying and “that’s very damaging.”

Read more at Free Beacon

 

On Not Knowing What to Look For

Tsarnaev Brothers

Tsarnaev Brothers

By Dennis Hale:

The Congressional delegation investigating Russian intelligence alerts about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 returned from Moscow this week with a message that completely misses the point.

If we had had the kind of U.S./Russian cooperation a year ago that we have now, the delegation postulate, the Boston Marathon bombings might have been prevented.  According to the Boston Globe, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee that organized the trip, said that “[the bombing] could have been averted [if] both countries were working together on a much higher level.”

This conclusion, however, is wrong.  The Russians did warn the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and their warnings were quite specific.  Based on their own intelligence intercepts, the Russian secret service knew that Tsarnaev was communicating with jihadists in Chechnya, had become a follower of “radical Islam,” and might attempt to travel to Russia to join the Chechnyan “resistance” — something he apparently did, or tried to do, one year later.

So the FBI dutifully interviewed Tsarnaev and his family in January of 2011.  When they failed to find any evidence that Tsarnaev had committed, or was about to commit, a crime, they closed his file and forgot all about him.  They did not share the Russian warnings with anyone in the Cambridge police department (the city where the Tsarnaevs lived) or the Massachusetts State Police, apparently because becoming a “follower of radical Islam” is not illegal and therefore not something the FBI should worry about.

That’s too bad, because nine months after the warnings­ — on September 11, 2011,  the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — three men in Tamerlan’s social circle were murdered in the Boston suburb of Waltham under what must have struck local police as highly unusual circumstances.  The three — Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken — were found in different parts of their apartment on the morning of September 12, their throats cut so deeply that they had been nearly decapitated.  Furthermore, the bodies had been sprinkled with marijuana and money – over $5,000 in cash.  One local police officer said that it was the bloodiest crime scene he had ever encountered, and that it looked like something “right out of an al-Qaeda training video.”  What it did not look like was a typical “drug-related crime.”

And yet that is how the police apparently treated it.  If investigators had asked questions about the victims’ associates, they would certainly have turned up the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and possibly also Tamerlan’s younger brother Dzhokhar.  Tamerlan was a close friend of Brendan Mess.  After the Marathon bombings, in fact, Mess’s family told reporters how puzzled they were that Tamerlan had not attended Brendan’s funeral, since they had once been very close.  But apparently the police did not discover this in 2011.

However, even if local police had learned of Tamerlan’s association with the Waltham victims, would they have noted the significance of the 9/11 anniversary, the religion of the victims (two of them were Jews), and the Koranic method of execution — “strike [the unbelievers] on their necks” (Koran 8:12), commonly cited by jihadists when beheading infidels?  If so, they might have given Tamerlan the kind of scrutiny that would have turned up the same information that had alarmed the Russians in the first place — Tamerlan’s Youtube page, to name one possibility, featuring jihadist preachers from Lebanon and Chechnya.

Would they then have learned that the FBI had also been interested in Tamerlan Tsarnaev, less than a year earlier, based on warnings from Russian intelligence?  Wouldn’t it have been helpful if the FBI had alerted local authorities more broadly to keep an eye on the Tsarnaevs?  Had local authorities known these things, and if they had been trained to spot the pattern of jihad crimes and jihad incitement, then Tamerlan Tsarnaev could not long have escaped whatever responsibility he might have shared for the killings in Waltham.  He would now be in prison, and the victims of the Marathon bombing would be alive and well.

Read more at American Thinker

Dynamite interview with Gohmert on FBI investigation into the Boston Bombing Suspects

downloadLouie Gohmert, who has a way of putting things, manages to pack a lot of information into a short interview.

 “Cair, which is cited by the fifth circuit court of appeals as a front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood, has forced our administration to purge materials that reference anything that might be offensive to the radical Islamists who want to kill us” 

National Defense vs. the Ideology of Jihad

MBUSASealsby Clare M. Lopez:

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the deliberate blinding of our homeland security defense capabilities, perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in close cooperation with the witting, willing assistance of our own national security agency leadership , is propelling the U.S. towards catastrophe.

Counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole has compiled a meticulously-documented record of disastrous U.S. policy behavior that is as chilling as it is comprehensive. In “Blind Terror: The U.S. Government’s Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy,” published 4 June 2013 in the MERIA Journal, Poole describes the aggressive efforts of successive U.S. administrations dating back at least to the Clinton years to forge conciliatory relationships with American Muslim individuals and groups that are legally, openly on record as known supporters of jihadi terrorism and Islamic shariah law.

While Poole’s superb analysis focuses on the catastrophic results of such policies for U.S. national security and that of our regional friends and allies – policies still unfolding across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region — an equally catastrophic potential attends to these policies domestically, in the homeland. The methodical blinding of the intelligence community, its seventeen aggregated agencies, and security and law enforcement units across the country is the unavoidable result of this kind of “outreach” to jihadists, who are determined to outlaw consideration of Islamic ideology as a motivating factor for terror attacks. At some point, if allowed to continue, such blinding must necessarily result in the effective neutralization of these front line defenses such that they are incapable of responding in a timely manner to prevent high-casualty terrorist attacks.

U.S. capitulation to the forces of Islamic jihad and shariah was set, perhaps irrevocably, by President George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Speaking at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2001, where he was flanked by some of the top Muslim Brotherhood representatives in the country, Bush declared: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace”.

But as Poole’s careful research chronicles, during the Obama administration, the Muslim Brotherhood’s decades-long infiltration campaign of targeting senior policy-making levels of the U.S. government not only accelerated, but arguably reached critical mass. In a stunning sequence of events beginning in late 2011, and at the urging of identifiable affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, all U.S. government training curriculum that explained the irrefragable connection between Islamic doctrine, law, and scripture and Islamic terrorism was literally purged of such content. Additionally, subject matter experts identified as “enemies” by the administration’s Muslim advisors henceforth were summarily banned from providing truthful training about Islam to U.S. government employees or for U.S. government-funded classes. At the same time, a critical Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) policy based on the so-called “Touchstone” document went into effect that says mere membership in a violent (that is, terrorist) organization that also demonstrates “legitimate (advocacy)…objectives” should not result in a conclusion that members endorse the “illicit objective(s)” of that organization. The Touchstone policy clearly was meant to place the administration’s Muslim Brotherhood advisors beyond the reach of criticism, even when such criticism is based on public court records such as the Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial documents and unindicted co-conspirators list. Touchstone effectively immunizes these advisors, these agents of influence for a power openly hostile to this country, Constitution, and society, from the legal and security scrutiny and suspicion to which they otherwise rightly would be subject.

The inescapable effect of this policy is to permit a growing vulnerability to terrorist attack in the American homeland. And not just permit: the Touchstone policy literally ensures circumstances that make such attacks inevitable. National, regional, and local security forces that are not permitted to know the enemy, or understand what motivates that enemy to move from hostile belief to terrorist action, have a diminished chance to pre-empt Islamic terror attacks and are relegated to reliance on hit-or-miss sting and surveillance operations — or post-attack law enforcement investigations in the aftermath of another Boston Marathon bombing. To the extent that the insinuation of the Touchstone policy into U.S. national security strategy was the calculated effort of this country’s jihadist enemies — undetected by those responsible for U.S. counterintelligence — the safety and security of American citizens slip inescapably under the threat of more attacks.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Obama’s Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers

images (2)Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily

 

Traitor

trait-450x300 By Arnold Ahlert:

Edward Snowden, 29, a former CIA technical assistant and current employee of military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, went to the Guardian and the Washington Post newspapers and spilled national security secrets that he had promised not to divulge. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton puts that effort in the proper perspective:

Number one, this man is a liar. He took an oath to keep the secrets that were shared with him so he could do his job. He said said he would not disclose them, and he lied. Number two, he lied because he thinks he’s smarter and has a higher morality than the rest of us. This guy thinks he has a higher morality, that he can see clearer than other 299-million 999-thousand 999 of us, and therefore he can do what he wants. I say that is the worst form of treason.

Those who consider Snowden a “hero” might want to consider two other realities as well. First, he clearly violated the Espionage Act. If he isn’t punished for doing so, then the act is utterly toothless. Second, contrast his behavior with that of Benghazi witness Gregory Hicks. Hicks endured the crucible of appearing before Congress and giving testimony about possible State Department improprieties that could ruin him. He didn’t run to a newspaper, then run to Hong Kong and then vanish.

Or possibly defect.

Former CIA case officer Bob Baer told CNN that intelligence officials were speculating that Snowden may be part of a Chinese espionage case. “On the face of it, it looks like [Hong Kong] is under some sort of Chinese control, especially with the president meeting the premier today,” Baer said. “You have to ask what’s going on. China is not a friendly country and every aspect of that country is controlled. So why Hong Kong? Why didn’t he go to Sweden? Or, if he really wanted to make a statement, he should have done it on Capitol Hill.”

Baer also noted the convenient timing of Snowden’s revelation. It followed a weekend summit between Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which the issue of cyber security remained unresolved. “It almost seems to me that this was a pointed affront to the United States on the day the president is meeting the Chinese leader,” Baer speculated, “telling us, listen, quit complaining about espionage and getting on the Internet and our hacking. You are doing the same thing.”

Unfortunately, in the wake of this obviously egregious security breach and possible Chinese meddling, a number of Republicans are more interested in bringing the hammer down on Obama than on Snowden. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been on the fore of this wrongheaded approach. ”I’m going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “If we get ten million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington.”

Other Republicans are equally misguided. They have joined Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), signing a letter to the FBI and NSA impugning the programs. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who has adopted the libertarian outlook of former Rep. Ron Paul, explained their rationale. “You’ll find a lot of names [on the letter] of people who were recently elected,” Amash said. “We’re not tied to the Bush administration’s policies, which were also wrong.”

In reality, the controversy surrounding the NSA necessitates a serious discussion, apart from both the media-driven hysteria and the partisan politics that inform much of it. There is little question our nation still faces the kind of threat manifested on 9/11. There is no question one of the federal government’s primary functions is to provide for the national defense. Yet as Andrew McCarthy explained at National Review Online, there are two “inseparable issues” that must be reconciled in the process: the government’s seemingly limitless ability to gather information — and how much trust Americans should place in government officials to do it within the confines of the rule of law.

As revealed respectively by the Guardian and the Washington Post via Snowden, the government has been collecting “metadata” from phone companies and Internet servers in order to detect patterns that may reveal burgeoning threats against the nation, which might otherwise go unnoticed. This metadata does not include content, and thus, it does not fall under the auspices of Fourth Amendment protection.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

Why Expanded Government Spying Doesn’t Mean Better Security Against Terrorism

images (61)By Barry Rubin:

What is most important to understand about the revelations of massive message interception by the U.S. government is this: in counterterrorist terms, it is a farce.

There is a fallacy behind the current intelligence strategy of the United States, behind this collection of up to three billion phone calls a day, of emails, and even of credit card expenditures, not to mention the government spying on the mass media. It is this:

The more quantity of intelligence, the better it is for preventing terrorism.

In the real, practical world this is untrue, though it might seem counterintuitive. You don’t need — to put it in an exaggerated way — an atomic bomb against a flea.  Basically the NSA, as one of my readers suggested, is the digital equivalent of the TSA strip-searching an 80 year-old Minnesota grandmothers rather than profiling and focusing on the likely terrorists.

Isn’t it absurd that the United States — which can’t finish a simple border fence to keep out potential terrorists; can’t stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. Army who gives a PowerPoint presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nidal Hasan); can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing); or a dozen similar incidents — must now collect every telephone call in the country?

Isn’t it absurd that under this system, a photo-shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists?

That it was left to brave passengers to jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria, because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?

Isn’t it absurd that terrorists and terrorist supporters visit the White House, hang out with the FBI, and advise the U.S. government on counter-terrorist policy, even while — as CAIR does — advising Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement? And that they are admiringly quoted in the media?

Meanwhile, a documented, detailed revelation of this behavior in MERIA Journal by Patrick Poole – ”Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy” — a report which rationally should bring down the governmentdoes not get covered by a single mass media outlet?

Imagine this scene:

“Sir, we have a telephone call about a potential terrorist attack!”

“Not now, Smithers, I’m giving a tour of our facility to some supporters of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

How about the time when the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem had a (previously jailed) Hamas agent working in their motor pool with direct access to the vehicles and itineraries of all visiting U.S. dignitaries and senior officials?

Instead of this kind of nonsense, the two key elements of counterterrorism are as follows:

First, it is not the quantity of material that counts, but the need to locate and correctly understand the most vital material. This requires your security forces to understand the ideological, psychological, and organizational nature of the threat. Second, it is necessary to be ready to act on this information not only in strategic terms but in political terms.

For example: suppose the U.S. ambassador to Libya warns that the American compound there may be attacked. No response.

Then he tells the deputy chief of mission that he is under attack. No response.

Then, the U.S. military is not allowed to respond.

Then, the president goes to sleep without making a decision about doing anything because of a communications breakdown between the secretaries of Defense and State, and the president goes to sleep because he has a very important fundraiser the next day.

But don’t worry — because three billion telephone calls by Americans are daily being intercepted and supposedly analyzed.

In other words, you have a massive counterterrorist project costing $1 trillion, but when it comes down to it, the thing repeatedly fails.

To quote the former secretary of State: “What difference does it  make?”

If one looks at the great intelligence failures of the past, these two points quickly become obvious. Take for example the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941: U.S. naval intelligence had broken Japanese codes — they had the information needed to conclude the attack would take place. Yet a focus on the key to the problem was not achieved. The important messages were not read and interpreted; the strategic mindset of the leadership was not in place.

Or, in another situation: the plans of Nazi Germany to invade the USSR in 1941, and the time and place of the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, were not assessed properly, with devastating results. Of course the techniques were more primitive then, but so were the means of concealment. For instance, the Czech intelligence services — using railroad workers as informants — knew about a big build-up for a German offensive against the USSR. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin overrode the warnings. Soviet analysts predicting a Nazi invasion were punished.

Nothing would have changed if more material was collected.

So what needs to be in place, again, is a focus on the highest-priority material, on analyzing correctly what is available, on having leaders accept it and act upon it. If the U.S. government can’t even figure out what the Muslim Brotherhood is like, or the dangers of supporting Islamists to take over Syria, or the fact that the Turkish regime is an American enemy, or if they can’t even teach military officers who the enemy is … what’s it going to do with scores of billions of telephone calls?

Read more at PJ Media

 

Metadata and the common defense

1170275555Center For Security Policy, By Frank Gaffney:

The revelation that the super-secret National Security Agency has been vacuuming up so-called “metadata” from foreign and American communications has lots of us in a full-scale flail.

The libertarian Right denounces it as an unacceptable abuse of government power.  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is inviting millions of Americans to join him in bringing a class-action suit before the Supreme Court to stop this now-not-so-covert program.

Even the Left that normally, reflexively supports whatever President Obama does is up in arms.  The original story broke in Britain’s virulently anti-American Guardian newspaper and its flames have been fanned by some of Mr. Paul’s most liberal colleagues, like Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Here’s the question that must be addressed:  Is this effort to detect and counter patterns of behavior that may be associated with terrorists and their plots legitimate and necessary?  All three branches of government have agreed that it is legal and required – provided Team Obama is not doing as it has done elsewhere: namely, abusing its powers for political purposes.

Unfortunately, supporters of this program are being buffeted by growing evidence that the Obama administration continues to blur – if not actually brazenly to cross – the lines between constitutionally appropriate and legal actions and those that are beyond the pale.

Notably, the Daily Caller uncovered the fact that Douglas Shulman, the man who as acting IRS Commissioner presided over the Internal Revenue Service’s scandalous abuse of conservative, Tea Party and Jewish organizations seeking 501(c) status, visited the White House 157 times from September 2009 to January 2013. That’s more than any Cabinet officer and far more than his predecessor, who went to the White House only once in four years.

So much for Obama partisans’ insistence that there is no connection between President Obama and this outrageous misconduct.  It strains credulity that neither he nor his subordinates were involved in, or at least being kept apprized of, the politicization of the tax-collection apparatus.  While we probably won’t know for some time exactly who was responsible – let alone whether they will ever be held accountable, the evidence of such rot in the system inevitably justifies skepticism about other government activities susceptible to abuse.

This is particularly worrisome in light of the extent to which Team Obama has demonstrated, with expert guidance from the same information technology companies cooperating with the NSA, technical superiority in using to maximum political advantage personal data that is public or commercially available.  The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns describes how the Obama campaign (both its official and private sector apparatuses) identified and “nudged” prospective voters with micro-targeting and data profiling.

In the face of an administration that often refuses to use actual intelligence about our enemies’ intentions (as with Major Hassan) lest they “offend” leftist and Islamist constituencies, the national security-minded are going to see a continuing need for broad data surveillance.  That will necessitate continued safeguards and checks-and-balances, with better-informed congressional oversight from the intelligence committees and judicial review of the nature of and justification for future use of this capability.

Those committees are acutely aware of their responsibility not to impede our ability to ferret out enemy cells, through delays or leaks.  This is especially a concern since our foes have proven agile in adapting their covert operations when they learn, usually thanks to leakers, about our intelligence collection sources and methods.

For all these reasons, we require a debate that goes beyond the unfolding one about the wisdom and constitutionality of NSA data-mining.  We also need to address whether we now must focus our intelligence assets and energies squarely on those who are most responsible for the threat we face at the moment: adherents to the Islamic supremacist doctrine of shariah and the jihadism (or holy war) it impels.

Needless to say, this would require myriad changes in the way the U.S. government has been conducting what it euphemistically calls “countering violent extremism.”  For starters, we need to jettison that misleading term.  It’s the jihad, stupid. And we need to undo forthwith the insane November 2011 decision by the then-Homeland Security Advisor to the President, now-CIA Director John Brennan, to purge information in the files of the FBI, the military, the intelligence community and Homeland Security Department that connects the dots between shariah, jihad and terrorism – and resume training rooted in that causal linkage.

It is seductive to believe that our security can be assured cost-free.  It can’t.  In the event of another, even more horrific jihadist bloodletting in this country, civil liberties could be sacrificed in a way that will make what is afoot at the moment – as best we can tell – pale by comparison.  Our challenge is to keep the latter from happening while minimizing the infringement on the vast majority of Americans’ privacy.  It would help in this regard if we dispense with the “political correctness” that is making us vacuum up everyone’s communications lest we “offend” those who are the source of the real threat.