AP: CIA given stand-down order in Europe

renderHot Air, by Ed Morrissey, Sep.19,2014:

At first blush, this report looks like common sense. After all, the Edward Snowden cache’s exposure of espionage and surveillance on our allies in Europe created no small amount of humiliation for all sides, and at least publicly, impacted our diplomatic and security relationships. A pause to determine the legitimate intelligence needs of the US, as opposed to a desire to just grab everything possible, makes sense under the circumstances — assuming it doesn’t blind us altogether to the issues in Europe.

That, however, might have been the result, at least according to Associated Press sources:

Under the stand-down order, case officers in Europe largely have been forbidden from undertaking “unilateral operations” such as meeting with sources they have recruited within allied governments. Such clandestine meetings are the bedrock of spying.

CIA officers are still allowed to meet with their counterparts in the host country’s intelligence service, conduct joint operations with host country services and conduct operations with the approval of the host government. Recently, unilateral operations targeting third country nationals — Russians in France, for example — were restarted. But most meetings with sources who are host nationals remain on hold, as do new recruitments.

The CIA declined to comment.

James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said during a public event Thursday that the U.S. is assuming more risk because it has stopped spying on “specific targets,” though he didn’t spell out details.

Spying stand-downs are common after an operation is compromised, but “never this long or this deep,” said a former CIA official, who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s illegal to discuss classified material or activities. The pause, which has been in effect for about two months, was ordered by senior CIA officials through secret cables.

Needless to say, this is an odd time to go dark, and not just because of Russia and their own operations in Europe. The US needs to keep a close eye on the impact of ISIS in Europe, both in terms of recruitment to the battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq but also penetration into the governments of our allies. Assuming that ISIS isn’t attempting that kind of penetration may work out well in the short run while they’re desperate for fighters (and young women), but it won’t be long before the terrorists realize the value in having sympathizers burrow into the bureaucracies of the West, especially in national-security organizations.

The timing of this revelation is rather curious, too. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, revealed earlier this week that the CIA missed significant signals in the rise of ISIS and in the collapse of Iraq’s military. In both cases, Clapper admitted, the CIA didn’t calculate the will to fight on either side properly:

The United States has made the same mistake in evaluating fighters from the Islamic State that it did in Vietnam — underestimating the enemy’s will, according to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.

Clapper’s comments came in a telephone interview Wednesday, in which he summarized the elements of a new National Intelligence Strategyreleased this week. Clapper also answered some broader questions about intelligence issues confronting the country. …

“What we didn’t do was predict the will to fight. That’s always a problem. We didn’t do it in Vietnam. We underestimated the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese and overestimated the will of the South Vietnamese. In this case, we underestimated ISIL [the Islamic State] and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army. . . . I didn’t see the collapse of the Iraqi security force in the north coming. I didn’t see that. It boils down to predicting the will to fight, which is an imponderable.”

It’s not that imponderable. Plenty of people warned over the last several years that an American withdrawal from Iraq would have a negative impact on Iraqi military morale. The abandonment of Sunni tribal leaders to the Shi’ite-dominant government of Nouri al-Maliki was also eminently “ponderable,” even while Barack Obama insisted that the Iraq we left behind was stable and secure. Maliki’s purge of Sunni military and political leaders wasn’t much of a secret, or at least shouldn’t have been to the CIA. The question is less of “imponderables” than of a determination to see the situation in Iraq only through the context of an Obama policy success, at least at the policy-developing levels of the intel community and the White House.

Given that DNI Clapper is now offering mea culpas about being blindsided on the capabilities of both friend and foe, this seems like a very odd — and bad — time to have the CIA closing its eyes even more.

Al Qaeda’s 9/11 anniversary attacks ready to go. New undetectable explosive may be used

Al Qaeda's top bomb-maker, Saudi Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

Al Qaeda’s top bomb-maker, Saudi Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

DEBKAfile, Sep. 2, 2014:

Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches – IS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen – have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 attacks on New York and Washington. According to DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for US targets in the Middle East and Europe.

In the estimate of Islamist experts, the IS and AQAP have decided to delay direct terrorist action in the United States, calculating that an attack on America will have a greater shock impact some time after the first cycle of outrages, toward the end of 2014 or early 2015.
It was this information that galvanized Saudi King Abdullah into warning the West that Al Qaeda’s plans were imminent. “If neglected,” he said strongly last week, “I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America.”

The king issued his warning on the occasion of the US Ambassador to Riyadh, Joseph W. Westphal’s formal presentation of credentials. This gave his warning added weight, because it was a fabricated opportunity. In the two years that Ambassador Westphal has officiated in the Saudi capital, the king has never found time to confirm his accreditation. This cold shoulder reflected the nonagenarian Saudi ruler’s opinion of US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies and what appears to Riyadh to be his lackadaisical attitude towards fighting Islamist terror.

Sharing the view that this peril is too grave to be ignored any longer, the prime ministers of Britain and Australia, David Cameron and Tony Abbott, appear to have prevailed on the Saudi king to signal this indirect warning to Washington – especially since Saudi intelligence shares the view that a great number of lives are at stake if Al Qaeda consummates its plans.

Our intelligence and counterterrorism sources disclose that the data on the two Al Qaeda groups’ plans to mark the 9/11 anniversary with major attacks has been in the hands of Middle Eastern, European and US security agencies since the second week of May, i.e., five months ago.

They were also anxiously aware that Al Qaeda’s top bomb-maker, Ibrahim Hassan A-Asiri, who works out of Yemen, had developed a secret explosive substance that can pass undetected through the screening devices and security measures currently in use at international airports and public places in the West and the Middle East.

Intelligence experts believe that this novel substance, when hidden in special shoes or electronic devices like iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, can beat even tight security scrutiny. However, information has also been received about the new undetectable explosive substance being implanted in the bodies of suicide jihadists, to produce the ultimate “body bombs.”

It is feared that this hazard is already in place and that a surgical procedure may have been carried out to implant it on carriers of American or European passports, at a secret clinic in Yemen or a Gulf emirate by a surgeon dedicated to the radical Islamist cause. These human bombs will have been able to travel through Jordan or Iraq through Turkey to their targeted destinations. Such carriers of invisible bombs may be Americans, Belgians, Britons, Australians, French citizens or Germans, and already on standby for the prearranged signal to push a certain button and demolish a selected target.

The novel invention has made it infinitely easier for terrorists to move around and approach their targets, unnoticed and without arousing suspicion.
Prime Minister Cameron has woken up to the peril. He announced Tuesday, Sept. 22, he would ask parliament to urgently approve sweeping legislation to combat the “scourge of extremism” – including the power to seize passports of an estimated 500 British Muslims known to be frequent travelers to Turkey, Syria and Iraq and strongly suspected of identifying with Al Qaeda’s jihadist ideology.

Most counterterrorism experts fear that these measures if approved would come too late to pre-empt Al Qaeda’s 9/11 anniversary plot.

ISIS has Capability and Intent to Attack the Homeland

IS-facts-findingsBlind Eagle, By Brian Fairchild, Aug. 30, 2014:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

  • Based on the intelligence analysis of the facts and findings below, as of August 29, 2014, the Islamic State has the capability and intent to launch an attack against the American homeland.  Moreover, the internecine war between “core” al Qaeda and the Islamic State represents a struggle for the leadership of the international jihad movement that provides both organizations with a strong motivation to attack America.  There is no way to predict a specific date when attacks will occur, but it is clear from the evidence that the Islamic State has the capability to launch an attack at a time and place of its choosing.

In intelligence analysis, analysts must first find and document substantiated and relevant Facts on the topic of their investigations.  Expert knowledge is then used to make sense out of these facts in a cogent, organized and articulate manner in a section called Findings.  Having made sense out of the facts in the articulated findings, the analyst can then see where all of the facts and findings lead, and make a Forecast as to what is likely to happen in the future.  It’s not a perfect or foolproof system, but it forces analysts to work with well-substantiated and relevant facts rather than opinion and hearsay.

On August 22, 2014, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby stated that the Defense Department does not believe that ISIS has “the capability right now to conduct a major attack on the U.S. homeland.”

The following analysis will test this hypothesis using the tried and true method of establishing Facts, Findings, and Forecasts.

FACTS:

  • On October 4, 2011, then leader of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and current leader of the Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the State Department for his role in “managing and directing large scale operations”.
  • ISIS is a multi-faceted entity:

o   According to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Islamic State demonstrates “a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess”,[1] and represents an “imminent threat to every interest we have”.

o   IS has “…an effective management structure…overseeing departments of finance, arms, local governance, military operations and recruitment”[2].  It operates like a national government in the areas it occupies providing electricity and water, levying taxes, providing police services, establishing religious schools and courts, and running training camps.

o   IS has a war chest estimated at $2 billion dollars, accrued from:  taxes, the sale of oil and antiquities on the black market, ransom for hostages, seized bank assets, donations from wealthy Gulf donors, the theft of all property and assets from the minorities it victimizes, and proceeds from zakat (tithing) and Muslim charities.

o   A report prepared in June 2014 by the former head of the counter terrorism office of British Intelligence (MI6), reported that over 12,000 radicalized Muslims have departed their homes in 81 countries to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq.  An estimated 3,000 of them are western passport holders.  These individuals are now routinely referred to as “foreign fighters”.  There is no doubt that the number of foreign fighters overall and the number hailing from Western countries has significantly increased since the publication of this report, which went to press before al Baghdadi announced the creation of the “Caliphate” and called for Muslims to emigrate to it.

o   IS has a virtual monopoly over the foreign fighters flooding into Syria and Iraq.  They constitute the majority of IS’ suicide bombers, and are responsible for 30 to 50 suicide bombings per month.[3]  Increasingly, they come from Western countries including the US, France, the UK, Norway, Austria, Australia, and Germany. They are infiltrated into the Islamic State via a global IS network, and then trained in secure bases there.[4]

  • On February 4, 2014, CIA Director John Brennan testified before the Congressional House Intelligence Committee during which he described the capabilities of these  training camps: 

o   We are concerned about the use of Syrian territory by the Al Qaida organization to recruit individuals and develop the capability to be able not just to carry out attacks inside of Syria, but also to use Syria as a launching pad…There arecamps inside of both Iraq and Syria that are used by Al Qaida to develop capabilities that are applicable, both in the theater, as well as beyond.” 

  • The Islamic State possesses chemical weapons seized from Iraq’s al Muthanna chemical weapons complex, including munitions containing Sarin, Mustard gas, and the nerve agent VX.  In 2006, then Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. General Michael Maples stated that, while the munitions couldn’t be used as originally intended because of corrosion, “The agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents”.[5]

o   In July 2014, IS fighters seized 88 pounds of uranium compounds from the University of Mosul that can be used to construct a radioactive dirty bomb.

  • IS was formerly constituted as al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), but was disowned by “core” al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in February 2014.  This fracture resulted in all-out war between the two groups for the leadership of the international jihad movement.
  • Despite his war with “core” al Qaeda, IS leader al Baghdadi reveres Osama bin Laden.  When bin Laden was killed in the American raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, he vowed violent retaliation.  Almost immediately, he launched numerous attacks and suicide bombings, and vowed to conduct 100 attacks across Iraq to seek vengeance for bin Laden”.[6]
  • On January 21, 2014, al Baghdadi recorded an audio message in which he recognized that he and his organization would soon be in direct confrontation with the United States:

o   “Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.”[7]

  • In August 2014, IS declared war against the US in a document sent to the family of beheading victim James Foley.  It was addressed to the “American government and their sheep like people” and threatened the following (all emphasis added by IS in the original):

o   “Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE!  AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD.  You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children, so we will NOT spare yours!  You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!  The first of which being the blood of American citizen, James Foley.”

  • In response to US airstrikes against IS positions in early August 2014, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)pledged solidarity with the Islamic State and promised to conduct mass casualty attacks against the US in retaliation:

o   “Hence, we declare our solidarity with our Muslim brethren in Iraq in [their struggle against] this Crusade. Their blood is our blood, their wound is in our hearts, and we have a duty to defend them. With Allah’s help, we will employ every means to cause the US as many casualties as possible, as part of jihad for the sake of Allah and in order to realize what our Sheikh Osama [bin Laden] vowed [to achieve].”

FINDINGS:

  • As made clear by the 2011 State Department designation of al Baghdadi as a global terrorist, he is adept at “managing and directing large scale operations”.  The Islamic State reflects these abilities.  It is a sophisticated organization that simultaneously plans and conducts offensive operations using conventional military strategy, as well as synchronized multiple-location suicide bombings, all the while operating a global network that recruits, trains and deploys foreign fighters.  Underlying its military capabilities is a government structure of provincial governors and officials that manage the civilian population like a small nation state.
  • IS has thousands of trained and combat-tested foreign fighters from which to select teams that could conduct attacks in the United States, including over 100 Americans.  The Islamic State is not restricted to using only American citizens for such attacks, and for security reasons, may well create cells of individuals from the UK and Western Europe that are not likely to be revealed by US databases.  It is likely that many of these individuals speak English and have previously traveled to the US.
  • IS has a seemingly endless supply of foreign fighters willing to martyr themselves.  Suicide bombings, once rare, have become routine for IS foreign fighters who conduct approximately 30 to 50 each month.  Importantly, the majority of these bombings are conducted with a high degree of operational security against targets in cities such as Baghdad and Kirkuk where security forces are on high alert employing road blocks, patrols, and area surveillance.  IS teams deploying to the US face only one real security obstacle – physically entering the country; once inside they would operate in an environment much less controlled than those they are used to.
  • IS possesses chemical weapons and radioactive compounds that it could smuggle into the United States via the southern border or other access points.  Even in the event that IS has no smuggling connections, its remarkable treasury could well buy such cooperation.
  • Should IS leadership decide, its financial assets, and extensive number of trained and experienced operatives willing to die for their cause, are adequate to fund and deploy numerous terrorist teams worldwide.
  • Despite the increasing number of American airstrikes against IS positions, and the rising calls for extensive military action against IS targets in Iraq and Syria, there is no evidence to indicate that IS leadership seeks to avoid a military confrontation with the United States.  Quite the contrary, all evidence indicates that it is actively trying to provoke such a confrontation, as demonstrated by the following:

o   Al Baghdadi has been at war against the US since 2003 when he co-created his first jihad organization.  He experienced first-hand the American dismantling of AQI in 2006, he spent time in American custody in Camp Bucca, he replaced leaders killed by the US, and sought vengeance for the killing of Osama bin Laden.  Given this experience, it is likely that in January 2014 when he recorded his audio statement, he was well aware that his plan to blitzkrieg across Syria and Iraq and his plan to establish a Caliphate that threatened US allies would provoke an American military response.  In this context, the specific phrases he chose to stress:  “Soon we will be in direct confrontation” – “the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day” – “we are with you, watching”, could well indicate that in anticipation of the coming confrontation, he deployed cells to the homeland that are “watching” and preparing attacks.

o   IS leadership chose to publicly butcher James Foley on August 19, 2014 describing Foley as the first American casualty of war, which strongly suggests that Foley’s murder was a deliberate attempt to provoke a military response.  Additional examples of IS’ willingness to provoke the US are revealed in passages from its official Dabiq magazine, published on August 29, 2014, that ridicule President Obama, gloat over the beheading of James Foley and the US inability to rescue him, blame the US for atrocities against Muslims, and call for American and Western Muslims to rush to the “Caliphate” to support the jihad.

o   IS’ declaration of war against the US government and its citizens, including America’s weak, elderly, women and children can only be taken as a direct provocation.

  • The war between IS and “core” al Qaeda is, at its essence, a battle for the ideological leadership and operational direction of the international jihad movement.  At present, the Islamic State, flush with money and recruits, is winning.    If IS cells successfully attack the homeland in the near future it would virtually cement its leadership over the movement.  If it were successful in conducting an attack on the anniversary day of the 9/11 attacks, the Islamic State and al Baghdadi would be catapulted into a new terrorist dimension that would have profound security implications for the US for decades to come.
  • This war for primacy, however, is also likely to prompt “core” al Qaeda to launch an attack against the homeland to regain its lost leadership.  Because Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden planned and conducted the historic 9/11 attacks, a commemorative attack on 9/11’s thirteenth anniversary would likely re-establish Zawahiri as the movement’s premier leader.  It is not clear at this point, however, if “core” al Qaeda has the resources and capability to conduct such an attack.
  • AQAP’s pledge to conduct mass casualty attacks in retaliation for US airstrikes against IS fighters, adds another threat stream.  AQAP’s proven record of near misses against the US via the 2009 Underwear bomber plot, and the plot to blow up cargo aircraft over the US with explosives hidden in copy machine ink cartridges, is sobering, but further exacerbated by AQAP’s reported development of a new explosive compound that is undetectable by existing sensors.  Like “core” al Qaeda, it is unclear if AQAP has the resources to conduct a separate attack against the homeland.  In order to remain relevant in the international jihad movement, however, AQAP could assist IS in attacking the homeland, which could explain its pledge of solidarity to IS and its promise to carry-out mass casualty attacks.

FORECAST:

Based on the above facts and findings and contrary to the statements of the Pentagon, as of August 29, 2014, the Islamic State has all the capabilities required to launch an attack against the American homeland.  Within its ranks alone, it has the expertise, trained operatives, financial resources, possession of WMD, a virulent anti-American ideology, and the intent to confront the United States.  Despite increasing American military action against it, there is no evidence that the Islamic State is trying to avoid a military confrontation.  Rather, its recent actions are tailored to provoke a military response.

Moreover, the war between “core” al Qaeda and the Islamic State is a struggle for the ideological leadership and the operational direction of the international jihad movement that provides both organizations with a strong motivation to attack America.  Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s recent pledge of solidarity to IS and its promise to perpetrate mass casualty attacks on its behalf exacerbates an already bad situation.  While it is unclear if “core” al Qaeda and AQAP have the resources on their own to conduct such attacks, AQAP’s pledge of solidarity to IS may well indicate its willingness to conduct a joint IS-AQAP attack.

Absent specific actionable intelligence, there is no way to predict a specific date when attacks will occur, as all terrorist plots run according to operational requirements.  It is clear, however, that a successful attack on the American homeland by any or all of these organizations would boost their respective standing in the jihad movement, especially if such an attack was conducted on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  It is also clear that the Islamic State has the capability to launch an attack at a time and place of its choosing.

 

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