Evidence in Sony hack attack suggests possible involvement by Iran, China or Russia, intel source says

cyyber attackFox News, By Catherine Herridge, December 18, 2014

The U.S. investigation into the recent hacking attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment has turned up evidence that does not point to North Korea as the “sole entity” in the case, but rather, raises the possibility that Iran, China or Russia may have been involved, an intelligence source told Fox News on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Fox News confirmed that the FBI is pointing a digital finger at North Korea for the attack.

The source pointed to the sophistication of malware “modules or packets” that destroyed the Sony systems — on a level that has not been seen from North Korea in the past — but has been seen from Iran, China and Russia.

There is no evidence of a forced entry into the Sony systems, pointing to an insider threat or stolen credentials. And the first emails sent to Sony, described as blackmail or extortion, included demands unrelated to the movie.

The malware had two destructive threads, the source said: it overwrites data and it interrupts execution processes, such as a computer’s start-up functions. After the initial attack, the FBI warned the industry that the malware can be so destructive that the data is not recoverable or it is too costly a process to retrieve. The intelligence source added that the forensic evidence suggests that the final stage of the attack was launched outside North Korea’s borders — creating some plausible deniability.

“Given the destructive efforts or effects of this attack, we’re treating this as a national security matter, and as such, members of the president’s national security team have been in regular meetings regarding this attack,” State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Also, Fox News has learned that U.S. security firms were first notified Monday by the U.S. government that they planned to publicly blame North Korea, which is inconsistent with past practice, as the U.S. government often has chosen to work behind the scenes in similar instances.

The White House declined earlier Thursday to directly blame North Korea for the attack, though Press Secretary Josh Earnest referred to the incident as a “serious national security matter.”

The case is “being treated as seriously as you’d expect,” Earnest told reporters at an afternoon briefing. He added that the White House would allow the investigation to move forward before speculating about a response.

“There is evidence to indicate that we have seen destructive activity with malicious intent that was initiated by a sophisticated actor,” Earnest said. “And it is being treated by those investigative agencies both at the FBI and the Department of Justice as seriously as you would expect.”

The North Korean link came shortly after Sony canceled plans for its Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  Getting Sony to pull the release of the movie had been one of the hackers’ public demands.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attack originated outside North Korea, but believe the individuals behind it were acting on orders from the North Korean government.

While the U.S. government is unlikely to issue formal charges against North Korea or its leadership, a formal announcement of North Korea’s involvement is likely to come Thursday.

The Sony hack attack is “deeply worrying” to the intelligence community because it is believed to be the first time destructive malware has targeted a U.S. firm, according to the Fox News source, who added that the cyber assault is seen as “retribution” for “The Interview.”

Fox News is told that the malware used in the Sony hack attack has two destructive threads: it overwrites data and it interrupts execution processes, such as a computer’s start-up functions. The FBI warns that the malware can be so destructive that the data is not recoverable or it is too costly a process to retrieve.

It is not clear how long the malware needs to be in the system before it brings on an almost complete paralysis. In the case of Sony, support functions — including emails –were knocked off-line, seen as a distraction while the more destructive attack was launching.

This week North Korea’s state-run media KCNA endorsed the Sony hacking, saying it was done by “sympathizers.” Andrei Lankov, an expert on North Korea who writes a column for The Korea Times, says this is as close to an endorsement as possible.

Another expert noted “ambiguity of attribution and guerilla-warfare approach” are the tactics of North Korea. The expert concluded it will be seen that America is vulnerable to blackmail and North Korea will try it again.

Fox News has also been told, however, there was “zero” chance there would have been any actual attacks on theaters.”

“Sony was stupid to make a movie about killing Kim Jung-un,” Lankov said, “but it was even more stupid to cave in to pressure.”

A Steve Carell “paranoid” thriller “that was to be set in North Korea” also has been scrapped, sources say. The project from director Gore Verbinski and writer Steve Conrad wasn’t yet titled, though industry outlets said the working title was “Pyongyang,” which is the North Korean capital.

“Sad day for creative expression,” Carell tweeted Wednesday evening, adding “#fear eats the soul” as a hashtag.

In an interview with ABC News aired Wednesday, President Obama encouraged Americans to go to the movies.

The Sony hacking saga took a sinister turn on Tuesday when hackers sent a message threatening to target theaters showing “The Interview” in a 9/11-type attack.

Sony then told theaters they will not be penalized should they choose not to show it.

A representative for the FBI Los Angeles Field Office told FOX411 that the bureau is “aware of the recent threats and continues to work collaboratively with our partners to investigate.”

Security experts told Fox that in the wake of the Sydney siege and the release of the CIA enhanced interrogation report last week, it was crucial the threat be taken seriously by authorities.

“This threatening statement obviously has some foundation and may be linked to current global hostilities toward the West and predominantly the U.S.,” said Lee Oughton, global security and risk management expert. “We are still unaware how deep the hackers were able to penetrate into the Sony systems. Only time will tell how much information they were able to ascertain and what price Sony will pay in the international market.”

Actors James Franco and Seth Rogen already canceled all media appearances promoting their film.

Fox News’ Greg Palkot, Lucas Tomlinson, Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Also see:

 

Sydney Attacker: ‘Man of Peace’

People escape the Lindt Chocolate Cafe where Man Haron Monis (inset) was holding them hostage.

People escape the Lindt Chocolate Cafe where Man Haron Monis (inset) was holding them hostage.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The perpetrator of the jihadist, an Islamist known as Sheikh Man Haron Monis, was shockingly dropped from the country’s terrorist-watch list sometime after 2009. It is unknown why this happened but it may be attributable to the manipulative semantics he used to appear nonthreatening, utilizing a common Islamist strategy.

Haron pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) last month, an act that should have immediately resulted in his placement on terror-watch lists and surveillance. Presumably, his website was not being monitored despite his lengthy criminal record, widely known extremism and history of 40 to 50 allegations of sexual indiscretions.

His “moderate” presentation is not nearly as slick as more skilled Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood, but the language he used can serve as a case study in how Islamists use crafty language to put audiences at ease.

***

Conclusion

It’s not enough to understand terrorist groups or the Islamist ideology behind them. We have to understand how it is expressed.

For Westerners, terms like “peace,” “terrorism” and “democracy” appear to have a universal meaning. We all understand each other when we use them. Islamists have different definitions of them. When they use these terms, many Westerners incorrectly assume the same concept is being discussed.

The nuances in Islamist language needs to be grasped so we can separate extremist from moderate and detect propaganda and word games.

Haron may have been dropped off Australia’s terrorist-watch list because of this deception or because of a tragic bureaucratic error. The broader lesson is that the West simply isn’t doing a good enough job of identifying threats.

Islamist adversaries are consistently overlooked, downplayed or even treated as partners. The intelligence and policy failures will continue until we understand the ideology we’re up against.

Read Mauro’s dissection of Haron’s writings and statements revealing the true meaning of his words

Also read about how Stealth jihadists use language deceptively from The Counter Jihad’s Debating Islam page. Learn the definitions of Islamic terms here: Islam’s Deceptive Use of Western Terminology

Australian Police Kill Muslim Jihadi While Sydney’s Islamic Community Feigns Shock

397141-sheik-man-haron-monis-450x253UTT, by John Guandolo, Dec. 16, 2014:

Australian Police stormed a cafe in Sydney today (Dec 15) killing an Iranian Sunni Muslim who had taken hostages and made demands, ending the siege which began yesterday.

This incident is instructive in so many ways because of:  (1) the language used by all sides to describe the perpetrator – Man Haron Monis (a Jihadi); (2) attempts by the media to differentiate Monis from the broader Muslim community which claims he was completely “unknown” to them;  (3) what Monis said and did, which is being interpreted through a Western lense instead of the Islamic lens (Sharia);  and (4) the immediate response from the Islamic community in Australia, which is calling for more concessions from Australia for Muslims at the same time one of it’s own killed people in the non-Muslim community.  This last note is the exact same response we always see around the world when a Muslim kills a soldier in Arkansas, beheads people anywhere, blows up a bomb in Boston, shoots and kills soldiers at Fort Hood, or any of a number of other events in recent memory.  Muslims kill, then demand more concessions and call for protection from the oncoming “backlash” which, oddly enough, never comes.

The Language We Use to Describe the Enemy

At the outset, let us all be reminded that the filter through which Islamic jihadis speak, communicate and understand words is SHARIA (Islamic Law).  So when they speak, the words they use, although they may be in English, cannot be interpreted the way we understand those words in the West.  We must use Sharia as the filter through which we understand these words.  As an example, when Muslim leaders say they “condemn terrorism” they are not lying as some have suggested.  “Terrorism” as Islam understands it is to “kill a Muslim without right.”   Under Sharia, Western troops are, in fact, terrorists when killing Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere.  This is an important fact for our military and law enforcement leadership to know when local Imams decry terrorism, because it does not represent a friendly move towards us or our position.  In Sharia, it is lawful for a Muslim to be killed in only a few instances, most notably when he or she leaves Islam (Apostacy).  In this case, if the Muslim refuses to return to Islam he/she must be “immediately killed.” (Um Dat al Salik, Book O Justice, o8.2)

The Prime Minister of Australia – Tony Abbott – referring to the siege in Sydney, said it is “profoundly shocking” that a man would take “innocent” hostages like this, and was unsure of the motive for this attack.  How shocking is it that a Muslim cleric who recently converted from Shia to Sunni Islam would participate in jihad since it is not only an obligation in Islam until the world is under the rule of Sharia, but is the sixth right of pure worship between man and Allah.  Jihad is not a “pillar” of Islam because when the entire world is under Sharia, the need for jihad goes away.  There is no such thing as a “version” of Islam that does not include this requirement.

How does Islam define “innocent” people?  Only Muslims are “innocent” under Islamic Law (sharia), so, according to Sharia none of those hostages were “innocent” therefore they can always be killed by a Muslim jihadi.

Many in the news media have been quick to call Man Haron Monis a “lone wolf” a “radical Muslim Cleric” or (this one I love) a “violent extremist,” which means absolutely nothing at all.  Are these accurate statements?  Is there such a thing in Sharia as a “lone wolf?”  The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘No.’  As a matter of fact, the Law of Jihad in Sharia defines ‘Individual Jihad’ and provides the requirements for it.  Individual Jihad is the kind of jihad we have seen at places like Fort Hood, Little Rock Arkansas, Wichita, New York City, and elsewhere.  Australia’s leaders and media use phrases like “lone wolf” and “radical Muslims” because these are the phrases fed to them by the leaders of the Islamic community, most of whom are Muslim Brotherhood/Salafis, as is true in most other nations in the West.

Watering Down Monis’ Actions

It is also interesting to witness the Australian media bending over backwards to distance Man Haron Monis’ actions from “true Islam” because “no religion supports violence” as world leaders continue to say – which is contrary to a factual analysis of Sharia (Islamic doctrine).  In fact, 100% of all published Sharia mandates jihad until the entire world is under the rule of Islam and Islamic Law (Sharia), and 100% of all published authoritative Sharia only defines “jihad” as ‘warfare against non-Muslims.”  These are statements of fact with cannot be contradicted factually or by any Islamic doctrine.  Therefore, Islamic doctrine not only condones violence, it mandates it.

SydneyBlackFlag

When hostages were made to hold the black flag of jihad in the window of the cafe in which they were being held by Monis, many news organizations reached out to their “Muslim experts” to help us all understand what this could mean.  The most absurd of these was the UK’s Guardian which quoted Aftab Malik, a “high level expert” working for with the UN, who stated “It has no politically dominant or ideological meaning.  It only has a spiritual meaning.”  Friends, this is a lie.

This is the same man who blames Australia’s jihadi threat on those who essentially speak truth about Islam.

The black flag of jihad contains the Shahada in Arabic, which is the statement of conversion into Islam.  It is the flag which has been used by jihadis since the earliest days of Islam.  To disconnect this flag from Jihad is to be disconnected from reality.

Backlash?

The leading Islamic organizations in Australia (read: Salafists/Muslim Brotherhood) are calling for help and protection against the backlash directed at the Islamic community, and even offered up the story that a Muslim woman was harassed in light of the cafe siege in Sydney.  It appears the intellectual honesty is completely gone when it comes to these matters.

I believe if we put the facts on the table of what Islam commands from its adherents, as well as the fact that the leading Islamic organization are a part of the global Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and then we tally up the hundreds of thousands of people killed around the world in the last 10 years by Muslims, it gets a little tough to sympathize with people in the Muslim community getting harassed.

Here is an idea for the Islamic leaders:  stop killing non-Muslims or be prepared for a real backlash.

America’s Fatal Flaw in the War on Terror: Underestimating the Jihadist Enemy

isis-flag-youtube-afp (1)Breitbart, by Kyle Shideler, Dec.16, 2014:

Hillary Clinton recently gave a foreign policy speech in what seems to be part of her early groundwork for an eventual 2016 Presidential candidacy.  In a speech widely panned by conservatives and foreign policy hawks, the former Secretary of State called out for more “smart power”, specifically encouraging that in the pursuit of peace the United States should be,

Leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect even for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.”

The remarks led to outrage and were called “naïve,” and “irrational.”

But Clinton is correct, although, admittedly, not in the way she meant. One of the largest problems since the beginning of the “Global War on Terror” has been the inability of U.S. policymakers to adequately understand the nature of the threat posed.

We have not shown respect for our enemies as Clinton demands. Instead we have minimized them as a “tiny minority of extremists,” when in reality the imposition of Shariah law-the stated raison d’etre of jihadist groups everywhere- is supported by substantial percentages of Muslim populations throughout the Middle East, Southwest and southeast Asia, and by significant percentages of Muslims in the Europe and North America.

We additionally fail to show respect by not taking our enemies and their ideas seriously. Instead we continuously assert-without evidence- that jihadist organizations, the members of Islamic State, Al Qaeda, etc. are ignorant of their own professed beliefs. We insist on this narrative even though the speakers in almost every video they produce- from the lowest AK-47-wielding foot soldiers to the highest-ranking propaganda spokesmen- remain utterly consistent in the quotation of traditional Islamic scripture, orthodox exegesis and the citation of canonical shariah jurisprudence regarding their actions.

It is we who are ignorant.

Clinton is correct as well in saying we lack empathy, the ability to put ourselves into the shoes of our opponents and understand their mindset sufficiently to know their goals, their dreams, their nature. Empathy is not something that can be outsourced to “cultural experts,” or regional allies. Instead of understanding, we super-impose our own values upon others, assuming that the sorts of things that would motivate us (access to clean water, governmental corruption, poverty etc.) automatically motivate our opponents.

As a result the United States finds itself flat-footed in attempting to comprehend, and respond to the Islamic State-for example- whose efforts to re-establish a Caliphate ruling all Muslims everywhere seems ludicrous to us, but represents a genuine dream held by millions of people around the world. That remains true, even though some of those people may also disagree with ISIS’s leader Abubakr Al-Baghdadi as the head of it.

Instead of genuine empathy, understanding the enemy as he understands himself, Clinton is proposing mere sympathy, an expression of apologetic support because it’s the “polite thing to do.”

Instead of getting into the minds of our opponents, we prefer to see them as aberrations. This is admittedly easy enough to do, with beheadings, forced conversions, sexual slavery and suicide bombings. These things seem alien to us, but they are not aberrations. They are the acts of real people with a different, but equally real, world-view. Viewing the enemy as a mere “aberration” does not lead to victory.

In the Orson Scott Card novel “Ender’s Game,” a piece of military sci-fi which remains part of the USMC Commandant’s Professional Reading List, the main character Ender, a young boy who is being prepared to lead the combined forces of the entire human race against an implacable alien enemy, says:

I don’t know anything about them, and yet someday I’m supposed to fight them. I’ve been through a lot of fights in my life, sometimes games, sometimes- not games. Every time, I’ve won because I could understand the way my enemy thought. From what they *did*. I could tell what they thought I was doing, how they wanted the battle to take shape. And I played off that. I’m very good at that. Understanding how other people think.

What Ender goes on to point out, and what Clinton’s “smart power” formulation misses, is that while understanding is essential to victory, it does not inevitably lead to peace.

Contrary to Clinton’s belief, it may be the case that a genuine understanding of the enemy- an examination of his doctrine and intentions that respects the seriousness of his commitment and the nature of his cause- does not lead to peace. It may lead to recognition that the enemy’s foundational beliefs rest on views of human nature, freedom, the relationship between God and men, and how society is meant to be organized which are fundamentally different from our own.

Hillary Clinton is right. To exercise “smart” power calls for understanding our enemies. But Clinton is wrong if she thinks that understanding the enemy obligates us to acquiesce to them.


Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy.

Hunting Known Wolves

CyberJihad11-190x150CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Dec. 16, 2014:

The Sydney Siege once again reminded us that terrorist so popularly characterized as nigh undetectable “Lone Wolves” are really nothing of the sort. Rather they are “Known” wolves. That is, far from being invisible, they are terrorists who have had repeated brushes with intelligence or law enforcement but against whom no action was taken. The phenomenon suggests, that, far from what critics like Glenn Greenwald would have us believe, government surveillance efforts actually do work.  Should we really be outraged that some 280,000 individuals have made the U.S. electronic surveillance list despite having “no known affiliation”? It’s a designation which includes those comparable to Sydney hostage taker Sheikh Haron, who did not declare his allegiance to the Islamic State until the beginning of December only a week or two before his terrorist attack which killed two, injured more, and drew non-stop media attention.

The problem of course is that even though individuals are perhaps being surveiled for their support for jihad, whether abroad or domestically, or perhaps even publicly advocating for violence, this doesn’t always put them within the range of a prosecutable crime.

While material support laws may come into effect for those conducting propaganda on behalf of declared terrorist groups (Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc), a generic call to wage jihad or “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” may be alarming, but would not, under U.S. law, necessarily be illegal. Nor should it be. Freedom of speech is an inalienable right, and a cherished western freedom. In places where hate speech laws exist, the tendency has been for them to be enforced in a one-sided manner which actually leaves pro-Jihadi preachers alone while targeting those who oppose them.

What options are available? Firstly, law enforcement efforts to introduce informants to prospective terrorists or conduct “stings.” Such operations have proven highly effective at ferreting out and leading to the successful prosecution of would-be jihadists before they strike. This can be done in online chatrooms, but also needs to be permissible in all places where these “unaffiliated” potential “known wolves” congregate, including mosques aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood or other groups who play a role in indoctrination for jihad, as well as Muslim Student Associations, and other area “incubators.” To be successful however, informants and undercover operatives need to be able to talk the talk, which requires an understanding of jihad doctrine, which cannot be effectively done without understanding Shariah law.

Of course for this precise reason the use of informants and sting tactics have been under incredible pressure by Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and far-left groups, as I have previously written. Despite what Al Jazeera and groups like Human Rights Watch say, law enforcement stings are not “human rights violations” but a necessary counterterrorism tactic.

Secondly, In the U.S., federal law enforcement are reluctance to name jihadist attacks as terrorism which creates a need for state-level options. One possibility is “Andy’s Law,” named for Private Andy Long, killed by supposedly “lone wolf” Carlos Bledsoe. Andy’s Law works to strengthen state-level material support for terrorism statutes by both increasing criminal penalties and greatly increasing the civil liability of individuals and entities which provide material support for terrorism.

In civil court, under Andy’s Law, someone who commits an act of terrorism or supports terrorism would be subjected to attorney fees, plus treble damages. This creates a civil cause of action for a victim of terror, which means it incentivizes attorneys to come to the victim’s support and to go after an entity suspected of radicalizing them. The possibility of civil action creates the opportunity for legal “discovery” which in turn helps bring to public view more information about how jihadist incubators radicalize adherents. Andy’s Law has already passed in a number of states.

There may be other possible avenues for reform which could help crack down on would-be jihadists without hampering free speech, and a discussion of what reforms would be necessary should take place. But it is long past time to stop feigning helplessness, simply because would-be terrorists subscribe to a violent ideology, rather than swearing allegiance to a specific violent group. Let’s stop hiding behind the moniker of lone wolves, and make the changes that are necessary to help law enforcement start hunting.

Man Who Interrogated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Speaks Out

mitchellimg

Watch Megyn Kelly’s 12/15 interview James Mitchell. The interview will be continued on tonight’s Kelly File.

The CIA interrogation ‘architect’ reacts to interrogation report (part 1)

 

The CIA interrogation ‘architect’ reacts to interrogation report (part 2)

 

The CIA interrogation ‘architect’ reacts to interrogation report (part 3)

 

Day 2 Of Megyn Kelly Interviews James Mitchell Who Interrogated KSM

 

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Robert Spencer on Man Haron Monis’s taking of hostages in Sydney, Australia

Published on Dec 15, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

Robert Spencer, Faith Goldy and Jerry Agar discuss the hostage taking by Man Haron Monis at a Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia on Dec 15-16, 2014.

Faces of the Sydney siege hero victims: Young barrister and mother-of-three died after ‘shielding pregnant friend’ from gunfire and the café manager, 34, shot dead as he tried to grab terrorist’s gun

sydney-heroesDaily Mail, Dec. 16, 2014:

  • Tori Johnson, 34, and Katrina Dawson, 38, were killed during a terrorist siege at Sydney’s Lindt cafe on Monday
  • Mr Johnson, the cafe manager of two years, tried to wrestle the gun from the hostage-taker before he was shot
  • Police stormed building with automatic weapons and grenades where gunman had held hostages for 16 hours
  • Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Islamic extremist Man Haron Monis was not on terrorism watchlist
  • 20-year-old university student who became terrified face of the siege had started work 45 minutes before siege
  • Lawyer who is 19 weeks pregnant survived siege only to discover her friend and colleague was killed
  • Siege survivor tells how hostages were forced to make chilling extremist propaganda videos from inside cafe 
  • Police raid home of the terrorist’s partner in Sydney as questions are raised about why he was free on bail
  • Monis forced several hostages to record chilling video messages uploaded to YouTube before attack ended

A barrister who died in Sydney’s terrorist siege was today hailed a hero after it was claimed she was killed shielding a pregnant friend from gunfire.

Mother-of-three Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, the manager of the Lindt cafe in Martin Place, were the two hostages killed in the bloody climax.

Mrs Dawson, 38, whose children are all under ten, was a barrister in Sydney’s central business district opposite the siege site and died of a heart attack.

She had been getting coffee with pregnant Julie Taylor when Man Haron Monis entered the building – and later admirably shielded her friend from bullets.

It was not clear whether Mrs Dawson was shot or what other injuries, if any, she sustained in the shocking incident.

Mr Johnson, 34, was shot dead after he tried to wrestle the gun from ‘hate sheikh’ Monis inside the cafe just after 2am on Tuesday.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher spoke at a prayer service later on Tuesday of how the two victims were ‘willing to lay down their lives so others might live’.

Today, as police began a wide-ranging probe into the events, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the gunman was not on a terrorism watch list.

Mr Abbott questioned why ‘someone who has had such a long and chequered history’ was allowed to be ‘entirely at large in the community’.

Monis was on bail on a charge of colluding with his partner, Amirah Droudis, to murder a woman – and on bail for more than 40 sexual assault charges.

The known hate preacher had been facing charges for allegedly sexually abusing a woman while advertising himself as a ‘spiritual healer’.

Read more at Daily Mail

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The Terrorist Attack in Australia: Coming to a Theater Near You

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 15, 2014

1102This article originally was published by Foxnews.com.

The violent conclusion to the Australian hostage taking terrorist siege was inevitable. The terrorist  was killed as the Sydney police swat team stormed the café. Even though two hostages were killed, the Sydney police had no choice but to act. After a siege lasting nearly 17 hours, police had good reason to believe that the self-anointed “Sheik” Haron Monis was going to make good on his threat to detonate the bombs he claimed to have unless his demands were met.

There had been an open line between a police hostage negotiator with the terrorist for much of that time but with up to 10 hostages remaining captive, it was feared that the terrorist was going to become a suicide bomber and thus kill everyone in the café. The Sydney police are now involved in investigating and reconstructing the time line of entire incident. But there is no doubt that the Australian police saved the lives of many more hostages.

There should be no doubt that this was a pure act of Islamic terrorism despite ludicrous assertions by some commentators that his “motivations” were unknown. We will see all sorts of “explanations” that because his rap sheet included indictments for sexual assault and murder, he was not really an Islamic terrorist but someone who was simply mentally unstable. Well, the same rationale could be said for all terrorists. After all, who in their right mind would want to kill innocent civilians because of their religious beliefs?

Islamic extremists do. And to deny their radical Islamic motivation—as our own government has done repeatedly in refusing to classify Islamic terrorist attacks as such as in the case of the massacre carried out by Major Nidal Hassan—is a guarantee that such acts will continue to be perpetuated especially by lone wolf terrorists. Australian police are investigating to determine if Monis acted alone or whether he acted in concert with other Islamic extremists or even at the behest of ISIS itself.

Last month, Monis pledged his allegiance to ISIS and renounced his Shiite heritage in an online posting that since has been taken down. Our organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, retrieved the page and translated it. Monis wrote:

“Pledge of allegiance [to ISIS] of Sheikh Haron”

“Allegiance with Allah and His Messenger, and the Commander of the Faithful – I pledge allegiance to Allah and His Messenger and the Caliph of the Muslims”

“Praise be to Allah and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions, and those who follow them and peace be upon the Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph of the Muslims, the Imam of our current era, and praise be to Allah, who made for us a Caliph of the Earth and an imam who summons us to Islam and holds fast to the Rope of Allah Almighty and praise be to Allah that I have had the honor to pledge allegiance to the Imam of our time. Those who swear allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims are just swearing allegiance to Allah and His Messenger….”

His website also contained rants against the Australian government for their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Australian intelligence was aware of Monis early on and had an extensive file on him based on his prior radical Islamic activities in Australia and electronic surveillance of his communications with Islamic terrorists overseas.

The terrorist incident in Sydney certainly indicates parallels with the calls for individually driven terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals throughout the West. These calls grew in prominence with Inspire magazine, put out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) led by Anwar Al-Awlaki until he was killed by a U.S. drone. In calling for Muslims living in western countries to carry out lone wolf terrorist attacks, ISIS has copied the same playbook as AQAP in calling for local attacks whenever and where ever possible. These attacks are happening all over the world now, especially fueled beyond the Internet by the rise of social media which has pushed the message of Islamic terrorism virtually as fast as the speed of light. In the past two years alone, there have been more than 100 attempted or successful ISIS inspired Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe and the United State From Belgium to France to Oklahoma City, no place is immune from Islamic terrorism, whether it be from returning ISIS veterans or just those radical Muslims living in the West who are motivated to carry out attacks.

Moreover, it is a lethal mistake for western leaders to differentiate ISIS from other Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hizballah, Boko Haram, or Al Shabaab. Those Islamic terrorist groups are motivated by the same underlying motivations behind ISIS: to kill as many of their infidel enemies as possible and impose Islamic supremacy. The only difference is that ISIS has declared itself to be a global caliphate; the other groups are focused on becoming regional caliphates. But their genocidal agenda and tactics are no different than those of ISIS. The only reason Hamas has not been as successful as ISIS in killing its infidel enemies is that Israel has been able to stop Hamas from carrying out acts of mass murder, even though Hamas tried this past summer when it launched more than 6,000 rockets and missiles at Israel in an effort to kill as many civilians as possible. Nigeria on the other hand has been unable to stop the horrific successful attacks by Boko Haram in which more than 300 Nigerians have been slaughtered in the past year alone.

Australian intelligence agencies probably had the best handle on the domestic threat by Islamic extremists as evidenced by their successful interruption of major plots in the past year. Those plots included a plan to behead Australian civilians and a conspiracy to bomb Australian targets. But those were plots planned by conspiracies of multiple extremists. Today’s incident, however, shows the difficulties of stopping lone wolf attacks. What we are witnessing is not the rise of radical Islam. It is only an extension of the rise of radical Islam unleashed by the 9/11 attacks. The difference is that this phase is not directed by centralized organizations. Islamic terrorism has now become decentralized, creating a new challenge for western intelligence agencies. It creates extraordinary pressure to come up with new methods to monitor internal threats which are also a technical challenge as it means monitoring meta data of social media. But the most dangerous and counterproductive act would be to deny that Islamic terrorist attacks are what they are: Islamic terrorist attacks.

Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and the executive producer of a new documentary about the Muslim Brotherhood in America “Jihad in America: the Grand Deception.”

Free Fire Zone- Known Wolf Apologists

Published on Dec 15, 2014 by World Peace Media

The Sydney Siege terrorist adds to the list of Lone wolves, better called Known Wolves. We see & hear their Islamist hatred, but ignore the danger.

Sydney’s Lesson: The Mutant Jihadists are coming

240DD65D00000578-2873855-At_least_13_people_are_being_held_hostage_by_terrorists_who_stor-m-74_1418608624151History News Network, By Walid A. Phares, Dec 15, 2014:

The jihadi hostage taker of Sydney has been mutating from one state of mind to another over the years. He is a citizen of Iran under his original name Manteghi Bourjerdi. There is no information as to why he sought political asylum to Australia in 1996. He either used the process of asylum to enter Australia or he was opposed to the Iranian regime. However, as soon as he was granted asylum and became a legal resident, he engaged in open activism for a radical global jihadi ideology. He focused on an anti-Western, anti-U.S. agenda, launching political attacks on Australia’s policies and on its military. His narrative was global and could fit the goals of any jihadi movement in the world, whether it be Salafi or Khomeinist. Being a Shia, he was originally identified as linked to al Qaeda or ISIS, but being opposed to the Iranian regime, he was not linked to Hezbollah. Then new information appeared—basically from his own web site—that he abandoned the Shia faith and moved to the Sunni faith. He used the narrative of Salafi Sunni jihadists when he announced he abandoned the Shia. He called them “rafida,” a term used by al Qaeda and ISIS.

So what do we make of his case? Academic scholars and experts are puzzled by this man who changed his name to Sheikh M’an (not man) Haroun Mu’nis (not Munis) شيخ مأن هارون مؤنس . He was Shia and he shifted to Sunni, but we do not have a document proving this. What we are dealing with is a concept I advanced in my book Future Jihad (2005): the idea of “mutant jihadists.” Nine years ago I warned that the jihadists could and would mutate from their original state into another more complex, adaptive entity. From Salafi jihadists in al Qaeda, they could move to ISIS—as we saw in Iraq and Syria—or from Muslim Brotherhood to Salafi jihadis—as we saw in Libya. But mutating from a Shia to Sunni jihadist, by converting from one sect to another, is a more complex case. The reality is, however, that the opposite, moving from Sunni to Shia jihadism, is also occurring. Over the past decade, many Arab governments have complained about Iranian efforts to convert Sunni to Shia, but in recent years, Salafi jihadists have also succeeded in converting Shia into their brand of jihadism. Even more complex is the fact that individual jihadists—such as Sheikh Mu’nis—would move from one sphere to another by themselves. Are they helped, assisted, or even funded? Anything is possible in the world of jihadism.
I argued a decade ago that once the global jihadi movement starts to expand, we will see many transformations and mutations. Not every jihadi will look like another, nor will they have to necessarily belong to a particular movement or organization. What links all of them is the common core of jihadism. All jihadists are fighting for a common cause against a common enemy, the infidels. Radical Islamists and jihadists can fight among themselves over who will lead and what the final goal might be, but their global direction is unified against a common enemy. To understand this fundamental reality, one has to understand what can be defined as “global jihadism,” an ideology explained in Future Jihad, an ideology I have been briefing governments, the U.S. Congress, and counterterrorism agencies about for over a decade. 
 Unfortunately, the Obama administration abandoned the identification of the jihadi ideology under pressure from the Islamist lobby, representing the agendas of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime. Since 2009, Washington no longer recognizes nor deals with the jihadi ideology. And Western governments somehow follow this U.S. example. This refusal to identify jihadism explains how and why the United States and many liberal democracies, both in their governments and academia, have been unable to detect the threat, define it, and produce appropriate antidotes. Even advanced think tanks and foundations have been trailing behind in the strategic detection of the jihadi phenomenon.
 The “chocolate shop jihad” in Sydney demonstrates how jihad can mutate and strike from unexpected quarters. But it also demonstrates how weak the intellectual and political establishment is in preempting and countering the threat. All the West now has is law enforcement capacities. And the sad state of affairs has local law enforcement attempting to fix the mistakes committed by national political elites.  
Dr Walid Phares is the Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Terrorism TAG and the author of The Lost Spring

Disturbed Man Radicalized to Jihad, Stabs Police Officer

Hudson Taylor Clark's Facebook profile picture

Hudson Taylor Clark’s Facebook profile picture

By Ryan Mauro:

A radical Muslim in Colorado named Hudson Taylor Clark was shot five times and arrested following his stabbing of a police officer. The authorities say the man had been visiting jihadist websites. This is the fifth Islamism-inspired attack in America this year.

The Canon City Police Department confirmed that the federal government had inquired about Clark because of online statements he made about jihad.

“For the last couple of months he has been working out a lot and he has been visiting Islamic websites and other types of websites described to us as jihadist in nature,” said Canon City Police Chief Paul Schultz.

In a video posted on YouTube on December 1, Clark stated he is a Muslim and that Allah informed him that he is Jesus. He said that when he asked Allah if he is Jesus, a torrential downpour began that then disappeared when he asked it to stop.

The Twitter account that apparently belonged to Clark has been deleted, but a search for it on Google shows it had proclamations of his Islamic faith and the anti-Semitic statement of, “Look out for that Jews horns and teeth!”

Clark carried out his attack on Saturday, December 6. He began the morning by telling his mother that he was leaving and would never return, prompting her to call the police several hours later.

***

Expect two distracting arguments to distort media coverage of the attack, if significant coverage even happens.

First, there will be a debate about whether it qualifies as a terrorist attack. As the author explained in analyzing the Oklahoma City beheading, this debate misses the point. The point is Islamism-driven violence and extremism; not whether to categorize it as crime or terrorism.

Secondly, the Islamist basis of the attack will be downplayed in favor of his obvious mental instability. There will be commentators who depict Clark as a violence-inclined crazy man who only happened to be Muslim.

This argument ignores the anti-Semitism he expressed and the jihadist websites he visited that caught the attention of federal authorities. Not everyone who is mentally unstable engages in violent jihad. The ideology shaped the violent result of that instability.

This is the fifth Islamist act of violence on American soil this year. The previous attacks are as follows:

  • The October axe attack on New York Police Department officers by an Islamic State supporter following two attacks in Canada;
  • The September beheading of a woman in Oklahoma City by a supporter of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State who previously justified beheadings online;
  • The April-July shooting spree by a jihadist who killed four people in Washington state and New Jersey;
  • The New Years’ Eve act of arson targeting a gay club in Seattle by an Islamist who sympathized with anti-American terrorists.

Islamism is a catalyst for all kinds of crime and violence. We should not waste time parsing words to categorize each individual act as if they are fundamentally different. The bottom line is that Islamism is an ideology that threatens innocents and it does so in many different ways.

Read more at Clarion Project

There was also an attack in October in DC but the media went silent on it:

dc-police-ax-620x348

Ax-Wielding Man Attacks D.C. Police Officer — This Jaw-Dropping Photo Shows Just How Close of a Call It Was

A “Known Wolf” and the Black Flag

1410077156CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Dec. 15, 2014:

The siege of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney Australia was terminated violently by Australian police with multiple gunshots and stun grenades this morning. Reports indicate that there have been multiple casualties  including the perpetrator. The hostage taker was identified as Man Monis, better known as “Sheikh Haron.”   Haron  is a well known figure to the Australian media, having faced multiple charges, including sending harassing letters to the widows of Australian troops, and over 40 incidents of sexual abuse targeting those seeking his services in “spiritual healing.” Most recently Haron was charged as an accessory before and after the fact in the murder of his ex-wife, in a stabbing and arson allegedly carried out by a woman who was identified as Haron’s “partner.”

An Iranian, Haron notes on his webpage that he “used to be a Rafidi, but not anymore. Now I am a Muslim, Alhamdu Lillah (December 2014).” Rafidi is a derogatory term for the Shia, often used by Islamic State adherents. Below that is written the phrase, “Remain and expand, God willing,” which is a slogan also commonly used by the Islamic State.

Based on comments from his twitter page, it appears that Haron’s journey from a Shia “sheikh” to a supporter of IS began to develop over time. On twitter, Haron condemned Assad and the Iranian government for it’s killing of Muslims in Syria, and reposted youtube videos of Kurds reportedly swearing allegiance to IS leader Abubakr Al-Baghdadi as early as November 7th.  On November 9th Haron tweeted that the hypocrites (a term often used to refer to Shia by IS supporters) will dwell in “hellfire.” Also on November 9th, Haron refers to AbukBakr Al Baghdadi as “Caliph.”

Haron’s efforts to identify himself with the Islamic State appears to have been at the root of negotiations with Australian police during the stand off. After first forcing hostages to display a black “al-raya” banner, which features the Islamic Shahada (There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah), most media outlets followed the lead of police in refusing to speculate as to Haron’s intent. The hostage taker then apparently began demanding to be provided with a version of the Shahada flag most commonly recognized as the Islamic State flag. After forcing hostages to repeatedly call various media outlets in an attempt to publicize his demands, Haron  took to twitter and then youtube (Ed. note:Link does not go to hostage video but to news story), forcing hostages to tweet and record videos announcing his demands.

The case for denying Haron his desired publicity for tactical reasons during the siege is legitimate, and shouldn’t be seconded guessed. But now that the incident has ended, it ought to be said what most people already knew. Haron was an agitator who was infamous to Australian law enforcement for his support for jihad in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. He was, to cite a phrase coined by terrorism analyst Patrick Poole a “known wolf.”  While the hostage taker was mocked on social media for “forgetting” his ISIS flag, the reality is that the display of a black Shahada flag was an immediately clear and easily recognized indicator of his jihadist sentiment. Pro-Islamic State Muslims, including in Australia have displayed it previously without any indication that it contradicted their intended affiliation.  As to the Shahada itself and its association with jihad, a hadith related in Sahih Muslim (Book 1, Hadith 0033) records:

It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah said:

I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.

Numerous hadith, classified as ‘authentic” under classical Islamic jurisprudence, relates the same statement. Ironically, as the various media commentators discussed what the black banner “might” possibly mean, they recited this very declaration, over and over again.

Haron does not appear to have been a highly sophisticated terrorist operative, but the debate over whether Haron is “affiliated” with the Islamic State misses the point. Haron affiliated himself with the Islamic State, openly and clearly, and with the global jihad more generally, first through “dawah” (preaching and proselytizing) and then, when it appeared his days as a hate preacher were coming to an end thanks to his legal problems, through violent jihad. While Haron clearly lacked the sophistication of a cleric like the late AQAP ideologue, Anwar Al-Awlaki, he was nonetheless coherent  in his messaging and behavior. Dismissing the “known wolves” like Haron, because they are not directly commanded with a terrorist cell, or due to any combination of personality quirks or mental unbalance, is a dangerous mistake.

Sydney Hostage-Taker “Muslims Will Take Over Australia”

397141-sheik-man-haron-monis-450x253Frontpage, By Daniel Greenfield On December 15, 2014

On his Fatwa page, Sheikh Haron aka Man Haron Monis, the Sydney hostage-taker who had spent nearly two decades committing a variety of crimes including sexual assault, murder and supporting terrorism without being deported, explained his vision for Australia.

In the Holy Quran (Chapter 24, Verse 55) has promised Muslims that they would be the rulers in the Earth. According this verse of the Holy Quran, we, Muslims, will capture the Earth including Australia.

Insha Allah Ta aalaa, we will be the majority of Australia one day.

Australian Muslims should practice and be prepared for such a day which might be soon Insha Allah (SWT).

Australian Muslims should try to carry and raise the Australian flag much more but at the same time they must always remind people about the promise of Allah (SWT) that Muslims will take over Australia. (Sadaqa Allah al Adhim).

And Sheikh Haron was also opposed to the very multiculturalism that allowed him to invade Australia and do his dirty work there. Because he looked forward to Muslims displacing everyone else.

Multiculturalism advocates a nation that extends equitable status to distinct different religious and cultural groups. Multiculturalism doesn’t predominate a specific culture and religion.

Islam predominates one specific religion and culture which is Islamic culture. The philosophy of Multiculturalism as part of the pragmatism started at the end of the 19th century in UK and USA. The idea of plural society is against “Ummah Wahidah” in Islam.

Allah (SWT) advocates only one religion and culture: the Islamic culture that was brought us by prophets from Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them).

Muslims must promote “Muslimculturalism” instead of “Multiculturalism”.

Insha Allah one day in the near future, Muslims in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA etc. will face Monoculturalism and that will be the Islamic culture.

We believe that replacing “Muslimculturalism” instead of “Multiculturalism” will bring a better future for our beloved country.

Australian culture instead of Muslimculturalism seems likely to bring in a future without Muslim terrorism.

Also by Greenfield: