Incoherent Strategy Delays Mosul Offensive, Administration Touts Hashtag Victory

February 28, 2015 / /

For our readers this won’t come as a shock, but the GOI has announced that the Mosul operation will be delayed for several more months – possibly til this fall but more like next year. Why? The reasons for the delay are the very same things we’ve laid out in the Iraq articles we’ve posted over the past two months with our most recent piece being “ISIS Shaping Operations Against IA Blunts Mosul OP Before it Starts.” The bottom-line is the GOI and the Obama administration were banking on a pie in the sky assessment of how things “should be” versus what the conditions on the ground are really like. In other words, this is what happens when academics and activists with little or no real world experience run the foreign policy and national defense of the country. Here’s a recap:

– The Iraqi Army (IA) is maxed out on manpower and is having trouble fielding a suitable assault force without pulling troops from other critical areas, such as the defense of Baghdad. As the IA began moving units north and the curfew lifted, Islamic State (IS) sleeper cells began hitting Baghdad with a sustained rate of attacks that show no signs of letting up. The US government is training what is supposed to be the “backbone” of this assault force, but its unrealistic to think a bunch of green recruits who had a few weeks of training (and no real combat experience) will be successful against seasoned-IS fighters.

ISF

ISF recruits training in Dubardan, Iraq
Source: Washington Post

– IS – already fully aware of the very public plans to retake Mosul – had launched their own two-pronged counter-offensive in Anbar targeting al-Asad Airbase and in Northern Iraq targeting Irbil, Kirkuk and Bayji with plans to defend Tikrit. As we stated in our previous articles, IS’ intent was to force the IA to reallocate forces dedicated to the Mosul operation to ensuring al-Asad Airbase doesn’t fall and that Tikrit is taken out of the equation.

anbar4

Although graphic, its a glimpse into how well the IA has fared thus far in Anbar Province
Source: al-Battar Media Foundation

– The increased pressure being placed on Irbil and Kirkuk has forced the KRG Peshmerga into making the decision to address the areas south of Kirkuk and the Zaab Triangle that reaches into Ninevah Province. Failure to clear IS from those areas means the LOCs from the main KRG support hubs of Kirkuk and Irbil will become vulnerable to attacks targeting logistical convoys.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters keep watch during the battle with Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Mosul

Peshmerga in the outskirts of Mosul
Source: al-Monitor

– IRGC-Qods Force commander GEN Suleimani has declared that securing the LOC from Baghdad to Mosul should be the priority before any operation to retake Mosul is launched. As such, he has formulated a plan involving a joint-Qods Force/Shia militia/Peshmerga operation with some IA participation geared towards clearing the areas South of Kirkuk and pushing south into Tikrit and Bayji. Concurrently, a separate OP will be launched to retake Tikrit. Our sources in the country have confirmed that Suleimani himself will be overseeing the Tikrit OP. The amount of support the Qods Force and its Shia proxies will provide to the IA’s Mosul OP will be heavily dependent on the outcome of these two lines of effort. If they go badly or take longer than they thought, it would mean that the most important part of the IA force – the militias and the Qods Force – would be involved in a much more limited capacity than planned or not involved at all – further increasing the probability that the mission would be a failure.

Qodsfest

GEN Suleimani: Doing what the US government has failed to do – build and maintain relationships
Source: al-Arabiya

You can find more in-depth analysis on each of the above-mentioned points in these articles:

ISIS Shaping Operations Against IA Blunts Mosul OP Before it Starts

IA Struggling to Avoid Collapse on Multiple Fronts – Mosul OP in Danger of Failing

IA Preps to Take Mosul as King’s Rage Continues

ISIS Launches First Wave of Attacks Against al-Asad Airbase as Kirkuk Heats Up

GOI Has Big Plans to Retake the Country From ISIS – But Can They Pull it Off???

IS has recently launched an offensive against Samarra. Indeed the city holds a great deal of religious significance for Shia Muslims, but there’s also a tactical reason for targeting this particular population center. First, the city is where the IRGC-Qods Force is running its UAV operations. Its also the city with the Shia militia personnel that can respond the quickest should reinforcements be needed during the Tikrit OP – and they will. Tikrit is being defended in much the same way as Mosul, that is, it involves a combination of the play books used during the Second Battle of Fallujah and the Euphrates River Valley during Operation Steel Curtain with some updates, such as the inclusion of armor and heavy weapons.

Islamic State fighters attack Samarra ahead of army offensive
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/28/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-idUSKBN0LW0AD20150228

Iraqi security forces guard during the building of a new road between Diyala province and Samarra

Source: Reuters

The KRG made it abundantly clear that they would not participate in the Mosul OP as long as Kirkuk and Irbil are threatened, and have stated that they will need heavier weaponry to counter the armored assets that IS has at their disposal. Also, the KRG voiced concerns about the IA’s capabilities stating that they’re simply not ready – and probably won’t be in the foreseeable future. A more damning indictment of the IA can be found when speaking with Peshmerga fighters themselves, with the descriptions of their Arab counterparts ranging from talks of their cowardice to colluding with IS – both of which are valid complaints considering how fast the IA disintegrated in Northern Iraq. IS has been fortifying Mosul and Tikrit with VBIEDs and IEDs along the main avenues of approach and at each intersection. We’ve also been receiving several reports of additional armor being brought in to bolster what they already seized from the IA when they initially fled Northern Iraq in panic, so the KRG’s concerns are well-warranted.

Kurds push for delay of Mosul attack
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/kurd-push-delay-mosul-attack-isis-congress-sunni.html

At Kurdish outpost, skepticism abounds about assault on Mosul
http://www.macon.com/2015/02/22/3600234/at-kurdish-outpost-skepticism.html

Pesh_kirkuk

The Peshmerga has armored assets of their own – but not enough to close the gap with IS
Source: ekurd.net

Meanwhile the Obama administration is touting its State Department’s (DoS) “Think Again, Turn Away” campaign claiming that they’ve “shut down” thousands of IS-affiliated twitter accounts. In truth the Information Operations (IO) campaign has had little to no impact on IS as the terror organization continues to grow and the accounts that have been shut down were done so by Twitter due to violating the terms of use policy. As a whole, IO is an extremely important front in this fight. Unfortunately for us, the US government has done a horrible job in this arena with IS running circles around the flaccid “Think Again, Turn Away” campaign. We first wrote about how this campaign would turn out to be a failure back in SEP 14 – so far nothing has been done to change that assessment. Again, this is what happens when the National Security team is composed of academics and activists, pollsters and campaign staffers. Remember the failed hashtag campaign #bringbackourgirls that the White House launched after Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria? Islamic State made a mockery of that with hashtags such as #bringbackmyhumvee and #comeatmebro. Boko Haram even openly mocked First Lady Michelle Obama in a video uploaded to youtube. The whole episode became such an embarrassment it seems they no longer mention it at the State Department or the White House.

IO is a very important component, but the administration’s approach thus far has been terrible. It wasn’t very good in the previous administration either for the record because in both Iraq and Afghanistan the US had a tendency to use cultural advisers who hadn’t lived in the target country in decades let alone having recent experience. The westernized Arab doesn’t have the same cultural knowledge as an individual with recent in country living. The administration’s recent push that economic opportunity will alleviate the problems with jihadists because they come from poor backgrounds. This is patently false as some of the most well known have come from middle class or higher upbringings such as Usama bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi was a Jordanian doctor that became a suicide bomber killing himself and several CIA personnel at FOB Chapman on 30 December 2009. Islamic State social media icon of butchery Mohammed Emwazi came from a middle class upbringing and graduated with a computer science degree. Yes, some come from poor backgrounds, but they come from diverse backgrounds not just the poor.

State Department Failure: Messaging Gaffes Miss Mark Completely
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1689

U.S. Intensifies Effort to Blunt ISIS’ Message
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/world/middleeast/us-intensifies-effort-to-blunt-isis-message.html?_r=0

Veterans advocate blasts Obama’s ‘Twitter war’; ‘fighting terror with tweets’
http://www.bizpacreview.com/2015/02/28/veterans-advocate-blasts-obamas-twitter-war-fighting-terror-with-tweets-183260

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 11.29.10 AM

Source: DoS

Links to Other Related Articles:

ISIS Burns Iraqis Alive in Message to US – Government Remains Oblivious

Obama Blames Rise of ISIS on the Intelligence Community

Obama’s ISIS Strategy: Failed Before it Started

Another Reason Obama’s ISIS Strategy Has Already Failed

The Main Act: ISIS Tightens its Grip in Anbar Province, Preps to Take al-Asad Airbase

Iraqi Army Facing Heavy Resistance in Anbar: Counter-Offensive Stalls

Pro-Government Tribal Forces in Anbar Running Out of Steam

Islamic State Seizes Town of Khan al-Baghdadi, Threatens US Marines at Ayn al-Asad

ISIS: Regained Initiative in Northern Iraq

ISIS: Still Going Strong Despite Coalition Efforts

Business experts weigh in on ISIS’s organ sales

Money Jihad, February 27, 2015:

Black market organ sales and the financing of ISIS was the subject of a segment on last Saturday’s edition of the business news show “Bulls & Bears” on Fox News.  Among the more interesting points made during the discussion came from hedge fund manager Gary B. Smith, who suggested that ISIS’s financial swamp can be drained by following the model for prosecuting organized crime rings to include developing informants and flipping them to rat out the big bosses.  That would have been easier if Pres. Obama had tried to keep a residual force in Iraq to include human intelligence forces, but it’s still a valid prescription for tackling ISIS sleeper cells in the West.  Roll tape:

Austria Passes Reforms to 1912 Islam Law

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, February 27, 2015:

The new law, which the Austrian government says could serve as a model for the rest of Europe, seeks to reduce outside meddling by prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria. It also stresses that Austrian law must take precedence over Islamic Sharia law for Muslims living in the country.

The Turkish government has expressed outrage at the financing ban, which it says amounts to “Islamophobia.”

“Countries cannot have their own version of Islam. Islam is universal and its sources are clear. … [E]fforts taken by state leaders to create a version of Islam that is particular to their own countries are futile.” — Mehmet Görmez, Head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate.

The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. In Vienna, Muslim students already outnumber Catholic students at middle and secondary schools and are on the verge of overtaking Catholics in elementary schools.

At the same, time Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam.

The Austrian parliament has approved controversial reforms to the country’s century-old Islam Law (Islamgesetz), governing the status of Muslims in the country.

The new law, which was passed on February 25, is aimed at integrating Muslims and fighting Islamic radicalism by promoting an “Islam with an Austrian character.”

Among other changes, the new law seeks to reduce outside meddling by prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria. It also stresses that Austrian law must take precedence over Islamic Sharia law for Muslims living in the country.

The Austrian government says the new law is a milestone and could serve as a model for the rest of Europe. But Muslim groups say it is discriminatory and have vowed to challenge it in court.

The new law overhauls the original Islam Law, which dates back to 1912. The original law was passed in order to help integrate Muslim soldiers into the Habsburg Imperial Army after the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908. The law recognized Islam as an official religion in Austria, and allowed Muslims to practice their religion in accordance with the laws of the state.

After the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed in the aftermath of World War I, the number of Muslims in Austria was reduced to just a few hundred people. After World War II, however, Austria’s Muslim population increased rapidly with the arrival of “guest workers” from Turkey and the Balkans in the 1960s, and refugees from Bosnia in the 1990s.

According to data compiled by the University of Vienna, the Muslim population in Austria now exceeds 574,000 (or roughly 7% of the total population), up from an estimated 340,000 (or 4.25%) in 2001 and 150,000 (or 2%) in 1990.

The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. In Vienna, where the Muslim population now exceeds 12.5%, Muslim students already outnumber Catholic students at middle and secondary schools. Muslim students are also on the verge of overtaking Catholics in Viennese elementary schools.

At the same time, Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam. A recent report by Austria’s Agency for State Protection and Counterterrorism (BVT) warned of the “exploding radicalization of the Salafist scene in Austria.” Salafism is an anti-Western ideology that seeks to impose Islamic sharia law.

Due to its geographic location, Austria has also become a central hub for European jihadists seeking to fight in Syria. In addition to being a transit point for foreigners going to fight with the Islamic State, at least 190 Austrian citizens have become jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

In an interview with Austrian Public Radio Ö1-Morgenjournal, Austria’s Minister for Integration and Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, said the rapid rise of Islam in Austria has rendered the old Islam Law obsolete. A new law is needed, he said, to stipulate more clearly the rights and responsibilities of Muslims living in the country.

The new law (nine-page text in German here) regulates at least a dozen separate issues, including relatively non-controversial matters such as Muslim holidays, Muslim cemeteries, Muslim dietary practices and the activities of Muslim clergy in hospitals, prisons and the army. In this respect, the government has met all of the demands put forth by Muslim groups in the country.

The new law, however, goes far beyond what Muslims had wanted. For example, the law seeks to prevent the growth of a parallel Islamic society in Austria by regulating mosques and the training of imams, who will now be required to be proficient in German. The new law also requires Muslim organizations and groups to terminate the employment of clerics who have criminal records or who “pose a threat to public safety, order, health and morals or the rights and freedoms of others.”

More significantly, Paragraph 6.2 of the law seeks to limit the religious and political influence of foreign governments within the Austrian Muslim community by prohibiting foreign countries — presumably Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states — from financing Islamic centers and mosques in Austria.

The new restrictions — including an employment ban for foreign clerics in Austria as of March 31, 2016 — would apply especially to Turkey: 60 of the 300 Muslim clerics working in Austria are Turkish civil servants whose salaries are being paid for by the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet.

In an interview with the BBC, Kurz said the reforms were a “milestone” for Austria and were aimed at preventing certain Muslim countries from using financial means to exert “political influence.” He said:

“What we want is to reduce the political influence and control from abroad and we want to give Islam the chance to develop freely within our society and in line with our common European values.”

The Turkish government has expressed outrage at the financing ban, which it says amounts to “Islamophobia.” The head of the Diyanet, Mehmet Görmez, said it was a “huge mistake” that would throw Austria’s tradition of tolerance towards Islam “back 100 years.” He added:

“Countries come together from time to time on the grounds of security concerns and try to construct a version of Islam peculiar to their own countries, rather than increase the freedoms that would lead to unity and remove obstacles before the religious education and services, and make an effort to remove anti-Islamic sentiments and Islamophobia.

“Countries cannot have their own version of Islam. Islam is universal and its sources are clear. Therefore, religion is not a matter of engineering. I would like to restate that efforts taken by state leaders to create a version of Islam that is particular to their own countries are futile.”

Mehmet Görmez (left), head of the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, denounced Austria’s new law and said that Austria should instead “make an effort to remove anti-Islamic sentiments and Islamophobia.” Johann Rädler (right), speaking for the Austrian People’s Party, said the law “guarantees Muslims more rights, and on the other hand it serves to counteract undesirable developments.”

For many, however, the most contentious part of the law involves Paragraph 4.2, which states that Muslim organizations “must have a positive attitude toward society and state” or be shut down. According to the government, this formulation makes it clear that Austrian civil law has priority over Islamic Sharia law. Muslim groups say this is unfair because it casts a “veil of general suspicion” over the entire community.

Kurz has defended the clause: “In Austria there must be no contradiction between being a self-conscious Austrian, while at the same time also being a devout Muslim. That was always the intention behind this law.”

Some say the law does not go far enough. The leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache, says that the law is full of loopholes will be difficult if not impossible to enforce. He also expressed dismay that the law does not include a ban on minarets and burkas.

A spokesperson for the Austrian People’s Party, Johann Rädler, said the law is the result of compromises that were made on both sides. He added:

“The goal of this law is to promote an Islam with an Austrian character, without being patronizing and without being dependent upon contributions from abroad. On the one hand, this law guarantees Muslims more rights, and on the other hand it serves to counteract undesirable developments.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Empowering Jihad: The Deadly Myth of a ‘Root Cause’

by Phyllis Chesler
The New York Post
February 26, 2015

1016Reports that “Jihadi John,” the British-accented narrator of ISIS snuff videos, is Mohammed Emwazi — an educated young man from a middle-class background — ought to put the final stake in the pretense that poverty and a lack of education and opportunity fuel Islamist hate.

This mistaken idea seems to be Obama administration policy.

Marie Harf, the US Department of State deputy spokesperson, recently said:

We cannot win this war by killing [jihadists]. We need to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs. . . We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.

Of course, the news about “Jihadi John” is only the latest evidence to the contrary. These terrorists are often well educated and even wealthy. Osama bin Laden certainly was.

Many Islamist terrorists are physicians: Maj. Nidal Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter) and al Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

“Lady Al Qaeda” Aafia Siddiqui (the terrorist whom ISIS wanted to trade for James Foley, then for Steven Sotloff) was a scientist.

William A. Wulf, former president of the National Academy of Engineering, has noted, “In the ranks of the captured and confessed terrorists, engineers and engineering students are significantly overrepresented.”Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 crew, was an engineer and the son of a solidly middle class family. Another engineer: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Underwear Bomber, who is the son of a wealthy Nigerian businessman.

Dr. Marc Sageman, a former CIA officer with a PhD from NYU as well as his MD, is the author of the landmark 2003 study “Understanding Terror Networks.”

This found that “two-thirds of al Qaeda’s members had a university education” and that “the vast majority of terrorists came from solid, middle-class backgrounds; their leadership hailed from the upper middle class. They came from caring, intact families.”

Blaming Islamist horrors on poverty only obscures the true problem: Jihadists are driven by an ideology — one that yearns to “restore” a mythical caliphate, one governed by the most austere version of Sharia law.

In a 2002 working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Alan Kreuger and Jitka Maleckova found that “poverty and low education don’t cause terrorism.” Indeed,

[A]ny connection between poverty, education and terrorism is indirect, complicated and probably quite weak. . . Instead of viewing terrorism as a direct response to low market opportunities or ignorance, we suggest it is more accurately viewed as a response to political conditions and long-standing feelings (either perceived or real) of indignity and frustration that have little to do with economics.

Which brings us to the way that President Obama and others are part of the problem. The Western liberal elites who reinforce the belief that Muslims and Arabs have been persecuted, profiled, spied upon, discriminated against, etc. are enhancing the ressentiment at the root of radical jihad.

This is just a new version of a long-standing problem on the left.

In “The Tears of the White Man: Compassion as Contempt” and “The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism,” Pascal Bruckner observed that Western left-wingers turned their romance with totalitarian communism into a dangerous flirtation with Third World struggles. Delusions of solidarity with and compassion for “the wretched of the earth,” he notes, empowered anti-Western, anti-Semitic and anti-colonial hatreds.

Safely situated leftists engaged in “pseudo-revolutionary posturing” and “political playacting,” which sacrificed women, infidels, dissidents and apostates.

Western elites view themselves as anti-racists ushering in a better world. Too bad they never think it through: Down with the Evil Western Empire, up with the . . . Even More Evil Islamist Empire?

Phyllis Chesler is a CUNY emerita professor of psychology and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. Her books include “Women and Madness” and “The New Anti-Semitism.”

***

Published on Feb 27, 2015 by Rebel Media

Remember what Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau said after the Boston Marathon bombing? He thinks we need to explore the “root causes” of terrorism.

These criminals, Trudeau went on to say, feel “excluded” from society.

But look at “Jihadi John.”

The notorious “star” of those infamous beheading videos turns out to be educated, employable and, well, privileged.

He has a degree in computer programming, and grew up in London, one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world.

“Jihadi John” wasn’t crazy or misled: He and others like him freely choose to join the side of evil.

DNI: 2014 Was Deadliest Year for Terror Attacks in 45 Years

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Feb. 27, 2015:

Terrorist attacks and resulting deaths increased sharply last year, according to statistics made public Thursday by the director of national intelligence.

“When the final counting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,” DNI Director James Clapper told Congress, adding that about half of all attacks took place in three states: Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Last year from January to September, around 13,000 terror attacks were carried out, killing 31,000 people. By contrast, in 2013, 22,000 people were killed in terrorist violence in over 11,500 attacks, Clapper disclosed during a wide-ranging world threat briefing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

More than 3,400 foreign jihadists have joined the al Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State (IS) that is showing signs of establishing its own nation state, Clapper said.

The DNI also testified that IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) is expanding outside Iraq and Syria into the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and South Asia. The group also is planning terror attacks on Western interests and against Shiite Muslims, he said.

Establishing chapters in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and South Asia are designed to project an image of a “global scale caliphate,” Clapper said, adding that the new affiliates do not appear under a central command of senior IS leaders.

“ISIL’s rise represents the greatest shift in the Sunni violent extremist landscape since al Qaida affiliates first began forming, and it is the first to assume at least some characteristics of a nation state,” he said.

Of particular concern are IS supporters who can conduct terror attacks on their own. IS is “able to appeal to people who then can act on their own at a time, and place, and circumstance of their choosing,” Clapper said. “And that is a very worrisome challenge, particularly in this country.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said IS is expanding and its successes are increasing the risk jihadists will attack the West. “We are engaged in the generational fight for civilization against brutal enemies, and defeating these enemies requires significant intelligence resources and focus, given the diffuse and constantly evolving nature of the threat,” McCain said.

U.S. intelligence estimates of the number of fighters that have joined IS range between 20,000 to 32,000, the DNI said, including an estimated 3,400 from 90 foreign nations. At least 13,400 of the fighters have known ties to other terrorist groups.

The statistics were made public as British authorities revealed the identity of the video-taped IS executioner shown in the beheading murders of several foreign hostages as Kuwait-born Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.

Several of the estimated 180 American jihadists who traveled to Syria have returned and are under surveillance, he said, adding that that so far none of the American jihadists have not indicated planning for terrorist attacks.

FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that Islamic radicals linked to IS are being investigated in all 50 states.

“ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song with their slick propaganda through social media,” Comey said.

“Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here, fighting for our so-called caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are,” the FBI director said of the group’s recruiting pitch.

Recent shooting attacks by Muslim jihadists in France and Denmark highlight the threat posed by the resurgent al Qaeda offshoot.

Clapper said IS has launched a sophisticated propaganda and media operation that highlights the group’s success and that has been instrumental in attracting new recruits.

“So their success on the battlefield, or perceived success, or the way they’re presented, certainly helps them in gaining recruits for the fight,” he said.

On funding, Clapper said IS was able to gain a large amount of money by overrunning Iraqi banks last year. Those funds, he said are “going to dry up.”

Air strikes against IS oil facilities also have forced the group to gain funds from smaller oil instillations, he said.

“And as a consequence of the brutality, the donations that they’ve received are tapering off,” Clapper said.

Asked about the rapid increase in IS fighters from around an initial estimate of 5,000 to now as many as 32,000, Clapper said the “mushrooming” was due to an early favorable reception by Sunnis opposed to the Shiite-leaning government in Baghdad.

As funds become short for the group, IS is turning to conscription to fill its ranks, especially after taking heavy losses—3,000 IS fighters killed—in the northern Syrian town of Kobani, he said.

The Obama administration’s strategy of air strikes combined with ground support for foreign militaries has degraded IS efforts to conduct large-scale offensive ground operations. But the terror group remains “a formidable and brutal threat,” Clapper said.

In Libya, terror groups linked to both al Qaeda and IS are using the country to conduct training and plotting for attacks, he said.

Clapper also said the conflict in Syria is increasing the danger of instability in the region, including in Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. And in Iraq, Sunni-Shiite conflict in growing and, if not curtailed, “will undermine progress against ISIL,” he said.

Clapper, appearing with Defense Intelligence Agency Director Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, came under critical questioning from McCain over the Obama administration’s refusal to supply arms to Ukraine in its battle against Russian separatists and Russian forces.

Clapper said providing arms to the Ukrainians would “provoke” Russian President Vladimir Putin to further aggression, and he also warned that a separatist attack aimed at taking over the key port of Mariupol, Ukraine, is “imminent.”

“This idea that somehow we will provoke Vladimir Putin—he’s done everything he wanted to do, general,” McCain said to Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general.

“Well, I don’t think he will view it happily if the United States provides lethal support,” Clapper said during the exchange.

Clapper said a lasting solution that allows Ukraine to pursue western integration “will be difficult to say the least.”

On other issues, Clapper outlined a series of international security threats, including:

  • Cyber attacks from both states and groups that are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of damage.
  • Russia is among the most sophisticated cyber warfare states and is preparing to attack critical infrastructure such as power grids, air traffic control, and oil and gas distribution. The cyber threat posed by Moscow is “more severe than we have previously assessed.”
  • Chinese advanced cyber espionage is “a major threat” and is continuing despite U.S. pressure on Beijing
  • Sunni terrorists pose the most likely threat of conducting deadly attacks in the United States.
  • North Korea is bolstering its nuclear weapons and missile forces that pose a “serious threat” to the United States.
  • Russia’s new Iskander cruise missile violates the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
  • China and Russia are increasingly threating U.S. strategic space systems with anti-satellite weapons.

On cyber threats to the financial industry, Clapper said the most pervasive threat comes from cyber criminals. “Criminals were responsible for cyber intrusions in 2014 in the JPMorgan, Home Depot, Target, Neiman Marcus, Anthem, and other U.S. companies,” he said.

***

 

Also see:

FBI Director: ‘I Have Home-Grown Violent Extremist Investigations in Every Single State’

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by PoliPix

FBI Director James Comey explains why fighting terrorism is still one of the FBI’s top priorities during a speech at the National Association of Attorneys General meeting, February 25, 2015.

***

By Susan Jones, Feb. 26, 2015:

(CNSNews.com) – “Counterterrorism remains the bureau’s top priority, FBI Director James Comey told a gathering in Washington on Wednesday — the same day federal authorities in New York charged three immigrants, all Muslim, with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State.

“I have home-grown violent extremist investigations in every single state,” Comey told a meeting of state attorneys general. “Until a few weeks ago, there was (sic) 49 states. Alaska had none, which I couldn’t quite figure out, but Alaska has now joined the group. So we have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.”

Comey said the terror threat has “metastasized” in recent years, as the “progeny of Al Qaida take root” in safe havens such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya, using the Internet and social media to spread their propaganda and recruitment “at the speed of light.”

“So why do I tell you this?” Comey asked. “To explain to you why this remains at the top of the FBI’s list, and to explain to you why the conversations I have with our state and local partners in all 50 states matters so much today.

“Because ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda, through social media, that goes like this: ‘Troubled soul, come to the Caliphate; you will live a life of glory; these are the apocalyptic end times; you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called Caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.'”

Comey said terror attacks no longer have to be large-scale to advance the terrorists’ mission. While Osama bin Laden’s followers flew planes into buildings, today’s terror groups advocate the killing of small groups and individuals: And if (they) can capture it on video and if it’s somebody in uniform, all the better, because it will advance (their) mission.”

Comey also said it’s “highly unlikely” that a federal agent will be the first to hear about suspicious behavior: “It’s going to be a deputy sheriff,” he said. “It’s going to be a police officer who knows that neighborhood.”

Comey emphasized the importance of joint terrorism task forces that have been set up all around the country to counter the emerging “lone wolf” or returning-foreign-fighter threat.

“So all of us leaning forward to push information to each other and to make sure that if we see something, it quickly gets to the right place, is critical to responding to this threat.”

On Wednesday, a joint terrorism task force in New York announced the arrests of three men from Brooklyn, two of whom were planning to join Islamic State fighters in Syria.

One of the suspects, 19-year-old Akhror Saidakhmetov of Kazakhstan, was arrested at Kennedy Airport, where he was trying to board a flight to Istanbul, with plans to head to Syria, authorities said.

Another man, 24-year-old Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev of Uzbekistan, had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month and was arrested in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said. Both men were in the country legally.

A third defendant, 30-year-old Abror Habibov of Uzbekistan, is accused of helping to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel plans. Habibov was in the U.S. on an expired visa.

Earlier this week, two immigrants with ties to Southern California were sentenced to 25 years in prison for plotting to murder U.S. troops in Afghanistan and for providing material support to al Qaeda.

As CNSNews.com reported, one of the men was a naturalized U.S. citizen who came here from Afghanistan (and later returned). The other was a legal permanent resident from the Philippines.

***

Published on Feb 27, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Also see:

Ezra Levant: How ISIS Are Worse Than the Nazis

The Rebel, by EZRA LEVANT, Feb. 26, 2015:

Islamic State terrorists went on a rampage in a museum in Nineveh, smashing priceless treasures.

At least the Nazis hid away great art when they invaded countries — they didn’t destroy it.

This primitive impulse towards chaos and destruction isn’t just something going on “over there.” Look at the Edmonton girl who was recruited to join ISIS in Syria.

Even one left-wing gay activist seems to be catching on:

He shocked a CBC panel by saying, “I know I sound like Ezra Levant, but…”, then went on to talk about Canadians being recruited to take part in terrorism (a word the CBC doesn’t officially allow.)

 

SUPPORT more outspoken reports like this one from TheRebel.media and join our crowdfunding project:

FIGHT against Muslim radicalism in Canada today at CanadianJihad.ca

READ Ezra Levant’s timely book The Enemy Within: Terror, Lies, and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadr

What ISIS really wants – An in depth examination

Published on Feb 26, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Also see:

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Author Michael Weiss Discusses “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror”

Published on Feb 20, 2015 by KTRS550TV

Michael Weiss joins Paul Harris – http://www.ktrs.com

Also see:

Intel chief says 2014 deadliest year for terror ever recorded, in counter to upbeat Kerry

Published on Feb 26, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Figures. James Clapper Contradicts John Kerry Less Than 24 Hrs After His Testimony Before Congress (gatewaypudit.com)

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DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE STATEMENT FOR RECORD ON WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT (FEB. 26, 2015)

***

Fox News, Feb. 26, 2015:

The top U.S. intelligence official on Thursday gave a drastically different assessment than Secretary of State John Kerry of the terror threat — declaring 2014 the deadliest year for global terrorism ever recorded, after Kerry claimed that threat was diminishing.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying on Capitol Hill, catalogued the growing terror-fueled violence in stark terms.

“When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He offered statistics that would appear to challenge other administration officials’ claims that the country and world are safer today.

A day earlier, Kerry testified at a separate hearing that, “Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.”

That prompted a quick response from lawmakers and from inside the intelligence community.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn , former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Fox News that Kerry is “out of touch with reality, he clearly is not listening to the entire U.S. intelligence community.”

Clapper on Thursday said that in 2013, about 11,500 worldwide attacks killed about 22,000 people. But in the first nine months alone of 2014, he said, preliminary data from a University of Maryland research unit show nearly 13,000 attacks killed 31,000 people.

Half of those attacks and fatalities were in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said. He said the Islamic State conducted more attacks than any other terror group in those first nine months.

The Clapper testimony came as Congress focused attention Thursday on what’s being done to defeat the Islamic State — at all levels of government — as more cases surface of westerners trying to link up with the terror network, including a disturbing case out of New York City.

Clapper said Thursday that about 180 Americans have been involved in various stages of traveling or trying to travel to fight in the region. He said more than 3,400 total western fighters have gone to Syria and Iraq.

He spoke after the Justice Department announced Wednesday that three New York City residents plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS militants and “wage jihad.”

One of the defendants also offered to kill the president of the United States if ordered to do so, the criminal complaint alleged.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, has forged ahead with a campaign of airstrikes against ISIS, with the help of Middle East allies. At the same time, though, President Obama has downplayed the threat. In a recent interview with Vox.com, he accused the media of overplaying the issue.

“If it bleeds, it leads, right?” he said.

FBI Director James Comey has said his bureau is investigating possible ISIS supporters in all 50 states.

Aside from Clapper’s testimony, a House judiciary subcommittee was holding a separate hearing on Thursday on the threat of ISIS in America. FBI and other local law enforcement officials were set to testify.

Fox News’ Bret Baier contributed to this report. 

Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

jihadi johnPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Feb. 26, 2015:

A man seen in multiple ISIS propaganda videos speaking with a British accent beheading Western hostages had his identity revealed in the Washington Post this morning, and yet again the suspect is another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome since he was already known to authorities before engaging in acts of terrorism.

The Washington Post reports:

The world knows him as “Jihadi John,” the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who taunts audiences in videos circulated widely online.

But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.

But the article goes on to reveal that Emwazi had been detained by authorities not once, but twice:

Emwazi and two friends — a German convert to Islam named Omar and another man, Abu Talib — never made it on the trip. Once they landed in Dar es Salaam, in May 2009, they were detained by police and held overnight. It’s unclear whether the reason for the detention was made clear to the three, but they were eventually deported.

Emwazi flew to Amsterdam, where he claimed that an officer from MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, accused him of trying to reach Somalia, where the militant group al-Shabab operates in the southern part of the country, according to e-mails that he sent to Qureshi and that were provided to The Post.

Emwazi denied the accusation and claimed that MI5 representatives had tried to recruit him […]

In June 2010, however, counterterrorism officials in Britain detained him again — this time fingerprinting him and searching his belongings. When he tried to fly back to Kuwait the next day, he was prevented from doing so.

The BBC added that Emwazi was part of a known network of jihadist sympathizers:

We don’t know when the British or the American security services worked out that the masked man in the killing videos was Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.

But we do know that he was a “person of interest” to MI5 going back to at least 2011 because he features in semi-secret court cases relating to extremism overseas and back in the UK.

Nobody in official security circles is going to comment on what they know and why they know it.

Emwazi has been previously described as a member of a network involving at least 13 men from London – and at least two of them were subjected to house arrest control orders or T-Pims. One absconded. The chances of Emwazi ever returning to the UK are vanishingly small.

So yet again, as we’ve seen in practically every recent terrorism case, the suspect was already known to authorities.

I’ve reported here at PJ Media on the long line of “Known Wolf” terror suspects who committed acts of terror:

  • Earlier this month I reported that Copenhagen shooter was Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who had been convicted in a stabbing in December, and yet remarkably released by authorities despite being branded as “extremely dangerous.”
  • Also this month I noted that Moussa Coulibaly, who stabbed three police officers outside a synagogue in Nice, France, had just days before been deported from Turkey for attempting to join ISIS.
  • The two Kouachi brothers behind the massacre on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices last month in Paris had been long known to law enforcement, with one of them already having been in prison on terror-related charges, and yet they had been removed from the radar by authorities just last summer because they were deemed no longer a threat. They were also on the no-fly lists of both the U.S. and the UK.
  • Man Haron Monis, aka Sheikh Haron, who in December took hostages at a chocolate shop in the heart of the commercial district in downtown Sydney, Australia, was not only known to law enforcement, but was out on bond on two separate cases and had previously been convicted of harassing the widows of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Authorities had been tipped off via their hotline to extremist statements Haron had been making on his website 48 hours before the attack.
  • I first noticed this “Known Wolf” trend back in October after two separate attacks in Canada by Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, both of whom reportedly had their passports stripped by Canadian authorities because they were deemed “high risk” to travel overseas to join ISIS.

Yesterday, an interview I had with Erick Stakelbeck aired where I discussed the “Known Wolf” terror phenomenon (the first 11 minutes of the program):

 

Needless to say, if the currently growing track record of Western authorities missing these “known wolf” suspects is any indication, the next terror case will undoubtedly be a subject already known to law enforcement and intelligence authorities, but sufficient action not taken to stop their terrorism.

Also see:

The Problem with Countering Violent Extremism

kl-450x296Frontpage, February 25, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

Obama’s Summit to Counter Violent Extremism was one of the most schizophrenic events on record. Its overall strategy was to counter Islamic radicalization while claiming that it had nothing to do with Islam. Even the King of Saudi Arabia and the leaders of a number of Muslim countries are willing to talk about Islamic terrorism. Obama isn’t. But he is rolling out a strategy to influence the theology of Muslims.

How do you change the beliefs of a religion which you can’t even name? You can’t and you don’t.

The whole premise of CVE subdivides “violent extremism” from Islam and then further subdivides violent extremism from extremism. Barbers split fewer hairs than this. CVE tells us that the best way to fight violent extremists is with “non violent extremist” Salafi clergy who have the most influence on them. We’re supposed to fight the ISIS Caliphate with supporters of another kind of Caliphate.

What it really comes down to is paying Muslims to argue with other Muslims on social media. And hope that the Muslims we’re paying to do the arguing are the good kind of extremists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and not the bad kind of extremists, like ISIS. Even though they’re both vicious killers.

CVE not only doesn’t fight terrorism, it perpetuates the whole reason for it by outsourcing our interaction with domestic Muslims to the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s a big part of how we got a terrorism problem in the first place. CVE’s promoters have convinced us that the best way to fight Islamic terrorism is by partnering with Islamic terrorists.

Obama began by watering down terrorism from a military problem to a law enforcement issue. CVE waters it down even further by eliminating it as a law enforcement issue (the FBI chief was not invited to the summit to avoid making law enforcement the focus) and turning terrorism into a social problem.

The underlying problem with CVE is that it tries to transform a military problem into a civilian social problem. It bogs us down in debating Islamic theology while warning us not to mention Islam. These are not problems that we can solve. Even if there really were a definite split between Muslim moderates and extremists, rather than an immoderate Islam broken into different factions in a power struggle, the government is not the right tool for settling a religious dispute. And that’s what CVE tries to do.

CVE declares that ISIS and its supporters are not Muslims. The Saudis might have the authority to do that. Al Azhar may have the authority to do that. We don’t. The only people who believe these claims are American non-Muslims. Muslims are not impressed by us deciding who is and isn’t a Muslim.

The United States government is not an Islamic authority. We’re not a Muslim country and we shouldn’t try to be. And non-Muslim countries don’t have a good track record of exploiting Islamic theology.

Islamic terrorism is a military problem. It always has been.

Post 9/11, that’s how we first saw it. Islamic Jihadists are not domestic terrorists even if they have the right passport. Nazi saboteurs in WW2 or Communist spies during the Cold War were not a domestic enemy. It’s not the possession of American citizenship that distinguishes a domestic enemy from a foreign enemy, but his cause. Domestic enemies may seek to overthrow the government. Foreign enemies are working to aid a foreign force in inflicting harm on the United States of America.

CVE demands that we fight a war over someone else’s ideas on our own soil. It’s a dead end strategy. At best we would end up with a government approved Islam and an anti-government Islam. And then our accomplishment will have been to replicate the same totalitarian state of affairs in the Muslim world. But it’s far more likely that we will end up being used as pawns in a war between different Islamist groups, such as ISIS and the Brotherhood, funding their causes and bleeding for their political agendas.

But we’re not actually in a war of ideas. It’s still a war of bombs and bullets.

Terrorism against America won’t be stopped on Twitter. It can be stopped at the airport. Our domestic terrorists are mostly Muslim refugees or their children. And the occasional American converted by them. The situation would have quickly gotten ugly if we had allowed large numbers of Nazi and Imperial Japan loyalists to enter the United States during WW2. The Nazis sent in teams of saboteurs who were tried by military tribunals and executed. The spy rings and saboteur teams were not seen as a domestic problem.

The United States did not employ moderate Nazis to try to reason with the extremist Nazis or non-violent Nazis to educate the violent Nazis about the true peaceful meaning of National Socialism.

Instead the issue was defined in terms of allegiance to the United States. Everything else proceeded from that. Either you were loyal to the United States or you weren’t. CVE shifts the emphasis of allegiance from the United States to Muslims. It puts the burden on the United States to integrate Muslims, to make them feel at home, to reassure them so that they don’t turn to violence.

And that’s exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood wants.

Instead of placing the burden on Muslims to be loyal, a burden that all Americans already carry, it commences a process of domestic appeasement for trying to win the loyalty of people who already swore an oath to end all foreign allegiances and defend the nation against foreign enemies. It transforms Muslims into a separate nation within the United States whose allegiance is always contested and has to be constantly won over and over again.

While claiming to combat an Islamic State Caliphate, CVE concedes its central premise.

The allegiance of citizens in a nation at war is not a bargaining matter. Either it exists or it does not. A sensible counterterrorism strategy at home will not aim at parsing different flavors of Islam, but at distinguishing between those citizens whose allegiance we have and those whose allegiance we do not.

Islamic terrorism and support for it, of any variety, is first and foremost a failure of allegiance. It is treason in the practical, if not always the legal sense. It is the action of an enemy who through this betrayal knowingly abandons his or her citizenship.

We do not need to counter “violent extremism”. What we need to do is to be certain of allegiances.

This isn’t new territory. During WW2, the United States not only arrested enemy agents, it also initiated denaturalization proceedings against Nazi sympathizers. Not only did we not take in new Nazis during the war, but we made it clear to the existing ones that they would be executed or deported.

The combination proved to be extremely effective. It did not ensure loyalty. What it did was make it clear that treason would not be tolerated. And it prevented a flow of new enemy recruits.

That is what is needed in wartime.

A real strategy for fighting Islamic terrorism begins with the recognition that we are at war. It identifies the enemy. And it offers those whose allegiances are mixed a choice between committing or departing. CVE does the opposite. It refuses to recognize that there is a war. It rejects the idea that Muslims should be expected to show their allegiance and instead demands that the United States show its allegiance to them. It inverts the balance of citizenship and invests the United States in an unspoken religious debate.

We have lost sight of the problem and so we are unable to arrive at a solution. The problem is military. Islamic terrorism is not domestic unrest, but foreign invasion. It should be understood and addressed in those terms whether it comes through an immigration checkpoint or carrying a bomb over the border.

Also see:

3 arrested in New York City for allegedly conspiring to support ISIS

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by AlohaSnackbar01

Fox News, By Edmund DeMarche, February 25, 2015:

Three New York City residents — two with Uzbekistan citizenship, and one a citizen of Kazakhstan — plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS militants and ‘wage jihad,’ the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.

One of the defendants also offered to kill the president of the United States if ordered to do so, the criminal complaint alleged.

The men were identified as Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan; Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Kazakhstan; and Abror Habibov, 30, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan.

Saidakhmetov and Juraboev appeared in federal court in Brooklyn late Wednesday. Both were ordered held without bail on charges of attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. During the arraignment Assistant US Attorney Douglas Pravda said both suspects confessed post-arrest that they wanted to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad.

Habibov appeared in federal court in Florida earlier Wednesday and was also held without bail.

Federal prosecutors say two of the men came to the attention of law enforcement last summer after they expressed online support for the groups. Hilofatnews.com was an Uzbek-language website that called for readers to join the terror group, the complaint said. Authorities were able to link Juraboev to the post, the complaint said.

In August, federal agents met with Juraboev and he spoke of his hopes of fighting with the terror group in Iraq or Syria, the complaint said. He also allegedly mentioned to the agents that he hoped to harm President Obama because of  ‘Allah.’

“Juraboev added that he would also plant a bomb on Coney Island if he was ordered to do so by ISIS,” the feds charge.

Saidakhmetov was arrested early Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he tried to board a plane headed to Istanbul, authorities said. Juraboev had plane tickets for March 29 and Habibov helped fund Saidakhmetov’s trip, the complaint said.

Authorities have a recorded conversation where Saidakhmetov expressed interest in joining the U.S. military, the complaint said. He allegedly said he could offer information to Islamic militants or open fire on American troops to kill as many as possible.

According to the complaint, Saidakhmetov was recorded in January saying, “I will just go and buy a machine gun, AK-47, go out and shoot all police.”

The two had hopes of joining the terror group and–if their travel plans were dashed– had intentions to commit terror in the U.S., the complaint said. Saidakhmetov–if prevented from joining the terror group– wanted to purchase a machine gun and shoot law enforcement, the complaint said.

Saidakhmetov allegedly said, “It is legal in America to carry a gun. We will go and purchase one handgun…then go and shoot one police officer…Boom…Then we will take his gun, bullets and a bulletproof vest…then we will do the same with a couple others. Then we will go to the FBI headquarters, kill the FBI people…”

They were officially charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The three are expected to appear in court today.

“We will vigorously prosecute those who attempt to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIL and those who support them,” U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. “Anyone who threatens our citizens and our allies, here or abroad, will face the full force of American justice.”

Reuters reported that there are ISIS-related investigations in all 50 states.

Also see:

The Betrayal Papers – Part II of V: In Plain Sight: A National Security “Smoking Gun”

20100928_IkhwanWhiteHouse (1)The first article of the Betrayal Papers asserted that the Muslim Brotherhood was not only influential in the United States government, but in fact dominated the administration of President Barack Hussein Obama.  This article will name several key people who were or are in the Obama administration and who have various, documented associations with organizations which are directly tied to and/or funded by the Muslim Brotherhood and the State of Qatar (home to Brotherhood’s Spiritual Leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi).  These individuals have helped dictate national security policies that have crippled counterterrorism efforts at home and abroad. 

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Network of Civic Organizations: Apologists for Terror

In 1963, the first Muslim Brotherhood front group established itself in the United States and Canada: the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), a group based on college campuses in North America.  Through this organizational foothold, the Brotherhood has recruited and indoctrinated generations of American and Canadian Muslims into an Islamic belief system that pits Islam against the world.  In more than a few cases, Muslims who join MSA chapters at their colleges have taken this ideology to its logical extreme: terrorism.

For example, it was recently reported by the Canadian Military Association that eleven (11) of Canada’s highest profile terrorists were tied to the MSA.

The Muslim Students Association (MSA):  The MSA, the first Muslim Brotherhood organization to gain a foothold in the United States, was founded in 1963.  Many founding members were Muslim Brothers or had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.  The three most significant founders of MSA were Hisham al Talib, Jamal Barzinji, and Ahmed Totanji, and all of whom were MB leaders of Iraqi descent.  While a student at George Washington University, Hillary Clinton’s personal aide Huma Abedin was on the Executive Board of her MSA.

Since the early 1960s, the Muslim Brotherhood’s MSA has birthed a large number of purported “civic organizations,” which are anything but civil.  We shall now name some of the groups, and establish the facts that link them to their parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): CAIR was founded by two individuals with close ties to a Hamas operative.  Hamas, according to its own charter, is the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.  In 2007, founder Omar Ahwad was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing trial.  In November 2014, CAIR was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Muslim American Society (MAS):  MAS was founded in 1992 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to MAS secretary-general Shaker Elsayed.  MAS, and the Muslim Brotherhood, advocate for Sharia law in the United States.  MAS identifies the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) and Muslim Students Association (MSA) as organizations with the same goal: the “Islamic revival movement.”  In November 2014, MAS was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA):  ISNA was created out of four Islamic organizations, including the Muslim Students Association.  Its former president Mohamed Magid was appointed an advisor to DHS and the National Security Council by Barack Obama in 2011, and was a recent guest at the White House.

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC): MPAC was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, specifically Hassan and Maher Hathout, both whom were acolytes of Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan al-Banna.  MPAC supports the Tunisian Ennahda (Muslim Brotherhood) Party leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, whom they termed “one of the most important figures in modern Islamic political thought and theory.”  Its current President is Salam Al-Marayati, who represented the US to the United Nations and UNESCO in 2010.

Additionally, a 1991 internal memorandum of the Muslim Brotherhood specifically identifies CAIR, ISNA, and the MSA in “A list of our organizations and organizations of our friends.”  (Note: CAIR’s organizational predecessor, the Islamic Association of Palestine, is named.)

Finally, CAIR and ISNA were named un-indicted co-conspirators which materially supported terrorism by a federal court, in connection with the infamous Holy Land Foundation trial, an alleged humanitarian charity for Palestine.  An incorporating member of MAS, Dr. Jamal Badawi, was named an unindicted co-conspirator.  MPAC and MSA members are on the record supporting the Holy Land Foundation against government terrorism charges.

This evidence begs some questions from the honest reader:

  • If these are all independent organizations, why is it that each of them is so neatly tied to the same parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood?
  • Why are most of them named by the Muslim Brotherhood in their own memorandum?
  • Why were all involved, directly as unindicted co-conspirators or indirectly as ardent supporters of the accused, with the Holy Land Foundation trial?

It doesn’t take a super sleuth to realize that these organizations are in fact fronts and subsidiaries of one organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.  All one has to do is glance at the published information on their backgrounds, and the fact reveals itself.

The Anschluss (“Annexation”) of Georgetown and the Brookings Institution

You know the sayings.  Money makes the world go ’round, and Follow the money, and Money is the root of all evil.  These are important to keep in mind when considering the influence that Qatari money has had on two institutions as American as apple pie: Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution.

In 2005, Georgetown University established a new campus for their prestigious School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar (SFS-Q).  (It bears stating here that the State of Qatar was the driving Arab force behind the Arab Spring, which resulted in the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.)  Today they have a faculty of more than 35 academics.

As part of Qatar’s Education City, Georgetown has had all SFS-Q campus development costs covered by the Qatar Foundation, a charity with noted links to terrorism.  May this, perchance, have some influence over the education that Georgetown is giving to future American diplomats in Qatar?  At the very least, it may explain some of the blatant anti-Semitic comments in Georgetown’s student newspaper.

The Brookings Institution is also heavily funded by Qatar.  In 2013, they received $14.8 million; in 2012, $100,000; and in 2011, $2.9 million.  This explains why Obama had Brookings Vice President (and purported diplomat) Martin Indyk, negotiating the ‘peace terms’ between Israel and Hamas.  Today, Indyk is busy negotiating with an aggressive and nuclear-aspiring Iran.

Is it any wonder why Israel doesn’t trust this administration?  By all reasonable logic, they are on the side of Qatar and Hamas, which is officially the Palestinian franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Obama Administration’s Agents

Given that these organizations function in a coordinated ideological manner, indeed they derive from the same root, it follows naturally that an individual associated with one organization would likely be associated with many, if not most of the others – not to mention the proxies of Georgetown and Brookings.

An experiment: Let’s choose seven Obama administration appointees with suspected ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Where to pluck these seven from?  In December 2013, the Egyptian political magazine Rose El-Youssef, in an article titled Not Huma Abedin Alone, named six additional Obama appointees it claimed were operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood.  You can read an English translation of the article here.  Let’s see if their claims stack up, based on the information above.

MB-Operatives-in-WHHere are the six named operatives (plus Human Abedin) and their titles in the Obama administration:

Arif Alikhan – Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security for Policy Development.  2009-2010.
Eboo Patel – Member of the President’s Advisory Council to the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  2009-Present.
Huma Abedin - Personal Aide/Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  2009-2013.
Mohamed Magid
– DHS Countering Violence and Extremism Working Group.  2011-Present.
Mohammed Elibiary
– Senior Member of DHS’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.  2010-2014.
Rashad Hussain
– U.S. Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  2010-Present. Deputy Associate Counsel to Barack Obama.  2009-2010.
Salam Al-Marayati
– Administration representative to UNESCO and United Nations.  2010.

(Dates in administration are best efforts based on publicly available information.)

Now let’s compare their affiliations and associations, officially and less formally, across the above named organizations.  We’ll also include the Department of Homeland Security, which earlier this week was praised by CAIR for identifying “right-wing sovereign citizen extremist groups,” not Islamic terrorism, as the prime terrorist threat facing the United States.

mb chart

Color Key

Green: Has worked or works in an official capacity for organization; is a named member of the organization.
Yellow: Has been associated with org., e.g., authored paper on their behalf; spoke on their behalf and/or at their events; proven personal relationship between the individual and organization’s leadership, etc.

Gray: No known or documented association.

No Coincidences

Notice the heavy concentration of green and yellow boxes, including for Georgetown and Brookings, in the table above.  Notice the relatively few gray boxes.  Individually these associations mean little; likewise, had this been just one random appointee in the entire administration, this story wouldn’t warrant the attention of the American public.

The intersection of individuals, organizations, Muslim Brotherhood money, and policy recommendations paint a picture of a carefully constructed conspiracy operating in plain sight.   The Muslim Brotherhood has hijacked the American government and military and is using them as a tool to build a global Islamic Caliphate.  The conspirators are changing the culture at home to accommodate sharia law and using law enforcement to demonize ordinary American citizens as national security threats.

These are Barack Hussein Obama’s appointees. This is Barack Hussein Obama’s administration and these are people chosen to advise him on national security and Islam.

From expunging DHS training materials of the threat posed by Islamic doctrine, to corrupting American foreign policy – the policy ramifications of these and similar appointments will be explored in the next articles.

* This analysis was completed after a careful survey of available press releases, news reports, and credible published information.  They will be published in an upcoming report.  Source is material available upon request.

The Betrayal Papers is a collaborative effort by the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, which includes: Andrea Shea King, Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Benjamin Smith, Bethany Blankley, Brent Parrish, Charles Ortel, Chris Nethery, Denise Simon, Dick Manasseri, Gary Kubiak, Gates of Vienna, Hannah Szenes, IQ al Rassooli, Jeff Bayard, Leslie Burt, Marcus Kohan, Mary Fanning, General Paul E. Vallely, Regina Thomson, Scott Smith, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Colonel Thomas Snodgrass

Betting National Security on a Theory

IPT News
February 24, 2015

1137The debate over whether it’s a good idea to use phrases like “Islamic extremism” in fighting global terrorism took center stage last week as the White House hosted a summit to discuss what it generically calls “violent extremism.”

In a speech last Thursday at the summit, President Obama explained his rationale for eschewing references to terrorist groups’ Islamist ideology.

“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy,” he said. “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’ And they propagate the notion that America — and the West, generally — is at war with Islam. That’s how they recruit. That’s how they try to radicalize young people. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists.”

So accurately describing their ideology, or calling the terrorists “jihadists” grants them undo legitimacy as true representatives of the faith, the argument goes. The current policy aims to deny them that mantle.

That’s a theory. But there’s a key question no one seems to be asking: Does it work?

This is a continuation of a policy instituted during President George W. Bush’s second term, meaning it has been in place for more than seven years. If it is indeed the right, best policy, advocates should be able to point to tangible evidence to show its value.

Arguably, the Islamist ideology has never been more popular, given the flood of foreign fighters making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, or Boko Haram’s endless reign of terror in Nigeria. Hamas still enjoys strong support despite following policies which bring devastation to the people of Gaza.

And there is no mistaking the religious motivation driving these groups. Hamas is an acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western education is sinful.” And the Islamic State has a whiff of religious affinity.

The Atlantic this month devoted 10,000 words to explaining the core Quranic ideology, with an emphasis on an apocalyptic prophecy, which drives the Islamic State’s brutality. It “follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior,” Graeme Wood explains.

That’s more challenging when that belief system is deliberately kept out of deliberations.

Jeffrey Bale, an associate professor who studies political and religious extremism at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program, called the continued emphasis on avoiding references to Islamic doctrine by Western leaders and pundits “absurd.”

The policy has “not had any discernably positive impact on dealing with the threats that such groups pose,” he said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “On the contrary. The simple fact is that it is the Islamists, not Muslim moderates, who are winning the struggle for ideological hegemony throughout much of the Muslim world, and that Obama’s efforts to positively ‘re-set’ relations with the Islamic world have completely failed … In short, there is no evidence that this constant pandering to Islamist activists, these embarrassing efforts to whitewash Islamic history and doctrines, and the foolish insistence that jihadist groups have ‘nothing to do with Islam’ have had any beneficial effects. They have mainly served to confuse Western citizens about the extent and nature of the Islamist threat.”

Maajid Nawaz, a former radical who now tries to combat the narrative which fuels Islamist terrorism, argues the avoidance policy could be making things worse for everyone, including Muslims. In recent social media and television appearances, Nawaz, a co-founder of the London-based Quilliam Institute, calls it the “Voldemort Effect.”

Islam is a religion, he writes. Islamism is the attempt to make the laws of the religion supreme over a society. That’s the ideology that must be defeated, but that “cannot happen if you refuse to recognise it exists,” he wrote in a social media post addressed to Obama that he signed “a constantly betrayed liberal Muslim.”

If we dare not say its name, in other words, it can become more frightening to its foes and more alluring to prospective recruits.

In a recent appearance on Fox News, Nawaz expressed concern that this self-censorship actually makes life more difficult for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject terrorist brutality displayed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaida and others.

Non-Muslims in the West “they’re just petrified,” he said, “and that can lead to even more anti-Muslim hate crime. Because if they are unable to pinpoint specifically that we’re dealing with the Islamist ideology, in their ignorance they blame all Muslims. And of course then all Muslims face a backlash. So I think it’s better if we wish to protect mainstream Muslims from anti-Muslim hate crime to name the very specific ideology that we’re talking about, which is Islamism, and distinguish that from Islam the faith.

Nawaz is offering a theory, just like the people who advocate the policy embraced by the Obama administration. There’s a key distinction, however. As he describes in his autobiography, Nawaz helped recruit followers to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which dreams of a global caliphate and has been called a “conveyor belt” for jihadist terror. He knows which messages worked and which did not.

Some American Islamists showed last week that the Obama message is not working. They have criticized the White House summit as hostile toward Muslims despite the verbal contortions invoked to avoid that very reaction.

If we’re going to focus on extremist violence, they argue, the bigger threat to America is from right-wing, anti-government movements. It turns out the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about violence from “sovereign citizen” movements who believe they are exempt from state and federal laws.

But it would be wrong to talk about that, Linda Sarsour and Deepa Iyak wrote Feb. 17 in The Guardian.

“One thing is clear: the federal government’s one-note approach to countering violent extremism fosters distrust and hostility towards Muslim communities while disregarding threats to Americans’ safety from racist hate groups in the country.”

There is a key distinction, however. For the most part, sovereign citizen attacks are smaller scale, often erupting in what should be routine encounters with law enforcement officers. CNN cites a 2012 example involving a Louisiana traffic stop that led to a shootout between police and a father and his son.

What Islamist terrorists want, what they urge followers to carry out, are mass casualty attacks that can target specific groups deemed to have offended Islam or simply any place where many people gather.

The United States has rigidly followed a policy, going at times to uncomfortable lengths, to avoid putting a religious label on terrorism clearly driven by a rabid adherence to centuries-old Islamic theology. The uninterrupted flow of new recruits to the Islamic State indicates that the policy has not had the desired effect.

“American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca),” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, writesin Time magazine.

“How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators.”

For the West, the sanitized language and tap-dancing around the issue makes it impossible to fully understand the enemy’s motivation, writes Robert R. Reilly, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

“You cannot go into a war of ideas without understanding the ideas you are at war with. Yet, throughout the two speeches, [Obama] never mentions the substance of the enemy’s ideas once,” Reilly writes. “…This is like saying, in World War II, that we were fighting the Nazi ideology, but never mentioning the thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Rosenberg or Adolph Hitler. Or, during the Cold War, saying we are fighting the ideology of Communism, but never mentioning the ideas of Karl Marx, Lenin, or Stalin.”

Rather than continuing to do the same thing and hope for a better outcome, perhaps it is time to listen to the Muslim reformers asking for a more honest, tough love approach. Terrorists are committing acts of barbarism daily in the name of Islam. That doesn’t mean all, or even most, Muslim see the same commands in their faith.

It might delegitimize terrorists more to emphasize how most of their victims are fellow Muslims, and to clearly draw the lines between the terrorists and the hundreds of millions of Muslims who reject their savagery.

It’s a theory, anyhow.