Islamists Pressure FBI to Drop Training on Muslim Brotherhood

The Council on American Islamic Relations' National Communications Director and spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper (left) with founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad (right. (Photo: © Reuters)

The Council on American Islamic Relations’ National Communications Director and spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper (left) with founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad (right. (Photo: © Reuters)

Teaching about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is essential to counter-terrorism prosecutions, and the challenges facing the U.S. today.

By Ryan Mauro:

A political alliance of 75 organizations led by Islamist supporters has published a letter demanding the removal of anti-Muslim material from FBI training. This purported objective is incontestable, but the thinly concealed objective is to end instruction about the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

The letter refers to legitimately offensive instances of anti-Muslim content in FBI documents, specifically a 2005 memo that used the fake name of “Mohammed Raghead.” Derogatory language has no place in governmental instruction.

However, this legitimate example of inappropriate teaching is conflated with examples of appropriate teaching that makes Islamists uncomfortable. It is another application of the “Islamophobia” strategy that has been used by Islamists for decades.

The bloc tries to put the “Mohammed Raghead” transgression in the same category as the work of John Guandolo, former FBI Special Agent who served in the counterterrorism division of the Washington Field Office.

Guandolo is an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and developed a training curriculum on the topic in 2006 that was endorsed as “groundbreaking” by the FBI’s executive assistant director. You can read the Clarion Project’s interview with Guandolo here.

The letter states, “Echoing the ‘red under every bed’ hysteria of the McCarthy era, Guandolo believes that ‘hundreds’ of covert members of the Muslim Brotherhood are active in the United States…”

Simply acknowledging the existence of Muslim Brotherhood activities in the U.S. is branded as anti-Muslim, even though internal documents belonging to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood are publicly available and show a large presence of the group in the U.S.

In the Holy Land Foundation trial, the Justice Department even identified several entities of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and labeled them unindicted co-conspirators. One of these, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), belongs to the coalition protesting FBI education about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Read more at Clarion Project

ISIS has Capability and Intent to Attack the Homeland

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

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

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

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

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

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

FACTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINDINGS:

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

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

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

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

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

FORECAST:

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

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

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

 

The Trouble Is that Obama DOES Have a Strategy

obama_iran_crossed_fingers_4-20-14-1

PJ Media, by David P. Goldman:

Obama’s “we-don’t-have-a-strategy” gaffe was so egregious as to distract attention from the fact that he does indeed have a strategy, which has blown up in his face. His strategy is accommodation with Iran at all costs. As I wrote earlier this month, our ISIS problem derives from our Iran problem: Bashar Assad’s ethnic cleansing, which has displaced 4 million Syrians internally and driven 3 million out of the country, was possible because of Iranian backing. The refugee flood in Iraq and Syria gives ISIS an unlimited pool of recruits. Iraqi Sunni support for ISIS, including the participation of some of Saddam Hussein’s best officers, is a response to Iran’s de facto takeover of Iraq.

Now we have analysts as diverse as Karen Elliott House and Angelo Codevilla proposing that the Saudis should use their considerable air force to degrade ISIS. Unless the U.S. commits its own forces in depth, the Saudis never will do so (unless they are defending their own territory, which ISIS is not stupid enough to attack). It is a sad day when America’s appetite for a fight is so weak that we count on the Saudi monarchy to do our dirty work for us. Codevilla writes:

Day after day after day, hundreds of Saudi (and Jordanian) fighters, directed by American AWACS radar planes, could systematically destroy the Islamic State—literally anything of value to military or even to civil life. It is essential to keep in mind that the Islamic State exists in a desert region which offers no place to hide and where clear skies permit constant, pitiless bombing and strafing. These militaries do not have the excessive aversions to collateral damage that Americans have imposed upon themselves.

That is entirely correct: in that region, air power could drastically weaken ISIS, if not quite eradicate it. It certainly could contain its advances (as fewer than 100 American sorties already have in northern Iraq). But the underlying problem will remain: Iran’s depredations have triggered an economic and demographic catastrophe in the region, and that catastrophe has created the snowball effect we call ISIS.

It may be entirely academic to argue that America should bomb not only ISIS, but also Iran’s nuclear facilities and the bases of its Revolutionary Guards. No Republican candidate I know is willing to argue this in advance of elections. Nonetheless, I repeat what I wrote Aug. 12: “The region’s security will hinge on the ultimate reckoning with Iran.”

On Canada’s Sun TV earlier today, commentator Ezra Levant asked me what Obama will do now. My guess is: very little. The reported Egyptian-UAE attack on Libyan Islamists is a harbinger of the future. Other countries in the region will take matters into their own hands in despair at American paralysis. Russia and China will play much bigger roles. And the new Thirty Year War will grind on indefinitely.

**********

As Daniel Greenfield observes, Obama has a Strategy for the Things He Cares About:

Obama has no strategy for ISIS, but he does have a strategy for shutting down every coal plant in America.

Obama has no strategy for dealing with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, but he does have a strategy for mass illegal alien amnesty.

Obama has no strategy for defeating Islamic terrorism, he does however have a strategy for defeating the Republicans in the midterm elections.

Obama has no strategy for protecting the United States from Ebola, he does have a strategy for exploiting racial tensions in Ferguson.

Obama has no strategy for rescuing Christians women from ISIS rape prisons, he does have a strategy for convincing single women that Christian organizations should be paying for their birth control.

Obama has no strategy for stopping Iran from getting the bomb, but he does have a strategy for stopping anyone from making YouTube videos mocking Mohammed. (Send them to prison.)

Obama has no strategy for protecting the United States, but he has a strategy for maximizing his time golfing, fundraising and partying.

It’s not that Obama doesn’t have a strategy or isn’t capable of forming one. It’s that he reserves those strategies for the things that he truly cares about.

Stopping ISIS or Putin isn’t one of them.

**********

Michael Ledeen –  Latest Big Lie: ‘We Have No Strategy’

They DO have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering.

The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.
Ever since, President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. In recent months, Middle Eastern leaders reported personal visits from Ms. Jarrett, who briefed them on her efforts to manage the Iranian relationship. This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.

The central theme in Obama’s outreach to Iran is his conviction that the United States has historically played a wicked role in the Middle East, and that the best things he can do for that part of the world is to limit and withdraw American military might, and empower our self-declared enemies, whose hostility to traditional American policies he largely shares.

***********

Clare Lopez explains —> CIA expert: Obama switched sides in war on terror

In Search of a Strategy

U.S. President Obama addresses reporters ahead of national security council meeting at the White House in WashingtonNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Aug.30, 2014:

Is it better to have no strategy or a delusional strategy?

The question arises, of course, after President Obama’s startling confession on Thursday that he has not yet developed a strategy for confronting the Islamic State, the al-Qaeda-rooted terrorist organization still often called by its former name, ISIS – an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Al-Sham refers to Greater Syria.

You may have noticed that President Obama calls the group ISIL, preferring the acronym that refers to the Levant to the one referring to al-Sham. After all, anything that invokes Syria might remind you of red lines that turned out not to be red lines and the administration’s facilitation of the arming of “moderate rebels” who turned out to include, well, ISIS. The fact is that the president has never had a Syria strategy, either — careening from Assad the Reformer, to Assad the Iranian puppet who must be toppled, to Assad who maybe we should consider aligning with against ISIS — ISIS being the “rebels” we used to support in Syria . . . unless they crossed into Iraq, in which case they were no longer rebels but terrorists . . . to be “rebels” again, they’d have to cross back into Syria or cruise east to Libya, where they used to be enemy jihadists spied on by our ally Qaddafi until they became “McCain’s heroes” overthrowing our enemy Qaddafi.

Got it?

No? Well, congratulations, you may have caught mental health, a condition to be envied even if it would disqualify you from serving as a foreign-policy and national-security expert in Washington. In either party.

The Islamic State’s recent beheading of American journalist James Foley is not the only thing that captured Washington’s attention of late. The Beltway was also left aghast at the jihadist’ rounding up of over 150 Syrian soldiers, forcing them to strip down to their underpants for a march through the desert, and then mass-killing them execution style.

Shocking, sure, but isn’t that what the GOP’s foreign-policy gurus were telling us they wanted up until about five minutes ago? Not the cruel method but the mass killing of Assad’s forces. Nothing oh nothing, we were told, could possibly be worse than the barbaric Assad regime. As naysayers — like your faithful correspondent— urged the government to refrain from backing “rebels” who teem with rabidly anti-American Islamic-supremacist savages, top Republicans scoffed. It was paramount that we arm the rebels in order to oust Assad, even though “we understand [that means] some people are going to get arms that should not be getting arms,” insisted Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Turns out that quite a lot of people who shouldn’t have gotten arms have gotten quite a lot of arms. And that is because Syria is not the only place as to which Republicans urged Obama to ignore federal laws against arming and otherwise supporting terrorists. They did it in Libya, too.

We have several times documented here that influential Republicans led by Senator John McCain were champions of Moammar Qaddafi before they suddenly switched sides — along with President Obama — in campaigning to oust the Libyan regime they had only recently treated (and funded) as a key American counterterrorism ally. The resulting (and utterly foreseeable) empowerment of Islamic supremacists in eastern Libya directly contributed to the Benghazi Massacre of four Americans on September 11, 2012; to the rise of the Islamic State and the expansion of al-Qaeda franchises in Africa, all of which were substantially strengthened by the jihadist capture of much of Qaddafi’s arsenal; and to what has become the collapse of Libya into a virulently anti-American no-man’s land of competing militias in which jihadists now have the upper hand.

The disastrous flip-flop was no surprise. When Mubarak fell in Egypt, Senator McCain stressed that the Brotherhood must be kept out of any replacement government because the Brothers are anti-democratic supporters of repressive sharia and terrorism. He was right on both scores . . . but he soon reversed himself, deciding that the Brotherhood was an outfit Americans could work with after all — even support with sophisticated American weaponry and billions in taxpayer dollars. The Brothers were in power because, in the interim, McCain’s good friend Secretary Clinton pressured Egypt’s transitional military government to step down so the elected “Islamic democracy” could flourish. When the Brothers took the reins, they promptly installed a sharia constitution, demanded that the U.S. release the Blind Sheikh (convicted of running a New York–based terror cell in the 1990s), rolled out the red carpet for Hamas (the terror organization that is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch), and gave free reign to terrorist leaders — including the brother of al-Qaeda’s leader and members of the Blind Sheikh’s Egyptian jihadist organization — who proceeded to foment the violent rioting at the U.S. embassy in Cairo the same day as the Benghazi Massacre.

I could go on, but you get the point. While ripping Obama for having no Islamic State strategy, Republicans are now reviving the inane strategy of supporting the illusory “moderate Syrian opposition.” Those would be the same forces they wanted to support against Assad. The only problem was that there aren’t enough real moderates in Syria to mount a meaningful challenge to the regime. The backbone of the opposition to Assad has always been the Muslim Brotherhood, and the most effective fighters against the regime have always been the jihadists. So we’re back to where we started from: Let’s pretend that there is a viable, moderate, democratic Syrian opposition and that we have sufficient intelligence — in a place where we have sparse intelligence — to vet them so we arm only the good guys; and then let’s arm them, knowing that they have seamlessly allied for years with the anti-American terrorists we are delegating them to fight on our behalf. Perfect.

There is no excuse for a president of the United States to have no strategy against an obvious threat to the United States. But at least with Obama, it is understandable. He is hemmed in by his own ideology and demagoguery. The main challenge in the Middle East is not the Islamic State; it is the fact that the Islamic State and its al-Qaeda forebears have been fueled by Iran, which supports both Sunni and Shiite terrorism as long as it is directed at the United States. There cannot be a coherent strategy against Islamic supremacism unless the state sponsors of terrorism are accounted for, but Obama insists on seeing Iran as a potential ally rather than an incorrigible enemy.

Moreover, the combined jihadist threat is not a regional one merely seeking to capture territory in the Middle East; it is a global one that regards the United States as its primary enemy and that can be defeated only by America and its real allies. This is not a problem we can delegate to the basket-case governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, or to the “moderate” Syrian “rebels.” Yet the Obama Left’s relentless indictment of American self-defensive action in the Middle East has sapped the domestic political support necessary for vigorous military action against our enemies — action that will eventually have to include aggressive American combat operations on the ground.

But the GOP should take note: The jihad is not a problem we can delegate to the Muslim Brotherhood, either. We will not defeat our enemies until we finally recognize who they are — all of them.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, was released by Encounter Books on June 3.

 

 

 

DAVID CAMERON: ISLAMIC STATE ‘GREATER AND DEEPER THREAT’ THAN EVER BEFORE

 

Breitbart, by CHARLIE SPIERING:

On Friday, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron described the grave threat posed by the Islamic State that needed to be rooted out and destroyed.

“What we’re facing in Iraq now, with ISIL, is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before,” he explained during a press conference.

Cameron announced that the United Kingdom raised the terror threat level to “severe” after conferring with the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center.

Cameron defied the notion that the rise of ISIS was the result of the Iraq war.

“Let’s be clear about the source of the threat that we face,” he said. “The terrorist threat was not created by the Iraq war ten years ago. It existed even before the horrific attacks on 9/11.”

Cameron added that the threat had to be addressed militarily.

“This threat cannot be solved simply by dealing with the perceived grievances over Western foreign policy, nor can it be dealt with by addressing poverty, dictatorship or instability in the region, as important as these things are,” he explained.

Instead, Cameron described the brutal terrorist threat as a direct result of Islamic extremism which needed to be rooted out as soon as possible.

“We cannot appease this ideology,” he stated. “To do this, we need a tough comprehensive approach to defeat the terrorist threat at its source.”

The fight, he explained, would be long, but he dedicated the British government to the task.

“We are in the middle of a generational struggle between a poisonous and extremist ideology that I believe that we’ll be fighting for years, and probably decades,” he said. “We must take whatever action necessary to keep the British people safe here at home.”

 

Laptop reportedly seized from ISIS hideout hints at bio weapons attack

isislaptopFox News:

A laptop reportedly recovered from an Islamic State jihadist contained a hidden trove of secret plans, including weaponizing the bubonic plague, and lessons on disguise, bomb-making and stealing cars.

A man identified by ForeignPolicy.com as Abu Ali, a commander of a moderate Syrian rebel group in northern Syria, told the publication the black laptop was seized earlier this year in a raid on an ISIS hideout in the Syrian province of Idlib, close to the border with Turkey, and belonged to a Tunisian jihadist.

“We found the laptop and the power cord in a room,” Ali told ForeignPolicy.com. “I took it with me.”

Initially, it appeared the computer had been scrubbed, but on closer inspection, thousands of secret files were discovered on the hard drive, which was not password protected, Ali said.

ForeignPolicy.com was permitted to copy of thousands of files, which were in French, English, and Arabic. The information included videos of Usama bin Laden, ideological justifications for jihad and tutorials on how to carry out the Islamic State’s deadly campaigns.

But most chilling were files that indicated the computer’s owner, identified as a Tunisian national named Muhammed S. who joined ISIS in Syria after studying chemistry and physics at two universities in Tunisia, was teaching himself how to manufacture biological weapons, in preparation for a potential attack that could have been catastrophic on a global scale. A 19-page document in Arabic included instructions on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals. 

“The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge,” the document states.

Read more at Fox News

Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning By Feds on US Border

JW2Judicial Watch, Aug. 29, 2014:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.  Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source.  “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”

The administration has also covered up, or at the very least downplayed, a serious epidemic of crime along the Mexican border even as heavily armed drug cartels have taken over portions of the region. Judicial Watch has reported that the U.S. Border Patrol actually ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting. In the meantime, who could forget the famous words of Obama’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano; the southern border is “as secure as it has ever been.”

These new revelations are bound to impact the current debate about the border crisis and immigration policy.

Also see:

 

Cultural jihad: CAIR demands US overhaul law enforcement training

cair-hamas-300x180By Allen West:

Thursday we learned that a second American has been killed while fighting for ISIS in Syria — and he also resided in Minneapolis. The government estimates some 100-140 Americans are fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. There is a problem in the Minneapolis area where there is a large Somali community actively recruiting of jihadist fighters. Previously it has been to fight with the al-Qaida- affiliated jihadist group, Al Shabab, but now it seems to be ISIS. And remember that the Congressional representative of that area, Minneapolis, is Keith Ellison – a Muslim who will be speaking at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in Detroit this coming week — Dearborn is close by.

Now, you’d think that at this critical time when just last week the Islamic terrorist army ISIS beheaded American James Foley, the American Muslim community would be on an all-out PR campaign to express its outrage.

We should be seeing massive marches just like we did a few weeks ago that condemned Israel and vociferously expressed support for Hamas — no? Well, not only are we not seeing that type of response, but the silence is deafening. And it’s not just the absence of these wholesale marches from the Islamic community. Supported by their cultural jihad apologists, there is something else happening even more disturbing.

As reported by Judicial Watch, “Islamic activists that strong-armed the FBI to purge anti-terrorism training material considered “offensive” to Muslims have made their next wave of demands, which include an overhaul in the way all law enforcement officers are trained in the United States. The coalition of influential and politically-connected Muslim rights groups is demanding that the Obama administration implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state and local law enforcement officials who may have been subjected to materials they deem “biased and discriminatory” against Muslims. There must also be an audit of all federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering training and educational materials to identify and remove information that could exhibit bias against any race, ethnicity, religion or national origin, the groups demand.”

So let me get this right. These “Muslim rights” groups are making demands of U.S. law enforcement? What they should be doing instead is assisting law enforcement to root out the source of homegrown jihadism and radicalism in America. Get this– Nidal Hasan has written a letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the Hitler of our time) to pledge his support and desire to be part of the caliphate. I Then again, Hasan, as classified by the Obama administration, is only guilty of “workplace violence” – so I guess all those demands are already working.

Judicial Watch says, “the outrageous demands were made this month in a letter to Lisa O. Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. “Without executive branch actions, including those we recommend below, trainings that perpetuate gross stereotypes and false information about Islam and Muslims will continue to proliferate at the state and local level,” the letter says. It continues: “The use of anti-Muslim trainers and materials is not only highly offensive, disparaging the faith of millions of Americans, but leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion, not evidence of wrongdoing.” This will foster fear and suspicion of Muslims and will lead to an increase in discrimination, bullying, harassment and anti-Muslim violence, the letter asserts.

“These “activist” groups further demand that the Obama administration must pursue disciplinary action against agents and officials who engage in discriminatory conduct as well as those responsible for the anti-Muslim training materials. Finally, the coalition insists that all federal funding to local and state law enforcement agencies be withheld unless they ban all training materials considered to be biased against race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. In short, these empowered Muslim activists want to dictate how our nation’s law enforcement agencies operate at every level.”

Folks, this is how the stealth cultural jihad occurs — these groups turn the table and make the victim guilty. They use political correctness to make us reticent in taking them to task for the offenses and behavior for which they are responsible. So who are these groups to determine what is “anti-Muslim”? Are we reaching that point where speaking the truth is a revolutionary act?

And remember, this isn’t just happening in America — the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (States) is pushing UN Resolution 1618 — which the Obama administration supports — that criminalizes any speech deemed biased and offensive to Muslims.

Just guess who is behind this insidious move. Take a wild guess.

Read more 

Shouldn’t fighting for ISIS disqualify you as a US Citizen?

articlesfedsrevokecitizenship-fullCSP, by Ben Lerner:

Fox News is reporting that a second American citizen has been killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Syria.  That same report goes on to note that federal investigators estimate roughly one hundred American citizens have gone to Syria to fight for various jihadist organizations.  Other sources have indicated that the number of US citizens joining up with ISIS is as high as three hundred.

Homeland security officials are rightly concerned about this development.  American citizens fighting for ISIS and other groups can potentially return to the United States and apply their battlefield-acquired skills to carry out attacks against American targets – a list of which was just published in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) publication, Al Malahem.

One way to inhibit such operatives from coming back to the United States to carry out such plans is to revoke their US citizenship, a move that would invalidate their US passports and make it that much harder to set foot on American soil.  Revocation of citizenship would have the added benefit of making such individuals eligible for trial by military commissions (assuming such individuals fall within the purview of an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, be it the one currently in effect or one passed in the months to come).

The United States government arguably already has the authority to revoke citizenship under these circumstances.  Title 8, Section 1481 of the U.S. Code lays out the various scenarios through which a US citizen could lose his/her citizenship, and states in part:

(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—…

… (3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if

(A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or

(B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; …

Could existing law perhaps be tweaked to include US citizens who join the ranks of non-state actors like ISIS or al Qaeda?  Perhaps – then-Senators Joe Lieberman and Scott Brown introduced legislation a few years ago along these lines.  Such an effort may need to be undertaken again.

It is true that especially these days, ISIS and company need only cross our southwest border to do us harm from within.  But a vulnerable back door is no reason not to lock the front door.

Security Expert: Our Southern Border Is A War Zone

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Center For Security Policy:

In Part 2 of The Daily Caller’s video interview with Clare Lopez, a senior official with the Center for Security Policy, she explains how the collapse of America’s southern border was a planned, willful refusal to maintain national sovereignty. Citing a January budget request from the Department of Homeland Security requesting funding based on the expectation of new flows of some 65,000 immigrants including children, Lopez thinks Americans, especially at the border, are threatened.

She discusses how narco-traffickers are flowing through, organized in columns at night in military formations guarded by sentinels and scouts, and armed with advanced weaponry. To her, the southern border is a war zone. As these undocumented immigrants are dispersed by air or bus throughout America, the threat widens, she reports.

To Lopez, President Obama is “consciously trying to diminish America’s leadership in the world.” She discusses the “great purge” that occurred early in the Obama administration where there was a comprehensive removal of training materials from departments and agencies who were engaged in ferreting out jihadi threats from radical Islamic terrorists. This purge, Lopez says in this video interview, “crippled and neutralized American national security interests.”

Discussing lessons learned from the Iraq war, Lopez says, “the U.S. never understood the “fundamental incompatibility between Islamic law and liberal western democracy, and in particular, the U.S. Constitution.” She continues, “Islamic law and Islam’s doctrine mandates inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, between men and women.” She ends by stating, “As long as a people remain enthralled to Islamic law, there cannot be genuine, true liberal Western style democracy.”

To view Part 1, Clare Lopez on Benghazi, click here.

Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack; urges bombing of Vegas, military targets

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.22.32 AM-thumb-560x363-3626

There could be some envy by AQAP that IS is now getting all the headlines

By :

A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and military colleges, and implies that an attack is imminent.

The online publication, called “Palestine-Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem” and put out by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, calls for Muslims around the world to follow “the recipe” provided to set off car bombs in crowded venues. It includes a timeline of “selected jihadi operations” that the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first flagged the slickly-produced latest edition of the terror publication, finds chilling.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack — implying that it is coming soon.” said MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky.

There is a suggested list of targets for lone-wolf, or individually executed, terror attacks, including New York’s Times Square, casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas, oil tankers and trains, the Georgia Military College, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and General Atomics defense contractor in San Diego.

“This recipe gives you the ability to make a car bomb even in countries with tight security and surveillance,” one article reads, before providing a “shopping list” of supplies needed to make such a bomb, including cooking gas, oxygen gas, a barometer, decoration lamps and matches.

There is also a list of targets in Britain including a military academy and the Marks and Spencers chain of department stores. The magazine calls for the stores to be hit on Friday during prayers so that Muslims won’t be affected.

Globally, AQAP calls for the targeting of tourist resorts frequented by Israelis, Britons and Americans.

Read more at Fox News

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Man Threatens to Murder Children Due to Israel-Hamas Conflict

A Palestinian girl looks at masked militants of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, celebrate at a victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah, neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday / AP

A Palestinian girl looks at masked militants of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, celebrate at a victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah, neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday / AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo:

An Ohio school was placed on lockdown Wednesday after a man with a “heavy accent” phoned the school and threatened to murder children with an AK-47 due to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to local police.

All schools in Pickerington, Ohio, were placed on lockdown after an unknown man made a threatening call to the Pickerington North High School, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.

The man, who claimed to have an AK-47, said he planned to launch an attack on the school and kill students over his apparent anger at the Middle East conflict, Phalen said.

“The school received a call [at around 11:15 a.m.] from a male with a heavy accent and he indicated that he was going to attack Pickerington North due to attacks on Israel and was going to kill the kids and that he had an AK-47 gun,” Phalen recounted.

“He identified himself as ‘Mohammed Shehad,’” or something similar to that, and claimed to live in the area, Phalen said, explaining that those who fielded the call were unsure precisely what last name the man provided.

“My sense is that due to the way he identified himself it sounds like he was upset at Israel,” though the individual’s exact motivations remain unclear, Phalen said. At this point, authorities “really don’t know what his frame of mind was or what he was thinking.”

All area schools were placed on “exterior lockdown” as a precautionary measure, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

School will resume on Thursday and an officer will be assigned to Pickerington North. Additional deputies will also be in the area, Phalen said.

Fairfield County detectives also are beginning to investigate the matter to determine the individual’s identity.

“We have detectives assigned to that; they’re working on trying to trace the phone number and identify the suspect,” Phalen said.

Patrick Poole, a terrorism analyst who lives in the area, said he believed the threat was made by a person upset with Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip.

“We have had a growing problem here in the Columbus area for years that local law enforcement and the media want to continue to sweep under the carpet,” Poole said. “Not only has Central Ohio been the home of the largest known al-Qaeda cell since 9/11—with several members currently in prison on terrorism charges and at least two deported—we’ve had a number of cases of homegrown jihadists come through town, including al-Shabaab rapper Omar al-Hammami and Little Rock Army recruiting station killer Carlos Bledsoe.”

“An al-Shabaab recruiter and fundraiser from the area was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu in 2010, and we know of several cases of young men who have left from Columbus to join the Somali terrorist group,” Poole said. “One of the original online jihadist forum operators, Sarfaraz Jamal, grew up in the area and initially ran his operation from his Worthington home.”

Additionally, “we just had a pro-Hamas rally at the statehouse a week and a half ago, a regular feature here in central Ohio whenever there is conflict in that part of the world,” Poole noted. “In fact, two of our local Hamas activists are currently in prison in Egypt. Now that the threat is targeting area school children, hopefully it will begin to wake people up to the scope of the problem.”

West Point report describes Islamic State threat as crisis 4 years in the making

herridgeFox News:

A new report from the West Point counterterrorism center challenges the notion that the Islamic State only recently became a major terror threat, describing the network’s gains in Iraq as a crisis four years in the making.

Meanwhile, Fox News has learned that top aides to President Obama expect the threat from the organization, also known as ISIS or ISIL, to outlast Obama’s time in office.

The details underscore the challenge facing the U.S. government and its allies as the president and military advisers weigh how — and where — to confront the Islamist militant forces.

“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014: it had been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years,”the report from the West Point center said.

The report said that the “shattering” of Iraq’s security forces in June is a “case-in-point, the result of years of patient preparatory operations.”

The report, obtained in advance by Fox News, was published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, an independent, privately funded research group. It was written by Michael Knights, with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The report pointed to a long trail of warning signs, after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “re-booted” the organization in 2010. The report said it has developed a “highly-motivated cadre of light infantry forces” since 2012, while launching major attacks like a wave of car bombs across multiple cities that lasted until the end of 2013.

Despite these warning signs, President Obama earlier this year compared ISIS and related groups to a “jayvee team” during an interview with The New Yorker.

The White House has since defended those remarks, claiming the president was not referring only to the Islamic State. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes also claimed earlier this month that the network indeed “has gained capacity in the last several months.”

Rhodes said the Islamic State poses “a greater threat today than they did six months ago.”

Left unclear is when that danger might diminish.

With the Islamic State now controlling large swaths of territory across Syria and northern Iraq, senior Obama administration officials have repeatedly referred to the terrorist army as a “long-term” threat.

Asked if that means that the dangers posed by ISIS will extend beyond Obama’s time in office, a senior State Department official told Fox News: “Probably. Probably.”

The official hastened to add that the U.S. has embraced similarly lengthy time frames in its post-9/11 efforts to combat other major terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that such a view — especially given the success against Al Qaeda in those regions — should not be mistaken for a lack of initiative or zeal in the president’s approach.

The official also stressed that the administration does not see a 9/11-style attack on the American homeland as among the threats the Islamic State presently poses. Rather, the group is thought by U.S. policymakers to threaten Washington’s regional allies and interests, as many administration officials have emphasized in recent weeks.

The State Department source also pointed to the variety of methods the administration is using to address ISIS. These range from “kinetic” operations aimed at “taking their leadership off the battlefield” to online initiatives designed to choke off the group’s financing to diplomatic activities that will stem the flow of foreign fighters to ISIS’ breeding ground, Syria.

“We are also working on getting others to stand up and push them out,” the source said.

The West Point report did detail the organization’s potential weaknesses.

The report said ISIS leaders are “crafting far-sighted political-military campaigns that are resilient enough to survive the deaths of their progenitors,” but their ability to “continually shape and control the conflict will be sorely tested” as the pace of the counteroffensive accelerates.

The Obama administration is currently weighing whether to expand its air campaign from northern Iraq into Syria.

“Although they may boast a deep bench of talented individuals following years of prisoner releases, prison breaks and recruitment, leadership casualties will nonetheless complicate their ability to hold the initiative in the future,” the report said.

The West Point article said ISIS has benefited from the “unpreparedness of its enemies” but such factors “are diminishing.”

“As a defensive force, ISIL may struggle to hold terrain if it is attacked simultaneously at multiple points or if its auxiliary allies begin to defect,” the report said.

Still, the report noted the group is absorbing “whole networks of militants into its ranks.”

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and James Rosen contributed to this report.

Intel believes 300 Americans fighting with Islamic State, posing threat to U.S.

 

Photo by: Uncredited A convoy of vehicles and militant fighters move through Iraq's Anbar Province. The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side-by-side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials. (Associated Press)

Photo by: Uncredited
A convoy of vehicles and militant fighters move through Iraq’s Anbar Province. The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side-by-side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials. (Associated Press)


Officials say concern is widespread in Washington that radicalized foreign fighters could return to the homeland and commit terrorist attacks with skills acquired overseas, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information. Those concerns were heightened by the disclosure Tuesday that a California man was killed fighting alongside militants with the group, also known as ISIS.

The U.S. government is doing its best to keep track of the foreign fighters, who have been shifting back and forth between Iraq and Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.

“We know that there are several hundred American passport holders running around with ISIS in Syria or Iraq,” the official said, offering a figure well above widespread reports of about 100 such fighters. “It’s hard to tell whether or not they’re in Syria or moved to Iraq.”

The State Department did not respond to a request for the number of Americans traveling in Iraq and Syria.

Read more at Washington Times

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US reportedly recruiting allies to support expanded airstrikes, Syrian opposition

 

Fox News:

The Obama administration is pressing U.S. allies to increase their support for moderate rebel groups in Syria, as well as possible military operations, according to a published report.

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that White House officials believe that Great Britain and Australia would be willing to join the United States in a campaign of airstrikes in Syria, while the administration hoped that Turkey would give it access to key military bases.

The Times also reported that the U.S. has asked Turkish government to help seal that country’s border with Syria, which has proven to be an easy crossing point for foreign militants looking to join up with the Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, in northern Syria. The paper reported that the White House is also seeking intelligence help from Jordan, as well as financial support for groups like the moderate Free Syrian Army from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The political calculus of such maneuvering among America’s Western allies is unclear. Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron experienced one of the most humiliating defeats of his premiership when a motion to join potential airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s government was rejected by Parliament. However, the atrocities committed by ISIS since its overrunning of broad swathes of Syria and Iraq, have seemingly galvanized Cameron to press for action. In a recent opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph, Cameron said that Britain was “in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology.”

Late Monday, the Pentagon began sending surveillance drones on flights over Syria to gather intelligence on ISIS positions after Obama approved their use over the weekend. The Times cited a report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that “non-Syrian spy planes” on Monday carried out surveillance of ISIS positions in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

The Assad government in Damascus has warned the U.S. not to strike ISIS positions on Syrian territory without asking permission. However, on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphatically rejected that condition, telling reporters “We’re not going to ask permission from the Syrian regime.” However, Psaki also noted that Obama had not made a final decision on whether to approve airstrikes in Syria.

The Times also reported that the White House was also close to a decision to authorize airstrikes and aid drops around the town of Amerli in northern Iraq, home to a community of ethnic Turkmens, which has been besieged by ISIS for more than two months. The Turkmens, as Shiite Muslims, are thought of as infidels by the Sunni members of ISIS.

Over the weekend, the United Nations’ special representative to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said the situation in Amerli was “desperate, and called for “immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens.” The BBC reported Saturday that the town had no electricity or drinking water, and is running out of food and medical supplies.