Egyptian Gov’t Says ISIS Came from Muslim Brotherhood

Islamic-State-10-IPEgyptian President El-Sisi is forcefully arguing that the U.S. is erring in focusing only on the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments says that the Islamic State terrorist group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) was birthed from the Muslim Brotherhood movement, according to an October 13 report  in an Egyptian newspaper called the Seventh Day.

Other Egyptian leaders have made the case in recent days that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist terrorist groups belong in the same category as the Islamic State. The Egyptian government has banned the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas, as terrorist groups.

According to the report, Dr. Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said that the Muslim Brotherhood is the progenitor of the Islamic State and similar terrorist groups. He accused the Brotherhood of disrupting education at Egyptian universities and said the group is harmful to Islam.

The Islamic State used to be Al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq. Al-Qaeda’s leaders are known to have been influenced by the Brotherhood, but the two groups sparred over the latter’s relative restraint and involvement in elections.

The Islamic State is publicly hostile to the Brotherhood, though the two have nearly identical goals. In a new Islamic State video, the group pledges to overthrow the Turkish government and derided it as the “Caliph of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

In May, Gomaa told a reporter that Egypt’s Al-Azhar University should promote a “centrist form of Islam” that is different from Political Islam, otherwise known as Islamism.

“Islam should not be part of politics because the role of religion should only be about preaching a moral public life and for the betterment of society,” he was quoted as saying.

Last month, Gomaa warned that released Muslim Brotherhood leaders would instigate violence and instability and collaborate with terrorist groups.

“[Muslim Brotherhood will] incite from Qatar, conspire from Libya, mobilize the international organization in Turkey and ally with the Islamic State,” he said.

Read more at Clarion Project

Also see:

Total Strategic Incoherence

kerry-300x173UTT, By John Guandolo, Oct. 15, 2014:

Enough Americans have a solid understanding of the threats our nation currently faces that the perspective of history is unnecessary for us to recognize – in the moment – that our leadership is catastrophically unprofessional in their national security duties, and we have now achieved a level of strategic incoherence never before seen in recorded history.

America’s enemies are telling us exactly who they are and want they intend to do.  In many cases, they are putting it right in our faces. Yet our leaders at the federal level continue to ignore the clearly articulated plans of those who wish to destroy us in exchange for unmitigated fantasy that we can convince others to like us, as well as those inside our government who are intentionally sabotaging this nation in an effort to destroy it.  The latter will not be addressed here as it has been detailed in previous UTT articles.

Across continents, Islamic armies are butchering non-Muslims and Muslims who will not comply with the Sharia or whom are guilty of crimes under Sharia. These groups call themselves Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Abu Sayyaf, Al Shabaab, and a variety of others all of whom state their objective is to impose Sharia globally under the Islamic State or Caliphate. This is the same stated objective of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tabligi Jamaat, Jamaat e Islami, and every Muslim nation on earth at the Head of State and King level via the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Ten Year Plan. This also happens to be the same stated objective of every jihadi arrested in Europe, the United States, and everywhere else on the planet. It is also a fact that 100% of all published Sharia (Islamic Law) mandates jihad until the entire world is ruled by Sharia under the Caliphate, and all (100%) published Islamic Law only defines “jihad” as “warfare” against non-Muslims.

The Islamic enemy is completely unified in their stated objectives, yet the entire U.S. Government leadership from the President, to his National Security Advisor, to the heads of the CIA, FBI, DHS, and Military, and the Cabinet Secretaries all march in unison stating none of this has to do with Islam. From this grotesque lack of intellectual and factual honesty comes strategic blunders that leave a person speechless.

The President states ISIS is “not Islamic” yet continues to support the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, Al Qaeda forces and others in places like Syria and Libya.  Secretary of State Kerry stated before Congress recently that “(ISIS is) the enemy of Islam. That’s what they are.  There’s nothing in Islam that condones or suggests people should go out and rape women and sell off young girls or give them as gifts to jihadists and, you know, cut people’s heads off.”  Apparently, neither has read Islamic Law which explicitly calls for these things.  As a matter of fact, beheadings and crucifixion are part of the Hadud Laws which are specifically articulated in the Quran.

The President and his Chief of Staff (former Deputy National Security Advisor), FBI Director, Director of Central Intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security, and others continue to look to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in America to give them their info on Islam and Sharia, as well as allowing these jihadis to write doctrine for domestic counterterrorism strategy and foreign policy – which is why our leaders are clueless. This cluelessness allows our enemies to extract the very outcome they are gunning for – complete strategic incoherence.  When the FBI fails in these duties, state and local law enforcement officials are left out to dry.

The catastrophic strategic results speak for themselves:

* The U.S. Department of State wrote the Constitutions for Iraq and Afghanistan which created Islamic Republics (not democracies) under Sharia law – thus fulfilling Al Qaeda’s objectives for the region.  Despite crushing our enemies on the field of battle, the U.S. lost these wars.  Today, Americans and those who gave their blood and bodies for this cause watch as the gains made are being washed away by a different flavor of the same enemy.

* The U.S. government takes sides with “moderate” Islamic groups without understanding the strategic implications, and our government ends up supporting Al Qaeda and/or Muslim Brotherhood entities with arms and money in Libya, Syria, and Egypt.

* The U.S. Government via the President and Secretary of State negotiate with hostile nations/entities like the Taliban, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others thinking we can cajole them into seeing the issues our way. All the while we are completely ignorant that their guiding principles are enshrined in Sharia, a body of law they believe must be obeyed above all other laws and systems. Therefore, we are always on the losing side of these discussions.

* Those on the front lines of this war go into harms way unclear about the threat, the enemy threat doctrine (Sharia), and how to dialogue with the enemy until they gain practical experience on the ground. Since primary Muslim Brotherhood organizations like ISNA, CAIR, MAS, and others have been given access to military units and our war colleges by the Pentagon and commanding generals, our military is not only being kept from a factual understanding of the enemy, they are the target of information operations by our enemy to specifically keep them from knowing the enemy.

* When senior generals do speak out, it is to silence the factual basis for identifying and understanding the enemy. It is the reason our leaders obliged our military to dangerously absurd rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and why senior Pentagon officials ordered the soldiers at Guantanamo Bay guarding the jihadists to carry Qurans for prisoners wearing white gloves and treating the Quran like a“delicate piece of art.” This nonsense has no place in a war, but is the intentional result of our leadership failures to get a clear understanding of what this nation is facing.

* The U.S. military continues to train foreign personnel in Islamic countries yet cannot understand why these same “friends” would kill our troops in acts of jihad (martyrdom).

* There is no understanding of the implications of the US v Holy Land Foundation trial (Dallas, 2008), the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial in U.S. history – inside our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Therefore, senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders and organizations continue to support jihadi operations, recruit and “radicalize” jihadis, and influence and conduct counterintelligence operations inside our national security apparatus.  They do this almost completely unimpeded.

*Our counterintelligence programs do not blend well with the counterterrorism programs in either the CIA or FBI and, therefore, we do not see – strategically – the meshing of foreign intelligence services, their political representatives here, and the jihadi operations. Saudi Arabia is an excellent example of this. The Saudi government was complicit in 9/11, as was the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. and members of Saudi intelligence. Saudi Arabia supports terrorism more than any other nation on the planet beside Iran – yet they continue to be given a free pass by the U.S. government.

* U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country partner with Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas entities to train their employees, as well as FBI and DHS employees, despite facts already in evidence (US v HLF).

* Since 2012 when the FBI Director, DHS Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey shut down all training inside the government about the Muslim Brotherhood, the HLF trial, Islamic Law (Sharia), the strategic threat from the global Islamic Movement and related topics, the impact on international operations and investigations has been severe. The FBI’s latest threat matrix does not even include Islamic terrorism as a major threat to the United States. This defies rational thought. These days Chairman Dempsey publicly states his concern for ISIS, but fails to recognize it is his own policy of silencing the facts and truth inside the Pentagon that has led to a strategic collapse of fundamental war fighting mantras like “know thy enemy.”  The question he must be asked when he makes statements that Islam does not support what Al Qaeda and ISIS are doing is: “What Islamic Law have you read General?”

* Congressmen Gerry Connolly, Keith Ellison, Andre Carson John Conyers and Senators like Richard Durbin and others have given public support, using their official office, and, in some cases, raised money for MB/Hamas in the U.S. doing business as “CAIR.”  Yet, this behavior, which is against U.S. law, is left unchallenged by the Department of Justice.

There are those who have argued that it is difficult and nearly impossible to speak truth inside the system today, and that is true.  However, the Oath of Office obliges all in positions of authority to give their fidelity to the Constitution, not to their jobs or their promotions.

But this strategic incoherence is certainly not left only the Islamic threat.

The Iranians are forging ahead with their nuclear program openly stating they will destroy Israel when capable.

The Chinese and the Iranians have been conducting joint Naval exercises while the Chinese intelligence service is eating our lunch by penetrating U.S. government systems on a regular basis and conducting economic warfare against us at unprecedented levels.

The Chinese and the Russians have taunted the U.S. on a number occasions with provacative actions including a Russian bomber flying over Guam during the President’s State of the Union Speech last year.  The Chinese popped one of their subs up in the middle of a U.S. Naval exercise recently just to show us they can. Our strategic response – nothing.

In fact, our military and civilian leaders publicly state our greatest threat is “global warming.”

Message to our enemies – we are weak and will not respond to aggressive action.

The historical result of such weakness and appeasement has always been grave violence to the nation demonstrating such weakness.

Our allies do not trust us and our enemies do not fear us. We are extremely vulnerable.

And this is not the worst of it. The utter catastrophic failure by our leaders to have a working knowledge of our enemies and their doctrine has resulted in the deaths of Americans abroad and at home. Equally devastating is the loss of the security of communities across this nation which will – because of the failure of our leaders – have to deal with the jihadis on the streets of America in coming months in ways most people find unimaginable.  This is a threat that can be mitigated now, and needs to be.  Every day we wait is another level of security we are losing.

The way in which the government is dealing with the threat from Ebola – while ISIS calls for it to be used as a strategic weapon against us – gives us a glimpse into the lack of leadership, basic intellectual acumen, and the vacuum of common sense in those men and women charged with defending our nation at the top.

There is no other outcome than the defeat of America when the entire American leadership structure on both sides of the political aisle fails to identify the enemy and make  complete victory our national objective.

Anything less will  leave the world without the lamp on the hill shining the light of liberty.

 

The demise of ‘responsibility to protect’ at the U.N.

10142014_b1maylgun8201_c0-440-1800-1489_s561x327By Clifford D. May:

Remember R2P? Not to be confused with R2-D2 (a robotic character in the “Star Wars” movies), “Responsibility to Protect” was an international “norm” proposed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan following the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and the mass murders in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica a year later. The idea was for the “international community” to assume an obligation to intervene, militarily if necessary, to prevent or halt mass atrocities.

Why has R2P not been invoked to stop the slaughters being carried out in Syria and Iraq? Why isn’t it mentioned in regard to the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani, which, as I write this, may soon be overrun by barbarians fighting for what they call the Islamic State?

Here’s the story: In 2009, Mr. Annan’s successor, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, issued a report on “implementing” R2P. The foreign-policy establishment cheered. For example, Louise Arbour, a former U.N. high commissioner for human tights, called R2P “the most important and imaginative doctrine to emerge on the international scene for decades.” Anne-Marie Slaughter, an academic who served under Hillary Clinton at the State Department, went further, hailing R2P as “the most important shift in our conception of sovereignty since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.”

In 2011, President Obama cited R2P as his primary justification for using military force to prevent Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from attacking the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

If that was the apogee of R2P, the nadir was not far off. The intervention in Libya has led to chaos and bloodshed with no end in sight. Meanwhile, in Syria, four years ago this spring, Bashar Assad brutally cracked down on peaceful protesters.

Mr. Obama made Mr. Assad’s removal American policy but overruled the recommendation of his national security advisers to assist Syrian nationalist opposition groups. Civil war erupted. Self-proclaimed jihadis from around the world flocked to Syria to fight on behalf of the Sunnis. The opposition was soon dominated by the al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate, and the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), whose leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, broke with al Qaeda and, audaciously, declared himself caliph, or supreme leader.

As for Mr. Assad, he is supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran, deploying both its elite Quds Force (designated in 2007 by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization) and Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based militia loyal to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Russia also backs Mr. Assad, even supplying on-the-ground military intelligence specialists.

With no U.N.-approved R2P effort to rescue the innocent civilians of the region from these brutal forces, the death toll in Syria and Iraq has topped 200,000, and the number of refugees is in the millions.

Read more at Washington Times

al Qaeda, al Shabaab, and ISIS: Recruiting and Taking Ground

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By Nicholas Hanlon:

The recent interplay between al Shabaab and the African Union military mission in Somalia offers new data on the role of ground troops, the holding of territory, and Islamist recruiting.   After conventional ground forces deprived the al Qaeda linked group of its last stronghold in Baraawe, al Shabaab retaliated with a failed assassination attempt on the Somali president in Baraawe.  To a more tragic effect, they succeeded in killing thirteen innocent civilians in Mogadishu with a car bomb yesterday.  The loss of Baraawe was a big loss for al Shabaab.  They once enjoyed control of two major port cities where they could earn money in exports and bring in weapons and new recruits unchecked.

It is important to keep in mind that as far back as 2007, the FBI was mobilizing to counter al Shabaab’s successful recruiting of Americans among the Somali refugee community.  In 2010, fourteen people were indicted for trying to support al Shabaab.  Individuals among them came from California, Alabama, and Minnesota.  One of the attackers at Westgate Mall in Kenya last year was believed to be from Kansas City, Missouri.

It also helps to keep in mind that al Shabaab was started by lieutenants of Osama Bin Laden.  Now, ISIS internet recruiting strategies are being compared to Al Qaeda’s as next-generation in technical innovation.   Why? The giant terrorist recruiting boon has long since begun.  That fact overshadows the differences between the groups and highlights their overarching unity of purpose.

Harken back to when the pillar of our now president’s foreign policy debate was that Gitmo caused terrorist recruiting.  If only we could close down Gitmo, we could stem terrorist recruiting world wide.  Another re-hashing of counter recruiting strategy also emerges.  Namely, did invading Iraq serve the cause of terrorist recruitment on a grand scale?  Would another boots on the ground campaign amplify recruiting once again in Syria?

Consider the basic elements at work: 1. Globalized social media with a propaganda capability 2. Freedom and ease of individual travel  3. Porous borders and poorly governed territory

Now apply those elements to each case regarding Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and al Shabaab in Somalia.  These categories clearly do not represent the complexity or all of the scenarios involved in the current threat matrix but do serve for an acceptable base line comparison.

In Afghanistan al Qaeda has good propaganda instincts but it is first generation stuff and there is physical distance between terrorist strongholds and a communications infrastructure.  Freedom and ease of individual travel is made difficult by remoteness and lack of transportation infrastructure.  The low level of governance, however, falls in the plus column.

In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is not only the benefactor of al Qaeda and former al Qaeda, they have more travel infrastructure and communications infrastructure.  It is much easier for Americans and Europeans to travel in and out, gain battle experience, and receive training before they return home.  Add to their globalized propaganda capability a free microphone from HBO’s Vice.  Their ability to take territory and govern speaks for itself.  But here is the twist.  Upon return, their media capability extrapolates as it already had been doing among the Somali jihadists.

Al Shabaab in Somalia had success early on with recruiting and importing foreign fighters due to the absence of an opposing force on the ground and control of vital seaports.  The freedom of individual travel beget effective globalized social media even without great communications infrastructure.   The FBI remains deeply concerned about those who have joined the jihad in Somalia carrying out attacks in the U.S. after returning.

What does all of this say to the debate about putting boots on the ground?  Does military intervention not play right in to Islamist strategy?  To be fair, let us quickly paraphrase the Iraq invasion strategy.  The idea was that it is better to fight terrorists with voluntary soldiers on foreign soil than to leave them unchecked and able to mobilize over seas to then launch attacks on U.S. soil.

It may sound simplistic but the ground force operations in Iraq and Afghanistan gave us an intelligence capability and a special forces capability we would have never had otherwise.  Without it, we would have never gotten Bin Laden and a lot of other bad guys.  That capability is no where near what it was since before the Iraq withdrawal.   Further, the U.S. had the un-articulated strategic advantage of new strike capabilities in a theater where we needed more geo-strategic leverage.  That’s gone too.

For the sake of argument, however, let’s say that the Iraq invasion did bring more terrorists out of the woodwork then would have ever otherwise confronted the U.S. unprovoked.   As Sam Harris has recently highlighted, the same ideas animate the overarching actions of all three groups; al Qaeda, al Shabaab, and ISIS.  It is a strategy for global dominance.  In Somalia, early al Shabaab had an ideological enemy, the Siad Barre military regime, long before U.S. foreign policy provided the foil.   His rise had to do with the Soviets whose foreign policy also provided the foil for Bin Laden’s early propaganda successes.

It will  help Islamist propaganda generally when they can use a Western or secular foreign policy or ideology as a foil.  Letting them determine when and where to fight is to concede that jihadists will name the tune that the West will dance to.  As the list of no-good options grows, there is healthy debate and a lot of good reasons why we should not invade  Iraq for a third time.  But a recruiting coup is not one of them.  The factors listed above can account for a robust propaganda and recruiting capability for ISIS, al Shabaab, and al Qaeda.  Further, thanks to social media, the viral effect is in effect.  That ship has sailed and Western leaders are in more dissarray than ever as to what to do about it.

Baraawe reminds us that taking territory away from Islamist terrorist groups can deprive them of money, weapons, and new recruits in the short term.  Iraq teaches us that if we don’t hold the ground taken from Islamist groups, they will take it back.  Neither case address the blood lust or sense of righteousness for their cause in the long run.  Yet their ideas can draw fighters to their banner with or without a U.S. presence on the ground.  A counter ideology capability for the West will not likely emerge in the American political climate.

Did CIA Meet With CAIR to Purge Anti-Muslim Training Material? It’s Classified

20110817_CAIRCIAJudicial Watch:

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is refusing to provide Judicial Watch with records of meetings between the agency and an Islamic terrorist front group that pressured the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to purge training materials deemed offensive to Muslims.

Back In 2012 and 2013 JW filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records of all complaints of anti-Islamic content in any educational or training material and any meetings the agency may have had with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to discuss it. The requests were part of an ongoing JW investigation into a powerful Islamist influence operation aimed at our government and Constitution.

Law enforcement agencies have been especially targeted by CAIR, an Islamic terrorist front group founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists that today reportedly raises money for Hamas. CAIR not only got the FBI to purge all training material and curricula deemed offensive to Muslims, it has succeeded in getting local police departments to do the same. Last year JW published a special report documenting the FBI purge, which occurred following a February 2012 meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and various Islamic organizations, including CAIR.

In the name of government transparency and accountability, JW set out to uncover whether the same occurred at the CIA. In fact, JW’s first public-records request cites a documented incident involving a lecturer at the CIA campus in Elkridge, Maryland who came under CAIR’s fire for alleged Islamophobia. Previous to that another defense instructor got fired after similar complaints. Less than a year later JW filed a second request specifically asking for records of communications and meetings with CAIR since the group was the driving force behind the FBI purge.

This week the CIA sent JW an amusing response, claiming that it “can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records” involving meetings or communications with CAIR. Here’s why, according to the spy agency; it’s classified intelligence information that’s protected from disclosure. The response goes on to cite the statutes—such as the CIA Act of 1949 and National Security Act of 1947—that allow the agency to hide even the most benign information from the American public. In this particular case, it’s not far-fetched to conclude the CIA met with CAIR—or at least had communication with the extremist group—and doesn’t exactly want the public to know about it.

It certainly paints a scary picture that the nation’s top intelligence-gathering agency responsible for preempting threats is possibly taking orders from an extremist group that was named a co-conspirator in a massive terrorism financing case just a few years ago. Indeed, if this is occurring it should be classified. The CIA’s response to JW’s first request was that it was “unable to locate any records” involving complaints of anti-Islamic content in its educational or training material. This despite “thorough and diligent searches,” according to the correspondence JW got from the agency.

The Islamist campaign to overhaul the way all law enforcement officers are trained in the United States is going full-throttle. Just a few weeks ago JW reported that a coalition of influential and politically-connected Muslim organizations are 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. The coalition also wants 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. Those responsible for anti-Muslim training material must be punished, according to the coalition’s written demands to Lisa O. Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

American suicide bomber’s travels in U.S., Middle East went unmonitored

article-2707022-20055C2200000578-457_634x434By Adam Goldman and Greg Miller:

There were no U.S. air marshals watching the newly clean-shaven passenger on the transatlantic­ flight, no FBI agents waiting for him as he landed in Newark in May 2013 after returning from Syria’s civil war.

As the 22-year-old Florida native made his way through a U.S. border inspection, officers pulled him aside for additional screening and searched his belongings. They called his mother in Vero Beach to check on his claim that he had merely been visiting relatives in the Middle East. But when she vouched for him, U.S. officials said, Moner Mohammad Abusalha was waved through without any further scrutiny or perceived need to notify the FBI that he was back in the United States.

Earlier this year, after returning to Syria, Abusalha became the first American to carry out a suicide attack in that country, blowing up a restaurant frequented by Syrian soldiers on behalf of an al-Qaeda affiliate. His death May 25 was accompanied by the release of a menacing video. “You think you are safe where you are in America,” he said, threatening his own country and a half-dozen others. “You are not safe.”

It was a warning from someone who had been in position to deliver on that threat. By then, Abusalha­ had made two trips to a conflict zone seen as the largest incubator of Islamist radicalism since Afghanistan in the 1980s. Between those visits he wandered inside the United States for more than six months, U.S. officials said, attracting no attention from authorities after their brief telephone conversation with his mother.

His movements went unmonitored despite a major push by U.S. security and intelligence agencies over the past two years to track the flow of foreign fighters into and out of Syria. At the center of that effort is a task force established by the FBI at a classified complex in Virginia that also involves the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.

Despite that expanding surveillance net and more than a dozen prosecutions in the United States, the outcome for Abusalha depended more on the priorities of his al-Qaeda handlers than U.S. defenses. FBI officials involved in the case said it exposed vulnerabilities that can be reduced but not eliminated.

“It is extremely difficult for the FBI to identify individuals in the U.S. who have this kind of goal,” said George Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami field office, which led the Abusalha investigation. “It requires a loved one or really close friend to note the changes. . . . The family has to intervene.”

Abusalha is counted among the 100 or so Americans who have traveled to Syria or attempted to do so, a figure cited repeatedly by senior U.S. officials in ways that suggest there is precision in their understanding of who and where those people are.

In reality, officials said, the total has risen to 130 or more, and it includes individuals about whom only fragments of information are known. The clearest cases­ involve U.S. citizens arrested by the FBI before they depart. But other cases are incomplete, based on false names or partial identities assembled from references on social media or U.S. intelligence sources.

Even the estimate of 130 is low, according to U.S. officials who said there are undoubtedly Americans in Syria and Iraq who have not surfaced. Abusalha was part of that invisible category until shortly before he recorded his farewell videos and stepped into the cab of an armored dump truck packed with explosives.

FBI Director James B. Comey recently warned of such blind spots. “Given the nature of the traveler threat, I don’t sit with high confidence that I have complete visibility,” Comey said in a briefing at FBI headquarters. “Who are we missing who went and came back? And, obviously, who are we missing who is in the midst of trying to go?”

Read more at Washington Post

Emerson with Judge Pirro on U.S. Counter-Terrorism Strategy

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
October 11, 2014

Clip from 60 Minutes: Ultimately an American citizen unless the passport is revoked is entitled to come back. So if someone who has fought with ISIL with an American passport wants to come back, we’ll track them very carefully.

Judge Jeanine: That’s FBI director Jim Comey saying they’ll track any Americans returning here after fighting alongside ISIS. Really, track them, that’s it? Why are these guys even allowed back into the country? With me now founder of the Investigative Project, Steve Emerson, and National Review columnist Tom Rogan. Good evening gentlemen. You know Tom, Prime Minister Cameron faced with the same issue on the return of ISIS fighters returning to the UK is trying to actually prevent them from coming in. How is he trying to do this?

Tom Rogan: Yes, thank you for having me on, Judge. He’s doing a number of things and all of that flows from the fact that British intelligence are incredibly concerned about the threat that the Islamic State poses to the UK mainland. But one of the main things he is doing is trying to pass a law in Parliament that would actually allow the British government to refuse entry to people coming back in, sort of extension perhaps of being denied British citizenship and nationality, and sending the message that if you go and fight with the Islamic State which because of David Haines and Alan Henning is a clear enemy of the United Kingdom, then you will face the consequences for action. So it is a much tougher line than perhaps we’ve seen from the US Government.

Judge Jeanine: Well certainly, and Steve, I am sure you can speak to that. But Steve what we’re seeing is, and what you’re investigating, is the uptick in terms of the recruitment by ISIS in Western Europe as well as the United States.

Steve Emerson: Judge, there has been a tremendous uptick in recruitment. In the last month alone intelligence estimates say up to more than 5,000 volunteers have come from Europe alone and several hundred from the United States. And the notion that we can track them when they come back to the United States I think is somewhat questionable since it takes about 24 agents just to track one person for a 24 hour period nonstop. Number two, I think our policy on the issue of radical Islam is really screwed up here. Here you have a president at the UN praises a radical sheikh who says he’s opposed to ISIS but issues a fatwa calling for killing of American soldiers. You have the President basically sending a welcome message to the Oklahoma mosque which produced that crazy Islamist who beheaded, Mr. Nolen, who beheaded his co-worker and who had on his Facebook page photos praising bin Laden, praising 9/11, and even a picture of somebody being beheaded. So I think our own policies [ are actually constraining us], including that the fact that the Attorney General has prohibited the FBI from using religious criteria from investigating Islamists. I think right now, Judge, we have a [counter-terrorism] policy that doesn’t exist.

Judge Jeanine: Steve you may not know, Tom was nodding his head while you were speaking. Tom, one of the things that Steve is referencing is the fact that by our not identifying certain things as terrorism and calling things work place violence, the United States and the Department of Justice is almost tying the hands of our investigators. What is the perception from Britain as to how we’re approaching this in the United States? We’re both facing the same disaster.

Rogan: The British government is reluctant to criticize the US government. But there is certainly much greater concern in the UK and frankly I think that should be a great are concern here because the simple fact is the Islamic State have learned from their predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq. They know to stay off of the internet and they know to actually come back and not engage in some of the open extremist activities that previous terrorists had done before. So they can actually stay, bide their time and then move toward an attack. And that makes it very, very difficult for intelligence services – the NSA and the British equivalent GCHQ – to be able to develop the kind of intelligence picture, the same monitoring that Steve is talking about, large teams of officers. MI5 is stretched to the brink. That’s why you see David Cameron so concerned about preventing people coming back, because frankly MI5 officers are telling him we do not have the capacity physically to monitor these people.

Judge Jeanine: What is interesting Tom, I have an article here that says terrorist chatter raises the threat level for UK police, and that it’s been raised there from moderate to substantial. What can we do here, Steve, given the constraints that we have and reluctance to even identify things as work place violence? We’ve got this guy Nidal Hasan who writes the Pope who says I am a terrorist. What can we do?

Emerson: First of all we have to reverse the damage done by the Attorney General.

Judge Jeanine: How?

Emerson: First of all stop the purge that was done two years ago in the FBI of all material that was considered to be ‘offensive against Islam’ that stripped the FBI of thousands and thousands of books, pamphlets and power points of anything that dealt with radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood. That [material] has to be restored. Number two, the training of FBI informants, that budget was slashed in half under the Attorney General. Number three, there has to be a policy decision that recognizes the Muslim Brotherhood, these other [Islamist] groups, are just as much a threat to the United States and to our way of life as ISIS is. And if we don’t recognize that Judge, we’re gonna be doomed.

Judge Jeanine: I couldn’t agree with you more. Steve, Tom, thank you so much for being with us this evening.

Rogan: Thank you, Judge.

Have We Reached Peak ISISmania Yet?

ISIS3-550x282PJ Media, By Patrick Poole:

A few thoughts on the current bout of ISISmania and the systemic problems it exposes:

1) ISISmania has created a financial/legal incentive for sources (most of them “shady” to begin with) used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to manufacture info whole-cloth.

This is nothing new. Think “prison snitches.” Various foreign actors are passing along disinformation to us as well, so mountains of BS are being fed into the system from the get-go.

Imagine, for a purely hypothetical example, a member of Congress getting an authentic report from a senior agency official, but the report is later found to have originated with a non-credible source. So the member of Congress who repeated the report was actually correct that the intel had been shared with them — but the information itself wasn’t reliable.

It never should have been shared in the first place, but it’s the member of Congress who ends up with egg on their face when the agency issues its denial. No one, whether politicians or agency officials, wants to later admit they were duped, so erroneous info never gets corrected.

2) There are considerable problems on the collection and analysis sides of intel in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. In fact, very few know how to do collection — and good analysis is basically prohibited these days.

So the BS and disinfo never gets sifted out. It then gets passed on to elected officials, which is some of what we’re seeing. Then you have agencies and the administration selectively manipulate and leak according to their own respective agendas. This is how the sausage is being made in DC these days.

3) There is only so much media space, and politicians compete with each other for that space.

So they need to come up with more outlandish claims to get a bigger share of that media space. That creates a disincentive to vet the info they get and publicly talk about. No one gets on Greta by saying: “We need to keep a cool head about this stuff.”

4) Because of that, the game of “I got a secret” is more prevalent than ever before.

Those secrets might be complete equine feces, but the desire to be “in the know,” whether they actually are or not, and the temptation to show that you’re “in the know,” is strong.

5) Congress has no mechanism to vet what the agencies and administration tells them.

 

Back in the 1990s there wase a House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare that gave Congress direct access to the intelligence and SPECOPS worlds to be able to know if what the admin at the time — regardless of party — was saying was true or not.

That’s gone. Congress itself has no internal vetting system to speak of. They are at the mercy of the Executive Branch.

6) The threats are escalating so rapidly, no one in D.C. wants to be holding the bag when something actually happens.

They’ve learned from 9/11 that they don’t want to be the one saying: “Yeah, I knew about it but never said anything publicly.” Everyone wants a chair when the music stops, so they are all trying to lay down their markers now to show they were trying to do something about it beforehand — whether they actually were or not.

Understand, much of this has nothing to do with actually preventing terrorism, but with political posturing.

7) Don’t even get me going about people in the D.C. media/foreign policy establishment — e.g., the think tanks.

There are some solid policy analysts out there doing very good work, but much of it goes unrecognized or never gets considered. That said, the vast majority of these analysts won’t do anything that gets them disinvited to a D.C. cocktail party or criticized by the cool kids on Twitter.

An M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins/Georgetown/Harvard doesn’t mean that you have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about. Analysis takes years of study and practice — but try telling that to your average 25-year-old policy wonk. And yet these are the characters that drive much the narrative, increasingly so as social media favored by the younger crowd drives much of the news cycle these days.

8) Because so much BS is being slung about, it is actually crowding out good intel.

There are actual border threats from various terrorist groups and actors currently being investigated. But none of that info will ever see the light of day because people inside the system know it will get lumped in with all the disinformation grabbing the headlines right now.

9) Because this administration seeks to maintain an iron grip over the flow of information, virtually any leak is subject to some variety of mole hunt.

It may not lead to official discipline, but perhaps to the imposition of other unofficial forms of discipline, like getting cut out of the loop, which is the kiss of death. That said, I personally know of whistleblowers getting hammered right now by their agencies for calling attention to these kinds of threats, or for trying to get information to Congress.

And Congress has still not created substantive legal protections for whistleblowers, so that creates a severe disincentive for accurate info making its way out.

(Note that the Democrats control the gavel in the Senate, and the impotent and incompetent GOP leadership that governs the House consistently refuses to exercise their oversight powers (particularly committee chairmen). That’s why it is taking YEARS for info related to the litany of Obama administration scandals from coming to light. And when the info becomes public, it is frequently due to groups outside the political establishment. Judicial Watch has done the yeomans work in this regard — not Congress — on the IRS, Fast and Furious, et al.)

10) Elections in four weeks increase all of these by an order of magnitude. So I’m not sure we’ve reached peak ISISmania yet.

There are actual threats to the homeland out there, including ISIS, but virtually all that we’re seeing in the media at the moment is political theater and the accumulation of serious systemic problems within the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

And much of this nonsense is going to get more Americans killed.

Also see:

The ISIS Threat to Military Families

Army-Warns-US-Military-Personnel-On-ISIS-Threat-To-Family-Members-photo-credit-TwitterCSP, By Fred Fleitz:

According to Catherine Herridge of Fox News, the U.S. Army issued a warning this week to military personnel and their families in response to a new threat by ISIS calling on its supporters to use the yellow pages and social media to find the addresses of military families and “show up [at their homes] and slaughter them.”
Herridge also reported that the Facebook pages of an Air Force service member and his son recently were “swarmed” by offensive messages after ISIS supporters targeted them online with what resembled a digital “flash mob” attack.  This occurred after the Air Force service member posted pictures online from a flight over Iraq during a recent bombing campaign.
So how concerned should military families be about this new ISIS threat?
This type of threat has been made before against military families by al Qaeda and the Taliban.  What’s new is the sophistication of ISIS’s PR and social media efforts.  ISIS is building on prior al Qaeda and Taliban efforts to use the Internet and the news media to spread its message, terrorize the West, and recruit “home grown” or “lone wolf” terrorists to stage acts of terrorism in Western countries.
While the chances are small that ISIS’s call for attacks against U.S. military families will result in an actual attack, they are not zero.  Al Qaeda has been successful since 2001 in instigating several dozen home grown terrorist plots in the United States.  These include the 2009 Fort Hood shooting (which the Obama administration inexplicably still refers to as an act of workplace violence), a 2010 plot by a Portland man to blow up a Christmas tree lighting, a 2007 plot to attack soldiers at Fort Dix, and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
There are indications ISIS has successfully recruited followers using the press and social media.  As many as 300 Americans may have traveled to the Middle East to fight for ISIS and will pose a serious terrorist risk to the U.S. homeland when they return to the United States.
ISIS also has been successful in promoting extreme acts of violence by home grown terrorists in the United States.  The August murder of 19-year old Brendan Tevlin and three others by a man who said these killings were acts of “vengeance” for U.S. military action in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran were probably instigated by publicity of ISIS atrocities and its fanatical ideology.  I believe there can be no doubt that the man who beheaded Colleen Hufford at an Oklahoma food processing plant last month while screaming Islamic verses was motivated by recent ISIS internet videos of beheadings.  Unfortunately, the FBI is calling this vicious killing an act of workplace violence.
The U.S. military is taking the recent ISIS threat seriously and has advised military families to be vigilant and more security conscious.  Aside from recommending military families take the usual precautions such as locking their doors, using peepholes before opening doors to strangers, making sure home entrances are well-lit and reporting suspicious persons, the Pentagon is advising them to take special precautions to protect their privacy online.
The Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC) is urging military families to be careful when they post material online and not to trust social media privacy settings.  ARTIC advises not posting home addresses, phone numbers, and military affiliations.  Military personnel and their families also should not post details of their daily routines or allow internet applications to geolocate their locations.
Unstated in the ARTIC recommendations is the Pentagon’s preference that military personnel – especially personnel deployed overseas – not have Facebook and other social media accounts.
While the chance of an ISIS attack on the family of a U.S. serviceman or servicewoman is small, the best response is increased security awareness and not allowing ISIS to achieve its goal of undermining military morale with terrorist threats.

Struggle in the Heartland

MBCAIR-190x150CSP, By Kyle Shideler:

Initially, it seemed largely a Washington phenomenon. Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR) targeting federal law enforcement training, and protesting pro-national security legislators who spoke out regarding their agenda.  Former DHS Senior Fellow, and Muslim Brotherhood supporterMohammed Elibiary tweeted on August 13th that, “no future presidency will reverse reforms underway,” thanks to a network of Elibiary’s “friends” in security agencies and academia.

Having reached the sense that victory in Washington was near, the focus has began to shift to spreading these gains to state and local governments. First came the successful termination of the NYPD Intelligence program, which had previously been lauded around the country for its sophistication and success. Recently CAIR and its allies have repeatedly targeted Law Enforcement training programs conducted in more rural areas. In some places efforts to stop training efforts have succeeded, while in others, local law enforcement and local government officials have stuck to their guns.

Having had less than full compliance through the tactic of mere intimidation, additional pressure is now to be applied, utilizing the power of the Federal government. As previously reported, a coalition of radical left and Muslim Brotherhood aligned groups are attempting to end the use of informants in Mosques, and demanding a complete “re-education” of Federal, State, or Local law enforcement who receive the training that these groups oppose, training which often exposes their role in the North American Muslim Brotherhood, and the threat doctrine motivating Jihadist terrorism.

In an email newsletter from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group with a long history of ties to the Brotherhood, MPAC applauded recent efforts by outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to terminate national security exceptions to prohibitions against “Profiling” and applauded the new guidelines ability to keep Federal investigators out of mosques. But the goal now is to extend that prohibition to any local law enforcement officer. They’re receiving help in that quest from Democratic Senator Ben Cardin. MPAC wrote:

The new guidelines will also most likely not extend to local law enforcement agents; something Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) had been advocating for on Capitol Hill especially for those agencies that receive federal funding. Not extending the guidelines to local law enforcement would be counter to having the guidelines in the first place.

Cardin issued a press release October 3rd, calling for the adoption of his bill, “S.1038 – End Racial Profiling Act of 2013,” which seeks to extend federal guidelines nationwide. While the press release says Cardin, along with Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, was joined by “Muslim community leaders” it declines to mention which ones. Christian church groups and African American organizations are named. So far S.1038 has received sixteen co-sponsors, all Democrats.

No one, least of all those of us seeking the application of proven and common sense counterterrorism strategies, support “profiling” based solely upon a perceived race or ethnicity. But it is the desire of groups like CAIR and MPAC to warp a desire for fairness and tolerance into insisting upon the suppression of knowable facts, prohibiting law enforcement from building profiles based on behaviors associated with the established doctrine of an enemy that seeks to terrorize us.

Aware of this break between what they see occurring with their own eyes and what the government is telling them, more Americans are expressing a lack of confidence in the ability of their leaders to address key national security issues like terrorism. In a poll taken by the Center for Security Policy, and conducted by The Polling Company/WomenTrend,71% felt that not enough was being done to address security concerns, including terrorism. A similar amount, 74% understood Jihad (a term which has been largely excised from federal counterterrorism training), to represent a “violent holy war against unbelievers of Islam.”

This disconnect between a priority based on politically correct pieties, as expressed by the Senators, and trumpeted by MPAC, and the actual desires of the American people, shows that while many in Washington may have buckled to pressure from Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups, in the heartland of America there’s a growing realization of the threat. If there is to be a revival of realistic training and analysis, it is likely to be at the state and local level.

The Islamic State Is Here

A82-450x337By Robert Spencer:

During the recent race riots in Ferguson, Missouri, CNN’s Jake Tapper was walking down a street and filming a segment when someone emerged out of the shadows behind him, holding a banner emblazoned, “ISIS is here.” At that point it was just a threat, or a boast, or both, but on Tuesday Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said that the Islamic State was doing all it could to make it a reality: “At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.”

“There’s nobody talking about it,” Hunter added. “If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border. It’s that simple…They caught them at the border, therefore we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them then you know there’s going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol.”

Indeed. And jihadist exploitation of our southern border is nothing new. In June 2014, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) foreshadowed Hunter’s announcement when he said: “This jihadist group ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have promised direct confrontation with America. He is looking forward to that day and he has said that publicly, we should believe him when he says that. These folks hate everything about the United States.” What’s more, “Of course the way they would come to the United States would be through the porous border with Mexico. The drug cartels will bring people into the country no matter who they are — for money. Everyone in the world knows that the border between the United States and Mexico is completely porous.”

Jihad terrorists and their enablers and accomplices have been entering the U.S. illegally by means of the Mexican border for many years. According to TheBlaze, “Hezbollah members and supporters have entered the U.S. through the southern border as early as 2002, with the case of Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison by Mexican authorities on charges of organized crime and immigrant smuggling. Mucharrafille had owned a cafe in the border city of Tijuana, near San Diego. In 2002, he was arrested for smuggling 200 people into the U.S., including Hezbollah supporters, according to a 2009 Congressional report.”

And in May 2010, the Department of Homeland Security warned local police along the southern border about a Muslim named Mohamed Ali who was suspected of being a member of the jihad terror group al Shabaab. An official who spoke to CNN about the warning said that it wasn’t clear whether or not Mohamed Ali was trying to enter the country illegally, but it seems unlikely that such an alert would have been sent out to police along the border if that had not been the case. Ali was, in any case, apparentlyinvolved in operating a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” that had brought hundreds of Somali Muslims into the U.S. illegally.

Top officials in Washington have known about how jihad terrorists have attempted to exploit the vulnerabilities of the southern border for many years now. In 2006, the House Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee, under the leadership of Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), issued a report entitled A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border, which stated: “Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered to the United States across our Southwest border.”

Nothing changed. Investigative journalist Deroy Murdock reported in 2010 that “according to the federal Enforcement Integrated Database, 125 individuals were apprehended along the US/Mexican border from Fiscal Year 2009 through April 20, 2010. These deportable aliens included two Syrians, seven Sudanese, and 17 Iranians, all nationals from the three Islamic countries that the US government officially classifies as state sponsors of terrorism.” During the same period, border agents also apprehended “two Afghans, five Algerians, 13 Iraqis, 10 Lebanese, 22 Nigerians, 28 Pakistanis, two Saudis, 14 Somalis, and three Yemenis. During FY 2007 and FY 2008, federal officials seized 319 people from these same countries traversing America’s southwest border.”

Murdock grants that these illegals may simply have come to pursue the American Dream, as Leftist dogma would have it. But he notes disturbing signs to the contrary: “Besides Iranian currency and Islamic prayer rugs, Texas Border Patrol agents discovered an Arabic clothing patch that reads ‘martyr’ and ‘way to immortality.’ Another shows a jet flying into a skyscraper.” And for some, their malign intentions were unmistakable: “The Department of Homeland Security issued an April 14, 2010 ‘Intelligence Alert’ regarding a possible border-crossing attempt by a Somali named Mohamed Ali. He is a suspected member of Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based al-Qaeda ally tied to the deadly attack on American GIs in 1993’s notorious ‘Blackhawk Down’ incident in Mogadishu.”

Read more at Frontpage

Also see:

THE REAL FRONT IN THE WAR AGAINST ISIS

ISIL-Militant-TriumphantBreitbart, By Katie Gorka:

As the war with ISIS heats up, so too does the debate over what it will take to win.  Immediately following Obama’s announcement of air strikes against ISIS, the debate centered on whether air power was enough or whether the United States also needed to commit boots on the ground.

However, in recent days the focus has shifted to the war of ideas.  The now infamous verbal brawl between Ben Affleck and Sam Harris on the Bill Maher show is just one sign that more and more people are identifying the ideology of jihad as the main front in this war.

General Jonathan Shaw, former Assistant Chief of the UK Defence Staff, said in a recent interview with The Telegraph that the war against ISIS will not be won militarily.  This battle must be fought ideologically and politically.  He said the heart of the problem is Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s funding of militant Salafism.  Saudi Arabia has long funded radical mosques and Islamic cultural centers across the globe, and Qatar supports Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, considered the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Al Jazeera, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood news outlet.  But these efforts have now backfired.  According to General Shaw: “This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really.  And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.  And the question then is ‘does bombing people over there really tackle that?’ I don’t think so. I’d far rather see a much stronger handle on the ideological battle than the physical battle.”

Even President Obama, who spends much of his energy insisting that Islam is a religion of peace and that ISIS has nothing to do with real Islam, acknowledged that ideology might have some role here. In his September 24 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he said, “It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL.”  But as Bill Gertz points out in a recent article, in fact the Obama administration is not engaging in the ideological war. They simply refuse to engage the Islamists on the battlefield of ideas.  Gertz quotes Quintan Wiktorowicz, an architect of U.S. counter-extremism strategy, who blames this failure on Constitutional constraints:

While the government has tried to counter terrorist propaganda, it cannot directly address the warped religious interpretations of groups like ISIL because of the constitutional separation of church and state…U.S. officials are prohibited from engaging in debates about Islam, and as a result will need to rely on partners in the Muslim world for this part of the ideological struggle.

But this is disingenuous.  Wiktorowicz is on record in numerous places asserting the need for the United States to tread softly with Salafists in order to avoid pushing them toward violence, even while he acknowledges that in the long run they do endorse violent jihad.

President Obama himself has repeatedly engaged in discussions about Islam, stating, for example, as he did on September 10th when he announced his plan to fight the Islamic State, “ISIL is not Islamic.”  John Kerry has likewise entered the fray, insisting that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, an assertion that has formed the basis of U.S. counter-terrorism policy and training under the Obama administration.  So to say that U.S. leaders cannot talk about Islam is simply untrue.  It is how they talk about that it is the problem.  The bottom line is that they do not see the fundamental clash between Islamism and the principles of the American founding, and as a result, they are fighting this as a purely tactical war.

As Robert Reilly, former director of the Voice of America, has written, “In fact, the U.S. side has failed to show up for the war of ideas. Strategic communication or public diplomacy, the purpose of which is to win such wars, is the single weakest area of U.S. government performance since 9/11.”

Refusing to engage in the war of ideas, whatever the reason may be, is a disservice both to Americans and to the world’s Muslims.  It is a disservice to Americans because unless the United States engages in the ideological war against ISIS, the battlefield will simply keep repopulating itself.  For every fallen jihadist, there will be ten ready to take his place, another hundred willing to fund and support them, and another thousand to silently cheer them on.  So it is not Al Qaeda or even ISIS who are the real enemies, but the ideology that inspires them, and it is this ideology that the United States must oppose, among both its violent as well as its non-violent adherents.

Obama and many others have said this is not our debate, the Muslim world must work this out for itself.  But this is not true.  The ideas of the American founding are as relevant for the Muslim world as they are to the West.  America’s forebears learned over centuries that when religion is allowed to drive politics, it leads to tyranny, oppression and endless conflict.  This is no less true for the Muslim world.  As Ahmad Mustafa writes in today’sGulf News, “Whether we like it or not, we all helped in the rise of this terrorism by manipulating religion. And here comes the simple conclusion: Religion in politics leads only to ills.”  He goes on to say, “The fight for Islam will not be won unless the current alliance partners, and the rest of regional and international powers, come to an agreement on freeing politics from religion.”

As the war of ideas heats up, the good news is that Americans are throwing off the strictures against talking about Islam.  People like Ben Affleck and Bill Maher and Sam Harris are engaging in substantive debate about the nature of Islam and what is at stake. The bad news is that our own leaders so far are not exercising – or permitting – the same freedom.  And until they do, the ideas driving our enemies will continue to thrive.

Katie Gorka is president of the Council on Global Security.  Follow her on twitter @katharinegorka.

Guest Column: Terror’s Virus on the Northern Border

1069by David B. Harris
Special to IPT News
October 7, 2014

Ever since full-blown cases of the disease hit the United States, Canadians have dreaded the contagion’s arrival north of the 49thparallel.

Its effects: blindness and a deadly incapacity to recognize and adapt to reality.

The malady? The White House’s refusal to identify the leading terrorist enemy by name and combatant doctrine.

President Obama began his administration by avoiding counterterror language likely to link Islam with violence. This reflected a civilized and practical impulse to avoid alienating Muslims at home and abroad.

But perhaps influenced by the demonstrable fact that President Obama, as former terror prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy put it, “made Islamic supremacists key administration advisors,” this effort quickly got out of control. Now the White House fetishizes and enforces on its security agencies, a refusal to identify the doctrine underlying the bulk of the world’s terrorism woes: radical Islamism.

Remarkable, considering that Muslims sounded the alarm years ago.

“Obviously not all Muslims are terrorists but, regrettably, the majority of the terrorists in the world are Muslims,” wrote Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed in a 2004 Al-Sharq Al-Awsatarticle flagged by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Despite this, the Obama White House banned words like “Islamists,” “Muslims” and “jihad” from security documents, even from FBI and other government agencies’ counterterror training manuals.

Lawyer and retired US military intelligence officer Major Stephen C. Coughlin exposed the censorship’s extent at a February 2010 conference. In 2004, he noted, the 9/11 Commission Report made 126 mentions of “jihad,” 145 of “Muslim,” and used the word “Islam” over 300 times. No surprise.

But Washington later purged such terms completely from the FBI counterterrorism lexicon (2008), National Intelligence Strategy (2009) and even the 2010 panel reviewing jihadi Nidal Malik Hasan’s 2009 Fort Hood massacre – except as unavoidable parts of names of terror organizations or the like. The practice seems to continue.

Consequences?

Understanding the threat – extremist Muslims, in this case – requires understanding their doctrine. If terrorists were invoking Christianity – it has happened – security and intelligence organizations would focus on problematic churches and related facilities connected to radical preaching, funding and recruitment. Christian holy literature would be scrutinized, in order to anticipate terrorists’ plans, targets and attack-dates. Redouble the guard on Christmas or Easter? Could atheists, Muslims or Jews be targets? Regardless whether extremists’ interpretations should, in any objective sense, be true or false representations of the ideology in question, serious intelligence must look at these things in order to understand and master the threats posed by all extremist strains of religion or other ideologies. Politicians and the public must discuss them. Public education, transparency, democracy and our defense, demand this. Anything else is misleading, self-deceiving and likely self-defeating.

Northern Exposure

So it was that, three years ago, the Canadian government published the first of its annual series of public threat reports. This straight-talking assessment pinpointed “Sunni Islamist extremism” as a primary menace to Canadians.

But, tragically, the D.C. disease had overtaken Canada’s security bureaucracy by the time August brought the 2014 Public Report On The Terrorist Threat to Canada. This report expunges all direct references to Islamists, other than in terror-organization names.

Take, for example, the latest report’s warning about Canadians joining terror outfits abroad. Gone are terms like “Islamist extremists” and even “violent jihad.” The report’s authors – apparently burdened by “advice” from misguided outreach to Canadian Islamists – slavishly substituted generic terms like “extremist travellers” for language revealing the religious claims, affiliations, motivations and doctrines of our enemies. “Extremist travellers” appears dozens of times to the exclusion of meaningful nomenclature – an editing embarrassment, on top of a national-security one. From the 2014 report:

Europol estimates that between 1,200 and 2,000 European extremist travellers took part in the conflict in Syria in 2013. There appears to be an increase in extremist travellers. This suggests that the threat posed to Europe by returning extremist travellers may be more significant than the threat facing North America because greater numbers of extremist travellers are leaving, then returning to Europe, than are leaving and later returning to North America. This difference between Canada and Europe in numbers of extremist travellers can be attributed to a variety of factors. Regardless, Europe and Canada face a common, interconnected threat from extremist travellers. [Emphasis added.]

In just one paragraph, Canada’s self-censoring report says that many Europeans are “fighting abroad as extremist travellers“; “they attract extremist travellers … and continue to draw European extremist travellers“; there were “European extremist travellers in Syria and other conflict zones”; the “influx of these extremist travellersinto Syria” increases the European terror risk; “an extremist traveller who returned from Syria” allegedly slaughtered several Belgians. (Emphasis added.)

This doubletalk undermines public awareness, public confidence in authorities and the ability of officials and citizens alike to recognize, assess and confront terrorist and subversive enemies and their doctrine.

We saw the absurd far reaches of this self-blinding mentality a few years ago when Canadian police officers at a terrorism news conference thanked “the community” for facilitating an Islamist terrorist take-down. When a journalist asked which community they meant, the officers – not daring to say “Muslim” – all but froze, thawing only enough to become caricatures of stymied stumbling. Because paralyzing PC protocols banned the M-word, the conference ended without the officers having been able explicitly to thank the deserving “Muslim community.”

How has Canada come to this?

Among other sources, Canadian security officials get advice from their federal government’s Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security. Prominent member Hussein Hamdani reportedly campaigned to drop language implicating things “Islamic.” Meanwhile, Hamdani, the subject of a just-released report by Canada’s Point de Bascule counter extremist research organization, remains vice-chair of the North American Spiritual Revival (NASR) organization. On its website, NASR boasts – as it has done for years – of sponsoring an appearance in Canada by U.S. Imam Siraj Wahhaj, frequently tagged a radical and a 1993 World Trade Center bombingunindicted co-conspirator. Fellow American Muslim Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, once said of Wahhaj: “He’s the No. 1 advocate of radical Islamic ideology among African-Americans. His stuff is very appealing to young Muslims who are on a radical path.”

Hamdani’s NASR also brought American Imam Ziad Shakir to Canada. His disturbingideology, as I’ve written elsewhere, “was condemned by moderate American Muslim leader and retired U.S. naval Lt. Cmdr Zuhdi Jasser, and by the American Anti-Defamation League.” Some have other concerns about Hamdani.

Now comes word that Hamdani, squired by Angus Smith, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) analyst sometimes linked to the censorship policy, will appear on a Montgomery County, Md. panel tomorrow to enlighten Americans about radicalism and the ISIS terror threat.

Much more here

ISIS Fighters Getting Caught Coming Across the U.S.-Mexican Border?

Published on Oct 7, 2014 by TheNewsCommenter

National Review, By Jim Geraghty:

From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Say What? ‘At Least Ten ISIS Fighters Have Been Caught Coming Across the Border’

Rep. Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, does not seem like a nut job or prone to wild exaggerations. But last night he said something that should make jaws drop:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?

Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren And the border patrol just let’s ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That’s how you know. That’s where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don’t have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam — Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that’s where the major threat is here, that’s how these guy guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.

Then add this comment by a House Democrat:

Rep. Tim Bishop (D., N.Y.) warned during a recent speech that up to 40 radicalized U.S. citizens who have fought alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) have already returned to the United States, where they could pose a terrorist threat.

Bishop claims that of the 100 or so Americans who have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIL’s ranks, some 40 have returned and are currently being surveilled by the FBI, according to his remarks, which were filmed and uploaded to YouTube last week.

“One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” Bishop said during the speech. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.”

“It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” Bishop said, eliciting shocked responses from some in the crowd.

Is the threat of ISIS terrorists crossing our southern border no longer theoretical? Could the administration really successfully cover up something as big as this?

Also see:

ISIS-PUTIN-SNOWDEN FORM TERROR THREESOME TO TARGET AMERICA

snowden-monitor-AFPBreitbart, by BRETT M. DECKER AND VAN D. HIPP JR.

President Obama said Sunday that U.S. intelligence underestimated ISIS’s strength on the ground in Syria and Iraq. National-security officials counter that the president has been receiving precise briefings on the rise of the terrorist group for over two years, but Obama ignored the threat. While politicos point fingers, the danger is escalating rapidly as ISIS acts on insight into U.S. vulnerabilities it is getting from Russia.

Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, stated that ISIS has “clearly” studied leaked classified NSA material to evade U.S. detection of its activities. More than oceans of indecipherable metadata and email correspondence, as it often is portrayed, the treasure trove divulged by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden details U.S. cyber defenses, military operations and proficiencies, codes, partnerships, alliances, cooperative foreign nationals, special-collection capabilities, and domestic defense systems. This intel gives Islamists enhanced capability to bring war to the American homeland.

It is not an accident that the point man for the damaging disclosure of so much Top Secret information enjoys asylum in Russia and that the intelligence is ending up in the hands of Islamic extremists. “It is reasonable to assume that Vladimir Putin is giving information obtained via Snowden to ISIS or al Qaeda so they can damage U.S. infrastructure as his proxy,” former NSA executive Charlie Speight explained to us. “Without getting his hands dirty or spending a single ruble, Putin can bring us down and elevate Russia.”

The Putin-Snowden collaboration makes sense in the context of the Russian leader’s background in the trade-craft of international espionage. A former colonel in the KGB, Putin initially served in counter-intelligence before spending the bulk of his career in the directorate responsible for training and management of covert agents and the collection of political, scientific, and technical intelligence. “It is becoming increasingly apparent that Snowden is actually a Russian agent who went into his NSA contractor job with the instructed intent to steal as much information as possible,” says Speight, a 35-year veteran of the NSA. “The dots connect that he already was a Russian spy before going to work for U.S. intelligence.”

One strategic asset put at greater risk from the Snowden leaks is America’s under-defended electronic infrastructure. In July, John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, warned that major cyber attacks are being planned on a 9/11 scale, and that Islamic radicals are a threat on that front in addition to state actors such as China and Russia. “It’s clear that the terrorists want to use cyber-enabled means to cause the maximum amount of destruction to our infrastructure,” he said. “American companies’ most-sensitive patented technologies and intellectual property, U.S. universities’ research and development, and the nation’s defense capabilities and critical infrastructure, are all under cyber attack.”

What Putin gets out of this terror threesome is simple. Without leaving a trace to Moscow, a terrorist proxy could use knowledge divulged by Snowden to take out key functions of the U.S. economy such as the power grid, air-traffic controls, and banking institutions that would catapult a superpower backwards into the Third World with the push of some buttons. Although terrorist organizations are growing in sophistication, it is more likely they could pull off such a blow with the help of a major power whose global status would benefit as a result of U.S. weakness.

All of the dangers facing the West are heightened by operational compromises resulting from Snowden’s espionage. Central to this precarious posture is the neutralization of U.S. intelligence superiority by the sidelining of important combat-support structures such as the NSA. When the next terror attack occurs, the perpetrators’ jobs will be easier because of the ISIS-Putin-Snowden threesome.

Brett M. Decker is consulting director at the White House Writers Group and former senior vice president at the Export-Import Bank. Van D. Hipp Jr. is chairman of American Defense International and a former deputy assistant secretary of mobilization for the Army.