Al Qaeda’s general manager threatens America in video of large gathering

WuhayshiBy 

A video released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in late March has garnered renewed attention in the media. The video, entitled “The First of the Heavy Rain,” features two AQAP leaders, as well as lower-level fighters who escaped from a Yemeni prison in February 2014.

Nasir al Wuhayshi, who is both the emir of AQAP and al Qaeda’s overall general manager, is shown speaking to a gathering of more than 100 people. “O brothers, the Crusader enemy is still shuffling his papers, so we must remember that we are always fighting the biggest enemy, the leaders of disbelief, and we have to overthrow those leaders, we have to remove the Cross, and the carrier of the Cross is America,” Wuhayshi says, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Ibrahim al Rubaish, a Saudi who was once held at Guantanamo and now serves as a top sharia official in AQAP, is also shown speaking in the video. Rubaish praises the newfound freedom of some jihadist fighters, including those shown in the video, but he laments the fact that others remain imprisoned in Guantanamo and elsewhere.

The video has sparked the media’s interest because it is a brazen display of AQAP strength inside Yemen. Wuhayshi is a hunted man and he is presumably on America’s list of potential targets for drone strikes. Yet, he felt comfortable enough in his home country to lead a large, public gathering of his followers.

“Core” al Qaeda in Yemen

Wuhayshi served as Osama bin Laden’s aide-de-camp and protégé in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. He fled to Iran, where he was detained, sometime after the Battle of Tora Bora. Wuhayshi was eventually transferred to Yemeni custody, but he escaped from prison in 2006.

Al Qaeda has long sought to wage insurgencies in Muslim countries it considers ripe for a jihadist takeover. Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been high on al Qaeda’s list of target countries. However, a fierce counterterrorism campaign in Saudi Arabia that began in 2003 quashed al Qaeda’s early efforts in the Arabian Peninsula. Al Qaeda also struggled, at first, to establish a full-scale insurgency in Yemen. But prison escapees such as Wuhayshi and Guantanamo returnees such as Rubaish have replenished al Qaeda’s leadership in the Arabian Peninsula and contributed to al Qaeda’s resurgence.

In early 2009, Wuhayshi and other jihadists announced the rebirth of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, swearing allegiance to al Qaeda’s senior leadership in the process. Ayman al Zawahiri had previously recognized Wuhayshi as al Qaeda’s top man in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the summer of 2013, Zawahiri appointed Wuhayshi to the position of al Qaeda’s general manager. Wuhayshi’s appointment to the role of general manager was accompanied by a large-scale threat that forced the closing of American diplomatic facilities around the world. The US learned of this threat when intelligence officials captured video of Zawahiri communicating, via a complex Internet-based system, with more than 20 of his subordinates, including Wuhayshi.

Al Qaeda’s general manager serves a “core” function within the group. The role was previously held by senior terrorists in South Asia. According to declassified documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound, the duties performed by al Qaeda’s general manager include coordinating military and media activities, and communicating with al Qaeda’s “regions,” or branches, as well as with allies such as the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. [For a more complete discussion of the general manager's role, see LWJ report, AQAP's emir also serves as al Qaeda's general manager.]

In another recent video, Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, a sharia official in the Al Nusrah Front, explains that al Qaeda also has a leader who oversees the organization’s efforts in various geographic locations, or regions. The Al Nusrah Front is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.

Al Qaeda “draws up its plans and its strategy based on what we call al Qalim, or locations,” Sulayman says in the video. And a leader, who swears bayat (an oath of allegiance) to Ayman al Zawahiri, is chosen to oversee each of these locations. In addition, Sulayman explains, al Qaeda appoints another leader who “overlooks all of these different locations,” and this position is called Masul al Qalim. [See LWJ report, Al Nusrah Front official explains al Qaeda's strategy, conflict with former branch.]

This leadership role described by Sulayman is filled by someone other than al Qaeda’s general manager, according to US intelligence officials. Both the general manager and the Masul al Qalim have deputies on their staff to support their work.

Such roles, and what they say about how al Qaeda is actually organized, are generally not reflected in the public discourse. It is commonly argued that there is a “core” of al Qaeda in South Asia and this entity is distinct from al Qaeda branches elsewhere. But Wuhayshi serves as one of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders from Yemen. And his role is part of the same leadership structure that includes Zawahiri, other deputies, and various supporting councils. These leaders are located not just in South Asia, but also elsewhere.

Read more at Long War Journal

Mr. Al Qaeda Becomes Mr. Right Wing Extremist?

nidal-hasan-afpBreitbart, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka:

Peter Bergen, CNN’s Mr Al Qaeda, has declared via the New America Foundation, that the real threat to America is not the terrorist group responsible for 9/11, the Fort Hood massacre, or the attempted Time Square bombing, but “right wing extremists.”

As our own John Sexton has ably demonstrated here already the whole edifice of Bergen’s argument is built on a foundation of sand.

The comparison of numbers killed by Jihadists and right winger zealots conveniently leaves out the 2,996 killed on 9/11. Why? That is the most important datapoint of all, surely? Then numerous attacks are added under the rightwing tally that are clearly not rightwing and several Islamically-motivated killers, such as the DC sniper, have been magically erased from the jihadi column.

Besides (intentionally?) sloppy math, the whole exercise is fundamentally flawed at the strategic level.

Al Qaeda is not just a domestic threat to the continental United States or just to Americans in America. One can argue all day long about President Bush and Iraqi WMDs, but on what basis does Bergen and the NAF exclude the death and maiming of US troops fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan or our Ambassador in Benghazi and the three brave Americans who tried to save him from local jihadists?

Then there is the absurdity of only counting successful attacks and using this as the measure of who is a more serious threat.

Sixteen jihadi plots targeting NY alone have been intercepted since 2001. We can never know how many more across the country since many will have been thwarted without an arrest or a prosecution, but it is likely hundreds, and hundreds that each could have had hundreds or thousands of victims. And the counterargument that white supremacists and rightwing extremist may have also plotted many more attacks is fallacious too, as these actors usually kill in the single digits. Al Qaeda specializes in spectaculars, be it 9/11, 7/7 in London, or the Bali and Mumbai attacks. I challenge Bergen to point to one rightwing attack on the scale of any of these.

Then of course there is the issue of why there have been so many intercepted jihadi plots here in the US. The Director of National Intelligence stated earlier this year in open congressional testimony that al Qaeda has operational centers in 12 nations around the world. Every member of each one of those organizational hubs is committed to destroying America after they have killed President Assad, taken over Mali, or retaken Egypt for the “true believers.” Can we compare this to rightwing extremism or any other organized threat to America? Even North Korean and the Russia Federation pale in comparison to the international conspiracy that is Global Jihad.

If one makes a more honest assessment of the threat then the facts tell a different story and the relevant dangers reverse.

Below is a chart of the number of attacks linked to al Qaeda globally over the last few years, based upon unclassified sources.

If you add information from the START database to the above you get the following disturbing graph.

The key fact here is the trendline.

Despite the narrative of the White House that al Qaeda is spent and dying, AQ has in fact become more and more dangerous. So why does Peter Bergen and why does the NAF want to convince us of the opposite, that rightwing extremists are a bigger threat to America than those who were responsible for 9/11?

Perhaps the clue lies in Fort Hood. The authors of the study state unequivocally:

Today, almost 13 years after 9/11, al Qaeda has not successfully conducted another attack inside the United States.

Excuse me? So the Fort Hood massacre was indeed “workplace violence?”

The fact that Major Nidal Hasan–before he killed 12 of his fellow soldiers, a civilian, and an unborn child, and wounded another 30-plus people–was in regular contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the top leaders of al Qaeda in Yemen, doesn’t make it a jihadi attack? Should we list it under the Ku Klux Klan perhaps?

Peter Bergen built his career on al Qaeda, as “the man who interviewed bin Laden.” He must have a very strong reason for trying to make his career-building subject of al Qaeda seem irrelevant. Could it be the crown he now hangs with? The NAF board members bios are here. The real report on Fort Hood written by the former director of the FBI–that was of course released by the Obama administration on a Friday afternoon–is here.

You be the judge of who threatens us more.

Sebastian Gorka PhD is the national security editor for Breitbart.com

NYPD Panders to Politics

CNN’s Peter Bergen: Right Wing Extremists Have Killed More than Jihadists Since 9/11

Breitbart, by :

On the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen has published a story claiming right-wing extremists have killed more Americans than have jihadists since 9/11.

Peter Bergen

Peter Bergen

Bergen writes “According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11…By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11.”

In addition to his role at CNN, Bergen is a Director of the International Security Program at The New America Foundation. In fact, he helped put together the dataset on which his article is based. The list of murders by jihadists and right-wing extremists can be found here.

Part of the gimmick here is the limitations Bergen and NAF have drawn around this comparison, starting with the decision to only look at attacks since 9/11. Obviously if you leave out the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil that helps the outcome. NAF also excludes Americans killed abroad so, for instance, the four Americans killed by jihadists in Benghazi don’t count.

But even when restricted to attacks inside the U.S., NAF’s list seems to have made some questionable choices. For instance, NAF includes Joshua Cartwright on the list. In 2009, Cartwright was reported to police after beating his wife. Police attempted to arrest him for domestic violence at a local shooting range. A shootout ensued in which two police officers were killed. NAF apparently includes Cartwright on its list of terrorists because his wife remarked that he was “severely disturbed” by the election of Barack Obama.

NAF’s list of right-wink attacks also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who flew a plane into an IRS office in 2010. This is surprising given that Stack’s manifesto/suicide note included attacks on the “monsters of organized religion,” GM executives, health insurance companies, wealthy bankers, “presidential puppet GW Bush,” the “American nightmare” and, finally, capitalism itself with a positive nod to the communist credo.

On the other hand, the NAF list fails to include a number of attacks which seem connected to radical Islam. For instance, this 2004 murder of a Jewish student by a Saudi who had become more religiously conservative prior to the attack. After slicing the victim’s throat, the killer fled to a mosque.

The list also omits several honor-killing style murders, such as a Muslim man in New York who beheaded his wife when she announced she wanted a divorce. It also omits the case of Yaser Said who was suspected to have murdered his two teenage daughters for dating non-Muslim men. Said is still wanted by the FBI. In a similar case, Chaudhry Rashid allegedly strangled his 25-year-old daughter when she tried to end her arranged marriage.

Granted these attacks weren’t terrorism since they were directed at family members. Then again, NAF includes David Pedersen and Holly Grigsby’s murder of Pedersen’s father and stepmother on the list of right-wing attacks. Why should these personal crimes be included?

The most striking omission from the NAF list of jihadist attacks is John Allen Muhammad, the Muslim sniper who killed 10 strangers in the DC metro area back in 2002. While no definite motive for the killing spree was ever determined, Muhammad’s accomplice Lee Malvo made numerous references to Osama bin Laden and jihad in writings he made in prison after the killings. According to the NY Times, Muhammad was eligible for the death penalty in Virginia because the jury agreed he had committed an “act of terrorism.”

In 2002, one commentator connected Muhammad to a series of attacks inspired by al Qaeda. He wrote “John Allen Muhammad, the Washington DC sniper, who has reportedly expressed admiration for the al Qaeda hijackers, also seems to fit this worrisome new pattern.” The author of that piece on “Al Qaeda 2.0″ was Peter Bergen.

 

U.S. May Have Missed Opportunity to Take Out Top Al Qaeda Leaders

Screen-Shot-2014-04-16-at-10.06.28-AMBY: Washington Free Beacon Staff:

April 16, 2014 10:14 am

Al Qaeda leaders were able to hold a large meeting somewhere in south Yemen despite U.S. drone warfare targeting that region, according to a video published on Hot Air.

The video comes from a CNN report:

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won’t comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

The video started appearing on jihadist websites recently, drawing the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. U.S. officials say they believe it’s authentic.

Hot Air writer Ed Morrisey wonders if the United States may have missed a “golden opportunity to take out a large number of al Qaeda leaders.”

Did the U.S. know about this [meeting] ahead of time? If they did, they must have either had difficulty arranging the logistics of an attack — or perhaps had other assets in place for other reasons. 

Morrisey speculates that the lost opportunity could have been caused by the effort to transfer the drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department.

NYPD’S Surveillance Program: It’s Not About Islam, It’s About Protecting New york

new-york-police-officers-afp


 Breitbart, by Dr.Sebastian Gorka:

National security should serve policy objectives. It should not be a victim of political correctness. Politics should be kept especially far away from the practice of intelligence.

Today’s decision by the NYPD to close the unit that was mapping Muslim communities in New York is very likely a product of political pressure. It is a decision that will make the city targeted in the largest terrorist attack in modern history less safe.

I have gone on record in the past—on Al Jazeera, of all places—to explain why the program was a good idea and crucial to preventing terrorist plots in the future.

In short: this was not a program to blanket surveil ​all Muslims living in and around New York. That would be pointless and impossible even for the NYPD. The fact is terrorists live in and exploit the communities Muslims have built. From Richard Reid the Shoebomber to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American al Qaeda leader in Yemen, terrorists have been recruited and have used mosques and Islamic centers around the world to organize and plan. A cop knows his community and who fits in and who doesn’t. That’s how you prevent all types of crime, not just mass-murdering terrorists.

After 9/11, the political leadership in New York determined that the federal government had failed the people of their city and decided not to rely on Washington to prevent the next attack. Fourteen of the 19 plots hatched by al Qaeda since 9/11 have targeted New York, so this was a very wise decision.

Subsequently, they built a world-class counterterrorism intelligence capability, deployed NYPD “attaches” to key CT-relevant cities around the world, and published the best operational analysis of jihadi radicalization available today.

This decision is likely the product of the successful campaign launched by CAIR and its allies to delink Islam and al Qaeda and otherwise undermine other counterterrorism efforts across America. See Patrick Poole’s excellent report on their assault on national security here. They are doing this despite the fact that CAIR and its compatriots have been designated in federal court as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorist financing trial in history, the Holy Land Foundation Trial. See the original documents here.

NYPD is target No.1 for al Qaeda. On the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, someone decided to make it easier for jihadi terrorist to attack it.

Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. is the National Security Editor for Breitbart News.

One Year Anniversary of Boston Bombing: A Lesson in FBI Failure

la-afp-getty-us-attacks-russia-chechnya-jpg-20130427-450x337by :

With the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings approaching, the New York Times made yet another attempt to exonerate the Obama Administration of responsibility for one of its manifest failures, claiming that an inspector general’s report on the bombings was an “exoneration of the F.B.I.,” as it showed that “the Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that would most likely have led to more extensive scrutiny of him at least two years before the attack.”

See? The bombing was all the fault of that scoundrel Putin. It had nothing to do with the FBI, because of fecklessness and political correctness, failing to act properly on information the Russians gave them.

Full disclosure: I used to give FBI agents and other law enforcement and military personnel training on the teachings of Islam about jihad warfare against and subjugation of non-Muslims, so that they would understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy the United States as a free society, and be better equipped to counter them. I provided this training free of charge, out of a sense of patriotic duty, and it was well received: I received certificates of appreciation from the United States Central Command and the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group.

But as I explain in detail in my book Arab Winter Comes to America, all that ended on October 19, 2011, when Islamic supremacist advocacy groups, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that FBI counter-terror trainers (including me) and training materials that referred to Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism be discarded, and agents educated by them be retrained. John Brennan, then the U.S. Homeland Security Advisor and now the director of the CIA, readily agreed in a response that was written on White House stationery – thereby emphasizing how seriously the Obama Administration took this demand.

Subsequently, as I detail in the book, politically correct willful ignorance then took hold in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies – to the extent that after the Boston Marathon bombing, then-FBI director Robert Mueller admitted that the bureau had not investigated the Islamic Society of Boston, where the Tsarnaev brothers attended mosque, and had not even visited it except as part of an “outreach” program – despite the fact that it was founded by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is currently in prison for financing al Qaeda, and was attended by convicted jihad terrorists such as Tarek Mehanna and Aafia Siddiqui.

Read more at Front Page

Britain’s Jihadists Within

70976852_019514832-2-450x325by :

Some of the “freedom fighters” who are at war against the evil tyrant Assad in Syria, the “rebels” whom both U.S. President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron wanted to help, have now been re-classified as “the biggest threat to Britain’s security” and a “greater threat than al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The British Home Office identifies Syria as “the most significant development in global terrorism.”

More than half of anti-terror investigations by the UK security service MI5 involve “Britons” who went to fight in Syria. Charles Farr, the Home Office’s counter-terrorism chief, and others warned that the Syrian war is stoking the biggest terror threat to the West since September 11, and this problem is predicted to persist for as long as the hostilities will continue.

Syria is much closer to Europe than Afghanistan and Pakistan, making it a particularly easy and dangerous destination for UK Muslims who come back well trained, armed and ready for business: terrorism. And because the security services monitor about half of them, the risk is very high.

Robert Spencer asks some pertinent questions:

Why aren’t they monitoring the rest? And why were these men let back into the country in the first place? Simply because they’re citizens? (Are they even all citizens?)

In the past three years, from the beginning of the conflict, no fewer than 500 Britons have travelled to Syria to fight, many more than the corresponding number for Iraq. According to French President Francois Hollande, they are actually up to 700.

Between 250 and 400 of them are believed to be back with us, although the number may be higher. Apparently, they found life there “too hard,” so they say. But they may have been encouraged to return “home” in order to carry out attacks in the UK.

Hundreds more are still in Syria, and one of them has posted an Internet video urging his coreligionists in Britain to join them and help their Syrian brothers and sisters, saying: “The doors of jihad are still open.” He is a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a group which wants Syria to become an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law and which is considered too extreme even by Al-Qaeda, that officially disowned it. The first jihadists returning provincial capital to be occupied by ISIS was the city of Raqqa, on whose Christian community it has imposed payment of the jizya and other rules associated with dhimmi status.

These are people who know their Islam, no doubt. They’ve forced even the BBC reporters to become familiar with the triple choice: convert, submit, die.

Read more at Front Page

Why Have American Taxpayers Supported Hamas Trainers?

Youth training at the Al-Futuwa program. Photo: Paldf.net.

Youth training at the Al-Futuwa program. Photo: Paldf.net.

 Algemeiner, By Dexter Van Zile:

Should American taxpayers be funding an organization that has provided activist training to an illegal terrorist group?

This is not an abstract question. It has happened.

In a recent report, NGO Monitor revealed that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a non-profit funded largely by the U.S. Congress (i.e. American taxpayers), gave approximately $232,000 to the Holy Land Trust (HLT) between 2006 and 2012.  A search of NED’s website confirms that it has given multiple grants to the organization.

HLT is a Bethlehem-based “peacemaking” organization whose leader, Sami Awad, has stated publicly that his organization has given training in non-violence to Hamas and other militant groups in Palestinian society.

He did it in a speech he gave at the National Leadership Conference for the Vinyard Church in Galveston, Texas in 2009. “[W]e’ve actually done training in non-violence for Hamas leaders and other militant groups as well,” he told the audience.

At the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference held in Bethlehem in 2012, Colin Chapman, an expert on Islam praised Awad for his willingness to speak with Islamists and to form genuine “face-to-face” relationships with them.

“Sami Awad has, for several years, been working with people in Hamas exploring with them a genuinely Islamic basis for non-violence, peacemaking and reconciliation,” Chapman said.

While some people might praise Awad for speaking words of peace to Hamas, there is little, if any evidence that his words have had much of an impact on the organization, which was designated a “foreign terrorist organization” in 1997. It still remains committed to Israel’s destruction and has engaged in numerous attacks against Israel.

Clearly, Awad’s activism has a strong ecumenical component. In the 2009 speech to Vineyard Church leaders he said, “Any community that asks us, we’re there to serve.” Still, Hamas is a bit much.

A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Hamas is on the other side of that line.

It’s pretty irresponsible and naïve for Awad to teach the language of peacemaking to totalitarian fascist organizations such as Hamas. Such training can easily be repurposed by Hamas leaders so as to make its messaging more effective to Westerners. Awad himself seems to understand this. In 2008 he told Michael Lerner, “Hamas is not denouncing nonviolence. There are Hamas people who see nonviolence as a useful tool.”

Why would Hamas see nonviolence as a useful tool?

Simple.

It’s not just acts of terror that makes groups like Hamas effective, but the story they tell to justify and frame this violence. And Awad’s Holy Land Trust, has given Hamas and other militant groups expertise in framing their acts of terror for Western audiences.

As I have written elsewhere, “Awad’s group, the Holy Land Trust, has taught Hamas and other militant groups that seek Israel’s destruction how to speak the language of peace activists in the West and appeal to the conscience of human rights activists in the U.S. and Europe.”

In addition to being irresponsible, it may also be illegal. Federal law prohibits providing terrorist organizations with material support, which according to the statute includes “training” and “expert advice.” That seems to describe what HLT has, by Awad’s admission, provided to Hamas and other militant groups.

Why has the National Endowment for Democracy given money provided by American Taxpayers to the Holy Land Trust, an organization whose leader has admitted to and been praised for interacting with – and giving training to – Hamas?

Just what type of oversight has the National Endowment for Democracy exercised over the Holy Land Trust?

And what type of oversight has Congress exercised over the NED?

What is going on here?

Dexter Van Zile is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

Obama Admin: Fighting Terrorism but Supporting Terrorists?

1340112075904by Raymond Ibrahim:

News recently emerged that “the Obama administration is imposing sanctions on an Egypt-based group that has claimed responsibility for attacks against Egyptian officials, Israeli interests and foreign tourists in Cairo and the Sinai peninsula. The State Department said Wednesday [4/9/14] it has designated Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’”

While ostensibly a laudable move, some—many in Egypt—think this announcement is a ruse to portray the Obama administration as committed to combating terrorism, even as it supports the head of the terrorist-snake, the Muslim Brotherhood.

For instance, according to Mustafa Zayid, the Coordinator of the Sufi Coalition Forces in Egypt, “The expectation was for the United States of America to announce its designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization—as opposed to Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis, which takes its lead from it [Brotherhood].”

The Sufi leader further added in published comments to Watan “that Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is a pseudonym for the terrorist Brotherhood organization, clarifying that what the U.S. State Department did was one of the administration’s tricks to deceive the world, mocking it into believing that the U.S. is combatting terrorism.”

He further added that “the U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood and sponsors its terrorist activities throughout Egypt.”

Nor is the Sufi the only one making such charges.  According to Nabil Na’im, a Salafi, former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and confidante of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is funded by Khairat al-Shatter, the currently imprisoned, multi-millionaire Brotherhood leader.

Of note is the fact that, although al-Shatter was never part of the Morsi government, U.S. diplomats often met with him, including Ambassador Anne Patterson and Sen. John McCain.

***************

Former Jihadi Leader: Brotherhood Bought Al-Qaeda ‘Terror Support’ for $25 Million

Yesterday on Haya TV, Nabil Na‘im, a former leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad and close confidante of current al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Zawahiri—who also helped found Egypt’s Islamic Jihad—asserted that, during the reign of former president Muhammad Morsi, Zawahiri was given $25 million from Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shatter to organize, fund, and assemble the jihadi groups “in order to support the Brotherhood.”  (For more on the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda relationship, click here).

13820221303436It should be noted that al-Shatter, though not a member of Morsi’s government—only a leader of the Brotherhood—was, after being imprisoned after the revolution, asked for personally by John McCain during his visit to Egypt some months back, when he pushed for Brotherhood reinstatement.  Also, U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson was reportedly seen visiting Shatter often.

Earlier, Na‘im, the former Jihad leader had said that attempts by the U.S. to “reconcile” Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood was “nothing but a conspiracy by the American administration,” and that the Brotherhood, when in power, had betrayed Egyptian sovereignty, adding that ousted president Morsi granted Egyptian citizenship to more than 60,000 Palestinians, many of whom were in the ranks of the jihad.

Terrorism in the Caucasus and the threat to the US homeland

 

Salahuddin al Shishani (left), a Chechen commander who leads the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, and Abdul Karim al Ukrani (center), a Ukrainian, sitting behind an Imarat Kavkaz flag while in Syria.

Salahuddin al Shishani (left), a Chechen commander who leads the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, and Abdul Karim al Ukrani (center), a Ukrainian, sitting behind an Imarat Kavkaz flag while in Syria.

By 

Editor’s note: Below is Bill Roggio’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on the threat posed by the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and the implications for US homeland security. If you wish to view the testimony with footnotes included, download the PDF by clicking here.

Chairman King, Ranking Member Higgins, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here to discuss the terrorist threat emanating from the Caucasus. Unfortunately, as we saw nearly one year ago today at the Boston Marathon, the jihad in the Caucasus has already impacted lives here in the US.

There is still much we do not know for certain about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s travels in Dagestan and Chechnya, but we do know that, at a minimum, he was sympathetic to the jihadists operating there. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother were, of course, responsible for the attacks on the Boston Marathon. As a report by the House Homeland Security Committee noted just last month, it “is reasonable to assume that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was at least inspired by” the “activity and ideology” of jihadists fighting in the Caucasus and he was “driven to take part in the vision of global jihad which they share with al Qaeda.” Indeed, the Imarat Kavkaz or “IK” (otherwise known as the Islamic Caucasus Emirate) does have links to al Qaeda. And Tsarnaev is known to have sympathized with the IK and its fighters.

The IK has openly proclaimed itself a threat to the US and the West, and we should take these threats seriously. The US State Department certainly does. In May 2011, the State Department officially designated the IK as a terrorist organization. “The designation of Caucasus Emirate is in response to the threats posed to the United States and Russia,” Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, said at the time. “The attacks perpetrated by Caucasus Emirate illustrate the global nature of the terrorist problem we face today,” Benjamin added. In June 2010, the State Department added Doku Umarov, who was then the emir of the IK, to the US government’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. And in May 2011, Foggy Bottom offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Umarov’s location. In both its June 2010 and May 2011 announcements, the State Department noted that Umarov and the IK pose a threat to the US and other countries. Indeed, Umarov described the IK as “a part of the global Jihad” in a July 2013 statement in which he called for further attacks aimed at disrupting Russia’s plans for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Despite the fact that Umarov was recently killed, there are good reasons to suspect that the IK will continue to pose a threat to American and Western interests both in and outside of Russia. As with other al Qaeda-affiliated groups, the IK will continue to spend most of its resources waging insurgencies, both inside Russia and elsewhere. Still, in my testimony today, I will highlight several key reasons why the IK poses a terrorist threat to the West. Those reasons are:

Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda helped transform the insurgency in Chechnya from a nationalist one into part of the global jihad.

Al Qaeda’s senior leadership established its influence within the Caucasus long ago. While al Qaeda was headquartered in Sudan from 1991 to 1996, Osama bin Laden maintained a network of training camps and other facilities that shuttled fighters to several jihadist fronts, including Chechnya. During the 1990s al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) funneled cash and other support to Muslim rebels in Chechnya through a charity in Baku, Azerbaijan. Ayman al Zawahiri himself, then the head of the EIJ, as well as second in command of al Qaeda, set out for Chechnya in late 1996. He was accompanied by other dual-hatted al Qaeda-EIJ operatives. Zawahiri was arrested in Dagestan before he reached Chechnya and spent several months in prison. Zawahiri’s trip to the region underscores, from al Qaeda’s perspective, the importance of supporting the jihad in Chechnya.

Read more at Long War Journal

Another ‘Hassan’ planning Another Fort Hood-Style Attack signals Much Bigger Problem

By Walid Shoebat:

A Muslim man named Muhammad Abdullah Hassan “Booker” was recruited by the U.S. Army in February. He was told to report for basic training on April 7th but is now being hunted by the FBIand the Military after it was learned that Hassan had told friends he was planning to commit jihad. Instead of the November 5, 2009 Fort Hood jihadist attack committed by another man named Hasan being used to better profile recruits, the military continues to avoid a much larger problem.

Taha Jaber Al-Alwani

Taha Jaber Al-Alwani

That larger problem includes a man named Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, a virulent anti-Semite whose job includes vetting Muslim chaplains for the U.S. Military. Based on this latest report about a jihadist being recruited, the military itself could benefit from better vetting of recruits like Hassan. Though there is no evidence linking Al-Alwani to this recruit, there is plenty of evidence linking Al-Alwani to the Muslim Brotherhood and to his having a role in fostering a jihadist mentality in the U.S. Military, which seems to be all too willing to ignore his influence.

According to Fox News, an alert was sent out by the Kansas City branch of the FBI and is titled “Planned Fort Hood-inspired Jihad against US Soldiers by Army Recruit”. Based on the contents of the report, the only reason Hassan’s planned jihad is known is because he divulged his intentions to friends.

In a disturbing revelation, the author of the Fox News report said that Hassan was released after being interviewed by military officials about his intentions and the FBI was engaged several days later.

What does this say about the vetting and profiling standards of the military? Has nothing been learned from the Fort Hood attack? In case you’re wondering why, look no further than this short excerpt of an exchange between then Army Chief of Staff George Casey on ABC This Week on November 8, 2009, just three days after the Fort Hood attack. Casey was more concerned about the attack leading to a loss of “diversity” than he was about the victims and their families:

 

It’s worth noting that in the case of Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan, there were plenty of signs that he was a threat but he kept being moved up and around by people who saw the red flags but either couldn’t or wouldn’t wave them. According to an AP report that quoted Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the FBI was “too concerned about political correctness… despite significant warning signs”.

These are symptoms of a much larger problem; they do not constitute the problem itself.

As Shoebat.com has reported, when it comes to the problem of Islamic infiltration of the U.S. Military, it’s people like Al-Alwani and Louay Safi who have to be brought to the public’s attention and identified for who and what they are.

“Taha Jaber Al-Alwani is the Imam who runs the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS), which is a United States Department of Defense program for training Muslim military chaplains,” said Walid Shoebat, who has also translated a very damning work authored by Al-Alwani entitled, “The Great Haughtiness”. Shoebat contends that until the truth about people like Alwani is confronted, the American military will not be able to deal with the larger problem.

Read more at Shoebat.com

Also see:

jihadist suspect

Hassan FB post

 

Islamist Propaganda – at taxpayers expense

Following September 11, 2001 corporations and government organizations stepped up training programs to educate employees regarding Islam and the American Muslim communities. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with local affiliated groups, quickly pushed for inclusion to place sympathetic individuals on advisory boards. The selling point being that only “good” Muslims can provide guidance on how to counter the threat posed by ”bad” Muslims.

For law enforcement and security entities, there was a move on the other side the spectrum to provide operational training to help personnel recognize and deal with extremist threats. These programs were presented by a variety of sources and usually included a level of profiling that many American Muslim leaders found offensive. Pushing the “political correctness buttons”, CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) campaigned to have any training/educational items they deemed offensive purged and replaced with programs they endorsed.

The Islamists encountered a “bump” in the road around 2007-2008 when the FBI brass finally realized they had a slight problem. CAIR  had been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case. It’s simply bad PR to have the U.S. Government’s lead law enforcement agency knocking elbows with a group funding the likes of Hamas.

muellerBy the fall of 2008, FBI headquarters had cut all ties with CAIR and instructed field offices to do the same. Then FBI director Mueller reaffirmed the ban on working with CAIR during congressional testimony in 2011. It appears Mueller’s orders to “cease and desist” relations with CAIR were apparently not followed by all offices and an Inspector General (IG) investigation was initiated in 2012.

Director Mueller was working another agenda as well. On February 8, 2012 he met secretly with a number of Islamist groups to advise them that the FBI had removed several hundred pages of documents that might be deemed“offensive” to Muslims. As reported by Patrick Poole in the www.theblaze.com, Mueller’s meeting appears to be only part of push by the Obama administration to appease Islamic outreach groups – the effort was government wide. According to Poole’s article:

Among other “don’ts” declared by DHS was this warning:
Don’t use training that relies on fear or conspiracies to motivate law enforcement. Don’t use training premised on theories with little or no evidence to support them. Examples (from the report “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace”) of unsubstantiated theories include…Mainstream Muslim organizations are fronts for Islamic political organizations who true desire is to establish Sharia law in America.

(I strongly recommend reading Poole’s article for an eye-opening account of the level of appeasement the U.S. government is willing go to.)

The above makes it clear that Islamists made significant inroads to influence U.S. national policy decisions by simply feeding on the politically correct fears of western society. The added benefit – a trickle down effect to state and local agencies that are coerced to follow federal policies/trends in order to enjoy the fruits of federal grants. By removing training that might be offensive to Muslims, the only option left would be training that Muslims don’t find offensive. In other words, only training that the Islamists approve.

Placing an emphasis on cultural awareness, a play has been made towards agency heads and program managers to promote”safe” and “politically correct” training – basically, content that they’d like to hear instead of content they need to hear. Still, the stigma of the terror funding label applied to CAIR and associated groups presents a difficult sell to have recognized Islamist groups present such training.  Socially attractive and non-threatening solution are needed.

cculturesEnter Connecting Cultures, LLC (www.connecting-cultures.net) …

With a move away from anti-terror themed awareness towards a “we are the world” mentality for many organizations, this company has managed to fill the vacuum created with the purge of many of the training programs found to be offensive to Muslims.  Promoted as a GSA approved contractor, the Justice Department features some of their publications on it’s website. According to the Connecting Cultures website, their list of clients, include:

U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Federal Judicial Center
DC Federal Court
Food and Drug Administration
Foreign Agricultural Service
Foreign Service Institute
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Army
U.S. Air Force Academy
U.S. Marines Law Enforcement
FBI
Transportation Security Administration
Michigan National Guard
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The flyer for an upcoming course in Florida, titled, “Understanding Muslim Diversity: Effective Engagement with Muslims” includes this endorsement:

This training has been vetted and approved
by the office of the US Attorney General and
delivered to all US Attorneys and thousands
of Law Enforcement Officers, military person-
nel across the nation

 

Alexander Kronemer, Lobna Ismail and Eric Holder

Alexander Kronemer, Lobna Ismail and Eric Holder

Connection Cultures has made a concentrated move to step up services to “first-responders” (i.e. local law enforcement). Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice features one of their videos on their website, entitled, “The First 3 to 5 seconds: Understanding Arab and Muslim Americans”.   Promoted as roll-call/officer safety training material it opens with a traffic stop of a stereo-typical middle-eastern looking male. The film then moves on to how Arabs are not stereo-typical and can be found in all communities and walks of life. Despite this, the film then highlights how Arabs and Muslims should be dealt with special cultural sensitivity to alleviate their fears of law enforcement.

It’s hard not to shake the feeling that the film is striving to instill an appeasement mentality on the street level cop.

Special note should be taken of the film’s credits. It was produced with Department of Justice funding under the Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS). It also includes a special thanks to Iman Jahari Abdul-Malik, Outreach Director, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is located in Falls Church, VA, The Department of Treasury’s Enforcement Communications System (TECS) records note that Dar al-Hijrah “is a mosque operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.,” “is associated with Islamic extremists,” “has been under numerous investigations for financing and proving aid and comfort to bad orgs and members,” has “been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing,” and “has also been associated with encouraging fraudulent marriages”.  Abdul-Malik has publicly defended known Al Qaeda and Hamas members as well as stating his desire to make Islam the predominate religion in the United States.

Read more

A detailed look at ‘the purge’ of U.S. counter-terrorism training by the Obama administration

By Patrick Poole:

Tonight’s episode of For The Record investigates a series of policies established by the Obama Administration during 2011-2012 that effectively neutered FBI counter-terrorism training and blinded our nation’s intelligence agencies to the threat from Islamic terrorism.

In what some experts have termed a hostile “political warfare campaign” driven by an alliance between the administration, Islamic organizations and cooperating media figures, analysts and subject matter experts were blacklisted, and books and training materials were purged from official counter-terrorism training programs government-wide.

This “purge” has contributed to clues being missed by the FBI in major terrorism cases, including last year’s bombing of the Boston Marathon recounted this past September in an episode of For The Record:

Institutional Failure

One of the first indicators of these efforts was the cancellation of an anti-terrorism conference scheduled for August 10-12, 2011 hosted by the CIA’s Threat Management Unit.

As reported by veteran Pentagon reporter Bill Gertz at the Washington Times, the conference was cancelled at the demand of Islamic groups who objected to presentations that were to be conducted by former Joint Chiefs of Staff intelligence analyst and international law expert Stephen Coughlin (who is featured in tonight’s episode) and Steve Emerson of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. An email sent to conference registrants explained that the Department of Homeland Security would be formulating new guidelines for vetting speakers and screening presentation content.

The cancellation of the CIA terrorism conference was followed in September 2011 by a series of articles by far-Left blogger Spencer Ackerman at WIRED Magazine that claimed counter-terrorism trainers and materials used by the FBI were promoting “Islamophobia.” One of Ackerman’s targets was books in the library at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, that he deemed offensive. It should be noted that as a general rule banning books in government-funded libraries is considered rank censorship.

While a number of claims made by Ackerman in his series of articles were later found to be manifestly false, inside U.S. government agencies individuals targeted by Ackerman’s articles were prohibited from speaking publicly in defense of themselves and their work and “The Purge” continued apace.

Black October

Then in October 2011, a remarkable series of events dramatically shifted U.S. government policies largely fueled by Ackerman’s reporting.

The first event was the circulation by Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to government agencies of a list of “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Training Do’s and Don’ts.” Among those targeted in the DHS training ban were what the document called “self-professed ‘Muslim reformers,’” who the agency warned “may further an interest group agenda instead of delivering generally accepted, unbiased information.”

Among other “don’ts” declared by DHS was this warning:

Don’t use training that relies on fear or conspiracies to motivate law enforcement. Don’t use training premised on theories with little or no evidence to support them. Examples (from the report “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace”) of unsubstantiated theories include…Mainstream Muslim organizations are fronts for Islamic political organizations who true desire is to establish Sharia law in America.

Remarkably, some of the very organizations that the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties had partnered with had been identified by the Justice Department as fronts for international terrorist organizations in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial in 2007 and 2008, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). At the time these guidelines were published, the president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Majid, was serving on the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group.

Not only had the Justice Department named these organizations as unindicted co-conspirators during the trial, but federal prosecutors had outline in court documents that these organizations were integral parts of an international conspiracy to funnel money to the terrorist group HAMAS. In one Justice Department filing, prosecutors noted that “numerous exhibits were entered into evidence establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.”

In another filing they observed:

ISNA and NAIT, in fact, shared more with HLF than just a parent organization. They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financing support to HAMAS. Shortly after HAMAS was founded in 1987, as an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, Govt. Exh. 21-61, the International Muslim Brotherhood ordered the Muslim Brotherhood chapters throughout the world to create Palestine Committees, whose job it was to support HAMAS with “media, money and men.” Govt. Exh. 3-15. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood created the U.S. Palestine Committee, which documents reflect was initially comprised of three organizations: the OLF (HLF), the IAP [Islamic Association for Palestine], and the UASR [United Association for Studies and Research]. CAIR was later added to these organizations. Govt. Exh. 3-78 (listing IAP, HLF, UASR and CAIR as part of the Palestine Committee, and stating that there is “[n]o doubt America is the ideal location to train the necessary resources to support the Movement worldwide…”). The mandate of these organizations, per the International Muslim Brotherhood, was to support HAMAS, and the HLF’s particular role was to raise money to support HAMAS’ organization inside the Palestinian terrories. (p. 13, emphasis added)

During the Holy Land trial, FBI Agent Lara Burns testified in court that CAIR was a front for HAMAS. One trial exhibit submitted by federal prosecutors – and stipulated to by the defense in the case – explained that these organizations were dedicated to a “civilizational-jihadist process” to destroy America from within and replace the Constitution with sharia (Islamic law):

The Ikhwah [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions. (p. 21)

Federal prosecutors specifically cited this internal Muslim Brotherhood planning document as the strategic goal of these U.S.-based Islamic groups – the very same group advising the Obama Administration. The federal judge in the Holy Foundation case agreed with the case presented by the federal prosecutors had made regarding these organizations, stating in one ruling that “the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations with CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF…and with HAMAS.” (p. 14-15)

One of the architects of the new DHS guidelines was Mohamed Elibiary, who served on the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, was appointed in October 2010 by Secretary Janet Napolitano to the Homeland Security Advisory Council and is now a senior fellow for the agency, who has publicly admitted to his role in developing the DHS guidelines. Unsurprisingly, he was a regular source for WIRED’s Spencer Ackerman.

Much more at The Blaze

Patrick Poole is a counter-terrorism and national security consultant for TheBlaze. You can follow him (@pspoole) on Twitter.

Report: US Knew About Tsarnaev Brothers Long Before Bombing

140324-boston-bombing-aftermath_9db7cf06bc8658793421e2cfb308ba49By Tova Dvorin:

US officials knew about the potential danger of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, according to a soon-to-be-released Congressional report – but a spelling error led them to miss his frequent flights out to Dagestan for terror training.

Russian officials warned the US that Tsarnaev was armed and dangerous as much as a year and a half before the April 2013 bombingNBC News reports Wednesday. But Tsarnaev’s name was misspelled in a security database, leading authorities to miss him completely.

In March 2011, Russian intelligence agency FSB notified the FBI with concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the Tsarnaev family, which had emigrated to Massachusetts nearly ten years earlier. In the letter, FSB included contact information, with addresses and phone numbers, for many of the members of the Tsarnaev family, including Tamerlan and his mother, and warned that Tamerlan was gaining a reputation for associating with violent Islamists.

That same month, the FBI recruited the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force, a multiagency anti-terrorism group, to open an investigation into Tamerlan Tsarnaev. An FBI member from the Force interviewed Tsarnaev, but no surveillance was conducted; another member then entered a memo about Tsarnaev into a Customs and Border Protection database called TECS, putting Tsarnaev on a “Hot List” every time he left or entered the US.

However, just four months later, the investigation was closed. According to the June 2011 report, “the assessment found no links to terrorism.”

US authorities missed the mark yet again in September 2011, after three Jewish men linked to Tsarnaev were found murdered in Waltham, Mass. Two years later, Tsarnaev’s associate, Ibragim Todashev told the FBI about the Waltham murders – but Tsarnaev himself was not questioned in the aftermath of the killings.

A US intelligence official confirmed to NBC News that the US missed yet another opportunity to catch Tsarnaev, however; this time, when the FSB contacted the CIA, shortly after the Waltham murders. The FBI allegedly did not reopen the case, despite the second warning.

On Oct. 19, 2011, the CIA shared information on Tsarnaev with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), DHS, the State Department and the FBI. The information shared included two possible dates of birth, his name and a possible alternate spelling of his name. The CIA then nominated Tsarnaev for inclusion on the terrorism watch list – the massive Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database - and it was. But there was one fatal error: the entry reads “Tsarnayev” instead of Tsarnaev.

Read more at Arutz Sheva