Christopher Holton: Possible Jihadi Attack in NYC

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, Oct. 23, 2014:

Earlier today a man with an axe approached a group of NYPD officers and, in an unprovoked attack, struck two of them with the axe before succumbing to a hail of bullets from the officers.

Take a look at the picture we have here. Look carefully at the subject’s head and face.

extralarge

Now look at that same photo at the link below to the New York Daily News report on the incident (the perp’s face is obscured electronically)…

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/police-shoots-kills-man-ax-queens-article-1.1984914

It sure looks like the dead axeman could be a Salafi Jihadi, doesn’t it? And when news organizations start concealing images like that, it really makes us suspicious.

Now consider this report: The NYPD is reportedly now engaged in a “massive” operation in the area…

http://heavy.com/news/2014/10/nypd-axe-attack-suspect-dead-terror-attack/

Finally, and this really almost seals it in our mind:

At a news conference at a hospital where one officer was being treated for a serious head wound, Police Commissioner William Bratton said that investigators were still trying to confirm the identity of the assailant and determine a motive.

Asked if the attack could be related to terrorism, Bratton didn’t rule it out.

In this day and age when officials are almost always quick to rule out terrorism before they have any justification for ruling anything out, this statement almost amounts to a smoking gun…

http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/nyc-police-ax-wielding-suspect-shot-by-officers-1.9539019

Finally, there’s this:

Thursday evening the New York Police Department issued a patrol bulletin alerting officers to be in a state of heightened awareness after Wednesday’s murder of a Canadian soldier and shootout at the Parliament complex in Ottawa. The bulletin warns of potential attacks on uniformed officers.

Police from the Intelligence Division are checking the suspect’s hard drives for any cyber activity.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/nypd-cop-attacked-hatchet-suspect-shot-dead-n232586

 LATE ADDITION:

At least one report quotes law enforcement sources as saying the attacker was a Jihadi…

https://www.vocativ.com/world/isis-2/sources-nypd-hatchet-attacker-may-isis-supporter/

 Here are some images from the reported attacker’s Facebook page:

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Also see:

Psychological Warfare and Terrorism

napoleon_and_his_general_staff_1867-660x350-1414054375Via Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

By William Kilpatrick

Crisis Magazine

In a recent column, I suggested that one of the best ways to fight terrorism is by undermining the terrorist’s ideology. For example, by undercutting the belief that seventy-two virgins await the young martyr in paradise, you simultaneously undermine the will to fight.

That’s not to say that the standard method of fighting terrorists—with guns—can be safely abandoned. The propaganda war works best when it is reinforced by the shooting war. The more convincingly force is applied on the battlefield, the more convincing will be the ideological arguments.

If, for example, you’re an ISIS fighter and you see your buddies on the battlefield fall victim to an occasional bomb or bullet, that won’t necessarily shake your faith in the brides-to-be. As long as the war is going well, and as long as there’s a senior officer or two around to assure you that your fallen comrades are now enjoying their reward in paradise, your basic assumptions can remain intact. If, on the other hand, you look around and see nothing but death and destruction and no surviving officers to make sense of it all, you may begin to doubt the whole enterprise.

Just as importantly, a devastating defeat will have a salutary effect on people far away from the battlefield. The fellow in Brussels or Brisbane or Boston who’s thinking of joining the jihad will now have second thoughts—not only about ISIS, but also about the ideology that fuels it. Even fanatics can become realists in the face of overwhelming facts. In short, doubts can be accelerated by defeats.

Most people, of whatever religion, like to think that God is on their side of the battle, but in Islam belief and battlefield success are more closely linked than in, say, Christianity. Indeed, the seemingly miraculous military successes of Muhammad and the caliphs who followed him were taken by Muslims to be a proof that Islam is the true religion. Conversely, the religion of Islam has never fared well when its imperialistic ambitions have been thwarted. After Napoleon’s invasion and subjugation of Egypt, and subsequent European conquests and colonization of the Muslim world, Muslims began to seriously question the efficacy of Islam. As Islam scholar Raymond Ibrahim observes:

It was one thing to hold unhesitatingly to Islam and Sharia when Islam was conquering and subjugating non-Muslims, as it had done for well over a millennium. It was quite another thing for Muslims to remain confident in the Islamic way when the despised Christian infidels were conquering and subjugating the lands of Islam with great ease—displaying their superior weapons and technology, not to mention all the other perks of Western civilization.

During the colonial and post-colonial era, Muslim nations looked increasingly to the West as a model of emulation, and increasingly they looked away from Islam. Religious fanaticism declined, the jizya collection and the dhimmi laws were abolished, and, according to Ibrahim, “By the middle of the twentieth century, the Middle East’s Christians were widely seen, particularly by the educated elites and those in power, as no different from their Muslim counterparts.” Islam had been so thoroughly defanged by mid-century that, if Americans thought about it at all, they thought of it in terms of comedy movies like The Road to Morocco or Broadway musicals like Kismet.

The point is that this more moderate Islam of the not so distant past was made possible by Western military power and by the secular strongmen who succeeded the colonial rulers. Likewise, the recent renewed appeal of fundamentalist Islam has been made possible by shows of force: the overthrow of the Shah in Iran, the defeat of the Russians in Afghanistan, the bombing of the World Trade Center and numerous other successful terror attacks, the Arab Spring revolutions and, most recently, the march of ISIS across Syria and Iraq.

Such victories against technologically and/or numerically superior forces create a psychological momentum which makes militant Islam all the more appealing to potential recruits. Psychological momentum, however, can be halted and reversed by decisive battlefield defeats. The idea that nothing is ever accomplished by war is not quite true—as evidenced by the current pacifist inclinations of our former enemies, Japan and Germany. In this respect, it’s heartening to see that some Catholic leaders are coming around to acknowledging that, on occasion, there is no alternative to military force. I recently criticized Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, for blaming terrorism on poverty and injustice, but in his address to the UN Security Council, he also called for intervention to combat the Islamic State:

My delegation wishes to recall that it is both licit and urgent to stop aggression through multilateral action and a proportionate use of force.

He was referring, of course, to the Catholic Church’s teaching on just war. One of the conditions of a just war is that force must be used proportionately. If you bulldoze my barn, I shouldn’t respond by burning down your house with all the people inside. The trouble is, when dealing with a group like ISIS, it’s difficult to say what constitutes proportionality. We are battling an armed force which also happens to have considerable symbolic significance for others. In figuring what a proportionate response would be, we have to take into consideration ISIS’ ability to inspire both lone-wolf and well-organized terror attacks around the world. Consequently, it’s crucial not only to degrade and contain ISIS, but to defeat it, and to defeat it in such a way as to crush the dreams of would-be jihadists.

As war historian Victor Davis Hanson has observed, successful military leaders strive to not only defeat the enemy, but also to discredit his ideology. This does not mean the killing of every last man on the enemy side, but it often involves the killing of the enemy’s dreams. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Allied generals forced Nazi officials and thousands of nearby residents to take humiliating tours of the concentration camps and, in some cases, forced them to bury the dead prisoners. The prosecution of Nazi officials at the Nuremberg trials also helped to ensure that the Nazi dream would never rise again. Nazism was so thoroughly discredited as an ideology that, for decades after, no one—except for a few on the fringes—wanted to be associated with it in any way.

The Islamic State itself seems to fully understand the symbolic side of war. The crucifixions and ritual beheadings are not senseless acts, they are acts calculated to send a message. On one occasion, after capturing 250 Syrian soldiers, the Islamic State militants forced the prisoners to strip to their underwear and then paraded them in front of cameras before marching them to the place of execution. The message? Those who resist ISIS will suffer both defeat and dishonor; they fight for a worthless cause.

The ISIS campaign of psychological warfare, crude and ugly as it seems to the Western mind, has had the intended effect. Rallies to support ISIS have popped up in numerous Western cities, other Muslim groups have pledged their solidarity, and more and more Muslims are flocking to join its army. In ever-distracted America, football fans are abuzz about a penalty imposed on a Kansas City Chiefs player for prostrating himself in Muslim prayer after scoring a touchdown. Since Christian players are not penalized for similar behavior, fans were outraged. Meanwhile, on the same day, a much more significant sports-related event was playing out in Casablanca, Morocco. A video posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute showed a sizeable group of fans—perhaps one hundred—chanting “ISIS! ISIS!” and then “Allahu akbar, let’s go on jihad! Allahu akbar, let’s go on jihad!” American football fans—that is to say, Americans in general—might want to take note of the ever-expanding ISIS fan base. They might also do well to consider that the penalty ISIS imposes on losers is considerably more severe than fifteen yards.

If and when we get around to defeating ISIS, let’s hope we administer a psychological defeat as well—one that shows up not only the impotence of their fighting force, but also the emptiness of their vision. Else ISIS will rise again in some other form under some other name.

Exactly how this would be done is difficult to say. We are not, hopefully, going to descend to the level of displaying severed heads. And parading troops in their underwear is inconsistent with our concept of human dignity. Indeed, the whole idea of imposing a humiliating defeat goes against the grain of our highly developed sensitivities. Nonetheless, it seems time to reconsider our politically correct policy on waging war with terrorists—a policy which seems to say that war is simply a misunderstanding, and that after we’ve defeated you quietly and without fanfare, we will give you a clean cell and a copy of the Koran untouched by infidel hands because, of course, your religion has nothing to do with your terrorist behavior.

If we wish to avoid endless wars with jihadists, we should conclude our war with the Islamic State in such a way that Muslims around the world will rethink the notions of Islamic jihad and Islamic martyrdom. It’s not as improbable as it sounds. Not so long ago, historically speaking, Turks, Egyptians, and other Muslims who read the writing on the wall did rethink Islam. Faced with a West that was not only militarily powerful, but also culturally confident, they opted for a more muted form of Islam.

How Big Is the Canadian Terrorists’ Network?

1414063293375.cachedBy Tim Mak, Eli Lake and Jacob Siegel:
Canadian officials were quick to finger ISIS in this week’s attacks on government targets. But it’s still not clear whether or not the killers were part of a larger jihadist web.
Terrorists have twice attacked Canadian government targets this week, with a shooting Wednesday at the country’s parliament in Ottawa. Now Canadian and American authorities are trying to learn whether the killers acted alone or were part of a larger extremist network.

The mayhem caused by alleged Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau occurred just two days after another man, Martin Rouleau-Couture, struck two Canadian soldiers with a car in Quebec—killing one and wounding another.

Full details on Zehaf-Bibeau are still emerging. But he appears to have been a 32-year-old native of Quebec with a history of legal troubles that predate his radicalization. Canadian journalist Domenic Fazioli reported that Zehaf-Bibeau had been arrested a total of five times for drug possession and parole violations.

Canadian reports paint the picture of a disturbed individual, who once told a friend the “devil is after him,” and whose father appears to have fought on behalf of rebels in Libya in 2011.

Former Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, who once oversaw Canadian security agencies in cabinet as a member of the ruling Conservative government, said he had independent information that suggested the two suspects visited the same jihadist web forums.

“It is likely there is a digital trail that suggests they accessed some of the same Internet chat rooms and websites,” he told The Daily Beast. “It appears the [Parliament Hill shooter] was using some of the same networks as the killer [from earlier this week], who killed an army officer… And it was interesting that ISIS apparently, or a source identifying themselves as ISIS, had a photo out of this guy in pretty short order.”

Speaking to the nation Wednesday evening, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to link the shooting on Parliament Hill and the killing of a Canadian soldier earlier this week by “an ISIL-inspired terrorist,” using an alternate acronym for ISIS.

“This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world,” Harper said, pledging to “fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.”

Last week, Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Michel Coulombe estimated that 130 people had traveled abroad to join in alleged terrorist activities. Eighty people had “returned to Canada after travel abroad for a variety of suspected terrorism-related purposes.”

Read more at The Daily Beast

See also:

Brian Lilley on Martin “Ahmad” Roleau, Lee Rigby-style terrorist in Canada

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

“We can’t let those that want to spread Islam by the sword, the bomb, or the car continue to use the feeble excuse that we bring these attacks on ourselves due to our policies. . . There was no American or Canadian foreign policy to blame when Islam swept across the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, up into Spain. Our foreign policy cannot be blamed for ISIS killing Shias. This is not about us and our policies; it’s about a warped feeble world view that seeks to spread like a cancer.”

*****

Marc Lebuis on Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, Lee Rigby-style terrorist in Canada

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/

Marc Lebuis of Point de Bascule (“Tipping Point”) drills down on Lee-Rigby-style terrorist Martin “Ahmad” Roleau, his background, and the mosque to which he belonged.

“There is an RCMP agent who is a regular attendee of the mosque.”

*******

BBC’s Adnan Nawaz speaks to Tarek Fatah | ISIS Lone Wolf Kills Canadian Soldier

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by Tarek Fatah

Michael Coren & Robert Spencer on Martin “Ahmad” Roleau, Lee Rigby-style terrorist in Canada

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau’s passport was seized by authorities who feared he wanted to go overseas to take part in terrorism, blocking him from leaving Canada and highlighting a dilemma facing security officials dealing with the threat of militants on home soil.

Couture-Rouleau was identified as a high-risk traveller and had his passport taken away.

He was arrested at the airport while on his way to Turkey, RCMP Supt. Martine Fontaine said at a news conference in Montreal, but there wasn’t enough evidence for police to charge him and detain him.

Couture-Rouleau, 25, was fatally shot after hitting two soldiers in a parking lot of a commercial plaza in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a city about 40 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

One of the soldiers, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, died of his injuries Monday evening. Police said the other soldier doesn’t have life-threatening injuries.

Officials who stop citizens from leaving Canada because of terrorism fears then face another problem: those persons remain in Canada, perhaps with the intention of causing harm to others.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson touched on it Tuesday on Parliament Hill: asked whether it was possible Couture-Rouleau became more dangerous after his passport was taken away, Paulson said “certainly that’s what follows from the analysis.”

“He was part of our investigative efforts to try and identify those people who might commit a criminal act of travelling abroad for terrorist purposes. So in that respect we were working him along with other suspects,” he added.

A top official at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, speaking at a Senate committee meeting Monday, put the dilemma more bluntly.

“For every individual that we prevent, every extremist that we prevent from going overseas to engage in extremist activity, is one more individual that we have to investigate closely because they’re radicalized to the point that they want to leave,” said Jeff Yaworski, CSIS deputy director of operations.

“There’s nothing more that we can do with the budget that we have, except to prioritize internally as effectively as we can and I think we are doing that.”

Yaworski said the agency’s success rate “has been quite good.”

“I’d be foolhardy to say that we have all the bases covered. We do what we can with the budget that we have, sir,” Yaworski told senators.

The federal government has raised its internal threat level to medium due to an increase in “general chatter” from organizations like ISIS, but not because of a specific threat.

Couture-Rouleau was one of 90 people being monitored by the RCMP as part of 63 current national security investigations, the RCMP confirmed to CBC News Monday night. Paulson first reported the investigations to MPs on the House public safety committee earlier this month.

That covered “both people who intend to go [abroad] or people who have returned and have been referred to us by the service,” Paulson said on Oct. 8.

It included people suspected of being involved with extremism-related activities, including financing, not specifically to fighting alongside militants.

Legal documents show Couture-Rouleau converted to Islam in 2013. He went by Ahmad Rouleau on some social media sites.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who has said his department is revoking the passports of those suspected of planning to travel abroad to commit terrorism, wouldn’t answer questions as he left a cabinet meeting.

On Tuesday, Paulson said the RCMP are investigating along with Quebec provincial police to determine the “breadth” of this incident and pursue every avenue.

Paulson said the RCMP don’t think Couture-Rouleau was connected to other sympathizers.

“We don’t suspect that, but we’re open to that and we’re concerned about that. So we’re going to be pursuing every investigative avenue to satisfy ourselves that we’ve eliminated that possibility,” he told reporters on his way out of the committee meeting.

A Quebec police spokesman said the RCMP are handling the investigation into the suspect and his motivations.

​On Monday, the RCMP said the integrated national security investigations team in Montreal, along with other authorities, worried Couture-Rouleau “had become radicalized.”

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement Tuesday, reiterating that federal authorities had confirmed certain elements clearly indicated Couture-Rouleau had become radicalized. Canadians should remain vigilant, the statement read.

“This was a despicable act of violence that strikes against not just this soldier and his colleagues but frankly against our very values as a civilized democracy,” Harper said in the House.

Downing Street set to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood

Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally to protest against the death penalties for the members of the radical group in Egypt, outside the Egyptian embassy in Ankara Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP

Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally to protest against the death penalties for the members of the radical group in Egypt, outside the Egyptian embassy in Ankara Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP

By Robert Mendick, and Robert Verkaik:

Downing Street is to order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and a network of Islamist groups accused of fuelling extremism in Britain and across the Arab world.

David Cameron launched an inquiry into the Brotherhood earlier this year, prompted by concerns it was stoking an Islamist ideology that had encouraged British jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who is an adviser to the review, is reported to have described it as “at heart a terrorist organisation”. The Brotherhood insists it is non-violent and seeks to impose Islamic rule only through democratic change. It has condemned Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda.

A senior source close to the inquiry said its report – compiled but not yet published – had identified “an incredibly complex web” of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny.

The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases – London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Qatar, the wealthiest country in the world per head of population, has for 30 years been home to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric in exile, often described as the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader. Qaradawi, who was banned from entering Britain in 2008, is accused of anti-Semitism, supporting Palestinian suicide bombers, condoning wife- beating and punishing homosexuals.

Qatar has found itself isolated from its Gulf neighbours – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – over its support of the Brotherhood during the Arab Spring. Qatar also funds Hamas, which was originally established as a Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Brotherhood and whose military wing is banned as a terrorist organisation by Britain, among others.

Dr Lorenzo Vidino, who is understood to have worked on the Cabinet Office report, presided over by Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “It is clear that the Brotherhood has many dark spots, ranging from its ambiguous relationship with violence to its questionable impact on social cohesion in Britain.”

The Government crackdown will stop short of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood but action is expected to include:

Þ Investigations into charities that are effectively “fronts” for the Brotherhood;

Þ Inquiries into funding of the organisation and links to jihadi groups abroad;

Þ Banning clerics linked to the group from countries such as Qatar and Turkey from coming to Britain for rallies and conferences.

The source said: “We cannot ban the organisation, but that was never the intention of the review. We can go after single individuals, not for terrorist-related activity, but through the Al Capone method of law-enforcement. We cannot get them for terrorism but I bet you they don’t pay their taxes.

“One of the big things is piling pressure on the charitable missions. Until now it has been very hard to monitor all the groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Read more at The Telegraph

Austria: Civil Law vs. Sharia Law

by Soeren Kern:

Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.

The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its “misinterpretation” by Islamic extremists.

Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.

Leaders of Austria’s Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to “institutionalized Islamophobia.”

Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.

The Austrian government has unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the country’s century-old “Islam Law” that governs the legal status of Austria’s Muslim community.

The proposed revisions—which are aimed at cracking down on Islamic extremism in Austria—would regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran, among other changes.

The government says the modifications would give Muslims legal parity with other religious groups in Austria. But the leaders of Austria’s Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to “institutionalized Islamophobia.”

The updated Islam Law (Islamgesetz) was presented as a draft bill to parliament on October 2 and overhauls the current law, which dates back to 1912.

The original law was brought into being to help integrate Muslim soldiers into the Habsburg Army after the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908. The law recognized Islam as a religious community in Austria, and allowed Muslims to practice their religion in accordance with the laws of the state.

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

The Muslim population in Austria now exceeds 500,000 (or roughly 6% of the total population), up from an estimated 150,000 (or 2%) in 1990. The Muslim population is expected to reach 800,000 (or 9.5%) by 2030, according to recent estimates.

Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria, are immigrants or foreigners.

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

At the same time, Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam. A June 2014 report by the Austrian intelligence agency [BVT] warned of the “exploding radicalization of the Salafist scene in Austria.” Salafism is an anti-Western ideology that seeks to impose Islamic sharia law.

Austria has also emerged as a central hub for European jihadists seeking to fight in Syria, because Austria’s geographic location provides easy access to land routes through the Balkans.

The Austrian Islamist known as “Abu Hamza al-Austria,” fighting in Syria, pictured from his jihadist recruitment video.

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

From now on, according to Kurz, Muslims residing in Austria will be expected to adhere to Austrian values and to acknowledge the primacy of Austrian law over Islamic Sharia law. In practice, he said, this means that Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws. Sharia law has “no place” in Austria, he stressed.

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: