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.

TO BETTER PROTECT MUSLIMS, AG HOLDER SET TO BAN ‘RELIGIOUS PROFILING’

eric-holder-teal-painting-apBreitbart, by HOMAS ROSE, Sep. 30, 2014:

If one is looking for reasons why Washington has become so caustic, divisive and bitter, look no further than retiring Attorney General Eric Holder. If reportsfirst published by the Los Angeles Times are correct, the always controversial Holder, aged 63, will soon announce a new and permanent ban on so-called ‘religious profiling’ designed to better protect those suspected of jihadist or Islamist activities from federal surveillance.

At the very moment the American state, local and federal law enforcement are trying to get a handle on a spate of Islamist-inspired beheadings and the discovery that Islamic State terror cells are active in at least three major US cities (LA, Boston, and Minneapolis), the US attorney general seems prepared to make it even harder for US law enforcement to crack down against jihadist recruiters and terrorist plots.

Despite the rise of the Islamic State’s terrorist army that proudly boasts of its US citizen-fighters, as well as growing evidence that domestic jihadist extremism is far more prevalent inside the United States than previously thought, the always controversial Holder appears undeterred in his quest to ban federal agents from trying to prevent domestic Islamist terrorism by investigating hubs of suspected jihadist activities. If the ban on ‘religious profiling’ is enforced, federal agents will no longer be able to conduct surveillance inside even the most radical of US mosques, where nearly all recent US based jihadists have been recruited, trained and dispatched.

The LA Times even reports that Holder’s ban will no longer even include “an exemption for national security investigations.” Without pre-existing, admissible evidence that ongoing criminal activity is occurring, federal agents will no longer be permitted to conduct any undercover surveillance in any clearly identified Islamic institution. If enacted, such a policy would represent the starkest reversal yet to bi-partisan post 9/11 changes that permitted law enforcement agencies like the FBI greater ability to monitor suspected Islamist outfits, including mosques.

The FBI claims that those standards have enabled them to disrupt or scuttle at least 42 planned Islamist attacks against the US homeland adopted since 2001.

How extending greater legal protections to those suspected of jihadist plots against US citizens will help protect law abiding citizens from those plots remains to be seen. The connections between Islamic State operatives, recent domestic terrorist acts, and several radical US mosques are undeniable. The recent Muslim convert in Oklahoma who murdered and decapitated a 54-year-old grandmother was radicalized in a mosque run by the very same people who run a Boston mosque that served as headquarters for ISIS’s US social media campaign.

Terrorism authority Steve Emerson told IBD this could be just the tip of the ISIS-ice berg. “There are tens of thousands of others like him lurking in the United States who haven’t done this but are jihadists just waiting to do it,” Emerson, who runs the New York-basedInvestigative Project for Terrorism, says the Islamic State is actually pre-selecting new US based recruits based upon their state willingness to conduct suicide/terrorist operations against innocents inside the US.

Of course, since Attorney General Holder had previously ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to scrub all its training manuals and support documentation to insure words like “jihad” and “Islamic terrorism” do not appear, it is difficult to predict how such directives will even be adequately conveyed to US law enforcement personnel.

Had such prohibitions against even considering the religious beliefs or associations of suspected jihadist elements been in effect, many recent Federal indictments of terrorists could never have been obtained, since nearly ever single one of them contained evidence demonstrating their connections with and radicalizations inside US mosques. Nearly every single defendant so indicted has confessed that their motivations were religiously based upon their interpretation of Islam and its commands to attack non-believers.

The same Eric Holder now considering increased protections for those suspected of jihadist activities authorized domestic illegal surveillance actions, including wiretapping, against reporters at the Associated Press and sought to prosecute Fox News’ James Rosen under, of all things, the Espionage Act.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, “You know the famous American saying that all politics is local? Well, for militant Islamists, all politics is global, because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.” If Holder has his way and can prohibit US law enforcement from investigating domestic militants Islamists in places where militants Islamists plot and plan, American jihadists will be able to pursue that ultimate goal of global dominance with greater freedom and security than ever before.

New Documents Show FBI Kept Channels Open to Al-Aulaqi Despite Terrorist Designation

web-only-anwaralawlaki001crp_1317412621-600x350 (1)Judicial Watch:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained 900 pages of newly released internal documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicating there may have been a serious rift between the agency’s 9/11 Commission Task Force (Task Force) and the National Commission on Terrorism (Commission) in tracking the activities of U.S.-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Aulaqi. Additionally, in an October 2003 email from al-Aulaqi to an FBI agent, the terrorist says he is “astonished” and “amazed” by the media coverage of him and hoped that “US authorities know better.”

The documents were released as a result of the court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit,Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:12-cv-00893), which was filed on June 4, 2012.  Judicial Watch first asked for the documents over three years ago, in September 2011.

The FBI emails obtained by Judicial Watch dating back to December 2003 suggest that agency personnel were bothered by the Commission’s “numerous and unrelenting requests” and were dismissive of the Commission’s work. The emails indicate that the FBI refused to set up interviews between the Commission and al-Aulaqi, and was surprised to learn of the Commission’s trip to Yemen, in what turned out to be a futile attempt to track down the terrorist. Quoting from the emails:

  • FBI email from December 15, 2003 – “SA [REDACTED] has had a conversation with Aulaqi and has tentatively set up an interview for mid March. With the Va. Jihad trial scheduled for early Feb. this is will be the earliest SA [REDACTED] can meet Aulaqi [REDACTED] With that said, we would not want to do the interview with the 9/11 commission. If the 9/11 commission needs to meet with Aulaqi, we will provide the contact information so they can set up their own interview.” [Emphasis added]
  • FBI email from December 21, 2003 – “… I would like copies of all e-mail contacts between [REDACTED] and Aulaqi as soon as possible. They [apparently the 9/11 Commission] have requested copies of these e-mails. I will discuss the content with the commission staff and determine what the course of action will be. This is a hot topic for them and they have been relentless in their desire to interview Aulaqi.” [Emphasis added]
  • FBI email apparently also on December 21, 2003 – “… the [FBI] 9/11 Commission Task Force (Task Force) has received numerous and unrelenting requests from the NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORISM (9/11 Commission) regarding closed WFO [Washington Field Office] subject Anwar Aulaqi. These requests stemmed from WFO’s revelation to 9/11 Commission staff member [REDACTED] that an individual representing himself as Aulaqi left several telephone messages on SA [REDACTED] office voice mail. WFO EC dated 11/25/03 provides explicit details regarding these voice messages, and 9/11Commission is aware of the same … Nonetheless, for reasons not clearly discernable to the Task Force, the 9/11 Commission reiterates the following Miscellaneous Request [REDACTED].” [Emphasis added]
  • FBI undated email, likely in 2004 after Al Aulaqi had moved to Yemen – “… Apparently the 9/11 Commission is interested in interviewing Anwar Al-Aulaqi and some members are en route to Yemen to try and do that … I was interviewed by the 09/11 Commission on 10/16 about Aulaqi … They were obviously interested but made no requests for assistance in setting up their potential interview with Aulaqi. According to [REDACTED] the 09/11 Commission that is enroute to Yemen is now trying to figure out how they’re going to arrange the interview of Aulaqi once they get there.”

On October 23, 2003, al-Aulaqi wrote (after first leaving a voice mail) to an unnamed official at the FBI Academy:

I was astonished by some of the talk circulating in the media about me. I was even more surprised to know that the congressional report on Sep 11 had alluded to me as being a “spiritual adviser” to the hijackers. The Guardian newspaper in the UK mentioned that the US authorities are looking for me in the UK while Time magazine mentions that they are looking for me in Yemen. Well in both countries I could be easily accessed. Even though I have nothing more to say than what I did at our previous meetings I just wanted to let you know that I am around and available. I am amazed at how absurd the media could be and I hope that the US authorities know better and realize that what was mentioned about me was nothing but lies.

Despite this email and an offer to speak with U.S. officials, the final report of the Commission notes that its members were unable to locate al-Aulaqi for an interview during the course of their investigation. The report describes al-Aulaqi’s prior relationship with at least two of the 9/11 hijackers as a “remarkable coincidence” and describes him as a “potentially significant San Diego contact” of the hijackers.

Al-Aulaqi’s email offering to meet with the FBI after being identified as a person of interest by the Commission is the latest in a series of events that have fueled speculation that he was an asset or an intelligence source for the U.S. government.

Read more at Judicial Watch

Terrorists at the Border

border-450x300by Matthew Vadum:

A Democratic congressman tried to use the might of the federal government to crush an investigation into reports that an Islamic terrorist group is using the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez as a base for launching an attack on the U.S. using car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs).

The Islamofascist group in question is the extraordinarily brutal Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) that has been conquering swathes of the Middle East with the long-term goal of establishing an Islamic Caliphate. (ISIS is also known as the Islamic State group and by the Obama-preferred acronym ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.)

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, Texas, contacted the local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) “in an effort to identify—and evidently intimidate—sources that may have been used by” Judicial Watch, federal law enforcement sources told the  nonprofit good-government group.

Judicial Watch, which has been legally recognized by the courts as a media outlet, reported on the terrorist conspiracy on August 29. Citing high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence, and other sources, the group reported that the federal government was bracing for an imminent terrorist attack on the southern U.S. border.

Agents in the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Justice are all reportedly on alert and have been directed “to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat,” Judicial Watch reports.

O’Rourke’s office denies wrongdoing, but according to Judicial Watch the congressman’s telephone calls were followed by “a memo that came down through the chain of command threatening to terminate or criminally charge any agent who speaks to media of any kind.”

According to the Obama administration, Islamic terrorists are not operating in Ciudad Juarez. But the administration isn’t known for truth-telling. The White House has long downplayed the wave of violent crime, much of it committed by drug cartels, that rages along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. Border Patrol instructed its officers to steer clear of the most crime-infested portions of the border because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could lead to an “international incident” involving a cross-border shooting, Judicial Watch previously reported.

Yet a parade of Democratic politicians including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have declared the southern border to be secure despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Read more at Frontpage

Also see:

FBI knew about ISIS recruiter in U.S. since 2007

abousamra500By LEO HOHMANN:

Reports tying worshipers at U.S. mosques in Massachusetts and Minnesota to the ISIS terror network in Syria have opened up old wounds among Muslims in America and prompted new questions about how well the FBI monitors mosques with radical leanings.

The Islamic Society of Boston, the same mosque attended by the two Tsarnaev brothers accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, has now been tied to ISIS.

One of the members the brothers may have come in contact with was Ahmad Abousamra, a 32-year-old man who once frequented the Boston mosque and now serves as the chief propagandist for ISIS. The gruesome videos of ISIS militants beheading American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley apparently were the handiwork of Abousamra.

“The Islamic Society of Boston has been, historically, one of the most radical mosques in the United States,” said Steve Emerson, who has authored six books on Islamic extremism and serves as executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. “I’ve been investigating them for more than 20 years while CNN has been defending them for 20 years.”

Emerson said the FBI finds it difficult to penetrate the mosques and find recruiters.

“They’re very slick in the way they operate. Their Facebook pages are clean. They are very careful in how they communicate electronically, and they’re pretty wise in terms of appearing suspicious to potential informants,” he said. “So you really have got to either infiltrate a recruiting plot, if you can, or you have to find evidence of it electronically, or you need an informant to come forward and say, ‘They’re recruiting in our mosque.’”

Emerson said the Boston mosque was linked as early as the late 1990s to groups connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, “but nothing was done and it turned out that you have at least seven or eight people convicted of terrorism charges while dozens of others from this mosque have been investigated.”

The infamous Aafia Siddiqui, known as “Lady al-Qaida,” attended the Boston mosque before she was convicted of plotting terrorism, as did Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the spiritual guides of global Muslim Brotherhood doctrines.

But the FBI was “thoroughly derelict” in investigating the Tsarnaev brothers, Emerson said. After Russia tipped off the bureau about the brothers’ radical leanings, he said the FBI reached out to mosque leaders to build a dialogue but failed to monitor mosque teachings.

WND reported last week on how the FBI has scrubbed its internal training manuals of all references to radical Islam after it was pressured to do so in 2011 by 56 Muslim-American organizations, including several with known ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, in late August, 70 Islamic-American groups have again written a letter to the White House demanding that all law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels audit and purge their materials of anything deemed to be biased against Muslims.

“Anyone in the intelligence agencies, with the restrictions of not being able to look at radical Islam and not even being able to use that term ‘radical Islam,’ it’s only going to stop us from pre-empting attacks,” Emerson said.

Amir Meshal

Amir Meshal

The strange case of Amir Meshal

The situation is equally dire at the Al Farooq Youth and Family Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. At least 12 Muslims from Minnesota have left the country to fight for ISIS in Syria, the FBI acknowledges, while 20 to 30 have joined al-Shabab, a terrorist group based in Somalia, since 2007.

The government believes some of the 12 ISIS fighters may have been recruited, either in person or online, by 31-year-old Amir Meshal, a native of New Jersey. The FBI has been well acquainted with him since 2007, when he was detained for about four months in Kenya but never charged. He allegedly admitted he attended an al-Qaida training camp, learned about various weapons and served as a translator but was not arrested. Instead, the FBI dumped Meshal back in New Jersey, after which the ACLU, in cooperation with the Council on Islamic American Relations, or CAIR, sued the U.S. government for violating Meshal’s civil rights.

KMSP-TV in Minneapolis reported Meshal claims in the lawsuit to have been recruited by the FBI as an informant, and he could have been working as a double agent for both the FBI and for ISIS. In exchange for providing information, he may have been taken off the government’s no-fly list, the TV station reported.

Meshal reportedly showed up this summer at the Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington. Sometime in late June or early July, an 18-year-old boy was stopped by authorities trying to depart the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on a flight to Turkey. The boy fingered Meshal as his recruiter.

In June, the parents of another teenage boy reported to the mosque’s leadership that Meshal was preaching a radical jihadist philosophy to their son. That’s when then the mosque called police and banned Meshal from returning.

The FBI now says it doesn’t know where Meshal might be hiding.

Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” says no one should be surprised by the recent news coming out of Minnesota and Massachusetts.

She pointed out Meshal was detained in 2007 for his ties to al-Qaida, “after young Muslims went missing and it became news that the Twin Cities are seething with jihadists, part of the ‘terror pipeline’ as it’s now colloquially called.”

So, she emphasized, the mosque didn’t ban him until after the boy’s parents complained.

“Why was he allowed to preach jihad to the people in this mosque?”

Read more at WND

Emerson: FBI has been handcuffed in investigating religious extremists in Mosques

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 6, 2014

Judge Jeanine Pirro: And with me now, the founder of The Investigative Project, Steve Emerson. Alright Steve, ISIS has Americans worried. How justified are those fears?

Steve Emerson: Very justified. Look, Judge, the problem here is that it’s not just a regional issue. ISIS definitely is a threat in the region in the Middle East, it’s a threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, to Jordan, it’s a threat to Israel, they’ve made statements now they’re going to attack Israel, but they’re also a threat to the United States. There are nearly 300 to 400 American volunteers with U.S. passports now fighting for ISIS. They can return to the United States anytime they want. The FBI has been handcuffed in terms of investigating religious extremists in mosques, as a result of guidelines put out by the attorney general earlier this year. And so therefore, there is… a definite problem now in investigating those militants in the United States who are either recruiting for ISIS or have returned from Syria or Iraq having fought for ISIS, and are ready to carry out freelance or directed terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS against the United States. That’s the first problem that we’re facing that’s not being met or being handled properly because of the constraints put on law enforcement by this administration.

Pirro: Tell me, Steve; tell the audience exactly what you mean by the restraints being put on the FBI by the Department of Justice.

Emerson: The FBI [has been constrained by] the Department of Justice [which] put out guidelines that restricted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from using religious factors in identifying threats, national security threats to the United States in the homeland. That is so if someone was a religious extremist, though they didn’t plot to carry out an attack, that [indicator] could not be factored into an investigation, into an intelligence investigation, into identifying them as a potential threat to the United States. Therefore, they [law enforcement] would have to wait until they actually plotted to carry out an attack. Well that’s too late. And unfortunately, what we’re seeing right now is the fact is that we’ve seen massive numbers, increasing numbers of volunteers going over not just from Europe, from Asia and Africa, but we’re seeing ISIS recruiting biophysicists, engineers, social media types, people who have expertise in really carrying out sophisticated terrorist attacks coming back to the United States. And look, if you remember 20-, I got an email from an FBI agent just yesterday, he said, ‘Steve, nobody remembers what happened in the 1980s when all the jihadists were recruited, went over to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, then came back, and then what happened?’ In February, 1993 they plotted, they almost took down the World Trade Center bombing, [the World] Trade Center at that time; they didn’t, they failed, they [Al Qaeda] returned again in 2001. So the reality is, Judge, that with the handcuffs put on by this administration, there’s a disconnect between what we’re not doing against ISIS, [which is that] we should be decimating them. The president said it may take one, two, three years; we don’t have that kind of time to wait. Within three years –

Pirro: Steve, you know what’s amazing to me, I mean it’s just like the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston bombers, I mean you get, they’re telling us not once, but twice, these guys are terrorists. We’re letting them go in and out of the country, I mean and you know not calling the Fort Hood shooter a terrorist, but instead it’s workplace violence. Steve Emerson, really fast, these recruiters where are they going to get these potential jihadists, American jihadists?

Emerson: Well they’re going– I mean there’s one recruiter that [had been]… picked up [in the past], well identified, in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Al Farooq Mosque. There are recruiters going around the country in other mosques, where they identify potential volunteers. They test them out to see if they’re willing to die on behalf of martyrdom of the cause for Allah. Then they give them cash, they provide money for their families in case they die. They give them tickets to go to Turkey. Turkey has allowed them, hundreds, to go through to Syria, then to Iraq. And we [the U.S.] count Turkey as one of our top allies. We haven’t put [many of] them on the terrorism watch list, which we should. So there’s a major disconnect, Judge, here between what we should be doing to protect the homeland and protect American citizens versus what the president is doing, in not stopping ISIS on the ground in Iraq, versus what he’s not doing here in the homeland itself.

Pirro: Alright, Steve Emerson, always good to hear your take on things. Thanks so much for being with us.

Emerson: Sure.

****

blindfolded-cop-443x350

Holders Bans Profiling Islamic Terrorists by Religion by Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 17, 2014:

A lot of profiling restrictions are stupid, but in this case religion is the motivation. Banning profiling of perpetrators by their motives is a sure way of crippling investigations.

This is what I predicted was going to happen and I’m surprised it took this long. If terrorists can’t be profiled by religion, then preventing attacks becomes incredibly difficult.

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

Since taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions.

It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups.

“Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, then it’s really irrelevant.”

The Justice Department has been reviewing the rules for several years and has not publicly signaled how it might change them. Mr. Holder disclosed his plans in a meeting on Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, according to an official briefed on the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.

Bloomberg, as bad as he was, might have objected, but Bill de Blasio is on the same page as Holder when it comes to empowering terrorists.

 

Also see:

FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism

Medical workers aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two bomb explosions / AP

Medical workers aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two bomb explosions / AP

Internal report labels white supremacists, black separatists, militias, abortion extremists main domestic extremists

Washington Free Beacon, By Bill Gertz, August 29, 2014:

The FBI’s most recent national threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats, despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans.

Instead, the internal FBI intelligence report concluded in its 2013 assessment published this month that the threat to U.S. internal security from extremists is limited to attacks and activities by eight types of domestic extremist movements—none motivated by radical Islam.

They include anti-government militia groups and white supremacy extremists, along with “sovereign citizen” nationalists, and anarchists. Other domestic threat groups outlined by the FBI assessment include violent animal rights and environmentalist extremists, black separatists, anti- and pro-abortion activists, and Puerto Rican nationalists.

“Domestic extremist violence continues to be unpredictable and, at times, severe,” the report states.

A copy of the unclassified, 60-page National Threat Assessment for Domestic Extremism, dated Aug. 14, was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. It warns that the threat of domestic-origin extremism was moderate in 2013 and will remain so for this year.

“Domestic extremists collectively presented a medium-level threat to the United States in 2013; the FBI assesses the 2014 threat will remain close to this level,” the report said.

On black separatists, the report warned that a “high-profile racially charged crimes or events” could lead to an expansion of black separatist groups. The report identified three such groups as the New Black Panther Party, the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, and the Black Hebrew Israelite group as extremists under FBI scrutiny.

An alternative assessment section in the report warned that radical black activists could “reinitiate violence at the historically high levels seen for the movement during the 1970s, when bombings, assassinations, hijackings, and hostage-takings occurred.”

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“Such a scenario could occur as an extreme response to perceptions of devolving racial equality or perceptions of racially-motivated police brutality, or racially-biased injustice, oppression, or judicial rulings,” the report said. “Indicators include increased weapons procurement, reports of sophisticated plots, and development of an explosives capability.”

Black extremist groups may also seek “stronger ties to foreign governments in exchange for financial resources,” the report said.

The report was written before the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo. However, it mentions that black separatist extremists stepped up threats against law enforcement officers, the U.S. government, and non-blacks following the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012.

“FBI investigations reveal black separatist extremists engaged in financial crimes, and drug and weapons trafficking, possibly to finance activities and maintain access to weapons,” the report said.

FBI intelligence sources reported that domestic extremist groups “aspired” to carry out violent attacks. “Of a sample of 50 credible violent threat intelligence reports analyzed for this assessment, nearly 60 percent expressed lethal violence as an ultimate goal,” the report said, noting militias seeking the overthrow of the U.S. government, sovereign citizens, white supremacists and black separatists were among those seeking to conduct deadly attacks.

“Lone actors and small cells will continue to present the greatest threat in 2014,” the report says. “Some of these individuals will engage in lethal violence, although it is most likely the majority of violent criminal acts will continue to be characterized as serious crimes, such as arson and assault, but which are not, ultimately lethal.”

The Bureau anticipates an increase in activity by animal rights and environmental extremists, such as releasing animals and damaging property, as both movements began expanding in late 2013. Additionally, a similar level of activity is expected this year for anarchist, anti-government militias, white supremacy, and sovereign citizen extremists.

For abortion extremism, the report says violence prone groups fall into two categories, “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice,” but notes the primary threat of abortion extremism comes from lone individuals, not groups.

Puerto Rican nationalist extremists were described as “followers of Marxist-Leninist ideology,” have targeted the U.S. government for destabilization, and are seeking to create an independent island nation.

The FBI estimates domestic extremists caused more than $15 million in financial loses in 2012 and 2013, mainly through animal rights and environmental activities that targeted U.S. agriculture.

“It is highly likely extremists will continue to exact financial losses in 2014, with the agriculture, construction, and financial sectors serving as the most probable targets.”

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson had no immediate comment on the report.

One indirect explanation for the omission of Islamist extremism in the report is provided in a footnote to a graphic describing an “other” category of domestic extremism not included in the report. “The ‘Other’ category includes domestic extremist [sic] whose actions were motivated by beliefs which fall outside the eight designated [domestic terrorism] subprograms,” the footnote stated.

The footnote indicates the FBI has separated Islamist terrorism from other domestic extremism.

The Obama administration in 2009 adopted a new policy that substituted the vague term “violent extremism” as a replacement for terrorism.

The graphic showed that domestic extremists killed 43 people from 2003 to 2013 carried out by five categories of terrorists—abortion extremists, black separatists, sovereign citizens, white supremacists, and “others.”

The report left out all references to the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured some 264 others. Two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who were motivated by Islamist extremist beliefs, carried out the bombing. They learned the techniques for the homemade pressure cooker bombers from an al Qaeda linked magazine.

The FBI had been warned in advance of the attack by Russian security services that the brothers may have links to Chechen terrorists but failed to act.

The FBI report also made no direct reference to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, by radicalized Army Maj. Nidal Hasan. The mass shooting left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

Former FBI Agent John Guandolo said he was not surprised the report did not include any reference to domestic-origin Islamic terror.

“It should not surprise anyone who follows the jihadi threats in the United States that the FBI would not even include ‘Islamic terrorism’ in its assessment of serious threats to the republic in an official report,” Guandolo said.

“Since 9/11, FBI leadership—as well as leaders from Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, CIA, Pentagon, and the National Security Council—relies on easily identifiable jihadis from the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, al Qaeda and elsewhere to advise it on how to deal with ‘domestic extremism.’”

Patrick Poole, a domestic terrorism expert, also was critical of the report’s omission of U.S. Islamist extremism, blaming “politically correct” policies at the FBI for the problem.

“At the same time we have senior members of the Obama administration openly saying that it’s not a question of if but when we have a terror attack targeting the United States by ISIL, we have the FBI putting on blinders to make sure they don’t see that threat,” Poole said.

“These politically correct policies have already allowed Americans to be killed at Fort Hood and in Boston,” he added

Guandolo said the failure to recognize the domestic Islamist threat had allowed domestic jihadist groups and their sympathizers to shape U.S. government create policies that do not acknowledge jihad as the root cause for the current global chaos.

An example, he said, is that the FBI has appointed a domestic Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organization leader to an FBI advisory council at the Washington headquarters.

Additionally, the FBI is failing to train agents and analysts on the Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States, Guandolo said.

“The FBI, no matter how diligent its agents are in their pursuit of ‘terrorists’, will never defeat this threat because its leaders refuse to address or even identify it,” he said. “This level of negligence on the part of the FBI leaders and their failure to understand the jihadi threat 13 years after 9/11 is appalling.”

Poole said the failure of the FBI to understand the domestic Islamist threat led to the U.S. government categorizing the 2009 Fort Hood shooting Army Maj. Nidal Hasan as “workplace violence.”

“In the case of Fort Hood, the FBI was monitoring Maj. Hasan’s email communication with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki but the FBI headquarters dismissed it because they were talking about ‘religious’ subjects,” Poole said.

“In the Boston bombing case the FBI cleared Tamerlan Tsarnayev with nothing more than a house visit after receiving a tip from Russian intelligence, and never making the connection that he was attending a mosque founded by an imprisoned al Qaeda financier and previously attended by two convicted terrorists,” Poole added.

As a result “we have more than a dozen dead Americans killed here at home because of these politically correct FBI policies, and with threats emerging from all corners this doubling-down on political correctness when it comes to Islam is undoubtedly going to get more Americans killed,” he added.

The domestic threat assessment is the latest example indicating the FBI has been forced by Obama administration policies from focusing on the domestic terror threat posed by radical Islamists.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) said in a 2012 House floor speech that the FBI was ordered to purge references to Islam, jihad, and Muslims in its counterterrorism “lexicon” guidelines for its reports.

As a result, the FBI is hamstrung from understanding the threat of terrorism from groups like al Qaeda that have declared jihad, or holy war, on the Untied States, Gomert said.

Guandolo, the former FBI agent, said the vast majority of U.S. Islamic organizations were identified in recent U.S. terrorism trials as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent group for the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Thus, these groups are aligned with the same objectives as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al Qaeda, and others, he said.

“Our FBI is not teaching their agents and analysts this information; they are not sharing it with local and state law enforcement officials; and they are not investigating and pursuing the very individuals and organizations which are supporting and training jihadis in America,” Guandolo said.

Guandolo said former FBI director Robert Mueller testified to Congress that he was unaware that the Islamic Society of Boston was the organization behind the radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers. “That tells you all we need to know about the FBI’s leadership about the threat here in America from the Islamic Movement—they are clueless,” he said.

The Newburgh Deception: HBO Documentary Whitewashes American Jihad Plot

 

By Andrew E. Harrod:

The Newburgh Sting will air Monday, July 21 on HBO.  This documentary concerns a 2009 FBI undercover operation against terrorist attacks upon New York area targets.  Viewers beware, though; this film ignores copious evidence of jihadist motivation in a tale of deprived individuals entrapped by zealous officials that discredits effective tactics against terror.

The documentary analyzes how four American Muslims undertook what they thought would be attacks against two Bronx synagogues and American military transport planes in a May 20, 2009 FBI sting.  The operation begins with FBI informant Shahed Hussain visiting Newburgh, New York’s Masjid Al-Ikhlas mosque undercover, where the apparently wealthy Hussain raised suspicions with persistent inquiries into jihad.  “Everybody here is straight,” however, so Al-Ikhlas imam Salahuddin Muhammad remained unconcerned.

Yet the film recounts how Hussain encountered in Al-Ikhlas’s parking lot, on June 13, 2008, James Cromitie, as described by court records, where his Muslim name, Abdul Rehman, also appears.  In the film, Cromitie falls prey not to talk of jihad, but rather to Hussain’s offer of $250,000, according to former FBI agent and ACLU policy analyst Mike German.  “They’re doing it for the money,” Cromitie likewise says on a surveillance tape in the film about the three plotters he recruits.  David Williams (“AKA DAOUD” in official documents), for example, liked “weed and women,” according to his aunt.  He merely became a “jailhouse Muslim” in order to avoid prison gangs and wanted money for his mother’s liver transplant operation.

These four plotters “certainly were not terrorists,” German judges, but ran afoul of FBI entrapment.  The “rules don’t apply anymore” at an FBI that after September 11, 2001, views the “entire Muslim community as suspect,” German criticizes.  “Some bad actors in every community” can appear, concurs Representative Keith Ellison, when authorities “channel a vast amount of law enforcement resources.”  Muslims are now merely the “new thing” after Communists in the 1950s and gang members in the 1990s.

Yet “Islam literally means peace,” Al-Ikhlas assistant imam Hamin Rashada says.  The “most beautiful thing that has ever come off the tongue” is the Koran, he adds, breaking into tears, to which terrorists are “only giving lip service.”  Zero American mosques have had terrorism links, Nihad Awad, from the unindicted terrorism financing co-conspirator Council on American-Islamic Relations, also assures.

Treating Muslims as “partners or as suspects” in law enforcement is the choice Salam al-Marayati from the equally radical Muslim Public Affairs Council outlines for authorities.  Marayati wanted “to push out surveillance as a law enforcement tactic…with effective partnership programs” at a June 2014 presentation of The Newburgh Sting.

Brief references to jihadist ideology appear in the documentary.  The Bronx synagogues are “good…excellent” targets for Cromitie because “I hate those…f—ing Jewish bastards.”  “This is jihad,” Hussain in turn stresses to Cromitie, and not just a matter of money.

Court records, however, give a far fuller account of why the four plotters’ entrapment defense failed both at trial and on appeal.  Cromitie wanted “to do something to America…to die like a shahid, a martyr” and “go to paradise,” he declared to Hussain after initiating contact with him on June 13, 2008.  “In all his prior encounters as an informant,” Hussain “had never heard anything like that before,” the prosecutor’s brief to the appeals court observed.

Read more at American Thinker

Also see:

FBI Recruiting From Islamic Terrorist Supporting Organization. Why?

PHOTOGRAPHS BY CALLIE SHELL / AURORA FOR TIME "...The bureau has come under fire from hard-line pundits, who charge that it is reaching out to American Muslim leaders sympathetic to extremists. "They are providing an endorsement of these individuals, which enhances their credibility," says Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank in Philadelphia.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY CALLIE SHELL / AURORA FOR TIME
“…The bureau has come under fire from hard-line pundits, who charge that it is reaching out to American Muslim leaders sympathetic to extremists. “They are providing an endorsement of these individuals, which enhances their credibility,” says Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank in Philadelphia.

By Dave Gaubatz:

I receive internal emails from the ADAMS Center, ADAMS CENTER ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION SITE  The Executives of the ADAMS Center are very closely aligned with CAIR National.  CAIR Executives often flip flop and join one another’s terrorist supporting organization.  The ADAMS Center and CAIR National have previously been investigated and/or raided by the FBI.  Why would the FBI recruit from Islamic terror organzations for sensitive positions, such as FBI Special Agents and FBI Analysts.  The positions require a Top Secret clearance.
The answer is there is no good reason to recruit from terrorist organizations and supporters of terrorist.  FBI Special Agent Amylynn Errera, Washington Field Office sent the email to Farooq Syed, ADAMS Center.  Farooq then forwarded the email about FBI positions to members of their internal group of supporters.  I was provided a copy by a source.
The FBI sends these job opening to Islamic terror supporters, yet I would make a multi-million dollar bet that no one from the Tea Party, ACT For America, and dozens of other conservative groups are provided an up front notice of sensitive job positions in the FBI.  There are good people within the FBI, but the majority are not properly trained in regards to Islamic terrorism issues.  Then there are some who knowingly have relationships with organizations that pose a threat to our national security.
The ADAMS Center has previously been raided for their support of terrorism (RAID ON ADAMS CENTER).  I encourage readers to contact Special Agent Amylynn Errera and ask her why Islamic terror supporters (per the FBI’s own allegations) are being recruited for TOP SECRET positions within the FBI.  Her contact information is at the bottom of the email she sent to the ADAMS Center.
U.S. government employees are paid their salaries by American taxpayers.  They are not above the law and must answer to the American people.  Dave Gaubatz

Farooq Syed farooq_syed@yahoo.com [adams1] adams1-noreply@yahoogroups.com via returns.groups.yahoo.com 

Jul 17 (3 days ago)

to adams1
AsSalaamualaikum WaRahmatullahi WaBarakatahu,
—– Forwarded Message —–

The FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) has several immediate vacancies for full-time computer scientists (CS) working directly with our cyber squads.  The positions would be located ONLY at the Northern Virginia Resident Agency in Manassas, Virginia.

WFO’s cyber program is one of the most extensive and advanced within the FBI.  WFO CSs work alongside investigators to directly impact critical criminal and national security computer intrusion investigations.  Additional background details on the position are available at http://www.fbijobs.gov/cs.

The minimum requirements for this position are:

- Applicant must be a United States citizen
- Applicant must be able to obtain a Top Secret/SCI security clearance
- A bachelor’s degree in computer science
- Or any degree with 30 semester hours in a combination of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Fifteen of those hours must include differential and integral calculus.

More competitive applicants may have some of the following training/work experience:

- Computer forensics/investigations
- Computer security
- Internetworking (firewalls, gateways, routers, hubs, WANS, etc.)
- Computer networking administration
- Computer programming
- Computer network architecture/design
- Computer technical support
- Operating system administration
- Other high-tech computer experience

The starting GS level will depend heavily on the applicant’s educational and work experience, and can range from GS 7-12.

If interested, please email your resume to FBI-WFO SSA Matthew Braverman,matthew.braverman@ic.fbi.gov, by July 31.  If you have already submitted your resume for a CS position via USAJobs and not heard a response, please re-send your resume to SSA Braverman.

- Amy
SA Amylynn Errera
InfraGard co-coordinator, National Capital Region chapter
FBI / Washington Field Office / Northern Virginia Resident Agency

 

Prominent Islamists Blast NSA for Monitoring Emails

Nihad Awad, (r) founder and executive director of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Nihad Awad, (r) founder and executive director of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Surveillance of a handful of Islamists who been supportive of terror groups is hardly unjust or a persecution of all Muslim Americans.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A 45-member coalition — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities with extremist histories — is accusing the Obama and Bush Administrations of persecuting the entire Muslim-American community by monitoring the emails of five Muslims with links to terrorists.

The coalition is responding to a new report based on classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden. It focuses on the monitoring of five Muslim-American activists, including CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. The authors of the report are Glenn Greenwald, who has spoken for at least three CAIR fundraisers, and Murtaza Hussain.

The documents provide about 7,500 email addresses monitored by the U.S. government between 2002 and 2008. This is not a shocking number, especially considering the activists’ histories and that there are 2.75 million Muslim-Americans.

Of these, only 202 are listed as Americans and some of these are multiple accounts held by one user. The authors of the report were able to identify five activists who were being monitored.

The Director of National Intelligence said in a statement it is “entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights.”

Rather, before monitoring, an independent judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must be persuaded that there is strong enough evidence that the subject is linked to terrorism or under the control of a foreign power.

Public information, much of it cited by the authors, links each of the five to Islamist terrorists. The authors of the report admit they do not know what classified information the NSA and FBI is in possession of; nor do they have any evidence that the NSA failed to get a judge’s approval as required.

Yet, the monitoring of these five activists’ emails is depicted as a scandal by the authors of the report and the coalition, depicting this as an assault on the entire Muslim-American community. Further, the coalition includes groups with their own checkered histories like CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

There are very strong grounds to believe that the government has legitimate reasons for monitoring the five activists. They are as follows:

Read more at Clarion Project

Glenn Greenwald Enraged that Muslims with Terror Ties Under Surveillance

Screen-Shot-2014-07-09-at-1.03.34-PM-448x350by :

Glenn Greenwald and his fellow jihad-enabling “journalist” Murtaza Hussain on Wednesday published a major exposé, “Under Surveillance: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On,” about Muslim leaders who are being spied upon by the FBI and the NSA. The thrust of the article is that each one is as pure as the day is long, with the one sin of opposing U.S. government policies.

The idea, of course, that opposing U.S. government policies from the Left will get you placed under surveillance these days is beyond ridiculous: Obama’s IRS is targeting conservative groups, not Leftists, and claiming that “right-wing extremists” are a terror threat, with nary a word about genuinely violent Left-wing extremist groups such as the Occupy movement and others.

And so it is no surprise that Greenwald and Hussain make their case by glossing over the genuine reasons why the FBI and NSA have placed these men under surveillance — surveillance which, if it is still going on at this point, is sure to end now as a result of this article. The article highlights these five men, glossing over the very real reasons why surveillance is justified:

• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country….

Regarding Faisal Gill, Greenwald and Hussain write:

…After leaving the Navy, Gill worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council, which was founded by the political activist Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi to encourage participation by American Muslims in the political process. A Republican since high school, Gill joined the Bush Administration in the aftermath of 9/11, eventually moving to the White House Office of Homeland Security, where he briefly worked with Richard Clarke and obtained a top-secret security clearance. After roughly a year, he joined the Department of Homeland Security as a senior policy adviser, where he was cleared to access sensitive compartmented information, a classification level reserved for some of the nation’s most closely held secrets.

In 2003, al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty. Because Gill’s name had turned up in al-Amoudi’s papers, he was investigated by DHS security officials and asked not to report to work pending the outcome. He told investigators that he had met al-Amoudi only three or four times and didn’t work closely with him during his time at the American Muslim Council. After passing a polygraph test, Gill says, he was told by DHS that he was “good to go” and returned to work.

Greenwald and Hussain here establish the pattern of their entire piece: they leave out crucial details of the background of each of their supposed innocent victims of surveillance, thereby obscuring why they were put under surveillance in the first place. Faisal Gill worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council. He says that he only met Alamoudi a few times and didn’t work closely with him.

Very well. But Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention that, according to Discover the Networks, the plot to assassinate Abdullah involved “two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives,” and that he “ultimately pled guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization.”

So here is Faisal Gill, who was a consultant for a group founded and headed by a confessed senior al Qaeda financier. He hardly knew him — fine. He was cleared of any wrongdoing — fine. But is it not possible that Alamoudi or someone connected to him might try to contact Faisal Gill, and win this upstanding American patriot over to their side, or try to use him in some way? Is there not, then, a case for placing Faisal Gill under surveillance, given his association with a senior jihad terror financier?

Also, would Greenwald and Hussain be enraged if the FBI and NSA placed under surveillance someone who had worked as a consultant for a group headed by a senior Ku Klux Klan financier, even if the consultant had been cleared of any wrongdoing? I doubt it. Nor should they be.

Likewise with Asim Ghafoor:

In 2003, the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity, hired Ghafoor after its U.S. assets were frozen by the Treasury Department over claims that it funded terrorist operations. The government alleged that there were “direct links” between the U.S. branch of the charity and Osama bin Laden. Al Haramain had previously been represented by some of the biggest and most prestigious American law firms, including the D.C. powerhouse Akin Gump. Ghafoor’s work with Al Haramain led him to other controversial clients, including Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden who was the subject of FBI and CIA surveillance for years, as well as the government of Sudan.

This would seem to be enough in itself to keep Ghafoor under surveillance, in case one of his jihad terrorist clients gave out information that could stop a jihad terror attack. But there is more. Discover the Networks notes that “Asim Ghafoor was a political consultant, spokesman, and public relations director for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), which the U.S. government shut down in December 2001 because of the organization’s ties to terrorism….GRF is not the only organization with ties to terrorism with which Ghafoor has been involved. While he was with GRF, Ghafoor was also the spokesman for Care International. The December 6, 2002 Wall Street Journal reports: ‘Records indicate close ties between [Care International] and the Boston branch of Al Kifah Refugee Center, the Brooklyn branch of which was named by prosecutors as the locus of the 1993 conspiracy to bomb the World Trade Center.”

Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention any of that, of course. And their inclusion of Hooshang Amirahmadi is just bizarre. Greenwald and Hussain note that he “does not self-identify as a Muslim and describes himself as an atheist.” So why is he included in a piece entitled “Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On”? Apparently Greenwald and Hussain couldn’t find enough Muslim leaders whom they could even with the remotest plausibility portray as innocent victims of unwarranted surveillance, so they figured an Iranian atheist was close enough.

If a foe of jihad terror were that careless of the facts, Greenwald and Hussain would be among the first to pounce.

Read more at Front Page

Misleading Claims by Greenwald and New York Times on NSA/FBI Spying on American Muslims

867699397CSP, By Fred Fleitz:

The newest NSA document leaked by former NSA technician Edward Snowden indicates that NSA and FBI monitored the emails of seven prominent American Muslims.  While Snowden’s supporters are trying to spin this story as discrimination against Muslims and another case of illegal surveillance by NSA, such claims look far-fetched since this email monitoring took place with the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court and appeared to involve persons suspected of having links to Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and Iran.

This NSA document in question was described in an article in “The Intercept,” an online publication founded by Glenn Greenwald, a former London Guardian writer who facilitated most of Snowden’s leaks, and is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.  Greenwald is the co-author of the article.

The seven American Muslims named in Greenwald’s article are:

  • Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.
  • Samir Khan, an American Muslim who collaborated with al-Awaki and helped produce Inspire, an online al-Qaeda publication used by the Tsaranev brothers to construct the pressure-cooker bombs they detonated at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  Khan was killed by the same drone strike that killed Awaki.
  • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
  • Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Rutgers University professor who is president of the American Iranian Council.
  • Asim Ghafoor, a defense lawyer who has handled terrorism-related cases.
  • Faisal Gill, a former Department of Homeland Security lawyer who Greenwald says did legal work with Ghafoor on behalf of Sudan in a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorist attacks.
  • Agha Saeed, the national chairman of the American Muslim Alliance.

The NSA document listed 202 emails belonging to U.S. persons, 1,782 to non-U.S. persons and 5.501 listed as “unknown.”

Greenwald and the New York Times try to depict this surveillance as another example of the U.S. government spying on the American people in violation of the fourth amendment.  Both the Times and Greenwald suggest these men were monitored because they are Muslims.

Greenwald and the Times seem to recognize that government monitoring of the communications of al-Awlaki and Khan was a no-brainer.  For the other five, Greenwald says “it is impossible to know why their emails were monitored or the extent of the surveillance” and noted that they have not been charged with a crime.

But a closer look at Awad, Ghafoor, Gill, Saeed, and Amirahmadi suggests the government likely had good reasons to request court warrants to monitor their communications.

The Times said Awad’s CAIR organization is “a Muslim civil rights organization.”  However, the Times also notes that CAIR has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and in 2007 was an unindicted co-conspirator in its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity later convicted of providing material support for terrorism by funneling money to Hamas.

The Times described Saeed’s American Muslim Alliance as an organization “which supports Muslim political candidates.”  But Investor’s Business Daily reported on April 1, 2014 that Saeed’s American Muslim Alliance joined a coalition of other American Muslim organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – including CAIR – to launch their own political network to turn American Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc.

Greenwald’s article says Asim Ghafoor is an attorney hired in 2003 by the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity with alleged links to al-Qaeda, after its U.S. assets were frozen by the Treasury Department over claims that it funded terrorist operations.  According to the article, Ghafoor and al-Haramain sued the U.S. government and were awarded damages over government eavesdropping on Ghafoor’s attorney-client communications with al-Haramain.  The damages were later dropped on appeal.   According to Greenwald, Ghafoor claims the government monitored his communications “because of his name, his religion, and his legal work.”

Greenwald provides some idea as to about why Faisal Gill’s communications were monitored: he was a consultant for the American Muslim Council, a group founded by Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi who pleaded guilty in 2004 on financial and conspiracy charges for being a senior financier for Al Qaeda. He is serving a 23-year prison sentence.  Greenwald says Gill may have had troubling ties to al-Amoudi.  According to the Greenwald article:

“In 2003, al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty. Because Gill’s name had turned up in al-Amoudi’s papers, he was investigated by DHS [Department of Homeland Security] security officials and asked not to report to work pending the outcome. He told investigators that he had met al-Amoudi only three or four times and didn’t work closely with him during his time at the American Muslim Council. After passing a polygraph test, Gill says, he was told by DHS that he was “good to go” and returned to work.”

Hooshang Amirahmadi is a former candidate for the Iranian presidency with ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Iranian government.

Greenwald does not know the U.S. government’s justification for requesting court warrants to monitor the communications of Awad, Ghafoor, Gill, Saeed, and Amirahmadi.  He therefore does not know whether these men were collaborating in some way with foreign terrorist organizations or Iran.  However, since Greenwald knew about their suspicious affiliations, it was extremely dishonest for him to claim these are innocent American Muslims targeted by for illegal NSA and FBI electronic surveillance merely because of their ethnicity and religion.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy and Chief Analyst with LIGNET.com.

Obama’s FBI Director James Comey: “I Just Didn’t Appreciate” Terrorism Was Still Such a Threat

james-comey-afp

Breitbart, by THOMAS ROSE:

Recently installed FBI Director James Comey tells The New York Times that his plans to refocus the bureau’s attention back toward prosecuting criminals and away from terrorism were made before he realized just how serious the terrorist threat facing the US really is.

It was only after seeing the top-secret intelligence that was unavailable to him while he was publicly opposing things like the NSA’s surveillance program that, Comey says, he realized the tide of war is not “receding” as fast as President Obama has repeatedly claimed, if it is even receding at all.

Al-Qaeda, Comey says, is very much alive and growing in new and more dangerous places around the world. “I just didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job,” he tells the Times, “just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are much stronger than I appreciated.”

Therefore, says Comey, the FBI’s traditional emphasis on criminal prosecutions will continue to take a back seat as the agency intensifies its focus on counter-terrorism.

There was no indication in the front-page piece by Michael S. Schmidt as to whether or not President Obama, who nominated Comey after delivering a high-profile speech in which he said the country needs to “move off” its wartime footing, had undergone a similar change in his assessment of the terror threat, or even was availing himself of the same intelligence reports.

Nor was there any discussion in the nearly 3000-word article about how Comey’s public statements about his beliefs now break from the President’s repeated assurances that America is more secure and terrorism less a threat than it was before he took office. Comey contradicts the President directly when he says that America’s enemies are more emboldened in their hatred towards the US and operate more freely in more parts of the world.

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.