Pulitzer Prize Winner David K. Shipler Hawks the “Protocols of the Elders of the Anti-Islam Movement” in The New Yorker

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 13, 2015:

A document entered into court evidence by Justice Department prosecutors in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, and later cited affirmatively by the federal judge in the case and cleared by the federal appeals court, would seem an unlikely target for a former journalist to try to spin a conspiratorial tale around, namely slandering others of hawking a racist/’Islamphobic’ “Protocols of the Elders of Islam.”

And yet that is what David K. Shipler, a former New York Times reporter and winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize, is now trying to do.

512R2aJ0iLLClearly upset that so-called “Islamophobes” have been successful using the document – again, discovered by the FBI, submitted into the evidence by federal prosecutors and approved as genuine by the federal court – to expose the Muslim Brotherhood roots of some of America’s largest Islamic organizations, Shipler wields his “Islamophobia” harpoon like Ahab at his “anti-Islam industry” Moby Dick.

He makes his dubious case in a new book out this week, entitled “Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword” (Alfred A. Knopf), which includes an entire chapter on the subject, and summarizes it in an article published on Tuesday in The New Yorker, “Pamela Geller and the Anti-Islam Movement.” The book received a very lukewarm review in the New York Times this past Sunday.

In the New Yorker article, Shipler claims:

Virtually all the alarm over the coming Islamic takeover and the spread of Sharia law can be traced back to an old document of questionable authority and relevance, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” Dated May 22, 1991, it was found in 2004 by the F.B.I., buried in one of a large number of boxes uncovered during a search of a house in northern Virginia. (I reported on the discovery and the use of the document for my book “Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword.”) It is cited on numerous Web sites, and in articles, videos, and training materials, which quote one another in circular arguments. Its illusion of importance was enhanced by federal prosecutors, who included it in a trove of documents introduced into evidence in the 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charitable organization ultimately convicted of sending money to Hamas.

The memo, however, is far from probative. It was never subjected to an adversarial test of its authenticity or significance. Examined closely, it does not stand up as an authoritative prescription for action. Rather, it appears to have been written as a plea to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership for action, by an author we know little about, Mohamed Akram. He is listed elsewhere as a secretary in the Brotherhood, but he writes in the tone of an underling. Islam watchers do not quote his appeal that the recipients “not rush to throw these papers away due to your many occupations and worries. All that I’m asking of you is to read them and to comment on them.” These lines reveal the memo as a mere proposal, now twenty-four years old. No other copies have come to light.

Two features of the memo are highlighted by the Islam watchers: first, its assertion that “the Ikhwan [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, second, “a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” [emphasis added]

What’s remarkable about Shipler’s treatment of the Explanatory Memorandum in his article and in his book is how much he is willing to quickly dismiss facts that completely undo his case, and pays no attention to the glaring contradictions he ends up wrapping himself trying to debunk the document. At major points he contradicts himself. He breezes over the mountain of evidence that he has to overcome, but that means he can’t plead ignorance of it. One is only left with the conclusion that he’s being intentionally mendacious.

I beg the reader’s indulgence, for I will quote lengthy passages and on occasions paste screenshots from the court documents themselves so you know I’m not engaged in anything dodgy. Tellingly, most of these quotes never appear in Shipler’s book, and if so, only selectively edited form.

So let’s start with the evidence.

The document he is trying to cast doubts on is known generally as the “Explanatory Memorandum,” but it’s actual title is, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America.” The document is dated May 22, 1991 and was entered into evidence as “Elbarasse Search – 3″ by federal prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial in 2008.

Helpfully, the federal court overseeing the case in an unusual move posted the trial evidence on their own website. The Explanatory Memorandum and the FBI translation of the document can be found here.

At this point, we can turn to what the Justice Department said in federal court about the Explanatory Memorandum. In one court filing, available on the ACLU’s website, federal prosecutors state (p. 12):

The evidence introduced at trial, for example, established that ISNA and NAIT were among those organizations created by the U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood.8 Govt. Exh. 3-64 (seized from the home of HAMAS leader Ismail Elbarasse); Govt. Exh. 3-3 (Muslim Brotherhood document noting that ISNA was founded by the US-Muslim Brotherhood) ; Govt. Exh. 3-85 (1991 memorandum authored by U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council member Mohamed Akram Adlouni, recognizing ISNA and NAIT as Muslim Brotherhood organizations.) Government’s Exhibit 3-85, entitled An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group, described the Brotherhood’s strategic goal as a kind of “grand Jihad”:

The Ikhwan must understand that their role 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 is made victorious…. [emphasis added]

So the Justice Department states that:

1) Two Islamic organizations – the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) – were created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (based on other trial evidence as well as the Explanatory Memorandum);

2) The Explanatory Memorandum was authored by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council member Mohamed Akram Adlouni;

3) That the memo describes the Brotherhood’s strategic goal as “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western Civilization from within.”

Now please note that these claims were not made by “Pamela Geller and the Anti-Islam Movement” but the Justice Department in a federal court filing. He can tilt at all of the “anti-Islam” windmills he wants, but fundamentally he still has to explain away the court evidence.

And as stated earlier, much to the consternation of Shipler, the federal court agreed in a published opinion with the Justice Department’s analysis of the document when Judge Jorge Solis ruled on motions from three separate organizations named as unindicted co-conspirators in the trial – ISNA, NAIT, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – asking to be removed from the Justice Department’s co-conspirator list. The judge’s ruling against removing the groups from the unindicted co-conspirator list was unsealed in 2010.

In that ruling, Judge Solis states (p. 15):

Government Exhibit 3-85 is titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” authored by Mohamed Akram of the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood and dated May 22, 1991. (Gov’t Ex. 3-85 (Elbarasse 3) at 21.) The “Explanatory Memorandum” includes a section titled “Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America,” which states that the work of the Ikhwan in the United States 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 is made victorious over all other religions.” (Id.)Also contained in that document is a list of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “organizations and the organizations of our friends,” which includes ISNA, NAIT, the Occupied Land Fund (“OLF”) (HLF’s former name), and the United Association for Studies and Research (“UASR”). (Id. at 32.)

So Judge Solis found that:

1) The Explanatory Memorandum was authored by Mohamed Akram of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council;

2) That the document describes the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western Civilization from within”;

3) That the document lists the Muslim Brotherhood’s “organizations and the organizations of our friends,” including ISNA and NAIT.

At this point Shipler laughably believes he has room to maneuver. In the New Yorker article and in his book, he makes three general claims:

1) That the judge blindly accepted the Justice Department’s argument about the origins and importance of the memo and never allowed adversarial challenges to its provenance;

2) That the Explanatory Memorandum was admitted as hearsay, meaning that the groups named in the memo were never allowed to challenge in court;

3) That the judge failed to distinguish between the memo’s list of “our organizations” and “the organizations of our friends.”

Let’s take these in order.

1) Judge Solis accepted the Justice Department’s description of the Explanatory Memorandum unquestioningly and never allowed adversarial challenges.

In discussing the order by Judge Solis in response to the motions of the three Islamic organizations, Shipler states in his book (p. 190):

CAIR and two other groups moved to have themselves removed from the list of unindicted co-conspirators, but the effort backfired and gave Islam watchers more ammunition. Not only was their motion denied by Judge Jorge Solis, who presided over the retrial, conviction, and sentencing of the five Holy Land Foundation defendants (the first trial had ended in a hung jury). He also accepted the government’s assertions by citing the seized Elbarasse documents, including the Explanatory Memorandum, without testing their accuracy in an adversarial proceeding. He did not distinguish between the memo’s list of “our organizations” and “the organizations of our friends.” He ruled, “The Government had produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA [Islamic Society of North America], and NAIT [North American Islamic Trust] with HLF [Holy Land Foundation], the Islamic Association of Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” [emphasis added]

Remarkably, Shipler contradicts himself just a few pages later, quoting a defense attorney for the Holy Land Foundation defendants who said that the Elbarasse documents had, in fact, been challenged by the defense team (p. 198):

The defense team lodged vigorous objections to the introduction of this and the other documents from the Elbarasse search, and two attorneys on the defense team, Nancy Hollander and Marlo Cadeddu, scoffed at Guandolo’s statement. “There was no such stipulation by the defense,” said Cadeddu. “Nor would we ever have stipulated to any such thing. Any claims to the contrary are simply untrue.” Indeed, after the five Holy Land officials and fund-raisers were convicted, their lawyers argued specifically, in an unsuccessful appeal to the Fifth Circuit, that the trial judge had erred in admitting the documents, which the attorneys branded hearsay, irrelevant to the charge that the defendants had funneled money to Hamas. [emphasis added]

At this point, observant readers are no doubt confused. By Shipler’s own admission, the Elbarasse documents, including the Explanatory Memorandum, were subject to challenges on both the trial court and appellate levels. Both sides briefed the court, and judge and the appeals court panel ruled on the merits of their arguments. These are what as generally known as “adversarial proceedings,” much as Shipler claims never occurred. It’s not clear exactly then what Shipler was expecting. An entirely separate trial over the Explanatory Memorandum? With his own damning acknowledgement of these defense team challenges, we can only conclude that he’s being duplicitous, or really, really thick.

But that’s not all. During the trial one of the investigators in the Holy Land case, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns, twice mentioned the Explanatory Memorandum (trial transcript 09/28/2008 at p. 21, 10/07/2008 at p. 71).

Read more at PJ Media

Also see:

The Watchman Show: World on Fire

jihad 2Terrorism experts Erick Stakelbeck, Patrick Poole and Ryan Mauro to discuss Iran, ISIS, Yemen and Syria–and why it matters for Americans.

Foiled Attack On Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

An alleged Islamist was arrested as officials said the attack was 'imminent'

An alleged Islamist was arrested as officials said the attack was ‘imminent’

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, April 22, 2015:

France nearly averted a major terror attack in Paris over the weekend after the suspect inadvertently shot himself in the leg and police discovered plans in his car to attack churchgoers leaving church on Sunday, news reports this morning indicate.

However, the unnamed suspect was already known to French intelligence agencies and had previously been subject to police surveillance, making this yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism.
The New York Times reports:

A 24-year-old computer science student suspected of planning an imminent attack on at least one church and of involvement in the murder of a woman was taken into custody in Paris over the weekend, the French authorities said on Wednesday.

The student was arrested on Sunday, and the police found heavy weapons, handguns, ammunition and bulletproof vests in his home and car, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Mr. Cazeneuve did not identify the student, nor the church or churches that he was believed to be targeting.

“Detailed documents were also found, establishing without any doubt that the individual was planning an imminent attack, most likely against one or two churches,” Mr. Cazeneuve said. “That attack was avoided on Sunday morning.”

But The Guardian adds based on a Le Monde article that the subject was already on the French intelligence radar:

Le Monde said the man had settled in France in 2009. Cazeneuve said he had been under surveillance since 2014 when he made it known he wished to go to Syria to join jihadis there. He disappeared in February this year and was found to have spent a week in Turkey. He was arrested, briefly held, and given a warning on his return, but his profile was not thought to justify further action beyond circulating a security warning.

“Our country, like other European countries, is facing a terrorist threat that is unusual in its nature and size. Our vigilance and our determination are absolute and constant,” the minister added.

But events just in the past month have repeatedly shown that their vigilance is far from “absolute and constant.”

As I reported here at PJ Media back in January, the Kouachi brothers who massacred 11 people and wounded another 11 in an attack on the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper were already known to French authorities.

Cherif Kouachi had been arrested and sentenced to prison back in 2005 for his role in helping send fighters to Iraq to attack coalition soldiers. At the time of the attack, he was on both the US and UK terror watch lists. It was later reported that Said Kouachi had been subject to surveillance orders since 2011 after he had returned from terror training in Yemen, but that the surveillance on Said had been stopped in June 2014 – just six months before the attack – because he had deemed no longer dangerous by security services, and the surveillance had been stopped at the end of 2013 on Cherif because authorities believed he had disengaged from “violent extremism.”

Then again, as I reported here in February, a man who stabbed three French police officers standing guard outside a synagogue in Nice had just been deported from Turkey back to France a week before the attack because he was believed to be en route to join ISIS in Syria.

French authorities are not alone in these “known wolf” failures. When I first identified the “known wolf terrorism” phenomenon back in October, it was after two separate terror attacks in Canada in less than a week by two individuals already known to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and both had their passports revoked for fear they would leave the country for Syria to join terror groups there.

I noted too at the time that virtually all of the American Islamic terror cases since 9/11 involved “known wolf” attackers.

Here’s my reporting on “known wolf terrorism” syndrome:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

In January, I gave briefing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) on the “Known Wolf” terrorism:

And in February I conducted an interview with my friend and colleague Erick Stakelbeck on the phenomenon:

Even the New York Times picked up the term in March, if only to try to explain away the failures of law enforcement. The term was also used when London Mayor Boris Johnson slammed the UK Home Secretary for dropping surveillance orders on Mohammed Emwazi, who has been featured in ISIS videos beheading Western prisoners.

Even well-paid US terrorism consultants are trying to cash in by suddenly discovering the “known wolf” terrorism problem:

The Soufan Group, a New York think tank, said a better term for “lone wolves” would be “known wolves”, given how many are already known to Western intelligence agencies before they strike.

“These individuals, acting alone or in small groups … have been on the radar of various agencies and organisations, highlighting the difficulty of effectively monitoring and managing people at the nexus of criminality and terrorism,” it said in a report this week.

For the Soufan Group, the most serious threat came from people with known associations with radicals and a string of past offenses.

What makes these many instances of “known wolf” terrorism so tragic is that it is never a case of the subject falling off the radar of authorities, or escaping surveillance. In each and every case, they have been deliberately removed from the radar after clearly mistakenly being removed from law enforcement radar, or more amazingly, authorities have aware[ness] of the threat and did nothing out of indifference or incompetence.

As the case in Paris on Sunday shows, we can expect the “known wolf” terror problem by Western intelligence and law enforcement authorities to continue.

BOMBSHELL: Afghan Colonel Was Paid $250,000 to Kill US Air Force Personnel, Pentagon Cover-Up Ensued

Thomas Creal, lead accountant for Task Force 2010, in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. Creal, in the blue shirt, was part of a team tracking what he calls “black money” used by terrorists to conduct operations against the West. (Photo courtesy Thomas Creal)

Thomas Creal, lead accountant for Task Force 2010, in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. Creal, in the blue shirt, was part of a team tracking what he calls “black money” used by terrorists to conduct operations against the West. (Photo courtesy Thomas Creal)

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On April 15, 2015:

A bombshell revelation has emerged in the incident responsible for the greatest US Air Force loss of life during the War on Terror and deadliest “green-on-blue” attack during the US involvement in Afghanistan. On April 27, 2011, Afghan Air Force Colonel Ahmad Gul gunned down eight US Air Force personnel and a civilian contractor inside the Afghan Air Force headquarters, including investigators who had just arrived in country to examine rampant corruption in the Afghan military.

Multiple Air Force and CENTCOM investigations claimed to find no motive for the attack, leaving the families of those killed with no answers. Now a senior US official has gone on the record claiming that a United Nations team tracked substantial payments to the killer and his family made days just prior to the incident.

These revelations appear in the season finale of For The Record that airs tonight at 8pm ET on The Blaze TV.

For the past year I have worked as a consultant with the For The Record documentary investigative team looking into the Kabul airport massacre and the Pentagon’s handling of the matter. Last November, I appeared in an episode of the program noting that the Pentagon’s multiple explanations for the attack didn’t match their own forensics. Here’s a trailer for that For the Record episode, “Insider Attack”:

A follow-up report on the Pentagon’s handling of the spike in “green-on-blue” incidents appeared in January after the killing of US Army Major General Harold Greene in August last year, the highest-ranking US official killed during the War on Terror, noting that US personnel who warned of a potential escalation of insider attacks were punished by their superiors:

Tonight’s For the Record episode includes an interview with one of the top US officials charged with combating illicit financing in Afghanistan who reveals the pay-offs made to Col. Ahmad Gul:

Sara Carter, senior investigative reporter for The Blaze, reported today on the stunning revelation that this official’s team tracked $250,000 in payments to the killer:

A final investigation by U.S. Central Command did find circumstantial evidence that Gul may have been involved in a criminal network, but that evidence was not pursued and a large portion of the investigation still remains classified, according to CENTCOM.

But a six-month investigation by For the Record suggests that Gul murdered the airmen at the behest of someone or a criminal network, according to numerous sources and military documents.

For the Record learned that a joint investigation conducted by then-U.S. Task Force 2010, charged at the time with tracing terror financing in Afghanistan and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, found that Gul had received a large deposit in a family bank account and that all of his debts were wiped clean just one week before the killings.

Thomas Creal, who served as the lead expert for Task Force 2010, investigated the killer’s finances and found evidence he says overwhelmingly points to Gul’s connection to criminal networks.

This report has never been made public.

“There was extensive corruption inside the Afghan military and investigations were cut short, hampered by ranking personnel at the State Department and military,” Creal said. “The insider killings don’t need to continue. We can take steps to mitigate these suicidal hits but we can’t do it if evidence is ignored.”

The Pentagon cover-up began almost immediately after the massacre, most likely to avoid embarrassing revelations of rampant corruption by our Afghan “allies”. The initial report had to be followed up by a second and third report after the lies in the first began to be challenged, including the first report’s claim that Gul had committed suicide after the attack, but was later have found to die from gunshot wounds to the chest from two different weapons.

And despite overwhelming evidence to the effect found in their own reports, the Pentagon claimed to find no conclusive evidence of Taliban involvement even though the terror group immediately claimed credit for the attack.

This resulted in bizarre reporting on the Pentagon’s findings, such as an Air Force Times article entitled, “Motive in Kabul shooting deaths remains elusive,” that reports:

Witnesses told investigators that Gul became increasingly radical in his religious views in the years leading up to the shooting and was deeply angry at the U.S. invasion of his home country — even saying on more than one occasion that he “wanted to kill Americans”

The Afghan shooter who smeared “God is one” in blood on the walls of the Afghan Air Force headquarters during the rampage a was a distinctly different man from several decades earlier.

According to testimony from those who knew Gul, in the late ‘80s, the Afghan native drank, liked to party and wasn’t terribly religious. But just a few years later, in about 1995, that changed when Gul started to follow the teachings of the Taliban.

He attended mosque for every prayer time and grew a beard. He also “developed an authoritarian approach when seeing other individuals that did not practice Islam to his liking,” according to one person who knew Gul at the time…

In 2006, Gul decided to move to Pakistan and started attending a local mosque, where he met an “unknown prominent figure” who is believed to have radicalized him. There were also rumors that Gul wanted to be a suicide bomber.

When Gul decided to move back to Afghanistan in 2008, people asked him why he would go back.

“[Gul] responded he ‘wanted to kill Americans,’” investigators said.

But the Pentagon concluded that his possible motive remained elusive.

More explosive details from this investigation will be revealed during tonight’s For the Record’s season finale episode, “Insider Attack: The Kabul Massacre,” at 8 p.m. ET onTheBlazeTV.

Also see:

Top U.S. Islamic Cleric Dr. Salah Soltan Sentenced to Death in Egypt

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On March 16, 2015:

A man once hailed as “one of the most respected Islamic scholars in the country” was sentenced to death today in an Egyptian court after being found guilty on charges of inciting murder.

Dr. Salah Soltan, a senior member of the international Muslim Brotherhood, lived and worked in the U.S. for more than a decade.

He is still listed as a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) on their organizational brochure.

Al-Ahram reports:

A Cairo criminal court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, and 13 other leading members of the group to death on Monday for inciting murder in the now infamous case known in the media as “Rabaa control room.”

The 14 convicted include Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan, former Kafr El-Sheikh governor Saad El-Hossainy and preacherSalah Sultan. The court has also set the date of 11 April to announce its verdict concerning other defendants in the case.

The court has referred the death sentences to Egypt’s Grand Mufti for revision. The referral of the sentences to the Mufti is the first step in the legal process required to enact a death sentence. The Mufti’s decision is not binding. However, following his decision the court will issue a final verdict. Once a final verdict is issued, defendants can appeal.

Badie and another 13 Brotherhood figures are convicted of setting up an operation after the violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya protest camp in mid-August in 2013 to direct the movements of Brotherhood supporters across the country as part of plans to defy the state and spread chaos, as well as plot attacks on police stations, private property and churches.

Soltan was arrested in September 2013 as he tried to flee to Sudan, and was charged with incitement to kill and attempted murder.

His son Mohamed, who has become a cause celebre for the American media and U.S. Islamic organizations, was also convicted in the current case and will be sentenced on April 11:

#freesolton

The story of Salah and Mohamed Soltan will not be unfamiliar to regular PJ Media readers.

Salah Soltan

Just last week, Mohamed Soltan was trying to paint himself in court as an innocent spectator swept up in the aftermath of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow. I noted here that multiple Western media reports at the time identified Mohamed as one of the top leaders organizing the violent Muslim Brotherhood protests in Cairo following Morsi’s removal from office.

Salah Soltan has also been the subject of several of my reports here at PJ Media going back to January 2009 when he appeared on Al-Nas TV threatening America with death and destruction for its support of Israel.

At the same time the elder Soltan was threatening America on Middle East TV, his son Mohamed was seen leading anti-Jewish genocidal chants in front of the Ohio Statehouse (as I reported here last week):

Salah Soltan was also a leading figure at the Muslim Brotherhood protests dispersed by Egyptian authorities in August 2013, even appearing on stage at the protest standing beside an al-Qaeda flag:

Soltan-beside-AQ-flag

Our late PJ Media colleague Barry Rubin noted here in August 2011 that Soltan had issued a fatwa in Egypt authorizing any Muslim to kill any Israeli that could be found in the country. He also took note of the media backlash I had received for reporting on Soltan’s extremist activities and open support for Islamic terrorism.

I followed up Barry’s report with my own observing everything I had written about Salah Soltan going back to my first report in April 2006. Despite all the attempts by the establishment media to paint him as an interfaith moderate, I chronicled a lengthy list of his activities:

  • Sultan leading a Hajj tour with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki following the 9/11 attacks (after Awlaki had been allowed to leave the country);
  • His appearance at a July 2006 pro-Hamas rally in Turkey featuring leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the prime minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh;
  • Sultan’s attendance at a July 2007 conference in Doha, Qatar, where he shared the speaker dais with the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, and Yousef al-Qaradawi;
  • The cancellation of his TV program in Bahrain by the that government (whom he worked for at the time!);
  • The L.A. Times article that identified Salah Sultan by name as a “controversial Sunni figure”, among those “glorifying holy war” and “sharing the outlook of Al-Qaeda” causing trouble in Bahrain;
  • His interview with the official Muslim Brotherhood website following the November 2008 elections where he claimed that Jews assassinated President Kennedy and advocating Islamic theocracy in U.S. elections;
  • His December 2008 appearance on Egyptian Al-Nas TV (which I reported on here at PJM) warning of the imminent destruction of the U.S., invoking notorious Islamic hadith calling for the extermination of the Jews by Muslims, and citing approvingly the Protocols of the Elders of Zion;
  • His March 2010 interview on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, where he invoked the blood libel claiming that Jews make their Passover matzos with the blood of non-Jews;
  • His leading a crowd in cheering fires in Israel that had claimed the lives of dozens of Israelis in December 2010;
  • And following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, in an article published on the Muslim Brotherhood website he lauded bin Laden as a warrior who “had raised the banner of jihad for the sake of Allah and had served a lofty goal,” and stating that U.S. “terrorism” was greater than bin Laden’s.

A year later, Salah Soltan was a senior member of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. As I reported here in August 2012, Soltan could be seen in his new role visiting with a number of U.S.-designated terrorists and Islamic extremists across the Middle East.

Those who have followed my reporting here and elsewhere on Salah and Mohamed Soltan know that my continued interest in their activities was not merely academic, as the pair were my former neighbors in my hometown of Hillard, Ohio.

The elder Soltan even served as religious director of our local mosque, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center.

That story was covered in the 2-part documentary by The Blaze titled The Project. My PJ Media colleague Andrew McCarthy and I were interviewed:

When Mohamed Soltan burned down their family home in Hilliard as part of a staged “Islamophobic” hate crime in January 2012, Soltan repeatedly cited in sworn testimony that my writings, that documentary, and Erick Stakelbeck’s October 2007 CBN News report on their presence here incited the arson. Here’s that 2007 CBN News report:

And yet court documents in a later civil case indicate that investigators fingered the younger Soltan for the crime, and he fled the U.S. for Egypt in February 2013 as investigators were looking to question him further on his role in the fire.

Now, nearly a decade into this saga, I expect that no apologies will be forthcoming from the various media outlets and local figures who publicly attacked me for reporting on this, including our local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch.

The establishment media needs to be more forthcoming in reporting on extremism inside the Muslim community. Salah Soltan, now sentenced to death for his crimes, was not some marginal figure in the American Muslim community, but one of its leaders. And those organizations that continued to support him in the face of the mountain of evidence compiled over the years should be subject to some hard questions. But I’m not holding my breath.

Terrorism expert Patrick Poole discusses the latest on threats from ISIS and other extremist groups operating in the American heartland

 

Also see Poole’s latest at PJ Media: The Lies Behind #FreeSoltan: No, Mohamed Soltan Is NOT a ‘Humanitarian Activist’

Why Was ISIS Terror Operative Nihad Rosic Arrested in Plainfield, Indiana?

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, March 2, 2015:

Six individuals of Bosnian origin from St. Louis, Rockford, Illinois and Utica, New York, were indicted last month on charges of supplying money and equipment to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

And yet late last week it was revealed that one of those terror suspects, Nihad Rosic, who is also one of two suspects additionally charged with conspiring to kill and maim others in a foreign country and had attempted to board a plane back in July 2014 to fly to Syria to join ISIS, had actually been apprehended in the small town of Plainfield, Indiana, right outside Indianapolis.

As the Indianapolis Star reported on Friday:

A Bosnian national indicted on charges of funneling resources to terrorists overseas was arrested earlier this month in Plainfield, officials confirmed Friday, but it was unclear why the man was in Indiana.

U.S. marshals booked Nihad Rosic, 26, in the Marion County Jail on Feb. 6, jail records show, though his connections to the state appear to be minimal.

A federal indictment alleges that Rosic and five others communicated on social media with coded language to organize financial support and send equipment to terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq.

Jan Diltz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, where the indictment was handed up, said she doesn’t know why Rosic was in Indiana.

While at first glance it may seem odd that Plainfield, Indiana might be a haunt for an international terror operative for perhaps the most dangerous Islamic terrorist group in the world today, it perhaps might be more clear when considering that Plainfield is the headquarters the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the most terror-tied Islamic organizations in American history.

As one former federal law enforcement official told me this weekend, if Rosic was not in Plainfield related to ISNA it would be an “extreme coincidence bordering on the unbelievable.”

ISNA’s ties to terrorism go back even before it’s founding in the early 1980s when the organization was operating in the Indianapolis area as an amalgam of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, including the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Teaching Center (ITC) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). I’ve previously reported on the MSA’s extensive terrorist lineup here at PJ Media.

Two of the visitors to the area in those early days included Al-Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam and his protege, Osama bin Laden.

According to a book published by Bin Laden’s first wife, Najwa, the Al-Qaeda leaders and the Bin Laden family visited the U.S. for two weeks in 1979 with stops in Los Angeles, and yes, Indianapolis. A clue why Bin Laden and Azzam might have been in the area might be an ITC newsletter dated February 1978 I uncovered that documents a previous visit to their Indianapolis offices in January of that year by Azzam and several other well known extremist Islamic clerics. ITC now operates as a subsidiary of ISNA.

From its earliest days ISNA was a hub for international Islamic terrorists. Terrorist figures associated with ISNA include:

  • Al-Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi, who started ISNA’s political action committee in November 1988, who was convicted in 2004 for his role in an international assassination plot targeting then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. In 2005, the US Treasury Department admitted that Alamoudi had operated as one of the top Al-Qaeda fundraisers in North America.
  • Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, one of ISNA’s self-admitted founders, was convicted in 2006 for his role in supporting the terrorist organization and was deported from the U.S. last month. Prior to his indictment, Al-Arian was deeply involved in numerous ISNA activities and organizations, and was a regular speaker at the ISNA annual conferences.
  • Pakistani intelligence agent Ghulam Nabi Fai, who not only worked for ISNA but also served for years on ISNA’s shura council, was convicted in 2012 for failing to disclose nearly $4 million he had received from the Pakistani ISI intelligence service to influence members of Congress on behalf of the Muslim separatist cause in Kashmir (I reported on Fai’s operation in a two-part series here at PJ Media, noting that Fai spoke at ISNA’s annual convention two weeks before his arrest). Fai’s co-conspirator, Zaheer Ahmad, reportedly met with both Bin Laden and Zawahiri just weeks before 9/11 to discuss their weapons of mass destruction program. As reported in an in-depth ProPublica expose of Fai’s activites, not only was Fai working for Pakistani intelligence at the same time he was working for ISNA, but key ISNA figures and affiliates helped start his Kashmir American Center.
  • As I reported exclusively here at PJ Media in September 2012, one speaker featured at ISNA’s 2001 annual conference held just days prior to the 9/11 attacks was Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. For years Awlaki’s ISNA speech had been cited, but we were the first to actual provide the video to the Al-Qaeda operative’s ISNA conference talk.
  • One other senior terror leader with deep ties to ISNA is current Hamas deputy head Mousa Abu Marzook. I’ll elaborate on the ISNA/Hamas ties below, but will note here that when Marzook was arrested in the U.S. in 1995 and designated a global terrorist by the Clinton administration, and was later deported in 1997, Marzook took out an advertisement in the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs thanking his supporters, including ISNA:

isna-marzook-web

In October 2014, Mohammed Hamzah Khan was arrested trying to board a flight to travel to Turkey to join ISIS. According to postings on Khan’s Instagram account, he had attended ISNA’s annual convention held in Detroit less than a month before.

But ISNA’s role in the international Islamic terror network isn’t just associational. Rather, they have taken a much direct role in supporting international terrorism.

According to forms filed with the IRS, ISNA provided $170,000 in start-up funds for the Islamic African Relief Association (IARA), which was designated a global terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury in October 2004 for supporting Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, and other Islamic terrorist organizations. Exhibits entered into trial evidence in court by federal prosecutors showed extensive payments from ISNA to IARA over the years in increments of tens of thousands of dollars. According to the Justice Department, IARA sent at least $130,000 to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Another ISNA-supported Islamic terror charity was the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA). As reported by Thomas Jocelyn at the Weekly Standard, German investigators found transactions between ISNA and TWRA in 1992 at the same time that TWRA was financing the US-based terror cell that conducted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned “Day of Terror” attacks targeting New York City landmarks.

Despite evidence of ISNA’s support of a long list of Islamic charities tagged by the US government and the United Nations as terrorist organizations, ISNA’s most notorious role in supporting international terrorism came up in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history in the successful prosecution of the executives of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) for supporting Hamas.

Not only did HLF receive ISNA’s longtime support, but it began as the Occupied Land Fund as an arm of ISNA operated out of the group’s Plainfield headquarters.

ISNA was named unindicted co-conspirator in the case, and extensive documentation entered into trial evidence by federal prosecutors (available on the Texas federal court’s website) shows that even after HLF was spun off of ISNA, the money transferred by the HLF to Hamas actually was moved by ISNA and the ISNA-affiliated North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and payments made directly by ISNA to Hamas officials, including Mousa Abu Marzook.

So intertwined was ISNA in conspiracy by the international Muslim Brotherhood to finance Hamas, in one court filing federal prosecutors lay out ISNA’s role in providing “media, money and men” to Hamas (page 13 in the file):

DOJ-ISNA-NAITsm

The federal judge in the case, Jorge Solis, agreed with the prosecutors about ISNA’s role, stating in a ruling that was later unsealed that there was “ample evidence” that ISNA and other US Muslim Brotherhood groups had supported Hamas.

ISNA’s terror support was even profiled by Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR in a 2003 two-part series entitled “Images in Conflict“:

 

 

But if it is the case that ISIS operative Nihad Rosic was in Plainfield meeting with ISNA officials it is highly unlikely that the Justice Department would ever admit to it since ISNA has been the closest Islamic group to the Obama White House.

That’s right, despite what federal prosecutors have said in federal court about ISNA’s role in supporting international terrorism, its ties to convicted terror leaders and supporting designated global terrorist organizations, and even Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez under the Bush administration cancelling meetings because of the presence of ISNA officials, as I noted here at PJ Media in the early days of this administration, ISNA has been openly embraced by the Obama White House.

In 2013, Obama even provided a video greeting to open ISNA’s annual convention:

 

So what is the connection between Nihad Rosic and ISNA, and why exactly was he arrested in Plainfield, Indiana? Most likely federal authorities will never say, but an educated guess about the possible involvement of ISNA given their lengthy track record on these types of activities is hardly out-of-order.

Sharia Court in Texas: What Could Go Wrong?

By Patrick Poole:

Yesterday I was interviewed by the Glenn Beck Show on Blaze TV following up from Glenn’s interview on Monday with two of the imams responsible for the sharia court that they’re opening up in Dallas, Texas.

A sharia court in Texas? What could possibly go wrong? Well, I can think of a few things…

In this segment of Glenn’s interview with the imams, Taher El-Badawi claims that cutting off heads is not just something they do in Islam, but it’s practiced everywhere, including the US (!!!), and that cutting off hands for theft in America would be economical:

 

Taher : We are ready for any point to discuss with, but the main point here, the reason we are here to discuss this issue what kind of cases Islamic tribunal handle, and you start with the sharia. Why the people afraid from sharia? I’m sorry to say it, one point related to this, cut head is not just in sharia law, just in Islamic law. It’s everywhere. Who said that just in Islamic law? That’s even another sharia, in Jewish sharia, in Christian sharia, in American here, we cut we cut head for some reason.

So, I’m asking you an easy question, if anyone kill another, he should get killed by law, by Islamic law, by government. He should get killed. What is wrong with that? If a thief jump, I’m sorry, to your house, scare your wife, scare your children, scare your neighbor, and they did that with our stores, this is the law, the law to cut his hand because if he feels my hands were cut because of that, he will think about this 100 times. He will never do it. If he do that one time, he will never do it again.

Look how many millions of dollars American here or other states or other states outside spend to keep the criminal in jail, a lot of millions of dollars. We can save that, just let him go, and that’s it, because he did something wrong in the whole community and this kill the whole community. Why not?

OK, then…

One of the other important issues covered my interview was about the imam’s claims that the court will only handle “family issues, includes manners, behavior characters, including marriage divorces, including inheritance law…”.

Contrary to sharia apologists, these courts are not just about whether you pray five times a day or which foot you enter a bathroom with. It is precisely where U.S. family law conflicts with Islamic law that is one of the greatest concerns some have with the establishment of sharia courts in the US.

In 2013, the BBC program Panorama went undercover in sharia courts operating in the UK and found systematic discrimination against women in these courts and regularly telling women suffering from domestic violence not to go to police against UK public policy.

You can view the full Panorama program here:

 

When Glenn asked whether divorces by U.S. courts would be recognized, the imam admitted that women would also need to get an Islamic divorce, and that her US court divorce would not be recognized if she traveled to Islamic countries (the imam specifically mentions US ally, Jordan). So US civil law, even by their own admission, isn’t recognized by Islamic law, here or abroad.

And what about the testimony of women in Islamic court? The imams tried to brush it off that it only related to financial transactions, but you only need to go to the IslamQA website where they defend the principle that the testimony of women isn’t the same as that of men.

As I noted in my own interview, a 2011 survey of Middle East countries by UNICEF found only in Tunisia and Oman (one could also add here Israel) is the testimony of women fully admitted in all judicial proceedings. In most Middle Eastern countries, a woman’s testimony is regularly limited in family and financial matters. This is hardly a secret.

I recall the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Barack Obama’s favorite US Islamic group, used to publish a ruling on their website by one of the top Islamic jurists in the US expressly forbidding Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men, saying “It is better to a slave, bondsman than get married to a non-Muslim.”

After the ruling was pointed out by sharia critics, ISNA removed it from its website, but it still can be found at Web Archive.

fiqh

Among the more laughable claims the imams made in their interview is that you need an Islamic state led by a caliph to implement penal “hudud” punishments (meaning therefore that no one is actually implementing Islamic law anymore), and that Saudi Arabia is not governed by Islamic law.

One only need look at the implementation of sharia in Islamic-majority countries around the world, and enshrining sharia as the ultimate source of their law codes in their respective constitutions, to see they have no problem implementing sharia in the absence of a recognized caliph or an Islamic state.

And Saudi Arabia isn’t governed by Islamic law? Really? [insert laugh track]

In my interview I noted that you can walk into practically any mosque or Islamic bookstore and pick up books like Mohamed S. El-Awa’s “Punishment in Islamic Law,” which is published by American Trust Publications, the publishing arm of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which owns and operates hundreds of mosques around the country. In El-Awa’s book, you find helpful advice on: “How the hand should be cut off (Makan al-Qati’),” “Stoning as punishment (al-Rajm),” “Flogging (al-Jald),” and “The Death Penalty (al-Ta’zir bil-Qatl).”

The same is true for another manual of Islamic law from the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence published in America – translated in English and approved by many global Islamic authorities – called “Reliance of the Traveller (sic).” Book O is dedicated to “Jihad,” and they don’t mean “internal struggle.” Again, these are books marketed directly to American Muslims.

And let’s not forget the imam last July, as reported by Reuters, who tried to cut off the hand of one of the mosque attendees accused of stealing. But this wasn’t Cairo, Tehran or Riyadh. This happened in Philadelphia. Did this imam misunderstand Islam?

Read more at PJ Media

The Rise of Jihadist Attacks and the Fallacy of the “Lone Wolf” Terrorist

We are 13 years after 9/11 and our war fighters say we do not understand the ideas that are driving our enemies…it is criminal – somebody should be in jail! – Patrrick Poole

 

 

EMET –  The tragic attacks in Paris have been a disturbing climax to a consistent trend of violent attacks from radical Islamic terrorists. Preceding the events in Paris was a string of violent actions in just the past few months which included the murder of a soldier in Canada, the hostage situation in Australia, and the beheading of a woman in Nebraska. The media and several counter-terror experts have since coined the term ‘lone wolf’ in reference to the supposed random and independent nature of these attacks. In October 2014, Patrick Poole in turn coined the term ‘known wolf’ to describe these attackers, pointing out the fact that many of them have been known by authorities to have ties to terror organizations and criminal behavior. Please join us as we host Mr. Poole for a seminar in which he explains why the perpetrators of these attacks are in fact ‘known wolves,’ and why it is important to change the way in which we think about these kinds of perpetrators.

jpeg (1)Patrick Poole is a counter-terrorism and national security consultant. He is an internationally recognized subject matter expert on domestic terrorism and the global jihadist movement, and he has been actively involved in and served as a consultant on numerous terrorism cases.  Mr. Poole regularly briefs members of Congress and congressional staff, he has conducted lectures and training for numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and he has taught classes at the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Air Force Staff and Command College. His peer-reviewed research articles have appeared in the Middle East Review of International Affairs, the Journal of International Security Affairs and Middle East Quarterly. He also is a correspondent for PJMedia. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Mr. Poole splits his time between Ohio and Washington D.C.

***

Here is an article by Katie Gorka where she links to her white paper, “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” that Patrick Poole recommended.

Homeland Security Adviser Mohamed Elibiary Goes on Hate-Filled Anti-Christian Rant, Attacks Jindal as ‘Bottom Feeder’

By Patrick Poole:

Obama administration Muslim adviser Mohamed Elibiary is no stranger to regular PJ Media readers.

In September, Elibiary was unceremoniously removed from his fellowship position with the Department of Homeland Security, which he tried to spin as a “resignation,” but letters sent to members of Congress by DHS officials indicated he would not be reappointed.

Undoubtedly, one of the chief reasons for DHS cutting ties with Elibiary was a long string of extremist statements he had been making on Twitter, including talking about the inevitability of the return of an ISIS-style caliphate — tweets that were subsequently used by ISIS supporters for recruiting purposes.

But Elibiary has apparently not learned his lesson, engaging in a hate-filled anti-Christian rant on Twitter yesterday, even going so far to attack Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as a “bottom feeder”:

M. Elibiary

Nor, as you’ll see below, is this the first time he has indulged in his anti-Christian bigotry.

Before revisiting his Twitter meltdown, perhaps it’s useful to revisit some of Elibiary’s greatest hits:

  • Elibiary admitted that his mentor and long-time friend was none other than Hamas terrorist leader Shukri Abu Baker, who is currently serving a 65-year prison sentence.
  • In 2003, Elibiary was listed as a board member for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Dallas chapter, which was founded by now-convicted Hamas operative Ghassan Elashi. In 2008, federal prosecutors declared in a federal court brief that “from its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.”
  • In Dec 2004, Elibiary was a featured speaker at a Dallas rally honoring the Ayatollah Khomeini as a “Great Islamic Visionary,” an event the Dallas Morning News called a “disgrace.”
  • Immediately after the Fort Hood massacre in November 2009, Dallas Morning News editor Rod Dreher recounted Elibiary’s strident defense of jihadist ideologue Sayyid Qutb, whom the 9/11 Commission identified as the chief architect of Al-Qaeda’s ideology.
  • In April 2010, he published an op-ed at Fox News pleading with the Obama administration to not kill senior Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
  • In June 2010, he attacked the Supreme Court after they upheld the material support for terrorism statute in an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News.
  • In June 2011, the IRS revoked the 501c3 tax-exempt status of Elibiary’s Freedom and Justice Foundation for failing to file the required IRS Form 990s over a period of several years, documents which would reveal the source of his organization’s funding.
  • In October 2011, I reported exclusively here at PJ Media that Elibiary had downloaded sensitive documents by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety from a secure DHS database, and then unsuccessfully tried to shop them to the media claiming then-Gov. Rick Perry was running an “Islamophobic” operation. Despite multiple claims by top DHS officials that an internal investigation exonerated Elibiary, in Sept 2013 DHS admitted in response to the Judicial Watch FOIA request that no records related to any internal investigation existed, prompting members of Congress to claim DHS was engaged in a cover-up. Texas DPS, having conducted their own investigation, severed their relationship with Elibiary.
  • After 30 million Egyptians took to the streets to remove Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, leading to his ouster, Elibiary added a Muslim Brotherhood logo to his Twitter avatar in solidarity with the extremist Islamic group.
  • In November 2013, Elibiary took to Twitter to announce that the U.S. was a shariah-compliant Islamic country.

So that provides some context for his hate-filled Twitter rant yesterday.

Read more at PJ Media

Is the FBI Entrapping Innocent Muslims?

FBI-Agents-STING-OPERATIONSPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Jan. 27, 2015

Any of my regular readers here at PJ Media can attest, I am no fan of the FBI’s counter-terrorism programs. Recently, I’ve been writing about the FBI’s failures to catch “Known Wolf” terrorists – individuals who were already known to law enforcement prior to their acts of terror. So no one can accuse me of being an apologist for the bureau.

But an article yesterday in The Guardian entitled “Counter-terrorism is supposed to let us live without fear. Instead, it’s creating more of it” by two individuals currently promoting the screening of their film “(T)error” at the Sundance International Film Festival falsely claim the FBI is engaged in a deliberate effort to entrap innocent American Muslims.

Here’s the case they make:

While making our film (T)ERROR, which tracks a single counter-terrorism sting operation over seven months, we realized that most people have serious misconceptions about FBI counter-terrorism efforts. They assume that informants infiltrate terrorist networks and then provide the FBI with information about those networks in order to stop terrorist plots from being carried out. That’s not true in the vast majority of domestic terrorism cases.

Since 9/11, as Human Rights Watch and others have documented, the FBI has routinely used paid informants not to capture existing terrorists, but to cultivate them. Through elaborate sting operations, informants are directed to spend months – sometimes years – building relationships with targets, stoking their anger and offering ideas and incentives that encourage them to engage in terrorist activity. And the moment a target takes a decisive step forward, crossing the line from aspirational to operational, the FBI swoops in to arrest him.

So they accuse the FBI of setting suspects up and then arresting them – entrapment. This “entrapment” claim is commonly repeated by defense attorneys and self-styled “civil rights” groups. In fact, that’s what the authors of The Guardian article explicitly say:

The cumulative effects of FBI surveillance and entrapment in communities of color have been devastating.

I’ll leave aside their “communities of color” smear, but there is one glaring problem with their entrapment claim: in no single jihadist-related terrorism trial since the 9/11 attacks has a federal court on ANY LEVEL found that the FBI engaged in entrapment. Many suspects have made the claim, but none have successfully argued it. In only one case I remember, that of Ahmadullah Niazi, did the Justice Department voluntarily drop an indictment because of the reliability of an informant.

Those who peddle these FBI entrapment claims have been found to regularly play fast and loose with data, such as describing terror conspirators who turn state’s evidence against their partners and are sentenced to jail for their roles in terror plots as “informants.”

Another tactic taken is to equate the involvement of an informant as a de facto case of entrapment, as do the authors of The Guardian article. They cite the arrest earlier this month of a Cincinnati-area man:

A recent example: on 14 January, the FBI announced that it had interrupted an Isis-inspired terrorist plot in the United States. Christopher Lee Cornell, a 20-year-old recent Muslim convert from Cincinnati, was allegedly plotting to attack the US Capitol with pipe bombs and gun down government officials.

But then they make a colossal leap with this non sequitur:

Cornell was arrested after purchasing two semiautomatic weapons from an Ohio gun store because the man that Cornell thought was his partner was actually an FBI informant.

So the reason he bought the weapons was because there was an informant? In the information made available so far, there’s no indication that’s the case. If the record of every single jihad-related terror case since 9/11 is any guide, it’s unlikely their claim will stand. One reason why these terrorism cases have universally withstood scrutiny by the federal courts are the extensive measures taken by the FBI to prevent entrapment.

As an example of how far the FBI will go to prevent someone from turning to terror, consider the case of 19-year-old Colorado woman Shannon Conley, who was sentenced last week to four years in prison. As the court record shows, the FBI repeatedly warned Conley over a period of months not to attempt to travel to Syria to join ISIS and even talked to her parents asking them to intervene. And yet she persisted in her plans and was arrested trying to board a plane bound for Turkey. Now her parents are saying “the terrorists have won” after her sentencing blaming the federal government for prosecuting their daughter.

If anything, this administration has bent over backwards to accommodate the concerns that they are unfairly targeting Muslims, such as special rules for dealing with the Muslim community and conducting a wide-spread purge of counter-terrorism training materials at the request of Muslim organizations. Curiously, none of this is mentioned in The Guardian article.

Attorney General Eric Holder, hardly a right-wing neo-con ‘Islamophobe’, has directly challenged the claims that the FBI uses entrapment targeting the Muslim community, telling one Muslim legal group:

Those who characterize the FBI’s activities in this case as ‘entrapment’ simply do not have their facts straight or do not have a full understanding of the law.

And yet The Guardian regurgitates a number of howlers, such as this:

And on campuses across the country, Muslim student associations have banned discussions of politics, terrorism and the “war on terror.”

But Muslim Student Associations (MSA) have had no trouble at all discussing politics, terrorism and the “war on terror.” In fact, you can’t shut them up from talking about it. One topic you won’t hear addressed at MSA meetings, however, are the long litany of senior MSA leaders who have been convicted in terrorism cases.

In the absence of actual evidence, The Guardian authors have to resort to anecdotes, including this one:

After a recent screening of our film at a New York City mosque, a young African-American convert to Islam, sporting a brown full-body covering with matching hijab, confessed to us that she feels uncomfortable discussing aspects of her identity. She does not speak about her religious conversion in public, for fear of attracting or encouraging informants.

Yes, because wearing a brown full-body covering with a matching hijab, no one would ever know she’s a Muslim.

This is how laughably ridiculous those who peddle this false narrative have sunk. Perhaps a review of some of the jihad-related terror cases where FBI informants weren’t involved is warranted:

Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo

UNC-Chapel Hill vehicle jihadist Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar

Seattle Jewish Federation killer Naveed Afzal Haq

Little Rock killer Carlos Bledsoe (aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad)

Fort Hood killer Major Nidal Hasan

Would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad

Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Cross-country jihadist spree killer Ali Muhammad Brown

Undoubtedly, if FBI informants had been used in any of these cases to prevent their terror attacks, The Guardian authors, Islamic “civil rights” groups and their ilk would be crying “entrapment.”

Also see:

Gohmert Reads Obama Admin’s Top 10 Mistakes of 2014

 

PJ Media, The National Security ‘Not Top 10′ of 2014

By Patrick Poole, December 31, 2014

With the world descending into chaos driven in no small measure by the incoherent, contradictory and frequently non-existent foreign policy of the Obama administration, it was difficult this year to narrow the field for this year’s biggest national security blunders. The task seemed so formidable, I nearly abandoned the endeavor.

But undaunted, I present to you the National Security “Not Top 10” of 2014, in no particular order.

(For past editions of my “Not Top 10”, see: 2012, 2011, 2010)

1) Befriending “moderate Al-Qaeda” in Syria:

There are some ideas so at war with reason and reality they can only exist in the fetid Potomac fever swamps of DC think tanks and foreign policy community. Such was the case in January when three of the best and brightest from those ranks published an article in Foreign Affairs (the same publication that in 2007 brought us the “Moderate Muslim Brotherhood”) contending that the US needed to “befriend” the Syrian jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham as some kind of counter to more extreme jihadist groups, like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. The precedent they cited was the US failure to designate the Taliban (!!!) after 9/11.

Mind you, at the time they wrote this, one of Ahrar al-Sham’s top leaders was a lieutenant for Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri who openly declared himself a member of Al-Qaeda. After most of their leadership was wiped out in a bombing in September, they have gravitated closer to the jihadist groups they were supposed to counter and their positions have been bombed by the US – much to the consternation of other “vetted moderate” rebel groups. So ridiculous was their proposition that the original subtitle of their article “An Al-Qaeda Affiliate Worth Befriending” was changed online to “An Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Worth Befriending” in the hopes of minimizing the absurdity of their case.

2) Obama Administration deploys three hashtag divisions in response to Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As Ukrainians made their bid to free themselves from Russia’s interference, Putin responded by deploying tanks and troops into Ukraine in violation of the1994 Budapest Memorandum. Obama’s rejoinder was to give a speech and to deploy three divisions of State Department employees all armed with a #UnitedForUkraine hashtag. Hilarity ensued as the Russian Foreign Ministry counterattacked by hijacking the hashtag, prompting State Department spox Jen Psakito decry, “Let’s hope the Kremlin will live by the promise of hashtag,” leaving many asking: Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

3) Obama: ISIS is the “JV team”.

In January President Obama sat down for an interview with the New Yorker, and when asked about ISIS gains in Iraq, he likened them to the JV team, saying ““The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Those words came back to haunt him as ISIS surged in both Syria and Iraq, particular when Obama authorized missile strikes against ISIS in August. Even then Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken defended the president’s “JV team” remark, saying they didn’t pose the threat to America as much as Al-Qaeda. A few week later, the Washington Post noted the attempts to spin the president’s statement. By September, Obama laughably claimed in an interview on Meet the Press that he wasn’t talking about ISIS in his New Yorker interview. But even the notoriously biased Politifact rated his walk-back as “false” and two weeks ago the Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler branded Obama’s “JV team” spin as “the lie of the year”.

4) State Dept Official denies Boko Haram targeting Christians.

Just weeks after the Nigerian terrorist group abducted nearly 300 Christian school girls in Chibok and committed them to sexual slavery, State Department undersecretary Sarah Sewalldenied in a congressional hearing that Christians were being targeted. As I noted in an article here at PJ Media earlier this month on disturbing trends in Nigeria, the burning of churches and the abduction and murder of Christians continues to intensify, with more than 1,000 churches burned in just a few weeks earlier this year.

Readers might recall that this is the same State Department that in April 2012 was telling Congress that Boko Haram was not driven by religious ideology the day after the group bombed a church during an Easter service that killed 39 worshippers. Not only did the State Departmentvehemently defend not designating Boko Haram a terrorist organization, this year we discovered that they intentionally lied to Congress about the threat posed by the group. Having only designated them barely a year ago, 2014 has been Boko Haram’s deadliest year yet, with 9,000 killed, 1.5 million people displaced, and 800 schools destroyed. Nigerian authorities still complain that the Obama administration is reluctant to provide the country what it needs to fight the Boko Haram terror insurgency.

5) Homeland Security adviser’s pro-caliphate tweet used by ISIS recruiters.

Twitter proved to be the downfall of Homeland Security Advisor Council Senior Fellow Mohamed Elibiary, when he was unceremoniously let go by DHS in September following a long string of extremist social media statements. Critics, including myself, had noted Elibiary long history of promoting radical Islamic groups and publicly defending terrorist supporters. Things began to unravel when earlier this year he tweeted that America was “an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution,” but the wheels definitely came off when he tweeted about the inevitability of the return of an Islamic caliphate – a statement that was later used by ISIS in their recruiting efforts. After his dismissal, which even international media took note of, I talked with Michelle Fields here at PJTV about Elibiary’s highly controversial tenure at DHS.

6) Obama, State Dept give shout-outs to Islamic cleric who OK’d fatwa authorizing killing of Americans in Iraq.

The Obama administration repeatedly promoted their BFF Mauritanian Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, whose organization issued a fatwa in 2004 calling for the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and has spoken out in support of the terrorist group Hamas. But as I reported here at PJ Media in 2013, that didn’t prevent Bin Bayyah from receiving a warm welcome in the White House by members of Obama’s national security staff and being feted on Capitol Hill by two of Obama’s top Muslim advisers. When critics noted the cleric’s extremist views, the White House doubled down their support.

That continued when in May of this year, the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau tweeted out their support of Bin Bayyah, including a link to his website. Facing a backlash from critics and inquiries from the media, the State Department apologized and deleted the tweet. That didn’t stop President Obama from giving Bin Bayyah a shout-out in his address to the United Nations in September, remarkably praising the extremist cleric as a moderate scholar.

7) Obama administration gives heavy weapons to “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups that promptly turn up in hands of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Earlier this year, the DC foreign policy establishment was hailing two US-backed “vetted moderate” Syrian groups as the saviors to the Obama administration’s disastrous Syrian policy. The Syrian Revolutionaries Front was billed by Foreign Policy as “the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies,” and the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Harakat al-Hazm was deemed by DC think tankers as “rebels worth supporting.” In fact, both groups were among the first to receive shipments of US TOW missiles. But as I’ve reported here at PJ Media, both groups were openly allying with jihadist groups, and in response to US airstrikes targeting ISIS, Harakat al-Hazm began denouncing the strikes as an “attack on the revolution.” Within the past two months,both groups have collapsed and many of their fighters have defected to ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra.

Even more importantly, they surrendered their weapons to these jihadist groups. Earlier this month I reported that Jabhat al-Nusra was using US TOW missiles – a report confirmed over the weekend by the New York Times. This week brings news that ISIS is now using US TOW missiles in attacks near Damascus. The Iraqi Army has gotten into the act as well, having surrendered to ISIS 1,500 US-provided armored Humvees, 52 M198 howitzers with 20 mile range, and 4,000 PKC belt-fed machine guns.

8) White House defends Muslim Brotherhood’s “commitment to non-violence”.

Earlier this month the White House curtly responded to a “We the People” petition on its website calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that “we have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence.” Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group earlier this year.  As I noted as far back as 2007, the popular DC myth that the Muslim Brotherhood had renounced terrorism has no basis in reality. This was summarized ably by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in an oped earlier this year that not only had the US government itself rejected the notion of a non-violent Muslim Brotherhood, but it has also designated as terrorists branches, leaders and charities of the international Muslim Brotherhood.

Those official US government statements testifying to the Muslim Brotherhood’s long history of violence and terrorism, as well as its violent doctrines, were included as findings in H.R. 5194, sponsored by Bachmann and 19 other House members calling for the Brotherhood’s designation. Events of this year have testified to Brotherhood’s ongoing support for terrorism, such as the raid last January by Egyptian authorities of a Molotov cocktail factory inside a Brotherhood office in Alexandria, the brutal murder in April of a Christian woman who was dragged from her car during a Muslim Brotherhood protest, and thearrest of Brotherhood officials earlier this month in Jordan who were smuggling weapons into the West Bank for terror attacks on Israelis. If to highlight the point, when UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his government would be investigating the Muslim Brotherhood, the group’s London office threatened attacks in response.

9) Obama administration defends US Islamic groups branded as terrorist organizations by UAE.

The White House reportedly spent its Christmas appealing to the UAE to remove two US Islamic groups – the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society – from the UAE’s terrorist blacklist. What makes this defense, particularly of CAIR, so remarkable is that the US government itself has noted the terror connections in federal court. In 2007, federal prosecutors named CAIR as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, and during the trial one FBI agent testified that CAIR was a front for Hamas and prosecutors contended in court filings (p. 13) that it was part of an international Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to provide “media, money and men” to the terror group. The federal judge in the case agreed, stating in a ruling that there was “ample evidence” CAIR and other Islamic groups identified as conspirators acted in support of Hamas. The Justice Department has also said in federal court that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.” Notwithstanding a FBI ban on official contact with CAIR, White House officials have admitted to hundreds of meetings with the terror front.

10) Having banned discussions of ideology driving Islamic terrorism, Pentagon says it can’t understand ideology of ISIS.

The New York Times reported over the weekend about the unsuccessful efforts of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to counter the ideology of ISIS. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea,” said SOCOM’s Major Gen. Michael Nagata, while “other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement,” the article noted. This is no surprise as the Joint Chiefs of Staff formally banned any discussion of the Islamic ideology driving terrorist groups in its counter-terrorism training and in its war colleges in an October 2011 Joint Action Staff Directive that was sourced solely on the questionable and highly partisan reporting of far Left blogger Spencer Ackerman.

As I have detailed elsewhere, the Joint Chiefs’ actions were part of a larger Obama administration effort to purge counter-terrorism training across all national security and law enforcement agencies. The architect of the Obama administration’s failing counter-terrorism strategy, Quintan Wiktorowicz, defended these polices earlier this year, telling Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon that the US government is prohibited by the First Amendment from discussing the religious ideology of terror groups threatening the US, and that such efforts would have to be outsourced to “partners in the Muslim world.” That didn’t stop Wiktorowicz from saying that more money was needed for efforts to counter the very ideology that he said no one in the US government can talk about.

Needless to say, this list is hardly exhaustive. And the coming year looks to have plenty of candidates for 2015’s “Not Top 10.”

Also see this key report written by Patrick Poole on JUNE 4, 2013:

Muslim Congressman’s Ferguson Panel at Chicago Islamic Convention Features Al-Qaeda Webmaster, Taliban Fundraiser

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On December 27, 2014:

Congressman Andre Carson found himself in strange company Saturday evening when he was scheduled to be featured on a panel with a known Al-Qaeda webmaster and Taliban fundraiser, Mazen Mokhtar, during the just-concluded 2014 Muslim American Society/Islamic Circle of North America (MAS/ICNA) 2014 convention held in Chicago.

The panel was titled “Ferguson is our issue: We Can’t Breath.”

Here’s a promotional video of the three-day event:

 

One attendee tweeted that the joint Carson/Mokhtar panel was the “most important session” of the convention:

Azhzr tweet

Mokhtar is presumably well-known to Carson, one of two sitting Muslim members of Congress, since Mokhtar is well-known to the FBI.

In 2004, Mokhtar was named in a federal affidavit in the case of a UK-based Al-Qaeda website that raised money for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.

According to the Washington Post:

Meanwhile, a New Jersey man is under investigation for having helped a British computer specialist, also arrested in London this week, allegedly solicit funds for a terrorist group by creating and operating an exact replica of the British man’s Web site.

Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week.

The affidavit said the New Jersey home of the mirror Web site operator, identified on a Web site as Mokhtar, was searched in the recent past and that copies of Azzam Publications sites, operated by Ahmad, were found on Mokhtar’s computer’s hard drive and files.

Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, which is leading the investigation, declined yesterday to comment on Mokhtar or the New Jersey investigation.

A CNN report (now removed from their website) added:

Federal officials are investigating a man accused of running Web sites that are exact replicas of those used to solicit funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujahedeen, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office in New Haven, Connecticut.

Law enforcement sources identified the man as Mazen Mokhtar, 36, of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Those sources said Mokhtar is the “specific individual who resides in the United States” referred to in the affidavit as working with Babar Ahmad to solicit funds for the “blocked organizations … in an effort to support their goals.”

Predictably, when Mokhtar’s name surfaced in the investigation, the Muslim community rallied around him and the media began pushing the “moderate Islamic cleric” narrative.

In fact, the accusations by federal law enforcement authorities have barely made a dent in Mokhtar’s rise to prominence in the Islamic community.

Mokhtar currently serves as the executive director of the national MAS. A 2004 Chicago Tribune investigative report, published just a month after Mokhtar was named in the federal affidavit, noted that MAS was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members to conceal their ties to the Egyptian Islamic group.

In 2007, federal prosecutors described the group in a federal court filing saying that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States”:

DOJ-on-MAS (1)

Congressman Carson is not without his own controversy. While speaking to a 2012 ICNA convention, Carson told attendees that American schools will never be innovative until they become modeled after the Islamic education system.

Carson’s fellow Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, is not without his own controversy. In 2012, I noted here at PJ Media Ellison’s long entanglement with Muslim Brotherhood front groups and Islamic organizations identified in federal court as fronts for foreign terrorist organizations, with even his hajj trip to Mecca being paid for by MAS to the tune of $13,500.

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia

How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

 r-GOP-LEADERSHIP-large570PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, Nov. 3, 2014:

One of the last acts Congress undertook before leaving Washington, D.C., in September for the midterm election break was to add $500 million in new funding to arm and train the so-called “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels. The $500 million in funding had been an agenda item for Obama since June, when ISIS began making quick gains in an offensive push back into Iraq.

But the political net effect of this vote was to get the GOP leadership in Congress to publicly buy into Obama’s rapidly crumbling Syria policy. Led by Boehner in the House and McConnell in the Senate, the congressional GOP leadership allowed Obama to walk them off the Syrian rebel cliff.

As I reported here at PJ Media yesterday, the most important “vetted moderate” rebel groups are in retreat, having surrendered or defected to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

This development should come as no surprise to any member of the congressional GOP. In the week before the rebel amendment funding vote, I was asked to brief a number of GOP members and prepared a presentation on the collapse of the U.S.-backed Syria rebels that was widely circulated amongst both the House and Senate GOP conferences.

Among the chief trends I noted in these briefings — and that I was concurrently reporting on here — was that large groups of Free Syrian Army (FSA) units were defecting to al-Qaeda and ISIS, surrendering their U.S.-provided weapons along the way, and that other FSA units were forging peace deals and fighting alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS in some areas.

Even before the votes on the rebel funding, there was growing evidence that these “vetted moderate” forces were not moderate at all, and certainly would provide little assistance in fighting against ISIS.

Obama was hinting at where his policy was headed, too. Just a month before those congressional votes, in an interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Obama said that the belief that arming the Syrian rebels would have changed the situation had “always been a fantasy”:

With “respect to Syria,” said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”

Even now, the president said, the administration has difficulty finding, training and arming a sufficient cadre of secular Syrian rebels: “There’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”

Again, this was more than a month before congressional GOP leadership took up the cause of sending $500 million more to the Syrian rebels, even though there were reports that the FSA had already lost at least $500 million in arms to ISIS and other jihadist groups.

GOP leaders also bought in on another highly controversial element to Obama’s Syrian rebel policy. In September 2013, it was reported that Obama had signed a waiver circumventing a federal law intended to prohibit aid from going to terrorist groups. But when GOP leadership rolled out their amendment to fund the “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels, it contained hardly any substantial limits to Obama’s waiver policy.

In order to pass the amendment in the House, Boehner and GOP leadership had to buck considerable resistance from their own party and join with House Democrats to pass the amendment. The September 17 vote was 273-156, with 71 Republicans voting against the amendment.

And yet even more House Democrats — 85 in all — voted against the funding amendment, giving them cover for the upcoming midterm elections.

The 78-22 vote in the Senate also received support from Senate GOP leadership, with notable Senate Republicans voting against the measure, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

Congress had barely left Washington, D.C., for the break before events would demonstrate the GOP leaders buying into Obama’s policy was a fool’s errand. As U.S. airstrikes began hitting ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra positions, the attacks were widely condemned by the same “vetted moderate” groups that Congress had just approved another $500 million for.

At the same time, the Obama administration began to quickly back away from the rebels that congressional GOP leadership had now jumped into bed with. A week after the House amendment vote, administration officials began complaining that there were no reliable partners on the ground in Syria. A few weeks later, the administration leaked a CIA assessment of past funding of rebel groups that found such aid as Congress had just approved rarely works.

The coup de grâce came less than a month after the House vote. Obama’s envoy trying to build the anti-ISIS coalition, retired Marine General John Allen, told reporters that the administration was ditching the FSA. Now, two weeks later, the FSA is near collapse.

The only successful move of Obama’s disastrous Syria policy was to get the GOP leadership in Congress to buy into it at the last minute.

So how could GOP leaders be so easily duped?

1) The absence of a coherent GOP foreign policy. Republicans in Congress are torn by two opposing foreign policy poles: on one side is John McCain’s “war at any price” caucus, and on the other is Rand Paul’s neo-isolationist “pull up the drawbridge” approach. The McCain position has blindly given a blank check to the administration’s military misadventures (e.g. Libya, et al.), and the Paulian approach flies in the face of reality — there is no drawbridge to pull up anymore in our global society, and the growing threats to America’s interests overseas are growing rapidly.

2) “We’ve got to do something!” When I talked to members and staff, this was a recurring theme. GOP leaders during the debate over the amendment used this as a bludgeon against the amendment’s detractors. But without American boots on the ground, which no one in Congress was going to support weeks before midterm elections, there’s little the U.S. can do to directly change events on the ground. Even the airstrikes targeting ISIS are having a very limited effect. And less than a month after GOP leaders were publicly castigating their own members for not falling into line, the administration was abandoning the very position they had just embraced.

3) Congress is reliant on the administration for all their information. This is a recurring problem on the Hill. Congress has few means to vet the information the administration gives them, or to know if information is being withheld.

When I briefed members during that week prior to the rebel amendment vote, particularly those sitting on committees that had national security responsibilities, very few were aware of the ongoing difficulties of the defections, peace deals, and alliances with jihadist groups that the U.S.-armed and trained “vetted moderate” groups were engaged in. I’ve previously said that Congress needs to revive something along the lines of the House Task Force on Unconventional Warfare and Terrorism that gave them a back door to the SPECOPS world and intelligence community to be better informed regardless of what party controls the White House.

The midterm elections tomorrow might rearrange the chairs on the Hill come January, but the GOP leadership problems demonstrated by the rebel funding this past September are likely to remain.

Even worse, rushing the Syrian rebel funding through at the last minute meant there was no serious discussion of the growing national security threats metastasizing in Syria and Iraq and on what Congress intended to do. By buying into Obama’s rebel funding proposal, they allowed Obama to walked them over the cliff just as he was stepping back from it. Pure amateur hour.

By the time the new Congress convenes in January, events could transpire in the Middle East that will require Congress and leaders of both parties to make choices more difficult than throwing $500 million at the problem. By then, the situation could be more stark than anyone now realizes.

Day Two Highlights from the World Summit on Counter Terrorism

48756-ConferencePJMedia, By Patrick Poole:

Some interesting and provocative discussions during Day 2 of the in Herzliya, Israel (my Day 1 overview is here). Some of the highlights from the second day of proceedings:

A report released at the conference announced an estimate that the Assad regime in Syria has 1,000 tons of chemical weapons.

Syracuse professor William Banks offered his assessment, in line with one offered the previous day, that while the Syrian regime may have violated international law with the use of chemical weapons (even though they are not a signatory to the chemical weapons convention), the remedies do not include the use of force, much as President Obama is proposing.

Qanta Ahmed warned against the virulence of Islamist ideology, claiming it was more dangerous than nuclear weapons, and stressed the importance of moderate Muslims unmasking the “wolves in sheeps’ clothing,” i.e., so-called “moderate” Islamists.

Undoubtedly the most lively discussion of the day involved Canadian columnist and author Tarek Fatah. During his speech, which you can see in the clip below, he notes that missing from much of the debate over the use of chemical weapons by Syria, and even Iran’s budding nuclear program, is that Pakistan already possesses 100+ nuclear weapons.

Fatah also added that two of the top Islamic partners in the “war on terror,” Turkey and Pakistan, are among the biggest purveyors of the jihadist ideology we are confronting globally (Saudi Arabia could also be added to that list).

Brian Jenkins of RAND Corp noted the diminishing effectiveness of strikes aimed at decapitating terrorist organizations. According to his research, a terrorist group that suffers decapitation in the first year of its existence is 8.5 times more likely to disintegrate than if the leadership continues; after 10 years existence, that rate is cut in half; by 20 years (al-Qaeda would fall in this category) the effect of a leadership decapitation strike is negligible.

Jenkins also added that it appears the West is headed towards a permanent state of war with Islamic terrorism.

King’s College professor Peter Neumann said that the number of foreign jihadist fighters traveling to Syria is higher than any other conflict previously seen, which will pose a considerable threat to Western countries down the road.

Former FBI and Treasury official Matt Levitt talked about his new book on the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. He noted that many Hezbollah plots have a U.S. nexus.

Levitt also predicted that regardless of who comes out on top in Syria (Hezbollah is actively fighting on behalf of the Iranian-backed Assad regime), Hezbollah will come out the loser. Gone is their status as “freedom fighters” now that they are waging widespread warfare outside of their own country, severely damaging their credibility.

Thomas Hegghammer from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment reported that there are 4,000-5,000 foreign fighters now operating in Syria. He also added that despite much of the jihadist activity around the world, the threats to Western countries — including the U.S. — are still primarily coming out of the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy offered the most provocative thesis of the day, saying that “there has to be a revolution in law and jurisprudence” when it comes to terrorism. In the clip below, he says that rather than having government continuing to run to the courts to see what judges will allow, the process needs to be reversed, with governments telling judges and courts what results are needed and leaving it to the courts to find a way to get there:

I will be traveling to the Syrian border by the Golan Heights tomorrow, missing the last day of the conference. But I’ll be providing a report following that trip.

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