Terror finance progress: suggested news reading

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

  • Judge denies Arab Bank’s request to throw out a verdict against it… more>>
  • The feds have busted 5 people and 4 companies for illegal shipments to Iranmore>>
  • The U.S. passes Saudi Arabia in oil production and is poised to become energy independent in 4 years… more>>
  • A Hamas treasurer has reportedly been arrested… more>>

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Who Profits from the Deadly Illegal Migrant Trafficking Trade Across the Mediterranean?

Captain  and first mate of capsized  illegal migrant vessel Mohammed Ali Malek, left, and Mahmud Bikhit Source: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Captain and first mate of capsized illegal migrant vessel Mohammed Ali Malek, left, and Mahmud Bikhit
Source: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

NER, by Jerry Gordon, April, 21, 2015:

Yesterday, we drew attention to the massive surge in the deadly illegal migrant trade across the Mediterranean that figured in an emergency meeting of EU Foreign ministers in Luxembourg.   The loss of over 1,000 in two separate trafficking ship disasters  last week  spurred on  deliberations requested by Italian President Renzi and Maltese PM Muscat. Today charges were brought in Italian courts against the 27 year old Tunisian captain  and 25 year  old Syrian mate of the 66 foot fishing boat  that capsized off Libya with a loss of upwards of 900 crammed into the flimsy vessel.  NBC news reported:

The Tunisian captain of the boat — 27-year-old Mohammed Ali Malek — was arrested along with a Syrian crew member, 25-year-old Mahmud Bikhit.

Sicilian prosecutors said Tuesday that Malek has been charged with culpable shipwreck, manslaughter and aiding and abetting illegal immigration. Bikhit has been charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigration, the statement from Catania’s prosecutors said.

Smugglers Net for Illegal Migrant Trade

The question is who benefits from this deadly smuggling business?

The answer is the jihadists in Libya who  have profited from the turmoil in the  region. A Wall Street Journal report revealed how profitable the business of  trafficking  illegal migrants  is worth taking the risks involved as deadly as the results have been to their customers seeking refuge in the EU,. The bottom line of the  WSJreport: “Brazen, multi-million-dollar people-smuggling enterprise run by Libyan militias and tribesmen proves hard to combat.”

The WSJ wrote:

Various armed groups in Libya are aggressively advertising their services to would-be migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and Syrians fleeing conflict in their country, presenting the collapse of order in Libya as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure safe passage to Europe, says Arezo Malakooti, the director of migration research for Paris-based Altai Consulting, a consultancy that works with the International Organization for Migration and other migration-related groups.

“The profits from human trafficking have consolidated a new balance of power in the Sahel and Libya,” says Tuesday Reitano, head of the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

How a Saharan tribe profits:

The Saharan Tebu tribe, for instance, is now making “a killing,” according to Ms. Reitano, who estimates the tribe pockets some $60,000 a week by charging West African migrants for a seat on four-wheel-drive cars that take them to Agadez, a major city in Niger. From there, they ferry the migrants to the central Libyan city of Sabha and then proceed to northern Libya ahead of their sea journey to Italy and Malta.

The profits are such that tribes normally at war cooperate at times in getting migrants from one place to the next.

[…]

Mustapha Orghan, an activist who has worked with aid groups to track  smuggler operations said:

Tebu and Tuaregs used to smuggle goods. The new alternative is …and now both Tuaregs and Tebu are trying to get their share of the cake.”

Mr. Orghan said Ghat, a southern Libyan town near the Algerian border where he lives, is the first entry point from Algeria for Africans. There, he said, “African migrants get sold from one smuggler to another.”

He said the trafficking business has become increasingly lucrative since chaos in Libya sharply reduced traditional sources of income in the region: heavily subsidized oil, food and other goods from Algeria.

“Farming” migrants to make profits:

In Sabha, African men typically spend months working as laborers, and women as housemaids, to earn the roughly $1,000 to pay for the crossing from Libya’s northern coast. If there is no demand for their services in Sabha, smugglers farm them out to cities further north and west for approximately 700 Libyan dinar, or about $500.

Discrimination among “customers” leads to  deadly trips:

Ismail, an African migrant who declined to give his full name and nationality, tried to cross three times in recent weeks but was thwarted by overcrowding and breakdowns of the cheap plastic boat of the sort usually provided for Africans. Syrians, who can often pay more and aren’t discriminated against by the overwhelmingly Arab smugglers, typically make the crossing in sturdier wooden boats.

The EU  according Frontex agency has arrested 10,000 involved in the illegal migrant trade, mainly truck drivers and many migrants involved in navigating the flimsy crafts.  Italian authorities have arrested `1,000 smugglers since 2014. However of these, less than 100 have been convicted. They simply lack the resources in contending with the mushrooming human trafficking business as Libya devolves into a failed state.

Watch this WSJ video dramatizing the journey of an Eritrean illegal migrant across Africa to Libya and his perilous transit via smugglers to his ultimate destination in the Italian island of Lampedusa:

Yesterday’s EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg may have surfaced calls for safe and secure channels to reduce the deadly toll of illegal migrants, but going after the lucrative smuggling trafficking business at its source means contending with warring militias and the criminal activities of tribal groups in Libya. Note this ironic comment from the UN Human Rights Commission head:

“Europe is turning its back on some of the most vulnerable migrants in the world, and risk turning the Mediterranean into a vast cemetery,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein Monday. “Migrant smugglers are the symptom, not the cause of this wretched situation.”

Jihad conflicts in  the Middle East and Africa are driving hundreds of thousands annually in desperation to pay top dollar for  a deadly ride on those rickety boats whose owners cop big time profits. Nature abhors a vacuum when chaos creates rich opportunities to rake in enormous wealth from trafficking  illegal migrants.  As we saw yesterday, the successful smugglers even alert EU officials that they are bringing another shipload of hapless migrants to fatten their margins from this deadly trade.  How the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean deal with problem of illegal mass immigration will surely be daunting costing billions of Euros. In the meantime, Italian and other EU coast guards continue to provide  a picket line of vessels  daily monitoring these dangerous trips in  flimsy craft across the Mediterranean from the failed state of Libya. Stay tuned for developments.

Hamas Rebuilding War Machine as Gaza Deteriorates

A rebuilt tunnel (source: Al-Risalah, Gaza, October 19, 2014)

A rebuilt tunnel (source: Al-Risalah, Gaza, October 19, 2014)

by IPT News  •  April 15, 2015:

The Hamas leadership in Gaza has been unable to rebuild any of the homes destroyed in last summer’s war with Israel, but the terrorist group has had little trouble using heavy machinery to restore its vast tunnel networks that can be used in future attacks.

Reconstruction of Gaza has “barely begun,” the Associated Press reports. At least the above-ground kind.

Underground, small bulldozers are busy restoring damaged tunnels, using “whatever cement [Hamas] can get its hands on,” the Times of Israel reports.

Hamas has been diverting cement and construction material intended for civilian rebuilding efforts.

Israeli security officials confirmed that the terrorist group was digging tunnels at a rapid pace and trying to produce many short-range rockets in an effort to minimize interception by the Iron Dome defense system and cause maximum destruction against Israeli communities.

Iran sent Hamas tens of millions of dollars to help reconstitute the group’s terrorist infrastructure, the Telegraph reported earlier this month. As news of a framework deal concerning Iran’s nuclear program emerged, the Islamic Republic reportedly increased arms shipments to its terrorist proxies Hamas and Hizballah.

A political fight with the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has hindered Gaza’s civilian reconstruction projects, the Times of Israel report said. Tens of thousands of Palestinians reportedly still live in tents, schools and other forms of temporary housing.

Their welfare appears to be a secondary concern, however, as available cash and supplies are steered into the Hamas terror infrastructure.

These actions are consistent with other Hamas actions and statements, all of which point more toward a build-up for another confrontation with Israel rather than any concern for improving the lives of Palestinians in Gaza. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) issued a report this week summarizing the multi-faceted, yet singularly focused effort to gear up for the next war. Read it here.

Friedman: Obama sympathetic to Iran due to childhood overseas

obama-netanyahu-e1426719572680WND, by Bob Unruh, April 14, 2015:

Barack Obama – who often has boasted of his world travels and life in Indonesia as a child – understands what America looks like from the outside, and that’s why he’s engaged in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

That’s according to Thomas L. Friedman, the internationally known author, reporter and columnist.

Freidman has won three Pulitzer Prizes and has written multiple bestselling books, including “The World is Flat.” He started with the New York Times in 1981 and the next year moved to Beirut then to Jerusalem in 1984, covering the Middle East.

Moving back to Washington in 1989, he covered Secretary of State James A. Baker III and later domestic policy, and eventually foreign affairs.

Friedman was being interviewed by former Florida Congressman Joe Scarborough on his MSNBC “Morning Show” on the topic of Obama and Iran.

“Obama’s someone who’s lived abroad maybe more than any president in a long time, and because of that he actually knows what American looks like from the outside in,” he told Scarborough.

“And he can actually see America even to some point from the Iranian perspective. It comes through when he says ‘let’s remember, we, the United States, back in the 1950s, we toppled Iran’s democratically elected government. There might be some reason that these people actually want to get a weapon that will deter that from happening again.’”

Scarborough had an immediate question.

“But Tom, is it possible, is it an admirable quality for us to have a president who can look at the world through the eyes of a regime that you and I both know has been the epicenter of terrorism since 1979?”

Friedman responded: “It really depends on what you’re talking about Joe. You know, I think it really depends on what you think of this deal, because Iran is a very complex entity, and I think that’s something else that Obama believes that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu doesn’t.”

Get “Israel: A Journey through Time,” and discover what you’ve never heard before about America’s staunch Middle East ally.

Friedman said Obama’s view “is that, if you talk to Netanyahu about Israel politics, he’ll say, ‘We have politics in Israel We have politics. My hands are tied. I’d love to do something with you on the Palestinians, but my hands are tied. We have politics. If I don’t have a kosher kitchen in the basement of the Ministry of Interior by 5 o’clock today they’re going to take down my government.’”

“But when it comes to Iran,” Friedman said, “Netanyahu’s view is that there is no politics in Iran. Eighty-five million Iranians want to get a bomb to drop on Jews the next day. And I think one of the differences between them, is that Obama believes there’s some really bad actors in Iran and he believes there’s a lot of people that oppose them internally, and he’s trying to construct a deal that will play with that chemistry in a way that will tip in favor of more engagement in the world.”

He described Obama as being able to “actually walk in another man’s shoes.”

Friedman interviewed Obama recently, prompting the JNS.org news service to accuse “the ever-sycophantic Friedman” of “shamelessly” shilling for Obama.

Abraham Miller wrote: “This is the president who helped the Muslim Brotherhood come to power in Egypt. This is the president who sought to put the Muslim Brotherhood back into power after the Egyptian military had the good sense to overthrow the fanatics bent on creating a Shariah-compliant tyranny. This is the president who overthrew Moammar Gadhafi and flung Libya into chaos, paving the way for the Islamic State to become a political force there. This is the president whose ‘red lines’ in Syria were repeatedly crossed without consequence, and whose politics were were most aptly described as the zig followed by the zag.”

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Also see:

Why is the former Webmaster of a Taliban Funding Website on Capitol Hill?

USCMO

USCMO

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, April 14, 2015:

Yesterday, April 13, The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella organization made up of multiple Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, were on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers, and their staff. Among the leadership of the USCMO is Mazen Moktar, a man identified in federal court as having established a website for the purpose of fundraising for Taliban and Chechen jihadist fighters. The Washington Post reported in 2004:

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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.25.06 AM

While Babar Ahmad was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for his role in providing material support to terrorism, Mokhtar is now the executive director of the Muslim American Society (MAS), and a board member of the USCMO. Federal prosecutors have described  MAS as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, a reality confirmed by Muslim Brotherhood’s former Supreme Guide  Mohammed Akef:

 In fact, Akef says he helped found MAS by lobbying for the change during trips to the U.S. “We have a religion, message, morals and principals that we  want to carry to the people as God ordered us,” he says. “So why should we work in secrecy?” But U.S. members would remain guarded about their  identity and beliefs. An undated internal memo instructed MAS leaders on how to deal with inquiries about the new organization. If asked, “Are you  the Muslim Brothers?” leaders should respond that they are an independent group called the Muslim American Society. “It is a self-explanatory name  that does not need further explanation.”

That information is confirmed by convicted al Qaeda Financier, and self-identified Muslim Brotherhood Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who told federal investigators, “everyone knows MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Confronted by activists who asked Mokhtar whether or not there was a Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, Mokhtar himself neither confirmed nor denied. All of which raises the question, who in Congress would meet with an organization whose members include those “everybody knows” represent the Muslim Brotherhood, and with a board member is known to have registered a Taliban fundraising website?

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.30.49 AMAccording to pictures and posts to the USCMO’s event hashtag “#MuslimHillDay” those willing to meet with the group included Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and unsurprisingly, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), who has a long history of ties to Muslim Brotherhood linked organizations, as the Center For Security Policy has previously documented.

This is somewhat ironic, seeing as Rep. Andre Carson went to great lengths to deny serving on a panel with Mazen Mokhtar at a recent MAS-ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Conference, as detailed by investigative reporter/ terrorism analyst Patrick Poole. As a result, for Carson at least, there can be no excuse that he is unaware of who Mokhtar is. Perhaps if informed about Mokhtar’s previous associations the other representatives would be forced to wonder why Carson declined to warn them of the nature of the associations they were developing by speaking at the USCMO Muslim Advocacy Day.

***

Purple Heart Recipients Reportedly Denied Benefits

12734CSP, by Joshua Kraus, April 10, 2015:

The 47 victims of the Fort Hood, Texas massacre have finally been acknowledged by the Obama Administration as casualties in the global jihad. After a long, bureaucratic and controversial battle between public outcry and the Department of Defense, United States Army, and the Obama Administration, public outcry won.

This outcry culminated in a House Homeland Security Committee letter sent by chairman Michael McCaul, which urged his fellow members to view the ABC News report that contained footage of the attack and narratives of the survivors and to ensure the benefits of the Purple Heart were received by the victims. Former police sergeant Kimberly Munley, who was shot three times during the attack, said during an interview that President Obama, “broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of.”

The 2015 federal budget named that National Defense Authorization Act, contained language that declared Fort Hood victims eligible for Purple Heart because the attacks originated from a foreign terrorist organization against whom the United States as a legal Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Now, despite being awarded the medals, victims are apparently being denied the associated benefits of being combat wounded.

There should be no dispute that those targeted in the attack were facing a hardened jihadist, no different from the ones their comrades have faced in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the shooting found that Army Major Nidal Hasan had been in constant communication with Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, later killed in a U.S. drone attack.  Emails released by the FBI shows how the former Yemeni AQ leader mentored Nidal Hassan, receiving reports, and blessing terrorist action.

To be blunt, the casualties of the attack on Fort Hood deserve the full rights of U.S. military combatants injured or killed during a time of war, because that is the situation we find ourselves in, a war with no front lines, but a global jihad.

Also see:

State Department Wanted to Engage ‘Moderate Jihadists’ in Libya

isis-obama-shhhhhh (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On April 4, 2015:

During the final years of the Bush administration and throughout the Obama administration I’ve been reporting here regularly on the bipartisan call from the U.S. foreign policy elite and their media sycophants to engage “moderate Islamists” in the Middle East. In conservative circles, embracing this view warranted you being deemed among the “smarter hardliners on the Right” by the establishment media.

As I’ve repeatedly noted, whether in Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Gaza, Lebanon, Turkey, or Syria (as well as many others), this policy has had catastrophic and massively fatal consequences.

Now Eli Lake and Josh Rogin at Bloomberg have this scoop:

According to a March 2 cable from the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Deborah Jones — described to us by a U.S. counterterrorism official — the State Department has been considering outreach to other, supposedly more moderate elements of the militia-aligned opposition forces in an effort to balance U.S. influence and cover all political bets.

The cable, according to our source, didn’t go over well with other U.S. government agencies, and as of now U.S. policy remains to deal exclusively with the Tobruk leadership.

Of course, this policy worked out so well in Benghazi in September 2012, when the “moderate Islamist” February 17th Martyrs Brigade was charged with defending our consulate there. Interestingly, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade in Benghazi is now in open alliance with Ansar al-Sharia, the group the Obama administration has fingered for the Benghazi attack.

Just a few weeks ago I reported here the push amongst the “smart set” for the U.S. to engage “moderate Al-Qaeda.”

As I noted:

Understand, this is a continuation of a popular theme amongst the foreign policy “smart set.” See the “moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” which just a month ago declared all-out jihad on the Egyptian government. Or the New York Times, pitching “moderate” elements of the Iranian regime. Or current CIA director “Jihad” John Brennan calling for the U.S. to build up Hezbollah “moderates.” Or hapless academics proclaiming the “mellowing” of Hamas. Or the so-called “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups that, as I have reported here, regularly fight alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda and have even defected to those terror groups.

At this rate can the calls for engaging “moderate ISIS” be far behind?

***

Are there “good” jhadists and “bad” jihadists? Are non-kinetic jihadists less threatening than kinetic jihadists? The answer is no. Dr. Sebastian Gorka explains why on the John Batchelor Radio Show, 31 March 2015. (8 minute audio)

 

Bergdahl charged with desertion, could face life in prison

President Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (R) and Jami Bergdahl (L) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014. (Reuters)

President Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (R) and Jami Bergdahl (L) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014. (Reuters)

Fox News, March 25, 2015:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after abandoning his post in Afghanistan and then freed five years later in a controversial trade for five Guantanamo detainees, was charged Wednesday with desertion.

U.S. Army Forces Command announced the decision at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

He was charged with misbehavior before the enemy, which carries a maximum sentence of up to life in prison. He was also charged with desertion, which carries a maximum of five years.

The development comes 10 months after his May 2014 release — which initially was a joyous occasion, with his parents joining President Obama in celebrating the news in the Rose Garden. Bob Bergdahl, who had studied Islam during his son’s captivity, appeared with a full beard and read a Muslim prayer, while Bergdahl’s mother Jani embraced the president.

But that euphoria quickly gave way to controversy in Washington as Bergdahl was accused of walking away from his post and putting his fellow soldiers in danger. The trade of hardened Taliban fighters for his freedom raised deep concerns on Capitol Hill that the administration struck an unbalanced and possibly illegal deal.

With the newly announced charges, Bergdahl could also face a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank and forfeiture of all his pay if convicted.

The case now goes to an Article 32 hearing to be held at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where Bergdahl has been performing administrative duties as he awaits the conclusion of the case. That proceeding is similar to a grand jury. From there, it could be referred to a court-martial and go to trial.

A date for that hearing was not announced.

The announcement marks a sharp turnaround for the administration’s narrative of Bergdahl’s service and release. After the swap last year, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.”

But as Bergdahl faced criticism from fellow servicemembers for his actions, the administration faced heated complaints from Congress over the Taliban trade itself. “This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages,” said former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, at the time.

Wednesday’s announcement only fueled those concerns.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Armed Services Committee, was asked by reporter Wednesday whether the charges raised doubts about the initial trade of Bergdahl for the Taliban members.

“I would think that it would raise doubts in the mind of the average American if those doubts weren’t raised already,” Wicker said.

“This proves once again that the president’s political motivations for closing Guantanamo Bay are causing him to make reckless decisions and will put more American lives at risk,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Wednesday in a statement.

Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, has been reviewing the massive case files and had a broad range of legal options, including various degrees of desertion charges. A major consideration was whether military officials would be able to prove that Bergdahl had no intention of returning to his unit.

Bergdahl, 28, disappeared from his base in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktika on June 30, 2009. A private first class at the time, he had three days earlier emailed his parents expressing disillusionment with the war.

“The future is too good to waste on lies,” Bergdahl wrote, according to the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American.”

Bob Bergdahl, a former UPS delivery driver in Sun Valley Idaho, replied with a message bearing the subject line, “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

Bergdahl left a note in his tent that said he was leaving to start a new life and intended to renounce his citizenship, Fox News reported last year.

For the next five years, Bergdahl is believed to have been held by the Taliban and Pakistan’s infamous Haqqani network. In one of several hostage videos released during his captivity, he said he was captured when he fell behind a patrol, but fellow soldiers, outraged after the trade was made with the Taliban, accused him of deserting. Some asserted that American servicemembers’ lives were put at risk in the hunt for Bergdahl.

Bergdahl was freed on May 31, 2014, after the White House agreed to trade five high-value Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay for him. He was turned over to Delta Force operatives in eastern Afghanistan, near the border village of Khost, while the Taliban members were handed over to authorities in Qatar, which helped broker the swap.

The trade was branded as illegal by lawmakers, who said they weren’t advised beforehand, It was also blasted by critics who said it violated America’s longstanding tradition of not negotiating with terrorists. There were also concerns – which would prove well-founded – that the Taliban members would return to the fight against the West.

Of the five — Mohammad Fazl, the former Taliban army chief of staff; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban intelligence official; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a former Taliban government official; and Norullah Noori and Mohammad Nabi Omari — at least three have attempted to reconnect with their old comrades, a source told Fox News.

Then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Bergdahl was a “prisoner of war,” and that the deal did not amount to negotiating with terrorists. He also said concerns about Bergdahl’s deteriorating condition made it imperative that the U.S. move quickly to make the trade.

A Pentagon probe concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl had walked away from his base, but stopped short of accusing him of desertion, reopening the probe after his return.

Bergdhal was promoted to sergeant while in captivity, and had accrued more than $200,000 in back pay by the time he was freed.

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

“The Power Doctrine” – Denis McDonough Outlines The New Obama Israeli Policy….

Originally posted on The Last Refuge:

President Obama is executing the “Power Doctrine”. And by Power we do not mean a force of strength; no, we mean the last name of the person who has constructed the doctrine, Samantha Power.

Samantha Power Leaving White House West Wing

Anyone who has spent much time researching the Obama administration from candidate election ’07 through presidential policy directives in 2015 will completely understand this Samantha Power Doctrine. It should not come as a surprise.

The Power Doctrine toward Israel has been an ideological iceberg for many years; less than a third of it visible at any given moment in time with the majority hidden beneath the surface. We have outlined it exhaustively -as we travel toward that ultimate White House objective- we have tried to point it out each time the water cleared.

I wrote about it last week after it was discovered that President Obama called Benjamin Netanyahu.

Perhaps many people just couldn’t bring themselves to…

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Was Hillary Clinton Running An “Off The Books” Intelligence Operation Through Sidney Blumenthal?….

Originally posted on The Last Refuge:

Very interesting article by Monica Crowley in the Washington Times pondering over the communications and non-official relationship between Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal said to be in direct contact with various foreign governments and agencies to backchannel information to Hillary around official U.S. oversight.

Against the backdrop of what we researched -evidenced within The Benghazi Brief– the secret intelligence communication motive does make a lot of sense.

hillary clinton and sidney blumenthalobama-hillary-holding-hands-wh-photo

WASHINGTON TIMES – We all know that the only reason you would deliberately and premeditatedly set up a private email address and server is to have total control over your communications — to keep people away from those communications and to retain the ability to edit and delete your content.

In Hillary Clinton’s case, given her long history of concealment and duplicity, total control was the system’s purpose, not to keep track of Chelsea’s bridal gift registry.

A story originally reported in 2013…

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The Betrayal Papers: And the Press Says Nothing…

The_Betrayal_PapersThe first four parts of The Betrayal Papers have presented a nearly unfathomable scenario: a takeover of the country by a foreign, hostile party.  (See Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.)  This supplemental article addresses the problem of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the nation’s capital and throughout the American establishment.

Part V will be released next week.

The United States of America, primarily through the political left and Democrat Party, has been virtually colonized by the Muslim Brotherhood.  Also known by their Arabic name, Ikhwan, they are a totalitarian, terrorist Islamic group that seeks our destruction because we are a free people.

We witness the Muslim Brotherhood’s planned destruction of America in many areas of contemporary life.  A purposefully weak economy fails to produce the capitalist dynamism that has defined America for generations, and many millions remain unemployed.  Abroad, the Muslim Brotherhood’s domination of American foreign policy instigated and backed the failed “Arab

Spring,” which may ultimately result in Iranian domination of the Middle East.  We feel their suffocating effects on our democracy every day, as our freedoms, traditions, opportunities, and rule of law slip away.  The people suffer as prices continue to rise and the public sinks into a bottomless pit of debt.

The hostile, conquered government in Washington strangles our liberty each time Obama, like a self-crowned emperor, passes new regulatory laws without Congress.

Each of these trends is related to the predominant problem in America today: the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to a place of eminence in American government – the Executive, the Presidency.  The People’s office, established by Article II of the Constitution, is now either occupied by a Muslim Brother in Barack Hussein Obama, or a man who happens to go along with their every policy at every turn.

To understand the nature and evil of the Muslim Brotherhood, recall their intimate involvement with Hitler’s Nazi war machine and Holocaust.  This genocidal syndicate has birthed virtually all major Islamic terrorist groups and their various

offshoots.  Financially, they have the backing of the Qatar, whose ruling Al-Thani family is likely the world’s richest family.

Within the United States, Muslim Brotherhood finger prints are on the administration’s biggest scandals: IRS targeting of conservative groups, eavesdropping on the press, the scrubbing of counterterrorism material of the words “Islam” and “Muslim,” NYC police murders in December 2014, Benghazi, and more.

In Syria and Iraq, to the extent that these countries still distinctly exist and are not viewed as part of an emerging Islamic caliphate, the Muslim Brotherhood is directly responsible for the rise of ISIS and the entire Arab Spring.  The Obama-backed project to replace strongmen in the region (e.g. Mubarak, Gaddafi, Assad)  is such a failure that Libya today is in a state of anarchy, occupied by ISIS’s bloodthirsty armies, who are training to invade Europe.

Paralyzed by Inaction and Complicity

The U.S. Congress refuses to act.  They are in denial, and paid well to be so.  Lobbyists and government perks keep them fat, happy, and stupid.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a regional headquarters

in Doha, Qatar, home of the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.  Indeed, some of America’s most respected companies do business with Al-Thani family, who last year pledged $1 billion to the terrorist government, including Hamas, in Gaza.  Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution are also in this sand-swept desert oasis of revolutionary Islam, along with many other top-tier universities and think tanks.

So far has the establishment, in particular the Obama administration and the progressive left, merged with the global Muslim Brotherhood, that Harvard University and Northwestern University are actually helping build an Islamic sharia law school in Qatar – a country which has been aptly nicknamed an “ATM for Terrorists.”

There are enough hard, verifiable facts available on Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of Washington, D.C. that there is no need to stretch the truth.  Qatar’s associations with the nation’s capital and the players who run it are alone enough to fill a volume, or two.

So why doesn’t the Press report just the facts?

What is the reason for such an incredible failure by the press to inform the American people of the dire state of their government under Barack Obama?  There are several.

Many advisors to Obama are married into the media, or have worked in media themselves prior to joining the administration.  Both Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice have familial connections with powerful executive in (what was once known as) the free press.  Four times more journalists identify as liberal compared to conservative.  Evidently, with the case of Brian Williams coming to light, some in the media don’t care about the truth and would rather make up bald-faced lies.

Yet the biases above don’t fully explain the conspicuous silence of the mainstream press on the Muslim Brotherhood.  For it is no longer bias or loyalty that sway the press, but fear.

The Obama administration has proved that it will stonewall, punish, illegally wiretap, and in general make life difficult for inquisitive members of the press.  Case in point, Sharyl Attkisson, who refused go along with the official lies regarding Benghazi.  Her documented harassment by the administration sends the intended message, and most spineless editors and producers listen: shut up and report what we say, or else!

Overseas, an aggressive Russia is looking to reassert the power it had under the Czars and the Soviets.  Civil unrest in Ukraine has resulted in a war that threatens Russia’s economic security.  Simultaneously, Russian-allied Syria, on the Mediterranean, is under attack by U.S.-backed terrorists, who are referred to by the administration and parroting media as “moderates” (that, according to Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper).

When it comes to the genocide and cultural annihilation of Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities, the word is in Washington is mum.

Today’s parallels with the 1930s are hard to miss.  In an ominous signal of what may come, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called all European Jews to Israel.  All signs point to the conclusion that a much broader war is on the horizon unless something big changes, and fast.  And because our allies have very little trust in us, as we continue to back a genocidal Islamic

movement, the country finds itself with few international friends and in considerable danger.

If we want to change our future, it behooves us to face reality, no matter what it is.  The Muslim Brotherhood is not going to disappear on its own – they are too entrenched.  One potential first step would be to formally designate that the Muslim Brotherhood and all affiliated groups are terrorist entities.  This has already been done in Egypt, Russia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.  It is most definitely not “Islamophobic.”

Following the designation, patriotic law enforcement must conduct a thorough investigation of all levels of government, and prosecute all guilty parties according to the Constitution.

Most urgently, the people must demand action! Before too much more time passes, before it is too late.

The Betrayal Papers is a collaborative effort by the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, which includes: Andrea Shea King, Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Benjamin Smith, Bethany Blankley, Brent Parrish, Charles Ortel, Chris Nethery, Denise Simon, Dick Manasseri, Gary Kubiak, Gates of Vienna, IQ al Rassooli, Right Side News, Leslie Burt, Marcus Kohan, Mary Fanning, General Paul E. Vallely, Regina Thomson, Scott Smith, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Colonel Thomas Snodgrass, Trevor Loudon, Wallace Bruschweiler, and William Palumbo.

Intelligence: Broken Arrow

194221_5_By G. Murphy Donovan:

Policy is a worldview. Intelligence is the real world, a wilderness of untidy facts that may or may not influence policy. When Intelligence fails to provide a true and defensible estimate, a clear picture of threat, policy becomes a rat’s nest of personal and political agendas where asserted conclusions and political correctness become the loudest voices in the room.  The policymaker thinks he knows the answer. The intelligence officer has the much tougher tasks of confirming or changing minds.

American national security analysis has been poisoned by such toxins. An Intelligence report these days might be any estimate that supports the politics of the moment. Truth today is an afterthought at best and an orphan at worst.

Alas, corrupt Intelligence is the midwife of strategic fiasco. Four contemporary failures provide illustrations: revolutionary theocracy, the Islam bomb, imperial Islamism, and the new Cold War.

Back to Theocracy

The Persian revolution of 1979 was arguably the most significant strategic surprise of the last half of the 20th Century. Yes, more significant than the fall of Soviet Communism. (The precipitous fall of the Soviet Bloc, to be sure, was another bellwether event unanticipated by Intelligence analysis.) The successful religious coup in Iran, heretofore an American client regime, now provides a model for all Muslim states where the default setting among tribal autocracies is now theocracy not democracy. In the wake of the Communist collapse, Francis Fukuyama argued that the democratic ideal was triumphant, an end of history as we knew it, the evolutionary consequence of progressive dialects. Fukuyama was wrong, tragically wrong. History is a two-way street that runs forward as well as backwards.

The fall of the Soviet monolith was not the end of anything. It was the beginning of profound regression, an era of religious irredentism. Worrisome as the Cold War was, the relationship with Moscow was fairly well managed. Who can argue today that East Europe or the Muslim world is more stable or peaceful than it was three decades ago?

The Persian revolution of 1979 not only reversed the vector of Muslim politics, but the triumph of Shia imperialism blew new life into the Shia/Sunni sectarian fire, a conflict that had been smoldering for more than a thousand years. The theocratic victory in Tehran also raised the ante for Israel too, now confronted by state sponsored Shia and Sunni antagonists,Hezb’allah, Fatah, and Hamas.

Shia Hezb’allah calls itself the party of God! Those in the Intelligence Community who continue to insist that religion is not part of the mix have yet to explain why God is part of the conversation only on the Islamic side of the equation.

Global Islamic terror is now metastasizing at an alarming rate. More ominous is the ascent of the Shia clergy, apocalyptic ayatollahs, bringing a lowering of the nuclear threshold in the Middle East. Sunni ISIS by comparison is just another tactical terror symptom on the Sunni side — and yet another strategic warning failure too.

Tehran is in the cat bird’s seat, on the cusp of becoming a nuclear superpower. Nuclear Iran changes every strategic dynamic: with Israel, with Arabia, and also with NATO. A Shia bomb is the shortcut to checkmate the more numerous Sunni. Iran will not be “talked out” of the most potent tool in imperial Shia kit — and the related quest for parity with Arabian apostates.

The Islam Bomb

The Islam bomb has been with us for years, in Sunni Pakistan, although you might never know that if you followed the small wars follies in South Asia. The enemy, as represented by American analysis, is atomized, a cast of bit players on the subcontinent. First, America was fighting a proxy war with the Soviets. When the Russians departed, the enemy became the murderous Taliban followed by al Qaeda. Both now make common cause with almost every stripe of mujahedeen today. In the 25 years since the Soviet withdrawal, Afghanistan has been reduced now to a rubble of narco-terror and tribalism. If we can believe bulletins from the Pentagon or the Oval Office, America is headed for the Afghan exit in the next two years — maybe. Throughout, the real threat in South Asia remains unheralded — and unmolested.

Nuclear Pakistan is one car bomb, or one AK-47 clip, away from another Taliban theocracy. This is not the kind of alarm that has been raised by the Intelligence Community. Hindu India probably understands the threat, Shia Persia surely understands the Sunni threat, and just as surely, Israel understands that a Sunni bomb is the raison d’etre for a more proximate Shia bomb. Who would argue that the Sunni Saudis need nuclear “power”? Nonetheless, Riyadh is now in the game too.  The most unstable corner of the globe is now host to a nuclear power pull.

The American national security establishment seems to be clueless on all of this. Indeed, when a unique democracy like Israel tries to illuminate a portion of the nuclear threat before the American Congress, the Israeli prime minister is stiff-armed by the Oval Office. If Washington failed with Pakistan and North Korea, why would anyone, let alone the Israelis, believe that Wendy Sherman is a match for the nuclear pipedreams of apocalyptic Shia priests.

Alas, the motive force behind a Shia bomb is not Israeli capabilities or intentions. Israel is a stable democracy where any territorial ambitions are limited to the traditional Jewish homeland. Israel is no threat to Persia or Arabia.  Pakistan, in contrast, is like much of the Sunni world today, another internecine tribal or sectarian wildfire waiting for a match.

The advent of the Islam bomb in Asia was not just a strategic surprise, but the step-child of strategic apathy. The folly of taking sides with the Sunni has now come home to roost. Iran is about to go for the atomic brass ring too, with the Saudis in trail, and there’s not much that America can/will do except mutter about secret diplomacy and toothless sanctions. Of course, there’s always the option of blaming Jews when appeasement fails.

Imperial Islam

The Ummah problem, the Muslim world, has now replaced the Soviet empire, as Churchill would have put it, as the “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” There are four dimensions to the Islamic conundrum: the Shia/Sunni rift, intramural secular/religious conflicts, kinetic antipathy towards Israel and the West writ large, and the failure of analysis, especially strategic Intelligence, to unwrap the Muslim onion in any useful way. Imperial Islam, dare we say Islamofascism, now threatens secular autocracy and democracy on all points of the compass.

194220_5_

 Islam in London

Islamic imperialism is a decentralized global movement. Nonetheless, the various theaters are united by tactics, strategy, ideology, and objectives. The tactics are jihad, small wars, and terror. The strategy is the imposition of Shariah Law. The ideology is the Koran and the Hadith. And the objective is a Shia or Sunni Islamic Caliphate — for infidels, a distinction without difference.

Muslim religious proselytizers and jihad generals in the field make no secret of any of this. The problem isn’t that some Muslims dissent from this agenda, the problem is that the West, especially national security analysts, cannot/will not believe or accept what Islamic imperialists say aloud, about themselves. The enemy is hiding in plain sight, yet the Intelligence Community doesn’t have the integrity or courage to make a clear call.

Read more at American Thinker

Boko Haram: What It Means to Swear an Oath

2700814599CSP, by Kyle Shideler, March 11, 2015:

In response to the fact that Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has sworn allegiance to Islamic States, analysts have primarily seized on what benefit Boko Haram is expected to get out of it, and whether the Nigerian insurgency needed a “propaganda” boost, at a time when they are facing a coalition of African states seeking to roll back them back.

This focusing solely on the question of benefit seems logical to the average western analyst, but is deeply problematic.

First, what is Boko Haram? An insurgency? A terrorist organization? Boko Haram, in their own words, is a jamaat (group) dedicated to dawa (proselytizing) and jihad (warfare against unbelievers). These words in and of themselves are pregnant with significance.

Consider from the prospective of those whom Boko Haram considers a relevant authority on these matters. Founder Mohammed Yusuf in 2009 reportedly stated that: “All Islamic scholars who undermine Ibn Taymiyyah, Sayyid Qutb, Hassan al-Banna and Osama Bin Laden are not authentic Islamic scholars.” Sayyid Qutb, in his seminal work “Milestones” had this to say about Dawa and Jihad:

“The movement uses the methods of preaching and persuasion (Dawa) for reforming ideas and beliefs and it uses physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili (pre-Islamic) system.”

As a Dawa and Jihad organization adhering to Qutb’s methodology, Boko Haram from the beginning was oriented towards the eventual seizure of territory upon which to rule while abolishing Nigerian rule.

Having reached a stage (or milestone as Qutb would have called it), where they felt it appropriate, Boko Haram announced in August of 2014 the establishment of an Islamic state over the territory they controlled in Northern Nigeria. At the time many western analysts misunderstood this claim to be one of a “rival” caliphate. Boko Haram reaffirmed its position of ruling territory in January of this year, noting in discussing its seizure of the town of Baga:

“As for it’s importance to us, it’s because of it removes that military presence from the lands of the Islamic state, and hence establish the Shariah of Allah in the region, and attain safety and security in it for Muslims.”

It was during this period that Boko Haram began openly expressing itself with Islamic State imagery, including their version of the black shahada flag, and using nasheeds (acapella singing) popular with IS fighters in their videos.

Finally the Boko Haram’s Shura Council was previously reported to be considering whether or not to swear an oath to “Caliph” AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi. Having finally done so, it has been reported as an “alliance” or a “team up” but the reality is different. An oath to a caliph carries with it significant implications. Regarding the oath, Islamic jurist Ibn Khaldun (d.1406) wrote:

It should be known that the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) is a contract to render obedience. It is as though the person who renders the oath of allegiance made a contract with his amir, to the effect that he surrenders supervision of his own affairs and those of the Muslims to him and that he will not contest his authority in any of (those affairs) and that he will obey him by (executing) all the duties with which he might be charged, whether agreeable or disagreeable.

In practice, because of geographical distance, and because Boko Haram remains capable of operating independently, it’s unlikely that this degree of total control would be applied, particularly if Boko Haram is granted the position of an IS Province), but legally that is what has been sworn.  It’s an oath which is pre-modern in its conception, and attempting to understand it in the context of  a joint venture between two companies, or a nation-state alliance is an error.

As regards Islamic State’s view of the matter, many questioned whether Boko Haram’s oath would be accepted (it appears to have been). This should come has no surprise either, because Islamic State has explicitly told groups like Boko Haram that such an oath is not only welcome, but “obligatory.” The Islamic State noted in its Caliphate Declaration (This is the Promise of Allah) that:

We clarify to the Muslims that with this declaration of khilāfah, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the khalīfah Ibrāhīm and support him (may Allah preserve him). The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas. (emphasis added).

This would seem to suggest that the Islamic State is now in the position to offer at least some level (of possibly technical) assistance to Boko Haram, thus representing an “arrival of its troops.” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has already claimed that Islamic State has been training Boko Haram’s forces, although whether that’s true remains to be seen.

Seeking to understand and analyze jihadist organizations absent the context of the sharia law that dictates their actions and which they hold as legally binding and obligatory,  continues to mislead and confuse.

 

The Evil Done by Good Men

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Published on Mar 10, 2015 by Political Islam

The evil of the annihilation of Christianity and the Yazidis in the Middle East goes on without any protest by good people. The silence aides the jihad. Where do we see protest against our largest human rights tragedy? Who will speak against evil?

In Israel’s hour of need

iranian-bomb-300x225By Caroline Glick, February 27th, 2015

It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure. He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful Israeli media.

In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.

For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.

He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.

He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaties – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.

Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.
And yet, despite Obama’s scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the little his has done on Israel’s behalf. He always makes a point of thanking Obama for agreeing to Congress’s demand to continue funding the Iron Dome missile defense system (although Obama has sought repeatedly to slash funding for the project).

Obama’s policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite Mubarak’s dependability as a US ally in the war on Islamist terrorism, and as the guardian of both Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and the safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.

Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow despite the fact that the only political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and end Egypt’s peace with Israel.
Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama’s behavior. But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.

He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.
He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused by Obama’s enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic myopia that endangered both Israel and the US’s other regional allies.

And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have grown used to bringing him to his knees – the Obama administration, the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party grow ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.

As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.

Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.

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