New ‘Islamic Commandos’ Terror Group Emerges in War-Torn Afghanistan

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Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, August 24, 2015:

The reported emergence of a new terror group in Afghanistan, calling itself the “Islamic Commandos,” indicates that the country remains a safe haven for terrorist organizations.

American troops invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to prevent terrorist groups, namely al-Qaeda, from using the war-torn country as a base for their operations.

Since then, the U.S. has spent billions of taxpayer dollars and lost at least 2,217 American lives on that effort.

Less than one year after President Obama declared an end to the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan, Khaama Press reports that Afghan officials are now saying the Islamic Commandos have begun operating in their areas.

The group, which has at least 1,000 members, has begun to function in northern and southern Afghanistan—particularly in the northern provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz, and Faryab; and the southern Zabul, Urozgan, and Kandahar provinces. This is according to Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor of Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, who reportedly told Azadi Radio on Sunday, adding that the group is also operating in his province.

“He said [the] majority of this group is currently fighting with security forces in northern Afghanistan,” adds Khaama Press.

The deputy governor pointed out that the group broke away from the Taliban, which it now considers a rival faction.

It is unknown what brought about the division that led to the formation of the Islamic Commandos, notes Heavy.com.

A report from the Afghan Bokhdi News Agency, written in Dari, quotes Ahmadi as saying that the Islamic Commandos are linked to al-Qaeda and have entered Afghanistan from Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal region located along the Afghan border, according to an English translation provided by BBC.

Breitbart News was unable to independently confirm whether or not the new terrorist group has ties to al-Qaeda. It is unclear whether or not there is a relationship between the Islamic Commandos, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and al-Qaeda.

The Taliban and al-Qaeda share historic ties. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri pledged allegiance to the new Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, who took over the group after Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar was reported dead. Mansour has accepted the pledge.

The Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are currently fighting a turf war in Afghanistan.

There are already at least fifteen terrorist organizations operating in the Afghan and Pakistan region, SFGate reports. The Islamic Commandos are the newest terrorist group in Afghanistan.

U.S. and international troops are already dealing with the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the entry of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), which has appeared in parts of the country, carrying out brutal executions.

Except for a small Kabul-based embassy presence, the U.S. is expected to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, President Obama has said.

Obama, at the request of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, already slowed down the withdrawal pace of American forces, extending the presence of nearly 10,000 troops until the end of this year.

In 2014, the U.S. president said that by the end of 2015, America would draw down its military presence to about half of the current level.

President Obama has reportedly asked U.S. Gen. John F. Campbell, the top commander of American and international forces in Afghanistan, to reassess the situation on the ground after the 2015 fighting season, the first with the Afghan forces supposedly in the lead.

Earlier this month, The Daily Mirror reported that British special forces (SAS, SBS) were deployed back to Afghanistan to take on both ISIS and the Taliban.

“Just a year after David Cameron said the war was over, members of the SAS and SBS along with US special forces are taking part in military operations almost every night as the insurgent forces close in on the capital Kabul,” noted the article.

“British troops are supposed to be just advisers to the Afghanistan special forces, who they have spent years training,” it added. “But senior defence sources say that in reality the troops are planning and leading counter-terrorist strike operations.”

U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Afghan president have discussed the possibility of forming a ten-year regional counterterrorism effort against ISIS.

Andy’s Law signed by Governor McCrory in North Carolina

signing Andy's Law

Center for Security Policy, by Christopher Holton, August 24, 2015:

“Andy’s Law” counterterrorism legislation sponsored by Representative Chris Whitmire has been signed into law in North Carolina–along with an amendment authorizing National Guard members in North Carolina to be armed so that they can shoot back against terrorists.

The law allows for seizure of the assets including money, used in the course of, intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through terrorism.  This would empower law enforcement to prevent terrorists from keeping their assets.

The bill also creates a civil cause of action against terrorists and those who support them by allowing victims to recover actual damages, treble damages and attorneys fees.  This would allow victims of terrorism to sue those who committed the terrorist act and, significantly, those who provide material support for the terrorist act.  Current state laws do not clearly establish such a cause of action.

The name Andy’s Law was derived from the soldier who was killed by a Jihadist terrorist in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 1st, 2009, Private Andy Long.

In addition to North Carolina, Andy’s Law has passed into law in Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas and Tennessee.

Why the US government is on track to ‘normalizing’ ISIS

 (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

New York Post, by Alex VanNess, August 23, 2015:How long will it take the United States to recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate actor?

That may sound ridiculous. After all, ISIS is a barbaric and sociopathic band of terrorists who proudly highlight their brutality over the Internet. Unfortunately, recent history suggests this doesn’t disqualify them, as horrific as it sounds, from eventual recognition.

Since before 9/11, the Taliban laid claim to numerous terror attacks on civilian populations throughout Afghanistan. They harbored Osama bin Laden, and since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve been directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 American troops.

Yet in January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cryptically explained that the Taliban was not a terrorist group but instead falls under a “different classification.”

Earnest’s verbal gymnastics were deployed in the service of explaining away the president’s decision to trade five members of the Taliban for the release of American soldier-captive Bowe Bergdahl.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including several Americans. Since its creation, the Gaza-based Hamas has been dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Hamas is brutally repressive toward women and gays; they have a tendency to savagely drag dead bodies through the streets.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporated Hamas-appointed ministers. Instead of cutting off financial support to the new government, as required by US law, the Obama administration jumped through hoops to legitimize the new government. Officials said they would continue supporting the Palestinian government because the new ministers were “technocrats” that “don’t represent . . . hard-core Hamas leadership.”

The legitimacy granted to Hamas by this administration is a reflection of the trend held by many pro-Palestinian protestors who now brazenly chant, “we are Hamas!” through the streets of US cities such as Miami.

Cuba has a long history of human-rights abuse. The Cuban government regularly harasses and imprisons dissidents and has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Cuba continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists and maintains close ties to both North Korea and Iran.

In 2013, Cuba was caught sending weapons to North Korea. It aids terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Iranian proxy Hezbollah and the Basque Fatherland of Liberty (ETA).

Despite this behavior, the administration still decided to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and has begun the process of normalizing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The State Department justified this removal by stating that “Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months” and citing vague promises that they “will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

So to recap, within this past year we have stopped referring to the Taliban as terrorists, provided de facto recognition and funding to Hamas and have opened up to the repressive terror-sponsoring Cuban government.

Why should we assume that ISIS will be treated any differently than these groups?

As each day passes, ISIS solidifies its presence in the region. Sure, ISIS commits terrible atrocities. The group regularly — and indiscriminately — beheads innocent people; rapes women and sells them as sex slaves and employs children as executioners.

But its leaders have undeniably been working to establish the Islamic State as, well, as a functioning state. They issue identification cards, pave roads, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social-welfare programs.

ISIS has carved out its territory by filling the Middle East’s power vacuums, and are thus, in some places, the only game in town. How long before the international community recognizes the ISIS government?

The past precedent of legitimizing various terrorist groups and repressive dictatorships make this all too real of an issue. It’s imperative that the United States stops this trajectory of providing legitimacy to these regimes and turns back the ISIS tide, or we may one day soon be debating the opening of an embassy to the Islamic State in what used to be Iraq.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.

The IKEA Murders: Sweden in Crisis

Gatestone Insisute, by Ingrid Carlqvist
August 23, 2015

  • The mosque fire received huge attention, while the rape epidemic is basically ignored. When a Swedish woman and her son are brutally knifed to death in the most Swedish of all places – an IKEA store – the Prime Minister has nothing to say.
  • The normal democratic order, where citizens can contact politicians or the media to make their voices heard, has all but evaporated in Sweden. Newspaper websites have removed the reader comment fields, and the politicians hide behind a wall of officials who brand callers expressing concern “racist,” and hang up. Sweden is governed by a power that has shut down the democratic process.
  • Questions flooded the social media: Who are these people that are let into Sweden? How many of them are not innocent victims of war, but in fact war criminals and other criminals, hiding among the refugees?
  • The most relevant question is: Why has one government after another chosen to spend Swedish taxpayers’ money to support and shelter citizens of other countries, while some of them try to kill us?
  • None of the mainstream media has confronted the government about the violent crimes committed by asylum seekers against Swedes. On the contrary – the media have done the utmost to convince Swedes that everything is safe and sound in Sweden. Better than ever, in fact.
  • “Where do I apply for asylum… when the day comes that I can no longer live here?” – “Ewa,” on Facebook.
  • Violent crime is up 300% and rape is up 1,472% since 1975, the year the Swedish Parliament decided to turn homogenous Sweden into a multicultural country.

A surge of rage has washed over otherwise docile Sweden. After a double homicide at an IKEA store in Västerås, where an illegal alien stabbed two random Swedes to death, more and more people are questioning why the government is exposing Swedish citizens to murderers from across the globe.

On August 10, news of the IKEA murders shocked Sweden. Two asylum seekers from Eritrea (the second largest source of asylum applicants in Sweden), were suspected of having grabbed knives from the kitchenware department and attacked two random Swedes. The victims were 55-year-old Carola Herlin and her 28-year-old son, Emil.

Carola Herlin, Director of the Moro Backe Health Center, was murdered on August 10, along with her son, in the IKEA store in Västerås, Sweden.

The elder of the two asylum seekers, a 36-year-old man, had twice been denied residency status in Sweden — because he had already been granted residency it in Italy — but he had not yet been deported. (Eritreans without residence permits in other EU-countries automatically get to stay in Sweden.)

The killer also inflicted life-threatening injuries on himself, and underwent several surgeries before the police could finally question him. On August 14, he confessed. His 23-year-old compatriot was released from custody, because the police no longer believe he had anything to do with the murders or had even known what his friend was planning to do.

Fear has now struck the Swedes. Even those who had routinely brand critics of immigration and multiculturalism racist, were shaken to the core. Questions flooded the social media: Who are these people that are let into Sweden? How many of them are not innocent victims of war, but in fact war criminals and other criminals, hiding among the refugees? And should we pay billions in taxes to support and shelter citizens of other countries, while some of them try to kill us?

The fact that the police refuse to deny the persistent rumor that one of the IKEA victims was beheaded, only adds fuel to the fear.

So many questions and no answers. No one from the government has even bothered to make a statement about the horrific double murder. None of the mainstream media has confronted the government about the violent crimes committed by asylum seekers against Swedes. On the contrary – the media have done the utmost to convince Swedes that everything is safe and sound in Sweden. Better than ever, in fact. The day after the double murder, Sweden’s largest morning paper, Dagens Nyheter, published an article titled, “After all, deadly violence on the decline.” The article begins:

“In recent weeks, several brutal murders have been committed, and many people ask themselves where society is headed. The answer is that Sweden has, after all, become a safer place. Deadly violence has been on the decline for some time.”

Nowhere does the article explain that the reason deadly violence has been on the decline is that emergency medicine is now able to save the lives of a lot more victims of knife- and gunshot-injuries. The so-called Laser Man, for example, shot a number of immigrants in Sweden in the 1990s. Forensic pathologist Jovan Rajs commented, “The Laser Man shot eleven people, and one of them died. In the 1930s eight or nine would have died, in the 1970s about five, and today probably none.”

Ergo, deadly violence remains on an even level thanks to better health care in Sweden, but all other kinds of violent crime (including attempted homicide) has gone off the charts. Violent crime is up 300% and rape is up 1,472% since 1975, the year the Swedish Parliament decided to turn homogenous Sweden into a multicultural country.

Ninety percent of asylum seekers to Sweden lack proper identification papers, so in reality no one knows how many murderers, rapists and thugs hide among the 100,000 or so people granted asylum in Sweden every year.

Frustrated Swedes are now howling with powerlessness on social media. The normal democratic order, where citizens can contact politicians or the media to make their voices heard, has all but evaporated. Newspaper websites have removed the reader comment fields, and the politicians hide behind a wall of officials, who brand callers expressing concern “racist,” and hang up. Thousands bear witness to this on Facebook. One person who actually got to talk about her uneasiness is Ewa, who writes on Facebook about calling Immigration Services:

“Well, I’ve unleashed the devil now. I called Immigration Services and demanded to talk to a Unit Manager. … I gave him an earful about every injustice I could think of, like how badly we treat our elderly and how we take away their homes and give them to asylum seekers. I also told him how unsafe Swedish women feel due to all these gang rapes perpetrated by asylum seekers and other foreigners. Also asked him if we all have to be beheaded before they stop taking in these kinds of people. … Now I’m sitting here, feeling completely empty after crying, screaming, discussing, raging and getting all this frustration out of me. Told him there are many of us who feel depressed because of what Immigration is doing. He was really sorry I feel this way. Yes, I told him, a lot of people feel this way but they are afraid to open their mouths because then they are labeled racist. You don’t even have to be a Sweden Democrat to see that our country is falling apart more and more with each passing day. Something you and all the rest at Immigration Services are responsible for. Where do I apply for asylum, I asked, when the day comes and I can no longer live here? Our country is ruined economically, socially and so forth and you are responsible. He answered that it was the politicians who decided about this, but that they would do everything in their power to make things better.”

Another woman, Amanda, wrote on Facebook that she e-mailed Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. She noted that “nothing may change, but at least I’ve made my voice heard.” Her e-mail read:

“Hi, why did the Prime Minister feel it was essential and urgent to go and talk about the fire at the mosque in Eskilstuna, no one even knew what started it when he held his speech? But now, he’s as silent as the grave. Why? It’s his/your unconditional and lax immigration policies that have enabled this culprit to move freely in society, despite having received a deportation order not just once, but twice. Can you tell me if this is something the citizens of this country should get used to, that immigrants, upon receiving deportation orders, kill people in order to get a lifelong contract with the Swedish state? It is your personal responsibility every time this happens, I hope you know that. Because this is nothing if not a political issue regarding immigration, and… its massive consequences to an entire nation.”

The mosque fire in Eskilstuna that Amanda referred to happened December 25, 2014, and is one of many incidents affecting Muslims and other immigrants that have received huge attention, while the rape epidemic in Sweden is basically ignored. After the fire, the Prime Minister was quick to make a statement:

“It is despicable, a despicable act. We will never tolerate this type of crime. People who want to practice their religion should have the right to do so. Today I feel great sympathy and empathy for those affected.”

Three months later, it turned out no crime was behind the mosque fire, and police dropped the investigation. Most likely, it was caused by an accident or children playing with fire.

But when a Swedish woman and her son are brutally knifed to death in the most Swedish of all places – an IKEA store – the Prime Minister has nothing to say.

Read more

Ingrid Carlqvist is editor-in-chief of Dispatch International. Follow Ingrid Carlqvist on Twitter

‘Sandboxing’ Islam: How to Protect America from Jihad Terrorism

image8 (1)Jihad Watch, AUGUST 21, 2015, BY

Enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) can give us the legal and tactical edge in countering the threat from Islamic supremacism.

Background

It should be obvious for anyone with eyes to see that Islam — its scriptures, the example of Muhammad, its doctrines, and its overall ideology — is behind the spread of most terrorism and unrest in the world today. 

From the Islamic State (ISIS), Boko Haram, al-Nusra and al-Shabaab, to slightly older groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to lesser known jihadi organizations throughout Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim, and China, a survey of terrorist attacks reveals Muslim involvement throughout the entire world.

Here in the United States, we are seeing a dramatic rise in Muslim “lone wolf” jihad terrorist attacks (and, as some have described them, known wolves”). Further, from all points of the compass, we are seeing literally tens of thousands of Muslims flocking to the Middle East to join the Islamic State caliphate and support the jihad with their very lives. 

The scenario gets worse. Some analysts argue that we are seriously underestimating the numbers of Western Muslims joining the Islamic State. 

Here at home, we have a “full blown insurgency.” The FBI has already arrested seventy IS-inspired Muslim terrorists, and has active investigations of IS-inspired jihad plots in all 56 of its field offices. NewsMax reports “the government’s terrorist watch list carries 700,000 to a million names.”

mosques_mapThe Challenge: Jihad-Linked Mosques

This is all indisputable fact. The threat is real and growing. Even worse, the threat is specifically from devout, observant Muslims who attend mosque. Behind every lone-or-known-wolf jihadi and every Islamic State recruit there is a mosque where they are receiving instruction in Islam.

That should give us pause, as four separate studies in recent years show that 80% of mosques in the U.S. teach, preach or advocate for jihad and the imposition of sharia law in America. 

Confirming these mosque studies are proven links between mosques and terrorists.  For example, one of the two Mississippi Muslims recently arrested for trying to join the Islamic State is the son of the imam at the local mosque. Many terror-linked mosques have spawned multiple jihadis. The Phoenix mosque attended by the Garland TX jihadis is notorious for having two other members in federal prison on terrorism-related convictions. Perhaps most infamous is the Islamic Society of Boston, which was attended not only by the Boston Marathon Bombers, but by numerous other jihad-terror-linked Muslims. The list goes on and on.

For many people, especially in our political class and certainly among the 2016 field of presidential candidates, there seems to be no solution to this national security nightmare of terror-linked mosques and known wolf jihadis. To date, there is no coherent, principle-based policy to address Islamic terrorism in the United States. 

The Solution: ‘Sandboxing’ Islam in America

This is where I believe the simple analogy of “Sandboxing” can help us.

You’ve probably heard the term, even if you’re not a computer geek. One tech source offers this definition:

A “sandbox” is a play area for young children: it is supposed to be safe for them (they cannot hurt themselves) and safe from them (it is sand, they cannot break it). In the context of IT security, “sandboxing” means isolating some piece of software in such a way that whatever it does, it will not spread havoc elsewhere.

If we think of America as being, ideally, a safe and free place for its citizens, within which we should be able to live, work, play, and, as the ubiquitous bumper sticker says, “Coexist,” then when it comes to Islam and Muslims, we need a solution analogous to the IT security process of “sandboxing.” We need to isolate malicious jihadi forces, “in such a way that whatever they do, they will not spread havoc elsewhere.”

What would “sandboxing” look like when it comes to Muslims in America? In practice, it could include the following policies:

  • A moratorium — a complete freeze — on Muslim immigration. Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul expressed a similar policy concept following the Chattanooga jihad murders of five US servicemen, proposing a halt to immigration from Muslim countries with known jihad activity. Going one step further, Franklin Graham wrote at the same time that “We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled.
  • All mosques must be classified and treated as “agents of foreign power,” in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a U.S. law (22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq.) passed in 1938.

The law presciently allows for application in gray areas such as Islam presents, as it states that any entity with a “political or quasi-political capacity” disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate “evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons.” [Source]

Islam certainly thinks and behaves like a foreign power, is guided in America by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis and other foreign Islamic groups, and has a definite political dimension. (See also here.)

  • Any and all mosques associated with Muslim terrorists must be investigated, and if found to be advancing jihad doctrine, sharia law, and Islamic supremacism over the United States, they should be prosecuted and closed, in accordance with the FARA act referenced above.
  • Stop all foreign funding of mosques, whether by FARA, new legislation, or executive power. We already know that Saudi Arabia is providing extensive funding to advance its extremist Wahhabi strain of Islam worldwide, including of mosques in America, as is Turkey. There already exist covert lobbying groups for Muslim nations, including Iran.

 These are just some starting points to aid in getting this conversation going. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has an 18-point platform with similar policy proposals which may be considered as well.

We must have hope that, just as illegal immigration has become a major issue in the presidential race, so also we may be successful in elevating public awareness of the clear and present danger from Islam and Muslim jihad terrorists. This is a generational if not century-long struggle ahead of us, and should resonate with voters.

The concept of “sandboxing” is, I believe, the most helpful image in making our case to not only the American people, but also to the political elite and the 2016 candidates. 

We must publicly challenge the Republican presidential candidates to take the initiative, and to fearlessly raise the issue of Islam up to the same level as Immigration. We must demand of them to be bold and daring when it comes to defeating jihad. The defense of our nation, our freedoms, and the lives of our fellow citizens and men-and-women in uniform should be paramount for whoever would be Commander-in-Chief. This issue will be topmost on that person’s desk in the Oval Office from Day One. Better to tackle it now with a strong and visionary policy, than to be knocked back on our heels by a surprise attack in 2017.

Now is the time to put misbehaving Muslims and their terror-linked-mosques on time-out. Islam is at war with us. More and more Muslims are heeding the summons from Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, taking up arms against us in this war, and killing American citizens right here at home. Denying the reality and threat of Islamic jihad is not a valid policy, it is civilizational suicide.

It is time to “sandbox” Islam in America, and use decisive, legal means to counter its threat to our freedoms and our way of life.

_______

Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.

Also see:

Officials: Iran ‘testing’ Netanyahu’s resolve with rocket raid

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

WND, by Aaron Klein, Aug. 23, 2015:

TEL AVIV – The Israeli defense establishment believes Iran was testing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resolve when the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization fired four rockets into the Israeli north in a major escalation last week.

In information corroborated with defense officials here, the Times of Israel last week quoted a senior Israeli security official saying Saeed Izadi, head of the Palestinian Division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s al-Quds Force, planned last Thursday’s rocket attack.

The actual rockets were fired by the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Israel officials said.

Two of the projectiles hit open areas on the Golan Heights while two others landed further inside Israel, striking open areas in the Upper Galilee region. All four rockets were fired from the Syrian sections of the Golan Heights, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

In one of the heaviest Israeli bombardments against the Syrian regime in years, the IDF returned artillery fire at 14 Syrian military targets in Syria following the rocket attack. On Friday, the Israel Air Force further struck an Islamic Jihad convoy on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Even though the latest round of fighting was started by the Islamic Jihad and Iran’s Guard force, Hezbollah on Sunday increased its alert level to the highest, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reported Saturday, “for fear of attempts by Israel to drag Lebanon and Syria into an escalation of a state less than war but more than an operation.”

Hezbollah members were quoted by the newspaper claiming Netanyahu’s government believes that after the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, Israel’s “situation is critical and will soon be tested” with an Israeli escalation.

However, Israeli defense officials told WND it is Iran that is doing the testing, estimating the Iran-approved rocket firings were meant to see if Netanyahu’s government would mount offensive measures following the signing of the international nuclear deal.

The officials said the rocket launchings demonstrate Iran is particularly emboldened since it is willing to orchestrate a daring attack on Israel’s northern border just weeks after the nuclear deal was finalized.

“I said it just this week – anyone who tries to harm us, we will harm them. And so we did,” Netanyahu stated after the rocket attacks. “The IDF killed the forces responsible for the rocket attacks and the Syrians who allowed it to happen. We have no intention to escalate the situation but our policy remains the same.”

“To those states that are rushing to embrace Iran, you should know that an Iranian commander supported and gave guidance to the group that fired on Israel,” added Netanyahu.

***

Also see:

European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3206426/U-S-Marines-armed-gunman-onboard-high-speed-train-Amsterdam-Paris.html#ixzz3jahelC2M

(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3206426/U-S-Marines-armed-gunman-onboard-high-speed-train-Amsterdam-Paris.html#ixzz3jahelC2M

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

Quick action by unarmed off-duty U.S. servicemen on a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris narrowly averted tragedy yesterday as they subdued a terrorist gunmen before he could begin his rampage. And according to multiple reports, the suspect in custody was known to multiple European intelligence agencies – yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism.

Since last year, I’ve noted here at PJ Media that virtually all of the terrorist incidents in the West have been conducted by subjects who were already known to law enforcement and national security agencies, refuting the “lone wolf” narrative floated by authorities and the establishment media that such terrorist activity is random and unpredictable.

And such appears to be the case yet again in the case of what happened on the Thalys train.

CNN reports:

The suspected gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the European counterterrorism official said.

A second security source told CNN the gunman was known by French intelligence. The official said it appeared the gunman was sympathetic to ISIS, but a full determination on his specific loyalties had yet to be reached.

Another report from The Telegraph indicates that the gunman was known to multiple European intelligence agencies:

The gunman who tried to bring carnage to a high-speed train is believed to have been an Islamist extremist who traveled to Syria last year.

The 26-year-old of Moroccan origin, named in the Spanish press as Ayoub El Qahzzani, is understood to have been on the watch lists of three European intelligence services.

The gunman was taken into custody at Arras station and the French authorities have not released his name. But if he was Qahzzani, he appears to have left Morocco in 2013 and moved to Spain, where he lived for about a year.

And Reuters indicates that Qahzzani was no “lone wolf”:

According to Le Voix du Nord, citing security sources, the suspected Islamist militant was seen on a plane to Turkey from Germany in May, and was thought to have visited Syria.

The French newspaper said he may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January.

One terrorism expert makes an important point:

Neuman tweet

An editor at the Jerusalem Post also asks another relevant question:

tweet6

The case of yet another returned foreign fighter from Syria engaged in terrorism seems to refute the attempts by many counterterrorism researchers to say the threat is “exaggerated” and that terror returnees should be treated with a “hands-off” reintegration approach, most recently advocated by Charles Lister at Brookings Institution.

The “Known Wolf” terrorism phenomenon is something I have documented here at PJ Media going back to last year:

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

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015:Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015:France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015:Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

This was also the subject of a Capitol Hill briefing I gave back in late January sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET):

So why is it despite these repeated instances of “Known Wolf” terrorism, that authorities have yet to even acknowledge the problem, let alone try to solve it?

***

UTT Trains Hundreds in Colorado Despite Efforts by Hamas

cair-hamas-logoBy John Guandolo, August 20, 2015:

Understanding the Threat (UTT) spent last week in Colorado speaking to large groups of citizens, elected officials, law enforcement, and others despite a strong push by Hamas (doing business as “CAIR” – the Council on American Islamic Relations).

Hamas (dba CAIR) sent emails to a large number of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs calling for them to avoid any of UTT’s training programs, and published an article calling UTT’s Founder John Guandolo an “Islamophobe” which is equivalent to a public condemnation for violating the Islamic Law of Slander (to say anything about Islam or Muslims they would dislike), which is a capital crime in Islam.

Calls and emails to the FBI by UTT concerning these threats continue to be ignored.

Despite Hamas’ best efforts, UTT was able to make significant headway in Colorado and share factual information about the threat from the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadi network in America which consists of the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. including: Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and all of its subsidiary Islamic Societies; Muslim Student Associations (MSA) which exist on every major college and university campus; Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) which drives a great deal of the Interfaith Outreach programs in America and propagates a false narrative about Islam; Muslim American Society (MAS); International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT); Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Americans for Palestine (AFP) a Hamas front now operating on many college campuses; Islamic Shura Council; Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA);  Council on Islamic Education (CIE); North American Imams Federation; most of the over 2100 Islamic Centers in the U.S. today; and many other Islamic organizations.

Facts already in evidence in the largest terrorism trials in American history identify CAIR as the 4th organization created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas here.  Members of Congress, the Department of Justice, and over 20 years of evidence make clear CAIR is operating as a terrorist organization (Hamas) in America with their headquarters office only a block from Congressional offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

While Hamas/CAIR continue to publicly threaten UTT founder John Guandolo and personally attack him, UTT continues to present evidence CAIR is a Hamas entity and it and its leaders should be treated as such.

Iran Is Already Violating the Nuke Deal

irans-ali-khamenei

Frontpage, by Joseph Klein, August 20, 2015:

As the congressional vote on President Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran draws closer, the Iranian regime appears to be doing everything it can to show that it has the upper hand as a result of the deal it negotiated with the United States and its five partners. It is either dishonestly twisting certain terms of the deal to justify its misbehavior or simply defying the terms outright. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not pushing back. Instead, they are pushing hard to avoid a veto-proof congressional vote of disapproval.

For example, Iran is planning to sign a contract for four advanced Russian surface-to-air S-300 missiles as early as next week, following a visit to Moscow by Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in violation of an international travel ban.

There have been whimpers of objection from the Obama administration, but no forceful statement that such activities by the Iranian regime will jeopardize the agreement from the get-go.

Iranian leaders have also declared that their arms shipments to allies in the region, such as their terrorist proxy Hezbollah, will continue despite the United Nations Security Council arms embargo still in effect for the next five years.

The Obama administration’s response is staggering. According to Kerry, “The arms embargo is not tied to snapback. It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”

That is all the encouragement the Iranian regime needed to up the ante. According to Debkafile, “Al Qods commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, acting on the orders of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week set up a new Iranian command to fight Israel.” This newly named “Eastern Command” is reportedly set “to start handing out weapons, including missiles, to any Palestinian West Bank group willing to receive them.” This is the same Soleimani with American blood on his hands who recently visited Moscow in violation of the current international travel ban, but who will eventually have sanctions and freezes against him lifted as part of the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, to make matters even worse, the Associated Press is reporting that “Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work.” In other words, the UN international inspection team that President Obama has pointed to as the chief verification safeguard will now give way at least in part to Iranian inspectors investigating their own alleged nuclear weaponization development work at a military site declared off limits by Iran to international inspectors. The White House remained “confident” in the viability of the inspection regime despite the confidence game the Iranian regime played with the UN to permit Iran to self-inspect.

Nevertheless, Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives are lining up to support President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. They are willfully ignoring clear evidence that Iran, post-deal, is continuing its pattern of cheating and violating international sanctions and embargoes still in place. Like lemmings jumping over the cliff, these Democrats are willing to ease the Iranian regime’s path towards becoming a threshold nuclear armed state in a little over a decade, out of blind partisan loyalty to Obama.

To date, the Obama administration has the declared support of 23 Democratic and nominally “independent” senators it will need to sustain an expected veto by President Obama of any resolution passed by Congress to disapprove the deal. This tally is according to The Hill’s Senate whip list compiled as of August 18th. The administration needs at least 34 senators on Obama’s side to sustain a veto. Six Democratic senators are said to be leaning towards a favorable vote, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). Fifteen Senate Democrats are still undecided.

So far, only two Democratic senators have shown the courage to serve the public interest, rather than narrow partisan interests. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) became the second Democratic senator to announce his willingness to vote against the president from his own party in opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran. Senator Chuck Schumer had announced his opposition on August 6th.

On the House side, according to The Hill’s Whip List as of August 19th, 55 Democratic representatives have indicated that they are planning to vote in support of the deal. Fourteen more Democrats are leaning in favor. Twelve have declared their opposition to the deal so far. Three are leaning against and 57 are listed as undecided. Obama will prevail on a vote to sustain his expected veto of a disapproval resolution that passes both houses of Congress if he loses no more than 43 House Democrats (assuming the Republicans in the House all vote to override the veto).

Speaking at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations on August 18th when he announced his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, Senator Menendez provided a very detailed explanation of his decision.  He characterized the fundamental flaw in the deal this way: “The agreement that has been reached failed to achieve the one thing it set out to achieve – it failed to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state at a time of its choosing. In fact, it authorizes and supports the very road map Iran will need to arrive at its target.”

Senator Menendez objected to the exchange of permanent sanctions relief for Iran in return for “only temporary – temporary – limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations.” The deal, the senator added, “is based on ‘hope.’ Hope is part of human nature, but unfortunately it is not a national security strategy.”

Senator Menendez also took a swipe at President Obama’s attempt to tie opponents of his deal to supporters of the 2003 war in Iraq. “Unlike President Obama’s characterization of those who have raised serious questions about the agreement, or who have opposed it,” the senator said, “I did not vote for the war in Iraq, I opposed it, unlike the Vice President and the Secretary of State, who both supported it.”

The New Jersey senator reminded his audience that the purpose of the negotiations from the U.S. perspective had been “to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time.  Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Senator Menendez cataloged examples of early assurances from the Obama administration of red lines that were later wiped away. For example, Secretary of State John Kerry had declared in the early days of engaging with Iran that Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, would be dismantled. That is not the case under the deal Obama and Kerry signed off on.  The underground Fordow enrichment facility was to be closed. That too was not part of the final deal. The Iranians, Senator Menendez said, were supposed “to come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin [their military facility] and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.” That too, in Senator Menendez’s words, “fell by the wayside.” Now we have learned that the Iranians will be able to self-inspect.

In addition, not even one existing centrifuge will be destroyed. Some are just being disconnected. Thousands will remain in operation. Research and development on centrifuges will be permitted to continue even during the first ten years of the deal.

“While I have many specific concerns about this agreement, my overarching concern is that it requires no dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and only mothballs that infrastructure for 10 years,” Senator Menendez explained. “We lift sanctions, and — at year eight — Iran can actually start manufacturing and testing advanced IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges that enrich up to 15 times the speed of its current models.  At year 15, Iran can start enriching uranium beyond 3.67 percent – the level at which we become concerned about fissile material for a bomb.  At year 15, Iran will have NO limits on its uranium stockpile.”

Under the deal, Iran will get significant sanctions relief within the first year, while its obligations stretch out for a decade or more. And there is a major concession in the deal that has gotten very little attention to date. Iran’s negotiators out-maneuvered Secretary of State Kerry’s team into conceding away the right to re-impose or extend U.S. sanctions beyond their expiration date. Senator Menendez noted that “we will have to refrain from reintroducing or reimposing the Iran Sanctions Act I authored – which expires next year — that acted significantly to bring Iran to the table in the first place.”

Iran has agreed only to provisionally apply the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that is supposed to ensure continuing access to suspect sites in a country, and only formally adopt it when Congress has abolished all sanctions.

Senator Menendez, like Senator Schumer, dismisses the either-or choice between Obama’s deal and war, which Obama and his supporters are offering as a red herring. “If there is a fear of war in the region,” said Senator Menendez, “it is fueled by Iran and its proxies and exacerbated by an agreement that allows Iran to possess an industrial-sized nuclear program, and enough money in sanctions relief to continue to fund its hegemonic intentions throughout the region.”

The senator suggested offering Iran some limited inducements to return to the negotiating table, and outlined some parameters that the Obama administration should follow in seeking better terms. These include “the immediate ratification by Iran of the Additional Protocol to ensure that we have a permanent international arrangement with Iran for access to suspect sites,” closing the Fordow enrichment facility, resolving the ‘possible military dimensions’ of Iran’s program” before there can be any permanent sanctions relief, banning centrifuge R&D for the duration of the agreement, and extending to at least 20 years the duration of the agreement.

Senator Menendez also wants to extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act beyond its expiration in 2016 “to ensure that we have an effective snapback option.” And he wants a clear declaration of U.S. policy by the President and Congress that “we will use all means necessary to prevent Iran from producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, as well as building or buying one, both during and after any agreement.”

Unfortunately, the procedure for congressional involvement with the nuclear deal has turned the Constitution’s treaty ratification process on its head. Instead of requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate to ratify the nuclear deal if had been handled as a treaty, President Obama will get his way unless both houses of Congress override his veto of a disapproval resolution by a two-thirds vote. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that opponents of the nuclear deal will likely lose in a vote to override an Obama veto. Why the Republican majority in the Senate ever agreed to such a legislative trap is beyond comprehension.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, at the very least the leaders of the House and Senate must insist that a resolution of disapproval be voted upon on the merits. Each representative and senator should be required to go on the record in a roll-call vote, indicating his or her vote of yea or nay. This means that Democrats in the Senate should not be permitted to hide behind a filibuster to avoid an up-or-down vote. If the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster and allow a majority of the Senate to pass or reject a disapproval resolution is not attainable, Senate Majority Leader McConnell must stand up and take a page out of former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s playbook. Senator McConnell should deploy the so-called “nuclear option.” This would mean eliminating the filibuster that could otherwise be used by Democrats to block a vote on what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime agreement with life and death consequences for national security.

If the Democratic senators supporting President Obama’s deal believe that it is the only realistic alternative to war, then they should have the backbone to put their names on the record in support of the deal. If they try to duck their legislative responsibility to their constituents and the nation, then Senator McConnell must act promptly to take away their filibuster fig leaf. If Senator McConnell does not move aggressively in this direction as and when necessary, he will show as much cravenness as the Democrats exploiting the filibuster.

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Congress: Will Your Name Be on Iran’s Bomb?

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Also see:

The Supreme Leader Caught in His Own Web?

khawebIran Truth, by Clare Lopez, August 19, 2015:

For those who have only experienced either democracy or dictatorship, it is difficult to grasp the complexities of Iran’s political system, which is an autocracy that has adopted some democratic features. A careful reading of the Iranian constitution, however, clarifies for the reader that the Supreme Leader is the one and only person who wields ultimate power in that system, including appointment power for a vast number of positions.

Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Kayhan, the most important Iranian daily widely viewed as the regime outlet for the Supreme Leader’s ideas and policies, is one of those appointed to his job directly by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Thus, it was no surprise that Shariatmadari’s 15 August 2015 editorial, claiming that Khamenei opposes the nuclear deal, drew immediate attention. Obviously, Shariatmadari would not have written that without Khamenei’s consent. The confusing part, however, is that Hamid Reza Moghadam Far, top advisor to MG Mohammed Ali Jafari, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, then harshly criticized Shariatmadari and warned him not to ascribe to the Supreme Leader his own ideas and understandings.

Given that Jafari is directly appointed by the Supreme Leader (just like Shariatmadari), and that there’s little history of this Iranian regime sending out such mixed messages from its own top ranks, the only conclusion possible is that sowing confusion is a calculated move at this time, intended to serve a regime objective.

For over three decades, the Islamic regime of Iran has made implacable enmity toward the U.S. and Israel the foundation of its official foreign policy, reflecting its leaders’ ideological dedication and fervor. Generations of young people have been indoctrinated to Islamic beliefs and recruited to the IRGC, Qods Force, and Basij on the basis of commitment to these beliefs. A blood-soaked litany of terror attacks instigated by this mullahs’ regime stretches from the ruins of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut through Khobar Towers, the East Africa Embassy bombings, the USS Cole attack, 9/11 and hundreds of American troops killed and maimed by Iranian and Hizballah explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tehran’s support for Islamic terror groups has left a global trail of murder and mayhem. “Resistance” is what the Ayatollahs call it. “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” are the slogans, chanted in endless repetition. America is the “Great Satan” and Israel the “Little Satan.” Never did the Supreme Leader imagine negotiating, much less reaching an actual agreement, with such hated enemies.

But the sanctions took their toll and financial collapse had to be avoided, even if it meant coming to the table to negotiate with the world’s superpowers, however noxious that was for Khamenei personally. Getting the West to believe Iran was desperate enough to obtain relief from sanctions that it would agree to limit its nuclear weapons program was only a clever ruse, of course, but it worked. The first step was allowing Hassan Rouhani, an old regime hand who’d served as negotiator in earlier talks, to become president. Khamenei needed Rouhani’s smiling demeanor to smooth international impressions of the Islamic Republic. The years-long cultivation of Secretary John Kerry by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also would pay off big time. The clincher was bringing in Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, an old friend of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEO) chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, to push through to the final agreement. Intelligence services like Iran’s are willing to invest lots of time and effort with targets at this level.

The American collapse on every single key issue—from enrichment (a stipulation demanded—and obtained—even before the first secret talks began in Oman in 2011) to centrifuges, the Arak plutonium-producing reactor, off-limits facilities, Iran’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), sanctions relief, and P5+1 technical assistance with nuclear development and site protection—surprised and delighted the Iranians. Contrary to Shariatmadari’s claims, the Supreme Leader is in fact quite satisfied with the nuclear deal; but, he cannot show that publicly, for two key reasons. If the U.S. Congress should vote against the deal, potentially leaving in place even some sanctions that President Obama could neither waive nor lift, Khamenei would find himself the public supporter of a failed deal. The powerful IRGC and Basij militia might hold him responsible for compromising the blood of martyrs and values of the Islamic Revolution for which the Iranian people sacrificed their economy and lives. And that would spell the end of the regime.

What to do? Khamenei wants the benefits of this deal without any of the possible liabilities. So, even as his trusted Iran Lobby pulls out the stops to make sure the deal goes through, he tries to find a way to support it without disappointing the guns that keep him in power. Solution: in public, Khamenei has spoken in general, nebulous phrases that convey no certain position. But in private, to certain audiences among the IRGC, Qods Force, and Basij, he pretends to oppose the deal. To others, he expresses support. Each group is allowed to go out and express its understanding of the Supreme Leader’s position with the media. Meanwhile, Khamenei plays the game safely and waits to see which way the deal will go.

If something goes wrong with the deal, Khamenei will be the one who warned Rouhani’s negotiating team not to trust the Americans. Publicly, then, he can discredit Shariatmadari and claim the media misstated his position (even though everyone knows that without Khamenei’s prior permission, neither Jafari nor Kayhan’s editor-in-chief would even discuss the subject). The regime is trapped in a web of its own making. It has radiated hatred toward Israel and the West for so long and so insistently that it cannot now just stop chanting “Death to America” or calling for Israel to be wiped off the face of the map. Nor can it abandon its terror proxies across the region. Disappointing the IRGC and Basij that are the backbone of this regime would shake the very foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran: unthinkable.

Khamenei depends on the U.S. Congress to save his regime. Congressional members may want to think about that long and hard before voting on this disastrous deal next month.

This piece was co-written by Daniel Akbari, a lawyer certified to practice before the Supreme Court of Iran, holds a master’s degree from Texas State University and a graduate certificate in homeland security from the Bush School of Government and Public service. 

Also see:

10 Things American Families Can Learn from Mississippi ISIS Arrests

Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla

Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, August18, 2015:

This month’s arrest of a young Mississippi couple who allegedly tried to run off to the Islamic State together provides textbook examples of how ISIS tries to lure Westerners to jihad.

Jaelyn Young, 19, and Muhammad Dakhlalla, 22, of Starkville have been charged with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIS. A judge denied bond for the couple last week.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, the two had been in a relationship for a matter of months. Young’s father is a Vicksburg police officer and her mother is a middle-school principal. She was a recent convert to Islam and a student at Mississippi State. Dakhlalla graduated from Mississippi State and was working toward his master’s degree in psychology. His parents — the father born in Bethlehem, the mother from New Jersey — ran a restaurant.

Unbeknownst to the pair, they were chatting online with FBI employees beginning in May when they thought they were talking with Islamic State contacts. The pair ended up buying a ticket to Istanbul through Amsterdam, attempting to fly out of Columbus, Miss., on Aug. 8. They were arrested before they could leave the country.

Many of those conversations included info straight from ISIS handbooks that are distributed online or highlighted things that people should watch for in discerning jihadist sympathies in those around them.

1. Red-flag conversations

Young, communicating with an FBI employee posing as an ISIS member, said that among Muslims she knew in the community “many of the family members and members of the community do not support Dawlah [Islamic State].” The criminal complaint states that Young “expressed that she disagreed with those family and community members and stated ‘…Dawlah is correct.’”

In a paper for the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program, Jahangir E. Arasli writes that “although the percentage of violent converts is small, evidence suggests they constitute a growing pool of hundreds, if not thousands, of very dangerous people who represent direct security threats.” What were these discussions she was having in which she was gauging others’ support for ISIS? With whom? Who didn’t raise the red flags? This highlights a major hole in trying to stop the next Boston bombers or Chattanooga shooter: people engaging with would-be jihadis about the subject, but not passing on red-flag information to the proper authorities.

2. The Hijrah

“In that same conversation Young announced that she is preparing for ‘hijjrah,’ a common reference to journeying to the Islamic State. She further stated, ‘I have [a] hijjrah partner and we are planning to leave before August.’ She went on to discuss some of her concerns about being monitored by Government agencies, and she also added that her travel partner was a ‘brother’ and that she would have to have ‘nikkah’ with him so they could travel together without an escort.”

ISIS markets special guides to females on making hijrah, or the caliphate pilgrimage, and also tutors its followers around the world on how to keep government agencies off their tail. FBI Director James Comey has said this is one of the most dangerous parts about ISIS: when they “go dark” online by focusing on encryption, they fall off the grid of what the agency is able to track.

From an August 2014 “cheat sheet” circulated online:

“One might be asking themselves if they can continue using their old social media on these. The answer is yes, but I do not recommend it whatsoever. If one feels they post things in which they would need this security, which is most Muslims upon haqq who are active online, then they should make a disclaimer saying something similar to, ‘I recant all opinions deemed dangerous or violent expressed on this page. This page was run for educational and analytic purposes only, to study the radical Muslim community for recreational purposes. I invite all those who follow this page to leave such corrupt ideology. I am not affiliated with any groups or organizations deemed terrorist or dangerous otherwise by any Western government or union of governments. I am a law abiding citizen in every regard.’”

“And then proceed to delete all other tweets/posts on the page and after leaving this up for a few minutes, simply delete the page. Make no indication that you have done this based on instructions. You are in a war with these people, we have discussed this earlier. Now, once you are on either TOR with a VPN, TOR, and/or TAILS OS, make a new bitmessage email. Make an alias. Sign-up for Twitter on TOR. Do not post pictures or any indication of who you are explicitly. If you feel the need to alter your writing style a bit, if you were a popular page, do so. You can make subtle indications that this is so and so, however, nothing that can be proven in a court of law. Allah’u must’a’n, may we never see inside one of those rooms for such a purpose.”

It’s also important to note that while social media sites try to take down ISIS accounts, they’re overwhelmed to the point where al-Qaeda accounts go practically unnoticed. Jihadist material also tends to go unnoticed in the black hole of file-sharing sites.

3. ISIS wants people to build a state

Young discussed skills that she and Dakhlalla could contribute to the caliphate: “I am skilled in math and chemistry and worked at an analytical lab here at my college campus. My partner is very good with like computer science/media. We learn very fast and would love to help with giving medical aid.” The FBI employee then contacted Dakhlalla via social media and he confirmed, “I am good with computers, education and media. What could I contribute to Dawlah?”

ISIS not only distributes photo essays of beheadings and Shariah punishments throughout the day, but things like dairy farms and teacher exams. Their “job postings” don’t just call for jihadists, but for engineers, HR professionals, administrators and more. A May video with Australian Dr. Tareq Kamleh showed him working at a hospital in Raqqa and encouraging other Muslim medical professionals to come over.

4. ISIS wants to acclimate Westerners for a special reason

Dakhlalla asked, “Would we be appointed to a city or would we choose to go where we want to live when we arrive?” Young later told a second FBI employee poising as an ISIS financier that Dakhlalla “wants to help with media group and really wants to correct the falsehoods hear here. US has a thick cloud of falsehood and very little truth about Dawlah makes it through and if it does then usually the links are deleted (like on youtube and stuff).” She added that Dakhlalla said “a lot of Muslims are caught on their doubts of IS [because] of what US media says and he wants to assure them the US media is all lies when regarding Dawlah. After he sees change in that, he wanted to joint the Mujahideen.”

A May guide by British jihadist Siddhartha Dhar focused heavily on all of the creature comforts of home that his compatriots could find in the Islamic State, from “fluffy, velvety and sweet” ice cream to Snickers bars and “some of the best lattes and cappuccinos around.” Once they reel in Westerners, they can do what Dhar is doing — speak in a voice that Westerners understand, bridge cultural divides, and rally them to jihad in or out of the Islamic State.

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5. Decoy holiday travel

When Young was talking in the early June conversation about flying to Turkey on the “story” of being “newlyweds on our honeymoon” she stressed, “We won’t be flying to Istanbul. We will fly to a different country and take a bus to Istanbul.” She said they’d fly to Greece first, states the criminal complaint.

This suggests that Young had seen some ISIS advice. A 50-page e-book published in February noted, “Travelers to Syria usually want to reach Turkey. But for safety reasons, they buy a ticket for an indirect holiday country like Spain or Greece so their destination doesn’t seem suspicious.” The e-book also suggested buying a return ticket to tamp down suspicion.

6. Why they lure women

Later in June, Young reportedly told the second FBI employee that she couldn’t wait to get to the Islamic State to “raise little Dawlah cubs.”

Some of the more chilling footage to come out of the Islamic State training camps is of the “cubs” training — children being abused as they become indoctrinated in how to harm others in the name of jihad. If ISIS wants to build a state, and a movement that they hope will take over Rome, they want women to be reproducing.

7. The lack of ISIS selectivity

Meanwhile, Dakhlalla was communicating with the first FBI employee and said he’d gotten married to Young. He wanted to know if there was “training and Shariah” as soon as he got to the caliphate, adding, “I am not familiar with Shariah but from what Aaminah [Young] and I researched, Dawlah follows Shariaf correctly, right?”

To not know such an integral detail of the caliphate is odd, but ISIS is happy to take the not-so-sharp-in-Shariah recruits if they’re eager to be molded. ISIS’ magazine, Dabiq, is more Quran-heavy than AQAP’s Inspire magazine, which includes more practical how-tos for jihadis.

8. The homegrown base

The FBI stated that Young said on July 17, the day after the Chattanooga shootings, that she felt better after watching the news and seeing the attack. “Alhamdulillah, the numbers of supporters are growing.”

A big part of ISIS’ methodology is encouraging supporters to bloom where you’re planted. Even if someone can’t make it to the Islamic State (and some publications have pitched financial aid programs), they’re encouraged to further the goals of the caliphate where they are. Even if someone is deterred from running off to Syria, for this reason they need to be taken into custody.

“Wolves,” an April call for jihadists in Egypt to activate said, are “one of the first jihad work stages” and simply indicates “individual small cells” who have a greater chance of taking the enemy by surprise or taking down his compatriots. They don’t need “strength or muscle, huge experience in jihad work” and “each wolf chooses what suits him and what fits his goal and location of the implementation of the action.”

“Small firewood is what ignites huge and large flames… wolves will increase their expertise and will move with the time and expertise to the largest operations and to expand and diversify the weapon used.”

9. The grand ISIS plan

Several days later, Young allegedly told the second FBI employee that they were concerned about Turkey cracking down on ISIS seeping across the border, adding that hopefully “Dawlah will begin to expand into Europe soon.”

Another indication that she read the terror group’s online propaganda. ISIS has issued many e-books on its strategy to hasten Armageddon, including the sacking of Rome and enlisting “the Islamic State’s secret weapon = secret white converts” to take on Europe. The strategy expects the defeat of a Russia-Iran alliance, the Roman attack on the Islamic State, and the conquest of Rome by 2020.

10. They want intelligence

At the beginning of August, the criminal complaint says, Young noted they’d be flying out of their small town “with a very small airport that doesn’t have much, if [any], security. In fact when we get to Dawlah In sha Allah I can tell you about it. That’s one US weaknesses [sic] — small towns’ airports have poor funding and less educated staff so it is easier to get through.”

A key reason why ISIS craves any Western recruit is to learn whatever snippets of intelligence they can about places they’d like to conquer or attack. They use Google Earth and similar open resources for much of their planning, but there’s nothing like having an adherent who know his way in and out of U.S. landmarks or an employee at a nuclear or water-treatment facility.

Classified emails from Clinton aides kick-started FBI probe, candidate downplays controversy

Clinton-Vegas-Getty-640x480

Fox News, by Catherine Herridge, August 19, 2015:

EXCLUSIVE: An email from a top Clinton adviser containing classified military intelligence information, and one from a top aide containing classified information about the Benghazi terror attack, were the documents that kick-started the FBI investigation into the mishandling of classified information, Fox News has learned.

The emails, among thousands on Hillary Clinton’s personal server, were released to the Benghazi select committee in May and have been widely discussed but Fox News for the first time has identified which Clinton aides sent them and the subject matter.

The revelation came as the Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state tried to brush aside the burgeoning scandal, joking at a campaign event when asked by Fox News whether she had wiped her private server clean, “What, with like with a cloth or something? I don’t know how it works at all.”

Clinton last week handed the FBI her private server, which she used to send, receive and store emails during her four years as secretary of state.

Fox News has identified two of the Benghazi-related emails on the server that were deemed to contain classified information at the time they were sent.

The first was forwarded by Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and contained classified material from military intelligence sources. The 2011 email forwards a warning about how then-Ambassador Chris Stevens was “considering departure from Benghazi” amid deteriorating conditions in a nearby city. The email was mistakenly released by the State Department in full, and is now considered declassified.

The second was sent by Clinton aide Jake Sullivan and contained classified information as well as sensitive law enforcement information on Benghazi. The partly redacted November 2012 email detailed how Libyan police had arrested “several people” with potential connections to the terror attack.

Abedin and Sullivan now work for the Clinton presidential campaign. A spokeswoman for the intelligence community inspector general confirmed to Fox News that the information was classified at the time it was sent.

But Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon says the information was not classified at the time the emails were sent. In maintaining this position, the campaign pointed to the fact that the State Department shared this judgment, as the Abedin email was released in full by the State Department on its FOIA website. The campaign spokesman acknowledged there is disagreement with the intelligence community inspector general.

A State Department spokesman said they shared Fallon’s stance.

The emails are now just a fraction of those under review by the intelligence community. On Tuesday, while Clinton joked about her server’s apparently missing contents, Fox News has learned the FBI is aggressively trying to recover the data.

An intelligence source familiar with the review told Fox News that FBI investigators are confident they may be able to recover some of the deleted files, a detail first reported by NBC News.

Yet at the contentious press conference on Tuesday, Clinton insisted anything she did with her email server was “legally permitted.”

In the press conference following a Las Vegas town hall meeting Tuesday, Fox News’ Ed Henry pressed the Democratic presidential candidate by pointing out that leadership is about taking responsibility.

“Look, Ed, I take responsibility,” Clinton replied. “In retrospect, this didn’t turn out to be convenient at all and I regret that this has become such a cause celebre. But that does not change the facts. The facts are stubborn — what I did was legally permitted.”

The FBI is holding Clinton’s server in protective custody after the intelligence community’s inspector general raised concerns recently that classified information had traversed the system.

Clinton told reporters she was “very comfortable that this will eventually get resolved and the American people will have plenty of time to figure it out.”

When asked whether she oversaw the process to wipe the server clean, Clinton said, “my personal emails are my personal business. Right? We went through a painstaking process and through 55,000 pages we thought could be worth relating,” she continued. “Under the law, that decision is made by the official. I was the official. I made those decisions.”

As she departed the room, a reporter asked whether the email scandal will ever end, Clinton turned to reporters shrugged and said, “Nobody talks to me about it other than you guys.”

Fox News’ Ed Henry and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

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Also see:

Saudi Arabia: The World’s Greatest Hypocrite

yh (2)Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, August 19, 2015:

Saudi Arabia recently preached to the international community about the need to confront “intolerance, extremism and human rights violations.”

If this sounds surreal, consider the following excerpts from a July 26 report in the Saudi Gazette (emphasis added):

Saudi Arabia has reiterated its call on the international community to criminalize any act vilifying religious beliefs and symbols of faith as well as all kinds of discrimination based on religion.

Saudi Arabia wants Western cartoonists, comedians, and others—people who represent only their individual selves—to stop mocking the religious beliefs and symbols of Islam, even as the Arabian kingdom’s own institutionalized policy is to vilify and discriminate against the religious beliefs and symbols of all other faiths.

Not a single non-Muslim worship building is allowed there; the highest Islamic authority decreed that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”  Whenever Christians are suspected of meeting in a house for worship—or as one Saudi official once complained, “plotting to celebrate Christmas”—they are arrested and punished.

Any cross or other non-Muslim symbol found is confiscated and destroyed. Anyone caught trying to smuggle Bibles or any other “publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam” can be executed.

In 2011, a Colombian soccer-player “was arrested by the Saudi moral police after customers in a Riyadh shopping mall expressed outrage over the sports player’s religious tattoos, which included the face of Jesus of Nazareth on his arm.”  In 2010 a Romanian player kissed the tattoo of a cross he had on his arm after scoring a goal, causing public outrage.

And yet, Saudi Arabia has the unmitigated gall to ask the West—where Islam is freely practiced, where mosques and Korans proliferate, and where Muslims are granted full equality—to cease “discrimination based on religion.”

Continues the Saudi Gazette:

Addressing an international symposium on media coverage of religious symbols based on international law, which started in this French city on Saturday, a senior Saudi official said the Kingdom emphasized years ago that the international community must act urgently to confront ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance, which has become widespread in all communities and peoples of the world.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, few countries exhibit as much “ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance” as does the Arabian kingdom.  Along with the aforementioned discrimination and intolerance against all other religions, Saudi Arabia is notoriously clannish and racist.

Ten percent of the population is denied equal rights because of their race; back men are barred from holding many government positions; black women are often put on trial for “witchcraft”; castrated African slaves are sold on Facebook in the birthplace of Islam and its princes are known to beat their black slaves to death. Human Rights Watch has described conditions for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia as resembling slavery.

Worse of all is if you’re black and Christian.  After 35 Christian Ethiopians were arrested and abused in prison for almost a year, simply for holding a private house prayer, one of them said after being released: “They [Saudis] are full of hatred towards non-Muslims.”

This is unsurprising considering that the Saudi education system makes it a point to indoctrinate Muslim children with hatred, teaching that “the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.”

According to Saudi novelist Hani Naqshabandi, “Our religious institutions do not give us room to exercise free thought….  They [Saudi institutions] said that the Christian is an infidel, a denizen of hell, an enemy to Allah and Islam.  So we said, ‘Allah’s curse on them.’”

Again, bear in mind that all this is official Saudi policy—not the “free expressions” of individuals, which the Saudis are condemning as creating “ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance” around the world.

The Saudi Gazette goes on to quote one Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, “a senior Saudi official.” Speaking at a recent international symposium in France which hosted representatives from 16 European nations, he said that Western “freedom of expression without limits or restrictions” areabuses [that] bred intolerance, extremism and human rights violations…”

Again, it bears reemphasizing that in the West individuals are free to express themselves.  And it’s just that—expression, not action (as in murder, terrorism, rape, enslavement, church bombings, or the slaughter of “apostates”).

As for Western governments, thanks to political correctness, not only do they discourage freedom of expression but honest, objective talk concerning Islam is suppressed (hence every Western leader maintains that ISIS “has nothing to do with Islam,” AKA, “the religion of peace”).

Meanwhile, it is precisely Islamic teachings that breed “intolerance, extremism and human rights violations,” and not just in Saudi Arabia but all throughout the Muslim world.  And it is precisely these teachings that prompt Western peoples to criticize Islam, including through cartoons.

None of this is enough to embarrass the Saudis from their farce:

Al-Omari said the Saudi participation in the symposium falls in line with its efforts to support the principles of justice, humanity, promotion of values and the principles of tolerance in the world as well as to emphasize the importance of respecting religions and religious symbols.

Actually, because of Saudi Arabia’s absolute lack of “justice, humanity, promotion of values and the principles of tolerance,” even the U.S. State Department lists the home of Islam and Muhammad as one of eight “Countries of Particular Concern.”

Thus in ultra-hypocritical manner, Saudi Arabia asks the international community to stop exercising freedom of expression—even as it openly and unapologetically persecutes, discriminates, and violates the most basic human rights of non-Muslims and non-Saudis on a daily basis.

It still remains to determine which is more surreal, more unbelievable: that Saudi Arabia, which tops the charts of state-enforced religious intolerance and ethnic discrimination, is calling on the West “to confront ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance,” or that the West deigns to participate in such disgracefully hypocritical forums.

Dem Senator on Iran Deal: Just an Expensive Alarm Clock

Menendez-Against-Deal-HP

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Aug. 19, 2015:

Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey became the second Democratic Senator to announce his opposition to the Iran deal, joining Chuck Schumer of New York. Menendez described the deal as an “expensive alarm system” that will increase the Iranian nuclear threat and the stability of the regime.

Menendez gave a lengthy speech dissecting the deal, particularly how it preserves Iran’s status as a nuclear threshold state and sets up a situation where it becomes more difficult to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran with each passing day. For example, after the first eight years of the agreement, the regime will be permitted to have centrifuges that increase the speed of its uranium enrichment 15 times over.

Menendez pointed out that if Iran complies with the deal for the 15-year period—a big if—we will have a stronger Iranian regime with a greater ability to resist international pressure. And if Iran gets sanctions relief and then scraps the deal (probably conjuring up some pretext to accuse the U.S. of non-compliance), we will have the same outcome. In other words, the situation will be worse than today regardless of whether Iran complies or not.

Supporters of the deal argue that the deal extends Iran’s breakout time to build a bomb from the current three months to one year, which would be true if there were no hidden sites and Iran complies with the deal. Menendez responds:

“Of course if the Iranians violate the agreement and try to make a dash for a nuclear bomb, our solace will be that we will have a year’s notice instead of the present three months. So in reality we have purchased a very expensive alarm system.  Maybe we’ll have an additional nine months, but with much greater consequences in the enemy we might face at that time.”

Menendez recommends a middle path between scrapping the deal and approving it. He wants President Obama to renegotiate it and preserve the interim arrangement, which Iran should be willing to accept because it includes $700 million in economic relief every month, amounting to $10 billion already. Menendez said he’d even support unfreezing some additional assets to prove our sincerity.

A better deal, he said, would include immediate implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Additional Protocol, the closure of the underground Fordow enrichment facility, a ban on centrifuge development, complete disclosure of weaponization activities at Parchin and an international agreement about the specific sanctions Iran will face if a violation happens. Schumer previously recommended restrictions on how Iran spends its newly-acquired funds.

Menendez rebuts the administration’s argument that the only alternative to the deal is war:

“The President and Secretary Kerry have repeatedly said that the choice is between this agreement or war.  I reject that proposition, as have most witnesses, including past and present Administration members involved in the Iran nuclear issue, who have testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and who support the deal but reject the binary choice between the agreement or war.

“If the P5+1 had not achieved an agreement, would we be at war with Iran? I don’t believe that.

And finally, Menendez rejects the argument that the deal will moderate the Iranian regime by strengthening “reformists” inside of it, as President Obama suggested international engagement could accomplish. The gamble is that the Iran of 15 years from now will be vastly different than the Iran of today.

Menendez said:

“Whether or not the supporters of the agreement admit it, this deal is based on ‘hope’– hope that when the nuclear sunset clause expires Iran will have succumbed to the benefits of commerce and global integration.  Hope that the hardliners will have lost their power and the revolution will end its hegemonic goals.  And hope that the regime will allow the Iranian people to decide their fate.

Hope is part of human nature, but unfortunately it is not a national security strategy.

The Iranian regime, led by the Ayatollah, wants above all to preserve the regime and its Revolution, unlike the Green Revolution of 2009.  So it stretches incredulity to believe they signed on to a deal that would in any way weaken the regime or threaten the goals of the Revolution.”

And that’s the fundamental issue. The U.S. strategy towards Iran lacks an end goal, which should be ending the Iranian regime — not merely containing the destructive results of the current regime.

The next generation should not be burdened with a massively increased threat because of our desire to kick the can down the road. Any deal that strengthens the Iranian regime and rescues its Islamic Revolution is a strategic victory for the Ayatollah’s Islamist cause.

Also see:

‘For the Record’: The Nine Words That Explain Why the U.S. Gave Up So Much in the Iran Deal

iran-nuclear-deal-congressThe Blaze, by Tom Orr, Aug. 17, 2015:

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers has been sharply criticized by opponents who argue it gives the Islamic Republic far too much freedom to continue its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

One of the harshest critics is Frank Gaffney, a former senior official in the Department of Defense during the Reagan administration who worked on the government’s Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy.

“I think most people who’ve had the kinds of opportunities that I’ve had to work in government have never seen anything quite like this,” Gaffney said.

In this all-new For the Record short, Gaffney explains what he calls “The Obama Doctrine” and how it may have played a crucial role in shaping the controversial deal with Iran.

FTR SHORTS – Iran: The Obama Doctrine from TheBlaze Videos on Vimeo.