Congressman seeks to unlock secret refugee program

The Syrian civil war has caused 3.5 million refugees, with more than 350,000 being targeted by the United Nations for resettlement outside the region.

The Syrian civil war has caused 3.5 million refugees, with more than 350,000 being targeted by the United Nations for resettlement outside the region.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, May 4, 2015:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has received a response to his letter demanding answers from Secretary of State John Kerry about the planned resettlement of dozens of foreign refugees in his state.

But the answers failed to shed much light on the secrecy that surrounds the refugee program. The process by which cities and towns across the U.S. are selected to receive displaced persons from United Nations refugee camps remains largely a mystery.

As Gowdy discovered, the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was approved for the infusion of 60 refugees, mostly from Syria and Africa, by its own state government headed by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.

And if the program plays out in Spartanburg as it has in communities in Minnesota, California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and other states, then the 60 refugees will blossom into hundreds and thousands in future years. Minnesota, for example, is now receiving more than 2,000 Muslim refugees, mostly from Somalia, every year. Texas receives around 7,000 per year, and California more than 6,000, directly from the Third World.

Here are the top 10 states for refugee resettlement based on 2014 figures from the State Department website:

Texas, 7,2011

California, 6,110

New York, 4,079

Michigan, 4,000

Florida, 3,519

Arizona, 2,963

Ohio, 2,812

Pennsylvania, 2,743

Georgia, 2,693

Illinois, 2,578

The United Nations and nine private resettlement agencies are pressuring the United States to accept at least 65,000 refugees from Syria by the end of President Obama’s term in office.

Of the 815 Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. so far, 749, or 92 percent, have been Muslim, according to State Department data.

Only 43 Syrians allowed into the U.S. have been Christians, even though the turmoil in Iraq and Syria has driven thousands of Christians from their homes under threat of death by ISIS.

Some local residents are upset and asking questions about not only the security risks associated with the Muslim refugees but the numbers of refugees that will eventually end up in Spartanburg and how much it will cost to absorb them into schools, housing and health-care facilities.

Almost all refugees coming into the U.S. from war-torn countries are hand-selected by the United Nations.

The plan to send refugees from Syria and Africa to Spartanburg first surfaced in March when a story appeared in a local newspaper, which didn’t provide answers to any of the hard questions.

Gowdy pressed Kerry’s State Department for more information in an April 13 letter.

Kerry’s response on May 1 indicated the process of picking Spartanburg as the country’s newest refugee haven actually began back in April 2013, when World Relief, one of nine private agencies that contract with the government to provide resettlement services, was contacted by local faith groups in Spartanburg. Gowdy’s own office was notified of the plans in August 2014.

Gowdy was not happy with Kerry’s response and has fired off another letter on May 4 to the secretary of state.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

“To begin, it is important to clarify and correct the timeline of events for the proposal. In your response you stated there were two community meetings, one in August 2014 and one in January 2015,” Gowdy wrote to Kerry. “You also stated the proposal was submitted in July 2014 and approved in November 2014. Is this correct? If so, does this mean the resettlement agency had only one community meeting, which occurred after the proposal was submitted and before the State Department’s approval?”

And that one community meeting included no invitations to media or notices to the public, WND has learned.

Gowdy said he sent his initial letter to the State Department on April 13 because he could not answer questions brought to him by constituents regarding plans for a refugee resettlement in Spartanburg.

“We have provided State’s response so the public can read it. But some of the answers are inadequate and fail to provide specificity on who was consulted at the city and county level, within the public school system, and law enforcement, and if they provided input,” Gowdy said in a statement.

Gowdy is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration and border security, which has oversight responsibility for the refugee program.

He sent a staff member, Josh Dix, to the secret meeting in August but Dix did not raise any concerns about the resettlement, according to Kerry’s response to Gowdy’s letter.

Gowdy’s press secretary denied WND’s request for an interview with the congressman Monday and would not answer any questions.

Baptists working to resettle refugees in S.C.

World Relief, a nonprofit evangelical organization that works to resettle refugees nationwide, opened an office earlier this year in Spartanburg.

A group of 40 churches and other faith-based organizations has signed on to help World Relief resettle the refugees, according to Kerry’s letter to Gowdy. One of the lead agencies working with World Relief is the Spartanburg County Baptist Network.

But the plan to place refugees in Spartanburg has been brewing for more than a year, long before any local residents caught wind of it. Kerry’s letter provides a window into how a small group of people in the federal government, local church groups, a federal contractor and a state refugee coordinator conspire to plant “seedlings” of refugees into communities across the U.S.

These refugees are seen by the White House and its network of pro-immigration and refugee partners – groups like National Council for La Raza, Welcoming America and the National Partnership for New Americans – as potential “new Americans.” The refugees are placed on a fast track to citizenship and full voting rights.

The White House is also pushing to have the thousands of Central Americans who crossed the southern border last year afforded asylum status, which qualifies them for various welfare benefits and a direct track toward citizenship.

So while Spartanburg residents found out about the plan for their town in March and April, others in key positions have known about it for more than a year. No public hearings have been held before the city council or local school board. Gowdy is still trying to find out exactly who in Spartanburg was made privy to the plans and who provided input.

“The initial interest in resettling refugees in Spartanburg emerged in April 2013 when World Relief was approached by Spartanburg County Baptist Network,” Kerry’s letter states. “The group, along with 25 other individuals and church organizations, expressed their support for a World Relief resettlement program in their city.”

Kerry said the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration requires that the national resettlement agency, in this case World Relief, “thoroughly assess the local resettlement capacity and environment of any new proposed resettlement sites before determining whether to proceed with resettling refugees in that location. World Relief did conduct a full assessment of the community following its U.S. Site Selection Protocol.”

As for Gowdy’s knowledge, he should have been briefed on the program last summer by a staffer who attended a meeting convened by World Relief in August. Whether that happened is not known because Gowdy’s staff would not answer questions from WND. But the staffer Gowdy had present at the meeting in August did not raise any concerns about the program during the meeting, according to Kerry’s letter.

“Two community meetings (August 2014 and January 2015) were convened to discuss refugee resettlement in the area,” Kerry wrote to Gowdy. “The August meeting, convened by World Relief, was attended by 54 members of the community including Josh Dix from your office, members of local churches, the Immigration Forum, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau for Spartanburg. Mr. Dix did not offer any concerns during the meeting or in follow-up afterward.”

The National Immigration Forum, which was present at the meeting, receives funding from billionaire George Soros. It is the driving force behind the so-called “Evangelical Immigration Table,” or EIT. Breitbart called it “a front group for players on the institutional left including billionaire George Soros and the Ford Foundation.”

The Immigration Forum and EIT were involved in an advertising campaign promoting the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill in 2013, a bill seen by many right-leaning lawmakers as “amnesty.” One of the Gang of Eight members was Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Kerry said in his response to Gowdy that Graham was also invited to attend the August meeting on refugees but no one from his staff showed up.

The South Carolina state refugee coordinator, who works for Gov. Nikki Haley, gave her approval in November for the resettlement program to move forward.

Christina Jeffrey, a political science instructor at Wofford College in Spartanburg and former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives, said Kerry’s response shows that the refugee program is ingrained not only in the federal bureaucracy but in state governments as well.

“It’s another grant program; it isn’t just the feds cramming this down our throats. It’s government corruption at all levels,” she said, “with a lot of money at stake flowing to these contractors.”

World Relief, as the main contractor in Spartanburg, will be awarded a grant from the State Department of $1,975 for every refugee it resettles. Federal rules require $1,125 of that to be used in providing services directly to the refugee such as cash stipends, rents for housing or other material needs during the first 30 to 90 days of the refugee’s arrival. The remaining $850 may be used for staffing and administrative costs.

Nearly 70 percent of World Relief’s budget is covered by government grants. Others among the nine contractors, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Migration Services, have upward of 90 percent of their refugee work covered by government grants.

Seeking a moratorium on refugees

Jeffrey said she’s happy that Gowdy has taken an interest in the program, but she believes his responsibility goes beyond fact finding.

“I can do my own information gathering. I’m not looking to Trey Gowdy for that. I’m looking for him to do his job and provide oversight on whether this is a good use of taxpayers’ money,” Jeffrey told WND. “Rather than just gathering information on the Spartanburg resettlement, how about let’s put the whole program on hold until Congress has a chance to investigate it?”

Jeffrey and others have also voiced concerns about national security. Dozens of people from Muslim countries have come to America as refugees only to be charged with providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, according to FBI reports. At least another 48 cases have been confirmed of Muslim immigrants leaving the U.S. to fight for ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia. The Boston Marathon bombers were asylum seekers from Chechnya.

The refugee program has flown under the radar for more than 30 years, but controversy flared in February when a top FBI counter-terrorism official, Michael Steinbach, testified before the House Homeland Security committee and said the U.S. has no way to vet the Syrian refugees for possible connections to ISIS and other terrorist organizations. As WND reported, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, sent a letter to the White House Jan. 28 citing “serious national security concerns” about the Syrian refugee program and imploring Obama to not let it become a “back door for jihadists.”

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Islam and Free Speech: Missing the Point in Garland

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The purpose of the free-speech event was to highlight the threat posed by Islamic supremacists.

National Review, by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY May 4, 2015:

‘Even free-speech enthusiasts are repulsed by obnoxious expression.” That acknowledgment prefaces the main argument I’ve made in Islam and Free Speech, a just-released pamphlet in the Broadside series from Encounter Books. Alas, in view of last night’s deadly events at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, the argument is more timely than I’d hoped.

In Garland, two jihadists opened fire on a free-speech event that was certain to be offensive to many Muslims. The gunmen wounded a security guard before being killed when police returned fire. The jihadists are reported to be roommates who resided in Phoenix. As this is written, only one of them has been identified: Elton Simpson. The wounded security guard, Bruce Joiner, was treated and released. Joiner works for the Garland Independent School District, which owns the Culwell Center.

Simpson was apparently what my friend, terrorism analyst Patrick Poole, describes as a “known wolf.” That’s a radical Muslim whom the Obama administration and the media are wont to dismiss as an anonymous, unconnected loner but who, in fact, has previously drawn the attention of national-security agents over suspected jihadist ties.

Simpson previously attempted to travel to Africa, apparently to join al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda franchise. He was reportedly convicted of lying to FBI agents, though a judge found the evidence insufficient to prove he was trying to join the terror group. The al-Shabaab connection seems salient now: Police are investigating tweets about the Garland event prior to the violence, allegedly posted by a young al-Shabaab jihadist who is said to be an American citizen.

The Garland free-speech event was a contest, sponsored by Pamela Geller’s New York–based American Freedom Defense Initiative. Participants were invited to draw cartoons of Islam’s prophet, in homage to the Charlie Hebdo artists killed by jihadists in France. Besides Ms. Geller, the featured speaker at the event was Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian whose life has been threatened for years for speaking openly about the scriptural moorings of Islamic terrorism. Al-Qaeda has publicly called for Wilders to be killed, and a notorious Australian imam called on Muslims to behead him because anyone who “mocks, laughs [at], or degrades Islam” must be killed by “chopping off his head.”

In Garland, activists opposed to the violence endorsed by Islamic doctrine and to the repression inherent in sharia law were invited to draw caricatures of Mohammed, with a $10,000 prize awarded to the “best” one. The contest was sure to yield images offensive to Muslims just as transgressive artist Andres Serrano had to know the public exhibition of his Piss Christ photograph would offend Christians.

Yet, as I argue in Islam and Free Speech, it will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures, or the rioting after a Danish newspaper’s publication of anti-Islam cartoons was caused by the newspaper. The violence is caused by Islamic supremacist ideology and its law that incites Muslims to kill those they judge to have disparaged Islam.

It will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures.

Christians were offended by Piss Christ, but they did not respond by killing the “artist” or blowing up the exhibiting museum. If any had, they would have been universally condemned for both violating society’s laws and betraying Christian tenets. In such a case, we would have blamed the killers, not the provocative art. There can be no right against being provoked in a free society; we rely on the vigorous exchange of ideas to arrive at sensible policy. And the greater the threat to liberty, the more necessary it is to provoke. 

The threat to liberty in this instance is sharia blasphemy law. A bloc of Muslim-majority countries, with the assistance of the Obama administration (led by the U.S. State Department, particularly under Hillary Clinton), is trying to use international law to impose Islam’s repressive law to make it illegal to subject Islam to negative criticism. No sensible person favors obnoxious expression or gratuitous insult. But as I contend in the pamphlet, there is a big difference between saying “I object to this illustration of insensitivity and bad taste” and saying “I believe that what repulses me should be against the law.”

Ms. Geller’s detractors are predictably out in droves today, prattling about how the violence would not have happened were it not for the offensive display. No one would feel deprived by the lack of sheer insult, they say, so wouldn’t it be better to compromise free-expression principles in exchange for achieving peaceful social harmony? But that line of thinking puts violent extortionists in charge of what we get to speak about — an arrangement no free society can tolerate.

It is very unfortunate that this debate is so often triggered by forms of expression that non-jihadists will find insulting and therefore that even anti-jihadists will find uncomfortable to defend. This grossly understates the stakes involved. This is about much more than cartoons. As I outline in Islam and Free Speech, classical sharia forbids most artistic representations of animate life, not just expressions that are obviously sacrilegious. More significantly, it deems as blasphemous not just expressions that insult the prophet and Islam itself but also

critical examinations of Islam . . . especially if they reach negative conclusions or encourage unbelief[;] proselytism of religions other than Islam, particularly if it involves encouraging Muslims to abandon Islam[; and any] speech or expression [that] could sow discord among Muslims or within an Islamic community. And truth is not a defense.

It is not the purpose of Pam Geller, Geert Wilders, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and other activists to insult Muslims. Their mission is to awaken us to the challenge of Islamic supremacists — not just the violent jihadists but also the powerful Islamist forces behind the jihad. Islamists are attempting to coerce us into abandoning our commitment to free expression. They are pressuring us to accommodate their totalitarian system rather than accepting assimilation into our liberty culture.

You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.

It would be easy, in our preening gentility, to look down our noses at a Mohammed cartoon contest. But we’d better understand the scope of the threat the contest was meant to raise our attention to — a threat triggered by ideology, not cartoons. There is in our midst an Islamist movement that wants to suppress not only insults to Islam but all critical examination of Islam. That movement is delighted to leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihadists, and it counts the current United States government among its allies.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Duke University Islamic Studies Professor Omid Safi Blames Critics of Jihad for Muslim Violence

By David Wood at Answering Muslims, May 4, 2015:

The Islamic Studies Center of Duke University has a message for critics of jihad: When terrorists decide to murder you for what you say, it’s your fault.

Omid Safi, Director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center, was quick to condemn Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller for a jihadist attack on a Muhammad cartoon contest:

The fact that Safi’s comments don’t cause outrage at Duke University is quite disturbing. If someone were to murder, say, Richard Dawkins for his criticisms of Christianity, it would never cross my mind to say, “Two groups are responsible for the murder of Richard Dawkins: the people who murdered him, and Dawkins and his associates for mocking Christianity.” There is simply no connection, logical or theological, between (a) making fun of Christianity, and (b) being murdered. Hence, if a murderer were to attempt to make a connection, the rest of the world would be puzzled.

Omid Safi

Omid Safi

But Omid Safi is the latest proof that there is a clear connection between (a) making fun of Islam, and (b) being murdered. The connection doesn’t just exist in the mind of the murderer; it exists in the minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, including many moderate Muslims.

Yes, we can blame ISIS for beheading journalists. But we also need to blame the journalists for upsetting ISIS.Oddly enough, Safi’s attempts to blame Spencer and Geller for jihadist violence only underscore the need to address Muhammad’s teachings. Safi portrays himself as a “progressive Muslim.” But if even highly educated, “progressive” Muslim scholars believe that critics of jihad and sharia are asking to be killed, doesn’t this tell us something about Islam?
Following Safi’s reasoning, we shouldn’t be surprised to read future tweets declaring:

 

  • Yes, we can blame Boko Haram for kidnapping and raping Christian girls, but let’s not forget to blame the girls themselves. If they had been devout Muslimahs, they wouldn’t have been raped. So it was their decision.
  • Yes, we can blame Al Qaeda for the 9-11 attacks. But the victims of those attacks paid taxes to the U.S. government, and the U.S. government has killed many Muslims. Hence, those who died on 9-11 got what they deserved.
  • Yes, we can blame the Taliban for murdering girls who want to go to school. But since the girls decided to go to school, it’s their fault as well.

 

It’s sad to see that the next generation of Islamic Studies scholars are being taught that cartoonists who are murdered for drawing pictures of Muhammad must be blamed for their own deaths. But it’s exactly what we should expect when we realize that Muhammad ordered his followers to murder people who made fun of him. There is a connection between criticizing Islam and being murdered because the prophet of Islam demanded it.

Ibn Ishaq on Killing Critics

Dossier on Suspects in Garland, Texas Jihad Attack: Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack May 3, 2015

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi
Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack
May 3, 2015

NER, by Jerry Gordon, May 4, 2015:

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, both suspects killed in the Garland, Texas jihad attack have been identified from the Arizona vehicle registrations and driver photo IDs.   Simpson, 30, and Soofi, 34 were roommates in a central Phoenix condominium. The Phoenix condominium was the subject of an FBI and police bomb squad investigation early this morning

Simpson was the author of the tweets sent just before the attack.   He has been the subject of an FBI terrorism investigation since 2006 and was convicted in a Federal Court trial in 2011 for material support for terrorism, an attempt to travel to Somalia to Join Al Shabaab.   One of the two perpetrators is alleged as having connections to CAIR, the self-styled Muslim civil rights group, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

ISIS in a series of tweets,  sent prior to the May 3rd Muhammad Art Contest sponsored by Pam Geller’s American Freedom  Defense Initiative,   inspired brothers  in the US to undertake an attack on the event. ISIS social media claimed responsibility for the attack in which both perpetrators were killed and a security officer slightly injured. The pre-event ISIS tweets doubtless increased the security arrangements at the AFDI event. A purported Muhammad Art contest  that featured a speech by Dutch Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders and appearances by Rep. Louie Gohmert, Geller and Robert Spencer and others.  200 attendees were in lockdown following the attack and vehicles impounded as evidence in the crime scene. The event was webcast yesterday by the team from The United West led by Tom Trento.

Trento will discuss his experience at the Garland, Texas Muhammad Art Contest event today at 4PM (CST) 5PM (EST) with this writer and Mike Bates, co-host of “Your Turn” on 1330amWEBY, Northwest Florida‘s Talk Radio.  You may listen live here.

Heavy.com has compiled a dossier on the perpetrators of last night jihad attack in Garland, Texas, “Elton Simpson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.”  The article reported:

Elton Simpson has been identified as one of the two gunmen who opened fire Sunday night outside the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. An unarmed security guard was shot, but survived with a non-life-threatening wound, before Simpson and his accomplice were killed by police.

Simpson, 30, and the other gunman, his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Hamid Soofi, are from Phoenix, Arizona.

Simpson was “well known” by the FBI and was the subject of a previous terror investigation, ABC News reports. He and Soofi were armed with assault rifles and wearing body protection, police said. They exchanged fire with a Garland police officer armed with handgun.

Simpson’s father, Dunston Simpson, told ABC News, “We are Americans and we believe in America. What my son did reflects very badly on my family,” adding that his son “made a bad choice.”

WFAA reports that FBI agents were searching the gunmen’s Phoenix, Arizona home.

Police also remain at the scene of the shooting, and have been examining the gunmen’s car. They were concerned about explosives being hidden inside it.

[…]

The FBI began investigating Simpson in 2006, when they began recording conversations he was having with an informant. He was arrested in 2010.

According to court records, Simpson received a sentence of three years probation in 2011 after he was found guilty of making a false statement to the FBI.

Simpson told FBI agents he had not talked with others about traveling to Somalia, when he in fact had talked to others about traveling to the African country, according to court documents. Judge Mary H. Murguia found there wasn’t enough evidence to support the FBI’s claim that the travel was related to terrorism. He had elected for a trial by the judge, rather than a jury.

The FBI had claimed that Simpson was traveling to Somalia to engage in “violent jihad.” The FBI claimed he was planning to travel to Africa to join the al-Shabaab terror group, which has since been responsible for the deadly Kenyan terror attacks at the Nairobi mall and Garissa University.
Simpson’s probation ended in 2014.

The Volokh Conspiracy blog wrote about the case in 2011, calling it a “partial government victory / partial defeat.”

Read the court order explaining why Simpson was found guilty:

According to court documents, Simpson was born in Illinois and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he “converted to the Muslim religion at a young age.”

His attorney during the 2010 trial, Kristina Sitton, told ABC News that Simpson was on the no-fly list and the FBI had tried to convince him to cooperate with them, including after his conviction. Sitton said she thought Simpson was “harmless,” according to ABC News:

He grew up the most normal guy. Just a normal high school guy… Converting to Islam seemed like a good thing for him. He had been going down a bad path and then he found Islam. He never struck me as someone who would do this sort of thing. I’m not a bleeding heart, I’m a Republican. I’ve seen some pretty bad guys and he seemed pretty normal.

Simpson was working at a dentist’s office in Arizona, but had been on vacation prior to the shooting, his father told ABC News. Dunston Simpson said he last spoke to his son three weeks ago, but they “had not much to talk about, because we had some very serious differences.” Dunston Simpson said Elton was a “good kid.”

Here are some items from the Heavy.com dossier on Nadir Hamid Soofi,   “Nadir Hamid Soofi: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”:

According to his Facebook page, Soofi spent a considerable amount of time with his little brother. He’s a graduate of the University of Utah and the International School of Islamabad in Pakistan. His page also shows multiple posts featuring Palestinian and anti-police propaganda. Frequently, he posts the phrase “Eid Mubarak” meaning celebration to the blessed. Soofi was the owner of Effinity Solutions, a carpet cleaning business in Phoenix. In July 2013, he called himself a “newbie to the carpet cleaning industry.”

[…]

AZ Family reports that the two gunmen lived at an apartment on 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road (above) in Phoenix. The day after the shooting, FBI agents, some clad in bomb squad gear, searched the apartment. The car they drove to the attack in Garland was registered in Arizona. The car, a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, was owned by Soofi. He tried to sell it back in March 2015 for nearly $9,000.

Police said prior Soofi’s name being released that the two had gone to the event with the intention of killing people. Both were armed with assault rifles. Garland cops stopped short of calling the attack a terrorist incident.

Garland Shooting: The Jihad Against Free Speech Comes to Texas

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Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, May 4, 2015:

We are living in infamous times. Reality outpaces fiction, and the worst case scenarios keep unfolding in our daily headlines.

Critics of torturers and mass murderers are demonized as “extremists” and “provocateurs.” Israel is accused of human rights atrocities it has never committed by those very entities who themselves actually commit such atrocities; anyone who points this out is deemed an “extreme conservative” and a “racist.” Anti-infidel hate speech—as long as it is directed against America and Israel—is seen as protected by the First Amendment and by the doctrine of Free Speech; exposing the diabolical Big Lies is considered politically incorrect “racist” hate speech which has no place in the Western media, on campus, at the UN, or in any international human rights organization.

Either the West fights back or it surrenders to these Orwellian rules. Many Western intellectuals prefer scapegoating Israel and surrendering quietly to these diabolical Islamist rules rather than risk their reputations and their lives.

Some of us fight back. We do so in different ways. Some of us use only our pens. Others launch demonstrations and lawsuits. Some do both—and some push the envelope, looking for certain trouble, welcoming it, in order to provide an object lesson to those who will not see the Jihad that is upon us, the Jihad that only Israel once faced, the Jihad that is destroying the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Now jihad just took place in Garland, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, in the United States of America.

Enter Pamela Geller, the blogger-activist and founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Robert Spencer, the best-selling author and founder of JihadWatch, and Dutch Parliamentarian and filmmaker Geert Wilders—all long-time freedom fighters against radical, terrorist Islamism. These three have just joined the august ranks of the publisher of the original Mohammed cartoons and the International and Danish Free Press Societies, not only in terms of their having all been awarded pariah status as “Islamophobes” and “racists,” but now in terms of having “provoked” criminal gunfire.

The British and American media has identified a suspected former terrorist Elton Simpson as one of the two gunmen who shot an officer protecting the AFDI’s Mohammed Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest award ceremony yesterday. Both gunmen were shot dead and an officer was wounded. The gunmen lived in Phoenix, Arizona and was on an FBI “No-fly” list.

Shortly before the attempted attack, an account believed (though not confirmed) to belong to Simpson tweeted “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” Another tweet, registered toAbuHussainAlBritani reads: “When will the kuffar understand and stop insulting the prophet s.a.w? learn from history & save your people! #Paris #Denmark#Texas.”

According to the Daily Mail, followers of ISIS had been “calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning about the cartoon contest.”

This event was a “defiant gesture” in support of Free Speech in the wake of the January massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists—and, I would add, in the wake of the cowardice of those PEN authors who are protesting the Freedom of Expression Courage award being given to a surviving Charlie Hebdo editor and a cartoonist.

Geller wrote on her website, “This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?”

Free speech and, in America, the First Amendment, were crafted to protect all free speech, including that which some people find offensive or even scurrilous. We are not all meant to like or agree with it. This concept is the fruit of centuries of Western-style evolution, something that Islam has never enjoyed.

In Islam, “blasphemy” as well as “apostasy” are viewed as capital offenses. In 1988, when Salman Rushdie published a novel that the Ayatollah Khomeini profoundly disagreed with, the Ayatollah did not write an opposing novel or critique. In 1989, he issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death and the Iranian government backed this fatwa through 2005. Rushdie lived in hiding and with police protection. One of Rushdie’s translators was murdered, bookstores were firebombed, publishers threatened.

Publishers as well as authors began to self-censor.

In 2004, Dutch filmmaker, Theo Von Gogh was butchered by Moroccan-Dutch jihadist, Mohamed Bouyeri, who did not like Von Gogh’s (and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s) filmed critique of Islam’s treatment of women.

In 2005, Flemming Rose published the original Mohammed cartoons in Jyllens-Posten, the Danish newspaper. These cartoons were relatively tame. Jihadists secretly added some more malicious cartoons to the mix—and sent it around the globe via the internet. Violent and highly choreographed riots ensued around the world. Gunmen in Gaza invaded the EU’s offices there demanding an apology.

Between 2005-2013, protests spread across the Middle East. Infidel Embassies were attacked. Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons and reaped a whirlwind of lawsuits and attacks.

In 2008, the Danish police arrested several suspects who were plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard, the original Mohammed cartoonist.

In 2009, Yale University Press published a book about the cartoon controversy by Jytte Klausen. However, without telling the author, the Press removed the actual cartoons from her book.

In 2010, a Somali Muslim with an ax and a knife entered Westergaard’s house; luckily, Westergaard fought him off.

In 2010, American cartoonist Molly Norris proposed an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” She published her own rather harmless and funny cartoon. Norris has had to live in hiding ever since. In hiding. In America.

In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were burned down in an arson attack the day after they published an issue with the prophet Mohammed as the Editor-in-Chief.

In early 2015, Jihadists massacred 12 Charlie Hebdo writers in Paris; for good measure, they murdered five Jews later the same day.

Also in 2015, in Copenhagen, a gunmen opened fire at a debate on Islam and Free Speech. One documentary filmmaker, Finn Noergaard, was shot and three police officers were injured. The shooter, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, got away and soon after murdered a security guard at a synagogue; he was then killed.

Now, Jihadists have attacked Free Speech in America. Whether or not people find Geller, Spencer and Wilders “extremely provocative troublemakers” both they and We the People are absolutely entitled under our laws to exercise our First Amendment rights. About anything.

We cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Some believe that Geller et al are doing just that, causing trouble when trouble can be avoided if one only follows Islamist guidelines.

Many elitists and scholars favor  “nuance;” “sensitivity;” “anti-racism,” “inter-faith dialogue.” But they should favor freedom more and double standards less. Westerners have absolutely no trouble criticizing Christianity and Judaism. Why so much angst about criticizing one religion only: Islam?  If what Geller, Spencer, and Wilders have just done advances the cause of freedom of speech, we may not all have to follow their tactics, but we should at least acknowledge that we support their goals.

If not, what exactly are our alternatives?

*****

Let the conversation begin:

Watch VIDEO: CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Cross-Examines Defendant Pamela Geller

Watch the speeches at the AFDI Muhammad Cartoon Contest

drawmuhammadfinal700

Thanks to Tom Trento and his crew at The United West:

Garland Police Stop “Known Wolf” Jihadists but Free Speech Threat Remains

6850320CSP, by Kyle Shideler, May 4, 2015:

Sunday night, May 3rd, outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Texas, two would-be jihadists attempted to launch an attack against a free speech event being held by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Thanks to the swift response by local security and GPD, the two suspects were killed, while an officer was wounded, but soon released from the hospital.

One of the suspects was identified as Elton Simpson, an Arizona man convicted in 2011 for lying to federal agents regarding his attempt to travel to Somalia to join a terror group. On a twitter page reportedly connected to Simpson, the author swears an oath of allegiance to Islamic State leader AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi just moments prior to the attack taking place, with the hashtag #Texasattack. An investigation is currently underway to determine who the second suspect was, identified in Simpsons’ twitter page only as “the bro with me.”

There is no doubt that many in the media will attempt to paint the responsibility for this attack on the hosts of the event, for having the temerity to hold an art exhibit featuring a number of drawings (both contemporary and historical) of Islam’s prophet Mohammad. But an examination of Simpsons’ earlier trial documents make clear Simpson was committed jihadist. From the Court quoting transcripts from the audio recordings submitted by the FBI:

In that recording, Mr. Simpson told Mr. Deng that Allah loves an individual who is “out there fighting [non-Muslims]” and making difficult sacrifices such as living in caves, sleeping on rocks rather than sleeping in comfortable beds and with his wife, children and nice cars. Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away.” Mr. Simpson then said:

“[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”

Simpson went on to describe the importance of Shariah law, and the willingness to fight to establish it:

They’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws. That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.”

As we have noted previously, Shariah blasphemy laws call for death for perceived insults to either Allah or Mohammed, and multiple Muslim-majority countries maintain the death penalty for blasphemy, and in many others extrajudicial killings are routine. The attempted attack on the Curtis Culwell Center should likewise be viewed as an attempt to enforce a foreign system of law against the constitution, through violence. It is not an irrational act by those “angered” or offended by a display, but one attack in a campaign targeting America’s system of governance.

Such attacks do not occur in isolation, but are part of a larger political effort to impose Shariah over American law. This is done first by equating the act of speech with the violence directed against the speakers. As we noted at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris:

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years. Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s“test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

This same line was adopted by the Islamist organizers of the “Stand With the Prophet” Rally, also held in Garland, Texas. From a Free Beacon article covering the event:

“Frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet?” the event materials ask. “Fuming over extremists like ISIS who give a bad name to Islam? Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet? Or the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’?”

“When real events warrant, like the Danish Cartoon controversy, Sharia ban, Quran burning, Boko Haram kidnappings. [Islamic State] brutality, etc., we articulate fresh talking points and content quickly, and in a timely manner, working with professionals to disseminate it through community spokespersons and our allies,” organizers state on their website.

The publication of cartoons and other acts of free speech are being directly equated here with kidnapping, brutality and terrorism as part of an intentional effort to permit the banning of free speech that offends Islam. It’s the same logic that led Congressmen Andre Carson and Keith Ellison to demand Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders be barred from the country. Wilders attended and spoke at the Garland event.

Sadly this rhetoric has clearly caught on, and was on hand following the Garland shooting as journalists, bloggers and “Countering Violent Extremism” analysts lumped the AFDI and those who attempted to murder them together as “extremists.”

We should all be thankful that swift action by the Garland police put down a violent threat to free speech and the Constitution on Sunday.  But we should all respond equally swiftly to the political threat to free speech by loudly and unapologetically insisting that the Constitution trumps Sharia law, and free speech trumps  “so-called” blasphemy.

And there’s nothing extremist about that.

Kerry Tries to Dismiss Criticism of Iran talks as “Hysteria”

87446063CSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 4, 2015:

In a statement to Israel’s Channel 10 News over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry aggressively defended the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear diplomacy with Iran and dismissed critics of the nuclear talks as engaging in “hysteria.”

This kind of talk is typical of the way Kerry and other Obama administration have defended their nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  They refuse to discuss criticisms of the talks and instead attack their critics as uninformed and partisan.

Kerry defended the nuclear talks in unusually strong terms, claiming under the deal, inspections would remain in place “forever” and that “We will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran’s pathways to a bomb and that doesn’t give us the confidence — to all of our experts, in fact to global experts — that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.”

No serious person believes international inspectors will be in Iran forever.

This kind of rhetoric shows how worried Kerry is about the nuclear talks.  His briefings to Congress about the negotiations have gone very badly.  There are bipartisan concerns that the Obama administration has made enormous and dangerous concessions to Tehran and got nothing in return.

The Obama administration’s Iran policy also is in deep trouble because Iranian officials claim it lied about what will be in a final nuclear agreement.

Today, the Center for Security Policy released a compelling ad on the Iran nuclear talks titled “Why are the Mullahs laughing?”   This ad helps explain the dangers of the Obama administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  You can watch this ad below or click HERE.

Please also check out our new website IranTruth.org for more information about the Obama administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Free Speech, “But” – Paris, Copenhagen, Now Garland Texas

by Sundance:

Considering the jihadist attack in Garland Texas, it will not take long for the professional left to begin espousing the familiar tome: “free speech, but“….

There is no “but” in any sentence about “free speech”.  It is, it exists, -or-, it is not, it does not exist.  It is that simple.

Mohammad-Contest-Drawing-1-small

The fact that a simple event depicting pictures of Muhammad needs to spend $10,000 to hire security -IN AMERICA- should be the real story.  The fact that a simple event depicting pictures would be considered “controversial” -IN AMERICA- should be the sub line of the real story.  Alas, these simple considerations will be lost amid the “but” crowd.

“But”, free speech does not protect offensive speech – is another familiar, perhaps the most frequent, refrain from the “but” crowd.  Insufferably wrong.   The only speechthat needs first amendment protection is “offensive speech”, if your speech wasn’t controversial or offensive it would not need protection.

As BigFurHat accurately opines:

[…] This event was to see if ordinary Americans could draw a F*CKING CARTOON without the penalty of death.

Apparently not. So why would you be sympathetic to hair-trigger unreasonable monsters in our midst? Why would you cower, rather than say, “ya, right, if I doodle your prophet I’m going to die. Not in America, Omar.” (link)

And, in a larger sense, showcasing this absurdity is exactly the purpose of the event.

Texas Muhammad

Why do marchers march?  Why do protesters protest?  Why can every American carry their soapbox to any street corner or public square and stand atop it?  Because the central tenet of our foundational principles says We Are Free To Speak.  Period.

“But”, you must accept the consequences therein – yet another similar refrain.  And what “consequences” should be allowable? “Consequences” yes, but drawing out those consequences while contrast against the foundational principle of freedom is exactly what the event was highlighting.

Authentic Islam, carried out to it’s fullest political construct, is antithetical to our U.S. constitutional freedom.

If the central tenet of any belief commands a person to kill another person for drawing a picture – it’s the belief that must be confronted within a society that values freedom, not the artist drawing the picture.

But”, other progressive societies restrict “provocative speech – another espousal from the “But” crowd.   We are not ‘other societies’, we are a formed national society based on valuing ‘individual freedom’ not ‘collective freedom’.  Our foundation puts the freedom of speech as the first freedom, the first amendment – a bill of unalienable rights endowed not by government or man.

We, our nation, were born as a constitutional republic, not a democracy.  The outlined rights of the individual are embedded as more valuable than the rights of the state, so long as the expression of those individual rights does not impede upon the same rights of another – nor form a delivery obligation unto another individual.

But”, your expression of freedom (drawing a picture), is by measure and consequence, having an impact upon my ability to believe in my religion.   A statement finally reached when having a conversation with anyone practicing Authentic Islam.

This is where it is claimed that the tenet of their belief demands they must not allow depictions of the Prophet Muhammad; and therefore an individual freedom of expression or belief is impacting their first amendment right to their religious belief.

That part of the argument is exactly evidence that Authentic Islam is antithetical to our U.S. constitutional freedom.

That part of the argument is exactly what the purpose of the event in Garland Texas was drawing out.

The Heroine For Freedom - Pam Geller Wins First Amendment Case In Washington DC

Free Speech, you either have it or you don’t….

….there is no “but”.

The Unwavering Failsafe – Just to make sure there never would be a “but” our forefathers cemented the first amendment with the establishment of the second amendment to protect it.

Last night in Garland Texas their foresight worked seamlessly.

Also see:

Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism, Suspect ID’d as Elton Simpson of Phoenix

Simpson was arrested in 2010 on terror-related charges, but given probation. No time served.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole. May 4, 2015:

BE SURE TO SEE UPDATES BELOW

The name of one of the suspects in last night’s shootout outside a Dallas-area free speech event has been released.

ABC News 13 in Phoenix has ID’d Elton Simpson as the individual who posted a message with #texasattack to his Twitter account just before the shooting.

twitter.com_2015-05-03_23-53-45a

They report:

A controversial cartoon contest in north Texas yesterday depicting the prophet Mohammed ended in deadly gunfire.

ABC News can confirm that one of the suspects is Elton Simpson, an Arizona man who was previously the subject of a terror investigation. He’s from Phoenix and television stations in Phoenix are reporting the second shooter was Simpson’s roommate. We’re still waiting on his name.

The FBI believes Simpson sent out a tweet using the hashtag #texasattack about a half hour before shooting.

ABC News adds that police have been executing search warrants at Simpson’s home in Phoenix overnight.

It appears that this attack is yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome, when the suspect is already known to law enforcement and intelligence. Virtually every terror attack in the West over the past year has been by one of these “known wolf” suspects.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Simpson was well known to the FBI, ABC News reported. Five years ago he was convicted for lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Africa, “but a judge ruled the government did not adequately prove he was going to join a terror group there.”

Simpson was apparently known to the FBI since 2006:

ha tweet

UCLA Law professor Eugene Volokh actually wrote about Simpson’s case back in 2011. Quoting from the judicial opinion:

On January 13, 2010, a grand jury indicted Defendant Elton Simpson for knowingly and willfully making a materially false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). The indictment also charged that the statement involved international and domestic terrorism. The indictment specified that on or about January 7, 2010, the Defendant falsely stated to special agents of the FBI that he had not discussed traveling to Somalia, when in fact he had discussed with others traveling to Somalia for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad. The Government is charging Mr. Simpson with making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001. The Government is also charging that the false statement involves international or domestic terrorism as defined under section 2331, so that he is eligible for a sentence enhancement pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1001. […]

… The problem … is that the Government has not established with the requisite level of proof, that the Defendant’s potential travel to Somalia (and his false statement about his discussions regarding his travels) was sufficiently “related” to international terrorism. Rather, the Government missed several steps to meeting its burden for establishing this charge. As a result, the Court cannot find the Defendant eligible for the sentence enhancement.

According to ABC News, Simpson was convicted of lying to the FBI, but was placed on probation and never went to prison.

I’ve been chronicling these recent “Known Wolf” terrorism cases here at PJ Media:

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

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):

The suspect had tweeted that he had been arrested in 2010. His Twitter account has been deactivated, but I’m trying to find the screenshot of the tweet I made last night. I’ll post here when I find it.

From a U.S.-based jihadist supporter:

jihadi tweets

UPDATE: ABC has posted a picture of Simpson

Here is the court decision in that prior 2010 case:

UPDATE #2: Dallas Morning News adds more detail, including his known association with Al-Qaeda traitor Hassan Abu Jihad:

Simpson told agents in 2010 that he planned to study Islam at a madrassa in South Africa, records show. He said he would be gone for five years and didn’t have “firm plans” for what he would do after his studies.

But in a 2007 recorded conversation, Simpson spoke about fighting non believers for Allah. He also spoke about Afghanistan and Iraq and “Jewish oppression of Muslims.” And he criticized those who “don’t believe that they should be over there fighting.”

The FBI also got him on tape in 2009 speaking to someone about his plans.

“It’s time to go to Somalia, brother,” he said. “We know plenty of brothers from Somalia…I’m telling you, man. We gonna make it to the battlefield, akee, it’s time to roll.”

Simpson said non believers, known as “kuffar,” are “fighting against us because they don’t want us to establish sharia,” records show.

And he told an associate that he could sell his car to finance a trip overseas to fight.

“That’s a plane ticket right there. Bye-bye America,” Simpson said.

Simpson in 2009 also told someone he sent a link to someone else about “how they gonna use the car with bombs on it.” He said he was going to school at the time but that it was “just a front.” […]

When FBI agents visited Simpson in 2010, he asked them about an acquaintance, Hassan Abu Jihad, who was appealing his 2008 federal conviction in Connecticut for providing material support to terrorists.

Abu Jihad also was found guilty of “communicating national security information to persons not entitled to receive it,” records show. He was sentenced in 2009 to 10 years in federal prison. Simpson told agents he was concerned about Abu Jihad’s future.

Simpson said he knew Abu Jihad when the man lived in Phoenix previously. Abu Jihad was arrested in Phoenix in 2007.

************

Police searching car, apartment after shooting outside Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas (foxnews.com)

Police in Texas were still checking a car for possible explosives early Monday and authorities reportedly were searching the Phoenix home of the two suspects who were killed in an attack on an art exhibit that inflamed radical Muslims.

The City of Garland, Texas said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that the men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center on Sunday night and began shooting at a security officer. Garland Police Department officers returned fire, killing both gunmen, the statement said.

The statement did not say whether the shooting was related to the event, a contest hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

One of the suspects was known to U.S. intelligence and had been part of a recent terror investigation for allegedly trying to travel to Africa, home of the Al Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab, sources told Fox News.

Officials have been at the Phoenix apartment complex – some 1,100 miles from the Garland, Texas, crime scene — since late Sunday night and are reviewing computer records from materials found at the residence. Police tape continues to surround the area, KSAZ reports.

Authorities also are investigating Twitter messages from overseas posted prior to the event calling for violence. The tweets were posted by a 25-year-old American jihadi with al-Shabaab, investigators told Fox News.
FBI spokesman Perryn Collier on Monday confirmed that the Phoenix residence is being searched for indications of what prompted the shooting.

The FBI said the men involved in the shooting were roommates, according to 12 News.

Authorities said they were worried that the suspects’ car in Garland could contain an incendiary device. Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and a bomb squad was on the scene early Monday. Police had cordoned off a large area and at least three helicopters circled overhead.

The Garland Independent School District, which owns and operates the Culwell Center, identified the wounded security officer as Bruce Joiner. The district said in a statement that Joiner — who was shot in the ankle — was treated and released from a local hospital.

The FBI said the men involved in the shooting were roommates, according to 12 News.

Authorities said they were worried that the suspects’ car in Garland could contain an incendiary device. Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and a bomb squad was on the scene early Monday. Police had cordoned off a large area and at least three helicopters circled overhead.

The Garland Independent School District, which owns and operates the Culwell Center, identified the wounded security officer as Bruce Joiner. The district said in a statement that Joiner — who was shot in the ankle — was treated and released from a local hospital.

Roby said he then heard two single shots.

Geller told the AP before Sunday’s event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad. Though it remained unclear several hours after the shooting whether it was related to event, she said Sunday night that the shooting showed how “needed our event really was.”

In January, 12 people were killed by gunmen in an attack against the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had lampooned Islam and other religions and used depictions of Muhammad. Another deadly shooting occurred the following month at a free speech event in Copenhagen featuring an artist who had caricatured the prophet.

Geller’s group is known for mounting a campaign against the building of an Islamic center blocks from the World Trade Center site and for buying advertising space in cities across the U.S. criticizing Islam.

When a Chicago-based nonprofit held a January fundraiser in Garland designed to help Muslims combat negative depictions of their faith, Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: “Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!” Others held signs with messages such as, “Insult those who behead others,” an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OFFICER AND TWO SUSPECTS DOWN IN GUNFIGHT AT ISLAMIC CARTOON CONTEST IN TEXAS, POSSIBLE EXPLOSIVES FOUND

UPDATE, 9:20 PM: The car may contain explosives, according to WFAA8: 

Two men were shot and killed in a parking lot outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Sunday afternoon, SWAT officials told News 8.

The two suspects drove up and opened fire on the center, which was hosting a Muhammad Art exhibit, and hit a Garland ISD officer.

That officer suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to a spokesman for Garland Police.

Police were searching the area for a vehicle that had explosives in it.

SWAT members were already at the scene for the art event.

Rowlett/Sachse Scanner reported on Facebook that a suspect was inside a nearby Walmart, off Garland Avenue and Naaman Forest Boulevard, with a hand grenade.

A 1,000-foot radius around the Walmart was shut down and the Academy Store was evacuated, according to that page.

UPDATE, 9:14 PM: Garland Police have reportedly evacuated a nearby WalMart and are searching the car the suspects allegedly drove to the event.

UPDATE, 9:06 PM: A local NBC reporter says the two suspects are dead.

UPDATE, 8:59 PM: Police have the area blocked off and have removed reporters for up to half a mile away. Helicopters are patrolling the skies and police are standing in the intersection, blocking the roads and are armed with M-16s. 

UPDATE, 8:51 PM: A senior officer has said that the officer taken to the hospital will be OK, and that the two suspects will not be OK. The 100 people being held inside singing the Star-Spangled Banner to comfort themselves. 

UPDATE, 8:45 PM: Police appeared to have escorted a few individuals through a conference room, and continue to patrol the perimeter. 

UPDATE: Suspects had two AK-47’s according to police on the scene. The officer has been transported to the hospital. The suspects are still on the ground at the scene. They are not moving and are not being touched at this time until a bomb squad checks out their bodies.

Approximately 100 people are being held by police in a secured facility inside the event.

GARLAND, Texas — Armed police officers rushed in to the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest and quickly removed Pamela Geller and whisked her away to safety after a gunfight erupted outside of the event. A law enforcement officer and two suspects are reportedly down, according to police on the scene. Three Breitbart Texas reporters are locked down inside of the event. The officers on the scene said that possible explosives were found. The extrication of Geller occurred during a live video interview with Breitbart Texas.

The attendees to the exhibit were forced into lockdown by police. Several officers entered to exhibit and informed the attendees that an officer was down, two suspects had been shot, and that possible explosives were found.

Breitbart Texas will update this post as more information becomes available.  Most of the Breitbart Texas team is currently on lockdown inside of the event.

Curtis Culwell Center Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know (heavy.com)

A shooting has been reported at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, where thecontroversial Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest is being held.

Two gunmen and a police officer were shot, according to WFAA reporter Jobin Panicker, who was at the event.

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The context and art exhibit, created in response to a pro-Muslim event in January that drew thousands of protesters, included the awarding of a prize to the cartoonist who drew the best depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. More than 300 entries were received for the contest, with an award of $10,000, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. An Officer Said They Are Concerned the Gunmen Had Explosives

The event was being livestreamed on YouTube. A SWAT team officer interrupted the event and told the crowd that two suspects had been shot. He said they were “worried” that the gunmen may have also “possibly had explosives on them.”

He tells people to remain calm and orderly as they brought them to safety. Someone from the crowd yelled to him, “were the suspects Muslim?” and he responded that he has “no idea right now.”

WFAA reporter Jobin Panicker tweeted that those in attendance at the event were moved into a secure room by police.

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Nearby businesses were also evacuated.

Panicker posted video of the event’s attendees singing the Star Spangled Banner after being evacuated.

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2. Police Said the Gunmen Drove Up & Started Shooting

Garland Police told Jocelyn Lockwood of NBC 5 that a gunman drove up to the event, got out and started shooting with handguns.

3. The American Freedom Defense Initiative’s Event Has Been a Subject of Controversy

room

The event created controversy with some saying that it is an attack on Islam. The event’s organizers, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, said it was just exercising its right to freedom of speech, according to the Dallas Morning News.

4. The Organizers Created the Exhibit After a Pro-Islam Event at the Curtis Culwell Center

Read more at Heavy with updates

Canada Frees Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed US Army Sgt.

KahderCreeping Sharia, May 2, 2015:

via Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed Army Sgt., Lived at Bin Laden Compound Freed in Canada – Judicial Watch

An Al Qaeda terrorist guilty of murdering a U.S. Army sergeant and “transferred” from Guantanamo to Canada by the Obama administration has been released from an Alberta prison while he appeals his conviction for war crimes.

His name is Omar Ahmed Khader and he’s a member of Canada’s “first family of terror,” according to an international news report that confirms Khader’s father was an associate of Osama Bin Laden who moved his family to Pakistan to support the Afghan mujahideen in its war against the Soviet Union. In 2010 Khader was convicted of five war crimes, including throwing a grenade that killed Army Sergeant Christopher Speer in Afghanistan during a 2002 combat operation.

Khader spent around a decade at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in 2010 cut a deal to serve the majority of his sentence in Canada. Under the terms, he admitted being an “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent” and throwing the grenade that killed Sergeant Speer. In 2012 Khader was taken to Canada, where he evidently began working on an appeal. This month a Canadian judge ordered the release of the jihadist while he appeals his U.S. convictions. Canadian government officials argue that the judge has no jurisdiction to hear the unprecedented bail application from an offender convicted abroad and returned to Canada, according to anational news story.

The bottom line is that this terrorist, like so many others who have returned to jihadist causes after leaving Gitmo, never should have been released. To meet his longtime goal of closing Gitmo President Obama has tried clearing out the military compound that still houses the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In December Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government put an Al Qaeda operative that had been freed from Gitmo on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

Hundreds of Gitmo terrorists who have been discharged over the years—under a program that started with President George W. Bush—have reengaged in terrorism. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting this for years based on U.S. intelligence sources. Back in 2010 JW wrote about a report that the Director of National Intelligence gave Congress documenting that 150 former Gitmo detainees were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At least 83 remained at large, according to the document.

Now we must worry that yet another radical extremist who hates America is on the loose, in a friendly neighboring country where cross border travel is quite easy. Khader was encouraged by his father, a senior Al Qaeda leader in Canada, to travel to Khowst Afghanistan to translate for Al Qaeda personnel and participate in jihad against the United States, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) file kept by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo. “Detainee received training and instruction on how to build and plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and how to plant land mines,” the DOD file says. It also reveals that Khader “admitted to taking part in several mining and combat operations” and that he was present during a 2002 raid on a suspected Al Qaeda compound by U.S. Special Forces. “Detainee was wounded and captured after killing the USSF soldier,” the DOD writes.

Khader has direct family affiliations with senior Al Qaeda members, the Pentagon file states, and his entire family lived at one of Osama bin Laden’s compounds in Jalalabad Afghanistan. The U.S. government considered him to be a detainee of “high intelligence value” who provided important information on the Derunta, Al-Farouq and Khalden training camps as well as key Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. The U.S. let Khader go even though it had labeled him a “high risk” enemy combatant “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interest or its allies.”


More on Khadr and his jihadist family:

Facts about Omar Khadr that the mainstream media won’t to tell you

More: Media whitewashing of Canadian jihadist Omar Khadr (video).

Idaho: Twin Falls to get influx of Syrian Muslim “refugees”

Refugee Farida Bashin smiles during a learning session Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the CSI Refugee Center in Twin Falls. DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS

Refugee Farida Bashin smiles during a learning session Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the CSI Refugee Center in Twin Falls. DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS

Creeping Sharia, May 2 2015:

 via CSI Refugee Center Expects Influx of Syrians.

TWIN FALLS • The College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Center is expecting an influx of Syrian refugees starting in October.

Projections show the center will likely receive 300 refugees from around the world during the upcoming federal fiscal year. That’s the same number as this year.

Refugee Center director Zeze Rwasama anticipates the biggest populations of newcomers will be from Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“That can change at any time depending on what’s out there,” he said. The U.S. Department of State approves the number of refugees coming to Twin Falls.

There aren’t any Syrians in Twin Falls yet, Rwasama said, but the Refugee Center is prepared for the influx. “We’re not anticipating any challenges.”

Worldwide, aid groups are calling on the United States to do more to help Syrians displaced by a five-year civil war.

The war has claimed the lives of more than 220,000 people and driven some 9 million of the prewar population of 23 million from their homes. Of those, more than 3.8 million have fled to neighboring countries.

To date, the U.S. has resettled just 648 Syrians.

Just? As if it’s our responsibility to take in those who hate us and won’t take jobs from Americans but will live off taxpayer money for decades.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard said during a recent visit to Lebanon that between 1,000 and 2,000 Syrian refugees will be brought to the U.S. by the end of September and several thousand more in 2016.

CSI’s Refugee Center has already resettled more than 1,000 refugees from Iraq, the neighboring country to Syria, and many speak Arabic.

“Culture wise, we’re familiar with what we’re going to get,” Rwasama said, although newcomers may have different education or work backgrounds.

Children will enroll in the Twin Falls School District’s Newcomer Center, with locations at Lincoln Elementary School, Robert Stuart Middle School and Canyon Ridge High School.

The district hasn’t received notification yet about which populations of refugees will arrive next year, spokeswoman Eva Craner said.

Typically, Twin Falls schools have more than 100 refugee students and about 20 languages are spoken.

When refugee children arrive, they get intensive instruction at the Newcomer Center. Then, they’re transitioned into regular classrooms.

Funded by taxpayers.

Syrian children will go through the same process as other incoming refugees, Craner said.

Earlier this month, an international aid group urged the U.S. to resettle 65,000 Syrians before the end of 2016, highlighting Washington’s slow response to the massive refugee crisis.

David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, told The Associated Press in Beirut that the whole international community shares responsibility for the consequences of the Syrian civil war.

“It’s good that the pace of U.S. resettlement is rising from the very low figures of the first four years, but it certainly needs to improve,” Miliband said.

Miliband is a coward and a traitor who has stated he’ll implement the sharia blasphemy laws in the U.K. if elected.

The Refugee Center had helped 162 newcomers settle in Twin Falls by the end of March. February was a particularly busy month, with 45 incoming refugees.

Since 1984, the center has settled almost 5,000 people in the Magic Valley. Most are from Iraq and Iran.


The Magic Valley paper, like most media, seems to have an affinity for Islam…i.e., Islamophilia.

h/t Refugee Resettlement Watch who writes:

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the US State Department and itscontractors are colonizing Idaho and thus making the construction of a mosque in Magic Valley inevitable.

This is the latest from Twin Falls as the resettlement subcontractor, College of Southern Idaho Refugee Programs, says the town should expect an influx of Syrians starting in October.

Readers, October 1 is the beginning of the new fiscal year (FY2016) and all concerned citizens should begin asking your local resettlement subcontractor (list here) for their ‘abstract’ for FY2016.

Right now the subcontractors are preparing their wish list for which ethnic groups of refugees they want to bring to your town, how many,  and are preparing a description of the amenities your town has to offer by way of school system capacity, health care, and other social services you will be providing the “new Americans.” (They may say it isn’t finished but keep after them!).


More from RRW: To date, 815 Syrian refugees admitted to US; 92% are Muslim

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And Ann Corcoran just posted this: 

Conservative populist movement on immigration rising twenty years after Barbara Jordan said American workers must come first

barbara-jordan-american-hero

Read the full Jordan report here

Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran on May 2, 2015:

As you watch Baltimore burn, think about the very real possibility that the rush to make Baltimore a multicultural immigrant ‘welcoming’ city is partially responsible for throwing gasoline on the fire as African Americans ask, where are the jobs?

Yesterday, Judy brought to our attention to this excellent article at National Review by John Fonte.   It is long, but a must read.

We have been beating this same drum for years—refugees are being brought into the US in large numbers primarily to supply cheap, captive (they can’t easily go home!) labor for big industries such as meatpacking.

In the case of the meatpackers, they pay lower wages to the foreign workers, and, if the worker is a refugee, you, the American taxpayer supports the family’s other needs through myriad social welfare programs.  It is a great business model, isn’t it!

The ‘religious’ resettlement contractors give the patina of humanitarianism to the program, but it is all about money and power! 

The Chamber of Commerce cheers them on and Leftwing funders and foundations salivate over new Democrat voters flowing in to the country as they brainwash Americans into thinking that ‘diversity brings strength’ (just by saying it over and over again)!

Here (below) is Fonte at National Review.  I’ve just snipped a little bit from many paragraphs in to the article.  It is a shame that NR chose to put Governor Walker’s photo on the story since he does not (so far) have a deep connection to the ‘conservative populist movement’ on immigration.

In fact, if Walker came out strongly on the side of slowing LEGAL immigration to America his funding would dry up overnight!  But, if he did, he would have the best chance of being elected the next President of the US because the issue of immigration is THE motivating issue of the average American voter—both because of their domestic economic concerns and their security worries.

On April 15th, the New York Times denounced Senator Jeff Sessions for his campaign to save the American worker. Getting flak like that is the greatest affirmation that he is ‘over the target.’

On April 15th, the New York Times denounced Senator Jeff Sessions for his campaign to save the American worker. Getting flak like that is the greatest affirmation that he is ‘over the target.’

Emphasis below is mine:

“An absolutely crucial (in some ways, the most important) part of the emerging conservative populist coalition is the committed citizens who spend hours directly contacting their elected representatives. A large number of Republicans in Congress are on the fence on immigration and will listen carefully to their most determined constituents. Grassroots conservatives are joined together in groups like Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Numbers USA, Heritage Action, and the Tea Party Patriots. It is not an exaggeration to report that in congressional district after congressional district, conservative activists are fighting Big Business lobbyists, not just for the future of the Republican party but, more significantly, for the future of the American constitutional regime as a whole.

The immigration narrative articulated by conservative populists is winning more and more adherents. At the most fundamental level, this narrative argues that immigration policy should serve American national interests and the interests of American citizens — not the special interests of business, union, political, and ethnic elites. As will be discussed later, the populist narrative today bears striking similarities to the Barbara Jordan immigration plan of 20 years ago.”

I’ve wondered for the last nearly 8 years if the liberal local do-gooders who promote refugee resettlement understand that they are shilling for big business and Republican elites?

“Opposite the conservative populists stands a formidable elite coalition consisting of Big Business, Big Labor, the Obama administration, the entire liberal establishment, the Republican donor class, and the mainstream media. This coalition favors greatly increasing legal immigration for both low-skilled and high-skilled workers, as well as providing amnesty for illegal immigrants. The elite coalition claims that it is speaking for American interests in strengthening our economy, expanding economic growth, and creating jobs. The American economy, the elites tell us, needs massive infusions of both low- and high-skilled labor. Their core argument is that there is a “worker shortage” in America.”

A worker shortage?  Do those Baltimore youths rioting in the streets think there is a worker shortage?

Read it all here.

And, even if it doesn’t seem like anyone is listening, don’t be silenced!  Keep pounding the message to your elected officials at all levels of government.

Muslim Congressmen Exhibit Outrageous Hypocrisy in Trying To Ban Dutch Politician Geert Wilders from U.S.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 1, 2015:

It was reported earlier this week that the two Muslim members of Congress, Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Andre Carson (D-IN), had sent a letter to the State Department last week requesting that they deny a visa to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was coming to Washington D.C. for a Capitol Hill event sponsored by Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA).

Unsuccessful in their attempts to have Wilders banned from the U.S. Ellison, Carson and their associates from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) tried to disrupt a press conference on free speech with Wilders, Gohmert and King in front of the U.S. Capitol yesterday, with Ellison promoting their actions on Twitter:
ellisonKeith Ellison tweet

Leave aside for the moment the spurious legal reasoning they employed to try to deny Wilders a visa, aptly refuted by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, and that their attempts to tie Wilders to Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik had been thoroughly debunked by none other than Breivik himself.

What makes the pair’s anti-free speech behavior so outrageously hypocritical is that they both have stood silent as the Obama administration has allowed a long line of extremists, and even members of terrorist organizations, to enter the U.S.

Even worse, the two Muslim congressmen have regularly promoted and associated with organizations that have been designated as terrorist organizations, and individuals and groups that have been tagged in federal court by the Justice Department.

For instance, in May 2012 a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (still a designated terrorist organization), Hani Nour Eldin, was allowed to enter the U.S. and even escorted into the White House for a private meeting with Obama’s national security staff, Ellison and Carson didn’t apparently utter a single word in protest.

Nor did they express even the slightest bit of concern when members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were given VIP treatment typically reserved for visiting dignitaries at JFK airport.

When Sudanese genocide henchman Nafie Ali Nafie (aka “Nafie the Butcher) was given a visa by the State Department in 2013, the Muslim congressmen again were found mute.

And nothing was said when Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano testified before Congress in July 2012 that she would allow more members of terrorist organizations into the U.S.

Their voice has also been absent following the news last year that the Clinton State Department maintained a terrorist “hands-off” list for entry into the U.S., revealed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), or as Homeland Security continued to stonewall congressional requests for information on such terrorist “hands-off” lists.

So Ellison and Carson have deemed Geert Wilders, who has been subject to repeated threats from Islamic terror organizations and has had to live with 24/7 security for more than a decade, a greater threat than members of terrorist groups, genocidal henchmen, and Islamic extremists.

That glaring silence might be telling of where their sympathies really lie, if it weren’t for their open and unashamed support of terrorist fronts and cheerleaders.

As I reported here at PJ Media late last December, Carson was scheduled to appear at the 2014 Muslim American Society (MAS)-Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) annual conference on a Ferguson panel with Mazen Mokhtar, an individual that federal agents had testified in federal court had operated an Al-Qaeda website to raise money for the Taliban.

Carson’s appearance at the MAS-ICNA event was not only promoted on the conference website, but also in the conference program:

Carson-Moktar750

A few days later, Carson was quickly trying to walk back his appearance at the conference, claiming he didn’t speak on the panel with Mokhtar. And yet, Carson never addressed the fact that he was speaking at Mohktar’s conference (Mokhtar is currently executive directtor of the primary conference sponsor, MAS).

But both Ellison and Carson appeared just a few months before with Al-Qaeda webmaster Mokhtar at a June 2014 event announcing the formation of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood political front, the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). Mokhtar is second from the left:

ICNA-1024x683

In this picture published by The Muslim Link newspaper, Mokhtar can be seen immediately over the right shoulder of Ellison as he speaks at the USCMO rollout:

Ellison-Moktar

So attempts by either Ellison or Carson to walk back their association to Mazen Mokhtar are laughingly bogus.

But there’s good reason why the pair want to keep their distance from Mohktar and his MAS organization. In November 2014, one month before Carson appeared at the MAS-ICNA conference, the United Arab Emirates designated MAS as a terrorist organization. In 2008, Ellison took a 16-day Hajj trip to Saudi Arabia financed by MAS, and lied about the source of the funding.

Even more troubling for Ellison and Carson, UAE also designated CAIR a terrorist organization. Both congressmen have regularly appeared at the group’s events across the country and spoken in support of their efforts. In 2012, I documented Ellison’s extensive ties to CAIR here at PJ Media as he was publicly attacking then-Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

It’s not just the UAE terror designation of CAIR that is problematic for the pair. In 2008, FBI agent Lara Burns testified in federal court that CAIR was a front for the terrorist group HAMAS in the Holy Land Foundation case.

During that trial, the Justice Department submitted a brief to the court stating that CAIR was part of an international Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to provide “media, money and men” to Hamas (p. 13).

DOJ-CAIR-USMB-HL2

The federal judge hearing the case agreed, stating in an opinion that there was “ample evidence” that CAIR and other US Muslim organizations worked to support Hamas.

So before Keith Ellison and Andre Carson start attacking other members of Congress about their support for Geert Wilders, perhaps they should answer some questions about their ties to Mazen Mokhtar and their continued public support to MAS and CAIR despite their designation as terrorist groups by UAE, and tagged as terrorist fronts in federal court by the FBI and the Justice Department.

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Also see: