The Betrayal Papers, Part IV of V: A New Genocide

The_Betrayal_PapersPart I of The Betrayal Papers explained the history and context of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in the American government.

Part II looked at the associations of seven Obama officials with Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the United States.

Part III traced the Muslim Brotherhood’s and the State of Qatar’s influence on domestic policy and Obama administration scandals.

Part IV will examine foreign policy under Obama.  It will explain how the Obama administration and U.S. Department of State have used the American military and standing in the world as tools to kick start the creation of a new Islamic Caliphate.  Obama’s unconscionable enabling of and silence regarding a new genocide will be revealed. 

Finally, this article will offer a cursory reassessment of America’s allies, and which countries we have lost as friends.

“The transformation of America has been in the full swing ever since 2008.  President Obama’s no-show in Paris was an embarrassment for all Americans.  But it also was a signal to the Islamic jihadis.  It’s one of the many signals he’s sent over the years while he’s in office.  Now there’s no question: We got a hell of a job ahead of us…  with the Muslim Brotherhood penetration in every one of our national security agencies, including all our intelligence agencies.

Is Obama a Muslim?

This is the question that many Americans and people around the globe are asking themselves lately.  From his refusal to label the Islamic State “Islamic,” to his lecture about the Crusades at the National Prayer breakfast, what once was taboo is now starting to be verbalized.

Yet this may be the slightly wrong question to ask.  The ruling establishment of Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, is rightly considered an authoritative voice of Islam.  In case you missed it, the Saudis have emerged as some of Obama’s biggest critics.

In doing so, the Saudis also revealed the truth regarding the Arab Spring.

Writing in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj, while supporting Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, not only called Obama “one of the worst U.S. presidents;” he also exposed the nature of so-called “democratic revolutions” in the region.  Stated al-Faraj:

Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.’s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury.”

Translation: Obama served as a mouthpiece for, and armed, the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e., “political Islam”) revolutionaries in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria.  He was aided in this incredibly destructive policy of jihad by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton until her resignation in 2013, and has been further aided by her successor, John Kerry.

The original Muslim Brotherhood, the Ikhwan, was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1927.  The conservative Wahhabi Saudi royals have traditionally had little use for exporting jihad, and indeed are one of the United States’ oldest strategic allies in the region.  Despite Americans’ revulsion at Saudi Arabia’s application of barbaric sharia (i.e., Islamic) law in their own country, outside the Kingdom Saudis have every reason to maintain the status quo with neighbors, including Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.  That means keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of power.

The pertinent question is not whether Obama is secretly a Muslim, per se, but rather if Obama is a secret Muslim Brother.  That is the real question.

The Words of Obama, Dalia, and Rashad

If we take the Saudis, the most influential Gulf country, seriously, then it follows that Obama and his administration must have had a plan for the Arab Spring that goes back several years, i.e. 2008.

Part II of The Betrayal Papers identified seven Obama administration officials who had/have associations with several Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the United States (CAIR, ISNA, MSA, etc.).  It also tracked their associations with Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution, both recipients of significant amounts of money from the State of Qatar, the home of many prominent Muslim Brothers.

One of those officials is Rashad Hussain, who is Obama’s Special Envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.  In August 2008, Hussain co-authored a paper for the Brookings Institution called Reformulating the Battle of Ideas: Understanding the Role of Islam in Counterterrorism Policy.  The paper, which calls Islam the “strongest ally” in the “global effort to end terrorism,” explicitly calls for the American government not to reject political Islam, but to utilize Islamic scholars and Islamic “policymaking” to reject “terrorism.”  It also recommends that “policymakers should reject the use of language that provides a religious legitimization of terrorism such as ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘Islamic extremist.’”

Is it any wonder now why Obama says that the Islamic State “is not Islamic?”  This is the deceptive language of the Muslim Brotherhood, recently welcomed to the White House.

Let’s now turn our attention at a report co-authored by Dalia Mogahed, who was a member of Obama’s Advisory Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and influential in writing Obama’s nefarious 2009 speech in Cairo.  Additionally, Mogahed is currently listed as a member of Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs.

Mogahed was part of the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement.  Other members of the group were former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (of World Trade Center Mosque notoriety), and Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Ahmed Younis.  The report issued by the group called for engagement and cooperation with political Islam, and specifically with the Muslim Brotherhood:

The U.S. must also consider when and how to talk with political movements that have substantial public support and have renounced violence, but are outlawed or restricted by authoritarian governments allied to the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood parties in Egypt and Jordan are arguably in this category. In general, the Leadership Group supports engagement with groups that have clearly demonstrated a commitment to nonviolent participation in politics.”

Indications of a plan to work with the Muslim Brotherhood were evident as early as June 2009, when the President went to Cairo’s Al-Azhar University to address the Muslim World.  The audience included prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood that Obama insisted on having seated in the front row.   Said Obama, [The] partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t.  And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

With the statements of the Saudi journalist, Hussain, Mogahed, and Obama himself in mind, presented below is a thumbnail sketch of the Arab Spring and its consequences, and the intersection between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood.  This is only a fraction of the evidence that proves Obama has worked hand-in-hand with the Muslim Brotherhood to transform the Middle East.

Tunisia

In Tunisia in 2011, the government of Ben Ali fell after a man self-immolated, sparking a wave of protests.  Subsequently, Tunisia elected the Muslim Brotherhood Ennahda party, with a plurality of 37% of the vote.  In October 2014, Tunisia elected a secular government.

Libya

Libya exemplifies the essence of the so-called Arab Spring, an anarchic Muslim Brotherhood revolution that thrives on violence and chaos.

In such ungovernable disarray are significant parts of Libya today, that it is actually being used as a staging ground by ISIS for an invasion of Europe.

Despite repeated warnings and advice by the United States military to leave Muammar Gaddafi in power, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama launched a disastrous war against the Gaddafi regime, leaving a power vacuum for Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to fill.

Practically, Libya served as armaments bazaar for the Muslim Brotherhood and all associated terrorist groups.  Libyan weapons have ended up in the hands of jihadis across North Africa, potentially contributing to the stockpile of arms of Boko Haram.  These weapons were also sent to Syrian rebels, including groups who are now part of ISIS.

Currently, an ongoing proxy war rages in Libya.  The anti-Muslim Brotherhood countries of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates battle Qatar and Turkey (close allies of the Obama administration) and the local Islamic terrorists.

Benghazi

Benghazi and all the mystery that surrounds it can mostly be dispelled in a few short paragraphs.  A few facts will inform the reader, and then the attack that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012 can be then put in the larger context of a Muslim Brotherhood-guided American agenda.

First, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, aka Ansar al-Sharia, was hired to guard the compound by the American government.  In a word, they are a jihadi militia.

Second, the compound in Benghazi was crawling with CIA agents.  According to CNN’s Jake Tapper, there were “dozens” of CIA personnel present the night of the attack, and the Obama administration has gone to “great lengths” to obscure their activities.  Many speculate that Ambassador Stevens was a CIA asset in the State Department.

Third, only hours before the attack, Stevens met with a Turkish ambassador at the compound.  Turkey, it should be recalled, was a transshipment point for some Libyan weapons that were shipped out of the country to jihadis elsewhere.

Fourth, the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi government of Egypt was involved with the attack.  In fact, some of the terrorists were caught on video saying “Don’t shoot!  Dr. Morsi sent us!”

These facts beg the question: If Ambassador Stevens was in fact overseeing a gun running operation to Islamic/jihadi/Muslim Brotherhood militias, why would the same people kill him?

Given the above evidence, the prominent theory that Stevens was going to be a trade for the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, seems a plausible explanation.  (Morsi was dedicated to the release of Rahman.)  And this theory is endorsed by no less an authority than retired four star Admiral James Lyons.

Once this plan went spectacularly wrong, a number of other things occurred, which again, fit into the larger picture of a Muslim Brotherhood-control Obama administration.

In an alarming breach of protocol and duty, Obama’s Special Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, issued the order to the military “stand down.”  In other words, she ordered that Stevens and the other Americans be left to fend for themselves against a well-armed jihadi militia.

Regarding the now infamous Talking Points scandal involving Susan Rice, et. al., that blamed the attack on obscure and poorly produced movie, an MSA member from George Washington University was copied on the email sent by Ben Rhodes (who, recall, wrote Obama’s 2009 Cairo Speech).

Finally, George Soros is also connected to this scandal.  The Obama-appointed lead investigator for the attack was Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who has ties to CAIR, a well-known Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States.  At the time of the investigation, Pickering was the co-chair of the Soros’ International Crisis Group.  He is still a trustee.

Egypt

So much has been written about Obama’s decision to force the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, and the subsequent election of Mohamed Morsi to the Egyptian Presidency, that the space here will be used only to reinforce some key and lesser known points.

  • Mubarak was the lynchpin of regional stability, the president of the most populous Arab country who maintained not only peace but a strong relationship with Israel and the United States.
  • Mohamed Morsi likely joined the Muslim Brotherhood through the Muslim Students Association in America, while he was a student at University of Southern California.
  • The wife of Mohamed Morsi was a long-time friend of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • When Morsi came to power and began to implement sharia law, Obama promised the Morsi government $8 billion in exchange for land in the Sinai for Palestinians (Hamas).  Once Morsi was removed, following a brief, murderous, and highly destructive reign of power, Obama immediately withheld military aid to Egypt.
  • Through 2013, the Clinton Foundation received between $1 million and $5 million from Qatar.
  • It appears likely that close Obama friends, the domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and wife Bernadine Dohrn, played a significant role in fomenting the protests which led to the resignation of Mubarak. Terrorist birds of feather flock together.

In case you were wondering, Obama advisor Dalia Mogahed considered the ouster of Morsi a “coup,” and CAIR and ISNA were likewise critical of the restoration of secular law in Egypt, which no doubt has prevented the slaughter of countless Coptic Christian lives.

Syria, Iraq, and ISIS – A Lost War, a Genocide, and a Rape of Humanity

Say what you will about Bashar al-Assad, he and his father Hafez have always strongly opposed the Muslim Brotherhood.  Indeed, Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, aka Abu Musab al-Suri, a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden and architect of the Madrid train bombings, spent most of his life trying to overthrow the Assads and implement sharia law.  (Not only is Nasar Syrian, his nom de guerre “Al-Suri” means “the Syrian.”)  As late as 2008, none other than Nancy Pelosi was hobnobbing with the secularly minded Assads.  John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry also dined with and were entertained lavishly by the Assads in 2009.

What Obama has unleashed in Syria by supporting jihadi rebels is an apocalyptic force of total depravity that specializes in genocide and cultural annihilation.  There are few words that do justice to the evil, inhumanity, and unbelievable cruelty that define ISIS and their end-of-times approach to warfare.

Not only do they set people on fire, but they also behead and torture children.  Americans are bombarded with these images regularly.  Equally as atrocious and appalling, they openly and gleefully destroy everything pre-Islamic.  Much like the Buddhas in Afghanistan that the Taliban dynamited, ISIS believes in the Islamic concept of Jahiliyyah, which demands that all traces of civilization before the time of Mohammed the Prophet be erased.

ISIS is literally rampaging across the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia, laying waste to some of humanity’s oldest faith communities, artifacts, and landmarks.  Simultaneous to the modern day Holocaust that is happening to ancient Christian communities in the occupied regions, ISIS trumps even the art-hoarding Nazis in their total disregard for all things that make us human.

In the face of this unspeakable crime against humanity, Obama has not once mentioned the ongoing genocide, much less the irreplaceable loss of culture and tangible history.  The airstrikes ordered by Obama and his advisor Valerie Jarret against ISIS have been described as “pin-pricks.”  This shows that they are either lackadaisical in the face of the genocide, or more likely do not wish to be bothered.  So committed is Obama to America’s defeat in the Middle East that he has appointed the above-mentioned Rashad Hussain, a documented supporter of political Islam, as a social media “warrior” to lead the cyber charge against these subhuman savages.

In time, the enormity of this crime will be examined through a historical lens.  A few decades from now people will wonder how the liberty-loving United States elected a hollow, morally insipid man named Barack Hussein Obama, who armed and trained a jihadi army that destroyed our common human heritage and murdered entire tribes by the thousands.

Of great concern, domestically the soulless ISIS is now operational in all 50 states (according to the FBI), and ISIS training camps have been discovered in various states.  A not-so-unexpected consequence of Obama’s open borders policy, indeed.

Regarding Iraq, it is no surprise and it is not hyperbole to simply state the obvious: Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood surrendered Iraq to the enemy, willingly and consciously.  Into this void steps an emboldened and rejuvenated Iran.

Afghanistan

Much like Iraq, Afghanistan is in the process of being surrendered to the Taliban.  Not only has the administration and (Afghan President) Karzai negotiated with the Taliban, they also idly watched as the same terrorists who hosted Osama bin Laden set up an embassy in Doha, Qatar.  A national intelligence estimate as early as December 2013 predicted that all progress would be lost once a military drawdown began.

True to form, seven months after this estimate was released Obama swapped one American deserter, Bowe Bergdahl, for five high ranking Taliban commanders released from Guantanamo Bay, and a significant sum of money.

Following Obama’s policies, all the American blood and treasure spent liberating Afghanistan will be sacrificed by Obama, to the absolute benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As a postscript, it will be noted that a primary source of Taliban funding, poppies for opium, have seen record Afghan crop yields in 2013 and 2014.

Nigeria

While #BringBackOurGirls may have been a temporary PR win for the Obama administration, it obscured the fact that the administration has been consistently enabling the growth of the jihadi army of Boko Haram by downplaying them as a threat.  As if on cue, last week Boko Haram pledged allegiance (bayah) to the Islamic State.

According to one report that rings true, Boko Haram began with a $3 million grant from Osama bin Laden.  One senior U.S. intelligence official stated, regarding the matter, “There were channels between bin Laden and Boko Haram leadership… He gave some strategic direction at times.”  This connection evidently does not phase the Obama administration and U.S. Department of State.

As Andrew McCarthy wrote regarding the Clinton State Department’s position on Boko Haram:

“Instead, ignoring what Boko Haram pronounces its goals to be, the Obama administration portrayed it as a diffuse organization with no clear agenda that was ascendant due to the policies of the Nigerian government (which is under Christian leadership).”

Hillary Clinton’s successor at State, John Kerry, sings the same tune, while thousands of Nigerians are massacred.  Following air strikes by the Nigerian government, Kerry urged restraint, warning Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan “to respect human rights and not harm civilians.”

Meanwhile, this African scourge has amassed a “massive army” that is reportedly stronger than the Nigerian Army.  Defeating Boko Haram will likely take the coordinated efforts of Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon, which has close ties to a very sympathetic Israel.  The French Army is right now operating out of Mali in Nigeria, contributing to the fight against the jihadis.

Israel

There is so much in the news regarding Obama’s falling-out with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu that little needs to be added here.  The likely breaking point in the relationship was Obama’s and Kerry’s siding with Qatar and Hamas during the war last summer; and, more recently, with the obvious intention of Obama to permit Iran to develop their nuclear arms capacities.  This week, it is reported that Obama has appointed another Hamas-connected advisor, Robert Malley, to coordinate Middle East policy for the White House.

The deplorable disrespect and insults hurled at Netanyahu by the Democrats during his visit are the mirror image of an America whose college campuses have been overtaken with a virulent anti-Semitism.

Still, this chapter would not be complete without mentioning the integral part that Obama’s friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, terrorists themselves, played in launching the diplomatically catastrophic “Peace Flotilla” – boats from Turkey, filled with military supplies and other goodies, for Hamas.

Iran

Into the grand void, the power vacuum, created by the Arab Spring, steps a nation largely unaffected by the Arab Spring: Iran.  In fact, when Iran nearly embraced modernity and secular government with its so-called “Green Movement,” Obama and the Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett stood conspicuously on the sidelines.  Years in the making, the protestors and activists who challenged the Iranian mullahs paid dearly for their attempt at overthrowing the Islamic Republic while Obama’s administration remained silent and watched them get smashed.

An historic moment was totally squandered.

Whether it is in Yemen or in Iraq, Iran is the beneficiary, net-net, of the Arab Spring.  Even as their Supreme Leader openly calls for the destruction of Israel, the Obama administration proceeds undaunted with negotiations that would give them nuclear capabilities and the means to strike the Middle East, Europe, and the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Conclusion

The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi put it this way: Obama “switched sides in the War on Terror.”  The evidence presented above is but a glimpse into the preponderance of open source, published information that supports the Commission’s conclusion.

We are now faced with a totally new geopolitical situation: geographically, politically, and militarily.

With the body count growing by the day, and with a far larger war looming on the horizon, one would think that the responsible parties still left in government would pause, reflect, and begin to reverse course before it is too late.  Yet as recently as December, NATO hailed its partnership with terrorist financier extraordinaire, the Gulf State of Qatar.  This is tantamount to openly declaring allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood, a totalitarian and genocidal movement whose actions we see manifested daily.

The ultimate fallout from this historic, awful change in American policy may very well be a war of untold destruction.  In the meantime, it is observed that some of America’s former allies have already decided that we, as agents of jihad, can no longer be trusted.  Egypt is forming a closer relationship with Putin’s Russia, as is Saudi Arabia.  India, which had moved closer to the United States under George W. Bush, has also turned toward Russia.  France, with the rise of the National Front party, may very well be next to look east to Moscow.  And Israel is openly courting new strategic alliances.

Truly, there have been few times in American history when our national commitment to morality, decency, and humanity has been so genuinely questionable.  If the majority of the American people understood what has already been risked by this president and his Muslim Brotherhood-aligned administration, they would demand immediate resignation and a full investigation of the government agencies which are in league with, and give aid and comfort to, the enemy.

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

New Docs Reveal Osama bin Laden’s Secret Ties With Iran

osama_bin_ladenWeekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn, Feb. 29, 2015:

This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in an al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.

More than 1 million documents and files were captured by the Navy Seals who raided bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. One year later, in May 2012, the Obama administration released just 17 of them.

While there is some overlap between the files introduced as evidence in Brooklyn and those that were previously made public in 2012, much of what is in the trial exhibits had never been made public before.

The files do not support the view, promoted by some in the Obama administration, that bin Laden was in “comfortable retirement,” “sidelined,” or “a lion in winter” in the months leading up to his death. On the contrary, bin Laden is asked to give his order on a host of issues, ranging from the handling of money to the movement of terrorist operatives.

Some of the key revelations in the newly-released bin Laden files relate to al Qaeda’s dealings with Iran and presence in Afghanistan.

A top al Qaeda operative asked bin Laden for permission to relocate to Iran in June 2010 as he plotted attacks around the world. That operative, Yunis al Mauritani, was a senior member of al Qaeda’s so-called “external operations” team, and plotted to launch Mumbai-style attacks in Europe.

As THE WEEKLY STANDARD first reported, the al Qaeda cell selected to take part in al Mauritani’s plot transited through Iran and some of its members received safe haven there after the planned attacks were thwarted.

In the memo to bin Laden, a top al Qaeda manager wrote, “Sheikh Yunis is ready to move and travel.” The file continues: “The destination, in principle, is Iran, and he has with him 6 to 8 brothers that he chose. I told him we are waiting for final complete confirmation from you to move, and agree on this destination (Iran). His plan is: stay around three months in Iran to train the brothers there then start moving them and distributing them in the world for their missions and specialties. He explained those to you in his report and plan.”

Bin Laden’s reply is apparently not included in the documents.

Other intelligence recovered in the raid on the al Qaeda master’s home show that al Qaeda and Iran were at odds in some ways. Iran detained a number of senior al Qaeda leaders and members of Osama bin Laden’s family. Al Qaeda forced Iran to release some of them by kidnapping an Iranian diplomat in Pakistan. Some of the newly-released files provide hints of these disagreements as well, including a suggestion that one of bin Laden’s sons may complain about the jihadists’ treatment in Iran once he was freed.

The same June 2010 memo to bin Laden that includes Yunis al Mauritani’s request also includes a section on the al Qaeda leaders who had returned to Pakistan from Iran. One of them is Abu Anas al Libi, a bin Laden lieutenant who was captured in Tripoli in 2013. Upon being freed, al Libi was reassigned to al Qaeda’s security committee and asked to move to Libya to take part in the anti-Qaddafi revolution. Al Qaeda granted al Libi’s request.

Although Iran and al Qaeda have had significant differences, there is much intelligence showing that the two continue to collude.

During President Obama’s administration, the Treasury and State Departments have repeatedly exposed the formerly “secret deal” between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda that allows the terrorist organization to shuttle operatives around the globe. Some of those operatives included Yunis al Mauritani’s men.

The June 2010 memo to bin Laden indicates that al Qaeda had a significant presence in Afghanistan at the time.

“Our groups inside Afghanistan are the same as for every season for many years now,” bin Laden’s subordinate wrote. “We have groups in Bactria, Bactica, Khost, Zabul, Ghazni and Warduk in addition to the battalion in Nuristan and Kunz.” (Bactria and Bactica may be transliterated incorrectly and actually reference other provinces.)

“We have very strong military activity in Afghanistan, many special operations, and the Americans and NATO are being hit hard,” the memo continues.

The author, who is likely Atiyyah Abd al Rahman (later killed in a U.S. drone strike), says that al Qaeda had recently cooperated with the Haqqani Network in a major operation in Bagram. “We cooperated with Siraj Haqqani and other commander down there (Kabul/Bagram),” Rahman writes to bin Laden. Siraj’s father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was one of bin Laden’s closest allies. The Haqqani network and al Qaeda have fought side-by-side for years and the Haqqanis continue to provide shelter for al Qaeda’s men in northern Pakistan.

Al Qaeda’s description of its own presence in Afghanistan is directly at odds with the assessments made by U.S. military and intelligence officials, who have portrayed the group as having only a small number of fighters and being geographically isolated.

Other revelations include the following:

Senior al Qaeda leaders discussed potential negotiations with Al Jazeera over the copyrights for the jihadists’ propaganda films and footage. Al Qaeda also wanted to play a significant role in an upcoming documentary produced by the channel.

Al Qaeda believed the British were ready to cut a deal to get out of Afghanistan. If al Qaeda left the Brits alone, one file contends, the UK was willing to pull out from the country.

Al Qaeda was in direct contact with Al Tayyib Agha, a Taliban leader who has served as Mullah Omar’s emissary. The U.S. government has held direct talks with Agha in an attempt to broker a peace deal in Afghanistan. The Taliban has rejected the goals of those talks, however.

Al Qaeda was monitoring the situation in Libya, and noted that the “brothers” in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) were operating in Benghazi, Derna and elsewhere in eastern Libya. Members of the LIFG went on to help form Ansar al Sharia in Derna and other al Qaeda-linked groups, some of which took part in the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.

Bin Laden advised his subordinates that they should contact Abu Mohammad al Maqdisi, a well-known jihadist ideologue, to see if Maqdisi would agree to have one of his books shortened before being more widely disseminated. Bin Laden’s words show how much respect he had for Maqdisi. The Jordanians have routinely imprisoned Maqdisi, but recently let him out of detention so that he could denounce the Islamic State, which has emerged as al Qaeda’s rival. This shows how al Qaeda is using the Islamic State to portray itself as being more moderate.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Also see:

ISIS Eyes Iran in AF/PAK Expansion Effort, Targets Mullah Omar in IO Campaign

February 22, 2015 / /

Reporting over the last couple of weeks suggests that the Islamic State’s (IS) Khorasan Regional Command or “Khorasan Shura” has stepped up their efforts to further inflame internal divisions within the Taliban (TB) in the hopes it would lead to more defections. The IO campaign they’ve been waging in the AF/PAK region has called into question Mullah Omar’s fitness to be a leader in the global jihadist movement and whether he’s even alive. In early-JAN 15 TB Shura Chief Akhtar Muhammad Mansur and other Shura members are reported to have met with two IS representatives who threatened to increase their operations in two months if the TB couldn’t prove that Mullah Omar was still alive. Our sources have also informed us that Pakistani Taliban (TTP) Emir Maulawi Fazlullah remains loyal to Omar, but may defect to IS if his death is confirmed. Apparently the question of whether or not Omar is alive has been a big subject of debate, with other TTP commanders wondering if Fazlullah has even been in contact with him. As it stands right now, Omar’s current status remains a mystery. Having said that, IS directly challenging Omar’s legitimacy and suggesting that he’s dead appears to be having an effect in at least planting the seeds of further internal unrest among the ranks.

ISIS Reportedly Begins Targeting Taliban Commanders Loyal to al-Qaida
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4593

ISIS Formally Establishes an Affiliate for the AF/PAK Region
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4578

The terrifying rise of ISIS: Map that shows how terror group’s tentacles now reach from Algeria to Afghanistan
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2960463/The-terrifying-rise-ISIS-Map-shows-terror-group-s-tentacles-reach-Algeria-Afghanistan.html

How ISIS Has Expanded Beyond Its Syrian Stronghold
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2015/02/18/387149112/how-isis-has-expanded-beyond-its-syrian-stronghold

ISIS vs. the Taliban: The Battle for Hearts and Minds
http://www.vocativ.com/world/afghanistan-world/isis-vs-taliban/

The Coming Fight for Khorasan: IS Gearing up Against the Taliban
https://news.siteintelgroup.com/blog/index.php/entry/362-the-coming-fight-for-khorasan-is-gearing-up-against-the-taliban

US Afghan commander: Reports of ISIS recruiting
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/229783-us-afghan-commander-reports-of-isis-recruiting

ISIS trying to expand its influence in Pakistan, distributes pamphlets
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ISIS-trying-to-expand-its-influence-in-Pakistan-distributes-pamphlets/articleshow/41618755.cms

Taliban Supreme leader Mullah Omar has possibly died
http://www.khaama.com/taliban-supreme-leader-mullah-omar-has-possibly-died-8778

Mullah Omar’s whereabouts – and very existence – shrouded in mystery
http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/pakistan-articles/caii/features/pakistan/main/2014/09/30/feature-01

mullah Fazlullah

Mullah Fazlullah
Source: SITE Intelligence Group

mullah omar

Mullah Omar: Dead or Alive?
Source: tribune.com.pk

One of the figures who played a key role in establishing the IS foothold in the region is a former TB commander Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, who served as the Shadow Governor of Uruzgan Province from 2007 – 2009 and did a stint in Guantanamo Bay (GITMO). After his release from GITMO, he had a falling out with TB leadership that led to his marginalization within the terror organization and subsequent defection to IS. He was a key player in the IS expansion efforts currently underway in Helmand Province and led the charge in the red-on-red fight against the TB’s Helmand Shadow Governor Mullah Ahmed Shah. The US government claims to have killed Khadim in a drone strike earlier this month, but we have not yet seen confirmation either way. However, whether he’s dead or not is irrelevant as he wasn’t a member of the Khorasan Shura – which remains largely intact.

ISIS recruiter, once freed from Gitmo by U.S., killed in drone strike in Afghanistan
http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/09/world/afghanistan-violence/

Capture the Flag in Afghanistan
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/22/capture-the-flag-in-afghanistan/

Islamic State Appoints Leaders of “Khorasan Province,” Issues Veiled Threat to Afghan Taliban
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/01/islamic_state_appoin.php

khorasan shura

Breakdown of the Khorasan Shura
Source: The Long War Journal

In our Inside Iran’s Middle East Series piece titled, “Inside Iran’s Middle East: The Southeast Insurgency,” we stated that either al-Qaida (AQ) or IS may attempt to use the Afghanistan and Pakistan as support nodes for a new front opened up in Southeast Iran to force the regime into diverting resources from the Syrian war effort back to home. IS’ expansion efforts in Afghanistan’s Southern provinces adds weight to this assessment as those locations all fall within known routes used to smuggle opium and weapons between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Keep in mind that AQ’s Khorasan Group (KG) has a great deal of experience in fighting the IRGC inside Iran that resulted in forging relationships with Baloch groups such as Jundallah. More importantly, some of KG’s personnel that deployed to Syria are reported to have defected to IS.

We assess some of those personnel are part of the training support package that was sent to Afghanistan in the DEC 14/JAN 15 time frame or possibly earlier. The training cadre sent to the country are likely still in the assess-mode taking note of each loyal faction’s strength’s and weaknesses to draw up the training plan that will probably take effect by the end of this month. During this year’s fighting season Afghanistan’s Hazara Shia population may begin to experience the same level of targeting that they received prior to 9-11 as a means of getting Iran’s attention and building notoriety. Red on red violence will also pick up. By AUG the IS affiliates will be fully trained with recruits gaining much-needed experience. We could very well well see former KG members who defected to IS leading the engagement efforts reaching out to Jundallah (and other Baloch groups in Iran) by the end of the year. Jundallah – like everybody else in that part of the world – will likely flip to IS’ side after being offered money, weapons and manpower to accelerate their regenerative process. The leadership of the various Baloch groups may not approve of IS’ ideology or even the legitimacy of Baghdadi’s “Caliphate” – to them it would be a marriage of convenience. However, this will be a project that will take at least another year to fully manifest itself. If you think this will be easier for US troops stationed in Afghanistan, think again, because both IS and TB factions loyal to AQ will be competing for the title of who can launch the more high-profile attacks. Needless to say, this year’s fighting season looks to be one of the worst. Keep an eye on this one…

Inside Iran’s Middle East: The Southeast Insurgency
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2689

ISIS (Daesh) start operations in Helmand, residents claim
http://www.khaama.com/isis-daesh-start-operations-in-helmand-residents-claim

ISIS expansion map

The graphic above depicts IS’ expansion from the Maghreb to Afghanistan and Pakistan
Source: UK Daily Mail

Links to Other Related Articles:

Afghanistan Update – Yes, Things Are Getting Worse Contrary To US Government Claims

Afghanistan: A Case Against a Residual US Military Presence

The History and Capabilities of the Khorasan Group

The Khorasan Group: Threat to US Homeland?

US Government: Syria-Based al-Qaida Cell Bigger Threat Than ISIS

US reportedly increases secret raids against Afghanistan insurgents

Feb. 12, 2015: Afghanistan National Army officers march during a graduation ceremony at a training center in Herat, west of Kabul. Around 1, 200 national army officers graduated after receiving a 3 month training program in Herat. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)

Feb. 12, 2015: Afghanistan National Army officers march during a graduation ceremony at a training center in Herat, west of Kabul. Around 1, 200 national army officers graduated after receiving a 3 month training program in Herat. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)

Fox News, Feb. 13, 2015:

U.S. Special Forces soldiers and their Afghan allies have undertaken an increasing number of night raids targeting Taliban and Al Qaeda militants, despite Washington formally declaring an end to combat operations late last year, according to a published report.

The New York Times reports that the increased raids are partially the result of intelligence seized in October of last year, when U.S. and Afghan commandos came upon a laptop computer with files detailing terror operations in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. Military officials tell the paper that the information in the files could be as significant as what was found on a computer in Usama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound after the terror leader was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011.

The officials also said that another factor playing the role in the increased raids were loosened restrictions on nighttime operations put in place by the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani. Ghani has previously called for a slower withdrawal of U.S. troops from his country. Current plans call for the U.S. to go from about 10,800 troops there now to 5,500 by the end of this year.

The U.S. and its NATO allies formally announced the end of their combat mission in Afghanistan in December and trumpeted the withdrawal of most combat troops. However, under the terms of a security agreement with the Afghan government, just over 13,000 troops, most of them American, were to stay on in an advisory role.

However, American and Afghan officials tell The Times that U.S. troops are taking a lead role in the latest counterterror raids, and not merely going along as advisers. The raids are also unusual in that they are coming during the winter, which is traditionally the season where the fighting is lightest.

“It’s all in the shadows now,” said a former Afghan security official told the paper. “The official war for the Americans — the part of the war that you could go see — that’s over. It’s only the secret war that’s still going. But it’s going hard.”

News of the increased raids comes one day after the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he wants greater flexibility in in how quickly he pulls troops out of Afghanistan and where he can position them around the country in the coming months.

Gen. John Campbell said that by keeping more than 5,500 troops in Afghanistan through the end of the year, Campbell would be able to maintain forces in other locations around the country, both training the Afghan forces and providing support for more counterterrorism missions.

“I’m particularly concerned about the summer of 2015,” Campbell said. “The Afghans — this is the very first fighting season completely on their own.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Click for more from The New York Times. 

Analysis: DIA head warns al Qaeda in Syria may gain ground in 2015

 

LWJ, By THOMAS JOSCELYN, February 4, 2015:

The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart, warned during congressional testimony yesterday that the “security challenges” the US faces are “more diverse and complex than those we have experienced in our lifetimes.” Stewart delivered his remarks to the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing devoted to assessing worldwide threats.

While Stewart addressed diverse national security issues, much of his written testimony was focused on what was once called the global war on terror.

Al Qaeda in Syria may “expand its territory,” while threatening the West

The Islamic State’s advances in Iraq and Syria have understandably garnered most of the headlines since the middle of last year. But the Islamic State’s rivals in the Al Nusrah Front, an official branch of al Qaeda, have been gaining ground over the past several months. And the DIA is concerned that Al Nusrah will continue to advance inside Syria and elsewhere, while also enabling senior al Qaeda operatives to plan attacks against the West.

The DIA expects Al Nusrah “will try to expand its territory in 2015 beyond its Syrian operating areas and enhance its operational capabilities in Lebanon, where it already conducts operations.”

“As part of the larger al Qaeda network,” Stewart writes, “we are concerned about the support Al Nusrah Front provides to transnational terrorist attack plotting against US and Western interests.” In particular, he highlighted the threat posed by the so-called Khorasan Group, “a cadre of experienced al Qaeda operatives that works closely with and relies upon al Nusrah Front to provide personnel and space for training facilities in northwestern Syria.” The Khorasan Group “is primarily focused on transnational terrorist attack plotting.”

In the past, US officials have tried to draw a line between the Khorasan Group and Al Nusrah, as if the two were almost distinct entities. [See LWJ report, Analysis: CENTCOM draws misleading line between Al Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group.] In reality, both are simply al Qaeda. And Stewart’s testimony makes it clear that the Khorasan Group’s operatives are deeply embedded within Al Nusrah.

The US-led coalition struck Al Nusrah and the Khorasan Group in September of last year, but has not made targeting al Qaeda in Syria a priority since then.

The DIA thinks that the airstrikes “probably killed a number of senior al Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group operatives, but the group almost certainly has maintained some capability to continue plotting against Western interests.”

Air campaign damaging, not defeating Islamic State

The implication of Stewart’s testimony is that the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is only somewhat effective in containing the organization. Stewart refers to the group by an acronym of its previous name, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (or ISIL).

Since Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s fighters stormed their way through much of Iraq last spring and summer, he writes, “coalition airstrikes have resulted in the removal of a number of ISIL senior leaders and degraded the group’s ability to operate openly in Iraq and Syria.” And ISIL has hit a natural barrier to its expansion as “[s]eizing and holding Shia and Kurdish-populated areas of Iraq…will continue to be difficult.”

However, the DIA expects “ISIL to continue entrenching itself and consolidating gains in Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria while also fighting for territory outside those areas.” He predicts that ISIL will “continue limited offensive operations, such as the group’s recent operations in Syria and in Anbar province of Iraq.”

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government continues to need substantial external support. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) remain “unable to defend against external threats or sustain conventional military operations against internal challenges without foreign assistance,” Stewart writes.

A “stalemate” in Afghanistan

US-led forces have been battling jihadists for control of Afghanistan since late 2001. But the jihadists are far from defeated, and the situation is likely to get worse in the wake of America’s drawdown in forces. While the DIA expects the Afghan government to be able to protect major urban areas, the jihadists will continue to use their safe havens in rural areas to challenge the state’s authority.

The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) “remain stalemated with the Taliban-led insurgency,” Stewart explains. The DIA expects the ANSF “to maintain stability and security in Kabul and key urban areas while retaining freedom of movement on major highways.”

“However, the Taliban, al Qaeda, and their extremist allies will likely seek to exploit the reduced Coalition presence by pressuring ANSF units in rural areas, conducting high profile attacks in major population centers, and expanding their safe havens,” the DIA chief warns.

The Afghan National Army (ANA) “will continue to struggle with permanently denying the insurgents freedom of movement in rural areas,” Stewart writes.

Each of the main Afghan organizations charged with battling the insurgents is plagued by serious problems. The ANA is “constrained by its stretched airlift and logistical capacity,” and suffers from “[h]igh attrition” rates. The Afghan National Police (ANP) suffers from “manpower shortages, inadequate training, attrition, logistics shortfalls, and the corrosive influence of corruption.” And the Afghan Air Force (AAF) “is not a reliable source of close air support and still struggles with recruiting qualified pilots and technicians.”

As a result of these problems and the jihadists’ resilience, the “Taliban will probably sustain the capability to propagate a rural-based insurgency that can project intermittent attacks in urban areas through at least 2018.”

Al Qaeda is eyeing a continuing decline in Western counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan as an opportunity, according to Stewart. Al Qaeda “will continue to use its remaining paramilitary units, trained recruits, and extremist affiliates and allies to target Western interests in South Asia and worldwide.”

And Ayman al Zawahiri’s organization “also will likely try to expand its limited presence in eastern Afghanistan … in the face of continued [counterterrorism] pressure from Pakistan” and less resistance from Western forces.

Competition between the Islamic State, al Qaeda

Several parts of Stewart’s testimony deal with the competition between the Islamic State (or ISIL) and al Qaeda. The DIA chief says that al Qaeda’s “core” is “now focused on physical survival following battlefield losses” and “is trying to retain its status as the vanguard of the global extremist movement, being eclipsed now by ISIL’s rising global prominence and powerful competition for adherents.”

The notion of a “core” al Qaeda is a fuzzy one in the US government’s lexicon, as it is rarely, if ever, precisely defined. And the DIA’s assessment is at odds with other conclusions in his testimony.

As Stewart himself testified, al Qaeda will likely try to expand its presence in Afghanistan in the coming months. So its “battlefield losses” have not been that devastating. Moreover, “core” al Qaeda operatives staff the Khorasan group and Al Nusrah, which the DIA believes could continue to grow throughout 2015, while also threatening the West.

“Core” al Qaeda operatives are stationed throughout the world, including inside al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The general manager of al Qaeda’s global network, Nasir al Wuhayshi, also serves as the emir of AQAP, a regional branch of al Qaeda. The rise of the Houthis, Shia rebels in Yemen who receive some support from Iran, over a Sunni government allied with US interests, has greatly complicated America’s counterterrorism mission. “Current conditions are providing AQAP operational space,” Stewart notes.

And the DIA director explains that despite the challenge from ISIL, al Qaeda “core” in Pakistan “continues to retain the loyalty of its global affiliates in Yemen, Somalia, North Africa, Syria, and South Asia.”

The Long War Journal assesses that these “affiliates,” which al Qaeda refers to as “branches,” are currently stronger than ISIL’s international network. ISIL has cut into al Qaeda’s market share as the “vanguard” of the global jihadist movement, but it has not “eclipsed” al Qaeda.

Still, Stewart and the DIA are rightly concerned about the “spread of ISIL beyond Syria and Iraq.” Stewart mentions ISIL “affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya,” which give Baghdadi’s group “a growing international footprint that includes ungoverned and under governed areas.”

In Egypt and Libya, ISIL’s followers are a rising threat. The Sinai faction of Ansar Bayt al Maqdis (ABM), which officially joined ISIL in November, has increased its capacity for significant attacks on the Egyptian police and military. Other jihadist groups that are not aligned with ISIL, including Ajnad Misr, remain a problem.

In Libya, ISIL has gained a foothold because of the return of hundreds of foreign fighters from Iraqi and Syrian battlefields. The attack on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli last month underscores ISIL’s growing capabilities inside the country. “ISIL has increased its presence and influence in Libya, particularly in [Derna], where it has begun establishing Islamic institutions,” Stewart writes. ISIL does have a significant presence in Derna, but so do other jihadist groups that are not part of Baghdadi’s international coalition. The Mujahideen Shura Council in Derna and its constituent groups remain a prominent force, but they are not loyal to ISIL. Similarly, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council and Ansar al Sharia carry out the bulk of the fighting in Benghazi. They are not part of ISIL’s coalition either.

And in Algeria, the jihadists loyal to ISIL have executed some attacks, but they do not yet appear to be a major force.

Pakistan “remains concerned about ISIL outreach and propaganda in South Asia,” Stewart explains. ISIL has launched a nascent effort to build up its presence in the region, garnering the support of former Pakistani Taliban commanders and Afghan Taliban castoffs. But here, too, ISIL’s reach is not nearly as pronounced as the Taliban or al Qaeda and its allies, few of whom have endorsed Baghdadi’s “caliphate” project.

However, Stewart says, the “robust foreign terrorist fighter flow” will continue to benefit ISIL and help the organization expand its international presence.

DIA: Islamic State Spreading Beyond Syria and Iraq

AP

AP

By Bill Gertz:

The ultra-violent Islamic State terrorist group is expanding beyond Syria and Iraq and is establishing a foothold in Libya, which is becoming a safe haven for terrorists, the nation’s top military intelligence official told Congress Tuesday.

China, meanwhile, is deploying its aircraft carrier-killing DF-21D missile, and Russia is significantly expanding its strategic nuclear forces with new missiles, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said in testimony to House Armed Services Committee on global threats.

Stewart presented a dire picture of growing threats in Iraq and Afghanistan—where national forces remain unable to defend their countries without foreign assistance, despite billions of U.S. dollars in support and training.

The growing threats posed by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are being made more difficult to deal with because of cuts in U.S. defense spending, Stewart said in a prepared statement, noting that recent events, when “taken in aggregate, have created security challenges more diverse and complex than those we have experienced in our lifetimes.”

“Our challenges range from highly capable, near-peer competitors to empowered individuals and the concomitant reduction in our own capacity will make those challenges all the more stressing on our defense and intelligence establishments,” he said.

“This strategic environment will be with us for some time, and the threat’s increasing scope, volatility, and complexity will be the ‘new normal.’”

Said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R., Texas): “I have certainly been struck by the consensus of opinion from our most respected and practiced statesmen that our country faces a strategic environment today more complex, more diverse and in many ways more dangerous than we’ve ever faced before.”

Stewart, who was recently installed as Defense Intelligence Agency director, made the comments in a prepared threat briefing statement along with Mark Chandler, acting Joint Staff director for intelligence and Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Joint Staff director for operations.

Topping the list of U.S. security challenges are Iraq and Afghanistan.

The success of the al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), in seizing territory and foreign military equipment in Iraq gave the Islamist terror group new power to attract militants, both regionally and from the West.

The Islamic State is spreading throughout the Middle East and North Africa, where it is setting up affiliates to rival the traditional al Qaeda terrorist group that also remains capable of conducting attacks, including airline bombings, the DIA chief said.

“Particularly concerning has been the spread of ISIL beyond Syria and Iraq,” Stewart said. “With affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, the group is beginning to assemble a growing international footprint that includes ungoverned and under governed areas.”

Foreign fighters from the West, many aligned with the Islamic State, continue to flow into and out of Syria and Iraq, which is a worry and the problem is growing, he said.

“In 2015, we expect ISIL to continue its outreach to other elements of the global extremist movement, and to continue benefitting from a robust foreign terrorist fighter flow,” Stewart said.

Stewart said allied airstrikes against IS killed “a number” of its leaders and frustrated the group’s ability to operate openly in Iraq and Syria.

However, the three-star general warned that “we expect ISIL to continue entrenching itself and consolidating gains in Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria while also fighting for territory outside those areas.”

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

America in Retreat: The Price of Obama’s Indifference – Dramatic Increase in Global Jihad Attacks

Washington Free Beacon, by David Rutz, Feb. 4, 2015:

President Obama laid out a defense of his reactionary, retreating foreign policy during his State of the Union address Jan. 20.

“My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of America,” he said. “In doing so–in doing so, the question is not whether America leads in the world, but how. When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military–then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That’s what our enemies want us to do.

“I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That’s exactly what we’re doing right now. And around the globe, it is making a difference.”

Syrian rebels are fighting a ruinous war against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a cruel dictator who has used chemical weapons against his own people with no repercussions for crossing Obama’s vanishing “red line.” The rebels have been left twisting in the wind by the administration.

Since Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq before trying to tell everyone it wasn’t his idea, the country has collapsed into chaos. The Islamic State, a viciously evil terrorist group Obama dismissed as a “JV team” only a year ago, captured Mosul and has terrorized the region with beheadings, executions and sharia law. Radical Islam is, quite simply, on the rise. Soon, Obama appears ready to repeat his mistakes in Iraq by leaving Afghanistan too early as well.

In Ukraine, a sovereign people are trying to fight off Russian-aided separatists in a conflict that has claimed more than 5,000 lives, and the U.S. won’t send defensive weapons to aid Ukrainians as they attempt to deal a devastating blow to the aggressive Vladimir Putin.

“It is making a difference,” Obama said of his foreign policy approach. And he’s right–key regions around the world are on the brink of ruin as the U.S. continues to retreat under his watch.

Lying Liars Lying Yet Again About the Taliban

xin_5020206100803500325412Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, Feb. 1, 2015:

Obama and his Obamanistas have told so many outright lies about the Taliban over the years that we can now devote a lengthy article to it.

It started way back in 2008 when Obama was campaigning for the presidency. Back in those days he was saying that Iraq was a sideshow and that President Bush had “taken his eye off the ball.” According to Obama, the good war was in Afghanistan and he was going to concentrate on Afghanistan, where the Taliban were fighting US forces, when he got to be president.

That turned out to be campaign rhetoric. Sure, he pulled out of Iraq first, but, let’s face it: Obama never really went hard in Afghanistan and now he’s abandoning that fight, just as he abandoned the fight in Iraq.

Pretty soon into his administration, the Obamanistas started the meme that the Taliban weren’t actually our enemy. This predates the latest supposition that the Taliban aren’t terrorists by several years.

Two lies there. The Taliban are America’s enemy and they are also terrorists.

A few months ago, the Taliban published the autumn edition of their magazine,Azan.

This is the fourth issue of the magazine and is significant in that it calls for Muslims in the West to launch attacks at home or fight in foreign battlefields, urging recruits to even leave behind their children or elderly parents:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/10503925/Taliban-magazine-urges-jihad-and-profiles-the-Honda-125.html

If calling on Jihadis to launch attacks in the West doesn’t amount to terrorism, nothing does.

Such calls to Jihad and propaganda are nothing new, so why was this particular publication worth mentioning here?

Because it has been released just a few days after the Obama administration was quoted saying that “the Taliban are not our enemies and we don’t want to fight them.”

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2013/11/27/karzai-will-sign-agreement-with-u-s-says-obama-administration-claimed-taliban-not-our-enemy/

Such statements about the Taliban were nothing new from the Obama administration. Vice President Joe Biden told Newsweek magazine the same thing almost exactly two years before:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/vp-biden-says-that-the-taliban-per-se-is-not-our-enemy/

Not only are these statements from the Obama administration disheartening because our troops have been fighting Taliban Jihadis for a decade, they also demonstrate a profound ignorance about Jihadist doctrine.

Jihadist doctrine does not regard nationalities or international borders as significant. Under their doctrine, Jihad is to be waged to make Allah’s law and religion supreme around the entire world. With their fall Azan magazine, the Taliban clearly demonstrate adherence to that doctrine with their call for Muslims in the West to launch attacks at home.

What’s more this is not something new from the Taliban. When they seized power in Afghanistan in 1996, they announced that Afghanistan was to be a launching pad for global Jihad and invited Jihadi fighters to come to their country. Jihadis from all over the Islamic world and even parts of the West and the Pacific Rim heeded that call and gravitated to the new Shariah-ruled outpost established by the Taliban regime.

Among those who relocated to Afghanistan was Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. We know the rest: Al Qaeda launched its attack on America from Afghanistan and the Taliban harbored Al Qaeda from the US when America sought to bring justice down on them.

How anyone can look at these facts and conclude that the Taliban are not our enemy is mind-boggling. The idea that the Taliban want to strictly limit their evil designs to Afghanistan is absurd. Yet that has been the policy of the Obama administration for years. It is a policy of lies.

And, yes, despite what the Obamanistas might claim, the Taliban are in fact terrorists.

Actually, we don’t believe that it makes sense to get too wrapped up in labeling them “terrorists.” Terrorism is a tactic, a method of warfare. The warfare that the Taliban–and the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Lashkar e Taiba, HAMAS, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram and a host of other groups–are waging is called Jihad. In Islamic law, Jihad is defined as warfare to establish the religion:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/01/13/cairs-new-disinformation-campaign-on-jihad/

All of the groups mentioned above, including the Taliban, are Jihadis.

But it is still NOT true that the Taliban haven’t engaged in terrorism and they are not just “armed insurgents” like the bodyguards of lies in the Obama administration maintain.

Just 6 weeks ago, on December 16, the Taliban slaughtered 153 people–mostly young school children–in a terrorist attack on a school in Pakistan.

Taliban have also been involved in terrorist plots and activity on US soil:

• In May of 2011, six people, including two Imams at a Florida mosque, were indicted for providing material support to none other than the Taliban:

Irfan Khan of Florida, indicted for providing material support to the Taliban

Irfan Khan of Florida, indicted for providing material support to the Taliban

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/six-individuals-charged-providing-material-support-pakistani-taliban

• Faisal Shahzad, the Jihadist who attempted to detonate a Vehicle-Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in New York’s Time Square in May 2010, was trained at a Taliban camp and, according to Attorney General Eric Holder himself, “the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack…We know they helped facilitate it. We know they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction.”

Faisal Shahzad. This Connecticut resident/Pakistani immigrant attempted to bomb Times Square in New York City

Faisal Shahzad. This Connecticut resident/Pakistani immigrant attempted to bomb Times Square in New York City

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LE12Df01.html

• Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-American who pled guilty in a plot to bomb the New York City subway in 2009, traveled to Afghanistan to join the Taliban when he was recruited by Al Qaeda to go back to America to attack targets in the US homeland. This shows the continued, close cooperation and collaboration between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Najibullah Zazi. This Denver resident travelled to Afghanistan where he received terrorist training. Upon his return, he plotted to bomb New York subways.

Najibullah Zazi. This Denver resident travelled to Afghanistan where he received terrorist training. Upon his return, he plotted to bomb New York subways.

http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/345

Most recently, there are new reports from Leftist NBC News that hundreds of Taliban fighters have joined the Islamic State, which is becoming a greater factor in the southwest Asia region.

The Obamanistas try to make a distinction between the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Taliban in Pakistan. But not even NBC is subscribing to that nonsense. No one in the world outside the Obama administration believes that the Taliban in Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan have nothing to do with each other.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/isis-pakistan-afghanistan-taliban-fighters-sign-commanders-say-n296707

The Taliban are committed Jihadists. As such, they are undoubtedly an enemy of America. They have killed and wounded thousands of US GIs in combat over the past decade and they have, from the time they originally seized power in Afghanistan to today, involved themselves with other Jihadist organizations from around the world, all of which are classified as “terrorist” organizations. Jihadis do not limit their scope based on political borders; their stated goals are global. To say that the Taliban are not the enemy of the United States or are not terrorists is to demonstrate a profound ignorance of the doctrinal basis for the threat from Jihad. When that ignorance comes from the executive branch of the US government, it can only be described as frightening.

Taliban claim insider attack at Kabul Airport that killed 3 US contractors

afghan_insider_attacks_mediumLWJ, by Bill Roggio, Jan. 30, 2015:

The Taliban claimed last evening’s attack at Kabul International Airport that killed three American contractors. The insider or green-on-blue attack, where a member of the Afghan security forces kills Coalition personnel, is the first of its kind recorded this year.

The attacker, who was dressed in an Afghan military uniform, killed the three contractors and wounded one, Major General Haq Nawaz Haqyar, the commander of Afghan police at the airport, told Pajhwok Afghan News. An Afghan was also killed in the shooting, Haqyar said. It is unclear if the Afghan who was killed was the shooter.

The US Department of Defense confirmed that three Americans and an Afghan were killed in the shooting.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Muhajid claimed the attack in two statements on his Twitter account, and said it was executed by Ihsanullah, an “infiltrator … from Laghman province working inside Kabul airport.”

“The attack killed 3 American terrorists and wounded 4 others before the infiltrator was martyred by return fire,” Muhajid claimed. The tweet included the hashtag “Khaibar,” a reference to the Taliban’s offensive that was announced in May 2014. The Taliban said it will continue to launch insider attacks, as well as encourage Afghan soldiers to execute such operations.

The Taliban have devoted significant effort into attempts to kill NATO troops and foreigners by infiltrating the ranks of Afghan security forces. Mullah Omar affirmed this in a statement released on Aug. 16, 2012, when he claimed that the group had “cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year [2011],” and he urged government officials and security personnel to defect to the Taliban as a matter of religious duty. Omar also noted that the Taliban had created the “Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration” department, “with branches … now operational all over the country,” to encourage defections. [See Threat Matrix report, Mullah Omar addresses green-on-blue attacks.]

Overall number of insider attacks still unknown

The last known insider attack took place on Sept. 16, 2014 in the western province of Farah. In that attack, an Afghan soldier gunned down a Coalition trainer inside a military base.

The previous attack occurred on Aug. 5 at a training center in Kabul. An Afghan soldier killed a US major general and wounded 16 more military personnel, including a US brigadier general, a German general, five British troops, and at least one Afghan officer. The Taliban did not claim credit for the attack, but praised the Afghan soldier who executed it.

There were four insider attacks recorded in Afghanistan in 2014, according to The Long War Journal’s statistics. The number of reported green-on-blue attacks on Coalition personnel in Afghanistan has dropped steeply since a peak of 44 in 2012. In 2013, there were 13 such attacks. [For in-depth information, see LWJ special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data.]

The decline in attacks may be due to several factors, including the continuing drawdown of Coalition personnel, reduced partnering with Afghan forces, and the adoption of heightened security measures in interactions between Coalition and Afghan forces.

However, many insider attacks remain unreported. If an attack by Afghan personnel does not result in a death or injury, and it is not reported in the press, the Coalition will not release a statement on the incident.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which was disbanded at the end of 2014, told The Long War Journal in March 2012 that “these statistics,” the number of attacks that did not result in a casualty, are “classified.”

“[A]ttacks by ANSF on Coalition Forces … either resulting in non-injury, injury or death … these stats as a whole (the total # attacks) are what is classified and not releasable,” Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, ISAF’s former Press Desk Chief, told The Long War Journal. Cummings said that ISAF is “looking to declassify this number.” The number was never declassified.

How to Lose Friends and Empower Radicals: The Peace Prize President’s More Dangerous World

obama-binoculars-AP-640x480

 

Breitbart, by Sebastian Gorka, Jan. 29, 2015:

Since 2008, the world has become a significantly more dangerous place. In every region, new threats have emerged or old ones have reasserted them. The scorecard is clear: the bad guys are winning and America’s interests are being undermined daily.

As a nation, America has yet to recover from the experience of September 11th, 2001. Public opinion on our national response to the attacks against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 is today divided. On one side we have the “Bush lied, People Died!” crowd who portray President George W. Bush’s response in terms of a conspiracy, despite the fact that we now know Saddam Hussein indeed possessed thousands of WMD warheads (and had used them in the past).

On the other, we have conservatives who are themselves split between the unsophisticated isolationists/non-interventionists who believe that an American withdrawal from the world will make us safe, and the quietly resurgent neoconservatives who see in the rise of ISIS/The Islamic State a justification for more foreign engagements.

For a moment, let us put Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF), to one side. Instead, let us take an unemotional snap-shot of the global geostrategic situation to see whether the administration whose head was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office has indeed make the world a safer and more peaceful place.

Europe: During most of the last century, American security was tied directly to the continent of Europe. Whether it was the generational genocide of World War One, the racial genocide of WWII, or the class-based totalitarianism of the Cold War, Europe was the source of strategic, and at times existential, threats to America.

During the first Obama Administration, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton declared a “Pivot to Asia” which would deemphasize Europe’s importance and see Washington focus more on our Pacific partners than on old Atlantic Allies.

Since that announcement, an emboldened Vladimir Putin has seen fit to break an almost 70-year-old international taboo by using force to redraw national borders with his annexation of Crimea. This includes, incredibly, the shooting down of a civilian jet-liner by forces armed by Moscow.

At the same time, we have seen the European Union become evermore centralizing and undemocratic as untenable economic and fiscal policies are propped up by a Brussels bureaucracy in the name of “broader and deeper union.” This has naturally led to two types of responses: the unprecedented success of a paleo-conservative backlash, best typified by the insurgent victories of UKIP in Great Britain, as well the reverse: Utopian socialist populists such as the victorious Syriza party of Greece.

Then there are Europe’s ties to the Global Jihadist Movement. The recent slaughter in Paris, the beheading of a British serviceman on the streets of the UK, and Spanish and Belgian terror-related arrests all attest to the failure of the current international campaign against Islamist terrorism.

The flawed immigration policies of many EU nations have also facilitated the establishment of literally hundreds of ethnic and religious enclaves across the continent where integration is seen as a bad thing and where radical talentspotters for groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS/IS identify, indoctrinate and recruit murderers such as the Charlie Hebdo killers, as well as thousands of fighters for The Islamic State.

This has led to a grass-roots response from Europeans afraid of the future survival of their countries embodied in the ever-broadening PEGIDA movement that Breitbart London has covered in great detail. The failure of multiculturalist immigration policies has not only encouraged the enclave phenomenon, but is also clearly linked to the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism on the continent which has led to unprecedented numbers of European jews deciding to leave the nations of their birth for good.

If we include Turkey in our European snapshot, the situation is even worse, as we have seen the one viable example of a secular Muslim state slip even deeper into the corruption-ridden maelstrom of Islamic fundamentalism under the Erdogan government which is either incapable or unwilling to prevent Turkey becoming a pre-deployment site for jihadist fighters traveling into Syria and Iraq. All this from a formal NATO ally of the US.

Asia: The much-vaunted Pivot to Asia has clearly not worked. China has, over the last several years, openly challenged the post-Cold War peace in the region with a commitment to its own military build-up coupled with a concerted campaign of intimidation against its smaller and weaker neighbors.

While challenging and intimidating our regional partners, China has continued to grow economically at such a rate that the nation which was once universally ridiculed as the maker of plastic toys for McDonalds Happy Meals has now surpassed the US economy in terms of gross output.  At the same time, China is waging a covert war against America in the cyber domain, stealing not only state secrets for use in developing its new weapons systems, but also billions of dollars worth of intellectual property and commercial secrets from American businesses. See the remarkable report from Mandiant on scale of the threat.

North Korea has also used the internet to assault American interests as the Sony hacking attack attests, while Washington has proven totally ineffective in undermining the world’s last truly fully-fledged Stalinist regime, or its regionally destabilizing nuclear weapons capabilities.

Africa: A giant continent, with threats as bad as they were in 2008, or in several cases much worse. The Global Jihadist Movement continues to consolidate its control in Nigeria through the horrific attacks of Boko Haram, the group made famous for the kidnapping of the girls from Chibok, an attack which is just one part of a vast campaign targeting Christians and anyone who does not want to live under a theocratically run system based upon sharia and 7th century interpretation of the Koran.

In addition to the insurgent-like threat of Boko Haram, we have also witnessed horrific hit and run terrorist tactics used by other African jihadists, as in the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi by Al Shabaab. At the same time, China proceeds to build its vast network of economic interests in the continent in ways that far outstrip American geostrategic investment in Africa.

Australasia: Of course, the Pivot to Asia should have pleased our Antipodean allies. But the concrete consequences of the declarations and speeches by Secretary Clinton and the White House have amounted to little more than the deployment of a handful of US Marines from Camp Pendleton to Australia. Instead of the security situation improving, Australia faced its own Jihadist attack just before Christmas last year as a self-styled imam took hostages and brought the violent jihad so familiar to New York, London, Madrid, and Paris, to the streets of Sydney.

The Americas: Canada likewise became a direct victim of the Global Jihadist Movement after a spate of attacks against its armed forces and even its parliament which was only stopped when a brave sergeant-at-arms applied deadly force in the face of a rampaging jihadi.

Those who like illicit quality cigars may be celebrating the White House’s “normalization” of relations with Communist Cuba, but if statements by the Castro regime are to be credited as expressing Havana’s true intentions, then the deal was good for the dictatorship and bad for America. And despite the US government’s historic decision, conditions inside Cuba have remained the same, or in many case deteriorated, with last year seeing record-breaking numbers of political arrests on the island nation. And Cuba’s anti-democratic influence is a problem for the region, not just its wretched population, with Raul Castro’s secret police providing aid and expertise in the oppression of dissidentsto the government of Venezuela.

The Middle East and North Africa: Leaving the worst for last we have, of course, the Middle East, and North Africa. The highs hopes for the Arab Spring turned very rapidly into a “Christian Winter” and a victory for the fundamentalist and anti-Democratic forces of the Muslim Brotherhood. One after another, one-man authoritarian regimes fell to Islamist MB governments, or collapsed into deadly civil wars which are still being fought in places like Syria and Libya. Throughout the region, proto-democrats and vulnerable minorities, especially ancient Christian communities, have been targeted for death or persecution, or have been forced to flee.

The one ray of hope, the people’s revolt in Egypt against the Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi, which led to his being ousted by a secular military, was rejected by the US administration as a coup, despite the fact that General, now President, Sisi, has been fighting his own war against Jihadi fundamentalists since he was the Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

And now Yemen, which was lauded just a few months ago by President Obama as the poster-child of his successful counterterrorism strategy, has collapsed under insurgent attacks and the resignation of the government in Sanaa.

Then there is Iran, which, much like Cuba, has squeezed concession after concession out of the administration without either stopping its acquisition of nuclear weapons capability, or curtailing its support of Shiite terrorist fighters in either Iraq or Syria.

I said I would leave Afghanistan and Iraq of our the equation, but nevertheless, it is important to recognize that this is a new jihadist threat that is even more dangerous than Al Qaeda. ISIS, the Islamic State, is today a full-fledged insurgency, one that in four dimensions is much more of a threat that Al Qaeda ever was.

The Islamic State is more than a terrorist group, it now functions as a quasi-state and controls territory equivalent to the size of the UK. It is the richest non-state threat group in human history. It has an incredibly sophisticated understanding of information warfare and how to use social media as a propaganda platform, and lastly – and relatedly – it has recruited ten of thousands of young Muslim men from around the world, including Europe and the US, to fight for the new Caliphate of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Bin Laden dreamt of being this powerful. The Islamic State has turned his dream into a horrific reality.

There is not one area of the world of import to America in which we have either not lost friends, or failed to help our allies to defend themselves against the common enemies that threaten us all. Whatever your politics, or whomever you favor for the next Commander-in-Chief of the United States, one thing is certain: without resolute American leadership the world can become, and now is, a much more dangerous place.

Sebastian Gorka PhD. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and Associate Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University, USSOCOM. Follow him at @SebGorka.

Islamic State appoints leaders of ‘Khorasan province,’ issues veiled threat to Afghan Taliban

Khorassan Shura_Org-thumb-560x420-5469

An organizational overview of the Khorasan Shura. The Islamic State has appointed Hafez Saeed Khan as the Governor of Khorasan province.

By

Abu Muhammad al Adnani, a spokesman for the Islamic State, announced the group’s “expansion” into the lands of “Khorasan” — modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of the surrounding countries — and declared former Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan or TTP) commander Hafez Saeed Khan as the “governor” of Khorasan province. Khan had previously served as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan’s emir for the tribal agency of Arakzai.

Adnani made his announcement in a nearly seven minute audio taped speech titled, “Say, Die in Your Rage!” which was published on Jan. 26 2015 by the Islamic State’s Al Furqan media outlet. [For a translation of the speech, by Pieter Van Ostaeyen, see ‘Audio Statement by IS Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani as-Shami.’]

The declaration comes only a few weeks after a conglomeration of former TTP officials formed the Khorasan Shura and pledged bayat, or allegiance, to the Islamic State. [See Long War Journal report, Pakistani Taliban splinter group again pledges allegiance to Islamic State.]

The Islamic State spokesman acknowledged Khan’s pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as Commander of the Faithful and the Caliph of Muslims, and claimed that Baghdadi had accepted the pledge and appointed Khan as the province’s governor and Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim as the deputy governor. Khadim, a former Guantanamo detainee and former senior Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan, has reportedly been operating in Helmand province on behalf of the Islamic State. [See Long War Journal report, Ex-Gitmo detainee leads contingent of Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan.]

Adnani further urged the “mujahideen in Khorasan” to come forth and obey the commands of Khan and Khadim. Notably, Adnani also urged caution in his call to arms, noting that “the factions will assemble against you and the rifles and bayonets fixed against you will multiply.” He encouraged the mujahideen to stand firm against “factionalism and disunity” and to meet these challenges by “unsheathing your swords and spears.” Although not clearly stated, Adnani was issuing a veiled threat to the Taliban factions, both Afghan and Pakistani, that opposed the creation of the Khorasan Shura and who were opposed to the Islamic State.

The Afghan Taliban movement has been consistent in avoiding recognizing the Islamic State and its Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi since the reclusive leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has previously held the title of Commander of the Faithful position since 1996.

Adnani’s declaration and Baghdadi’s reported approval for the Islamic State to expand into Afghanistan and Pakistan could incite divisions within the various Taliban factions operating in both countries. The cohesion of many Taliban factions has been compromised over the past few years, mostly due to attrition and leadership decapitations, as well as ideological differences and personal feuds.

Fight Them Over There

U.S. Marines fight the Taliban in Afghanistan / AP

U.S. Marines fight the Taliban in Afghanistan / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Matthew Continetti, January 16, 2015

Argue about the limits of free speech, the definition of “true” Islam, whether terrorists are lunatics or rational, or the social and political repercussions of terrorism as much as you’d like. The truth is that such debates are irrelevant to the core security problem: There is a growing and energetic movement of radical Muslims dedicated to killing as many people as they can and imposing their will on the rest.

And there is really only one way America can respond to this challenge. We need to kill them first. We need to kill them on a field of battle whose contours are determined not by the terrorists but by us. We need to kill them over there—in the Middle East—before they reach the West.

I realize that for at least the next two years what I propose is wishful thinking. American policy has reverted to a defensive condition in which Islamic terrorists set the terms of conflict. We have been here before. Until 2001, the United States treated Islamic terrorism as a matter of law enforcement. When our embassies were raided or bombed, when our barracks were destroyed, when our soldiers and sailors were murdered, when our World Trade Center was attacked, when our destroyer was damaged, we treated the assailants as members of an Arabic-speaking mafia, as criminals to be apprehended, tried, and punished.

Didn’t work. The jihad grew. It even found a base in Afghanistan, where it could equip and train and plot. In 2001, in a single fall morning, the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Pentagon bludgeoned, and more than 3,000 innocent people were killed.

America rethought its approach to terrorism. No longer were the terrorists considered felons. They were now unlawful combatants. Surveillance, interrogation, and detention policies became more aggressive. We invaded Afghanistan, we toppled the Taliban, and we sent al Qaeda leadership into hiding.

When America invaded Iraq in 2003, al Qaeda and its followers—joining forces with Saddam’s former commanders and marginalized Sunni tribes—designated the Tigris-Euphrates plain the main battleground of the global jihad. Aspiring jihadists, enemies of the West, traveled to Iraq where they encountered, and were killed by, heavily armed and expertly trained U.S. pilots, soldiers, and Marines.

The point of the war on terrorism was not merely to “decimate” the “core of al Qaeda.” The objective was also, in the course of a long struggle, to delegitimize the Qaeda movement and deter its fellow travelers by revealing Islamism as an evolutionary dead end. The unstated message of the strategy was this: If you choose jihad against the West, you will spend your life in Guantanamo or you will die.

Look what happened. By May 2008, plagiarist and emcee Fareed Zakaria could report: “If you set aside” the war in Iraq, “terrorism has in fact gone way down over the past five years.” And soon one did not have to “set aside” Iraq. When the change in strategy and surge of troops Bush ordered in 2007 began to take effect, violence in Iraq went “way down” too.

With the election of President Obama, however, the conflict between Islamism and America entered a third phase. Our troops were removed from the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving Special Forces and drone pilots to do most of the fighting. The defense budget was cut. Harsh interrogation was curtailed, and Guantanamo Bay slowly emptied. Surveillance practices were disrupted. The words “Islamic terrorism” would not be uttered, for that somehow legitimized extremists. As for the terrorists themselves, they were once again treated like criminals.

What has resulted is a dramatic uptick in Islamic radicalism. In January 2014 the RAND Corporation found that “the number of Salafi-jihadist groups and fighters increased after 2010, as well as the number of attacks perpetrated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” Attacks including the Ft. Hood massacre; the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; the Boston Marathon bombing whose victims included an 8-year-old boy; and the public beheading of British Fusilier Lee Rigby.

The absence of American troops in Iraq created an opportunity for ISIS, the Islamic army born of the Syrian civil war. Last summer, from its base in Raqqa, Syria, ISIS invaded Iraq. It captured and imposed sharia law on Mosul, a city of more than a million people, beheaded journalists, and threatened Baghdad, the Kurds, and minority sects with extermination.

ISIS “controls more land and has more weapons than any other jihadist organization in history,”according to experts at the American Enterprise Institute. ISIS is said to possess “more than $2 billion in assets” and command an “estimated 40,000 fighters.” ISIS is expert at “propaganda by the deed”: the spectacular use of public violence to provoke fear in your enemies and loyalty in your friends. There is even an ISIS gift shop. A global movement cowering in fear does not sell tchotchkes.

Nor is ISIS the only jihadist group on the offensive. Yemen has collapsed into a civil war between Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Iranian-backed Houthi militants. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operates freely in Libya and Algeria and Mali. Boko Haram slaughtered thousands while expanding its holdings in Nigeria. Al-Shabaab runs central and southern Somalia. Hamas kills Jews from its Gaza satrapy. The Taliban is ready for its comeback in Afghanistan. This swelling of radical Islam—in territory, in resources, in adherents, in scalps—extends to Muslim communities around the world, and to disturbed and alienated men and women hungry to join a winning fight.

The central front of the war on terror is no longer Iraq. It is not Afghanistan. It is the West, and all lands associated with the West. So the radicals strike Israel, they kill in Sydney, they gun down cartoonists and Jews in Paris, they plan to strike the U.S. Capitol with pipe bombs and rifles.

Such a pattern of destruction ought to force a reevaluation of American strategy. But that has not happened. Instead our response to jihadism has been confusing, contradictory, insipid, self-destructive, and inane.

The administration not only skips a solidarity march in Paris. It won’t call the Charlie Hebdo and kosher market attacks Islamic terrorism. The favorite newspaper of the White House is more concerned with the “fear and resentment” of European populations tired of being killed than it is with terrorism. The error-ridden blog edited by one of the president’s favorite pundits says discussions of free speech “often seem more about justifying Islamophobia against everyday Muslims, who are just as overwhelmingly peaceful as every other religious group, than they are about protecting rights that are seriously endangered.”

Guantanamo inmates are released to Oman, which borders Yemen, on the same day an American jihadist is arrested for plotting an attack on the nation’s Capitol. The State Department says it’s okay for Iran—a radical theocracy that is the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world, that sows upheaval from Lebanon to Syria to Iraq to Bahrain to Yemen, that originated the idea of assassinating Western authors who blaspheme Mohammed—to build additional nuclear plants.

The means by which the president reluctantly has attempted to take the fight to the terrorists are not succeeding. Micromanagement by White House officials of the air campaign against ISIS has resulted in a stalemate. American advisers to Iraq say it will take a minimum of three years to prepare the Iraqi army to roll back the Caliphate. Meanwhile our soldiers are subjected to mortar rounds launched from ISIS positions. So passive-aggressive is the president’s war on ISIS that Iraqis are beginning to suggest that “ISIS is a U.S. creation.” One Iraqi told the Wall Street Journal: “The international coalition against ISIS is a comedy act. America can destroy ISIS in one day only, but it does not do it.”

What about Yemen, which President Obama has held up as a model of intervention? Michael Crowley of Politico reports, “Since mid-September, the U.S. has conducted just three drone strikes in Yemen, down from 19 last year, according to data compiled by the New America Foundation. And that was a fraction of the 2012 peak of 56 drone and air strikes.” Yemen and Syria are the key nodes of a global network of financing, training, and planning for jihadist operations. The United States has allowed this network to persist, indeed to grow in complexity and reach.

Only by extinguishing ISIS can the United States begin to reassert its authority and put the jihadists on the defensive. But increasing the number and pace of drone and air strikes will not be enough. The number of U.S. ground forces in Iraq must be dramatically increased, and America seriously must work to remove the cause of the Syrian civil war: the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad, whocontinues to use chemical weapons, has entered into a de facto alliance with our terrorist adversary, and is reconstituting his nuclear weapons program.

Above all, America must cease pretending that Muslim rage is something the United States can ignore and avoid or is powerless against or cannot fight over there. We must fight it over there, or be resigned to terrorist attacks over here. Again and again and again.

Also see:

Islamic State Now Opening…In Afghanistan

Recently several Taliban leader were seen swearing their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a video.

Recently several Taliban leader were seen swearing their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a video.

CSP, by Sean MacCormac, Jan. 15, 2015:

Afghani officials claim that the Islamic State is operating in Afghanistan less than a month after the cessation of US combat operations in the area. Several sources, including General Mahmood Khan of the Afghan National Army and an unnamed provincial governor, have reported that a man known as Mullah Abdul Rauf was active and recruiting people for ISIS in the southern province of Helmand. General Khan, the deputy commander of the 215th Corps, stated that “(A) number of tribal leaders, jihadi commanders and some ulema and other people have contacted me to tell me that Mullah Rauf had contacted them and invited them to join him.”

The Taliban apparently see ISIS as a threat and have warned people in Helmand not to trust the newcomers. Amir Mohammad Akundzada, the governor of Nimroz province and a distant relative of Rauf, has stated that Mullah Rauf is a former Taliban leader. Mullah Rauf was captured by US forces in 2001 and was imprisoned in Guantanamo for six yearsbefore being released, and had a falling out with the Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Both Khan and Akundzada believe that Rauf may have had his disagreements with the Afghan Taliban after spending time in Quetta, Pakistan.

A video showing members of the estranged Pakistani Taliban swearing fealty to ISIS has emerged, though there is no independent verification of Taliban leaders allying themselves to ISIS. The Pakistani Taliban officials in the video do state that they have shifted their alliance from Mullah Omar to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This appears to be the first serious challenge to the Taliban’s authority in some time. Further reports state that an Islamic State-affiliated group known as Khorasan is attempting to recruit fighters in Wardak province. Akundzada believes that the ISIS affiliated fighters and Taliban are really one in the same; “…one day they are wearing white clothes (of the Taliban) and the next day they have black clothes and call themselves Daesh, but they are the same people.” Reports state that around twenty people have been killed so far in skirmishes between Taliban and pro-ISIS fighters. However, the Afghani Ministry of the Interior denies that there are any ISIS operatives active in the country.

The fact that ISIS, if it actually is making a serious attempt to expand into Afghanistan, and is operating in Helmand province should be cause for concern. Helmand is infamous for being Afghanistan’s most dangerous province, and has been a traditional stronghold for the Taliban. Given the Afghani government’s track record with securing the country, ISIS could prove to be an even greater threat to the Afghan government than the Taliban ever was.

Also see:

Four More Detainees Release from Gitmo

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba / AP

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba / AP

Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo, Dec. 20, 2014:

Four more detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility were released from the prison and sent to Afghanistan, according to an announcement made by the Pentagon on Saturday.

The four detainees—Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani, and Mohammed Zahir—have been repatriated in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon, which announced the the transfer is part of a larger bid by President Barack Obama to fully shut down the prison facility at Gitmo.

“This repatriation reflects the Defense Department’s continued commitment to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo in a responsible manner,” Paul Lewis, the defense department’s special envoy for the closure of Guantanamo, said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon.

Just 132 detainees now remain imprisoned in Gitmo, which has seen a high of around 775 prisoners.

Each of those four released from Gitmo has been imprisoned for at least 10 years.

The Obama administration has relased the four on the basis that charges cannot be brought against them and that it is possible to reintegrate the individuals back into society following the detention.

The “Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force.”

The administration expressed its gratitude to Afghanistan to accepting the prisoners.

“The United States is grateful to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” according to the Pentagon. “The United States coordinated with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”

Also see: