Material Support to Terrorism: The Case of Libya

timthumb (5)AIM, April 22, 2014, By Clare Lopez:

Libya in 2011 marks the place and the time that the United States (U.S.) and the Obama administration formally switched sides in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). A mere 10 years after al-Qa’eda (supported by Hizballah and Iran) attacked the American homeland in the worst act of terrorism ever suffered by this country, U.S. leadership decided to facilitate the provision of weapons to jihadist militias known to be affiliated with al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood in order to bring down a brutal dictator who also just happened to be a U.S. ally in the GWOT at the time.

And the U.S. media were silent. The major broadcast, print, and Internet outlets said not a word about this astonishing turnabout in American foreign policy. To this day, they have not seemed even to recognize that the pivot to support al-Qa’eda took place. But it needs to be said. The American people deserve to understand that their most senior leaders, both elected and appointed, have violated their oaths to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

United States law is quite explicit about providing material support to terrorists: it’s prohibited. Period. 18 U.S. Code § 2339A and 18 U.S. Code § 2339B address Providing Material Support to Terrorists or Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Together, these two sections outlaw the actions of any U.S. person who attempts or conspires to provide, or actually does provide, material support to a foreign terrorist organization knowing that it has been designated a foreign terrorist organization or engages, or has engaged, in “terrorism” or “terrorist activity.” Conspiracy means agreeing or planning to provide such support, whether or not such support ever is actually delivered. Penalties for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism are stiff: imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or a fine of not more than $250,000. Penalties for actually providing or attempting to provide material support to terrorism are even harsher: imprisonment from 15 years to life, with a life sentence applicable if the death of any person results from such crime. Aiding, abetting, counseling, or procuring in support of a violation of Section 2339B is punishable by the same penalties as for the offense itself.

The Arms Export Control Act is another law that makes it illegal for the U.S. government to export “munitions” to any country determined by the Secretary of State to have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” While this provision applies specifically to those countries—Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria—that are designated as state sponsors of terrorism, the case of Libya stands out nevertheless. Removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2006, Libya by early 2011 was swarming with al-Qa’eda and Muslim Brotherhood militias and affiliates fighting to overthrow Muamar Qaddafi’s regime.

The identities of those jihadis and their al-Qa’eda affiliations were well known to the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of State, and Tripoli Embassy long before the 17 February 2011 revolt broke out against Muamar Qaddafi. As with other al-Qa’eda branches, the Libyan al-Qa’eda affiliates such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) trace their origins back to the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, which was founded in 1949 when Egyptian Brotherhood members “fled a crackdown in Cairo and took refuge in Benghazi,” according to a May 2012 study by the Brookings Doha Center. Colonel Muamar Qaddafi took over Libya in a 1969 coup d’état and showed little tolerance for Brotherhood activities. Brutal waves of repression kept the Brotherhood in check through the 1980s and 1990s when many Libyan fighters went to Afghanistan to join the mujahedeen in their battle against the Soviet Army. Some of those who fought there, like Abu Anas al-Libi and Abdelhakim Belhadj, would figure prominently in the revolt that ultimately ousted Qaddafi in 2011.

The LIFG was founded in 1990 by Libyan fighters returning from the Afghan jihad who were now intent on waging jihad at home. Qaddafi came down hard on the group, though, and crushed the LIFG’s 1995-1998 insurgency. Some LIFG members had moved to Sudan when Usama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri found refuge with Omar al-Bashir’s Muslim Brotherhood regime in the early 1990s and others (including Belhadj) eventually fled back to Afghanistan, where both bin-Laden and al-Zawahiri also had relocated by the mid-1990s. Abu Anas al-Libi is alleged to have taken part in the pre-attack casing and surveillance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya a few years prior to the 1998 al-Qa’eda attack there.

By 1995, things were becoming hot for the jihadis in Sudan and while bin Laden and al-Zawahiri returned to Afghanistan about this time, others such as Anas al-Libi were offered safehaven by the British. In return for political asylum in the UK, MI 6 recruited Anas al-Libi’s support for a failed 1996 plot to assassinate Qaddafi. In all, Anas al-Libi lived in Manchester from 1995-2000—despite his known history of association with bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, and other AQ leaders, as well as willingness to participate in assassination plots against national leaders, as I wrote in an October 2013 piece at The Clarion Project. The U.S.’s British partners also provided asylum to Abu Abdullah As-Sadeq, the LIFG’s top commander and allowed the LIFG to publish an Arabic language newspaper called al-Wasat in London. By 2000, though, as the FBI and other Western security services began to close in, Anas al-Libi and others were on the move again, leaving behind a 180-page al-Qa’eda terror training manual that became known as the “Manchester Document.” In the run-up to the 11 September 2001 attacks, Anas al-Libi, Abdelhakim Belhadj, Abu Sufian bin Qumu, and other known LIFG members reconnected with bin Laden in Afghanistan. As John Rosenthal points out in a 10 October 2013 posting, “The Inevitable Rise of Al-Qaeda in Libya,” in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, “the history of close cooperation between the LIFG and al-Qa’eda was so extensive that the Libyan group figured among the very first organizations to be designated as al-Qaeda affiliates by the UN Security Council.” In fact, according to Rosenthal who cites former LIFG member, Norman Benotman, Belhadj was actually present with bin Laden at Tora Bora in December 2001. The LIFG was formally accepted as an al-Qa’eda franchise by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the AQ deputy at the time, in 2007.

In the years following 9/11, various LIFG members were detained: Abu Sufian bin Qumu was captured in 2002 and sent to Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) and in 2004, both Abu Anas al-Libi and Abdelhakim Belhadj were captured. By the mid-2000s, GITMO detainees were being released to their home countries. Abu Sufian bin Qumu, for example, was released from GITMO and returned to Libya in 2007. Beginning about 2005, Qaddafi was under pressure from both the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and his own son, Seif, to begin what came to be known as “the reconciliation process,” in which LIFG and other jihadist prisoners were released from Libyan jails. In this process, LIFG Muslim Brotherhood cleric Ali Mohammad Al-Sallabi was a key mediator. Abdelhakim Belhadj was released in 2008 (just as Christopher Stevens was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission to Tripoli) and Abu Sufian bin Qumu in 2010, after which he returned to Derna to begin plotting the revolt against Qaddafi.

Even as this “reconciliation process” was underway and Christopher Stevens was preparing for his new posting, Libyan jihadis were flowing out of eastern Libya in droves to join the al-Qa’eda jihad against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. According to a June 2010 study compiled by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” coalition forces in Iraq captured a stash of documents in October 2007 which documented the origins of the foreign fighters who’d traveled to Iraq to join al-Qa’eda between August 2006 and August 2007. Termed the “Sinjar Records” after the nearest town where these personnel records were found, the data showed that by far the largest contingent of foreign fighters per capita came from Libya. Across the spectrum, the most common cities of origin for foreign fighters in Iraq were Darnah, Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Darnah is located in the eastern Cyrenaica region of Libya, long known as an incubator of jihadist ideology and the place which would become the cradle of the 2011 Islamic uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.

Nor was the new Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Christopher Stevens unaware of what was going on. A June 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli that went out over Stevens’ signature was obtained by the London Telegraph from Wikileaks. The report was given the name “Die Hard in Derna,” after the Bruce Willis movie, and described the determination of the young jihadis of this eastern Libyan town to bring down the Qaddafi regime. Because they believed the U.S. government supported the Qaddafi regime and would not allow it to fall after it had abandoned its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs and begun to provide counter-terrorism support, and as documented in the West Point study of the “Sinjar Records,” the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) instead sent its fighters to confront the U.S. in Iraq, believing that was a way to strike a blow against both Qaddafi and his U.S. backers. A local Derna resident told the visiting Embassy officer that Libyan fighters who had returned from earlier battlefields in Afghanistan (1980s) and elsewhere sometimes went on for additional “religious training” in Lebanon and Syria; when they eventually returned to Libya in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they began the process of preparing the ground for “the eventual overthrow by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime…”

Career Foreign Service Officer Christopher Stevens was first posted to the American Embassy in Tripoli, Libya in June 2007 as the DCM and later as charge d’affaires until 2009. For his second tour in Libya, Stevens was sent to rebel headquarters in Benghazi, Libya, to serve as special representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council. He arrived on a Greek cargo ship on April 5, 2011 and stayed until November. His mission was to forge stronger links with the Interim Transitional National Council, and gain a better understanding of the various factions fighting the Qaddafi regime. His reports back to Washington were said to have encouraged the U.S. to support and recognize the rebel council, which the Obama administration did formally in July 2011.

As is now known, under urging from Sen. John McCain and other Congressional members, the White House endorsed Qatar’s plan to send weapons to the Libyan rebels shortly after Yousef al-Qaradawi, the senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a 21 February 2011 fatwa that called for the killing of Qaddafi. Seeking a “zero footprint,” no-paperwork-trail profile itself, the U.S. instead encouraged both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to arm the Libyan jihadis, according to a key New York Times article published in December 2012. Knowing full well exactly who those rebel militias and their leadership were, and how closely they were connected with al-Qa’eda (and perhaps even mindful of the legal restrictions on providing material support to terrorism), the U.S. sought to distance itself as the source of these weapons, which included small arms such as automatic rifles, machine guns, and ammunition. The NY Times piece noted that U.S. officials made sure to stipulate the weapons provided would come from elsewhere, but not from the U.S.

But the fact that from the end of March 2011 onward, U.S. and other NATO forces completely controlled Libyan air space and the sea approaches to Libya means that the cargo planes and freighters transporting the arms into Libya from Qatar and elsewhere were being waved through with full U.S. knowledge and support. The U.S. mission in Libya, and especially in Benghazi, ramped up in this period to facilitate the delivery of the weapons to the Libyan al-Qa’eda terrorists.

What followed should hardly have come as a surprise to anyone. After NATO air support cleared the way to Tripoli, the Qaddafi regime fell in October 2011 and the Muslim Brotherhood political leadership and al-Qa’eda fighters took over. Abdelhakim Belhadj was named Tripoli military commander. Chaos reigned, especially in the eastern regions, and now the weapons flow reversed—out of Libya, and into the hands of jihadis in West Africa, the Sinai, and Syria. Some of that flow was wildly disorganized and some of it was directed, with the U.S. mission in Benghazi once again playing a key role as its teams on the ground facilitated the weapons delivery, now destined for the Syrian rebels, dominated by al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood, who were fighting to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. In this endeavor, the U.S. was allied with its new Libyan partner, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and once again, with Qatar.

The next chapter in the U.S. jihad wars was underway, with a new Presidential Finding, and material support to terrorism firmly established as official policy. Congress and the media and the military remained silent. The American people barely noticed.

Clare M. Lopez is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy and the London Center for Policy Research. She is also a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

Also see:

War on Christians: The Politics of Persecution

jordanian-church-ap

Breitbart, By Katie Gorka:

In Nigeria, 234 Christian schoolgirls abducted; a Jesuit priest shot in the head outside his house in Homs, Syria; a young Christian woman dragged from her car in Egypt and beaten to death… These are some of the latest stories of Christians being hunted, tortured, or executed at the hands of Islamists.

Stories such as these are increasingly finding their way into the American media, and Americans are showing a growing concern for the persecuted church, but policymakers seem slow to respond. Not only is the United States government virtually silent on the issue of the worsening plight of Christians globally, but in three countries where Christians are currently most under siege – Syria, Egypt, and Nigeria – U.S. policy is actually exacerbating the situation.

In Syria, what began as a popular uprising in March 2011 against the repressive policies of President Bashar al-Assad quickly escalated into a civil war fueled by Islamists. The U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, took an active and early role in working with opposition leaders. He convened and hosted numerous meetings with the self-appointed front-men. But what began as well intentioned support eventually crossed the line into king-making.

The U.S. played an increasingly active role in determining who could and could not be at the table. Today, the U.S. policy imperative is that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad must resign. All U.S. activity in Syria is directed toward that end, which the White House deems non-negotiable. To be sure, most Syrians want to see reform, but many now fear an Islamist takeover spearheaded by al Qaeda affiliates and the ensuing chaos more than they do the continued rule of a secular dictator.

Rather than bring resolution of the civil war any closer, U.S. policies are making matters worse.  According to international sources, arms intended for rebels are getting into the hands of extremist groups such as the Al Nusra Front, and Assad shows no sign of surrendering. The Geneva Talks on Syria have failed to stop the fighting, and sources inside Syria say the opposition leaders invited to the talks do not truly represent the Syrians. They are unelected and have the backing only of outside powers, whether the U.S., Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, all of whom now have a national geopolitical stake in the conflict that has nothing to do with the plight of the Christians caught in the middle of the fighting.

One source inside Syria says the rebels have pushed so hard for arms from the United States and elsewhere because that is their only form of legitimacy. They are not elected leaders and do not have popular support.

In the meantime, a quiet experiment in democracy is underway in the northeast corner of Syria in the region around Hasaka. On the eve of the Geneva II talks, Kurdish, Arab, and Syriac Christian leaders came together to form a power-sharing government, one which, in their words, would respect ethnic and religious differences rather than ignore them. So far, the experiment has brought peace and security to a corner of this war-torn country. This may prove a far more successful model for guaranteeing stability as well as the rights and safety of Middle Eastern Christians than the U.S. government strategy of arming rebels and self-proclaimed opposition leaders.

In Egypt, where Christians make up about 10% of the population, tensions between Christians and Muslims have long simmered, with not-infrequent violent outbursts. When an Islamist government came to power in July 2012, with Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi as president, attacks on Christians, Christian churches, and Christian businesses quickly spiked. In spite of a series of violations of the democratic process by Morsi, as well as the sharp rise in terrorist activity, particularly in the Sinai, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged the continued support of the U.S. government along with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment, and aid.

However, when an estimated 30 million Egyptians came out into the streets to call for Morsi’s resignation in July 2013, the United States continued to support Morsi and condemned General Fattah el-Sisi, who was instrumental in Morsi’s ouster. Following the change in leadership, Gen. el-Sisi initiated a sharp crackdown on terrorist groups in Egypt, and particularly in Sinai. Yet the Obama administration suspended its $1.55 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt.

According to the Egyptian military, U.S. Apache helicopters were essential to fighting terrorism in Sinai.  Their more accurate sensors and weapons were a critical factor in helping prevent civilian casualties. But with aid suspended, replacement parts were withheld, and many of the helicopters were taken out of service. The U.S. continues to withhold support for the current reform process, paying greater lip service to the importance of inclusion of fundamentalist Islamist groups in the transition process and making little or no mention of the repeated attacks on Christians.

Nigeria is now the second most deadly country in the world for Christians, second only to Syria, in spite of the fact that Christians make up approximately 50% of the population. While Nigeria has seen waves of Islamist extremism over the past century, its latest incarnation, established in 2002, is Boko Haram (which translates as “Western ways Forbidden”).

The U.S. government has consistently taken the position that the conflict is not religious in nature but is rather a function of the poverty and lack of opportunity in the Muslim-majority north. However, Boko Haram describes themselves as deeply Islamic and the nature of the conflict as fundamentally religious in nature. In June 2012, Boko Haram issued the following statement:

The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.

Because the United States government interprets the problem as a sociological one, under which Boko Haram’s violence is seen as being fuelled by lack of economic opportunity and a feeling of political disenfranchisement, one policy solution has been to spend millions of U.S. aid dollars on Koranic schools in northern Nigeria. So not only has the United States repeatedly distorted the nature of the conflict, it may be actively fueling it by funding the institutions where Islamist doctrine is taught.

Persecution of Christians is on an upward trajectory that runs parallel to the Islamist awakening and has accelerated under the so-called “Arab Spring.” Yet it has not made it to the top-ten list of priorities for American policymakers, which is ironic, given that our nation was founded on the principle of religious freedom. Reports from North Africa and the Middle East attest to the fact that at least one side of this conflict sees it as a religious war.

Katharine Cornell Gorka is President of the recently-established Council on Global Security and contributing co-editor of the book Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism. This article is the first in a series on the religious war against Christians worldwide.

US targets AQAP master bomb maker in 2 strikes in Yemen

 

April 19, 2014 - People gather near a destroyed car that was carrying militants in the Sawmaa area of al-Bayda province, Yemen.AP

April 19, 2014 – People gather near a destroyed car that was carrying militants in the Sawmaa area of al-Bayda province, Yemen.AP

By 

The US targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s top bomb maker in one of two strikes that took place in Yemen over the past two days. Unnamed Yemeni officials have speculated that Ibrahim Hassan Tali al Asiri, who has built innovative bombs for the Yemeni terror group, may have been killed, but the reports are unconfirmed.

The strike that targeted Asiri took place after midnight last night on a highway between the districts of Markhah and Bayhan in Shabwa province, according to Barakish. The unmanned Predators or Reapers targeted a car as it traveled on the highway, and killed four AQAP fighters.

Asiri is reported to be among them, but his death has not been confirmed by AQAP or Yemeni officials. Initial reports suggest that the helicopters picked up four bodies, presumably to identify them. Although Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi sent a message of “thanks, praise, and appreciation” to the Yemeni antiterrorism unit for carrying out the strike, eyewitnesses confirmed that US drones targeted and fired on the AQAP vehicle.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Asiri is at the top of the list of the most dangerous AQAP leaders and is actively being targeted. Asiri is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and was behind the failed Christmas Day 2009 airliner attack as well as the design for an underwear bomb that is nearly undetectable and was to be detonated on an airliner. Asiri has said that he has trained other operatives in AQAP to build bombs.

Drones target AQAP training camp in the Al Mahfad district

In the other strike, which took place yesterday, US drones struck an AQAP training camp in the Al Mahfad district of Abyan province. Reports in the Arabic press claim that more than 30 AQAP militants were killed in the strike aimed at a training camp hidden in the mountainous areas between Shabwa and Abyan provinces. A source in Yemen’s Security Council said the strike was carried out after Yemeni intelligence received information regarding the presence of AQAP operatives at the camp who were actively planning to attack vital military and civilian installations.

The same Yemeni source said that AQAP operatives from various nationalities were killed in the drone strike. Local eyewitnesses said they had noticed a big gathering of suspected AQAP militants in the area of the camp the night before. They also claimed that following the strike AQAP militants hastily collected the bodies of those killed.

Reports in the Arabic media also describe a Yemeni air force bombardment of the camp that lasted for a few hours after the drone strike.

In related news, in the evening before the strike on the training camp, the Yemeni Defense Ministry arrested 10 AQAP militants in Shabwa. In an official statement issued after the third strike this weekend, authorities said the 10 militants were headed to the training camp that was targeted in Al Mahfad.

The US also hit AQAP training camps in the Al Mahfad area on April 1.

The Al Mahfad district is a known stronghold for AQAP. In the spring of 2012, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters and leaders regrouped in the Al Mahfad area after being driven from cities such as Zinjibar, Jaar, Lawdar, and Shaqra during a Yemeni military offensive that began in the spring of 2012 [see Threat Matrix report, AQAP regroups in Abyan province]. AQAP controlled the cities in Abyan, as well as other cities and towns in neighboring Shabwa province, after launching its own offensive in 2011.

AQAP remains entrenched in the Al Mahfad area despite several Yemeni military operations that attempted to dislodge the terror group. The US launched three drone strikes in Al Mahfad in 2013; one in May, one in June, and one in July.

Read more at Long War Journal

OBAMA HAS NO PLAN IN AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR AGAINST AL QAEDA

obama_military_binoculars_AFPBreitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA:

The US commander of the ISAF coalition in Afghanistan, General Jospeh Dunford USMC, recently stated: “We are not leaving. We are transitioning – there’s a big difference.”

While it is doubtful that the Taliban could parse said difference, the statement has led to comments of Operation Enduring Freedom having led to a defeat. Since the reason we are in Afghanistan is the 9/11 attacks, this is more than a throw away comment.

Although the provision of education for females and the establishment of an accountable government in Kabul are laudable objectives, these are not the reasons for our invasion of Afghanistan. It is crucial to note that it is now impossible for al Qaeda to mastermind mass-casualty attacks against US targets from the territory of that nation.

The fact that, according to Director of National Intelligence General Clapper, al Qaeda now has operational centers in 12 nations around the world does not mean OEF has failed.

The strengthening of al Qaeda in areas outside of Afghanistan is not a function of the failure of our combat troops in theater. It has to do with the absence of strategy at the highest levels of the administration.

“Obama has emphasized bureaucratic efficiency over ideology, and approached foreign policy as if it were case law, deciding his response to every threat or crisis on its own merits.” Does this sound like a Fox News commentary or National Review? It is neither.

The quote comes from a 9,000 word 2011 piece in the New Yorker titled “The Consequentialist.” I recommend this in-depth piece, based on access to top members of the administration including the president, to all the national security types I work with and anyone who wishes to understand why America is where it is today.

The article is an attempt by a leftwing organ supportive of the administration to reveal to the world President Obama’s global vision and how he sees America’s role. After all the background details and interviews with his most influential advisers (Power, Rice, etc) — none of whom have military experience and who almost exclusively are academics or political activists — the most striking moment comes in an interview with the president himself.

Asked about his strategy, the doctrine that informs America’s actions in the world, the president replied: “When you start applying blanket policies on the complexities of the current world situation, you’re going to get yourself into trouble.” In English: no plan is better. Having a plan can get you in trouble.

Given that China is intimidating its neighbors, Russia has actually invaded one of hers, Iran stills wants nukes, Syria is collapsing, and al Qaeda is alive and well outside of Afghanistan, it would be hard to envisage an Eisenhower, a Churchill, or even a Truman saying: “Nope, no plan needed here. That’s dangerous.”

We can win against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, at least if we continue to guarantee that it can’t reconstitute its former bases or deploy terrorists to the US. Talk of “transition” instead and negating the very need for a strategy will, however, likely lead to defeat there and elsewhere.

The trouble is that our Commander-in-Chief long ago revealed why foreign policy is irrelevant to him. At the end of his 2009 speech to graduating West Point cadets, he was unequivocal. It is time to “end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan responsibility,” because “we must rebuild our strength here at home.” Notice the use of the word “transition.” The talking points have lasted well and apparently been sent to ISAF HQ in Kabul: “nationbuilding is to be done at home.” (It is quite shocking that the first place he made this clear was in front of hundreds of young men and women all in uniform on the cusp of deployment).

President Obama is clearly a product of Chicago’s political machine. From his perspective, Obamacare and the false narrative of punishing the “fat cats” (who helped put him in office) are the priorities. If foreign affairs and our military missions abroad had any weight with him, then his former National Security Advisor, General Jim Jones, would not have been treated like a pariah and eased out of office after just twenty months after being appointed, and the armed services would not be facing their largest cuts in half a century.

The cruel reality of the world is that since the Homeric wars of Troy right up until WWI, WWII, and the current crisis in the Ukraine, the enemy always had a plan and wanted to win. It is time for us to follow suit.

Sebastian Gorka PhD is National Security Editor of Breitbart.com. 

Al Qaeda’s general manager threatens America in video of large gathering

WuhayshiBy 

A video released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in late March has garnered renewed attention in the media. The video, entitled “The First of the Heavy Rain,” features two AQAP leaders, as well as lower-level fighters who escaped from a Yemeni prison in February 2014.

Nasir al Wuhayshi, who is both the emir of AQAP and al Qaeda’s overall general manager, is shown speaking to a gathering of more than 100 people. “O brothers, the Crusader enemy is still shuffling his papers, so we must remember that we are always fighting the biggest enemy, the leaders of disbelief, and we have to overthrow those leaders, we have to remove the Cross, and the carrier of the Cross is America,” Wuhayshi says, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Ibrahim al Rubaish, a Saudi who was once held at Guantanamo and now serves as a top sharia official in AQAP, is also shown speaking in the video. Rubaish praises the newfound freedom of some jihadist fighters, including those shown in the video, but he laments the fact that others remain imprisoned in Guantanamo and elsewhere.

The video has sparked the media’s interest because it is a brazen display of AQAP strength inside Yemen. Wuhayshi is a hunted man and he is presumably on America’s list of potential targets for drone strikes. Yet, he felt comfortable enough in his home country to lead a large, public gathering of his followers.

“Core” al Qaeda in Yemen

Wuhayshi served as Osama bin Laden’s aide-de-camp and protégé in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. He fled to Iran, where he was detained, sometime after the Battle of Tora Bora. Wuhayshi was eventually transferred to Yemeni custody, but he escaped from prison in 2006.

Al Qaeda has long sought to wage insurgencies in Muslim countries it considers ripe for a jihadist takeover. Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been high on al Qaeda’s list of target countries. However, a fierce counterterrorism campaign in Saudi Arabia that began in 2003 quashed al Qaeda’s early efforts in the Arabian Peninsula. Al Qaeda also struggled, at first, to establish a full-scale insurgency in Yemen. But prison escapees such as Wuhayshi and Guantanamo returnees such as Rubaish have replenished al Qaeda’s leadership in the Arabian Peninsula and contributed to al Qaeda’s resurgence.

In early 2009, Wuhayshi and other jihadists announced the rebirth of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, swearing allegiance to al Qaeda’s senior leadership in the process. Ayman al Zawahiri had previously recognized Wuhayshi as al Qaeda’s top man in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the summer of 2013, Zawahiri appointed Wuhayshi to the position of al Qaeda’s general manager. Wuhayshi’s appointment to the role of general manager was accompanied by a large-scale threat that forced the closing of American diplomatic facilities around the world. The US learned of this threat when intelligence officials captured video of Zawahiri communicating, via a complex Internet-based system, with more than 20 of his subordinates, including Wuhayshi.

Al Qaeda’s general manager serves a “core” function within the group. The role was previously held by senior terrorists in South Asia. According to declassified documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound, the duties performed by al Qaeda’s general manager include coordinating military and media activities, and communicating with al Qaeda’s “regions,” or branches, as well as with allies such as the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. [For a more complete discussion of the general manager's role, see LWJ report, AQAP's emir also serves as al Qaeda's general manager.]

In another recent video, Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, a sharia official in the Al Nusrah Front, explains that al Qaeda also has a leader who oversees the organization’s efforts in various geographic locations, or regions. The Al Nusrah Front is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.

Al Qaeda “draws up its plans and its strategy based on what we call al Qalim, or locations,” Sulayman says in the video. And a leader, who swears bayat (an oath of allegiance) to Ayman al Zawahiri, is chosen to oversee each of these locations. In addition, Sulayman explains, al Qaeda appoints another leader who “overlooks all of these different locations,” and this position is called Masul al Qalim. [See LWJ report, Al Nusrah Front official explains al Qaeda's strategy, conflict with former branch.]

This leadership role described by Sulayman is filled by someone other than al Qaeda’s general manager, according to US intelligence officials. Both the general manager and the Masul al Qalim have deputies on their staff to support their work.

Such roles, and what they say about how al Qaeda is actually organized, are generally not reflected in the public discourse. It is commonly argued that there is a “core” of al Qaeda in South Asia and this entity is distinct from al Qaeda branches elsewhere. But Wuhayshi serves as one of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders from Yemen. And his role is part of the same leadership structure that includes Zawahiri, other deputies, and various supporting councils. These leaders are located not just in South Asia, but also elsewhere.

Read more at Long War Journal

Mr. Al Qaeda Becomes Mr. Right Wing Extremist?

nidal-hasan-afpBreitbart, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka:

Peter Bergen, CNN’s Mr Al Qaeda, has declared via the New America Foundation, that the real threat to America is not the terrorist group responsible for 9/11, the Fort Hood massacre, or the attempted Time Square bombing, but “right wing extremists.”

As our own John Sexton has ably demonstrated here already the whole edifice of Bergen’s argument is built on a foundation of sand.

The comparison of numbers killed by Jihadists and right winger zealots conveniently leaves out the 2,996 killed on 9/11. Why? That is the most important datapoint of all, surely? Then numerous attacks are added under the rightwing tally that are clearly not rightwing and several Islamically-motivated killers, such as the DC sniper, have been magically erased from the jihadi column.

Besides (intentionally?) sloppy math, the whole exercise is fundamentally flawed at the strategic level.

Al Qaeda is not just a domestic threat to the continental United States or just to Americans in America. One can argue all day long about President Bush and Iraqi WMDs, but on what basis does Bergen and the NAF exclude the death and maiming of US troops fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan or our Ambassador in Benghazi and the three brave Americans who tried to save him from local jihadists?

Then there is the absurdity of only counting successful attacks and using this as the measure of who is a more serious threat.

Sixteen jihadi plots targeting NY alone have been intercepted since 2001. We can never know how many more across the country since many will have been thwarted without an arrest or a prosecution, but it is likely hundreds, and hundreds that each could have had hundreds or thousands of victims. And the counterargument that white supremacists and rightwing extremist may have also plotted many more attacks is fallacious too, as these actors usually kill in the single digits. Al Qaeda specializes in spectaculars, be it 9/11, 7/7 in London, or the Bali and Mumbai attacks. I challenge Bergen to point to one rightwing attack on the scale of any of these.

Then of course there is the issue of why there have been so many intercepted jihadi plots here in the US. The Director of National Intelligence stated earlier this year in open congressional testimony that al Qaeda has operational centers in 12 nations around the world. Every member of each one of those organizational hubs is committed to destroying America after they have killed President Assad, taken over Mali, or retaken Egypt for the “true believers.” Can we compare this to rightwing extremism or any other organized threat to America? Even North Korean and the Russia Federation pale in comparison to the international conspiracy that is Global Jihad.

If one makes a more honest assessment of the threat then the facts tell a different story and the relevant dangers reverse.

Below is a chart of the number of attacks linked to al Qaeda globally over the last few years, based upon unclassified sources.

If you add information from the START database to the above you get the following disturbing graph.

The key fact here is the trendline.

Despite the narrative of the White House that al Qaeda is spent and dying, AQ has in fact become more and more dangerous. So why does Peter Bergen and why does the NAF want to convince us of the opposite, that rightwing extremists are a bigger threat to America than those who were responsible for 9/11?

Perhaps the clue lies in Fort Hood. The authors of the study state unequivocally:

Today, almost 13 years after 9/11, al Qaeda has not successfully conducted another attack inside the United States.

Excuse me? So the Fort Hood massacre was indeed “workplace violence?”

The fact that Major Nidal Hasan–before he killed 12 of his fellow soldiers, a civilian, and an unborn child, and wounded another 30-plus people–was in regular contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the top leaders of al Qaeda in Yemen, doesn’t make it a jihadi attack? Should we list it under the Ku Klux Klan perhaps?

Peter Bergen built his career on al Qaeda, as “the man who interviewed bin Laden.” He must have a very strong reason for trying to make his career-building subject of al Qaeda seem irrelevant. Could it be the crown he now hangs with? The NAF board members bios are here. The real report on Fort Hood written by the former director of the FBI–that was of course released by the Obama administration on a Friday afternoon–is here.

You be the judge of who threatens us more.

Sebastian Gorka PhD is the national security editor for Breitbart.com

CNN’s Peter Bergen: Right Wing Extremists Have Killed More than Jihadists Since 9/11

Breitbart, by :

On the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen has published a story claiming right-wing extremists have killed more Americans than have jihadists since 9/11.

Peter Bergen

Peter Bergen

Bergen writes “According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11…By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11.”

In addition to his role at CNN, Bergen is a Director of the International Security Program at The New America Foundation. In fact, he helped put together the dataset on which his article is based. The list of murders by jihadists and right-wing extremists can be found here.

Part of the gimmick here is the limitations Bergen and NAF have drawn around this comparison, starting with the decision to only look at attacks since 9/11. Obviously if you leave out the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil that helps the outcome. NAF also excludes Americans killed abroad so, for instance, the four Americans killed by jihadists in Benghazi don’t count.

But even when restricted to attacks inside the U.S., NAF’s list seems to have made some questionable choices. For instance, NAF includes Joshua Cartwright on the list. In 2009, Cartwright was reported to police after beating his wife. Police attempted to arrest him for domestic violence at a local shooting range. A shootout ensued in which two police officers were killed. NAF apparently includes Cartwright on its list of terrorists because his wife remarked that he was “severely disturbed” by the election of Barack Obama.

NAF’s list of right-wink attacks also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who flew a plane into an IRS office in 2010. This is surprising given that Stack’s manifesto/suicide note included attacks on the “monsters of organized religion,” GM executives, health insurance companies, wealthy bankers, “presidential puppet GW Bush,” the “American nightmare” and, finally, capitalism itself with a positive nod to the communist credo.

On the other hand, the NAF list fails to include a number of attacks which seem connected to radical Islam. For instance, this 2004 murder of a Jewish student by a Saudi who had become more religiously conservative prior to the attack. After slicing the victim’s throat, the killer fled to a mosque.

The list also omits several honor-killing style murders, such as a Muslim man in New York who beheaded his wife when she announced she wanted a divorce. It also omits the case of Yaser Said who was suspected to have murdered his two teenage daughters for dating non-Muslim men. Said is still wanted by the FBI. In a similar case, Chaudhry Rashid allegedly strangled his 25-year-old daughter when she tried to end her arranged marriage.

Granted these attacks weren’t terrorism since they were directed at family members. Then again, NAF includes David Pedersen and Holly Grigsby’s murder of Pedersen’s father and stepmother on the list of right-wing attacks. Why should these personal crimes be included?

The most striking omission from the NAF list of jihadist attacks is John Allen Muhammad, the Muslim sniper who killed 10 strangers in the DC metro area back in 2002. While no definite motive for the killing spree was ever determined, Muhammad’s accomplice Lee Malvo made numerous references to Osama bin Laden and jihad in writings he made in prison after the killings. According to the NY Times, Muhammad was eligible for the death penalty in Virginia because the jury agreed he had committed an “act of terrorism.”

In 2002, one commentator connected Muhammad to a series of attacks inspired by al Qaeda. He wrote “John Allen Muhammad, the Washington DC sniper, who has reportedly expressed admiration for the al Qaeda hijackers, also seems to fit this worrisome new pattern.” The author of that piece on “Al Qaeda 2.0″ was Peter Bergen.

 

U.S. May Have Missed Opportunity to Take Out Top Al Qaeda Leaders

Screen-Shot-2014-04-16-at-10.06.28-AMBY: Washington Free Beacon Staff:

April 16, 2014 10:14 am

Al Qaeda leaders were able to hold a large meeting somewhere in south Yemen despite U.S. drone warfare targeting that region, according to a video published on Hot Air.

The video comes from a CNN report:

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won’t comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

The video started appearing on jihadist websites recently, drawing the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. U.S. officials say they believe it’s authentic.

Hot Air writer Ed Morrisey wonders if the United States may have missed a “golden opportunity to take out a large number of al Qaeda leaders.”

Did the U.S. know about this [meeting] ahead of time? If they did, they must have either had difficulty arranging the logistics of an attack — or perhaps had other assets in place for other reasons. 

Morrisey speculates that the lost opportunity could have been caused by the effort to transfer the drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department.

Obama Admin: Fighting Terrorism but Supporting Terrorists?

1340112075904by Raymond Ibrahim:

News recently emerged that “the Obama administration is imposing sanctions on an Egypt-based group that has claimed responsibility for attacks against Egyptian officials, Israeli interests and foreign tourists in Cairo and the Sinai peninsula. The State Department said Wednesday [4/9/14] it has designated Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’”

While ostensibly a laudable move, some—many in Egypt—think this announcement is a ruse to portray the Obama administration as committed to combating terrorism, even as it supports the head of the terrorist-snake, the Muslim Brotherhood.

For instance, according to Mustafa Zayid, the Coordinator of the Sufi Coalition Forces in Egypt, “The expectation was for the United States of America to announce its designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization—as opposed to Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis, which takes its lead from it [Brotherhood].”

The Sufi leader further added in published comments to Watan “that Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is a pseudonym for the terrorist Brotherhood organization, clarifying that what the U.S. State Department did was one of the administration’s tricks to deceive the world, mocking it into believing that the U.S. is combatting terrorism.”

He further added that “the U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood and sponsors its terrorist activities throughout Egypt.”

Nor is the Sufi the only one making such charges.  According to Nabil Na’im, a Salafi, former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and confidante of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is funded by Khairat al-Shatter, the currently imprisoned, multi-millionaire Brotherhood leader.

Of note is the fact that, although al-Shatter was never part of the Morsi government, U.S. diplomats often met with him, including Ambassador Anne Patterson and Sen. John McCain.

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

Former Jihadi Leader: Brotherhood Bought Al-Qaeda ‘Terror Support’ for $25 Million

Yesterday on Haya TV, Nabil Na‘im, a former leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad and close confidante of current al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Zawahiri—who also helped found Egypt’s Islamic Jihad—asserted that, during the reign of former president Muhammad Morsi, Zawahiri was given $25 million from Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shatter to organize, fund, and assemble the jihadi groups “in order to support the Brotherhood.”  (For more on the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda relationship, click here).

13820221303436It should be noted that al-Shatter, though not a member of Morsi’s government—only a leader of the Brotherhood—was, after being imprisoned after the revolution, asked for personally by John McCain during his visit to Egypt some months back, when he pushed for Brotherhood reinstatement.  Also, U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson was reportedly seen visiting Shatter often.

Earlier, Na‘im, the former Jihad leader had said that attempts by the U.S. to “reconcile” Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood was “nothing but a conspiracy by the American administration,” and that the Brotherhood, when in power, had betrayed Egyptian sovereignty, adding that ousted president Morsi granted Egyptian citizenship to more than 60,000 Palestinians, many of whom were in the ranks of the jihad.

Longtime U.S. ‘Allies’ Qatar, Kuwait Prime Terror Financiers

al-Thani and Haniyeh

The message the West is delivering is that once you’re an ally, you’re always an ally — even if you help our enemies.

BY RYAN MAURO:

David Cohen, the Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, has stated for the record what no other U.S. official would: Qatar and Kuwait, two supposed “allies” of the U.S., are facilitating Islamist terrorism and extremism.

Last month, Cohen spoke at a think tank and immediately turned to Qatar after discussing Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism.

“Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas, a group that continues to undermine regional stability. Press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also supporting extremist groups operating in Syria,” he said.

Qatar’s staunch backing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas hasalienated its Arab neighbors that view them as terrorist organizations. The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad traveled to Qatar to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Qatar appears to have helped heal the relationship between Iran and Hamas.

In August, 24 members of Congress confronted Qatar over its relationship with Hamas. The Qatari government subsidizes the spread of Islamism around the world, even in downtown Washington D.C.

The Qatari government is also guilty of helping Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates. Cohen pointed out that the Treasury Department sanctioned a terrorist in December named Abd al-Rahman bin Umayr al-Nu’aymi, who raises money in Qatar and channels it to Al Qaeda elements in Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.

He managed the movement of over $2 million every single month to Al Qaeda in Iraq at one point and delivered the terrorists’ messages to media outlets from 2003-2004. This means that Qatar, a U.S. “ally,” has the blood of American soldiers in Iraq on its hands.

Read more at Clarion Project

Terrorism in the Caucasus and the threat to the US homeland

 

Salahuddin al Shishani (left), a Chechen commander who leads the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, and Abdul Karim al Ukrani (center), a Ukrainian, sitting behind an Imarat Kavkaz flag while in Syria.

Salahuddin al Shishani (left), a Chechen commander who leads the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, and Abdul Karim al Ukrani (center), a Ukrainian, sitting behind an Imarat Kavkaz flag while in Syria.

By 

Editor’s note: Below is Bill Roggio’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on the threat posed by the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and the implications for US homeland security. If you wish to view the testimony with footnotes included, download the PDF by clicking here.

Chairman King, Ranking Member Higgins, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here to discuss the terrorist threat emanating from the Caucasus. Unfortunately, as we saw nearly one year ago today at the Boston Marathon, the jihad in the Caucasus has already impacted lives here in the US.

There is still much we do not know for certain about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s travels in Dagestan and Chechnya, but we do know that, at a minimum, he was sympathetic to the jihadists operating there. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother were, of course, responsible for the attacks on the Boston Marathon. As a report by the House Homeland Security Committee noted just last month, it “is reasonable to assume that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was at least inspired by” the “activity and ideology” of jihadists fighting in the Caucasus and he was “driven to take part in the vision of global jihad which they share with al Qaeda.” Indeed, the Imarat Kavkaz or “IK” (otherwise known as the Islamic Caucasus Emirate) does have links to al Qaeda. And Tsarnaev is known to have sympathized with the IK and its fighters.

The IK has openly proclaimed itself a threat to the US and the West, and we should take these threats seriously. The US State Department certainly does. In May 2011, the State Department officially designated the IK as a terrorist organization. “The designation of Caucasus Emirate is in response to the threats posed to the United States and Russia,” Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, said at the time. “The attacks perpetrated by Caucasus Emirate illustrate the global nature of the terrorist problem we face today,” Benjamin added. In June 2010, the State Department added Doku Umarov, who was then the emir of the IK, to the US government’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. And in May 2011, Foggy Bottom offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Umarov’s location. In both its June 2010 and May 2011 announcements, the State Department noted that Umarov and the IK pose a threat to the US and other countries. Indeed, Umarov described the IK as “a part of the global Jihad” in a July 2013 statement in which he called for further attacks aimed at disrupting Russia’s plans for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Despite the fact that Umarov was recently killed, there are good reasons to suspect that the IK will continue to pose a threat to American and Western interests both in and outside of Russia. As with other al Qaeda-affiliated groups, the IK will continue to spend most of its resources waging insurgencies, both inside Russia and elsewhere. Still, in my testimony today, I will highlight several key reasons why the IK poses a terrorist threat to the West. Those reasons are:

Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda helped transform the insurgency in Chechnya from a nationalist one into part of the global jihad.

Al Qaeda’s senior leadership established its influence within the Caucasus long ago. While al Qaeda was headquartered in Sudan from 1991 to 1996, Osama bin Laden maintained a network of training camps and other facilities that shuttled fighters to several jihadist fronts, including Chechnya. During the 1990s al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) funneled cash and other support to Muslim rebels in Chechnya through a charity in Baku, Azerbaijan. Ayman al Zawahiri himself, then the head of the EIJ, as well as second in command of al Qaeda, set out for Chechnya in late 1996. He was accompanied by other dual-hatted al Qaeda-EIJ operatives. Zawahiri was arrested in Dagestan before he reached Chechnya and spent several months in prison. Zawahiri’s trip to the region underscores, from al Qaeda’s perspective, the importance of supporting the jihad in Chechnya.

Read more at Long War Journal

Zawahiri’s longtime deputy reportedly arrested in Egypt

Thirwat Shihata

Thirwat Shihata

By 

Thirwat Salah Shehata, an Egyptian who long served as one Ayman al Zawahiri’s top deputies, has reportedly been arrested in a suburb of Cairo.

Unnamed Egyptian officials who spoke with Agence France Presse and the Associated Press say that Shehata had traveled to Libya and Turkey before returning to his home country, where he was arrested.

Shehata was among the senior al Qaeda leaders who were sheltered inside Iran for much of the post-9/11 period.

In early 2011, Shehata released a statement supporting the Egyptian uprisings. He called on the people to “remain steadfast” and reject any economic concessions from then president Hosni Mubarak. “Indeed, the Pharaoh and his rotten party must depart,” Shehata said in the statement, which he reportedly released from inside Iran. [See LWJ report, Ayman al Zawahiri's deputy releases statement in support of Egyptian opposition.]

Egyptian officials say Shehata was training militants in Libya

Sometime after his 2011 statement, Shehata left Iran. It is not clear when he left, but The Washington Post reported in February that US officials believed he had traveled to Libya. Egyptian officials have now confirmed Shehata’s previous presence in Libya.

A former US official told the Post that Shehata is suspected of meeting with other senior al Qaeda leaders inside Libya in 2013. Among them are Abu Anas al Libi, who was detained by US forces in Tripoli in early October, and Zubayr al Maghrebi. Al Libi was wanted for his role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and had also fled to Iran following 9/11.

According to the AP, Egyptian officials say Shehata “has been training militants in eastern Libya.” These same officials say that he is currently being interrogated.

Al Qaeda has established an extensive presence in Libya.

Read more at Long War Journal

Ex-CIA leader Morell denies role in Benghazi ‘cover-up’ during heated Hill hearing

morell2By Guy Taylor:

A high-level former CIA leader flatly denied allegations on Wednesday that he had “inappropriately altered and influenced” the the now infamous Benghazi talking points to downplay the role of terrorism in the incident by inaccurately playing up the idea that the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks had been born out of a spontaneous protest — and then later “covered up” his actions.

“These allegations accuse me of taking these actions for the political benefit of President Obama and then [former] Secretary of State [Hillary RodhamClinton,” former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell told lawmakers on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

“These allegations are false,” he said in prepared remarks given to committee members and the press as the highly-anticipated hearing on the Benghazi talking points got underway — disputes over which have long sat at the center of political fireworks hanging over an exhaustive series of congressional investigations into the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans more than 18 months ago.

Mr. Morell moved quickly in his testimony to address the heart of the matter: Why did senior CIA and White House officials in Washington ignore pointed assertions by the CIA’s chief of station in Libya that there had been no protest prior to the attacks and why were those assertions not included in talking points that former U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice used on Sept. 16 when she appeared — five days after the attacks — on several news talks shows to claim that there had been a protest.

Mr. Morell said the CIA station chief’s assertions were not used in the talking points because they were outmatched by other streams of information being weighed at the same time by CIA analysts crafting the points.

Read more at Washington Times

 

 

Also see:

 

Muslim Brotherhood Slaughter Christian Woman

by :

On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame.  Four people died.

One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.

According to an eyewitness who discussed the entire event on the Egyptian program, 90 Minutes, Mary Sameh George was parking by the church to deliver medicine to a sickly, elderly woman:

Once they saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rear view mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in.  When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair—to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off.  They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find….  Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off.  Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat.  Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked.

The eyewitness, as well as many others who have since appeared on videos, complained about Egyptian State Security and how it did not intervene—just like under Morsi, when St. Mark Cathedral was besieged, even as security stood by—how it knows exactly who the murderers are, and how one of Mary’s murderers, whom “everyone reported to Security,” was simply relaxing in his home, not even hiding.

Added the eyewitness: “Let me tell you, here in Ain Shams, we [Christians] know that every Friday is a day of death; that the day after Friday, Saturday, we’ll be carried to the morgue!”

In fact, the overwhelming majority of attacks on Egypt’s Christians occur on Friday—the day when pious Muslims meet in mosque for prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can only be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

A video of Mary’s family members has one woman screaming out the following words—which may be of interest to some Americans:

A message to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, who is calling for the Brotherhood to return to power again.   I want to tell him, have mercy, enough is enough!  His brother is in the al-Qaeda organization!  Why do you want to destroy Egypt?….Egypt will remain whether you, the Brotherhood, or anyone else likes it or not!

She was referring to something that is as well known in Egypt as it is little known in the United States:  that the Obama administration is a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which itself is connected to al-Qaeda.

The rest of the video portrays some of Mary’s other family members—many in tears and near hysteria—prompting one to wonder: where is the U.S media?  I have not seen a word on this latest Islamic attack on a church and Christians on BBC, CNN, or any of the so-called “mainstream media”?  Why is that?  They had no problem constantly showing us (over and over again) a video clip of a hysterical female relative of a member of Malaysian flight MH370.

Mary’s family members mourn during church funeral

The mainstream media is silent because Muslim persecution of Christians in general—Obama-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood in particular—throws a huge wrench in that narrative.

After all, how many Americans ever heard of the largest massacre of Syrian Christians by U.S.-supported Islamic rebels?

Read more

Turkey’s New Jihad on Christian Armenians

Turkeys-Christians-are-a-tiny-minority.by :

Far from being repentant of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, is again targeting Armenians; is again causing their death and dislocation.

In the early morning hours of March 21, al-Qaeda linked Islamic jihadis crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border and launched a jihad on the Christian/Armenian town of Kessab.   Among other thing, “Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages.”  Reportedly eighty people were killed.

The jihadis later made a video touring the devastated town; no translation is needed, as the main phrase shouted throughout is Islam’s triumphant war cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or, according to Sen. John McCain’s translation, “thank God”).

Eyewitnesses say the jihadis crossed the Turkish border into Syria, “openly passing through Turkish military barracks. According to Turkish media reports, the attackers carried their injured back to Turkey for treatment in the town of Yayladagi.”

About two-thousand Armenians were evacuated to safer areas in neighboring Basit and Latakia. Several of these families are currently living inside the churches of these towns. Ten to fifteen families with relations too elderly to flee remained in Kessab, their fate currently unknown.

Syrian troops did launch a counteroffensive, but al-Qaeda linked jihadis “once again entered the town of Kessab, took the remaining Armenian families hostage, desecrated the town’s three Armenian churches, pillaging local residences and occupying the town and surrounding villages.”

Reports further indicate that “the attacks of the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra organization and the Islamic Front was supported with artillery fire from Turkish artillery units.  A Syrian MIG-23 war plane which attended to the operation towards the terror groups was shot down by Turkish Air Forces on 23 March.”

Bashar al-Assad naturally denounced before the United Nations Turkey’s role in supporting terrorists—even as some European leaders, such as Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, were busy praising Turkey for its supposedly increased democracy and human rights,  supporting the Islamic nation’s inclusion into the European Union, indifferent to the fact that Erdogan banned Twitter in Turkey after tweets exposed his government’s corruptions.

Read more at Front Page