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

 

Al Qaeda spokesman convicted on terrorism charges

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al Zawahiri, from an al Qaeda propaganda tape. Image from BBC/AP

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al Zawahiri, from an al Qaeda propaganda tape. Image from BBC/AP

By 

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and spokesman after the 9/11 attacks, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, has been convicted on terrorism charges by a New York jury.

Years before his conviction for supporting al Qaeda and conspiring to kill Americans, Abu Ghaith garnered international infamy after his appearance with bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders in a video that was filmed on Sept. 12, 2001. In the weeks that followed, his threats of additional attacks were seen as an ominous indication of things to come.

Additional attacks were averted, but Abu Ghaith continued to threaten Americans.

Threats against America

In a June 2002 statement, Abu Ghaith argued that “Al Qaeda has the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, displace double that figure, and injure and cripple hundreds and thousands.”

In his memoir, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, former CIA director George Tenet says that an alarmed US government “had to consider the possibility that Abu Ghaith was attempting to justify the future use of weapons of mass destruction that might greatly exceed the death toll of 9/11.”

In an audio recording that was also released in June 2002, Abu Ghaith claimed credit on behalf of al Qaeda for the April 11, 2002, truck bombing of a Tunisian synagogue. NBC News and the Associated Press reported that the cell responsible for the bombing had been in touch with al Qaeda leaders inside Iran.

After he was captured in 2013, Abu Ghaith told the FBI that he had been smuggled into Iran that same month.

copy of Abu Ghaith’s statement to the FBI can be found at Downrange, a publication launched by Kronos Advisory.

Between June 2002 and April 2003, when Abu Ghaith says he was placed under house arrest by the Iranians, the al Qaeda spokesman continued to make provocative statements.

In July 2002, Abu Ghaith threatened more bloodshed. “Al Qaeda will organize more attacks inside American territory and outside, at the moment we choose, at the place we choose and with the objectives that we want,” he said, according to an account published at the time by the Associated Press.

On Oct. 8, 2002, an al Qaeda cell that was reportedly recruited and indoctrinated by Abu Ghaith opened fire on US Marines stationed on Kuwait’s Faylaka Island. One Marine was killed and another was seriously wounded.

Then, in November 2002, al Qaeda terrorists attacked an Israeli hotel, killing 13 people, and tried to down an Israeli jetliner in Mombasa, Kenya. Abu Ghaith claimed credit for that operation on behalf of al Qaeda the following month.

Also in December 2002, Abu Ghaith threatened additional attacks against the United States and Israel. Bin Laden’s spokesman warned the Muslim world of the “danger of what America and its allies are preparing against Iraq and its people,” which “is not limited to overthrowing the infidel regime and its dictator but is aimed at … Balkanizing this great country.”

In his statement to the FBI, Abu Ghaith claimed that his statements in the latter half of 2002 were unconnected to al Qaeda’s operations. But his claim does not ring true.

Al Qaeda has strict protocols for claiming responsibility for its attacks. That Abu Ghaith trumpeted the organization’s culpability in Tunisia and Kenya strongly suggests he was coordinating with al Qaeda’s most senior leaders at the time.

Read more at Long War Journal

Group readies Benghazi report based on witness accounts

Mideast Libya Turmoil CentralBreitbart, by :

A private group of national security officials is preparing to release its own report on the Benghazi scandal, with a top official behind the report saying they have interviewed numerous eyewitnesses from before, during and after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack.

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, an organization composed of American retired military officers, intelligence officers, and national security experts is poised to release the product of one year of its own investigation into the scandal.

The report will include new details from witness and whistleblower interviews relating to the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and CIA Annex. This attack left four Americans dead–including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Additionally, the Commission has issued a total of 55 FOIA requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Department as well as conducted interviews and meetings with sources and confidential informants with direct knowledge about what happened on September 11, 2012.

“The people have come to us in different ways have direct knowledge of what went on in Libya both before and during and to some extent after the attacks of September 11, 2012. And so those are actually the three periods of time, conceptually, that we focused on,” Commission member and former CIA officer Clare Lopez told Breitbart News.

Lopez explained, “The before, was the 2011 revolt against Gaddafi, when the U.S. in our judgment threw in with Al Qaeda and basically empowered known Al Qaeda militias to overthrow a sitting sovereign government that was our ally, really, in the war against AQIM in particular.”

“The second period of time is ‘the during.’ We specifically focused on why no military response was forthcoming. There was no decision. We can’t say there was a ‘stand down’ but there was no stand up either,” she said.

Finally, Lopez remarked the third part of the is the ‘after’ and “the cover up and why talking points were altered and why that video innocence of Muslims was used as an excuse and what purpose that served for the administration.”

The Commission is dedicated to pressing the House of Representatives to form a Select Committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi and learn answers to several questions including: why Washington officials ignored repeated concerns about security threats in Benghazi; who signed off on weapons exchanges to al-Qaida-linked rebel groups?; Were U.S. officials aware they were providing aid and material to terrorists groups in contravention of U.S. law?; Why weren’t U.S. Marine FAST teams and rapid response forces stationed within hours of Benghazi sent to aid Americans under assault in Benghazi? [emphasis added]

MET: Readers of Radical Islamist Sites Could Be Prosecuted

New_Scotland_YardBreitbart, By Nick Hallet:

The Metropolitan Police have warned that people who seek out and read radical Islamist websites could face prosecution under anti-terrorism laws.

RT reports that a Metropolitan Police spokesman told Press Association: “The MPS Counter Terrorism Command is aware of the websites and appropriate steps have been put in place, including providing security advice where relevant.

“The public is reminded that viewing downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under Section 1 and 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

“As part of our continued work, we regularly work with, and support, industry, the organisers of sporting events and companies overseeing crowded places with a variety of briefings and advice.”

The advice was issued after the latest issue of ‘Inspire’, a magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, told readers to blow up famous spots and crowded places in the UK and abroad, such as the Savoy hotel.

The magazine also contained articles on making a car bomb, and a piece by a deceased Al Qaeda leader encouraging readers to target civilians.

The first issue of the magazine, which contained the article “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” is said to have inspired the Boston bombers.

New Sunni Insurgency in Iraq

20140125_map503BY :

Largely ignored by the global media, Iraq today stands on the brink of a renewed Sunni insurgency.  The emergent insurgency in Iraq is following the same sectarian pattern as the civil war in Syria and the growing violence in Lebanon. It also involves many of the same local and regional players.

The rising violence in Iraq is not, however, simply the result of a spillover from the Syrian war. It derives also from internal Iraqi dynamics. But these are themselves in significant ways comparable to the Syrian and Lebanese situations.

Over 9000 people were killed in fighting in Iraq in 2013.  This is not yet up to the levels of violence just prior to the surge, in the very worst days of the insurgency against U.S. forces and the sectarian bloodletting that accompanied it.  But it’s the highest since 2007.  This year, more than 2000 people have already lost their lives as a result of political violence in Iraq.

As of today, a coalition of Sunni insurgent groups control the city of Fallujah in Iraq’s Anbar province west of Baghdad.  The city of Ramadi  remains partially in insurgent hands, though its southern districts have been re-conquered by government forces in recent days.

Nor is the violence confined to Anbar province.  Rather, car bombings have become a near daily occurrence in Baghdad, and insurgent activity against Iraqi security forces and non-Sunni civilians is taking place in Nineveh, Mosul, Kirkuk and elsewhere in areas of high Sunni Arab population.

So who are these insurgents, and why have events in Iraq reached this crisis point?

As in Syria, a myriad of insurgent groups have emerged. But there are two main forces. These are ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and the Naqshbandi Army.

ISIS emerged in Iraq in 2004, and for a time constituted the official franchise of al-Qaeda in the country.  Under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by U.S. forces in 2005,  it became renowned for its brutal methods.

ISIS experienced a resurgence during the Syrian civil war, and today it controls much of Raqqa province in eastern Syria, including Raqqa city.

In February, 2014, ISIS was “expelled” from al-Qaeda because of its insanely brutal methods in northern Syria, which have included, for example, execution of civilians for smoking, and for swearing.

This movement is now an active force on the insurgent council that now governs Falluja.  Its fighters also rove freely in the vast deserts of western Anbar, making the desert highways unsafe for travelers and government forces.

Read more at Gloria Center

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