Algerian Mosque Terror Financing Draws Scrutiny

Tarawih___Hamza_324936347by IPT News:

 

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: The Terrorist Threat in North Africa: Before and After Benghazi

getproxy_oms1Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa | 2172 House Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Jul 10, 2013 10:00am

Full hearing:

 

Opening Statements:

 

 

 

 

Witnesses

Mr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Director
Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Aaron Zelin
Richard Borow Fellow
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Daniel L. Byman, Ph.D.
Professor
Security Studies Program
Georgetown University
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Mike Lovelady
Brother of Algerian gas plant terrorist attack victim, Victor Lovelady
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

In Timbuktu, al-Qaida left behind a manifesto

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
Associated Press

TIMBUKTU, Mali     (AP) — In their hurry to flee last month, al-Qaida fighters left behind a crucial document: Tucked under a pile of papers and trash is a confidential letter, spelling out the terror network’s strategy for conquering northern Mali and reflecting internal discord over how to rule the region.

The document is an unprecedented window into the terrorist operation, indicating that al-Qaida predicted the military intervention that would dislodge it in January and recognized its own vulnerability.

The letter also shows a sharp division within al-Qaida’s Africa chapter over how quickly and how strictly to apply Islamic law, with its senior commander expressing dismay over the whipping of women and the destruction of Timbuktu’s ancient monuments. It moreover leaves no doubt that despite a temporary withdrawal into the desert, al-Qaida plans to operate in the region over the long haul, and is willing to make short-term concessions on ideology to gain the allies it acknowledges it needs.

Abdelmalek Droukdel

Abdelmalek Droukdel

The more than nine-page document, found by the AP in a building occupied by the Islamists for almost a year, is signed by Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the nom de guerre of Abdelmalek Droukdel, the senior commander appointed by Osama bin Laden to run al-Qaida’s branch in Africa. The clear-headed, point-by-point assessment resembles a memo from a CEO to his top managers and lays out for his jihadists in Mali what they have done wrong in months past, and what they need to do to correct their behavior in the future.

Read more

Al Qaeda on the rise

Aftermath: Firemen remove a coffin with one of 81 bodies found at a gas plant in Algeria where an al Qaeda-linked group launched an attack.

Aftermath: Firemen remove a coffin with one of 81 bodies found at a gas plant in Algeria where an al Qaeda-linked group launched an attack.

By John Bolton

The US and Western response to date has been disjointed and with decidedly mixed results. If President Obama doesn’t soon jettison his ideological blinders about the threat of international terrorism, we could see a series of further attacks — not unlike the 1990s series that culminated in the 9/11 strikes.

Obama has attempted verbally and politically to narrowly define the terrorist threat in order to declare victory. In his acceptance speech, for example, he said: “I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have.” By continually restricting and narrowing “terrorism” to al Qaeda in Waziristan (thereby excluding the Taliban, al Qaeda components elsewhere and in fact nearly everyone except bin Laden’s own cadre), the administration hoped to reach the point where it could proclaim the war on terror finished.

Yet events in Libya, Mali and now Algeria have shredded that budding myth, at a tragic cost in human life.

By demanding the release of terrorists imprisoned in America in exchange for their hostages, the Algerian marauders in particular demonstrated that we are still top of mind in the terrorist world.

In Libya, Obama walked away after Moammar Khadafy’s overthrow. Terrorists took root, leading to the Benghazi tragedy. Meanwhile, Khadafy’s mercenaries fled, carving out a sanctuary in Mali that radicals from around the world could use as a safe haven. And in Algeria, where the military fought a bloody civil war 20 years ago against Islamicists, the embers flared again.

One terrorist attack didn’t cause another, but the correlation of forces underlying these mortal threats now stands unambiguously exposed. Khadafy’s overthrow, touted by Obama’s White House as vindication of its Middle East policies, has simply exposed the reality that the terrorist threat had metastasized well beyond bin Laden. Killing him and al Qaeda leaders in Waziristan hasn’t reduced threats that now grow daily: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb; Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in Iraq — the list of thriving franchises continues to grow.

And when the Taliban recapture power in Afghanistan, as Obama’s policies are almost surely guaranteeing, we can count on al Qaeda re-emerging there as well.

Read more at The New York Post

John R. Bolton is a former US ambassador to the United Nations.

Algeria: Obama’s Chickens Come Home to Roost

OBAMA-articleLarge-450x326By Robert Spencer

Jeremiah Wright was right after all. The Algeria jihad attack proves it.

Not long after the 9/11 jihad attacks, Barack Obama’s mentor and friend, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, preached a sermon in which he uttered the now-notorious words: “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Wright meant, of course, that the U.S. had brought the attack upon itself by its own acts of violence against others: “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye… and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards.”

In a certain sense Wright was right: the U.S. did bring 9/11 on itself – but not in the way that he thought. The jihadists who destroyed the Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon had not been brooding about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and no action by the U.S. did or could have justified the mass murder those jihadists perpetrated. If it could be truly said that the U.S. brought 9/11 on itself in any way, it was only by failing to recognize the implications of and to confront the ideology behind the jihad attacks that immediately preceded it.

There was an abundance of indicators of what was coming. In December 1988, an Islamic jihadist murdered 259 people, including 189 Americans, by bringing down Pam Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. In February 1993, Islamic jihadists murdered six people and wounded over a thousand in their first attempt to bring down the World Trade Center towers. In June 1996, Islamic jihadists murdered nineteen people and wounded 515, including 240 Americans, in a bombing at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. In August 1998, Islamic jihadists bombed the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, murdering 291, including 12 Americans, in Nairobi, and murdering ten more and wounding 77 in Dar es Salaam. In October 2000, Islamic jihadists bombed the USS Cole in port at Aden, Yemen, murdering seventeen sailors and wounding 39.

In response to all this, the U.S. lobbed a few cruise missiles into Afghanistan and took out a chemical weapons factory (or aspirin factory, depending on one’s source) in Sudan, and did little more. No serious attempt was made to come to grips with the full nature and magnitude of the ideology that inspired those jihad attacks, and to work to neutralize its violent potential. And so it would have been more surprising if the 9/11 attacks hadn’t happened than that they did.

So it is today. Barack Obama has overseen the installation of Sharia regimes in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. While paying lip service to the importance of distinguishing jihadists from genuine democratic forces in Syria and elsewhere, the Obama administration has offered no criteria for doing this. And now al-Qaeda jihadists in Algeria have carried out a brazen assault on BP’s natural gas plant in that country, killing at least eighty-one people and demonstrating anew the falsehood of Barack Obama’s recent claim that in Afghanistan “we achieved our central goal … or have come very close to achieving our central goal, which is to de-capacitate al-Qaeda, to dismantle them, to make sure that they can’t attack us again.”

Read more at Front Page

Why terrorists love the blind sheikh

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman

By Andrew McCarthy

An ugly and confusing terrorist attack at an Algerian gas facility is getting  even more troubling as the Islamic radicals now demand the release of Sheikh  Omar Abdel Rahman and another prominent terrorist in exchange for the remaining  American hostages.

Abdel Rahman is the blind sheikh now serving a life sentence for  masterminding the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center. Terrorists are  also demanding the release of Aafia Saddiqui, who is imprisoned on her  conviction for attempted murder.

And the captors in Algeria are not the only ones who want to see Abdel Rahman  released. The new leaders in Egypt are also urging the U.S. to free him. But why  is Abdel Rahman so revered?

“He is the most iconic symbol to Islamic supremacists the world over of not  only their struggle against the West but their deep-seeded conviction that they  will win that battle,” said Andrew C. McCarthy, the lead federal prosecutor in  the case that put Rahman and 11 others behind bars.

“He is thought of internationally as somebody who is virtually without equal  in facing down the United States in particular. That’s not just because of the  1993 Trade Center bombing and the plots that occurred right after that to try to  take out New York City landmarks but the fact that Osama bin Laden, someone else  that was thought very highly of as an iconic figure in the international jihad,  attributed to Abdel Rahman the credit for issuing the fatwa that approved the  9/11 attacks. So he’s a singular figure in this global movement and that’s why  really since we imprisoned him in the summer of 1993 they’ve been agitating for  his release.”

Despite the adoration that Islamic radicals have for Abdel Rahman, the  assumption of most is that the Obama administration will obviously reject the  demands. McCarthy told WND he isn’t so sure. He said the odd response from the  administration following Egyptian efforts to free Abdel Rahman leads him to  believe there is some chance this could happen down the road.

Read more at WND with audio

Bloody jihad: Obama fiddles, Americans burn

Algerian hostage deadBy Pamela Geller

The Algerian hostage crisis came to a bloody end Saturday when Special Forces stormed the BP gas complex after the jihadists executed their non-Muslim POWs. At least 81 people have been killed, including two Americans. They were holding more than 600, but they released all the Muslims, saying “they did not want to hurt Muslims. Some locals were forced to recite parts of the Koran to prove they were Muslims.”

The jihadists called their non-Muslim hostages “kuffar,” an ugly word meaning unbelievers. One Muslim hostage said: “Us Algerians were rounded up separately and were treated with kindness. We were told that because we were Muslim we would not be killed, and it was only the Christians they were after. The Algerian hostages were then allowed to leave. … I saw many Brits killed. One Westerner trying to give first aid was blown up by the terrorists.” At least five of the jihadis were employees of the BP plant – which means they were thought to be “moderates.”

Yet despite the American loss of life, the president has not spoken of it or taken any leadership action on this act of war. The American media are following his lead. Every major world leader whose people were kidnapped and/or killed was addressing his parliament, media and the people of their countries: This act of war was a major news story everywhere except in America. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron canceled a trip to address the House of Commons, where he called the jihadist attack on the BP gas field “brutal and savage” (there’s that word again), and said the assault on the complex was “large, well-coordinated and heavily armed.” Coordinated by whom? Al-Qaida jihadists.

Obama said recently: “We achieved our central goal, or have come very close to achieving our central goal, which is to de-capacitate al-Qaida, to dismantle them, to make sure that they can’t attack us again.” Yet while claiming that al-Qaida is being “de-capacitated,” he is supplying them. The Algerian jihadis had weapons from Libya – that means we supplied them. Obama has consistently supported jihadists in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Burma, et al. Just as this led to the murder of Americans in Libya, so it has now in Algeria. The attackers who stormed our consulate (or whatever that building really was) in Benghazi were part of al-Qaida. While he tells us al-Qaida is vanquished, their attacks become more lethal, widespread and brazen.

Read more at WND

Allen West Interviews Frank Gaffney on Mali/Africa Conflict – Obama and Bush Policies Faulted

In a preview of the new PJ Media Next Generation TV show Allen West is joined by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and John Phillips to discuss the situation in Mali and Algeria. Gaffney, although a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, faults both the Bush and Obama administration policies regarding Islamists, Sharia, and the more recent Arab Spring.

Go to Next Generation TV to see the interview

gaffney

American isolationism: Obama’s unfolding signature policy

Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya

Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya

Debka:

Whereas in his first term as president, Barack Obama opted for “leading from behind,” in international military operations, he enters his second term – even before being sworn in this week – by expanding this step-back precept into American isolationism proper – even when it comes to countering Islamist terrorism. debkafile’s analysts note that this stance was heralded in December 2012 by his abrupt order to the USS Eisenhower strike group and the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to withdraw from stations opposite Syria. Washington had already then decided to ignore the Syrian chemical war threat, and brush aside the report from the US consul in Istanbul that the Syrian ruler Bashad Assad had already fired chemical bombs against rebels. And so French military intervention in Mali on Jan. 12 and Al Qaeda’s massive attack on an international Algerian gas field four days later found the United States without a single carrier, landing vessel or marine force anywhere in the vicinity, to be available for aiding in the rescue of scores of Western hostages from ten countries, including the United States.

The USS John Stennis carrier is the only vessel left at a Middle East battle station. It is tied down at the Strait of Hormuz to secure the flow of Gulf oil to the West. It is therefore hardly surprising to find Pentagon and top US military experts leveling sharp criticism at the White House’s policy of non-intervention in the Mali conflict, where France is fighting alone, or in Algeria’s In Amenas gas field, where Algerian forces are battling a multinational al Qaeda assault and multiple hostage-taking raid for the third day. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday, Jan. 20 that the sharp debate between the Pentagon and White House is over the “danger posed by a mix of Islamist militant groups, some with murky ties to Al Qaeda that are creating havoc in West Africa” and whether they present enough of a risk to US allies and interests to warrant a military response.

Many of Obama’s top aides say “it is unclear whether the Mali insurgents, who include members of the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, threaten the US.” As to the question, “What threat do they pose to the US homeland? The answer so far has been none.”

Some top Pentagon officials and military officers warn that without more aggressive US action, Mali could become a haven for extremists, akin to Afghanistan before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

debkafile’s counterterrorism sources report that these assertions are misleading.

Whereas the US homeland may not be in immediate peril from the Mali and Algeria episodes, it is important to remember the far-reaching interconnectivity of al Qaeda’s operations. Seven years ago, the suicidal jihads who on July 7, blew up London trains and a bus, used explosives provided by the same Al Qaeda cells of Sahel Desert which are now threatening Mali and which struck the Algerian gas field.

No US official can guarantee that such explosives from the same source won’t be used in 2013 against American targets in Europe or be smuggled into the American homeland by al Qaeda cells in Europe. The Algerian gas field hostage siege was carried out after all by a multinational group that included Algerians, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, a Frenchman and a Malian.

It is true that Al Qaeda terrorists are engaged in vast smuggling rackets – especially of drugs and cigarettes – across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well arms trafficking through networks covering Egypt, Sinai, Arabia, the Gulf, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan – all of which are direct threats of US national security. But to write them off as criminals and smugglers is simplistic: “… some are diehard terrorists with more grandiose visions,” as Pentagon officials point out.

The way the Al Qaeda menace is being handled by Washington has a ripple effect in the wider context. Tehran and Damascus are avidly watching the Obama administration’s stand-aside stance on military involvement in external crises – even emergencies posed by the Al Qaeda terrorist threat encroaching on continental Europe and Africa and the Middle East up to and including the Persian Gulf. Washington should therefore not be surprised when its diplomatic efforts – overt and secret – to rein in Iran’s military nuclear ambitions run into the sand. The Iranians know they have nothing to fear from the Obama administration. The next surprise, our Middle East sources are now reporting, will come from Damascus where, according to a hint President Bashar Assad threw out this week to his intimates.

CNN links Obama’s disaster in Libya with the terrorist attack in Algeria:

 

Hagel funded group pushing talks with al-Qaida

imagesCAX0I76Dby Aaron Klein

TEL AVIV – Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel sits on the small board  of a peace fund that finances an international “crisis management” group that  long has petitioned the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military  activities against al-Qaida-linked jihadists, WND has learned.

The organization, the International Crisis Group, or ICG, called on Algeria  to grant legitimacy to the very al-Qaida-linked group reportedly behind the  kidnapping of about 40 foreign hostages, including several Americans, at a  natural-gas field in Algeria.

Two Americans escaped today unharmed as Algerian special forces launched a  rescue operation, according to the state news agency. At least six people were  killed, the Associated Press reported. Dozens more remained unaccounted for,  including Britons, French, Norwegians, Romanians, Malaysians, Japanese,  Algerians, at least one American and the captors.

ICG petitioned for the Islamist group to participate in the Algerian  government.

Hagel  serves on the board of The Ploughshares Fund, a George Soros-financed fund  that pushes for a nuclear-free world.

The Ploughshares Fund identifies itself as a “publicly supported foundation  that funds, organizes and innovates projects to realize a world free from the  threat of nuclear weapons.”

The fund calls itself “the largest grant-making foundation in the U.S.  focusing exclusively on peace and security issues.”

Since its founding in 1981 by San Francisco philanthropist and activist Sally  Lilienthal, Ploughshares says it has awarded many hundreds of grants “whose  aggregate value exceeded $60 million.”

The fund is in turn financed by a small number of foundations, including  Soros’ Open Society Institute, the Buffett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation  of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the  Rockefeller Foundation.

One of the groups funded by Ploughshares is ICG.

Soros himself funds ICG directly via his Open Society and also sits on ICG’s  executive committee which consists of eight members.

ICG long has petitioned for the reformation of the Algerian government and  for the inclusion of Islamist political parties, including two groups that seek  to turn Algeria into an Islamic state.

In a July 2004 ICG report obtained by WND, ICG calls on the Algerian  government to curb military action against al-Qaida-affiliated organizations,  particularly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, currently known as  Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is reportedly behind the hostage crisis  currently under way in Algeria.

The ICG report also called for Algeria to open talks with an armed Islamic  terrorist group known as Houmat Daawa Salafia, or HDS.

ICG names the two Islamic groups in its recommendations to the Algerian  government.

“Give top priority to ending the remaining armed movements, mainly the GSPC  and HDS, through a political, security, legal and diplomatic strategy,” states  the ICG report.

“Avoid excessive reliance on military means and do not allow these movements’ purported links to al-Qaida to rule out a negotiated end to their campaigns,” continued ICG’s recommendation to the Algerian government.

ICG has issued at least six other reports recommending Algeria transition to  a democracy that will allow the participation of the Islamic groups seeking to  create a Muslim caliphate.

After Algeria’s president, Bouteflika, won more than 80 percent of the vote  against Islamic opposition groups in 2004, Robert Malley, an ICG associate,  recommended, “Rather than exclude all his opponents from the policy making  process, he could empower them.”

ICG’s Malley was an adviser to Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.  He resigned after it was exposed he had communicated with Hamas. WND  reported Malley long had petitioned for dialogue with Hamas.

WND also reported ICG has  petitioned for the Egyptian government to normalize ties with the Muslim  Brotherhood.

Read more at WND

Algeria in Jihadi Flames

algeria-1_2454515b-450x334By

Emboldened by America’s projection of weakness abroad, Islamists apparently linked to al-Qaeda reportedly continue to hold about 40 foreign hostages including seven Americans seized Wednesday at a natural gas field in Algeria.

At press time, conflicting media reports had been emerging from the region. Some claimed that the hostages have been freed; others, that several hostages have been killed.

The mass kidnapping at a BP (formerly British Petroleum) gas site near the Libyan border, which may very well have been accomplished with U.S.-supplied weapons left over from the ouster of the late Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, seems to be a spillover from a failed French drive to remove Islamist militants from nearby Mali.

According to the Wall Street Journal, France’s target in Mali was Algeria-based Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, which has “claimed responsibility for the Algeria kidnappings, calling it retaliation.”

The northern portion of Mali is important to the Islamofascists because it is one of their recently acquired strongholds that serves as a showcase for the reimposition of Shariah law in the region. It is a beachhead for Islamist world revolution.

Al-Qaeda forces, working with Qaddafi’s former mercenaries, previously took over northern Mali, an area about the size of Texas. Africa, writes FrontPage Magazine’s Daniel Greenfield, is now “to Islamic Colonialism in the 21st Century what it was to European Colonialism in the 19th Century.”

The kidnapping episode also undercuts President Obama’s spurious claim that al-Qaeda is somehow on the run and virtually irrelevant thanks to his policies. During the past election cycle Obama bragged over and over that “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.” That path now seems to be long and winding.

Each passing day it becomes increasingly clear that the Obama administration, which spends much of its time apologizing for past U.S. policies, isn’t serious about combating Islamism. The fact that the administration itself is a hotbed of Islamist activity, according to various investigative reports, no doubt has something to do with it.

Read more at Front Page

 

Related articles

Did the US have enough indicators and warnings for Algeria?

arc-of-instability1

 

by

In the intelligence world, indicators and warnings are essential. They are key pieces of data expressing enough insight allowing an analyst to determine threats, proposed threat levels, and assist in forecasting. With the ongoing hostage situation still unfolding in Algeria (still ongoing as this is being written), it’s critical to question whether the US or our Western allies had enough indicators and warnings to caution citizens living and or working in Algeria.

In May, Homeland Security Today published a piece titled West Africa: Al Qaeda’s New Home. It revealed how Al Qaeda shifted its base from Afghanistan and Pakistan into West Africa—specifically Mali. There was enough information found within to allow any open source intelligence analyst to obtain what is known as “chatter.” That chatter could be observed as the first warning.

Then, in October, Homeland Security Today released another article title The Quint-Border Region: The World’s Most Under-Reported Terror Hot Spot. Within it, five key nations were identified in western Africa demonstrating unprecedented amounts of activities which have unfolded over the years via Al Qaeda linked terrorist groups. These incidents were sheer warnings.

The first week of December could arguably be construed as one of the biggest indicators demonstrating how austere the region has truly become. Online media outlet Magharebia divulged in an article title Belmokhtar breaksaway from AQIM. Anyone who ever worked intelligence knows when key leaders break away from a large terror group, they later form their own. And that’s exactly what Mokhtar Belmokhtar did.

Belmokhtar broke away from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magrheb and formed his own Islamist group called Al Muwaki un bi Al-Dima (Signatories of Blood). A video tape of the one eyed Islamist was created and delivered to at least one international media outlet explaining his intent.

Belmokhtar is no small fish in the Islamic terror world. He is a highly skilled and trained fighter who quickly moved up the ranks in Al Qaeda after fulfilling his mission in Afghanistan back in 1991. He eventually returned to Algeria where he was born and later assisted in a horrifically violent coup of Mali’s government.

Only a few weeks after Magharebia posted their news about Belmokhtar’s split from AQIM, the Jamestown Foundation released a very well written report on the situation in West Africa, specifically revealing Belmokhtar’s future endeavors.

With this information, why did the United States State Department’s Office of Securityand Cooperation release just two travel warnings for Algeria in 2012? Worse, why were they created in May and September having nothing more recent knowing the entire West African region was imploding?

Yes, these two travel warnings could have also sparked interest for an intelligence analyst to create something more suitable for the Western free world, specifically Americans living and working in the region.

The truth is, America and our western allies knew how volatile the entire west African region had become. Yet for some reason, similar to Benghazi, they sat on the back of their heels proving to be inept protectors of their citizens.

Now, as the tragedy in Algeria continues to unfold, reports have revealed at least 35 hostages and 15 terrorists were killed in Algerian military led airstrikes. This reporting remains extremely vague and maintains limited details.  As mentioned last night on Canadian Television News, this tragedy would end in bloodshed.

Kerry Patton, a combat disabled Veteran is author of Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors.