“Don’t Let the AUMF Fulfill the Islamic State’s End Times Prophecy”

2240479620CSP, by Clare Lopez, Feb. 15, 2015:

If it seems that Islamic State (IS) atrocities are descending to ever-more horrific levels of barbarity, then the message is getting through as intended. As Congress begins to consider the President’s proposed new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), it would be well to understand just how desperately IS has been trying to lure Western ground forces into the land of Al-Sham. The amputations, beheadings, crucifixions, immolations, and sex slavery – perpetrated in meticulous emulation of the Life of Muhammad and obedience to Islamic Law (shariah) – were from the beginning carefully calculated to ‘strike terror into the hearts of the enemy’ (Q 8:12, 8:60), while also eliciting an emotional reaction that would drive the U.S. recklessly to send its military back to the region’s battlefields.

The name of the place matters: it’s not ‘the Levant.’ It’s al-Sham, which means Greater Syria, an historical and geographical term that includes the entire southeastern littoral of the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Egypt and inland as far as Jordan and Iraq. The Arabic abbreviation for Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is Da’esh – which, letter for letter, stands for the same words that ISIS does. But more to the point is what IS calls its slick, full-color, English language, online magazine: DABIQ. Dabiq is the name of a town in northern Syria (north of Aleppo) that figures prominently in a Sunni hadith (a saying attributed to Muhammad) that foretells the End Times. According to that hadith, the Day of Judgment for the Muslim believers will not arrive until an army from the West, sometimes called ‘Romans’ or ‘Byzantines’ or ‘Crusaders,’ will land at Dabiq and be met and defeated in battle by the Muslim forces. See Dabiq Issue 3 for the IS strategy in its own words.

Alastair Crooke has an excellent 13 February piece at Huffington Post entitled “Is Jordan Facilitating IS’ Grand Strategy?” in which he explains all this, but then takes it one step further, to consider how the deliberate destabilization of Jordan (triggered by the early 2015 immolation murder of its pilot) could be intended to bring IS that much closer to Israel. I would suggest additionally that potentially regime-threatening chaos in Jordan (home of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the forerunner of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) could open a backdoor route, not just to Israel, but to Sinai (base of operations for IS affiliate Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) and also to Saudi Arabia – which, for all the sophistication of its top-of-the-line arsenal, does not field the most disciplined or motivated military force in the region. Apart from Israel, that distinction would go to IS at the moment, against which Bashar al-Assad’s formidable army, bolstered by significant resources from Iran and Hizballah, has been able to hang onto barely one-third of what used to be called Syria.

And so to the AUMF. It misrepresents the Islamic State, for some odd reason calling it “ISIL,” and seemingly oblivious to developments of the past eight months, appears to have missed the fact that ISIS long time since became IS, and then, in late June 2014, was declared a Caliphate. The question must be asked whether an AUMF against “ISIL” includes the use of military force against the Caliphate, if and when IS expands operations westward into Jordan or southward into Saudi Arabia. Would the explicitly worded AUMF that authorizes U.S. military action only in Iraq and Syria (neither of which actually exists anymore) have to be rejected to consider a new AUMF for operations in those two additional countries? What about IS ‘franchise’ operations in Libya or the Sinai or its reported presence in Yemen?

The problem with the president’s proposed AUMF language is not that it declares war against IS, but that it places such tight limits on what the U.S. response is to be against the Global Jihad Movement. Of course, ever since the 2011-2012 Muslim Brotherhood-supervised language and curriculum purge in the U.S. government, neither the White House nor Pentagon would describe the enemy in such terms, but that’s in fact what we face. And it’s why the Center for Security Policy (CSP) issued the comprehensive Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement and then followed that with a Defeat Jihad Summit that define the enemy as all who fight or support jihad to impose Islamic Law (shariah) and propose a comprehensive all-of-government strategy to defeat that enemy.

The CSP plan does not cringe from confronting the enemy threat doctrine, which is shariah. Rather, the CSP strategy understands that the jihadist enemy’s ultimate objective is not merely to rampage, slaughter, and terrify, but to use such tactics in order to impose and enforce shariah worldwide. That is why IS is so determined to erase nation state borders, drawn a century ago by colonial powers. IS seeks above all to destroy the Westphalian nation state system and replace it with the shariah rule of an ever-expanding Caliphate. Savage attacks against police and military in Canada; a chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia; an irreverent newspaper in Paris; police in Copenhagen; and Jews everywhere, from Brussels to Paris to Copenhagen and Jerusalem are not random, Mr. President. This is the strategy of Islamic terror, of jihad.

An AUMF that does not forthrightly identify the enemy as the Global Jihad Movement and all who support it has no chance of defeating IS or any Islamic terror group. A national security strategy that is more concerned with climate change than jihad is absurd and useless. And a commander-in-chief who cannot or will not lead America in defense of liberty must be challenged – by Congress as it meets to consider a new AUMF and by We, The People, whose liberty is every bit as much in peril as that of the citizens’ of Copenhagen, Denmark tonight.

EXPERT: FBI ‘NEUTERED’ BY MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

muslim-brotherhood-white-houseWND, by F. MICHAEL MALOOF, Feb. 9, 2015:

WASHINGTON – A veteran national-security specialist disputes FBI Director James Comey’s contention that restrictions on information-gathering are the main hindrance to uncovering ISIS conspiracies in the U.S.

Clare Lopez, who served in the CIA for 20 years and is senior vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said the problem isn’t with working-level FBI agents, who know the jihadi threat is “nurtured” in mosques. The hindrance is from “higher-level” FBI management and the national security leadership, she insisted.

She said the FBI for too long has allowed itself “to be influenced by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates whose objective is to neuter U.S. national security defenses.”

Lopez was responding to Comey’s recent comment that restrictions on information-gathering stemming from intelligence leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have created barriers for law enforcement and the intelligence community.

Comey made the comment as he revealed the FBI has opened cases in 49 U.S. states of people suspected of having ties to ISIS.

Lopez said that when someone such as Michael Steinbach, an assistant director for the FBI Counterterrorism Division, publicly complains that he cannot fathom the recruitment appeal of ISIS or understand why parents in the U.S. encourage their children to join ISIS, “then, America, we have a problem.”

“That means the FBI’s top [counter-terrorism] official has no idea how to identify and stop that ISIS recruitment process before more young Muslims answer the call to jihad,” Lopez said.

She noted, however, that Steinbach was one of the FBI’s key figures in the “Great Purge” of 2011-2012 when, “at the urging of its Muslim Brotherhood advisers, the FBI literally purged hundreds of pages of training curriculum that used to educate agents about how Islamic doctrine, law and scripture inspire Islamic terrorism.”

The FBI, she said, “banished the instructors whose knowledge of these things was deemed so threatening by the Brotherhood.”

Lopez said the move was an illustration of the Muslim Brotherhood strategy – outlined in a document entered into evidence in a terrorism trial – to destroy the Western civilization from within, by their hands.”

That means, Lopez said, “We’re going to be induced to destroy ourselves.”

Lopez also referred to a document published by a combined team of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the FBI on how to make mosques off-limits to law enforcement.

She pointed out that Islam’s founder, Muhammad, had established mosques with “command and control centers” for the Muslim community’s earliest jihad wars.

Despite that history, she said U.S. troops nonetheless “were shocked” when they were first fired upon from within mosques and when they entered mosques in Iraq and Afghanistan and discovered weapons caches.

Similar concern over the potential of violence emanating from mosques in the U.S. was outlined in a Middle East Quarterly article. It raised concerns regarding the extent American Muslims, native-born a well as naturalized, are being radicalized by Islamists.

The article showed how modern jihadists legitimize their violent actions by relying on the same textual works as their nonviolent Salafist counterparts.

Lopez said the 2011 study of mosques in the U.S. found that some 80 percent promote jihad violence and that the more Shariah-compliant the mosque is, the more likely it will be to promote jihad.

“And you’re still wondering if the FBI is going to be aggressive in infiltrating mosques and Islamic centers?” Lopez asked.

“Unless our law enforcement professionals are permitted to understand the indicators and warnings that signal development of an Islamic jihad threat, in advance,” she said, “the FBI will be desperately scrambling to keep up with an ever-expanding pool of potential jihad recruits.”

She identified the threats as passport-carrying American citizens, immigrants with residence status, or documented refugees, some of whom have returned from ISIS battlefields in Iraq and Syria.

She pointed out that al-Qaida and ISIS have issued calls for individual jihad, meaning Islamic terror at home and unconnected in any formal way to a group on the Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.

She said law enforcement officials need to understand how Muslims can become radicalized without ever joining al-Qaida, ISIS or any other group on the FTO list.

“How can the FBI or any national security agency even begin to understand this process when they are forbidden even to use the words ‘Islamic terror’ or ‘jihad?’” she asked.

She referred to many examples of individual jihadists who were not associated with any organizations or groups on the FTO list but undertook serious violent actions in the name of jihad.

The examples of individual jihadists include Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 service personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009; Carlos Bledsoe, who in June 2009 murdered Amy Long at the Little Rock, Arkansas, Army recruitment center; and the Tsarnaev brothers, who learned how to make pressure cooker bombs by reading al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine and then exploded two at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

“The common identifier for these individual jihadists was their deep Islamic faith and decision to answer the call to jihad,” she said. “The other common marker was that law enforcement had no clue these Muslims were on a pathway to violent jihad, despite all the associations, all the indicators and all the warnings.

“So yes, there will certainly be more individual jihad attacks, and it is likely they will choose soft targets, as they did in Paris and Brussels and Sydney,” Lopez said.

“And without the official knowledge or training or authority to identify and stop such jihadis in advance, our front line of homeland defense increasingly becomes ourselves.”

‘Defeat Jihad Summit’ Challenges Islamic Supremacism – And The Obama ‘Strategy’and A.U.M.F. That Disregard It

33480681301Center for Security Policy, Feb. 11, 2015:

(Washington, D.C.): Today, an extraordinary gathering of freedom-fighters in what might best be described as the War for the Free World convened in Washington, D.C. Their purpose was to anticipate and rebut the thesis of President Obama’s “Countering Violent Extremism Summit” next week – namely, that the United States faces hostile forces whose identity, motivations and capabilities are defined by an opaque euphemism: violent extremism.

The “Defeat Jihad Summit” was sponsored by the Center for Security Policy and brought together present and former, domestic and foreign political leaders, senior military officers, national security professionals and other experts on Islamic supremacism and its guiding doctrine, shariah. Among the noteworthy participants in this roundtable discussion were:

  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
  • former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey
  • former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  • S. Senator Ted Cruz
  • Representative Steven King
  • Representative Mike Pompeo
  • Representative Scott Perry
  • Admiral James “Ace” Lyons (U.S. Navy, Ret.)
  • Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin (U.S. Army, Ret.)
  • Leading 9/11 family member Deborah Burlingame
  • Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders
  • Danish free speech advocate Lars Hedegaard
  • Britain’s Lord Malcolm Pearson
  • Israeli Amb. Yoram Ettinger
  • former Muslim Nonie Darwish
  • Muslim reformer Dr. Zuhdi Jasser
  • Australian pastor Mark Durie

Highlights of the Summit included:

  • A discussion of the nature of our jihadist enemies and the mainstream – not extremist –character of their inspiration: the politico-military-legal shariah doctrine derived from the sacred texts, institutions and authorities of Islam. There was widespread agreement that we mustunderstand and be able to name our foes, not pretend that they and their motivations are unknowable.
  • The global jihad takes various forms including: the violent kind; civilization (or cultural, stealthy and subversive) jihad; institutional jihad (employing entities like the multinational Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations under the OIC’s influence); individual jihad (its perpetrators are mistakenly being described as “lone wolves”); and material support (which, under shariah, is prized as highly as the service of those who take up the sword).
  • America urgently needs a strategy for countering all such jihadist endeavors – one that brings to bear all instruments of national power to achieve a decisive correlation of forces and our victory. We face a truly existential threat from the global jihad movement, as do other nations of the Free World now under assault for sharing our values and love of liberty.
  • The  unveiled last Friday by President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and the draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force being proposed by the administration are wholly inadequate. The former compounds the inadequacies of the President’s “lead-from-behind” approach with an even more passive one: “strategic patience”; the latter appears calculated to fail and to embolden, rather than defeat, the Islamic State or any other foe.

The Center for Security Policy’s President, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., moderated the nearly six-hour summit. Afterwards, he commented:

The participants in the Defeat Jihad Summit have rendered a real public service. Their insights, analyses and recommendations concerning the threat from shariah-adherent Muslims and the need to empower and join forces with others in the Muslim community who eschew that brutally repressive ideology create the basis for a far more sound, effective and durable national security strategy.

We at the Center for Security Policy look forward to working with them and all those benefitting from the livestreaming and other products that will disseminate the fruits of this summit, far and wide.

To view videos of the summit’s presentations, go to www.SecureFreedom.org. For more information about the Summit, contact Samantha Nevore at sam@anelisgroup.com or 703.504.8856.

The event was live streamed from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The event in its entirety is embedded below. Video highlights to follow shortly:

Murder of Pilot Sparks Tough, New Question

jordanian-pilotWND, By F. Michael Maloof, Feb. 5, 2015:

WASHINGTON – The gruesome murder of captured Jordanian F-16 pilot Lt. Muath al-Kasabeh by ISIS may have strengthened the resolve of the Jordanian government to launch all-out assaults against the jihadist army as members of the U.S.-led coalition.

But it also could have a boomerang effect as Jordanians question why their country should further engage ISIS, according to Middle East sources.

Meanwhile, the killing also has raised concerns that members of the coalition – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates – will be emboldened to launch more attacks against ISIS targets in Syria, where their interest has been primarily on overthrowing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, sources add.

One indication of that concern is that following the capture of the pilot in December, the United Arab Emirates suspended its air operations over Syria as a part of the coalition bombing ISIS targets in Syria.

U.S. officials have confirmed to WND that the UAE has halted its participation because there was no contingency plan to rescue downed aircrew.

One Middle East source told WND that when Kasabeh was downed by ISIS last December, the leader of the squadron of F-16s was Maj. Mariam al-Mansouri, the first UAE female fighter pilot. Reports confirm she was in the squadron, but WND could not independently confirm she was the leader.

Whether the killing of the Jordanian pilot will mean an Arab commitment of boots on the ground by these Arab countries also was questionable as Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh said the reaction would not be ground troops but a greater commitment to assist the Syrian Kurds and Iraqi Peshmerga Kurds.

However, there were unconfirmed reports out of Jordan Tuesday night that Jordan could send troops to Syria to fight ISIS.

‘Wave of anger and frustration’

Despite the Jordanian government’s hanging of two convicted al-Qaida prisoners and the pledge of an “earth-shaking” response, there is concern that the pilot’s killing actually may increase popular opposition to the coalition efforts against ISIS.

“I think it will be business as usual,” Jeb Babbin, a former under secretary of defense, told Fox News, referring to Arab countries’ reaction to the killing of the Jordanian pilot.

Clare Lopez a former CIA operations officer and current Middle East expert at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, told WND that ISIS “is trying to create chaos to invade Jordan.”

“ISIS has supporters in south of Jordan, (in the) north and (in) Palestinian camps; (and) on more than one occasion demonstrators challenged the regime and declared Amman is the Fallujah (Iraq) of Jordan,” Lopez said. “Palestinians in camps across Jordan are supporters of ISIS. ISIS is desperate for a sea port. A port of Aqaba will give them access to the Red Sea.”

Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim, Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, believes that more “moderate” Muslims ultimately will prevail in the fight against ISIS.

“The burning of the pilot,” Ibrahim said, “will continue to create a “rift among Muslims — from the many who cannot tolerate such acts, cannot tolerate the idea that their religion condones such atrocities, to those who are willing to accept reality, willing to accept that Islamic texts and history are littered with such barbaric behavior — beginning with the prophet of Islam.”

Ibrahim said it’s “interesting to watch the debates now a days between Muslims — the ‘moderates’ are becoming much more vocal and courageous, which does not necessarily translate into anything concrete, but is a start,.”

“The Islamic State has really driven home the true nature of debate — that is, what is Islam and what does it teach, and it’s making many Muslims uncomfortable having to deal with these questions which for long have been ignored but … with every day ISIS brings them to the fore,” Ibrahim said.

“And yes, while once cannot really account for what U.S. leadership will do, I do believe that these continuing atrocities will drive the governments of various Arab countries to work closer together.”

Middle East expert Osama al-Sharif said that the killing of the Jordanian pilot will trigger “a wave of anger and frustration” that could spark a political crisis for Jordanian King Abdullah II. The king cut short a visit with President Obama Tuesday to return to Jordan after ISIS released a 22-minute video purportedly showing the pilot being burned alive.

“It will strengthen the position of those who believe Jordan should withdraw from the fight against ISIS,” Sharif said.

Before knowing the fate of the pilot, his father, who comes from a prominent Jordanian tribe, had told CNN Arabic that the king “had no business with the coalition, and those who had sent my son to fight beyond Jordan’s border must now bring him back.”

Even before the pilot’s capture, Abdullah was under fire internally from the country’s Palestinian population, the Muslim Brotherhood and a growing number of ISIS backers.

Islamist opposition groups had voiced opposition to joining the anti-ISIS coalition when it was first announced.

As Sharif pointed out, Abdullah defended his position and insisted that the war against ISIS was “our war.” This was especially apparent when ISIS fighters moved up to the Jordanian border last year, in Iraq’s Sunni Anbar province, where they have remained.

An ISIS invasion of Jordan could jeopardize a critical buffer against ISIS access to the rest of the Levant.

As WND recently reported, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has designated Jordan as the next target of his caliphate. The government was split over joining the anti-ISIS coalition, however. The internal dissension comes from growing support for ISIS from a myriad of jihadist groups and the country’s poor economic conditions.

At the time, Jordanians were seen on videos burning their passports. ISIS even threatened to “slaughter” the king after invading Jordan.

“It is ISIS’ objective to destabilize its neighbors,” according to syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, an expert on the Middle East.

“Jordan is a miracle in the region. It has the most stable regime, yet it’s the weakest, it has no oil and yet since – for the last 70 years it has had only three rulers, but it has huge divisions internally; it’s got a lot of Muslim Brotherhood, it has some ISIS sympathizers, and I think the objective here was to draw Jordan into a war where it was a peripheral player,” Krauthammer said.

“This highlights, I think, the danger we all worship at the shrine of multilateralism, broad coalitions to bring everybody in as a way to restrict American action. Obama’s now involving the UAE, the Saudis and of course the Jordanians and now we see the result.

Krauthammer said Jordan “being drawn into a direct war with ISIS is not a good thing” for the U.S.

“Jordan will not defeat ISIS on its own. It even wouldn’t defeat ISIS even if it had some coalition partners,” he said.

“It’s the United States essentially which is – or Turkey, perhaps – the only partners,” he said. “So, here we are bringing in Jordan for symbolic reasons. Yet, a real pilot is shot down in real time and then executed in this horrible way, causing a reaction in Jordan where the king is now on the spot.

Krauthammer said Abdullah “will have to do something intense, important, punishing and that will draw him in.”

“And he’s got – he’s got refugees from of course Palestine but of course Syria, Iraq. He’s got a lot of internal dissent which we have seen over the years, and this is a way to stir the cauldron in a country that is stable, was stable, but is easily destabilized, and that is what ISIS is after.”

Underscoring the internal dissension and the increasing support for ISIS, the founder of the forerunner to ISIS – Al-Qaida in Iraq – was founded by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. A deputy to Zarqawi was Baghdadi, who would go on to create the Islamic State of Iraq, which then morphed into the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, and then the Islamic State, once he had taken over portions of Syria and Iraq to create the caliphate.

“ISIS sympathizers feel injustice and anger at America and Israel and always felt that Islam was under attack by crusaders,” Murin Khoury, a leading Jordanian pollster, recently told the Guardian newspaper of London. “And now they don’t agree with Jordan being involved in the coalition.”

The killing of the Jordanian pilot, however, also is seen as a means to polarize Jordanian society, especially among the tribes, which Sharif says are often considered the backbone of the support for Abdullah’s government.

ISIS, he said, is conducting psychological war against Jordan.

Also see:

Iran Truth Squad Briefing

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Center For Security Policy, Jan. 28, 2015

Streaming Live 1:30 pm est Wed Jan 28th US Capitol Building Washington, DC

President Obama, in his January 20th State of the Union address, stated: “…for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.”

This assertion is false. Iran continues to pursue its nuclear program unabated, constituting a paramount national security threat to the United States and its allies. The Center for Security Policy will hold a panel discussion on the true state of the Iranian threat, and what Congress must do to prevent Tehran’s realization of its nuclear ambitions.

WHO:

  • Dr. Andrew Bostom, Author, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran
  • Clare Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis, Center for Security Policy; former CIA operations officer
  • Fred Fleitz, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy; former Senior Professional Staff Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; former Chief of Staff to then-Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton; former CIA analyst

With remarks by:

  • Rep. Trent Franks (Arizona, 8th District) (invited), Member, House Armed Services Committee; Chairman, House EMP Caucus

Brian Lilley & Clare Lopez – ISIS in the West

Published on Dec 30, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy discusses the jihadi problem within the West.

Clare Lopez at ‘A Discussion on the Iranian Nuclear Threat’

Published on Nov 25, 2014 by emetonline

On Monday, November 24, 2014, EMET was proud to host Dr. Michael Ledeen, Manda Zand Ervin, and Clare Lopez on Capitol Hill to discuss the failed nuclear deal talks and the continued threat of a nuclear Iran.

 

Also see:

A rose-colored glasses vision of a ‘new Iran’

Expecting Tehran to surrender its nuclear ambitions is wishful thinking

- – Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The British Economist magazine gave its Nov. 1-7 cover story over to a lengthy puff piece on Iran, just in time for the U.S. congressional elections — or more likely, aimed at the looming Nov. 24 deadline for the current round of the endless “P5 + 1″ talks on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.

“The revolution is over,” The Economist bleated: The new, younger Iranian generation, all born well after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution, aren’t religious, don’t go to the mosque and care a lot more about the Internet, getting ahead materially, and getting their hands on cutting-edge technology than Islam. Besides, according to Jack Straw, a former British foreign minister cited for the report, “Tehran looks and feels these days more like Madrid and Athens than Mumbai or Cairo.” (Given the burgeoning Muslim populations in European capitals, he may have a point.) The Green Movement is so five years ago, and Election Day marked 35 years since the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran.

Yes, some people got beaten up or arrested, tortured even, after those fraudulent 2009 presidential elections, but things have settled down a lot since then, says The Economist. The Qods Force is just “a special-operations unit” that “fights on Iran’s behalf outside the country” — nothing to do with exporting the revolution, liaison with Islamic terror groups such as al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic State or the Taliban, or managing narcotrafficking operations in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Americas.

Besides, the Iranians’ new president, Hassan Rouhani, is a “centrist” and “the face of moderation” in Iran today. Aside from the more than 900 executions in Iran since he became president in 2013, the important thing is that he’s been reaching out to the neighbors, you know: helping prop up Iranian puppets in Iraq and Syria, making sure Hamas doesn’t run out of missiles to lob at Israel, and reassuring internationally wanted war criminal, Sudanese President Omar Bashir, that charges of genocide are no impediment to good bilateral relations. As we should all realize by now, “Iran is a bastion of stability.” (Where did we hear that phrase before? Oh, yes, that was President Carter, when he called Iran “an island of stability” — in 1978, right before the revolution broke out.)

All of which is to say that everybody should just calm down, forget they ever read the Iranian Constitution (which cites the Koranic command to terrorism and dedicates the country to global jihad), and give the mullahs and their revolutionary goons a chance. A chance to reach an agreement in the nuclear negotiations, by the deadline, please. After all, Iran “says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.” Yes, Iranian negotiators have been stonewalling the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for years on a commitment to come clean about its past nuclear activities with possible military applications.

This time, though, Iran promises it’s dealing in good faith. After all, it’s so much “more mature and modern” now that the rest of the world should really just forget about how it built its nuclear-weapons facilities in secret for years, buried them deep underground, refused IAEA inspections, got caught with the blueprints for a nuclear warhead, tested warhead explosives devices, and built intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland by 2015.

Just sign the agreement, quickly, so Iran can get busy installing all those brand-new, better, faster centrifuges, spinning up ever-increasing amounts of enriched uranium, and putting the finishing touches on its heavy-water reactor at Arak (for a parallel plutonium route to the bomb).

Where on earth did The Economist get this sunshine and lollipops vision of a “new Iran”?

It will come as no surprise to Iran watchers that the list of those The Economist acknowledges for “sharing their knowledge and insights” reads like a membership roster for the Iran lobby in America: National Iranian American Council stalwarts Afshin Molavi and Trita Parsi are there, and so are regime cheerleaders Suzanne Maloney, Vali Nasr and Karim Sadjadpour. A little more difficult to understand is a set of senior scholars from the Washington Institute of Near East Affairs who ought to know better, including Patrick Clawson, Mehdi Khalaji, Dennis Ross and Robert Satloff.

Doves of peace bursting from a shattered portrait of the Ayatollah Khomeini on The Economist magazine cover notwithstanding, the nuclear deal that appears to be on the table between the P5 + 1 and Iran is a bad one, dangerous to international stability, an existential threat to Israel, and a deadly threat to U.S. national security as well (especially if Iran is working on a miniaturized version of a nuclear warhead that could deliver an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, to the unprotected U.S. electric grid.)

Congress, new members and old alike, and the American people must oppose this deal and any deal that the Obama White House and John F. Kerry’s State Department propose to sign with Iran, unless it guarantees that the Iranian nuclear-weapons program and ICBM delivery system will be shut down permanently.

Clare M. Lopez is the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

“Call it Jihad: ‘Terrorism’ Just Doesn’t Define This Threat”

2423016604CSP, By Clare Lopez, Oct. 28, 2014:

2014’s spate of Islamic terror attacks against Western targets leaves observers grasping for words to describe what’s happening. President Obama doesn’t want to deal with it at all, so after a Muslim convert beheaded a woman in Oklahoma, he thought it appropriate to send the beheader’s mosque (the Islamic Center of Greater Oklahoma City) warm greetings about “shared peace” and “a sense of justice.” (The occasion was the Muslim feast of Eid Ul-Adh, but the timing was awful.) U.S. national security agencies are no help either—under the tutelage of the Muslim Brotherhood, they were purged long ago of any vocabulary useful for dealing with jihad. “Lone wolf” gets a lot of play with the media, but as Michael Ledeen, Andrew McCarthy, and Patrick Poole (here, here, and here) have all pointed out, there’s nothing ‘lone’ about Muslim warriors, self-selected or otherwise, engaging in fard ‘ayn (individual jihad) in obedience to the doctrine of their shared faith.

Nor are these attacks simply “terrorism” in any way that is uniquely descriptive. As Ledeen noted, the Unabomber was a domestic terrorist. The FBI calls the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) terrorist. The Black Liberation Army was accused of murdering more than a dozen police officers in its day. But none of these operates today in obedience to a 1400-year-old ideology that claims a divine commandment to conquer the earth. Nor is any of these other ‘domestic terrorists’ the 21st century embodiment of a force that already has overrun many powerful civilizations, including the Buddhist, Byzantine, Middle East Christian, Hindu, and Persian ones.

It’s time to call this what it is: Jihad.

Jihad is a unique descriptor: it is motivated solely by one ideology—an Islamic one. It encompasses any and all tactics of war, be they the kinetic violence of terrorism, the stealthy influence operations of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian intelligence agencies, or funding, speaking, teaching, and writing. Importantly, the term ‘jihad’ is the one used by its own practitioners—the clerics, scholars, and warriors of Islam. Arguably the most valid qualification of all is that Islamic Law (shariah) defines jihad as “warfare to spread the religion [Islam].” Warfare encompasses many things, though, and not all of them are violent.

Katharine Gorka, President of The Council on Global Security, has an astute new essay entitled “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy” in which she skewers the Obama administration’s misguided policy it calls “Countering Violent Extremism.” She explains how America’s counter-terrorism ‘experts’ have tried haplessly to apply Social Movement Theory to what actually is a totalitarian ideology cloaked loosely in a handful of religious practices. A decade or more of attempting to apply the language of grievance, poverty, and unemployment laid at the door of Western colonialism or secular modernity has achieved little but the neutering of America’s national security defenses. Yet, even this dead-on analysis doesn’t quite get us where we need to be.

Just as Obama’s bland “violent extremism,” deliberately devoid of meaning identifies neither the enemy nor the ideology that animates him, so in its way, ‘terrorism” likewise falls short. For if “terrorist” can and does mean anyone from a nut job like Ted Kaczynsky to assorted tree huggers, neo-Nazi skinheads, as well as Islamic warriors committing atrocities in the name of Allah, then its scope is just too broad to define precisely the paramount threat to global stability in the 21stcentury: jihad.

The magnitude of the jihad threat demands its own category. Neither Kaczynsky nor animal and environmental activists nor neo-Nazis could threaten the very existence of our Republic. Certain 20th century totalitarian ideologies arguably did, though, and that’s why the U.S. marshaled every resource at its disposal to fight them to defeat. Islamic totalitarianism is such an ideology, albeit one that has survived cyclical periods of defeat and resurgence for many centuries. We constrain ourselves both conceptually and legally, however, when the only way to label an act of violence ‘terrorism’ is when it is carried out against civilians for a political purpose and the perpetrator(s) can be tied to a designated terrorist organization, with no consideration for the ideology that so many of them—and others not on such lists—share.

Islamic terror attacks of recent decades typically involved identifiable Islamic terror groups such as al-Qa’eda, Ansar al-Shariah, HAMAS, Hizballah, and the PLO, but were often funded and supported by jihadist nation states such as Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. As Katharine Gorka described in her white paper, though, the Obama administration’s willfully amorphous term, “violent extremism,” ensured that no enemy threat doctrine called ‘jihad’ that unifies these diverse yet similarly-motivated actors and that actually may threaten the Republic, was ever permitted to be articulated—or confronted.

Now, after the overwhelming post-9/11 Western retaliatory offensives, both al-Qa’eda and more recently, the Islamic State, increasingly have called for acts of ‘individual jihad’ (fard ‘ayn, according to Islamic doctrine). Such attacks by Islamic true believers against armed service members, civilians, and law enforcement officers as well as ordinary citizens duly are proliferating across the West, but the U.S. national security establishment grasps for any term—lone wolf, violent extremist, workplace violence—to avoid saying either ‘terrorism’ or ‘jihadist.’ Granted, as Daniel Pipes noted in his 24 October 2014 essay, “Terrorism Defies Definition,” there are legal consequences under the U.S. Legal Code for “formally certifying an act of violence as terrorist.” But as we see, it’s more than that – and it’s why we need to use “jihad” more often and “terrorism” less.

To properly identify individual jihad attacks is to acknowledge that there is an established ideology behind them that derives its inspiration from Islamic doctrine, law, and scripture. To acknowledge that would mean the threat actually is existential, at a minimum in its objective: universal conquest and enforcement of shariah. Until and unless the entire American citizenry, federal bureaucracy, Intelligence Community, law enforcement, and the U.S. military understand that failing to acknowledge, confront, and defeat the forces of Islamic jihad and shariah indeed do endanger the very existence of our Republic as we know it, and mobilize to meet this challenge, the inexorable advance of shariah will continue. As Pipes notes with some understatement, the current “lack of clarity presents a significant public policy challenge.

The term “terrorism” will continue to provide useful applications in security categories and lists. But it is much too inclusive and yet restrictive to offer a precise definition of the Islamic threat. The forces of Islamic jihad and shariah are mounting a whole of civilization assault against liberal, modern, representative, secular civil society. Nation states, sub-national terror organizations, transnational alliances, academics and scholars, media conglomerates, networks of mosques and Islamic Centers, so-called ‘charitable foundations’ and their donors, battlefield fighters, and too many individual Muslims are united in a jihad that is not only violent but insidious, inexorable, and sophisticated. Unless we learn to resist in the same way—a whole of civilization way—that list of subjugated civilizations may yet include one more: ours.

The Iran Lobby: Alive, Well and Changing the Face of the Middle East

799454648CSP, By Clare M. Lopez, Oct. 23, 2014:

“In February 2009, as President Barack Obama and his new administration were settling into office, the Center for Security Policy published a report I wrote entitled “RISE OF THE ‘IRAN LOBBY’ Tehran’s front groups move on—and into— the Obama Administration.” This occasional paper from the Center was offered as a warning about the constellation of forces that was just then moving into power positions from which to influence U.S. foreign policy in ways supportive of the Tehran regime’s objectives. Today, five years later, the disastrous fruits of that network’s efforts are evident across the Middle East in ways both predictable and unforeseen: Iran stands on the brink of deploying deliverable nuclear weapons, Turkey’s leadership sponsors HAMAS terrorism and harbors both neo-Ottoman ambitions and a visceral hatred of the Jewish State of Israel, and an Islamic State proclaiming itself a Caliphate sweeps armies and borders before it, oddly enabled by both Iran and Turkey.”

See version with embedded hyperlinks here

See version with footnotes here

 

CLARE LOPEZ – A LESSON ON THE ISLAMIC STATE

 

Published on Oct 9, 2014 by theunitedwest

Intelligence analyst, Clare Lopez, retired CIA and currently VP of Research for the Center for Security Policy, provides a factually fascinating explanation of the very complex Islamic State, often wrongly called ISIS or ISIL. Clare and Tom Trento will detail subjects like the beliefs and behaviors of IS, their eschatological view and why they MUST have a Kaliphate! Do not miss this extremely informative and instructive lesson on the Islamic State!

Audio: Clare Lopez analysis of the Islamic State

Published on Oct 9, 2014 by The Final Say Radio Show

Clare Lopez, Vice President for Research & Analysis with the Center for Security Policy, joins the show to discuss ISIS and other security threats.

Clare Lopez: “Jihad Resurgent: Islamic Challenge, Western Response”.

 

Published on Sep 16, 2014 by Q Society of Australia Inc

Clare Lopez at the Q Society event in Sydney on the evening of 5 September 2014.

LOPEZ: Obama pledges additional support for Iranian puppet regimes

In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014.  (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader’s office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

By Clare Lopez:

In a prime time address to the nation on the eve of 11 September 2014, President Obama pledged an expanded U.S. effort to destroy the Islamic State (IS), which he still calls “ISIL” (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). American air power, stepped-up training for anti-Assad Syrian jihadis (which he calls “moderate rebels”), an additional $25 million in financial aid to Baghdad, and partnership with “a broad coalition” (that currently consists of 9 countries) comprise the key elements of the new military campaign.

Given that the only territory IS currently threatens are the regimes of two Iranian puppets – one in Baghdad, one in Damascus – Obama’s announcement in effect amounts to a renewed U.S. commitment to support Tehran’s grip on regional hegemony. The nuclear talks about how quickly the U.S. will accede to the Iranian bomb resume in another week.

Remarkably, the president opened his remarks with the rather preposterous claim that “ISIL is not Islamic.” Now, Obama himself has admitted in his autobiography “Dreams From My Father” that he “made faces during Quranic studies.” Still, it might be expected that he retained something of those madrassa lessons—or at least that White House advisors (not the Muslim Brotherhood ones, though) would have steered him away from such an egregious misstatement.

As it is, one of the reasons that the Saudi regime is so shaken by the approach of IS forces toward its borders is precisely because Riyadh royals know full well their Islamic piety doesn’t begin to measure up to the purity of IS practice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader, not only boasts a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from a Baghdad university, but wears the black turban to signify descent from Muhammad. Whether entitled to claim the Islamic prophet’s bloodline or not, al-Baghdadi models his every action on the example Muslims believe set out for them centuries ago by the founder of their faith. For Muslim purists like al-Baghdadi, the Qur’anic verse 33:21 that tells them “Ye have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day…” is taken quite literally (amputations, beheading, crucifixions, flogging and all).

Obama rambled on, claiming next that “ISIL is certainly not a state.” Unfortunately for the Iranian proxies in Baghdad and Damascus that are his intended beneficiaries, it is their former states that no longer exist—because the Islamic State, the Caliphate, has dismantled them. Obama did seem to recognize the effective erasure of the 1916 Sykes-Picot borders at least in some measure, though, as he declared his intent to expand U.S. air strikes more evenly throughout the Caliphate (including into what used to be called Syria as well as the former Iraq).

Apparently in pursuit of a public relations coup that’s eluded him of late, Obama nevertheless offered up additional glimpses of his unenviable conundrum about which jihadis to support on the ground in the intra-Islamic sectarian struggle that’s torn the region apart since the Islamic Uprising began in 2011.

For example, he seems to have conveniently forgotten that the ranks of today’s IS are full of Syrian jihadis armed, funded, and trained by U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) in cooperation with the now-terrified Hashemites, NATO ally Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood sponsor Qatar, and the flailing Saudi monarchy. A monster has slipped the leash but the American president says he’s more than ready to provide even more support to more Syrian rebels, who, this time, definitely will be exclusively the ‘moderate’ ones.

But what about the threat to the homeland if IS is allowed to exist and consolidate? Well, the question somehow is never asked about how either individual jihadis or small jihadi cells that an IS enclave might direct to attack the homeland are in any way different than the jihadis the Iranian or the Saudi state have launched our way over the decades—to include the hijackers of September 11, 2001 or the uncounted numbers of Hizballah cells operating across the Americas today. But there’s never been a hint of a suggestion that those jihadist sponsoring states constitute a compelling national security threat to the U.S. that requires an international coalition to deal with them.

Read more at Washington Times

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

LOPEZ: Islamic State Drawing the U.S. into Armageddon?

9_2_2014_terror-group-isis-a8201_c0-0-1799-1049_s561x327By Clare Lopez:

What if the Islamic State (IS) staged an Armageddon – and nobody came?

With the savage videotaped beheading of a second U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, by the IS on 2 September 2014, it’s becoming impossible to ignore how desperately the group wants to draw American forces into its End Times scenario.

The repeated, explicit incitement embedded in statements accompanying first the beheading of American reporter James Foley and now of Sotloff, was aimed directly at President Barack Obama in order to goad the U.S. and its allies into a military reaction that would give IS the common infidel enemy it needs to consolidate its own Sunni ranks against any possible regional backlash. Without the return of U.S. and other Western forces into the region, IS may well fear the sort of Sunni Awakening (or “Sahwah”) that eventually defeated its al-Qa’eda (AQ) predecessor, Al-Qa’eda in Iraq (AQI), along with the 2007 U.S. surge.

Issue 3 of IS’s slick online magazine, ‘Dabiq,’ is titled “A Call To Hijrah” and gives us a revealing look at the new Caliphate’s strategy.

The number one priority for the moment is consolidating territorial gains made during the blitzkrieg advances of June and July 2014. IS needs a continued influx of Muslim fighters from around the region as well as abroad to accomplish this and make the Caliphate an established, governing reality—hence, the heavy emphasis on encouraging Muslim youth to join the latest jihad caravan.

According to the 7-Phase al-Qa’eda timeline outlined in a 2005 Der Spiegel interview with Seif al-Adl (the AQ military commander who’s been running joint terror operations out of Iran ever since 9/11), the period 2013-2016 is marked by the establishment of a Caliphate, so this puts them right on track.

The latest Dabiq issue also makes reference to a hadith that declares “The Hour of Resurrection” cannot come until the ‘Romans’ (Christian Westerners) land forces in Dabiq, an area near Aleppo in northwestern Syria. According to Muslim eschatology as recounted in Dabiq, this sets up the great battle, or “Final Confrontation” of the “Al-Hamah” (meaning Armageddon) in which Muslim forces will triumph, go on to conquer and slaughter all remaining on earth who will not convert to Islam, and usher in a millennium of ‘peace’ and ‘justice’ under the universal rule of shariah.

Thus far, though, even as Obama’s own military leaders are urging immediate action to destroy IS, the administration has hesitated to commit more than some targeted air strikes, humanitarian aid, and limited numbers of Special Operations Forces (SOFs) on the ground, who are working alongside the Kurds to blunt the IS advance.

But as IS sees things, the only way it can forestall the possibility that regional Sunni tribes might unite against its brutal shariah enforcement, involves pulling U.S., Australian, British, and other Western military forces once again into a high casualty confrontation in the land of al-Sham.

If videotaped beheadings don’t do it, a spectacular IS attack on the American homeland might—just as with the original 9/11 attacks, when Usama bin Laden (along with Hizballah, Iran, and Saudi Arabia) provoked the U.S. into the massive invasions of Muslim lands that launched the “Islamic Awakening,” according to the AQ conquest timeline.

Read more at Washington Times

Clare M. Lopez is the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.