Out of Control Border – Open Invitation to Terrorists

8df0455e-efb9-40e1-b03c-1d342d7d8037Does Obama Believe in Terrorism? by Kevin McCullough at Town Hall, Jul 13, 2014:

I’ve been caught asking myself the same question many times this week.

“Does our President believe in terrorism?”
No, I’m not asking if he personally believes in the use of terrorism, or the ideology of terrorism, or the effectiveness of the weapon of terrorism. Some of my critics are already condemning me for not asking that question from the start. And as well intentioned as some are who would hold those positions, I feel a need to break things down into even more succinct pieces.
Does President Obama believe in terrorism’s existence and imminence in the days we live this very minute?
Normally it would be easy to laugh off such a question from an opinion writer, but these aren’t normal days. The middle easy is burning down. Terrorists are shooting missiles at our best ally. We just turned five of the world’s worst terrorists loose in exchange for a man who got brainwashed to believe the terrorists. And then came this past week…
A source at the border patrol has informed me going back to the days of 9.11.2001, that on any given month (then) we’d have a dozen persons of middle eastern origin attempt to penetrate our southern border each month. In 2014 my source tells me that number is now regularly above a hundred. These persons look very much like all the others crossing the border, most have even learned some spanish, and like all the others they are blending in with, they climb the ladder, jump the fence, and wait for border patrol to pick them up.
This is important to understand given that in the past week–only due to diligent reporting–have we had it revealed that the executive branch of the federal government has authorized free rides for illegals to destinations of choice in the mainland of America. 300,000 “free” rides by our executive branch to people who “tell us” who they are–most days without any form of corroborating identification.
Which would be bad enough, until we learned from the stories coming out of the border that the Islamic State (formerly ISIS, an Al Qaeda faction) has made direct contact with Mexican drug cartels, and then pledged publicly to exploit our southern border. (Come to think of it, I’m pretty certain al-Baghdaddi wasn’t talking about taking a tour when he told his former captors in Iraq that he would “see them in New York.”)
So… to review we’ve got Al Qaeda ready to penetrate our southern border (if they haven’t already). They’re intent on killing us. And we may be giving them rides to anywhere in the lower 48 states.
Then came the information from the National Border Patrol Council, documenting that the same Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) that feels you up, or looks at you on naked machines at airports has been ordered to allow these aliens to fly on commercial jet-liners (no doubt at partial tax-payer expense) with nothing more than their “Notice to Appear” paper from their initial hearing when they arrive in the USA. And as long as they have these easily forged papers TSA can not ask them any further questions about identity. They are then using that form of identification to fly anywhere they wish in the country.
This loosely enforced “security” could put active members of Al Qaeda or any number of other Muslim Brotherhood groups into the heart of New York, DC, or other prime target rich environments. Almost over night, and almost undetected to the good people of America.
The President isn’t stopping the border crossings where nearly 100 for every 4000 that are coming across (and that’s the per day average) turn out to be people of middle eastern origins. The President isn’t requiring the illegal visitors to face the law and it’s Biblically acceptable enforcement. In some cases the crossers are making their initial appearances by SKYPE to a desk operation four states over. The President has instructed the border patrol to play nice and not get into confrontational situations. The President has ordered more than a quarter of a million personal rides to those who wish to meet up with relatives, friend’s, and just people that they know. And the President has not reversed the silly edict allowing anyone in the USA to fly without an ID.
In other words he’s acting as though he firmly doubts that America is being readied for another major-bigger-than-the-previous-record-setting terror attack.
But beyond that he’s actively doing as much as possible to get us as close to that possible reality.
Well he then must believe that Al Qaeda is less of a threat now than it has been in the past. He must believe that there is nothing of significance happening in the Middle East. And his 72% approval rating amongst the world’s muslim population must be because they believe “hope and change” are coming.
For if he believed that a caliphate being established was a dangerous thing, if he believed that evil people exist and are seeking our demise as we read this, and if he believed that these border policies are providing enormous holes in our security for the bad people to do what they want to do…
Then surely he’d ignore his pro-Muslim-brotherhood advisers and do what was best for the welfare of the people he swore an oath to protect.
Right?

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

DML on terror threat at the border:

 

Jeanine Pirro accuses Obama of implementing a “Trojan Horse” strategy:

 

Frank Gaffney speaks with Judge Jeanine Pirro about the possibility that ISIS will use the current border crisis to entering the United States:

 

Perry: Securing the border is ‘one of the highest priorities for this country from a national security standpoint’

 

Also see:

WHY ISIS IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN AL QAEDA AND WHAT AMERICA MUST DO ABOUT IT

ISIS-heavy-weapons-reutersby :

In the space of just a few weeks, the jihadi threat group ISIS has accomplished more than al Qaeda did in the the thirteen years since the September 11 attacks. It will continue to grow in power and come to pose a direct threat to the United States unless America guides a regional response. Now.
On a sunny Tuesday morning in September of 2001, al Qaeda entered the history books as the deadliest terrorist group in modern history. In under a few hours it murdered more people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania than other terrorist groups like the IRA or the Baader-Meinhof Gang had killed over a period of decades.
Since that dreadful day, the original Al Qaeda, what the administration refers to now as ‘Core AQ’, has executed or inspired other attacks to include those of Richard Reid the infamous Shoebomber, Major Nidal Hassan the Fort Hood killer, and Faisal Shazad, the Times Square bomber. At the same time it has recruited foreign fighters to wage guerrilla war inside Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, as well as for other jihadi theaters.
Additionally, it has waged a propaganda campaign to spread its message of holy war against the infidel with publications such as the periodical Inspire, the e-magazine that included a recipe for pressure-cooker IEDs, a recipe that would be used by the Boston bombers.
Despite all of the above, the threat posed by Al Qaeda pales by comparison to the achievements of its off-shoot the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham which recently declared the establishment of a new Caliphate, or empire of Islam, and has, as a result, changed its name to The Islamic State.
How do we know that ISIS / The Islamic State is a greater threat today than Al Qaeda?
Here are just 6 reasons:
  • While Al Qaeda attracted foreign fighters to wage jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq, its recruitment figures never came close to the thousands that have been so rapidly drawn to fight in Syria and Iraq. The problem is so severe that Attorney General Eric Holder just yesterday had to publicly request his European counterparts do something to stem the flow of fighters.
  • Al Qaeda was predominantly successful in bringing Arab Muslims from the Middle East to fight in wars in their own region or in South Asia. But unclassified reports, and ISIS’ own videos, confirm that it is having an unprecedented success in attracting Muslim men from the West to go fight Jihad. Young men who – if they survive the current fight – will likely return back home to America, the UK, or elsewhere in the West, as hardened jihadis skilled in infantry tactics and in employing improvised explosive devices.
  • Although Al Qaeda was sheltered by the fundamentalist Taleban government in Afghanistan – with bin Laden strategically ensuring that his commanders’ daughter married into Taleban families – as an organization Al Qaeda never controlled a whole country. With the Blitzkrieg assault of ISIS fighters capturing city after city in Iraq in recent weeks and then declaring a new Caliphate, ISIS is on the cusp of functioning as a de facto country, a Jihadi Nation. Al Qadea almost always acted like a terrorist group and less like an insurgency, the important distinction being that insurgencies hold territory in daylight. ISIS, however, is a fully fledged insurgency that has captured city after city and is functioning as a quasi state.
  • With other regional jihadi commanders, such as the former head of the Al Nusrah front, swearing bayat (loyalty) to ISIS we see the open confirmation of the reality that Al Qaeda’s brand has been overtaken. This is the kind of international operational recognition Al Qaeda always wanted and tried desperately to obtain but never managed too. And ISIS has succeeded to become a multinational jihadi authority in a matter of weeks as opposed to years.
  • Bin Laden, and the current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, always understood the importance of propaganda and information warfare, especially after the American jihadi Anwar al Awlaki took over editorship of Inspire magazine. But they never came close to the sophistication and media savvy of ISIS with is whirlwind establishment of a Social Media presence. Not only is ISIS filming and distributing the standard jihadi footage of its vicious attacks but also video of the mass murders of its prisoners. More importantly it is also disseminating more subtle and softer narratives via Twitter and other channels in ways that Al Qaeda never did.
  • ISIS has capabilities that exceed even the wildest dreams of the original founders of Al Qaeda. After capturing the city of Mosul and the raiding the local government coffers, it now has over $400 million at its disposal. The 9/11 attacks only cost Al Qaeda $500,000. ISIS has funds now adequate to at least 800 9/11 attacks. Add to that all the latest US military hardware it has captured and the older Syrian Scud missile it also paraded openly for all the world to see last week , and it is clear ISIS and Al Qaeda are in totally different leagues.
For all these reasons, and many more, ISIS poses a significantly bigger threat than Al Qaeda ever did. A threat not only to Shia-controlled states like Iraq or Syria. ISIS has made its plan clear . It is reestablishing the theocratic empire of Islam, the Caliphate, that was dissolved after WWI, in 1924, by the secularizing President of the new Republic of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk. They are driven by an ideology that is absolutist and global. After taking out the “Near Enemy” in Syria and Iraq, they wish to kill other apostates, others they deem to be false Muslims, be it King Abdullahh II of Jordan, or the new president of Egypt, retired General Sisi who has vowed to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological cousins of ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Read more at Breitbart
Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and the national security and foreign affairs editor of the Breitbart News Network.

In Wartime, Focus on Detainment of Terrorists, Not Rehabilitation

2475970912Center for Security Policy:

The following is a partial transcript of an interview with Congressman Jim Bridenstine(OK-1) that featured in the Monday, June 9th edition of Secure Freedom Radio. The entire interview may be listened to here. Congressman Bridenstine serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Frank Gaffney: There’s a report–I don’t think you’ve seen it, Congressman Jim Bridenstine–our friend and colleague Paul Sperry had in the New York Post over the weekend indicating that the President is aggressively moving forward on other efforts to remove these guys, including perhaps releasing as many as half of the detainees that remain in Guantanamo Bay this summer. If you could, just give us a sense of the character of the folks who are left [in Guantanamo Bay] and what the implications might be if we find this kind of wholesale dismantling of this detention facility.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine: Well, we have seen a commitment from this administration to close Guantanamo Bay going back to his first election and then his second election. There was a time when he was trying to bring a number of the most hardened terrorists to the United States to have them tried in Article III courts. Here’s the situation–I’m going to speak as a warfighter for a second. There are two types of law. There is the law of war and there is the law of peace. When you’re at war, you detain people not for rehabilitation, not for punishment; you detain them to get them off the battlefield until the end of hostilities. That is under the law of war, and this is an important piece of what Guantanamo Bay is for the American military. It is a way to detain people until the end of conflict. Unfortunately there is confusion, even among my colleagues on the Republican side, about the difference between why you detain people in wartime and why you detain people in peacetime. That confusion is creating this environment where people, even on my side of the aisle, some of them are saying we need to close Guantanamo Bay. Now, if there’s a strategic reason to close it, then that’s an argument that needs to be had. But if people are arguing that they need their Article III protections per the Constitution, under the laws of war we have every authority to detain them until the end of armed conflict and the last I checked, the Taliban and Al Qaeda have not decided to end the war or sign a peace treaty.

FG: To the contrary, there’s every evidence that they’re redoubling their efforts as we saw the Pakistani branch doing in Karachi yesterday. Just to drill down on this…the President says: we are winding down the war. So, we have to wind down both the authority that we have given the President–his predecessor initially–to conduct that war and we need to wind down facilities like Gitmo as well. I take it you don’t think we’re actually winding down the war, at least in terms of the enemy’s determination to continue to prosecute it.

JB: No, not at all. What we’re seeing now is we’re seeing the Taliban and Al Qaeda more emboldened than we’ve seen them in years. And of course this is a direct result of the policy that this President is putting forward. You know, this isn’t fun and games. This isn’t about political philosophy. These are real world issues where Americans are put at risk and the world is becoming more dangerous–not less dangerous. And when America projects weakness, this is what we get. We get emboldened enemies and we get friends and allies around the world that don’t trust us. This is terrible policy and this is not one of those things where if you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to us back. That’s not how this works.

The Progressive Gitmo Myth

protestamnesty-casmaron362480700_6c1ee905e8-450x299

As the gleeful victory celebrations by the Taliban over the recovery of 5 of their top commanders show, it is perceived as weakness, failure of nerve, and lack of confidence in the rightness of our cause. A people who behead their enemies or eat their hearts are not going to be impressed with our generous provisions of constitutional rights and pro bono legal counsel.

by Bruce Thornton:

The swap of probable deserter Bowe Bergdahl for 5 “high-risk” Guantánamo detainees is about more than political public relations. By releasing some of the worst murderers, this deal prepares the ground for Obama’s long-term goal of shutting down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and releasing the remaining detainees. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, a senior Pentagon official claims Obama nixed plans to rescue Bergdahl because “the president wanted a diplomatic scenario that would establish a precedent for repatriating detainees from Gitmo.”  Given that on his second day in office Obama issued an executive order shutting Gitmo down, and as recently as this year’s State of the Union speech repeated this pledge, his failure to do so has aroused serial complaints from his progressive base. With his reelection behind him, Obama may now think he can fulfill this promise, no matter the danger to our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism.

For Obama’s liberal base, Gitmo has been part of a larger narrative of American tyranny, particularly George Bush’s alleged lawlessness in waging an “illegal” and “unnecessary” war in Iraq. Once Howard Dean’s anti-war presidential primary insurgency took off after the war began in 2003, mainstream Democrats began endorsing the far-left “Bush lied” analysis of the war that John Edwards, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton had voted for based on the same intelligence that led to the Bush administration’s decision. With the anti-war movement providing the visuals for television news, the left’s distorted history of Vietnam was resurrected to provide the template for the war in Iraq, particularly the charge that the Bush administration had lied about Hussein’s WMDs, just as Lyndon Johnson had allegedly fabricated the Gulf of Tonkin incident to justify escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Soon the whole litany of American militarist evils was applied to Iraq and the war against terrorists and their enablers. Torture, illegal detention, and abuse of prisoners were staples of that catalogue, and for leftists Gitmo fit the bill.

Soon we were hearing that Gitmo was a “gulag,” “the Bermuda Triangle of human rights,” a “shocking affront to democracy,” and a “national disgrace.” The New York Times, paying heed to charges by detainees trained to lie, said Guantanamo exemplified “harsh, indefinite detention without formal charges or legal recourse” and recalled “the Soviet Union’s sprawling network of Stalinist penal colonies.” Such hysteria, of course, has no basis in fact.

In 2004, a report by Albert T. Church III concluded, “We can confidentially state that based upon our investigation, we found nothing that would in any way substantiate detainees’ allegations of torture or violent physical abuse at GTMO.” Almost all the interrogations at Gitmo were conducted according to the Army Field Manual approved by Obama himself. Conditions for the prisoners at Gitmo far outstrip those in most prisons, including in the United States. Jihadists involved in planning, aiding, and participating in the murders of Americans can play sports, work out on gym equipment, hang out with their comrades, learn English, take art lessons, peruse a library of 14,000 Arab-language books, and view satellite television, including Al Jazeera. They get first-class health care and nutrition, and their food is prepared according to halal standards of ritual purity––all that good grub has led to the “Gitmo gut.” Islamic holidays are respected, Korans handled by guards with delicate care, magazines censored to remove images disturbing to pious Muslims, and arrows painted on the floors pointing to Mecca to guide the prisoners in their daily prayers. Rush Limbaugh is justified in calling Guantánamo “Club Gitmo.”

Yet despite these facts, the myth has arisen that the existence of Gitmo, as the Wall Street Journal summarized liberal thinking, “symbolizes prisoner abuse, serving as a propaganda tool for extremists and complicating counterterrorism efforts with allies.” The incoherence of this argument points to the larger problems of American foreign policy in dealing with jihadism.

First, our tendency to take seriously the malignant propaganda of our enemies bespeaks our civilizational failure of nerve. Since there has not been any “prisoner abuse” at Gitmo, why should we legitimize blatant lies the purpose of which is to erode our morale and serve the interests of disaffected Westerners? And given the horrific conditions and routine use of torture in most prisons in the Muslim Middle East, why should we for one second listen to any government or group in that region criticizing Gitmo? Our acceptance of this double standard does not confirm our superior virtues and principles, not when such acceptance emboldens the enemy and convinces him that we are too weak and decadent to do what it takes to defend ourselves.

Then there is the assumption that Muslims who practice jihadist terror are merely reacting to affronts perpetrated by Americans, rather than acting on their own motives. Bin Laden was the master of attributing his violence to an ever-shifting catalog of American sins––support for Israel, stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, participating in the 1983 Lebanon war, neo-colonial machinations to secure oil supplies, even failing to sign the Kyoto accords all appeared as pretexts for terrorism. But of course, this was propaganda for consumption by self-loathing Americans. In reality, as Ray Ibrahim’s Al Qaeda Reader documents, al Qaeda’s jihadism is driven by the venerable Islamic doctrines that for 14 centuries have spurred Islamic violence, and that are epitomized in Mohammed’s “great commission”: “I was ordered to fight all men until they say, ‘There is no god but Allah.’” Jihadists don’t need Gitmo, or Israel, or globalism, or any other material reason to attack infidels. Like the Hydra, every grievance we appease will be replaced by two more. Jihadists have plenty of religious motives for trying to destroy the culture that once trembled at Allah’s armies but that now dominates a world that Islam teaches is destined to be ruled by Muslims, the “best of nations raised up for the benefit of men,” as Koran 3.110 has it. But like our tendency to blame poverty or lack of political freedom for creating terrorists, this focus on material causes ignores the powerful role of spiritual motives for jihadist terror.

Read more at Front Page

Terrorist Groups Rise 58% Since 2010

130221_terrorists-450x306by Arnold Ahlert:

One of the principal narratives of the 2012 Obama re-election campaign — as in al Qaeda has been “decimated” and put on a “on the path to defeat” — has itself been decimated. According to a study released yesterday by the RAND Corporation, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups over the last four years. Even more troubling, the number of jihadist fighters has doubled, and the number of worldwide attacks has tripled. The report further notes that terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan pose the greatest threat to the United States.

“Based on these threats, the United States cannot afford to withdraw or remain disengaged from key parts of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia,” states Seth G. Jones, author of the study and associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND. “After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, it may be tempting for the U.S. to turn its attention elsewhere and scale back on counterterrorism efforts. But this research indicates that the struggle is far from over.”

The raw numbers are stark. The number of groups have increased from 31 to 49, the number of fighters to a high estimate of 100,000 and the number of attacks from 392 to approximately 1000.

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Jones points out that America also faces significant threats in addition to Islamic jihadism, including the invasion of Ukraine by Russia that threatens our NATO alliance; China’s flexing of its economic, military and cyber muscles in East Asia; and the instability of North Korea. He also puts Iran and their dedicated pursuit of nuclear-weapons in this category.

Jones’s analysis pokes a giant hole in the leftist ideology that posits America’s forays into Iraq and Afghanistan caused an increase in jihadist activity. In fact it is quite the opposite. As America has retreated from the Middle East – completely from Iraq in December of 2011, combined with a highly-publicized schedule of winding down combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of this year — terrorism is surging.

Read more at Front Page

Exclusive: Nigerian Security Forces Infiltrated by Boko Haram

boko-haram-Reuters (1)by JORDAN SCHACHTEL:

Breitbart News had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Lt. Col. Rudy Atallah, former head of African counterterrorism for the Pentagon to discuss Boko Haram and Islamist movements in Africa.

Rudolph Atallah is the former Africa Counterterrorism Director for the Department of Defense. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of service in the United States Air Force. Atallah is now a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council & CEO of White Mountain Research.

Breitbart News: Why has it been difficult to counter Boko Haram?

Rudy Atallah: Boko Haram is split into several factions run by different leaders. Also, Boko Haram has been used as a pawn in Nigerian politics. Three days ago there was a Nigerian internal investigation of nine generals and senior military officers all suspected of aiding and abetting Boko Haram. The officers were suspected of giving them weapons, access to the armories, and information on government tactics and targeting. It is very difficult to counter an organization when internally, within the Nigerian structure, there are political, militarily, and logistical issues.

Nigeria is considered a leader in the region. They’ve led ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) missions, they are part of the African Union community, they do peacekeeping missions all over the place. Nigeria is a powerful country. There is also a national pride element when you have such events occur on your own soil. The Nigerians historically have been more hesitant on taking external support and more bent on saying, “We can take care of this issue ourselves.” Boko Haram is resilient because they operate across national borders. When the Nigerian military comes in, Boko Haram tends to move over to countries such as Cameroon and Niger, so that makes it especially difficult to target them.

Breitbart News: Tell us about Boko Haram’s leadership structure under Abubakar Shekau.

Rudy Atallah: Several years ago it was understood that Boko Haram had a Shura council made up of 13 members. Above that Shura council was Shekau as the main leader, and the Shura council members all operated independently in separate areas. The leaders’ communications were very discreet and each ran their own cell. The Nigerians claimed at one point that they had killed Shekau, but then he resurfaced. There are also reports that Shekau was previously wounded. Because of the various reports, it remains unclear how Boko Haram is currently re-structured.

Some believe that there are three main leaders. Shekau is seen as one of them, although there are some that argue Shekau may have been pushed to the outside. There is the possibility Shekau may independently run his own group or cell of Boko Haram. There are other individuals that are also running their own branches of Boko Haram. They merge together in order to do one operation and then they will separate and go their own ways.

There’s no real solid evidence to narrow down Boko Haram’s current structure. The intelligence coming from the area where Boko Haram actually operates is miniscule. A lot of the information comes from prior kidnap victims, from NGOs that operate in the area, and from people that were attackedby Boko Haram. Jacob Zenn, whom I respect and consider to be a very a good resource, just wrote a piece where he claimed that several Boko Haram factions come together in a federation for major attacks such as the recent kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls. This leads me to believe that these guys are now branched off. While they used to be one solid Shura council, right now that may be in question.

Breitbart News: What is stopping the Nigerian forces from rescuing the kidnapped schoolgirls?

Rudy Atallah: Its the complexity of the potential rescue. Its now understood that the schoolgirls have been split up in different areas. You can’t mount a rescue operation of one group of schoolgirls and potentially put the rest of them in danger in another location. By not engaging in an all-encompassing strategy, the result could end in tragedy.

A rescue operation for the girls should have occurred immediately after they were kidnapped in mid-April, but that never happened. Nobody started talking about a potential rescue operation until weeks afterwards, which is way too late.

Read more at Breitbart

House of Representatives Backs Egypt in Fight Against Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood

muslim_brotherhood_HQ_protester_APBreitbart, By Katie Gorka:

The past year has seen an ongoing debate among U.S. policy makers over what exactly happened in Egypt last summer. The Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton very visibly supported the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi. But over the course of Morsi’s one year in power, the majority of Egyptians did not like what they saw as a systematic undoing of democratic processes in Egypt.

Egyptians took to the streets by the millions in July 2013 to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood government. When the military stepped in, headed by General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Brotherhood were ousted and an interim government was formed. The Obama administration was careful not to label the events of July 2013 as a coup, but neither did they come out in support of Sisi. Additionally, Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham held a news conference in Cairo on August 6th and declared the events a coup.

It was an important distinction, because by law the U.S. must suspend aid to a country where a “coup” has taken place.

In the months since that time a debate has continued to rage both in the media and in policy circles over whether El-Sisi, who next week will likely be elected Egypt’s next president, is a savior who rescued Egypt from a theocratic despotism or whether he himself is the despot who is merely oppressing and imprisoning his political opponents.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives cast an important vote in this debate on the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains very specific language about events in Egypt. In essence, the passing of the NDAA will assert that Egypt is on the democratic track, that Sisi is not merely oppressing his enemies, but that Egypt is indeed in an existential battle with Islamist terrorists. While the NDAA does not specifically name the Muslim Brotherhood as a source of terrorism—another hotly debated issue—it does implicitly suggest that the MB has ties to terrorist groups, whether implicitly or explicitly.

The full text of the NDAA relating to Egypt is as follows:

The committee notes with concern the growing Al Qaeda presence and associated terrorist attacks in the Arab Republic of Egypt. Presently, at least six terrorist groups with links to Al Qaeda operate in Egypt, including the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Furqan Brigades. In recent months, terrorist attacks in Egypt claimed the lives of hundreds of Egyptians and over 350 soldiers and police officers. Within the past 6 months, there have been over 280 attacks in the Sinai Peninsula. On January 24, 2014, Al Qaeda-linked terrorists conducted a series of coordinated attacks that killed 6 and injured over 100 people in Cairo. 

Egypt is not only enduring the effects of terrorism from the Sinai Peninsula, it is also enduring the increasing flow of foreign fighters and military material from its western and southern borders with Libya and the Republic of the Sudan, respectively. 

The committee understands that the Secretary of State, in accordance with section 7041 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-71), will certify to Congress that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition and that the President has made the decision to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to support Egypt’s counterterrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula. Given the significant increase in terrorist activity, the close relationship that the Egyptian military has with the U.S. military, and the interim Government’s support of the peace treaty with the State of Israel, the committee supports the President’s decision to provide the Apache aircraft to the Government of Egypt. The committee further believes that the United States should provide necessary security assistance to the Government of Egypt, specifically focused on areas of mutual security interest. 

The committee remains concerned that if the United States does not engage through security assistance with the Government of Egypt and the Egyptian military, then other countries, such as the Russian Federation, may fill this gap, which would work at cross-purposes with vital U.S. national security interests. 

The committee continues to closely observe Egypt’s transition towards a new democratic government structure and is encouraged by both the direction and progress that the interim Government has made in this realm. In January 2014, Egyptians participated in a referendum to approve a new constitution, which includes protections for individual freedoms, equal protection and rights for all Egyptians, government transparency and accountability, and improved civilian oversight of the Egyptian military. Additionally, the committee is encouraged that the presidential and parliamentary elections appear to be on track and likely to be completed by the summer of 2014, and urges the Government of Egypt to ensure that the elections are free, fair, and devoid of fraud. The committee is concerned by reports that there may have been human rights violations that have occurred in Egypt. The committee encourages the next President of Egypt to address the economic and political needs of the Egyptian people, including the protections for individual freedom and human rights reflected in the new Egyptian constitution. 

Should the NDAA pass with the above language intact, it will mean that the political elite in Washington finally recognize that Egypt is in an existential fight against the same type of global jihadists that were responsible for the attacks against America in 2001.

Katharine C. Gorka is president of the Council on Global Security.

 

Obama Belief That “Tide of War is Receding” Rejected By Second Senior Sr. Admin Official in Two days

keith-alexander-hm-apBreitbart, by THOMAS ROSE:

Twice in the past two days, President Barack Obama has had the core premise upon which the foreign and national security policies of his administration have been based for nearly six years – that the “tide of war is receding” due to the decimation of the terrorist threat and the improved standing of the United States around the world – openly contradicted by two senior members of his administration.

On Monday, it was President Obama’s new FBI Director James Comey who told the New York Times that he just didn’t appreciate how serious a terrorist threat the United States still faced until he began seeing the daily intelligence briefs.

Tuesday it was General Keith Alexander, the recently retired director of the National Security Agency who told Mattathias Schwartz of The New Yorker magazine that not only has the terrorist threat against America not receded, it has gotten worse. Based upon “what I saw at the NSA,” General Alexander is quoted as saying, “there is a lot more coming our way.”

General Alexander should know of what he speaks. In addition to his eight years as the head of NSA, he ran the Pentagon’s Central Security Office as well as commanding the US Cyber Command office.

Despite the tremendous advances made by the US intelligence community since 9/11 and its extraordinary record at disrupting plots, Alexander says the US is at even greater risk. “Look at the way Al Qaeda networks,” he says before citing a growing list of examples. “From Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, and now in Syria, the al-Nusra front.”

The new “decentralized” al-Qaida is not a mark of its weakness, says Alexander, but its strength and resilience. “You can say those are distant countries,” he claimed, “but a lot of these groups are looking to attack the United States.”

Left unremarked was what role, if any, premature US pullouts from Iraq and Afghanistan have upon the renewed capacities, capabilities, and zones of safe operation of America’s most virulent enemies.

Al Qaeda in Afghanistan And Pakistan: An enduring threat

By 

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee of Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade on al Qaeda’s network in Africa and the threat it poses to the US.

Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Sherman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the enduring threat posed by al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is widely assumed that al Qaeda’s presence in South Asia does not, in fact, pose an enduring threat to American interests. The slaying of top al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, and more than a decade of war and other counterterrorism operations have supposedly hobbled the organization. However, while I have no doubt that al Qaeda has sustained heavy losses, I do not think that bin Laden’s heirs are a spent force. On the contrary, al Qaeda lives.

In the hearing today I am going to build on my previous testimony before this subcommittee last July. During that hearing (“Global Al Qaeda: Affiliates, Objectives, and Future Challenges”), we discussed the structure of al Qaeda and the challenges we face in the future. Today, I wish to emphasize five main points:

1. Al Qaeda is an international network that is comprised of a “general command,” regional branches, as well as various other organizations and personalities.

It may seem odd, but more than a dozen years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there is no commonly accepted definition of al Qaeda. The term “core” al Qaeda is often used, but this concept is a Western invention and imprecisely defined. And the way it is employed does not accurately convey how al Qaeda is structured. When analysts and officials speak of the “core” of al Qaeda, they are generally referring to Ayman al Zawahiri and the lieutenants who surround him in South Asia. Some go even further, arguing that Zawahiri is the only “core” al Qaeda leader left. Such arguments are not based on evidence.

Al Qaeda operates what it calls a “general command,” which consists of the organization’s senior leadership and their lieutenants, several committees, a Shura (advisory) council of the group’s most trusted advisers, as well as a supporting staff that includes, for example, couriers. We regularly see statements issued by al Qaeda’s “general command,” but few stop to ask what al Qaeda means by this. The “general command” performs various administrative functions, in addition to overseeing the organization’s international operations. For instance, al Qaeda’s amniyat is part of the group’s internal security and counterintelligence apparatus. The amniyat in northern Pakistan is notorious for hunting down suspected spies.

 Nasir al Wuhayshi,

Nasir al Wuhayshi,

This cohesive organization is not confined to South Asia. Jihadists who are, by any reasonable definition, “core” al Qaeda members are dispersed throughout the world. For example, Nasir al Wuhayshi, who heads al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is as “core” as they come, having served as Osama bin Laden’s protégé and aide-de-camp. In addition to serving as the emir of AQAP, Wuhayshi is the general manager of al Qaeda, which is a “core” function in al Qaeda’s hierarchy, that is, within the “general command.” The general manager of al Qaeda is given broad powers to oversee the organization’s operations.

The “general command” of al Qaeda has designated several regions for waging jihad, and an emir is appointed to oversee the organization’s efforts in each of these regions. The emir of each region has much latitude in deciding how to organize his group’s day-to-day efforts, but he swears bayat, an oath of allegiance, to al Qaeda’s overall emir (currently Zawahiri). The emirs of each region report to al Qaeda’s senior leadership, including the general manager. What many refer to as al Qaeda’s formal “affiliates” are really branches of al Qaeda that have been assigned to fight in these regions. The formal branches of al Qaeda, each designated its own region, are: al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), AQAP, the Al Nusrah Front in Syria, and Al Shabaab. All of them have sworn loyalty to Ayman al Zawahiri. In addition to these regions, al Qaeda also maintains facilitation networks in countries such as Iran.

Thus, the brief sketch of al Qaeda I have drawn here is one of a much more cohesive international organization than is often assumed. Like all other human organizations, however, al Qaeda has faced obstacles in trying to hold this network together. For instance, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) was al Qaeda’s branch inside Iraq, but the group’s emir had repeatedly disobeyed orders from the “general command.” This led to ISIS being disowned by the group. ISIS is currently fighting the Al Nusrah Front and its allies in Syria.

In addition to the formal branches of al Qaeda, there are other organizations that are part of al Qaeda’s international network even though they have not publicly sworn bayat to the leadership. Indeed, al Qaeda has often hidden its precise organizational relationship with groups that are being groomed for an alliance. Both the Al Nusrah Front and Al Shabaab, now formal branches of al Qaeda, did not make their operational connections to al Qaeda’s senior leadership known at first. Al Qaeda also employs multiple brands so as to obfuscate the extent of its influence. In Yemen, for instance, AQAP adopted the name “Ansar al Sharia.” This brand name was intended to convey the idea that the group is the true protector and enforcer of sharia law. Other groups calling themselves Ansar al Sharia have been established in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. There are still other groups that have adopted al Qaeda’s ideology, but are probably not operationally connected to the “general command” or al Qaeda’s branches.

I begin with this overview because the enduring threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan extends far outside of the region.

2. Al Qaeda is, at its heart, a clandestine organization, but careful analysis reveals that it has a deep bench of talent from which it draws.

Since its founding in 1988, the organization has attempted to conceal its operations. This has made it difficult to assess some very basic aspects of al Qaeda. The group does not, for instance, publish an organizational chart or make its total roster known. If you watch al Qaeda carefully enough, however, you can see that the group has consistently replaced top leaders lost in the 9/11 wars. In some cases these replacements are not as competent, while in other cases they may even surpass their fallen comrades.

Nasir al Wuhayshi, the aforementioned general manager of al Qaeda, is a seasoned veteran who replaced others in that role after they were killed or captured. Wuhayshi is, by all appearances, an all too competent leader. Still, the American-led counterterrorism effort has certainly disrupted al Qaeda’s international network, delivering severe setbacks in some areas. Al Qaeda’s problems with ISIS stem, to a large degree, from the fact that the U.S. and its allies took out its predecessor organization’s top leadership in 2010. The leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) were loyal to al Qaeda’s “general command” but were replaced with leaders who had not been vetted by al Qaeda’s senior leaders.

Read more at Long War Journal

Obama’s FBI Director James Comey: “I Just Didn’t Appreciate” Terrorism Was Still Such a Threat

james-comey-afp

Breitbart, by THOMAS ROSE:

Recently installed FBI Director James Comey tells The New York Times that his plans to refocus the bureau’s attention back toward prosecuting criminals and away from terrorism were made before he realized just how serious the terrorist threat facing the US really is.

It was only after seeing the top-secret intelligence that was unavailable to him while he was publicly opposing things like the NSA’s surveillance program that, Comey says, he realized the tide of war is not “receding” as fast as President Obama has repeatedly claimed, if it is even receding at all.

Al-Qaeda, Comey says, is very much alive and growing in new and more dangerous places around the world. “I just didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job,” he tells the Times, “just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are much stronger than I appreciated.”

Therefore, says Comey, the FBI’s traditional emphasis on criminal prosecutions will continue to take a back seat as the agency intensifies its focus on counter-terrorism.

There was no indication in the front-page piece by Michael S. Schmidt as to whether or not President Obama, who nominated Comey after delivering a high-profile speech in which he said the country needs to “move off” its wartime footing, had undergone a similar change in his assessment of the terror threat, or even was availing himself of the same intelligence reports.

Nor was there any discussion in the nearly 3000-word article about how Comey’s public statements about his beliefs now break from the President’s repeated assurances that America is more secure and terrorism less a threat than it was before he took office. Comey contradicts the President directly when he says that America’s enemies are more emboldened in their hatred towards the US and operate more freely in more parts of the world.

Whitewashing Boko Haram

boko-halal-terror-haram-apBreitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA:

Boko Haram was created soon after the 9/11 attacks in 2002. One would think that twelve years would be enough time to come to understand a terrorist organization of the magnitude of Boko Haram; apparently not for the left-wing media and the administration.

Monday morning, just as video was being released worldwide by the terrorist group showing that the Christian girls they have kidnapped have been converted to Islam, the Daily Beast was reporting that the group is misunderstood and that its actions have nothing to do with the teachings of Mohammad. The author, Dean Obidallah, writes that it is “grotesquely irresponsible of the media” to suggest that Boko Haram has anything to do with Islam.

Given that this is the same Dean Obeidallah who used a TV appearance to publicly deride Mitt Romney’s family for adopting a black child, it is tempting to dismiss the whole episode as hack journalism. Unfortunately, there is however a pattern to this “White Wash,” one that is linked to the White House and the administration’s policy on Boko Haram.

First there was the petition by MoveOn.org to prevent the US government from listing Boko Haram as a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Then there were the efforts by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to do to same two years ago, which is highly significant, since in US law it is the State Department that makes the determination as to whether or not a given group should be formally given terrorist status.

Breitbart has reported how the removal of any reference to religion or Islam within US counterterrorism policy is a product of abstruse academic theories that place the blame for terrorism upon the governments that “oppress” the people and upon US foreign policy. This stretches the concept of victimhood to such a degree that the terrorist is no longer responsible for the violence he or she perpetrates, since the environment “forced” them to kill. Religion therefore has to be irrelevant according to this conceptualization which blames colonial US policies or the behavior of our allies. Incredibly this theory led to the purging and censorship by the White House of all counterterrorism training materials used by the DoD and DoJ in 2011. Mention of Islam when discussing al Qaeda or its affiliates becameharam (that’s “forbidden” to you infidels out there).

The topic of who and what Boko Haram is should, of course, be kept out of the hands of politicians and their partisan media allies. Stephen Ulph is one of the world’s foremost experts on international terrorism, especially of the Islamist kind. The former editor of JANES Terrorism Security Monitor and founding editor of JANES Islamic Affairs Analyst, he was commissioned to write an 80-page analysis of Boko Haram for the Westminster Institite. Ulph goes to the source. Here is Boko Haram’s spokesman Abu Qaqa on who they are and what they want:

We wish to reiterate that our crusade is not for personal gain; it is meant to ensure the establishment of an Islamic state by liberating all Muslims from the excesses of the infidels… [T]he bottom line of our struggle is to set the Muslims free from enslavement. We only kill unbelievers.

Should that not be clear enough, Ulph also quotes numerous Boko Haram leaders as well, to include Abubakar Shekau himself:

This work that we are doing is not our work, it is Allah’s work, we are doing Allah’s work.

Ulph’s report is here and a summary can be found here.

So if Boko Haram say they are doing the work of Allah, then that would seem to be definitive. As one survivor of the Holocaust once said when asked what the one true lesson of his experience had been: listen to what people say. When they repeatedly declare you inhuman and to be killed, you shouldn’t ignore them.

Sebastian Gorka PhD is national security editor for Breitbart News.

Also see:

 

Boko Haram and the Failure of Obama’s Counter-terrorism Strategy

hillary_obama_glare_reuters Breitbart, By Katie Gorka, May 10, 2014:

During Hillary Clinton’s tenure, the State Department failed to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization, in spite of the fact that Boko Haram had become second only to the Taliban as the deadliest terrorist organization. Clinton will rightly have to bear blame for that, but the lack of a designation also reflects the much deeper problem of the Obama administration’s overall approach to Islamic extremism. It is an approach that has led to bad policies, not only with regard to Boko Haram, but also to Iran, the Syrian rebels, Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Benghazi.

The heart of the problem is that President Barack Obama and many of his top counter-terrorism advisers see Islamic extremism from the leftist perspective of social movement theory. Originating in the socialist labor movements of the 1800s and revived with the protest movements of the 1960s, social movement theory seeks to understand collective action. Academics concerned with what they saw as the relationship between “cultural imperialism” and “Islamic movements” began looking at Islamist extremism through the lens of social movement theory around 1984. It might have remained an obscure academic pursuit but for the fact that Obama elevated one of its principle proponents, Quintan Wiktorowicz, to the position of Senior Director for Global Engagement at the National Security Staff, where he became an architect of Obama’s counter-extremism strategy.

The singular impact of Wiktorowicz was to shift the focus away from the ideology driving Islamic extremism and to recast it as “Islamic activism.” He argued that Islamist violence is not a function of the call to jihad found in the Qu‘ran or in various contemporary fatwas, but is rather a calculated and rational response to state oppression:

In contrast to popular views of Islamic radicals as fanatics engaged in irrational, deviant, unpredictable violence, we argue that violent contention is the result of tactical considerations informed by the realities of repressive contexts. Islamists engage in a rational calculus about tactical efficacy and choose modes of contention they believe will facilitate objectives or protect their organizational and political gains. Violence is only one of myriad possibilities in repertoires of contention and becomes more likely where regimes attempt to crush Islamic activism through broad repressive measures that leave few alternatives. …From this perspective, violent Islamist contention is produced not by ideational factors or unstable psychological mentalities but rather by exogenous contingencies created through state policy concerning Islamists.

Thus, terrorism becomes “a mode of contention,” and terrorists are not to blame for their violence; “exogenous contingencies” are at fault. Sources in the Koran, Islamic jurisprudence, or even contemporary calls to jihad are not to blame; state policy is. Dr. Mohammed M. Hafez, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School who also influenced U.S. policy, echoes this perspective in his book Why Muslims Rebel:

Muslims rebel because of an ill-fated combination of institutional exclusion, on the one hand, and on the other, reactive and indiscriminate repression that threatens the organizational resources and personal lives of Islamists. Exclusionary and repressive political environments force Islamists to undergo a near universal process of radicalization.

Radical Islamists, therefore, bear no personal responsibility for their acts of terrorism or disruption. Rather, they are forced by a political environment that excludes or represses them to undergo an inevitable process of radicalization.

For the Obama administration, Islamist extremism (except for Al Qaeda) is not a categorical evil which stands opposed to America’s good; it is, rather, an extreme expression—among a range of expressions—of protest against legitimate grievances. Islamic radicals such as Boko Haram are not responsible for their actions; they are forced to radicalism by their circumstances. And it definitely has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, not even a distorted version of Islam.

On the very day that the U.S. announced the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that “Boko Haram’s activities call our attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria.” The State Department’s 2012 report on human rights in Nigeria spends far more time on abuses by Nigeria’s security forces than it does on Boko Haram’s violence. The report states, “The population’s grievances regarding poverty, government and security force corruption, and police impunity and brutality created a fertile ground for recruiting Boko Haram members.” By all accounts, police brutality and incompetence in Nigeria were on an epic scale, but as Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) famously said at a hearing on Boko Haram, to blame terrorism on poverty is a disservice to the millions of poor people across the globe who never turn to violence.

Because of the Muslim-extremist-as-victim meme, the administration generally, and the State Department particularly, have repeatedly portrayed Muslims as the principle victims of groups such as Boko Haram, with Christians only a minor side note. The State Department has repeatedly said that Boko Haram is not religiously motivated and is more destructive to Muslims than to Christians. On the day Boko Haram was designated an FTO, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said that Boko Haram “had killed numerous Christians and an even greater number of Muslims,” in spite of the fact that attacks on Christians represented 46% and on Muslims only 3%, according to Jubilee Campaign.

The argument currently being put forth by the mainstream media is that the United States has been poised and ready to help Nigeria, but that Nigeria has been slow to ask, and that is a message likely coming directly from the White House. Now that the world has woken up to the evil being perpetrated by Boko Haram, President Obama is trying to portray himself as caring deeply about this issue. He told ABC News that he hoped the event would help “to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime.” And Michelle Obama tweeted a photo of herself holding a sign that read: “#BringBackOurGirls.”

But members of the Obama administration—from the President himself to his National Security Staff to his Secretary of State and to his undersecretaries and their staffs—have all, until this episode, downplayed Boko Haram’s truly evil nature and prevented steps from being taken much earlier that could have prevented this tragedy, and those 276 abducted girls, instead of being held hostage, could still be sitting at their desks doing their schoolwork.

While social movement theory might provide insights into the formation and operation of Islamic activists, it cannot provide a foundation for American counter-terrorism policy. To do so is both detrimental to U.S. national security and to the security of numerous nations who are in a life-or-death struggle with the threat. The United States must stop the misguided narrative that terrorism and extremism have nothing to do with Islam. As Dr. Sebastian Gorka said in testimony to members of Congress, “We need to bankrupt transnational jihadist terrorism as its most powerful point: its narrative of global religious war.” Until the U.S. begins to acknowledge and address the ideology, we will not be able to challenge its ability to recruit, motivate, and inspire those who would abduct innocent schoolgirls.

Katie Gorka is the president of the Council on Global Security. She is the coeditor of Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism.

Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. Blocked Terrorist Designation for Boko Haram

clinton_050614By Andrew C. McCarthy:

“We must stand up to terrorism,” bleated Hillary Clinton a few days ago in a tweet expressing outrage against Boko Haram, the jihadist organization that has abducted hundreds of young girls in Nigeria. Yet, when she was actually in a position to stand up to Boko Haram’s terrorism as secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton instead protected the group.

At the Daily Beast, Josh Rogin reports:

The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years. And now, lawmakers and former U.S. officials are saying that the decision may have hampered the American government’s ability to confront the Nigerian group that shocked the world by abducting hundreds of innocent girls.

While Mrs. Clinton now issues indignant tweets, Mr. Rogin elaborates on her failure to mention

that her own State Department refused to place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, after the group bombed the UN headquarters in Abuja. The refusal came despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen Senators and Congressmen.

“The one thing she could have done, the one tool she had at her disposal, she didn’t use. And nobody can say she wasn’t urged to do it. It’s gross hypocrisy,” said a former senior U.S. official who was involved in the debate. “The FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department really wanted Boko Haram designated, they wanted the authorities that would provide to go after them, and they voiced that repeatedly to elected officials.”

In May 2012, then-Justice Department official Lisa Monaco (now at the White House) wrote to the State Department to urge Clinton to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. The following month, Gen. Carter Ham, the chief of U.S. Africa Command, said that Boko Haram provided a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and was likely sharing explosives and funds with the group. And yet, Hillary Clinton’s State Department still declined to place Boko Haram on its official terrorist roster.

As Mr. Rogin further details, placing an organization on the terrorist list enables the government to use various investigative tools for law-enforcement and intelligence-gathering purposes. It also squeezes the organization by criminalizing the provision of material support to it and the conduct of business with it.

After numerous Boko Haram atrocities, Republicans attempted to force Secretary Clinton to designate the group or explain why she refused to do so. The State Department heavily lobbied against the legislation. Only after John Kerry replaced Clinton, and after a series of jihadist bombings against churches and other targets, did the State Department finally relent and add Boko Haram to the terrorist list last November.

The excuses now being offered in explanation of Clinton’s dereliction are specious. As Rogin explains, Clinton’s State Department claimed that Boko Haram was merely a local group with parochial grievances that was not a threat to the United States. Have a look, though, at the State Department’s list, here. Several of the listed groups are waging local terrorist campaigns that do not threaten our country—the Basque ETA, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Real Irish Republican Army, etc. A significant reason for having the list is to promote international cooperation against terrorism and discourage its use against anyone anywhere. The fact that a terrorist organization may have only local grievances and may not directly imperil the U.S. has never been thought a reason to exclude it from the list.

Fox News has further reported another rationale of Clinton apologists: Hillary did not want to raise Boko Haram’s profile and assist its recruiting which, they reason, would be the effect of designation by the Great Satan. That is ridiculous. The main point of having the list, and the sanctions that accompany a terrorist designation, is to weaken the organization by depriving it of assets and material support. The logic of what Clinton supporters are claiming is that U.S. counterterrorism law — much of which was put in place by the administration of President Bill Clinton — does more harm than good. Does anyone think they really believe that?

What happened here is obvious, although the commentariat is loath to connect the dots. Boko Haram is an Islamic-supremacist organization. Mrs. Clinton, like the Obama administration more broadly, believes that appeasing Islamists — avoiding actions that might give them offense, slamming Americans who provoke them — promotes peace and stability. (See Egypt for a good example of how well this approach is working.) Furthermore, if you are claiming to have “decimated” al-Qaeda, as the Obama administration was claiming to have done in the run-up to the 2012 election, the last thing you want to do is add jihadists to the terror list (or beef up security at diplomatic posts in jihadist hot spots, or acknowledge that jihadist rioting in Cairo or jihadist attacks in Benghazi are something other than “protests” inspired by “an Internet video” . . .)

Read more at National Review

Also see:

State Dept.’s Terror Report Focus on Al Qaeda Misses Point

Palestinian boys in Gaza rally

By focusing on Al-Qaeda, the report is only looking at a manifestation of the ideological problem — not on the problem itself.

By Ryan Mauro:

The State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism states that the number of fatalities from terrorist attacks increased 60% from 2012 to 2013 and the overall number of attacks increased 40%. The uptick is attributable to a rise in terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines.

There were 9,707 terrorist attacks last year, killing almost 18,000 people and injuring over 32,000. Approximately 3,000 people were seized as hostages or kidnapped by terrorists. The number of attacks doubled in Iraq and Pakistan also saw an increase of about 37%.

Three of the four designated state sponsors of terrorism are Islamic (Iran, Syria and Sudan). So are seven of the top 10 deadliest terrorist organizations: The Taliban, Al-Qaeda in Iraq (also known as ISIS), Boko Haram, the Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement in the Philippines.

The State Department says that Al-Qaeda affiliates are increasingly relying upon crime to raise money, such as credit card fraud, extortion and holding innocents for ransom. Donors in the Gulf are also sustaining Al-Qaeda.

The report also notes that Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s influence over the affiliates is decreasing. For example, his orders to avoid collateral damage have been “routinely disobeyed.” Al-Qaeda’ mass murdering of Muslims and overall persecution is the single greatest factor contributing to Al-Qaeda’s fall in popularity.

Al-Qaeda is also splintering due to power struggles and differences over tactics. Al-Qaeda had two affiliates operating in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS). A rivalry began last summer, when ISIS announced that it had taken Jabhat al-Nusra into its ranks. Zawahiri intervened on the side of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Read more at Clarion Project

HUFFINGTON POST: WEAKENING THE NYPD IS A GOOD IDEA

nypd-muslims-APby DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA:

On Monday, Matt Sledge of the Huffington Post added his name to those who support the recent disbanding of the NYPD unit tasked with understanding and mapping the communities within which jihadis hide.

In his article, Sledge uses a piece by former NYPD deputy commissioner Paul Browne to undermine the argument that the unit prevented terrorism. His criticism uses selective quotes to misdirect and otherwise misrepresents the actual role of the unit.

Sledge argues that one of the arrests Browne mentions of a terrorist suspect intending to blow up NY landmarks was not the result of the work by the Demographics Unit.

The criticism doesn’t stand for two reasons: as the Deputy Commissioner makes clear, the unit was never intended to arrest terrorists; and the original article talks of several cases and seven others arrests and successful terrorist convictions, not just the one Sledge focuses on.

According to Deputy Commissioner Browne:

Breathless reporting has asserted that police “admitted” that the unit hadn’t developed terrorist leads. That’s like saying Derek Jeter “admitted” to having never scored a touchdown. Right church; wrong pew: It was never the unit’s job.

The tiny unit was there to provide pointers, advice on the environment in which actual undercover officers would work to locate and arrest terrorists–much as the US Army created Human Terrain Teams of cultural experts to advise unit commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Accusations of authors like Sledge flow from the false narrative of organizations such as CAIR that the NYPD unit was spying on 800,000 Muslims in New York around the clock. As I myself have argued with these organizations on Al Jazeera, this is an absurd accusation. As Browne–who should know–points out, the unit never had more than 14 police officers assigned to it, so the idea that is was a superagency monitoring all Muslims in and around New York 24/7 is clearly ridiculous.

More damning from a purely professional point of view is that Sledge attempts to dismiss the whole value of this unit based upon his reading of one specific arrest that involved federal agencies outside of the NYPD, but conspicuously fails to discuss the seven other terrorist arrests mentioned by Deputy Commissioner Browne. Why? Perhaps because these cases are proof that when you look for terrorists, it helps to understand the communities in which they hide?

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