WHY ISIS IS WINNING

iraq-al-qaeda-convoy-AP (1)Breitbart, by KATIE GORKA:

In the past 24 hours, reinforcements have been arriving in the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, where Kurdish troops have slowly been losing their months-long battle with the Islamic State (ISIS).

In a significant change of policy, Turkey last night allowed an estimated 50-150 troops from the Free Syrian Army to cross the Turkish border into Syria. And at dawn today, 80 vehicles arrived in Kobane carrying Iraqi Peshmerga fighters, according to the BBC.

This is good news for Kobane and for the broader fight against ISIS, but it is bad news for the current Western strategy in fighting ISIS.  It is a sign that the strategy is not succeeding. At the heart of the battle for Kobane is the United States’ failure to properly assess this enemy. The Obama administration has narrowly defined the enemy as only the most violent jihadists: first Al Qaeda and now ISIS. It has drawn a distinct line between those who use violence and those who do not. The administration sees this as a contest of force with an enemy that is limited in number.  This inaccurate assessment of the enemy has its roots in left-wing theories about social movements, which I examine in detail in the recent white paper, “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy.”

In the 1980s, academics began to apply social movement theory to Islamist activism.  The key concept was that violent jihadists are the product of oppression. Quintan Wiktorowicz, one of the principal proponents of this theory, eventually joined Obama’s National Security Staff as Senior Director for Global Engagement. His influence within the White House in shaping American counter-terrorism strategy had three fatal effects: the focus shifted away from ideology and to the belief that the ideology motivating Islamists is irrelevant; it treated Islamists as victims, saying they are forced by circumstances to resort to violence; and it drew a line between violence and nonviolent Islamists, saying that we only have to fight the former, while the latter– for example, the Muslim Brotherhood– can be our allies.

But terrorists are not victims. The ideology is the heart of what draws young men and women to join a murderous fight, and nonviolent Islamists can no more be our allies than can Al Qaeda or ISIS.  Indeed, ISIS and its ilk are built on a foundation laid by such “nonviolent” Islamists as the Muslim Brotherhood, and they are supported by such “allies” as Qatar and Turkey.

The arrival of additional troops and materiel in Kobane is very good news indeed for the people besieged there, but until the United States straightens out its understanding of the enemy and drafts an appropriate response, the larger battle cannot be won.

Katie Gorka is president of the Council on Global Security.  @katharinegorka.

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“The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy” by Katie Gorka has been added to CJR’s list of Key Reports.

“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 Lone-Wolf Canard

20141025_axNYcterroristZaleThompsonNo one self-radicalizes. Terrorists are radicalized by a scripturally based doctrine.

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

In Modern Times, his sweeping history of the 20th century, Paul Johnson recounts how Einstein’s theory of relativity, a strictly scientific principle, was contorted into relativism, a loopy social phenomenon, through a permanent campaign of serpentine rhetoric. It is, as Roger Kimball explains in The Fortunes of Permanence, a classic example of how a sensible concept or term of art that helps us grasp some narrow aspect of reality can end up distorting reality when ripped from its moorings and broadly applied.

Another good example is “lone wolf.”

Since Thursday afternoon, newscasters have incessantly told us that the late and unlamented Zale Thompson was a “lone wolf.” Thompson was the 32-year-old Muslim from Queens who attacked four New York City police officers with a hatchet on Thursday, breaking one’s arm and critically wounding another with a gash to the head.

Reading off the familiar script, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton insisted that “nothing we know at this time would indicate” a connection to terrorism. This, despite Thompson’s Facebook page on which he portrayed himself as a mujahed warrior superimposed on Koranic verses and called for “guerilla warfare” against the United States. Evidently, it is just one of those “violent extremism” coincidences that this “lone wolf” strike – translation: non-terrorist strike – occurred soon after the Islamic State urged Muslims in the West to “attack the soldiers of the tyrants and their police force.”

In addition to Americans, Europeans, and Australians, the Islamic State lists the “infidels” of Canada among its enemy “tyrants.” Thompson’s “lone wolf” jihad followed hard upon two separate “lone wolf” attacks in Canada this week. First, Martin Couture-Rouleau plowed a car into two soldiers, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Then, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo to death at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before spraying bullets inside Parliament (but fortunately killing no one else). Each “lone wolf” was killed in the aftermath, and each was reportedly a “recent convert to Islam.”

These latest atrocities follow last month’s decapitation of a woman at an Oklahoma food-distribution center by Alton Nolen, another “recent convert to Islam” whose Facebook page was a shrine to Osama bin Laden and the Islamic State. At the time, Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro noted that the Oklahoma attack was the latest of seven in the last few years by Muslim men acting alone. The count rises to eight if one accepts the Obama administration’s “workplace violence” rendition of the Fort Hood massacre, to wit: jihadist Nidal Hassan was a “lone wolf” – and therefore somehow not a terrorist – despite both his motive to prevent the U.S. soldiers he killed from fighting Taliban terrorists and his string of pre-massacre consultations with al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki (the imam who had ministered to the wolf-pack known as the 9/11 suicide-hijackers). At any rate, there are now so many “lone” jihadists we should probably start saying “clone wolf” instead.

So rote have the airbrushed news accounts of these incidents become that we could recite them in our sleep – which is exactly the condition those who write them hope to leave us in. We are to believe it is beside the point that the assailants happen to be Muslims. Sure, some may have been “inspired” by the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, but journalists, taking their cues from government officials, stress that the murderers lack “operational” ties to any recognized terrorist organization. So, presto, each is sloughed off as a “lone wolf.”

That once useful term of art is now used to convey two carefully crafted, politically correct narratives. For government officials and investigators, the “lone wolf” label has come to mean the atrocity in question cannot be categorized as “terrorism,” no matter how many “Allahu Akbars!” are shouted as bullets fly, bombs blast, or heads roll. For the commentariat, “lone wolf” signifies that the Muslim in question – whether a lifer or a “recent convert” – has “self-radicalized,” spontaneously becoming a wanton, irrational killer.

These two story lines transparently suggest that the government has quelled al-Qaeda and that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Though President Obama frequently makes both claims, they are delusional.

“Lone wolf” is actually a surveillance-law concept that signifies the antithesis of the government’s newfangled “no terrorism here” usage. Moreover, the term is utterly useless to our understanding of how, and by what, Muslims are “radicalized.”

The “lone wolf” concept goes back to the alarm that gripped the nation right after nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks. That alarm was heightened by the discovery that incompetent surveillance practices prevented the government from interrupting the plot. So after 9/11, national-security surveillance law was overhauled.

Unlike ordinary criminal investigations, which focus on penal law offenses, national-security investigations target agents of “foreign powers.” Legally, an international terrorist organization qualifies as a foreign power. So if investigators can show a person is tied to an outfit like al-Qaeda, they can get court permission to eavesdrop on him.

As a practical matter, though, many terrorism investigations do not unfold that way. Sometimes, investigators develop evidence that someone is preparing to conduct terrorist activity (e.g., he buys explosive components, he cases a bridge) before they can figure out whether he is connected to a known terrorist organization. Since involvement by a foreign power was the necessary predicate for national-security surveillance, the government’s inability to establish al-Qaeda’s role in the plot would result in the denial of authority to eavesdrop on the apparent terrorist – even though he might be on the verge of striking.

To prevent such a critical intelligence gap, Congress enacted “lone wolf” surveillance authority as part of the PATRIOT Act (see here, pp. 5-6). Significantly, the statute makes precisely the opposite assumption that government officials now make when they label someone a “lone wolf.” The law says that if a person is engaged in what appears to be terrorist activity, the involvement of a foreign terrorist organization should be presumed and need not be established. So as conceived and codified, the lone-wolf designation means the government should regard a suspect as a terrorist, not strain against all evidence and logic to regard him as a non-terrorist.

Under the federal statutory definition, “international terrorism” happens when a person engages in activity intended to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.” If a person’s actions fit this definition, that is terrorism. That he may not have sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda or the Islamic State is immaterial . . . and the fact that he is a Muslim is not a reason to look the other way.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Al Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America with its Social Media Outreach for Jihadists

logo_colored_s2ISIS Study Group:

The Al Hayat Media Center is a formidable social media juggernaut that the United States, its European allies as well as its Gulf State allies in the Middle East have had a hard time combating. One of the central figures in the Al Hayat Media Center is Ahmad Abousamra and he may even be the director of operations for Al Hayat Media Center (HMC).

HMC has been able to saturate numerous cities with its social media messaging through Twitter, Youtube, Diaspora, and just about any other social media outlet you can think of. Al Hayat has a full time staff that develops and tests its messaging and they test it on westerners from within their ranks as well as “sample” groups online. The messages work to play on the religious beliefs of the Islamic faithful, but it particularly pushes that message towards the newly converted.

If you look at many of the recent attacks including the OKC perpetrator of the beheading, Ali Mohammad Brown who killed 4 people, and numerous others that have been arrested have been those that converted to Islam recently. When we are talking about recently it is generally within the past 18 months. The incubation period for radicalization varies with some becoming radicalized within a few months and others taking longer. These times can be shorter or longer.

The outreach also targets those that have been practicing Islam longer, but are still trying to “find” their way in the religion. These are the individuals that HMC targets to come to Syria and Iraq to fight in the jihad there. HMC probes and discovers the depth of commitment an individual might have through their savvy use of messaging. They make the person feel a sense of belonging that they have not found where they currently live.

The thing to keep in mind is that HMC doesn’t have to directly target an individual for radicalization. The process is often self-starting through the individual reading or listening to the promulgated media of the Islamic State. The more the individual reads the deeply religious content the more they start feeling a sense of pride in it and that is what they want in life. They start feeling the need to learn more about the Islamic religion if they are new converts or even those that have been practicing longer. Then the outreach starts, usually initiated by the individual looking to “talk” to those individuals involved with the Islamic State.

HMC has a team of individuals that help develop these contacts. The contact is subtle at first focusing on the individual’s life and spirituality. As the recruit is developed the HMC handler begins probing the individual for commitment level and what sort of role they could potentially play. If the individual is a recent convert the Islamic State may start developing the individual for placement as they look at the individual’s access to potential targets or for recruitment to come to Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic State is also working feverishly to develop individuals in countries that are allied with the United States. The purpose for this is target the population or government of these countries in order to erode popular support for taking action against the Islamic State by making them a target of radicalized citizens at home.

Targeting American allies is not a new strategy but is a campaign of intimidation of the citizens of close allies of the United States. The Islamic State is not the first to do such a thing. The Taliban during their resurgence that started in 2005 began targeting the Canadians specifically to try to disrupt support for their efforts in Afghanistan. The idea behind the Taliban attempts to erode allied support was to inflict more casualties rather than through a social media campaign. They would however post about the attacks on the Canadians, just not nearly as sophisticated as Al Hayat Media Center.

HMC pretty much announces areas that will be attacked prior to the attacks actually taking place while not giving any sort of specifics because they are relying on the self-radicalized to conduct attacks on their behalf. Chances are if they are increasing their “chatter” in or about an area they have reasonable confidence in the radicalized individual to conduct an attack. They had increased their media saturation about Ottawa in the weeks leading up to the individual conducting the attack on the Canadian Parliament.

Self-radicalized Ali Mohammad Brown had killed three individuals in the Seattle, Washington area and then killed Brendan Tevlin in New Jersey. His rationale was because of the US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Mr. Brown was a recent convert that was self-radicalized.

Types and levels of radicalization:

Self-radicalized: This is an individual that becomes radicalized through no contact with the Islamic State or other terrorist organization. These individuals simply read the vast amounts of literature that is found all over the internet. They as previously stated are often people that are interested in the Islamic religion or are newly converted. This is a process that can develop slowly or rapidly depending on the individual. Often the individual is a social outcast from the “normal” society of the US or Canada. This is not always the case, but these individuals are more easily susceptible. These individuals are the most difficult to track or acquire anything on them because they may not have direct contact with any known individual through social media connected to the Islamic State.

The seeker: This is an individual that has recently converted to Islam and has been following ISIS mujatweets, videos and other social outreach. This is an individual that is looking to become more involved on behalf of the Islamic State. Eric Harroun is an example of a seeker. He had converted to Islam and sought out the Islamic State and left to Syria to fight on their behalf and was arrested upon return to the US. These individuals pose great danger as they may have become fully radicalized. They are actively involving themselves with the Islamic State through social media.

The combination radicalization: This is a combination of the first two where an individual has recently converted and starts out reading information about the Islamic State. After a certain period of time they are start talking to Islamic State individuals on twitter or FB. The radicalization process may be slower or accelerated depending on the individual’s own will and values. This may also be an individual that can convinced to conduct a homeland attack.

Any of these radicalized individuals could perpetrate an attack on the US or Canadian homeland. The one common factor in them is that they are often recent converts. The US State Department has launched its #Thinkagainturnaway campaign which has not been a very successful endeavor. In fact, it has been poorly thought out and even more poorly executed.

The fault with the State Department campaign is that it tries to play on the human side of right and wrong with its messaging. This is ineffective messaging when trying to counter a religious based message that is influenced by the politics of the Islamic State. Successfully countering the messaging requires knowledge of basic tenants of Islam and the parts of the Quran that focus on the peaceful aspects and also historical references to merciful Islamic leaders. The focus of the messaging has to be religious based to negate the effects of the Islamic State’s religious based messaging. There are a multitude of other things that could be done to counter that messaging through historical reference as well as modern day.

Read more

Also see:

Ex-CIA Case Officer: ‘The West Is Under Attack’ From Islamic State-Inspired Radicals

The Blaze, by Tom Orr, Oct. 24, 2014:

The United States and Canada have suffered three attacks with apparent ties to terrorism in the span of a week, and a retired CIA case officer told TheBlaze he expects more will follow.

“I think the West is under attack,” said Brian Fairchild, who spent 20 years in the CIA’s clandestine service and has testified before Congress as a terrorism expert.

“I think that they’re responses to the ISIS and Al Qaeda requests for folks to go out and strike Americans any time, anywhere, any place that they can. That’s what this is turning out to be,” Fairchild said, speaking during an interview for an upcoming episode of TheBlaze TV’s For the Record.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent a memo on Oct. 11, warning that Islamic State sympathizers could carry out attacks on police and government personnel.

Canadian police officers stand guard in downtown Ottawa, Oct. 22, 2014. (Mike Carroccetto/Getty Images)

Canadian police officers stand guard in downtown Ottawa, Oct. 22, 2014. (Mike Carroccetto/Getty Images)

On Monday, 25-year-old Martin Couture Rouleau slammed his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one, before he was fatally shot by police. Investigators said they were “concerned that he had become radicalized” before the attack.

Two days later, police said 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a soldier guarding Canada’s national war memorial in Ottawa before storming into the Parliament building, where he was ultimately shot dead.

Then on Thursday, a man attacked a group of New York Police officers with a hatchet, seriously wounding one. New York City police Commissioner William Bratton on Friday called it a “terrorist attack” by a homegrown radical.

Fairchild said the Islamic State has visions of an even bigger wave of terror.

“What they would love is for there to be 50, 100, 1,000 attacks like that. Whether their followers will rise up and do that for them, we don’t know,” he said.

Fairchild said there is a real cause for concern: Groups like Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have had only limited success pushing American extremists to pull off “lone wolf” attacks, but the rapid expansion of the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may have created enough momentum to finally push some of those radical individuals into action.

“When Baghdadi and ISIS says, ‘Hey guys, go out and find soldiers, intelligence, and police officers and kill them, don’t ask for anybody’s approval, just go out and do it,’ that seems to have had more resonance among these guys than all of the requests from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ‘Inspire’ magazine before that,” Fairchild said. ”That’s what the game-changer is.”

 

U.S. leadership has pledged to stop the Islamic State’s advance, and has repeatedly sought to distance it and other radical groups from the Islamic faith.

“Radicalization is something politicians pay lip service to but they’ve never done anything about it,” Fairchild said. “In fact, our senior politicians say Islam has nothing to do with this. And that’s absolutely incorrect.”

Fairchild says that refusal to acknowledge the link to Islam leaves America unable to effectively deal with the threat.

“You have to understand, ‘who is the enemy?’ You can’t defeat the enemy until you understand the enemy. In understanding the enemy, you have to look at it from his point of view. Not what you want him to be. Not what makes you feel good, but what is he?”

Fairchild continued, “From an intelligence analytical point of view, these folks believe they’re fighting for a righteous cause. They’re fighting for their God. They’re fighting according to what God has told them to do in the Koran.”

‘Lone Wolf,’ or ‘Known Wolf’? The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

F5FA38EDDCFE45EABC4F263FECE614E5By Patrick Poole:

Katie Gorka of the Council on Global Security has released an important report [1], “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” and events of this week show that it couldn’t be more timely. The separate terror attacks in Canada and a long string of terror attacks here in the U.S. show that the counter-terrorism policies of Western governments are fundamentally broken, and are directly responsible for getting their citizens killed. Even as I write this there are breaking reports of yet another attack [2].

The primary targets of Gorka’s new report are the various fictitious narratives and bogus social science models that drive Western counter-terrorism efforts. Chief among these is the “countering violent extremism (CVE)” narrative that has been the centerpiece for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement.

CVE has been a colossal disaster because it has no roots in reality. It was always intended as a convenient fiction for politicians, bureaucrats, media and academics to avoid talking about [3] the problem of the ideology that supports Islamic terrorism.

There has never once been a recorded case of anyone on the planet swearing their allegiance to the ideology of “violent extremism” and their willingness to kill others and die in the cause of “violent extremism.” It is a null set. There is nothing to counter, which is the whole point. And yet there are academics and institutions who are the beneficiaries of mountains of taxpayer cash to pursue the elusive CVE unicorn.

CVE has been used to smuggle all kinds of crackpot theories into not just our counter-terrorism policy, but also our foreign policy.

One crackpot theory has been that there are good Islamists that we can use against the bad Islamists. This was the keystone of the Obama administration’s Arab Spring policies. And this theory put into practice in Egypt, Libya, Syria and other places has left the Middle East in even worse shape than Obama found it.

As Gorka observes, the administration’s head cheerleader [4] for this “good Islamist/bad Islamist” approach has been Quintan Wiktorowicz, who served as senior director of the National Security Council under Obama. But the disaster of the Arab Spring has prompted Wiktorowicz and his CVE pals to double-down on this approach. Now we have entirely new categories of actors, such as “vetted moderates,” and even “good bad Islamists,” who presumably are any jihadists not currently wearing a suicide belt.

This rampant idiocy has become so bad that we have the supposed best and brightest in the Washington, D.C. foreign policy elite now calling for engagement with “moderate al-Qaeda” (no, I’m not kidding [5]).

Another theory championed by the CVE crowd is the “lone wolf” syndrome, reportedly where unknown individuals unconnected to any other actor strike without warning. But numerous examples show that terrorist actors are almost always part of a network who were involved in recruiting and tasking terrorist activity. As Max Abrahms at Northeastern University has observed [6]:

Since the advent of international terrorism in 1970, none of the 40 most lethal terrorist attacks has been committed by a person unaffiliated with some terrorist group, according to publicly available data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, which is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and stored at the University of Maryland. In fact, lone wolves have carried out just two of the 1,900 most deadly terrorist incidents over the last four decades.

So why “lone wolf”? Simply, it was a mechanism promulgated by the CVE industry, with willing cooperation from law enforcement and intelligence officials, to exonerate themselves when a terrorist attack happened. At its core is terror agnosticism: “There is possibly no way to predict who will turn to terrorism, so therefore we can’t be held responsible when it happens. Oh, and give us more money so we can better improve how we won’t be able to predict terror attacks.”

The two terror attacks in Canada this week, which are already being described by CVE industry practitioners as “lone wolf” attacks, were by individuals already known to Canadian counter-terrorism officials. Reportedly both Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau [7] and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau [8] had their passports taken away by Canadian authorities because they were considered “high risk” to travel overseas to join the Islamic State. We also have reports that Zehaf-Bibeau had contacts with known jihadist sympathizers [9] and at least one individual who had fought in Syria.

Looking at the long string of domestic terror incidents here in the U.S. shows that the so-called “lone wolves,” in virtually every case, were in fact “known wolves.”

In fairness, this “known wolf” phenomenon goes back more than 20 years.

The cell responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was well known to law enforcement. An FBI informant, Emad Salem, was operating inside their cell and had been repeatedly warning the FBI about the group’s intentions. As far back as 1989, the FBI had been watching [10] these cell members conduct weapons training.

When one of the cell members, El Sayyid Nosair, killed Rabbi Meir Kahane in a New York City hotel in November 1990, law enforcement recovered hordes of information about the cell’s activities and intentions — but, as has been pointed out, it was never translated. My friend and colleague Andy McCarthy, who prosecuted some of the cell members after the 1993 WTC bombing, wrote a whole book about the affair, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad [11].

Read more at PJ Media

Cruz: Time to Drop the ‘Illusion’ That Latest Terror Attacks Are ‘Random Acts’

Ted Cruz / AP

Ted Cruz / AP

By Adam Kredo:

Recent terror attacks in Jerusalem and Canada are not isolated events, and American policy leaders must drop “the illusion that these are random acts of senseless violence unrelated to our national security,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said.

Whether the Islamic State or Hamas is behind the attacks, the extremist ideologyremains the same–and it poses a direct threat to democratic values across the globe, Cruz said in pointed comments to those who might claim the attacks were unrelated.

Following the Hamas terror attack Wednesday in Jerusalem–which injured several American citizens, including a child–both Hamas and the more moderate Fatah ruling party praised the terrorist responsible for the attack.

The same day, IS supporters worldwide took to Twitter to celebrate the fatal shooting of a Canadian soldier by a radicalized man that attacked the country’s Parliament building.

“We have to get away from the illusion that these are random acts of senseless violence unrelated to our national security,” Cruz said.

Cruz said the attacks are both strains of the same extremist virus.

“Deliberations over our foreign policy have gained a new clarity in recent days,” Cruz said. “Yesterday, an innocent, beautiful baby in Jerusalem was murdered by Hamas.”

“Terrorist organizations Hamas and Fatah both celebrated the destruction of this precious life just months after they relished in the slayings of Jewish teens,” Cruz said. “They did not care that the baby was American or one of the teens was a dual Israeli-American citizen. Their campaign of death is indiscriminate.”

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

“Who have Eyes and See Not”

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau storming Parliament

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau storming Parliament

CSP, by Kyle Shideler:

October 22nd’s terror attack by Michael (aka Abdullah) Zehaf-Bibeau brings into focus an important question for Western counterterrorism efforts, as reports are now indicating that Zehaf-Bibeau, reportedly a Muslim convert, or having recently become religious, had been under Canadian law enforcement scrutiny prior to the attack, over fears that he may head abroad to join the Islamic State. This exact same set of circumstances also existed for Martin Couture Rouleau, who killed one Canadian soldier, and wounded another, in a hit and run terror attack on October 21st.

Nor are the Canadians the only ones who have had all the proper intelligence on suspects, and literally surveilled them all the up until the moment they began their deadly assault. A look at the past several years brings to mind multiple examples. The FBI was made aware of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev , and even interviewed him, well before he engaged in his jihad. British MI-5 had likewise been made aware of Michael Adebolajo, when he was arrested by Kenyan authorities allegedly for trying to join the jihad in Somalia. Adebolajo (together with a partner) would go on to engage in the beheading of British Army drummer Lee Rigby, in an attack very nearly copied by Rouleau.

Mohamed Merah, the French Muslim terrorist who attacked a Jewish school killing a Rabbi and three children as well as three French paratroopers in ambush attacks, was known to French intelligence and under surveillance for years. The Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hassan gave a briefing to his fellow Walter Reed psychiatrists about why sharia law obligated Muslims to engage in jihad against non-Muslims. Hassan’s email exchanges with Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki were read by the FBI in 2008 before the attack.  The Underwear bomber, and the Glasgow Airport bomber were also known to law enforcement and intelligence, and yet in both cases only quick acting members of the public prevented tragedy.

The point of mentioning these cases (and there are others) is not to blame law enforcement or intelligence agencies for failure, but rather to highlight a key problem. Despite the ability to detect, surveil and identify jihadists, which has been largely successful, the ability to actually prevent their attacks remains woefully inadequate. And even less is being done about the networks which indoctrinated these men, most of whom were recent converts, or men from largely secular families who had recently been re-introduced to their faith with a renewed zeal. Instead the relevant agencies watched, and listened… and then when the attacks occur, they were left to clean up the mess.

For starters, discussions of ideology, indoctrination, and recruitment have been forbidden, or at a minimum are utterly inadequate. While the RCMP wisely decided to reject an “anti-terror” handbook, which was put together in cooperation with Islamic groups in Canada, and which would have called for an end to the use of terms like “jihad” or “Islamist”, it shows that the same pressures exist in Canada as have been present in the United States. Ironically the U.S. State Department praised the same book rejected by Canadian law enforcement.

More efforts also need to be placed on disrupting the indoctrination and recruiting process, which requires understanding realistically where that indoctrination occurs. As noted by former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din (Transcript courtesy of Andy McCarthy):

As I have said, ISIS is a phenomenon with extensions all over the world, not just in Muslim countries. Even here in the U.S., there are many ISIS mosques.  There are thousands of mosques that are preparing people to join ISIS. Imagine: young people from Florida join the ranks of ISIS to fight, and so do young people from Britain, Australia, Russia, China, and elsewhere. How could a young university student leave Florida to fight for ISIS if not for a mosque that incited him to do so? I am not talking about a handful of mosques or about just a few people. No, we are talking about thousands of such mosques, or even more, in all countries of the world, from South America to North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. These mosques are calling, day in and day out, for the revival of the caliphate. There are school curricula that glorify the caliphate…

MP Al-Din said in that short segment on an Arabic television channel what most law enforcement officials and intelligence officers would be terrified to say, and are prohibitedfrom investigating.

Another tool law enforcement has traditionally used to preempt terrorists with great effect has been the use informants and sting operations. By luring would-be terrorists into conducting their jihad harmlessly with fake explosives or the like, law enforcement can pounce without waiting for death and mayhem. But as has been repeatedly documentedelsewhere, in the United States at least, that tool is under severe pressure. Sting operations are targeted for elimination by the Muslim Brotherhood, and their various allies through false claims of entrapment. While outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent guideline changes on profiling did not terminate the use of informants, it opened the door for continued efforts by MB groups to pursue their elimination.

The ability to gather intelligence, to surveil and identify potential threats is meaningless if there exists no way to take action before those threats become realized. This in turn plays a part in the public’s increased discomfort with surveillance, which does not seem to be accomplishing the one goal for which it was instituted, protecting the public. Quality intelligence work, and dramatic surveillance capabilities suggest that future Zehaf-Bibeaus, Rouleaus, Hassans, Abebolajos, and Tsarnaevs are unlikely to go “undetected.” However, thanks to the inability to get quality training on ideology, the impermissibility of addressing mosques as targets of investigations, and soon, the inability to utilize informants or sting operations, they are also unlikely to be stopped.

Psychological Warfare and Terrorism

napoleon_and_his_general_staff_1867-660x350-1414054375Via Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

By William Kilpatrick

Crisis Magazine

In a recent column, I suggested that one of the best ways to fight terrorism is by undermining the terrorist’s ideology. For example, by undercutting the belief that seventy-two virgins await the young martyr in paradise, you simultaneously undermine the will to fight.

That’s not to say that the standard method of fighting terrorists—with guns—can be safely abandoned. The propaganda war works best when it is reinforced by the shooting war. The more convincingly force is applied on the battlefield, the more convincing will be the ideological arguments.

If, for example, you’re an ISIS fighter and you see your buddies on the battlefield fall victim to an occasional bomb or bullet, that won’t necessarily shake your faith in the brides-to-be. As long as the war is going well, and as long as there’s a senior officer or two around to assure you that your fallen comrades are now enjoying their reward in paradise, your basic assumptions can remain intact. If, on the other hand, you look around and see nothing but death and destruction and no surviving officers to make sense of it all, you may begin to doubt the whole enterprise.

Just as importantly, a devastating defeat will have a salutary effect on people far away from the battlefield. The fellow in Brussels or Brisbane or Boston who’s thinking of joining the jihad will now have second thoughts—not only about ISIS, but also about the ideology that fuels it. Even fanatics can become realists in the face of overwhelming facts. In short, doubts can be accelerated by defeats.

Most people, of whatever religion, like to think that God is on their side of the battle, but in Islam belief and battlefield success are more closely linked than in, say, Christianity. Indeed, the seemingly miraculous military successes of Muhammad and the caliphs who followed him were taken by Muslims to be a proof that Islam is the true religion. Conversely, the religion of Islam has never fared well when its imperialistic ambitions have been thwarted. After Napoleon’s invasion and subjugation of Egypt, and subsequent European conquests and colonization of the Muslim world, Muslims began to seriously question the efficacy of Islam. As Islam scholar Raymond Ibrahim observes:

It was one thing to hold unhesitatingly to Islam and Sharia when Islam was conquering and subjugating non-Muslims, as it had done for well over a millennium. It was quite another thing for Muslims to remain confident in the Islamic way when the despised Christian infidels were conquering and subjugating the lands of Islam with great ease—displaying their superior weapons and technology, not to mention all the other perks of Western civilization.

During the colonial and post-colonial era, Muslim nations looked increasingly to the West as a model of emulation, and increasingly they looked away from Islam. Religious fanaticism declined, the jizya collection and the dhimmi laws were abolished, and, according to Ibrahim, “By the middle of the twentieth century, the Middle East’s Christians were widely seen, particularly by the educated elites and those in power, as no different from their Muslim counterparts.” Islam had been so thoroughly defanged by mid-century that, if Americans thought about it at all, they thought of it in terms of comedy movies like The Road to Morocco or Broadway musicals like Kismet.

The point is that this more moderate Islam of the not so distant past was made possible by Western military power and by the secular strongmen who succeeded the colonial rulers. Likewise, the recent renewed appeal of fundamentalist Islam has been made possible by shows of force: the overthrow of the Shah in Iran, the defeat of the Russians in Afghanistan, the bombing of the World Trade Center and numerous other successful terror attacks, the Arab Spring revolutions and, most recently, the march of ISIS across Syria and Iraq.

Such victories against technologically and/or numerically superior forces create a psychological momentum which makes militant Islam all the more appealing to potential recruits. Psychological momentum, however, can be halted and reversed by decisive battlefield defeats. The idea that nothing is ever accomplished by war is not quite true—as evidenced by the current pacifist inclinations of our former enemies, Japan and Germany. In this respect, it’s heartening to see that some Catholic leaders are coming around to acknowledging that, on occasion, there is no alternative to military force. I recently criticized Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, for blaming terrorism on poverty and injustice, but in his address to the UN Security Council, he also called for intervention to combat the Islamic State:

My delegation wishes to recall that it is both licit and urgent to stop aggression through multilateral action and a proportionate use of force.

He was referring, of course, to the Catholic Church’s teaching on just war. One of the conditions of a just war is that force must be used proportionately. If you bulldoze my barn, I shouldn’t respond by burning down your house with all the people inside. The trouble is, when dealing with a group like ISIS, it’s difficult to say what constitutes proportionality. We are battling an armed force which also happens to have considerable symbolic significance for others. In figuring what a proportionate response would be, we have to take into consideration ISIS’ ability to inspire both lone-wolf and well-organized terror attacks around the world. Consequently, it’s crucial not only to degrade and contain ISIS, but to defeat it, and to defeat it in such a way as to crush the dreams of would-be jihadists.

As war historian Victor Davis Hanson has observed, successful military leaders strive to not only defeat the enemy, but also to discredit his ideology. This does not mean the killing of every last man on the enemy side, but it often involves the killing of the enemy’s dreams. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Allied generals forced Nazi officials and thousands of nearby residents to take humiliating tours of the concentration camps and, in some cases, forced them to bury the dead prisoners. The prosecution of Nazi officials at the Nuremberg trials also helped to ensure that the Nazi dream would never rise again. Nazism was so thoroughly discredited as an ideology that, for decades after, no one—except for a few on the fringes—wanted to be associated with it in any way.

The Islamic State itself seems to fully understand the symbolic side of war. The crucifixions and ritual beheadings are not senseless acts, they are acts calculated to send a message. On one occasion, after capturing 250 Syrian soldiers, the Islamic State militants forced the prisoners to strip to their underwear and then paraded them in front of cameras before marching them to the place of execution. The message? Those who resist ISIS will suffer both defeat and dishonor; they fight for a worthless cause.

The ISIS campaign of psychological warfare, crude and ugly as it seems to the Western mind, has had the intended effect. Rallies to support ISIS have popped up in numerous Western cities, other Muslim groups have pledged their solidarity, and more and more Muslims are flocking to join its army. In ever-distracted America, football fans are abuzz about a penalty imposed on a Kansas City Chiefs player for prostrating himself in Muslim prayer after scoring a touchdown. Since Christian players are not penalized for similar behavior, fans were outraged. Meanwhile, on the same day, a much more significant sports-related event was playing out in Casablanca, Morocco. A video posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute showed a sizeable group of fans—perhaps one hundred—chanting “ISIS! ISIS!” and then “Allahu akbar, let’s go on jihad! Allahu akbar, let’s go on jihad!” American football fans—that is to say, Americans in general—might want to take note of the ever-expanding ISIS fan base. They might also do well to consider that the penalty ISIS imposes on losers is considerably more severe than fifteen yards.

If and when we get around to defeating ISIS, let’s hope we administer a psychological defeat as well—one that shows up not only the impotence of their fighting force, but also the emptiness of their vision. Else ISIS will rise again in some other form under some other name.

Exactly how this would be done is difficult to say. We are not, hopefully, going to descend to the level of displaying severed heads. And parading troops in their underwear is inconsistent with our concept of human dignity. Indeed, the whole idea of imposing a humiliating defeat goes against the grain of our highly developed sensitivities. Nonetheless, it seems time to reconsider our politically correct policy on waging war with terrorists—a policy which seems to say that war is simply a misunderstanding, and that after we’ve defeated you quietly and without fanfare, we will give you a clean cell and a copy of the Koran untouched by infidel hands because, of course, your religion has nothing to do with your terrorist behavior.

If we wish to avoid endless wars with jihadists, we should conclude our war with the Islamic State in such a way that Muslims around the world will rethink the notions of Islamic jihad and Islamic martyrdom. It’s not as improbable as it sounds. Not so long ago, historically speaking, Turks, Egyptians, and other Muslims who read the writing on the wall did rethink Islam. Faced with a West that was not only militarily powerful, but also culturally confident, they opted for a more muted form of Islam.

Brian Lilley on Martin “Ahmad” Roleau, Lee Rigby-style terrorist in Canada

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

“We can’t let those that want to spread Islam by the sword, the bomb, or the car continue to use the feeble excuse that we bring these attacks on ourselves due to our policies. . . There was no American or Canadian foreign policy to blame when Islam swept across the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, up into Spain. Our foreign policy cannot be blamed for ISIS killing Shias. This is not about us and our policies; it’s about a warped feeble world view that seeks to spread like a cancer.”

*****

Marc Lebuis on Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, Lee Rigby-style terrorist in Canada

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/

Marc Lebuis of Point de Bascule (“Tipping Point”) drills down on Lee-Rigby-style terrorist Martin “Ahmad” Roleau, his background, and the mosque to which he belonged.

“There is an RCMP agent who is a regular attendee of the mosque.”

*******

BBC’s Adnan Nawaz speaks to Tarek Fatah | ISIS Lone Wolf Kills Canadian Soldier

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by Tarek Fatah

Downing Street set to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood

Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally to protest against the death penalties for the members of the radical group in Egypt, outside the Egyptian embassy in Ankara Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP

Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally to protest against the death penalties for the members of the radical group in Egypt, outside the Egyptian embassy in Ankara Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP

By Robert Mendick, and Robert Verkaik:

Downing Street is to order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and a network of Islamist groups accused of fuelling extremism in Britain and across the Arab world.

David Cameron launched an inquiry into the Brotherhood earlier this year, prompted by concerns it was stoking an Islamist ideology that had encouraged British jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who is an adviser to the review, is reported to have described it as “at heart a terrorist organisation”. The Brotherhood insists it is non-violent and seeks to impose Islamic rule only through democratic change. It has condemned Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda.

A senior source close to the inquiry said its report – compiled but not yet published – had identified “an incredibly complex web” of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny.

The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases – London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Qatar, the wealthiest country in the world per head of population, has for 30 years been home to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric in exile, often described as the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader. Qaradawi, who was banned from entering Britain in 2008, is accused of anti-Semitism, supporting Palestinian suicide bombers, condoning wife- beating and punishing homosexuals.

Qatar has found itself isolated from its Gulf neighbours – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – over its support of the Brotherhood during the Arab Spring. Qatar also funds Hamas, which was originally established as a Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Brotherhood and whose military wing is banned as a terrorist organisation by Britain, among others.

Dr Lorenzo Vidino, who is understood to have worked on the Cabinet Office report, presided over by Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “It is clear that the Brotherhood has many dark spots, ranging from its ambiguous relationship with violence to its questionable impact on social cohesion in Britain.”

The Government crackdown will stop short of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood but action is expected to include:

Þ Investigations into charities that are effectively “fronts” for the Brotherhood;

Þ Inquiries into funding of the organisation and links to jihadi groups abroad;

Þ Banning clerics linked to the group from countries such as Qatar and Turkey from coming to Britain for rallies and conferences.

The source said: “We cannot ban the organisation, but that was never the intention of the review. We can go after single individuals, not for terrorist-related activity, but through the Al Capone method of law-enforcement. We cannot get them for terrorism but I bet you they don’t pay their taxes.

“One of the big things is piling pressure on the charitable missions. Until now it has been very hard to monitor all the groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Read more at The Telegraph

Have We Reached Peak ISISmania Yet?

ISIS3-550x282PJ Media, By Patrick Poole:

A few thoughts on the current bout of ISISmania and the systemic problems it exposes:

1) ISISmania has created a financial/legal incentive for sources (most of them “shady” to begin with) used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to manufacture info whole-cloth.

This is nothing new. Think “prison snitches.” Various foreign actors are passing along disinformation to us as well, so mountains of BS are being fed into the system from the get-go.

Imagine, for a purely hypothetical example, a member of Congress getting an authentic report from a senior agency official, but the report is later found to have originated with a non-credible source. So the member of Congress who repeated the report was actually correct that the intel had been shared with them — but the information itself wasn’t reliable.

It never should have been shared in the first place, but it’s the member of Congress who ends up with egg on their face when the agency issues its denial. No one, whether politicians or agency officials, wants to later admit they were duped, so erroneous info never gets corrected.

2) There are considerable problems on the collection and analysis sides of intel in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. In fact, very few know how to do collection — and good analysis is basically prohibited these days.

So the BS and disinfo never gets sifted out. It then gets passed on to elected officials, which is some of what we’re seeing. Then you have agencies and the administration selectively manipulate and leak according to their own respective agendas. This is how the sausage is being made in DC these days.

3) There is only so much media space, and politicians compete with each other for that space.

So they need to come up with more outlandish claims to get a bigger share of that media space. That creates a disincentive to vet the info they get and publicly talk about. No one gets on Greta by saying: “We need to keep a cool head about this stuff.”

4) Because of that, the game of “I got a secret” is more prevalent than ever before.

Those secrets might be complete equine feces, but the desire to be “in the know,” whether they actually are or not, and the temptation to show that you’re “in the know,” is strong.

5) Congress has no mechanism to vet what the agencies and administration tells them.

 

Back in the 1990s there wase a House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare that gave Congress direct access to the intelligence and SPECOPS worlds to be able to know if what the admin at the time — regardless of party — was saying was true or not.

That’s gone. Congress itself has no internal vetting system to speak of. They are at the mercy of the Executive Branch.

6) The threats are escalating so rapidly, no one in D.C. wants to be holding the bag when something actually happens.

They’ve learned from 9/11 that they don’t want to be the one saying: “Yeah, I knew about it but never said anything publicly.” Everyone wants a chair when the music stops, so they are all trying to lay down their markers now to show they were trying to do something about it beforehand — whether they actually were or not.

Understand, much of this has nothing to do with actually preventing terrorism, but with political posturing.

7) Don’t even get me going about people in the D.C. media/foreign policy establishment — e.g., the think tanks.

There are some solid policy analysts out there doing very good work, but much of it goes unrecognized or never gets considered. That said, the vast majority of these analysts won’t do anything that gets them disinvited to a D.C. cocktail party or criticized by the cool kids on Twitter.

An M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins/Georgetown/Harvard doesn’t mean that you have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about. Analysis takes years of study and practice — but try telling that to your average 25-year-old policy wonk. And yet these are the characters that drive much the narrative, increasingly so as social media favored by the younger crowd drives much of the news cycle these days.

8) Because so much BS is being slung about, it is actually crowding out good intel.

There are actual border threats from various terrorist groups and actors currently being investigated. But none of that info will ever see the light of day because people inside the system know it will get lumped in with all the disinformation grabbing the headlines right now.

9) Because this administration seeks to maintain an iron grip over the flow of information, virtually any leak is subject to some variety of mole hunt.

It may not lead to official discipline, but perhaps to the imposition of other unofficial forms of discipline, like getting cut out of the loop, which is the kiss of death. That said, I personally know of whistleblowers getting hammered right now by their agencies for calling attention to these kinds of threats, or for trying to get information to Congress.

And Congress has still not created substantive legal protections for whistleblowers, so that creates a severe disincentive for accurate info making its way out.

(Note that the Democrats control the gavel in the Senate, and the impotent and incompetent GOP leadership that governs the House consistently refuses to exercise their oversight powers (particularly committee chairmen). That’s why it is taking YEARS for info related to the litany of Obama administration scandals from coming to light. And when the info becomes public, it is frequently due to groups outside the political establishment. Judicial Watch has done the yeomans work in this regard — not Congress — on the IRS, Fast and Furious, et al.)

10) Elections in four weeks increase all of these by an order of magnitude. So I’m not sure we’ve reached peak ISISmania yet.

There are actual threats to the homeland out there, including ISIS, but virtually all that we’re seeing in the media at the moment is political theater and the accumulation of serious systemic problems within the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

And much of this nonsense is going to get more Americans killed.

Also see:

THE REAL FRONT IN THE WAR AGAINST ISIS

ISIL-Militant-TriumphantBreitbart, By Katie Gorka:

As the war with ISIS heats up, so too does the debate over what it will take to win.  Immediately following Obama’s announcement of air strikes against ISIS, the debate centered on whether air power was enough or whether the United States also needed to commit boots on the ground.

However, in recent days the focus has shifted to the war of ideas.  The now infamous verbal brawl between Ben Affleck and Sam Harris on the Bill Maher show is just one sign that more and more people are identifying the ideology of jihad as the main front in this war.

General Jonathan Shaw, former Assistant Chief of the UK Defence Staff, said in a recent interview with The Telegraph that the war against ISIS will not be won militarily.  This battle must be fought ideologically and politically.  He said the heart of the problem is Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s funding of militant Salafism.  Saudi Arabia has long funded radical mosques and Islamic cultural centers across the globe, and Qatar supports Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, considered the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Al Jazeera, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood news outlet.  But these efforts have now backfired.  According to General Shaw: “This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really.  And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.  And the question then is ‘does bombing people over there really tackle that?’ I don’t think so. I’d far rather see a much stronger handle on the ideological battle than the physical battle.”

Even President Obama, who spends much of his energy insisting that Islam is a religion of peace and that ISIS has nothing to do with real Islam, acknowledged that ideology might have some role here. In his September 24 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he said, “It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL.”  But as Bill Gertz points out in a recent article, in fact the Obama administration is not engaging in the ideological war. They simply refuse to engage the Islamists on the battlefield of ideas.  Gertz quotes Quintan Wiktorowicz, an architect of U.S. counter-extremism strategy, who blames this failure on Constitutional constraints:

While the government has tried to counter terrorist propaganda, it cannot directly address the warped religious interpretations of groups like ISIL because of the constitutional separation of church and state…U.S. officials are prohibited from engaging in debates about Islam, and as a result will need to rely on partners in the Muslim world for this part of the ideological struggle.

But this is disingenuous.  Wiktorowicz is on record in numerous places asserting the need for the United States to tread softly with Salafists in order to avoid pushing them toward violence, even while he acknowledges that in the long run they do endorse violent jihad.

President Obama himself has repeatedly engaged in discussions about Islam, stating, for example, as he did on September 10th when he announced his plan to fight the Islamic State, “ISIL is not Islamic.”  John Kerry has likewise entered the fray, insisting that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, an assertion that has formed the basis of U.S. counter-terrorism policy and training under the Obama administration.  So to say that U.S. leaders cannot talk about Islam is simply untrue.  It is how they talk about that it is the problem.  The bottom line is that they do not see the fundamental clash between Islamism and the principles of the American founding, and as a result, they are fighting this as a purely tactical war.

As Robert Reilly, former director of the Voice of America, has written, “In fact, the U.S. side has failed to show up for the war of ideas. Strategic communication or public diplomacy, the purpose of which is to win such wars, is the single weakest area of U.S. government performance since 9/11.”

Refusing to engage in the war of ideas, whatever the reason may be, is a disservice both to Americans and to the world’s Muslims.  It is a disservice to Americans because unless the United States engages in the ideological war against ISIS, the battlefield will simply keep repopulating itself.  For every fallen jihadist, there will be ten ready to take his place, another hundred willing to fund and support them, and another thousand to silently cheer them on.  So it is not Al Qaeda or even ISIS who are the real enemies, but the ideology that inspires them, and it is this ideology that the United States must oppose, among both its violent as well as its non-violent adherents.

Obama and many others have said this is not our debate, the Muslim world must work this out for itself.  But this is not true.  The ideas of the American founding are as relevant for the Muslim world as they are to the West.  America’s forebears learned over centuries that when religion is allowed to drive politics, it leads to tyranny, oppression and endless conflict.  This is no less true for the Muslim world.  As Ahmad Mustafa writes in today’sGulf News, “Whether we like it or not, we all helped in the rise of this terrorism by manipulating religion. And here comes the simple conclusion: Religion in politics leads only to ills.”  He goes on to say, “The fight for Islam will not be won unless the current alliance partners, and the rest of regional and international powers, come to an agreement on freeing politics from religion.”

As the war of ideas heats up, the good news is that Americans are throwing off the strictures against talking about Islam.  People like Ben Affleck and Bill Maher and Sam Harris are engaging in substantive debate about the nature of Islam and what is at stake. The bad news is that our own leaders so far are not exercising – or permitting – the same freedom.  And until they do, the ideas driving our enemies will continue to thrive.

Katie Gorka is president of the Council on Global Security.  Follow her on twitter @katharinegorka.

PIRRO: ISLAMIC TERRORISM ‘NOT JUST A THREAT, IT IS A REALITY’

Published on Sep 27, 2014 by RightSightings2

 

Breitbart, Sep. 27, 2014:

The Fox News Channel’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine” anchor Judge Jeanine Pirro declared Islamist terrorism was “not just a threat, it is a reality,” and argued the US must do more to fight it on Saturday.

“What this country faces is not just a threat, it is a reality. No longer free and easy or live and let live, and now you must adapt to this frightening new reality. To them we’re the Great Satan. To them we’re the infidel, and them includes now-radicalized Americans, arrested here as lone wolves. One charged with the killing of four Americans. Last week in Australia, a plot to horrify and shock the public with planned beheadings, and this week an Oklahoma man beheads a woman, completely decapitates her, and then he’s in the midst of attacking yet another woman with a knife when he is stopped. That man, 30-year-old Alton Nolen, a recent convert to Islam. Now Nolen visited a mosque whose former leader reportedly had ties with al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki” she stated.

Pirro argued that the US must take aggressive action against Islamic extremism, saying “until we put the Fear of God in them, they’re going to keep coming. We can’t negotiate with them, we can’t trade with them. We can’t let them out of Guantanamo. In fact, even Guantanamo is too good for them, and I don’t personally care what the rest of the world thinks of us. Until we get this country back on track with our military superiority, the hallmark of a strong and a free nation, then our enemies will continue to attack us as lone wolves or as legion.”

She further expressed that one of the key steps to combatting radical Islamic terrorism is to acknowledge that Islamic extremism exists “we can start by calling things what they are. when a Ft. Hood shooter guns down his fellow soldiers yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ with a business card that says ‘soldier of Allah,’ and who communicated with that same al-Awlaki, it’s not workplace violence, it’s terrorism, and he’s a terrorist. And I don’t want to hear the acting head of the CIA tell me that he took the word ‘Islamic’ out from in front of the word ‘extremist’ because he didn’t want to inflame passions. And I don’t want the word ‘jihad’ scrubbed from the FBI training manuals. And I don’t want to hear that ISIS is not an Islamic State any more than the USA is not the United States of America, or that we’re not states, or that we’re not united. And I’m tired of taking outside ads to apologize to other religions while our government drags and sues the Little Sisters of the Poor to the United States Supreme Court for simply expressing their religious beliefs. I’m tired of the charades.”

Other recommendations given by Pirro to fight Islamic terrorism were closing the borders, stripping citizenship, implementing anti-terrorism technology that measures things such body temperature and blood pressure used by the Israelis, and ending gun control so that Americans can defend themselves against violent terrorists in the same way Mark Vaughan stopped Alton Nolen’s attack with a firearm.