FBI using elite surveillance teams to track at least 48 high risk ISIS suspects

Screen-Shot-2015-06-23-at-12.23.20-PMFox News, by Catherine Herridge, November 26, 2015:

With as many as 1000 active cases, Fox News has learned at least 48 ISIS suspects are considered so high risk that the FBI is using its elite tracking squads known as the mobile surveillance teams or MST to track them domestically.

“There is a very significant number of people that are on suspicious watch lists, under surveillance,”  Republican Senator Dan Coats said.

Coats, who sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence, would not comment on specifics, but said the around the clock surveillance is a major commitment for the bureau. “The FBI together with law enforcement agencies across the country are engaged in this. It takes enormous amount of manpower to do this on a 24-7 basis.  It takes enormous amount of money to do this,” Coats explained.

These elite FBI teams are reserved for espionage, mob violence and high priority terrorism cases, like a joint terrorism task force case last June, where a 26 year old suspect Usaama Rahim, was killed outside a Massachusetts CVS.  When a police officer and FBI agent tried to question him, the Boston Police Commissioner said Rahim threatened them with a knife, and was shot dead.

With at least a dozen agents assigned to each case, providing 24/7 coverage, this high level of surveillance reflects the severe risk associated with suspects most likely to attempt copycat attacks after Paris.

“It is a big resource drain.  Yes it is.  Almost overwhelming,”  Coats said when asked about the demand placed on the FBI.   “There will be a lot of people over the Thanksgiving weekend that will not be enjoying turkey with their family.  They’ll be out there providing security for the American people and the threat is particularly high during this holiday period.”

One of the lessons of Paris is that the radicalization process can be swift.  According to published reports, friends of the female suspect who was killed in the siege of Saint Denis, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, abandoned her party life only a month before joining her cousin, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the plot’s on the ground commander.  He was also killed in the siege.

The FBI Director James Comey has consistently drawn attention to this phenomenon, calling it the “flash to bang,” that the time between radicalization and crossing the threshold to violent action can be very short. Last week, in a rare public appearance with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey would only say that “dozens” of suspected radicals have been under “tight surveillance.”

“Together we are watching people of concern using all of our lawful tools.  We will keep watching them and if we see something we will work to disrupt it,”  Comey said.

Contacted by Fox News, an FBI spokesman had no comment on the high risk cases, nor the use of elite surveillance teams.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.



Vladimir Putin’s massive, triple-decker war room revealed

war roomWashington Post, by Andrew Roth, Nov. 21, 2015:

MOSCOW — “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the war room!”

It could have been a scene straight out of “Dr. Strangelove” when President Vladimir V. Putin stepped into the Russian Ministry of Defense’s brand new, three-tiered, multibillion-dollar control center this week, for a war briefing that had its fair share of movie-like pageantry.

The fortified National Control Defense Center was Putin’s first stop after officials confirmed that the Russian charter jet crash that claimed 224 lives last month was the result of an act of terror.

On movie-theater-size screens, live broadcasts showed long-range strategic bombers taking off from Russian air bases to fly sorties over Syria. Putin instructed commanders in Syria to “make contact with the French and work with them as allies” as Russia seeks a central role in a proposed anti-terrorist coalition.

But the real star of the show may have been the building itself, which is designed to be a new nerve center for the Russian military that will coordinate military action around the world, including ballistic missile launches and strategic nuclear deployments.

putin war rm

The building is roughly the equivalent of the U.S. National Military Command Center used by the Pentagon, but as one Russian state news agency noted in abreathless headline this week, “Russian Defense Data Center Outperforms US Facility Threefold: Official.”

The center, which is fortified and said to sit on top of a maze of underground tunnels, is on the Frunze Naberezhnaya on the left bank of the Moscow river, a little over two miles from Red Square.


Russia’s army, which has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but has also produced noted improvements, from the expertise of Russian troops deployed during the Crimea operation to the recent cruise missile strikes launched from the Caspian Sea.

The new national defense center also includes a helicopter pad that was deployed on the Moscow River late last year and can accommodate Russia’s Mi-8 transport helicopter. In case of a war, it would be the country’s premier communications center, and one Russian commander compared it to the military headquarters of the Soviet Union during World War II.

Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said that the center is a step toward “forming a single information space for solving tasks in the interests of the country’s defense.”

As Worldviews noted during Russia’s International Army Games in August, Russia’s military has sought to raise its public profile through savvy media branding.

At the briefing, army personnel sat in color-coded rows with matching headsets and water bottles bearing the Russian army brand (their flagship store recently opened on Tverskaya Street here, Moscow’s equivalent of Fifth Avenue). The briefing was covered on Russian national television from at least four distinct camera angles.

Andrei Kolesnikov, a reporter who has covered Putin for the past 15 years and is known for his lyrical, fawning reports of the Russian president, waxed introspective as he covered the briefing Tuesday.

“When this building and this room were opened a year ago, I was somewhat perplexed: Yes, it all looks very persuasive, and the Pentagon might even only dream of something like this, if only in a nightmare. But why? Who will need these screens the size of small soccer fields with grandstands for viewers?


“And here was the answer. Every spot was filled. Russia’s entire high army command were the viewers. Or was it like the warming bench, and at any moment everyone was ready to go on the field …”

Later in the piece, he added: “My soul of course was not filled with delight and trembling at the hellish power of this armada. But I was perturbed, yes, I was.”

Andrew Roth is a reporter in The Post’s Moscow bureau.

Compare and contrast:

U.S. Pilots Confirm: Obama Admin Blocks 75 Percent of Islamic State Strikes (freebeacon.com)

Attkisson: Obama Is Selectively Reading Intel Reports [VIDEO] (dailycaller.com)

Planned UN ‘hub’ in Washington aims to influence US counterterrorism strategy

A view of the entrance to Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (Credit: UN)

A view of the entrance to Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (Credit: UN)

Fox News, by George Russell, Nov. 19, 2015:

EXCLUSIVE:  The chief United Nations human rights agency, with the Obama administration’s apparent blessing, is creating a new “regional hub” for itself in Washington, to use as a center for organizing against the death penalty, among other things, and for affecting the legal frameworks, policies, and strategies of American counterterrorism.

In a management plan covering its activities through 2017, the agency, known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, or OHCHR, puts the U.S. in the same category for that counterterrorism “alignment” effort as countries like Iraq and Uganda.

The fast-tracked human rights “hub” also has a number of more nebulous “thematic” objectives for the U.S., which include, according to an OHCHR information document, “the establishment of national participatory bodies for reporting and implementing recommendations of human rights mechanisms” and the aim of “widening the democratic space” with the aid of undefined “National Human Rights Institutions.”


It may also involve, as OHCHR notes in its management plan, “increasing advocacy for ratification of human rights treaties and withdrawal of treaty reservations” — meaning exceptional carve-outs that nations — including those like the U.S., with a federal division of power — can make to limit their acceptance of international agreements.

In the case of the death penalty, for example, U.S. refusal to join in a U.N- sponsored global moratorium is based on the fact that such criminal justice measures also are the responsibilities of individual states.

Nonetheless, as OHCHR’s management plan notes, “in addition to global efforts to abolish the death penalty by 2017, OHCHR expects to have contributed to a moratorium on the application of the death penalty or pending a moratorium, increased compliance with relevant international human rights obligations in countries such as Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, the United States of America and other countries in Asia and the Americas.”

The OHCHR puts the U.S. in the same category for its counterterrorism “alignment” effort as countries like Iraq and Uganda.

All of those themes, along with OHCHR’s view of itself as  “the principal advocate for human rights within the U.N. system,” seem likely to bring the U.S. into closer proximity to the U.N.’s tangled, proliferating and often sweepingly contradictory notions of international human rights law — and also, perhaps, to the notoriously dictatorship-riddled, 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council.

Among other things, the Council, which has been far more enthusiastic about condemning alleged human rights transgressions in Israel than in any other nation, creates mandates for OHCHR, which also serves as the Council’s bureaucratic support.

The Obama administration reversed the policies of George W. Bush to join the Council in 2009, and served consecutive three-year terms that ended last month, claiming victories during that time in focusing the Council on gay rights and criticism of human rights practices in North Korea and Iran.

While no longer on the Council, the administration now seems comfortable with bringing the U.N.’s human rights approach into closer contact with U.S. legislators, lobbyists, human rights activists and, perhaps most importantly, financial appropriators, before it leaves office at the end of next year.

Indeed, the OHCHR “hub” — which will cover not just the U.S. but “North America and the English-speaking Caribbean” — already has a warm advance welcome from the administration that also seems aimed at letting the new U.N. outpost arrive smoothly under Washington’s political radar.

Read more

Obama Officials Trained To Focus On Behavior, Not Religion Or Ideology

Syrian refugees Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

Syrian refugees Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, Nov. 19, 2015:

Obama administration counter-terrorism officials have trained domestic Homeland Security law enforcement officers to focus on the behavior of people entering the United States, rather than their political, ideological or religious background.

The training directives from top Homeland Security officials raise questions about the effectiveness of the screening process for Syrian refugees.

Officials process a refugee’s biographic information such as name and date of birth, along with biometric data like fingerprints. This information is crosschecked over different U.S. databases and agencies.

U.S. officials overseas then conduct a series of in-person interviews in the next phase. The interviews are done by Department of Homeland Security officers who are trained to question refugee applicants and examine the credibility of their responses.

But that training requires that the officials collect intelligence based on “behavioral indicators” while downplaying “religious affiliation.”

DHS’s civil rights division released a “Countering Violent Extremism Training”best practices document for federal, state, and local government and law enforcement officials in October 2011.

The document calls for training programs that are not “overbroad, equating an entire religion, nation, region, or culture with evil or violence, For example, it is incorrect and damaging to assert that all Muslims have terrorist ties.”

Instead, the training encourages to “ensure that it uses examples to demonstrate that terrorists span ethnicity, race, gender, and religion.”

Since 2012, the FBI’s guiding principles training manual in the Touchstone Document has stated:

Training must emphasize that no investigative or intelligence collection activity may be based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation.  Specifically, training must focus on behavioral indicators that have a potential nexus to terrorist or criminal activity, while making clear that religious expression, protest activity, and the espousing of political or ideological beliefs are constitutionally protected activities that must not be equated with terrorism or criminality absent other indicia of such offenses.

“On September 28, 2011, I issued a memorandum to all heads of components and United States Attorneys to ‘carefully review all training material and presentations provided by their personnel, particularly training related to combating terrorism, countering violent extremism, and other training that may relate to ongoing outreach efforts in Arab, Muslim, Sikh, South Asian
and other communities,’” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a memorandum to all heads of components and United States Attorneys March 2012.

Cole continued, “Carefully review all training material and presentations provided by their personnel, particularly training related to combating terrorism, countering violent extremism, and other training that may relate to ongoing outreach efforts in Arab, Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and other communities.”

The FBI training manual principles extends to other members of federal law enforcement, including those who guard the nation’s borders and ports of entry.

“The FBI 2012 Guiding Principles Touchstone Document was just one in series of official policy directives that gradually, but severely, restricted the efforts of federal law enforcement officers to accurately and effectively assess whether an individual entering the county had any potential nexus to terrorist or criminal activity,” a government source familiar with national security told The Daily Caller.

“These gradual but severe restrictions were coupled with a simultaneous reduction in accurate, fact-based training to address the nature of the threat we face, leaving us inadequately prepared for the challenges we face today.”

The same year, the FBI’s counter-terrorism lexicon, following a purge of terminology of past years, deleted all references to “al-Qaida,” “Muslim Brotherhood,” or “jihad.”

The Justice Department continued to alter its training policy in 2012. In March of that year, Deputy Attorney General Cole sent another memorandum to the heads of components and United States Attorneys in regards to “training guiding principles.” The memo stated in part:

Training must be consistent with the Constitution and Department values. Training must promote, and never undermine, our fundamental principles of equal justice and opportunity for all, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and our other core national values. Trainings must not disparage groups or individuals based on their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic condition, political affiliation or other similar characteristics.

“The 2012 FBI directive to remove religious and political motivations from investigations and screening came at a time when the Obama administration was busy purging anything they believed might reflect poorly on Muslims, regardless of how it effected our national security,” national security consultant David Reaboi told The Daily Caller.

Reaboi explained, “Since then — and now, presumably, in screening refugees, investigators are trained not to ask about all the key identifiers that would allow them to spot Islamic terrorists or other Islamists who want to do harm to America. Because ISIS, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood understand themselves in precisely those ways, they’re prevented from asking anything meaningful beyond, ‘are you a terrorist?’”

“‘Are you a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? What school of Islamic law do you follow? Where do you go to mosque? Do you believe someone who insults Islam deserves to be killed? Would you like to make America an Islamic country?’ All of these questions — the most important ones — are off-limits,” Reaboi said.

Exceptional Measures Against Jihad


Frontpage, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Nov. 17, 2015:

As I listened to French president Francois Hollande over the weekend, I was struck by the familiarity of the ritual phrases he used to signal the French response to the well-orchestrated terror attacks that swept through my old neighborhood in Paris on Friday the 13th  like a moveable feast of impotence and death.

“France will be merciless toward the Daesh  barbarians,” the president declaimed, referring to the Islamic State by its Arabic-language sobriquet. “France will act with all the legal means at its disposal.”

As I recall, that’s the same thing Hollande said in January after another group of jihadi Muslim terrorists assaulted the editorial offices of the satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, murdering journalists, cartoonists, and a security guard.

And it was the same language he used a few days later when yet another group of jihadi Muslims hit a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Ten months later, what “merciless” steps have the French government taken against Daesh. Have they done anything to staunch the flow of young French Muslims traveling to Syria who plan to continue their jihad against the “infidel” West after they return to Europe?

The Direction de Surveillance du Territoire (DST), the French equivalent of the FBI, maintains a registry of “radicalized” young Muslims, known as “S-cards.”

The French S-registry contains no fewer than 16 nuances of radicalization and other threats to national security, from S-1 to S-16. They distinguish between jihadis of a Salafist bent (al Qaeda and ISIS), and those obedient to the Islamic Republic of Iran, among others. Hand it to the French for identifying 16 different flavors of potential homicidal maniacs.

Many of the perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks in France had S-cards. And yet, the DST never brought them in.

Just the day before the Friday the 13th attacks, I was listening to a local French state radio interview with a psychologist in Nice who was working with a non-profit program to “deradicalize” young French Muslims.

He described it as a “difficult” task, and admitted that it often appeared “almost hopeless.” He worked with a mainstream Muslim imam and local Muslim community leaders who helped to identify young people at risk of radicalization.

“When they come back for the second session, often they tell us we are ‘agents of the state’ and they won’t speak to us again,” the psychologist said. “It’s clear that in the meantime, they’ve been touched by the radical imams, who reinforce their jihadi beliefs.”

With the decree of a nation-wide State of Emergency for the first time since 1961 during the war in Algeria, President Hollande explicitly authorized the DST to conduct warrantless searches and to detain individuals without charge.

Christian Estrosi, the Mayor of Nice, cancelled a planned performance of La Traviata, and asked restaurant, bar, café and night club owners to “take all necessary measures to protect their establishments,” something their Israeli counterparts have lived with since the homicide bombings of 2002.

He also spelled out one concrete measure. “I’ve asked that all persons with S cards be placed under house arrest,” he told Nice Matin. Let’s see if that actually happens.

Step two should be a no-brainer, but no one has dared say it out loud: round up the radical imams and deport them. If they have no other nationality, then jail them on charges of sedition.

President Hollande pledged to “re-establish border controls” abandoned by the European Union’s Schengen common border agreement, a measure applauded by Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who even before the bombings appeared to be headed for a stunning victory in upcoming regional elections in December.

I arrived at the Nice airport on Sunday morning an hour and a half ahead of my flight to Washington via Germany, twice the normal time. The only warning of increased security appearing on the airport website was a note that all passengers “must be able to establish their identity” in order to board an international flight. Flights within France were exempt from these “exceptional” security measures.

 We didn’t even have to take off our shoes!

On the one hand, I am tempted to applaud the French for not imposing ridiculous feel-good security measures, like the TSA. (When Somali jihadis working for airline cleaning companies can access commercial airports and secure baggage areas, as they can in Minneapolis-St. Paul among others, it proves beyond dispute that TSA is a farce).

On the other hand, it would have been reassuring to see someone, somewhere, actually question passengers intelligently about where they were coming from, whether they had been given anything to carry on board, whether they had packed their own bag, etc. But apparently the French still consider that too intrusive. God forbid that security screening questions might tip off a suspicious husband or wife to their spouse’s extramarital affair, a threat the French take far more seriously than terrorism.

As always when jihadi Muslims commit terrorist attacks, the French national media bends over backward to air the voices of “moderation” within the Muslim community and the political Establishment. These wise men and women caution against scapegoating, proclaim that terrorism is a “social” problem, and tut-tut that talk of a “war” against terrorism (even when announced by the President of France) is absurd, since everybody knows that such attacks are criminal in nature and require good police work, not a military response.

This almost suicidal plague of political correctness is obviously not just a French problem. We have it in this country, and in ways that most bloggers apparently ignore.

In my latest book, Dark Forces: the Truth About the Attacks in Benghazi, I tell the story of one Quintan Wiktorowicz,, a CIA wiz kid packed off to the UK in 2009 to study the British “deradicalization” program that was put in place after home-grown jihadis killed 52 fellow Britains in the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks against London subways and buses.

Just as the Brits were discovering that their deradicalization program was not just a failure, but actually enhanced the stature of the radical imams involved in recruiting jihadis, the Obama White House hired Wiktorowicz to devise a similar program for the FBI to replace successful FBI training courses on Islam that highlighted the Islamic ideology of supremacy and jihad.

It’s no coincidence that thousands of American Muslims have left for jihad is Syria, just as their brothers and sisters are doing in Europe. We just don’t know how many are coming back and establishing operational cells. Last month, FBI Director James Comey said federal authorities have an estimated 900 “active investigations” pending against suspected ISIS operatives and home-grown “violent extremists” in the U.S.

My friend Mark Durie, an Anglican pastor from Australia who has written several books about Islamic doctrine, teaches us an instructive lesson from the Dutch war against radical Islam in Indonesia at the turn of the 20th century.

The Dutch East Indies Company and its commanders were losing the war in Aceh to a Muslim uprising, which they treated as an insurgency, not a religious or ideological movement. Eventually they hired a consultant named Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, a Dutch expert on Islamic doctrine, who told them they were fighting against a jihad.

“Hugronje counseled them to change tactics,” Durie told me. “Instead of going after the insurgents and the villages they controlled, he said they needed to chase the mullahs out into the jungle and kill them, so they could empower the traditional leadership and the local clans. And it worked.”

One of the reasons cited for the Dutch success in putting down the rebellion was that they buried the rebel imams with the carcasses of pigs and made it known. That meant that instead of dying as martyrs for jihad, they died with the certainty they were unclean and were going to Hell. It was a message was not lost on the young men the imams had been so successful in recruiting up until then.

Remember President Obama explaining to an uncomprehending public that the U.S. military had given Osama Bin Laden a burial at sea to preserve his “dignity” and so not to offend Muslims? What dignity is due a wanton murderer of innocents?

Imagine if we had buried Osama Bin Laden with a pig carcass and broadcast the video? Or if each time we blast an al Qaeda or ISIS leader with a drone we send in special operations troops to gather up his remains to give them an appropriate burial and post the video on YouTube?

We will not win the war against the barbarians by playing nice. You want exceptional measures? Defeat the jihadis by robbing them of their ultimate victory: their dream of paradise.


Dennis Ross: US Should Post Video Of ISIS Soldiers Surrendering With Hands Up:

Fighting ISIS in NYC – “developing the capability to respond to “two dozen multiple events occurring in the city” at a single time”

NY Daily News, November 16, 2015:

Unveiling the NYPD’s new anti-terror Critical Response Command, Commissioner Bill Bratton said the department is developing the capability to respond to “two dozen multiple events occurring in the city” at a single time.

Two dozen simultaneous attacks. That’s how terrifying the world now is.

The atrocity in Paris vividly confirmed that a small group of suicidal killers armed with readily available weaponry can inflict enormous death and bloodshed — and that such a band can escape detection by even a top anti-terror force like France’s.

Or, God forbid, by the NYPD, home to the world’s most advanced police anti-terror intelligence division.

In creating the new command — staffed by volunteers who have valiantly reported for war duty — Bratton has prudently recognized the increasing difficulty of preventing the new looming threat from becoming awful reality.

The mission grows steadily harder because terrorists are outpacing law enforcement by exploiting technology to plot attacks.

Once upon a time, there was a single form of electronic communication: the telephone. With court orders, police could listen in on calls. No more.

Now, via Google or Apple, terrorists can download any number of apps — the Edward Snowden-endorsed Signal among them — that enable encrypted text chats, voice calls and file exchanges that government is powerless to decipher, with or without a court order.

Even video game consoles can be tools for terror. Chillingly, three days before the Paris attacks, a Belgian security official warned that “the most difficult communication between these terrorists” occurs on Sony’s PlayStation 4, where game player messages are encrypted.

Plainly, Congress must bar major technology companies from building devices that are entirely closed to law enforcement agencies bearing search warrants.

As for encrypted channels, given the nature of technology, Americans can only rely on the National Security Agency and other government agencies to hack like there’s no tomorrow. Because there might not be.

That’s where the NYPD’s Critical Response Command comes into play.

At Bratton’s urging, Mayor de Blasio increased the NYPD budget to allow for the addition of 1,300 additional officers, 500 of whom will be trained for the worst situations. The wisdom of Bratton and de Blasio is now beyond question.

Should circumstances demand, members of this new NYPD command will rush to the front lines to confront killers bearing automatic rifles, grenades and suicide vests. All New Yorkers owe them a debt of gratitude to those stepping forward for this most hazardous of duties.


France Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria But Not In Paris

UTT, by John Guandolo, Nov. 16, 2015:

After Friday night’s attack in Paris by Muslim jihadis, French military airstrikes hit ISIS targets in Syria, yet left the jihadi network inside of France intact.


For approximately 40 minutes on Friday night, beginning at 9:20 PM local time in Paris, eight (8) Muslim jihadis conducted numerous assaults across the city.  Explosions at the Stadium of France detonated during a soccer game; and Gunmen fired on two restaurants at Le Petit Cambodge, a bar at Le Bonne Biere, a restaurant at Le Belle Equipe, and at a concert hall at Bataclan.

129 people were killed, and 352 were wounded.  Seven of the eight jihadis were killed, and one of them, Abdeslam Salah, is still at large.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.


France’s response was to strike ISIS targets outside of its own borders instead of destroying the massive and imminent Islamic threat inside of France.

There are at least forty-seven (47) mosques within a ten (10) mile radius of downtown Paris, which teach the jihad is an obligation for all Muslims until Sharia is the law of the land and the global Islamic State (Caliphate) is established.

The Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UIOF) has significant influence in France, and it’s voice is heard by French leaders.  The UIOF is a Muslim Brotherhood organizations whose stated objective is to destroy all un-Islamic governments and replace them with Islamic rule.

France, like many European nations, is being inundated with Muslims from numerous hostile countries (“refugees”) who openly state they have no loyalty to France nor it’s laws, and who support the implementation of Sharia and the establishment of the Caliphate.

French President Francois Hollande called the attacks in Paris “an act of war,” yet he has not called the slow invasion of his country by Muslims who seek to destroy France by all means possible an “act of war.”

The airstrikes by the French military reportedly hit a command post, a jihadi recruiting center, a munition depot, and a jihadi training camp in Syria.  The French military has not destroyed any such Islamic targets in France – yet those targets exist.

The German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, said “But I make the urgent plea, as interior minister and as a responsible politician of this country, that there shouldn’t be any hasty links made to the refugee debate.”  Germany’s leader Angela Merkel said she was “deeply shocked” by the attacks in Paris.

One has to ask what level of delusion these leaders live under.  The global Islamic Movement has made very clear the reason for doing what it is doing (fighting jihad to establish a caliphate under Sharia), and the authority with which they do it (Islamic Doctrine).  What exactly is shocking about what happened in Paris when viewed through the lens of Sharia?  Nothing.

A small glimmer of light may be seen in recent comments by Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Interior Minister, who has just called for the dissolution of “mosques where hate is preached” in France.

For anyone paying attention, this is still just the tip of the iceberg plowing over Europe.  The Europeans are giving the jihadis all the rope they (jihadis) need with which to hang them (Europeans).

NYPD Ending Surveillance Program in Mosques

NEW YORK - AUGUST 24: Muslim-American men offer evening prayers after breaking their day-long Ramadan fast August 24, 2011 at Islamic Center of Bay Ridge in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims for when the first verses of the Quran were revealed by God to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – AUGUST 24: Muslim-American men offer evening prayers after breaking their day-long Ramadan fast August 24, 2011 at Islamic Center of Bay Ridge in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims for when the first verses of the Quran were revealed by God to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

PJ Media, by Michael Walsh, Nov. 15, 2015:

The Left has long hated the New York Police Department’s program to monitor area mosques in both New York and New Jersey for signs of radical behavior. Now, under pressure from mayor Warren Wilhelm, Jr., the NYPD has announced it’s ending the program:

The New York Police Department is shuttering a controversial, once-secret unit devoted to surveillance of local Muslim communities. “Our administration has promised the people of New York a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair,” New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This reform is a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys.”

Like the ones who just shot up Paris? The ones who put a smoking hole in lower Manhattan in 2001? Heavens, no!

Referred to as the “Demographics Unit,” the unit, advised by an official from the Central Intelligence Agency, had engaged in broad surveillance of Muslim communities, such as neighborhoods, mosques, businesses in New York and New Jersey, without specific evidence of criminal behavior. Testifying under oath, an NYPD official admitted that the program had not lead to a single terrorism investigation. Nevertheless, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had defended the unit’s operations, saying, “We have to keep this country safe.” The unit was first revealed as part of a Pulitzer prize-winning investigation by the Associated Press.

As a candidate, de Blasio had said that “we need to do a full review of all surveillance efforts, and anything that is not based on specific leads should not continue.” Yet the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Muslim civil rights group Muslim Advocates said they were uncertain whether the end of the Demographics Unit means the end of what they called “the practice of suspicionless surveillance of Muslim communities.”

“It is not at all clear that the NYPD is ending the unconstitutional practice of spying on innocent Muslims in New York, New Jersey and throughout the northeast,” said Glenn Katon, an attorney with Muslim Advocates. “An internal NYPD structure is going away but we still don’t have assurances that the practice of broad surveillance is ending.”

Let’s hope not.




We can either fight ISIS in our cities, or in their cities

Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Nov. 14, 015:

On Friday morning, Obama claimed that ISIS had been contained. By Friday evening, ISIS had carried out one of the deadliest acts of Islamic terrorism in the West.  129 are dead. 352 are wounded.

The Jihadists massacred helpless people, shooting them down as they begged for mercy in restaurants and music halls, blowing themselves up for Allah outside soccer stadiums. Shouting, “Allahu Akbar”, they brought the terror and horror of the Islamic State from grim Raqqa to prosperous Paris.

Obama had claimed that the Islamic State was contained in Iraq and Syria, but the Caliphate was never going to be contained by his tactics of “low-intensity, occasional strikes” in which 75 percent of pilots return without bombing ISIS even when they have the terror group right in their sights.

It’s a familiar story. A few hours before 9/11, Bill Clinton told an Australian audience that he could have killed Bin Laden, “but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan”. And according to Bill, if he had done that, “I would have been no better than him. And so I didn’t do it.”

Bill Clinton kept his virtue and the terrorist leader whose life he spared killed thousands of Americans.

If we don’t hit the terrorists where they live, they will kill us where we live. That is the lesson of 9/11. It’s the lesson of the latest Paris attacks. It’s the lesson of every Islamic terrorist attack.

We can bomb them in Iraq and Syria, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or we can be murdered by them in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and London.

Obama officials said that they didn’t want to hit ISIS with “shock-and-awe” style bombings. If they had done that, the Paris attacks might not have happened.

Had ISIS been hit hard, some of the fighters who made their way to France might have been killed. Or they might have been needed back in Syria and Iraq. Or they might have abandoned ship once the Caliphate failed and the Islamic State’s pretenses of theological supremacy were exposed by its collapse.

Instead of fighting ISIS, Obama has faked a fight, concentrating on drone strikes and hashtags, and doctoring intelligence to make it look like these tactics are working.

They clearly are not working. The same tactics that have failed to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not going to beat their Islamic State big brother which, despite all the denials, has become a state.

France’s left-wing president called the attacks an “act of war”, accused the terrorists of “barbarism” and vowed to be” ruthless” in fighting them. By contrast, Obama offered the same old condolences, but said that he didn’t want to “speculate” about the attackers. That’s his usual line after an Islamic terror attack.

We’re not going to defeat ISIS with hashtags. We’re not going to defeat it by calling it Daesh. We are not going to defeat it by taking out one of its leaders every few months.

We can only defeat the Caliphate by destroying it.

Obama had told the Pentagon that we can’t defeat ISIS with guns. But ISIS had no problem massacring almost a hundred people in Paris with guns. We don’t need “better ideas”, as Obama suggested, to beat ISIS. Our civilization is already a better idea. It just needs defending from the barbarians at the gates.

While the President of France talks war, Obama has sought to define the conflict down from war to terrorism to criminal misconduct. Even while Obama tosses a few warm words on cold corpses in Paris, he is plotting to free the last of the Al Qaeda terrorists captured at great pain and risk by our soldiers.

The Caliph of the Islamic State’s parting words on being freed from a U.S. detention camp in Iraq were, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”

How long until Caliph Baghdadi keeps his word and the massacres in Paris come to New York? How long until the batches of murderous terrorists freed by Obama come to kill Americans on American soil?

Muslim terrorism is not a criminal problem. It is not a sign of frustration and discontent. It’s not a reaction to our foreign policy. It’s a civilizational strategy of expansion through genocide.

It’s not a debate. It’s a war. We can either win that war or lose that war. It’s up to us.

As long as international travel exists, the war will not be limited by geography. A Caliph or Emir in another part of the world doesn’t need to raise a fleet to invade Europe. He can just spring for a few fake passports or let some of the local boys in France do the dirty work.

What happens in Afghanistan, won’t stay in Afghanistan. What happens in Syria, won’t stay in Syria.

The free world needs a Caliphate Doctrine. It must state clearly and unambiguously that any attempt to build a Caliphate, to subjugate territories to Islamic law with all its accompanying barbarism, and to demand the surrender of the rest of humanity through terror, will be met with utter destruction.

Not drone strikes. Not hashtags. Not calls for moderate Islam. Not even the “shock-and-awe” that Obama officials nervously disavowed. But the destruction that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan faced after they attempted to impose the rule of a master race and ideology on the world through terror.

If we do not want another century of war, then we must make the Islamic State into an example.

The Islamic State seeks to horrify and terrify us into surrender. Its atrocities are techniques for destroying our morale and teaching us helplessness. If we do not fight back, then we will eventually give up. Entire European countries have already surrendered and ask only for a merciful conquest.

When Napoleon faced Muslim fighters who violated the rules of war in Israel, he had them put to death. “To have acted otherwise than as I did, would probably have caused the destruction of my whole army,” he explained. It is not an army that faces destruction today, not even a nation, but all of civilization.

The Caliphate Doctrine would make it clear that civilization has no room for the Islamic State, that it has no room for terrorism, sex slavery, child soldiers, beheadings and the other horrors of Supremacist Islam. It makes it plain that Islamic terrorism is not a domestic criminal problem, but an act of war against civilization by a death cult. And we have a choice between our deaths and that of the cult.

A Caliphate, whether that of ISIS or any other, represents the murder and enslavement of mankind. Each Islamic terror attack is carried out in support of a Caliphate of the present or the future. By taking a definitive stand against any Caliphate, we make it clear that the modern world has no room for such an institution and that Islamic terrorism, domestic or international, is fighting for a lost cause.

We can begin by destroying the Caliphate. And when the Islamic State falls, then the dreams of all our murderers, from Paris to New York, from Raqqa to Istanbul, will begin to die with it.

Paris is Burning…Again

France Newspaper AttackTerror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, Nov. 14,2015:

Paris has become the top Western target for Jihad.

It can no longer be denied that France is in the throes of the global Islamic insurgency. Today, a coordinated, multifaceted attack eerily reminiscent of the 2008 Mumbai, India attack by Lashkar e Taiba, resulted in the deaths of at least 160 people.

The attack involved small arms and grenades and nearly simultaneous attacks in 7 different locations around Paris.


What most people do not realize is that these attacks are but the latest in a string of attacks going back to the infamous Charlie Hebdo attack 10 months ago. Everyone remembers Charlie Hebdo, but few in America realize that there have been several small-scale Jihadi incidents across France both before and after Charlie Hebdo, all of which are indicative of a revolutionary Jihadist atmosphere developing in the country.

France has been targeted because it has been the most active nation fighting Jihad in recent years, effectively decimating Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali and carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

It is absolutely imperative that the West stand with France with more than just symbolism. Now is not the time for candlelight vigils and peace rallies. Now is the time when NATO must take the threat from the Islamic State seriously. France is a NATO nation and has been attacked by a foreign power. That means that the North Atlantic Treaty must be invoked and activated.

It is time for the full weight and force and the North Atlantic Alliance be brought to bear to end the caliphate once and for all–no matter what it takes to do so.

Good News and Bad News as the Federal Government Faces Global Jihad

20110630_gmbdrmedium-3American Thinker, by Carol Brown, Nov. 5, 2015:

First the good news: Congress is taking steps to designate the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization. Again. They tried to do this last year and failed. The fact that the MB hasn’t already been labeled a terror organization is pathetic. Five countries in the Middle East have designated them a terror organization, but the United States has yet to do so. As I said, pathetic (to say the least).

But here we are. At least Congress is taking action now, with Ted Cruz (R-TX) leading the way in the Senate and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) leading in the House. The Washington Free Beacon reports that the bill includes a detailed history of the MB’s links to terror and concludes that “the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization.”

Per Senator Cruz:

“We have to stop pretending that the Brotherhood are not responsible for the terrorism they advocate and finance. We have to see it for what it is: a key international organization dedicated to waging violent jihad…Congress owes it to the American people to tell them the truth about this threat. This bill puts the lie to the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a peaceful political organization that can be a legitimate partner for America. In 2008 the Justice Department successfully prosecuted the largest terrorism-financing trial in American history arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood directed U.S. affiliates such as the Holy Land Foundation to provide ‘media, money and men’ to Hamas. That support was used for terrorist attacks against Americans and our allies in the Middle East. When they are capable they will try to do the same thing here.”


The State Department and other government agencies are the final arbiters of whether the MB will be designated a terror organization. Knowing this, lawmakers have built into the language of the bill that “if the Secretary of State determines that the Muslim Brotherhood does not meet the criteria,” it must submit to Congress “a detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met.”

If this bill passes, the implications are enormous for several reasons, including MB infiltration into our government as well as MB front groups who operate in the United States.

But I’m not getting my hopes up. At least not as long as Obama is in power. He’s met with representatives of the MB, including a senior member who was invited to the White House last year. And Obama, being who he is, is all in for Islam’s advance. As a result, all the evidence to make the case for designating the MB a terror organization will likely not matter. In fact, I anticipate blow back. “Islamophobia!” and all that.

But back to the evidence.

In addition to the Holy Land Foundation trial, four years ago former FBI Director Robert Mueller testified that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.” In addition, although a lot of information remains classified, members of the intelligence community have confirmed that “elements of the Brotherhood run terrorist financing operations in the United States” while other officials have linked Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda and other terror organizations to the MB.

Contact your elected officials (I know, I know) and make your voice heard.

OK. Now for the bad news. Almost on cue, as if to illustrate the issue discussed above, in the eleventh hour the FBI scrapped a counterterrorism program aimed at young people. Why? You can guess why. Pressure from Muslims and the fact that dhimmitude is all the rage these days.

Breitbart reports that the FBI was set to roll out a new counter-radicalization website targeting kids. Buuuuuuuuuuuut, Islamic advocacy organizations accused the program of discriminating against Muslims.

The program was created “to lead children and teens through games that were designed to help them identify potential extremists. The FBI initiative also sought to help young men and women steer clear from the radical ideologies that lead people to join Islamic extremist groups.”

Part of the process of developing the program drew on input from community leaders, including Muslim leaders. Their input: That the FBI would bother to develop counter-terrorism programs (wait for it) outraged them. A Georgetown law professor was among those Muslims screening the program and he had this to say: “The greatest threat facing American schoolchildren today is gun violence. It’s not Muslim extremism.”

Also taking part in the program’s assessment were members of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Who are they? Among other things, they’re a virulent anti-Israel organization. The ADC’s policy director stated his meetings with the FBI were “very tense” and “if this is shown to middle and high-school students, it’s going to result in bullying of these children.”

Caving (once again) to this pressure, the FBI stepped back and suspended implementation of the program. Which drew a round of applause from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an organization that was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

And so we have come full circle in this crazy going ‘round and ‘round world in which we now live.

(To learn more about the destroy-America-from-within-and-sabotage-our-miserable-house Muslim Brotherhood, see here for an exceptionally thorough and well organized presentation of information.)

Hat tip: Counterjihad Report

FBI Suspends Counterterror Program After Pressure from Fringe Islamic Groups

GettyImages-73534290-FBI-seal-640x480Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Nov. 2, 2015:

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation has suspended the unveiling of a new counter-radicalization website designed for kids after fringe Islamic advocacy organizations said the anti-terror programming discriminates against Muslims.

The FBI website titled, “Don’t Be A Puppet,” was scheduled to go live Monday morning but has been suspended indefinitely after fierce opposition by Islamic groups, the Washington Post reports.

According to reports, the program was designed to lead children and teens through games that were designed to help them identify potential extremists. The FBI initiative also sought to help young men and women steer clear from the radical ideologies that lead people to join Islamic extremist groups.

A spokesman with the FBI told the New York Times late Sunday, prior to the program’s scheduled release: “The F.B.I. is developing a website designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the Internet, with input from students, educators and community leaders.”

Some Muslim leaders who were invited to beta-test the program were outraged that the FBI would take the time to develop counterterror initiatives.

“The greatest threat facing American schoolchildren today is gun violence,” Arjun Sethi, a Georgetown Law professor who was invited to screen the program over the summer, told the New York Times. “It’s not Muslim extremism.”

Members from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a hard-line anti-Israel organization, were also invited to test the FBI program before it was rolled out.

Abed Ayoub, the ADC’s policy director, said his meetings with the FBI over the program were “very tense.” “If this is shown to middle and high-school students, it’s going to result in bullying of these children,” Ayoub said.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a Muslim advocacy organization that wasfounded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, applauded the FBI’s decision to suspend the program..

MPAC Policy Director Hoda Hawa said in a press release:

While we welcome efforts to promote the safety and security of our nation, tools like this that improperly characterize American Muslims as a suspect community with its targeted focus and stereotypical depictions stigmatize Muslim students (or those perceived as such) and can actually exasperate the problem by leading to bullying, bias, and religious profiling of students.

MPAC wrote a follow-up letter to the FBI, declaring that the bureau has no business “educating our youth on countering violent extremism.” Creating programs that attempt to counter Islamic radicalism “can lead to bullying, bias, misperception, as well as racial and religious profiling of students,” the letter added.

Also see:

Islamic State planning mass attack on Britain, warns head of MI5

Andrew Parker, the director general of MI5 Photo: MI5/PA

Andrew Parker, the director general of MI5 Photo: MI5/PA

Andrew Parker says current level of threat from homegrown jihadis the highest he has seen in a career spanning 32-years

The Telegraph, by Ben Farmer, Oct. 29, 2015:

Islamic State terrorists are planning mass casualty attacks in Britain the head of MI5 has warned.

Andrew Parker, director general of the security agency, said threats from homegrown jihadis who want to fight for the militant movement showed no sign of abating.

He also publicly admitted for the first time that MI5 had to carry out computer hacking attacks against terror networks to crack their communications.

Iisl members parade with flags  Photo: AP

Iisl members parade with flags Photo: AP

He said: “More than 750 extremists from this country have travelled to Syria, and the growth in the threat shows no sign of abating.

“We are seeing plots against the UK directed by terrorists in Syria; enabled through contacts with terrorists in Syria; and inspired online by Isil’s sophisticated exploitation of technology.”

Britons are being rapidly radicalised online and then encouraged to carry out low tech but deadly attacks.

He said: “On top of that, in a range of attacks in Europe and elsewhere, this year we have seen greater ambition for mass casualty attacks.”

While the rise of Isil had dominated the headlines in the past 12 months, he said there was still a threat from al-Qaeda terrorists who are also planning massive attacks in the UK.

He said: “All of this means that the threat we are facing today is on a scale and at a tempo that I have not seen before in my career.”

He went on: “We have thwarted six attempts at terrorist attacks in the UK in the last year, and several plots overseas.

“It may not yet have reached the high water mark, and despite the successes we have had, we can never be confident of stopping everything. The death of 31 British nationals in the Sousse attacks in June was an appalling reminder of the threat.”

The scale of the threat meant MI5 had to update its “toolbox” of methods to fight terrorists, including using computer attacks.

He said: “This includes the ability to conduct operations online and to mount IT attacks (known as equipment interference), under a warrant authorised by the Home Secretary, against terrorist networks, so that we can access their communications.”

Defending the agency’s ability to access communications data, he said: “We use these tools within a framework of strict safeguards and rigorous oversight, but without them we would not be able to keep the country safe.

“As I have said before, we do not, and could not, go browsing at will through the lives of innocent people.”

Radicalization: Social Media And The Rise of Terrorism

online-radicalizationMEMRI, by Alberto M. Fernandez, Oct. 28, 2015:

On October 28, 2015, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subcommittee on National Security held a hearing titled “Radicalization: Social Media and the Rise of Terrorism.” The background given by the subcommittee for the hearing, which it said aimed to “address the scope of radicalization, and assess what steps can be taken in order to mitigate the rise of terror via social media,” read: “In recent years, terrorist organizations have attempted to control their image, attract new recruits, and inspire ‘lone wolf’ attacks through the use of social media, including disseminating images of graphic violence. Terrorists’ use of social media is resonating with vulnerable populations. Media platforms like Twitter are used to spread their message and enable supporters to find one another. Recent estimates indicate that 30,000 foreign fighters, including at least 250 Americans, have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight with extremist groups, including ISIS. Federal and state governments, as well as communities have begun to take action to mitigate the threat of terrorist propaganda on social media. However, they have experienced multiple challenges in combating such a wide and pervasive threat.”

The following is the written testimony given by MEMRI Vice President Alberto M. Fernandez at the hearing:

“Written Testimony By The Honorable Alberto M. Fernandez

“It is an honor to have been asked to address this Committee. For most of my 32 year career as a Public Diplomacy Officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving mostly in the Middle East and the Muslim world, the great and continuing challenges presented by the juxtaposition of the power of media, radicalization, and political violence have been most salient in much of my work.

“As Vice President of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), I am fortunate to have joined an independent institution which has for almost 20 years been in the forefront of documenting and analyzing political, social and intellectual currents in the Middle East, including the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah and their use of media, and especially social media, for propaganda purposes. MEMRI continues to meticulously document the latest twists and turns of the extremist narrative, bridging the language gap for Western audiences with translated primary material in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi and other languages.

“Radicalization and terrorism is nothing new in the world. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, influential individuals such as the anarchist leader Mikhail Bakunin popularized the concept of the ‘propaganda of the deed,’ that the best way to demonstrate the importance and power of a political idea was to show it by concrete action, preferably by violent action. ‘We must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible form of propaganda,’ Bakunin wrote in 1870.

“As scholarly studies such as the 2013 Rand Europe report on radicalization in the West have shown, social media alone is not the creator or reason for radicalization but merely a very powerful and effective accelerant. Social media takes concepts and actions already present in the real world and rapidly disseminates it to a willing and receptive audience. It is a powerful idea which seemingly has real effect in the actual world and which can then be dynamite in the virtual world.

“It is the narrative that gives power. This has certainly been the case throughout history when people have been motivated by great causes, many of them political or religious, some of them truly evil, to give all they had in the fulfillment of goals that to us clearly seem odious. When we think of something like Leni Reifenstahl’s repulsive yet compelling 1935 documentary ‘The Triumph of the Will, ‘ we are conscious of the technical quality, of the power of images, AND of an ideological worldview that for millions of Germans at a particular time and place seemed particularly potent and seductive. Reifenstahl’s skill added to the power of the message but it was the message itself that was the wellspring of that evil. So it is with social media today, which makes certain messages in certain spaces appealing to specific audiences easy to see and seemingly difficult to remove.

“While the narrative of some terrorist groups are tied to a specific political narrative such as Hamas or Hizbullah, both albeit with a strong Islamist component, there are few narratives as ambitious and as aggressive as that of the Islamic State. This is a complete package which includes a strong ideological component deeply rooted in a specific Salafi Jihadist reading of the period of formative Islam, a political project which is seemingly a going concern, and a 21st century appeal to substantive and consequential participation aimed at youth searching for purpose and identity in a seemingly aimless, empty and hedonistic world.

“Indeed, one can marvel at the fact that so few have been motivated to join up with the mesmerizing siren call of this revolutionary vanguard offering purpose, violence, sex, the end of the world, and fulfillment in the path of God rather than so many. Despite the relatively small numerical appeal of ISIS within the context of the number of Muslims worldwide, its impact has been tremendous when coupled with that toxic accelerant which is social media.

“So we have a message that is difficult for governments, both in the East and the West, to counter directly. And you have an on the ground political reality, in Libya, in Nigeria, and especially in the ISIS heartland in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq, that gives the propaganda the necessary mooring it needs in the real world. What are the logical steps to be taken in confronting this uniquely potent propaganda challenge?

“Obviously, changing the political reality on the ground is one sure way of rapidly reducing the impact of the propaganda. The shiny, soaring, scary object that was ‘Triumph of the Will’ had tremendous appeal in its heyday of the mid-30s; it had less so in the rubble of German cities in 1944-45. The gap between the propaganda and the reality was too wide to be breached by celluloid. An ISIS Caliphate who predicates that it will conquer Constantinople, Rome and America ‘by the permission of God,’ is unmasked if it cannot hold Tel Abyad or Raqqa or Mosul.

“But given the difficult political-military reality and the difficulty in identifying on the ground alternatives to the Islamic State, what are practical steps which can be taken now to mitigate the appeal of the Islamic State and to at least try to put a blanket on that accelerant which is social media?

“On a strategic level, governments must identify ways to combat the basic pillars of Jihadist Salafism which is the breeding ground from where this ISIS pathology emerges. It is important to point out that this worldview does not emerge fully formed, Athena-like, out of nothing but has been promoted by countries like Saudi Arabia – whether officially or unofficially – for decades. Salafism, not all of which is pernicious, has for decades had the cash, the patronage, the protection and the push that other trends and worldviews within Islam have lacked.

“But much of the activity in this Salafi sphere does frankly promote a worldview which is very conducive to radicalization, material that is extremely intolerant, antisemitic, anti-Christian, and anti-all sorts of Muslims such as Shias or Sufis or others found insufficiently ‘Islamic’ by this worldview. Once the strategic decision is taken that a key part of the problem is Jihadist Salafism, this can be tackled in a variety of ways.  Some of the best ways to counter this may be through quiet and frank conversation by our diplomats behind the scenes with local interlocutors but this is still something than needs to be prioritized and done.

“On the tactical level, there are a series of practical steps that need to be taken to begin to reverse the head start the extremists have built up over the past few years. We need to recognize that while social media propaganda is not super-expensive, we in the West have treated it with far less urgency and importance than have our adversaries. ISIS is prolific, working 24/7, tailoring its approach to the individual and nationality it is seeking to influence. The budget over a three year period of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), for example, which I headed for three years, equaled cumulatively the cost of just one Reaper drone. It accomplished some good things with small amounts of money but was always outnumbered and outgunned in the very specific space we are talking about. We need to fund a media counteroffensive appropriately. We don’t need to break the bank to fight this adversary in social media but we do need to spend somewhat more than we have and spend more wisely.

“In the highly charged narrow space we are talking about, the good guys are heavily outnumbered. ISIS and its supporters are trolling and messaging 24/7 in large numbers. You need a network to fight a network. The way to address this is to both increase the number of anti-ISIS messengers and to make it more difficult for extremists to communicate freely, while recognizing that you will never be able to remove everyone and that the extremists’ message needs to be actually confronted. An August 2015 MEMRI report minutely documented how an ISIS hashtag campaign was ‘hijacked’ by anti-ISIS twitter trolls. The hashtag #WeAllGive BayahToKhalifah was massively interrupted with over 50% anti-ISIS material including all sorts of mockery and even a lot of explicit sexual content within 24 hours. This hijacking limited the reach of the ISIS media campaign, caused ISIS supporters to abandon the hashtag and is something that was not happening a year ago at the height of the ISIS media offensive after the declaration of the Caliphate.

“Secondly, you need content. ISIS messaging is MOSTLY about a Utopian, grievance-laden version of Jihadist Salafism, but it is presented in a wide range of tailored ways, many of these approaches are not particularly violence filled. There has been some incremental progress in this field but not enough. A sarcastic approach on Twitter such as ISIS Karaoke is an interesting small-scale effort but this is not enough. Another recent effort comes from Japan where #ISISchan uses the imagery and language of anime to push the revolutionary concept that ‘knives are for cutting melons,’ not heads. There are a number of reformers, liberals and secularists throughout the Muslim world who have been fighting the good fight against extremists, on their own for years even before the rise of ISIS. Maximizing the stories and visuals of the steady stream of individuals disillusioned with the Islamic State is another resource that counterterrorism communicators are aware of but that is still being used too little. There also needs to be some sort of organized ‘off-ramp’ in Western countries where returnees or convicted, repentant supporters can look directly into a camera, like ISIS supporters often do, and relate in their own words how they were wrong.

“Much work can also be done in highlighting the voices and stories of Sunni Arab Muslim victims of ISIS violence. The stories of the massacres of the Syrian Shaitat tribe or of the hundreds of Iraqi Anbar province Sunni tribesmen or clerics are yet to be told in the words of those who knew them. There are people today in Syrian refugee camps, on the road to Europe as refugees, or being held as prisoners by friendly governments that can make a more compelling case than we can directly on why joining ISIS is a really bad idea and underscore a basic criticism of ISIS that actually has power, which is that most of its victims are the very Sunni Muslim population it claims to represent. It is also pertinent to mention the heroic work of citizen journalist collectives such as Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently and Mosul Eye, reporting bravely from deep inside ISIS-controlled territory.

“Deepening understanding among at risk populations about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in the West is still another needed element. It has been a while since I was in school but we generally seemed to do a good job in the United States in inculcating civic values about what it means to be an American to our children. That is not the case elsewhere. I recently spoke to a Northern European citizen who lamented that his country did a poor job in promoting love of country among its immigrant population. The symbols and stories of the nation-state had, because of a fear of extreme nationalism which has existed in Europe in the past, been surrendered and instead of promoting loyalty, pride and inclusion all too often governments promoted nothing, allowing a vacuum to exist which will be filled by others. As Bob Dylan once said, ‘you’ve got to serve somebody,’ and if you can’t serve and be proud of the country you are in, you may go and try to find that with someone else.

“More can also be done to digitally empower leaders and opinion-makers in at-risk communities (both domestically and overseas) to be able to fund and support their own private, individualized approaches to counterterrorism messaging. This will not all look the same or necessarily say the things we would say, but that is alright as long as there is activity constant over time against those who would radicalize the innocent and lead them to violent extremism. An individualized, handmade approach to counter-radicalization can have power by the very nature of its authenticity and independent nature. The very fact that such an approach doesn’t sound or look like what the State Department spokesman would say gives it more, rather than less, credibility.

“Radicalization through social media is often not the mass consumption of snuff videos but rather the direction, intimate interaction between individuals who form a bond through cyberspace. There is a role for vetted members of civil society in helping out in a very powerful, unique and individualized way to intervene against these extremist interactions.

“Finally, we need to recognize that just like extremists have flourished in the ungoverned corners of the world on the ground – Waziristan, Somalia, Northern Mali, parts of Yemen, the chaos of Syria and Iraq – they have also taken advantage of the mostly ungoverned space existing in social media, in space provided by mostly American social media companies. Not all companies are the same and there has been real progress made, for example, by Facebook in protecting its space from ISIS supporters. Others have done less well, with YouTube and especially Twitter being far too open to the incitement and provocation of explicitly labelled propaganda by Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) which should have no place in social media. Both those companies are trying to do better, but they should do more to police the space they control and ensure protection from misuse by FTOs and supporters in what often is abuse of the terms of service of the companies themselves.

” And there are still other online hosts, such as the San Francisco-based Internet Archive founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996, which is frequently used by Jihadists as a safe harbor for their material. Surely there has to be a better way to safeguard freedom of expression, preserve online archives, and protect the public from terrorist propaganda. A bright light needs to be shined on the work of companies so that there should at the very least be an informed and rational discussion of the challenges that democratic open societies face in dealing with the propaganda of violent radicals.

“The political pathologies of the Middle East have very deep roots going back centuries which can be addressed and mitigated by Western governments but in the end cannot be solved by them. While the heavy military and political lifting can best be done by governments in the region, many of whom have a longstanding and productive relationship with the United States, there are a series of commonsense, relatively low cost steps that the U.S. government alone, and in partnership with friendly governments, with civil society, and with social media companies can, and should, take to, at the very least, make the work of these terrorists seeking to radicalize the unwary more difficult. As impressive as ISIS propaganda is, the impact has all too often been not because it was so great but because there were little or no countermeasures taken by its opponents.”


Here is the video of the entire hearing:


David Cameron’s Latest Counter-Extremism Initiative Has A Mosque-Sized Hole In It


Eye on Islam, by Ben, Oct. 19, 2015:

Today the government released the latest in their recent attempts to outline a cohesive strategy on dealing with the jihadist threat – ahem, sorry, “extremism in all its forms”.

The full outline of the strategy, which can be read here, contains many useful and important initiatives which will help to keep the wolf from the door just a little bit longer, but as usual, it is full of massive problems.

The first, once again, is its obsession with placing “right-wing extremists” up on the same pedestal with Islamic jihadis, as if they were at least a roughly equivalent threat. That’s not to say that such people shouldn’t be combatted where they exist, but the extent of the threat they pose is massively exaggerated – especially when compared to ISIS – and the scariest things the report can come up with are individual attacks against Muslims by loners with no connections to anyone, and a “neo-Nazi” group that holds racist rock concerts. It also cites now-discredited statistics on anti-Muslim hate crimes from Tell MAMA to make the threat of “Islamophobia” seem worse than it actually is.

This isn’t just annoying – it also shows how ineffective these new strategies are likely to be, since they work on the assumption that all “extremism” requires the same solutions, and that all ideologies can be dealt with in the same way. There is no logical reason to believe this is the case.

The other HUGE omission, given that despite the false equivalences, the majority of the document does in fact dwell on Islamic extremism specifically, is that it contains pages and pages of material about how to stop online jihadi recruitment, and not even one sentence on dealing with extremism INSIDE BRITISH MOSQUES.

Mosques are only mentioned twice in the entire strategy document: Once on page 9, in a sentence about how Muslims have the freedom to build them in this country, and again on the following page, in a paragraph explaining how mosques are sometimes attacked by “right-wing extremists”. That’s it. There is also an oblique reference on page 28 to plans to “help faith institutions to establish strong governance.” This scheme, however, will apply to “places of worship of all faiths”.

Because the UK’s 100 or so Sikh temples just need “stronger governance” so urgently.

Why is this omission so critical? Because it flies in the face of mountains of evidence that mosques are a major radicalisation ground, given that they are the place where mainstream Islamic doctrines – which include many things the British government defines as extremist – are taught to the faithful.

The first exposure many British people will have had to the hate preaching and extreme sermons occurring in British mosques was probably in Channel 4’s Undercover Mosque documentary in 2007. The same year, an investigation by The Times revealed that books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage were being sold inside some of Britain’s leading mosques. The report claimed that such hardline material was found at a quarter of the 100 mosques visited during the investigation.

According to the Evening Standard, the An-Noor mosque in Acton has had numerous links to terror and extremism over the years, including a wanted terror suspect who used it as a shelter to evade the police, and the attendance of Abu Hamza’s son, Uthman Mustafa Kamal, who was preaching at the mosque, offering prayers for “holy warriors” to “destroy their enemies”.

And relating specifically to the newest threat of Islamic State, TheGuardian reported last month that networks of ISIS operatives are already recruiting inside mosques in the UK, with one imam even resigning from his mosque after witnessing extremist preaching first hand. In August, it was claimed that a teenage “jihadi bride” who groomed three of her school friends to join her in Syria to fight for Islamic State was radicalised at a women’s charity based at one of Britain’s biggest mosques, the East London Mosque in Whitechapel.

In light of all this and much more, the fact that the government’s “anti-extremism strategy” says absolutely nothing about monitoring mosques more closely, or forcing mosque leaders to implement transparent programmes in their institutions to teach against the jihadist ideology, is nothing short of scandalous.

One final point: A government press release that came out yesterday, announcing the imminent release of the new strategy, cites the work of the Quilliam Foundation, suggesting once again a collaboration between David Cameron and the organisation founded by Maajid Nawaz. By all accounts, Nawaz seems to think that he has been involved in advising Cameron on this new strategy. Why would this self-professed “moderate reformer” not advise the Prime Minister to do more to tackle Islamic extremism inside the very bastions of Islamic preaching?

If Nawaz was indeed involved in this initiative, it’s a question with no comforting answers.

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