Americans Fighting for ISIS: Keeping Them Out vs. Luring Them In

1408801449089_wps_3_isis_tweets_us_comp_jpgCenter for Security Policy, by Ben Lerner, Sep.11,2014:

As several Members of Congress have begun calling for the revocation of passports of US citizens fighting for ISIS in order to keep American jihadists who have trained overseas from returning to the United States and carrying out attacks here, Washington Free Beacon reports that American intelligence is cautious about a similar proposal being offered with respect to  British citizens by Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom:

While such [passport revocation] measures serve as an appropriate response to the alarming trend of Western recruits joining terror groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al Qaeda, members of the American intelligence community have warned that the policy could result in an overall loss of valuable intelligence.

The U.S. counterterrorism strategy has been to “lure in” militants returning from Iraq or Syria with the hopes of extracting detailed information about ground operations, recruitment, and designs for attacks on the homeland. Cameron’s strategy, on the other hand, imposes strict no-fly restrictions on travelers returning from Iraq and Syria with the goal of ‘excluding’ British citizens from the U.K.

Although it is unclear which “members of the American intelligence community” are expressing these concerns, and whether they are outliers or are representing a consensus view, there are two problems with the “lure in” objection to passport revocation with respect to US citizens:

1)  The fact that they’re here doesn’t mean we’ll be able to track them.  Recent revelations that the Department of Homeland Security has lost contact with 58,000 expired student visa holders – 6,000 of which are subjects “heightened concern” that may pose threats to national security – do not inspire confidence that our resource-constrained intelligence bureaucracy will be able to successfully track jihadist operatives that we’ve “lured in”.

Such an approach would seem especially risky when the subjects are themselves the would-be attackers, as opposed to support components like recruiters or financiers.  We may indeed (on a case-by-case basis) want to lure in the latter to uncover terrorist plots, but when the individual in question is himself the plot — the trigger-puller, the bomb-detonator, the virus-carrier – preventing entry ought to be the priority.  If these guys disappear into the crowd, it could be too late to prevent anything.

2)  Even if we can track them, that doesn’t mean we’ll be able to extract intelligence from them.  The Obama administration has shown that it’s more inclined to let jihadists on US soil lawyer up and remain silent, such as in the case of the Christmas Day underwear bomber of 2009 and the Boston Marathon bomber of 2013.  The military might have success in “extracting detailed information” from such individuals if allowed to detain them as enemy combatants before turning them over to law enforcement (even if as US citizens they are ineligible for trial by military commissions), but that appears unlikely under this administration.

FBI knew about ISIS recruiter in U.S. since 2007

abousamra500By LEO HOHMANN:

Reports tying worshipers at U.S. mosques in Massachusetts and Minnesota to the ISIS terror network in Syria have opened up old wounds among Muslims in America and prompted new questions about how well the FBI monitors mosques with radical leanings.

The Islamic Society of Boston, the same mosque attended by the two Tsarnaev brothers accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, has now been tied to ISIS.

One of the members the brothers may have come in contact with was Ahmad Abousamra, a 32-year-old man who once frequented the Boston mosque and now serves as the chief propagandist for ISIS. The gruesome videos of ISIS militants beheading American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley apparently were the handiwork of Abousamra.

“The Islamic Society of Boston has been, historically, one of the most radical mosques in the United States,” said Steve Emerson, who has authored six books on Islamic extremism and serves as executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. “I’ve been investigating them for more than 20 years while CNN has been defending them for 20 years.”

Emerson said the FBI finds it difficult to penetrate the mosques and find recruiters.

“They’re very slick in the way they operate. Their Facebook pages are clean. They are very careful in how they communicate electronically, and they’re pretty wise in terms of appearing suspicious to potential informants,” he said. “So you really have got to either infiltrate a recruiting plot, if you can, or you have to find evidence of it electronically, or you need an informant to come forward and say, ‘They’re recruiting in our mosque.’”

Emerson said the Boston mosque was linked as early as the late 1990s to groups connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, “but nothing was done and it turned out that you have at least seven or eight people convicted of terrorism charges while dozens of others from this mosque have been investigated.”

The infamous Aafia Siddiqui, known as “Lady al-Qaida,” attended the Boston mosque before she was convicted of plotting terrorism, as did Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the spiritual guides of global Muslim Brotherhood doctrines.

But the FBI was “thoroughly derelict” in investigating the Tsarnaev brothers, Emerson said. After Russia tipped off the bureau about the brothers’ radical leanings, he said the FBI reached out to mosque leaders to build a dialogue but failed to monitor mosque teachings.

WND reported last week on how the FBI has scrubbed its internal training manuals of all references to radical Islam after it was pressured to do so in 2011 by 56 Muslim-American organizations, including several with known ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, in late August, 70 Islamic-American groups have again written a letter to the White House demanding that all law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels audit and purge their materials of anything deemed to be biased against Muslims.

“Anyone in the intelligence agencies, with the restrictions of not being able to look at radical Islam and not even being able to use that term ‘radical Islam,’ it’s only going to stop us from pre-empting attacks,” Emerson said.

Amir Meshal

Amir Meshal

The strange case of Amir Meshal

The situation is equally dire at the Al Farooq Youth and Family Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. At least 12 Muslims from Minnesota have left the country to fight for ISIS in Syria, the FBI acknowledges, while 20 to 30 have joined al-Shabab, a terrorist group based in Somalia, since 2007.

The government believes some of the 12 ISIS fighters may have been recruited, either in person or online, by 31-year-old Amir Meshal, a native of New Jersey. The FBI has been well acquainted with him since 2007, when he was detained for about four months in Kenya but never charged. He allegedly admitted he attended an al-Qaida training camp, learned about various weapons and served as a translator but was not arrested. Instead, the FBI dumped Meshal back in New Jersey, after which the ACLU, in cooperation with the Council on Islamic American Relations, or CAIR, sued the U.S. government for violating Meshal’s civil rights.

KMSP-TV in Minneapolis reported Meshal claims in the lawsuit to have been recruited by the FBI as an informant, and he could have been working as a double agent for both the FBI and for ISIS. In exchange for providing information, he may have been taken off the government’s no-fly list, the TV station reported.

Meshal reportedly showed up this summer at the Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington. Sometime in late June or early July, an 18-year-old boy was stopped by authorities trying to depart the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on a flight to Turkey. The boy fingered Meshal as his recruiter.

In June, the parents of another teenage boy reported to the mosque’s leadership that Meshal was preaching a radical jihadist philosophy to their son. That’s when then the mosque called police and banned Meshal from returning.

The FBI now says it doesn’t know where Meshal might be hiding.

Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” says no one should be surprised by the recent news coming out of Minnesota and Massachusetts.

She pointed out Meshal was detained in 2007 for his ties to al-Qaida, “after young Muslims went missing and it became news that the Twin Cities are seething with jihadists, part of the ‘terror pipeline’ as it’s now colloquially called.”

So, she emphasized, the mosque didn’t ban him until after the boy’s parents complained.

“Why was he allowed to preach jihad to the people in this mosque?”

Read more at WND

U.S. Muslims ask Obama to block counter-terror training

CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper with CAIR Executive Director and founder Nihad Awad

CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper with CAIR Executive Director and founder Nihad Awad

WND:

Even as fears grow that ISIS terrorists are secreted inside America’s Muslim community, dozens of American Muslim groups have fired off a letter to President Obama demanding he cut off federal funding for sheriffs and other local police receiving anti-jihadist training from a former FBI agent.

Veteran FBI Special Agent John Guandolo, formerly of the bureau’s Washington field office, has been training local law enforcement officials and federal agents in tactics for identifying and ferreting out Islamic terrorists and their supporters inside U.S. cities.

But more than 75 Islamic and leftist groups upset with his focus on the religious motivation of terrorists last month sent a five-page letter to the White House complaining of a “biased” training program.

Led by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a major federal terrorism case, the coalition demanded the president implement a “mandatory retraining program” for “all federal, state and local law enforcement officials” who have been trained by Guandolo.

It also called for “disciplinary action” against federal agents and local police officials who participate in training with “discriminatory” counter-terrorism materials.

Moreover, the coalition’s White House demands include requiring “federal agencies that provide law enforcement and homeland security funding to state and local governments to condition such funding on carrying out training or otherwise using federal funds in a manner that upholds our nation’s commitment to equal treatment and equal justice under the law and barring the use of trainers or materials that exhibit bias against any race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.”

Previously, CAIR has tried to block Guandolo’s training of sheriff’s offices in Culpeper County, Virginia; Rutherford County, Tennessee; and Franklin County, Ohio. The Islamic group currently is pressuring law enforcement officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, to cancel Guandolo’s scheduled Sept. 19 briefing with some 300 prosecutors and police.

This week, CAIR tried unsuccessfully to force Colorado Christian University to disinvite Guandolo from speaking before its Centennial Institute about the threat from, as Guandolo put it, “the massive jihadi network that exists in the U.S.” CAIR’s complaints against Guandolo got unusually personal and shrill, with CAIR official Corey Saylor comparing Guandolo to “white supremacists” in a letter to university officials.

Training ties CAIR to jihadi network

Why is the counter-terrorism training performed by Guandolo, which is singled out by name in the letter, so threatening to pro-jihad groups?

For one, Guandolo lays out the radical Muslim Brotherhood’s extensive jihadi network in America, and federal prosecutors have identified CAIR as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in America. He advises that CAIR’s branch offices located in major cities across the U.S. should be aggressively investigated.

In his intensive three-day training program, Guandolo gives a detailed understanding of Shariah and how understanding it and the Muslim Brotherhood network necessarily changes how traffic stops, interviews and homicide investigations are conducted, among other things.

He explains that local law enforcement is key to neutralizing the jihadist threat. New federal investigative guidelines issued by Attorney General Eric Holder have overly restrained federal agents’ ability to effectively root out bad guys in local mosques and the Muslim community.

“A sheriff is the most powerful law enforcement officer in the nation,” Guandolo explained. “Sheriffs can make life very difficult for jihadis once they understand how they operate and where to look for them.”

Read more at WND

A President Whose Assurances Have Come Back to Haunt Him

obama-statements-videoSixteenByNine540By

WASHINGTON — When President Obama addresses the nation on Wednesday to explain his plan to defeat Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, it is a fair bet he will not call them the “JV team.”

Nor does he seem likely to describe Iraq as “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” with a “representative government.” And presumably he will not assert after more than a decade of conflict that “the tide of war is receding.”

As he seeks to rally Americans behind a new military campaign in the Middle East, Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.

To Mr. Obama’s critics, the disparity between the president’s previous statements and today’s reality reflects not simply poorly chosen words but a fundamentally misguided view of the world. Rather than clearly see the persistent dangers as the United States approaches the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they said, Mr. Obama perpetually imagines a world as he wishes it were.

Read more at New York Times

Emerson: FBI has been handcuffed in investigating religious extremists in Mosques

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 6, 2014

Judge Jeanine Pirro: And with me now, the founder of The Investigative Project, Steve Emerson. Alright Steve, ISIS has Americans worried. How justified are those fears?

Steve Emerson: Very justified. Look, Judge, the problem here is that it’s not just a regional issue. ISIS definitely is a threat in the region in the Middle East, it’s a threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, to Jordan, it’s a threat to Israel, they’ve made statements now they’re going to attack Israel, but they’re also a threat to the United States. There are nearly 300 to 400 American volunteers with U.S. passports now fighting for ISIS. They can return to the United States anytime they want. The FBI has been handcuffed in terms of investigating religious extremists in mosques, as a result of guidelines put out by the attorney general earlier this year. And so therefore, there is… a definite problem now in investigating those militants in the United States who are either recruiting for ISIS or have returned from Syria or Iraq having fought for ISIS, and are ready to carry out freelance or directed terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS against the United States. That’s the first problem that we’re facing that’s not being met or being handled properly because of the constraints put on law enforcement by this administration.

Pirro: Tell me, Steve; tell the audience exactly what you mean by the restraints being put on the FBI by the Department of Justice.

Emerson: The FBI [has been constrained by] the Department of Justice [which] put out guidelines that restricted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from using religious factors in identifying threats, national security threats to the United States in the homeland. That is so if someone was a religious extremist, though they didn’t plot to carry out an attack, that [indicator] could not be factored into an investigation, into an intelligence investigation, into identifying them as a potential threat to the United States. Therefore, they [law enforcement] would have to wait until they actually plotted to carry out an attack. Well that’s too late. And unfortunately, what we’re seeing right now is the fact is that we’ve seen massive numbers, increasing numbers of volunteers going over not just from Europe, from Asia and Africa, but we’re seeing ISIS recruiting biophysicists, engineers, social media types, people who have expertise in really carrying out sophisticated terrorist attacks coming back to the United States. And look, if you remember 20-, I got an email from an FBI agent just yesterday, he said, ‘Steve, nobody remembers what happened in the 1980s when all the jihadists were recruited, went over to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, then came back, and then what happened?’ In February, 1993 they plotted, they almost took down the World Trade Center bombing, [the World] Trade Center at that time; they didn’t, they failed, they [Al Qaeda] returned again in 2001. So the reality is, Judge, that with the handcuffs put on by this administration, there’s a disconnect between what we’re not doing against ISIS, [which is that] we should be decimating them. The president said it may take one, two, three years; we don’t have that kind of time to wait. Within three years –

Pirro: Steve, you know what’s amazing to me, I mean it’s just like the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston bombers, I mean you get, they’re telling us not once, but twice, these guys are terrorists. We’re letting them go in and out of the country, I mean and you know not calling the Fort Hood shooter a terrorist, but instead it’s workplace violence. Steve Emerson, really fast, these recruiters where are they going to get these potential jihadists, American jihadists?

Emerson: Well they’re going– I mean there’s one recruiter that [had been]… picked up [in the past], well identified, in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Al Farooq Mosque. There are recruiters going around the country in other mosques, where they identify potential volunteers. They test them out to see if they’re willing to die on behalf of martyrdom of the cause for Allah. Then they give them cash, they provide money for their families in case they die. They give them tickets to go to Turkey. Turkey has allowed them, hundreds, to go through to Syria, then to Iraq. And we [the U.S.] count Turkey as one of our top allies. We haven’t put [many of] them on the terrorism watch list, which we should. So there’s a major disconnect, Judge, here between what we should be doing to protect the homeland and protect American citizens versus what the president is doing, in not stopping ISIS on the ground in Iraq, versus what he’s not doing here in the homeland itself.

Pirro: Alright, Steve Emerson, always good to hear your take on things. Thanks so much for being with us.

Emerson: Sure.

****

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Holders Bans Profiling Islamic Terrorists by Religion by Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 17, 2014:

A lot of profiling restrictions are stupid, but in this case religion is the motivation. Banning profiling of perpetrators by their motives is a sure way of crippling investigations.

This is what I predicted was going to happen and I’m surprised it took this long. If terrorists can’t be profiled by religion, then preventing attacks becomes incredibly difficult.

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

Since taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions.

It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups.

“Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, then it’s really irrelevant.”

The Justice Department has been reviewing the rules for several years and has not publicly signaled how it might change them. Mr. Holder disclosed his plans in a meeting on Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, according to an official briefed on the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.

Bloomberg, as bad as he was, might have objected, but Bill de Blasio is on the same page as Holder when it comes to empowering terrorists.

 

Also see:

The Real Threat of ISIS in the Homeland

ISI-Flag-White-House-TwitterBreitbart, by BEN SHAPIRO:

Despite the best attempts of the Obama administration to declare ISIS a “regional threat” and label their ideology rootless, the truth has now penetrated the public consciousness: ISIS has global reach, largely because their ideology does as well.

The latest indicator that ISIS just the latest label slapped on the growing phenomenon of radical Islamism comes courtesy of Great Britain, where Palmira Silva, an 82-year-old great-grandmother, was beheaded, allegedly at the hands of a charming character called “Fat Nicholas.” Obese Nick is reportedly a Muslim convert.

This is not the first public beheading in Britain, unfortunately. In May 2013, two young British Muslims, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, ran over British soldier Lee Rigby in a car before Adebolajo attacked him with a machete, attempting to decapitate him. Adebolajo then stuck around to brag to passersby, threatening the rule of Islam. The day before, Adebolajo bought a set of five knives. A copy of the Koran was found on his person.

The dangerous ideology of ISIS – which is also the basic ideology of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda, and a myriad of other terror groups and terror supporters – is gaining adherents all over the globe: 12,000 foreigners are currently fighting with ISIS, including 500 British citizens and at least 100 American citizens. Why are these Americans joining ISIS? Let ISIS-affiliated former cop and ex-Catholic Don Morgan, 44, explain:

My reason for the support of ISIS is because they’ve proven time and time again to put Islamic law as the priority and the establishment of an Islamic state as the goal… I would not classify myself as a radical, but by Western definition, I would be classified as a radical.

Many Americans are deeply and correctly concerned with the possibility of ISIS fighters crossing America’s borders to commit acts of terror; as we learned last week, ISIS’s plans to cross the southern border to commit terror attacks alerted the U.S. government to the possibility.

But the far more significant threat to America isn’t ISIS fighters coming to America. It’s homegrown ISIS sympathizers going Nidal Hassan, turning their guns on their fellow citizens. All ISIS really needs to do is keep their converts in their home countries and provide them the logistical and moral support to commit acts of terrorism.

Already we have seen the first early signs of ISIS sympathizers in the United States. Thus far, these sympathizers are largely sounding off via social media, tweeting out pictures of ISIS flags near potential terror targets. But the Department of Homeland Security is worried about the possibility of violent action by ISIS fans in the United States. DHS and the FBI have told local law enforcement: “because of the individualized nature of the radicalization process – it is difficult to predict triggers that will contribute to attempting acts of violence.”

That warning came just a few weeks after NBC News White House Correspondent Chris Jansing stated that the White House said, “there is nothing in the intelligence that suggests that ISIS is prepared or even interested in attacking the US homeland.” Within hours of that announcement, the feds arrested an alleged ISIS sympathizer at JFK Airport in New York for weapons trafficking and possession.

The threat of radicalization inside the United States is quite real – and we can only hope that ISIS recruits continue to stream to Syria and Iraq, rather than staying in the United States and attacking the American public. Just this week, we saw an alleged ISIS terrorist killed in Iraq after leaving the United States, where he worked at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Yes, he had security clearance there.

The Obama administration’s response to the threat of ISIS recruiting inside the United States has been to release an anti-ISIS video over the weekend, featuring images of ISIS beheading people, blowing up mosques, and executing Muslims. Which, coincidentally, is exactly the stuff that ISIS uses to recruit its friends, demonstrating once again that the disconnected Obama administration simply does not understand the attraction of the radical group to radical Muslims.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.orgFollow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

****

Shapiro Rips Obama On Fox News:“Who, Exactly, Has Veto Power Over American National Security Interests?”

Global drive to stop jihadis going to Syria, Iraq

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By Lori Hinnant:

PARIS: New laws make it easier to seize passports. Suspected fighters are plucked from planes. Authorities block finances and shut down radical mosques. And behind the scenes, Silicon Valley firms are under increasing pressure to wipe extremist content from websites as Western intelligence agencies explore new technologies to identify returning fighters at the border.

Governments from France to Indonesia have launched urgent drives to cut off one of the ISIS’ biggest sources of strength: foreign fighters. At the heart of the drive is mounting concern that the organization is training the next generation of international terrorists.

Those fears have gained urgency from the group’s horrific methods: A British militant is suspected of beheading two American journalists, and a Frenchman who fought with the ISIS is accused in a deadly attack on a Jewish museum in Belgium.

With each video that ricochets around social networks, the militants gain new recruits.

Britain has taken a particularly active role in censoring content deemed to break the country’s strict rules against extremist propaganda. U.K. officials recently revealed they have been granted “super flagger” status on sites such as YouTube, meaning their requests to remove videos with grisly content or that encourage terrorism are fast-tracked.

Over the past four years, an Internet-focused counterterror unit of London’s Metropolitan Police instigated the removal of 45,000 pieces of content, the force said last week. ISIS, however, have just as quickly found other, more decentralized platforms.

In the United States, officials are trying to identify potential jihadists by comparing travel patterns with those of people who have already joined the fight, a counterterrorism official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss intelligence matters.

A French law to seize passports is being fast-tracked through parliament, and the government is ramping up arrests of increasingly young teenagers making plans for jihad.

That can mean last-minute arrests at the airport, as happened to a 16-year-old girl and her alleged recruiter trying to pass through security in Nice Saturday, and to a man at Australia’s Melbourne Airport who was pulled off a flight last week carrying tens of thousands of dollars in cash and ISIS’ black-and-white flag in his luggage.

Britain proposed laws Monday to let police seize the passports of those suspected of having traveled abroad to fight, while the Netherlands is making it easier to strip people of their nationality and go after Internet providers that spread propaganda.

In Bosnia, authorities carried out a major anti-terror sweep Wednesday. They detained 16 people suspected of fighting in Syria and Iraq and recruiting Balkan men to join militants there.

Anti-jihadist efforts are being ramped up in traditionally Muslim countries as well: Indonesia is breaking up meetings of ISIS supporters and seizing T-shirts and other items promoting the group, and Tunisia is shutting down mosques and suspected financiers.

For the radicals who have already reached Syria, the focus of European spy agencies is on trying to identify them when they return. That can mean scouring social media sites for photos of foreign fighters or electronic intercepts for hints of terrorist activity abroad.

Officials are considering the deployment of more advanced techniques like voice recognition to identify suspected jihadis at border control by matching their conversations to those heard on militants’ videos, former U.K. counterterrorism chief Bob Quick told the Associated Press earlier this year.

There is huge interest, he said, in “being able to identify these people at the border.”

The concern is that returning fighters will launch attacks at home. Australia draws on lessons from Afghanistan a decade ago, saying of the 25 citizens who returned to Australia after fighting against Western interests there, two-thirds became involved in terrorist activities back home. Some remain in prison.

“The Australians and their supporters who have joined terrorist groups in the Middle East are a serious and growing threat to our security,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament Monday. “People who kill without compunction in other countries are hardly likely to be law-abiding citizens should they return to Australia.”

A compilation of government estimates shows more than 2,000 people with European passports have fought or are fighting in Syria and Iraq – with most looking to join ISIS.

Read more at Daily Star

 

Cruz Moves to Stop American ISIL Fighters from Reentering the U.S.

Militants from the al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria borders and moving through it / AP

Militants from the al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria borders and moving through it / AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo:

The Senate could move to strip Americans fighting alongside Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) of their U.S. citizenship under a new bill set to be introduced next week by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), according to a source close to the senator’s office.

With intelligence reports indicating that up to 100 Americans could be fighting with ISIL and similar terror groups in the Middle East, Cruz and other lawmakers have warned that current U.S. regulations do not prevent these American passport holders from slipping back into the United States, where they would pose a significant terror risk.

Cruz intends to file the Expatriate Terrorist Act (E.T.A.) on Monday when the Senate is called back into session following its summer recess, according to the Cruz source.

The bill would effectively strip those Americans proved to be fighting alongside ISIL of their U.S. citizenship and block them from reentering the country. The legislation resembles a similar House billby Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) that also seeks to stem the flow of American ISIL fighters back into the country.

Any U.S. citizen who would travel to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside ISIL is repudiating their rights and citizenship under U.S. law, Cruz told the Washington Free Beacon in a statement.

“Americans who choose to go to Syria or Iraq to fight with vicious ISIS terrorists are party to a terrorist organization committing horrific acts of violence, including beheading innocent American journalists who they have captured,” Cruz said. “There can be no clearer renunciation of their citizenship in the United States, and we need to do everything we can to preempt any attempt on their part to re-enter our country and carry out further attacks on American civilians.”

The E.T.A. would tighten and update existing regulations by which a U.S. citizen abandons their citizenship, according to a preview of the bill.

The Cruz bill amends this statute to include those who become a member of, fight for, or provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, particularly ones attempting to wage terror attacks on the United States and its assets.

U.S. authorities would have to provide evidence proving a U.S. citizen has fought with ISIL.

“Provided the requirements of due process are observed, if a U.S. Citizen undertakes these acts with the intent of supplanting his U.S. Citizenship with loyalty to a terrorist organization, that person can be deemed to have forfeited their right to be a United States citizen and return to the United States,” according to a readout of Cruz’s new bill.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said earlier this week that up to 100 Americans are known to be fighting alongside ISIL in the Middle East. The Pentagon later clarified that only about a dozen Americans are fighting with the group in Syria, while about 100 U.S. citizens are in the region fighting with other terror groups.

Some congressional insiders working on the issue of American fighters abroad have warned that it could be very tough for U.S. authorities to prove their cases against these suspected militants upon their return to America.

It is “completely unrealistic” that the FBI and other U.S. intelligence sources have the ability to fully track and compile evidence on these individuals, one senior aide told the Free Beacon earlier this week.

“Think of all the FBI resources needed to follow each suspect once they return to the U.S.,” the source said. “Countless hours of agent time diverted just to piece together what they were doing over there and how much of a threat they pose back home. Why wouldn’t we try to preemptively address it instead?”

The House bill by Wolf seeks to do exactly this.

Like Cruz’s legislation, the House measure aims to stop American jihadists from using their passports to return to America.

Additionally, Wolf’s measure would imprison for up to 20 years any Americans who travel to Syria or other radical hotbeds and severely restrict movement to such areas.

Also see:

ISIS is the President’s Intelligence Failure

383580128 (1)Center For Security Policy, By Fred Fleitz:

Obama officials made some dubious claims over the summer that the White House was caught off guard by the rise of the terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) because U.S. intelligence agencies underestimated the ISIS threat.  Many have disputed this, including Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who said in June that the Iraq crisis is a policy and not an intelligence failure.  Others pointed out there has been press on ISIS activities for almost a year and that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee last February that ISIS “will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group’s ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria.”

It now looks like the real intelligence failure has been President Obama’s decision to ignore critical U.S. intelligence analysis and warnings.

Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge reported today that according to a former Pentagon official, “detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of ISIS was included in the PDB, or the President’s Daily Brief, for at least a year before the group took large swaths of territory beginning in June.”  The source also described this intelligence as “strong” and “granular” in detail.

The PDB is a highly classified daily intelligence report prepared for the President and a handful of other high level officials by U.S. intelligence agencies.  The former Pentagon official told Herridge that unlike his predecessors, President Obama reads the PDB and does not receive a PDB briefing.  The source also said U.S. intelligence agencies rarely receive follow-up questions from Mr. Obama on the PDB.

Herridge’s story tracks with a September 12, 2012 Washington Post op-ed by Marc Thiessen that despite White House bragging about President Obama receiving a daily PDB briefing, Thiessen found the president had skipped more than half of them.

The president’s supporters in the news media went after Thiessen over this op-ed.  For example, in a September 24, 2012 column, The bogus claim that Obama ‘skips’ his intelligence briefings, Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler gave Thiessen’s piece three “Pinocchios” for being inaccurate and said in an update it may have deserved a fourth.  According to Kessler, Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton also did not receive daily PDB briefings.

While Kessler is right that presidents have had different styles in dealing with intelligence and the PDB, the real issue is whether the information in the PDB reaches the president.  President Carter and both Presidents Bush often sent comments and feedback after reading the PDB.  Presidents Ford and Reagan sent also sent feedback but less than these presidents.  (Kessler also claimed President Reagan almost never wrote questions or comments about the PDB.  I dispute this since I once received a comment from President Reagan written on a PDB I authored when I was a CIA analyst.  Several of my CIA colleagues occasionally received comments and questions on the PDB from President Reagan.)

President Bill Clinton had a very different approach to the PDB and his morning intelligence.  It was well known at CIA that Clinton rarely read the PDB.  Clinton skipped so many PDB briefings that CIA management stopped sending daily read-outs of them to analysts after someone at CIA leaked word about Clinton’s skipped PDB briefings to the press.  I believe Clinton’s ignorance of U.S. intelligence analysis contributed to his underestimation of the threat from al-Qaeda and his timid responses to the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks which occurred on his watch.

Some will interpret Herridge’s report as an explanation for President Obama’s claims that he did not know about the ISIS threat as well as the much-criticized comment he made last week that his administration has “no strategy yet” to deal with ISIS.

I don’t buy such an explanation.  Consider that National Security Adviser Rice, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel also are PDB recipients.  I’m sure most if not all of them receive daily PDB briefings and read the PDB.  If this is the case, why didn’t any of them tell the president about the growing ISIS threat that U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly were warning about?

The answer is that the president did know about these warnings and was told about them by his senior officials but chose to ignore this information because he is still in denial about the threat from radical Islam.  This was obvious by the way Obama officials misled the American people about the 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.   It is now clear Mr Obama did not learn from this mistake.

The most worrisome conclusion I draw from Herridge’s report is not that President Obama ignored or played down information about the ISIS threat and radical Islam.  I’m more concerned that Mr Obama’s reported refusal to do PDB briefings or send feedback on the PDB suggests he may be ignoring intelligence across the board just like President Clinton did.  This raises the question whether there are other urgent threat warnings by American intelligence agencies that Mr Obama is aware of but has chosen to ignore.

MISSING LIBYAN JETLINERS RAISE FEARS OF SUICIDE AIRLINER ATTACKS ON 9/11

In this image made from video by The Associated Press, smoke rises from the direction of Tripoli airport in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Rival militias battled Sunday for the control of the international airport in Libya's capital / AP

In this image made from video by The Associated Press, smoke rises from the direction of Tripoli airport in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Rival militias battled Sunday for the control of the international airport in Libya’s capital / AP

By Bill Gertz:

Islamist militias in Libya took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners last month, and western intelligence agencies recently issued a warning that the jets could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa.

Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.

“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” said one official. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”

The official said the aircraft are a serious counterterrorism concern because reports of terrorist control over the Libyan airliners come three weeks before the 13th anniversary of 9/11 attacks and the second anniversary of the Libyan terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the Benghazi attack, which the Obama administration initially said was the result of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video.

A senior State Department counterterrorism official declined to comment on reports of the stolen jetliners.

A second State department official sought to downplay the reports. “We can’t confirm that,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials said Egyptian military forces appear to be preparing to intervene in Libya to prevent the country from becoming a failed state run by terrorists, many with ties to al Qaeda.

Libya remains an oil-rich state and if the country is taken over completely by Islamist extremists, U.S. counterterrorism officials believe it will become another terrorist safe haven in the region.

The officials said U.S. intelligence agencies have not confirmed the aircraft theft following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport in late August, and are attempting to locate all aircraft owned by two Libyan state-owned airline companies, as security in the country continued to deteriorate amid fighting between Islamists and anti-Islamist militias.

Video surfaced on Sunday showing armed fighters from the Islamist militia group Libyan Dawn partying inside a captured U.S. diplomatic compound in Tripoli. The footage showed one fighter diving into a pool from a second-story balcony at the facility.

Tripoli airport and at least seven aircraft were reported damaged during fighting that began in July. Photos of the airport in the aftermath showed a number of damaged aircraft. The airport has been closed since mid-July.

The state-owned Libyan Airlines fleet until this summer included 14 passenger and cargo jetliners, including seven Airbus 320s, one Airbus 330, two French ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, and four Bombardier CJR-900s. Libyan state-owned Afriqiyah Airways fleet is made up of 13 aircraft, including three Airbus 319s, seven Airbus 320s, two Airbus 330s, and one Airbus 340.

The aircraft were reportedly taken in late August following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport, located about 20 miles south of the capital, by Libyan Dawn.

Al Jazeera television reported in late August that western intelligence reports had warned of terror threats to the region from 11 stolen commercial jets.

In response, Tunisia stopped flights from other Libyan airports at Tripoli, Sirte, and Misrata over concerns that jets from those airports could be on suicide missions.

Egypt’s government also halted flights to and from Libya.

Military forces in North Africa, including those from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt have been placed on heightened alert as a result of intelligence warning of the stolen aircraft.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

Source: Obama given detailed intelligence for a year about rise of ISIS

(also covered in this video is the recent targeting of Al Shabaab leadership in Somalia)

Fox News:

President Obama was given detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of the Islamic State as part of his daily briefing for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer, a former Pentagon official told Fox News.

The official — who asked not to be identified because the President’s Daily Brief is considered the most authoritative, classified intelligence community product analyzing sensitive international events for the president — said the data was strong and “granular” in detail.

The source said a policymaker “could not come away with any other impression: This is getting bad.”

Obama, unlike his predecessors who traditionally had the document briefed to them, is known to personally read the daily brief. The former Pentagon official, who has knowledge of the process, said Obama generally was not known to come back to the intelligence community with further requests for information based on the daily report.

The claims come as the Obama administration continues to launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq and weighs whether to expand that campaign, particularly into Syria.

The president’s team has publicly suggested that the group only recently gained in strength, accounting for why Obama earlier this year dismissed such extremists as akin to a “JV” team.

But after suggestions that the administration may have been blindsided by the rise of ISIS, and that poor intelligence was to blame, the former Pentagon official said some of the intelligence was so good in the region, that when the president drew a red line on chemical weapons use in Syria in 2012, the information was “exquisite.”

The source said “[we] were ready to fire, on a moment’s notice, on a couple hundred targets,” but no order was given. In some cases, targets were tracked for a “long period of time” but then slipped away.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not confirm Tuesday whether the ISIS warnings had been included in the daily brief for at least a year.

He did note that the president and his security team have voiced concern for “years” about extremists in Syria, saying that’s why the U.S. has worked with countries in the region to counter that threat and work with moderates inside Syria.

The former Pentagon official, separately, also claimed that there was a delay regarding the question of whether to act to save American journalist James Foley from Islamic State militants. The Sunday Times of London first reported that the delay was 30 days. The former Pentagon official described a White House that was hesitant and continually asking for “the intelligence to build up more.”

At the time, Fox News is told that a large, heavily armed compound, believed to be housing Foley, and other potential captives, was identified near the ISIS stronghold of Raqaa, Syria.

Read more

Intel believes 300 Americans fighting with Islamic State, posing threat to U.S.

 

Photo by: Uncredited A convoy of vehicles and militant fighters move through Iraq's Anbar Province. The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side-by-side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials. (Associated Press)

Photo by: Uncredited
A convoy of vehicles and militant fighters move through Iraq’s Anbar Province. The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side-by-side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials. (Associated Press)


Officials say concern is widespread in Washington that radicalized foreign fighters could return to the homeland and commit terrorist attacks with skills acquired overseas, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information. Those concerns were heightened by the disclosure Tuesday that a California man was killed fighting alongside militants with the group, also known as ISIS.

The U.S. government is doing its best to keep track of the foreign fighters, who have been shifting back and forth between Iraq and Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.

“We know that there are several hundred American passport holders running around with ISIS in Syria or Iraq,” the official said, offering a figure well above widespread reports of about 100 such fighters. “It’s hard to tell whether or not they’re in Syria or moved to Iraq.”

The State Department did not respond to a request for the number of Americans traveling in Iraq and Syria.

Read more at Washington Times

Also see:

 

Obama’s Escape from Planet Reality

By David Wood at Answering Muslims:

Just minutes after defending Islam in a speech about the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State (ISIS), President Barack Obama was back on the golf course. There’s something quite significant and symbolic about the President rushing to the golf course to avoid the horrors of a beheading. It’s analogous to the mental running our leaders have to do in order to avoid the truth about Islam.

 

Also see:

 

Israel Security Summit – Boston Area – Sept 9, 2014

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http://www.IsraelSecuritySummit.com

Just a Bit More Beheading than We Are Used To

Gatestone Instsutute, by Douglas Murray, August 24, 2014:

There has been a debate in the UK press suggesting we should hope that some of these ISIS killers come back to Britain, realize that jihad was all a phase and then head off to university for the start of the new term.

The beheading of James Foley was terrible, she stressed, “because we don’t know what [his] views were.”

Is there a time when even “combatants” — or anyone else — should be treated in this way? And who is to say who is a combatant and who not?

Who is surprised? That is one question I have most wanted to know since the video was released of the murder of American journalist James Foley. The politicians keep expressing it. And interviewers have kept asking people whether they feel it. But who can honestly say that he was surprised to learn that the murderer of the American journalist turned out to be a “British” man?

American journalist James Foley (left) is shown kneeling beside the British jihadist who murdered him moments later (Image source: Islamic State video)

Did anyone really still think that a British Islamist would not be capable of doing this? Why wouldn’t he, if he is capable of doing it in Syria or Iraq? After all, it was only last year that two other Islamists beheaded one of our own soldiers – Drummer Lee Rigby – in broad daylight in London. And it is only twelve years since another Londoner – Omar Sheikh – arranged the abduction and decapitation of another American journalist, Daniel Pearl.

What is shocking is that expressions of “shock” seem to be regarded as an adequate response. Prime Minister David Cameron has pronounced himself “appalled” by the act, and made clear that he “utterly condemns” it. As though anyone should ever have expected him to think otherwise. But this is to a great extent what government policy is reduced to in Britain, as in the United States. Politicians briefly break off their holidays in order not to do anything much, but to be seen to be doing “something.” And they then make sure to stand in front of the cameras and say how opposed they are to “something.” It is the denigration of people in positions where they actuallycould do something, to the level of the commentariat.

The question, as written here before, is not how sorry any one political leader feels about such savagery, but what they are going to do about it. And here in Britain, we are in something of a bind. We can deal with fringe details. But we are incapable of having the real debate or taking any real action that is needed. In lieu of such action, the political classes are left floundering, desperate to cling to any point, however unimportant, in order to look as they are acting.

So in the wake of the release of the Foley murder video by ISIS, the British Labour party’s Shadow Home Secretary attempted to take political advantage of this affair.[1] The truth is that the Labour party seized on this debate because it was the debate they knew best, and the one they are most comfortable going round and round on. Even the remarks of the former Conservative party Security Minister — Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones — who was reduced, on the BBC’s Today program, to suggesting that the solution to tackling ISIS is to engage more in social media campaigns against the group. Neville-Jones is regarded as somewhat hawkish. But that even people of such stature are reduced to this, reveals something important.

Atrocity after atrocity is perpetrated by Muslims radicalized in the UK, and the debate over what to do about it remains bizarrely circumscribed and ineffectual. Surely somewhere in the conversation and response should be the expression of a desire for a strategy against ISIS which has at its base the utter eradication of the group — wholesale battlefield victory against them, killing their members and leadership in their entirety. Would that not be a desirable objective? I have yet to hear a mainstream politician suggest this or even talk in these terms. Indeed, there has been debate in the UK press suggesting we should hope that some of these ISIS killers come back to Britain, realize that jihad was all a phase and then head off to university for the start of a new term.

And then there are the longer-term objectives. Since writing about it in this place, a number of other media have finally picked up one of the most concerning statistics to show the failure of integration at which we are staring in Britain: that more British Muslims are fighting together with ISIS than with the UK Armed Forces. This is just a tip of the problem. On a BBC show after news of the murder of James Foley, I found myself discussing these matters with young British Muslims. All condemned the act. One – the Ahmadiyya Muslim in the group – was superb in his utter abhorrence of violence perpetrated in the name of Islam and his repeated and sincere expressions of pride in Britain and British achievements in the world. But among the others? Well one of them — a nice and nicely presented young man said that this was totally abhorrent because “a non-combatant should not be treated like this.” “Well sure,” I was forced to say. “But why only non-combatants? Is there a time when even ‘combatants’ — or anyone else — should be treated in this way? And who is to say who is a combatant and who not?”

Even more concerning was a young woman from Nottingham who spent as much time as possible talking about the “alienation” and “rejection” which a lot of young Muslims feel. It was repeatedly pointed out to her that there isn’t a young person of any religion or background who does not feel alienation at some point. The vital question then, is not just whether such a sense of grievance is justified, but whether there are people seeking to manipulate and then play into such grievances and what extremes some individuals might urge vulnerable minds to as a result. A snapshot of my fellow guest’s own thinking was available in her own condemnation of the murder. The beheading of James Foley was terrible, she stressed, because among other things “we don’t know what [his] views were.”

Here again a little peep-hole into a mainstream and radical world view becomes possible. What if James Foley had not been — as he appears to have been — a man with a deep desire to bring out the terrible stories and sufferings of the region, but someone who was ambivalent to them? What if he had been the most pro-intervention bomb-them-all-to-hell right-winger? Or a member of the Republican Party? What if he had been a Zionist? Or a Jew?

There are poisonous attitudes and lies going around unmolested in this country. And they are one of the causes of the repeated international shame that is coming down upon us. These ideas — hatred and suspicion of the actions of Britain, America, Israel and our other liberal, democratic allies — act as the background music to radicalization. This music plays to exactly the sort of people who are going out to fight with ISIS and exactly the sort of people who think that although they might condemn a beheading in this circumstance, it isn’t always a cut-and-dry issue.

The BBC is reporting about the voice of James Foley’s killer: “Some experts think the accent sounds like the man comes from London, as it is a mixture of multicultural speech patterns often heard on the streets of the city.”

It certainly does sound “like the man comes from London.” And as I recall saying after the last decapitation performed by a British man, the unspoken British deal on multiculturalism appears to come to light at such moments. The deal — the acceptance and accommodation — appears to be that mass, uncontrolled immigration has brought us all sorts of benefits, including a greater variety of food and cheap labour. The downside is that we have to put up with, among other things, a bit more beheading than we have been used to. But much of the political class appears to be content with this bargain. I beg to differ. As horrors like those of this week mount, a great many more people might feel that way too.


[1] The Home Secretary said the problem was the government’s watering-down of Control Orders — which had been brought in by the former Labour government. Control Orders give the state the ability to put someone under 24-hour surveillance or house arrest, necessitated by the then Labour government’s unwise signature of the European Convention on Human Rights. True, the coalition government – under pressure from the Liberal Democrats in the coalition — very slightly watered these Orders down to satisfy critics. But this has nothing to do with this case. So far as anyone knows the murderer of James Foley is not somebody who slipped any surveillance measures in the UK. And rather obviously a TPIM or Control Order being slapped on an individual — however British — is no use if that particular individual is at present beheading American journalists inside the no-go-zone of the Islamic State. That this was the best the Labour opposition could come up with is telling.