Hunting Known Wolves

CyberJihad11-190x150CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Dec. 16, 2014:

The Sydney Siege once again reminded us that terrorist so popularly characterized as nigh undetectable “Lone Wolves” are really nothing of the sort. Rather they are “Known” wolves. That is, far from being invisible, they are terrorists who have had repeated brushes with intelligence or law enforcement but against whom no action was taken. The phenomenon suggests, that, far from what critics like Glenn Greenwald would have us believe, government surveillance efforts actually do work.  Should we really be outraged that some 280,000 individuals have made the U.S. electronic surveillance list despite having “no known affiliation”? It’s a designation which includes those comparable to Sydney hostage taker Sheikh Haron, who did not declare his allegiance to the Islamic State until the beginning of December only a week or two before his terrorist attack which killed two, injured more, and drew non-stop media attention.

The problem of course is that even though individuals are perhaps being surveiled for their support for jihad, whether abroad or domestically, or perhaps even publicly advocating for violence, this doesn’t always put them within the range of a prosecutable crime.

While material support laws may come into effect for those conducting propaganda on behalf of declared terrorist groups (Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc), a generic call to wage jihad or “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” may be alarming, but would not, under U.S. law, necessarily be illegal. Nor should it be. Freedom of speech is an inalienable right, and a cherished western freedom. In places where hate speech laws exist, the tendency has been for them to be enforced in a one-sided manner which actually leaves pro-Jihadi preachers alone while targeting those who oppose them.

What options are available? Firstly, law enforcement efforts to introduce informants to prospective terrorists or conduct “stings.” Such operations have proven highly effective at ferreting out and leading to the successful prosecution of would-be jihadists before they strike. This can be done in online chatrooms, but also needs to be permissible in all places where these “unaffiliated” potential “known wolves” congregate, including mosques aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood or other groups who play a role in indoctrination for jihad, as well as Muslim Student Associations, and other area “incubators.” To be successful however, informants and undercover operatives need to be able to talk the talk, which requires an understanding of jihad doctrine, which cannot be effectively done without understanding Shariah law.

Of course for this precise reason the use of informants and sting tactics have been under incredible pressure by Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and far-left groups, as I have previously written. Despite what Al Jazeera and groups like Human Rights Watch say, law enforcement stings are not “human rights violations” but a necessary counterterrorism tactic.

Secondly, In the U.S., federal law enforcement are reluctance to name jihadist attacks as terrorism which creates a need for state-level options. One possibility is “Andy’s Law,” named for Private Andy Long, killed by supposedly “lone wolf” Carlos Bledsoe. Andy’s Law works to strengthen state-level material support for terrorism statutes by both increasing criminal penalties and greatly increasing the civil liability of individuals and entities which provide material support for terrorism.

In civil court, under Andy’s Law, someone who commits an act of terrorism or supports terrorism would be subjected to attorney fees, plus treble damages. This creates a civil cause of action for a victim of terror, which means it incentivizes attorneys to come to the victim’s support and to go after an entity suspected of radicalizing them. The possibility of civil action creates the opportunity for legal “discovery” which in turn helps bring to public view more information about how jihadist incubators radicalize adherents. Andy’s Law has already passed in a number of states.

There may be other possible avenues for reform which could help crack down on would-be jihadists without hampering free speech, and a discussion of what reforms would be necessary should take place. But it is long past time to stop feigning helplessness, simply because would-be terrorists subscribe to a violent ideology, rather than swearing allegiance to a specific violent group. Let’s stop hiding behind the moniker of lone wolves, and make the changes that are necessary to help law enforcement start hunting.

Ibn Warraq speaks at Yale

Ibn_Warraq_070-300x210Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Nov. 16, 2014:

(Editor’s note: The renowned scholar of Islam recently spoke at Yale. Here is an outline of the talk he gave. — RS)

First, I should like to thank The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale for inviting me. I should also like to thank my friends and colleagues whose ideas have profoundly influenced what I am going to say today: Sebastian Gorka, Katherine Gorka, Robert Reilly, and Hugh Fitzgerald.

James Burnham’s book Suicide of the West is full of insights on US Foreign Policy, which I find relevant to this day. In fact one has only to substitute “Islam” for “communism” in many of his observations to realise their continuing pertinence. I shall limit myself to one of his observations from Chapter XII, Dialectic of Liberalism:

“The communists divide the world into “the zone of peace” and “the zone of war”. The zone of peace means the region that is already subject to communist rule; and the label signifies that within their region the communists will not permit any political tendency, violent or non-violent, whether purely internal or assisted from without, to challenge their rule. The “zone of war” is the region where communist rule is not yet, but in due course will be established; and within the zone of war the communists promote, assist and where possible lead political tendencies, violent or non-violent, democratic or revolutionary, that operate against non-communist rule. Clear enough, these definitions. You smash the Hungarian Freedom Fighters, and support Fidel Castro; you know where you are going.” Pp.227-228. The above could easily have been a dictionary definition of the Islamic doctrine of Jihad, and its notions of “Dar al-Islam” –the Zone of Peace, and Dar-al Harb –Zone of War”

Now onto my main points:

Our foreign policy should be guided by understanding and admitting the following realities:

  1. We are engaged in a war of ideas, with our principal enemy: an ideology.

An ideology that will not collapse out of economic incompetence.

  1. The ideology of the terrorists is religiously based and derived from Islam and its founding texts, the Koran, hadith, and the sunna, and the history of the early caliphate.
  2. One, but not the only, way we know this is because they tell us so. First , if you want to understand the enemy “Read what they say”. They constantly justify their acts with accurate and apt citations from the Koran and Hadith. They also refer to, among others, Sayyid Qutb’s work Milestones, Abdullah Azzam’s Defense of the Muslim Lands, S. K. Malik’s The Quranic Concept of Power, and Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner. Some of the latter have doctorates from recognized Islamic universities, and to hear John Kerry trying to tell them their ideas have nothing to do with Islam is comical.
  3. Islamic terrorism is not caused by “poverty, lack of education, sexual deprivation, psychological problems, or lack of economic opportunity..”, Western Imperialism, or Western decadence, or the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  4. There are two kinds of Jihad: terrorism, and slow penetration of Western institutions subverting Western laws and customs from within.
  5. Ignorance, naivety, arrogance, political correctness , sheer laziness, sentimentality, and Saudi, Qatari and Iranian money have led to Islamist successes in penetrating Western institutions, from the Voice of America, The Pentagon, CIA, FBI, DHS, PBS, to the universities and colleges where Islamic propaganda is shamelessly and openly disseminated.
  6. While groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, and others are non-state actors, they are funded by states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. These three countries, for example, also provide the necessary Islamic support, framework, and propaganda that spews forth anti-Western and and anti-American hatred. They should be warned or face the consequences.
  7. It is also important to point out that it is not something we have done that is impelling the Islamists. Constantly apologising, Mr President, is pointless; they will not like or respect you the more.
  8. We must learn the lessons of the cold war, for there are striking similarities between the Islamist ideology and that of Soviet Russia [Cf B.Russell, Jules Monnerot, Maxime Rodinson]
  9. Speak out in support of the Christians who are being persecuted, and being killed almost every day in Islamic countries. Profound importance of this act of solidarity not realised by many in West.
  10. In order to succeed we need urgently to recover our civilizational self-confidence.
  11. One way we can fight jihadist ideology is to undermine their certainties, and one can accomplish this with Koranic Criticism. In the West, Spinoza hastened the Enlightenment by his Biblical Criticism.

There is an obvious need to understand the Islamic ideology to understand the mindset of the Islamic terrorists. Terrorism is not caused by poverty, and so on. It is their ideology that motivates them and is the source of its moral legitimacy. Without it, terrorism cannot exist.Terrorists are produced by a totalitarian ideology justifying terrorism.

While America has had some impressive tactical successes, and has managed to kill Osama bin Laden (May 2011) and Anwar al-Awlaki (in Sept.2011) it still fails to understand their goals, their ideology. The reasons for this failure are many:

First, there is a reluctance to address the religious inspiration of the acts of terrorism,to admit that their ideology is derived from Islam and its founding texts, the Koran, the Hadith, the Sunna and the early history of the Caliphate. Instead, the present administration exhorts us to use euphemisms such as “violent extremist”. “WhereasThe 9/11 Commission Report, published under the presidency of George W. Bush in July 2004 as a bipartisan product, had used the word Islam 322 times, Muslim 145 times, jihad 126 times, and jihadist 32 times,The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, issued by the Obama administration in August 2009, used the term Islam 0 times, Muslim 0 times, jihad 0 times.” Now Obama’s policy applies to internal government documents as well, which can only have disastrous consequences for our understanding of political groups and events in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South and South East Asia. “How can one possibly analyze the power and appeal of this ideology, the way that ideas set its strategy and tactics, why it is such a huge menace if any reference to the Islamic religion and its texts or doctrines isn’t permitted?”

Perhaps it was only in 1946, when George Kennan’s wrote his classified ‘Long Telegram’ that America began to understand the nature of the Soviet Union, why it acted the way it did, how the Kremlin thought, and why the USSR was a grave threat to America. In other words it took three decades to understand the mind of the enemy.

To complicate matters further, today there are two enemies: first, non-European, religiously informed non-state terrorist groups, like ISIS. Second, and equally dangerous, states that, in fact, fund and support them. There is evidence that, as the The Atlantic reported in June, 2014, “Two of the most successful factions fighting Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups: Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). And their success is in part due to the support they have received from two Persian Gulf countries: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Our ability to fight al Qaeda and similar transnational terrorist actors will depend upon our capacity to communicate to our own citizens and to the world what it is we are fighting for and what it is that the ideology of Jihad threatens in terms of the values we hold so dear.

To quote Sun Tsu, in war it is not enough to know the enemy in order to win. One must first know oneself. However, with the end of the Cold War America and the West understandably lost clarity with regard to what it was about its way of life that was precious and worth fighting for.

James Burnham explains with exemplary clarity the reasons for this loss of self-confidence, and what he wrote is still, mutatis mutandis, relevant:

“Judging a group of human beings- a race, nation, class or party- that he considers to possess less than their due of well-being and liberty, the liberal is hard put to it to condemn that group morally for acts that he would not hesitate to condemn in his fellows.

“When the Western liberal’s feeling of guilt and his associated feeling of moral vulnerability before the sorrows and demands of the wretched become obsessive, he often develops a generalized hatred of Western civilization and of his own country as a part of the West. We can frequently sense this hatred in …[journals like] The Nation.”

In order to succeed we need urgently recover our civilizational self-confidence.

Ronald Reagan was able to succeed because he was supremely confident of the moral and spiritual superiority of his cause. He was thus able to state with certainty and without hesitation that the SovietEmpire was evil. He was not afraid to confront reality. He was able to defend our values because he believed in them totally. He told an audience at Moscow State University, “Go into any schoolroom [in America], and there you will see children being taught the Declaration of Independence, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights-among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-that no government can justly deny….”

John Lenczowski describes what Reagan advocated unapologetically, “Altogether, the various ideas of freedom, democracy, human rights, moral order, and the dignity of the human person were promoted not only by the President’s rhetoric and personal moral witness but by the Administration as a whole in numerous forms: in Voice of America editorials, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty broadcasts, in articles in United States Information Agency-published magazines targeted at Soviet-bloc populations, on the USIA-run billboard on the sidewalk outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow, in American diplomats’ addresses at various international fora, in the distribution of books to Soviet bloc audiences and U.S.libraries abroad, in films distributed abroad, and so on.”

To quote Asian columnist Banyan in the Economist,“For all its flaws and mis-steps, [America] represents not just economic and military might, but an ideal to aspire to, in a way that China does not. And when American leaders appear to give less weight to that ideal, they not only diminish America’s attractions, they also lend more credence to the idea of its relative economic and military decline.”

The rest of the world recognizes the virtues of the West. As Arthur Schlesinger remarked, “when Chinese students cried and died for democracy in Tiananmen Square, they brought with them not representations of Confucius or Buddha but a model of the Statue of Liberty.”

Ibn Warraq is the author of Why I Am Not A Muslim, Defending the West, and many other books. His latest is Christmas in the Koran.

As War Heats Up, Obama Dismantles War Approach to Counterterrorism

abc_obama_words_090331_mnPJ Media, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Last week, while Republicans popped open the champagne over the electorate’s emphatic rejection of the Obama left’s policies, Mr. Obama significantly advanced one he’s been pushing – against public opinion and with haltingly incremental success – since the first hours of his presidency. Lost amid Shellacking 2.0 – and between the sudden dump of over 60,000 previously withheld Fast & Furious documents and the president’s reaffirmation of his executive illegal-alien amnesty vow – was the administration’s further dismantling of the post-9/11 counterterrorism paradigm.

With nearly no one noticing, the administration transferred a long-held terrorist detainee out of Guantanamo Bay. Fawzi al-Odah was returned to his native Kuwait, another Gulf halfway house between Gitmo and return to the jihad. He had been detained under the laws of war for over a dozen years because he was assessed as posing a continuing danger. Naturally, his release was instantly heralded by an al Qaeda leader in Syria – indeed, by a top figure in what the administration refers to as the Khorasan group, the al Qaeda component plotting attacks against the U.S. and the West. And astoundingly, it appears that al Qaeda knew Odah’s release was coming before the American people were informed.

Odah’s transfer comes just as the president, forced to confront the increased jihadist threat from al Qaeda and ISIS, has escalated the number of American troops (as “advisers” only, of course) and continues conducting an aerial bombing campaign. It fulfills a prediction made this past summer by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and other commentators (including your humble correspondent): The release in July of five Taliban commanders in exchange for the deserter Bowe Bergdahl was intended to help Obama achieve the vow to close Guantanamo Bay, made on his first day in office. (Actually, Obama promised to close Gitmo within a year. He is five years behind schedule because Americans hate the idea, igniting strong congressional opposition.)

The laws of war, the foundation of Bush-Cheney post-9/11 counterterrorism, provide for detention without trial of enemy combatants until the conclusion of hostilities. Hostilities are not close to being over – as Obama quite obviously recognizes since our forces continue to conduct lethal attacks. We know, moreover, that a very high percentage of former detainees return to the jihad. The CIA has conceded that it could be 20 percent, but the truth is it’s no doubt higher – our intelligence community has no idea who goes back to the jihad unless they encounter the terrorist on the battlefield or are in the unusual position of having good intelligence about about what he’s up to. We do know that former Gitmo detainees regularly resurface as al Qaeda leaders in places like in Yemen, Iraq and Libya.

Yet, by releasing the Taliban commanders – the “worst of the worst” … and at a time when the Taliban was (just as it is) still conducting terrorist operations against our troops – Obama established a very high ceiling. By acceding to the release of high-ranking Taliban operatives despite the heightening threat, the administration makes it far more difficult to rationalize the continued detention without trial of virtually any other Gitmo detainee. By comparison, the Taliban commanders were bound to be worse.

Bear in mind, moreover, that the Obama administration is threaded with lawyers who used to represent terrorist detainees (voluntarily … for free!). These lawyers well know that many of the detainees are still bringing the same kinds of lawsuits these lawyers used to help them bring: challenges to their detention without trial. By springing the most dangerous terrorists, the administration plainly strengthens the litigation position of lesser players still held at Gitmo. While courts are reluctant to issue outright release orders – there being debate about the extent of their authority to do so – they certainly can and do ratchet up pressure on the government to get the terrorists out of Gitmo (i.e., to find countries willing to take them and effect transfer). Indeed, in al-Odah’s own case, while declining to invalidate the terrorist’s law-of-war detention, a federal judge in Virginia admonished that the time was coming that the executive branch would be obliged to release the detainees. Less than three months later, al-Odah was sent home.

Expect a quickening of the pace. Obama is patently pushing to reduce the number of detainees at Gitmo, now estimated at 148, to one low enough to justify, at least in his own mind, transferring the remainder into the United States. Gitmo would then be shuttered.

Knowing how ballistic this would make voters, congressional Republicans have succeeded in enacting laws that prohibit the executive branch from moving the detainees into U.S. prisons. But our imperious president is notorious for riding roughshod over federal laws not to his liking. He has never been stopped by mere law; he has been brushed back only by concern about political damage that might hurt him and Democrats in elections.

Except … now he doesn’t have anymore elections to worry about. All that is left for the next two years-plus is the imperative to implement as much of his agenda as his enormous raw power allows.

Wannabe jihadists are taking cruises to avoid security checks while travelling to Syria and Iraq

Reuters / Gary Cameron

Reuters / Gary Cameron

Schanzer tweet

news.com.au: WANNABE jihadi fighters are increasingly booking tickets on cruise ships to join extremists in battle zones in Syria and Iraq, hoping to bypass stepped-up efforts to thwart them in neighboring Turkey, Interpol officials have told The Associated Press.

This is one of the reasons why the international police body is preparing to expand a pilot program known as I-Checkit, which airlines use to check passenger information against Interpol’s databases – in hopes that one day the system could expand to include cruise operators, banks, hotels and other private-sector partners.

Turkey, with its long and often porous border with Syria, has been a major thoroughfare for many of the thousands of foreign fighters seeking to join extremists like the Islamic State group, which has captured territory across Iraq and Syria.

Speaking in Monaco, where Interpol is holding its general assembly this week, outgoing chief Ronald Noble confirmed that Turkey was a destination for would-be jihadists, but declined to identify any others.

He also refused to indicate how many people might be involved, but called on countries to step up screening at all transportation hubs – “airports and, more and more, cruise lines.”

Turkish authorities say they have set up teams to nab suspected foreign fighters in airports and bus stations, and have deported hundreds in recent months.

Pierre St. Hilaire, director of counterterrorism at Interpol, suggested that the Turkish crackdown has shown results in recent months, and so some would-be jihadis are making alternative travel plans.

“Because they know the airports are monitored more closely now, there’s a use of cruise ships to travel to those areas,” he said.

“There is evidence that the individuals, especially in Europe, are traveling mostly to Izmit and other places to engage in this type of activity,” he said, referring to a Turkish coastal town.

The phenomenon is relatively new, within the past three months or so, said other Interpol officials.

“Originally, our concern about people on cruise ships – dangerous people on cruise ships – really focused on the classic sort of rapist, burglar, or violent criminal,” Mr Noble said.

“But as we’ve gathered data, we’ve realized that there are more and more reports that people are using cruise ships in order to get to launch pads, if you will – sort of closer to the conflict zones – of Syria and Iraq.”

Cruise ships, which often make repeated stops, offer an added benefit by allowing would-be jihadis to hop off undetected at any number of ports – making efforts to track them more difficult.

Mr St. Hilaire said it wasn’t exactly clear yet how many would-be foreign fighters were traveling by cruise ship to reach Syria, and added that there were other options as well: to avoid passing through airports, some people have driven all the way from their homes in Europe to the Syrian border.

He was quick to caution that Europe is by no means the only or even the main source of foreign fighters for Syria.

“It’s a global threat – 15,000 fighters or more from 81 countries traveling to one specific conflict zone,” he said, noting that that there are some 300 from China alone.

“In order to prevent their travel and identify them, there needs to be greater information-sharing among the region, among national security agencies.”

Many European governments have expressed concern that home-grown jihadis who self-radicalize online and then travel to Syria will return home with skills to carry out terror attacks. Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, who allegedly spent a year in Syria and fought with Islamic State, is the chief suspect in a May attack on the Jewish Museum of Brussels that killed four people.

WHY ISIS IS WINNING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lone-Wolf Canard

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

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

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

Another good example is “lone wolf.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more: Family Security Matters

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

logo_colored_s2ISIS Study Group:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Types and levels of radicalization:

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

Also see:

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

The Blaze, by Tom Orr, Oct. 24, 2014:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

F5FA38EDDCFE45EABC4F263FECE614E5By Patrick Poole:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at PJ Media

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

Ted Cruz / AP

Ted Cruz / AP

By Adam Kredo:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

“Who have Eyes and See Not”

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau storming Parliament

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau storming Parliament

CSP, by Kyle Shideler:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychological Warfare and Terrorism

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

By William Kilpatrick

Crisis Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

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

*****

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

 

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/

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

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

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

Published on Oct 21, 2014 by Tarek Fatah

Downing Street set to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood

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

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

By Robert Mendick, and Robert Verkaik:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at The Telegraph