Turkish Charity Still Not on Terror List Despite Numerous Calls

‘This Is What Terror Is’: Administration Slammed for Brushing Off Religious Root of Boko Haram Threat

By Bridget Johnson:

WASHINGTON — On the same day the administration finally designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, a survivor of the Islamist group’s inhumanity poured out to Congress his story of being shot point-blank in the face for his Christian faith.

The joint subcommittee hearing of the House Foreign Affairs panels on Africa and Terrorism was sparsely attended by lawmakers, with chairmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas), respectively, and ranking members Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) showing up to hear the horrifying tales from this hotbed of extremism — and learn about the threat the al-Qaeda-linked group poses to the U.S.

Habila Adamu comes from Yobe state in northern Nigeria, where gunmen came to his home on Nov. 28, 2012. They ordered him to step outside as his wife begged the gunmen not to harm him.

“They said she should go back, because they were here to do the work of Allah,” Adamu said. “When I heard that, I knew that they were here to kill me.”

After Adamu confirmed to the men armed with AK-47s that he was a businessman and not police or military, they asked if he was a Christian. “I said I am a Christian. They asked me why are we preaching the message of Mohammed to you and you refuse to accept Islam. I told them I am a Christian, we are also preaching the gospel of true God to you and other people that are not yet to know God,” Adamu testified. “They asked me if I mean we Christian know God. And I told them we know God and that is why I preach the good news to other people that do not know God.”

“Then they asked me, ‘Habila, are you ready to die as a Christian?’ I told them, ‘I am ready to die as a Christian.’ For the second time, they asked me, ‘Are you ready to die as a Christian?’ and I told them, ‘I am ready,’ but before I closed my mouth, they have fired me through my nose and the bullet came out through the back.”

Adamu said he fell to the ground as the gunmen stomped on his body, crying “Allahu Akbar” as his wife sobbed. When his wife realized he was alive and went to find help, she found the neighbors had been murdered. Adamu lay there for eight hours before he was able to get to a hospital. He held up photos of his bloody, swollen face after the attack for committee members to see.

“I am alive because God want you to have a message,” he continued. “I have a message, just as I told my wife as I was left for dead, I have a message to everyone that will hear my story. Do everything that you can to end this ruthless religious persecution in Northern Nigeria.”

And there were more horrific tales to come, as the subcommittees heard that Boko Haram has been beheading Christians with chainsaws.

Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, told the panel that 47 churches were attacked in the country in 2012 and 53 attacked this year so far, with 216 deaths. Boko Haram has also increasingly been killing more people at mosques.

He faulted the U.S. government for claiming that the terrorists are economically motivated rather than religious in nature — something even publicly corrected by Boko Haram, which fancies itself the Taliban of the region — and “being more critical of the military counteroffensive than of the terrorists’ atrocities.”

Read more at PJ Media

Finally: U.S. Names Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Organization

victims of boko haram1

Why did the U.S. resist designating the group for so long, even though it fits every definition of a foreign terrorist org. and threatens the West?

BY RYAN MAURO:

The U.S. government has finally designated Boko Haram, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In July, the Clarion Project started a petition to label the group as such. The State Department also designated Ansaru, a Boko Haram offshoot, as foreign terrorists.

“Boko Haram is a Nigeria-based militant group with links to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years including targeted killings of civilians,” the State Department said, making the announcement.

Notice the timeframe mentioned by the State Department: “Several years.” For “several years” — during both the Bush and Obama Administrations — the U.S. government resisted designating Boko Haram as a terrorist group, even though it fits every definition of one and threatens the West.

Three top Boko Haram officials were blacklisted as terrorists by the U.S. government in June 2012, but the Obama Administration dragged its feet in designating the group entirely. This was due to a complete misreading of Boko Haram’s ideology and an apparently desire to keep the “War on Terror” as narrow as possible.

In May, President Obama gave a speech where he emphasized that “not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.

Read more at Clarion Project

‘EU to mull listing Hezbollah as terror group’

Photo: REUTERS

By Benjamin Weinthal

BERLIN – A discussion is under way within the EU about possibly listing  Hezbollah as a terrorist group, Austria’s Foreign Ministry informed The  Jerusalem Post on Saturday.

Austria appears to be the first EU country to  acknowledge that that the 27- member body has begun a process to designate the  Lebanese Shi’ite group as a terrorist organization.

He noted that  Hezbollah is not only represented in Lebanon’s parliament but is part of its  government, with two ministers in the cabinet.

“A listing of the  Hezbollah could, therefore, have immediate effects on the security of the  country and the stability of the government,” Schallenberg continued.

He  noted that Lebanon President Michel Suleiman seeks to create a “national  dialogue” in his country, with the goal of, for example, integrating Hezbollah’s  fighters and weapons into the state’s security forces. Schallenberg said that  the EU has up until now clearly supported Suleiman’s efforts.

He stressed  that it is important that the EU find a “joint position, especially in light of  the situation in Syria.”

News organizations reported that Hezbollah’s  militias joined forces with Syria’s regime to suppress the Syrian  rebellion.

The division among EU countries revolves around whether to  designate the entire Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, or just parts of  it.

Michel Malherbe, a spokesman for the Belgium Foreign Ministry, told  the Post on Thursday: “We believe that it could make sense, instead of qualifying Hezbollah  as a whole, to isolate armed subgroups, or individuals. This method has proven  its merits, and deserves a try.”

Critics of this approach (treating armed  wings separately from political branches) point to a statement from Hezbollah’s  No. 2 leader, Naim Qassem, who said in 2009: “Hezbollah has a single  leadership,” and “All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions  of this leadership.”

Qassem added, “The same leadership that directs the  parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle  against Israel.”

The United Kingdom classifies Hezbollah’s military wing  as a terrorist organization, but recognizes its political wing as a legitimate  political party. The Netherlands designated Hezbollah as whole to be a terrorist  group. Both Dutch and British foreign ministers have urged their EU counterparts  to place Hezbollah on the EU terror list.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

US Designates Haqqani Network as Foreign Terror Organization

WSJ: By Samuel Rubenfeld

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday she told Congress she’s designating the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network as a foreign terrorist organization.

Associated Press
An Aug. 22, 1998, file photo shows Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the militant group the Haqqani network, speaking during an interview in Miram Shah, Pakistan.

The move may complicate relations between Washington and Islamabad, which U.S. officials say has ties to the group. Clinton said she made the decision in accordance with legislation signed into law Aug. 10 that gave the department until Sunday to decide whether the Haqqani Network met the criteria for designation.

The designation bars anyone from knowingly supporting or doing business with anyone in the Haqqani Network, and it freezes all U.S. property the group has any ownership interest in.

“These actions follow a series of other steps that the U.S. government already has taken against the Haqqanis,” Clinton said in a statement.

Dubbed “the Sopranos of the Afghanistan war” in a New York Times profile last year, the group has been tied to some of the deadliest attacks in the region. It built an empire out of kidnapping, extortion, smuggling and trucking, the profile said.

But the U.S. had until Friday targeted individual members with sanctions, rather than go after the network as a whole.

Given the regular contact that Pakistan’s intelligence service has with it, designating the Haqqani Network as a foreign terror organization could carry the implication that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism because of its support for the group, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Some officials cited by the Journal, mainly at the State Department, have argued in the past that designating the Haqqani Network would prevent the U.S. from entering into negotiations that would end the Afghan war. Those officials said the designation is merely symbolic because many of the network’s known leaders are already under sanctions from the Treasury and State Departments.

But military leaders in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon, according to the Journal report, urged for the designation to increase pressure on the group and on Islamabad.

Last week, American officials said Badruddin Haqqani, a senior member, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Badruddin was placed under U.S. sanctions in May 2011 for being an operational commander for the group.

More coverage of the designation is available here, here and here

 

U.S. Terror Designations Renew Challenge to Pakistan

IPT news:

Eight leaders of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba were designated as terrorists Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Meanwhile, reports indicate the State Department is close to issuing a similar designation of the Haqqani Network, which also operates from Pakistan and is responsible for some of the most significant attacks against American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

A congressional deadline for the administration to act against the Haqqani Network, or explain why it won’t, is just over a week away. Pakistan has refused repeated American requests to root the terrorist group out of a lawless region close to the Afghanistan border. A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last week killed the group’s operations commander Badruddin Haqqani.

The eight Lashkar officials targeted by Treasury Friday work in the group’s “propaganda campaigns, financial networks, and logistic support networks,” a Treasury statement said. That includes “commanders planning attacks to those managing LET’s relationships with other terrorist groups,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba is considered responsible for the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, including six Americans. Treasury describes one of the men designated, Sajjid Mir, as the attack’s project manager, ordering terrorists to execute hostages taken during the multi-day operation.

Investigations into the attacks showed that officials in Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency assisted the plotters.

ProPublica‘s Sebastian Rotella reports that the designation “sends a pointed, if largely symbolic, message to a Pakistani government that remains unable or unwilling to crack down on the extremist organization.”

A designation of the Haqqani Network would be an ever greater challenge to Islamabad, which only recently reopened key supply routes for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.