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

Syrian refugees Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

Syrian refugees Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama Lackey Ben Rhodes Spreads Lies About Vetting Syrian Refugees on Sunday News Talk Shows

Ben Rhodes

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Nov. 15, 2015:

In the wake of Friday’s horrific terror attacks in Paris, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was dispatched to the Sunday morning talk shows to spin his boss’ claim the previous day that the ISIS threat had been “contained.”

But he was also asked about the ability of the Obama administration to properly vet a wave of 10,000 Syrian refugees announced in September in light of reports that one or more of the Paris terrorists had entered and transited the EU as a Syrian refugee.

And yet Rhodes’ response that measures to properly vet the Syrian refugees are in place flatly contradicts the recent sworn congressional testimony of FBI officials.

Rhodes appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. It brought this exchange:

TAPPER:  I think there is a question about how good this intelligence apparatus is, Christiane Amanpour – Christiane Amanpour reporting this morning that at least one of the terrorists, according to French authorities, seems to have smuggled himself into Europe by embedding with refugees.

Ben, are you confident enough in our vetting process as the United States brings Syrian refugees into our country to pledge that this will never happen here?

RHODES:  Well, first of all, Jake, the threat of foreign fighters has been front and center from the very beginning of this counter-ISIL campaign.  We have made that a focus, so that we’re working with countries to share information, to improve their laws and authorities to be able to monitor and detain people.

And we’re going to continue to do that.  That will be a focus of discussion here in Turkey.  With respect to refugees, we have the most extensive security vetting that we have ever had to deal with Syrian refugees coming into the United States that involves not just the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, but also our intelligence community, the National Counterterrorism Center, so that anybody who comes to the United States, we are carefully vetting against all of our information.

And let’s not forget, Jake, that some of these people are people who have suffered the horrors of war.  They’re women.  They’re orphans.  They’re children who have suffered at the hands of ISIL.  We cannot close our doors to these people.  We can focus on keeping terrorists out of the United States while having an open door to people who deserve a safe haven.

And when asked by Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press about whether the developments in Paris had given President Obama pause on admitting more Syrian refugees, Rhodes replied:

No, Chuck. We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who come to the United States. There is a very careful vetting process that including our terrorism community, our Department of Homeland Security. Let’s remember, Chuck, we’re also dealing with people who suffer the horrors of war. Women and children, orphans. We can’t just shut our doors to those people. We need to do our part to take refugees in need.

But as I reported here two weeks ago at PJ Media, FBI Director Robert Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee that vetting Syrian refugees will be “challenging” when asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the quality of intelligence and information that exists on Syrians:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

Those concerns echo congressional testimony given earlier this year by FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach to the House Homeland Security Committee about the quality of information available on anyone coming out of Syria:

The concern in Syria is that we don’t have systems in places on the ground to collect information to vet…You’re talking about a country that is a failed state, that does not have any infrastructure, so to speak. So all of the dataset, the police, the intel services that normally you would go to to seek information doesn’t exist.

The FBI director was also asked by Rep. Gohmert during his testimony last month about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government — considerably more extensive than anything the National Counterterrorism Center has for Syria.

And yet despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

Comey also said during a speech last month that the FBI has 900 active investigations on suspected ISIS supporters and other extremists.

How Much Does the U.S. Government Still Deal with CAIR?

cair-1 (1)American Thinker, by Johanna Markind, Oct. 30, 2015:

October 6 Conference Call with DHS, DOJ & FBI

Several federal agencies appear to have ongoing contacts with an organization that has been connected to international terrorism.

On October 6, 2015, according to Department of Homeland Security spokesman S.Y. Lee, DHS convened a conference call with “senior officials from the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, DOJ Community Relations Service, DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection and Federal Emergency Management Agency.” Also on the call were what Lee characterized insipidly as “faith-based, community-based, and civil rights and civil liberties advocacy stakeholders,” and what the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) characterized as “American Muslim community leaders.”

CAIR’s press release on the subject coyly does not say whether CAIR was one of the “American Muslim community leaders” participating in the meeting.

Its possible involvement is significant because, after several CAIR founders and/or officials were convicted in the Holy Land Foundation case – America’s largest terrorism financing case – the FBI severed its liaison relationship with the group, banning it from cooperation for the foreseeable future.  CAIR was not indicted as a defendant, but was deemed an unindicted co-conspirator.  The FBI did “not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner” and “suspended all formal outreach activities” with it.

Despite the FBI’s policy restricting contact with the group, a 2013 inspector general report concluded that during the current administration, FBI offices have flouted the policy by continuing outreach activities with CAIR. FBI leadership “did not conduct effective oversight to ensure compliance with the policy.”

Fourteen months after the IG report was released, the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR a terrorist organization.

FBI spokesman Christopher M. Allen confirmed the FBI’s participation in the October 6 call and claimed he did “not have information” about whether CAIR likewise participated.  He also confirmed that the bureau’s anti-CAIR policy remains in effect.  The policy does not ban all interaction between CAIR and the bureau, Allen said.  Even if CAIR were present, that “would not necessarily represent a violation of the policy.”  Asked the identity of the FBI official who approved the bureau’s participation in this non-public call organized by a federal agency, Allen did not respond.

DHS spokesman Lee likewise failed to answer questions about whether CAIR participated in the October 6 call.  He also ignored questions about whether DHS has a policy in place restricting the agency’s contact with CAIR.

DOJ’s main press office (the FBI has its own office) completely ignored questions about whether it had its own policy regarding CAIR contacts and whether CAIR participated in the October 6 call.  DOJ even refused to confirm that it participated in the call, as DHS’s Lee reported.

In fairness, it should be noted that the call was evidently convened in response to a request from CAIR that DHS address Muslim community concerns about protests planned to take place outside mosques in several American cities on October 9-10.  Nevertheless, even if true, the fact that CAIR may have requested a call does not mean government agencies were obliged to include it, let alone one with “senior officials.”

It is noteworthy that none of these agencies – the FBI, DOJ, and DHS – would answer direct questions about whether CAIR participated in the call, and that the FBI – which by its own admission still has a policy sharply restricting contact with CAIR – failed to address a direct question about who authorized (what DHS spokesman Lee characterized as) “senior officials” to participate.  Lee’s failure to respond to the question about DHS’s policy on CAIR, and DOJ’s complete failure to answer any questions, are also of note.  Lee’s description of call participants as “faith-based” and “civil rights” stakeholders is suggestive, because CAIR presents itself as a mainstream organization advocating for the civil rights of American Muslims, and mainstream media sometimes echo CAIR’s self-description.

It seems quite likely CAIR did participate in the call, and that the FBI ignored its policy of avoiding contact with the organization (either violating it outright or failing to follow required procedures to obtain approval/waiver).  Given their reluctance to answer questions, it also seems likely that DHS and DOJ either have similar policies in place or recognize how awkward it is that they don’t have such a policy, in light of the FBI policy and the reasons for it.

October 6 Meeting with State

A State Department official confirmed CAIR’s report that CAIR and other American Muslim organizations met with officials from State on October 6.  CAIR described the purpose of the meeting as to increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States and to complain about the situation on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, aka the Temple Mount.  The State Department source characterized the meeting as part of its “routine” engagement with faith-based organizations.

The October 6 meeting with CAIR is not unique.  Previously, State Department press director Jeff Rathke stated, “As part of our routine engagement with a broad spectrum of faith-based organizations, a range of US government officials have met with officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” implying that the State Department is among those government officials meeting with CAIR.

The same source who confirmed the October 6 meeting also indicated that State has no special policy limiting its contacts with CAIR, but did reiterate that the US requested additional information about the UAE’s November 2014 decision to designate CAIR a terrorist organization.  The source did not say whether the government had received any further information from the UAE.

Given both the prior involvement of CAIR officials in terrorist funding, resulting in CAIR’s unindicted co-conspirator status and the FBI decision to sever its prior liaison relationship with the group, and the UAE’s decision less than a year ago to designate the group as a terrorist organization, it is disappointing that the State Department has no policy at least limiting its contact with the group.  It is also disappointing that DOJ (of which the FBI is a part) and DHS are not open about their policy toward CAIR and the reasons for it.

In fact, it is regrettable that the executive branch as a whole does not have a unified policy about it and enforce that policy.  As the FBI indicated in its April 2009 letter to Senator Kyl, its decision to suspend CAIR was made pending resolution of “whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas” or, one assumes, any other terrorist group.  That was six and a half years ago.  What have the FBI, and the executive branch as a whole, found?  Have they done nothing since then besides ask the United Arab Emirates for information about this American group?

Johanna Markind is associate counselor for the Middle East Forum.

DHS, White House Tout Ability To Screen Syrian Refugees. But Under Oath, FBI Says Opposite

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 28, 2015:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told USA Today yesterday that the wave of Syrian refugees that will be admitted into the U.S. in the coming year will be subjected to “extensive, thorough background checks.”

But just last week, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director James Comey said exactly the opposite.

When asked about criticisms made by Donald Trump about the administration’s immigration policies and about concerns that ISIS may embed themselves among Syrian refugees as a “Trojan horse,” Johnson replied:

Well, in terms of the level of effort of security review that we will apply and we have applied it will be and it is extensive. Both law enforcement and homeland security have improved the process from the days when we admitted a lot of Iraqi refugees.

We now do a better job of connecting the dots, consulting all the right databases and systems that we have available to us, and the refugee review process is probably one of the most if not the most extensive thorough background checks that someone seeking to enter this country goes through.

Now we’ve made this commitment for 10,000 Syrian refugees in FY2016. It is a commitment that the United States as a global leader should and will meet.

But during a House Judiciary hearing last Thursday, Comey was asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. Despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

When asked further about the nature of intelligence available to screen Syrian refugees, Comey admitted, contrary to Secretary Johnson, that the Iraqi database  – which possibly admitted dozens of terrorists — was much more extensive than anything they have for Syria.

Rep. Gohmert pressed further about the ability to screen refugees:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

The exchange between Rep. Gohmert and Director Comey on the Syrian refugee issue can be seen at about 2:05 in the video below:

The contrast between Johnson’s confidence and Comey’s concern is striking. This confusion comes on the heels of the White House announcing last month that it will admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the new fiscal year, more than five times the number admitted this year. Adding to the mixed messages coming from the administration, White House spokesman Josh Earnest touted the “robust” databases during the announcement:

Refugees go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States. Refugees have to be screened by the National Counter Terrorism Center, by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center. They go through databases that are maintained by DHS, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. There is biographical and biometric information that is collected about these individuals.

To recap: twice, the Obama administration appealed to the effectiveness of the screening databases to justifying the safety of allowing a dramatic increase in Syrian refugees.

But in a third statement, the only one of the three given under oath, the administration admitted the screening is inadequate.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees overall in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, up from 70,000 in the current year. And Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to Obama asking him to admit another 65,000 Syrian refugees, and former Obama and Bush officials have asked that he authorize an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees over and above the 70,000 worldwide ceiling for the current year.

Also see:

DHS: Calling Islamic Terrorism ‘Islamic’ Offends Muslims

sddefaultInvestors Business Daily, July 27, 2015:

PC: After a Muslim terrorist gunned down unarmed Marines in Tennessee, the head of Homeland Security revealed a policy to downplay any Islamic role in such terror. The feds are now blindfolding each other on the threat.

Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson refuses to call Islamic terror “Islamic,” arguing it’s “critical” to refrain from the label in order to “build trust” among Muslims.

In jaw-dropping remarks Friday at Aspen Institute’s annual security forum, Johnson said the government will call such attacks “violent extremism” over “Islamic terrorism” out of respect for the Muslim community.

The policy explains why the U.S. prosecutor and lead FBI investigator in the Chattanooga case still insist on calling Mohammad Abdulazeez a “homegrown violent extremist,” though he blogged about his religious motivations for the attack, and he and his family attended a local mosque controlled by a terror-tied Islamic trust.

Johnson says that dismissing the religious dimension of the widening homegrown Islamic terror threat is part of a strategy to gain the “cooperation” of the Muslim community. He says that if officials called Islamic terrorism “Islamic,” they’d “get nowhere.”

Even the moderator was dumbfounded: “Isn’t government denying the fundamental religious component of this kind of extremism by not using the word Islamic?” “I could not disagree more,” Johnson retorted, arguing that Islam “is about peace.”

Earth to Johnson: You already are “nowhere.” The FBI director warns that he can’t keep up with all the homegrown Muslim terrorism cases cropping up now in all 50 states. Chattanooga is just the latest tragic example of the FBI and DHS missing plots in the pipeline.

And what fruit has pandering to local Muslim leaders produced? U.S. Attorney Bill Killian helped dedicate Abdulazeez’s mosque at its grand opening in 2012, even befriended its leader. Did Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga president Bassam Issa tip him off about Abdulazeez’s radicalization? Did he stop him from driving down the street and opening fire on two military sites?

An internal PowerPoint document shows that mosque leaders were busy invoking the names of radical Muslim Brotherhood leaders to raise money for the mosque, leaders like Sheikh Qaradawi, who once issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill U.S. soldiers.

Instead of investigating the mosque and its leaders, the feds have stepped up their groveling.

The notion that Muslim leaders are helping us is totally bogus. In one Islamic State hot spot, Minneapolis, the local Muslim leaders are “cooperating” by demanding that the FBI release jailed IS terrorist suspects. In Boston, congregants of a mosque attended by the Boston marathon bombers are “cooperating” by holding fundraisers and rallies for convicted al-Qaida- and IS-tied terrorists.

Johnson, like his boss, are delusional: Their strategy of “winning hearts and minds” already has failed. So now it’s up to state and local authorities to take this fight from the feds and put down this growing insurgency themselves. They can start by passing a law that allows authorities to press legal action not just against terrorists but also any of their supporters in the Muslim community.

A Tennessee senator frustrated over the slow pace of the federal investigation in Chattanooga introduced a bill that passed implementing Andy’s Law, named after Pvt. Andrew Long, the Little Rock Army recruiter murdered by terrorist Abdulhakim Muhammad.

Arkansas, Louisiana and Kansas have also passed the anti-terror law, and North Carolina is on the verge of doing so. Letting victims of terrorism seek damages from individuals and organizations that provide material support to terrorists will go a long way to filling the investigative void left by PC-paralyzed Washington.

One Chance is All a Terrorist Needs


How DHS is failing to heed its own warnings.

Frontpage, by Michael Cutler, July 5, 2015:

On June 22, 2015 the ICE Newsroom posted a startling “Top Story” news release under the category, “Document and Benefit Fraud.” The title of the news release was obviously crafted to create the illusionthat a major vulnerability to U.S. national security, the threat of a terror attack, was being addressed: “ICE-DMV partnership combating identity, document fraud.”

The news release was accompanied by a poster. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words the above poster is worth.

Here is how the news release begins:

If you walk into your local Department of Motor Vehicles office (DMV) on any given day, you’ll most likely find a crowd of people waiting to get a new license or updating their vehicle registration.

What many aren’t aware of is that while they’re waiting in anticipation of their number to be called there may be document and identity fraud taking place just a few feet away.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) identified a potential vulnerability in which DMV employees exploit their positions by selling DMV-issued identification documents for financial gain. The access DMV employees have to the tools and technology needed to produce identity documents has been exploited by criminals who seek these documents to mask their identities and commit crimes ranging from narcotics trafficking, firearms distribution, and murder to even terrorist acts.

With these factors in mind, in December 2009, HQ HSI Identity and Benefit Fraud Unit (IBFU) launched a national outreach campaign to raise awareness about potential employee misconduct at DMV facilities. HSI Special Agent Keith Fowler, a National Program Manager within the IBFU, was charged with implementing and overseeing the outreach campaign.

Since day one, Mr. Obama and his administration have created a larcenous narrative that was carefully crafted to skirt the nexus between immigration and the threat of terrorism. The news release is consistent with that narrative and ignores the nexus between immigration and terrorism.

The 9/11 Commission certainly made note of failures of state agencies, especially Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) that enabled a number of the terrorists who wrought such destruction to assume multiple false identities by acquiring multiple driver’s licenses. However, the 9/11 Commission made it clear that failures of components of the immigration system enabled the terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States.

At the risk of stating the obvious, for the terrorists to game the process by which driver’s licenses are issued, they first need to enter the United States. If the terrorists could not have acquired visas and could not have entered the United States. They could not have attacked us.

Even if the terrorists had managed to enter the United States by stowing away on a ship or running our borders, but were unable to successfully defraud the immigration benefits program they could not have attacked us.

While the poster seeks to create the illusion that DHS is working aggressively to protect America and Americans, In reality, some of the greatest threats to national security are the direct result of the many failures of the DHS that fundamentally undermine national security and public safety.

To this point, the staff of attorneys and federal agents who were assigned to the 9/11 Commission issued a report known as the “9/11 and Terrorist TravelStaff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.”

This report focused specifically on the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world, enter the United States and ultimately embed themselves in the United States as they went about their deadly preparations. Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”

Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.

In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

The poster and press release above focus on how the administration is trying to convince state motor vehicle agencies to go after their corrupt officials who provide criminals with licenses they should not have. Does DHS have to convince state governments to seek to identify corrupt officials?

The irony is that DHS is providing lawful status to immigration law violators without any legal underpinning. USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), the division of DHS that adjudicates all applications for various immigration benefits has provided hundreds of thousands of “DREAMERs” with official identity documents to signify that they have been granted temporary lawful status and employment authorization- without a face-to-face interview and without field investigations. This is a virtual open invitation to fraud.

Read more

Designating Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Immigration Enforcement

rId14_image2Center for Immigration Studies, By Dan Cadman, July 2, 2015:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just issued a public report on the process used to designate foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which assigns lead responsibility to the Secretary of State. It is called “Combating Terrorism: Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Process and U.S. Agency Enforcement Actions”.

GAO initially prepared and distributed the report to the Department of State (DOS) and other government parties in April, but withheld it publicly until material that DOS identified as “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) was redacted from the public version just released.

Even with the SBU redactions, one finds some interesting and suggestive factoids buried in the report in typically dry bureaucratic language.

Among them is that, under the designation process developed by DOS, various agencies participating in the targeting and review can put “holds” on designation. Section 219 of the INA, which outlines the legal basis for designation of FTOs contains no such proviso.

The reasons described for placing “holds” are just a wee bit fuzzy and this arouses my suspicious nature because, in addition to the other government agencies one would expect to participate (such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Justice and Homeland Security Departments, etc.), one finds mentioned the DOS regional bureaus (see note 16 in the report). These are the folks that look out for the political angles of inter-governmental relationships between the United States and other countries. Could it be that bilateral politics are involved in FTO designation? One fears so, because it is suggestive that, although various other statistics are scattered throughout the GAO report, the number of holds and who placed them is nowhere to be found. Could this be the “sensitive” data that DOS didn’t want revealed to the public? If so, under which secretaries of State did such regional bureaus exercise this extra-statutory ability? And how many such holds have been placed, and for how long?

Another interesting factoid is that between 2009 and 2014 Customs and Border Protection inspectors denied entry to over 1,000 alien applicants for admission based on terrorism grounds, including membership in or affiliation with designated FTOs. We can reasonably assume that some portion of these aliens were applying for admission under the visa waiver program (VWP) and that a significant number were granted multiple entry visas by DOS consular officers before the terrorist connection was known, but that their visas were not revoked by DOS after the connection was made.

Then there is the abysmally low number of aliens taken into custody within the United States on terrorism-related removal grounds, presumably by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During the same date range used to calculate CBP figures, (2009-2014 — half of a decade), ICE agents have removed exactly three aliens. Three. And yet the FBI director, the director of national intelligence, and others tell us that the nation is peppered with Islamic State supporters, not to mention the plethora of other terrorist groups one can choose to affiliate with.

The shockingly low number comports with remarks I made in a prior posting when I commented that since the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose mission is obviously to protect the homeland, we Americans — and most particularly the leaders in this administration — seem to have forgotten the important lesson about the nexus between safe communities and using the deportation laws to remove foreign threats.

Two other noteworthy items that merit their own examinations in full, but not here: that waivers have been granted to individuals with terrorist connections, apparently both to enter the United States, and to gain various immigration benefits administered by one of DHS’s subordinate agencies; and that of the 69 FTOs designated since 1997 when the law authorizing designation took effect, 10 (nearly 15 percent of total designations) have been removed from the list by the Secretary of State.

A Contrast in Delusions: The TSA vs. Domestic Immigration Enforcement

Berlin_Schönefeld_Airport_metal_detectors-427x350Frontpage, June 9, 2015 by Michael Cutler:

On June 2, 2015 the Washington Times published a report about how massive failures of screeners employed by the TSA, an agency that operates under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), failed to find weapons, in the great majority of instances, when undercover operatives went through the screening process. The article, “TSA chief ousted after airport security flunks test, misses most weapons, explosives” included this excerpt:

The acting chief of the Transportation Security Administration was ousted late Monday night after an embarrassing new report found that airport security officers badly failed a new test, missing almost every firearm and explosive investigators tried to sneak by them.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the move, saying Melvin Carraway had been “reassigned” to another part of the department and his deputy would take over, serving until the Senate can confirm a new chief.

Earlier in the night Mr. Johnson had said he’d just been given a classified briefing on the inspector general’s findings that found a major loophole in security that could allow people to sneak prohibited items by TSA screeners and into what were supposed to be secure areas of airports.

Mr. Johnson said the preliminary findings were classified and said it wasn’t “appropriate or prudent” to talk about them — but ABC News reported that IG investigators managed to sneak contraband material by TSA screeners in 67 of 70 tests.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and contains a number of agencies that are charged with addressing the failures that enabled the terrorists who carried out those attacks, to enter the United States, embed themselves in the United States and then hijack airliners, using them as de facto “cruise missiles.”

Among the agencies that operate under the aegis of the DHS are:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA): This agency is charged with keeping weapons or other harmful materials off of airliners along with people who appear on “no fly lists.” It is a simple concept and one that is apparently easy for people to comprehend. In order to achieve this goal officers employed by the TSA carry out ever more intrusive searches of airline passengers and their baggage. Passengers are subjected to x-rays, raising concerns. Passengers are also prohibited from bringing certain items into the passenger cabin of the airliners including large quantities of liquids, etc.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The mission of this agency, which includes inspectors at ports of entry, and Border Patrol, which operates between ports of entry, is to make certain that aliens and cargo are not smuggled into the United States and that the inspection of both people and objects keep criminals and terrorists along with other foreign nationals whose presence would be problematic, from entering the United States.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): This agency is charged with enforcing our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States to backstop the personnel at CBP. When aliens evade the inspections process by entering the United States without inspection, ICE is supposed to seek them out and take them into custody so that they can be removed (deported from the United States). ICE is also responsible for identifying, locating and arresting aliens who are lawfully admitted but then go on to violate the terms of their admission by overstaying their authorized period of admission, accepting unlawful employment, failing to attend schools (in the case of foreign students) or being convicted of committing crimes.

ICE is also supposed to conduct investigations into possible fraud when applicants lie about material facts in applications for various immigration benefits for aliens filed with USCIS and to conduct investigations to identify, arrest and prosecute fraud document vendors.

Finally, ICE assigns agents to work on various multi-agency task forces.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): This agency employs adjudications officers who are responsible for adjudicating applications for immigration benefits. If an Alien Registration Receipt Card, a “Green Card,” and especially United States citizenship are the “keys to the kingdom,” then USCIS is America’s locksmith. This agency confers these benefits, in addition to others, upon aliens.

The ink was barely dry in the newspaper reports about the failures of the TSA to find planted weapons when the director of that agency was re-assigned. Jeh Johnson wasted no time in shaking up the agency that is supposed to keep weapons and terrorists off of our airliners.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he was as determined to keep alien criminals, terrorists and narcotics out of the United States and off the streets of towns and cities across our nation?

Read more

MSA National Retreat to Feature Muslim Brotherhood and Homeland Security Speakers

poster3Cultural Jihad, May 15, 2015:

The Muslim Students Association (MSA) will be holding it’s National Leadership Retreat (NLR), June 2-7 2015 at Camp Lindenmere in Henryville, PA

MSA’s Facebook page states that the NLR is a “critical platform that” will:

  • Provide participants with personal development opportunities
  • Allow participants to network with other activists and MSA Officers from different parts of the nation. This network will become a critical resource of support that participants can use beyond the Retreat for their personal and institutional development
  • Create opportunities to exchange best practices, challenges and solutions participants might be experiencing on the local level
  • Connect local MSA activists and officers with the new vision, mission and leadership of MSA National

Scheduled speakers  include:

Dr. Altaf Hussain –  former two-term national president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA National), a current executive committee member of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), chair of the Leadership Development Committee of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Peaceful Families Project – dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence. Dr. Hussain was recently elected the Vice President of ISNA in 2014.

Dalia Mogahed (by video) –  chairman and CEO of Mogahed Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based executive coaching and consulting firm specializing in Muslim societies and the Middle East. She is former executive director of and senior analyst for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslims worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. With John L. Esposito, Ph.D., she is coauthor of the book “Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”

Corey Saylor – legislative director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus – frequent Islamic teacher and lecturer.  Past instructor at Zaytuna Institute.

Ehsan Zaffar – a senior adviser at the Department of Homeland Securitywhere he advises the Office of the Secretary on civil rights and civil liberties issues. He teaches courses at the intersection of national security, homeland security and civil rights/civil liberties.


COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  The Muslim Students Association (MAS) was formed in 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood which explains the backgrounds for most of the speakers.

– – –

Three of the groups listed for Dr. Hussain (MSA, MANA, and ISNA) have been identified as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.    As for the Peaceful Families Project, it’s board membership includes:

  • Salma Elkadi Abugideiri, the daughter of the late Ahmed Elkadi –former leader of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (1984-94).
  • Muna AbuSulayma, former general secretary of the charitable foundation of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and daughter of  global Muslim Brotherhood leader Dr. AbdulHamid Abu Sulayman.
  • Imam Magid,  Imam of All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia and served as the President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

– – –

Dalia Mogahed’s affiliation with the MB is not as clear.  The Global Muslim Daily Watch notes:

Dahlia Mogahed was born in Egypt and lived in the U.S. since the age of 5. She is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is a former engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM). The website of the ICM links mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), close to the Egyptian Brotherhood,  was ICM Imam and President for several years.

Mogahed has been a vocal supporter of other MB front groups and other Islamists according to a 2010 Investigative Project report.

– – –

Corey Saylor has been with CAIR for over ten years.  CAIR’s ties to the the MB was firmly established through documents seized during the Holy Land Foundation investigation regarding terrorist funding.

– – –

Dept. of Homeland Security representative Ehsan Zaffar is a frequent speaker at Muslim and Arab-American focused events.

DHS caught busing in illegal Somalis from Mexican Border

DHS buses carry immigrants from the border to detention centers where they are processed, given a court date and released.

DHS buses carry immigrants from the border to detention centers where they are processed, given a court date and released.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, May 13, 2015:

The U.S. is bringing in 100,000 Muslims every year through legal channels such as the United Nations refugee program and various visa programs, but new reports indicate a pipeline has been established through the southern border with the help of the federal agency whose job it is to protect the homeland.

They are coming from Somalia and other African nations, according to a Homeland Security official who was caught recently transporting a busload of Africans to a detention center near Victorville, California.

Somalia is the home base of al-Shabab, a designated foreign terrorist organization that slaughtered 147 Christians at a university in Kenya just last month. It executed another 67 at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013, and has put out warnings that it will target malls in Canada and the U.S. Dozens of Somali refugees in the U.S. have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing support to overseas terrorist organizations over the past few years.

Libya is also awash in Islamist terror following the death of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach in February.

So when Anita Fuentes of OpenYourEyesPeople.com posted a video of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security bus pulling into a Shell station in Victorville, on the night of May 7, admitting he had a busload of Somalis and other Africans who had crossed the southern border, it raised more than a few eyebrows among those concerned with illegal immigration and national security.

A man who appeared to be a Customs and Border Patrol agent was filmed at the gas station at 10:30 p.m. When questioned by Fuentes, he informed her that his large touring bus was full of Somalis and other Africans being transported to a nearby detention center.

The tour bus had the U.S. Homeland Security logo, and the agent appeared calm and professional.

The windows to the bus were covered. When asked if he was transporting illegal immigrants, the driver said, “No, we ended up taking some people to a detention facility. Somalis and all the Africans.”

“A detention center over here?” Fuentes asks.

“Yeah,” he said.

Victorville is about 161 miles from the Mexican border.

“Is that because they’re crossing the border?” Fuentes asked.

“Well they’re coming in asking for asylum,” he said.

“That’s what it is, that special key word huh? That’s a password now?” Fuentes said.

“That’s what the password is now,” he responds.

The flow of information stopped when Fuentes asked about the presence of ISIS near the border, a story which the watchdog agency Judicial Watch reported last month.

“ISIS being at the border?” she asks.

“I’m not going to talk to you when you’re recording me, ma’am,” the agent says. “Any information you want ma’am, go ahead and look it up online.”

A small part of a larger story

More than 100,000 Somalis have been brought to the United States legally since 1991 through the U.N. refugee resettlement program. Close to half of them have been resettled in Minnesota, with the rest dispersed throughout Ohio, Maine, California, Texas, Idaho, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia and several other states.

The Somali community in Minnesota has had well-documented problems assimilating, running up a troubling record of crime and radicalization. Scores of Somalis have been arrested and charged with providing material support to overseas terrorist organizations such as al-Shabab, al-Qaida and ISIS.

Others have left the country to fight for al-Shabab and ISIS, including six from Minnesota last month who were arrested after making repeated attempts to leave the country to join ISIS. That prompted the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, to admit in a April 4 press conference that “we have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota.”

At least two Somalis in Columbus, Ohio, have also been arrested on terrorism charges.

While most of the Somalis have been brought into the U.S. by the U.S. State Department in cooperation with the United Nations, exactly how many Somalis may be entering the country illegally and applying for asylum is difficult to ascertain.

According to official DHS data, 688 Somalis entered the U.S. as asylum seekers between 2004 and 2013.

Asylum seekers from other African countries with radical Muslim populations are also showing up at the border. According to DHS data, 139 Libyans crossed into the U.S. between 2011 and 2013, while only 20 had made the risky trek between 2004 and 2010 when dictator Moammar Gadhafi was in power.

The number of Eritreans and Ethiopians showing up at the U.S. border and seeking asylum is also growing: 1,495 came from Eritrea between 2004 and 2013, and 5,863 came from Ethiopia.

The Washington Times, among other publications, has published stories about the harrowing journeys some Somalis have been will to endure to get to the U.S. They make their way across the Horn of Africa, cross the Atlantic by stowing away in a cargo ship before landing at a port in Brazil or Argentina. From there they travel by land through Central America and Mexico to arrive at the U.S. border. Until last year, at least some of them were deported. Now, word is spreading that U.S. border policy has changed so more are showing up with the one word they know of English – “asylum.”

Numbers likely higher

A Customs and Border Patrol agent, who asked not to be identified, told WND that many more Africans and Middle Easterners are likely crossing over the Mexican border than what DHS is willing to admit.

“You’re not going to get an honest number, because they all want to look good and get promotions from the people in D.C.,” the border agent told WND. “I’m absolutely confident that is happening.”

That’s why the video is raising eyebrows, because the agent appears unfazed, as though transferring busloads of Somalis and Africans to detention facilities is a routine task.

Once at the detention facility, asylum seekers are often asked to fill out legal documents, given a court date and set free.

“There’s an ICE facility up that way, so that’s where that bus was likely heading,” the Border Patrol agent said. “That doesn’t surprise me. My guess is those are probably coming through Arizona because Arizona is still the biggest pure hole in the southern border we have. The Casa Grande area of Arizona is just the wild West. It’s on an Indian reservation, and they’ve been battling the Border Patrol forever. There are no barriers, not even a barbed-wire fence. But this administration’s done everything they can do to shut down ICE from doing its job.”

Asylum seekers are required to show they belong to a group of individuals who are suffering from a “pattern and practice” of persecution, either from their native country’s government or from non-government entities that the government is unable or unwilling to control.

The Obama administration has decided to spend $$2 million to hire attorneys for alien minors seeking asylum in the U.S. this year, Judicial Watch reported.

After filming the busload of African asylum seekers in Victorville, Fuentes posted on her YouTube account that they were being taken to a detention center in the high desert, thumb printed, and let go.

“My friends, many Somalians are Muslim and many Africans especially in the northern region of Africa are radical Islam terrorists. Lord have mercy,” wrote Fuentes, whose husband, Ignacio, is a pastor.

William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration, or ALIPAC, said the word “asylum” has indeed become the password for foreign nationals showing up at the border. They will be taken to a detention center to be processed and given a court date along with contact information for an asylum attorney and a religious charity that will help them find housing, food and clothing.

“And they will even be given instructions on how to get their Obamaphone,” he said.

“And that video is further clear evidence that Obama and his administration is involved in a conspiracy to overthrow America’s defenses, laws, borders and republic by flooding America with as many people as possible who will be dependent on the system and the socialists who helped them,” Gheen told WND. “He’s going for broke because he knows that (Mitch) McConnell, (John) Boehner and the other sell-out Republicans won’t stop him.

“In fact, many of those Republicans are now voting for his Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and trying to get him more bodies, more non-Americans, into America. The name of the game is to get as many non-Americans with alien perspectives and principles into America so that America’s condition becomes terminal.”

“We’re fighting against every avenue we can, but our fight right now is to try to slow them down and try to save every life we can and every job we can,” he continued. “Tens of thousands more lives and jobs will be lost if we lose this fight.”

The U.S. allows about 1.1 million immigrants into the country through legal channels every year, and another 250,000 to 500,000 come in illegally.

“That’s more than any other nation on earth,” Gheen said.


Here is What Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch has to say on this:

For new readers, once an alien is granted asylum they may receive all of the social service benefits that a normal refugee gets, and they may get care from one of the federal resettlement contractors.

Asha Omar (19) granted asylum in El Paso, Texas in 2010, tells the improbable tale that she “made her way” by herself to America with a stop in Cuba before reaching the Mexican border. http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_17039428

This is not news to us!

We have been telling readers for years about the Somali trail from Africa to our southern border and a claim of asylum.

In 2011, we urged Congress to investigate the strange phenomenon of a supposedly impoverished young Somali traveling sometimes from Somalia to Syria to Russia to Cuba and then to Central America or Mexico and making it to the US border where a claim for asylum would be made with the help of immigration lawyers who seemed to be expecting them!

It is not just in the Mediterranean region where an invasion is occurring!

Here is the 2011 post in which I urged Congress to investigate this strange business:

Is there a conspiracy by NGO’s to bring asylum seekers to US borders?

Here is an earlier post (2009) about Africans getting to South America on their way to the US southern border:

African asylum seekers reaching South America, hope to get to the US

And, here is a more recent post on the same subject:

Six Somalis headed to US arrested in Mexico

There are more posts on the same subject here at RRW, but no time to search for them right now.

I once saw a fantastic travel map for Somalis who ‘made their way’ to Russia and then flew to Cuba from there.  Next stop was Mexico and the US border (wish I could find it to show you!).

Does no one ever ask?  Who is helping these ‘youths’ and who is paying for it all?   I’ve seen estimates that such a travel plan costs upwards of $10,000.

US/UK/Aussie ISIS Threat Stream Update

isis study group banner 2May 13, 2015 /

In an update to our article “ISIS Plots to Bring the ‘Flames of War’ to US, UK and Australia,” it has emerged that several tweets have been made that suggests plans are being made to launch an attack in London with specific mention being made to the Covent Garden-area. An individual on Twitter identified as “Abu Abdullah Britoni” has made tweets showing what appears to be a suicide belt that he intends to use in a “martyr operation.” He’s specifically mentioned Paddington Station, Tower Bridge – even blowing himself up inside of a police station.


ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” to US, UK and Australia

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.19.23 PM

One of Britoni’s posts on possible targets
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.19.48 PM

Talking about conducting suicide operations
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Britoni has also been in contact with UK-national Junaid Hussein and posted about the Garland, Texas shooting a few hours before it occurred. This was uncovered by a hacker known as “The Jester:”

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.31.14 PM

Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.37.03 PM

Source: The ISIS Study Group

An individual identified as “J Muslim” has made similar posts about conducting suicide operations. Other posts have been made by a guy calling himself “Abu Aiman al-Kinyi.” This individual has posted pics of several assault rifles in the back of a car with the words “We are coming” along with #Londonattack.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.33.21 PM

Abu Aiman al-Kinyi: “We are coming”
Source: The ISIS Study Group

As we’ve stated on 09 MAY 15, the next attempt by the Islamic State (IS) to launch an attack against the west will likely be attempted within a 3-4 day window. 12 MAY marks the third day of this window. That said, we suspect this influx of posts flooding social media are being done deliberately to saturate the media with hoax threats. We assess this is being done to overwhelm western security forces and distract them from the real target(s), whatever they may be. After the disruption of the ANZAC Day plot Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” and his associate Hussein had passed guidance to their contacts in Australia, the UK and US to exercise better OPSEC in subsequent operations – which makes it highly unlikely that the individuals they’ve inspired and/or tasked with carrying out these attacks would “warn” anybody. They would just do it. Both Cambodi and Hussein have been putting out similar hoax threats in recent days that mirror a previous disinformation campaign that was executed back in JAN 15 about a threat targeting US airliners. In fact, the recent bomb threats made against Etihad Flight #EY650 and the Airliner bomb threats in Turkey were put out at Cambodi’s direction. The problem is that the painfully complacent European security forces and the American Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are having trouble separating the legitimate threats from the “white noise.” But remember, this is only the opening act – things are going to get worse starting in JUN. Much worse.

Twitter threats to planes require delicate decisions

ALERT Etihad Flight #EY650 from Cairo to AbuDhabi Diverted After ‘Bomb Threat’


Other Related Articles:

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists


Also see:


‘Terrorism has gone viral’: US officials, lawmakers warn of growing jihad-inspired attacks

ISIS_Twitter_2Fox News, May 10, 2015:

Top U.S. officials and lawmakers on Sunday intensified concerns about the growing threat of jihad-inspired terror attacks against the United States, after last week’s attempt in Texas and the dire FBI warning that followed.

“I think there’s been an uptick in the stream of threats out there,” Texas GOP Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re seeing these directives on almost a daily basis. It’s very concerning. Terrorism has gone viral.”

McCaul’s comments follow the May 3 attack by two gunmen outside a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas.

Tweets by one of the two gunmen, killed by police in the attack, appear to link him to radical Islamic terror groups. And Internet chatter purportedly tipped off officials about a possible attack on the event.

On Thursday, FBI Director James Comey said the attack, in which a security officer was shot in the leg, highlights the difficulties the FBI faces — as social media facilitates communication between terror groups and potential homegrown extremists.

He also said the Islamic State terror group has thousands of English-language followers on Twitter, including many in the U.S.

tfss-01f17193-eb53-4fa3-b838-98d2381295de-811740152The group also is increasingly steering followers into forums that allow for encrypted communications that can be harder for law enforcement officials to access.

In addition, the Islamic State has been encouraging followers to travel to Syria to join the self-created caliphate there, but if they can’t do that, to “kill where you are,” Comey said.

“The siren song sits in the pockets, on the mobile phones, of the people who are followers on Twitter,” Comey said. “It’s almost as if there’s a devil sitting on the shoulder, saying ‘Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill,’ all day long.”

McCaul said Comey was “exactly right” and that trying to find ISIS’ calling for terror attacks across the broad spectrum of social media is “like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

He also said the terror threat now is “one of the highest that I’ve ever seen” and warned of similar incidents in the future.

“It’s going to get worse, not better,” he said. “This is very difficult to stop.”

Also on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the U.S. is facing a new phase of terrorism in which a so-called lone-wolf terrorist, inspired by Islamic State propaganda on social media, could “strike at any moment.”

The Obama administration has said the attack in suburban Dallas last week was a “lone wolf” effort.

“We’re very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL’s effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others,” Johnson said on  ABC’s “This Week.”

On Friday, the Pentagon increased security measures for military bases across the country based on what officials said are increasing but non-specific threats from Islamic State extremists and supporters.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Sunday also agreed with Comey.

“I think [the Islamic State’s message] is ‘kill, kill, kill,’ ” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s a force that we really haven’t seen before, and we have to begin to cope more seriously with it, and that includes social media.”

She also suggested a changing terror environment in which Islamic extremist groups encourage a lone wolf to commit an attack, then “take credit for it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” the US, UK and Australia

S-Flames-of-War-Propaganda-Video-02May 9, 2015 / ISIS Study Group /

Well, we’ve come full-circle. On 08 MAR 15 we came out with an article on the Islamic State (IS) establishing a foreign fighter unit known as the “Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion” that consists of English-speakers (“The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West”). We also discussed how that unit was tasked with getting the personnel within the ranks enough experience to be sent back to their countries of origin within the next 4-5 months. The specific countries our sources said that would be most at risk were the US, UK and Australia. The Successful attack in Kabul, Afghanistan and failed ANZAC Day plot in Melbourne, Australia (check out “Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot” for more details) were merely the opening shots for bringing the “Flames of War” to the west. Recently, a cell attacked a Muhammad Cartoon contest being hosted by Pam Gellar in Garland, Texas. IS claimed responsibility for the attack. We assess that none of this is a “coincidence,” and that these attack plots are part of a much larger campaign to take the fight to the west. Furthermore, we suspect that IS-linked cells will attempt to execute attacks in the US within the next 3-4 days with additional attacks being launched in the UK and Australia – yes, we’ve been saying that for a few months now that we would be seeing this around this time of year. More importantly, we’re seeing American and Aussie foreign fighters synching up their OPs for a coordinated effort – the largest projection of IS terror on the international stage.

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot

FBI Alerted Garland Police About Elton Simpson Hours Before Shooting

Junaid Hussein Source: Central News

Junaid Hussein
Source: Central News

The US Department of Defense has announced that military installations are on “alert” for potential attacks while the professionally-bankrupt US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that there isn’t a “specific threat” made to any particular installation. DHS’ statement isn’t completely accurate according to our sources. The individual coordinating the US OPs is Syria-based UK national Junaid Hussein, and he’s reported to have been researching US military installations in Colorado and Ohio, so despite what DHS is saying IS appears to be focusing on a base in one of those two states. Hussein first appeared on the US government’s radar when it was revealed that he was responsible for establishing IS’ cyber-warfare capability. Although most people know him as the leader of the “Cyber Caliphate,” he’s also a prominent recruiter who assisted Australian foreign fighter Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” in the establishment of the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion. Hussein has previously run afoul of the British government and previously jailed in 2012.

ISIS activity prompts threat level increase at bases

Junaid Hussain: CyberCaliphate Leader And ISIS Member Was Behind CENTCOM Hack, Report Says

Hacker who stole Tony Blair’s details and bombarded anti-terror hotline with prank calls is jailed and claims his crime was no worse than those committed by Bullingdon members



Source: The ISIS Study Group

Additionally, Hussein has been passing down guidance to cells operating in western countries on target selection and giving them advice on proper OPSEC procedures. Much of this is being done on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. We find it rather amusing that DHS and the American mainstream media is just now starting to notice how heavily saturated our nation is with IS propaganda. We wrote about this in our article titled, “al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists” that was posted on 25 OCT 15. These cells are domestic in nature in that none of the personnel have traveled to Syria. However, these cells and lone wolves are only the first phase of this campaign as the Syria returnees are expected to start returning to their home countries by the end of the month. In fact, we’ve been hearing that some may have already started to trickle in. This presents a big problem in that these personnel returned with the knowledge and connections to set up their own networks and attack cells – and they will be traveling with western passports that won’t draw as much attention as someone with a Saudi or Pakistani passport.

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists

The current attack plans appear to be a combination of IED attacks and shootings like what we saw in Garland or even the scenario we discussed last summer in “ISIS: Target America.” We suspect that they may opt to go with the pressure cooker IED design like the one used in the Boston Bombing. IS also took note of the response to he attack by local law enforcement and armed civilians and aren’t likely to make the same mistake. Instead, they appear to be looking at hitting soft targets in American cities in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to targeting military installations in Colorado and Ohio. Regarding the targeting of military installations on American soil, we assess that individual service members will also be targeted. Hussein and associate Riyad Khan were the guys who released the addresses, identities and photographs of 100 US military personnel in late-MAR that we covered in “Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information.” This is yet another example of the coordination that’s taking place between Cambodia and Hussein. If you recall, the ANZAC Day plot called for the targeting of an individual police officer in the same manner as the murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby. That is not a coincidence. Hussein and Cambodia are working together.

Australian listed in Isis guidebook as go-to man for recruits

ISIS: Target America

Target America: Hunting the US Military

Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information


Some of the identities exposed by Hussein and Khan
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Another example of the Hussein-Cambodi campaign can be seen through a militant we’ve identified as Shawn Parson, a Trinidian IS member who has maintained regular contact with Cambodi over the past few months. He’s been making several posts about “plotting revenge” for the arrest of IS sympathizer Keonna Thomas and has shown a preference for targeting US government officials. The threats were made through his Twitter account (@Amriki_Irhabi) but it was taken down. The threats he’s been making appear to be connected to the ongoing threat stream as he had made specific references to US Air Force installations located in Colorado prior to his first account being taken down. When one of our staff came across him through their network analysis, we came across posts that implied that he had prior knowledge of the shootings. We suspect he was privy to this information through his relationship with Cambodi. In fact there’s unconfirmed reporting that Parson was in a photograph with Cambodi that was published in issue 8 of Dabiq Magazine. We hope somebody with some common sense in DHS has already put two and two together – but we’re not holding our breath.

Philadelphia Woman Joins ISIS: How Keonna Thomas’ Alleged Plans To Connect With The Islamic State Group Unraveled

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 3.05.40 PM

Parson’s new Twitter account @Irhabi_IS_187 (Note that he’s also following the UK’s Pied Piper of Jihad Anjem Choudray – which can be seen on the bottom right part of this screen shot)
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Shortly after setting up the new account more threats began to be posted. He’s quite the charmer, isn’t he?
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.03.26 AM

The guy on the right is allegedly Parson – we’re still working to confirm/deny
Source: Dabiq Magazine issue 8

Meanwhile in Australia, the Australian security forces continue to drop the hammer on IS cells in the country with another series of raids targeting safe-houses in Melbourne and Sydney. The following individuals were paid a visit by the Australian Federal Police (AFP):

Muhammad Hasan Kollab – The AFP confiscated material that was being used to produce IEDs.
Yassir Ali Bakhit

Ahmed Hussein (no relation to Junaid Hussein)
Isaac Majoub – This individual has been under investigation since November 14 and is described as a “young kid” between 15-17 yrs of age.

These individuals were planning to conduct attacks the Mother’s Day weekend. We have identified the Sydney Opera House as one of the primary targets for this series of attacks. Although the media reports are saying that its uncertain if this is connected to the failed ANZAC Day pot, we can assure you it is. Furthermore, All four individuals were in direct contact with Cambodi, who – along with close associate Muhammad Junaid Thorne – were overseeing that particular operation. We suspect that Thorne was also involved with the Mother’s Day plot. According to our sources in the country, this operation was within hours of being put into the execution phase. Our Aussie allies have once again demonstrated that they’re not professionally bankrupt like their American counterparts at DHS and ensured the safety of the civilian population. The Australian threat appears to have been blunted, for now. However, a key aspect of this strategy is to overwhelm western security forces to where something “falls through the cracks.” In fact With multiple threat streams spanning across multiple countries we see the scenario we discussed in the first installment of our Target America series on an international scale. The month of MAY is only the start with Syria returnees affiliated with the Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion beginning to redeploy back to their home countries. More will begin returning in JUN, at which time we can expect to see some of these personnel embedding themselves with the local cells comprised of individuals who didn’t go to Syria themselves. Hussein and Cambodi have been the main points of contact for linking these cells up with Syria vets. The Australian government “gets it,” but the US and British governments are still plagued with political correctness. In the case of the US, incompetence is another major factor that got us to the current situation. We assess that DHS will continue their reactionary posture which increases the likelihood of another IS attack. Not bad for the “JV Team,” huh?

Melbourne anti-terrorism raids: Police uncover explosive devices at Greenvale house in city’s north

Police conduct anti-terror raid in Melbourne suburb

‘Closest call yet’: Police say tip-off sparked Melbourne raids which found alleged improvised explosive devices

EXCLUSIVE: FBI, DHS Assessed Terror Attack Threat to Texas ‘Draw Muhammad’ Contest as ‘UNLIKELY’

h0ixM.AuSt.91PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 5, 2015:

The Feds, influenced by false narratives about the causes of terror, failed yet again. Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Public Safety took the threats seriously and saved lives.

As online chatter about a Muhammad cartoon contest began to escalate last week, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Joint Intelligence Bulletin last Thursday. The bulletin acknowledged the potential threat, but downplayed the possibility of any violence targeting the event.

The bulletin concluded that while the event could inspire violence abroad by contributing to terrorist messaging, it was “unlikely” that such violence would happen in the United States.

A copy of the FBI/DHS bulletin is provided exclusively by PJ Media below.

On Sunday night, two men – Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, roommates from Phoenix — did in fact show up at the event location in Garland, Texas, armed with semi-automatic weapons and body armor. Both were quickly killed in an exchange of gunfire before there was any direct threat to anyone inside the facility. One police officer was shot in the ankle — he was treated at the hospital and later released.

According to sources involved in the investigation into the terror attack and law enforcement preparations leading up to last Sunday’s event, there was virtually no online chatter about the cartoon contest until early last week.

The chatter began when news broke that two Muslim congressmen, Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, had appealed to Secretary of State John Kerry to deny entry into the U.S. for Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

Wilders was scheduled to be the featured speaker at Sunday’s cartoon contest.

One law enforcement source who was monitoring potential threats to the event told PJ Media the following:

[Ellison and Carson] clearly set things off. Nothing was being said until that news story came out, and then the usual suspects began to talk about it. By the time the weekend rolled around, there were clear and identifiable incitements calling for an attack on the event.

During this crescendo of online chatter, an FBI/DHS bulletin titled “‘Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest’ in Texas on 3 May Likely to Prompt Violent Extremist Reaction Abroad; Violence Less Likely at Home” was sent out to law enforcement agencies four days before the event was held.

The bulletin initially acknowledges a potential threat existed following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January and the attack on an event where a Muhammad cartoonist appeared in Copenhagen in February:

On 3 May 2015 the “American Freedom Defense Initiative USPER” (AFDI) is sponsoring in Garland, Texas a “Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest,” for the stated purpose of “defend[ing] free speech and not give[ing] in to violent intimidation.” The FBI and DHS assess this motivation refers to deadly violent extremist attacks over recent months on institutions or events perceived as defaming the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Although there is no specific, credible intelligence concerning threats to the event thus far, we assess that this event carries the risk of being targeted by violent extremists because past events involving the alleged defamation of Islam and the prophet, Muhammad, have resulted in threats or overt acts of violence overseas, to include threats against both artists and publishers.

But by the end of the FBI/DHS analysis, they conclude that since such attacks had not happened here yet, they were unlikely to now:

Although past events involving the alleged defamation of Islam and the prophet, Muhammad, have resulted in threats or overt acts of violence overseas, we have not yet seen such violence in the United States. The most frequent reaction among US-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) is discussion and verbal disapproval via online communication platforms, including websites with violent extremist content and social media sites.† We assess it is unlikely that any one event perceived to defame Islam would alone mobilize HVEs to violence; however, such events are incorporated into violent extremist messaging and narratives involving Western persecution of Muslims, which we do assess overall to contribute to radicalization to violence.‡ US-based HVEs remain largely unconnected to each other, and their behaviors are often highly individualized, impeding our ability to predict their reactions with a great deal of confidence. We also judge US-based HVEs and violent extremists in other Western nations who are skilled in information technology have the capability to carry out a cyber-intrusion attack against organizations or individuals perceived to be defaming Islam.

On Sunday night, that analysis proved to be wrong.

The bulletin concluded with a list of suspicious activities, which they warn could still be “constitutionally protected.”

A source I spoke to last night suggested that the conventional wisdom of federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies on the nature of the domestic terror threat is reminiscent of a pre-9/11 mentality:

These agencies are stuck in a belief that domestic terrorism is something that happens “over there” and that will never come here. They get reinforced by our media and academics who tell them that jihadist terror in Europe is something that only happens because of alienation and poverty — not realizing how dramatically things have changed over the past few years. Where we used to see individuals and small groups traveling overseas to fight with terrorists, virtually every Western country, including the U.S., now have hundreds who have joined the jihad in Syria and Iraq.

This bulletin they put out last week is an example of how analysis and threat assessment gets done. Rather than looking at what happened in Paris and Copenhagen and determining that the threat was escalating, they rely on preformed biases to spin the facts to fit their narrative to conclude there was no threat. My concern is that they are now going to look at what happened [Sunday night] and determine that it was a random one-off event rather than a warning sign of what’s quickly headed our way.

According to those close to the investigation, the real heroes who quickly eliminated the threat on Sunday were the Texas Department of Public Safety, who took the online threats seriously. The threats included inciting tweets from known foreign Islamic State operatives overseas (namely, IS cybercaliphate chief Junaid Hussain), leading them to deploy a “massive” presence at the cartoon contest event.

The response from the FBI and DHS following yet another intelligence failure remains to be seen.

FBI/DHS JIB & Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Texas on 3 May;

How DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations

Image: Abdirahman Sheik MohamudFrontpage, April 20, 2015 by Michael Cutler:

On April 16, 2015 Fox News posted an Associated Press report, “Ohio man accused of traveling to Syria, plotting terror act.” [1]

My focus today will be on the way that the alleged terrorist was provided with United States citizenship and consequently, a United States passport. The adjudications process failed to uncover material facts that would have barred the individual, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, from becoming a naturalized citizen and hence receive that highly valuable United States passport.

The immigration component of this story and similar stories, has been largely ignored by the media, although the issue about his having immigrated to the United States from Somalia and then becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen was raised in some news reports.

The complete immigration component of this case is extremely important, as you will see — indeed, this element, had it worked as it should have, could have thwarted the ability of this alleged terrorist to have traveled to Syria to join his brother who was killed in combat while fighting on the side of terrorists. This is why I frequently make the point that our borders and our immigration laws are our first and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals.

While the Fox News headline simply identified Mohamud as being an “Ohio man” the body of the article did provide solid information about his country of birth and his having become a naturalized citizen, unlike many other news reports that were content to simply describe the alleged terrorist as simply being “An Ohio Man.”

Here is how the Fox News news report began:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio man traveled to Syria and trained alongside terrorists, then returned to the U.S. with plans to attack a military base or a prison, according to a federal indictment announced Thursday.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a U.S. citizen originally from Somalia, wanted to “kill three or four American soldiers execution style,” according to the indictment. Attacking the prison was part of a backup plan if that didn’t work, the charges said.

The indictment also says Mohamud’s brother, Abdifatah Aden, fought with Jabhat al-Nusrah, a State Department-designated terrorist group, until he was killed in battle in Syria in June 2014.

Mohamud, 23, of Columbus was charged with supporting terrorism, supporting the same terrorist group and making a false statement involving international terrorism when he allegedly lied to an Ohio FBI agent by saying he was in Istanbul when authorities say he was in Syria.

Here is critical bit information contained in the report:

Mohamud became a U.S. citizen in February 2014, according to the government.

The government didn’t say how it learned of the plot, but the indictment mentions two “unnamed” associates of Mohamud in the U.S. to whom he gave information about his activities, including a video of Mohamud carrying an AK-47.

One of them said he believed Mohamud was trying to recruit him to participate in the plot, according to the indictment. The government also said Mohamud made terrorism-related Facebook posts in 2013.

An April 16, 2015 New York Post article. “ISIS-trained Ohio man was ordered to attack US: feds [2]” pinned down the nexus between Mohamud becoming a United States citizen and his departure for the Middle East in these paragraphs:

An Ohio man who left the US a year ago to train with Islamic State jihadists was nabbed by the feds Thursday for allegedly plotting to unleash terror in the country, authorities said.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, of Columbus, left in April 2014 — two months after becoming a naturalized citizen —to train and fight with the extremists in Syria, the Justice Department said, ABC News reported.

Islamic State wannabe Mohamud — who has posted the group’s propaganda online — was charged with providing material support to al Nusrah, an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, according to the feds.

The jihadists trained him in shooting, home break-ins, explosives and hand-to-hand combat, authorities said. He was then ordered to return to the US and commit a terror act, an indictment said.

He returned in June 2014.

A review of his indictment [3] will dispel any doubts (should any exist) as to whether or not Mohamud made acquiring United States citizenship and a U.S. passport an integral part of his plans, you need to review in which it is alleged that he had communicated with his brother Aden who asked him how his “papers” were coming along. He responded by saying that, having obtained his U.S. citizenship, he was waiting to receive his U.S. passport before traveling to meet Aden. The indictment states that Aden was killed in combat in Syria in June 2014.

When disclosures were made about the NSA spying on Americans the argument was made that this was done to protect our citizens and our nation. I am cautiously supportive of appropriate measures, within reason, being taken to protect us, however, for the NSA to scrutinize U.S. citizens, yet apparently failing to uncover the postings of the alleged terrorist in this case, raises many serious questions.

If the NSA did have this information, was it shared with the DHS?

The indictment states that Mohamud was posting material online about his desire to carry out terror attacks in 2013. How did USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), an agency that is under the aegis of the DHS, conduct its investigation into his application to become a naturalized American citizen at least six months later and then approve that application?

Back when I was an INS Special Agent, applications for naturalization required that a GMC (Good Moral Conduct) investigation was conducted to determine that the alien not only had no criminal convictions but also met other, more stringent standards. Today our government makes a big deal about running fingerprints to verify criminal histories.

A critical question is whether or not any GMC field investigations are still being conducted by USCIS. Indeed, how are applications for citizenship vetted? The likelihood is that there are no such field investigations being conducted. Even without knowing about the FaceBook postings noted in the indictment, it would not be a stretch of the imagination to say that individuals who know Mohamud would have potentially raised some questions about his hostility to the United States.

Let’s in fact consider the obvious in this specific case: Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud immigrated to the United States from Somalia, a country that has a strong association with terrorist organizations. In point of fact, there have been a succession of reports of young members of the Somali community, from Minnesota and elsewhere, abruptly leaving the United States to join terror groups in the Middle East. At the time he applied for naturalization Mohamud was in his early twenties, an age often shared by terrorists. USCIS adjudicates hundreds of thousands of applications for naturalization each and every year and consequently there is an abject lack of resources available to thoroughly screen each application.

However given the ongoing concerns about terrorism, it would certainly seem that applications filed by those who may be prone to involvement with terrorism should come under extra scrutiny including an actual field investigation.

There is ample justification for such investigation. The USCIS Policy Manual, contains specific guidelines about how the naturalization process is to be conducted. The obvious question hopefully that will be asked at a hearing that should be conducted by Congress is whether or not USCIS is meeting these standards. The consequences can, as we have seen, be of grave significance.


Recommendation: Targeting travel is at least as powerful a weapon against terrorists as targeting their money. The United States should combine terrorist travel intelligence, operations, and law enforcement in a strategy to intercept terrorists, find terrorist travel facilitators, and constrain terrorist mobility.

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