FBI Director: ‘I Have Home-Grown Violent Extremist Investigations in Every Single State’

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by PoliPix

FBI Director James Comey explains why fighting terrorism is still one of the FBI’s top priorities during a speech at the National Association of Attorneys General meeting, February 25, 2015.

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By Susan Jones, Feb. 26, 2015:

(CNSNews.com) – “Counterterrorism remains the bureau’s top priority, FBI Director James Comey told a gathering in Washington on Wednesday — the same day federal authorities in New York charged three immigrants, all Muslim, with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State.

“I have home-grown violent extremist investigations in every single state,” Comey told a meeting of state attorneys general. “Until a few weeks ago, there was (sic) 49 states. Alaska had none, which I couldn’t quite figure out, but Alaska has now joined the group. So we have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.”

Comey said the terror threat has “metastasized” in recent years, as the “progeny of Al Qaida take root” in safe havens such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya, using the Internet and social media to spread their propaganda and recruitment “at the speed of light.”

“So why do I tell you this?” Comey asked. “To explain to you why this remains at the top of the FBI’s list, and to explain to you why the conversations I have with our state and local partners in all 50 states matters so much today.

“Because ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda, through social media, that goes like this: ‘Troubled soul, come to the Caliphate; you will live a life of glory; these are the apocalyptic end times; you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called Caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.'”

Comey said terror attacks no longer have to be large-scale to advance the terrorists’ mission. While Osama bin Laden’s followers flew planes into buildings, today’s terror groups advocate the killing of small groups and individuals: And if (they) can capture it on video and if it’s somebody in uniform, all the better, because it will advance (their) mission.”

Comey also said it’s “highly unlikely” that a federal agent will be the first to hear about suspicious behavior: “It’s going to be a deputy sheriff,” he said. “It’s going to be a police officer who knows that neighborhood.”

Comey emphasized the importance of joint terrorism task forces that have been set up all around the country to counter the emerging “lone wolf” or returning-foreign-fighter threat.

“So all of us leaning forward to push information to each other and to make sure that if we see something, it quickly gets to the right place, is critical to responding to this threat.”

On Wednesday, a joint terrorism task force in New York announced the arrests of three men from Brooklyn, two of whom were planning to join Islamic State fighters in Syria.

One of the suspects, 19-year-old Akhror Saidakhmetov of Kazakhstan, was arrested at Kennedy Airport, where he was trying to board a flight to Istanbul, with plans to head to Syria, authorities said.

Another man, 24-year-old Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev of Uzbekistan, had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month and was arrested in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said. Both men were in the country legally.

A third defendant, 30-year-old Abror Habibov of Uzbekistan, is accused of helping to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel plans. Habibov was in the U.S. on an expired visa.

Earlier this week, two immigrants with ties to Southern California were sentenced to 25 years in prison for plotting to murder U.S. troops in Afghanistan and for providing material support to al Qaeda.

As CNSNews.com reported, one of the men was a naturalized U.S. citizen who came here from Afghanistan (and later returned). The other was a legal permanent resident from the Philippines.

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Published on Feb 27, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Also see:

al Shabaab Calls for Attacks in the West

Published on Feb 22, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Group behind Somali mall attack calls to target the West. Reaction from former FBI special agent Tim Clemente

 

Watch the new Al Shabaab video at Jihaology.net: “The Westgate Siege – Retributive Justice”

 

CSP, by Phil Kittock, Feb. 23, 2015:

One day after a double-bombing in Mogadishu, al-Shabaab released a video calling for attacks on malls in the West including the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. The video addressed the deadly 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya which killed over 60 people and lasted four days. At the end of the video, a masked figure asks:

“If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world?”

He goes on to name several western malls, before encouraging viewers to “hurry up, hasten towards heaven and do not hesitate.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said that US intelligence has not yet identified a credible threat, but urged shoppers to exercise caution in light of the video. The Mall of America has implemented heightened security, according to their statement. However, the lack of a credible, organized threat does not preclude the possibility of a “lone wolf” attack on any of the aforementioned sites or others throughout the West. A lone gunman or small group could wreak havoc in a soft target such as a major shopping mall before being taken down by law enforcement personnel. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has the largest Somali population in the US, and has been a recruiting ground for al-Shabaab in the past. However, US officials currently do not believe that extremists within the country are likely to respond to this video with an attack.

This threatening video serves as evidence that al-Shabaab will continue to pursue both local objectives in Somalia as well as global jihad against the West. The group emerged as a militia aligned with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in Mogadishu in 2006 and splintered off as an independent organization after Ethiopian forces dismantled the ICU. Under former leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabaab announced its formal relationship with al-Qaeda. Despite this shift towards a balance of international and national interests, most of al-Shabaab’s attacks have come in East Africa- particularly in countries involved in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which has collaborated with Somali forces to drive al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu and the key port of Kismayo. Godane was killed in September of 2014 but it appears that his successor, Ahmed Umar, is continuing al-Shabaab’s dual mission.

The death toll from al-Shabaab’s latest major attack has reached 25, with around 40 wounded. Two bombers struck a Mogadishu hotel on February 20th – one using a vehicle to deliver explosives to the front gate and another who detonated their device inside. An al-Shabaab spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack which killed the deputy mayor of Mogadishu and two lawmakers.

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American Malls Are Threatened by Somalian Terrorists — and the DHS Secretary Is Warning Shoppers of the Danger, The Blaze, by Zach Noble, Feb. 23, 2015:

It’s a chilling, very specific message — and it had Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warning shoppers of the threat.

After Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab released a video calling for attacks on shopping malls throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Johnson took to CNN Sunday morning to advise caution.

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson told CNN’s Gloria Borger. ”There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly.”

The Minnesota Mall of America was one of the malls listed by name in al-Shabab’s Saturday video, and has promised to boost security measures.

As CNN noted, al-Shabab could have special pull in Minneapolis due to the city being home to America’s largest Somali population.

The call to shopping mall violence harkens back to al-Shabab’s 2013 terror attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya — an attack in which several Americans were reported to have participated.

In 2013, For the Record reported that terror group al-Shabab could be planning an attack on The Mall of America:

 

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Al Shabaab Threatens Mall Attacks in the US, Canada and UK, by Jerry Gordon, at NER:

In NER articles in 2009 and 2013 we drew attention to the possible US Mall attack scenarios.  After the devastating 2013 Westlake Mall episode, we wrote:

Could a Nairobi type Swarming attack happen in the US?

Because there were allegations that there may have been émigré Somali Americans in the Westgate Mall attack, that raises serious questions from counterterrorism agencies in the US whether returning Jihadis could undertake a Nairobi type swarming attack on a mall here. In May 2013, two returning Al Shabaab US recruits were convicted in a Minneapolis Federal court and given lengthy sentences on charges including in one case, conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim and injure.

A CNN report endeavoring to answer this “what if” question chronicled a series of actions at American Malls, some of which have been thwarted, but others have not. It noted these:

In the past few years, federal prosecutors say they have thwarted two planned attacks on malls, each of which would have been carried out by single attacker:

–Nuradin M. Abdi, a Somali citizen living in Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced in 2007 to 10 years in prison after admitting he sought terrorist training in Ethiopia to carry out attacks, including a never-attempted attack on a mall in 2002.
–Derrick Shareef of Rockford, Illinois, was sentenced in 2008 to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to plotting to set off grenades at a Rockford shopping mall. Shareef was a convert to Islam who was recorded saying he wanted to kill “infidels.”

But attacks which have succeeded in causing casualties at American malls in recent years have been carried out by young lone gunmen with no apparent cause to promote:

–A 19-year-old man killed eight people and then himself at an Omaha, Nebraska, mall in December 2007.
–An 18-year-old man killed five people before he was killed by police at a mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February 2007.
–A 22-year-old man killed two people and then himself at a mall near Portland, Oregon, in December 2012.

“Soft targets always attract the terrorists because they’re usually not defended,” said Lt. Col. Rick Francona, CNN’s military analyst. “It’s a very effective way of causing a lot of panic, a lot of damage very quickly and achieving the objective of terrorizing people.”

One possible target could be the giant Mall of America (MoA) complex in Bloomington, Minnesota. It lies within easy reach of the largest Somali émigré community in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul with more than two dozen Al Shabaab recruits, 10 of whom have been killed.

The CNN article noted what precautions the MoA has taken against this possibility:

“I think that if you’re looking for a hundred percent safety, you should probably wrap yourself in bubble wrap and never leave home,” said Doug Reynolds, security director of the Mall of America.

A strategy to minimize the damage a lone attacker or an armed group could do before authorities arrive can be seen twice a month at the giant mall in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is visited by 43 million people a year.

A voice comes over the public address system and announces that everyone, customers included, should take shelter in back rooms of the mall’s stores. Employees lock doors and lower security gates.

“If something bad should happen here, we don’t want our response to start with law enforcement will be here and will protect you,” Reynolds said. “We want to know what can be done before law enforcement gets here.”]

The Al Shabaab Nairobi type swarming attack is eerily reminiscent of the Black Friday swarming attack scenario we discussed in our June 2009 article, Foot Soldiers of Islam involving returning Al Shabaab US recruits engaged in an action not unlike the Nairobi Mall attack.  We noted:

We saw in the tragedy in Mumbai, India, [on November 29, 2008], the devastation, death and destruction wrought by a ‘swarming attack’ of a limited number of Kashmiri and Pakistani extremists. Counter terrorism experts and the FBI consider such swarming attacks as a high risk in America.

[ . . .]

The casualties from such orchestrated swarming attacks could be devastating and the economic impacts, significant. Currently, we don’t have local counter terrorism forces trained in weapons and tactics to combat Mumbai-type swarming attacks in high risk communities in this country.  We need to make that an important counter terrorism priority, including penetration of such local Jihadi networks.

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At Clarion Project, Ryan Mauro analyzes the new al Shabaab video in terms of the group’s desire to compete with the Islamic State, their desire to attack within the United States and ability to do so:

Threat Watch: ‘Countering Extremism” with extremists

 

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 19, 2015:

On February 18th, President Obama convened an international “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Summit” at the White House. While being touted as a “new program,” in fact the Summit is a doubling down on a failed program based on a flawed concept.

Unfortunately, the local partners that have been chosen in each of three “model cities,” have time and time again shown to be groups who themselves are responsible for indoctrinating young Muslims to join terror groups.

EXPERT: FBI ‘NEUTERED’ BY MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

muslim-brotherhood-white-houseWND, by F. MICHAEL MALOOF, Feb. 9, 2015:

WASHINGTON – A veteran national-security specialist disputes FBI Director James Comey’s contention that restrictions on information-gathering are the main hindrance to uncovering ISIS conspiracies in the U.S.

Clare Lopez, who served in the CIA for 20 years and is senior vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said the problem isn’t with working-level FBI agents, who know the jihadi threat is “nurtured” in mosques. The hindrance is from “higher-level” FBI management and the national security leadership, she insisted.

She said the FBI for too long has allowed itself “to be influenced by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates whose objective is to neuter U.S. national security defenses.”

Lopez was responding to Comey’s recent comment that restrictions on information-gathering stemming from intelligence leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have created barriers for law enforcement and the intelligence community.

Comey made the comment as he revealed the FBI has opened cases in 49 U.S. states of people suspected of having ties to ISIS.

Lopez said that when someone such as Michael Steinbach, an assistant director for the FBI Counterterrorism Division, publicly complains that he cannot fathom the recruitment appeal of ISIS or understand why parents in the U.S. encourage their children to join ISIS, “then, America, we have a problem.”

“That means the FBI’s top [counter-terrorism] official has no idea how to identify and stop that ISIS recruitment process before more young Muslims answer the call to jihad,” Lopez said.

She noted, however, that Steinbach was one of the FBI’s key figures in the “Great Purge” of 2011-2012 when, “at the urging of its Muslim Brotherhood advisers, the FBI literally purged hundreds of pages of training curriculum that used to educate agents about how Islamic doctrine, law and scripture inspire Islamic terrorism.”

The FBI, she said, “banished the instructors whose knowledge of these things was deemed so threatening by the Brotherhood.”

Lopez said the move was an illustration of the Muslim Brotherhood strategy – outlined in a document entered into evidence in a terrorism trial – to destroy the Western civilization from within, by their hands.”

That means, Lopez said, “We’re going to be induced to destroy ourselves.”

Lopez also referred to a document published by a combined team of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the FBI on how to make mosques off-limits to law enforcement.

She pointed out that Islam’s founder, Muhammad, had established mosques with “command and control centers” for the Muslim community’s earliest jihad wars.

Despite that history, she said U.S. troops nonetheless “were shocked” when they were first fired upon from within mosques and when they entered mosques in Iraq and Afghanistan and discovered weapons caches.

Similar concern over the potential of violence emanating from mosques in the U.S. was outlined in a Middle East Quarterly article. It raised concerns regarding the extent American Muslims, native-born a well as naturalized, are being radicalized by Islamists.

The article showed how modern jihadists legitimize their violent actions by relying on the same textual works as their nonviolent Salafist counterparts.

Lopez said the 2011 study of mosques in the U.S. found that some 80 percent promote jihad violence and that the more Shariah-compliant the mosque is, the more likely it will be to promote jihad.

“And you’re still wondering if the FBI is going to be aggressive in infiltrating mosques and Islamic centers?” Lopez asked.

“Unless our law enforcement professionals are permitted to understand the indicators and warnings that signal development of an Islamic jihad threat, in advance,” she said, “the FBI will be desperately scrambling to keep up with an ever-expanding pool of potential jihad recruits.”

She identified the threats as passport-carrying American citizens, immigrants with residence status, or documented refugees, some of whom have returned from ISIS battlefields in Iraq and Syria.

She pointed out that al-Qaida and ISIS have issued calls for individual jihad, meaning Islamic terror at home and unconnected in any formal way to a group on the Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.

She said law enforcement officials need to understand how Muslims can become radicalized without ever joining al-Qaida, ISIS or any other group on the FTO list.

“How can the FBI or any national security agency even begin to understand this process when they are forbidden even to use the words ‘Islamic terror’ or ‘jihad?’” she asked.

She referred to many examples of individual jihadists who were not associated with any organizations or groups on the FTO list but undertook serious violent actions in the name of jihad.

The examples of individual jihadists include Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 service personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009; Carlos Bledsoe, who in June 2009 murdered Amy Long at the Little Rock, Arkansas, Army recruitment center; and the Tsarnaev brothers, who learned how to make pressure cooker bombs by reading al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine and then exploded two at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

“The common identifier for these individual jihadists was their deep Islamic faith and decision to answer the call to jihad,” she said. “The other common marker was that law enforcement had no clue these Muslims were on a pathway to violent jihad, despite all the associations, all the indicators and all the warnings.

“So yes, there will certainly be more individual jihad attacks, and it is likely they will choose soft targets, as they did in Paris and Brussels and Sydney,” Lopez said.

“And without the official knowledge or training or authority to identify and stop such jihadis in advance, our front line of homeland defense increasingly becomes ourselves.”

Counterterrorism Chief: ‘Momentum and Competition’ Among Terrorist Groups Increasing Threat to U.S.

B9Vj3sdIIAAbBnFPJ Media, By Bridget Johnson On February 11, 2015:

WASHINGTON — The head of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts told Congress today that the flow of foreign fighters pledging their allegiance to ISIS not only poses a threat to the U.S., but “momentum and competition” with other terrorist groups has ramped up the danger as well.

House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) warned that, with the Islamic State swallowing enough territory to equal Belgium, “we are no longer talking about terrorist groups — we are talking about terrorist armies.”

“More than 20,000 fighters from over 90 countries have made their way to the battlefield to join al-Qaeda, ISIS and other extremist groups, making this the largest convergence of Islamist terrorists in world history,” McCaul said.

Up to 5,000 of those are Westerners, raising concerns about their ability to move back and forth from the Islamic State to their homelands. “And more than 150 American citizens have attempted to or succeeded in getting to the battlefield, and we know that some of them have already returned to our shores,” the chairman noted.

McCaul recently wrote President Obama out of concern “that we still have no lead agency in charge of countering domestic radicalization and no line item for it in the budgets of key departments and agencies.”

“I’m also concerned that the few programs we do have in place are far too small to confront a threat that has grown so quickly,” he added.

The chairman was “very disappointed” that the State Department sent no representative to the hearing.

National Counterterrorism Center director Nick Rasmussen, in his first appearance before a congressional hearing since his confirmation, told the panel the rate of foreign fighter travel seen in recent years is “unprecedented,” exceeding “the rate of travel and travelers who went to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia… at any point in the last 20 years.”

McCaul and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced they’re forming a six-month congressional task force focused on how to disrupt the travel flow of Islamist fighters.

On the propaganda front, Rasmussen said ISIS has published more than 250 videos and publications since Jan. 1 with “translations into an ever-growing number of additional languages.”

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA officer, asked how the administration is countering the social media proliferation of ISIS as they use Facebook and Twitter to recruit and spread their P.R. materials. “Twenty percent of any counter-insurgency is cutting off the head of the snake, 80 percent is addressing the underlying concerns,” he said.

Rasmussen said the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Justice and NCTC are trying to be as “seamless as we could, I think, almost possibly be in terms of our work together.”

The question is, he said, is scale: “Are we doing enough of it? Do we have enough reach into all of the parts of the country where this is a potential problem? And I would not argue to you that we’re there yet on that score.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) asked the counterterrorism chief if al-Qaeda is still “alive and well.”

“They certainly pose a significant terrorist threat,” Rasmussen replied.

“So we shouldn’t take our eye off the ball with just focusing on ISIS and think of this globally and not get hung up on the 50 shades of terrorism,” Duncan said, referring to groups including AQAP, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab and to the S&M movie opening on Valentine’s Day.

Officials acknowledged that most of the foreign fighters going into Syria are crossing the Turkish border.

“Success in the counter-ISIL campaign or any effort we’re engaged in to try to stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the conflict zone requires a functioning, effective partnership with the Turks across the whole range of issues — intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy, all of that,” Rasmussen said. “It’s also true, though, that Turkey will always look at its interests through the prism of their own sense of self-interest, and how they prioritize particular requests that we make for cooperation doesn’t always align with our prioritization. And that’s just a simple fact.”

He added that the State Department, which pulled a no-show at the hearing, could have given a better picture on that complicated relationship.

“There are areas where we receive profoundly effective cooperation from our Turkish partners and it’s tremendously useful, and yet from our perspective, we think there’s more to the relationship that we could get more that we need from the relationship to effectively address our concerns,” the NCTC chief said.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) asked how the U.S. government is working with Internet companies “to help combat the use of the Internet and social media to spread…radical Islamic idealism.”

“This partnership has a number of elements. It’s in part exposing them to the information about what is happening on platforms that they control so they understand it. And if they can understand when terms of service violations are taking place that they should intervene and take steps to block certain content,” Rasmussen responded.

“But it’s also to — again, to deepen a partnership and make sure that they understand that we need to be partners with them in going at this more systemically, not simply in response to a single video or a single YouTube posting or something, but actually to think about what kind of relationship between the federal government, law enforcement and these companies makes sense if we’re going to tackle this phenomenon that’s creating a serious homeland security vulnerability.”

YouTube takes down videos showing violent content, and some ISIS users on Twitter have gone through many account names to reassert their presence after the social-media site shuts down one account.

“They try to follow the terms of agreement, and certainly, if they see individuals violating those terms, those service agreement contracts, they shut them down. But when you’re talking with that volume, it’s a challenge for them. So I would say they understand our problem,” Rasmussen said. “We continue to work with them to get them to develop process technology to help us out. But that’s just one part of it.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said she hopes the committee will “ramp up the dollars that will intervene in that radical heinous ideology.”

“I, for one, would like to be engaged in the writing of the legislation and/or to find out more in an instructive manner, how do we stop the radicalization of our young people for something as heinous as what ISIS represents,” Jackson Lee said, throwing in a special thanks for Jordan’s King Abdullah II for his offensive against ISIS.

Rasmussen said one thing “particularly concerning about the ISIL phenomenon is that ISIL has now decided it needs to move beyond Syria and Iraq — and so you have extremist organizations in North Africa, Algeria, in Egypt, in Libya, who now have raised the flag of ISIL and claimed affiliate status.”

“And again, that creates a sense of momentum and competition among extremist jihadist groups that ultimately adds to our threat concerns, doesn’t subtract. Even though you like to see your enemies fighting amongst each other, but actually, it’s creating competition against each — among — amongst each other as they try to one-up each other in efforts to go after us.”

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McCaul Opening Statement at Hearing on Preventing Terror Travel, Homegrown Terrorism

 

McCaul Questions DHS, FBI, NCTC at Hearing on Preventing Terror Travel, Homegrown Terrorism

Is the FBI Entrapping Innocent Muslims?

FBI-Agents-STING-OPERATIONSPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Jan. 27, 2015

Any of my regular readers here at PJ Media can attest, I am no fan of the FBI’s counter-terrorism programs. Recently, I’ve been writing about the FBI’s failures to catch “Known Wolf” terrorists – individuals who were already known to law enforcement prior to their acts of terror. So no one can accuse me of being an apologist for the bureau.

But an article yesterday in The Guardian entitled “Counter-terrorism is supposed to let us live without fear. Instead, it’s creating more of it” by two individuals currently promoting the screening of their film “(T)error” at the Sundance International Film Festival falsely claim the FBI is engaged in a deliberate effort to entrap innocent American Muslims.

Here’s the case they make:

While making our film (T)ERROR, which tracks a single counter-terrorism sting operation over seven months, we realized that most people have serious misconceptions about FBI counter-terrorism efforts. They assume that informants infiltrate terrorist networks and then provide the FBI with information about those networks in order to stop terrorist plots from being carried out. That’s not true in the vast majority of domestic terrorism cases.

Since 9/11, as Human Rights Watch and others have documented, the FBI has routinely used paid informants not to capture existing terrorists, but to cultivate them. Through elaborate sting operations, informants are directed to spend months – sometimes years – building relationships with targets, stoking their anger and offering ideas and incentives that encourage them to engage in terrorist activity. And the moment a target takes a decisive step forward, crossing the line from aspirational to operational, the FBI swoops in to arrest him.

So they accuse the FBI of setting suspects up and then arresting them – entrapment. This “entrapment” claim is commonly repeated by defense attorneys and self-styled “civil rights” groups. In fact, that’s what the authors of The Guardian article explicitly say:

The cumulative effects of FBI surveillance and entrapment in communities of color have been devastating.

I’ll leave aside their “communities of color” smear, but there is one glaring problem with their entrapment claim: in no single jihadist-related terrorism trial since the 9/11 attacks has a federal court on ANY LEVEL found that the FBI engaged in entrapment. Many suspects have made the claim, but none have successfully argued it. In only one case I remember, that of Ahmadullah Niazi, did the Justice Department voluntarily drop an indictment because of the reliability of an informant.

Those who peddle these FBI entrapment claims have been found to regularly play fast and loose with data, such as describing terror conspirators who turn state’s evidence against their partners and are sentenced to jail for their roles in terror plots as “informants.”

Another tactic taken is to equate the involvement of an informant as a de facto case of entrapment, as do the authors of The Guardian article. They cite the arrest earlier this month of a Cincinnati-area man:

A recent example: on 14 January, the FBI announced that it had interrupted an Isis-inspired terrorist plot in the United States. Christopher Lee Cornell, a 20-year-old recent Muslim convert from Cincinnati, was allegedly plotting to attack the US Capitol with pipe bombs and gun down government officials.

But then they make a colossal leap with this non sequitur:

Cornell was arrested after purchasing two semiautomatic weapons from an Ohio gun store because the man that Cornell thought was his partner was actually an FBI informant.

So the reason he bought the weapons was because there was an informant? In the information made available so far, there’s no indication that’s the case. If the record of every single jihad-related terror case since 9/11 is any guide, it’s unlikely their claim will stand. One reason why these terrorism cases have universally withstood scrutiny by the federal courts are the extensive measures taken by the FBI to prevent entrapment.

As an example of how far the FBI will go to prevent someone from turning to terror, consider the case of 19-year-old Colorado woman Shannon Conley, who was sentenced last week to four years in prison. As the court record shows, the FBI repeatedly warned Conley over a period of months not to attempt to travel to Syria to join ISIS and even talked to her parents asking them to intervene. And yet she persisted in her plans and was arrested trying to board a plane bound for Turkey. Now her parents are saying “the terrorists have won” after her sentencing blaming the federal government for prosecuting their daughter.

If anything, this administration has bent over backwards to accommodate the concerns that they are unfairly targeting Muslims, such as special rules for dealing with the Muslim community and conducting a wide-spread purge of counter-terrorism training materials at the request of Muslim organizations. Curiously, none of this is mentioned in The Guardian article.

Attorney General Eric Holder, hardly a right-wing neo-con ‘Islamophobe’, has directly challenged the claims that the FBI uses entrapment targeting the Muslim community, telling one Muslim legal group:

Those who characterize the FBI’s activities in this case as ‘entrapment’ simply do not have their facts straight or do not have a full understanding of the law.

And yet The Guardian regurgitates a number of howlers, such as this:

And on campuses across the country, Muslim student associations have banned discussions of politics, terrorism and the “war on terror.”

But Muslim Student Associations (MSA) have had no trouble at all discussing politics, terrorism and the “war on terror.” In fact, you can’t shut them up from talking about it. One topic you won’t hear addressed at MSA meetings, however, are the long litany of senior MSA leaders who have been convicted in terrorism cases.

In the absence of actual evidence, The Guardian authors have to resort to anecdotes, including this one:

After a recent screening of our film at a New York City mosque, a young African-American convert to Islam, sporting a brown full-body covering with matching hijab, confessed to us that she feels uncomfortable discussing aspects of her identity. She does not speak about her religious conversion in public, for fear of attracting or encouraging informants.

Yes, because wearing a brown full-body covering with a matching hijab, no one would ever know she’s a Muslim.

This is how laughably ridiculous those who peddle this false narrative have sunk. Perhaps a review of some of the jihad-related terror cases where FBI informants weren’t involved is warranted:

Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo

UNC-Chapel Hill vehicle jihadist Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar

Seattle Jewish Federation killer Naveed Afzal Haq

Little Rock killer Carlos Bledsoe (aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad)

Fort Hood killer Major Nidal Hasan

Would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad

Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Cross-country jihadist spree killer Ali Muhammad Brown

Undoubtedly, if FBI informants had been used in any of these cases to prevent their terror attacks, The Guardian authors, Islamic “civil rights” groups and their ilk would be crying “entrapment.”

Also see:

After Charlie Hebdo massacre, we must ratchet up policing and intelligence-gathering to catch every possible terrorist

NYPD1

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The horrific terrorist attack in Paris underscores the importance of retaining our focus on preventing attacks here in the United States. This requires a layered, proactive, aggressive and relentless strategy that identifies the attacker before he launches an attack.

A purely defensive strategy of protecting our critical infrastructure, which is what some people would have us settle for, will not be sufficient in our open society.

The search for terrorists at home begins overseas, as they travel to and from the United States, and continues within the homeland.

Overseas, American partnership with local intelligence services have been effective since 9/11. Our CIA station chiefs around the world have been charged with getting intelligence from our partners.

The key to our success here is best understood by the maxim of my partner at NYPD and 35-year career intelligence officer, David Cohen. Cohen says there is no such thing as “intelligence sharing” — there is only “intelligence trading.” Real secrets are traded among serious collectors of intelligence. And our ability to get good actionable intelligence from our partners depends on our ability to provide them with the same.

In my experience, one of the most effective tools we have in this regard is our enormous NSA signals-intelligence collection program. NSA, that recently maligned agency, is one of our nation’s true jewels. Its enormous collection platforms enable us to share vital intelligence with our partners — who are happy to return the favor, often intelligence collected by their human sources.

NSA also passes critical intelligence data collected abroad through the CIA to the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Forces around the country. This enables the FBI to focus its investigations on people identified with connections to terrorist organizations abroad.

This intelligence, in conjunction with human intelligence collected by CIA unilaterally or through its partnership with local intelligence services, informs the no-travel lists that are so crucial to protecting our shores from traveling terrorists. Indeed, it is no coincidence that the Charlie Hebdo terrorists had been on the U.S. no-fly list for years.

But these lists are not enough. Aggressive intelligence is required at our border — and within our neighborhoods. At the border, we must increase the use of secondary inspections in our airports and other border crossings. These secondary inspections pull people from security lines and enable trained personnel to conduct brief interviews in separate rooms.

It is hard understate the value of these inspections. “Secondaries” serve multiple purposes. They are a deterrent to terrorists contemplating travel to the U.S., who will never know when they get yanked out a line and questioned.

In addition, secondary inspections are a rich source of future informants — the key to unraveling cells within the United States.

Aggressive, non-politically correct secondary inspections will, in fact, target young men between 18 and 30 years old traveling from certain countries. Indeed this is a form of profiling.

But without profiling travelers it is virtually impossible to get real results. There are simply too many travelers, and not enough inspectors to pick randomly and hope for the best.

Inside the United States, counterterrorism investigations conducted by the FBI terrorism task forces and NYPD intelligence are the most effective way to catch a terrorist before he attacks. Random cars stops or other generic police tactics will not get it done. We need targeted investigations that are managed by the laws of the land and limited by the Patriot Act of 2001.

Unfortunately, it is only the NYPD that conducts counterterrorism investigations outside of the FBI task forces — and it gets plenty of grief from the federal government for doing so.

Other local police forces should expand their counterterrorism activities, coordinated with the FBI to ensure all potential leads and suspects are properly investigated and surveilled if necessary.

It is unconscionable that the two Chechen Boston marathon bombers were not under surveillance based on the threat warnings received by the Russian government. Cops know how to do this; it is not that different from running counter-narcotics investigations.

The two biggest obstacles to finding terrorists within our midst are complacency and political correctness. We must overcome both of these and conduct legal, thorough and aggressive investigations at our border and within our cities.

Fortunately, our terrorist adversaries make many mistakes. If we are alert and on the job, we will identify these mistakes and intercept the vast majority of attacks before they happen. There is no guarantee of course that we will catch every would-be murderer. But we know how to increase the odds in our favor. We need to direct our law enforcement and intelligence services to get to it.

And support them when they conduct their jobs to protect us.

Sheehan, a career Special Forces Army officer, was the former deputy commissioner for counterterrorism at NYPD, the ambassador at large for counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State and most recently the assistant secretary of defense for special operations at the Pentagon. He is currently the distinguished chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, N.Y., his alma mater.

NYPD, FBI issue alerts after ISIS puts out video calling for attacks on law enforcement

Members of the nation's largest police force are being warned to take extra precautions after ISIS re-issued a video calling for the murder of police officers. (AP)

Members of the nation’s largest police force are being warned to take extra precautions after ISIS re-issued a video calling for the murder of police officers. (AP)

Fox News, Jan. 12, 2015:

The nation’s largest police force is on high alert after ISIS re-released a propaganda video urging the murder of “intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers and civilians” in the U.S., a development federal law enforcement agencies as well as the NYPD took seriously, given recent events — including last week’s Islamist rampage in Paris.

“Strike their police, security and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents,” the video, released on Twitter by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad Al-Adnani, urges. It specifically named the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets.

ISIS videoThe video was originally put out in September. Law enforcement officials have become increasingly concerned over the possibility that radicalized “lone wolves” in the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe could be inspired to heed such calls from the Islamist radicals in the Middle East. In recent weeks, criminals with possible terrorist ties or sympathies have carried out high-profile attacks in France, Australia, Canada and New York.

An NYPD internal memo warned police officers to “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” and on Monday a spokesman confirmed it was related to the resurfacing of the video.

“NYPD learned yesterday of the re-issuance of a previously posted video threat, believed to have been issued by ISIL in September,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said. “Based on this new posting, which calls for the killing of civilians, soldiers, intelligence officers and police in certain countries, including France, Australia, Canada and the U.S., the NYPD sent out a message to officers reminding them to remain vigilant on patrol.”

An NYPD union gave specific instructions to rank-and-file members.

“If you are assigned to a fixed post, do not sit together in the RMP [police car],” members of the Sergeants Benevolent Association were instructed in an email obtained by the New York Post. “At least one officer must stand outside the vehicle at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings. Officers must pay close attention to approaching vehicles . . . Pay close attention to people as they approach. Look for their hands.”

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a similar bulletin to law enforcement across the country, but in a subsequent statement called it part of a “continuous dialogue.”

“The bulletin was sent out as part of our continuous dialogue with the law enforcement and intelligence community in an effort to provide an assessment of the current threat landscape and to share information relative to threat indicators and possible security measurement considerations,” the FBI statement read. “We urge the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

Officials say there is no credible information suggesting an imminent attack in the U.S., but the bulletin stressed the importance of vigilance by the police and public.

The warnings followed a Friday “worldwide caution” from the State Department regarding “the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests.”

ISIS Abu Mohammad Al-Adnani appears in the video, which calls for lone wolf terrorists to strike in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada.

ISIS Abu Mohammad Al-Adnani appears in the video, which calls for lone wolf terrorists to strike in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada.

John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, said he does not believe there is any new or greater threat, but told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that terrorist groups, including ISIS, are keen to capitalize on the France attack, in which two brothers believed to have been trained by Al Qaeda, killed a dozen people in an attack on a French satirical magazine that had long angered Muslim extremists by publishing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.

The second release of the video indicates ISIS is “using the momentum from the Paris attacks in part of their messaging strategy to see: ‘who can we get to follow this?'”

The attack Wednesday at Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and the subsequent manhunt prompted a self-professed follower of ISIS, who is believed to have killed a Paris policewoman on Thursday, to take several hostages in a kosher supermarket in the city on Friday, even as police closed in on the brothers as they holed up in a printing plant 25 miles northeast of the city. Although French police killed all three terrorists, four more innocent civilians were killed in the supermarket siege.

In New York, two police officers were killed Dec. 20 by a man believed to have terrorist sympathies, although he may have been motivated by recent police-involved deaths of a Staten Island man and last summer’s police shooting of a man in Ferguson, Mo. In October, a radicalized Islamist sympathizer attacked four NYPD officers with a hatchet, critically injuring one in what NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said was a terrorist attack.

Also last month, a terrorist and ISIS sympathizer in Sydney took hostages in a coffee shop and kept police at bay for 16 hours, killing a manager and a mother of three before police moved in and killed him. In October, a suspected lone wolf terrorist killed a Royal Canadian Mounted Police guard outside the Ottawa capital, then stormed the building in a case that authorities believe was driven by his Islamic radicalism. The attack took place two days after a man used his car to run over two Canadian soldiers in Quebec, killing one.

Obama’s Anti-Cop Jihad

obama-glareBy: William Michael
misterchambers

The Protests were Organized for one Specific Purpose – Dead Cops

In December 2012, a respected Egyptian news magazine named six Obama administration officials who were in fact agents of the international terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. They claimed that these individuals had helped change the White House “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

One of these alleged agents was Imam Mohamed Magid, a Koranic scholar from Sudan. In the Obama administration, Magid was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violence and Extremism working group in 2011. He is on the FBI’s Sikh, Muslim, and Arab advisory board (yes, we have one of those). He has trained and advised personnel affiliated with the FBI and other federal agencies.

Under Obama’s dictates since he entered the Oval Office, the United States government decided to publicly announce a softer approach to countering Islamic terrorism and the ideology behind jihad (i.e., war in the name of Islam). Imam Mohamed Magid has been a centerpiece in Obama’s show of tolerance (of violence) and diversity (of means of death), so much so that he and his organization have been “cited … as the primary means of outreach to the American Muslim community.”

It’s now known that Magid has a remarkable connection to the murderer of two NYPD officers this December.

***

Unlike his approach toward American Muslims, who apparently (at least based on policy since 2009) need the White House to reassure them that they are not “violent extremists,” Barack Hussein Obama’s attitude toward police officers has been hostile from the beginning. Multiple instances mar the six year old administration’s relationship with law enforcement.

The anti-police stance of the administration has been toxically mixed with anti-gun propaganda, and the blatant fanning of racial tensions that have resulted in violence, murder, and even city-wide chaos.

The first example came in July 2009, when Harvard Professor Henry Louis ‘Skip’ Gates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by the Cambridge Police department. Sgt. James Crowley saw Gates trying to break into a home, and, not realizing it was actually his own home, arrested Gates. The charges were later dropped by the police, but not before Obama said on national television that the police “acted stupidly,” and further insinuated that the arrest was racially motivated. To make everyone feel better, Obama later held a “beer summit” at the White House, hosting Gates and Crowley in what was presented as some great healing moment. (No word on whether pork or all beef hot dogs were served.)

In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder, while noting that the number of officers killed in the line of duty jumped 13% that year, blamed the increase on illegal gun ownership. In 2013, Holder went on the record saying that he had to tell his son how to protect himself from the police, because, you guessed it, he’s black. Holder said this talk was family tradition.

For his part, Obama came out in support of the 2011 anti-cop and anarchist movement, Occupy Wall Street, who were not only occupying Wall Street, but terrorizing downtown Manhattan.

Then came the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Martin was shot by George Zimmerman, as he was being violently assaulted and threatened with death while on neighborhood patrol. In what has become a national tradition, Al Sharpton and Eric Holder descended to prey upon the citizens of a small community, calling for “justice.”

In fact, mob justice is what they were looking for.

The next stop for the Obama, Holder, and Sharpton anti-police racial mob circus was Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown by the gun of a police officer who he was attacking and threatening. The case is familiar and fresh enough in everyone’s minds not have to rehash in any detail. Once again, Obama and the administration issued thinly veiled attacks on the police and insinuated that the officers and the department were racially motivated haters.

The caustic and raw social tumult that ensued led to widespread looting, riots, arson (even by allegedly “peaceful” protestors), and even the murder of a friend one of the trial witnesses.

Obama’s, Holder’s, and Sharpton’s carnival of hate then went prime time, this time to the Big Apple. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And, with a little help from the all-too-willing Mayor Bill DeBlasio, in the Staten Island death of Eric Garner, which was caused not by bullets but by a lung condition, the carnival got what they were looking for all along: the blood of police officers.

On December 20, 2014, five days before Christmas, Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. After weeks of anti-police protests, which explicitly shouted for “dead cops,” Brinsley had bragged to pedestrians just prior to the shooting that he was going to satiate the protestors with their pound of flesh.

***

At this time, you may be asking what Mohamed Magid, the alleged Muslim Brotherhood agent, has to do with the assassination of two NYPD officers. This will be clear to you soon enough. But first it is necessary to understand that the supposedly grassroots protests, in Ferguson and in New York, were anything but organic.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton at NoisyRoom.net has documented the nefarious players behind the protests, and has an incredible list of organizations involved in the protests. One of the most prominent organizing groups is ANSWER, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. ANSWER is often found alongside Occupy Wall Street. A little digging into ANSWER’s coalition partners and speakers reveal their roots; groups such as the Muslim Students Association, Free Palestinian Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, the Nicaragua Network, and Korea Truth Commission (you got me ?).

Furthermore, ANSWER is described by DiscoverThe Networks as “a principal player in all anti-war and pro-Palestinian demonstrations… ANSWER was formed a few days after 9/11 as a ‘new anti-racism, anti-war, peace and justice’ group and led its first protest just weeks later against the impending US-led attack on Afghanistan.”

To be blunt about it, ANSWER is a pro-jihad front organization that was fully behind Hamas in this summer’s Gaza war. Hamas, it’s noted, is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood – the same Muslim Brotherhood that the Egyptian magazine claimed Mohamed Magid was a member of.

***

Isn’t it odd that a Muslim Brotherhood front group would lead protests in New York City over the accidental death of a black man in the course of an arrest? Last time I was there, Staten Island wasn’t a center of Israeli-Palestinian debate, and there are no public pictures of Eric Garner smoking hookah or riding camels in Giza. On the contrary, Garner was dealing single cigarettes, and tobacco is decisively haram (forbidden) according to Islamic sharia law.

Puzzling, perhaps, but the Facebook page of Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley Muhammad ties the story’s loose ends together. According to his own biography on Facebook, Brinsely-Muhammad “Worked at: Islamic Society of North America.” The Islamic Society of North America, aka ISNA, is headquartered in Plainfield, Indiana. Hmm.

Killer's Facebook page: Obama and Magid are caught red-handed

Who is the President of ISNA, where the cop killer said he worked? That would be Imam Mohamed Magid, Obama’s advisor to DHS and the National Security Council.

Obama himself addressed ISNA’s annual convention in 2013. You can read about one of ISNA’s greatest influences, Pakistani radical Abul A’la Maududi, here.

Here are a few other facts to consider when contemplating that the Obama and Holder-inspired cop killer was, according to himself, employed at the organization of one of Obama’s most trusted security advisors, the Islamic Society of North America.

  • ISNA President and Obama advisor Imam Mohamed Magid was a lecturer at Howard University, teaching courses on the Koran.
  • The Trayvon Martin case only caught on after it was plucked from relative obscurity from a student at Howard University. This student, Kevin Cunningham, began a petition on the website change.org. Said Cunningham, a lawyer, “that’s how I think about life, is to be a social engineer.”
  • Cop killer Brinsley-Muhammad, who additionally may have attended a Brooklyn mosque associated with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, martyred himself by suicide in a subway station before being apprehended by police. He’s no longer with us to answer any questions.
  • In light of Obama’s recent embrace of Communist Cuba, it is worth noting that one of Castro’s last acts as a revolutionary leader was to order the targeted killing of Cuba’s police officers. Why? Police keep law and order on the streets, and because they’re uniformed, they’re easy targets for revolutionaries who thrive off anarchy.

Obama’s six yearlong anti-cop jihad has serious consequences. In 2014, there was an increase of 56% in police killed by guns – 50 officers, compared to 32 in 2013. Since the assassinations in New York, many infractions are going unpunished, as police are reluctant to engage with the community, fearing targeting by assassins and mobs. This is a very tenuous and delicate situation.

It might be worth mentioning, to the next person you bump into who still has a functioning brain, that Obama’s trusted advisor, Imam Mohamed Magid, had the NYPD cop killer as an employee of his nationwide Islamic organization. This, according to his own Facebook bio.

The circumstantial evidence presented above points to a deliberate plan by the administration and the Muslim Brotherhood to stoke violence that led to cop killings. These are revolutionary tactics, creating conditions that lead to chaos, anarchy, and eventually the total dissolution of societal trust. After that occurs, people beg for order, in whatever form it offers itself.

Is 2015 the year of the American Spring? In the New Year, several detailed reports will be published that point to deliberate, witting, and eager cooperation between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood aimed at precisely this end.

FBI Pulled Official to Prevent Testimony at Key Anti-Terror Hearing

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo, Dec.5, 2014:

The FBI refused to appear before Congress earlier this week to testify on the threats posed to American citizens by foreign fighters and other extremists who have traveled from Western countries to fight alongside the Islamic State (IS), according to multiple congressional sources familiar with the situation.

The FBI initially agreed to provide a witness for Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing regarding the threats posed to the U.S. homeland by extremists affiliated with IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS), according to those apprised of the situation.

However, the law agency changed its mind just a few days before the hearing and decided to block any official from testifying. The last minute decision was made amid reports that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had begun warning U.S. troops that IS fighters could be monitoring their social media accounts.

Officials from both the State Department and DHS agreed to appear at the hearing.

The FBI’s decision to stonewall Congress caused anger behind the scenes on Capitol Hill and led some to accuse it of evading its responsibility to inform American citizens about the dangers these terrorists pose.

“For the FBI to confirm its witness and then pull out only a few days before the hearing and not offer a replacement doesn’t exactly show a good faith effort on their part and it took away a lot from what we were trying to accomplish,” said one congressional source familiar with what took place behind-the-scenes.

“We are repeatedly being told that there is no credible threat to the U.S. homeland, but just a few days ago the FBI issued a warning to U.S. military members that ISIL is calling for attacks against them and it is seeking individuals in America that are sympathetic to its cause to carry out these attacks,” the source said. “So I think there is a very clear disconnect there.”

The FBI’s decision to back out had “real implications” on the hearing and the American public’s right to know about the threats posed by foreign fighters associated with IS.

“We do our hearings in an open setting so that the American public can stay informed with regard to the threats to our national security, and more importantly, what the administration is doing to counter or defend against those threats,” the source explained.

Another congressional source with knowledge of what took place said that the FBI told members and committee staff that “they had nothing to say in an unclassified setting.”

The source went on to describe this excuse as “pretty ridiculous.”

Multiple requests for comment and explanation from the FBI were not returned.

Lawmakers had prepared to ask FBI officials about an intelligence bulletin jointly issued by the FBI and DHS warning U.S.-based military personnel about potential threats from IS, which is believed to be monitoring their social media accounts.

The FBI’s absence was noticed several times at the hearing when lawmakers posed several questions that could not be answered by those officials in attendance.

When asked to explain the law enforcement mechanisms preventing jihadists with American passports from returning stateside, a DHS official referred questions to the FBI.

“If someone shows up at the U.S. and there’s indications that person has been a foreign fighter in Syria it would be referred to the FBI and then it would be a matter for the FBI,” Tom Warrick, a deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy at DHS, told lawmakers during the hearing.

Lawmakers could not pose further questions on this topic and others due to the issues falling under the purview of the FBI.

After it was revealed that not a single American passport has been canceled since news that more than 100 citizens have joined IS, lawmakers had a tough time learning why.

Robert Bradtke, the State Department’s senior adviser for partner engagement on Syria foreign fighters, said that while the secretary of state has the power to cancel a person’s passport, he would only do so if asked by law enforcement.

“We would only do it in consultations with law enforcement authorities and we’ve not yet had any requests from law enforcement authorities to cancel the passports of ISIS or foreign fighters,” Bradtke said.

Without a FBI official in the hearing room, it could not be discerned why no requests had been made.

When asked about pro-IS graffiti that has been spotted in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere over the past several months, Warrick again deferred to the FBI.

“Is the graffiti we’ve seen in D.C. and other cities legitimate, or do you think it’s not?” asked Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R., Fla.).

“That would actually be a question that I think would be better addressed by the FBI or domestic law enforcement. They’d be able to help you with that,” Warrick responded.

While it is acceptable to keep sensitive details secret, organizations such as the FBI have a responsibility to be upfront with the American people, said one congressional source.

“Obviously a lot of what it is doing may be classified and we want to be mindful of those sensitivities because we don’t want to lead on to the bad guys what we know,” the source said. “However, we believe that the American people deserve to know what is being done to protect them.”

Inside the CIA’s Syrian Rebels Vetting Machine

A Free Syrian Army fighter in Aleppo. Hosam Katan/Reuters

A Free Syrian Army fighter in Aleppo. Hosam Katan/Reuters

By Jeff Stein:

Nothing has come in for more mockery during the Obama administration’s halting steps into the Syrian civil war than its employment of “moderate” to describe the kind of rebels it is willing to back. In one of the more widely cited japes, The New Yorker’s resident humorist, Andy Borowitz, presented a “Moderate Syrian Application Form,” in which applicants were asked to describe themselves as either “A) Moderate, B) Very moderate, C) Crazy moderate or D) Other.”

After Senator John McCain unwittingly posed with Syrians “on our side” who turned out to be kidnappers, Jon Stewart cracked, “Not everyone is going to be wearing their ‘HELLO I’M A TERRORIST’ name badge.”

Behind the jokes, however, is the deadly serious responsibility of the CIA and Defense Department to vet Syrians before they receive covert American training, aid and arms. But according to U.S. counterterrorism veterans, a system that worked pretty well during four decades of the Cold War has been no match for the linguistic, cultural, tribal and political complexities of the Middle East, especially now in Syria. “We’re completely out of our league,” one former CIA vetting expert declared on condition of anonymity, reflecting the consensus of intelligence professionals with firsthand knowledge of the Syrian situation. “To be really honest, very few people know how to vet well. It’s a very specialized skill. It’s extremely difficult to do well” in the best of circumstances, the former operative said. And in Syria it has proved impossible.

Daunted by the task of fielding a 5,000-strong force virtually overnight, the Defense Department and CIA field operatives, known as case officers, have largely fallen back on the system used in Afghanistan, first during the covert campaign to rout the Soviet Red Army in the 1980s and then again after the 2001 U.S. invasion to expel Al-Qaeda: Pick a tribal leader who in turn recruits a fighting force. But these warlords have had their own agendas, including drug-running, and shifting alliances, sometimes collaborating with terrorist enemies of the United States, sometimes not.

“Vetting is a word we throw a lot around a lot, but actually very few people know what it really means,” said the former CIA operative, who had several postings in the Middle East for a decade after the 9/11 attacks. “It’s not like you’ve got a booth set up at a camp somewhere. What normally happens is that a case officer will identify a source who is a leader in one of the Free Syrian Army groups. And he’ll say, ‘Hey…can you come up with 200 [guys] you can trust?’ And of course they say yes—they always say yes. So Ahmed brings you a list and the details you need to do the traces,” the CIA’s word for background checks. “So you’re taking that guy’s word on the people he’s recruited. So we rely on a source whom we’ve done traces on to do the recruiting. Does that make sense?”

No, says former CIA operative Patrick Skinner, who still travels the region for the Soufan Group, a private intelligence organization headed by FBI, CIA and MI6 veterans. “Syria is a vetting nightmare,” he told Newsweek, “with no way to discern the loyalties of not only those being vetted but also of those bringing the people to our attention.”

A particularly vivid example was provided recently by Peter Theo Curtis, an American held hostage in Syria for two years. A U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) unit that briefly held him hostage casually revealed how it collaborated with Al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front, even after being “vetted” and trained by the CIA in Jordan, he wrote in The New York Times Magazine.

“About this business of fighting Jabhat al-Nusra?” Curtis said he asked his FSA captors.

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

Read more at Newsweek

Clinton State Department’s “Lady Taliban” Under Active FBI Investigation

Robin L. Raphel testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in 2004. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Robin L. Raphel testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in 2004. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On November 6, 2014

Stunning news related to a top Clinton State Department diplomat, former Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel, that the Washington Post is reporting tonight is subject to an active FBI counter-intelligence investigation:

A veteran State Department diplomat and longtime Pakistan expert is under federal investigation as part of a counterintelligence probe and has had her security clearances withdrawn, according to U.S. officials.

The FBI searched the Northwest Washington home of Robin L. Raphel last month, and her State Department office was also examined and sealed, officials said. Raphel, a fixture in Washington’s diplomatic and think-tank circles, was placed on administrative leave last month, and her contract with the State Department was allowed to expire this week.

Two U.S. officials described the investigation as a counterintelligence matter, which typically involves allegations of spying on behalf of foreign governments. The exact nature of the investigation involving Raphel remains unclear. She has not been charged.

She was the first official to hold the position of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton, and later served as US Ambassador to Tunisia and Senior Vice President of the National Defense University.

In August 2009, she was appointed as deputy for US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, where she was responsible for disbursing non-military aid to Pakistan.

This appointment was controversial because Raphel had been a registered agent for the Government of Pakistan just days before her new position was announced, and because of her close association with the Taliban during the Clinton Administration, earning Raphel the moniker, “Lady Taliban.”

According to one 2009 report:

Robin Raphel, 67, who has the dubious distinction of being a lobbyist for the former military regime of General Pervez Musharraf and who also has close ties with the Taliban as part of her lobbying for UNOCAL, will be the main person overlooking the $1.5 billion aid package to Pakistan, giving rise to concerns the U.S. taxpayers monies would go down the Pakistan drain.

Raphel is widow of former US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel who had perished in the mysterious aircrash that killed Pakistan military dictator General Ziaul Haq and top brass of his military on August 17, 1988.

Raphel was appointed last month as deputy to Mr. Richard Holbrooke, the US. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan…

He said another reason to doubt Secretary Clinton’s assertion of accountability is in the naming of Robin Raphel as a deputy to U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakstan, Richard Holbrooke.

“She had been a Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs beginning in 1993 and on her watch, the madrassas bloomed. Robin Raphel is the person who, during the Clinton presidency, squired Taliban officials around Washington as the next best hope for Afghan leadership,” Dienstag recalled.

Raphel was lobbying for the ill-fated UNOCAL pipe line project at the time.

Raphel eventually became a lobbyist at Cassidy & Associates for the military administration of General Pervez Musharraf. “She was responsible for the lobbying for Pakistan in the State Department as a registered foreign agent of Pakistan and the firm had a $1.2 million contract with the Govt of Pakistan. At this time Jezail sees this as a highly dubious appointment of a well known revolving door retread to a sensitive position,” Dienstag said.

Details of the current FBI investigation haven’t been released, but it is expected that her ties to Pakistan are likely to be focus of the matter.

Hassan Shibly Displays Classic Paranoia Symptoms Towards The FBI

20141025_HassanShiblyCAIRandwifeLBy Alan Kornman:

Hassan Shibly, Executive Director of The Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) exhibited classic paranoid behavior towards the FBI in a Urgent CAIR-FL News Alert that went out today.

Mr. Shibly wrote in an email received today in bold lettering:

WARNING: INCREASE IN FBI TARGETING MUSLIM COMMUNITY

Contact CAIR-Florida for free legal assistance

What did the FBI do that got CAIR’s Hassan Shibly so paranoid and unhinged?

Mr. Shibly wrote in his email alert, “CAIR-Florida has discovered a disturbing trend this week of FBI agents without cause attempting to interview the leadership of at least three major local Florida Mosques…Do not be intimidated into speaking to them without a lawyer. By law, FBI agents may lie to you and sometimes they respond with “You do not need a lawyer…are you trying to hide something…having a lawyer will make things worse.” These are all scare tactics.

Understanding Hassan Shibly’s paranoia towards the FBI will help you to understand the strange wording in his warning to the Muslim community.

Dr. Bruce Rodgers, PhD wrote, “basic distrust is the core characteristic of paranoid behavior.  Because paranoid persons consider significant people in their lives to have been undependable or rejecting, they are apt to view any authority figure or representative of “the system,” including officers, as undependable and hostile.”

Paranoid people like Hassan Shibly are, “likely to be particularly sensitive to an attitude of disbelief.  When they have delusions, they require someone who will listen with courtesy to their beliefs and make no judgment about whether they are true or false.”

Conversely, if you disagree with CAIR they will attack and try their best to instill fear into the hearts of their detractors through frivolous lawsuits, name calling, and your basic character assassination.  For a so called civil rights group CAIR is quite skilled at not being caring about the ‘civil rights’ of their detractors.

Perhaps Hassan Shibly just misinterpreted the FBI’s intentions and flew off the handle with his hysterical email alert against the FBI.  That may be one excuse for Mr. Shibly’s paranoid behavior today.  However, I was lucky enough to attend one of Hassan Shibly’s Civil Liberties Lectures back on June 9, 2012.  Based on my eyewitness account,  Mr. Shibly was preaching the same vile paranoid rhetoric against the FBI back in 2012 as he is today in this CAIR email alert.  Read my full report here: Have You Ever Been Inside a CAIR Civil Liberties Lecture?

CAIR Dallas Ft. Worth Executive Director Mustafa Carroll in 2013 said, ” If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.”  Perhaps Mr. Carroll’s comment reflects a general attitude at CAIR and why the FBI severed all ties with the group in 2008.

Hassan Shibly clearly articulates the position of the CAIR organization towards the FBI.  CAIR already lost their 501c4 status, perhaps it is time for the government authorities to pull their tax exempt 501c3 status once and for all.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Emerson on Fox News America’s Newsroom – Open Societies and Stopping Terrorism

 

Bill Hemmer: Police in Canada now say the gunman in the attack acted alone. Serious questions that remain about whether or not this was yet another instance of a so-called lone wolf attack. Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, with me now. Steve, how are you? And good morning to you. You have some sources up on Ottawa. What are you picking up now that we have not yet learned?

Steve Emerson: Canada is no different than the United States. For the last few years, last decade or so, they have experienced at least a dozen major aborted plots to attack major targets [in Canada] including government facilities as well as [other] facilities in [Canada and] the United States. All of them have been stopped with the assistance of either Canadian intelligence or US intelligence. The sound bite you played by Walid Phares was right on, was spot on. The issue is if the government can get inside our minds then they could stop acts of terrorism. But the issue is the point of activization. You can be radical but not cross the line; you are believing in a radical theology. Once you cross that line into carrying out a criminal predicate, then it’s illegal, then the government has the right to stop you. So taking away your passport isn’t going to stop you from carrying out an act of violence.

Hemmer: Yeah you’re precisely right about that. Just so our viewers know, this man’s passport was confiscated. So too are the passports of 90 other suspected Islamic radicals that the Canadians are watching right now. You mentioned Walid Phares. To our viewers who did not hear that, here’s what he said on the record last night.

Clip of Walid Phares: The pool of individuals who are like Rouleau and Bibeau, both in the United States and in Canada, is pretty big. How are we going to be able to determine which one is going to act is the real problem of counterintelligence services.

Hemmer: How we are able to determine which one will act is the real problem of counterintelligence. How do you address that Steve?

Emerson: That is the quintessential problem because when the government becomes too intrusive, when it starts listening to conversations, taking down your phone numbers, looking at the books that you read at the library, the public gets outraged, that’s invading your privacy. Yet those are all indicators, potential indicators of whether you are potentially going to carry out an act of terrorism or whether you’re interested in carrying out an act of terrorism. And yet the problem is that if you are not interested and yet the government does intrude on your privacy, everyone yells, well this is an invasion of your civil liberties. In a free society there’s always going to be this tension here. After 9/11 there was no controversy at all about passing the Patriot Act. I think it passed 99-1. Today if you had a vote in the Congress about the Patriot Act, I’m not so sure it would pass. Maybe it would pass today, but maybe it wouldn’t have passed last week.

Hemmer: It just has a way of rubbing off and the intensity we give the topic rubs off after time. We were speaking last hour with a great guest who was telling us that you need to raise the terror alert just to make sure the thing still work. They did this in Canada, I don’t know if that is something you would support here. Is that even necessary in our country?

Emerson: Well you remember we went through the color alerts. The issue of the alerts is a psychological thing; the purpose is to raise the public awareness. But the reality is, Bill, that the public awareness is raised really only through one thing – through fear. And that fear is engendered ironically through the success of attacks like the ones that were carried out in Canada over the last three days. When the FBI is successful in stopping attacks, the public doesn’t realize the magnitude of damage and death that could occur. So they’re almost victims of their own success. That’s the real irony in stopping attacks.

Hemmer: Steve, it is good to get your analysis here. Thanks for coming back with us today. Steve Emerson out of Washington, DC.

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See videos with transcripts of all of Steve Emerson’s appearances here.

U.S. Hamas Targets Americans – FBI Silent

obama-300x187UTT, by John Guandolo, Oct. 21, 2014:

Hamas in the United States – doing business as CAIR – has again targeted Americans by publishing a list of “Islamophobes” and promoting it within the Islamic community and beyond.  UTT Founder John Guandolo is on this list.

This is a public call for the people on the list to be killed for the crime of “Slander” in Islam.

As UTT has previously reported, Sharia (Islamic Law) defines “Slander” as follows:  “Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person person he would dislike…’Do not slander one another’ (Koran 49:12)…(Slander) is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike…The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim.  He does not betray him, lie to him, or hang back from coming to his aid.” [Umdat al Salik, The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, r2.0-2.6)

Slander is a capital crime under Islamic Law.

Many of you may be aware of writers, artists, politicians, and others who have been killed or attempts made on their lives for “Slandering” Islam.  Theo van Gogh was killed for making a film.  Dutch Parlimentarian Geert Wilders has a permanent security detail to protect him from Muslims for speaking about the threat from jihad in the Netherlands, including his production of the movie “Fitna.”

Here in America, businesses, politicians, pastors, and our leaders have fallen prey to this intimidation from Islam by self-silencing a truthful debate about real threats from within the Islamic community. The threat of being called an “Islamophobe” is a threat of future violence.

The largest international body in the world second only to the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has officially defined “Islamophobia” as “Slander” under Islamic Law.  The OIC is made up of all 57 Islamic states in the world (56 plus Palestine which they consider a state).  The OIC is now pushing for deterrent punishments for “Islamophobia” at the international level.

To be officially labeled an “Islamophobe” by the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas entities, like CAIR, is to be publicly accused of “Slander” under Sharia.  CAIR is openly calling the individuals on their “Islamophobia” site “Slanderers of Islam.”

This is an overt threat to every person on CAIR’s list.

Emails to the FBI reporting this have, as of today, gone unanswered.  FBIHQ is probably in a meeting with ISNA, MPAC, CAIR, and ICNA to plan out next year’s FBI training curriculum to ensure the Bureau doesn’t offend anyone in the Muslim community.

Also see: