Welcome to Africa’s Alqaedastan

Mali-Islamist-via-AFP1By Daniel Greenfield

“When it was my turn, they took me blindfolded,”  the thief said. “Suddenly I felt a pain in my right hand that was out of this world. My hand had just been chopped off.”

This is Gao, once the seat of an empire, and then a glorified village, and now a city the size of Scranton under the boot of its Islamist conquerors. Gao has become a place where thieves have their hands cut off, where women are forced to wear the stifling Hijab in 113 degree heat or be lashed and where unmarried couples are stoned to death.

Borders are an illusion in Africa. No more than paper mirages that cannot be seen from the air or the roads where a thousand ethnic groups with dreams of glory move back and forth, striving and feuding, until the blood begins to flow.

The Tuaregs were one of them. Like so many others they wanted their own country. Like so many others they were a minority that felt aggrieved and persecuted by the majority. Like so many others they found neighborhood patrons willing to give them money and a sanctuary in exchange for more fighting. After their uprising failed, the Tuaregs set up shop in Libya under Gaddafi who was always looking for a few more African mercenaries to remake the continent into his hashish-fueled visions. And when Gaddafi fell, the Tuareg separatist militias still dreaming of glory, took his weapons and went west to carve out a state in Mali.

For the last hundred years there have been two kinds of movements in the Muslim world. Nationalist and Islamist. Some Tuareg dreamed of a nation. But others dreamed of merging into a Caliphate that would impose Islamic law on thieves and little girls, on Gao and Timbuktu and then on the whole world. Both sets of Tuaregs had stockpiles of Libyan weapons. But the Islamists had a lot more money and support from the dark heart of the Middle East where the oil wells pump and the preachers scream the call to prayer. And the Nationalists didn’t have a prayer.

Al Qaeda now has its own Alqaedastan in Northern Mali, a territory the size of Texas. Al Qaeda began its true war against the West in Africa. The continent which wavers between a Christian and Muslim majority is to Islamic Colonialism in the 21st Century what it was to European Colonialism in the 19th Century. But the Muslim colonizers were here first, ferrying cargos of slaves into caves and then selling them in the slave markets of Gao.

The Tuaregs are among the few in Northern Mali to still keep slaves, but now that the Islamists have taken Mali, it is uncertain who the masters and the slaves are. Many of the Islamist fighters wandering around Gao are foreigners, from North Africa and beyond, dedicated Salafis and mercenaries drawn by Gulf oil money, aspiring drug dealers looking to protect smuggling routes and rapists and thieves plying their trade with the authority of the Koran.

Around the core of Koranic students who memorize verses and preach death, is a larger outer ring that consists of sociopaths, stray killers, hustlers, junkies and young men looking for adventure and a group that is organized enough to feed them and provide them with a spot on the ground floor of a shiny new Emirate where women have no rights and their weapons are the only law that counts. That is what Al Qaeda really looks like: a ball of dung gathering speed and growing in size as it rolls downhill. A gang of sadists building their own forts in the cliffs and fighting to hang on to the new kingdom that opened up for them when Libya fell.

Nations are oases of order in the desert. As cruel and ugly as they might be, they provide some structure to the eternal feuds and grudges that are only ever truly settled with slavery or death.

Obama toppled Gaddafi without considering or caring for the consequences. An Alqaedastan in Mali is one of those consequences. Weapons from Libya have gone west and east carried by old militias looking for a new fight. Gaddafi’s weapons stockpiles are in Gaza and Aleppo now, they will soon find their way to Afghanistan, if they haven’t already, and tens of thousands more will die.

Read more at Front Page

TSA Let 25 Illegal Aliens Attend Flight School Owned by Illegal Alien

By Edwin Mora

(CNSNews.com) – The Transportation Security Administration  (TSA) approved flight training for 25 illegal aliens at a Boston-area flight school that was owned by yet another illegal alien, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The illegal-alien flight-school attendees included eight who had entered the country illegally and 17 who had overstayed  their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the GAO.

Six of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot’s licenses.

Discovery of the trouble at the flight school began when local police–not federal authorities–pulled over the owner of the school on a traffic violation and were able to determine that he was an illegal alien.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security  Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said he found the GAO’s  findings “amazing.”

“We have cancer patients, Iraq War veterans and Nobel Prize winners all forced to undergo rigorous security checks before getting on an airplane,” said Rogers, “and at the same time, ten years after 9/11, there are foreign nationals in the United States trained to fly just like Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers did, and not all of them are necessarily getting a security background check.”

Stephen Lord, who is the GAO’s director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues, testified about the matter Wednesday in Rogers’ subcommittee. Rogers asked him: “Isn’t it true that, based on your report, the Transportation Security Administration cannot assure the American people that foreign terrorists are not in this country learning how to fly airplanes, yes or no?”

Lord responded: “At this time, no.”

Although the illegal alien who owned the Massachusetts flight school had not undergone a required TSA security threat  assessment and had not been approved for flight training by the agency, he nonetheless held two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  pilot licenses, also known as FAA certificates.

The GAO report, released today, is entitled General Aviation Security: TSA’s Process for Ensuring Foreign Flight Students Do Not Pose a Security Risk Has Weaknesses.

In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. homeland  perpetrated by terrorists who learned how to pilot aircraft at flight  schools in Florida, Arizona, and Minnesota, the TSA, a component of the  Department of Homeland Security (DHS), developed the “Alien Flight  Student Program (AFSP) to help determine whether foreign students  enrolling at flight schools pose a security threat,” said the GAO’s Stephen Lord in  written testimony prepared for Wednesday’s hearing in the House Homeland  Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security.

According to the 911 Commission Report, four of the Sept. 11  hijackers who entered the United States with legal visas had overstayed  their authorized period of admission.

Under the Alien Flight Student Program, foreign nationals are supposed to be  subjected to a TSA security threat assessment prior to receiving flight  training to determine whether they pose a security threat to the United  States.

“According to TSA regulations, an individual poses a security threat  when the individual is suspected of posing, or is known to pose, a  threat to transportation or national security, a threat of air piracy or  terrorism, a threat to airline or passenger security, or a threat to  civil aviation security,” Lord said in his written testimony.

“According  to TSA officials, when a foreign national applies to AFSP to obtain  flight training, TSA uses information submitted by the foreign national–such as name, date of birth, and passport information–to conduct a  criminal history records check, a review of the Terrorist Screening  Database, and a review of the Department of Homeland Security’s TECS  [anti-terrorism] system,” Lord testified.

However, a “weakness” in TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program, noted by GAO, is that it does not check for immigration status.

“AFSP is not designed to determine whether a foreign flight student  entered the country legally; thus, a foreign national can be approved  for training through AFSP after entering the country illegally,” stated  the GAO in its report.   “In March 2010, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  investigated a Boston-area flight school after local police stopped the  flight school owner for a traffic violation and discovered that he was  in the country illegally. In response to this incident, ICE launched a  broader investigation of the students enrolled at the flight school.”

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