Death of a Prosecutor

B7y4GYhIIAAH2ad.jpg-large-450x300Frontpage, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Jan. 21, 2015:

Alberto Nisman, the Argentinean prosecutor who indicted top Iranian regime officials for the July 1994 AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires, was found dead by gunshot in his apartment on Sunday night, in what initially was called a suicide.

Nisman was scheduled to address members of parliament the next day to reveal new information about alleged efforts by Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, to cover up the responsibility of the Iranian regime in the AMIA bombing that killed 86 people some twenty-one years ago.

Just days before his murder, Nisman publicly accused the President and her foreign minister of taking “the criminal decision to fabricate Iran’s innocence to save Argentina’s commercial, political and geopolitical interests.”

Police found arrayed on a desk in his apartment documents relating to his allegations, but no suicide note.

Nisman issued his initial 801 page indictment in the AMIA case in on October 25, 2006. He asked Interpol to issue international arrest warrants against eight current and former Iranian government officials, including then president Hashemi-Rafsanjani, his foreign minister, the intelligence minister, and the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

He also accused Lebanese Hezbollah leader Imad Mugniyeh, who worked in tandem with the IRGC, of handling the logistics of the truck bomb plot.

Mugniyeh was assassinated in Damascus in February 2008, apparently by Israeli operatives. Mugniyeh has a long pedigree of killing Americans and killing Jews, which I have written about extensively.

He murdered 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1983, hijacked aircraft, murdered U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and helped recruit the al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Early this past Sunday, Israeli helicopters reportedly attacked a Hezbollah outpost in Syria, killing four Hezbollah operatives – including Mugniyeh’s son and terrorist-operative heir, Jihad.

A senior Iranian official told reporters that Israel would be hit at “the right time and right place” in retaliation for the strike.

That same evening, on the other side of the world, the Argentinean prosecutor instrumental in revealing Mugniyeh, Senior’s involvement in the AMIA bombings, died mysteriously of a gunshot wound to the temple, fired from a .22 revolver he did not own, with no apparent powder burns on his hands.

Coincidence? Perhaps.

When police discovered Nisman’s bloody body behind the locked door of his Buenos Aires apartment, they treated the area as a crime scene, not a suicide, and immediately called in forensics investigators.

This and other indicators led the Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey, a long-time aficionado of Iranian state terrorism, to speculate that Iran might have murdered Nisman to bury the evidence of bigger crimes.

My Iranian sources tell me there is no doubt of Iran’s efforts to coopt Argentinean president Cristina Kirchner, nor any doubt that Nisman’s death was a murder carried out by professionals.

I got involved in the AMIA investigation early on, and corresponded with Nisman’s first boss on the case, Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who eventually traveled to Washington, DC to meet with me. When Nisman ultimately took over the case and issued his indictment against the Iranian regime, he cited my evidence on more than a dozen occasions.

As I reported in 2003, a former Iranian intelligence officer, Abdolghassem Mesbahi, told the court that Iranian officials had paid $10 million into a Banque Degroof Luxembourg bank account in Switzerland that was controlled by then-president Carlos Menem, in exchange for his efforts to impede the AMIA investigation.

Menem’s denials were ultimately put to rest when the Swiss government froze the $10 million in his Banque Degroof accounts. One can only imagine what would have happened to Mrs. Kirschner’s denials had Nisman been able to testify on Monday to the Argentinean parliament.

Nisman has been under pressure from the Argentinean authorities for years. I contacted him again in 2007 to see if he would be willing to testify before the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York about what he had learned of Iran’s overseas terrorist operations, as part of the Iran-9/11 investigation I was involved in.

After several months of back and forth negotiations, he got back to me to say that his superiors had forbidden him from having any contact with the U.S. court, even though we merely wanted him to present the same evidence he had made public in the AMIA indictment.

Nisman had huge amounts of evidence that has not been made public, including transcripts of intercepts between the Iranian cultural attaché and Iranian expat taxi drivers in Buenos Aires who helped transport explosives used in the bombing, and other intercepts detailing the involvement of the Islamic Republic Shipping Lines and their local agents in conveying the explosives to Argentina.

The circumstances of Nisman’s murder – the dubious murder weapon, the door locked from the inside, the apparent absence of a struggle – remind me eerily of the November 2011 murder of Ahmad Rezai, the son of the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohsen Rezai.

The younger Rezai was found dead in his room in a residence hotel in Dubai and was immediately declared a suicide by the Dubai police.

Because I had gotten to know him well (so well that he named his first child after my daughter), I flew to Dubai to investigate.

Although Rezai was a U.S. citizen, the U.S. consular authorities had no interest in investigating the case and provided no assistance to me or his U.S. family, who I was representing.

The Dubai authorities stonewalled but I went around them. From the medical examiner, I discovered that the cause of “suicide” – an overdose of anti-psychotic medicine – was not true: the amount found in Ahmad’s blood was normal.

Furthermore, upon interrogating hotel staff, I discovered that a known Russian mafia hitman had checked into a room just down the hall a few hours before Ahmad’s murder and disappeared the next day, even though he had paid a month’s rent in advance.

Needless to say, the Dubai police had never heard of the man, let alone interrogated him.

The morning of Ahmad’s death, an explosion rocked a huge missile facility west of Tehran, killing the father of Iran’s solid-fuel missile programs. I speculatedin these pages that rivals of Ahmad’s father suspected father and son of seeking to reform the regime from within, an effort that is rejected by many Iranian opposition activists who believe that reform is impossible.

On Tuesday, an Iranian website controlled by the IRGC, identified the Foundation that I founded and chair as the regime’s Public Enemy #1.

It’s certainly not the first time the IRGC and their allies among the hardliners have identified me personally and my foundation as “enemies” of their revolution, because we support the right of Iranians to choose their form of government by democratic means.

But the timing of this latest version of the anti-jihadi hit parade seems no accident, coming on the heels of the assassination of Jihad Mugniyeh and the apparent murder of Alberto Nisman.

No one should underestimate the determination of the Iranian regime to use any means at its disposal to achieve its ends. Whether that means dispatching thousands of Revolutionary Guards fighters to Syria to prop up Assad, or murdering Americans in Iraq to hasten our departure, or providing safe haven and logistical assistance to al Qaeda, or funneling arms secretly to ISIS to stoke a fire they can boast to the gullible U.S. officials they are uniquely qualified to put out, the Islamic Republic of Iran is playing for keeps.

They have more case officers working for their intelligence services than we do in the United States, and have developed an entire branch of their military – the Quds Force – to carry out overseas terrorist operations.

They will not hesitate to murder people who get in their way, no matter their nationality or where they might be found.

They are playing hardball, and we are playing tiddlywinks. And yet, successive U.S. administration’s have thrown away advantages won by the blood of patriots – both Iranian and American – for empty promises made by known liars, assassins, and cheats.

When will we ever learn?

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Iran Promises ‘Crushing Response’ to Israeli Strike

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters shout slogans as they march during Ashoura day in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 / AP

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters shout slogans as they march during Ashoura day in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 20 2015:

Iran on Monday promised that Hezbollah would deliver “crushing response” to the Israeli attack over the weekend, which killed six Iranian agents, including a top-level commander, and five Hezbollah members.

“The experience of the past shows that the resistance current will give a crushing response to the Zionist regime’s terrorist moves with revolutionary determination and in due time and place,” Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was quoted as saying.

The Israeli strike came just days after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared that the terror group was preparing for a war in Israel’s northern Galilee region.

It also occurred just a week after Iranian military leaders announced that they are operating missile sites in Syria, which potentially include a nuclear facility.

Senior Iranian and Hezbollah commanders were likely planning a sophisticated invasion of Israel’s northern border in the weeks before they were killed by an Israeli airstrike over the weekend, according to Major General Eyal Ben Reuven, the former deputy head of the Israeli Defense Forces Northern Command.

The accuracy of Israel’s strike and the high-level nature of those Iranian and Hezbollah commanders killed indicates planning for a militant incursion into Israel’s northern region, according to Reuven, who said the airstrike shows a “very high level of intelligence” on Israel’s part.

The high-level nature of the Iranian and Hezbollah operatives targeted by Israel suggests that an attack on Israel was imminent, according to Reuven, who handled top intelligence in the region during his time serving in the IDF.

“If the highest level of Hezbollah commanders were in the Golan Heights and the high level of Iranians, it means that their idea, [what] they’re planning could be a kind of operation, an act against Israel on a high level,” Reuven said during a conference call Monday organized by the Israel Project (TIP). “It’s significant, the high level of this meeting, of this reconnaissance of the Iranians and Hezbollah.”

“It says something about what they plan, what kind of operation they planned,” he added. “If Israel has intelligence that says there is a kind of operation on the way to act against Israel, I think Israel would have a legitimate [reason] to do all we can to prevent it.”

The strike that killed these 11 militants was “very, very professional,” according to Reuven, and would require “very, very high level intelligence” and “very accurate” targeting information.

Iran quickly confirmed that one of its top commanders had been killed in the strike, according to Farsi language reports.

Multiple state-controlled Iranian news agencies confirmed that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi had been killed by “a military helicopter of the Zionist regime during a visit to the ‘Quneitra’ region of Syria.”

“As a result of this crime, this heroic general along with several members of Hezbollah reached martyrdom,” the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) wrote in a Persian language report independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Allahdadi had been sent to Syria by top Iranian commanders “so that he could combat the Zionist regime in Lebanon and Syria,” according to the Iranian media.

The IRGC official press organ also confirmed the death in a statement published by Iranian news outlets.

“Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was of the brave, devoted, and wise commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps whose effective contributions during the Holy Defense (the Iran-Iraq War) and after during his Commanding of the Al-Ghadir IRGC unit of Yazd province will always be enduring and inspiring to the generation of today and tomorrow of the Islamic nation,” read the IRGC communiqué also issued in Farsi.

The IRGC claimed that Allahdadi was in Syria to help embattled leader Bashar al-Assad combat “terrorists” there.

Allahdadi also helped in “neutralizing the atrocities and conspiracies [of] this Zionist-terrorist sedition in Syria’s geography,” according to the IRGC.

The IRGC went on to lash out at Israel for “violating the airspace of the country of Syria” and accused the Jewish state of emboldening terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State (IS), which is battling against Assad.

Israel’s actions against Iran and Syria are being “planned” along with “the cooperation [of] the heads of the White House and the occupying regime of Quds [Jerusalem],” the IRGC said in its statement.

Information about the other Iranians killed remains minimal at this point. Conflicting reports have emerged about whether the top militant killed, Abu Ali Tabatabai, was officially working on behalf of Iran or Hezbollah.

Tabatabai had been linked to Iran’s Al Radwan Special Operations Units, which is known to conduct combat operations, according to TIP.

“His presence would have suggested, and probably indicates, operations aimed at overrunning Israeli border towns,” TIP reported in an email to reporters.

The Hezbollah members killed include Mohammed Issa, a senior Hezbollah figure closely tied to Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s leading figure in the Golan Heights area near Israel’s border with Syria.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert and researcher for FDD, told the Free Beacon that Iran is expected to boost its presence in Syria and increase its support for Hezbollah.

“Given Iran’s heightened resolve and dedication to keeping Assad in power, we can expect the Islamic Republic to continue, if not deepen its commitment to the Assad regime and Hezbollah by way of such mercenaries,” he said.

Taleblu also noted that Iran continues to blame the rise of IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) on America and Israel.

“The notion contained in the IRGC’s communiqué in the aftermath of the death of Commander Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, that the Islamic State (or DAESH, in Persian and Arabic) is linked to Israel and the U.S. is a common one promoted by the Islamic Republic’s hardline political elite and regime media,” he explained.

“Beyond narrative, this false linkage underscores an analytical shortcoming, Iran’s military and political class have failed to attribute agency to the Islamic State, be it in Syria or Iraq, and by claiming they are Western agents, misread and misdiagnosed the violent sectarian milieu that was growing in Iraq and Syria before the group’s emergence last summer,” he said.

Senior Qods Force general killed in suspected Israeli airstrike

LWJ, By

A senior general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Qods Force was among six Iranians and six Hezbollah operatives who were killed in yesterday’s airstrike in southern Syria that is thought to have been launched by the Israeli military.

Sepah News, the official online news outlet of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), confirmed that Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi was killed in the airstrike in Quneitra, Syria. Both Hezbollah and the IRGC claimed that Israeli attack helicopters carried out the attack.

Hezbollah confirmed on Jan 18. that Jihad Imad Mughniyah, the son of the notorious Hezbollah military and intelligence chief who helped found the group, and five other commanders were killed while conducting a reconnaissance operation in Quneitra. The Iranian media has described Jihad, a rising star in Hezbollah who is said to have commanded the group’s units in the Syrian Golan, as the adopted son of Major General Suleimani, the leader of Qods Force. Jihad’s father, Imad, who was closely tied to Iran, is thought to have been assassinated by Israeli intelligence in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria in 2008.

Also reported killed was Mohammad Issa, who is also known as Abu Issa al Eqlim. He has been identified as a member of Hezbollah’s military intelligence branch.

The combined Hezbollah and Qods Force unit is thought to have been scouting jihadist groups, including the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front, two organizations that are known to operate in Quneitra. Iran has supported the Syrian government and Hezbollah against rebel forces since civil war broke out in 2011.

Brigadier General Allah-Dadi is the latest high-ranking Iranian military casualty in the wars in Syria and Iraq. An Islamic State sniper killed Hamid Taqavi, an IRGC brigadier general who was advising Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Samarra, Iraq in late December 2014. In October 2014, General Jabar Drisawi, a general in Iran’s Basij militia, was killed during fighting near Aleppo, Syria. And in February 2013, Hassan Shateri, a top commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps who is also said to have served on Hezbollah’s advisory council, was killed in an ambush while traveling from Damascus to Beirut.

Brigadier General Allah-Dadi may provide clues to Qods Force’s leadership structure

The material released in the Persian and Arabic language material since Allah-Dadi’s death not only provides interesting insight into his career, but also to Qods Force’s recruitment pattern.

According to the IRGC Public Relations Department, Allah-Dadi was a veteran of the Iran- Iraq War, which was fought from 1980 to 1988. He had served as the commander of the Al Ghadir IRGC Ground Forces in Yazd province in eastern Iran. The most detailed biography however, was released by Mashregh News. According to the news agency, Allah-Dadi, a native of Pariz, Sirjan in Kerman province, volunteered for the war effort in 1980 and initially served in the irregular forces of Mostafa Chamran (1932-1981). However, as the IRGC’s 41st Sarallah Division, based in Kerman, was established under the command of Qassem Suleimani, Allah-Dadi joined him and participated in most major operations up to the end of the war with Iraq in 1988.

The ceasefire between Iran and Iraq did not put an end to Allah-Dadi’s military career. For a time, he continued serving under Suleimani in Kerman, but later served for three years as Ramazan Brigade chief of the 27th Mohammad Rasoul-Allah Force based in Tehran. In 2006, he was appointed Al Ghadir Force chief based in Yazd, where he served until June 20, 2011. Systematic references to Allah-Dadi’s work in the local press in Yazd came to an abrupt end after the end of his tenure. This can only be explained by a piece of information released by Mashregh News: “A few years ago, invited by Major General Qassem Suleimani, IRGC QF commander, he joined the Quds Force to fight the Zionist regime in Lebanon and Syria.”

Very little information about Allah-Dadi’s work in Syria has been released to the public. According to the Jan. 19 press release by the IRGC Public Relations Department, Allah-Dadi was deployed to Syria as a military adviser in order to “assist the government and nation of Syria against the takfiri-salafi terrorists [a reference to the Sunni opposition to the Baath regime in Syria].” He was allegedly killed while inspecting Quneitra in Syria, as “a group of fighters of the Islamic Resistance [reference to Lebanese Hezbollah]” were attacked by a “military helicopter of the Zionist regime.” The last recorded instance of Allah-Dadi’s whereabouts before his death appears in a report by journalist Hassan Shemshadi in the Central News Unit. Shemshadi allegedly met the Iranian general at a Shiite shrine in Damascus.

The most important information released about the late Allah-Dadi is the long history of his friendship and service under Suleimani, the current Qods Force commander. A single case does not provide enough material for drawing conclusions concerning Suleimani’s pattern of appointments in his command, but should other former Suleimani associates and friends be identified as current Qods Force officers, that would provide important parts of the puzzle of the unit’s command structure.

Also see:

In Latin America, radical Islamic presence flourishes while key countries downplay the threat

86886005CSP, by Luis Fleischman, January 17, 2015:

As a result of last week’s heinous terrorist attack in France that took the lives of 16 innocent people, President Barack Obama has set in motion plans for a counter-terrorism summit to be held on February 18th in Washington DC.

It is likely that mostly North American and European countries will attend this summit meeting despite the fact that there have been recent terrorist attacks in other parts of the world such as those in Ottawa, Canada and Sidney, Australia and the northern region of Nigeria. In other words, simple logic indicates that these types of attacks could take place anywhere.

Before September 11, 2001 , the deadliest terrorist attacks in the Western Hemisphere took place in Argentina against the Israeli embassy in 1992 and then the Argentinean Jewish community headquarters in 1994.

However, we do not have to go back two decades .to stress the very real presence of terrorism in Latin America.

Most recently the Peruvian authorities foiled a terrorist plot against Jews and Israelis. The attacker was a Lebanese member of Hezbollah’s foreign terror operations branch. He reportedly planned to attack locations popular among Israeli backpackers as well as against the Israeli embassy in Lima and other institutions of the Peruvian Jewish community.

As a result of his arrest by the Peruvian authorities early in November, Brazilian police uncovered documents according to which Lebanese traffickers who are members of Hezbollah have helped the Brazilian gang known as First Capital Command (PCC) obtain weapons. Hezbollah provided the PCC with access to arms smugglers. Most of these Hezbollah operatives were based in the tri-border area (where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina’s borders meet), a place known as being a big center of Hezbollah’s fundraising and other operations.

Of course, the connections between criminal and drug cartels with terrorist groups have been reported for a long time. The problem is not only limited to the fact that terrorist groups and criminal gangs or cartels logistically cooperate to advance their respective goals. The problem is also that criminals and jails are sources of recruitment for future terrorists.

It is enough to look at Amedy Coulibaly, the man suspected of killing a trainee police officer in Southern Paris on January 8th and also the person responsible for the seizing of the kosher supermarket on January 9th. Coulibaly was a petty criminal before he became a monstruous jihadist. He had six previous convictions, one for robbery and one for drugs. While in jail he was mentored by Djamel Beghal, a jihadist imprisoned in 2001 for planning an attack against the U.S. embassy in Paris. It was in jail where he met one of the Kouachi brothers, who were responsible for the attack on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

Given what we have seen so far of the radicalization of criminals, would it not be plausible for criminal elements from the Brazilian PCC to turn into Jihadists? Should it be ruled out that these Jihadists could attack a magazine such as “Veja” known for its’ anti-terrorist views or even carry out an attack on an American or European embassy or institution in Brazil?

So, what has been the attitude of the Brazilin authorities?

Brazil has denied that there is any terrorist activity in Brazil despite the fact that Hezbollah has major cells operating in the country and even some Al Qaeda operatives. They have been the least cooperative country in tracking activities in the tri-border area.

Brazil has been ruled by the leftist Workers Party since 2003. For them counter-terrorist activities are associated with Brazil’s military dictatorship of the mid 1960’s and 70’sthat carried out a heavy war against local guerillas and other subversive and dissenting activists.. Since that war brought about major human rights violations and loss of lives, Brazil has viewed the war on terror as something negative.

Brazil does not consider Hezbollah, Hamas, or even the familiar Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as terrorist entities. By the same token, an Al Qaeda suspect was released by a Brazilian judge.

Yet, it is interesting that the government of the Workers Party under Dilma Rousseff considered an ill-conceived anti-terorrism law in the wake of the massive anti-government protests in the summer of 2013.

The debate was highly controversial and for very good reasons. The Brazilian anti-terrorist bill was aimed at controlling unrest, particularly as the World Cup was approaching. The bill was aimed at social control. It had nothing to do with terrorism. Terrorism was used cynically. The bill defined terrorism very vaguely such as “provoking or infusing generalized terror or panic through offense or attempt at offense to life, physical integrity, health or deprivation of liberty of a person”. This general definition could easily criminalize social protests and other acts that are significantly below any act of terrorism.

In Argentina, President Cristina Kirchner and her associates seriously tried to apply anti-terrorist laws against American investment funds known as “vulture funds” for causing debt in Argentina and for applying “financial terror”. In fact, Kirchner absurdly tried to impose the anti-terror law against a company that declared bankruptcy since that decision created “economic chaos”.

Even worse than that, on January 15th, the prosecutor for the terrorist attacks against the Jewish headquarters in Argentina, Alberto Nisman, filed a 300-page complaint accusing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other political figures associated with the government of “covering up” for Iranian operatives allegedly involved in the deadly 1994 attack. According to Nisman, the Kirchner Administration attempted to remove Iran from any incrimination related to the terrorist attack that left 85 people dead and hundreds of Argentinean citizens injured. The idea was to strengthen trade relations with Iran in order to alleviate the energy crisis by exchanging “oil for grains”. However, such trade could not be done without removing the accusations against Iran.

Between Brazil’s cynical approach to terrorism and Argentina’s de-facto alliance with it, the situation in the region is very serious.

As terrorist organizations have a strong presence in countries such as Venezuela, Latin America cannot be excluded from the anti-terrorist summit and cannot be ignored. Venezuela and a number of other countries are selling passports to Iranians as well as other individuals from the Middle East. (http://www.theamericasreport.com/2013/10/15/irans-presence-is-multifaceted-and-reaches-remote-places-in-latin-america/ ).

Furthermore, a few years ago Nisman reported in a 500 page document the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah cells in several countries in South America and that Iran plans to establish intelligence bases in every country in order to carry out, promote, and sponsor terrorists.

Furthermore, if there is a campaign to uproot radical Islam from Europe altogether, it is likely that terrorists will shift their operations to other areas where they won’t be bothered and can still do harm to Western targets. Latin America’s neutrality towards Islamic terrorism makes the region one of the most likely areas of choice for them, particularly when terrorists already have a well rooted presence.

President Obama needs to develop a real global strategy on the war against terrorism. The countries of Latin America should not be neglected. The Latin American regional block bears responsibility to protect every resident and institution that exists within their borders. Their cynical and manipulative attitude towards terrorism needs to be challenged. It is in America’s interest.

Dr. Luis Fleischman is a Senior adviser to the Menges Hemispheric Security Project at the Center for Security Policy in Washington DC. He is also an adjunct professor of Political Science and Sociology at Wilkes Honor College at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of the upcoming book, “Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Security Threat to the United States.”

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Emerson on Fox with Judge Jeanine: “We’re embracing [Muslim Brotherhood] front groups….”

 

Judge Jeanine: And with me now, Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigator Project. Good evening Steve. We have disturbing new information that ISIS is creating the next generation of terrorists by recruiting young moms, teaching them to raise jihadi babies, showing them how to use AK-47s, trying to desensitizing them to violence, teaching them the importance of allowing their children to see people being murdered. How do we fight that?

Steve Emerson: This is part of fighting ISIS; it’s part of fighting radical Islam. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, all have employed women as radical Islamic terrorists. They’ve all used women as terrorists, so it’s really nothing new. What’s new here is that they’re basically exploiting mothers to raise their children [as jihadi babies]. And it’s playing well in the Western media. The bottom line here is that this is nothing new under the sun, Judge. What’s new here is the fact that we’re reacting as if it’s new. it’s like the front page of the New York Times this past week [reported that] … the top general, General Nagata, [as] saying “we don’t really understand ISIS, we don’t understand what motivates them, we have to understand them” as if they need a psychiatrist. Bottom line here, they’re motivated by radical Islamic theology. It didn’t take much to understand what motivated the Nazis. It doesn’t take much to understand what motivates them. Is ISIS raising a new generation [of jihadis] ? Absolutely. But so are all of the other groups that belong to the spectrum [of radical Islam].

Jude Jeanine: But my question, Steve, is that they’re doing this. What are we doing to confront it? As these children are being raised to hate us, to kill us, I don’t care what their motivation is, that is the context within which their lives are occurring. And you can see there a screen of a kid with what looks like an AK-47, yeah, an AK-47. What are we doing other than spoiling our kids and, you know, giving them more Iphones?

Steve Emerson: Well you raise a good point because discussions has always been how do we – in the West, in the United States in particular – develop a “counter narrative,” that’s the term, to basically neutralize the al Qaeda or the ISIS point of view. Bottom line is there’s no counter-narrative that the West can develop. We can beat them by destroying them. Period. And the real problem is we’re embracing politically [Islamist] groups like the Muslim Brotherhood or their front groups in the West that are basically appealing to ISIS [supporters] , developing a motivation for ISIS to fight the West by spreading the [incendiary] message this there’s ” a war against Islam.” That’s the number one motivational factor in inducing Islamic terrorism against the US and the West, and [yet] we are embracing those [very same] groups that spread it into the White House and into the public policy organizations throughout the United States.

Judge Jeanine: And not to mention the release of terrorists from Gitmo, those who are being released now, no conditions, no restrictions. The worst of the worst. Reducing our military. We’ve got Hillary Clinton, she’s a front runner to run for President of the Democrat Party saying we need to understand and empathize with our enemy. We’re in for real dark days.

Steve Emerson: We have been. And the seeds are sown now for the future. We’ve embraced Turkey despite the fact that it’s basically been a safe haven for Hamas to carry out attacks against not just friends of ours [like the].. Israelis [but also].. Americans. Number two, we’ve embraced Qatar, which is the number one financial supporter of [Islamic] terrorism. Three, we’ve basically distanced ourselves from countries like Egypt and we’ve embraced the Muslim Brotherhood through front groups in the United States. Just a week before Christmas the US State Department met with front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood to basically stop the designation of those groups as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. We [the United States Government] should have designated tem as terrorists groups. You look at all fronts here, it’s really amazing what’s going on.

Judge Jeanine: What amazes me is that Egypt stood up and said, 35 million strong, we don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood. And we allow them to integrate our government, the White House, to meet at the highest levels. What does it say about where this country is headed?

Steve Emerson: It says very bad thing unfortunately. And it says that we as a country unfortunately have embraced the worst type of politically totalitarian groups under the guise of “multiculturalism,” under the guise of their deception, their deceit basically in fooling us into thinking that they’re democratic, that they’re open, that generally they’re egalitarian. Nothing could be further from the truth. These Islamist groups are misogynist, they’re totalitarian, they’re racist, they’re terrorists. And we shouldn’t be afraid to say that and designate them as so.

Judge Jeanine: And you never are. Steve Emerson, it’s always good to have you on the show. Thanks so much.

Iranian commander: We have targets within America

Hossein-Salami-10-e1391313435440 (1)By Reza Kahlili:

A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards boasted Saturday that his forces have plans in place to attack the United States from within, should the U.S. attack the Islamic Republic.

“America, with its strategic ignorance, does not have a full understanding of the power of the Islamic Republic,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised interview. “We have recognized America’s military strategy, and have arranged our abilities, and have identified centers in America [for attack] that will create a shock.”

Reports indicate that terrorist Hezbollah forces — allies of Iran — have infiltrated the U.S. and have mapped out targets.

“We will conduct such a blow in which they [America] will be destroyed from within,” Salami said.

This is the second warning by a high-ranking officer of the Guards in two weeks. The chief commander of the Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Jafari, addressing Secretary of State John Kerry, said on Jan. 24 that a direct conflict with America is the “strongest dream of the faithful and revolutionary men around the world.”

Kerry had previously said that if Iran did not live up to the agreement reached in Geneva on its nuclear program, “all options are on the table.”

“Your threats to revolutionary Islam are the best opportunity,” Jafari had said. “Muslim leaders for years have been preparing us for a decisive battle.… Do you know how many thousands of revolutionary Muslims at the heart of the Islamic revolutionary groups around the world are awaiting for you to take this [military] option from the table into action?”

Gen. Salami went further, saying the Revolutionary Guards have taken into consideration America’s military ability and different scenarios under which the U.S. could attack Iran via a limited missile or air strike, or even a ground attack.

“All operational bases of the enemy in the region in whatever capacity and location are within our firepower,” Salami warned. “The American military option does not make a difference for us, and they can use this option, but they will have to accept the responsibility of devastating consequences.”

Salami asked whether America could control the spread of any war with the Islamic Republic: “Can they preserve their vital interest in the region in the face of endless attacks by Iran? Can they keep their naval assets and the Zionist regime [Israel] secure?”

Salami said that with the U.S. economy and debt, America is in no position to engage Iran militarily.

The general then taunted Washington, citing Iran’s political and cultural influence in Iraq. “The current has changed for the Americans so much so that they invest [by invading Iraq] and others [Iran] benefit.”

Read more at Daily Caller

Defining Jihad Downward

Screen-Shot-2014-12-12-at-2.44.37-PM-190x142CSP, By Kyle Shideler:

My colleague Adam Savit has already taken the BBC to task for their write up of a recent report on Jihadist violence in the month of November, which neglected to include the murder of Israelis. This led me to drill down deeper into the report by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political violence. Not only did the report neglect to include Hamas violence in its study of jihadi attacks, but it does so explicitly and intentionally. The report notes:

This definition excludes Shia militant groups such as Hezbollah that justify fighting in the name of jihad but are located outside the Sunni tradition. Indeed, the jihadists of al Qaeda, the Islamic State and like-minded groups regard Hezbollah as ‘apostates’ and have been among the most vociferous opponents of Shia militant groups in places like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

The definition also excludes the Palestinian group Hamas which advocates ‘jihad’ and – unlike Hezbollah – is widely recognized as Sunni. Its religious, social and political doctrine, however, is not Salafist.
Jihadist groups such as al Qaeda have repeatedly condemned Hamas for recognizing man-made laws and becoming involved in democratic elections, while Hamas, in turn, has repressed – and fought against – jihadist groups.

This justification is at best ignorant, and at worst mendacious.

While it is true that Hezbollah is fighting Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Syria, Hezbollah also has a long history of cooperation with Al Qaeda. Are the authors of this report unaware that it was Hezbollah which introduced Al Qaeda to the truck bombing techniques used in the Africa Embassy bombings (a role for which they have been held responsible in court) and that relationships between Iran’s terrorist facilitators the IRGC, Hezbollah and AL Qaeda were forged during the Pan Arab and Islamic Conference held by Sudan in the 1990s? Perhaps they are equally unaware that Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, has been held responsible for its role in 9/11 in federal court, due to its role in facilitating the movement of the hijackers, and that the 9/11 Commission notes the role of Hezbollah’s master terrorist Imad Mugniyeh in assisting the 9/11 attacks? One supposes that given its narrow justification the ICSR would not consider the  Embassy bombings or the 9/11 attacks  “jihadist” violence either.

Then there is the ICSR’s statement on Hamas. Hamas is the wing of the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for engaging in jihad terror against Israel. Hamas is completely open about this connection, having documented it in its original founding charter. Hamas was perhaps best described by leading Hamas representative Ismail Haniyeh who remarked that Hamas is the “jihadi movement of the Brotherhood with a Palestinian face.” From its earliest foundation, The Muslim Brotherhood’s own founder Hasan Al-Banna described his movement as consisting of “a Salafiyya message…”  Prior to founding the Brotherhood Al-Banna was himself a member of the Salafi groups, including the Society for the Prevention of the Forbidden.

Further more, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb’s most important work “Milestones”, was a major inspiration for Osama Bin Laden (according to the 9/11 Commission report again) and consists entirely of a discussion regarding how to restore the world to Islam, while using the methods of the early Muslims (i.e. Salaf).  The original founder of the MAK (Afghan Service Bureau) Abdullah Azzam together with Osama Bin Laden, and the author of “In Defense of Muslim Lands” the doctrinal work which best established Jihad as an fard al-ayn (individual obligation), was both a Muslim Brother and a co-founder of Hamas.  Azzam’s picture is still visible in the offices of Hamas today.

Besides Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam,  other Muslim Brotherhood members have also played a key role in creating the very doctrine of Al Qaeda, such as Abdul Mjid Aziz Al-Zindani, the leading cleric of the Yemeni branch of Muslim Brotherhood, was a close mentor of Osama Bin Laden and a contact of the AQ-linked Ansar al-Islam.  Al-Zindani was also a board member of the specially designated entity the Union of the Good, an organization run by Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose primary purpose is to fund Hamas.

The claim by ICSR that Hezbollah and Hamas should be excluded from an accounting of Jihadist violence merely because they (at times) have disagreed with Al Qaeda or other jihadist groups is utterly inane. After all Al Qaeda and ISIS are currently locked in a struggle themselves (see for example this video released today by MEMRI featuring ISIS members interrogating Jabhat al Nusra members and denouncing them as apostates), and Muslim Brotherhood-linked militias in the Syrian civil war fight alongside Al Qaeda, and yet the ICSR can’t quite bring itself to declare that Al Qaeda is not a jihadist group.

Jihad as religiously-obligatory warfare to establish Islamic law remains a concept which extends across both Sunni and Shia sects, and amongst all schools of Islamic law. There is no legitimate justification for excluding these groups, and to do so is to reduce the term “jihad” or “jihadist violence” until it is becomes meaningless. The reality is that Jihadist violence is a threat larger than simply just the “Salafi-jihadi” matrix which some insist on shoving it into.

Complaint Filed Over Presbyterian Church USA’s Hezbollah Links

Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon (Photo: © Reuters)

Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon (Photo: © Reuters)

By Ryan Mauro:

Islamist interfaith engagement with American Christians has received significant attention in recent months. Now, an Israeli legal organization has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service over the Presbyterian Church USA’s meetings with Hezbollah members.

The Israel Law Center’s 38-page complaint with the IRS also accuses the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) of violating its non-profit status with extensive political lobbying along with meeting with a terrorist group overseas.

“There is no mention in PCUSA organizing documents that it perceives fulfilling Christ’s work by meeting with and endorsing statements of a US-designated terrorist organization found to be responsible for the death of United States civilians and marines,” the Center says.

In 2004, the PCUSA’s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy sent a delegation of two dozen representatives to Beirut, Lebanon to meet with Hezbollah. The terrorist group had a field day with it, showing the meeting on its Al-Manar propaganda station. The clips included one delegate praising Hezbollah.

“We treasure the precious words of Hezbollah and your expression of goodwill towards the American people,” Elder Ronald Stone of East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh said.

Stone also appealed to Hezbollah’s anti-Semitism by saying that dialogue with Islamic leaders is easier than with Jewish leaders.

Read more at Clarion Project

The Obama Administration’s Strategic Schizophrenia

obamasCSP, By Kyle Shideler:

Last week in the Wall Street Journal it was reported that the Obama administration sought an agreement on fighting ISIS with Iran:

The correspondence underscores that Mr. Obama views Iran as important—whether in a potentially constructive or negative role—to his emerging military and diplomatic campaign to push Islamic State from the territories it has gained over the past six months. Mr. Obama’s letter also sought to assuage Iran’s concerns about the future of its close ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, according to another person briefed on the letter. It states that the U.S.’s military operations inside Syria aren’t targeted at Mr. Assad or his security forces.

It is now being reported that the same administration believes ISIS cannot be defeated without overthrowing Assad:

President Barack Obama has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing that ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, senior U.S. officials and diplomats tell CNN. The review is a tacit admission that the initial strategy of trying to confront ISIS first in Iraq and then take the group’s fighters on in Syria, without also focusing on the removal of al-Assad, was a miscalculation. In just the past week, the White House has convened four meetings of the President’s national security team, one of which was chaired by Obama and others that were attended by principals like the secretary of state. These meetings, in the words of one senior official, were “driven to a large degree how our Syria strategy fits into our ISIS strategy.”

The contradiction between these two policies should be obvious, as Iran has expended ample time, funds, and men (primarily through proxy forces like Hezbollah and other Shia militias) to keep Assad in power. In fact overthrowing Assad would by necessity require the targeting and destruction of some of the very same forces that the Obama administration envisioned fighting ISIS on our behalf in Iraq.

The administration’s utter strategic incoherence is founded on an unwillingness to comprehend what drives both the Iranian aims (through proxies in Iraq and Syria), as well as the forces arrayed against them.  As we have repeatedly pointed out here on the Free Fire blog (See here, here, and here), the Syrian opposition is dominated by Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-allied Islamist militias connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama Administration’s policy for Syria has involved alternatively partnering with these Islamists, while also bombing certain units of them during the course of the air campaign against ISIS. All sides in the current regional conflict are motivated by the same ideological agenda, establishing their hegemony in the region in order to extend (their particularly sectarian brand) of Islamic law, and to use future gains as a base for further jihad against their enemies, including principally the United States. Whether the U.S. attempts to partner with Iran against ISIS, or Al Qaeda against ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood against Al Qaeda, or Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood against Iran, every permutation will result in the same eventual outcome. Victory for enemies of the United States.

The Obama administration has prided itself on it’s attention to “nuance”. In its dealings in the Middle East, it has repeatedly attempted to tease out differences and distinctions that are at best irrelevant, leading to the construction of a world view that is ultimately divorced from reality in any meaningful way. The result is that this Administration finds itself simultaneously on all sides, and still the wrong sides, of every strategic challenge.

US Veterans and Families Sue Six Banks Accused of Transferring funds to Finance Iran Terror Groups

Honor Guard Advancing Colors at Veterans Day Ceremony  WWII National Memorial Washington, DC Source: Getty Images

Honor Guard Advancing Colors at Veterans Day Ceremony WWII National Memorial Washington, DC
Source: Getty Images

NER, By Jerry Gordon, Nov. 11, 2014:

Just prior to Veterans Day, November 10, 2014, a lawsuit was filed in the Eastern Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York against six major international banks allegedly engaged in transfers of funds with a leading Iranian bank. The defendants in the action include HSBC Bank USA, Barclays, London’s Standard Chartered Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, and London-based Iranian Bank Saderat.  The suit is on behalf of more than 200 plaintiffs Veterans and families of US service personnel and a journalist killed or maimed in Iraq. Attacks that occurred over the period from 2004 to 2008 by terrorist groups affiliated with Iran’s Quds Force and its proxy Hezbollah.  Over 80 wounded veterans are among the plaintiffs, many victims of Improvised Explosive Devices (I.E.D.).  The suit by the plaintiffs is requesting a jury trial.

The New York Times in its account of the lawsuit drew from the complaint compelling examples of the victims of Iran’s Quds Force and Hezbollah attacks in Iraq:

The sneak attack on the compound outside Baghdad in January 2007, the lawsuit said, was the work of a terrorist group “trained and armed by Iran’s Quds Force with Hezbollah’s assistance.” Once inside the compound, the group sprayed bullets and lobbed grenades, killing several American soldiers, including 20-year-old Jonathon M. Millican, who jumped on one of the grenades. Mr. Millican’s widow and father joined the lawsuit, along with the families of three other soldiers killed in that attack and a surviving soldier who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The journalist, Steven Vincent, was kidnapped and shot in August 2005. His widow, mother and father are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Christopher M. Hake was on his second tour of duty in Iraq in March 2008 when an Iranian-manufactured explosive device went off near his vehicle and killed him.

The NYT noted this example of flagrant disregard by one of the six banks accused in the complaint caught evading financial sanctions against dealings with Iranian financial institutions:

The lawsuit cites a series of emails and conversations taken  from the banks’ settlements with federal prosecutors, offering a lens inside the banks’ flagrant disregard for sanctions against Iran. A Standard Chartered executive, in response to concerns raised by an employee in New York, reportedly replied: “You f–ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians?”

 

The Eastern District Brooklyn federal court figured prominently in a jury verdict in the case of Almog v. Arab Bank  rendered in September 2014. The plaintiffs were 6,000 terrorist victims of more than 24 Hamas attacks involving Americans and families in Israel. The jury found the Jordan- based Arab Bank liable for transfers to the terrorist group Hamas.  The Arab Bank suit presiding federal Judge is now determining how best to handle the damages assessment phase.   Both lawsuits were filed under the 1990 US Antiterrorism Act that provided a civil cause of actions for international acts of terrorism and an extraterrorial jurisdiction in federal courts.  Some of the lawyers in this current suit were also counsel in the Arab Bank matter.

There are similar cases pending against the Bank of China, NatWest and Crédit Lyonnais.  One example is the $338 million damages award against the Bank of China in 2012 in a verdict by a DC federal court in a case brought by Shurat HaDin Israel law Center of Tel Aviv headed by Nitsana Darshan Leitner and US co-counsel New York attorney Robert Tolchin.  The Center and US counsel brought the suit on behalf of the family of the late Danny Wultz of Weston, Florida who was mortally wounded in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in 2006. The terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad involved in perpetrating the attack used funds provided by Iran through transfers via the Bank of China.

A Washington Free Beacon report on the suit noted the arguments contained in the plaintiffs compliant:

The veterans argue that the banks helped Iran illegally move “billions of dollars” to terrorist entities that later targeted U.S. troops in attacks.

The suit alleges these banks are knowingly acting as key cogs in Iran’s efforts to evade U.S. sanctions and provide “material support” to Hezbollah and other terror groups, which, at Tehran’s behest, have carried out attacks against U.S. interests in Iraq.

“Defendants’ unlawful conduct was purposefully directed at the United States, and the conspiracy was specifically designed to effectuate the flow of billions of U.S. dollars through the United States in violation of U.S. laws, and in fact resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars illegally passing through the United States,” plaintiffs argue in the complaint filed by New Jersey-based Osen & Associates.

The veterans and their families are seeking an unspecified amount of damages from the banks as a result of their alleged support for Iranian terrorism.

The suit alleges that the international banks in question were “knowingly” part of a “conspiracy” by Iran to skirt international sanctions.

The lawsuit explains in great detail how Iran has funneled money to Hezbollah and other terror entities in Iraq. Iranian money, the suit alleges, was spent to train terrorists and arm them with IEDs and other weapons typically used to kill and wound U.S. soldiers.

The context of this latest US antiterrorism suit – Iran’s Quds Force involved with proxy Hezbollah fighting US forces in the Iraq War – comes at a time when the Administration has reached out to Iran’s Supreme Ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei seeking the Islamic  Regime’s  assistance in fighting the Islamic State, ISIS.  Already heavily engaged in Iraq advising the Iraqi national security forces on how to combat ISIS is none other than the head of the Quds Force, Qassem Suleymani, along with Hezbollah operatives.

We hope that this federal lawsuit at least finds these major banks dealing with Iranian financial institutions complicit in the terror financing of Al Quds and Hezbollah who killed Americans and maimed US vets for life.

Iran Switching to Hard Ball in a Last Attempt to Control Iraq

Shi'ite fighters and Iraqi army members participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Jurf al-Sakhar October 26, 2014.(Photo: © Reuters)

Shi’ite fighters and Iraqi army members participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Jurf al-Sakhar October 26, 2014.(Photo: © Reuters)

The unforeseen ouster of Nouri al-Maliki represented a major defeat for the Iranian regime’s agenda in Iraq. Tactics had to be switched.

BY JACOB CAMPBELL:

“Good Opportunity”

A “good opportunity” is how Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi – one of the Iranian regime’s most senior clerics – described the events of June 10.

By most accounts, the fall of Mosul on that date was exactly the crisis the mullahs needed to tighten their grip on Iraq.

In a June 16  article for the New York Times, under the headline “ISIS Will Fail in Iraq, and Iran Will Be the Victor,” Steven Simon of the Middle East Institute predicted that, “to the extent that this sectarian brawl produces something resembling a winner, it won’t be in Washington, Mosul or Baghdad – but in Tehran.”

Drawing much the same conclusion, Middle East experts Michael Doran and Max Boot wrote in the Washington Post on June 17 that “the rise of ISIS provides Tehran with multiple benefits. For one thing, it makes … the Shi’ites of Iraq ever more dependent on Iranian protection.”

Nor is the long shadow cast over Iraq by the Iranian regime visible only from a Western perspective.

As Iraq’s Azzaman daily – a favourite of Iraqis in the country’s predominantly Shi’ite south – reported on September 4, “The stunning military successes by the Islamic State (IS) have made Iraq more reliant on Iran than any time before … IS’s invasion [has] given Tehran more leverage on almost all aspects of life in the country.”

Likewise, on October 1, Iranian dissident and human rights activist Amir Basiri argued in Forbes magazine that “Iran has been able to benefit immensely from the havoc that the Islamic State has wreaked across Iraq … [by using it] as an excuse to surge thousands of troops through the porous Iran-Iraq border and notch up the violent activities of its many proxy militia groups.”

Indeed, in the months that followed the Mosul takeover, at least 5,000 Revolutionary Guards – including 200 elite Qods Force officers – swarmed across the border into Iraq, while membership of the Iranian-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah militia tripled to over 30,000, swelling the total number of Iraq’s Shi’ite militiamen to well in excess of 150,000.

Consequently, the Pentagon assessed that, by mid-July, the Iraqi army was “deeply infiltrated” and had become “heavily dependent on Shi’ite militias – many of which were trained in Iran – as well as on advisers from Iran’s paramilitary Qods Force,” the New York Timesrevealed.

According to Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, as reported by the World Tribune on September 22, “A study by US Central Command determined that 24 of the 50 brigades in the Iraqi army … [are] dominated by Shi’ites believed [to be] aligned with Iran.”

In an interview with CNN on October 13, Fareed Zakaria of the Council on Foreign Relations summarised the state of Iraq’s military in blunter – but no less accurate – terms: “There’s no real Iraqi army … If you scratch the surface of the Iraqi army, it’s a bunch of sectarian militias.”

All of this corroborates the following information, contained in a report handed to the author during a meeting with Iraqi tribal representatives in late June:

“Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF), has set up his headquarters in the Baghdad International Airport zone, where he is directing the reorganisation and amalgamation of the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias into 200-man battalions, each of which is to be commanded by an IRGC-QF officer. Soleimani’s chief of staff is Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, a senior advisor to the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia … Recently, Soleimani met with Hadi al-Ameri, Iraqi Transport Minister and leader of the Badr Brigade militia, to negotiate the merger of the Badr Organisation with Kata’ib Hezbollah … For all intents and purposes, Soleimani is now the commander-in-chief of Iraq’s armed forces.”

Rather than downplaying its control over the Iraqi army, the Iranian regime has sought to publicize it, with the state-run Fars Newsproudly affirming that “Soleimani is the actual leader of the Iraqi forces,” according to Iraqi News.

With Iraq in chaos and the reins of its military firmly in the mullahs’ hands, the Iran newspaper – a publication owned by the Islamic Republic News Agency – felt confident enough to claim in a June 26 editorial that, “[since] there is no way to resolve the escalating crisis in Iraq domestically, … Iran can pave the way for an interim coalition” to govern Iraq.

This, however, proved to be an overoptimistic miscalculation.

Read more at Clarion Project

Jacob Campbell is a Senior Fellow of the Humanitarian Intervention Centre, Head of Research at Stand for Peace, and Co-Chairman of the Ashraf Campaign (ASHCAM). He tweets@JCampbellUKIPon Twitter.

Also see:

The Secret History of Hezbollah

BY TONY BADRAN:

Thirty years ago last month, Hezbollah blew up the barracks of the U.S Marines and French paratroopers stationed at the Beirut airport, killing 241 U.S. servicemen and 58 Frenchmen. It wasn’t Hezbollah’s first terrorist operation, but this attack, the most memorable in Lebanon’s vicious and chaotic 15-year-long civil war, marked the Party of God’s entry onto the world stage.

HOSSEIN DEHGHAN IN PARLIAMENT, 2013 AP / EBRAHIM NOROOZI

HOSSEIN DEHGHAN IN PARLIAMENT, 2013
AP / EBRAHIM NOROOZI

Three decades later, thanks to the efforts of Israeli Hezbollah expert Shimon Shapira, we now know that one of the men responsible for the attack was an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander named Hossein Dehghan​—​the man Iranian president Hassan Rouhani recently tapped to be his defense minister. In other words, Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been joined at the hip from the very beginning, even before the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Of course, that’s not the standard account of Hezbollah, the historical narrative jointly constructed and largely agreed upon by Middle East experts, journalists, some Western and Arab intelligence officials, and even Hezbollah figures themselves. This account holds that Hezbollah was founded in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in 1982 to fight, or “resist,” the Israeli invasion of that year. On this reading, the belief​—​held by the organization’s many critics, targets, and enemies​—​that Hezbollah is little more than an IRGC battalion on the eastern Mediterranean is simply part of a U.S.-Israeli disinformation campaign meant to smear a national resistance movement fighting for the liberation of Lebanese lands. Sure, Hezbollah was founded with some help from Iranian officials, and still receives financial assistance from Tehran, but the organization is strictly a Lebanese affair. It was engendered by Israel’s 1982 invasion and subsequent occupation of Lebanon. The occupation, as one author sympathetic to the group put it, is Hezbollah’s “raison d’être.” 

Even former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak contends that it was the Israeli occupation that gave birth to Hezbollah. “It was our stay [in Lebanon] that established [Hezbollah],” Israel’s most decorated soldier said in 2010. “Hezbollah got stronger not as a result of our exit from Lebanon but as a result of our stay in Lebanon.” Perhaps Barak was simply keen to defend his decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000, for his account is simply not true.

The big bang theory of Hezbollah that puts the Israeli occupation at the alpha point is based not in fact but in legend​—​it’s an Israel-centric myth that makes the Jewish state Hezbollah’s motivation and prime mover. In reality, the story of Hezbollah’s origins is a story about Iran, featuring the anti-shah revolutionaries active in Lebanon in the 1970s, years before Israel’s intervention. Thus, to uncover Hezbollah’s roots, it is necessary to mine the accounts of Iranian cadres operating in Lebanon a decade before Israel invaded.

There we find that, contrary to the common wisdom, Hezbollah didn’t arise as a resistance movement to the Israeli occupation. Rather, it was born from the struggle between Iranian revolutionary factions opposed to the shah. Lebanon was a critical front for this rivalry between Hezbollah’s Iranian progenitors and their domestic adversaries. Accordingly, an accurate understanding of this history gives us not only the true story of Hezbollah’s beginnings, but also an insight into the origins of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Those early internal conflicts and impulses, played out in Lebanon as well as Iran, also provide a roadmap for reading the nature of the current regime in Tehran, its motivations and concerns, its strategies and gambits as it moves toward acquiring a nuclear weapon and challenging the American order in the Middle East.

Read more at The Weekly Standard

Tony Badran is a columnist for the Beirut-based website NOW Lebanon and a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Islamic State Is Here

A82-450x337By Robert Spencer:

During the recent race riots in Ferguson, Missouri, CNN’s Jake Tapper was walking down a street and filming a segment when someone emerged out of the shadows behind him, holding a banner emblazoned, “ISIS is here.” At that point it was just a threat, or a boast, or both, but on Tuesday Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said that the Islamic State was doing all it could to make it a reality: “At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.”

“There’s nobody talking about it,” Hunter added. “If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border. It’s that simple…They caught them at the border, therefore we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them then you know there’s going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol.”

Indeed. And jihadist exploitation of our southern border is nothing new. In June 2014, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) foreshadowed Hunter’s announcement when he said: “This jihadist group ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have promised direct confrontation with America. He is looking forward to that day and he has said that publicly, we should believe him when he says that. These folks hate everything about the United States.” What’s more, “Of course the way they would come to the United States would be through the porous border with Mexico. The drug cartels will bring people into the country no matter who they are — for money. Everyone in the world knows that the border between the United States and Mexico is completely porous.”

Jihad terrorists and their enablers and accomplices have been entering the U.S. illegally by means of the Mexican border for many years. According to TheBlaze, “Hezbollah members and supporters have entered the U.S. through the southern border as early as 2002, with the case of Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison by Mexican authorities on charges of organized crime and immigrant smuggling. Mucharrafille had owned a cafe in the border city of Tijuana, near San Diego. In 2002, he was arrested for smuggling 200 people into the U.S., including Hezbollah supporters, according to a 2009 Congressional report.”

And in May 2010, the Department of Homeland Security warned local police along the southern border about a Muslim named Mohamed Ali who was suspected of being a member of the jihad terror group al Shabaab. An official who spoke to CNN about the warning said that it wasn’t clear whether or not Mohamed Ali was trying to enter the country illegally, but it seems unlikely that such an alert would have been sent out to police along the border if that had not been the case. Ali was, in any case, apparentlyinvolved in operating a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” that had brought hundreds of Somali Muslims into the U.S. illegally.

Top officials in Washington have known about how jihad terrorists have attempted to exploit the vulnerabilities of the southern border for many years now. In 2006, the House Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee, under the leadership of Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), issued a report entitled A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border, which stated: “Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered to the United States across our Southwest border.”

Nothing changed. Investigative journalist Deroy Murdock reported in 2010 that “according to the federal Enforcement Integrated Database, 125 individuals were apprehended along the US/Mexican border from Fiscal Year 2009 through April 20, 2010. These deportable aliens included two Syrians, seven Sudanese, and 17 Iranians, all nationals from the three Islamic countries that the US government officially classifies as state sponsors of terrorism.” During the same period, border agents also apprehended “two Afghans, five Algerians, 13 Iraqis, 10 Lebanese, 22 Nigerians, 28 Pakistanis, two Saudis, 14 Somalis, and three Yemenis. During FY 2007 and FY 2008, federal officials seized 319 people from these same countries traversing America’s southwest border.”

Murdock grants that these illegals may simply have come to pursue the American Dream, as Leftist dogma would have it. But he notes disturbing signs to the contrary: “Besides Iranian currency and Islamic prayer rugs, Texas Border Patrol agents discovered an Arabic clothing patch that reads ‘martyr’ and ‘way to immortality.’ Another shows a jet flying into a skyscraper.” And for some, their malign intentions were unmistakable: “The Department of Homeland Security issued an April 14, 2010 ‘Intelligence Alert’ regarding a possible border-crossing attempt by a Somali named Mohamed Ali. He is a suspected member of Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based al-Qaeda ally tied to the deadly attack on American GIs in 1993’s notorious ‘Blackhawk Down’ incident in Mogadishu.”

Read more at Frontpage

Also see:

An Emboldened Iran Takes the Stage at the United Nations

rouhani_3048708b-411x350By Arnold Ahlert:

On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations in a speech replete with anti-Western sentiments, anti-Semitism, tiresome tropes regarding the genesis of terror, and promises to continue pursuing his nation’s nuclear program.

While acknowledging that terror had become a global issue, Rouhani sought to put the blame everywhere else. “Today’s anti-Westernism is the offspring of yesterday’s colonialism,” Rouhani insisted, proceeding to take a none-too-subtle shot at America, noting that “certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of madmen, who now spare no one.” Apparently omitted from this list of madmen is Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has received direct support from Iran in the form of financial assistance, and despite all denials to the contrary, hundreds of Revolutionary Guard troops fighting in that nation. Iran also supports Hezbollah and Hamas, both of whom have been designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.

Thus, it was no surprise that Rouhani characterized the last war between Hamas and Israel as a conflict in which “thousands of innocent Palestinians in Gaza” were victims of the “Zionist regime’s aggression,” even as he characterized his own nation—the one that has openly boasted about sharing missile technology with Hamas to improve their ability to hit Israeli cities—as one of “tranquil secure and stable nations” in the Middle East.

Rouhani also aligned himself with the American left’s thoroughly misguided notions about the root of terror, “that germinates in poverty, discrimination, humiliation and injustice” that “grows in a culture of violence.” Several studies have thoroughly debunked that contention, yet it provides Rouhani and other apologists the opportunity to obscure the reality that Islamic fundamentalism is the primary driver of terror throughout the world. Thus, Rouhani expresses “astonishment” that groups like ISIS “call themselves Islamic” and that the Western media “repeats this false claim, which provokes hatred of all Muslims” and is “part of a (sic) Islamophobic project.” Like every other religion, Rouhani insists Islam is peaceful, and like every other prophet, the taking of even one innocent life is condemned by the prophet Mohammed.

Not quite. The Qur’an is filled with verses promoting violence and death against unbelievers, all the innocence in the world notwithstanding. Furthermore, the concept of abrogation explains that later verses in the Qur’an take precedence over earlier ones. Almost all of the violent verses appear later in the book.

Rouhani nonetheless continued his deceptive characterization of the real problems of the Middle East. “The strategic blunders of the West in the Middle-East, Central Asia and the Caucuses have turned these parts of the world into a haven for terrorists and extremists,” he insists, citing Iraq, Afghanistan and the “improper interference in Syria” as examples. He further insists the Middle East wants democracy—even as it impossible to believe he is unaware of the reality that democracy and Sharia Law are fundamentally incompatible systems of governance.

That reality made itself plain last week, when six Iranians were given suspended sentences of six months and 91 lashes for “obscene behavior” for appearing in a video singing the American pop song “Happy.”

They got off easy. In August, 16-year-old Ateqeh Rajabi was hanged in the Iranian town of Neka. She was executed for having sex with her boyfriend. She was one of several victims executed for sexual “crimes” that violated Sharia Law.

Read more at Frontpage

Foreign policy FUBAR: US providing intel to Hezbollah

hezbollah-300x180By Allen West:

I simply don’t believe in coincidences, especially when it comes to the Obama administration. Remember when we reported here about President Barack Hussein Obama meeting with pro-Hezbollah clerics on 9-11?

And now some very disturbing news has surfaced about American-Hezbollah coordination — let me remind you that Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Islamic terrorist group based in Lebanon. It was Hezbollah who was responsible for the 1983 Marine Beirut bombing which killed over 250 American Marines, Sailors, and others. It was Hezbollah who was responsible for the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achilles Lauro and the heinous and barbaric murder of American Jewish citizen Leon Kilnghoffer — a man confined to a wheel chair and pushed off the ship into the Mediterranean Sea.

And despite all this, Hezbollah is indirectly receiving American intelligence aid.

As reported by Arutz Sheva,”Mohammed Afif, the new head of public relations for the Lebanese-based Iranian-backed terror organization Hezbollah, gave a rare New York Times interview as Lebanese experts reveal his group is indirectly receiving American intelligence aid in its fight against Islamic State (ISIS). Following ISIS’s temporary conquest of Arsal last month on the Lebanese side of the Syrian border, the US sent new weapons to the Lebanese army, which coordinates with Hezbollah. Likewise, US intelligence has found its way to Hezbollah according to Lebanese experts. That leaked intelligence may explain some recent impressive achievements against ISIS, including the first known Hezbollah drone strike.”

So let’s have a quick review. The Obama administration released five senior Taliban members to Qatar — where the head of Hamas resides. Obama coordinated with Qatar and Turkey, both major supporters to Islamic terrorist groups. Now apparently Obama is assisting Hezbollah with intelligence — and Hezbollah is a named Islamic terrorist organization.

This ladies and gents is our biggest fear — that the Obama administration would work with nefarious actors in its quest to deal with ISIS — instead of destroying ISIS itself. So Obama may not be dealing with Iran directly, but he’s working with Iran’s proxy terrorist army, Hezbollah.

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> America is providing intelligence aid to Hezbollah, an Islamic terrorist group that is the avowed enemy of our ally Israel.

> Hezbollah is allied fighting in support of Bashar al-Assad whom Obama said must go.

> Therefore, we are providing intelligence support to Hezbollah who is fighting against the Syrian rebels who we want to arm and train to fight against ISIS who are fighting against Assad who is supported by Hezbollah who is supported by Iran who is the largest sponsor of Islamic terrorism who is responsible for countless attacks against our men and women and is marching towards developing a nuclear bomb capability.

Yep ladies and gents, that is Obama foreign policy — FUBAR!

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