U.S. Links Iran to Both Al-Qaeda and Taliban Terrorists

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The U.S. Treasury Department is again linking the Iranian regime to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. On August 21-22, it sanctioned several terrorists and disclosed their Iranian ties. Yet again, it is confirmed that Shiite and Sunni terrorists are willing to cooperate against common enemies.

An August 22 press release announces the sanctioning of Abdul Mohsen Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh, described as an Al-Qaeda facilitator and strategist in Syria. He is also a senior leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, and very active in social media.

The Obama Administration explains that he also played a leading role in Al-Qaeda’s pipeline in Iran that operates with the consent of the regime:

“Prior to his work in Syria with [Jabhat al-Nusra], al-Sharikh served in early 2013 as chief of al-Qaida’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network before the return of already designated al-Qaida facilitator Yasin al-Suri to the position. Al-Sharikh has also previously served al-Qaida as a key financial facilitator in Pakistan.”

A press release from a day prior announced that the Treasury Department was sanctioning the Basir Zarjmil Hawala based in Chaman of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province. Hawala networks are underground money transfer systems in the Muslim world.

The U.S. government says the Basir Zarjmil Hawala became the “principal money exchanger” for Taliban leaders in Pakistan in 2012. It provides a list of branch offices, with one being in Iran. Given the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime and suspicion of Sunni terrorists, it is inconceivable that the regime is unaware of this major operation. Other offices are in Afghanistan and Dubai.

The Clarion Project’s fact sheet on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism details how the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations have all asserted that the Iranian regime supports Al-Qaeda, despite their intense ideological divisions.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Iran and Al-Qaeda began collaborating in late 1991 or early 1992. Al-Qaeda operatives began receiving training, particularly in explosives, inside Iran and Lebanon.

The report leaves open the possibility that Al-Qaeda worked with Iran in carrying out the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996. The attack killed 19 U.S. soldiers. The Iranians wanted to expand the relationship after Al-Qaeda’s bombing of theUSS Cole in Yemen in 2000, but Osama Bin Laden was worried about losing Saudi supporters.

“The relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran demonstrated that Sunni-Shi’a divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations,” the 9/11 Commission concluded.

***

Iran is offering to help the U.S. defeat the Islamic State (formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq) if sanctions are lifted on its nuclear program. The Iranian regime is acting like a firefighter that sets blazes so it can come to the rescue.

The Shiite Iranian regime and the Sunni terrorists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State may kill and condemn each other, but they are far closer to each other than they are to us. The history of the relationship shows that they will work together against us, even as they fight tooth-and-nail in Syria and Iraq.

At the end of the day, Islamist terrorists will always choose each other over us. We ignore that demonstrated behavior at our own cost.

Read more at Clarion Project

DECLARE WAR ON SHARIAH

iraq-machine-guns-held-aloft-afpBreitbart, by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR., Aug. 24.2014:

The National Journal called earlier this week for the United States to “declare war on ISIS.” The magazine is right to argue for a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), a legislative vehicle that passes these days for a congressional declaration of war. It is wrong, however, to urge that the existing AUMF, which targets al Qaeda and “associated forces,” be replaced by one that focuses just on the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham/Syria, or ISIS, or the Islamic State in the Levant, or ISIL).

Nearly thirteen years after 9/11, it is past time to recognize that we are at war not with one group of “terrorists” or another. Rather, adherents to a doctrine or ideology they call shariah are at war with us. Shariah is, at its core, about power, not faith. While some small percentage (some estimates suggest ten-percent) of its dictates prescribe the religious practices, the rest of it defines comprehensively how every relationship must be ordered – between individuals, families, neighbors, business associates, all the way up to how the world is governed.

Most importantly, shariah obliges its followers to engage in jihad (or holy war). Don’t be misled by those who argue jihad means “personal struggle.” The Koran makes clear that jihad is “holy war.” And for shariah-adherent Islamists that war has two goals: the triumph of shariah worldwide and the establishment of what is, for want of a better term, a theocratic government to rule the entire planet according to that doctrine.

The jihadists may disagree among themselves about some points of theology (notably, differences that divide Sunnis and Shiites). They may be committed to the use of terrifying violence under all circumstances. Or, as in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood, they may believe it is to be used where practicable, but insist on employing not so much non-violent as pre-violent, subversive techniques where terrorism will be counterproductive.

Whatever the banner under which these shariah-adherents wage jihad – for example, the Islamic State, al Qaeda, Taliban, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Ansar al-Shariah or Muslim Brotherhood – all these Islamists are our avowed enemies. That is not because of how we view them. That is because of their own doctrine which is endlessly reinforced in their mosques, via the Internet, through social media and other vehicles.

We can no longer kid ourselves, or otherwise avoid a harsh reality: While perhaps hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world – including it seems the majority of those in America – practice their faith without regard for shariah (they don’t want to live under it themselves and they do not seek to impose it on others), the authorities of Islam regard shariah as the true faith and consider these co-religionists to be apostates.

At the moment, fortunately, only a relatively small number are actively engaged in violent jihad. Many more, though, are doing what shariah demands of those unable or unwilling to wield the sword in holy war: underwriting those who do, through the practice of zakat (Islam’s obligatory contributions to approved charitable causes, one of which is jihad).

Unless and until we understand that shariah-adherent Muslims are inherently dangerous, we will be unable to define our enemy correctly. Unless and until we hold such Muslims accountable, we will not only restrict unduly the focus and effectiveness of our countervailing efforts.

Worse yet, we will actually encourage Muslims – whether states like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, organizations or individuals – to associate with, underwrite, or in other ways enable deadly foes of freedom.

Some will respond that an AUMF focused on shariah is a formula for a “clash of civilizations.” The truth is that enemies of civilization – namely, those who adhere to and seek to impose, whether through violence or by stealth, brutally repressive, totalitarian, misogynistic, homophobic, intolerant and anti-constitutional shariah on others – have made no secret of their determination to conquer and destroy us and the rest of the civilized world.

Only by making clear that we are determined to fight back in defense of freedom will we have a chance of protecting our civilization against these enemies. By identifying the political-military-legal ideology of shariah as the defining ideology of those with whom we are at war – much as we did in the past against Nazism, Fascism, Japanese imperialism, and communism – we have a chance of prevailing. And that chance will be greatly enhanced if we bring to bear now, as in the past, not only military but all other instruments of national power.

We will also incentivize Muslims who do not conform to this doctrine to join us in fighting those who accuse them of apostasy, a capital offense under shariah. If they do so, the likelihood of our early success improves still further.

So, by all means, let’s have a new authorization for the use of military force. Or better yet, a proper declaration of war approved by the Congress, authorizing the use of the full array of our economic, political, intelligence, strategic and military means of waging war. But for the sake of our civilization and freedoms, we must ensure that it correctly defines the object of our defensive war: those who adhere to and are trying compel us to submit to shariah.

Documentary – Meeting ISIL (PressTV goes deep inside the terrorist group)

Published on Aug 21, 2014 by PressTV News Videos:

To learn who these people are, what they are fighting for, and who funds them, PRESS TV goes deep into their camps and brings you face to face interviews and exclusive footage. Many of those who were initially infatuated by the group’s promise of justice seem to be horrified and utterly disillusioned today.

(Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). The IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.- wikipedia)

Also see:

Iran links Iraq role to lifting of sanctions

Iran is ready to join international action against militants in Iraq provided the West lifts crippling sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

His comments followed a call by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday for all countries in the region, including Iran, to join the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters who have seized swathes of Iraq as well as neighboring Syria.

“If we agree to do something in Iraq, the other side of the negotiations should do something in return,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying.

“All the sanctions that are related to Iran’s nuclear program should be lifted,” he said.

It is the first time that Iran has explicitly linked its readiness to work with the West in Iraq with a lifting of the crippling EU and U.S. sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

Those sanctions are the subject of ongoing talks between Tehran and the major powers that are due to resume before the opening of the U.N. General Assembly next month.

In return for lifting the sanctions, the Western powers are demanding that Iran sharply rein in its nuclear program to ally international concerns about its ambitions as part of a comprehensive deal they are seeking to strike by November.

The Iranian foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that discussions were under way with several European governments about the possibility of joint action against ISIS in Iraq.

Zarif said tough negotiations were still under way over what role Iran might play in Iraq and what the reward might be for its cooperation.

“It is still not clear what we have to do in Iraq and what they have to do in return,” the Mehr news agency quoted the Iranian foreign minister as saying.

“And that’s exactly the difficult part.”

Iranian and U.S. officials discussed the jihadists’ lightning offensive in Iraq in June on the sidelines of nuclear talks with the major powers but both sides ruled out joint military action at the time.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, although they have had contacts over Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

Sherman’s 300,000 and the Caliphate’s Three Million

Middle East Forum:

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
August 12, 2014

553When General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the city of Atlanta in 1864, he warned, “I fear the world will jump to the wrong conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it. We must kill three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them.” Add a zero to calibrate the problem in the Levant today. War in the Middle East is less a strategic than a demographic phenomenon, the resolution of which will come with the exhaustion of the pool of potential fighters.

The Middle East has plunged into a new Thirty Years War, allows Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations:

It is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeking to defend their interests and increase their influence. Conflicts take place within and between states; civil wars and proxy wars become impossible to distinguish. Governments often forfeit control to smaller groups – militias and the like – operating within and across borders. The loss of life is devastating, and millions are rendered homeless.

Well and good: I predicted in 2006 that the George W. Bush administration’s blunder would provoke another Thirty Years War in the region, and repeated the diagnosis many times since. But I doubt that Mr. Haass (or Walter Russell Mead, who cited the Haass article) has given sufficient thought to the implications.

How does one handle wars of this sort? In 2008, I argued for a “Richelovian” foreign policy, that is, emulation of the evil genius who guided France to victory at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War in 1648. Wars of this sort end when two generations of fighters are killed. They last for decades (as did the Peloponnesian War, the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the 20th century) because one kills off the fathers in the first half of the war, and the sons in the second.

This new Thirty Years War has its origins in a demographic peak and an economic trough. There are nearly 30 million young men aged 15 to 24 in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, a bulge generation produced by pre-modern fertility rates that prevailed a generation ago. But the region’s economies cannot support them. Syria does not have enough water to support an agricultural population, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers into tent cities preceded its civil war. The West mistook the death spasms of a civilization for an “Arab Spring,” and its blunders channeled the youth bulge into a regional war.

The way to win such a war is by attrition, that is, by feeding into the meat-grinder a quarter to a third of the enemy’s available manpower. Once a sufficient number of those who wish to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so, the war stops because there are insufficient recruits to fill the ranks. That is how Generals Grant and Sherman fought the American Civil War, and that is the indicated strategy in the Middle East today.

It is a horrible business. It was not inevitable. It came about because of the ideological rigidity of the Bush Administration, compounded by the strategic withdrawal of the Obama administration. It could have been avoided by the cheap and simple expedient bombing of Iran’s nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards bases, followed by an intensive subversion effort aimed at regime change in Teheran. Former Vice President Dick Cheney advocated this course of action, but then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Bush that the Muslim world would never forgive America for an attack on another Muslim state.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, warned Bush that America’s occupation army in Iraq had become hostage to Iranian retaliation: if America bombed Iran, Iran could exact vengeance in American blood in the cities of Iraq. Then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen told Charlie Rose on March 16, 2009:

What I worry about in terms of an attack on Iran is, in addition to the immediate effect, the effect of the attack, it’s the unintended consequences. It’s the further destabilization in the region. It’s how they would respond. We have lots of Americans who live in that region who are under the threat envelope right now [because of the] capability that Iran has across the Gulf. So, I worry about their responses and I worry about it escalating in ways that we couldn’t predict.

The Bush administration was too timid to take on Iran; the Obama administration views Iran as a prospective ally. Even Neville Chamberlain did not regard Hitler as prospective partner in European security. But that is what Barack Obama said in March to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg:

What I’ll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn’t to say that they aren’t a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they’re not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives.

Bush may have been feckless, but Obama is mad.

With Iran neutralized, Syrian President Basher Assad would have had no choice but to come to terms with Syria’s Sunni majority; as it happens, he had the firepower to expel millions of them. Without the protection of Tehran, Iraq’s Shia would have had to compromise with Sunnis and Kurds. Iraqi Sunnis would not have allied with ISIS against the Iranian-backed regime in Baghdad. A million or more Iraqis would not have been displaced by the metastasizing Caliphate.

The occupation of Iraq in the pursuit of nation building was colossally stupid. It wasted thousands of lives and disrupted millions, cost the better part of a trillion dollars, and demoralized the American public like no failure since Vietnam – most of all America’s young people. Not only did it fail to accomplish its objective, but it kept America stuck in a tar-baby trap, unable to take action against the region’s main malefactor. Worst of all: the methods America employed in order to give the Iraq war the temporary appearance of success set in motion the disaster we have today. I warned of this in a May 4, 2010 essay entitled, General Petraeus’ Thirty Years War (Asia Times Online, May 4, 2010).

The great field marshal of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, Albrecht von Wallenstein, taught armies to live off the land, and succeeded so well that nearly half the people of Central Europe starved to death during the conflict. General David Petraeus, who heads America’s Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus’ putative success in the Iraq “surge” of 2007-2008 is one of the weirder cases of Karl Marx’s quip of history repeating itself first as tragedy second as farce. The consequences will be similar, that is, hideous.

Wallenstein put 100,000 men into the field, an army of terrifying size for the times, by turning the imperial army into a parasite that consumed the livelihood of the empire’s home provinces. The Austrian Empire fired him in 1629 after five years of depredation, but pressed him back into service in 1631. Those who were left alive joined the army, in a self-feeding spiral of destruction on a scale not seen in Europe since the 8th century. Wallenstein’s power grew with the implosion of civil society, and the Austrian emperor had him murdered in 1634.

Petraeus accomplished the same thing with (literally) bags of money. Starting with Iraq, the American military has militarized large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the name of pacification. And now America is engaged in a grand strategic withdrawal from responsibility in the region, leaving behind men with weapons and excellent reason to use them.

There is no way to rewind the tape after the fragile ties of traditional society have been ripped to shreds by war. All of this was foreseeable; most of it might have been averted. But the sordid players in this tragicomedy had too much reputation at stake to reverse course when it still was possible. Now they will spend the declining years of their careers blaming each other.

Three million men will have to die before the butchery comes to an end. That is roughly the number of men who have nothing to go back to, and will fight to the death rather than surrender.

ISIS by itself is overrated. It is a horde enhanced by captured heavy weapons, but cannot fly warplanes in a region where close air support is the decisive factor in battle. The fighters of the Caliphate cannot hide under the jungle canopy like the North Vietnamese. They occupy terrain where aerial reconnaissance can identify every stray cat. The Saudi and Jordanian air forces are quite capable of defending their borders. Saudi Arabia has over 300 F-15′s and 72 Typhoons, and more than 80 Apache attack helicopters. Jordan has 60 F16′s as well as 25 Cobra attack helicopters. The putative Caliphate can be contained; it cannot break out into Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and it cannot advance far into the core Shia territory of Iraq. It can operate freely in Syria, in a war of attrition with the Iranian backed government army. The grim task of regional security policy is to channel the butchery into areas that do not threaten oil production or transport.

Ultimately, ISIS is a distraction. The problem is Iran. Without Iran, Hamas would have no capacity to strike Israel beyond a few dozen kilometers past the Gaza border. Iran now has GPS-guided missiles which are much harder to shoot down than ordinary ballistic missiles (an unguided missile has a trajectory that is easy to calculate after launch; guided missiles squirrel about seeking their targets). If Hamas acquires such rockets – and it will eventually if left to its own devices – Israel will have to strike further, harder and deeper to eliminate the threat. That confrontation will not come within a year, and possibly not within five years, but it looms over the present hostilities. The region’s security will hinge on the ultimate reckoning with Iran.

David P Goldman is Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the Was Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum. His book How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too) was published by Regnery Press in September 2011. A volume of his essays on culture, religion and economics, It’s Not the End of the World – It’s Just the End of You, also appeared that fall, from Van Praag Press.

Beyond Bombing Iraq: Obama Needs an ISIS Strategy

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Obama’s willingness to reengage in Iraq is admirable, but until he crafts a coherent strategy, he will be doing little more than using American pilots to kick the can down the road.

By Michael Rubin:

During his weekly radio address on August 9, President Barack Obama explained his decision to launch airstrikes on Iraq. First, he said, American airpower was necessary to keep the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from sweeping into Erbil, where many American diplomats, officials and businessmen reside, and second, he declared force necessary to provide humanitarian relief for displaced Yezidi stranded and besieged on a mountaintop. Obama, however, cautioned that military power could not alone resolve the situation. “There’s no American military solution to the larger crisis there,” he said, urging “Iraqi communities to reconcile, come together and fight back against these terrorists.” Fine words, but they reveal more confusion than clarity in the White House about Iraq, ISIS and the nature of terrorism.

In 2005, Robert Pape published a seminal book, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, which argued against the backdrop of 9/11’s aftermath that it was grievance—specifically, occupation and the quartering of troops among resentful populations—and not religion that primarily motivated terrorism. Subsequent studies found Pape’s statistics massaged and questioned his conclusions, but Pape’s thesis remains popular among both diplomats and academics. After all, it is comforting to see terrorism as rooted in grievance because that means that diplomacy, incentive or compromise can resolve such conflicts. Unfortunately, however, ideology remains the key motivator for Islamist terrorism. Forget poverty or lack of education: most suicide bombers are educated and middle class. Nor can forcing concessions or seeking compromise work when uncompromising Islamist ideology is the problem: In an ideal world, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki might have been more magnanimous toward Sunni tribal leaders, but no matter how many concessions he might have given, it would not have changed the murderous ideology and outlook of ISIS.

It is an irony of Washington that those who consider themselves most sensitive to multiculturalism and diversity ignore the fact that different peoples think in different ways. Reconciliation may be a worthy goal, but it is important to recognize that many in the Middle East do not interpret reconciliation in the same manner as do Americans. While South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” Commission is a model American diplomats may recommend, many in the Middle East associate reconciliation with Manichean notions of justice: Instead of “truth and reconciliation,” think “truth and execution.”

While Obama’s reengagement in Iraq is a welcome acknowledgement that the price of Iraq’s failure would undercut American security interests, cognitive dissonance also infuses Obama’s recent remarks. U.S. administrations often compartmentalize problems. They develop one Iran policy, another Iraq policy and a separate Syria policy, each independent of the other. There is no grand strategy. But when Al Qaeda and offshoots like ISIS operate in countries, they conduct not traditional insurrections, but rather transnational insurgencies. American strategy, however, remains constrained by borders. If the United States is to be effective, Obama should explain why he is taking action in Iraq, but not in Syria. After all, ISIS conducts the same atrocities in both countries. Nor is it clear why Obama would act to protect the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil, but not Baghdad. Maliki and Iraqi Kurdish president Massoud Barzani are mirror images of each other: Both countenance corruption and seek to rule beyond their mandate. With tanks and pro-Maliki security forces taking up positions across Baghdad yesterday, diplomats may fret at Maliki’s decision to seek a third term, but they forget that Barzani addressed a constitutional two-term limit simply by extending his second term beyond its legal limit.

Read more at The National Interest

Michael Rubin (@mrubin1971) is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Also see:

BREITBART EXCLUSIVE: EXPERT INTERVIEW: ‘WE CAN FORGET ABOUT IRAQ, BUT IRAQ ISN’T GOING TO FORGET ABOUT US”

 

The world is silent on genocide, rape in Syria, Iraq

Published on Aug 8, 2014 by Fox News

Lisa Daftari: Over the last month, as world attention has focused on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, terror group ISIS has had free reign in Iraq… killing thousands, ethnically cleansing the country of its Christian and Yazidi communities, while raping and abducting their young girls.

But these headlines are insignificant for the likes of Penelope Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem, along with many other celebrities, singers and directors, who were quick to condemn Israel for “genocide” while bringing attention to the vast difference in casualties. 64 for Israel, and over 1,800 for the Palestinians.

But do these two numbers tell the whole story? Do they describe the way in which Hamas uses Palestinians children as shields or hide their operatives and weapons in schools and civilian areas hoping to increase the death toll? Do they tell the story of how many Palestinians themselves now condemn Hamas?

They don’t. And here’s the advice for celebrities using their stardom and platforms to make a political statement: If you don’t know the facts, stay quiet. Otherwise, use your voice to address real global calamities.

Follow Lisa Daftari on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaDaftari

Iran’s New Strategy Of Diversion: Persuading The Sunni Camp To Fight Israel, Not Iran

July 23, 2014 Facebook announcement by Khamenei's office (Source: Facebook.com/www.Khamenei.ir)

July 23, 2014 Facebook announcement by Khamenei’s office (Source: Facebook.com/www.Khamenei.ir)

By: A. Savyon and Y. Carmon:

Introduction

Recently, the Iranian regime has launched a campaign for arming the Palestinians in West Bank and Israel’s Arab citizens; the campaign is being led by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

On July 23, 2014, on the eve of Iran’s Qods (Jerusalem) Day, Khamenei said that “the only solution [for Israel] is its annihilation and liquidation. Of course, until that time [when this happens], the determined and armed Palestinian resistance, and its spread to the West Bank, are the only way to deal with that bestial regime… Therefore, it is my belief that the West Bank should be armed just like Gaza. Anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine, and who is capable of doing something, should act in this matter in order to reduce the suffering and torment of the Palestinian people by means of their strong hand…”[1]

This campaign played a role in Iran’s strategy, in two vital areas that are completely unconnected to the war in Gaza or to the Palestinian cause: a) It serves the Iranian regime in its struggle against the Sunni world, which has ratcheted up its pressure on Iran, and b) it serves the Iranian regime in its struggle against the opposition, i.e. the pragmatic camp, at home, that has recently escalated its attacks on the ideological camp (see MEMRI series on The Struggle Between Khamenei And Rafsanjani Over The Iranian Leadership).

While the policy of annihilating Israel is one thing that the ideological and the pragmatic camps in Iran have in common, as it is a founding tenet of the regime, the move to arm the West Bank Palestinians and Israel’s Arab citizens is a new element that the regime is stressing in recent days, and by all possible means. In every major speech and announcement, regime spokesmen emphasize the need for the Sunni world to stop fighting Shi’ites and join Iran in its fight against Israel.[2] The regime also is highlighting the need for unity at home, which is actually a demand that the pragmatic camp accept the authority of the ideological camp.

It should be noted that on the internal level, this tactic has been successful, as expected; the pragmatic camp has hastened to stand with the regime on this matter.[3]

However, the effort to divert the Sunni camp from its struggle with Iran and the Shi’ites has as of yet yielded no results. Apparently, the Sunni world understands Iran’s gambit and is not going along with it; it is also stepping up its pressure on the Shi’ites in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.[4]

It should be clarified that this strategy of diversion is not just talk – the Iranian regime is working to implement it in coordination with the leaders of Hizbullah and of the Palestinian factions. But the main importance of this effort for Iran is that it serves both Iran’s existential interest against the external Sunni threat and also the interest of the Iranian regime at home against the opposition.

Read more at MEMRI

Fighting for us: The Real stakes in Israel’s war

Israeli soldiers sleep atop a tank during a small truce between Israel and Hamas near the Gaza Strip on July 28. Photo: AP

Israeli soldiers sleep atop a tank during a small truce between Israel and Hamas near the Gaza Strip on July 28.
Photo: AP

By John Bolton:

Israel’s effort to destroy Hamas’ underground Gaza Strip infrastructure is about defeating terrorism, yes — but even graver issues are involved.

Hamas’s long record of indiscriminate rocket attacks (over 11,000 since Israel left Gaza in 2005), its suicide bombers and its determination to destroy the Jewish state are all too real.

This is more than ample justification for Israel not just to retaliate against Hamas, but to destroy it.

But in Gaza today, Israel is also battling the existential peril of Iran’s nuclear program.

Despite Hamas’ 2011 refusal to support Assad in Syria, Iran never forgot Hamas’ potential usefulness against “the little Satan”; Tehran and Hamas have resumed their strategic partnership.

By confronting Hamas, Israel is simultaneously also striving against the fear of a new holocaust courtesy of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Removing or at least substantially degrading this mortal threat is the key imperative in Gaza, and could take considerable time to accomplish.

Appreciating this objective requires understanding the interwoven layers of deterrence and military capability involved in Israel’s war on Iran’s nuclear threat.

Of course, a nuclear Iran is not simply Israel’s problem, but America’s as well. Unfortunately, Washington and its allies have abdicated their responsibilities.

President Obama says repeatedly that “all options are on the table,” but no one really believes he’ll ever order military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program, and few think the endless talks with Iran will even slow Tehran’s progress. Israel is the only power that may act.

Yet Iran’s most likely response to an Israeli attack would be to unleash Hamas and Hezbollah against the Israeli civilian population.

A direct Iranian attack on Israel is unlikely, since Tehran wouldn’t want to risk an Israeli nuclear response. Retaliating indirectly through its terrorist surrogates is safer, while providing an air of plausible deniability.

Other options (closing the Strait of Hormuz; attacking US forces in the region) are highly unlikely, since they’d prompt an American military response, even from Obama.

(Incidentally, an Israeli strike would not prompt a broader Middle East war, because key Arab states also oppose a nuclear Iran.)

Thus the Hamas and Hezbollah arsenals in Gaza and southern Lebanon are crucial.

Most of Hamas’ rockets are short-range and not terribly accurate. If they hit civilian targets, they are of course lethal, but for Hamas their main use is as a weapon of terror.

After the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, however, Tehran not only replenished Hezbollah’s more muscular missile stockpiles, but also substantially upgraded Hamas’ assets. Longer-range missiles began appearing in Gaza, smuggled in courtesy of Iran, such as the Fajr-5 and the Khaibar (Syrian-built from Iranian design).

As recently as March, Israel intercepted the Klos-C in the Red Sea carrying Khaibar missiles, mortars and assault-rifle ammunition, which Israel credibly says were Gaza-bound. Although shipping records were counterfeited, Iran was undoubtedly the source.

Thus Iran could order the launching of longer-range, more accurate missiles from both Lebanon and Gaza, substantially increasing the threat to Israel.

Despite Israel’s huge strides in missile defense, especially Iron Dome, such systems can still be defeated by overwhelming them with large numbers of rockets arriving simultaneously on a given target, especially if they’re launched from two disparate locations.

Iran fully understands the deterrent effect these missiles have on any Israeli government contemplating a pre-emptive strike. The Khaibar’s range of about 200 miles means it can strike Israel’s port of Haifa from Gaza.

With its 50-mile range, the Fajr-5 can hit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor. (Missile ranges rise or fall depending on the weight of the weapons payload being carried.)

Israel needs to feel confident it can successfully attack Iran’s nuclear program without risking unacceptable civilian losses when Tehran retaliates via Hamas and Hezbollah.

Thus, Israel should destroy Hamas’ missile capabilities now, as well as any unmanned aerial vehicles in Gaza that might disperse biological or chemical weapons.

Ideally, Israel would do the same to Hezbollah — which helps explain why Hezbollah has held back during the current hostilities.

But there is little doubt that Iran and Hamas desperately hope John Kerry or others will manage to impose a cease-fire in Gaza before their stocks of long-range missiles are uncovered and destroyed.

This is why it is so important that Israel continue its Gaza operations for as long as it deems necessary, precisely to destroy those missiles.

In so doing, Israel is acting not only in its own legitimate self-defense, but in America’s as well.

Some Facts and Notes About The Situation on the Border: From the Jihadi Threat Perspective

h2Terror Trends Bulletin, By Christopher Holton, July 27.2014:

• Hezbollah has a major presence in North, Central and South America.

• Hezbollah is embedded in the Lebanese Muslim community in the US and enjoys protection from a neighborhood watch-type program that serves as a countersurveillance and counterintelligence operation. They also are embedded in multiple Shia mosques, some of which are directly tied to the Iranian regime.

• In 2003, then-CIA director George Tenet testified before Congress that 12 Hezbollah cells has been identified as operating in the US conducting surveillance.

• A Congressional Research Service report published in 2011 indicated that Hezbollah was present in 15 US cities, including Houston and Nashville.

• Hezbollah’s activities in the US primarily center around drug trafficking and criminal schemes and scams.

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• In Operation Smokescreen from 1995-2002, a Hezbollah cell in North Carolina that was bootlegging cigarettes to raise money was broken up. This was detailed in the excellent book, “Lightning Out of Lebanon.”

• In Operation Tobacco Road, 16 Muslim in the US were indicted for trafficking bootleg cigarettes in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. The proceeds are believed to have gone to Hezbollah and/or HAMAS.

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• In 2011, 70 car dealerships in Florida and elsewhere were uncovered laundering cars for sale in West Africa to raise money for Hezbollah.

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• Hezbollah has two major networks operating in Latin America:

1. The Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani Network

2. The Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine Network

• Rabbani is an Iranian diplomatic official who was formerly the cultural attache’ to Argentina when Hezbollah attacked two Jewish targets there in 1992 and 1994. He is wanted on an Interpol Red Notice.

Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani

• Nassereddine was born in Lebanon, became a Venezuelan citizen in 2000-2001 and became Venezuela’s number 2 diplomat to Syria.

Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine

• Hezbollah’s Rabbani network operates in Brazil and Venezuela and is linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and has been identified as operating cocaine labs and providing security for drug operations.

The Southern Border of the US

• Former DEA Operations Chief, Michael Braun, has testified about Hezbollah’s extensive operations in Latin America:

–Hezbollah has exploited America’s porous southern border for years.

–Hezbollah has close relations with Mexican cartels.

• Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman detailed Hezbollah’s Latin American operations in his indictment of Iranian officials for the 1992 and 1994 Buenos Aires bombings:

–9 Latin American countries have Hezbollah deeply embedded.

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–The origin of Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America was the heavy emigration out of Lebanon from 1975-1990.

–Hezbollah initially set up operations in the lawless “Tri-border” area where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay come together.

The lawless "Tri-Border Area" in South America

• Hezbollah has a particularly heavy presence in Venezuela, especially on Margarita Island, where Hezbollah operates a training camp and has banking assets

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• Hezbollah operates in Mexico and has relations with the Los Zetas cartel.

• In Mexico, Hezbollah’s operations include drug and human trafficking and providing explosives and tunneling training for the cartels. Hezbollah originally provided explosives training to Al Qaeda in Sudan in the 1990s and they have extensive experience in tunneling operations on the Lebanon-Israel border.

Hezbollah tunnel

• In July 2010, acting on intelligence provided by the US, Mexican authorities arrested a Hezbollah operative in Tijuana.

• The two main north-south routes for Hezbollah trafficking operations are I-35 and Highway 59.

interstate-35-map

US Highway 59

• US LE and Border Patrol have reported an increase in detainees with Farsi language tattoos and Hezbollah imagery on tattoos in recent years.

Source: fortressoffaith.org

• It has become increasingly common for Muslims in Mexico to change their Islamic surnames to Hispanic sounding names to facilitate moving across the border. Apologists claim this is simply to avoid discrimination. 

• Cartels have been involved in trafficking Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and Hezbollah operatives into the US.

• From 2008-2010, an estimated 180,000 OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) were believed to have crossed the border illegaly.

• In that same period, 1,918 “Special Interest” OTMs were apprehended on the border. “Special Interest” means they originated from nations of terrorism concern, such as Middle Eastern Islamic nations.

• In January 2011, a Farsi language book was found on the border in Arizona. It was named “In Memory of Our Martyrs.” It was an anthology of Jihadis killed in martyrdom operations.

English language translation of "In Memory of Our Martyrs" published by Iran's Qods Force and available on Amazon in the UK

• In April 2005, then-FBI director Robert Mueller reported that Hezbollah was involved in human trafficking on the southern border.

• In July of 2012, six Special Interest aliens from Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen were arrested in Laredo, TX. Each had 60,000 Iraqi dinars.

Information on general enforcement conditions on the Mexican border:

• There are constraints on border control. The Border Patrol is forbidden from patrolling on federal land. The Border Patrol reports receiving instructions to avoid detaining and processing illegal aliens.

• The majority of border crossers are NOT economic immigrants.

• Cartels are buying real estate on both sides of the border to set up staging areas and camps.

• The cartels employ high-tech comm gear superior to that in the hands of US LE.

• Cartels and coyotes employ scouts and snipers on the high ground along trafficking routes.

• The Mexican army has in fact provided surveillance and cover fire FOR traffickers on more than one occasion.

• Arizona ranchers are afraid to use their cell phones in the open because cartel snipers might think they are calling in reports to LE and kill them. Even US LE are careful about using comm gear in the open on the southern border. It is believed that the cartels have snipers and scouts in the high ground all the way to Phoenix.

• In 2010, an indictment in San Antonio involved the human smuggling of 100 or more Al Shabaab members from Somalia.

In short, the border is not secure, not at all. Any politician that says otherwise is LYING. In significant portions of the border, for much of the day/night, the border is completely controlled by cartels who have known ties to Jihadis, such as Hezbollah.

Christopher Holton is Director of Education and Outreach at ACT! for America. Holton joined ACT! for America after serving for 10 years at the Center for Security Policy, where he directed the Center’s Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence Program. He has been involved in legislation in twenty states to divest taxpayer supported pension systems from foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic as well as passage of American Laws for American Courts and several other forms of state level legislation in dozens of states. In 2005, he was a co-author of War Footing, published by the US Naval Institute Press. Holton’s work has also been published by National Review, Human Events, The American Thinker, Family Security Matters, Big Peace, World Tribune, World Net Daily, and NewsMax. Before joining the Center, Chris was President of Blanchard and Company, a two hundred million dollar per year investment firm, and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit.

Iran’s Proxy War Against Israel

ayatollah_2146641b-450x336Front Page, by Majid Rafizadeh:

While the mainstream media has focused solely on Hamas and Israel in the current ongoing war, there has been less attention given to the major role that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been playing in ratcheting up the conflict with its military assistance to Hamas fighters, including Iranian-built Fajr 5 and M-75 with ranges of approximately 75 kilometers.

These are missiles and rockets that can target cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

It is worth noting that the export of arms as well as military and weaponry assistance by the Islamic Republic to Hamas is legally prohibited by the United Nations Security Council, written in UN Resolution 1747.

Although Iranian leaders often deny that they are supporting Hamas militarily, some, including former Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, admitted that the Islamic Republic has been supplying military aid and technology to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On the Iranian parliament’s website, Larijani stated, “We are honored to provide the Palestinian people with military aid, while all Arabic countries do is hold meetings. Palestinian people do not need lectures and meetings.”

In addition, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Mohammad, Ali Jafari, admitted that Iran is supplying weapons to Hamas and other groups: “Iran provides technical assistance to all Muslims who fight against world arrogance.”

What is Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s stance? Is he truly a moderate? Rouhani’s stance on arming Hamas and standing against Israel is no different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian president recently projected Iran’s leadership by calling Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and pointing out that tthe Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and the international community, ought to take immediate and serious steps to assist Hamas and the Palestinians.

After all, Iranian presidents are all loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In fact, across Iran’s political spectrum, there is no difference with regard to their position towards arming Hamas and fighting Israel. They all share anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinians views. In addition, whenever the international community or the United States has attempted to broker a peace, Iranian leaders have attempted to scuttle it. Their view is the same as what Ahmadinejad previously conveyed:  “Who gave them [Mahmoud Abbas’ negotiating team] the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy. The negotiations are stillborn and doomed.”

The Iranian leaders hypocritically and frequently point out that the reasons they support the Palestinians and Hamas are humanitarian. Nevertheless, the main reason is advancing Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions and its strategic, geopolitical and ideological goals.

In addition, the Islamic Republic has been seeking to project its regional hegemonic supremacy by supporting not only Shiite groups such as Hezbollah (Lebanon), Bashar Al Assad (Syria), and Nori Al Maliki (Iraq), but also penetrating the Sunni communities and supporting groups such as Hamas.

Since the Islamic revolution in Iran, the main foreign policy objectives of the Islamic Republic have been rivalry and antagonism towards the United Sates and its ally Israel.

The Islamic Republic attempted to find or create any group possible to stand against US foreign policy in the region (as well as those of Israel), in order to advance Tehran’s ideological, strategic and geopolitical objectives in the region.

The major force in Iran supporting Hamas are the Quds forces, an elite branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps which fight abroad, under the leadership of Khamenei and headed by Qasem Suleimani.

Another admission from the Islamic Republic on arming Hamas came from its own press, surprisingly. Last week, Javan newspaper, an Iranian state newspaper, stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in which a consensus on the Palestinian issue exists between the regime and its people. Together with popular support for the Palestinian fighters, the [Iranian] regime also provides important aid to the Palestinian fighters, including military weaponry… This measure by the Islamic Republic – arming the Palestinian groups – is carried out publicly, and not in secret, and has even been publicly emphasized by the leader [Khamenei],” according to Algemeiner and MEMRI’s translation of the Persian text.

Accordingly, the Islamic Republic has also provided Hamas with Fajr 5 missiles and Abadil drones before the war.

Across Iran’s political spectrum, Iranian leaders follow the words of the founder of this theocratic regime, Iran’s former Supreme Leader, Ayatollah and Ali Khomeini, who repeatedly attempted to rally people against Israel and the United States, “To liberate Qods [Jerusalem], Muslims should use faith-dependent machine guns and the power of Islam and keep away from political games which reek of compromise… Muslim nations, especially the Palestinian and Lebanese nations, should punish those who waste time indulging in political maneuvers.”

Under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s foreign policy has not shifted and it is crucial to draw attention to Iran’s intervention and military assistance as the Islamic Republic is major player in ratcheting up the ongoing war.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Dr. Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.

Iran General: We Will Hunt Down Israelis House To House

image-e1406512087862Daily Caller, By Reza Kahlili:

The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards vowed revenge against Israel for its ongoing military incursion into Gaza, which has already killed hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis.

“You [people of Israel] are trees without any roots which were planted in the Islamic lands by the British,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said at this week’s Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, Fars News Agency reported. That statement referred to the Balfour Declaration, which led to the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and the eventual creation of the state Israel in 1948.

“We will chase you house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine,” Salami said. “and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat.”

The deputy commander promised that Palestine will no longer remain calm and cited a statement by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic regime: “Imam [Khomeini] with the statement that Israel must be wiped from the face of the Earth gave a true message to the world. This message enlightened the Muslims and became the concept on the streets of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.”

Salami, recalling previous wars Israel fought against Hezbollah in Lebanon, said: “The end of the Zionist regime [Israel] has arrived. Islamic movements are armed, missiles are positioned, and today we witness how the arms of the resistance in a corner of the Islamic world are controlling the events in the face of the tragic and barbaric attack by the Zionist regime against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinians in Gaza.”

Salami blamed the U.S. and England for Israel’s policies and activities in the region and stated, “The balance of power will change to the benefit of the Islamic world, and we warn the Zionists that you are a rootless society with no land, no race, no history and no element which constitute a nation. Today, no place in the occupied land is safe for the Zionists … today the missiles of the Palestinian resistance cover much farther than the Zionists expected.

“We are confident that Allah’s promises will come true and in the end the Islamic world will be the graveyard of America and the Zionist regime’s policies along with their allies in the region. The flag of Islam will be raised,” Salami concluded.

The Islamic regime has long trained and armed Hezbollah and Palestinian forces for attacks against Israel. In reference to further arming Palestinians, the speaker of the regime’s Parliament, Ali Larijani, said in a statement Wednesday: “The clear need of Palestine is its need for weapons and basic necessities, and Iran plays an important role in meeting the clear needs of the Palestinian people.”

As reported by The Daily Caller on Wednesday, the Islamic regime’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the only solution for the region is the destruction of Israel, and that the armed confrontation must expand beyond Gaza.

“These crimes are beyond imagination and show the true nature of the wolfish and child killer regime, (and) the only solution is its destruction,” the ayatollah declared to his audience. “However, until that time, the expansion of the armed resistance of the Palestinians (from Gaza to) the West Bank is the only way to confront this wild regime.”

Tasnim News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, reported on Wednesday that in a letter, 40 high-ranking Guard commanders warned America that it will “certainly be held responsible for the consequences of these events [in Gaza].” The commanders included Ali Shamkhani, current secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council; Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of the Guards and current adviser to the supreme leader; and Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Forces (in charge of terrorist activities outside of Iran).

The regime has been awarded $2.8 billion in sanctions relief by the Obama administration in return for an agreement on a four-month extension to the Geneva talks in finding a peaceful solution to its illegitimate nuclear program. The Islamic regime had received $7 billion in sanctions relief after the negotiated agreement last November with a six-month deadline to finalize the agreement, but it has so far refused to back down from its demand to continue developing its nuclear program. It has also succeeded in excluding from the talks its ballistic missile program, which is under U.N. sanctions.

The Revolutionary Guards announced last week its first anti-radar ballistic missile, named “Hormouz 1,” and claims it can penetrate and destroy missile defense systems and could now destroy Israel’s famed Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as any Patriot missile defense system. The announcement said the missile could be used to attack the radar systems of U.S. warships and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI)

 

Khamenei: Israel a Rabid Dog. The World Should Arm the Palestinians:

 

Former Iranian Official Amir Mousavi: Iran Will Provide Missiles to West Bank Palestinians:

 

Stories From The Battlefield: Hamas Tunnels Used To Target Israel’s Kindergartens

Gaza21-e1406466928121By Mordechai Ben-Menachem

Multiple media outlets report that Hamas’s offensive tunnel network – now known to have been composed of over forty attack tunnels dug underneath Israel’s border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip – was set to be activated during the Jewish High Holidays (September 24th) as a mass terror attack.

The attack was meant to generate as many as ten thousand casualties, men, women and particularly children and hundreds of captives.  Explosives were particularly placed underneath kindergartens to make certain that these “institutions” would be the first struck, even before any thing else.

The IDF recently published the below map showing that tunnels were created in pairs, to empty out on both sides of nearby communities.  The known cost of the infrastructure – each tunnel costs upward of some $1 million – clearly shows that Hamas was planning a coordinated mega-attack.  It must be understood that use of even one tunnel would inevitably trigger Israeli retaliation against the entire network.

A map of a small portion of the tunnels meant to be used 9 weeks from now.

A map of a small portion of the tunnels meant to be used 9 weeks from now.

Revelations regarding the planned tunnel attack magnitude played a decisive role in the Israeli government’s rejection of a ceasefire proposed late Friday by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Unbelievably, Kerry actually proposed in his latest “cease-fire proposal” – none of which have been honored by Hamas so far – that Israel refrains from degrading remaining attack tunnels.  This mind-boggling concept would necessarily be rejected by any sane government, of any country.

Israeli security sources, citing information acquired in interrogations of captured brigands, described a scenario under which hundreds of heavily armed Hamas fighters would have spilled out into Israel in the dead of night and within 10 minutes been positioned to infiltrate essentially all Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.  Waiting then in hiding until schools and kindergartens were occupied, the terrorists would then attempt to kill the children first, and then kill and kidnap as many Israelis as possible.  The plot was set to take place during Jewish New Year, on September 24.

“It’s like the Underground, the Metro or the Subway,” Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. “These tunnels are all connected. I would describe it as Lower Gaza.”

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “A whole city of terror tunnels has been found.  Without the ground operation, we would have woken up one day to an Israeli 9/11.”

Except, the actual objective was to be five times 9/11.

Read more at Daily Caller

Also see:

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UANI Applauds U.S. House for Passing New Sanctions on Iran’s Terrorist Proxy Hezbollah

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UNAI:

New York, NY – Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for unanimously passing the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (H.R. 4411), a measure to impose further sanctions on the foreign assets of designated terrorist organization Hezbollah. Among other provisions, the legislation would direct the Treasury Department to prohibit a foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates Hezbollah activities from maintaining a payable-through account in the U.S. The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Edward R. Royce (R-CA), and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and cosponsored by 321 Members of Congress. The legislation’s Senate counterpart, S. 2329, was introduced by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and has 46 cosponsors.

Said UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:

We applaud the House for voting to toughen sanctions on Hezbollah, the Iranian regime’s terrorist proxy. The House has sent a strong, bipartisan message with this unanimous vote, and we hope the Senate now passes this bill and sends it to President Obama’s desk. As the Administration has noted, Iran remains the world’s top sponsor of terrorism, and Tehran and its agents must be held fully accountable for sowing terror across the globe.

For additional information on Hezbollah and Iran’s terrorist activity, visit the following UANI resources:

Iran VERITAS Project: Documenting Iran’s Violence, Extremism, Repression and Terror

For 35 years the Islamic Republic of Iran has used violence and brutality to consolidate power at home and spread its radical revolutionary ideology abroad. UANI’s Iran VERITAS Project is the definitive record memorializing Iran’s violence, extremism, repression and terrorism at home and abroad.

Iran State Sponsor of Terrorism Timeline

Iran – particularly the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – has been repeatedly tied to terrorist organizations and terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies throughout the world.

Iran, Russia Scooping Up Disgruntled U.S. Allies

A U.S. Apache helicopter in flight

A U.S. Apache helicopter in flight

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. and a major pro-American Iraqi political leader are voicing their frustration with a lack of counter-terrorism assistance from the U.S.

Former Prime Minister Allawi says a Russian “crescent” has developed over the region and blasted America’s treatment of Iran.

The Iraqi government has requested U.S. military assistance in combating the Islamic State (formerly known as  ISIS) terrorist group that controls significant parts of Iraq and Syria. The Obama Administration has sent about 750 advisors to Iraq. The Iraqis are requesting military equipment and airstrikes, not combat forces.

Iran and Russia are moving in to fill the void. The Iranian regime is ramping up covert operations in support of Prime Minister al-Maliki, and Russia has provided fighter jets and reportedly even pilots.

Ayad Allawi, Iraq’s interim Prime Minister from 2004 to 2005, is widely regarded as one of the most pro-American figures in the country. He is a Shiite, but his secular orientation and staunch opposition to Iran has made him well-liked by Sunnis. His cross-sectarian bloc won the most votes in the 2010 elections.

His voice is precisely the kind we need to be listening to. And he does not speak well of current U.S. policy:

“U.S. policy has been without [a] compass and sailed in rough seas, which the United States helped make rough—whether intentionally or unintentionally, the result in the same,” Allawi said.

He specifically cited the U.S. backing of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2010, even though his coalition won the most votes. He cited it as “further evidence of the U.S. disarray, as is siding with Iran.”

Allawi has previously asserted that the U.S. and Iran backed his rival. His account is backed up by Ali Khedery, the longest continuously serving U.S. official in Iraq.

“Many now doubt [American] abilities and whether it has a clear orientation,” Allawi explains.

Read more at Clarion Project