al Shabaab Calls for Attacks in the West

Published on Feb 22, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

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

 

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

 

CSP, by Phil Kittock, Feb. 23, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

****

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

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

Could a Nairobi type Swarming attack happen in the US?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ . . .]

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

****

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

O Beautiful, For Specious Guys

by Mark Steyn
Steyn on America
February 20, 2015

1178The US media have had a fit of the vapors over Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that Barack Obama does not love America. As the Instapundit says, their reaction suggests that Giuliani hit a nerve.

For my own part, I am way beyond that. By the way, I’m growing rather weary of the cheap comparisons of Obama with Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister got the biggest issue of the day wrong. But no one ever doubted that he loved his country. That’s why, after his eviction from Downing Street, Churchill kept him on in his ministry as Lord President of the Council, and indeed made Chamberlain part of the five-man war cabinet and had him chair it during his frequent absences. When he died of cancer in October 1940, Churchill wept over his coffin.

So please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain by comparing him to Obama. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

For example, he has spent most of this week hosting an international conference on something called “violent extremism”. Whatever may be said of Munich, Chamberlain never hosted a three-day summit on “rearmament” in general whose entire purpose was to deny that “rearmament” and “Germany” were in any way connected. Yet that is exactly the message the United States government has just offered to the world – in between such eccentric side spectacles as Marie Harf, star of the hilarious new comedy Geopolitically Blonde, explaining her jobs-for-jihadis program, and the new hombre in charge of the planet’s mightiest military machine having his woman felt up on camera by Joe Biden. Now there’s a message to send to the misogynists of Burqastan about what happens when you let the missuses out of their body bags.

Here’s John Kerry in The Wall Street Journal:

The rise of violent extremism represents the pre-eminent challenge of the young 21st century…

A safer and more prosperous future requires us to recognize that violent extremism can’t be justified by resorting to religion…

Violent extremism has claimed lives in every corner of the globe, and Muslim lives most of all…

This summit at the White House and State Department will expand the global conversation and, more important, adopt an action agenda that identifies, shares and utilizes best practices in preventing and countering violent extremism

Put simply, we are building a global partnership against violent extremism.

Success requires showing the world the power of peaceful communities instead of extremist violence.

Wait a minute, “extremist violence”? How come the spell-check didn’t catch that? Don’t worry. The very next sentence is back on track:

Success requires offering a vision that is positive and proactive: a world with more concrete alternatives to the nihilistic worldview of violent extremists

We have to devote ourselves not just to combating violent extremism, but to preventing it…

We’ve combated violent extremism before…

The 20th century was defined by the struggle to overcome depression, slavery, fascism and totalitarianism. Now it’s our turn. The rise of violent extremism challenges every one of us…

By now you may be saying, “Oh, ‘violent extremism’, I get it. You mean…” Whoa, don’t go there, girlfriend. “This is not true Islam,” insists President Obama.

Roger Kimball observes:

“ISIL is not ‘Islamic.'” Really? Was the Ayatollah Khomeini “Islamic?” How about Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan: is he “Islamic”? A few years ago, Erdogan told the world that the phrase “moderate Islam” is “ugly”because “Islam is Islam.” Democracy, he said, is just an express stop on the train whose destination is Islam…

The Saudis, the biggest and richest Sunni nation? They torture bloggers for “insulting Islam,” stone adulteresses, maim thieves, and treat women like chattel. Do they represent Islam?

But Obama has ambitions way beyond the Turks and Saudis. If the Islamic State isn’t “true Islam”, is the Taliban, our “partners for peace” in Aghanistan? Is “true Islam” the Iranian mullahs, our “partners for peace” in the Persian Gulf and beyond? How about the Houthi? They’re our Iranian partners for peace’s partners for peace in Yemen, and they were awfully sporting to let our diplomats flee without beheading them.

“Violent extremism” may have nothing to do with Islam, yet Obama’s summit on “violent extremism” was oddly preoccupied with Islam, to the extent of according it a special deference:

A Muslim prayer was recited at the start of the second day of the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,” but no other religious text was presented during the portion of the event that was open to the press.

Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, president of the World Peace Organization in Minneapolis, Minn., recited a “verse from the Quran” following remarks by Obama administration officials and Democratic members of Congress.

But hey, what’s so odd about that? “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,” says the President. You might think that Islam has been entirely irrelevant to “the fabric of our country” for its first two centuries, and you might further think that Islam, being self-segregating, tends not to weave itself into anybody’s fabric but instead tends to unravel it – as it’s doing in, say, Copenhagen, where 500 mourners turned up for the funeral of an ISIS-supporting Jew-hating anti-free-speech murderer.

But President Obama knows better than you. So he organized a summit dedicated to creating and promoting a self-invented phantom enemy. Conveniently enough, the main problem with “violent extremists” is that its principal victims are Muslims. No, no, I don’t mean the thousands of Muslims being slaughtered, beheaded, burned alive, raped, sold into sex slavery, etc, etc, in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, and so on. The Muslims most at risk are right here in America. Just ask Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson:

We in the administration and the government should give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this countryand the discrimination that they face. And so I personally have committed to speak out about the situation that very often people in the Muslim community in this country face. The fact that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and the Islamic faith is one about peace and brotherhood.

I opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security on the basic Thatcherite principle that if you create a government bureaucracy in order to deal with a problem you’ll never be rid of the problem. But I underestimated the creativity of our rulers: The DHS was set up because 19 Muslims flew planes into skyscrapers and killed thousands of people. Thirteen years later, the head of the DHS thinks his department’s priority should be to “give voice to the plight of Muslims” who have the misfortune to live in America.

How about “the plight of Muslims” who live in Muslim countries? As I wrote in 2006 in the very prologue of the highly prescientAmerica Alone:

In the 2005 rankings of Freedom House’s survey of personal liberty and democracy around the world, five of the eight countries with the lowest “freedom” score were Muslim. Of the 46 Muslim majority nations in the world, only three were free. Of the 16 nations in which Muslims form between 20 and 50 per cent of the population, only another three were ranked as free: Benin, Serbia and Montenegro, and Suriname. It will be interesting to follow France’s fortunes as a fourth member of that group.

The “plight” of Muslim communities in America and the west is that they enjoy freedoms they could never dream of back in Somalia or Syria or anywhere else – but that they value those freedoms less than they value the pre-eminence of Islam. Canadian reader Sam Williamson wrote to me with what I thought was an interesting insight into the millions of “moderate Muslims”:

Hello Mark:

Suppose the moderate shoe was in the other foot:

You are a moderate Christian and there is a radical bunch at the far end of the spectrum of the faith that causing violence, even in your new country. Your faith is growing worldwide in numbers. You see other faiths abandoning their beliefs, and even making laws about where they may practice. But your religion is more welcomed. They say it strengthens the country. It’s in their constitution. Other countries are asking you to come.

So you can’t help but see your faith gaining influence. In some places no shopping on the Holy Day laws are being re-introduced. In some public schools they are allowing Mass to be said in the cafeteria during the day. Offensive comments about our Church, Saviour, and Saints are being condemned. And items from other religions are being hidden or removed so we don’t have to see them. Many people, including their wise teachers, professors, and prominent people in the papers and television are helping getting rid of many customs that we do not support as Catholics. Why even the other day a leader in government told the Prime Minister that it was wrong not to allow us to say the rosary during the Citizenship Ceremony.

Sure, we will condemn that bombing and those extremists if asked. They don’t represent my beliefs. But looking at the future I’m thinking my family, my children and grandchildren are going to do better in this country when it’s all Christians, and those wrong beliefs have left, and the atheists driven out, even if it is accomplished with some fear and violence. After all, ours is the one true religion and our people will once again be great.

Sam Williamson

If you were a “moderate Muslim”, what would you make of an extraordinary week in which the global superpower has piled up a mountain of preposterous, mutually contradictory official lies all designed to flatter you: Islam has been part of the fabric of America since the 18th century, and yet the plight of Muslims in this country and the discrimination they face has never been worse. We are at war with the mysterious shadowy Empire of Violentia-Extremistan, which is nothing to do with Islam, yet necessitates the saying of Muslim prayers – and Muslim prayers only – at official US government events.

On The Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, I pointed out that the French Government estimates that some nine thousand “Frenchmen” have volunteered to fight for ISIS. That is approximately half the total western deployment in Afghanistan of around 18,000 troops from some four dozen countries. It is larger than any French military deployment in the last half-century. That 500-strong congregation of mourners for the Copenhagen killer may not be the largest funeral turnout in Denmark’s history, but it’s similarly impressive.

And yet none of that could be discussed in Washington, at a summit arising directly out of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter.

I have quoted before my old friend Theodore Dalrymple on the purposes of lies in totalitarian societies:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

We are at war with a depraved enemy, but we cannot be allowed to assert our moral superiority even to head-choppers, rapists, slavers and immolators. Thus the priority of Barack (“Hey, how ’bout those Crusades?”) Obama has been to undermine our sense of probity, and make us not merely equivalent to but worse than our enemies. That was the purpose of this last week of Official Lies.

Coburn report: Department of Homeland Security is failing in all of its missions

3199eaa8ae279fa65d4effd32956b135By Julia Davis

On January 3, 2015, Senator Tom Coburn released the report that outlines his findings pertaining to the efficacy of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in executing its primary missions. Senator Coburn has been a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee since 2005. The report finds that the DHS is failing miserably in every one of its stated missions. Since criticizing the DHS is an unspoken taboo for most of the mainstream media, this report was released on Saturday and received very little press coverage. Traditional reporting typically defends the DHS by telling the viewing audiences that the agency is comprised of “our best,” all of whom are risking their lives to protect the nation. In reality, neither of those statements holds water.

Official missions of the DHS are as follows:

Mission 1—Preventing Terrorism and Improving Security

Mission 2— Securing and Managing Our Borders

Mission 3— Enforcing and Administering Our Immigration Laws

Mission 4—Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace

Mission 5—Strengthening National Preparedness and Resilience

The report finds that the Department of Homeland Security is failing in every one of its missions. It states that the DHS “primary counterterrorism programs are yielding little value for the nation’s counterterrorism efforts … The nation’s borders remain unsecure … The Department of Homeland Security is not effectively administering or enforcing the nation’s immigration laws … The Department of Homeland Security is struggling to execute its responsibilities for cybersecurity, and its strategy and programs are unlikely to protect us from the adversaries that pose the greatest cybersecurity threat … The Department of Homeland Security is federalizing the response to manmade and natural disasters by subsidizing state, local, and private sector activity.”

One of the ways that DHS intended to support the nation’s counterterrorism mission was by supporting state and local fusion centers, which are meant to serve as hubs of intelligence sharing between federal, state, and local officials. The Department spent between $289 million and $1.4 billion supporting the approximately 70 fusion centers across the nation. In 2012, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation (PSI) completed a two-year bipartisan investigation of DHS’s support for the state and local fusion center program, which found that DHS’s work with the fusion centers had not produced useful intelligence to support federal counterterrorism efforts. The PSI investigation revealed that fusion centers “often produced irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence reporting to DHS, and many produced no intelligence reporting whatsoever.”

The DHS has spent more than a half a billion dollars to regulate the security of chemical facilities at risk of potential terrorist attacks. However, 99 percent of all the chemical facilities that were supposed to be overseen by the program are yet to be inspected. As of 2014, 700 hundred miles of the Southern border are not secure, since the DHS and its component, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), failed to deploy assets to control these areas. The chance of an illegal immigrant being removed by the DHS is slightly over 3 percent. The report found that until recently, the DHS “did not have a comprehensive strategy for securing the border … The Department also faces a potentially significant problem of corruption in its workforce assigned to secure the border … DHS spending on programs to secure port facilities, infrastructure, and cargo have not accomplished their objectives.”

Since the DHS can’t enforce existing immigration laws, nor is able to effectively manage tracking and monitoring of the people who have entered the U.S. legally, the report questions whether the agency is able “to effectively manage any large program to provide new immigration benefits to people currently living in the United States illegally, as was ordered by President Obama on November 20, 2014.” The report points out: “The Department’s lax approach to immigration law enforcement, and broad applications of prosecutorial discretion with regard to enforcing immigration laws also exacerbates DHS’s challenge securing the border. Rather than deterring illegal immigration, lax immigration enforcement creates an expectation that people entering the nation illegally or violating the terms of their visa will be allowed to stay, facing no consequences.”

Approximately 36 convicted terrorists came to the country using various forms of student visas, but the DHS is failing to effectively manage the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which is currently used by more than one million people to gain entry into the United States. The report also notes that in February 2013, ICE released more than 2,000 illegal immigrant detainees, including more than 600 aliens with criminal records; creating a risk to public safety and further undermining the agency’s credibility.

While failing in its official missions, the DHS is encroaching upon the rights and liberties of American citizens, without any benefit to the nation’s national security. Senator Coburn’s report states: “We are willing to endure the inconvenience of arriving at the airport earlier and having our luggage screened, but we are wary of increased government policing and surveillance. We are concerned that despite spending billions of dollars on border security, tens of thousands continue to enter our country illegally and, in 2014, 700 miles of our Southern border were unsecure. The same is true of cyber security. We have spent billions to protect against cyber attacks, yet even White House computers have been susceptible to hacking.”

The Department of Homeland Security is a multi-billion dollar behemoth that employs more than 240,000 people and spends approximately $61 billion annually. The agency disposed of $544 billion of taxpayers’ money since 2003, with little to show for it. The DHS allowed a convicted terrorist to become a US citizen, spent $30,000 on Starbucks, provided Zombie Apocalypse training for the DHS personnel, purchased 13 sno-cone machines, spent $45 million on a failed video surveillance network and even bought a hog catcher. Cities were essentially allowed to spend the money on almost anything they want, under the guise of “terror prevention.” As Senator Coburn’s previous report found, “DHS and Congress have often let politics interfere, diluting any results. Instead of sending funds where they can have the biggest impact, money is spread around to parochial political interests. This ensures fewer complaints and broad political support, but does not necessarily mean we are safer.”

Read more at The Examiner

Obama Administration Releases Illegal Aliens with Terror Ties, Blames It on a ‘Judge’

Homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty)

Homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty)

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

4 Turkish terrorists caught in Texas after being smuggled across border

nov13_chopperBy Stephen Dinan:

Four men flew from Istanbul through Paris to Mexico City in late August, where they were met by a Turkish-speaking man who stashed them in a safe house until their Sept. 3 attempt to cross into the U.S. over the border with Mexico.

Their capture by the Border Patrol in Texas set off a fierce debate over the men’s intentions, with some members of Congress saying they were terrorist fighters. Homeland Security officials, including Secretary Jeh Johnson, countered that they were part of the Kurdish resistance which, like the U.S., is fighting the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq.

But whether the men are linked to anti-U.S. jihadists or not, they admitted to being part of a U.S.-designated terrorist group, and their ability to get into the U.S. through the southern border — they paid $8,000 each to be smuggled into Texas — details the existence of a network capable of bringing terrorists across the border.

The four men’s story, as discerned from internal September and October documents reviewed by The Washington Times, also seems to contrast with what Mr. Johnson told Congress in September, when he assured lawmakers that the four men were not considered terrorist threats to the U.S., even as behind the scenes his department proposed the four be put on terrorist watch lists.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said the individuals weren’t associated with the Islamic State, which is also known by the acronyms ISIL and ISIS.

“The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground,” Ms. Catron said. “DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.”

She did not reply to questions about the status of the four men or why her department proposed they be put on terrorist watch lists.

As of a month ago they were being held at the South Texas Detention Facility in Pearsall, Texas.

The men initially claimed to be members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front, known by the acronym DHKP/C. The group is a Marxist insurgency that claimed credit for a 2013 suicide bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, last year.

But U.S. counterterrorism officials said the men were more likely members of the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been battling for Kurdish rights within Turkey for decades, though recently PKK and Turkish leaders have tried to broker a political agreement.

Both the PKK and DHKP/C are listed by the State Department as terrorist groups.
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the fact that avowed members of terrorist groups got into the U.S. shows it’s possible to sneak across a porous border.

“This incident proves what enforcement experts have always known, and that is there are existing networks in Mexico and Central America that have been set up and cultivated by a variety of terrorist organizations to enable them to move people into the United States illegally,” Ms. Vaughan said.

It’s unclear what the men were trying to do. None of them admitted to being part of a plot against the U.S., and several told investigators they were hoping to seek asylum, saying they believed they were being targeted back home by police in Turkey.

Read more at Washington Times

Also see:

‘Sanctuary Cities’ or ‘Safe Havens’ for Terrorists?

sanctuaryby Michael Cutler:

Since the deadly terror attacks of 1993 at the CIA and the World Trade Center, there have been a series of terror attacks attempted inside the United States by radical Islamists.

On September 11, 2001 our nation suffered the worst terror attacks ever carried out within the borders of our country.

Every one of these attacks had something in common: The perpetrators were all aliens who had managed to gain entry into the United States and managed to hide in plain sight, or in the jargon of the 9/11 Commission, they embedded themselves in our country as they went about their deadly preparations.

Our borders and our immigration laws are our first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists who seek to attack America and Americans. Yet this essential fact is blithely ignored by the president, members of his administration, members of Congress who seek to implement a variant of “comprehensive immigration reform” and local and state politicians who proudly proclaim that they have created “sanctuaries” for aliens who have run our borders or violated the terms of their admission into the United States and have violated those critical immigration laws.

On Friday, September 19th, I was a guest on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV hosted by former Congressional Representative JD Hayworth. NewsMax posted a video of my segment with a synopsis of our discussion. The title of this article was: “Michael Cutler: Sanctuary Cities Are Safe Havens for Terrorists.”

The starting point for my interview was an important news report that contained a video clip of an interview that Rep. Jason Chaffetz participated in with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. The title of the report was: “BREAKING: Four Terrorists Captured on US Border on September 10 – Day Before 9-11.”

The video clip of the Chaffetz interview on Kelly’s program also contained a brief video of an exchange between Congressman Chaffetz and Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security at a hearing conducted earlier that day. The exchange was infuriating. At first Johnson stated that he was not aware of terrorists running our borders. Rep. Chaffetz then confronted Secretary Johnson, saying that there was information that four terrorists had been apprehended attempting to run our borders at two locations along the U.S./Mexican border. Johnson became extremely uncomfortable and started rubbing his face and all but twitching in his seat. He then claimed that he had heard about it but that they were trying to confirm the information. Next Chaffetz asked Johnson about what level of “operational control” DHS has over the U.S./Mexican border. Johnson said he did not know, whereupon Chaffetz stated that he had information that at present there is 6% operation control.

Secretary Johnson simply stared blankly at Representative Chaffetz.

If DHS has just 6% of “operational control” then we must presume that conversely we have a 94% free-for-all along that critical border. Indeed, the fact that our nation is currently suffering from a flood of heroin that is so severe that police departments around the United States are issuing the antidote to heroin overdoses to their officers and other first responders, would certainly coincide with such a lack of border security. This is why I have come to refer to the DHS as the Department of Homeland Surrender.

During my discussion with JD on his program, I also referenced an exchange between Congressman Lou Barletta and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about whether or not criminals who are known to be criminals in the United States would come forward to participate in an amnesty program. Johnson conceded that they would not. This was covered in a Breitbart News report that was published on September 17, 2014: “DHS Chief Concedes Background Checks for Amnesty Would Not Catch Criminals”

During my interview with JD on his program I also raised the issue of “sanctuary cities” and the impact such policies have on national security. I referenced the fact that New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio had decided, with utter impunity, to provide illegal aliens with identity documents that, as an added “bonus,” would enable illegal aliens to whom those cards are issued to gain entrance into museums and other cultural landmarks in New York City.

While some news programs debated this outrageous program, the focus, for the most part, was the economic cost of providing illegal aliens with the municipal IDs that can be used as a free pass to so many major attractions that would cost thousands of dollars per alien. No one mentioned the cost to national security and public safety under de Blasio’s ill-conceived program by providing illegal aliens with identity documents that could easily enable criminals and terrorists to acquire official identity documents in false names. This violates the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and also violates the REAL ID Act that was enacted as a result of the 9/11 Commission report.

The article that chronicled my interview on NewsMax-TV included this excerpt:

“When we hear sanctuary city, we should think about the word haven, as when the president the night before the 13th anniversary of 9/11 said, ‘we need to deprive the terrorists’ safe haven,’” Cutler explained.

“Sanctuary cities is doing precisely that — providing safe haven, right here in cities across the United States, aided and abetted by this administration that refuses to enforce the laws, and has provided hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with identity documents,” he said.

“What could possibly go wrong?” Cutler asked.

What, indeed, could possibly go wrong?

 

On September 17, 2014, Homeland Security News Wire published a report with the title: “NYC mayor de Blasio facing criticism for curbing counterterrorism programs.”

Read more at Front Page

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is http://michaelcutler.net/.

Chaffetz: Four Individuals With Terrorist Ties Captured Crossing the Border

Breitbart:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, reported that four individuals with ties to terrorist organizations were captured after crossing the southern border on September 10 of this year on the Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” on Wednesday.

“We captured, there are 466,000 people that have been captured crossing our borders over the last 351 days, yet by Homeland Security’s own numbers, 157,000 people got away, and the people we did capture, they come from 143 different countries. 13 were from Syria, six were from Iraq, four were from Iran. We had four people with known ties from a Middle Eastern country captured having already crossed the border, our southern border in Texas, four people captured from a Middle Eastern country with known ties to a terrorist country and he [Secretary of Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson] doesn’t know the answer to that question”  he said.

Chaffetz also stated that Johnson did not know what the operational control on the southern border is, “I asked him ‘what is the operational control right now on the border? What is the operational control?’ And he said ‘I don’t know.’ How could he not know? He’s the Homeland Security secretary.”

He further declared, “We have a porous border. We are worried about, every story on the news tonight is about ISIS. I’m worried about them actually coming to the United States and crossing that porous border, and getting into the homeland.”

Daily Beast: Americans Already Returning From Syrian Jihad

U.S. Lifts Ban on Immigrants With Links to Terrorism

immigrants oath

The Obama admin.is overriding the U.S. Criminal Code for individuals who have provided material support to terrorism.

BY CLARE LOPEZ:

Muslim Brotherhood affiliates scored a major victory in their efforts to degrade U.S. national security measures in early February 2014 when the Obama administration decided to override by fiat portions of the U.S. Criminal Code and immigration policy pertaining to individuals who provide “material support to terrorism.”

As published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State issued a joint notice that, henceforth, certain asylum seekers and refugees who only provided “limited material support” to terrorism would be allowed into the U.S.

The earlier law as written, The Real ID Law of 2005, states quite explicitly that the definition of engaging in terrorist activity includes:

To commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit … to a terrorist organization [emphasis added]

Such activity, no matter how minor, constituted grounds for exclusion from entry to the U.S.

By unilaterally lifting restrictions — without so much as consulting Congress — for those intending immigrants who engaged in “(1) certain routine commercial transactions or certain routine social transactions (i.e., in the satisfaction of certain well-established or verifiable family, social, or cultural obligations), [or] (2) certain humanitarian assistance,” that benefited terrorist organizations, the Obama administration simply overrode existing law. So far, both the judicial and legislative branches of the U.S. government have let the administration get away with it.

According to the Daily Caller, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry signed the exemptions despite very real concerns about the legality of the executive branch deciding to ignore aspects of an existing law it doesn’t want to enforce and replacing them with its own guidelines.

Former State Department official and current director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan worried as well that “those evaluating these cases will be ordered to ignore red flags in the applications, especially if the applicant is supported by one of the many advocacy groups that have the ear of senior DHS staff.”

The new policy decree marks a significant win for agents of influence belonging to advocacy groups acting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood agenda to pursue “civilization jihad” “to destroy Western civilization from within…by [our] hands,” as asserted in the “Explanatory Memorandum,” a key Brotherhood document introduced as evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial.

As described at some length in “The Islamists’—and their Enablers’—Assault on the Right: The Case Against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan,” an February 11, 2014 dossier of particulars published by the Center for Security Policy (CSP), it is precisely in executing political influence operations aimed at U.S. national security leadership (whether Republican or Democratic) that the Muslim Brotherhood so excels.

The CSP paper explains in exhaustive detail and with meticulously referenced citations how the Muslim Brotherhood targeted the Republican Party and the conservative movement over a period of years and succeeded in placing senior operatives such as Abdurahman Alamoudi, Sami al-Arian, Nihad Awad, and Khaled Saffuri deep inside senior leadership circles.

It was at those top levels of government—the Executive Branch, the Intelligence Community, and the National Security Council—where critical decision-making took place, especially in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, that set U.S. counterterrorism strategy on a hopeless loop that deliberately avoided, and indeed later would forbid, knowledge about Islamic doctrine, law and scripture as the animating inspiration for Islamic terrorism.

By divorcing the enemy’s core ideology from study of the enemy threat doctrine, Muslim Brotherhood agents of influence succeeded in ensuring that U.S. blood and treasure would be endlessly and fruitlessly expended in Counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare, nation-building exercises and democracy experiments in the most unsuitable places possible: Muslim lands under rule of Islamic law (sharia).

As noted in CSP’s 2010 Team B II Report, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” Americans do pretty well at defending against military-style frontal assaults. We do far less well, though, at either recognizing or countering the “menace posed by jihadist enemies who operate by deceit and stealth from inside the gates.

And yet it is the latter threat that poses a far more serious threat to open, tolerant societies like ours than the openly terrorist attack like the one that struck on 9/11.

Read more at Clarion Project

Clare Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez served for 20 years as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Also see:

Administration eases restrictions on asylum seekers with loose terror ties

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) patrolling in Raqqa, Syria.AP

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) patrolling in Raqqa, Syria.AP

Fox News, Feb. 6,2014, By 

The Obama administration has unilaterally eased restrictions on asylum seekers with loose or incidental ties to terror and insurgent groups, in a move one senator called “deeply alarming.”

The change, approved by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry, was announced Wednesday in the Federal Register. It would allow some individuals who provided “limited material support” to terror groups to be considered for entry into the U.S.

Supporters of the change, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., argued that the current ban on anyone who has ever aided terrorists has unfairly blocked thousands of refugees.

“The existing interpretation was so broad as to be unworkable,” Leahy said in a statement. “It resulted in deserving refugees and asylees being barred from the United States for actions so tangential and minimal that no rational person would consider them supporters of terrorist activities.”

But critics say despite the good intentions, the change raises security concerns, particularly after a report published Thursday on asylum fraud.

“In light of these and other facts, it is thus deeply alarming that the Obama administration would move unilaterally to relax admissions standards for asylum seekers and potentially numerous other applicants for admission who have possible connections to insurgent or terrorist groups,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said in a statement on Thursday. “We need to tighten security standards for asylum, not relax them even further.”

Sessions also complained that the administration was, on its own, altering the Immigration and Nationality Act. “What is the point of Congress passing a law if the administration abuses its ‘discretion’ to say that law simply no longer applies?” he said.

The change would apply to people the U.S. government does not consider a threat but could nevertheless be tied to terror groups, and therefore barred from entry. A Department of Homeland Security official said these individuals have been “adversely affected by the broad terrorism bars of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).”

The official offered several examples of how the change might help otherwise innocent refugees — including a restaurant owner who served food to an opposition group; a farmer who paid a toll to such a group in order to cross a bridge or sell his food; or a Syrian refugee who paid an opposition group to get out of the country.

“These exemptions cover discrete kinds of limited material support that have adversely affected refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants and other travelers: material support to non-designated terrorist organizations that was insignificant in amount, provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, or humanitarian interactions, or provided under significant pressure,” the official said.

The official said the change would let the administration apply the exemptions on a “case-by-case basis” after a review that already includes rigorous security screening. “Our screening procedures check applicants’ names and fingerprints against a broad array of records of individuals known to be security threats, including the terrorist watch list, and those of law enforcement concern,” the official said.

Though the change would apply to those who helped non-designated terror groups, Sessions noted that Al Qaeda, for example, was not officially designated as a foreign terror organization until 1999.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, claimed the change was another effort to maximize the number of people being allowed into the country.

“This administration no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt in making these kinds of rule changes,” he said. “The consequences are potentially dire for … public safety.”

The Washington Times also reported Thursday that a 2009 fraud assessment found at least 70 percent of asylum applications had signs of fraud.

 

 

Megyn Kelly interviews Michael Cutler on the matter:

Michael Cutler, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advisor to the “911 Families for a Secure America,” and a consultant, retired in 2002 after a distinguished career with the INS of over 30 years, including 26 as a Special Agent. In 1991, he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and worked with members of other federal and state law enforcement agencies as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries. The task force’s investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations ultimately resulted in the seizure of their assets and prosecutions for a wide variety of criminal violations.

Mr. Cutler has testified as an expert witness at nine Congressional hearings on issues relating to the enforcement of immigration laws having been called by members of both political parties. Mr. Cutler also furnished testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of September 11. Mr. Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including the O’Reilly Radio Factor, O’Reilly’s No Spin Zone, Fox News and the Lou Dobbs Tonight Program on CNN to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws and has participated in various public debates and panel discussions on issues involving the enforcement and administration of immigration laws. Among the areas of concern that he is able to speak about authoritatively are the nexus between immigration and national security, the impact of immigration on the criminal justice system, strategies to combat illegal immigration, and why amnesty for illegal aliens is wrong.

 

Also see:

Obama admin unilaterally changes law to allow immigrants with ‘limited’ terror contact into US

2118ef3a69d043c4a191abba81d5ba27-e1382643433146By Caroline May:

The Obama administration has issued new exemptions to a law that bars certain asylum-seekers and refugees who provided “limited material support” to terrorists who are believed to pose no threat from the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department published the new exemptions Wednesday in the Federal Register to narrow a ban in the Immigration and Nationality Act excluding refugees and asylum seekers who had provided limited material support, no matter how minor, to terrorists.

“These exemptions cover five kinds of limited material support that have adversely and unfairly affected refugees and asylum seekers with no tangible connection to terrorism: material support that was insignificant in amount or provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, family or humanitarian interactions, or under significant pressure,” a DHS official explained to The Daily Caller.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry signed the exemptions.

DHS contends that the law change is “commonsense” and that immigration procedures will remain the same in other respects.

“In addition to rigorous background vetting, including checks coordinated across several government agencies, these exemptions will only be applied on a case-by-case basis after careful review and all security checks have cleared,” the official added. “This exemption process is vital to advancing the U.S. government’s twin goal of protecting the world’s most vulnerable persons while ensuring U.S. national security and public safety.”

Read more at Daily Caller

Obama’s Dangerous Fantasy of Al-Qaeda Defeated

warisover_6067-85x85By Robert Spencer

When he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Washington last Friday, Barack Obama said this [1] about the war in Afghanistan: “We achieved our central goal … or have come very close to achieving our central goal, which is to de-capacitate al-Qaeda, to dismantle them, to make sure that they can’t attack us again.”

He said this four days after a Muslim imam who was a soldier in the Afghan National Army opened fire [2] on a group of his British “allies,” murdering one of them and wounding six. The Taliban, al-Qaeda’s partner in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was yet another in an ever-lengthening string of “insider” attacks by Afghan forces against those who are putting themselves at risk to train and assist them. The BBC reports [3] that “in 2012, more than 60 Nato service personnel, and a quarter of the British troops who died in Helmand, were killed in such attacks.”

The Taliban is not al-Qaeda, although the distinction on the ground in Afghanistan may be exceedingly fine, too fine to be discerned by the average NATO soldier when the Afghan he is trying to teach how to be a military man turns the gun he has just given him on his benefactor. In any case, the appalling fact that “a quarter of the British troops who died in Helmand” perished in such attacks indicates that the enemy in Afghanistan is far from being either “de-capacitated” or dismantled, and still has the ability to attack us.

Nonetheless, Obama officials keep doing the victory dance over an al-Qaeda that they repeatedly imply is on the verge of extinction. Jeh Johnson, general counsel at the Defense Department, recently said that “military pursuit of al-Qaida” should end soon [4]. His reasoning was apparently that al-Qaeda is now so severely damaged that we will soon reach a “tipping point” after which military action against them will no longer be necessary, and local police can handle it.

This astounding manifestation of an overconfidence of Baghdad Bob proportions, or else of a capitulation attempting to disguise itself as a victory, is bitterly ironic coming at a time when al-Qaeda is anything but on the ropes: in fact, it is “carving out its own state [5]” in Mali, with so much success that last Friday the French launched airstrikes in hopes of stopping its advance and its consolidation of power in the vast areas it already controls.

Viewed alongside the Obama administration’s unstinting support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and support for jihadist rebels elsewhere, along with its active work to further the agenda [6] of Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S., this raises questions about whether Obama is preparing to abandon the last elements of any U.S. resistance to jihad in any form.

Read more at PJ Media