Video “Eliminating the Apostates”- Islamic State beheads, shoots 15 Yemeni soldiers

Islamic-State-Yemen-execution-soldiers-e1430448078191LWJ, by BILL ROGGIO, May 1, 2015:

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed credit for the brutal execution of 15 Yemeni soldiers who were captured in the city of Azzan in Shabwa province earlier this month. The treatment of the captured soldiers by the Islamic State presents a stark contrast to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) handling of captured Yemeni soldiers.

The Islamic State’s “Media Office for Shabwa Province” released a short, two minute 19 second video called “Eliminating the Apostates” on Twitter today. The video was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

In the video, the Islamic State displays 15 Yemeni soldiers. Local media reports indicated that tribal militias overran a military camp operated by the Yemeni Army’s 2nd Mountain Brigade in the city of Azzan in Shabwa province on April 12. Islamic State fighters from “Wilayat Ataq,” or Ataq province (Ataq is a city in Shabwa province), are reported to have executed the Yemeni soldiers days later, on April 14.

The 14 Yemeni soldiers are shown kneeling on the ground. Several of the captives are heard moaning and crying as armed Islamic State fighters stand behind them. Several of the soldiers identify themselves and their unit.

The video then briefly shows an Islamic State fighter sharpening a knife, then four of the captives are beheaded. The heads of the four soldiers are displayed on the ground. The Islamic State fighters then shoot 10 other soldiers, who are blindfolded and kneeling with their hands behind their backs, in the head. Finally, another soldier from the “Second Naval Brigade” is identified before he is shot in the head multiple times.

The graphic execution of the Yemeni soldiers draws a contrast in methodology between the Islamic State and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the dominant jihadist group in Yemen. The Islamic State has been challenging al Qaeda for control of the global jihad.

The Islamic State in Yemen, like other Islamic State branches in the Middle East and Africa, has been indiscriminate in its application of violence. In its first major attack in Yemen, the group killed more than 100 people in suicide attacks that targeted Houthi mosques in the capital of Sana’a. The Houthis, a Shiite group that is backed by Iran, have taken over most of northern and eastern Yemen, and have encroached on areas in the south. The Islamic State has accused AQAP of being soft on the Houthis, and has sought to cleave off the more hardline elements of AQAP’s rank and file.

AQAP was quick to distance itself from the Sana’a mosque attacks, saying that it was “committed to the guidelines” issued by al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, who prohibited “targeting mosques, markets, and public places out of concern for the lives of innocent Muslims, and to prioritize the paramount interests.” [See LWJ report, Analysis: Why AQAP quickly denied any connection to mosque attacks.]

Unlike the Islamic State, AQAP has sought to convert captured Yemeni soldiers to its cause, and has also used the soldiers as part of its propaganda effort against the Yemeni state and the US. In a video released in October 2013, AQAP questioned Yemeni soldiers who were captured during a raid on a base in Shabwa province. In a back and forth with a Yemeni Army captain, the AQAP interviewer said that the Yemeni military and the US “are in the same trench.”

“The [American] spying drones are in the sky and you are on the ground,” the jihadist said to a group of Yemeni soldiers.

“What is the difference between you and the Americans? Haven’t you thought about this issue? Haven’t you considered yourselves and the Americans in one front? When Americans bombard our brothers with unmanned drones, who collect their bodies? It’s you the soldiers. You take their bodies. You and the Americans are in one front,” the AQAP leader continued.

But the AQAP leader then said that the soldiers are not the target of AQAP’s wrath, and appealed to the soldiers to quit fighting alongside the Americans and join AQAP’s cause.

AQAP’s strategy of limiting its attacks to military and government targets has built support amongst some Yemeni tribes. The Islamic State’s execution of the Yemeni soldiers is unlikely to build similar support. According to Yemeni media reports, the tribes in Azzam that participated in the raid that resulted in the capture of the Yemeni troops have disassociated with the jihadist group after the execution of the soldiers.

***

Here is the video: (h/t Pamela Geller)

Major Italian Blitz on Terrorist Cell Reveals Bombing Plot against Vatican

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by Thomas D. Williams, April 24, 2015:

ROME, Italy– Counterterrorism police conducted coordinated raids across Italy on Friday against an Islamist cell based in Sardinia and linked to al-Qaeda, arresting eight Pakistanis and an Afghan.

Of the nine arrested, three were taken in Olbia, two in Civitanova Marche and the others in Bergamo, Rome, Sora and Foggia. The terrorist organization was mainly active in Olbia and Lazio, according to police reports.

The ideological leader of the cell, a radical fundamentalist imam living in Bergamo, was among those arrested.

The alleged terrorists are being charged with various crimes ranging from the commission of terrorist acts abroad to abetting illegal immigration.

Two of those arrested have a history as supporters of Bin Laden, while others are wanted for numerous bloody acts of terrorism and sabotage in Pakistan, including the massacre at the market of Peshawar and the Meena Bazar in October of 2009, where more than one hundred people were killed.

Intercepted phone conversations revealed the presence in 2010 of two suicide bombers in Italy, whom investigators suspect were planning a bombing attack on the Vatican. The chief prosecutor of the Republic of Cagliari, Mauro Mura, who coordinated the investigation, stated that the alleged assault on the Vatican will not, however, be charged against those arrested.

Investigators reported that the suspects said they would launch a “big jihad in Italy” against a major leader, and that conversations suggested the target might be the Vatican.

“Get ready, the bombs will explode,” is a phrase that emerged from phone records reported Friday morning by investigators. But the organization apparently abandoned the plot, after the men drew the attention of law enforcement, and the two suicide bombers quickly moved on to Olbia and northern Italy, covering their tracks. During a search in Olbia, police found a sheet of paper with the “vow of martyrdom” of one of the terrorists.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi downplayed the threat, noting that the planned attack “dates back to 2010 and was not carried out.” Lombardi said the threat is no longer relevant “and is not cause for particular concern.”

The arrest warrants speak of a criminal organization “inspired by al-Qaeda and other groups of a radical matrix espousing armed conflict against the West and uprising against the current government in Pakistan.”

The cell had a stockpile of weapons as well as “many adherents willing to commit acts of terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan, after which to return to Italy.”

Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said the successful blitz “means that our system works” and “that ours is a great country able to dismantle these plots.”

The investigation revealed intercepted calls showing that two members of the organization were part of the protective group surrounding Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. In a wiretap one of those arrested asked a relative of Bin Laden “how is he doing?”

The cell also reportedly facilitated the illegal immigration of Pakistani and Afghani nationals into Italy. The police report states that the organization sought “to fuel the criminal network by allocating a portion of its resources to the phenomenon of the illegal introduction of Pakistanis or Afghans onto Italian soil, who in some cases were also destined to certain countries of northern Europe.”

According to the police, to evade the rules governing the entry or residence in the country of non-EU citizens, those arrested were using simple but tried-and-true methods. In some cases they “had recourse to labor contracts with compliant employers in order to obtain entry visas.” In other cases, the organization used “false documents and fraudulent claims to seek political asylum, passing off Islamists as victims of ethnic or religious persecution.”

The organization allegedly also provided financial and logistical support to illegal immigrants: ensuring their patronage at the competent immigration offices, furnishing instructions regarding the correct statements to be made ​​to get political asylum, and providing telephones, SIM cards and personal contacts.

The unidentified spiritual ringleader of the group was a leader of the pietistic movement Tabligh Eddawa (Society of Propaganda). Operating between Brescia and Bergamo, the man proving to be an effective fundraiser among the Pakistani-Afghan community in Italy, thanks to his religious authority as an imam and teacher of Koranic studies. In one case, police discovered the transfer of 55,268 euros via courier on a flight to Islamabad from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

More often, the imam employed the money transfer system known as “hawala,” a mechanism for the hidden transfer of funds based on a bond of trust widespread in Muslim communities in Europe. Hawala operates parallel to the traditional banking system allowing for the transferal of a sum of money abroad by delivering it to a money broker, called a “hawaladar,” and providing him with a code or password. The broker in turn contacts another hawaladar in the receiving country authorizing the disbursal of the sum, which the beneficiary then obtains by furnishing the agreed-upon password.

Known terrorists received money from the collections or donations raised by the activity of the imam arrested in Bergamo. Along with al-Qaeda, the associations “Theerek and Taliban,” “Theerek and Enifaz” and “Sharia and Mihammadi” were beneficiaries of his efforts.

The police still have nine pending arrest warrants for members of the terrorist cell. Of the suspected terrorists still at large, three are considered to certainly still be in Italy, while others are thought to have fled the country.

***

Also see:

Those #Muslims Say the Darndest Things

coexist-not

Published on Apr 19, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

Liberty and Islam cannot coexist. Free Speech and Islam cannot coexist. Women’s Rights and Islam cannot coexist. Human Rights and Islam cannot coexist. Critical Thinking and Islam cannot coexist. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Islam cannot coexist. The future and Islam cannot coexist.

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Rubin: Obama Enabling Iran in Middle East, Economic Coercion Is the Answer

unnamed1-640x480Breitbart’s Adelle Nazarian had the opportunity to speak with renowned Middle East expert and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Dr. Michael Rubin recently. Dr. Rubin provided his analysis on U.S.-Iran relations under the Obama Administration and provided a look into the future through the periscope of the past.

He is the author of Dancing With the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes and a former Pentagon official. With a June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal swiftly approaching, Rubin draws upon heightened concerns surrounding President Obama’s destructive handling of this most pivotal moment in international relations and national security with regard to U.S.-Iranian relations.

BREITBART NEWS: Do you think President Obama, John Kerry and the American team of negotiators were aware of how the Iranians operated?

RUBIN: No. I honestly think they were in a bubble and they were also blinded by their own personal ambition. Obama is arrogant. He thinks that all the problems with diplomacy were because of his predecessors rather than with his adversaries. Therefore, he has repeatedly gotten us into trouble with dictators and rogue regimes like Russia ad now Iran. They play the United States.

Obama is willfully naive and he doesn’t understand that evil exists in the world and that it wants to destroy the United States.

BREITBART: Considering he has former NIAC employee Sahar Nowrouzzadeh and Valerie Jarrett advising him, wouldn’t you think he would be better prepared to deal with the Iranians?

RUBIN: He surrounds himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear. But a low-level and a c-staffer is hardly someone that you could say advises the president accurately.

BREITBART: Many in the media and on the left have suggested that the conservatives see war and bombing Iran as the only option should the nuclear deal fail. What viable alternatives could you offer?

RUBIN: That’s just such nonsense and what we see is that, when it comes to diplomacy, the only people who you can trust are the conservatives. President Obama likes to credit sanctions — both United Nations sanctions and otherwise — despite the fact that he was consistently against sanctions whenever he had the chance. He’s too busy making John Bolton into a straw cartoon to recognize that John Bolton was the man who crafted the Untied Nations sanctions.

And whether it was John Bolton as under secretary of state or ambassador to the United Nations, it was Bolton who rallied the international community and gave us unanimous or near-unanimous U.N. security council resolutions that ultimately brought Iran to its knees.

BREITBART: So what do we do with Iran?

RUBIN: Economic coercion. When Hillary Clinton came into office as secretary or state she almost lectured Republicans and said, if you’re not going to talk to your enemies, who are you going to talk to? And she cited Ronald Reagan who sat down with Mikhail Gorbachev to end the Cold War. But she didn’t understand the importance of leverage to Reagan.

Reagan had prefaced his diplomacy with Gorbachev with a military buildup in order to negotiate from a position of strength. In order to bring Iran to the table and have them adhere to their international agreements, you have to maximize your leverage. Obama agreed to give Iran $11.9 billion in sanctions relief in unfrozen assets just to sit at the table and talk to the American team.

To put this in perspective, the annual, official budget of the Revolutionary Guard is about $5.6 billion. In order to get the Iranians to sit at the table, Obama gave Iran enough money to pay the salaries of a group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans for two years.

BREITBART: It has been suggested that up to $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets could be released to the Iranian regime. Would this guarantee the regime’s longevity?

RUBIN: Yes. The Soviet Union ultimately fell due to an unstable economy. The analogy would be that, instead of bankrupting the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan decided to flood them with cash. What Obama is doing with the potential release of those funds, is taking a hateful, racist regime and throwing it a lifeline.

The IRGC dominates the Iranian economy. The revolutionary foundation and what’s called Khatam al-Andia control perhaps 40% of Iran’s economy, including anything involved with import and export. So rather than allowing reformism to flourish inside of Iran, the net impact of the rush to do business inside Iran and to bring Iranian oil into the market will be to empower the Revolutionary Guard even further. It would allow them to consolidate control.

The IRGC is involved with the military aspects of the nuclear program, which of course aren’t included in this framework yet. And they are also in charge of export of revolution. And we see that this isn’t mere rhetoric when we look at what is happening in Gaza and Yemen. Simply put, if Obama and his national security team were to sit down and ask themselves what a strategy to enable Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East would look like– I hate to say it, but it would not look any different from the strategy they are now pursuing.

BREITBART: What are the Iranian mullah’s plans in the region? Now that not only Tehran but Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and even Sanaa are under their control, what is their ultimate goal?

RUBIN: This is something else Obama simply doesn’t understand or he ignores. Iran is not a status quo state. It is an ideological revisionist state. Its goal is to export revolution. Ordinary Iranians may not subscribe to this, but in any dictatorship it’s the guys with the guns that matter. And in this case, the Iranians used to describe themselves as a regional power. Then about four years ago, they began describing themselves as a pan-regional power, meaning the Persian Gulf and the North Indian Ocean.

Well, this past November they started talking about themselves in terms of having strategic boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden. And again, we see that this wasn’t mere rhetoric when we look at the weapons shipments to Syria and to Hamas. And when we look at Iranian activities in Yemen.

BREITBART: Is it then safe to say that Iran’s goal is not very different from the goal of ISIS, which is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and regional hegemony, except that they have two different fundamental Islamic ideologies?

RUBIN: Correct.

BREITBART: What do you think will happen when Khamenei passes away?

RUBIN: We only have one example of this happening before and that was when Khomeini died. On paper, you have an 86-member particle body called the Assembly of Experts which decides who replaces him. In reality, from 1989 we know thats not the case. What happened in 1989 with Khomeini’s death was that all the power centers got together and basically came to a consensus. That consensus was Khamenei.

Now who that consensus figure will be, I don’t know. But it is possible to have a council. And that is the Iranian way of kicking the can down the road. But this is what concerns me; and this is also where Obama’s outreach is so short-sighted. Any strategy which empowers the Revolutionary Guard gives the Revolutionary Guard additional powers to impose its will as the next choice. After all, if they’re powerful, they’re not going to subordinate themselves to someone with whom they disagree.

The important thing about this is you have a cycle of radicalization in which the supreme leader picks the most radical, ideologically pure officers to staff the highest levels of the Revolutionary Guard. Those same officers then have predominant influence in choosing the next supreme leader. And so President Obama is not only pursuing a deal which is bad for the United States and Iranians in the short term. He is pursuing a deal which is going to perpetuate this radicalization for at least another generation or two.

On Anniversary of Boko Haram Kidnapping, 85% of Chibok Girls Still Missing

Bring-Back-Our-Girls-March-1-Year-Later-ap-640x480Breitbart, by Frances Martel, April 14, 2015:

On April 14, 2014, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok, cementing their international reputation as one of the most ruthless and dangerous terror groups in the world. One year later, more than 200 of those girls remain missing, and Nigeria’s president-elect is making no promises to find them.

The exact number of girls abducted out of Chibok’s secondary school during their physics examination that day remains unconfirmed. Africa Check, a project by the Agence-France Presse, notes that estimates range from 200-500 girls and estimates the exact number to be at 360 girls. According to the Nigerian police commissioner in charge of the investigation, 53 of those abducted escaped. Still missing are 219 girls, or 85%, not seen since Boko Haram released a horrifying video of more than 100 of the girls wearing black Islamic garb and reciting Koranic verses.

Nigeria is commemorating their loss today with a large march in its capital, Abuja, demanding the girls be returned home safely. Two hundred nineteen girls marched today, one representing each of the victims still missing. Every day that passes makes the possibility of their safe return less likely.

The international community’s immediate reaction to the Chibok kidnapping was lackluster enough to embolden Boko Haram to embark on at least 38 other abduction sprees in the past year, according to Amnesty International. At least 2,000 women are estimated to be in their custody, though Amnesty notes that number may be much higher.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video released shortly after the Chibok kidnapping that the girls would be sold into slavery or married off. While this is true for many of Boko Haram’s victims, a number of others have been used as suicide bombers to attack public squares in northern Nigeria.

The United States responded to the alarm following the Chibok kidnapping with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, with which First Lady Michelle Obama posed for a photo. Even before the Chibok kidnappings, the Obama State Department was reticent to acknowledge the Boko Haram threat, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actively objecting to placing the jihadist group on terror lists.

President Obama also sent a team of American military personnel to help Nigeria find the girls, though this was widely criticized as insufficient support, and detractors have been proven correct by the continued absence of the Chibok girls in their families’ lives–that is, those family members who themselves have not fallen victim to Boko Haram. Eleven parents of Chibok girls died in a Boko Haram attack in July 2014, long before the jihadist group took temporary control of Chibok in November, slaughtering more residents who attempted to defend themselves. The Nigerian military eventually liberated the town of the Boko Haram threat–an attempt to thwart the final humiliation of losing the town that has become emblematic of Nigeria’s inability to defeat the group.

Nigeria’s failure to eradicate the group is believed to have been a deciding factor in incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan’s loss to Muhammadu Buhari, who served as the nation’s military dictator in 1983 before becoming a serial presidential candidate. In an election postponed but otherwise unmarred by Boko Haram, Buhari–who himself survived a Boko Haram car bomb–vowed to eradicate the group.

And yet even Buhari, who played a pivotal role in the destruction of the violent Maitatsine sect, is making no promises about the Chibok girls. “We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them,” Buhari said in remarks on Tuesday, nonetheless promising to place all efforts towards finding them.

In the past two months, escaped Boko Haram captives have claimed to have either spotted personally or heard rumors from other captives of where the Chibok girls are being held. Nigerian military sources have said in the past that the group has likely been split into smaller groups and hidden in the woodlands of the north.

Also see:

42% of Canadian Muslims Admit Islam and West ‘Irreconcilable’

Female-Madrassa_Reuters-640x480Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, April 14, 2014:

Two recently-released polls found that 42 percent of Canadian Muslims agree that Islam is “irreconcilable” with Western society.

The surveys also found that over 60 percent of Jewish and Christian Canadians believe that Islam is incompatible with the West. Among secular Canadians, 46 percent shared the “irreconcilable” viewpoint, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The polls asked 2,000 individuals and its surveying took place in 2013 and 2014.

Jack Jedwab, who’s Association for Canadian Studies commissioned the poll, said of its results: “It’s quite disconcerting that our poll results consistently show about 60 percent of Canadians see the West and Islamic society as ‘irreconcilable.’ It puts you up against a dead end.”

“It’s a huge blow to interfaith dialogue,” he added.

Jedwab discussed the “Clash of Civilizations” that occurs when people from Islamic cultures have to blend into Western society, citing Koranic mandates that require women to cover themselves. “Some people say the niqab reflects the oppression of women. Others say it’s just a piece of clothing. My view is it does represent the oppression of women,” he said.

Ezra Levant of Rebel Media said that the poll was important because it discussed a “sensitive subject” matter that is largely avoided by “politically correct journalists.”

The polls were conducted before a series of Islamic terror attacks against Canadian officials in late October. The first attack was carried out by an Islamic State supporter, who proceeded to run over two police officers with his vehicle before police shot the jihadi dead. The second attack targeted Canada’s Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The jihadi gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed a Canadian soldier before being shot dead by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms.

ISIS’s Nazi-Style ‘Jihad Bride’ Propaganda an Alluring Trap for Western Girls

Veiled-Women-Reuters-640x384

Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, April 8, 2015:

Foreign girls who are lured via the internet to join ISIS are being misled by a glamorized vision of women posing with AK-47s and in martial arts positions—in essence, a vision of women performing forbidden, male-only holy mission tasks.

ISIS propaganda is capitalizing on the allure of such adventure coupled with a girlish desire for love, marriage, and children. Quilliam Foundation think tank researcher Charlie Winter notes that “this is a false image based on targeted obfuscation and exaggeration.” He quotes Glasgow runaway, Aqsa Mahmood, who writes that “the women you may have seen online are all part of propaganda.”

The reality for ISIS “brides” is dull, domestic, and dangerous. Food and electricity are minimal, there are no schools, but there are constant air strikes and gun fights. Women police and punish other women. They do not engage in battle.

The all-female Al-Khanssaa Brigade holds an anti-feminist ideology in which women’s rights are seen as part of a corrupt and material West and as having led to the emasculation of men.

According to ISIS internet recruiter and former Australian Dullel Kassab, “Reality hits  propyou when u celebrate a walimah (marriage banquet) and console a widow on the same day.”

Then, there is the scarcity of medical care. The wife of an ISIS fighter was totally ignored as her blood pooled on the hospital floor during a painful miscarriage. According to Kassab: “She wasn’t offered a chair or a bed and nobody even returned to check on her… The muhajireen (migrants) are also subjected to mistreatment and discrimination by the locals.”

The Syrians do not want to live under Sharia law. They are, in fact, “angered by… the imposition of an extreme form of sharia on their daily lives.”

In February of 2015, ISIS released a Manifesto which states that girls can marry at nine; their education, which must consist mainly of Koranic Studies and home economics, must end when they turn fifteen; they must be fully face-, head-, and body-veiled; and motherhood is the sole purpose of female existence.

This is reminiscent of Hitler’s Nazi “Bride Schools” in which office workers and career women were taught how to be wives. Propaganda photos consisted of smiling group of women in a hayfield, carrying baskets of flowers, “chopping vegetables in a kitchen, and singing along to another woman’s accordion playing.”

This country idyll promoted a six-week course in which women learned household skills such as cooking, ironing, gardening, child care, and interior design. They were taught how to clean a husband’s uniform, to pledge their loyalty to Hitler “until death,” and to raise their children “in accordance with Nazi belief.” This meant they would “promote racial values in the family.”

Traditional domesticity: confinement to the home, child care, and to a political religion (“Kinder, Küche, Kirche”) was presented as a warrior’s task.

ISIS may have taken a page from Hitler’s playbook—but they are also following the harshest and most traditional interpretation of the Koran: “A woman’s highest achievement is motherhood;” “Women must be veiled;” “The majority of inhabitants in Hell are women;” “Women are less intelligent and spiritually inferior to men;” “Women are an affliction to men.”

Most telling, “Women are not to be involved in Jihad”: “When Aisha requested of Mohammed that she be allowed to participate in a jihad, he said that a woman’s jihad is the performance of the Hajj pilgrimage. It is even important for a husband to forsake a jihad campaign to accompany his wife on a Hajj.”

A concerted effort must be made to reveal this reality to young Western girls who actually have choices. The problem is that girls in the West also want adventure through romance, love through bondage. Think of the popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray. Western girls have also been brought up on fairy tales and believe in Happy Endings. They do not understand that they are walking into a very tragic kind of danger from which there may be No Exit.

As Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Continues, Boston Muslim Leaders Upend Obama’s Plan to Counter Violent Extremism

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Breitbart, by ILYA FEOKTISTOV & CHARLES JACOBS, April  7, 2015:

Nine days after ISIS shocked the civilized world with a video of itsbeheading of American journalist James Foley, the Imam of the largest mosque on the East Coast, Suhaib Webb, directly challenged President Obama’s circumlocutions about jihad.

From his pulpit in Boston, Webb told his congregation:

We have a number of very serious challenges as a community that makes us different really than any other religious entity in America. And that is, within our ranks we have people who openly say they want to kill Americans. They would like to see the destruction of America.  We have that in the Muslim community.  We don’t like to talk about it.  We don’t want to admit it.  We like to say that there are conspiracy theories but if we continue to ignore these problems, they’ll never be answered.

 

Much has been written about the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and the Obama administration’s unwillingness to address the religious motivations behind Islamist violence. The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, who loyally supported Obama in both elections, asked for the summit to be canceled: “When you don’t call things by their real name,” he wrote, “you always get in trouble… It is no good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading Jihadist violence is not coming out of this faith community.” Now a prominent American Imam in Boston is dropping all such pretense. Had even one journalist been paying attention, Webb’s plain speaking might have made a good story as an embarrassing rebuke to the president, all the more embarrassing because Obama had chosen Boston as a model of success. Boston’s Islamic leaders were among those from three cities to take part in his politically correct, jihad-free Summit. The ISBCC, as the largest mosque in Boston, was an integral partner.

But in a jolt to the CVE Summit – again unreported by the many journalists who covered the event – the ISBCC’s Executive Director, Yusufi Vali, pulled his mosque out of the Summit, as he publicly rejected everything its Imam told the mosque’s worshippers that August afternoon.

Just days before three and a half years of relationship-building between Boston’s Muslim leaders and federal law enforcement were to result in a jointly-agreed-upon framework to be announced at the White House CVE Summit, Yusufi Vali made a surprise announcement. He told U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz that the ISBCC will be boycotting the Summit, denounced Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism program as an Islamophobic attempt by Obama to unfairly target all Muslims, and, in effect, largely scuttled the Boston part of Obama’s CVE initiative. This was reported by only one reporter from the Boston Globe, whose report was predictably slanted toward Vali’s position, and the story never gained traction.  Most of America does not know that the Islamic partner in one of the three cities touted as models of cooperation rejected the president’s path.

Vali wrote:

I cannot sign on to this document due to the premise of “Countering Violent Extremism.” […] A far more appropriate premise to the framework acceptable to the Boston-Muslim community would have been “countering violence”. This term does not single out the American-Muslim community. […] It clearly appears that the CVE initiative is exclusively targeting the American-Muslim community. […] My team and I have never personally come across any individual in our congregation seriously considering any fanatical ideology.

Not a single reporter covering the Summit, or the related and concurrent Boston Marathon Bombing trial, informed the public of this stunning contradiction: One the one hand, the Imam of Obama’s favored Muslim institution in Boston publicly rebuked the President’s theory that the “violent extremists” who’ve been chopping off heads, blowing up marathon spectators, and putting hatchets in the heads of NYC police, had nothing to do with Islam. On the other hand, his boss, the man who runs the ISBCC mosque, thinks Obama’s circumlocutions did not go far enough and instead of protecting his community, the President was defaming it.

Obama and his top officials are unlikely to learn anything from this, as they continue to promote a fantasy where Islamic extremism doesn’t exist. Luckily, there are federal officials who are much more hard-nosed. Based on their record of tough terrorism prosecutions of Islamic Society of Boston worshippers Tarek Mehanna and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, we think Department of Justice prosecutors in Boston, including U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, are among the realists. What lessons should they learn from being betrayed by their ostensible Islamic of Society of Boston partners in countering violent extremism? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Research the organizations with which you partner. The Islamic Society of Boston is an extremist organization, and the federal government is unlikely to get much assistance in fighting extremism from people who are themselves extremist. The ISB was founded by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, an Al Qaeda supporter who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for plotting with Muammar Qaddafi to assassinate former Saudi King Abdullah. The Muslim American Society, which runs the ISBCC, is considered by federal prosecutors to be an overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Last November, the United Arab Emirates designated the Muslim American Society as a terrorist organization. According to Newsweek, Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev became radicalized after he started attending the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge. Yet top federal law enforcement officials seem to be ignorant of these facts. Testifying on Capitol Hill after the Boston Marathon bombing, former FBI Director Robert Mueller admittedto having no idea that ISB Cambridge, the bombers’ mosque, was founded by Alamoudi – a man his own agency had put in prison.

 

  1. Islamic extremists lie to hide their true nature. From Arafat to the Ayatollahs, there has always been a difference between what they say to Western audiences and what they say to their own supporters. Hence the 180 degree separation between the Imam of the ISBCC telling a Muslim audience that Muslims cannot ignore the problem of their coreligionists wanting to kill Americans, and the Executive Director of the ISBCC telling the federal government that to acknowledge the problem of Islamic extremism is a sign of Islamophobia. It’s why Yusufi Vali can insist, “My team and I have never personally come across any individual in our congregation seriously considering any fanatical ideology,” while Webb admits that, “in our own community … we looked into some of the people that were affected by this. There was a young brother that came to me and said, ‘I believe that Anwar Awlaki is like revelation from the heavens.’” (Anwar Awlaki was the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader behind the Fort Hood massacre, the underwear bomb plot, and the Paris attacks early this year.) For the same reason, Yusufi Vali toldBoston’s NPR station that, “as soon as we learned that these two individuals [the Boston Marathon bombers] had attended the Cambridge mosque … we encouraged any community members who had potentially interacted with them to go to the FBI.” Yet in reality, the ISB sent out an email to its congregants telling them NOT to talk to the FBI without getting lawyered up first because, “we don’t want to put ourselves at risk.”
  1. Officials seeking to partner with Muslim organizations need to become aware of the important disagreements and distinctions among American Muslims. Suhaib Webb, despite his candid talk about violent Islamic extremism, is himself far from a moderate. He says animosity toward Jews is understandable. He believes that eye contact between the sexes is a sin. He thinks gays are cursed. He has called secularism a “radical, lunatic ideology.” He accuses the Obama administration of being too pro-Israel. Two days before 9/11, he was raising cash for an Islamic extremist cop-killer together with Anwar Awlaki. Yet there is a vast gulf between his willingness to address Islamic extremism and Yusufi Vali’s mendacious attacks on the CVE program.
  1. There is one more story here that the press has missed. Only two months after Webb warned ISBCC members about their fellow Muslims who want to kill Americans, the wildly popular Imam suddenly announced his resignation and left Boston. Perhaps that is not a coincidence. Unfortunately, it seems that the more actively concerned a Muslim leader is about Islamic extremism, the more he is delegitimized in the Muslim community and the less authentic he’s considered by the Obama administration. Moderate Muslim leaders who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, were snubbed and excluded from the White House Countering Violent Extremism Summit, even though leaders like Jasser have been the most active in actually fighting violent extremism. The same seems true geopolitically. The Obama State Department actively supported the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt while opposing the overthrow of that extremist government by General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi – who has recently called on Islamic nations to reform themselves and stop antagonizing the rest of the world.

Lastly: a note to the good men and women in law enforcement: You need to realize the benefit of just speaking the truth. You work day and night, sometimes risking your lives, while twisting yourselves into logical and rhetorical pretzels to avoid being called Islamophobes. But even if you use the most emasculated and impracticable strategy in dealing with the threat of Islamic extremism, Islamic extremists like Yusufi Vali will call you Islamophobes anyway. You will never counter Islamic extremism by partnering with Islamic extremists – no matter how much you try to appease them. You did not stop the KKK’s reign of terror in the South by partnering with KKK leaders and kowtowing to their sensitivities. You defeated the KKK through an uncompromising challenge to its ideology and to its activities. Now’s the time to revisit that successful strategy.

Understanding History’s 7 Stages of Jihad

7-stages-jihad

The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Dec. 8, 2014:

The post-9/11 debate on the meaning of “jihad” has often floundered at a superficial understanding of the term. Jihad is often simply referred to as either “striving” or “holy war.” Jihad, however, must be understood to consist of four varieties of human activity agreed upon by Islamic theologians and jurists. The first is the jihad of the heart, the so-called “greater jihad” of fighting evil within oneself. The second and third definitions involve the jihads of the mind and tongue, the condoning of “right” behavior in others and counseling those who have gone astray. Finally, there is jihad of the sword. Jihad of the sword is most relevant for the counterterrorism community today because it rests at the foundation of the global jihadist ideology.

The concept of jihad of the sword has been repeatedly reinterpreted and redefined since the days of the Prophet Muhammad. During this extensive time period, jihad by the sword has been used by protagonists to rally co-religionists in the pursuit of a political objective. Al-Qa`ida and the broader Salafi-jihadi movement have also reinterpreted this concept to justify the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

To properly understand the historic significance of al-Qa’ida, it is relevant to review the contextual evolution of the concept of jihad and the great success al-Qa’ida has had in redefining it for the current conflict.

Since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, jihad by the sword has been shaped by seven, historically-shaped political conceptualizations of jihad, occurring in the following order:

  1. empire building;
  2. the suppression of apostate subjects;
  3. the revolution against “false” Muslim leaders;
  4. the anti-colonial struggle and “purification” of the religion;
  5. countering Western influence and jahiliyya;[1]
  6. guerrilla warfare against secular invaders; and finally
  7. the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

This article will identify each contextual interpretation and the significance of jihad as terrorism.

SEVEN SWORDS OF JIHAD

Each of the contextualizations of jihad of the sword has been dictated by the desire to have jihad fill a real, specific and political need for Muslims in a given age and facing a specific threat. When the Prophet Muhammad was building a completely new state, he used the concept of jihad to justify the expansion of Islam. Although the Qur’an does not use the term jihad to refer directly to empire-building in the military sense, sura 25 verse 52 stipulates “obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost endeavor.” Understood in the context of Muhammad’s return to Mecca from Medina, and the ensuing conflict with the Meccans that is reflected in the latter half of an earlier sura, it is clear that striving is in this instance connected to military combat post hijra,[2] as Muhammad returns to Mecca and enforces his new writ. This constitutes the first offensive use of the concept, referring to the conflict to establish order among the Arab tribes around Mecca, through the use of force if necessary.

When Muhammad’s successor, Abu Bakr, faced recalcitrant tribes on the Arabian Peninsula that were threatening the order Muhammad had previously established, the second meaning of jihad was born: ridda, or the war against apostasy, against one’s own subjects. In the Western world, this would be equivalent to a war against rebels.

The third contextual definition of jihad came centuries later after the eclipse of the Abbasid Caliphate’s strength, starting in the second half of the 13th century. It is this reworking of the meaning of holy war, most significantly by Ibn Taymiyya, that has the greatest consequence for today’s context. The motivation for this redefinition was the need to provide Muslims with the right to revolt against their own leaders, specifically the Mongols. Islam had previously prohibited revolution against Muslim rulers. Ibn Taymiyya’s answer was to remove the prohibition; he argued that jihad is permissible against one’s own leaders if they do not live as true Muslims and if their rule does not conform to the requirements of Shari`a. He said,

And it is known by necessity from the din (religion) of the Muslims, and the agreement of all the Muslims, that whoever permits the following of a din other than Islam or following a Shari`a other than the Shari`a of Muhammad then he is a kafir (unbeliever), and it is like the kufr (blasphemy) of one who believes in part of the Book and disbelieves in part of the Book.[3]

Since the fusion of Mongol, Turkic and Tartar power was occurring at the same time that Ibn Taymiyya was writing, he was specific about the threat to “pure” Islam and how Muslims must respond:

Fighting the Tartars, those who came to the land of Shaam is wajib (religious duty) according to the Book and the Sunna, for indeed Allah said in the Qur’an: And fight them until fitna (schism/ blasphemous upheaval) is no more, and the din becomes all for Allah.[4]

Therefore, in the Middle Ages jihad became legitimate revolution based upon a new mechanism by which the people could denounce their leaders as un-Islamic.

The fourth political reconceptualization of jihad occurred four centuries later, starting in the early 1700s. As the European powers pushed militarily and politically into North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, the threat to Islamic societies was two-fold. Empires such as the British had to be physically resisted. At the same time, the West’s cultural influence upon the purity of the Islamic faith was growing and had to be countered. During this period, jihad was defined as anti-colonial resistance.

This new interpretation of jihad was typified by the pronouncements of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi Islam. Its practical and military consequences were amply demonstrated during the decade-long resistance to the 1830 French invasion of Algeria led by `Abd al-Qadir and also by the Sudanese resistance to the British led by the self-proclaimed mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. The second, non-military element of this redefinition of jihad—what author Noor Mohammad has described as Islam’s internal “housecleaning”—was represented by Shah Waliullah’s call to spiritual revival and the purification of India’s Muslims under British control.[5]

This definition of jihad would lead directly to the next interpretation, one that relies heavily on the principles laid down hundreds of years prior by Ibn Taymiyya, including the doctrine of takfir (excommunication). This fifth version of jihad was fathered and later developed by Abu al-A`la Mawdudi in India (then later Pakistan) and Sayyid Qutb in Egypt. This time the threat was embodied by the post-WWII Arab leaders of the Middle East and the influence of Western “soft power,” which together equaled a new jahiliyya, or age of polytheism and ignorance. Apostate leaders were to be resisted once more (and removed if possible), Islam purified and Shari`a re-imposed.

HOLY WAR AS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

With the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979, jihad would no longer be limited to resistance against the cultural and political influence of the secular West or un-Islamic Arab rulers. Although it is true that within Afghanistan, among the Afghans, the motivation to resist Soviet domination did not have to be couched in terms of theology but simply in terms of survival and sovereignty, to the Arab mujahidin recruited by the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, jihad was a crucial concept, a brand Azzam assiduously built in his travels around the world. Most importantly, Azzam built his jihadist brand in a way that negated earlier requirements for holy war to be declared by a legitimate authority, as he redefined military resistance as an individual duty.

In his introduction to “Defense of Muslim Lands,” he plainly stated that

…if a piece of Muslim land the size of a hand-span is infringed upon, then jihad becomes fard `ayn (a personal obligation) on every Muslim male and female, where the child shall march forward without the permission of its parents and the wife without the permission of the husband.

Azzam invoked Ibn Taymiyya by name to justify his version of self-declared jihad and then warned his audiences of the price they would pay if they did not follow the path of military resistance. Quoting from the Qur’an, sura 9 verse 39: “If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you with another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things.”[6] By the late 1980s, Azzam’s rebranding of Muslim holy war in a new political and geostrategic context was so successful that even in the West jihad would become synonymous with guerrilla resistance to communist invasion and dictatorship.

Only after the eventual defeat of the Soviets, the end of the Cold War and the outbreak of the first Gulf War would the seventh and most important redefining of jihad of the sword be born. With Azzam’s death in 1989, his organization of Arab guerrillas, the Mujahidin Services Bureau (MAK), was taken over by his deputy Usama bin Ladin. Rejected by his own government when he offered to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq with his Arab fighters, Bin Ladin would change the mission and name of his organization. The “godless” Russians had been defeated, the bipolar world order replaced by the hegemony of a victorious United States, a country that had been invited to bring its troops and influence into the Arabian Peninsula to defend Saudi Arabia from Iraq. Guerrilla warfare within Saudi Arabia against the apostate House of Saud and against U.S. targets was impractical, if not impossible.

Several influential figures who had followed the teachings of the original Muslim Brotherhood and its leader Hassan al-Banna, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, had, after the severe crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, joined the MAK. Bin Ladin’s Wahhabi understanding of jihad would be suffused with the ideology of the Egyptian Qutbists. What resulted was al-Qa`ida and a new indirect approach to violent jihad. Subsequently, the meaning of jihad was expanded for a seventh time since Muhammad built his empire in the seventh century. The fight would be focused less on irregular warfare in countries where Muslims were suffering and more on the “far enemy,” which they identified as supporters of tyrannical regimes in the Muslim world. With the East Africa embassy bombings, the USS Cole attack and then finally the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, Bin Ladin successfully defined jihad as willful targeting of civilians by a non-state actor through unconventional means. The seventh political definition of jihad, therefore, is terrorism.

CONCLUSION

It is crucial for analysts and strategic planners to fully understand this mutation and evolution of the concept of jihad over time. It is incorrect to see jihad solely as a religious concept referring to the striving of the individual to be pure, because jihad of the sword is referenced in the hadith in multiple instances. It is clear that the meaning of violent jihad has been shaped during the centuries to fit the needs of those espousing holy war and calling their co-religionists to the battlefield. Usama bin Ladin’s great historical significance is that he managed to turn jihad from referring to guerrilla resistance against military oppression of the 1980s to mean the killing of mass numbers of civilians on the soil of non-Muslim lands. Understanding this contextual evolution is critical in the effort to find strategies to weaken al-Qa`ida’s ideology.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka teaches irregular warfare and counterterrorism at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University, Washington D.C. He is an Associate Fellow of the Joint Special Operations University (USSOCOM) whose first degree was in Philosophy and Theology. Most recently, he co-authored, with David Kilcullen, “Who’s Winning the Battle for Narrative: Al-Qaida versus the United States and its Allies,” in Influence Warfare (Praeger 2009). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or any other government agency.

[1] Jahiliyya refers to the age of polytheism and “unbelief” that existed before the Prophet Muhammad.[2] The hijra refers to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina.[3] Ibn Taymiyya, “Rulings of Fighting the Mongols,” fatawa, 28/524.[4] Ibid.; See also Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Shaykh al-Imam: Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah fi Islah al Raiwa Rajyah (Cairo: Dar al-Shab, 1976).[5] Noor Mohammad, “The Doctrine of Jihad: An Introduction,” Journal of Law and Religion 3:2 (1985): p. 396.[6] This is otherwise known as part of the Sura at Taubah (Repentence).

(Originally published 3 October 2009 in the CTC Sentinel, Combating Terrorism Center, West Point)

Iran Has Shiite Radicalization Centers in 60 Countries

Iranian-Supreme-Leader-Ali-Khamenei-AP-Photo-640x480Breitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL, April 6, 2015

A new video produced by an Iranian opposition group documents how the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran has proliferated its Khomeinist revolution into 60 countries, graduating 50,000 Mullahs at its Al Mustafa International University in the past seven years.

The Iranian-American Forum–which in the past has helped expose alleged pro-Tehran groups such as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC)–produced the video, which shows how Iran has been exporting its violent ideology worldwide.

“Al Mustafa [University] was founded by the Iranian regime in 2007. The Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei holds the highest authority in the University,” the video explains.

 

Al Mustafa has branches throughout the world, and trains “foreign Mullahs who then spread the Iranian regime’s ideology throughout the world,” says the video narrator. “Graduates of al-Mustafa are selected by the Iranian regime to direct religious and cultural centers in many countries. These centers recruit among local populations, thus, are part of the Iranian regime’s influence” operations, the narrator adds.

The video then cuts to a speech that showed the Ayatollah welcoming non-Iranian students and foreign Mullahs to Al Mustafa’s main campus in Qom, Iran, where he encourages them to continue spreading Iran’s ideology throughout the world.

“Since the Islamic Republic was established in Iran in 1979, exporting the Islamic revolution has been a main pillar of this regime,” the narrator explains. “From the earliest years of the revolution, the regime began sending Iranian mullahs to other Islamic countries to propagate its fundamentalist revolutionary ideology. Later, foreign candidates were brought to Iran to be educated, then sent back to their native countries,” he adds.

In 2007, the Islamic Republic merged the fundamentalist organizations under the umbrella of Al Mustafa University, the video explains.

Al Mustafa now has branches all over the world, including much of the West. It even has a branch in London.

Moreover, there are at least 80 Iranian cultural centers throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, according to a recent U.S. Southern Command report.

The video concludes with a stark warning: “This vast network notably in Western countries could also provide the Iranian regime with an extraordinary tool to carry out terrorist activities.”

They’re Here: A Week of Jihad in America

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, April 4, 2015:

Americans seem to be oblivious or desensitized to the growing evidence that Jihad is hitting the streets here in America. About a week ago or so we posted a rundown of recent Jihadi activity on the continent of Africa, illustrating the fact that it has become the central front in the global Jihadist insurgency:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2015/03/28/africa-on-fire-jihad-on-the-march/

What may not be apparent is the escalating level of Jihadi activity here in the USA. Even attacks such as those that occurred in 2014 in Moore, Oklahoma (beheading of a grandmother by a former Muslim co-worker) and Queens, New York (hatchet attack on NYPD officers) were far from front page news.

Such incidents are almost always reflexively followed by the meant-to-be-comforting caveat…”no known connection to a terrorist organization.” This is actually more alarming than it is comforting as it is an indication that a revolutionary atmosphere has developed in the US Muslim community that has prompted individual Muslims to act on the calls to Jihad that we have seen from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other Jihadi leaders.

We’ve decided to post recent articles about Jihadi arrests, plots and cases that have appeared in the news to illustrate that, well, the enemy is indeed here in our midst and active. Keep in mind that these are only the enemy that our law enforcement community has publicly identified, pursued and apprehended…

New-York-state

In just the last week, Jihadis from Texas, Philadelphia and New York have been apprehended…note also mention of a Jihadi from Minnesota…

U.S. prosecutors in New York City and Philadelphia charged four people with terrorism-related crimes, including two Queens women who allegedly discussed making bombs with an undercover federal agent.

Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, were accused of conspiring to prepare an explosive device to detonate in the U.S.

A Texas man, Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, was charged separately with seeking to train alongside Muslim militants who allegedly plotted to attack New York City subways.

Friday, U.S. prosecutors announced charges against a Philadelphia woman, Keonna Thomas, accused of attempting to join Islamic State. The government said she posted items expressing support for the group on Twitter, and communicated online with a Somalia-based jihadi fighter from Minnesota, a radical Islamic cleric and an ISIS fighter in Syria.

Velentzas allegedly praised the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and declared that she and Siddiqui were “citizens of the Islamic State.” Siddiqui had repeated contact with members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including propagandist Samir Khan, former editor of Inspire, al-Qaeda’s English-language online magazine, the U.S. alleged in court papers.

Khan, who was killed in Yemen in 2011, published articles including “I am proud to be a traitor to America” and “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” according to prosecutors.

In discussions with the undercover officer last year, the women allegedly said they were learning “science” in order to build a bomb. They later said they were reading technical books and learning about making homemade grenades, pipe bombs and pressure-cooker bombs, the U.S. alleged.

Siddiqui wrote jihadist poetry with lines about dropping bombs and referred to “nations wiped clean of filthy shrines,” according to the government. She obtained multiple propane tanks and had instructions for using them as explosives, prosecutors alleged.

Farekh [the Texas man], who studied at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, is accused of leaving the school for Pakistan in 2007, joining others seeking to train for attacks against U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan. He was eventually deported from Pakistan.

An alleged co-conspirator, Ferid Imam, aided a plot to attack the New York City subways, according to the government. That plot was foiled in 2009.

In the Philadelphia case, Thomas, who allegedly went by the name “YoungLioness,” was asked by an ISIS fighter if she wanted to be involved in a martyrdom operation. Thomas, 30, responded by stating, “that would be amazing….a girl can only wish,” according to the government. She was arrested after purchasing tickets to fly overseas, prosecutors said.

The cases are U.S. v. Velentzas, 15-mj-00303, and USA v. AL Farekh,1:15-mj-00021, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-02/two-new-york-women-charged-by-u-s-in-alleged-terrorist-plot

There have been separate reports that Velentzas and Siddiqui sought to attack a police funeral to maximize casualties among U.S. law enforcement and that one of the two put on a veneer of patriotism with an American flag displayed in front of her home.

Noelle Velentzas...Note her affiliation with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), one of the largest Islamic organizations in America

Asia Siddiqui

Some more stories on the two female Jihadis:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/04/02/fbi-arrests-two-new-york-city-women-for-alleged-isis-inspired-bomb-plot/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/04/02/two-nyc-women-who-declared-themselves-citizens-of-the-islamic-state-charged-with-plotting-to-set-off-bombs-in-the-u-s/

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Terror-Arrest-New-York-FBI-NYPD-Police-297422441.html

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Velentzas and Siddiqui were apparently tied to Tairoid Pugh, the US Air Force veteran who was arrested in March for joining the Islamic State:

A one-time Air Force mechanic whose radical beliefs had him on the FBI’s radar since the late 1990s has been charged in federal court in Brooklyn with trying to join the Islamic State terror group..

Tairod Pugh, 47, of Neptune, New Jersey, allegedly did Internet searches for border crossings into Syria and downloaded execution videos by the jihadist group, before traveling from Egypt to Turkey in January to fight for the group…

After being turned away, the government said, he wiped most of his electronic devices of evidence but kept a picture of a machine gun on his phone. Deported from Egypt to the United States, he was charged in a sealed complaint in January, and indicted this week.

“Pugh, an American citizen, was willing to travel overseas and fight jihad alongside terrorists seeking to do us harm,” Diego Rodriguez, head of the FBI’s New York office, said in a statement.

In February, three Brooklyn men were accused of plotting to aid the terror group, including two who planned to join, authorities said.

Court papers said Pugh served in the Air Force as an avionics instrument system specialist from 1986 to 1990, and worked for American Airlines and a military contractor in Iraq. Overseas for the past 12 to 18 months, he allegedly lost his last job as a mechanic in Kuwait in December.

The government said Pugh converted to Islam in 1998. In 2001, a co-worker allegedly tipped the FBI that Pugh sympathized with Osama bin Laden and held anti-American views. In 2002, an associate said Pugh hoped to fight jihad in Chechnya.

But the government said he objected to deportation from Egypt because the “U.S. doesn’t like black Muslims.” A search of his laptop revealed 180 jihadist videos and an email intended for his Egyptian wife, according to the criminal complaint.

“I am a Mujahid,” said the email. “. . . There is only two possible outcomes for me. Victory or Martyr.”

http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/tairod-nathan-webster-pugh-u-s-air-force-vet-charged-in-plot-to-aid-islamic-state-group-feds-say-1.10072309

Tairod Pugh: Air Force veteran, former American Airlines employee and long-time Jihadi

Note in the article above the mention of the three Brooklyn men indicted on terror charges in February.

third-district-map

Here is an article about the Philadelphia woman who faces terrorism charges…

Authorities charged a Philadelphia woman on Friday with attempting to join Islamic State…

Keonna Thomas, a 30-year-old U.S. citizen who went by “YoungLioness” online, was arrested before she could travel to Syria and join the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, according to a criminal complaint. 

Last month she bought a plane ticket to Barcelona, court records show, and was due to fly on March 29. Federal agents executed a search warrant at her home on March 27 and seized evidence, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia said. 

Ms. Thomas, who is charged with knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, was ordered held until a detention hearing next week.

Ms. Thomas’s postings on social media drew the attention of law enforcement, according to an affidavit from a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.

But her case differs from other recent prosecutions of Islamic State sympathizers because it doesn’t appear to rely on an undercover FBI operative working with the target. Instead, the FBI intercepted communications between Ms. Thomas and an overseas Islamic fighter, among others. In them, she allegedly expressed her desire to travel to join the group in Syria.

In the past 18 months, dozens of Americans—from Colorado to Minnesota to New York—have faced criminal charges related to ISIS. 

Ms. Thomas’s alleged support of Islamic State dates to 2013, according to court filings. The FBI affidavit claims that in August 2013 she reposted a picture on Twitter showing a camouflage-clad boy wearing firearm magazine pouches, with this caption: “Ask yourselves, while this young man is holding magazines for the Islamic state, what are you doing for it? #ISIS.”

In December 2013, court filings show, she exchanged messages with a man described by the FBI as a Somali-based violent jihadi fighter from Minnesota. Ms. Thomas allegedly told him she planned to “leave the land of kufr [nonbelievers]” and would travel once she got enough money.

In January 2014 she tweeted, “Only thing I’m jealous of is when I see the smiles of shuhadaa [martyrs],” according to court records, which allege that she posted messages throughout the year that appeared to support ISIS.

In late January of this year, the FBI alleges, she sent a message to a radical Islamic cleric in Jamaica in which she wrote, “i don’t want to say much here….as of now im still here in the states but will be leaving soon.”

Five days later she applied for a passport and in mid-February told the cleric she had deactivated her Twitter account, saying, according to court records, “don’t want to draw attention of the kuffar [nonbelievers] and it mess my plans and they take my pass port and I get stuck here.”

On Feb. 17, the FBI affidavit says, the known overseas fighter wrote to her: “U probably want to do Istishadee [martyrdom operations] with me.” She allegedly replied: “that would be amazing….a girl can only wish.”

“I can make that wish come true,” the militant allegedly responded.

She researched indirect travel routes to Turkey, a common transit point to Syria, according to the complaint. Among them was flying to Spain to avoid suspicion, then traveling by bus to Turkey.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/philadelphia-woman-keonna-thomas-charged-with-attempting-to-join-isis-1428078216

Keonna Thomas appearing in court after arrest on terrorism charges. Why she is allowed to appear in court covered that way is anyone's guess.

2000px-Texas_flag_map

Here is an article on Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, the Texas native indicted on terror charges…

A U.S. citizen accused of conspiring to support al Qaeda appeared in a federal court in New York on Thursday. Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, 29, was charged with conspiracy, reports said, citing the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Farekh reportedly plotted with others to provide material support to the terrorists. He also helped them gain personnel to kill U.S. citizens and members of the U.S. military in other countries, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a charging document. Farekh was deported from Pakistan and arrested due to a pending warrant.

http://www.ibtimes.com/texas-born-al-qaeda-suspect-muhanad-mahmoud-al-farekh-accused-conspiring-aid-1868854

Texas born Al Qaeda terrorist Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh

j0189593[1]

Another Jihadi case surfaced in Illinois over a week ago when two cousins–one a soldier with the Illinois Army National Guard–were arrested on terrorism charges:

An Army National Guard member and his cousin have been arrested in Illinois for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist organization ISIS, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

The alleged plot included a plan to attack a U.S. military installation in Illinois.

In the past 18 months, the Justice Department’s National Security Division has prosecuted or is prosecuting 32 cases of people attempting to travel abroad to join or providing support to terrorist groups. Of those cases, 18 allegedly involve support to ISIS. 

Spc. Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested Wednesday night at Chicago Midway International Airport while attempting to travel to Egypt to eventually join ISIS…

His cousin, Jonas “Yunus” Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home in Aurora in connection with an alleged plot to carry out an armed attack on an unspecified U.S. military facility in northern Illinois where Hasan Edmonds had been training.

After an undercover FBI informant posing as an ISIS fighter outside the United States sent Hasan Edmonds a Facebook “friend” request in late 2014, he began to receive private messages from him indicating that he and his cousin were willing to travel to overseas and fight for ISIS, according to the court documents. 

“InshAllah we will complete our task or be grants [sic] shahada [Arabic for martyr] I look forward to the training,” Hasan Edmonds is alleged to have told the informant in January. “I am already in the American kafir army and now I wish only to serve in the army of Allah alongside my true brothers.”

They continued to communicate over the following weeks, with Hasan Edmonds expressing concerns about Jonas Edmonds’ criminal record and whether he would be allowed to travel overseas.

“They try hard to keep people like him trapped in America,” he told the undercover FBI employee. 

“I know several Muslims have been caught attempting the Turkey route so tell me why not many Americans take the Egypt route. I am open to either way,” Hasan Edmonds told the informant, according to court documents. 

On February 2, Hasan Edmonds contacted the undercover informant again and said his cousin was willing to carry out an attack on U.S. soil.

“Honestly we would love to do something like the brother in Paris did,” Hasan Edmonds stated, referring to the French terror attacks in January in which 16 people were killed.

Prosecutors said Jonas Edmonds contacted the informant to arrange travel accommodations.

“Number one on my list is Mosul,” he stated, referring to Iraq’s second-largest city. “If I find myself stuck here [in the United States], I intend to take advantage of being so close to the kuffar.” 

Jonas Edmonds this week accepted that he would be unable to travel and told the FBI informant of his intention to buy AK-47s and grenades to carry out an attack on the military facility. He would use his cousin’s uniform and “anticipated a body count of 100 to 150.” He was given a list of officer rankings by his cousin and advised to “kill the head,” according to court documents. 

Prosecutors said Jonas Edmonds planned to carry out the attack after Hasan Edmonds left the country.

Hasan Edmonds planned to use his military training to fight for the terrorist organization, prosecutors said in a statement. Hasan Edmonds booked airline travel to depart Wednesday from Chicago and arrive in Cairo on Thursday.

The cousins presented an undercover informant with plans to attacks the military facility, prosecutors said.

More than 20,000 fighters, from more than 90 countries, have traveled to the ISIS battlefield, according to the testimony of Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, before the House Homeland Security Committee.

The rate of foreign fighters traveling to Syria “exceeds the rate of travelers who went to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years,” Rasmussen said. 

Of those fighters, an estimated 3,400 are believed to have come from Western countries, including more than 150 from the United States, officials said.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/26/us/illinois-arrests-isis/

Jonas Edmonds--evidently no stranger to the penal system.

Hasan Edmonds

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Finally, in Boston, Americans for Peace and Tolerance have uncovered evidence of Jihadist indoctrination at the Islamic Society of Boston, which was the mosque attended by the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon. It was also founded by Abduraham Alamoudi, who was later revealed to be an Al Qaeda terrorist and was convicted on terrorism charges…

Islamic Society of Boston: co-founded by Al Qaeda terrorist, mosque of Boston marathon bombers.

The Boston Marathon bombers’ mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), employs an intensive radicalizing program aimed at Boston’s historically moderate Muslim community, especially at its youth. It’s called “Tarbiya,” which is Arabic for “growth and refinement.” It is not something that is practiced as part of classical mainstream Islam.

APT has obtained several curriculum documents created by ISB-affiliated groups, which describe exactly what is taught and when, with assignments detailed down to book and page number.

Read the details on BreitBart.com…

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/27/revealed-jihadist-lessons-at-the-boston-marathon-bombers-mosque/

Also see:

 

UN: Record 25K-Plus Foreigners From 100 Countries Travel to Join ISIS, Al Qaeda

Jake-Bilardi-White-Jihadi-Twitter-640x480

 

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, April 2, 2015:

The number of foreign fighters who have traveled to join the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries has reached a historic level, exceeding 25,000 from over 100 countries, reveals a new U.N. report.

A panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against al Qaeda prepared the report for the U.N. Security Council, which was obtained by The Associated Press and Reuters.

The experts found that Iraq and Syria housed most of the foreign fighters.

An estimated 22,000 foreigners linked to ISIS and al Qaeda are reportedly fighting in Iraq and Syria; nearly 6,500 in Afghanistan, hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, and about 100 in Somalia.

Moreover, the experts report that foreigners have also joined terrorists in the Sahel countries in North Africa and the Philippines.

Although most of the fighters who traveled to Iraq and Syria joined ISIS, they also linked up with the Syrian al Qaeda affiliate al Nusra Front.

Iraq and Syria have become an “international finishing school for extremists,” the experts said.

The worldwide number of foreign terrorist fighters increased by 71 percent between mid-2014 and March 2015, added the panel, noting that the number of countries the fighters come form has also skyrocketed to over 100 today including nations that have never been linked to al Qaeda and other jihadist groups.

In the report, the experts mentioned that the flow of foreign fighters “is higher than it has ever been historically.”

The total number of foreigner fighters has “risen sharply from a few thousand… a decade ago to more than 25,000 today,” the panel said.

“For the thousands of [foreign fighters] who traveled to the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq… they live and work in a veritable ‘international finishing school’ for extremists, as was the case in Afghanistan during the 1990s,” it added.

A “high number” of the foreign fighters are from Tunisia, Morocco, France, and Russia.

However, there has also been an increase in fighters from the Maldives, Finland, Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, and unnamed countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Defeating ISIS could have the unintended consequence of scattering the foreign fighters across the world, the report warned, adding that some may be recruited by criminal networks.

Efforts to deal with the threat posed by the growing number of foreign fighters should focus on preventing the radicalization, recruitment and travel of the prospective fighters, suggested the U.N. report.

U.S. intelligence officials estimate that more than 150 U.S. citizens and residents have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

Air Force vet charged with trying to join ISIS

Tairod Pugh

Tairod Pugh

Fox News, March 17, 2015:

An American citizen and U.S. Air Force veteran who worked as an airplane mechanic and was trained in weapons systems was charged Tuesday with trying to go to Syria to fight for ISIS, said federal prosecutors.

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, of Asbury Park, N.J., was arrested Jan. 16, before he could carry out his plan to join the black-clad jihadist army, authorities said. He was indicted on two counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and obstruction of justice, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a news release.

“Born and raised in the United States, Pugh allegedly turned his back on his country and attempted to travel to Syria in order to join a terrorist organization,” Lynch said.

Pugh was an Air Force avionics instrument system specialist who received training in the installation and maintenance of aircraft engine, navigation and weapons systems, prosecutors said. After leaving the Air Force, Pugh worked for companies in the United States and Middle East and had lived abroad for over a year before his arrest.

Prosecutors say he tried to join ISIS after he was fired from a job as an airplane mechanic somewhere in the Middle East, traveling from Egypt to Turkey in a bid to cross into Syria to join ISIS. Turkish authorities nabbed Pugh at the border Jan. 10 and sent him back to Egypt, prosecutors said. Egyptian authorities confiscated a multiple electronic devices, including four USB thumb drives that had been stripped of their plastic casings and an iPod that had been wiped clean of data, according to prosecutors. Pugh was deported to the United States and arrested days later after FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents executed a search warrant and seized his laptop, authorities said.

Recent Internet searches on the computer included one for “borders controlled by Islamic state,” “who controls Kobani,” “Kobani border crossing,” and “Jarablus border crossing,” all references to Syrian cities under ISIS control at the time. The computer also contained downloaded ISIS videos, including one showing terrorists executing prisoners.

After Pugh was arrested, agents obtained warrants to search two backpacks Pugh had carried overseas, and allegedly found two compasses, a solar-powered flashlight, a solar-powered power source, shards of broken USB thumb drives, a fatigue jacket and camping clothes.

“Pugh, an American citizen and former member of our military, allegedly abandoned his allegiance to the United States and sought to provide material support to ISI[S],” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin. “Identifying and bringing to justice individuals who provide or attempt to provide material support to terrorists is a key priority of the National Security Division.”

While dozens and possibly scores of Americans are believed to have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS, also known as Islamic State, Pugh is believed to be the first military veteran to attempt to join the terrorist organization’s so-called caliphate.

Pugh is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning before U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.

Diego Rodriguez, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said Pugh was on his way to join the terrorist army that has drawn international condemnation for its savagery.

“As alleged, Pugh, an American citizen, was willing to travel overseas and fight jihad alongside terrorists seeking to do us harm,” Rodriguez said.

Also see:

The Jihad Triangle

Published on Mar 14, 2015 by Acts17Apologetics

http://www.answeringmuslims.com
Many people are confused by jihad. If Islam is a religion of peace, why is there a persistent problem of radicalism in the Muslim world? If Islam is the problem, why are there so many peaceful Muslims? In this video, David Wood explains that jihad isn’t the product of a single factor, but of three factors: belief, knowledge, and obedience. These three factors come together in what we’ll call “The Jihad Triangle.”

America is Losing the War Against Sunni Jihadists and Empowering The Shia Caliphate

isis-640x480Breitbartby DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, March 13, 2015:

With its support of the Baghdad government and the wrong rebels in Syria, the US Administration is doing the unthinkable: strengthening the spread of Tehran’s control in the Middle East and at the same time also helping the Sunni extremists to grow in power.

The American strategy against Global Jihad is having the opposite effect of that intended. And even key government officials are beginning to openly admit the failure of our policies.

The Director of National Intelligence, retired General James Clapper, recently testified that the terrorist threat is worse than at any other time in history and Major General Michael Nagata, responsible for planning our response to the civil war in Syria, has stated that the Islamic State is now more dangerous than Al Qaeda.

Seemingly just to prove the broader point about the global appeal of Jihad against the “infidel,” ISIS has just accepted the African terrorist group Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance, meaning that the Sunni Caliphate established last year in Mosul by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi now officially covers any territory that Boko Haram controls in Nigeria.

The spread of ISIS influence is not just about territorial control, it is about the staggering success of its international call to holy war, with an estimated 19,000 westerners having left their homes to wage jihad. The visual below, based upon a British think-tank’s unclassified research, shows just how international a recruitment wave this is, with almost every country on the map sending recruits to fight in just Syria alone.

image

Given all the evidence, even the most influential liberal commentators and pundits have admitted the failure of the Obama strategy against “Violent Extremism.” Writing recently in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman stated: “When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble. And this administration, so fearful of being accused of Islamophobia, is refusing to make any link to radical Islam” and added that as a nation “We’ve entered the theater of the absurd.” The left wing Atlantic magazine even dedicated 11,000 words to an article proving the Islamic roots of ISIS and the religious justification for its violence.

Fourteen years after the September 11th attacks and half way through President Obama’s second term, how can we explain a failure so egregious that even the pillars of the liberal left are finally prepared to call it out? The key mistakes upon which the current strategy is built are:

  • The White House’s belief in the ability to “degrade and destroy” ISIS through air power alone
  • The belief that Iran can be leveraged as an ally against ISIS
  • Gambling on Islamic rebels such as the Free Syrian Army as a way to remove President Assad of Syria, and mostly important:
  • The belief that ideology is irrelevant to the enemy we face and that this war can be won solely through military means or local proxies.

Each one of these premises is flawed and is undermining US national interests as well as the safety and stability of our regional allies.

Firstly, in the history of modern military air power, since the first hand grenade was thrown out of a biplane over a century ago, the number of insurgencies like ISIS that have been defeated by airstrikes alone is zero. Insurgents are defined by their capability to hold ground. This is what separates a rag-tag terrorist group from a real threat like the Islamic State. As a result, their control of territory by ground forces can only be countered by other ground forces contesting the same space and eventually destroying or pushing them out. This is not a call for the deployment of US troops, but for the recognition of the fact that only a ground response– for example, made up of Iraqi, Kurdish, Jordanian and Egyptian units– can defeat ISIS. (According to my sources even Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Adviser, has admitted that US airstrikes are not working because we do not have the intelligence on the ground to know what to hit.) Any such response on the ground will not happen without US leadership and support, and in this President Sisi of Egypt will play the pivotal role even if the Obama Administration doesn’t like the former General. Without Egypt’s military might, the Islamic State will continue to grow and threaten the US even more than it already does.

By bringing Iran into our plans against ISIS, we are in fact strengthening a rival brand of Jihad. The war today in Syria and Iraq is not about the corruption of the former Maliki government in Baghdad or the human rights record of President Assad of Syria. It is about whose version of Islam will dominate the region. One only has to read or listen to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s sermon from the Grand Mosque Mosul in which he declared the Islamic State. The speech is about reestablishing the theocratic empire of Islam – the Caliphate – under Sunni control. ISIS even posted their real intent on social media:

Iran, on the other hand, also believes in the need to re-establish the Caliphate, but under its control as a Shia empire, and the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, must be understood as the re-ignition of a 1,400 year old argument about who should control Islam. In fact, that is how the Sunni and Shia division of Islam occurred after the death of Mohammad, and those are the stakes for Tehran. The fact that the mullahs now control five regional capitals– Tehran, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and now Sanaa– means that despite ISIS’s growth, the Shia extremists are winning. The White House’s belief that Tehran is an altruistic foe of Sunni jihadists like ISIS is driven by shortsightedness and a lack of understanding of the historic battle that is in play, and will simply strengthen the Shia proto-Caliphate, eventually even to include Tehran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons should the nascent deal the President is pushing come to fruition.

By contrast, in Syria, since 2011, the administration has been driven by its pathological hatred of Assad and the belief that, despite his enjoying the support of both Beijing and Moscow, Assad can be removed through the support of indigenous rebels such as the Free Syria Army. Speaking to the few true moderates that have organizational capability in theater, the sad truth is that we have chosen the wrong rebels. The more organized and loudest rebel groups are not the moderates but the true jihadists, some of whom have in fact formally allied themselves with ISIS. (This is not just a failure of the White House, but also the Republicans in Congress, especially Senator John McCain, who has the uncanny knack of supporting those who would kill us after they have killed all the Shia in the region).

Most disturbing of all is the Administrations willful dismissal of the real center of gravity in this war: the ideology of Global Jihadism. With its constant refrain that “upstream causes” such as poverty and lack of education are the real reason for terrorist violence, the White House displays a total ignorance of the groups we face today, from Al Qaeda to ISIS, from the Fort Hood shooter to the Tsarnaev brothers who killed and maimed hundreds at the Boston bombing.

As political correctness has been forced onto the practice of national security in general and counterterrorism specifically, we see absurd conclusions being drawn and fantastical policies being implemented. The recent international summit on “Combating Violent Extremism” hosted by the President and the White House assiduously preached repeatedly that religion has nothing to do with ISIS or Al Qaeda and concluded with this visual that all we need is more community outreach:

White House Summit

Of course, if poverty and lack of education were the drivers of terrorist violence, then half of the population of India would be terrorists. But they aren’t. Why? Because terrorist violence does not happen in a vacuum. It requires a spark, a narrative that acts as the justification to violence and the catalyst to mobilize people to do horrific acts against their fellow man. That ideology can be secular – for example, the communist terrorism of the Weather Underground led by Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers – or religious, such as ISIS. How else, for example, can one understand why the Islamic state would behead the 21 Coptic Christians whose murder they filmed on the shores of Libya, but instead burn alive the Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh? These decisions were not random.

For the jihadists of ISIS, the Copts are kuffar, infidels, and as the Koran teaches, the infidel must be “smitten on the neck” (e.g. Koran Ch. 47 V. 4). However, Lt. Kaseasbeh was a Muslim, a Jordanian Sunni, who in taking arms up against the Caliphate made himself an “apostate” and as a result he had to be killed not as an infidel but as one who committed the sin of leaving Islam and therefore, he was to be treated as if he were in hell, i.e. burnt alive. Religion is therefore so important to this war that it even defines the way in which the terrorists will kill you should you be captured.

Today, the Global Jihad has two brands. It is a war of the “Sunni Coke” versus the “Shia Pepsi” which also targets the local minorities caught in the middle, most especially the ancient Christians of the region.(Incredibly, the Parliament of the European Union seems to understand the threat better than the White House based upon the resolution it just issued against ISIS.) The powers that be have allowed politics and ideology to distort and pervert the practice of national security to such an extent that, incredibly, we are not only helping the Sunni Jihadists, but also the Shia extremists of Iran. Whichever side wins the war for the crown of the Caliph is irrelevant, since once their immediate foe is vanquished we, the infidel West, will be their next target.

Sebastian Gorka Ph.D. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University. You can see his briefing from the Global Counterterrorism Summit on Why ISIS is Much More Dangerous than Al Qaeda here and follow him on Twitter at: @SebGorka.