Director of Mosque Linked to Muslim Brotherhood Seeks Release of Islamic State Supporters

Center for Security Policy, by Kyle Shideler, July 8, 2015:

In Minnesota, Federal prosecutors are attempting to fight a motion for pre-trial release of three defendants accused of attempting to join the Islamic State. ABC News reports:

Three men accused of trying to leave Minnesota to join the Islamic State group have not renounced the group’s violent ideology, and proposals for their pretrial release won’t adequately protect the community or guarantee that they’ll show up for court, prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.

The document was filed in advance of Wednesday hearings on defense attorneys’ proposals to release Hamza Naj Ahmed, 21, and Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman and Hanad Mustafe Musse, both 19. The men, Americans of Somali decent, are among seven people recently charged with plotting to join the terror group in Syria.

The proposals were crafted by the defense with input from Somali community members and religious leaders. They include options for housing, religious education, volunteering and other activities that defense attorneys say are designed to steer the men in a positive direction, assure the community’s safety and ensure the men attend court hearings.

It will not surprise regular readers of the Free Fire Blog to learn that at least one of the community members involved in the effort to get Islamic State sympathizers out of jail has potential ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The ABC News story interviews Sheikh Abdisalam Adam, who “has filed papers supporting Musse’s and Ahmed’s plans and says his goal is to ‘try to redirect their desire for meaning and social engagement into something more productive here at home.’” While the ABC News article declines to mention Adam’s affiliation (noting only that he is the imam of “another mosque”), it would probably be of interest for readers to know that he is the chairman of the Islamic Civic Society of America (ICSA), which runs Dar al-Hijrah Mosque, in Minneapolis. Dar al-Hijrah is located at 504 Cedar Avenue, immediately adjacent to the site of a mysterious New Year’s Eve 2014 explosion at an apartment building owned by a Somali individual suspected by the Treasury Department of helping to finance Al Shabaab, according to watchdog group Judicial Watch.

As Judicial Watch notes in its April 2nd, 2015 press release the Dar al-Hijrah mosque posted a series of web links on its page, including to the Muslim Brotherhood’s main website Ikhwanweb.org. The website also linked to Al-Islah, the Muslim Brotherhood political party of Somalia, and multiple high profile Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Tariq Ramadan, Yusuf Al Qaradawi and Tariq Suwaidan, as well as to known U.S. and U.K Brotherhood fronts, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). These links were present on the website from at least April 7th, 2007 to May 17th, 2014. During the same period Adam was listed as the Mosque’s Director, under the mosque’s “Biography” page.

Judicial Watch is currently engaged in a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the Department of Justice in an attempt to acquire information regarding the investigation in the explosion.

In addition to his association with a mosque which openly directed web visitors to the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Abdisalam Adam was also a director of ARAHA, the American Relief Agency for Horn of Africa.  ARAHA partners with charities including the Zakat Foundation, the charity Baitulmaal (not to be confused with Baitumal Inc, a financial services company which engaged in support for Al Qaeda and Hamas), and Life for Relief and Development (LRD).

Interestingly, these organizations not only cooperate but have had interlocking leadership. ARAHA’s executive Director Mohammed Idris was also Vice Chairman of LRD from 2006-2014 while also serving as head of ARAHA, and the head of Baitulmaal, Abdallah Boumediene was a board member of LRD from June 2012, until at least December 2014, when he served as CEO.

LRD was raided by the FBI in 2006, and in part agents were looking for ties between LRD and Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood party known as the Iraqi Islamic Party. Another target in the same raid was Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a LRD employee, formerly executive director of CAIR-MI and the son of the late Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hanooti.  The younger Al-Hanooti was alleged to have been working as an agent of influence for Saddam Hussein’s regime, and was eventually sentenced to 1 year in prison for violating sanctions law. Ironically current CAIR-MI Dawud Walid would later join LRD as a board member.

Adam’s association with groups who themselves are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood certainly raises eyebrows, particularly as he attempts to intervene on behalf of terror suspects. Releasing such suspects on bail would never have been a good idea. But releasing them into the custody of “community leaders” who link themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood, is even more dangerous.

SPLC Issues Hit List of U.S. Women Against Sharia Law

splc (1)Judicial Watch, June 18, 2015:

The Obama-tied leftist group that helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative organization has assembled a starter kit for Islamists to attack American women who refuse to comply with Sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism.

It’s the summer special from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations that disagree with it on social issues on a catalogue of “hate groups.” A few years ago a gunman received a 25-year prison sentence for carrying out the politically-motivated shooting of the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters after admitting that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC “hate map.” Prosecutors called it an act of terrorism and recommended a 45-year sentence.

Now the SPLC, which has conducted diversity training for the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ), is targeting female bloggers, activists and television personalities who refuse to comply with Sharia law which is rooted in the Quran. The European Court on Human rights has repeatedly ruled that Sharia is “incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy” yet politically-connected radical Muslim groups—such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—keep pushing to implement it in the United States and the movement has gained steam.

Among those resisting this effort publicly are the high-profile women being targeted by the SPLC. Some of them are colleagues or friends of Judicial Watch and now they must fear for their safety simply for practicing their rights under the U.S. Constitution. The new hate list is titled Women Against Islam/The Dirty Dozen and includes illustrations and detailed information on all the women, who are branded “the core of the anti-Muslim radical right.” The new SPLC hate brochure further targets them by claiming that they’re “a dozen of the most hardline anti-Muslim women activists in America.”

Political activist and commentator Pamela Geller is branded the “country’s most flamboyant and visible Muslim-basher” for, among other things “smearing and demonizing Muslims.” Blogger Ann Barnhardt is identified as one of the “most extreme Muslim-bashers in the United States” and radio talk-show host Laura Ingram made the list for saying that hundreds of millions of Muslims were delighted that 12 people were massacred by Islamic terrorists in the Paris headquarters of a satirical magazine. Former CIA agent Clare Lopez, who runs a Washington D.C. think-tank focusing on national security issues, made the list for saying that the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated and suborned the U.S. government to actively assist…the mission of its grand jihad.”

Others appearing on the anti-Sharia docket include television personality and former judge and prosecutor Jeanine Pirro, former chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party Cathie Adams, talk-show host Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, syndicated columnist Diana West, attorney and columnist Debbie Schlussel, blogger Cathy Hinners, ACT! for America founder Brigitte Gabriel and conservative writer and TV personality Ann Coulter. Among her biggest offenses, according to the SPLC, is proclaiming that “not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims—at least all terrorists capable of assembling a murderous plot against America.”

Incredibly, the SPLC is one of a number of leftist special interest groups that has colluded with the DOJ since Obama moved into the White House. A few years ago JW uncovered government records that show the DOJ Civil Rights and Tax divisions engaged in questionable behavior while negotiating for SPLC co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a 2012 “Diversity Training Event.” JW pursued the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to determine what influence the SPLC’s branding of hate groups has had on government agencies.

Also see:

Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed U.S. Army sergeant has been Freed

20141123_gitmoprisonerreleaseFamily Security Matters, by Judicial Watch, May 7, 2015:

An Al Qaeda terrorist guilty of murdering a U.S. Army sergeant and “transferred” from Guantanamo to Canada by the Obama administration has been released from an Alberta prison while he appeals his conviction for war crimes.

His name is Omar Ahmed Khader and he’s a member of Canada’s “first family of terror,” according to an international news report that confirms Khader’s father was an associate of Osama Bin Laden who moved his family to Pakistan to support the Afghan mujahideen in its war against the Soviet Union. In 2010 Khader was convicted of five war crimes, including throwing a grenade that killed Army Sergeant Christopher Speer in Afghanistan during a 2002 combat operation.

Khader spent around a decade at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in 2010 cut a deal to serve the majority of his sentence in Canada. Under the terms, he admitted being an “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent” and throwing the grenade that killed Sergeant Speer. In 2012 Khader was taken to Canada, where he evidently began working on an appeal. This month a Canadian judge ordered the release of the jihadist while he appeals his U.S. convictions. Canadian government officials argue that the judge has no jurisdiction to hear the unprecedented bail application from an offender convicted abroad and returned to Canada, according to a national news story.

The bottom line is that this terrorist, like so many others who have returned to jihadist causes after leaving Gitmo, never should have been released. To meet his longtime goal of closing Gitmo President Obama has tried clearing out the military compound that still houses the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In December Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government put an Al Qaeda operative that had been freed from Gitmo on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

Hundreds of Gitmo terrorists who have been discharged over the years-under a program that started with President George W. Bush-have reengaged in terrorism. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting this for years based on U.S. intelligence sources. Back in 2010 JW wrote about a report that the Director of National Intelligence gave Congress documenting that 150 former Gitmo detainees were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At least 83 remained at large, according to the document.

Now we must worry that yet another radical extremist who hates America is on the loose, in a friendly neighboring country where cross border travel is quite easy. Khader was encouraged by his father, a senior Al Qaeda leader in Canada, to travel to Khowst Afghanistan to translate for Al Qaeda personnel and participate in jihad against the United States, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) file kept by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo. “Detainee received training and instruction on how to build and plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and how to plant land mines,” the DOD file says. It also reveals that Khader “admitted to taking part in several mining and combat operations” and that he was present during a 2002 raid on a suspected Al Qaeda compound by U.S. Special Forces. “Detainee was wounded and captured after killing the USSF soldier,” the DOD writes.

Khader has direct family affiliations with senior Al Qaeda members, the Pentagon file states, and his entire family lived at one of Osama bin Laden’s compounds in Jalalabad Afghanistan. The U.S. government considered him to be a detainee of “high intelligence value” who provided important information on the Derunta, Al-Farouq and Khalden training camps as well as key Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. The U.S. let Khader go even though it had labeled him a “high risk” enemy combatant “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interest or its allies.”

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.

Canada Frees Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed US Army Sgt.

KahderCreeping Sharia, May 2, 2015:

via Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed Army Sgt., Lived at Bin Laden Compound Freed in Canada – Judicial Watch

An Al Qaeda terrorist guilty of murdering a U.S. Army sergeant and “transferred” from Guantanamo to Canada by the Obama administration has been released from an Alberta prison while he appeals his conviction for war crimes.

His name is Omar Ahmed Khader and he’s a member of Canada’s “first family of terror,” according to an international news report that confirms Khader’s father was an associate of Osama Bin Laden who moved his family to Pakistan to support the Afghan mujahideen in its war against the Soviet Union. In 2010 Khader was convicted of five war crimes, including throwing a grenade that killed Army Sergeant Christopher Speer in Afghanistan during a 2002 combat operation.

Khader spent around a decade at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in 2010 cut a deal to serve the majority of his sentence in Canada. Under the terms, he admitted being an “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent” and throwing the grenade that killed Sergeant Speer. In 2012 Khader was taken to Canada, where he evidently began working on an appeal. This month a Canadian judge ordered the release of the jihadist while he appeals his U.S. convictions. Canadian government officials argue that the judge has no jurisdiction to hear the unprecedented bail application from an offender convicted abroad and returned to Canada, according to anational news story.

The bottom line is that this terrorist, like so many others who have returned to jihadist causes after leaving Gitmo, never should have been released. To meet his longtime goal of closing Gitmo President Obama has tried clearing out the military compound that still houses the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In December Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government put an Al Qaeda operative that had been freed from Gitmo on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

Hundreds of Gitmo terrorists who have been discharged over the years—under a program that started with President George W. Bush—have reengaged in terrorism. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting this for years based on U.S. intelligence sources. Back in 2010 JW wrote about a report that the Director of National Intelligence gave Congress documenting that 150 former Gitmo detainees were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At least 83 remained at large, according to the document.

Now we must worry that yet another radical extremist who hates America is on the loose, in a friendly neighboring country where cross border travel is quite easy. Khader was encouraged by his father, a senior Al Qaeda leader in Canada, to travel to Khowst Afghanistan to translate for Al Qaeda personnel and participate in jihad against the United States, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) file kept by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo. “Detainee received training and instruction on how to build and plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and how to plant land mines,” the DOD file says. It also reveals that Khader “admitted to taking part in several mining and combat operations” and that he was present during a 2002 raid on a suspected Al Qaeda compound by U.S. Special Forces. “Detainee was wounded and captured after killing the USSF soldier,” the DOD writes.

Khader has direct family affiliations with senior Al Qaeda members, the Pentagon file states, and his entire family lived at one of Osama bin Laden’s compounds in Jalalabad Afghanistan. The U.S. government considered him to be a detainee of “high intelligence value” who provided important information on the Derunta, Al-Farouq and Khalden training camps as well as key Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. The U.S. let Khader go even though it had labeled him a “high risk” enemy combatant “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interest or its allies.”


More on Khadr and his jihadist family:

Facts about Omar Khadr that the mainstream media won’t to tell you

More: Media whitewashing of Canadian jihadist Omar Khadr (video).

ISIS running training camp on Texas border

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WND, by Bob Unruh, April 14, 2015:

Judicial Watch, the Washington watchdog that monitors the government, has released a new report warning that ISIS is running a camp just a few miles from the Texas border.

The warning follows reports from Judicial Watch in recent months that Islamic terrorists have been captured in Texas after coming across the U.S. border from Mexico.

The organization said just last winter its sources within the Department of Homeland Security said several ISIS terror group members were arrested by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

The warnings conflict with claims by the Department of Homeland Security there is not an imminent danger of ISIS breaching the nation’s southern border.

In its newest report, on Tuesday, Judicial Watch said its sources for the information about the ISIS camp include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican federal police inspector.

“The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as ‘Anapra’ situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm,” Judicial Watch said.

“During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as ‘plans’ of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation,” Judicial Watch said.

The report said the Anapra region is under the influence of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel of drug runners, La Línea, which is the “enforcement arm” of the drug operations, and the Barrio Azteca, which is a gang originally formed in the jails of El Paso.

“According to these same sources, ‘coyotes’ engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed ‘coyotes’ are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing,” the report said.

Judicial Watch said ISIS “has ‘spotters’ located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations.”

Also, reconnaissance is going on at regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, New Mexico; Fort Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, New Mexico.

WND reported in October Judicial Watch sources said four “Islamic terrorists” were captured in Texas in just 36 hours.

It was about that time that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., confirmed in a TV interview that jihadists with the Middle Eastern group ISIS were caught coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

He said his information came from the Border Patrol.

“They were caught at the border … therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border,” he said. “If they catch five or 10 of them, we know there are dozens more that did not get caught.”

Judicial Watch said it confirmed its information after Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, was interviewed by the Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren.

Hunter said that if the administration really wants to protect Americans from ISIS, it needs to secure the southern border.

“It’s that simple. ISIS doesn’t have a navy, they don’t have an air force, they don’t have nuclear weapons,” he said. “The only way that ISIS is going to harm Americans is by coming in through the southern border – which they already have.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson denied the reports at the time.

He told CNN, “Let’s not unduly create fear and anxiety in the public by passing on speculation and rumor.”

WND reported last fall a warning from Judicial Watch there was an ISIS presence in Mexico, just across the border from Texas.

One Texas sheriff said last fall was confident he could handle the threat.

“If there are ISIS fighters that may already be in the United States, or in your area who’ve crossed the border, what’s your message to them?” CNN’s Don Lemon asked Midland County Sheriff, Gary Painter.

“If they rear their ugly heads, we’ll send them to hell,” Painter said.

Also see:

Did CIA Meet With CAIR to Purge Anti-Muslim Training Material? It’s Classified

20110817_CAIRCIAJudicial Watch:

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is refusing to provide Judicial Watch with records of meetings between the agency and an Islamic terrorist front group that pressured the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to purge training materials deemed offensive to Muslims.

Back In 2012 and 2013 JW filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records of all complaints of anti-Islamic content in any educational or training material and any meetings the agency may have had with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to discuss it. The requests were part of an ongoing JW investigation into a powerful Islamist influence operation aimed at our government and Constitution.

Law enforcement agencies have been especially targeted by CAIR, an Islamic terrorist front group founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists that today reportedly raises money for Hamas. CAIR not only got the FBI to purge all training material and curricula deemed offensive to Muslims, it has succeeded in getting local police departments to do the same. Last year JW published a special report documenting the FBI purge, which occurred following a February 2012 meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and various Islamic organizations, including CAIR.

In the name of government transparency and accountability, JW set out to uncover whether the same occurred at the CIA. In fact, JW’s first public-records request cites a documented incident involving a lecturer at the CIA campus in Elkridge, Maryland who came under CAIR’s fire for alleged Islamophobia. Previous to that another defense instructor got fired after similar complaints. Less than a year later JW filed a second request specifically asking for records of communications and meetings with CAIR since the group was the driving force behind the FBI purge.

This week the CIA sent JW an amusing response, claiming that it “can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records” involving meetings or communications with CAIR. Here’s why, according to the spy agency; it’s classified intelligence information that’s protected from disclosure. The response goes on to cite the statutes—such as the CIA Act of 1949 and National Security Act of 1947—that allow the agency to hide even the most benign information from the American public. In this particular case, it’s not far-fetched to conclude the CIA met with CAIR—or at least had communication with the extremist group—and doesn’t exactly want the public to know about it.

It certainly paints a scary picture that the nation’s top intelligence-gathering agency responsible for preempting threats is possibly taking orders from an extremist group that was named a co-conspirator in a massive terrorism financing case just a few years ago. Indeed, if this is occurring it should be classified. The CIA’s response to JW’s first request was that it was “unable to locate any records” involving complaints of anti-Islamic content in its educational or training material. This despite “thorough and diligent searches,” according to the correspondence JW got from the agency.

The Islamist campaign to overhaul the way all law enforcement officers are trained in the United States is going full-throttle. Just a few weeks ago JW reported that a coalition of influential and politically-connected Muslim organizations are demanding that the Obama administration implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state and local law enforcement officials who may have been subjected to materials they deem “biased and discriminatory” against Muslims. The coalition also wants an audit of all federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering training and educational materials to identify and remove information that could exhibit bias against any race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. Those responsible for anti-Muslim training material must be punished, according to the coalition’s written demands to Lisa O. Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

New Documents Show FBI Kept Channels Open to Al-Aulaqi Despite Terrorist Designation

web-only-anwaralawlaki001crp_1317412621-600x350 (1)Judicial Watch:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained 900 pages of newly released internal documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicating there may have been a serious rift between the agency’s 9/11 Commission Task Force (Task Force) and the National Commission on Terrorism (Commission) in tracking the activities of U.S.-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Aulaqi. Additionally, in an October 2003 email from al-Aulaqi to an FBI agent, the terrorist says he is “astonished” and “amazed” by the media coverage of him and hoped that “US authorities know better.”

The documents were released as a result of the court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit,Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:12-cv-00893), which was filed on June 4, 2012.  Judicial Watch first asked for the documents over three years ago, in September 2011.

The FBI emails obtained by Judicial Watch dating back to December 2003 suggest that agency personnel were bothered by the Commission’s “numerous and unrelenting requests” and were dismissive of the Commission’s work. The emails indicate that the FBI refused to set up interviews between the Commission and al-Aulaqi, and was surprised to learn of the Commission’s trip to Yemen, in what turned out to be a futile attempt to track down the terrorist. Quoting from the emails:

  • FBI email from December 15, 2003 – “SA [REDACTED] has had a conversation with Aulaqi and has tentatively set up an interview for mid March. With the Va. Jihad trial scheduled for early Feb. this is will be the earliest SA [REDACTED] can meet Aulaqi [REDACTED] With that said, we would not want to do the interview with the 9/11 commission. If the 9/11 commission needs to meet with Aulaqi, we will provide the contact information so they can set up their own interview.” [Emphasis added]
  • FBI email from December 21, 2003 – “… I would like copies of all e-mail contacts between [REDACTED] and Aulaqi as soon as possible. They [apparently the 9/11 Commission] have requested copies of these e-mails. I will discuss the content with the commission staff and determine what the course of action will be. This is a hot topic for them and they have been relentless in their desire to interview Aulaqi.” [Emphasis added]
  • FBI email apparently also on December 21, 2003 – “… the [FBI] 9/11 Commission Task Force (Task Force) has received numerous and unrelenting requests from the NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORISM (9/11 Commission) regarding closed WFO [Washington Field Office] subject Anwar Aulaqi. These requests stemmed from WFO’s revelation to 9/11 Commission staff member [REDACTED] that an individual representing himself as Aulaqi left several telephone messages on SA [REDACTED] office voice mail. WFO EC dated 11/25/03 provides explicit details regarding these voice messages, and 9/11Commission is aware of the same … Nonetheless, for reasons not clearly discernable to the Task Force, the 9/11 Commission reiterates the following Miscellaneous Request [REDACTED].” [Emphasis added]
  • FBI undated email, likely in 2004 after Al Aulaqi had moved to Yemen – “… Apparently the 9/11 Commission is interested in interviewing Anwar Al-Aulaqi and some members are en route to Yemen to try and do that … I was interviewed by the 09/11 Commission on 10/16 about Aulaqi … They were obviously interested but made no requests for assistance in setting up their potential interview with Aulaqi. According to [REDACTED] the 09/11 Commission that is enroute to Yemen is now trying to figure out how they’re going to arrange the interview of Aulaqi once they get there.”

On October 23, 2003, al-Aulaqi wrote (after first leaving a voice mail) to an unnamed official at the FBI Academy:

I was astonished by some of the talk circulating in the media about me. I was even more surprised to know that the congressional report on Sep 11 had alluded to me as being a “spiritual adviser” to the hijackers. The Guardian newspaper in the UK mentioned that the US authorities are looking for me in the UK while Time magazine mentions that they are looking for me in Yemen. Well in both countries I could be easily accessed. Even though I have nothing more to say than what I did at our previous meetings I just wanted to let you know that I am around and available. I am amazed at how absurd the media could be and I hope that the US authorities know better and realize that what was mentioned about me was nothing but lies.

Despite this email and an offer to speak with U.S. officials, the final report of the Commission notes that its members were unable to locate al-Aulaqi for an interview during the course of their investigation. The report describes al-Aulaqi’s prior relationship with at least two of the 9/11 hijackers as a “remarkable coincidence” and describes him as a “potentially significant San Diego contact” of the hijackers.

Al-Aulaqi’s email offering to meet with the FBI after being identified as a person of interest by the Commission is the latest in a series of events that have fueled speculation that he was an asset or an intelligence source for the U.S. government.

Read more at Judicial Watch

Terrorists at the Border

border-450x300by Matthew Vadum:

A Democratic congressman tried to use the might of the federal government to crush an investigation into reports that an Islamic terrorist group is using the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez as a base for launching an attack on the U.S. using car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs).

The Islamofascist group in question is the extraordinarily brutal Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) that has been conquering swathes of the Middle East with the long-term goal of establishing an Islamic Caliphate. (ISIS is also known as the Islamic State group and by the Obama-preferred acronym ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.)

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, Texas, contacted the local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) “in an effort to identify—and evidently intimidate—sources that may have been used by” Judicial Watch, federal law enforcement sources told the  nonprofit good-government group.

Judicial Watch, which has been legally recognized by the courts as a media outlet, reported on the terrorist conspiracy on August 29. Citing high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence, and other sources, the group reported that the federal government was bracing for an imminent terrorist attack on the southern U.S. border.

Agents in the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Justice are all reportedly on alert and have been directed “to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat,” Judicial Watch reports.

O’Rourke’s office denies wrongdoing, but according to Judicial Watch the congressman’s telephone calls were followed by “a memo that came down through the chain of command threatening to terminate or criminally charge any agent who speaks to media of any kind.”

According to the Obama administration, Islamic terrorists are not operating in Ciudad Juarez. But the administration isn’t known for truth-telling. The White House has long downplayed the wave of violent crime, much of it committed by drug cartels, that rages along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. Border Patrol instructed its officers to steer clear of the most crime-infested portions of the border because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could lead to an “international incident” involving a cross-border shooting, Judicial Watch previously reported.

Yet a parade of Democratic politicians including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have declared the southern border to be secure despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Read more at Frontpage

Also see:

Muslim Activists Demand Overhaul of All U.S. Law Enforcement Training

CAIRdiorama32

Judicial Watch:

Islamic activists that strong-armed the FBI to purge anti-terrorism training material considered “offensive” to Muslims have made their next wave of demands, which include an overhaul in the way all law enforcement officers are trained in the United States.

The coalition of influential and politically-connected Muslim rights groups is demanding that the Obama administration implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state and local law enforcement officials who may have been subjected to materials they deem “biased and discriminatory” against Muslims. There must also be an audit of all federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering training and educational materials to identify and remove information that could exhibit bias against any race, ethnicity, religion or national origin, the groups demand.

Additionally, the administration must pursue disciplinary action against agents and officials who engage in discriminatory conduct as well as those responsible for the anti-Muslim training materials. Finally, the coalition insists that all federal funding to local and state law enforcement agencies be withheld unless they ban all training materials considered to be biased against race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. In short, these empowered Muslim activists want to dictate how our nation’s law enforcement agencies operate at every level.

The outrageous demands were made this month in a letter to Lisa O. Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Among the signatories is the terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has repeatedly proven that it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration. Founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists, CAIR got the FBI to purge anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal last summer and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. JW also published a special in-depth report on the subject in December.

CAIR also got several police departments in President Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands. The group responded with a statement commending officials for their “swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns.” CAIR has wielded its power in a number of other cases during the Obama presidency, including blocking an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S. and pressuring the government to file discrimination lawsuits against employers who don’t accommodate Muslims in the workplace.

Other signatories include the powerful open borders group Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Muslim Advocates, the Sikh Coalition, Women in Islam Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to name a few. The group’s claim that recent administration directives to promote multicultural and diversity sensitivity training in law enforcement aren’t enough because they don’t specifically address anti-Muslim materials.

“Without executive branch actions, including those we recommend below, trainings that perpetuate gross stereotypes and false information about Islam and Muslims will continue to proliferate at the state and local level,” the letter says. It continues: “The use of anti-Muslim trainers and materials is not only highly offensive, disparaging the faith of millions of Americans, but leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion, not evidence of wrongdoing.” This will foster fear and suspicion of Muslims and will lead to an increase in discrimination, bullying, harassment and anti-Muslim violence, the letter asserts.

Also see:

JIHADIS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS WANT A USG RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM

 

LATEST BENGHAZI FOIA LAWSUIT MAY REVEAL WHAT CONGRESS KNEW BEFORE ATTACK

imagescaoeryuz (1)by KERRY PICKET:

Judicial Watch, a Washington D.C based watchdog organization, announced last week, that it filed on May 15, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to get records relating to briefings that any members of Congress’ “Super 8” may have received about “the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.”

Breitbart News previously reported how the Benghazi issue is interwoven with U.S. law regarding White House briefings on covert CIA actions the executive branch wishes to authorize.

This general protocol to notify Congress of such covert actions has been the law since the passage of the 1947 National Security Act.  By 1980, legislation was passed and signed into law to give the president the authority to limit prior notification of extremely sensitive covert actions to eight members of Congress.

From their FOIA, Judicial Watch has requested:

a) Any and all records detailing the dates on which any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] briefed any of the following members of Congress on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

    • Rep. John Boehner [Speaker of the House]
    • Rep. Mike Rogers [Chairman, House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Charles “Dutch” Ruppersberger [Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Nancy Pelosi [Minority Leader of the House]
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Sen. Saxby Chambliss [Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee in Intelligence]
    • Sen. Harry Reid [Senate Majority Leader]
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell [Senate Minority Leader]

b) Any and all records produced by any official of the[ Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any of the aforementioned briefings (including, but is not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes).

c) Any and all records of communication between any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] and any of the aforementioned members of Congress and/or any of their respective staff members regarding, concerning, or related to activities or operations of any agency of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

CNN and the UK Telegraph both reported in August of 2013 that a complex arms operation was happening in Benghazi prior to and during the attack and the White House and the State Department have never confirmed why the CIA annex was in Benghazi to begin with.

Since 2013, Breitbart News has spoken to different members of the Super 8 and each have denied knowing anything about an arms running operation in Libya, but while only one has confirmed that he was aware of the existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi, others were either unaware of the CIA facility or were not willing to say either way.

Some members may try to publicly deny the classified information they are briefed about. Pelosi, a Super 8 member, was snagged in 2009, when it came to light  she was briefed in 2003 by the Bush White House about the administration’s tactic to water-board terrorism suspects during interrogations. Pelosi previously denied she was aware of this fact and attacked the Bush administration for it.

Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Speaker John Boehner on January 24, 2013 about Senator Rand Paul’s gun running in Libya questioning to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Paul asked if the secretary was aware of U.S. involvement in the procuring of weapons that were transferred, bought or sold to Turkey out of Libya. Clinton, seemingly confused, told Paul “nobody [had] ever raised” the issue with her before.

Boehner replied to Ingraham, “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can’t elaborate on it.”

Congressman Rogers (R-MI), though, told Breitbart News in June of 2013, “I get to see all of that stuff. I have seen nothing that would allow me to conclude that the U.S. government was in any way shape or form involved in gun running in Libya. I looked at it all.”

Senator Chambliss (R-GA), when asked in February of 2013 if he knew anything about the gun running issue Senator Rand Paul asked Clinton about a month earlier replied , “I’m not familiar with that.”

Senator Feinstein (D-CA) told Breitbart News in March of 2013 she “didn’t know what” Senator Paul was talking about in regards to his questioning of Clinton and the Secretary’s knowledge about the gunrunning issue in Benghazi.

Congressman Ruppersberger (D-MD) also did not appear to know anything about a gunrunning operation in Libya either, telling Breitbart News in May of 2013, “I don’t know anything about that. The only thing I know is that even before he was ambassador, he knew very much about Libya and he had a lot of good relationships and contacts, trying to resolve issues, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi prior the attack also seemed to not be on some of the Super 8’s radar. In fact, according to the Senate’s Intelligence Committee report (p.27-28) on Benghazi, General Carter Ham– the second Commander, U.S. Africa Command, was not aware of the annex either before the attack happened.

Read more at Breitbart

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Judicial Watch Sues Departments of Defense and State for Records about Benghazi Briefings of Congressional Leaders

jw(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on May 15, 2014, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to obtain records regarding briefings given to top congressional leaders regarding “the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya” (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-00812)).

The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit, filed in accordance with the March 6, 2014, FOIA requests sent to the two agencies, specifically seeks the following information from January 1, 2011, to the present:

a)  Any and all records detailing the dates on which any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] briefed any of the following members of Congress on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya:

    • Rep. John Boehner [Speaker of the House]
    • Rep. Mike Rogers [Chairman, House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Charles “Dutch” Ruppersberger [Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Nancy Pelosi [Minority Leader of the House]
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Sen. Saxby Chambliss [Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee in Intelligence]
    • Sen. Harry Reid [Senate Majority Leader]
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell [Senate Minority Leader]

b) Any and all records produced by any official of the[ Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any of the aforementioned briefings (including, but is not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes).

c) Any and all records of communication between any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] and any of the aforementioned members of Congress and/or any of their respective staff members regarding, concerning, or related to activities or operations of any agency of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

“It has now been nearly two years since the deadly terrorist attack on the mission compound at Benghazi, and there are still more questions than answers,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “In fact, we still don’t even know what information was provided by the Obama administration to the members of the Senate and House leadership and the leadership of the intelligence committees – or whether certain members of Congress were in on the ‘cover-up.’ The American people deserve to know that information in order to decide for themselves whether the upcoming investigation by the House Select Committee is focusing on the issues that matter most.”

On April 29, 2014, Judicial Watch released 41 new Benghazi-related State Department documents that created a firestorm in the nation’s capital, resulting in the appointment by House Speaker Boehner of a Special Select Committee to investigate the terrorist attack on Benghazi. The new documents included an email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” Other documents showed that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and a possible kidnap attempt.

Among the top administration PR personnel who received the Rhodes memo were White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

Since the attack in Benghazi, serious questions have been raised as to why Ambassador Stevens was at the Special Mission Compound. In August 2013, CNN reported, “Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.” Earlier, Gregory Hicks, the State Department’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli at the time of the attack, told the House Oversight Committee that one of the reasons Stevens was in Benghazi was that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “wanted Benghazi converted into a permanent constituent post.” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has said he will investigate why U.S. State Department remained in Benghazi when other international entities pulled out due to militant activities.

Benghazi Smoking Gun Exposed

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The idea that the Obama administration willfully orchestrated a disinformation campaign with regard to the attacks in Benghazi has now been confirmed.

An email written by then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and obtained by Judicial Watch contained four bullet-point “Goals” outlined as part of the strategy to contain the political damage engendered by the murder of four Americans on September 11, 2012 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. One bullet-point in particular revealed the Obama administration’s deliberate crafting of a deceitful narrative following the incident.  According to the Judicial Watch emails, the objective of the Obama administration was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

The email was part of a series of 41 new Benghazi-related documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed June 21, 2013. That effort was aimed at gaining access to the documents used by then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her September 16 appearance on five different  Sunday TV news programs. Rhodes’ email was sent on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM. It contained the following subject line: “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”

“Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And these documents undermine the Obama administration’s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an Internet video. Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department.”

Rhodes’ email was sent to several members of the administration’s inner circle. They included White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

Another critical email contained in the documents was written by former Deputy Spokesman at U.S. Mission to the United Nations Payton Knopf. It was addressed to Susan Rice and sent on Sept. 12, 2012, at 5:42 PM. It provided a brief summary of the attack, and further revealed that State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had characterized the compound assault as “clearly a complex attack.” This characterization undermined Rice’s contention that the attacks were “spontaneous.”

Nonetheless when Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN she insisted, as she specifically stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that “based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy–sparked by this hateful video.”

Sen. John McCain, who immediately followed Rice’s appearance, revealed the utter nonsense of her assertion. “Most people don’t bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration,” he explained. “That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact I think is really ignoring the facts.”

Not ignoring the facts. Making them up.

Read more at Front Page

Benghazi emails suggest White House aide involved in prepping Rice for ‘video’ explanation

 

Sept. 13, 2012: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate after the attack that killed four Americans.AP

Sept. 13, 2012: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate after the attack that killed four Americans.AP


Fox News, April 29, 2014 By 
:

Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances — where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.

More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,” was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney.

In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere.

The email lists the following two goals, among others:

“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

The email goes on to state that the U.S. government rejected the message of the Internet video. “We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence,” the email stated.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents read like a PR strategy, not an effort to provide the best available intelligence to the American people.

“The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president’s policies,” he said.

The Rhodes email was not part of the 100 pages of emails released by the administration last May — after Republicans refused to move forward with the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director until the so-called “talking points” emails were made public.

The email is also significant because in congressional testimony in early April, former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told lawmakers it was Rice, in her Sunday show appearances, who linked the video to the Benghazi attack. Morell said the video was not part of the CIA analysis.

“My reaction was two-fold,” Morell told members of the House Intelligence Committee, regarding her appearances. “One was that what she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed. When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to.”

Incidentally, three leading Republicans on Monday night sent letters to the House and Senate foreign affairs committees asking them to compel the administration to explain who briefed Rice in advance of the Sunday talk shows and whether State Department or White House personnel were involved.

“How could former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, during the five Sunday talk shows on September 16, 2012, claim that the attacks on our compounds were caused by a hateful video when Mr. Morell testified that the CIA never mentioned the video as a causal factor,” said the letter, from Sens. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire; and John McCain, of Arizona.

The Sept. 14 Rhodes email does not indicate whether there was a “prep call” for Rice, as it suggests. If the call went ahead, it does not indicate who briefed her. Fox News has asked the White House if Rhodes prepped Rice for the Sunday shows, and, if he didn’t, who did — as well as what intelligence Rhodes relied upon.

The newly released emails also show that on Sept. 27, 2012 a Fox News report — titled “US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm” — was circulated at the most senior levels of the administration. This included going to then-deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough; then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan; Morell; and Rhodes, among others, but the comments were redacted, citing “personal privacy information.”

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Uncovered by JW: Top Pentagon Leader Ordered Destruction of bin Laden Death Photos

lie(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on January 31, 2014, it received documents from the Department of Defense (Pentagon) revealing that within hours of its filing a May 13, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden, U.S. Special Operations Commander, Admiral William McRaven ordered his subordinates to “destroy” any photos they may have had “immediately.” Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request for the photos 11 days earlier.

The McRaven email, addressed to “Gentlemen,” instructs:

One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point – all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them to the [redacted].

According to the Pentagon documents, McRaven sent his email on “Friday, May 13, 2011 5:09 PM.”  The documents do not detail what documents, if any, were destroyed in response to the McRaven directive. The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeking the documents was filed in the United States Court for the District of Columbia only hours earlier. Judicial Watch also announced the filing at a morning press conference.

On May 2, Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request with the Defense Department seeking “all photographs and/or video recordings of Usama (Osama) Bin Laden taken during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Pakistan on or about May 1, 2011.”  Federal law contains broad prohibitions against the “concealment, removal, or mutilation generally” of government records.

The records containing the McRaven “destroy them immediately” email were produced as a result of a June 7, 2013, FOIA request and a subsequent lawsuit against the Defense Department for records relating to reports of the 2011 McRaven purge directive. McRaven’s order was first mentioned at the end of a 2011 draft reportby the Pentagon’s inspector general (IG) examining whether the Obama administration gave special access to Hollywood executives planning the film “Zero Dark Thirty.”  According the draft report, “ADM McRaven also directed that the names and photographs associated with the raid not be released. This effort included purging the combatant command’s system of all records related to the operation and providing these records to another Government Agency.”  The reference to the document purge did not appear in the final IG report.

The move by McRaven to purge the photos appears to have come, at least in part, in response to aggressive efforts by Judicial Watch to obtain images of the deceased bin Laden that President Obama, in a rewrite of federal open records law, had refused to disclose. In addition to its May 2, 2011, FOIA request with the Pentagon Judicial Watch filed an identical request on May 3, 2011, with the CIA. When neither the Defense Department nor the CIA complied with the FOIA requests, Judicial Watch, in June 2011, filed FOIA lawsuits against both agencies.  In the course of the litigation, the Pentagon claimed that it had “no records responsive to plaintiff’s request.”

On April 26, 2012, District Court Judge James Boasberg accepted the Obama DOD and CIA arguments, ruling that the images could remain secret while conceding: “Indeed, it makes sense that the more significant an event is to our nation – and the end of bin Laden’s reign of terror certainly ranks high – the more need the public has for full disclosure.” On May 21, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the District Court decision while conceding that the documents may not have been properly classified. The Supreme Court of the United States subsequently denied Judicial Watch’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking a review of the issue.

“The McRaven ‘destroy them immediately’ email is a smoking gun, revealing both contempt for the rule of law and the American’s people right to know,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration has tried to cover this scandal up – and our lawsuit exposed it.  We demand further investigation of the effort to destroy documents about the bin Laden raid.”

Obama Administration Withholds Key Benghazi Emails

1606997_10202980423374549_41669270_n (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama administration was seeking to withhold key emails about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, indicating what it terms “a continued cover-up of the deadly scandal.” The documents, released in December, include multiple emails, which are heavily redacted, about the controversial Benghazi talking points that falsely portray the attack as being the result of a spontaneous protest.

On October 18, 2012, JW filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the Department of State seeking information about talking points used to discuss the Benghazi attack that were given  then UN Ambassador Rice and others in the Obama administration.  After waiting months for a response, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the State Department on June 21, 2013, captioned (Judicial Watch, Inc., v. U.S. Department of State, (Civil Action No. 13-cv-00951 (EGS)) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and requested that the State Department be compelled to produce all non-exempt responsive documents.

To date, the State Department has produced two sets of documents, each containing little or no information not previously available to the public. The first set of documents consisted of 1192 pages of daily press clips from the United States Mission to the United Nations, dated September 12-28.  The documents contained nothing beyond published news stories.  The second set of documents, provided to Judicial Watch on December 13, 2013 consists of 67 pages of emails.  The majority of the content is redacted, aside from three prepared talking points sent to members of Congress on September 15, 2012, the first containing the administration’s false claim that the attack was “spontaneously inspired:”

  • “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.  There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
  • “This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”
  • “The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring justice to those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”

The Obama administration has withheld the name of the CIA official who distributed these inaccurate talking points, which seemed to have been used to brief Congress.

“Even after a year and a federal lawsuit, the Obama administration is still in full stonewall mode on Benghazi.  Why else would they produce dozens of blanked out emails?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Our lawyers are considering challenges to latest Obama secrecy gambit.”

In June, 2013, Judicial Watch obtained the first seven photos from the Department of State depicting the aftermath of the September 11 Benghazi attacks, including: a burned and ransacked building, burned vehicles, and Arabic graffiti with militant Islamist slogans. In November, it obtained additional previously withheld photos, depicting: a car on fire; what appears to be the exterior of a burned out building; ransacked rooms within the building with files and office supplies strewn across the floor; and additional militant Islamist slogans.

Judicial Watch currently has four pending FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration for documents about the attack, 14 FOIA requests and one Mandatory Declassification Review Request. It has published two in-depth special reports on Benghazi, the last one on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. [The first Special Report can be accessed here , the second here.]