The Ideology Problem in Timbuktu Is Not al-Qaeda’s Making — It Is Classical Islam

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy:

Andrew’s post describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali is essential, if excruciating, reading. Beyond the monstrously cruel but all too usual punishments being imposed, I’m struck by two things, which really show how willful blindness leads inexorably to spring fever: The Guardian attributes the atrocious penalties to the “menace of al-Qaida”; it also notes, however, that the “ban [on music] comes in the context of a horrifically literal and gratuitous application of Sharia law in all aspects of daily life.”

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, al Qaeda did not make up sharia law. Islam did. And in the West, it is a key tenet of due process that law is imposed literally — ambiguous laws violate the principle that people of ordinary intelligence must be on fair notice of what is prohibited. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about applying as it is written.

16044762We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem. As I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that al Qaeda’s local franchise is enforcing in Mali is “literal” because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, while it seems only militant jihadists proudly urge this construction in practice, it is enthusiastically endorsed in principle by two of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East: al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Don’t just take my word for it. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law is not some al Qaeda pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s reliance (1)provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think-tank begun in the early eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”) — and from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West (“We certify,” the famed scholars wrote, that the “translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…. There is no objection to printing it and circulating it…. May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.” There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.).

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Reliance is also endorsed by Islamic authorities in Jordan (leading influences on a largely Palestinian population that may well overthrow the pro-Western monarchy) and Syria (leading influences on the “rebels” on whose side interventionists — including both presidential candidates — would have us jump to abet the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing campaign to oust the minority Alawite Assad regime).

Here, as I summarize in Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about the arts:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

“Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage), and “[o]n the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” However, if unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Those sharia provisions are complemented by these — again, endorsed by al-Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and our “moderate” “allies” in the region:

Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

[Note: These latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah or the prophet are the basis for imposing death for blasphemy. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated worse than Muslims by sharia (see, e.g., Sura 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.”)]

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” (Reliance o9.0.)

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity” –zakat can only be given to Muslims and is designed strictly to fortify the Muslim community, not benefit the less fortunate generally); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster…. They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1-17.)

Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued, such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feast-days.” (Reliance o11.0 & ff.)

Offenses committed against Muslims, including murder, are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims. (Reliance o1.0 & ff; p2.0-1.)

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliancep50.0 & ff; p.74.0& ff.)

The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year.” (Relianceo12.0 & ff.)

The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death. (Reliance p17.0 & ff.)

A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam). (Reliance m6.0 & ff. – Marriage.)

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliancep42.0 & ff.)

A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child. (Reliance m13.2-3.)

A woman has no right of custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries “because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending to the child.” (Reliance m13.4.)

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Relianceo14.0.)

The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes.” (Reliance o16.3; p.14.2.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliancep7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Relianceo24.7.)

If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses.” (Reliance o24.9.)

The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male. “The Prophet … said, “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (Reliance o25.0 & ff; see also p28.0, on Mohammed’s condemnation of “masculine women and effeminate men.”)

This is not al Qaeda doctrine. This is sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. It is not the construction of Islam that many Muslims in the West wish to live under. But it is the mainstream supremacist Islam of the Middle East, which Islamic leaders — including those who come to the West to preach it — would not dream of discrediting, even if they are not as enthusiastic as al Qaeda where imposing it is concerned.

The State Department and the leading foreign policy voices of both major American political parties say sharia is perfectly compatible with “democracy” and the Western conception of human rights — of liberty and equality. Sure it is. And then you wonder why the Obama administration opens a consulate in Benghazi, one of the most perilous places in the world for Americans, refuses to safeguard it despite multiple pleas for beefed up security, and then fraudulently claims a pluperfectly predictable atrocity was caused by a video no one ever saw. If you’re going to live in a dreamworld, better get used to nightmare consequences.

Failing to Know Our Enemies

pic_giant_121913_SM_Failing-to-Know-Our-EnemeisBy Clifford D. May:

Less than a generation after World War II, in the midst of a cold war whose outcome was far from certain, John F. Kennedy famously proclaimed that Americans would “support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” More than half a century later, in an era fraught with conflict and tension, it may be time to ask: Is that still our credo?

In particular, are Americans still committed to liberty — a word that has come to sound old-fangled? Can our friends still rely upon our support — even when the going gets tough? Do foes still have reason to fear us — or have we become too war-weary to effectively oppose them? And those nations that profess friendship but seek to ingratiate themselves with our foes — what are we to do about them?

These questions, I suspect, will require a great deal more study, thought, and debate before they can be adequately answered. But 34 years after the Iranian Revolution, and twelve years after the attacks of 9/11, we at least should know our enemies. And we should have settled on a strategy aimed at defeating them. But we don’t. And we haven’t.

Many of us turn away from an uncomfortable truth: The ideologies most hostile to America and the West have arisen in what we have come to call the Muslim world. These ideologies are not just intolerant but supremacist — which is why, within the Muslim world, religious minorities face increasing oppression and, in many cases, “religious cleansing,” a trend Western governments, the U.N., and most of the media avoid discussing.

Most Muslims do not embrace these ideologies. But for a host of reasons — fear undoubtedly high among them — neither are most Muslims battling them or even denouncing them publicly and without equivocation.

There is this positive development: In the media, resistance to calling a spade a spade is, finally, breaking down. Take, for example, this recent New York Times headline: “Mali: French Troops Battle Islamists.” That’s accurate: The French have not intervened in Africa to battle “violent extremists.”

Read more at National Review

“Zimmerica…”

!cid_part2_02060003_08020209@earthlinkFacebook post by Walid Phares:

Egypt… Ikhwan invasion
Libya… Ansar in Benghazi
Tunisia..Nahda regime
Mali .. France battles Ansar el Dine
Gaza … Hamas gets weapons
Lebanon..Hezbollah prepares for Israel
Syria… 100,000 killed
Turkey AKP occupy Taqseem
Iran … Nuclear Bomb on its way
Nigeria..Churches burning
Britain .. Soldiers killed in neighborhood

United States…Zimmerman…

 

Egyptian Salafi Cleric Murgan Salem: Boston Bombing Was Meant To Deliver A Message; Similar Attacks Expected In France

images (23)

MEMRI:

Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian Salafi cleric Sheikh Murgan Salem, which aired on Tahrir TV on April 16, 2013:

Interviewer: “Today, we will be talking about the Boston bombings, which took place yesterday, during the marathon. There were casualties. People were wounded and killed. What is your analysis of what happened?”

Murgan Salem: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Obviously, I do not know who carried out that operation, but if it was done by the mujahideen, it serves as a message to America and the West: We are still alive. Contrary to what you say, we have not died. The [Americans] wanted to send a message to the entire world that they had finished off the mujahideen – not just the mujahideen of Al-Qaeda, but the mujahideen all over the world. I do not know who carried out this attack, but if it was indeed the mujahideen, it was meant as a clear message to America and to the West.”

Interviewer: “But do you think that this could have been an Al-Qaeda operation?”

Murgan Salem: “No. this was not up to the standards of Al-Qeda. It was extremely amateurish. The standards of Al-Qaeda are much higher. By the way, I was not a member of the Al-Qaeda organization. But I knew all the people who belonged to it.”

Interviewer: “You were close to Sheik Osama and Dr. Ayman…”

Murgan Salem: “We were like one family. I am happy and proud to have been a friend of these brothers, but I cannot claim to have had the honor of being an Al-Qaeda member. The standards and techniques of Al-Qaeda are much higher. From what I saw on the news, this was the work of amateurs. I do not know who did it, but they have managed to get the message across: We can reach you whenever and wherever we want.

[…]

“Over the past 30 years, there has been a qualitative leap in the war with America. American is waging a war in our countries, and we are the ones who reap its fruits. Those courageous heroes have shifted the battle over to America’s own turf.

“I do not rule out the possibility that this was carried out by people born in the U.S. I do exclude the possibility that it was done by the Al-Qaeda organization. This is not the work of Osama Bin Laden or Ayman Al-Zawahiri. I think it was done by people resentful of the policy and arrogance of America and Europe. It is not just America.

“The Americans have passed their arrogance over to France. France, which led the first Crusade, is now leading the war against Islam and the Muslims. They must taste the bitter retribution for their deeds. This is not a threat, but a warning of what might happen to them.”

Interviewer: “To America and the West?”

Murgan Salem: “To France in particular, and to America and the entire West.”

Interviewer: “Why?”

Murgan Salem: “Because the [French] are leading the war against us. What brought France to Mali? Or America to Afghanistan and Iraq? Why don’t they let our nation be? Have we ever interfered in their affairs?

[…]

“France has accepted the banner of arrogance and enmity to Islam, so it will taste what it deserves. I cannot be held responsible for over one million [Muslims] in the West, who were harmed by French and American policy. More than one million [Muslims] were born in the West. I cannot be held responsible for them. I do not know what they may do. The [Westerners] are facing a deluge, and they will be destroyed.”

Interviewer: “Destroyed?”

Murgan Salem: “There is no doubt about it. The U.S. has completely collapsed, even if they are not hurrying to admit it. The American debt has reached how many trillions of dollars? They have a huge debt. Now poverty is spreading throughout America.

[…]

“We say to the Western peoples: Force your stupid governments to refrain from supporting the tyrants. France’s intervention in Mali will not go unanswered. I don’t think it will. I do not have any specific information, but I am sure it will not go unanswered – just like their intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan did not go unanswered. They will suffer catastrophes for this.

[…]

“With the utmost stupidity, France has accepted the banner of enmity [to Islam] – from the days of Sarkozy to Hollande. This stupidity will bring catastrophes upon them, just like it did upon America. Although I am not from Al-Qaeda, I can say, as someone who has known these people, that the path of Al-Qaeda is the path of the Koran, which calls upon [Muslims] to wage Jihad against infidels who attack them and intervene in their affairs. This is the path of Islam and the Koran, and not something invented by Osama Bin Laden.

“No, it was not invented by Osama or Ayman. It was sent down by Allah, and anyone who thinks he can defeat this path is delusional.”

[…]

Interviewer: “Who do you consider to be an infidel?”

Murgan Salem: “Anyone who does not accept Islam. They are either original infidels, like the Jews and Christians, or apostates, like the secularists, liberals, Communists, or socialists. Whoever does not accept Islam is an infidel. Allah said so, not me.”

Also see:

Al Qaeda Leader Urges Unity for Sake of Islamic State

imagesAl-Qaeda’s leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has posted a 103-minute message on militant websites calling on Muslims to unite to create an Islamic state.. The audio was produced by al-Qaeda’s media arm, As-Sahab, and was presented alongside video footage showing Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured in Syria.

Zawahiri urged Muslims to use the “Arab Spring” to come together and wage jihad. He specifically praised the mujahideen in Syria, exhorting them to step up their fight against the “criminal secular” regime of President Bashar Assad. He also issued a warning to France that its military intervention in Mali will be bogged down.

“I warn France that it will meet in Mali, with God’s permission, the same fate America met in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Al-Zawahiri said.

Al-Qaeda is unhappy that France launched a military operation in Mali last January after being asked to intervene by the country’s interim president. Since then, French and Malian troops have liberated main towns in the north, but remnants of al-Qaeda-linked cells remain active there in some of the vast rural areas.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Also see:

 

Saudi Arabia Tears Down Column Marking Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

no-flying-horse-for-you-267x350By :

For those who are fans of imaginary archeology, the Muslim claim to Jerusalem is based on the “night journey” that Mohammed took on a flying horse from Mecca to Jerusalem.

The Night Journey was a fiction of mythological colonialism allowing Muslims to lay claim to Jewish sites and their history. It also played a role in the Muslim infighting that led to a boost in the importance of Jerusalem after its conquest. Developing the legend compensates for the fact that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran.

Muslims seized the holiest site in Judaism, planted a mosque on the site and routinely wail about Jewish incursions on a Jewish holy site. (This isn’t unique, Muslims have done the same thing to Christian and Hindu holy sites. Not to mention outright destroying Buddhist holy sites.)

One problem.

Muslim vandalism isn’t just limited to other people’s holy sites. Islamists are notorious for destroying even Muslim shrines. That is how Wahhabism began. It’s what Salafis are now doing in Libya and Mali.

And now the Saudi royal family has destroyed a whole bunch of Islamic heritage sites… including the column from which Mohammed supposedly took off on his flying horse from Mecca.

Read more at Front Page

 

In Timbuktu, al-Qaida left behind a manifesto

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
Associated Press

TIMBUKTU, Mali     (AP) — In their hurry to flee last month, al-Qaida fighters left behind a crucial document: Tucked under a pile of papers and trash is a confidential letter, spelling out the terror network’s strategy for conquering northern Mali and reflecting internal discord over how to rule the region.

The document is an unprecedented window into the terrorist operation, indicating that al-Qaida predicted the military intervention that would dislodge it in January and recognized its own vulnerability.

The letter also shows a sharp division within al-Qaida’s Africa chapter over how quickly and how strictly to apply Islamic law, with its senior commander expressing dismay over the whipping of women and the destruction of Timbuktu’s ancient monuments. It moreover leaves no doubt that despite a temporary withdrawal into the desert, al-Qaida plans to operate in the region over the long haul, and is willing to make short-term concessions on ideology to gain the allies it acknowledges it needs.

Abdelmalek Droukdel

Abdelmalek Droukdel

The more than nine-page document, found by the AP in a building occupied by the Islamists for almost a year, is signed by Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the nom de guerre of Abdelmalek Droukdel, the senior commander appointed by Osama bin Laden to run al-Qaida’s branch in Africa. The clear-headed, point-by-point assessment resembles a memo from a CEO to his top managers and lays out for his jihadists in Mali what they have done wrong in months past, and what they need to do to correct their behavior in the future.

Read more

Innocents Abroad Build Foreign Armies

1380155832_3ab58663c5_bby Daniel Pipes:

In the near-century that the United States has been a great power, it has developed some original and sophisticated foreign policy tools. Examples include the Marshall Plan, special forces, and satellite imaging. At the same time, the country’s naiveté remains firmly in place. For example, the notion persists that government staff are “particularly qualified to [handle a problem] because they knew nothing about it.” (For details, see my analysis at “American Know-Nothing Diplomacy.”)

The persistent belief that training and equipping foreign troops imbues them with American political and ethical values, making them allies of the United States, offers another sign of innocence. Some examples of this delusional policy in recent decades:

  • Lebanon: On landing U.S. troops in 1982, the priority was to train a national army. Of course, this failed, with most members returning to their communal militias with new arms and training to use against rivals. Despite this failure, the effort was renewed just two weeks ago.
  • Afghanistan: Training a national army was an action following the 2001 invasion; but the Afghan Local Police, a militia backed by the government, turned their guns against their international colleagues so often – 34 times in the first eight months of 2012, killing 45 persons – that the training was stopped.
  • Mali: The latest disaster, where U.S. efforts to train the woebegone Malian national army to take on Al-Qaeda did not exactly work out. In the words of Der Spiegel, “American specialists did train four crack units, totaling 600 men, to fight the terrorists. But it backfired: Three of the elite units have defected en masse to the rebel Tuareg. Most of the commanders, after all, are Tuaregs. Captain Amadou Sanogo, trained in the United States, was one of the soldiers who didn’t defect. Instead, he inflicted even more damage when, last March, he and a few close supporters overthrew the government in Bamako and ousted the elected president.”
  • Palestinian Authority: A disaster still in the making. The Dayton Mission has trained over 6,000 Palestinian Authority security personnel in the hope that they will become Israel’s partners for peace. To the contrary, I have predicted in writing that “these militiamen will eventually turn their guns against Israel.”

When will American politicians and military leaders eventually realize that training foreign soldiers does not allies make them? (February 10, 2013)

Also see:

Is America Training Too Many Foreign Armies? (foreignpolicy.com)

Qatar funding Islamist rebels in Mali

mali-rebelsMoney Jihad:

A French military intelligence source has divulged that Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Mali have received financing from Qatar.  This disturbing but predictable news comes as France attempts to pacify the Malian countryside while receiving logistical and political backing from the U.S.

There have been earlier allegations of financing Malian jihadists by Saudi Arabia as well.  This would be consistent with the flow of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to dissidents and rebels in countries undergoing “Arab Spring” uprisings.  The difference this time is that Western officials are on the opposite side.  Saudi and Qatari state sponsorship of enemy fighters united against France suggests a burgeoning proxy war between Nato and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

From France 24:

Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?

Oil-rich gulf state Qatar has a vested interest in the outcome of the north Mali crisis, according to various reports that have been picked up by French MPs, amid suspicion that Doha may be siding with the rebels to extend its regional influence.

Since Islamist groups exploited a military coup in the Malian capital of Bamako in early 2012 to take control of the entire north of the country, accusations of Qatari involvement in a crisis that has seen France deploy troops have been growing.

Last week two French politicians explicitly accused Qatar of giving material support to separatists and Islamists in north Mali, adding fuel to speculation that the Emirate is playing a behind-the-scenes role in spreading Islamic fundamentalism in Africa.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Communist Party Senator Michelle Demessine both said that that Qatar had questions to answer.

“If Qatar is objecting to France’s engagement in Mali it’s because intervention risks destroying Doha’s most fundamentalist allies,” Le Pen said in a statement on her party website, in response to a call by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani for dialogue with the Islamists. ‘Cash from Doha’

The first accusations of Qatari involvement with Tuareg separatists and Islamist groups came in a June 2012 article in respected French weekly the Canard Enchainé.

In a piece title “Our friend Qatar is financing Mali’s Islamists”, the newspaper alleged that the oil-rich Gulf state was financing the separatists.

It quoted an unnamed source in French military intelligence saying: “The MNLA [secular Tuareg separatists], al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO [movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa] have all received cash from Doha.”

A month later Sadou Diallo, the mayor of the north Malian city of Gao [which had fallen to the Islamists] told RTL radio: “The French government knows perfectly well who is supporting these terrorists. Qatar, for example, continues to send so-called aid and food every day to the airports of Gao and Timbuktu.”

The presence of Qatari NGOs in north Mali is no secret. Last summer, in the wake of the separatist takeover, the Qatari Red Crescent was the only humanitarian organisation granted access to the vast territory.

One member of the Qatari humanitarian team told AFP at the end of June that they had simply “come to Gao to evaluate the humanitarian needs of the region in terms of water and electricity access.”

Read more

See also:

Mali: analyst, Qatar is funding Islamists (ansamed.ans.it)

Al Qaeda on the rise

Aftermath: Firemen remove a coffin with one of 81 bodies found at a gas plant in Algeria where an al Qaeda-linked group launched an attack.

Aftermath: Firemen remove a coffin with one of 81 bodies found at a gas plant in Algeria where an al Qaeda-linked group launched an attack.

By John Bolton

The US and Western response to date has been disjointed and with decidedly mixed results. If President Obama doesn’t soon jettison his ideological blinders about the threat of international terrorism, we could see a series of further attacks — not unlike the 1990s series that culminated in the 9/11 strikes.

Obama has attempted verbally and politically to narrowly define the terrorist threat in order to declare victory. In his acceptance speech, for example, he said: “I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have.” By continually restricting and narrowing “terrorism” to al Qaeda in Waziristan (thereby excluding the Taliban, al Qaeda components elsewhere and in fact nearly everyone except bin Laden’s own cadre), the administration hoped to reach the point where it could proclaim the war on terror finished.

Yet events in Libya, Mali and now Algeria have shredded that budding myth, at a tragic cost in human life.

By demanding the release of terrorists imprisoned in America in exchange for their hostages, the Algerian marauders in particular demonstrated that we are still top of mind in the terrorist world.

In Libya, Obama walked away after Moammar Khadafy’s overthrow. Terrorists took root, leading to the Benghazi tragedy. Meanwhile, Khadafy’s mercenaries fled, carving out a sanctuary in Mali that radicals from around the world could use as a safe haven. And in Algeria, where the military fought a bloody civil war 20 years ago against Islamicists, the embers flared again.

One terrorist attack didn’t cause another, but the correlation of forces underlying these mortal threats now stands unambiguously exposed. Khadafy’s overthrow, touted by Obama’s White House as vindication of its Middle East policies, has simply exposed the reality that the terrorist threat had metastasized well beyond bin Laden. Killing him and al Qaeda leaders in Waziristan hasn’t reduced threats that now grow daily: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb; Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in Iraq — the list of thriving franchises continues to grow.

And when the Taliban recapture power in Afghanistan, as Obama’s policies are almost surely guaranteeing, we can count on al Qaeda re-emerging there as well.

Read more at The New York Post

John R. Bolton is a former US ambassador to the United Nations.

Allen West Interviews Frank Gaffney on Mali/Africa Conflict – Obama and Bush Policies Faulted

In a preview of the new PJ Media Next Generation TV show Allen West is joined by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and John Phillips to discuss the situation in Mali and Algeria. Gaffney, although a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, faults both the Bush and Obama administration policies regarding Islamists, Sharia, and the more recent Arab Spring.

Go to Next Generation TV to see the interview

gaffney

American isolationism: Obama’s unfolding signature policy

Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya

Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya

Debka:

Whereas in his first term as president, Barack Obama opted for “leading from behind,” in international military operations, he enters his second term – even before being sworn in this week – by expanding this step-back precept into American isolationism proper – even when it comes to countering Islamist terrorism. debkafile’s analysts note that this stance was heralded in December 2012 by his abrupt order to the USS Eisenhower strike group and the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to withdraw from stations opposite Syria. Washington had already then decided to ignore the Syrian chemical war threat, and brush aside the report from the US consul in Istanbul that the Syrian ruler Bashad Assad had already fired chemical bombs against rebels. And so French military intervention in Mali on Jan. 12 and Al Qaeda’s massive attack on an international Algerian gas field four days later found the United States without a single carrier, landing vessel or marine force anywhere in the vicinity, to be available for aiding in the rescue of scores of Western hostages from ten countries, including the United States.

The USS John Stennis carrier is the only vessel left at a Middle East battle station. It is tied down at the Strait of Hormuz to secure the flow of Gulf oil to the West. It is therefore hardly surprising to find Pentagon and top US military experts leveling sharp criticism at the White House’s policy of non-intervention in the Mali conflict, where France is fighting alone, or in Algeria’s In Amenas gas field, where Algerian forces are battling a multinational al Qaeda assault and multiple hostage-taking raid for the third day. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday, Jan. 20 that the sharp debate between the Pentagon and White House is over the “danger posed by a mix of Islamist militant groups, some with murky ties to Al Qaeda that are creating havoc in West Africa” and whether they present enough of a risk to US allies and interests to warrant a military response.

Many of Obama’s top aides say “it is unclear whether the Mali insurgents, who include members of the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, threaten the US.” As to the question, “What threat do they pose to the US homeland? The answer so far has been none.”

Some top Pentagon officials and military officers warn that without more aggressive US action, Mali could become a haven for extremists, akin to Afghanistan before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

debkafile’s counterterrorism sources report that these assertions are misleading.

Whereas the US homeland may not be in immediate peril from the Mali and Algeria episodes, it is important to remember the far-reaching interconnectivity of al Qaeda’s operations. Seven years ago, the suicidal jihads who on July 7, blew up London trains and a bus, used explosives provided by the same Al Qaeda cells of Sahel Desert which are now threatening Mali and which struck the Algerian gas field.

No US official can guarantee that such explosives from the same source won’t be used in 2013 against American targets in Europe or be smuggled into the American homeland by al Qaeda cells in Europe. The Algerian gas field hostage siege was carried out after all by a multinational group that included Algerians, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, a Frenchman and a Malian.

It is true that Al Qaeda terrorists are engaged in vast smuggling rackets – especially of drugs and cigarettes – across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well arms trafficking through networks covering Egypt, Sinai, Arabia, the Gulf, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan – all of which are direct threats of US national security. But to write them off as criminals and smugglers is simplistic: “… some are diehard terrorists with more grandiose visions,” as Pentagon officials point out.

The way the Al Qaeda menace is being handled by Washington has a ripple effect in the wider context. Tehran and Damascus are avidly watching the Obama administration’s stand-aside stance on military involvement in external crises – even emergencies posed by the Al Qaeda terrorist threat encroaching on continental Europe and Africa and the Middle East up to and including the Persian Gulf. Washington should therefore not be surprised when its diplomatic efforts – overt and secret – to rein in Iran’s military nuclear ambitions run into the sand. The Iranians know they have nothing to fear from the Obama administration. The next surprise, our Middle East sources are now reporting, will come from Damascus where, according to a hint President Bashar Assad threw out this week to his intimates.

CNN links Obama’s disaster in Libya with the terrorist attack in Algeria:

 

Obama’s Dangerous Fantasy of Al-Qaeda Defeated

warisover_6067-85x85By Robert Spencer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at PJ Media

Algeria in Jihadi Flames

algeria-1_2454515b-450x334By

Emboldened by America’s projection of weakness abroad, Islamists apparently linked to al-Qaeda reportedly continue to hold about 40 foreign hostages including seven Americans seized Wednesday at a natural gas field in Algeria.

At press time, conflicting media reports had been emerging from the region. Some claimed that the hostages have been freed; others, that several hostages have been killed.

The mass kidnapping at a BP (formerly British Petroleum) gas site near the Libyan border, which may very well have been accomplished with U.S.-supplied weapons left over from the ouster of the late Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, seems to be a spillover from a failed French drive to remove Islamist militants from nearby Mali.

According to the Wall Street Journal, France’s target in Mali was Algeria-based Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, which has “claimed responsibility for the Algeria kidnappings, calling it retaliation.”

The northern portion of Mali is important to the Islamofascists because it is one of their recently acquired strongholds that serves as a showcase for the reimposition of Shariah law in the region. It is a beachhead for Islamist world revolution.

Al-Qaeda forces, working with Qaddafi’s former mercenaries, previously took over northern Mali, an area about the size of Texas. Africa, writes FrontPage Magazine’s Daniel Greenfield, is now “to Islamic Colonialism in the 21st Century what it was to European Colonialism in the 19th Century.”

The kidnapping episode also undercuts President Obama’s spurious claim that al-Qaeda is somehow on the run and virtually irrelevant thanks to his policies. During the past election cycle Obama bragged over and over that “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.” That path now seems to be long and winding.

Each passing day it becomes increasingly clear that the Obama administration, which spends much of its time apologizing for past U.S. policies, isn’t serious about combating Islamism. The fact that the administration itself is a hotbed of Islamist activity, according to various investigative reports, no doubt has something to do with it.

Read more at Front Page

 

Related articles

Did the US have enough indicators and warnings for Algeria?

arc-of-instability1

 

by

In the intelligence world, indicators and warnings are essential. They are key pieces of data expressing enough insight allowing an analyst to determine threats, proposed threat levels, and assist in forecasting. With the ongoing hostage situation still unfolding in Algeria (still ongoing as this is being written), it’s critical to question whether the US or our Western allies had enough indicators and warnings to caution citizens living and or working in Algeria.

In May, Homeland Security Today published a piece titled West Africa: Al Qaeda’s New Home. It revealed how Al Qaeda shifted its base from Afghanistan and Pakistan into West Africa—specifically Mali. There was enough information found within to allow any open source intelligence analyst to obtain what is known as “chatter.” That chatter could be observed as the first warning.

Then, in October, Homeland Security Today released another article title The Quint-Border Region: The World’s Most Under-Reported Terror Hot Spot. Within it, five key nations were identified in western Africa demonstrating unprecedented amounts of activities which have unfolded over the years via Al Qaeda linked terrorist groups. These incidents were sheer warnings.

The first week of December could arguably be construed as one of the biggest indicators demonstrating how austere the region has truly become. Online media outlet Magharebia divulged in an article title Belmokhtar breaksaway from AQIM. Anyone who ever worked intelligence knows when key leaders break away from a large terror group, they later form their own. And that’s exactly what Mokhtar Belmokhtar did.

Belmokhtar broke away from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magrheb and formed his own Islamist group called Al Muwaki un bi Al-Dima (Signatories of Blood). A video tape of the one eyed Islamist was created and delivered to at least one international media outlet explaining his intent.

Belmokhtar is no small fish in the Islamic terror world. He is a highly skilled and trained fighter who quickly moved up the ranks in Al Qaeda after fulfilling his mission in Afghanistan back in 1991. He eventually returned to Algeria where he was born and later assisted in a horrifically violent coup of Mali’s government.

Only a few weeks after Magharebia posted their news about Belmokhtar’s split from AQIM, the Jamestown Foundation released a very well written report on the situation in West Africa, specifically revealing Belmokhtar’s future endeavors.

With this information, why did the United States State Department’s Office of Securityand Cooperation release just two travel warnings for Algeria in 2012? Worse, why were they created in May and September having nothing more recent knowing the entire West African region was imploding?

Yes, these two travel warnings could have also sparked interest for an intelligence analyst to create something more suitable for the Western free world, specifically Americans living and working in the region.

The truth is, America and our western allies knew how volatile the entire west African region had become. Yet for some reason, similar to Benghazi, they sat on the back of their heels proving to be inept protectors of their citizens.

Now, as the tragedy in Algeria continues to unfold, reports have revealed at least 35 hostages and 15 terrorists were killed in Algerian military led airstrikes. This reporting remains extremely vague and maintains limited details.  As mentioned last night on Canadian Television News, this tragedy would end in bloodshed.

Kerry Patton, a combat disabled Veteran is author of Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors.