The National Security Election

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audio gorka

The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Feb. 9, 2016:

The way presidential candidates will be judged is how seriously they take the threat of events such as the jihadist attack in San Bernardino and the Global Jihad as a whole. I discuss this and other national security matters on the Bill Martinez Live radio show.

Intelligence Director: Al-Qaeda ‘Positioned to Make Gains in 2016’

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper looks at his notes during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about worldwide threats on Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper looks at his notes during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about worldwide threats on Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, FEBRUARY 9, 2016

The director of national intelligence warned Congress this morning that “unpredictable instabilities have become the new normal, and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.”

In a briefing of worldwide threats referred to as his “litany of doom,” James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “violent extremists” are “operationally active in about 40 countries.”

“Seven countries are experiencing a collapse of central government authority, 14 others face regime-threatening or violent instability or both. Another 59 countries face a significant risk of instability through 2016,” he said.

Russia and China “continue to have the most sophisticated cyber programs” and China continues cyber espionage against the United States.

“Whether China’s commitment of last September moderates its economic espionage” — a vow touted by President Obama — “remains to be seen,” Clapper noted. “Iran and North Korea continue to conduct cyber espionage as they enhance their attack capabilities.”

ISIS, he said, “displays unprecedented online proficiency”and “at least 38,200 foreign fighters, including at least 6,900 from western countries, have traveled to Syria from at least 120 countries since the beginning of the conflict in 2012.”

From 2014 to 2015, the number of ISIS supporters arrested by the FBI increased fivefold.

And despite repeated administration insistence that the “core” of al-Qaeda has been decimated, Clapper said they’ve bounced back just fine, with a network of affiliates “proven resilient despite counterterrorism pressure.”

“Al-Qaeda’s affiliates are positioned to make gains in 2016,” the director said, citing al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the al-Nusra front in Syria as “the two most capable al-Qaeda branches.”

Iran, Clapper noted, “continues to be the foremost state sponsor of terrorism and exert its influence and regional crisis in the Mid East.”

“Through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, its terrorist partner, Lebanese, Hezbollah and proxy groups,” he said. “Iran and Hezbollah remain a continuing terrorist threat to U.S. interest and partners worldwide.”

On the nuclear deal, “Iran probably views the JCPOA as a means to remove sanctions, while preserving nuclear capabilities. Iran’s perception of how the JCPOA helps it to achieve its overall strategic goals will dictate the level of adherence to the agreement over time.”

North Korea “continues to produce fissile material and develop a submarine launched ballistic missile” and is “also committed to developing a long-range nuclear armed missile that’s capable of posing a direct threat to the United States, although the system has not been flight tested,” Clapper continued.

Russia, meanwhile, “continues to have the largest and most capable foreign nuclear-armed ballistic missile force” and China “continues to modernize its nuclear missile force and is striving for a secure, second-strike capability.” Russia and China are also the greatest threats to the U.S. in terms of foreign intelligence, he said.

And despite the Obama administration lauding its deal with the Assad regime after it crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons as a triumph of democracy that depleted the dictator’s stockpile, “chemical weapons continue to pose a threat to Syria and Iraq.”

“Damascus has used chemicals against the opposition on multiple occasions since Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Clapper said. “ISIL has also used toxic chemicals in Iraq and Syria, including the blister agent sulfur mustard, the first time an extremist group has produced and used a chemical warfare agent in an attack since Aum Shinrikyo used sarin in Japan in 1995.”

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart warned that ISIS “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.”

In Russia, Stewart noted, “military activity has continued at a historical high.”

“Moscow continues to pursue aggressive foreign and defense policies, including conducting operations in Syria, sustaining involvement in Ukraine and expanding military capabilities in the Arctic. Last year, the Russian military continued its robust exercise schedule and aggressively and occasionally provocative out of area deployments,” he said. “We anticipate similar high levels of military activity in 2016.”

Russian and Chinese cyberattacks “target DOD personnel, networks, supply chain, research and development, and critical structural information in cyber domain.”

Stewart said during questioning from the committee that he does not see Mosul being recaptured from ISIS this year.

“I’m less optimistic in the near-term about Mosul. I think there’s lots of work to be done yet out in the western part. I don’t believe that Ramadi is completely secure, so they have to secure Ramadi. They have to secure the Hit-Haditha corridor in order to have some opportunity to fully encircle and bring all the forces against Mosul,” the DIA director said.

“Mosul will be a complex operation, and so I’m not as optimistic. As you say, it’s a large city. I’m not as optimistic that we’ll be able to turn that in the near-term, in my view, certainly not this year. We may be able to begin the campaign, do some isolation operations around Mosul. But securing or taking Mosul is an extensive operation and not something I see in the next year or so.”

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Report: 81 Muslim-Americans Associated with Terror in 2015, Highest Total Since 9/11

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Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 2, 2016:

Muslim-American terror in 2015 reached its highest point since the September 11, 2001 attacks against America, the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (TCTHS) said in a report released Tuesday, documenting that 81 Muslim-Americans were associated with terror plots in the past year.

The report also documented that 41 additional Muslim-Americans over the past three years have traveled to Syria in order to join Islamic militants.

Since 9/11, 344 Muslim Americans have been involved in “violent extremism,” the terror research document said. “Half of these individuals plotted against targets overseas; 10 percent involved unknown targets; and 40 percent plotted against targets in the United States,” the report adds.

The Triangle Center’s research said of Americans who joined the jihad abroad:

According to court records, media reports, and social media postings, 41 Muslim-Americans have joined the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” in Syria, Iraq, or Libya, or the Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria, since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.

Twenty of these Americans have died, while 16 (11 men and five women) appear to be living in territory controlled by these groups. Five were arrested after their return to the United States; of these, one (Abdirahman S. Mohamud) was accused of planning an attack in the United States.

Duke University professor David Schanzer, who directs the terrorism research institute, said the U.S. government “estimates that 250 Americans have traveled to fight in Syria.”

Another one of the professors involved in the study, however, appeared to dismiss the troubling results of his own study, instead highlighting mass shootings as a more serious problem.

“Fortunately, the appeal of revolutionary violence remains very limited among Muslim-Americans,” said Charles Kurzman, a UNC professor and author of the report. “Muslim-American extremists have caused 69 deaths over 14 years, while 134 people were killed in mass shootings in the United States in 2015 alone.”

The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security is a collaborative research center run by experts and scholars from Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and RTI International.

Read the full report here

Listen to great interview of Ryan Mauro on Voices of Global Freedom Radio

audio ryan mauro

Voices of Global Freedom, Jan. 29, 2016:

Today Roy Backpack Baron and Yoda have another interview with Professor Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community. Clarion Project films have been seen by over 50 million people. Learn more at

www.clarionproject.org

Don’t miss this high energy, entertaining, informative show covering current threats to our liberty and how to survive and thrive in these dangerous troubled times.

EXCLUSIVE– Maryland Delegate To Introduce Bill Targeting Terror-Tied Mosques

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 2, 2016:

Maryland Delegate David Vogt, a veteran of a combat unit within the U.S. Marine Corps, will be introducing a bill targeting the tax-exempt status of radical mosques while the Maryland General Assembly is in session on Tuesday, Breitbart News has learned.

His bill, The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, was drafted to “restrict and revoke” the tax-exempt status of any “mosque or organization that is found, through cooperation with [Department of Homeland Security], to have direct or indirect ties to terrorism,” Vogt’s office said.

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act will target the “prohibition on exemptions and credits for organizations having known ties to terrorism,” a draft of the bill obtained by Breitbart News reads. The bill covers not only religious institutions, but also any other 501(c)(3) organization, according to its text.

The Maryland Delegate’s coming announcement is timed to precede President Obama’s Wednesday visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a mosque that was led for eighteen years by an Imam who condoned suicide bombings and had associations to radical groups.

“The President’s visit to a mosque with a history of promoting terrorism is a disgrace, and this bill ensures that Maryland’s taxpayers aren’t subsidizing special treatment for terrorist sympathizers,” the Maryland delegate commented on Obama’s coming visit to the Baltimore mosque.  “If a preacher stands in a pulpit and endorses a candidate, that church, by law, loses its tax-exempt status.  It is insane that the endorsement of terrorism is not treated the same way.”

“This is a common-sense piece of legislation – if you endorse acts of terrorism, you don’t get special treatment from the government,” Vogt told Breitbart News regarding the bill.

Vogt is a decorated combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, and received the 2010 Marine of the Year award from the Military Times. He is a candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 6th District.

“It is painfully obvious that it is time to get serious and proactive about combating terrorism right here in America. Maybe when tax dollars become involved, the government will begin to care a little more,” he concluded.

While the United States government has allowed for radical mosques to continue operations unimpeded, countries such as France have started to crackdown on the institutions preaching jihadi terror. In December, the French government announced it would close up to 160 mosques in the coming months.

Republican frontrunners Sen. Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump have called attention to the fact that mosques in America are being used to promote radical sentiments.

“I don’t think we should be indiscriminately closing mosques, but I also don’t think we should be blind to the fact that there have been mosques that have been a nexus for promoting jihad,” Cruz said in December.

In November, Trump said the U.S. would have “absolutely no choice” but to shut down jihad-advocating mosques because “some bad things are happening” within their walls.

The Clarion Project has identified some 80 mosques in America that publicly preach radical ideals.

Anti-Trump Saudi Prince Tied to Both Rupert Murdoch And Hillary Aide

Huma-Abedin-Hillary-Clinton-AFP-640x480

Breitbart, by Lee Stranahan, Feb. 1, 2016:

Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch is partnered in multiple media ventures with Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, including an Arabic religious TV network with a direct tie to Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin.

Both Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Murdoch’s Fox News network have become vocal critics of GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. On December 11, 2015 Bin Tala took to Twitter to savage Trump:

The Al-Resalah TV network is a venture created by Alwaleed in association with Rupert Murdoch. As The Guardian reported in 2010:

A company headed by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says it plans to launch a new Arabic television news channel in partnership with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network. The prince said the Kingdom Holding company’s 24-hour channel “will be an addition and alternative” for Arab viewers. It will compete with al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera.

Alwaleed Bin Talal’s stated goal is to “present true Islam” but the network’s programming has been often been radical. As The Sun reported in 2006:

[M]uch of the content on his TV channel is overtly anti-Western. On March 31, the secretary-general of Al-Resalah, Sheik Tareq Al-Suweidan, gave a speech at Dialogue between Europe and Muslims, a convention in Copenhagen that the channel was covering. “The West have done strategic mistakes … they underestimate the power of Islam,” he said. Sheik Suweidan praised the election of Hamas and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, warning: “The West have no chance but to deal with Islam, and we are extending our hands in peace and dialogue – you have slapped it. We do not accept insults.”

According to the official website of Prince Alwaleed, one of the members of the Supreme Advisory board for his  network is “Dr. Abdullah Naseef, President of World Muslim Congress and President of Forum For Social Studies (FFSS).”

As Breitbart News has extensively documented, Al-Resalah TV  board member Dr. Naseef is the longtime benefactor of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s family business, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.

As Vanity Fair reported:

When (Huma) Abedin was two years old, the family moved to Jidda, Saudi Arabia, where, with the backing of Abdullah Omar Nasseef, then the president of King Abdulaziz University, her father founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, a think tank, and became the first editor of its Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, which stated its mission as “shedding light” on minority Muslim communities around the world in the hope of “securing the legitimate rights of these communities.”

It turns out the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs is an Abedin family business. Huma was an assistant editor there between 1996 and 2008. Her brother, Hassan, 45, is a book-review editor at the Journal and was a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, where Nasseef is chairman of the board of trustees. Huma’s sister, Heba, 26, is an assistant editor at the Journal.

In his early years as the patron of the Abedins’ journal, Nasseef was the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, which Andrew McCarthy () claims “has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.”

The Muslim World League was the mother organization of two groups the U.S. government thinks was involved in funneling money to terrorists–the Rabita Trust and the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). Both groups are listed on the Treasury department’s website of terrorist organizations. Naseef’s Rabita Trust co-founder Wa’el Hamza Julaidan was one of the founders of Al Qaeda.

These connections have been hidden by the mainstream media. Breitbart News demonstrated attempted to muddy the connection between Saudi Arabian raised Huma Abedin and Nassef when questions about Abedin were raised by a group of Congress members in 2012.

It’s been widely reported that Bin Talal is a large investor in Murdoch’s Fox News, but much less attention has been paid to Al-Resalah.

In early 2015, Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company reduced his stake in Murdoch’s News Corp to 1 percent but maintains a 6.6 percent interest in 21st Century Fox, which controls Fox News. As CNN Money reported:

News Corp. is Murdoch’s publishing operation, made up of the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal as well as the book publisher HarperCollins. The more valuable 21st Century Fox is home to a host of television and film properties such as Fox Searchlight, the Fox broadcasting network and Fox News.

“We have a strategic alliance with Rupert Murdoch for sure and I have been with him for the last 15 or 20 years,” Alwaleed said. “My backing of Rupert Murdoch is definitely unwavering.”

The connection between Alwaleed, Murdoch, Abedin, Hillary Clinton and Saudi Arabia are troubling given a number of recent events.

Prince Alwaleed is boasting about his role in impacting U.S. elections. As Breitbart News Network’s Aaron Klein reported, the Saudi Arabian news site Sabq claims that “Alwaweed Bin Talal caused a decline in Trump’s popularity.”

 CNN reported in 2008 that “donations to the William J. Clinton Foundation include amounts of $10 million to $25 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Huma Abedin was hired as a consultant to the William J. Clinton Foundation after Clinton left her role as Secretary of State.

Abedin is also at the center of Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal.

Huma Abedin’s mother currently lives in Saudi Arabia and runs the Journal for Muslim Minority Affairs and is also a dean at a woman’s college there.

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‘This was all planned’: Former IG says Hillary, State Dept. are lying

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 Photo: Getty Images

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010
Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Jan. 31, 2016:

The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hillary Clinton was improperly using personal e-mails and a private server to conduct official business — because it never set up an agency e-mail address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says.

“This was all planned in advance” to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008.

The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov e-mail address like previous secretaries.

“That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private e-mail server until later,” Krongard said in an exclusive interview. “How else was she supposed to do business without e-mail?”

He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5¹/₂-year vacancy was unprecedented.

“This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent,” he said. “It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG.”

Inspectors general serve an essential and unique role in the federal government by independently investigating agency waste, fraud and abuse. Their oversight also covers violations of communications security procedures.

“It’s clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations,” Krongard said. An e-mail audit would have easily uncovered the secret information flowing from classified government networks to the private unprotected system she set up in her New York home.

He says “the key” to the FBI’s investigation of Emailgate is determining how highly sensitive state secrets in the classified network, known as SIPRNet, ended up in Clinton’s personal e-mails.

“The starting point of the investigation is the material going through SIPRNet. She couldn’t function without the information coming over SIPRNet,” Krongard said. “How did she get it on her home server? It can’t just jump from one system to the other. Someone had to move it, copy it. The question is who did that?”

As The Post first reported, the FBI is investigating whether Clinton’s deputies copied top-secret information from the department’s classified network to its unclassified network where it was sent to Hillary’s unsecured, unencrypted e-mail account.

FBI agents are focusing on three of Clinton’s top department aides. Most of the 1,340 Clinton e-mails deemed classified by intelligence agency reviewers were sent to her by her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, or her deputy chiefs, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan, who now hold high positions in Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“They are facing significant scrutiny now,” Krongard said, and are under “enormous pressure to cooperate” with investigators.

He says staffers who had access to secret material more than likely summarized it for Clinton in the e-mails they sent to her; but he doesn’t rule out the use of thumb drives to transfer classified information from one system to the other, which would be a serious security breach. Some of the classified computers at Foggy Bottom have ports for memory sticks.

Either way, there would be an audit trail for investigators to follow. The SIPRNet system maintains the identity of all users and their log-on and log-off times, among other activities.

“This totally eliminates the false premise that she got nothing marked classified,” Krongard said. “She’s hiding behind this defense. But they [e-mails] had to be classified, because otherwise [the information in them] wouldn’t be on the SIPRNet.”

Added Krongard: “She’s trying to distance herself from the conversion from SIPRNet to [the nonsecure] NIPRNet and to her server, but she’s throwing her staffers under the bus.”

Still, “It will never get to an indictment,” Krongard said.

For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Even if they accept the referral, he says, the case quickly and quietly will be plea-bargained down to misdemeanors punishable by fines in a deal similar to the one Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, secured for Gen. David Petraeus. In other words, a big slap on the wrist.

“He knows the drill,” Krongard said of Kendall.

Paul Sperry, a visiting media fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author of “Infiltration.”

Official: Some Clinton emails ‘too damaging’ to release

Fox News, by Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne, Jan. 30. 2016:

EXCLUSIVE: The intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.

The determination was first reported by Fox News, hours before the State Department formally announced Friday that seven email chains, found in 22 documents, will be withheld “in full” because they, in fact, contain “Top Secret” information.

The State Department, when first contacted by Fox News about withholding such emails Friday morning, did not dispute the reporting – but did not comment in detail. After a version of this report was first published, the Obama administration confirmed to the Associated Press that the seven email chains would be withheld. The department has since confirmed those details publicly.

The decision to withhold the documents in full, and not provide even a partial release with redactions, further undercuts claims by the State Department and the Clinton campaign that none of the intelligence in the emails was classified when it hit Clinton’s personal server.

Fox News is told the emails include intelligence from “special access programs,” or SAP, which is considered beyond “Top Secret.” A Jan. 14 letter, first reported by Fox News, from intelligence community Inspector General Charles McCullough III notified senior intelligence and foreign relations committee leaders that “several dozen emails containing classified information” were determined to be “at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, AND TOP SECRET/SAP levels.”

The State Department is trying to finish its review and public release of thousands of Clinton emails, as the Democratic presidential primary contests get underway in early February.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, there is an exemption that allows for highly sensitive, and in this case classified, material to be withheld in full — which means nothing would be released in these cases, not even heavily redacted versions, which has been standard practice with the 1,340 such emails made public so far by the State Department.

According to the Justice Department FOIA website, exemption “B3” allows a carve-out for both the CIA and NSA to withhold “operational files.” Similar provisions also apply to other agencies.

Fox News reported Friday that at least one Clinton email contained information identified as “HCS-O,” which is the code for intelligence from human spying.

One source, not authorized to speak on the record, suggested the intelligence agencies are operating on the assumption there are more copies of the Clinton emails out there, and even releasing a partial email would provide enough clues to trace back to the original – which could allow the identification of “special access programs” intelligence.

There was no comment to Fox News from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General, or the agency involved. Fox News has chosen not to identify the agency that provided sworn declarations that intelligence beyond Top Secret was found in the Clinton emails.

The State Department was scheduled to release more Clinton emails Friday, while asking a D.C. federal court for an extension.

FBI investigators looking into the emails are focused on the criminal code pertaining to “gross negligence” in the handling and storage of classified information, and “public corruption.”

“The documents alone in and of themselves set forth a set of compelling, articulable facts that statutes relating to espionage have been violated,” a former senior federal law enforcement officer said. The source said the ongoing investigation along the corruption track “also stems from her tenure of secretary. These charges would be inseparable from the other charges in as much as there is potential for significant overlap and correlation.”

Based on federal regulations, once classified information is spilled onto a personal computer or device, as was the case with Clinton and her aides, the hardware is now considered classified at the highest classification level of the materials received.

While criticized by the Clinton campaign, McCullough, an Obama administration appointee, was relaying the conclusion of two intelligence agencies in his letter to Congress that the information was classified when it hit Clinton’s server — and not his own judgment.

Joseph E. Schmitz, a former inspector general of the Department of Defense, called the attacks on McCullough a “shoot the watchdog” tactic by Clinton’s campaign.

The developments, taken together, show Clinton finding herself once again at the epicenter of a controversy over incomplete records.

During her time as the first female partner at the Rose Law firm in Arkansas during the mid-1980s, she was known as one of the “three amigos” and close with partners Webb Hubbell and Vince Foster. Hubbell ended up a convicted felon for his role in the failure of the corrupt Madison Guaranty, a savings and loan which cost taxpayers more than $65 million. Hubbell embezzled more than a half-million dollars from the firm.

Foster killed himself in Washington, D.C., in July 1993. As Clinton’s partner in the Rose Law firm, he had followed the Clintons into the White House where he served as the Clintons’ personal lawyer and a White House deputy counsel.

Clinton’s missing Rose Law billing records for her work for Guaranty during the mid-1980s were the subject of three intense federal investigations over two years. Those records, in the form of a computerized printout of her work performed on behalf of Guaranty, were discovered under mysterious circumstances in the Book Room of the private White House living quarters.

The discovery of those records was announced during a  blizzard in January 1996 by attorney David Kendall, who still represents Hillary Clinton. After Clinton testified before a grand jury, prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt she committed perjury or obstruction of justice.

Despite Clinton’s recent public statements about not knowing how the technology works, at least one email suggests she directed a subordinate to work around the rules. In a June 2011 email to aide Jake Sullivan, she instructed him to take what appeared to be classified talking points, and “turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

A State Department spokesman could not say whether such a fax was sent.

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.

Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”

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South Carolina House Passes Bill Excluding Sharia Law From State Courts

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Jan. 28, 2016:

The South Carolina House has passed a bill blocking Islamic sharia law from being recognized or approved in the state, after years of debate over similar legislation.

The legislation voted upon was explained as “A bill to amend the code of laws of South Carolina … so as to prevent a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law including, but not limited to, Sharia Law in this state from a forum outside of the United States or its territories under certain circumstances.”

On Thursday, the legislation passed with 68 for the bill and 42 opposed.

Sharia law is the legal and political system mandated in the Koran and other Islamic texts. It include laws governing religious practice, such as praying and ritual washing. But sharia also rules what Westerners see as non-government social practices — divorce, child-rearing, free-speech, clothing or sexual behavior, for example — and it also rules government responses to crimes, such as theft and murder.

Sharia law relegates women and non-Muslims to a lesser status, and grants men enormous authority over wives, daughters and sons. It allows for the primitive treatment of women and non-Muslims, and allows fierce punishment — sometimes, “honor killings” by fathers — for refusing to complying with sharia mandates.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Chip Limehouse. He told Breitbart News following the bill’s passage:

“This goes to demonstrate that the South Carolina House of Representatives is committed to preserving and protecting the American way of life here in South Carolina.”

“Sharia Law has been used as a defense in American courtrooms,” he adds. “We are working towards making that defense not an option for radical extremists from any country.”

“In South Carolina, we’ve had cases where people have tried to use [the rules of] Sharia Law as a defense, and we are speaking very clearly from the South Carolina House,” Limehouse said. “Shariah Law can not and will not be used as a legal defense in the state of South Carolina.”

Because the bill was passed at the beginning of the current legislative session, Rep. Limehouse said he was optimistic that the Senate would have enough time to pass the bill. In order for the bill to become law, it must now be passed by the South Carolina State Senate and signed by Governor Nikki Haley.

Tea Party and conservative grassroots organizations are credited with initiating the movement to ban sharia rules through the state legislatures. Conservative leaders Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann have publicly advocated for the need to enact nation-wide legislation against the threat of sharia.

Underground sharia courts operate in Muslim communities throughout Europe and alsoin the United States. Last year, Breitbart Texas reported that a “voluntary” sharia court had already been established in Texas.

Several countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, have many underground sharia courts within migrant communities. In the U.K, the government has formally deputized at least one sharia court to decide non-criminal issues among people who agree to use the court, even as public concerns rise that immigrant women are socially pressured to accept the courts’ authority

U.S. opponents of sharia courts point to Europe for evidence that western democracies can gradually cede more de-facto legal authority to self-segregating Muslim communities, so enabling the self-segregation of Muslim communities into no-go zones within cities.

Several states–including Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina South Dakota, and Tennessee–have passed “foreign law” bans against sharia. More than a dozen other states are currently considering similar legislation.

Carson Warns About Islamic Groups’ ‘Civilization Jihad’

REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM

REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Jan. 27, 2016:

Dr. Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican candidate for president, appeared on the Mark Levin Show Tuesday night, and sounded the alarm about the threat of domestic Islamist groups that pose as moderate organizations.

“Our political correctness is what is going to be our undoing,” Carson told the conservative radio host.

During the Holy Land Foundation trials, in 2007 and 2008, which was the largest terror financing case in U.S. history, a government-produced “explanatory memorandum helped get a handle on what the Muslim Brotherhood and some of these other organizations are doing, and CAIR in particular,” Carson explained.

“They said in that document that it would be particularly easy to carry out ‘civilization jihad’ in America because our people would be so silly and … protecting the rights of the very people who are trying to subvert our system, to their own expense,” the famed retired neurosurgeon added.

Levin remarked, “You’re the only candidate taking on this group CAIR, which is to me a very troubling front group for Hamas and some of these other outfits. And you’re the only one out there pounding away at them.”

CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization in the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the foundation’s Hamas-funding operation.

Carson noted “the gravity of the situation and what the implications are for our country.”

Breitbart News has reported extensively on CAIR’s ties to radicalism.

An FBI chart that surfaced in December thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request depicted CAIR as a Hamas-related organization.

Frank Gaffney, the president and founder of the Center for Security Policy, said Carson made one the “most important” statements of the election cycle, for drawing attention to the issue at hand.

“Dr. Ben Carson has just made one of the most important statements of the 2016 presidential campaign.  In an interview with Mark Levin last night, the GOP candidate called attention to a document known as “the Explanatory Memorandum” and observed that it lays out the Muslim Brotherhood secret plan for taking down our country,” Gaffney tells Breitbart News.

“Specifically, this Memorandum declares the Brotherhood’s mission in North America is “destroying Western civilization from within” and describes how this ambitious goal is being pursued through a variety of stealthy techniques,” he added.

Carson should be far from the only candidate speaking about this ever-important issue, the Center For Security Policy President said.

“Every other candidate to be our next Commander-in-Chief and every voter contemplating which one to hire for that job needs to acquaint themselves with this ominous plan, and learn how it has been successfully implemented over the past twenty-five years,” Gaffney concluded.

***

Ben Carson connects the dots on immigration, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Holy Land Foundation and the behavior of Hamas front-group CAIR on the Mark Levin show:

Also see:

Did Hamas Inspire Muslim Mass Shooting Terror Plot in Milwaukee?

samy-770Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 27, 2016:

Defending Islam, the Muslim religion, requires killing everyone who isn’t a Muslim. So far there have been Muslim terror plots against synagogues, churches and a Hindu temple. Now there was a Muslim terror plot against a Masonic temple.

Federal law enforcement agents said Samy Mohamed Hamzeh told secret FBI informants that “We will eliminate everyone” once inside one of Milwaukee’s grandest cultural landmarks — the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

According to the federal complaint, Hamzeh had originally planned to attack Israelis in the West Bank, but dropped those plans because of logistical problems and focused on leading an attack on a target at home in Milwaukee.

Masons, Jews. Who cares. Just kill some infidels.

The feds said Hamzeh is heard on undercover recordings stating how many Americans he wanted to shoot and kill in Milwaukee.

“Thirty is excellent” he allegedly said. They “will know that nobody can play with Muslims.”

Nobody can play with Muslims, because they’re sore losers.

Hamzeh apparently came to the U.S. from the West Bank about six years ago

Clearly we need more Muslim immigration. Just think of all the added terror arrests and shooting sprees.

“I am telling you, if this hit is executed, it will be known all over the world … all the Mujahedeen will be talking and they will be proud of us,” Hamzeh said, according to the affidavit. “Such operations will increase in America, when they hear about it. The people will be scared and the operations will increase. … This way we will be igniting it. I mean we are marching at the front of the war.”

Hamzeh added that he hoped to kill 30 people. He also said his group was Muslims and they were “defending Muslim religion.”

“We are here defending Islam, young people together join to defend Islam, that’s it, that is what our intention is,” he said.

But, according to the media, it has nothing to do with Islam. Not a thing. Just everything.

So why Masons? The media is pretending to be baffled, but Masonic conspiracy theories are popular in the Muslim world, largely because of the Muslim Brotherhood which has a particular obsession with them. The Hamas charter, in between calling for the extermination of the Jews and Islamic rule, has this wacky paragraph.

The Moslem woman has a role no less important than that of the moslem man in the battle of liberation. She is the maker of men. Her role in guiding and educating the new generations is great. The enemies have realised the importance of her role. They consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up they way they wish, far from Islam, they would have won the battle. That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through information campaigns, films, and the school curriculum, using for that purpose their lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs.

Yes… rotary clubs. We’re lucky Muslims haven’t tried to shoot them up too.

I blame Muslim Masoniphobia. It’s really time we addressed the Muslim Masoniphobia crisis. Because this does look like Mohammed picked up a few ideas from the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

***

Former FBI Military Intel Officer Steve Rogers, Fox News Military Analyst (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Robert Scales and former National Security Council Director Cathy Taylor on a mass shooting plot thwarted by the FBI:

Threat Knowledge Group Chairman Sebastian Gorka on efforts to prevent homegrown terrorism:

FBI going ‘right to the source’ in Clinton email probe, interviewing intel agencies

hillary clintontop397_20160126_154413Fox News, by Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne, January 26, 2016:

The FBI is going straight to the source in its investigation of classified emails that crossed Hillary Clinton’s personal server, speaking with the intelligence agencies – and in some cases, the individuals – that generated the information, two intelligence sources familiar with the probe told Fox News.

Investigators are meeting with the agencies and individuals to determine the classification level in the emails. The step speaks to the diligence with which the bureau is handling the investigation, despite the former secretary of state’s claims that the matter boils down to a mere interagency dispute.

“This is not merely a difference of opinion between the State Department and the Department of Justice,” one intelligence source, who is not authorized to speak on the record, told Fox News, referring to comments on the Sunday talk shows and by the Clinton campaign downplaying the FBI’s investigation. “The bureau will go directly to depose specific individuals in agencies who generated the highly classified materials.”

The source added, “At the end of the day it will be a paper case. Emails never disappear because computers never forget.”

A former senior FBI intelligence officer, while not directly involved in the Clinton email investigation, previously told Fox News it was standard practice for the bureau to go directly to the originating source because it is cleaner and maintains the integrity of the investigation.

“You want to go right to the source,” Timothy Gill Sr., a former senior FBI intelligence officer, said. “Investigative protocol would demand that.”

Fox News first reported that intelligence beyond “Top Secret” known as “SAP,” or “Special Access Programs,” was identified in the Clinton emails on her unsecured private server. Access to SAP is restricted to only those with a “need to know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal a human asset or method of collection. The findings were shared with the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees in a Jan. 14 letter from the intelligence community inspector general.

Fox News also confirmed that at least one email contained intelligence from human spying, known as “HCS-0,” which is code for highly sensitive human intelligence operations.

The FBI investigation is centered around Clinton and members of her staff to determine if they deliberatively trafficked and shared information from highly classified sources onto an unsecure private email system.

“The bureau does not waive its primacy in espionage cases,” the intelligence source said, referring to USC 18 793 and 794. “The security investigation is now part and parcel with the criminal [public corruption] investigation.” The source said both tracks are being pursued “vigorously” and there is a sense of “incredulity as to what is being discovered.”

Violations of US 18 Section 793 fall under “gross mishandling” of national defense information. Potential violations under Section 794, “gathering or delivering defense information to aid” a foreign government, are more serious and challenging to prove.

Howard Krongard, former inspector general of the State Department, told Fox News, “I continue to believe the question of how [and from whom] material actually got from the classified network to Hillary Clinton’s server is the key to the puzzle.”

It is not possible to “cut and paste” from a classified network to an unclassified system, like Clinton’s personal email account, to perform what is known in intelligence circles as “jumping the gap.”

Paul Sperry, a media fellow at the Hoover Institution, reported Saturday in theNew York Post that Clinton and her top aides “had access to a Pentagon-run classified network that goes up to the Secret level as well as a separate system used for Top Secret communications.”

Former intelligence and law enforcement officers say one of the most likely scenarios is that an individual who had access to classified information summarized it in their own words or provided details during exchanges via email, which is a criminal violation and goes against non-disclosure agreements.

“The spillage could occur by somebody basically ignoring those guidelines. It would have to be that way. There’s no possible way she could transfer media off of an SCI high system … onto an unclassified server,” said Dan Maguire, a special operations veteran who spent 46 years handling highly classified information and being deeply engaged on special access programs.

“I think it reflects, probably two things — perhaps an ignorance on the part of the individuals involved who’ve been doing this who are trying to please their boss and don’t recognize the sensitivity and how that impacts on national security, and then an element of arrogance to even think or consider that you would pass information on an unclassified file server,” Maguire said.

A review of the Clinton emails has found at least 1,340 containing classified information. A State Department challenge to two emails classified at the “Top Secret” level failed, as Fox News first reported in December. The agency that gets the information in effect owns the information, and has final say over its classification.

In its most recent statement on classified information found on Clinton’s server, the Clinton campaign described the issue as an “interagency dispute.”

Spokesman Brian Fallon said, “It does not change the fact that these emails were not classified at the time they were sent or received. It is alarming that the intelligence community IG, working with Republicans in Congress, continues to selectively leak materials in order to resurface the same allegations and try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The Justice Department’s inquiry should be allowed to proceed without any further interference.”

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.

 

Philly cop shooting CAIR and Jihad Denial

Reuters/Getty

Reuters/Getty

CAIR Tells Americans That Muslim Shooter Isn’t Muslim

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Jan. 9, 2016:

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a jihadi-tied Muslim advocacy group, is trying to persuade Americans that Islam was not implicated Thursday when a devout Muslim man attempted to execute a Philadelphia police officer for violating the Koran’s rules.

Edward Archer, 30, attempted to execute a police officer on Thursday on behalf of the Islamic State jihad group. After being arrested, he said in testimony relayed by the Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, that that the Philadelphia police department is enforcing laws that are not compliant with Islam.

“He believes the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Koran,” Ross said.

Yet the Hamas-related CAIR has declared that Mr. Archer, an Islamic convert who investigators believe had traveled to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in recent years, was not a practicing Muslim. Archer was wearing Islamic attire when he attempted to execute a uniformed officer in cold blood.

But he is not a Muslim, declared Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, along with CAIR’s representatives.

federal judge concluded in 2009 that “the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR… with Hamas.” Since then, FBI leaders have sharply reduced any connection to the group, which has also been and has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

CAIR-Philadelphia’s executive director, Jacob Bender, the group’s first Jewish chapter leader (and a noted radical anti-Israel activist), has led the effort to excuse Islam from the criminal act.

“At this hour, it does not appear that he was an observant or mosque-going Muslim,” Bender told Reuters on Friday. “I’ve called numerous imams and mosques to try to see if the name rings a bell with anyone. So far it hasn’t,” he said.

Bender, like many Islamic extremists, blames the Jewish state of Israel for many of the problems in the Islamic world. In a letter to the New York Times, Bender has blamed Israel for “the growth of terrorism and Islamist extremism” worldwide. Israel’s “oppression of the Palestinians” incites innocent Muslims to become jihadi suicide bombers, according to Bender.

Bender, a filmmaker, directed Out of Cordoba, an anti-Israel, Islamic supremacist documentary that was financed thanks to Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood money. The Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, headed by a Saudi billionaire, was the top donor to his film. His film was heavily distributed by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group that was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Like CAIR, ISNA was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial – the largest terror-financing case in American history.

When Bender was appointed CAIR-Philly’s executive director, Jewish groups warned that he would be used to advance their agenda. “CAIR is far off the radar screen of the Jewish community,” said Ethan Felson of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, in an interview with the Jewish Daily Forward concerning Bender’s appointment. “The Jewish community looked at their record and said, ‘We won’t work with this group.’”

“Unfortunately, there are Jews who are anti-Jewish and anti-Israel,” added Abe Foxman of the Anti Defamation League.

The Maryland Outreach manager of CAIR also weighed in on the shooting, rejecting Archer’s claim to Islam.

“Islam is a religion that encourages Muslims to coexist with their interfaith counterparts,” said Zainab Chaudry of CAIR-Maryland. “These kind of acts. They do not reflect the teachings of Islam.”

Moreover, CAIR was founded in the very city where the Islamic State attacker attempted on Thursday to assassinate the police officer.

In 1993, the FBI wiretapped an Islamic extremist meeting in Philadelphia that was hosted by the Palestine Committee (PALCOM), a Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas backing outfit whose membership included current CAIR executive director Nihad Awad. During the Philadelphia meeting, PALCOM members were instructed to refer to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in coded language, so as not to tip off authorities to their terror-financing activities. Awad, a Hamas supporter, would later be chosen to head CAIR, and remains its top official today.

***

Judge Jeanine to Philly Mayor: ‘Stop Mouthing Off When You Don’t Know the Facts’

Jihad Comes to Philadelphia

Below: Dr. Sebastian Gorka (5:30 in the video) “There is no such thing as lone wolf terrorism The connective tissue between all of these attacks whether it is Fort Hood or the Boston bombings or this is of course the ideology of jihad”

Rep. King: Police should monitor entire Muslim community

Also see:

Fireworks at GOP Debate as Candidates Debate Nat’l Security

Republican-Debate-Las-Vegas-HPClarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Dec. 16, 2915:

The fifth Republican presidential debate took place last night and focused on national security. It was filled with substance discussions of how the U.S. should fight Islamist extremism, highlighting important differences on handling Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, democracy promotion and an almost universal desire to ally with Muslims who stand against Islamist extremism.

You can read the Clarion Project’s factsheets on each Democratic and Republican presidential candidate’s positions related to Islamist extremism here.  These factsheets do not reflect new positions taken during last night’s debate. Here is a round-up the specific issues discussed by the candidates last night:

Identifying the Ideology

All the candidates defined the enemy with different variants of “radical Islam,” as opposed to Hillary Clinton’s definition of it as “jihadism” and President Obama’s choice of “violent extremism.” A few of the candidates displayed a greater knowledge of the nature of the Islamist ideology.

Rick Santorum identified the core threat as a “theocracy doctrine” emanating from the fact that Islam originated as a dual religious-governmental system under sharia law.

He said this feature makes Islam “different” from other major faiths. “Islam is not just a religion. It is also a political governing structure. The fact of the matter is that Islam is a religion but it is also sharialaw; it is also a civil government; a form of government. And so the idea that that is protected under the First Amendment is wrong. And, in fact, that political structure is what is the big problem. The imposition of sharia law adherence in fundamental Islam, as it was practiced in the 7th Century. There has to be a line drawn,” he said.

Santorum also said the conflict has evolved into World War  III because U.S. policy has “lit the fuse of a nuclear Iran.”

Mike Huckabee stated that he agreed with Santorum’s assessment of Islam. He later said that the objective must be to defeat “every form of radical Islam,” which is an expansion from the exclusive focus on ISIS and Iran.

Ted Cruz said that the U.S. is not at war with the faith of Islam but with a political-theocratic Islamic ideology. He pointed to India, a country with a large Muslim population, to show that the West is not at war with the entire Muslim world. However, Cruz said that being a “Woodrow Wilson democracy promoter” is not the answer and mocked democracy-promoters for touting moderate Muslim forces that are like “a purple unicorn” and end up being jihadists.

Proposed Ban on Muslim Immigration

Donald Trump stood by his call for a halt to all entry of Muslims into the United States, though he has clarified in recent days that there would be a small number of exceptions such as Muslims who serve in the U.S. armed forces. His proposal was rejected by each of the other candidates.

Lindsey Graham directly addressed the estimated 3,500 Muslims serving in the U.S. military to thank them for their service and said that U.S. strategy needs to work with those within the faith of Islam to defeat the extremists. He told the following brief story to make his point:

“I was at the second presidential election in Afghanistan. The guy guarding me was an American-Muslim sergeant in the Army who grew up in Kabul, left when he was—he graduated high school, joined the U.S. Army, went back to his high school where they were doing polling, people voting. He took me there and cried like a baby. And I cried like a baby. He is the solution to this problem, folks. He is not the problem. Leave the faith alone.”

Graham said that Trump’s language has done the “one single-most thing you should not do—declare a war on Islam,” adding that “ISIS would be dancing in the streets [at Trump’s language]—if they believed in dancing.”

George Pataki condemned the proposed ban and Trump’s overall attitude towards Muslims, accusing him of demeaning millions of Muslim-Americans. He described Trump as a modern-day version of the Know-Nothing Party that opposed Catholic immigration. Pataki said the U.S. should embrace Muslims who oppose jihad within the U.S. and abroad.

Mike Huckabee pointed out that the ban is also impractical. A jihadist who desires to kill will certainly be willing to lie about whether they are a Muslim when attempting to enter the country.

Resettling of Syrian Refugees inside America

All of the candidates opposed President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. in some way.

Several pointed out that the female ISIS terrorist who participated in the San Bernardino terrorist attack expressed her desire on social media to commit violent jihad and still passed through the Department of Homeland Security’s vetting process for a K-1 visa to come to the country. Shockingly, immigration officials are prohibitedfrom reviewing social media postings of visa applicants. Only now is the Department of Homeland Security revising its vetting process to include social media activity.

Ben Carson said that the best solution is to help the Syrian refugees resettle in the region and in safe zones inside Syria. He said that an alliance of Syrian Kurds, Christians and moderate Sunnis have come together (referring to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces) that oppose both Assad and ISIS and is creating such a safe zone in the Hasakah Province in Syria.

Rick Santorum added that the Department of Homeland Security should be able to consider a broader range of indicators of Islamist radicalization when granting visas to enter the country, such as whether the applicant attends a mosque with a history of extremist preaching.

Santorum also said that bringing in persecuted religious minorities into the U.S. as refugees isn’t the preferred option because then they lose their ancestral homeland. He said it also means the U.S. has less moderate Muslim allies in the area, so it’s better to assist with setting up refugee camps.

Carly Fiorina explained some of the flaws in the Department of Homeland Security vetting process. She said that names are checked against databases of suspected terrorists, but that would not necessarily include terrorist sympathizers. She pointed out that parents and employers regularly review social media accounts of other people but the security officials cannot.

John Kasich emphasized that he is opposed to an eternal ban on resettling Syrian refugees but that a pause is needed as the vetting process is reviewed in light of discovered flaws.

Mike Huckabee took strong offense to the notion that opposing the resettlement of refugees is a hypocritical position for a Christian to take.

Homeland Security

Ted Cruz explained his opposition to the NSA’s collection of phone metadata and his vote in favor of the USA Freedom Act to stop the bulk collection. He argued that the act actually expand the amount of counter-terrorism intelligence available to authorities, reduce information overload that inhibits operations and expand the surveillance of other phones used by terrorists.

Marco Rubio defended his support of the NSA’s bulk collection of phone metadata and said the changes under the USA Freedom Act means that federal authorities have lost valuable intelligence. He alluded to the fact that his position in the Senate gives him access to classified information that would vindicate his position.

Rand Paul sided with Cruz in opposing the NSA’s metadata collection program on the grounds of civil liberties and that it results in information overload for the authorities.

George Pataki most strongly spoke about Islamist extremist networks within the U.S. aside from terrorist cells. He cited the NYPD’scontroversial counter-terrorism intelligence-gathering as a model of success because it focused on mosques, community meetings and social media where radical ideologies are present. In the past, he has said he’d apply the same standard to any houses of worship or public venue where it is known that violent extremism is being advocated.

Pataki said that the advocating of violence against Americans, including support for jihad against the U.S., is not protected free speech and should be prosecuted. He has previously stated that non-profit organizations that promote terrorist groups or incite violence against Americans should lose their tax-exempt status.

Pataki said that the U.S. must work with Muslims who oppose violent jihad abroad and at home, implying that the U.S. has not done enough to support moderate leaders domestically like the newly-announced Muslim Reform Movement.

He twice emphasized the need for a law to force communications companies to have a backdoor key so the authorities can decode any encrypted message sent through their service, pointing to how 109 encrypted messages sent by an ISIS supporter who committed a shooting in Texas have still not been deciphered by the FBI.

Carly Fiorina opposes a federal law like Pataki talked about, saying that private companies will cooperate if asked as she did when she led Hewlett-Packard. She recalled an incident where she responded to the NSA’s request for assistance.

John Kasich spoke about the need to enable the federal authorities to decode the encrypted messages of terrorists.

Mike Huckabee agreed with Pataki that it is not a violation of the Constitution for the NYPD and other agencies to attend public venues just like any American citizen can, whether it’s to listen to a sermon at a mosque or a church. Huckabee questioned the motives of Islamic groups that oppose such practices. He said that a house of worship with a true message of peace would be okay with anyone attending and would hope of winning a convert.

Ben Carson says he supports the authorities monitoring anywhere that shows signs of radicalization, including mosques and Islamic schools. He explicitly referenced a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum that was released during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas. Carson mentioned how the memo indicates that the Brotherhood planned to use political correctness against us.

Rick Santorum, as mentioned above, said that the political-governmental aspects of Islam should not be treated the same way as the solely religious part of Islam. He said the former is not protected by the First Amendment in the same way.

He supports the NSA’s bulk phone metadata collection and emphasized that the data is not the content of conversations and has no personal identifiers unless someone’s phone number is linked to a phone number used by an overseas terrorist. His argument is that the collection of more anonymous data enables less intrusive intelligence collection that raises privacy issues.

He opposes a measure by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to prevent the purchase of guns by those who are on the no-fly list because of constitutional concerns. The individual is denied a right by being placed on a secret list without recourse. He said that a better option is stronger coordination between the government agencies so background checks detect suspected terrorists trying to purchase guns.

Lindsey Graham supports the NSA’s metadata collection program. He added that once an American’s phone number is found in a terrorist’s phone, a court order is still needed in order to authorize a wiretap of that American citizen’s communications.

Chris Christie emphasized that he worked as the U.S. Attorney for N.J. and prosecuted terrorists using controversial programs like the Patriot Act and maintained his support for them. He said he worked successfully with the Muslim community in his state on counter-terrorism efforts.

Jeb Bush sounded dismissive of the need for broader authority to monitor radicalization within the U.S. He said that the FBI and other agencies are already watching anti-American activity and it shouldn’t even be a part of the public discussion.

War Against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Lindsey Graham remains the only candidate calling for a major U.S. ground offensive against the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS/ISIL) involving 10,000 troops in Iraq and 10,000 in Syria. He said that only 10% of the troops in Syria would be American, with another 90,000 coming from Turkey and neighboring Arab countries. He believes that the Syrian-Russian airstrikes have eliminated the option of supporting Syrian rebels on the ground to do the fighting for us.

His plan would involve a long-term occupation of territory and nation-building, including building girls’ schools in villages, in order to counter the radical Islamic ideology. His plan is opposed by Santorum and Pataki.

Rick Santorum supports increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and providing trainers in Syria but would not deploy combat troops to Syria because it risks “crossing a tripwire theologically that could turn on us.” He accurately explained that ISIS’ propaganda is that it is fulfilling apocalyptic End Times prophecies and that luring U.S. troops into Syria and a “particular town” (referring to Dabiq) would vindicate its claims.

He said that Islamic teachings compel Muslims to follow thecaliphate and ISIS has the first one since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1924. He believes that the key to defeating ISIS is that Islamic law teaches that a caliphate’s defeat means it does not have Allah‘s blessing, so forcing it to lose territory to Kurds and Iraqi Sunnis would destroy its legitimacy.

George Pataki supports increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and brought attention to the success of Iraqi Sunni tribes who are advancing against ISIS in Ramadi and want more U.S. assistance. He said he would not direct aid through the central Iraqi government in Baghdad to ensure speedy delivery.

In Syria, Pataki advocates supporting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern and eastern Syria that defeated ISIS in Kobani. He favors working with Turkey to establish a no-fly zone along the Syrian border to stem the flow of refugees. Russian aircraft that violated the no-fly zone would be targeted.

He opposes a long-term occupation as described by Graham. He pointed out that the 2003 invasion of Iraq took a turn for the worst once the population viewed U.S. troops as long-term occupiers instead of liberators, particularly when U.S. forces were hosted inside of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces.

He recommended working with Saudi Arabia because it justannounced an alliance of 34 Muslim countries to combat terrorist organizations and promoters of violent ideologies (even though alliance members included known sponsors of extremism).

Marco Rubio described ISIS as the most sophisticated terrorist group the U.S. has ever faced and warned that it is growing in Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen and has Jordan “in its sights.” He warned that ISIS is winning the propaganda war and that the U.S. needs a strategy that exposes the hardships of life under the ISIS caliphate and broadcasts our successes so that they no longer look invincible to recruits.

Rubio, like Santorum, referred to the apocalyptic brand of radical Islam practiced by ISIS. He said that the perception that ISIS is succeeding furthers their propaganda that they are waging a war foretold in prophecy that will end with the West’s defeat.

Jeb Bush said that the U.S. must arm the Kurds directly and go around the central Iraqi government’s authority, as well as establish a no-fly zone over Syria. He would embed U.S. forces within the Iraqi security forces to improve their effectiveness and “get lawyers off the backs” of the U.S. military so there’d be less restrictions.

Mike Huckabee said he supports increasing U.S. troops in Iraq and would be comfortable with an addition of 10-20,000 troops. He would dramatically increase the air campaign against ISIS, pointing out that President Obama boasts of 9,000 air sorties against the group over 18 months but 3,000 sorties happened daily during the Gulf War. He would also loosen the rules of engagement.

Ted Cruz similarly said he would use “overwhelming air power” to defeat ISIS and would directly arm the Kurds. He made a similar statement as Huckabee did but with different numbers. He claimed that there were 1,100 air attacks per day during the Gulf War and today it is only between 15 and 30.

Ben Carson spoke in support of arming certain groups inside Syria that oppose both Assad and ISIS and emphasized destroying ISIS’ ability to raise money through black market oil sales. He claimed that ISIS is able to recruit disaffected people by offering money, indicating he believes that there is a connection between poverty and Islamist terrorism.

Carly Fiorina said that she’d involve Arab partners like Jordan and Egypt to fight ISIS and would bring back the best military minds like General Keane, General Petraeus, General McCarthy, and Lt.-General and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn.

John Kasich likewise pointed to Saudi Arabia’s announcement of an alliance against terrorist groups and ideologies and said the U.S. must work closely with it. He called for a major international ground offensive like what happened in the Gulf War.

Donald Trump said the U.S. should have a cyber warfare team that takes down the Internet over parts of Iraq and Syria where ISIS operate. He also criticized the media for glorifying ISIS terrorists as “masterminds” of plots. Trump also defended his idea to kill or punish the families of ISIS terrorists since they desire to lose their own lives.

Rand Paul was the most direct opponent of using U.S. combat forces in the region, saying that only Arab troops should partake. He also does not support arming Syrian rebels against ISIS because they are allies of Al-Qaeda and other jihadists.

He criticized Trump’s idea of killing or punishing the families of terrorists by saying it would require that the U.S. withdraw from international treaties like the Geneva Convention.

Toppling the Pro-Iran Syrian Dictatorship

Lindsey Graham said it is “imperative” that Assad be removed from power because he has killed nearly a quarter-million Syrians and the civil war will not end until he leaves. He also said that supporting Assad is akin to supporting Iran because he is their ally and a sponsor of terrorism.

Rick Santorum agrees that the U.S. must force Assad out of power, partially because of a dangerous perception in the region that the U.S. has chosen to ally with Iran and Shiite extremists against the Sunnis. He said that ISIS uses this as powerful anti-American propaganda.

Marco Rubio supports removing Assad from power because his reign is a “main reason” why ISIS exists. The Assad dictatorship’s oppression caused and sustains the civil war that enables ISIS to find safe havens. He also mentioned that Assad is an anti-American ally of Iran who sponsored terrorists in Iraq to kill U.S. servicemen.

Chris Christie supports removing Assad and says his rule is interconnected with the strength of ISIS. He said that ISIS recruits from the oppression of Sunnis by Assad and Iran.

John Kasich supports a policy of removing Assad from power with the help of regional allies like the bloc announced by Saudi Arabia.

Rand Paul opposes a policy of removing Assad from power and removing secular dictatorships more generally, arguing that history shows it leads to the rise of radical Islam. He said that supporting Syrian rebels means supporting the allies of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Paul also criticized proposals for a no-fly zone over Syria, saying it would risk World War III if Russian aircraft violated it and were shot down.

Donald Trump made a similar argument in opposing overthrowing Assad and reminding the audience of his opposition to the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Gaddafi in Libya. He said the U.S. should seize the oil of Iraq and use the revenue to pay those that served in the war.

Ted Cruz said that he would not have a foreign policy of democracy promotion, involvement in civil wars removing Assad from power. He predicted that ISIS would take over the rest of Syria if Assad falls.

Mike Huckabee indicated that he does not support a policy of removing Bashar Assad from power because he is not killing Americans. He compared supporting the Syrian opposition to the Obama Administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Iran

All of the candidates oppose the nuclear deal with Iran and the debate did not highlight their differences on whether they would immediately withdraw from the deal, alter it in cooperation with allies or only abandon it if Iranian violations are detected.

George Pataki argued that the deal does not technically exist and so the U.S. is not required to abide by it any longer. He said it was not ratified as a treaty by the Iranian government and they already violated the agreement by testing long-range ballistic missiles. The U.S. would therefore not be withdrawing from the agreement.

Rick Santorum said that the deal is effectively over because the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed in a recent report that Iran is still withholding information about its past nuclear weapons work.

Mike Huckabee said he would sanction Iran and stop unduly pressuring Israel, accusing the administration of putting more pressure on Israel over building bedrooms in Judea and Samara (also known as the West Bank) than on Iran for building nuclear weapons.

Muslim Brotherhood

Ted Cruz made sure to describe the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group when he criticized those who supported the removal of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Ben Carson explicitly referenced a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum that was released during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas. Carson mentioned how the memo indicates that the Brotherhood planned to use political correctness against us.

Mike Huckabee criticized the Obama Administration for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Libya

Ted Cruz blasted the Obama Administration and his Republican rivals who supported the NATO intervention in Libya’s civil war to topple the Gaddafi dictatorship. He characterized Gaddafi as a counter-terrorism partner. Cruz contrasted their argument that he would be replaced by moderates with the current instability and ISIS presence in Libya.

Marco Rubio countered that the U.S. did not start the revolution in Libya and that inaction would have brought results similar to what we see in Syria, where extremist militias and terrorists grow in power as the civil war continues. He pointed to Gaddafi’s record of sponsoring terrorism against the U.S., including the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the bombing of a club in Germany frequented by U.S. troops.

Rand Paul opposed the U.S. involvement in Libya’s civil war that removed Gaddafi from power, describing it as an example of a flawed strategy of undermining secular dictatorships in Muslim countries.

Lindsey Graham did not directly say whether he would deploy U.S. troops to Libya to fight ISIS’ advances in that country.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

Republicans Take a Stand against the PC Jihad at the Terror Debate

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Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Dec. 16, 2015:

The Republican debate may have been taking place in Vegas, but over it hung the shadows of the killings in San Bernardino. And many of the Republican candidates stepped up vowing a tougher fight against the Islamic State and other foreign enemies of the United States, including Russia and North Korea.

There were divisions over many of the details, but there was also a consensus that the war had to be won, the military had to be rebuilt and that the truth about terrorism had to be told.

“The war that we are fighting now against radical Islamist jihadists is one that we must win. Our very existence is dependent upon that,” Ben Carson said, after calling for a moment of silence for the victims of the San Bernardino Islamic terrorist attack.

Throughout the debate, Carson made political correctness into his target. America was a patient, he warned, who “would not be cured by political correctness.” He urged us to “get rid of all this PC stuff” and argued that we must do the right thing without worried about being labeled “Islamophobic”.

Specifically referencing the Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum from the Holy Land Foundation trial by name, Carson suggested that one of its tactics entailed using our own political correctness against us.

Ted Cruz agreed that political correctness is crippling our resistance to Islamic terror, stating, “It is not a lack of competence stopping us, it is political correctness.” Referencing the San Bernardino Jihadists who pledged allegiance to ISIS, the Tsarnaev brothers and Nidal Malik Hassan, Cruz warned that, “Political correctness is killing people”.

“Our enemy is not violent extremism,” Cruz said. “It is radical Islamic terrorism. We have a president who is unwilling to utter its name.”

Trump, Cruz and some of the other candidates took a firm and politically incorrect stand against Syrian Muslim migrants. “They’re not coming to this country,” Trump stated flatly. “We will not be admitting Jihadists as refugees,” Cruz said.

Some candidates on the stage disagreed. Jeb Bush warned that such a proposal will push the Muslim world away. “It will push the Muslim world, the Arab world away from us,” he pleaded. Kasich also spoke of “Our Arab friends.” Christie claimed that he had fought Islamic terror “with the Muslim-American community”.

Jeb argued that the United States could not beat ISIS without Muslim aid. “We can’t disassociate ourselves from peace loving Muslims. If we expect to do this on our own, we will fail,” he claimed.

Ted Cruz however pointed out that the head of the FBI had admitted that the Syrian refugees could not be vetted. Christie and other candidates also referenced the FBI statement as a basis for halting the Syrian migrant resettlement program. Rand Paul even noted that every terror attack had occurred as a result of legal immigration. Though there were indeed illegalities in some of the major terror cases.

Cruz positioned immigration as a vital part of the War on Terror. “The front line with ISIS isn’t just in Iraq and Syria; it’s in Kennedy Airport and the Rio Grande”. He also pointed out that even Bill Clinton had “deported 12 million illegal aliens.”

“This is an issue we have to be 100 percent right on,” Rubio conceded, warning of the consequence, “If we allow 9,999 Syrian refugees into the United States, and all of them are good people, but we allow one person in who’s an ISIS killer — we just get one person wrong, we’ve got a serious problem.”

All the Republican candidates on stage vowed to be tough on ISIS, but they differed over topics such as the NSA, the treatment of terrorists who are American citizens and regime change.

“If you’re an American citizen and you decide to join up with ISIS, we’re not going to read you your Miranda rights. You’re going to be treated as an enemy combatant, a member of an army attacking this country,” Rubio boldly warned.

“We have to put America’s security first,” Christie urged.

Defying boos over his suggestion that Syria’s access to the internet should be shut down or eavesdropped on, Trump challenged them, “These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you’re — you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations?”

Rand Paul stated that Trump’s proposals would “defy every norm that is America”. Trump however retorted, “So, they can kill us, but we can’t kill them?”

Speaking of broadening the scope of the attacks on ISIS, he said, “They may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives”.

Cruz called out Obama’s “photo op” campaign against ISIS of “launching between 15-30 air attacks a day”. He pointed out that, “In the first Persian Gulf War, we launched roughly 1,100 air attacks a day”.

Discussing the need for a decisive conclusion, Carson opined that with his medical background he believed that, “It’s actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job” in preference to a prolonged conflict.

He laid out a detailed plan for defeating ISIS by destroying their Caliphate, taking their oil and cutting off their command centers. “There will be boots on the ground and they’ll be over here, and they’ll be their boots if we don’t get them out of there now,” he said.

Ted Cruz suggested that Obama’s weakness fueled the perception that ISIS is winning. Jihadists had to face a scenario in which they would know that joining ISIS means “you are signing your death warrant.”

Carly Fiorina called for bringing back the “warrior class” of purged generals who were “retired early because they told President Obama things that he didn’t want to hear”.

There were heated exchanges over regime change in Libya and arming Sunni Islamist militias, some of which are allied with Al Qaeda.

Cruz spoke of searching “searching for these mythical moderate rebels. It’s like a purple unicorn. They never exist. These moderate rebels end up being jihadists.” Kasich however insisted that, “there are moderates in Syria.”

“We are backing people we have no idea who they are,” Trump said.

Cruz scathingly ridiculed the Arab Spring and its Libyan aftermath in which, “We were told then that there were these moderate rebels that would take over. Well, the result is, Libya is now a terrorist war zone run by jihadists.”

He became the second candidate to reference the Muslim Brotherhood when he discussed the coup against Mubarak and the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood, a “terrorist organization.”

Instead of being democracy promoters, “we ought to hunt down our enemies,” Cruz argued.

However Rubio contended that Assad is one of our enemies, mentioning his role in bringing the IEDs to Iraq that killed American soldiers and his part in aiding Islamic terror groups such as Hezbollah.

“We need to start thinking about the needs of the American people before we go and solve everybody else’s problems,” Carson cautioned.

Trump argued that the biggest threat we face was not, as Obama said, Global Warming, but “nuclear proliferation.”

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are responsible for the growth of ISIS because they precipitously withdrew from Iraq in 2011 against the advice of every single general,” Carly Fiorina said.

“Hillary Clinton has gotten every foreign policy challenge wrong,” she fiercely argued. “When she lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, she invited more terrorist attacks.”

There was widespread agreement that Obama and Hillary’s foreign policy was the root cause of the crisis.

“We’ve been betrayed by the leadership that Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have provided to this country over the last number of years,” Christie asserted, calling Obama a “feckless weakling”.

The Republican candidates were also united in a call for the return of American exceptionalism.

“Barack Obama does not believe America’s leadership in the world is a force for good,” Jeb Bush complained.

“There have always been people in American politics that wanted America to be more like the rest of the world. And In 2008, one of them was elected president,” Marco Rubio said.

While the debate did not settle many of the basic questions of theory and practice in the War on Terror, several candidates agreed that everyone on the stage would be a better president than Barack Obama.

“We’ve opened up a very big discussion that needed to be opened up.,” Trump said early on in the debate. And that may be the best description of this debate that continues, not only in Las Vegas or in San Bernardino, but around the tables of American households all across the country.