Published on Aug 13, 2014 by Steven Laboe
“Our blood and treasure is in their sand” says Jessie Jane Duff, Gunnery Sergeant USMC (Ret) to FNC’s Bill Hemmer as she shares her position on the Middle East crisis.
Published on Aug 13, 2014 by Steven Laboe
“Our blood and treasure is in their sand” says Jessie Jane Duff, Gunnery Sergeant USMC (Ret) to FNC’s Bill Hemmer as she shares her position on the Middle East crisis.
I am pleased to know the Obama administration has decided to provide weapons support to the Kurdish Peshmerga Army and bypass the Iraqi government — which under al-Maliki is in shambles. Our goal should be to assist in establishing an independent Kurdistan where Kurds, Christians and other religious minorities can live and thrive in peace. And a strategic part of that objective should be to destroy ISIS and deter the rising Islamist government in Turkey. After all, Southern Sudan was established based on religious persecution from the same folks: Islamists versus Christians.
And never forget that the Kurds are the words largest ethnic group without a homeland — the “Palestinians” are just hell-raising Arabs who were kicked out of Jordan.
But the purpose of this missive is to ask a question: How did ISIS kinda sneak up on the Obama administration? Do we have a failure in our intelligence gathering apparatus — or is this just an example of abject incompetence or worse, willful negligence?
Why do I ask this question?
Well, based on a report from the UK Daily Mail, ISIS was already ringing alarm bells on the radar screen of some major players a few years ago, and it might surprise you whose radar was twitching.
According to the report, “Lying among a pile of papers at the hideout in Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden was shot dead was a carefully worded 21-page letter. It warned of the rise of a new and ruthless group of Islamic extremists capable of such extreme brutality that al-Qaida should sever all links with them. In fact, it claimed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) had such complete disregard for civilian life that it could damage the reputation of al-Qaida – if such a thing were possible for an organization that has long traded in murderous terrorism.”
Here’s a particularly brutal video you may or may not want to watch on the Daily Mail’s website.
So let me get this right, Osama bin Laden was aware of ISIS back in 2011 and was concerned about ISIS damaging al-Qaida’s reputation? And how was it that President Obama referred to them as a “JV” team? Obama was beside himself with glee to lay claim to “killing” Osama bin Laden, but neglected to mention there was an even bigger threat looming.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/08/isis-extreme-even-al-qaida-worried-damage-reputation-video/#9mFe9PVgmJ2hwUzT.99
Read more at Allen West’s blog
The brutal terrorist organization known as ISIS or ISIL, made up of former al Qaeda fighters, has renamed itself the Islamic State. The name “Islamic State” is self-explanatory and was chosen based on the group’s goal of establishing a caliphate by conquering as much land in the middle east and around the world as possible, beheading and killing anyone standing in their way.
Regardless of the terrorist group’s own classification and stated goals to implement and maintain an Islamist caliphate going back years, the Obama administration wasn’t worried about the “absurd” concept and had no plans to stop it from happening according to then White House Counter-Terrorism Advisor and current CIA Secretary John Brennen. From 2011:
“Our strategy is also shaped by deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics over the past decade. I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counter-terrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are,” Brennen said.
Watch here (15:38 to 16:07):
Sounds a lot like the administration treated these guys like a junior varsity team…
Brennen argued the administration’s goal was to have “a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals,” yet ignored the greatest goal of all: an Islamic caliphate. We’re seeing the caliphate happen now. In fact, ISIS just started issuing caliphate/Islamic State passports.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has reportedly issued Islamic State passports as the group expressed desire to expand its territory in Middle East, parts of Asia and Europe.
The group has also threatened to to raise the jihadist flag over Downing Street and the White House.
The introduction of passports by ISIS is believed to be part of the group’s ongoing campaign of psychological warfare, with experts saying that the passports are little more than a symbolic gesture.
Photos of the passports based on the black jihadist flag flown by ISIS terrorists with inscription “State of the Islamic Caliphate” at the top of the passport, were circulated on social media websites.
As another reminder, this is the same administration that argued al Qaeda was “on the run” in 2012 while it was actually spreading. These are dangerous times and the administration has done very little to show Americans they take the threats and goals of al Qaeda/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State terrorists seriously.
Read more at Town Hall
By Adam Kredo:
The Obama administration has lifted longtime restrictions on Libyans attending flight schools in the United States and training here in nuclear science, according to a final amendment of the ban recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Less than two years after the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to sign off on an amendment reversing the ban, which was enacted following a wave or terrorist attacks in 1980s and prevents Libyans from studying these sensitive trades in the United States.
The original law effectively disqualified all Libyan nationals and those “acting on behalf of Libyan entities” from training in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields,” according to the ban.
DHS said the prohibition is irrelevant now since the United States and Libya have worked to “normalize their relationship,” according to the directive approved by the OMB.
“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to obtain studies or training in,” the amendment states.
“The United States Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted,” it says. “Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, is considering rescinding the restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan nationals.”
Members of the House Judiciary Committee expressed outrage on Monday about the rollback in the law, maintaining that Libyans continue to pose a security risk to the United States, particularly if they are given access to train in the aviation and nuclear fields.
The terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya,” the Judiciary Committee said in a statement. “Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility.”
“Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country,” the statement said.
Read more at Washington Free Beacon
By Adam Kredo:
Just two weeks after the Obama administration asked Congress to repeal the Iraq war authorization, the White House is failing to adequately explain to lawmakers the legal justification and concrete objectives for its airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), according to congressional insiders apprised of off-the-record briefings on the matter.
Questions are now being raised on Capitol Hill about how the White House intends to legally justify its military campaign, particularly in light of its efforts to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq (AUMF).
Obama administration officials waited to brief senators late last week after isolated airstrikes had been launched on multiple ISIL targets, according to Senate sources who provided the Free Beacon with a readout of the call, which was described as “pointless.”
The administration’s decision to bypass Congress before taking military action is reminiscent of its behavior in Libya, where air strikes also were authorized without congressional approval.
“They didn’t provide any firm answers or decisions,” said one senior Senate source apprised of the briefing. “The administration is saying that they’re going to authorize air strikes if ISIS gets close to U.S. personal or stationed personal, which in [our] mind, if there is a threat in the region you get your people out unless they’re military.”
This rationale from the White House is leading some to speculate that U.S. personnel in the region are being left in harms way “as collateral” because the Obama administration “can’t get his party and donor base to support further action in Iraq,” according to the source.
“That’s where a lot of the confusion is coming from” on Capitol Hill, the source added. “When there’s an imminent threat you get your civilian employees out of the region.”
The decision to take action against ISIL was made just weeks after White House national security adviser Susan Rice petitioned Congress to repeal the Iraq AUMF, a move that one Congressional insider described as “tone deaf” and “bad optics on the administration’s part.”
Read more at Free Beacon
American adversaries in the Middle East continue to work together across sectarian and religious divides to harm U.S. interests and security, requiring a more nuanced response from U.S. officials to address the turmoil in the region, experts say.
The Obama administration has claimed in recent weeks that the United States and Iran—a traditional U.S. enemy since its Islamic revolution 35 years ago—have a shared interest in pushing back the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), an al Qaeda offshoot, in Iraq. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said last month that the United States and Iran have “some history here of sharing common interests,” citing early cooperation on the Afghanistan war against al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Iran, led by a Shiite government, is typically viewed as opposing hardline Sunni groups such as the Taliban and al Qaeda as part of an intra-religious dispute among Muslims.
However, Iran has a long history of harboring and supporting al Qaeda. European intelligence reports indicate that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, founder of the group al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) that eventually morphed into ISIL, operated from Iran after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Zarqawi used protection from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to rebuild the terrorist group’s network and prepare for its expansion into Iraq.
The U.S. Treasury Department has called Iran “a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The department in February sanctioned three IRGC officers for allegedly providing support to the Taliban as well as to a senior member of al Qaeda who allegedly used Iran to move Sunni fighters into Syria.
“Iran has a long history of fomenting violent conflict and inflaming sectarian divides throughout the Middle East including in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq,” said the group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) in recent press release.
“Depictions of Iran as a source of stability are therefore erroneous and short-sighted, as are assertions that increased Iranian involvement in Iraq will serve American and Iraqi interests,” UANI added.
Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq for the George W. Bush administration, said in an email that U.S. diplomats often only view the Middle East through “a sectarian lens.”
“Sunnis and Shi’ites show no compunction working together to screw over America, which their respective extremists consider a bigger threat,” he said. “Heck, sometimes it seems that the State Department never bothered to read the 9/11 report which suggested that the attacks might not have happened had Iran not facilitated the travel to training camps of the 9/11 hijackers.”
“Sure, at first glance, Secretary of State John Kerry may believe that the U.S. and Iran share an interest in Iraq,” he added. “But just because firefighters and arsonists share an interest in fire doesn’t mean they are on the same side.”
In Iraq, ISIL partnered last month with former Baathist generals under Saddam Hussein’s regime to seize the key northern city of Mosul. Religious extremist groups such as al Qaeda have traditionally sought to overthrow secular Middle East regimes such as Hussein’s Baathists.
Top U.S. officials have recently expressed grave concerns about the potential for foreign fighters in ISIL to commit terrorist attacks in the United States.
The secular-religious rift in the Middle East also did not stop Hussein from supporting jihadist groups when it suited the former Iraqi dictator’s interests. Hussein reportedly provided safe haven, training, and arms to these groups as long as they agreed to attack countries he wanted to pressure.
Hundreds of thousands of documents obtained in Iraq since 2003, compiled in a report by the Institute for Defense Analyses, further confirmed Hussein’s links to terrorist groups.
Read more at Free Beacon
According to Arab News, (June 2, 2014) a high official in the Obama administration is “encouraging Riyadh and Tehran to end their dispute.” This was quoted in Kuwait’s Al-Rai Arabic daily in an interview with an unnamed U.S. diplomat. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah ended his visit to Tehran.
Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh in a quest to establish a détente between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Hagel got his cue from earlier remarks made by Iran’s President Rouhani, suggesting that Iran would like to improve its ties with Saudi Arabia.
It seems that the Obama administration is now serving as an agent for Iran. The Islamic Republic that has encouraged street demonstrations calling for “death to America,” is the same regime that has been working hard to remove U.S. influence in the region. Iran is an oppressive and radical Islamic state backing the Assad regime in Syria which murdered over 200,000 of its own people, and used chemical agents to poison thousands of innocent civilians. The Obama administration has hitherto not been able to stop the Tehran regime from producing advanced centrifuges. Iran has continued its quest for nuclear weapons, despite its ongoing nuclear talks with the P5+1 (U.S. China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany).
Saudi-Iranian reconciliation talks are scheduled to take place in the middle of June, and the Obama administration hopes for a new era in the relationship between the two Gulf powers. The Saudis are less than thrilled about the impending talks. Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi political analyst, is skeptical about the talks, pointing out that “Iran has occupied Syria,” and is backing the Assad regime. He added that, the “Iranians want to drag us into an extended dialogue and divert attention from the core issue of Syria.”
Iran’s mouthpiece, Press TV reported (April 27, 2014) that Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal will be removed from his post in a second phase of changes in the ruling family’s key positions. It also revealed that on April 15, 2014, Saudi King Abdullah has replaced Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief with Youssef al-Idrisi. Press TV added that Bandar, the former Saudi ambassador to the U.S., is known to have had close ties with former U.S. President George W. Bush, and that he was an advocate of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Iranian interpretation that is apparently stemming from Press TV is that President Obama, in seeking to reverse his predecessor’s (G.W. Bush) foreign policy, has persuaded the Saudis to get rid of the anti-Iranian elements among the Kingdom’s leadership. Apparently, this has resulted in the removal of Prince Bandar, and the impending retirement of Saud al-Faisal.
Read more at Front Page
By Daniel Wiser:
The Obama administration never actually defined what the al Qaeda terrorist group is before declaring that it was on the path to defeat, according to a new report that says the group now has its largest-ever global presence.
The report from Mary Habeck, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and author of numerous books on al Qaeda, argues that the administration’s vague definition of the terrorist group has hampered America’s response to its global threat.
President Barack Obama’s “National Strategy for Counterterrorism,” released in June 2011, divided al Qaeda into three parts: its “core leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” its “affiliates,” and its “adherents.” While never fully explaining what it meant by “core,” the strategy stated in a footnote that affiliates included groups and individuals whom the United States is not authorized to use force against.
Adherents included individuals who engage in violence to further the goals of al Qaeda, “regardless of whether such violence is targeted at the United States, its citizens, or its interests.”
Habeck said the administration’s strategy implied such a narrow view of al Qaeda that it only permitted attacks against groups and individuals who planned, committed, or aided the Sep. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That policy is virtually the same as the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
However, many of those originally tied to the attacks have been killed through military engagement or drone strikes. “People have not been added to this list,” Habeck said at an AEI event, adding that al Qaeda has since replaced its leaders and expanded its affiliates.
Al Qaeda now has active insurgencies in nine countries compared to just three in 2011, according to the report, with the latest arising in Syria and Iraq. Affiliates that do not directly interact with al Qaeda’s core leadership still endorse its goals and threaten U.S. interests, Habeck said.
“It doesn’t matter whether you have command and control behind these groups with this specific ideology, because they’re committed to the same objectives,” she said. “It will cause precisely the same amount of damage whether or not there’s command and control from the core.”
Al Qaeda’s stated goals often do not mention the United States, she said. While the group and its affiliates aim to expel all U.S. forces from the Middle East, they also seek to impose an extremist vision of sharia law on unwilling Muslims, overthrow secular leaders, and establish a new caliphate.
Read more at Free Beacon
With the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings approaching, the New York Times made yet another attempt to exonerate the Obama Administration of responsibility for one of its manifest failures, claiming that an inspector general’s report on the bombings was an “exoneration of the F.B.I.,” as it showed that “the Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that would most likely have led to more extensive scrutiny of him at least two years before the attack.”
See? The bombing was all the fault of that scoundrel Putin. It had nothing to do with the FBI, because of fecklessness and political correctness, failing to act properly on information the Russians gave them.
Full disclosure: I used to give FBI agents and other law enforcement and military personnel training on the teachings of Islam about jihad warfare against and subjugation of non-Muslims, so that they would understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy the United States as a free society, and be better equipped to counter them. I provided this training free of charge, out of a sense of patriotic duty, and it was well received: I received certificates of appreciation from the United States Central Command and the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group.
But as I explain in detail in my book Arab Winter Comes to America, all that ended on October 19, 2011, when Islamic supremacist advocacy groups, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that FBI counter-terror trainers (including me) and training materials that referred to Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism be discarded, and agents educated by them be retrained. John Brennan, then the U.S. Homeland Security Advisor and now the director of the CIA, readily agreed in a response that was written on White House stationery – thereby emphasizing how seriously the Obama Administration took this demand.
Subsequently, as I detail in the book, politically correct willful ignorance then took hold in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies – to the extent that after the Boston Marathon bombing, then-FBI director Robert Mueller admitted that the bureau had not investigated the Islamic Society of Boston, where the Tsarnaev brothers attended mosque, and had not even visited it except as part of an “outreach” program – despite the fact that it was founded by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is currently in prison for financing al Qaeda, and was attended by convicted jihad terrorists such as Tarek Mehanna and Aafia Siddiqui.
Read more at Front Page
The extension of the peace talks means only one thing: that Abbas will be able to use the new time given to him to try to extract further concessions from the U.S. and Israel, while all the time bearing in mind that Obama and Kerry are willing to do almost anything to avoid a situation where they are forced to admit that their efforts and initiatives in the Middle East have failed.
The communiqué issued by Arab heads of state at the end of their summit in Kuwait this week shows that the Arab countries do not hold the Obama Administration in high regard or even take it seriously.
The Arab leaders also proved once again that they do not care much about their own people, including the Palestinians.
The Arab leaders, at the end of their two-day meeting, announced their “total rejection of the call to consider Israel a Jewish state.”
This announcement came despite pressure from the Obama Administration on the Arab leaders to refrain from rejecting the demand.
A top Arab diplomat was quoted as saying that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry contacted Arab leaders on the eve of their 25th summit in Kuwait to “warn” them against rejecting Israel as a Jewish state.
Kerry, according to the diplomat, asked the Arab leaders completely to ignore the issue of Israel’s Jewishness and not to make any positive or negative reference to it in their final statement.
Kerry did not want the Arab heads of state to repeat the same “mistake” that the Arab League foreign ministers made on March 9, when they too issued a statement declaring their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
The Arab leaders, however, decided to ignore Kerry’s warning and went on to endorse Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal.
The Arab summit’s statement was published shortly before Kerry cut short a European tour to hold an emergency meeting with Abbas in Amman in a last-minute effort to salvage the peace process with Israel.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cut short a European tour to hold an emergency meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, pictured above on March 26, 2014. (Image source: U.S. Sate Department)
In light of the Arab summit’s announcement, all that is left for Kerry to do is to put heavy pressure on Abbas to agree to the extension of the peace talks after the April 29 deadline set by the U.S. Administration.
At the meeting in Amman, Kerry warned Abbas that failure to comply with his demand would result in U.S. sanctions against the PA, including suspending financial aid and closing the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington.
Emboldened by the Arab leaders’ backing, however, Abbas does not seem to take Kerry’s threats seriously, particularly in light of previous threats by the U.S. Administration that were never carried out.
In 2012, Abbas had also ignored U.S. threats and pressure by seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The Obama Administration did not take any retaliatory measures against the PA or against Abbas himself.
Like most of the Arab leaders, Abbas apparently understands that the Obama Administration has been weakened to a point where it is no longer able to impose its will on any Arab leader.
The way things appear now, it is Abbas who is setting new conditions and coming up with new demands, evidently from a conviction that the Obama Administration has no choice but to succumb.
Abbas today seems to feel confident enough to set his own conditions for accepting Kerry’s demand to extend the peace talks.
Abbas has therefore now come up with a new requirement: that Israel release three senior Palestinians from Israeli prison: Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, PFLP Secretary-General Ahmed Sa’dat and Gen. Fuad Shobaki. All three are serving lengthy prison sentences for their role in terrorist activities, including the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
The Palestinians also continue to accuse the Obama Administration of exerting heavy pressure on Abbas to soften his position and accept some of Israel’s demands, including the issue of Israel’s Jewishness. Some senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah have even accused Obama and Kerry of practicing “political and financial blackmail” against Abbas.
Abbas seems assured that Obama and Kerry are so desperate to avoid a collapse of the peace talks that they will be willing to accept anything he or the Arab leaders ask for.
The Arab summit stance on the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is a blow to the Obama Administration’s efforts to achieve a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
There is a feeling among many Arabs and Palestinians that the Obama Administration has no clue as to what it wants from the Arab world. They point out that the Obama Administration has failed in its policies toward several Arab countries, especially Egypt, Libya and Syria.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
Al Qaeda is laying the groundwork to relaunch in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the United States and other international forces.
The Associated Press reports:
Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari has been cementing local ties and bringing in small numbers of experienced militants to train a new generation of fighters, and U.S. military and intelligence officials say they have stepped up drone and jet missile strikes against him and his followers in the mountainous eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The objective is to keep him from restarting the large training camps that once drew hundreds of followers before the U.S.-led war began.
The officials say the counterterrorism campaign – a key reason the Obama administration agreed to keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014 – could be jeopardized by the possibility of a total pullout.
Officials that spoke on the condition of anonymity say that unless the United States is able to keep a presence in Afghanistan, leaders of the terrorist group will be able to plan new attacks against U.S. targets from the country.
The administration would like to leave up to 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after combat operations end on Dec. 31, to continue training Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But without the agreement that would authorize international forces to stay in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has threatened to pull all troops out, and NATO forces would follow suit. After talking to Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week, Obama ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for the so-called zero option.
U.S. military and intelligence officials say unless they can continue to fly drones and jets from at least one air base in Afghanistan – either Bagram in the north or Jalalabad in the east – al-Qahtani and his followers could eventually plan new attacks against U.S. targets, although experts do not consider him one of the most dangerous al-Qaida leaders.
By Adam Kredo:
Iranian oil exports soared in January, hitting new highs just months after the United States consented to billions of dollars in economic sanctions relief under the interim nuclear deal.
Exports of Iranian crude oil jumped to 1.32 million barrels, up from December’s high of 1.06 million barrels, according to data from the International Energy Agency.
The spike in exports—mainly to Japan, China, and India—has helped Iran’s once-ailing economy stabilize and decrease inflation.
Iranian oil exports have steadily risen since negotiations with the West restored confidence in Tehran’s economy. The increase runs counter to a promise by the Obama administration that “Iran’s oil exports will remain steady at their current level of around 1 million barrels per day.”
The significant rise in oil exports has led some experts to accuse the Obama administration of misleading the public about the amount of sanctions relief provided under the interim nuclear deal.
While the White House said Iran would receive no more than $7 billion in relief, these exports say that the rise in oil exports and other economic spikes will give Iran “well more than $20 billion.”
“These numbers … cast doubt on the accuracy of the administration’s estimates for sanctions relief,” former Ambassador Mark Wallace, CEO of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, said in a statement. “The $6 or $7 billion estimate does not take into account the tens of billions of dollars Iran will reap from increased oil sales.”
“It is becoming more and more evident that the Geneva deal provided Iran with disproportionate sanctions relief, in exchange for far less significant concessions regarding its nuclear program,” Wallace said.
Read more at Free Beacon
Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran:
The case against a middle-aged English-speaking “pirate” ended and now the question becomes, can Ali Mohamed Ali get asylum in the US thus setting up the problematic scenario that the Guantanamo Bay prisoners have also posed for out legal system. Try them in the US and if they aren’t convicted, then what?
We already know our asylum system is a mess—70% or more are frauds and cheats.
But there is more, did the Obama Justice Department screw-up?
From Politico (hat tip: Judy):
The failed prosecution of an alleged Somali pirate — and the fact that that failure could leave him living freely, and permanently, inside U.S. borders — is highlighting anew the risks of trying terror suspects in American courts.
Just a few weeks ago, Ali Mohamed Ali was facing the possibility of a mandatory life sentence in a 2008 shipjacking off the coast of Yemen — an incident much like the one dramatized in the film “Captain Phillips.” Now, the Somali native is in immigration detention in Virginia and seeking permanent asylum in the United States.
Ali, who was accused of piracy for acting as a translator and negotiator for a crew of pirates, was partially acquitted by a jury in November after a trial in Washington. Prosecutors initially vowed a retrial but decided last month to drop the rest of the case against him.
That’s just the kind of situation that opponents of U.S. criminal trials for Al Qaeda suspects caught abroad have long feared: The government falls short at trial — and the courts eventually order an accused terror figure freed to live legally among Americans.
“It’s a trial, not a play. You don’t know how it’s going to end,” said Cully Stimson, a former military prosecutor and defense official now at The Heritage Foundation. “Justice has all sorts of twists and turns. … It really has to be thought through at the highest level of government before we take action to bring someone here.”
One current federal terrorism prosecutor said the Ali case and the potential for his eventual release is another reason why foreign Al Qaeda suspects picked up overseas should not be brought to the United States but should instead be detained at Guantánamo or some other facility.
“It’s a significant risk … to say, ‘Oh well, we’ll just turn him over to the immigration service’” if a criminal case falls apart, said the prosecutor, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “You can’t count on the justice system working out just the way you want it to.”
Even some proponents of closing Guantánamo and relying on American civilian courts to prosecute alleged terrorists agree that the collapse of the Ali case highlights the potential downside of bringing suspected terrorists to the United States for trial.
Read the next section about other cases and the pitfalls. Then back to Ali’s case near the end of the article. This was a dumb move by someone in the Obama Justice Department! Ali had a good claim that he was a hostage negotiator, an official in Somalia, and seems to have been an unlikely pirate! No, not getting soft on Somalis! Just something stinks about this whole government case!
The Ali case went off the rails for the government in the face of his claims that he was solely trying to resolve the hijacking of the M/V CEC Future— an event in which 13 crew members were held hostage for 71 days. While prosecutors contended Ali was “every bit as responsible” as those who carried weapons, the middle-aged English speaker, who had spent more than two decades in the United States, may not have seemed like an eye-patch-wearing or AK-47-toting type. [What he was doing in the US for 20 years (refugee?) and not becoming a citizen is a question I would like answered.---ed]
By the time of his arrest in 2011, Ali was serving as education minister for an autonomous area in Somalia. Officials lured him back to the United States by inviting him to attend an education conference. He was arrested when he landed at Dulles International Airport.
My guess is that he will be granted asylum.
by Majid Rafizadeh:
Thanks to the Obama administration’s uninformed and flimsy foreign policy decisions, the year 2013 has distinctively been a blessing for the independent Islamist parties and fundamentalist Islamic governments throughout the Middle East and the world. Although it is somewhat difficult to predict what will happen in 2014 regarding the Islamists movements and prominent challenges within that (along with Iran’s nuclear ambitions), several issues can be projected based on the trends and polices carried out in 2013.
Firstly, the foreign and domestic policies carried out by the Obama administration have led to several key trends. In 2013, Islamists and fundamentalists affiliated with Al-Qaeda and other Islamists parties have gained an unprecedented level of power, organization, and coordination, particularly across the Middle East and Africa. In Syria, for example, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has emerged as among the most powerful jihadi groups. This particular Islamist group, which seeks to rule Syria and the Levant just as the Taliban did in Afghanistan (along with fighting against infidels), has become more centralized through obtaining a unified command-and-control structure, ideologically and politically.
Reportedly, this Islamist party— which has been behind thousands of beheadings, in many cases proudly beheading people and showing it on videos— is advocating for the systematic genocide of Shi’ite Muslims or others who are “damaging Mohammed’s legacy” in perpetrating their beliefs. Currently, ISIL is the most powerful oppositional group in Syria, even overshadowing the Free Syrian Army and other rebels. It is argued that many of the arms sent to the Free Syrian Army were actually obtained by several Islamist groups, including ISIL. In late 2013, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights labeled the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams as “the strongest group in Northern Syria.”
Beheading ordinary people, taking videos (such as the reported beheading of a young Christian girl in this widespread video, or others as seen in this video), targeting non-Muslims (primarily Christians), raping women, and kidnapping non-Muslims have become daily practice in several Muslim countries, carried out by either independent Islamist groups or by those who have recently gained control of the sovereignty of the state.
According to an Amnesty International report this week, Islamist militants are perpetrating “a shocking catalogue of abuses” conducted in secret jails, including torture, flogging, and killings after summary trials. Amnesty International added that, “Those abducted and detained by ISIL include children as young as eight who are held together with adults in the same cruel and inhuman conditions.” Despite all the atrocities and brutalities committed by the ISIL and other Isalmist groups, recent reports from various credible news outlets including Reuters indicate that the Obama administration has attempted to reach out to these Islamist groups, with the Islamists rejecting the administration’s overtures. Do these attempts empower and embolden these Islamist groups to further carry out their atrocities and barbarity?
Read more at Front Page