Keane: Saudis Don’t Believe Obama Admin Would Defend Them in Conflict with Iran

Washington Free Beacon, by Aaron Kliegman, Jan. 5, 2015:

Gen. Jack Keane said on Tuesday that Saudi officials have told him they believe the United States under the Obama administration would not defend Saudi Arabia if it came into conflict with Iran and are waiting for a new American president to take office.

Keane, who is a former Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army, told Fox News host Bill Hemmer that the Iran nuclear deal and American disengagement from the Middle East, among other factors, have all contributed to the perception in Riyadh that Washington is trying to create a new strategic partnership with Iran at the expense of Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region.

“I can tell you for a fact because I’ve spoken to Saudi officials, they believe that the United States during this [Obama] administration … would not defend them if they got into a conflict,” Keane said. “And that’s a fact. They are waiting for this administration to go.”

Keane made this statement while analyzing the ongoing Saudi-Iranian feud that has reached new heights after Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday, which was extended the next day to include all flights and trade.

These moves were triggered when Iranian protestors attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran on Saturday, which was in response to the Saudi government executing a prominent Shiite cleric who had been calling for a new regime in Riyadh. Events of the past few days escalated the ongoing competition between the two Middle Eastern powers for geopolitical influence, a rivalry fueled in part by strong ethnic and religious differences.

sunni-shiaIran is a mostly Persian, Shiite country while Saudi Arabia is Arab and sees itself as the vanguard of Sunni Islam.

But the dispute goes beyond these factors, according to Keane. He argued on Fox News that seeing the Saudi-Iranian spat as simply a Sunni versus Shia conflict is a “superficial understanding of what’s taking place.”

“This is Iran seeking regional domination,” Keane continued. “They have control and influence over four countries already – that’s Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. And they are seeking to undermine the Sunni Arab countries in the region.”

Keane believes the “accelerant” for this increasingly tense strategic environment has been the nuclear deal struck this summer between the United States, along with five other world powers, and Iran.

“That has been done at the expense of our Arab allies in the region.”

Keane added that the Obama administration’s “overall policy of disengagement from the region” has led to the Saudis’ alienation with the United States, “which began politically with Iraq in 2009, militarily in 2011, and one thing after another. Not dealing with the Syrian issue early on in 2012, when his national security team had recommended arming and training the Syrian rebels, not responding to the chemical [red] line that was crossed over by [Syrian president] Assad’s regime.”

Analysts have also cited the lack of U.S. action in supporting former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak when he was ousted from power in 2011 as an important turning point in the downturn in relations between Riyadh and Washington. Mubarak was close to the Saudi government, and Saudi leaders were furious with the Obama administration over its handling of the Arab Spring in Egypt. Mubarak was also a strategic ally of the United States.

Beyond American policy, Keane told Hemmer that the other important cause of growing Saudi aggression to counter Iranian expansion is the new leadership in Riyadh.

The general described how Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who came to power in January of 2015, and his son and deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, who is also Minister of Defense and rose to prominence after his father took the throne, have both taken a more aggressive posture toward Iran.

“That is why military action has taken place in Yemen against the Iranians. They were willing to push back very aggressively to do that.”

Keane added that Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to form a 34-nation coalition to fight terrorism is also the result of the Saudi leaders’ outlook on the region.

Obama White House Turns To Islamists Who Demonize Terror Investigations

by John Rossomando
IPT News
December 28, 2015

Jihadist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris have Americans on edge. Yet part of the Obama White House’s response to the attacks has been to invite Islamist groups that routinely demonize the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies to the White House to discuss a religious discrimination. “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away,” President Obama said in his speech following the San Bernardino attack.

But partnering with such organizations sends the wrong message to the American people, said Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AFID).

“I think it says a lot when the president uses those organizations that have an ACLU-type mentality. They should have a seat at the table. That’s fine,” Jasser said.  “But not to include groups, which have completely different focuses about counter-radicalization, counter-Islamism creates this monolithic megaphone for demonization of our government and demonization of America that ends up radicalizing our community.”

A White House spokesperson acknowledged to the Investigative Project on Terrorism that the Dec. 14 meeting on countering anti-Muslim animus included Hassan Shibly, executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida chapter. The same forum – attended by Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – also included Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates; Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab-American Institute (AAI); Mohamed Magid, imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS); and Hoda Hawa, director of policy and advocacy with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) among others.

The White House guests, or the organizations they represent, have long histories of criticizing counter-terror investigations. CAIR leads the pack. Its Philadelphia chapter is advertising a workshop, “The FBI and Entrapment in the Muslim Community,” which features a spider with an FBI badge on its back, spinning a web of entrapment around an image of a mosque. The workshop “provides the tools needed to prevent entrapment of community members to become terrorists in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Since 9/11, CAIR has repeatedly taken the side of defendants accused of financing or plotting attacks, calling their prosecutions a “witch hunt” against the Muslim community.  For example, CAIR denounced the prosecution of Sami Al-Arian, who turned out to be the secretary of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s governing board, as “politically motivated” and a result of the “Israelization of American policy and procedures.”

A year ago, CAIR similarly protested the incarceration of Aafia Siddiqui, aka “Lady Al Qaeda” – convicted in 2010 of trying to kill two FBI agents. The protest came after the Islamic State (ISIS) offered to spare the lives of executed American photojournalist James Foley and aid worker Kayla Mueller in exchange for Siddiqui’s release.

CAIR also denounced the December 2001 shutdown of the Holy Land Foundation for Hamas support, saying, “…there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam.”

Demonizing law enforcement and spreading “the idea that America and Western societies [are] anti-Muslim – the whole Islamophobia mantra is part of the early steps of radicalization so that Muslims get separated out of society,” Jasser said. “These groups certainly aren’t on the violent end of the Islamist continuum, but if there’s a conveyer belt that goes towards radicalization then it certainly starts with this siege and separatist mentality.”

CAIR has used such inflammatory imagery and rhetoric for years, with its San Francisco chapter removing a poster urging Muslims to “Build a Wall of Resistance – Don’t Talk to the FBI” in 2011 after the IPT reported on it.

Later that year, a CAIR-New York official told a Muslim audience that FBI agents would break the law to force them to talk. That includes threats and “blackmail, seriously blackmail; that’s illegal,” Lamis Deek told the audience. “But they’ll do it.”

Jasser blames CAIR and others which spread similar rhetoric for the increased fear of Islam and Muslims in America since 9/11 because they refuse to discuss Islamic extremism and the role Muslims have in fixing the problem.

1324“This creates a climate where people don’t trust us to be part of the solution,” Jasser said. “People say that if you aren’t part of the solution then you are part of the problem, which creates more fear and distrust.”

Neither Jasser nor the AIFD, which advocates for “liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state,” were invited to the White House meeting. Also shut out were Jasser’s colleagues in the new Muslim Reform Movement, whose members “reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam” and stand “for secular governance, democracy and liberty. Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights.”

The White House did not reply to a request for comment about Jasser’s characterization of these groups; however, it previously said it engaged CAIR because of “their work on civil rights issues” despite the group’s Hamas ties.

Former FBI Associate Deputy Director Buck Revell also finds the White House’s choice of Muslim groups troubling.

“It’s a very confusing time and circumstance when you have the White House dealing with people who have fronted for the Muslim Brotherhood and are the spokespeople for Hamas in the United States and you bring them in for a conference at the White House and say they are supposed to speak for the Muslim community in America,” Revell said. “It’s unhelpful to have the White House essentially fronting for groups that want to make it harder to reach the jihadists in our society and in effect flush them out.”

Khera’s group Muslim Advocates has a pending lawsuit against the New York Police Department regarding its surveillance of mosques and other Islamic institutions using undercover police officers and informants.

“One of our key priorities at Muslim Advocates is ending racial and religious profiling by law enforcement,” Khera says in a YouTube video supporting the suit. “We’ve done work to combat profiling by the FBI, by Customs and Border Protection and now more recently we’ve had concerns about the way the New York Police Department – the nation’s largest police department – has been conducting itself.”

Like CAIR, Khera has called the FBI’s sting operations and informants against potential jihadists “entrapment operations” that rope in individuals who might otherwise never engage in terrorist activity.

CAIR’s Shibly also used the entrapment narrative in a June 2014 blog post in which he argued that the “FBI entrapment program targeting the Muslim community” was an example of tyranny. Many other CAIR representatives, such as Michigan director Dawud Walid, previously alleged the FBI has “recruited more so-called extremist Muslims than al-Qaida themselves.”

AAI stops short of embracing the entrapment narrative but labels surveillance programs by the NYPD and other government agencies “unconstitutional, ineffective, and counterproductive.” New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio disbanded the NYPD unit responsible for infiltrating the city’s mosques and Muslim gathering places looking for potential terrorists in April 2014 under pressure from Muslim groups.

Another group, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), which counts Magid as a member, published an article in 2008 written by Hatem al-Haj, a member of its fatwa committee, giving religious justification for not cooperating with authorities. Al-Haj wrote it was “impermissible” for Muslims to work with the FBI because of the “harm they inflict on Muslims.”

However, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which formerly accused the FBI of entrapment, conceded in 2013 that informants can be useful detecting terror cells and keeping them off balance.

“To be fair, informants at times can be effective in counterterrorism investigations even against cellular structures. Because terrorist groups are concerned about their operational security, fear of informants can create and increase tensions within a terrorist cell. As a result, it may generate enough paranoia that a cell may abandon a planned operation,” MPAC said in its 2013 report “Building Bridges to Strengthen America.”

Looking for jihadis before they strike is a bit like looking for a “needle in a haystack,” so sting operations are useful in finding them before it’s too late, according to Revell.  He says such operations can be useful in preventing the next San Bernardino.

“If you don’t find them when they are talking jihad and you have to wait until they take an action then it’s too late to be able to prevent casualties and ensure that the public is safe,” Revell said. “There certainly is knowledge among those looking to do any type of jihadi activity that there is a force out there that is countering them and that they need to try to cover their activities to the greatest extent possible.”

In the past year, the Islamic State (ISIS) has published at least two documents instructing its jihadis how to evade being lured into stings by the FBI or other law-enforcement agencies.  The ISIS manual “Safety and Security guidelines of the Lone Wolf Mujahideen” devotes a chapter to evading FBI stings by testing the weapons they receive prior to using them in an attack.

Khera’s organization stood front and center in 2011 when Muslim groups called on the Obama administration to purge FBI training materials that they deemed offensive.  Shecomplained in a Sept. 15, 2011 letter that counterterrorism materials then being used to train FBI agents about Islam used “woefully misinformed statements about Islam and bigoted stereotypes about Muslims.” Such allegedly misinformed statements included characterizing zakat – the almsgiving tax mandate on all Muslims – as a “funding mechanism for combat” and that “Accommodation and compromise between [Islam and the West] are impermissible and fighting [for Muslims] is obligatory.”

Yet numerous Muslim commentators, including from the Herndon, Va.-based International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), describe zakat as a funding mechanism for jihad. A footnote for Surah 9:60 found in “The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an” published with editorial assistance from IIIT, says that zakat can be used among other things to help “(4) those who are struggling and striving in Allah’s Cause by teaching or fighting or in duties assigned to them by the righteous Imam, who are thus unable to earn their ordinary living.”

The AMJA issued a fatwa in August 2011 stating that zakat could be used to “support legitimate Jihad activities.”

Top Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi similarly states in his book, Fiqh of Jihad, that zakat may be spent to finance “the liberation of Muslim land from the domination of the unbelievers,” particularly against Israel and India in Kashmir.

Numerous Islamic charities have been cited or closed down in connection with terrorist financing since the September 11 attacks. Qaradawi’s actions back up his words. In 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the Union of Good, a network of charities headed by Qaradawi, for Hamas fundraising. That same year a federal court jury convicted the founders of the Richardson, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation (HLF) for illegally financing Hamas.

“The government’s policy has inflicted considerable harm,” MPAC’s Salam al-Marayatiwrote in 2001 after federal authorities closed the Benevolence International Fund (BIF). “By effectively shutting down these charities, it has given Americans the false impression that American Muslims are supporting terrorists. It has also given the Muslim world a similarly false impression that America is intolerant of a religious minority.”

Representatives of MPAC, CAIR and Muslim Advocates each condemned the HLF prosecution or its subsequent verdict.

In the end, the White House’s decision to empower these groups sends a mixed message to the American people that it isn’t fully interested in rooting out the causes of jihadist terror and preventing future attacks.

Great Britain Condemns Muslim Brotherhood for Terrorism Ties; Obama Isolated in Close Ties to Jihadist Organization

muslim_brotherhoodTerror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton, Dec. 25, 2015:

Great Britain just published the results of its exhaustive investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood and it has joined the growing chorus of nations–including Islamic Arab nations such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt–who have fingered the Muslim Brotherhood for ties to Jihadist terrorism.

The Obama administration in the US now stands lone in its close, warm ties to what can only be properly described as the granddaddy of all modern Sunni Jihadist organizations. This illustrates the increasing degree to which Obama has become isolated in the world amid appearing completely out of touch with the reality of the Jihadist threat.

While even the overtly socialist Prime Minister of France, Francois Hollande, has embarked upon a crackdown against Jihad in France and an escalated air campaign against the Islamic State in the Middle East, the American president seems all too typically aloof and detached from what has become the overwhelming security concern of the American people.

The Obama administration has had close ties to American Muslim Brotherhood organizations since before he was even elected in 2008. Prominent members of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) have served in the Obama campaigns and even in the Obama administration.

What most Americans still do not know–including most Republicans–is that ISNA is Muslim Brotherhood and was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest successful terrorism financing prosecution in U.S. history: the U.S. v. the Holy Land Foundation. It was the intention of the Dallas U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute ISNA–along with other Muslim Brotherhood unindicted co-conspirators, notably the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), but then-newly minted Attorney General Eric Holder shut the prosecution down.

This was followed up by Obama’s speech to the Muslim world from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt back in 2009, in which he insisted that the Egyptian regime–a long-time U.S. ally–allow members of the Muslim Brotherhood to sit in the front row.

The Obama administration’s ties to an organization that has been increasingly exposed as a Jihadist terrorist organization cannot be overemphasized.

Up to this point, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has gone to great lengths to provide a unified public front with Obama on security issues, but the evidence gathered by his government apparently left him with no choice but to break ranks with Obama when it came to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Among the main findings of the British report, which expose the degree to which Obama has sympathized with and found common cause with a supremacist, totalitarian organization and doctrine:

• The Muslim Brotherhood seeks the unification of the Islamic world under a Caliphate ruled by Shariah. (This is the exact same goal as the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and every other Jihadist organization in the world.)

• The Muslim Brotherhood has a clandestine, secretive cell structure around the world.

• The Muslim Brotherhood has a large, sophisticated international clandestine network of commercial enterprises, student organizations, small businesses and charities.

• HAMAS, a vicious Jihadist group designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US government, is in fact the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood outside of the Palestinian areas, such as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, provide funding to HAMAS in support of its violent Jihad against Israel.

• The Muslim Brotherhood’s founding fathers and ideological leaders, notably Hassan al Banna and Sayid Qutb, endorsed and supported violent attacks to promote the Muslim Brotherhood’s goals. Both of these monsters remain revered by the rank and file members, as well as leaders, of the Muslim Brotherhood today. Their views on the use of violence inspired Al Qaeda and continue to inspire violent Jihad today.

• Some Muslim Brotherhood leaders condemned the 9/11 attacks–but only in the context of claiming that it as a false flag conspiracy designed to give the U.S. an excuse to wage war against the Islamic world. In other words, according to these Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Al Qaeda didn’t carry out the attacks, America did.

• The Muslim Brotherhood leadership today opposes violence only when and where the use of violence would be counterproductive and stand in the way of their goals. When they see violence as serving their purposes, they absolutely support violent Jihad.

• The Muslim Brotherhood has been embedding itself in the West for over 50 years with the establishment of front organizations and clandestine groups.

• Muslim Brotherhood charities raise funds in the UK and throughout Europe, at least some of these charities have been implicated in funding terrorism.

In conclusion, the Obama administration stands alone in its close ties with, and support for, an international Jihadist organization that is conducting subversive, seditious activity in the U.S. and the West.

White House Opens Door to CAIR Rep, Ignores Muslim Reformers

obama2-640x480by IPT News  •  Dec 15, 2015 

He accused the FBI of killing two men in cold blood in separate incidents. But Obama administration officials saw Hassan Shibly as a suitable representative of the American Muslim community to include at Monday’s White House meeting on combating religious discrimination, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned.

Shibly is the chief executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Florida. Since 2008, FBI policy has barred outreach communication with CAIR officials due to documents seized by law enforcement which place CAIR and its founders at the heart of a Hamas-support network at the time of CAIR’s creation. Eyewitness interviews recently obtained by the IPT further detail CAIR’s ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

1302Until it determines “whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” a senior official wrote in 2009.

Why would the White House include CAIR when FBI policy is to avoid the group? A White House spokesperson wouldn’t say, telling the IPT in an email Tuesday afternoon that “CAIR state chapter representatives have been included in broad meetings” with the White House and other cabinet-level agencies.

The meeting’s focus is understandable, but the inclusion of a prominent CAIR official serves only to enhance the status of a group with documented ties to a terrorist-financing network. And the exclusion of voices representing non-Islamist Muslim reformers just makes their challenge of getting a fair hearing for their ideas more difficult.

Shibly’s record should have been especially troublesome for staffers compiling a list of White House guests to meet with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. He is helping a familysue the FBI, alleging an agent shot and killed a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev after hours of questioning in his Orlando home in 2013.

Independent investigations, requested by CAIR, by the Justice Department and a Florida state attorney found that Ibragim Todashev, a “skilled mixed-martial arts fighter,” attacked the agent shortly after acknowledging involvement in a separate triple-murder case in Massachusetts. Todashev continued charging after being shot, prompting the agent to fire more.

948Shibly rejected the findings, saying only Todashev could “contradict the government’s narrative” but he was dead. Similarly, Shibly joined other CAIR officials in blaming the FBI for the 2010 death of a Detroit imam who refused to surrender to arresting FBI agents and shot an FBI canine trying to subdue him. Again, independent investigations CAIR requested supported the agents’ actions, and even included video showing the imam trying to conceal his Glock 9mm handgun.

During a 2012 radio interview, Shibly claimed “the imam was tied and bound and was shot. And that is very troubling. Why was a man in chains shot?”
Shibly made this statement two years after video of the shooting was released. There is no evidence supporting Shibly’s description.

1309While there was room for Shibly at the White House, the guest list included no representatives from a new coalition of non-Islamist Muslims which issued a declaration and statement of principles for the Muslim Reform Movement. The values described include “peace, human rights and secular governance,” a call to defeat “Islamism, or politicized Islam,” and a simple declaration: “We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam.”

These are the values that merit the endorsement of a meeting with top White House staffers.

But for the past seven years, the Obama White House has opened its doors to the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups, just like CAIR. These groups have rationalized the actions of Islamic terrorist groups that have killed Americans, warned American Muslims against cooperating with law enforcement, smeared genuine Muslim moderates like Zuhdi Jasser and Asra Nomani as traitors and accused anyone who dared to utter the term “radical Islam” as “Islamophobic.” These are the groups that the White House should have marginalized. The fact that Obama legitimized radical Islamist groups will be his real legacy.

Video: Katie Gorka on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security

katie g

Click on the image above to hear Council on Global Security President Katie Gorka speaking for a counterterrorism and Homeland Security panel at the Heritage Foundation.

Main points:

  • Stop politicizing counterterrorism threat assessments and downplaying the problem. The 2011 purge of CT training has left law enforcement ill prepared to deal with today’s threats.
  • Stop asking what “radicalizes” terrorists. Pshychology, sociology (social movement theory) are not the answer. Terrorists are not victims. They choose to follow jihadism. For more on this see The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counterterrorism Strategy (.pdf)
  • Focus on jihadist ideology.
  • Stop treating terrorism as a crime. We are at war.

 

Council on Global Security President Katie Gorka on the San Bernardino shooting, ISIS threats and President Obama’s strategy for fighting the terror organization. With Deirdre Bolton on Risk And Reward.


 

Watch Katie Gorka (at 34.30 min. in) this video: Town Hall: The New Normal: Security vs FreedomKG


And on Fox and Friends:

Terror Slipping Through – Visa Security Gaps Causing Threat – The Rise Of Islamic Extremism

Stopping the Visa Waiver Program is like gun control….it won’t slow down the bad guys and would only constrain the good guys. Much more effective would be to get DHS and DOJ to focus more on terrorism and stop worrying so much about offending civil liberties. – Katie Gorka

 

Refugees , immigration and terror in the U.S.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions speaks at the 2012 Washington Update Luncheon Wed., Oct. 24 at the Von Braun Center. (Sarah Cole/al.com)

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions speaks at the 2012 Washington Update Luncheon Wed., Oct. 24 at the Von Braun Center. (Sarah Cole/al.com)

Cultural Jihad, Nov. 21, 2015:

In the wake of the [2013] Kentucky case, the U.S. halted the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time, officials told ABC News in the 2013 investigation.
ABC News Report

The current debate over the admission of Syrian refugees focuses on the possibility that it will help facilitate the entry of terrorists into the U.S.

This view is based on the growing trend of Islamist immigrants in the U.S. that have been involved in terrorism in the last few years.  The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Natural Interest reports that it has identified at least 26 foreign-born individuals inside the U.S. who have either been charged with or convicted of terrorism in the last year with even more examples going back to 2013.  From an AL.com article by Leada Gore:

Sessions said U.S. officials have no access to Syrian government data to vet refugees and no capacity to predict whether those seeking refuge are likely to join militant groups. As proof of that, the  Immigration Subcommittee, which Sessions chairs, provided a partial list of apprehended foreign-born terrorists or terror suspects since 2013:

Sessions said these incidents are just a few of those identified by his committee. They should serve as a warning against any plan for relocation of immigrants, especially those from Syria, he added.

The concerns have not been limited to the GOP.   Several days ago, 47 House Democrats broke rank and joined with Republicans, voting for a bill aimed at pausing admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding requirements to an already lengthy screening process.   In the Senate, the Washington Post reported:

Longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee, warned in a statement Tuesday “we need to be very careful about Syrian refugee admissions.”

The Hill reports that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed a letter to President Obama calling on him to not allow any more Syrians into the country “unless federal authorities can guarantee with 100 percent assurance they are not connected” to the Islamic State.

At least one Democratic was among the governors asking for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.

UN records show a four fold increase (850,000) so far in 2015 of refugees entering Europe through the Mediterranean area compared to 2014 (216,000) with Syrians accounting for about 52% of the numbers.  From the trend, the numbers will most likely be significantly higher by the end of 2015. While the vast majority will most likely settle in Europe, U.S. allocations have been steadily increasing.

We noted last year in “Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?,  that according to U.S. Department of State refugee statistics, in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions.  In 2008 there was a marked increase, with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries.  This repeated in 2009-2013 and the  2014 allocations authorize the increased level.  For 2015, 12,000-15,000 Syrians alone, are projected for admission.

The Paris bombings raised the possibility that forged Syrian passports are being used by terrorists and this certainly brings up concerns as to the actual identify of those being processed as Syrian refugees.   Earlier this week Bloomberg reported:

A Syrian passport found next to a suicide bomber in the Paris terror attacks may have been planted, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

Reports that the identity in the passport may have been registered in several countries along the so-called Balkan route raise the suspicion that it could be a deliberate attempt to implicate refugees and “make people feel unsafe,” de Maiziere said.

“There are indications that this was a planted lead, but it still can’t be ruled out that this was indeed an IS terrorist posing as a refugee,” he told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, referring to Islamic State, which France blames for organizing the violence.

Any link between France’s worst terror attack since World War II and Europe’s refugee crisis would raise the stakes for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she defends her open-door policy for asylum seekers in Germany’s debate over immigration and security.

Syrian refugee proponents are proclaiming  there has not been one terrorist act by a refugee in the United States.  When presented with the case of the Boston Bombers, these proponents counter that the Tsarnaev brothers were not really refugees.

An example of this can be found in a recent article on Reason.com that attempts to label GOP politicians as “Fearmongers”.  Ronald Bailey writes:

Note: Several commenters suggested Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. Strictly speaking, they were the children of asylees. As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program. Apparently the legal distinction is too fine a point for some readers. So be it, but they should nevertheless keep in mind that the brothers were two people out around 1.8 million people who were granted refugee or asylee status between 1995 and 2013.

This dismissal conflicts with a recent Dailymail.com article that notes:

Six Bosnian immigrants, three from Missouri, two from Illinois and one from New York, were charged in February with sending money and military equipment to extremist groups in Syria including ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front.

Last year we reported on the case  of Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington, VT (a naturalized U.S. citizen) who was facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery.

In 2013, an ABC news report detailed the 2009 discovery of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq:

An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home — a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.

An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.

This week, ABC reported that, “Of the 31 states that have declared their opposition to taking in Syrian refugees, one state, Kentucky, has a specific reason to be wary of the background check process.”  This caused the U.S. to  halt the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time.

***

Sessions: Admin Hides Immigration Histories Of Terrorists, Then Asks For Blank Resettlement Check:

***

Terrorist paradise: Counterterrorism expert says we can’t vet refugees

Also see:

Why the US government is on track to ‘normalizing’ ISIS

 (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

New York Post, by Alex VanNess, August 23, 2015:How long will it take the United States to recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate actor?

That may sound ridiculous. After all, ISIS is a barbaric and sociopathic band of terrorists who proudly highlight their brutality over the Internet. Unfortunately, recent history suggests this doesn’t disqualify them, as horrific as it sounds, from eventual recognition.

Since before 9/11, the Taliban laid claim to numerous terror attacks on civilian populations throughout Afghanistan. They harbored Osama bin Laden, and since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve been directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 American troops.

Yet in January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cryptically explained that the Taliban was not a terrorist group but instead falls under a “different classification.”

Earnest’s verbal gymnastics were deployed in the service of explaining away the president’s decision to trade five members of the Taliban for the release of American soldier-captive Bowe Bergdahl.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including several Americans. Since its creation, the Gaza-based Hamas has been dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Hamas is brutally repressive toward women and gays; they have a tendency to savagely drag dead bodies through the streets.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporated Hamas-appointed ministers. Instead of cutting off financial support to the new government, as required by US law, the Obama administration jumped through hoops to legitimize the new government. Officials said they would continue supporting the Palestinian government because the new ministers were “technocrats” that “don’t represent . . . hard-core Hamas leadership.”

The legitimacy granted to Hamas by this administration is a reflection of the trend held by many pro-Palestinian protestors who now brazenly chant, “we are Hamas!” through the streets of US cities such as Miami.

Cuba has a long history of human-rights abuse. The Cuban government regularly harasses and imprisons dissidents and has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Cuba continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists and maintains close ties to both North Korea and Iran.

In 2013, Cuba was caught sending weapons to North Korea. It aids terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Iranian proxy Hezbollah and the Basque Fatherland of Liberty (ETA).

Despite this behavior, the administration still decided to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and has begun the process of normalizing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The State Department justified this removal by stating that “Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months” and citing vague promises that they “will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

So to recap, within this past year we have stopped referring to the Taliban as terrorists, provided de facto recognition and funding to Hamas and have opened up to the repressive terror-sponsoring Cuban government.

Why should we assume that ISIS will be treated any differently than these groups?

As each day passes, ISIS solidifies its presence in the region. Sure, ISIS commits terrible atrocities. The group regularly — and indiscriminately — beheads innocent people; rapes women and sells them as sex slaves and employs children as executioners.

But its leaders have undeniably been working to establish the Islamic State as, well, as a functioning state. They issue identification cards, pave roads, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social-welfare programs.

ISIS has carved out its territory by filling the Middle East’s power vacuums, and are thus, in some places, the only game in town. How long before the international community recognizes the ISIS government?

The past precedent of legitimizing various terrorist groups and repressive dictatorships make this all too real of an issue. It’s imperative that the United States stops this trajectory of providing legitimacy to these regimes and turns back the ISIS tide, or we may one day soon be debating the opening of an embassy to the Islamic State in what used to be Iraq.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.

FREEDOM ISN’T FREE – Hausman Memorial Speaker Series

Hausman eventPublished on Aug 13, 2015 by theunitedwest

The Hausman Memorial Speaker Series is proud to host three extraordinary individuals for the “Freedom Isn’t Free” Security Briefing, at Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, MA. Frank Gaffney, president and founder of The Center for Security Policy, Clare Lopez, former CIA operations officer and current VP of Research and Analysis at The Center, and Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, former Commander of the USN Pacific Fleet and current President and CEO of Lions Associates LLC offer their insights on topics including jihad, the Islamic State and the dangers and consequences of a bad Iranian nuclear deal. This straight forward presentation will undoubtedly reveal aspects of the Obama Administration’s policies that will leave you shaking your head!

Obama Signed Off on Iran’s Right to Nuclear Program in Secret 2011 Talks

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Aug. 10, 2015:

President Barack Obama approved of Iran’s right to operate a nuclear program in 2011 during secret meetings with Iranian officials, according to new disclosures by Iran’s Supreme Leader.

The comments, made earlier this year by Ali Khamenei, dispute claims by the Obama administration that it only began talking to Iran after the election of President Hassan Rouhani.

Khamenei revealed in a recent speech that talks began in secret with anti-Semitic, Holocaust denying former President Mahmoud Ahmadenejad. At this time, Obama told the Iranians he endorses Iran’s right to have a nuclear program.

“The issue of negotiating with the Americans is related to the term of the previous [Ahmadinejad] government, and to the dispatching of a mediator to Tehran to request talks,” Khamenei said in a recent speech translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“At the time, a respected regional figure came to me as a mediator and explicitly said that U.S. President [Obama] had asked him to come to Tehran and present an American request for negotiations,” Khamenei disclosed. “The Americans told this mediator: ‘We want to solve the nuclear issue and lift sanctions within six months, while recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.’”

“I told that mediator that I did not trust the Americans and their words, but after he insisted, I agreed to reexamine this topic, and negotiations began,” Khamenei added.

Other Iranian officials also have admitted that Obama’s goal from the get-go was to endorse Iran’s nuclear program and then lift economic sanctions on the country’s economy.

Secretary of State John Kerry sent a letter to Iran stating that the United States “recognizes Iran’s rights regarding” nuclear enrichment, according to another senior Iranian official, Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam.

“We came to the [secret] negotiations [with the United States] after Kerry wrote a letter and sent it to us via [mediator Omani Sultan Qaboos], stating that America officially recognizes Iran’s rights regarding the [nuclear fuel] enrichment cycle,” Al-Islam said in a recent interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency, according to MEMRI.

“Then there were two meetings in Oman between the [Iranian and U.S.] deputy foreign ministers, and after those, Sultan Qaboos was dispatched by Obama to Khamenei with Kerry’s letter,” the official added.

Khamenei went on to tell him at the time: “‘I don’t trust them.’ Sultan Qaboos said: ‘Trust them one more time.’ On this basis the negotiations began, and not on the basis of sanctions, as they [the Americans] claim in their propaganda.”

This information has been confirmed by other senior Iranian officials, according to MEMRI.

Ali Akbar Salahi, the Iranian vice president and head of its Atomic Energy Organization, claimed in separate interviews this year that “the Americans initiated the secret talks with Iran in 2011-2012, and stressed his role in jumpstarting the process from the Iranian side,” according to MEMRI.

***

Also see:

OBAMA’S SWINDLE: CONGRESS CUT OUT OF THE IRAN DEAL

AP/Susan Walsh

AP/Susan Walsh

Breitbart, by Joel Pollak, July 17, 2015:

President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will approach the UN Security Council to approve the nuclear deal with Iran, and rescind past resolutions and international sanctions, before Congress approves the agreement, came as something of a surprise to many. When Congress passed Sen. Bob Corker’s Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, and President Obama signed it into law in May, the public understanding was that Congress would have the final say.

It turns out that the President had no such intention. He is exploiting a loophole in the law, which states that the Act only applies to “statutory sanctions”—i.e. those passed by Congress. Other sanctions are within the power of the president to impose or remove. (There is another loophole, too: even statutory sanctions have a waiver provision that allows the president to remove them for reasons of national security.) Corker is reportedly angry, but there is nothing that he can do.

At the time the Corker bill was passed, critics (including this author) focused on the fact that the bill lowered the threshold for passing an international agreement. Instead of requiring a two-thirds majority for approval in the Senate, the Iran deal would now require a simple majority for approval in both houses, and a two-thirds majority to rejectthe deal by overriding the president’s veto.

Other critics, notably Andrew C. McCarthy, warned that the text President Obama gave to Congress would not necessarily be the one that he submitted to the UN Security Council.

But even that criticism assumed Obama would present the Iran deal to Congress first. Instead, he is going to the UN first, avoiding Congress entirely regarding core aspects of the deal.

That means that when Congress considers the deal, it will not be able to review the entire agreement. Certain aspects will be out of its hands and impossible to reverse.

Moreover, if Congress rejects the deal, it will not be able to send world powers back to the negotiating table. The best it can to is retain the sanctions the U.S. has imposed unilaterally—yet the president can still use waivers to lift those.

Unless the UN vote is delayed, there is only one way for Congress to exercise its full oversight powers on the Iran deal: the agreement could be introduced into the Senate as a treaty. That is the only way to stop Obama from implementing the agreement. But that, in turn, depends on Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell allowing such a vote to come to the floor—which he will not.

The problem remains that under the Corker bill, it does not matter whether Congress rejects the Iran deal. Obama will use what he claims to be his executive powers to implement the deal, regardless.

The battle on Capitol Hill may still be worth having, because a deal that fails in Congress will lack legitimacy, especially if two-thirds both houses overrides Obama’s veto. That would embolden Obama’s successor to end the deal, as some Republicans have vowed to do.

Realistically, however, there is only a small chance that a Republican president would revoke the Iran deal unilaterally in 2017, even if he or she could overcome international pressure to retain it, since doing so would provoke Iran to withdraw from the deal and race to the bomb.

The real purpose of the congressional fight over the Iran deal, then, is twofold.

First, Congress must expose the weaknesses of the deal, as well as the many blatant lies told by Obama and his toadies.

For example, there are no “anywhere, anytime” inspections, as promised to us by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. We are now told by Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman that these promises were just “rhetorical flourishes,” and we have also learned U.S. inspectors will be barred from even entering Iran.

Obama and his hapless team must own this terrible deal—and must be publicly shamed for it, to deter future presidents from the disastrous course of appeasement with America’s sworn enemies.

The second purpose—unspoken, perhaps unwitting thus far—is to prepare the basis for Israel to take unilateral action.

By exposing the Iran deal as a fraud, Congress can lay the foundation for Israel’s later arguments justifying a pre-emptive strike on Iran. It is a cop-out: the U.S. is better able to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Israel bears greater risk of retaliation. But it may be the only way to use this calamitous episode in U.S. foreign policy to any positive effect.

Once it is clear to all that the Iran deal is a sham, but that Obama is determined to implement it anyway, the most difficult question will be managing U.S.-Israel relations once Israel strikes.

Will Obama wink and nod? Or will he punish Israel? The time to consider those questions is now.

Also see:

Iran, World Powers Reach Final Nuclear Deal

From left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats Tuesday declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions, an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world. (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)

From left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats Tuesday declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions, an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world. (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, July 14, 2015:

Iran and world powers on Tuesday announced they had sealed a final nuclear deal with Tehran that will lift most economic sanctions on the country and permit it to continue many of the most controversial aspects of its nuclear program, as well as its missile development, according to initial text of the agreement and statements by diplomats.

The agreement, which was finalized in Vienna, would lift international sanctions on Iran and permit it to continue key elements of its nuclear work, as well as research and development.

Iran will be permitted to continue spinning centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon. Western powers will also work with Iran to help it install and operate more advanced centrifuges, according to those apprised of the deal.

This concession—as well as a range of others made by the United States—has rattled analysts and lawmakers, who have maintained that Iran should not be permitted to retain the core aspects of a nuclear program.

Sanctions also will be lifted on Iran, including those on the country’s banks and financial sectors, which have long supported Iran’s nuclear program as well as its sponsorship of international terrorist groups.

In one of the most controversial concessions made by the Obama administration, a United Nations embargo on arms will also be lifted within around five years as part of the deal, according to multiple reports. A similar embargo on the construction of ballistic missiles, which could carry a nuclear payload, also will expire in around eight years under the deal.

Initial readings of the deal also indicate that Iran will be given the right to veto so-called “anywhere, anytime” inspections of Iranian nuclear sites. This concession has caused concern that Tehran will be able to continue hiding its nuclear work and potentially continue in secret along the pathway to a bomb.

Iran also will be permitted for a time to keep its military sites off limits to inspectors, who have long been unable to confirm the past dimensions and scope of Iran’s nuclear weapons work.

New resolutions by the U.N. Security Council will solidify most key aspects of the deal.

Initial Iranian state-controlled reports on the final text of the agreement claim that “the world powers recognize Iran’s civilian nuclear program, including the country’s right to the complete nuclear cycle.”

In addition, “none of the Iranian nuclear facilities will be dismantled or decommissioned” under the deal, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

As part of a sanctions relief package, “tens of billions of dollars in Iranian revenue frozen in foreign banks will be unblocked” and returned to the Islamic Republic.

In public comments before the sides entered a closed-door meeting to finalize the deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the deal as a “win-win solution to what in our view was an unnecessary crisis.”

“This is a historic moment,” Zarif said, calling the final deal “an agreement that is not perfect for anybody.”

“Now we are starting a new chapter of hope,” he added.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in remarks to reporters, declared that “this is the good deal that we have sought.”

Iran will remain at least one year away from a nuclear weapon for the next 10 years, Kerry said.

Kerry also apologized for the years of economic sanctions leveled on Iran.

“We realize how deeply the nuclear related sanctions affected the lives of Iranians,” he said. “Thanks to the agreement reached today that will begin to change. In return for the dramatic changes that Iran has accepted for its nuclear program, the international community will be lifting the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran’s economy.”

President Obama, in a statement from the White House, explained that many portions of the deal will only be temporary, with some expiring after 15 years and others even sooner.

Iran will continue to have access to its nuclear supply chain, including key mines, Obama said in his statement.

The Islamic Republic “will receive relief from the sanctions we put in place … both America’s own sanctions and sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council,” Obama added.

Obama praised the deal as means to avoid war in the region and called it “irresponsible” to walk away from a deal with Iran.

The president also vowed to veto any effort by Congress to reject the deal.

Rep. Ron Desantis (R., Fla.) condemned the deal, calling it a “gift to Iran’s ayatollah.”

“This Iran deal gives Ayatollah Khamenei exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections,” Desantis said. “It even lifts sanctions against Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the campaign in Iraq.”

“The deal will further destabilize the Middle East, allow Iran to foment more terrorism, and aid Iran’s rise as the dominant power in the region.”

One Western source present in Vienna said the Iranians and its affiliates have been “declaring victory” throughout the morning.

“The Iranians are gleefully declaring victory. Pro-Iran lobbyists in the United States are also gleefully declaring victory,” the source said. “President Obama and Kerry are talking morosely about having to make hard choices. It’s not difficult to figure out what just happened. America suffered a national disgrace.”

***

Also see:

Admiral Lyons – Hillary’s Compromised – Iran’s Nuclear Program Fully Intact

imrs (7)By Alan Kornman, June 24, 2015:
WATCH VIDEO BELOW –   YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE and HEAR NEXT!!
 
ADMIRAL ‘ACE’ LYONS 
Obama Administration says Iran’s chants of “Death to America” are “not helpful,” but won’t have impact on nuke talks.  
 
Admiral Lyons says, “The core elements of the Iranian nuclear program are fully intact and have increased 20-40% since these sham negotiations started.
 
It all begins in 2008 when then candidate Sen. Barak Obama, according to Michael Levine, opened secret negotiations with the Ayatollah’s.  The message was don’t sign any agreements with the Bush Administration you will get a better deal from me when I’m President, I am a friend of Iran.  This borders on treason! Mind boggling.
 
Let’s talk about Benghazi.  This is a Hillary scenario, Hillary is a pathological liar.  Hillary’s  emails – You know everyone of our enemies have hacked into her emails, they have the full book on her.  She (Hillary Clinton) is totally compromised, she is damaged goods.  There’s no way she can be allowed back into the White House.
 
4:25 – Things were working out in Libya until she met with a Muslim Brotherhood operative at the Paris Westin Hotel for a 45 minute meeting.  After that meeting Hillary canceled our negotiations with Gaddafi despite every military leader and intelligence experts advice not too.
 
5:30 A few words on Christopher Stevens.  DIA had 10 days warning the Benghazi attacks were going to happen.  If you were SECDEF would you not put countermeasures in place to defend your Ambassador?
 
7:50  If I had to speculate I’d say this was an operation that went terribly wrong.  If you remember in the Summer of 2012 Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Morsi came to DC with one main objective. 
 
Morsi’s #1 objective was to get the release of The Blind Sheikh,  currently sitting in a U.S. Federal Penitentiary for masterminding the first 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
 
My view was Benghazi was all about the kidnapping Christopher Stevens (Libya Ambassador) and exchanging him for the blind sheikh – when you put it all together nothing makes sense to me.

Obama Administration Rules of Engagement Stymie Air War against ISIS

Refueling F-22 Raptor in mid-flight in air war against ISIS Source:  US Air Force

Refueling F-22 Raptor in mid-flight in air war against ISIS
Source: US Air Force

NER, by Jerry Gordon, June 1, 2015:

Without boots on the ground providing intelligence feed, the US led coalition air war is failing to “deter, let alone degrade” ISIS.  How else can you explain 7,000 sorties over Syria and Iraq with less than 25% having ‘bomb releases”?   That was the key disturbing finding in a Washington Times (WT) article, U.S. bombers hold fire on Islamic State targets amid ground intel blackout.”

The U.S. conducted 7,319 sorties over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in the first four months of 2015. Of those, only 1,859 flights — 25.4 percent — had at least one “weapons release,” according to data provided by United States Air Force Central Command. That means that only about one in every four flights dropped a bomb on an Islamic State target.

There have been reports of frustration by US Air Force, Navy and Marine pilots engaged in the ISIS air campaign who have acquired targets and yet been commanded to stand down from attacking them. That has led to criticism of the Administration ISIS air war from Members of Congress, most notably, Sen. John McCain who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee cited in the WT report:

The Arizona Republican said at a hearing this year that missions that don’t drop bombs needlessly put American pilots in danger and that U.S. boots on the ground would produce better intelligence that could lead to more effective bombing missions.

The level of air sorties in the US-led coalition air war is far below those of Gulf Wars I and II and even the Balkan Air campaigns during the Clinton era.  The question is what is causing this?  Many believe it is the restrictive rules of engagement to spare civilian lives, when ISIS fighters move among columns of civilians, effectively using them as human shields.  Further, some analysts ironically believe that these strict rules of engagement actually contribute to civilian casualties by to ISIS. Perhaps this also reflects the misguided Obama Administration obsession in both avoiding collateral damage and avoiding putting special teams on the ground to provide better target intelligence.

Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel Source: Times of Israel

Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel
Source: Times of Israel

Perhaps, the Central Command planners and air war commanders might best heed Israeli Air Force Commander Major General Eshel who was cited in a Defense News article saying:

“We have an offensive capability that is unprecedented and extremely significant which we’ve been developing over years and are now able to implement.

“In small wars, it’s a very significant challenge for us to reduce collateral damage on the other side when the enemy is using all he has to elevate the damage we’re forced to inflict on him,” Eshel said.

“First of all, it’s a moral challenge. … It sounds like a slogan, but we are constantly thinking, planning and operating with this challenge in mind.”

The demonstration of that approach was what  occurred in Operation Defensive Edge against the Hamas rocket and terror tunnel war threatening Israel when the IAF F-16’s flew missions in attacks against urban targets with precision guided 1 ton bombs within 250 meters of IDF troops.  The key is precision strikes based on precise intelligence.

Note these debates about the Pentagon handling of the ISIS air war campaign in the WT article:

Former US Navy Helicopter Pilot, Cmdr. Harmer:

Without ground forces, argues Cmdr. Christopher Harmer, a retired Navy helicopter pilot, U.S. airmen are essentially flying half-blind and, as a result, are returning to base with their bombs still in the bay.
“As long as the body politic or president or whoever is making decisions absolutely refuses to put American air controllers on ground, essentially pilots are flying with one eye closed,” Cmdr. Harmer said. “It’s almost impossible for pilots to designate between [Islamic State] fighters and coalition fighters.”

Cmdr. Harmer, who now serves as a senior naval analyst with the Middle East Security Project at the Institute for the Study for War, said airstrikes can hit big, static targets such as bridges, runways and tanks without on-the-ground guidance. But to be effective in hitting moving targets such as enemy troops in a firefight, U.S. pilots need American joint terminal attack controllers to give specific directions from the ground to guide their missiles precisely.

Fewer targets of opportunity says CENTCOM:

Col. Pat Ryder, spokesman for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), told reporters Friday that while pilots can often place bombs on targets “within minutes,” it’s very important to be very precise and exercise tactical discipline to protect civilian populations.

“We’re dealing with a hybrid adversary who often hides among the population,” he said. “It’s more important for us to accurately target the enemy with a high degree of precision in order to minimize civilian casualties than it is to strike with such speed or force that would risk disenfranchising the very population we’re there to protect.”

Richard Brennan of RAND Corporation has a more pragmatic assessment:

But to make things work without a ground force and employing only air power, the rules of engagement must change, argues Richard Brennan, a senior political scientist at RAND Corp.

Mr. Brennan said the Islamic State, in adapting and responding to U.S. airstrikes, has started to intermingle its fighters with civilians to frustrate U.S. attacks from the air.

In an effort to protect civilian lives, the strict rules of engagement are doing the opposite by giving the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, the opportunity to kill civilians, he said.

“Even though the United States isn’t doing the killing, by its inability to use force in all but the cases where they’re sure of not having collateral damage, we’re ceding the advantage to ISIS in many situations,” Mr. Brennan said.

Looks to us that CENTCOM needs to whistle up a session with IAF General Eshel to understand how the Israelis do precision hits against Hamas in heavily urbanized Gaza City and Hezbollah Syrian missile and weapons transfers.  Both Cmdr. Harmer of the Institute for the Study of War and Brennan of the RAND Corporation are correct about the stringent rules for engagement in the air war against. They are generating more collateral civilian casualties.  Something that didn’t dawn on the Metternichean Munchkins in the Obama National Security Council who call the shots over Pentagon objections.

***

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” the US, UK and Australia

S-Flames-of-War-Propaganda-Video-02May 9, 2015 / ISIS Study Group /

Well, we’ve come full-circle. On 08 MAR 15 we came out with an article on the Islamic State (IS) establishing a foreign fighter unit known as the “Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion” that consists of English-speakers (“The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West”). We also discussed how that unit was tasked with getting the personnel within the ranks enough experience to be sent back to their countries of origin within the next 4-5 months. The specific countries our sources said that would be most at risk were the US, UK and Australia. The Successful attack in Kabul, Afghanistan and failed ANZAC Day plot in Melbourne, Australia (check out “Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot” for more details) were merely the opening shots for bringing the “Flames of War” to the west. Recently, a cell attacked a Muhammad Cartoon contest being hosted by Pam Gellar in Garland, Texas. IS claimed responsibility for the attack. We assess that none of this is a “coincidence,” and that these attack plots are part of a much larger campaign to take the fight to the west. Furthermore, we suspect that IS-linked cells will attempt to execute attacks in the US within the next 3-4 days with additional attacks being launched in the UK and Australia – yes, we’ve been saying that for a few months now that we would be seeing this around this time of year. More importantly, we’re seeing American and Aussie foreign fighters synching up their OPs for a coordinated effort – the largest projection of IS terror on the international stage.

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5388

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6339

FBI Alerted Garland Police About Elton Simpson Hours Before Shooting
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-says-it-alerted-garland-police-about-elton-simpson-n355526

Junaid Hussein Source: Central News

Junaid Hussein
Source: Central News

The US Department of Defense has announced that military installations are on “alert” for potential attacks while the professionally-bankrupt US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that there isn’t a “specific threat” made to any particular installation. DHS’ statement isn’t completely accurate according to our sources. The individual coordinating the US OPs is Syria-based UK national Junaid Hussein, and he’s reported to have been researching US military installations in Colorado and Ohio, so despite what DHS is saying IS appears to be focusing on a base in one of those two states. Hussein first appeared on the US government’s radar when it was revealed that he was responsible for establishing IS’ cyber-warfare capability. Although most people know him as the leader of the “Cyber Caliphate,” he’s also a prominent recruiter who assisted Australian foreign fighter Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” in the establishment of the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion. Hussein has previously run afoul of the British government and previously jailed in 2012.

ISIS activity prompts threat level increase at bases
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/08/politics/isis-activity-prompts-threat-level-increase-at-bases/

Junaid Hussain: CyberCaliphate Leader And ISIS Member Was Behind CENTCOM Hack, Report Says
http://www.ibtimes.com/junaid-hussain-cybercaliphate-leader-isis-member-was-behind-centcom-hack-report-says-1782870

Hacker who stole Tony Blair’s details and bombarded anti-terror hotline with prank calls is jailed and claims his crime was no worse than those committed by Bullingdon members

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2179969/Hacker-stole-Tony-Blair-s-details-bombarded-anti-terror-hotline-prank-calls-jailed-claims-crime-worse-committed-Bullingdon-members.html

cambodi

Cambodia
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Additionally, Hussein has been passing down guidance to cells operating in western countries on target selection and giving them advice on proper OPSEC procedures. Much of this is being done on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. We find it rather amusing that DHS and the American mainstream media is just now starting to notice how heavily saturated our nation is with IS propaganda. We wrote about this in our article titled, “al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists” that was posted on 25 OCT 15. These cells are domestic in nature in that none of the personnel have traveled to Syria. However, these cells and lone wolves are only the first phase of this campaign as the Syria returnees are expected to start returning to their home countries by the end of the month. In fact, we’ve been hearing that some may have already started to trickle in. This presents a big problem in that these personnel returned with the knowledge and connections to set up their own networks and attack cells – and they will be traveling with western passports that won’t draw as much attention as someone with a Saudi or Pakistani passport.

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2523

The current attack plans appear to be a combination of IED attacks and shootings like what we saw in Garland or even the scenario we discussed last summer in “ISIS: Target America.” We suspect that they may opt to go with the pressure cooker IED design like the one used in the Boston Bombing. IS also took note of the response to he attack by local law enforcement and armed civilians and aren’t likely to make the same mistake. Instead, they appear to be looking at hitting soft targets in American cities in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to targeting military installations in Colorado and Ohio. Regarding the targeting of military installations on American soil, we assess that individual service members will also be targeted. Hussein and associate Riyad Khan were the guys who released the addresses, identities and photographs of 100 US military personnel in late-MAR that we covered in “Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information.” This is yet another example of the coordination that’s taking place between Cambodia and Hussein. If you recall, the ANZAC Day plot called for the targeting of an individual police officer in the same manner as the murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby. That is not a coincidence. Hussein and Cambodia are working together.

Australian listed in Isis guidebook as go-to man for recruits
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/07/australian-listed-in-isis-guidebook-as-go-to-man-for-recruits

ISIS: Target America
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1196

Target America: Hunting the US Military
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2061

Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5729

hack

Some of the identities exposed by Hussein and Khan
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Another example of the Hussein-Cambodi campaign can be seen through a militant we’ve identified as Shawn Parson, a Trinidian IS member who has maintained regular contact with Cambodi over the past few months. He’s been making several posts about “plotting revenge” for the arrest of IS sympathizer Keonna Thomas and has shown a preference for targeting US government officials. The threats were made through his Twitter account (@Amriki_Irhabi) but it was taken down. The threats he’s been making appear to be connected to the ongoing threat stream as he had made specific references to US Air Force installations located in Colorado prior to his first account being taken down. When one of our staff came across him through their network analysis, we came across posts that implied that he had prior knowledge of the shootings. We suspect he was privy to this information through his relationship with Cambodi. In fact there’s unconfirmed reporting that Parson was in a photograph with Cambodi that was published in issue 8 of Dabiq Magazine. We hope somebody with some common sense in DHS has already put two and two together – but we’re not holding our breath.

Philadelphia Woman Joins ISIS: How Keonna Thomas’ Alleged Plans To Connect With The Islamic State Group Unraveled
http://www.ibtimes.com/philadelphia-woman-joins-isis-how-keonna-thomas-alleged-plans-connect-islamic-state-1869434

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 3.05.40 PM

Parson’s new Twitter account @Irhabi_IS_187 (Note that he’s also following the UK’s Pied Piper of Jihad Anjem Choudray – which can be seen on the bottom right part of this screen shot)
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Shortly after setting up the new account more threats began to be posted. He’s quite the charmer, isn’t he?
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.03.26 AM

The guy on the right is allegedly Parson – we’re still working to confirm/deny
Source: Dabiq Magazine issue 8

Meanwhile in Australia, the Australian security forces continue to drop the hammer on IS cells in the country with another series of raids targeting safe-houses in Melbourne and Sydney. The following individuals were paid a visit by the Australian Federal Police (AFP):

Melbourne:
Muhammad Hasan Kollab – The AFP confiscated material that was being used to produce IEDs.
Yassir Ali Bakhit

Sydney:
Ahmed Hussein (no relation to Junaid Hussein)
Isaac Majoub – This individual has been under investigation since November 14 and is described as a “young kid” between 15-17 yrs of age.

These individuals were planning to conduct attacks the Mother’s Day weekend. We have identified the Sydney Opera House as one of the primary targets for this series of attacks. Although the media reports are saying that its uncertain if this is connected to the failed ANZAC Day pot, we can assure you it is. Furthermore, All four individuals were in direct contact with Cambodi, who – along with close associate Muhammad Junaid Thorne – were overseeing that particular operation. We suspect that Thorne was also involved with the Mother’s Day plot. According to our sources in the country, this operation was within hours of being put into the execution phase. Our Aussie allies have once again demonstrated that they’re not professionally bankrupt like their American counterparts at DHS and ensured the safety of the civilian population. The Australian threat appears to have been blunted, for now. However, a key aspect of this strategy is to overwhelm western security forces to where something “falls through the cracks.” In fact With multiple threat streams spanning across multiple countries we see the scenario we discussed in the first installment of our Target America series on an international scale. The month of MAY is only the start with Syria returnees affiliated with the Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion beginning to redeploy back to their home countries. More will begin returning in JUN, at which time we can expect to see some of these personnel embedding themselves with the local cells comprised of individuals who didn’t go to Syria themselves. Hussein and Cambodi have been the main points of contact for linking these cells up with Syria vets. The Australian government “gets it,” but the US and British governments are still plagued with political correctness. In the case of the US, incompetence is another major factor that got us to the current situation. We assess that DHS will continue their reactionary posture which increases the likelihood of another IS attack. Not bad for the “JV Team,” huh?

Melbourne anti-terrorism raids: Police uncover explosive devices at Greenvale house in city’s north
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/victorian-police-uncover-explosives-during-anti-terrorism-raids/6456092

Police conduct anti-terror raid in Melbourne suburb
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-32641549

‘Closest call yet’: Police say tip-off sparked Melbourne raids which found alleged improvised explosive devices
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/08/15/11/police-conduct-raids-in-melbourne-s-northern-suburbs

LIVE EVENT: Iran Truth Panel

4100482676President Obama has made numerous exaggerated and misleading statements to promote his nuclear diplomacy with Iran as a good deal. However, in an interview with NPR, the president accidentally told the truth and confirmed what many have been saying about his nuclear diplomacy with Iran:

“What is a more relevant I fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.”

Because the nuclear agreement being sought by the Obama administration will allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium and develop much more efficient centrifuge machines, it is very likely that the time to an Iranian bomb could shrink to “almost zero” as the president said. This is one of many reasons to stop this deal.

The Center for Security Policy will hold a panel discussion on how the Iran deal is a path for Iran to get the bomb.

WHO:
  • Kenneth Timmerman: Author, Activist and investigative journalist; Executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI)
  • Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons (U.S. Navy, Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and father of the Navy Red Cell counterterrorist unit.
  • Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.: President, Center for Security Policy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting) under President Reagan.
  • Clare Lopez, Senior Vice President for Research and Analysis, Center for Security Policy and former Operations Officer in the CIA’s Clandestine Service
WHERE:
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
WHEN:
Friday, May 8th, 2015 | 10:00am