Obama Throws the Free Syrian Army Under the Bus

Smoke rises following an airstrike by US-led coalition aircraft in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, Oct. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) LEFTERIS PITARAKIS — AP

Smoke rises following an airstrike by US-led coalition aircraft in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, Oct. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LEFTERIS PITARAKIS — AP

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, October 16, 2014

For the past three years, the Obama administration has hailed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as the saviors of Syria — the “vetted moderate” force that was going to topple the butcher Assad. Because of that, the administration provided training, money and weapons to prop up the FSA (the word is they sent lawyers too).

But according to a report last night by Hannah Allam at McClatchy, Obama is now throwing the FSA under bus:

John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground force to use primarily in the fight against the Islamist extremists.

“At this point, there is not formal coordination with the FSA,” Allen told reporters at the State Department.

That was perhaps the bluntest answer yet to the question of how existing Syrian rebel forces might fit into the U.S. strategy to fight the Islamic State. Allen said the United States’ intent is to start from scratch in creating a home-grown, moderate counterweight to the Islamic State.

For most of the three years of the Syrian conflict, the U.S. ground game hinged on rebel militias that are loosely affiliated under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA. Their problems were no secret: a lack of cohesion, uneven fighting skills and frequent battlefield coordination with the al Qaida loyalists of the Nusra Front.

Last month I reported here at PJ Media about the coordination of the “vetted moderate” FSA with Jabhat al-Nusra and even ISIS. That coordination was later confirmed by a senior FSA commander.

Those reports came just as Congress was considering a vote to spend another $500 million to train their administration’s “vetted moderate” partners. That funding wasapproved by both the House and the Senate before Congress left town for the election break. With Obama cutting the FSA loose less than a month later, those who voted against the funding are going to look like geniuses.

Now that the FSA is safely under the bus it remains to be seen exactly who Obama is going to enlist to train and fight. Most of those who can fight are already in the fight. What are they going to do now, put out an ad on Craig’s List?

As one observer noted last night, Syria watchers should keep an eye out for the following ad showing up in the help wanted section of Middle East newspapers:

Wanted, Multicultural, non-sectarian, Jeffersonian democrats interested in military careers. English a plus. Drug test required.

Under Obama’s bus must be getting crowded…

The Strong Horse

The statue of Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Maude, KCB, CMG, DSO that stood in Baghdad until the Iraqi revolution in 1958

The statue of Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Maude, KCB, CMG, DSO that stood in Baghdad until the Iraqi revolution in 1958

By Mark Steyn:

On March 11th 1917, General Maude’s British Indian army marched into Baghdad and took as prisoners almost 10,000 Ottoman troops. If you had to locate the birth of the modern, post-caliphate Arab world in a single event, that would be it. Over the next few years, London and Paris drew lines in the sand and invented the western Middle East, and the states we treat with today – Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. The British certainly understand the significance of March 1917: When they returned to Baghdad to topple Saddam a decade ago, they named their new military headquarters in the Green Zone “Maude House”.

Likewise, if one were to pick a single, decisive event that would mark the end of the modern, western Middle East and the dawn of the post-western pre-modern Middle East, it would be the fall of Baghdad to ISIS or ISIL or, as they prefer to be known, “the Islamic State”.

Is that likely? According to General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking on ABC News at the weekend, the head hackers were within 15 miles with “a straight shot to the airport“. As I write, they’re apparently within eight miles. The Iraqi Army do not seem minded to put up much of a fight – unlike, say, the Kurds in Kobani. And naturally, heady on its usual cocktail of treachery and delusion, Washington has chosen to stiff the Kurds but prop up the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Desertion.

Can American air support delay the inevitable? Or will the jihad boys soon be poking around not only the abandoned Maude House but also the largest and most expensive US embassy on the planet, laughing it up for the cameras in front of askew portraits of Joe Biden? One assumes the Administration is at least rehearsing some spin for this eventuality, although with the Obama crowd nothing can be taken for granted. Still, no doubt Susan Rice will be sent out on the Sunday talk-shows to declare that Baghdad is of no strategic significance, and the court eunuchs of the American media will helpfully explain how this shows Obama’s commitment to fulfilling his election promise of decisively ending Bush’s Iraq war – or, alternatively, that Obama is too sophisticated to be trapped by outmoded paradigms such as victory and defeat.

Read more at SteynOnline

5 Key Implications If Baghdad Falls to ISIS

ISIL-surrounds-balad-air-baseBy Patrick Poole:

Reports that ISIS has surrounded Baghdad and are quickly closing in on the Baghdad international airport (armed with MANPADS no less) are troubling. Baghdad itself has been rocked by a series of VBIED attacks in the past 24 hours by ISIS, indicating that the battle for Baghdad has begun.

The possible fall of Baghdad could be the most significant development in the War on Terror since 9/11. And yet, many among the DC foreign policy “smart set” were not long ago mocking such a scenario.

So what happens if such a situation comes to pass? Here are five key implications (by no means limited to these) if Baghdad falls to ISIS:

1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State

Symbolism doesn’t matter much to your average post-modern Westerner, but it still does in the Islamic world and the capture of Baghdad will hold enormous value. For 500 years Baghdad was the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, and falling to ISIS would allow them to reclaim that mantle. Such an event will electrify the Middle East and beyond, with many Muslims holding firmly to the belief that the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 by Ataturk is seen as one of the key contributing factors in the decline of the Muslim world over the past century. No amount of State Department hashtags or tweets, nor pronouncements by Sheikh Barack Obama and Imam John Kerry that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, will be able to negate any claims by ISIS to be the revived caliphate.

2) The Great Reconciliation between jihadist groups will begin

Much of the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS efforts have been trying to leverage other “vetted moderate” groups in Syria against ISIS, with some “smart set” thinkers even advocating engaging “moderate Al-Qaeda” to that end. We are already seeing jihadist groups gravitating towards ISIS, such as the announcement this week by Pakistani Taliban leaders pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State. Other groups of younger jihadis are breaking away from Al-Qaeda franchises in North Africa and defecting to ISIS. Despite bitter rivalries between ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, namely Al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, they will be hard-pressed to deny ISIS’ caliphate claims if they do take Baghdad. In that part of the world, nothing succeeds like success. If Baghdad falls, jihadist groups, some of whom have been openly hostile or remained neutral, will quickly align behind ISIS. And the horrid sound coming out of Washington DC will be of foreign policy paradigms imploding.

3) What of US personnel in Iraq?

The US Embassy in Baghdad is the largest embassy on the planet. And after Obama sent 350 more US military personnel to guard the US Embassy last month, there are more than 1,100 US service members in Baghdad protecting the embassy and the airport. That doesn’t include embassy personnel, American aid workers, reporters, etc. also in Baghdad. ISIS doesn’t have to capture the airport to prevent flights from taking off there (e.g. Hamas rockets from Gaza prompting the temporary closure of Israel’s Ben Gurion airport this past summer). If flights can’t get out of Baghdad, how will the State Department and Pentagon evacuate US personnel? An image like the last helicopter out of Saigon would be of considerable propaganda value to ISIS and other jihadist groups. Former CNN reporter Peter Arnett, who witnessed the fall of Saigon in April 1975, raised this possibility back in June. It’s not like the US has prestige to spare internationally, and the fall of Baghdad will mark the beginning of the end of American influence in the Middle East, much like it was in Southest Asia in 1975.

4) If ISIS captures Baghdad, it will be with weapons provided by the US to the Iraqi Army and “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups

Since their push back into Iraq this summer, ISIS has regularly paraded captured weapons and vehicles that have been provided by the US to the Iraqi Army, which rapidly collapsed in the face of the ISIS advance. ISIS has subsequently used these US-provided weapons to repel attacks by Iraqi forces. A report published last month by UK-based Conflict Armament Research documented the use of US-provided Humvees, armored personnel carriers, and firearms by ISIS. In addition, ISIS has at least 52 US-made M198 howitzers with GPS aiming systems that have a 20 mile range that will undoubtedly be used in their assault on Baghdad. Yesterday, Charles Lister of the Brookings Institutetweeted out recent images of ISIS fighters equipped with M79 Osa anti-tank weapons that had been provided by Saudi Arabia to the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army. The potential propaganda value of ISIS capturing Baghdad with US weapons will be enormous.

5) The Fall of Baghdad will herald an unparalleled sectarian war in the Middle East and wide scale regional instability

The fighting in Syria and Iraq has been part of the regional sectarian competition between Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States against Shia Iran and its allies in Iraq, the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah. ISIS and Sunni Syrian rebel groups have been proxies in this fight. If Baghdad falls to ISIS, it will be all-hands-on-deck across the entire Middle East, with a sectarian war not seen since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and sectarian/ethnic cleansing not seen since the Balkan wars. We are already seeing Shiite militias killing Sunnis indiscriminately in Iraq and widespread ethnic and religious cleansing by ISIS in Northern Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, our NATO ally Turkey is now bombing the same Kurds who are fighting ISIS. Because of these sectarian attacks millions of refugees have already flooded to Syria’s neighboring states, destablizing countries like Lebanon and Jordan. The ISIS push in Anbar province in Iraq has caused 180,000 more to flee, according to the UN. The potential humanitarian disaster from the dislocation of millions in the region could be without parallel.

Read more at PJ Media

Have We Reached Peak ISISmania Yet?

ISIS3-550x282PJ Media, By Patrick Poole:

A few thoughts on the current bout of ISISmania and the systemic problems it exposes:

1) ISISmania has created a financial/legal incentive for sources (most of them “shady” to begin with) used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to manufacture info whole-cloth.

This is nothing new. Think “prison snitches.” Various foreign actors are passing along disinformation to us as well, so mountains of BS are being fed into the system from the get-go.

Imagine, for a purely hypothetical example, a member of Congress getting an authentic report from a senior agency official, but the report is later found to have originated with a non-credible source. So the member of Congress who repeated the report was actually correct that the intel had been shared with them — but the information itself wasn’t reliable.

It never should have been shared in the first place, but it’s the member of Congress who ends up with egg on their face when the agency issues its denial. No one, whether politicians or agency officials, wants to later admit they were duped, so erroneous info never gets corrected.

2) There are considerable problems on the collection and analysis sides of intel in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. In fact, very few know how to do collection — and good analysis is basically prohibited these days.

So the BS and disinfo never gets sifted out. It then gets passed on to elected officials, which is some of what we’re seeing. Then you have agencies and the administration selectively manipulate and leak according to their own respective agendas. This is how the sausage is being made in DC these days.

3) There is only so much media space, and politicians compete with each other for that space.

So they need to come up with more outlandish claims to get a bigger share of that media space. That creates a disincentive to vet the info they get and publicly talk about. No one gets on Greta by saying: “We need to keep a cool head about this stuff.”

4) Because of that, the game of “I got a secret” is more prevalent than ever before.

Those secrets might be complete equine feces, but the desire to be “in the know,” whether they actually are or not, and the temptation to show that you’re “in the know,” is strong.

5) Congress has no mechanism to vet what the agencies and administration tells them.

 

Back in the 1990s there wase a House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare that gave Congress direct access to the intelligence and SPECOPS worlds to be able to know if what the admin at the time — regardless of party — was saying was true or not.

That’s gone. Congress itself has no internal vetting system to speak of. They are at the mercy of the Executive Branch.

6) The threats are escalating so rapidly, no one in D.C. wants to be holding the bag when something actually happens.

They’ve learned from 9/11 that they don’t want to be the one saying: “Yeah, I knew about it but never said anything publicly.” Everyone wants a chair when the music stops, so they are all trying to lay down their markers now to show they were trying to do something about it beforehand — whether they actually were or not.

Understand, much of this has nothing to do with actually preventing terrorism, but with political posturing.

7) Don’t even get me going about people in the D.C. media/foreign policy establishment — e.g., the think tanks.

There are some solid policy analysts out there doing very good work, but much of it goes unrecognized or never gets considered. That said, the vast majority of these analysts won’t do anything that gets them disinvited to a D.C. cocktail party or criticized by the cool kids on Twitter.

An M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins/Georgetown/Harvard doesn’t mean that you have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about. Analysis takes years of study and practice — but try telling that to your average 25-year-old policy wonk. And yet these are the characters that drive much the narrative, increasingly so as social media favored by the younger crowd drives much of the news cycle these days.

8) Because so much BS is being slung about, it is actually crowding out good intel.

There are actual border threats from various terrorist groups and actors currently being investigated. But none of that info will ever see the light of day because people inside the system know it will get lumped in with all the disinformation grabbing the headlines right now.

9) Because this administration seeks to maintain an iron grip over the flow of information, virtually any leak is subject to some variety of mole hunt.

It may not lead to official discipline, but perhaps to the imposition of other unofficial forms of discipline, like getting cut out of the loop, which is the kiss of death. That said, I personally know of whistleblowers getting hammered right now by their agencies for calling attention to these kinds of threats, or for trying to get information to Congress.

And Congress has still not created substantive legal protections for whistleblowers, so that creates a severe disincentive for accurate info making its way out.

(Note that the Democrats control the gavel in the Senate, and the impotent and incompetent GOP leadership that governs the House consistently refuses to exercise their oversight powers (particularly committee chairmen). That’s why it is taking YEARS for info related to the litany of Obama administration scandals from coming to light. And when the info becomes public, it is frequently due to groups outside the political establishment. Judicial Watch has done the yeomans work in this regard — not Congress — on the IRS, Fast and Furious, et al.)

10) Elections in four weeks increase all of these by an order of magnitude. So I’m not sure we’ve reached peak ISISmania yet.

There are actual threats to the homeland out there, including ISIS, but virtually all that we’re seeing in the media at the moment is political theater and the accumulation of serious systemic problems within the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

And much of this nonsense is going to get more Americans killed.

Also see:

U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sep. 24, 2014:

Just days after Congress approved $500 million in support for “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels, one of those same “vetted moderate” rebel groups currently receiving heavy weaponry from the U.S. has condemned the U.S. for airstrikes on ISIS in Syria earlier this week.

Harakat al-Hazm, which was one of the first Syrian rebel groups to receive heavy weapons from the U.S. this year, issued a statement Tuesday denouncing the U.S. for the anti-ISIS attacks. Harakat al-Hazm has been hailed by the Washington, D.C. foreign policy establishment as “rebels worth supporting” and “a model candidate for greater U.S. and allied support, including lethal military assistance.”

As reported by the L.A. Times:

One of the administration’s favored moderate rebel factions, Harakat Hazm, part of the Free Syrian Army alliance and a recipient of U.S. missiles and training, issued a statement Tuesday denouncing the “external intervention” — that is, the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Syria — as “an attack on the revolution.”

The group said its main goal was toppling Assad. It is demanding “unconditional arming” of the Free Syrian Army, yet its members also acknowledge fighting alongside Al Nusra Front, the official Al Qaeda force in Syria.

Still, the country’s motley bands of fighters labeled as moderates may well be the White House’s best hope for now. It has few other options.

Here is a copy of the statement by Harakat al-Hazm:

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Harakat al-Hazm may sound familiar to PJ Media readers.

Earlier this month I reported that Hazm fighters admitted to an L.A. Times reporter that they were fighting alongside Jabhat al-Nusra, the official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. I also noted that despite media claims that Harakat al-Hazm had released a statement of “rejection of all forms of cooperation and coordination” with Nusra, it signed a statement of alliance with Nusra to prevent the Assad regime from advancing into Aleppo.

The Obama administration billed the $500 million approved last week by Congress as aid to the rebel groups to help roll back gains by hardcore jihadist groups, including ISIS.

And now that one of the primary groups to which the U.S. is supplying heavy weapons in order to supposedly “roll back” ISIS gains has not only denounced the U.S. for this week’s airstrikes on ISIS, declaring them an “attack on the revolution,” but is also partnering with a U.S.-designated terrorist group, Jabhat al-Nusra, what hope is there really that the “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups are going to accomplish that goal?

And one final question: in light of this catastrophe, who is vetting the vetters?

Also see:

House Amendment Would Allow Obama to Arm, Train Syrian Rebels with Terrorist Ties

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PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, Sep. 15, 2014:

According to reports, the House Armed Services Committee is currently preparing an amendment to arm and train the Syrian rebels that will be voted on this week. If passed, the bill will be attached to the continuing resolution to fund the government until December. **UPDATE** The amendment has been posted.

The most troubling element to the proposed amendment is a provision allowing the Obama administration to arm and train rebels with ties to terrorism. The “vetted moderate rebel” groups supported by the administration are known to be partnering with designated terrorist organizations, and the passage of this amendment would give congressional blessing to such arrangements.

According to The Hill:

The measure includes several provisions intended to satisfy Republicans and Democrats worried about giving the administration blanket authority to arm and train rebel groups, who would be used in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

It would require Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to submit the administration’s plan for training the moderate opposition 15 days before the commencement of any such activities, the aide said. That requirement was put forward by the administration, the aide added.

After that, Hagel would have to submit an update to lawmakers every 90 days.

That will be the extent of oversight by Congress — notification by the Pentagon.

But then there’s this:

The Pentagon would be required to list every individual they are recruiting, and would have to provide information on their backgrounds, including any possible links to terrorist organizations, according to the aide.

But the bill would not prohibit people with links to terrorist groups from actually participating in the program, the aide said. Such a blanket prohibition could make it tougher to recruit people for the training program.

Remarkably, this amendment is being billed by Republican leadership and the D.C. media as limiting Obama’s powers.

As I’ve been reporting here at PJ Media the past two weeks, considerable evidence is mounting that the “vetted moderate rebels” that the U.S. has already sent weapons to are allying with ISIS and other terrorist groups on the local level.

On September 3, I reported that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) — the main rebel group fighting the Assad regime — recently allied with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. A FSA commander later confirmed my reporting on their alliance near the Lebanon border.

Then on September 9, I reported on one of the first rebel groups to receive heavy weapons from the CIA earlier this year, Harakat al-Hazm, which has also allied with Jabhat al-Nusra.

And this past weekend I reported that the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF), which had been billed as “the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies,” has signed a peace deal with ISIS according to both Arabic and English media reports. The head of SRF yesterday published a denial — in English (meaning, for Western audiences) — of those reports. And yet, the Wall Street Journal reported in May about SRF’s open cooperation with Jabhat al-Nusra.

So with this House amendment, Republicans would be endorsing the Obama administration’s existing policy of arming and training Syrian rebel groups known to be working with terrorists, which would effectively give Obama political cover in the case of more U.S. weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

They don’t call the GOP “the stupid party” for nothing.

Yet Another U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Makes Peace with ISIS

free-syrian-army-2011-11-2 (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole:

Obama’s hope to do anything of substance in Syria took another severe blow yesterday as the U.S.-backed and armed Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF) struck a peace deal with ISIS, according to both Arabic and English language news reports.

The SRF had only a few months ago been deemed by the U.S. foreign policy establishment as “the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies.”

Now AFP reports:

Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire deal was agreed between ISIS and moderate and Islamist rebels in Hajar al-Aswad, south of the capital.

Under the deal, “the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime.”

Nussayri is a pejorative term for the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

According to media reports, other groups joining the ceasefire with ISIS include Liwa Ahrar Turkman al-Golan, Liwa Hittin and Liwa al-Umma al-Wahida.

When seeking U.S. heavy weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles, SRF commander Jamal Maroof was full of bravado, declaring war against ISIS. In May, McClatchy reported that SRF and other “vetted moderate rebel” groups had received TOW missiles from the U.S. and posted videos of their use.

But as soon as weapons were being delivered to Maroof’s SRF forces, he was giving interviews to Western media making clear that “al-Qaeda is not our problem.”

A May 2014 report by Jenan Moussa of Al-Aan notes that Maroof runs SRF in a cave with his three wives and children:

 

During that interview where Maroof talks about receiving U.S. military aid and his soldiers receiving U.S. training, there is one curious artifact in the background:

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The SRF’s ceasefire with ISIS puts yet another nail in the coffin of the claims by the U.S. foreign policy establishment that there are “vetted moderate” Syrian “rebels” that we can rely upon.

As I’ve reported here at PJ Media over the past week, the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army is operating openly with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, the official al-Qaeda affiliate, in certain areas. I also noted an L.A. Times article last Sunday where a reporter traveling with fighters from the U.S.-backed and armed Harakat al-Hazm, one of the first groupsto receive U.S. heavy weapons, was told that the group fights alongside Jabhat al-Nusra. And earlier this week I reported on a statement by a Free Syrian Army commander admitting his group is in an alliance with ISIS fighting near the border with Lebanon.

As Congress takes up a bill to fund Obama’s plan to arm and train so-called “vetted moderate” Syrian “rebels,” even some analysts are beginning to admit that finding the right allies in Syria will be difficult. With the State Department’s disastrous record so far of identifying “vetted moderate rebel” groups who refuse to ally with al-Qaeda and ISIS, and ISIS leaders openly bragging about the U.S. arming and training rebels groups that have now defected to ISIS, some prudent caution on the part of Congress is in order before throwing more money and weapons into Syria and Iraq.

***

Daniel Greenfield comments on the SRF:

Once you get the TOW milk, you no longer need the American cow.

The SRF is yet another Free Syrian Army orbital coalition composed of assorted Islamic Jihadist militias. Maroof’s Syrian Martyrs Brigade is described as secular, but its name and logo quickly give the lie to that.

It’s backed by Saudi Arabia and it supposedly had some success against ISIS, but it’s also widely been accused of being mercenary, which means that expecting it to seriously put itself on the line is delusional.

It’s still basically Islamist and appears to be more opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood than to Al Qaeda because that’s who its Saudi bosses were worried about at the time. It casually switches up allegiances, like much of the Syrian opposition, making it something between a menace and worthless. Giving it TOW missiles was a clearly stupid move.

Also see:

‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

As-Iraq-Burns-US-Plans-500-Million-to-Terrorists-in-Syria-610x400

This is what the D.C. foreign policy establishment has reduced itself to when it comes to Syria — cozying up to al-Qaeda (or Iran and Assad) in the name of “countering violent extremism,” namely ISIS, and entertaining each other with cocktail party talk of “moderate wings” of al-Qaeda. As my colleague Stephen Coughlin observes, our bipartisan foreign policy establishment has created a bizarre language about Iraq and Afghanistan to avoid the stark reality that we lost both wars. This is the state American foreign policy finds itself in on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda.

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, September 10, 2014:

As President Obama laid out his “strategy” last night for dealing with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and as bipartisan leadership in Congress push to approve as much as $4 billion to arm the Syrian “rebels,” it should be noted that the keystone to his anti-Assad policy — the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) — is now admitting that they, too, are working with the Islamic State.

This confirms our reporting about the FSA’s alliances with Syrian terrorist groups here at PJ Media last week.

On Monday, the Daily Star in Lebanon quoted a FSA brigade commander saying that his forces were working with the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate — both U.S.-designated terrorist organizations — near the Syrian/Lebanon border.

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.

“We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice,” confirmed Abu Khaled, another FSA commander who lives in Arsal.

“Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values,” he added.

In my report last week I noted that buried in a New York Times article last month was a Syrian “rebel” commander quoted as saying that his forces were working with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in raids along the border with Lebanon, including attacks on Lebanese forces. The Times article quickly tried to dismiss the commander’s statements, but theDaily Star article now confirms this alliance.

Among the other pertinent points from that PJ Media article last week was that this time last year the bipartisan conventional wisdom amongst the foreign policy establishment was that the bulk of the Syrian rebel forces were moderates, a fiction refuted by a Rand Corporation study published last September that found nearly half of the Syrian “rebels” were jihadists or hard-core Islamists.

Another relevant phenomenon I noted was that multiple arms shipments from the U.S. to the “vetted moderate” FSA were suspiciously raided and confiscated by ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, prompting the Obama administration and the UK to suspend weapons shipments to the FSA last December.

In April, the Obama administration again turned on the CIA weapons spigot to the FSA, and Obama began calling for an additional $500 million for the “vetted moderate” rebels, but by July the weapons provided to the FSA were yet again being raided and captured by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Remarkably, one Syrian dissident leader reportedly told Al-Quds al-Arabi that the FSA had lost $500 million worth of arms to rival “rebel” groups, much of which ended up being sold to unknown parties in Turkey and Iraq.

At the same time U.S.-provided FSA weapons caches were being mysteriously raided by ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the senior FSA commanders in Eastern Syria, Saddam al-Jamal, defected to ISIS. In March, Jabhat al-Nusra joined forces with the FSA Liwa al-Ummah brigade to capture a Syrian army outpost in Idlib. Then in early July I reported on FSA brigades that had pledged allegiance to ISIS and surrendered their weapons after their announcement of the reestablishment of the caliphate. More recently, the FSA and Jabhat al-Nusra teamed up last month to capture the UN Golan Heights border crossing in Quneitra on the Syria/Israel border, taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

But the Free Syrian Army is not the only U.S.-armed and trained “rebel” force in Syria that the Obama administration is having serious trouble keeping in the “vetted moderate” column.

Earlier this week I reported on Harakat al-Hazm, which was the first of the “vetted moderates” to receive U.S. anti-tank weaponry earlier this year. Harakat al-Hazm isreportedly a front for the Muslim Brotherhood as well as  Turkey and Qatar, its Islamist state sponsors.

An LA Times article published this past Sunday from the battle lines in Syria where their reporter recounted a discussion with two Harakat al-Hazm fighters who admitted, “But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.”

Despite a claim by the L.A. Times that Harakat al-Hazm had released a statement of “rejection of all forms of cooperation and coordination” with al-Nusra Front, I published in my article earlier this week an alliance statement signed by both Jabhat al-Nusra and Harkat al-Hazm forging a joint front in Aleppo to prevent pro-Assad forces from retaking the town.

As the Obama administration began to provide heavy weaponry to Harakat al-Hazm, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy published an analysis hailing Harakat Hazm as “rebels worth supporting,” going so far as to say that the group was “a model candidate for greater U.S. and allied support, including lethal military assistance.”

That error was not as egregious as the appeal by three members of the DC foreign policy establishment “smart set” (including one former senior Bush administration National Security Council official) who argued in the pages of the January issue of Foreign Affairs for U.S. engagement with another Syrian “rebel” group, Ahrar al-Sham.

At the time their article appeared, however, Ahrar al-Sham was led by one of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s top lieutenants and former Bin Laden courier, Mohamed Bahaiah (aka Abu Khaled al-Suri). This is why the article was originally subtitled “An Al-Qaeda affiliate worth befriending.” Giving too much of the game away for non-Beltway types, that subtitle was quickly changed on the website to “An Al-Qaeda-linked group worth befriending.”

That dream of “befriending al-Qaeda” was dealt a major blow earlier this week when a blast of unknown origin killed most of Ahrar al-Sham’s senior leadership. Bereft of leadership, many analysts have rightly expressed concern that the bulk of Ahrar al-Sham’s forces will now gravitate towards ISIS and other terrorist groups.

While a McClatchy article on the explosion laughably claimed that the dead Ahrar al-Sham’s leaders represented the group’s “moderate wing” who were trying to come under another fictional “vetted moderate” alliance to obtain the next anticipated flood of U.S. weapons, others have observed that tributes to the dead leaders have poured in from al-Qaeda leaders for their “moderate wing” allies.

This is what the D.C. foreign policy establishment has reduced itself to when it comes to Syria — cozying up to al-Qaeda (or Iran and Assad) in the name of “countering violent extremism,” namely ISIS, and entertaining each other with cocktail party talk of “moderate wings” of al-Qaeda. As my colleague Stephen Coughlin observes, our bipartisan foreign policy establishment has created a bizarre language about Iraq and Afghanistan to avoid the stark reality that we lost both wars. This is the state American foreign policy finds itself in on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda.

As congressional Republicans and Democrats alike will undoubtedly rush in coming days to throw money at anyone the Obama administration deems “vetted moderates” to give the appearance of doing something in the absence of a sensible, reality-based strategy for understanding the actual dynamics at work in Syria and Iraq, an urgent reexamination of who the “vetted moderates” we’ve been financing, training and arming is long overdue. It is also essential to know to whom the State Department hascontracted the “vetting.” This is especially true as ISIS leaders are openly bragging about widespread defections amongst FSA forces that have been trained and armed by the U.S. to ISIS.

Predictably, the usual suspects (John McCain and Lindsey Graham) who have been led wide-eyed around Syria by the “vetted moderate” merchants and have played the administration’s “yes men” for a fictional narrative that has never had any basis in reality will undoubtedly hector critics for not listening to their calls to back the “vetted moderate” rebels last year when they could have contained ISIS — an inherently false assumption. These usual suspects should be ashamed of their role in helping sell a fiction that has cost 200,000 Syrians their lives and millions more their homes while destabilizing the entire region. Shame, sadly, is a rare commodity in Washington, D.C.

Notwithstanding Obama’s siren call for immediate action, Congress should think long and hard before continuing to play along with the administration and D.C. foreign policy establishment’s “vetted moderate” fairy tale and devote themselves to some serious reflection and discussion on how we’ve arrived at this juncture where we are faced with nothing but horribly bad choices and how to start walking back from the precipice. As we remember the thousands lost on that terrible day thirteen years ago, truly honoring their memory deserves nothing less.

US-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly With ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

640x392_25455_221535By Patrick Poole:

As the Obama administration struggles to address the threat from ISIS and plans to go to Congress in coming weeks to up its commitment against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, multiple media reports indicate that the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is operating openly with ISIS and other designated terrorist groups. And yet financial and military support for the FSA is the keystone to the administration’s policy in Syria.

Some background is essential.

It was just over a year ago that the Institute for the Study of War’s Liz O’Bagy was opining in the Wall Street Journal about her travels to Syria and purported discovery that the Syrian ‘rebels’ really weren’t bloodthirsty jihadists, but moderates worthy of US financial and military support – in particular, heavy weapons. Her claims about the Syrian rebels, particularly the FSA, were cited and praised by Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain.

That view, of course, quickly came crashing down as O’Bagy came under fire for failing to disclose that she was also a paid agent of a Syrian rebel front, but also that she had lied about her academic credentials. Within two weeks of her oped appearing, she was fired from the Institute for the Study of War, though she was hired two weeks later by Senator McCain as a Senate staffer.

At the same time that O’Bagy’s career was taking a hit, the narrative that the Syrian ‘rebels’ were all secular moderates was quickly collapsing. A Rand Corporation study appeared two weeks after O’Bagy’s oped saying that nearly half of the Syrian ‘rebels’ were jihadists or hardline Islamists (as if there were a discernible difference). Meanwhile, the FSA was under serious pressure from the very jihadist groups that Ms O’Bagy had assured were not a problem.

Another practical problem developed with providing weapons to the FSA. As soon as weapons shipments from the CIA were arriving in Syria, the FSA weapons caches were being raided by jihadist groups, including ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, the official Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, under very suspicious circumstances. The problem got so bad that by last December, both the US and the UK had stopped weapons shipments to the FSA.

But by April of this year, the Obama adminstration’s CIA weapons spigot was turned back on, with the FSA now receiving heavy weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. And in late June, President Obama asked Congress for $500 million to arm and train the FSA.

This move was not without controversy as the Syrian Military Council chief-of-staff warned that the US was circumventing the SMC and providing weapons directly to FSA units that could end up creating Afghan/Somali-style warlords in Syria. The State Department responded to that criticism assuring that the weapons were going to “moderate, vetted groups” (because, of course, the State Department has such a long illustrious history in vetting Islamic “moderates”).

The ISIS announcement of the reestablishment of the caliphate and their subsequent push further into Iraq has considerably changed the playing field and revealed the true nature of the US-backed “moderate, vetted” FSA.

Last week the Washington Post reported on the Syrian ‘rebel’ takeover of the Golan Heights Quneitra border crossing with Israel (where I reported from last year), with the ‘rebels’ capturing the UN peacekeepers stationed at the crossing. The Post noted:

The United Nations gave no further details, but an Israeli military spokesman told CNN that the captors are suspected to be members of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been fighting alongside more-moderate, Western-backed rebels for control of the area.

The “more-moderate, Western-backed rebels” fighting alongside with Jabhat al-Nusra the Post was referring to, but didn’t dare name, was none other than the FSA.

Read more at PJ Media

Report: 3 More Americans Killed Fighting with ISIS in Syria

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Aug. 31, 2014:

Reports this past week identified two Americans – Douglas McCain from San Diego and Abdiraaman Muhumad from Minneapolis — who were killed by Syrian rebel groups last weekend as they were fighting with ISIS.

A new claim was made on a Syrian rebel Twitter feed this morning saying that an additional three Americans have been killed fighting with ISIS near Ghouta.

A video purporting to show the three dead Americans was posted on Youtube (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO):

 

Yet another American from Florida, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, conducted a suicide bombing for Jabhat al-Nusra — the official Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria — back in May.

An article in the current issue of The Economist reports on Western foreign fighters joining jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. The following graphic included in that article estimates that 70 Americans are currently fighting there, though other estimates have indicated that more than one hundred may be in the area.

20140830_MAC990_595

GRAPHIC: The Economist

FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism

Medical workers aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two bomb explosions / AP

Medical workers aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two bomb explosions / AP

Internal report labels white supremacists, black separatists, militias, abortion extremists main domestic extremists

Washington Free Beacon, By Bill Gertz, August 29, 2014:

The FBI’s most recent national threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats, despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans.

Instead, the internal FBI intelligence report concluded in its 2013 assessment published this month that the threat to U.S. internal security from extremists is limited to attacks and activities by eight types of domestic extremist movements—none motivated by radical Islam.

They include anti-government militia groups and white supremacy extremists, along with “sovereign citizen” nationalists, and anarchists. Other domestic threat groups outlined by the FBI assessment include violent animal rights and environmentalist extremists, black separatists, anti- and pro-abortion activists, and Puerto Rican nationalists.

“Domestic extremist violence continues to be unpredictable and, at times, severe,” the report states.

A copy of the unclassified, 60-page National Threat Assessment for Domestic Extremism, dated Aug. 14, was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. It warns that the threat of domestic-origin extremism was moderate in 2013 and will remain so for this year.

“Domestic extremists collectively presented a medium-level threat to the United States in 2013; the FBI assesses the 2014 threat will remain close to this level,” the report said.

On black separatists, the report warned that a “high-profile racially charged crimes or events” could lead to an expansion of black separatist groups. The report identified three such groups as the New Black Panther Party, the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, and the Black Hebrew Israelite group as extremists under FBI scrutiny.

An alternative assessment section in the report warned that radical black activists could “reinitiate violence at the historically high levels seen for the movement during the 1970s, when bombings, assassinations, hijackings, and hostage-takings occurred.”

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“Such a scenario could occur as an extreme response to perceptions of devolving racial equality or perceptions of racially-motivated police brutality, or racially-biased injustice, oppression, or judicial rulings,” the report said. “Indicators include increased weapons procurement, reports of sophisticated plots, and development of an explosives capability.”

Black extremist groups may also seek “stronger ties to foreign governments in exchange for financial resources,” the report said.

The report was written before the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo. However, it mentions that black separatist extremists stepped up threats against law enforcement officers, the U.S. government, and non-blacks following the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012.

“FBI investigations reveal black separatist extremists engaged in financial crimes, and drug and weapons trafficking, possibly to finance activities and maintain access to weapons,” the report said.

FBI intelligence sources reported that domestic extremist groups “aspired” to carry out violent attacks. “Of a sample of 50 credible violent threat intelligence reports analyzed for this assessment, nearly 60 percent expressed lethal violence as an ultimate goal,” the report said, noting militias seeking the overthrow of the U.S. government, sovereign citizens, white supremacists and black separatists were among those seeking to conduct deadly attacks.

“Lone actors and small cells will continue to present the greatest threat in 2014,” the report says. “Some of these individuals will engage in lethal violence, although it is most likely the majority of violent criminal acts will continue to be characterized as serious crimes, such as arson and assault, but which are not, ultimately lethal.”

The Bureau anticipates an increase in activity by animal rights and environmental extremists, such as releasing animals and damaging property, as both movements began expanding in late 2013. Additionally, a similar level of activity is expected this year for anarchist, anti-government militias, white supremacy, and sovereign citizen extremists.

For abortion extremism, the report says violence prone groups fall into two categories, “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice,” but notes the primary threat of abortion extremism comes from lone individuals, not groups.

Puerto Rican nationalist extremists were described as “followers of Marxist-Leninist ideology,” have targeted the U.S. government for destabilization, and are seeking to create an independent island nation.

The FBI estimates domestic extremists caused more than $15 million in financial loses in 2012 and 2013, mainly through animal rights and environmental activities that targeted U.S. agriculture.

“It is highly likely extremists will continue to exact financial losses in 2014, with the agriculture, construction, and financial sectors serving as the most probable targets.”

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson had no immediate comment on the report.

One indirect explanation for the omission of Islamist extremism in the report is provided in a footnote to a graphic describing an “other” category of domestic extremism not included in the report. “The ‘Other’ category includes domestic extremist [sic] whose actions were motivated by beliefs which fall outside the eight designated [domestic terrorism] subprograms,” the footnote stated.

The footnote indicates the FBI has separated Islamist terrorism from other domestic extremism.

The Obama administration in 2009 adopted a new policy that substituted the vague term “violent extremism” as a replacement for terrorism.

The graphic showed that domestic extremists killed 43 people from 2003 to 2013 carried out by five categories of terrorists—abortion extremists, black separatists, sovereign citizens, white supremacists, and “others.”

The report left out all references to the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured some 264 others. Two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who were motivated by Islamist extremist beliefs, carried out the bombing. They learned the techniques for the homemade pressure cooker bombers from an al Qaeda linked magazine.

The FBI had been warned in advance of the attack by Russian security services that the brothers may have links to Chechen terrorists but failed to act.

The FBI report also made no direct reference to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, by radicalized Army Maj. Nidal Hasan. The mass shooting left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

Former FBI Agent John Guandolo said he was not surprised the report did not include any reference to domestic-origin Islamic terror.

“It should not surprise anyone who follows the jihadi threats in the United States that the FBI would not even include ‘Islamic terrorism’ in its assessment of serious threats to the republic in an official report,” Guandolo said.

“Since 9/11, FBI leadership—as well as leaders from Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, CIA, Pentagon, and the National Security Council—relies on easily identifiable jihadis from the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, al Qaeda and elsewhere to advise it on how to deal with ‘domestic extremism.’”

Patrick Poole, a domestic terrorism expert, also was critical of the report’s omission of U.S. Islamist extremism, blaming “politically correct” policies at the FBI for the problem.

“At the same time we have senior members of the Obama administration openly saying that it’s not a question of if but when we have a terror attack targeting the United States by ISIL, we have the FBI putting on blinders to make sure they don’t see that threat,” Poole said.

“These politically correct policies have already allowed Americans to be killed at Fort Hood and in Boston,” he added

Guandolo said the failure to recognize the domestic Islamist threat had allowed domestic jihadist groups and their sympathizers to shape U.S. government create policies that do not acknowledge jihad as the root cause for the current global chaos.

An example, he said, is that the FBI has appointed a domestic Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organization leader to an FBI advisory council at the Washington headquarters.

Additionally, the FBI is failing to train agents and analysts on the Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States, Guandolo said.

“The FBI, no matter how diligent its agents are in their pursuit of ‘terrorists’, will never defeat this threat because its leaders refuse to address or even identify it,” he said. “This level of negligence on the part of the FBI leaders and their failure to understand the jihadi threat 13 years after 9/11 is appalling.”

Poole said the failure of the FBI to understand the domestic Islamist threat led to the U.S. government categorizing the 2009 Fort Hood shooting Army Maj. Nidal Hasan as “workplace violence.”

“In the case of Fort Hood, the FBI was monitoring Maj. Hasan’s email communication with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki but the FBI headquarters dismissed it because they were talking about ‘religious’ subjects,” Poole said.

“In the Boston bombing case the FBI cleared Tamerlan Tsarnayev with nothing more than a house visit after receiving a tip from Russian intelligence, and never making the connection that he was attending a mosque founded by an imprisoned al Qaeda financier and previously attended by two convicted terrorists,” Poole added.

As a result “we have more than a dozen dead Americans killed here at home because of these politically correct FBI policies, and with threats emerging from all corners this doubling-down on political correctness when it comes to Islam is undoubtedly going to get more Americans killed,” he added.

The domestic threat assessment is the latest example indicating the FBI has been forced by Obama administration policies from focusing on the domestic terror threat posed by radical Islamists.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) said in a 2012 House floor speech that the FBI was ordered to purge references to Islam, jihad, and Muslims in its counterterrorism “lexicon” guidelines for its reports.

As a result, the FBI is hamstrung from understanding the threat of terrorism from groups like al Qaeda that have declared jihad, or holy war, on the Untied States, Gomert said.

Guandolo, the former FBI agent, said the vast majority of U.S. Islamic organizations were identified in recent U.S. terrorism trials as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent group for the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Thus, these groups are aligned with the same objectives as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al Qaeda, and others, he said.

“Our FBI is not teaching their agents and analysts this information; they are not sharing it with local and state law enforcement officials; and they are not investigating and pursuing the very individuals and organizations which are supporting and training jihadis in America,” Guandolo said.

Guandolo said former FBI director Robert Mueller testified to Congress that he was unaware that the Islamic Society of Boston was the organization behind the radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers. “That tells you all we need to know about the FBI’s leadership about the threat here in America from the Islamic Movement—they are clueless,” he said.

State Department Promotes Extremist MB Cleric Abdullah Bin Bayyah

Bin Bayyah NER, By Jerry Gordon:

Adam Kredo in a Washington Free Beacon article this weekend, reported on the State Department  Counter Terrorism  (CT) Bureau promotion  of Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah  head of International Union of Muslim Scholars  (IUMS) and  the deputy to anti-Semitic, anti-American Muslim Brotherhood preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi., State Dept Promotes Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on ‘Killing of U.S. Soldiers’”.    As noted by Kredo, the CT Bureau tweeted last Friday  a press release by Bin Bayyah’s group condemning the kidnapping of the 276 largely Christian Nigerian girls  by  extremist Jihadist  fighters Boko Haram.  We wonder why the State Department didn’t pick up on the other news release, “IUMS condemns assault on Al-Aqsa by Israeli army and Zionist settlers, reminds nation of its duties”.

Just prior to the coup ousting Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, Bin Bayyah had been invited by former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon to discuss supposed new messages to combat al Qaeda.  We wrote  at the time:

The Obama Administration had reached out to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and on June 13, 2013 had invited Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah, the deputy to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the banned anti-Semitic, Anti-American Muslim Brotherhood preacher. He met with outgoing National Security Council Advisor, Tom Donilon and others on President Obama’s staff. Posters in English in Tahrir Square accused President Obama and Amb. Anne Patterson of fostering Muslim Brotherhood terrorism. Meanwhile the Obama White House issued statements following the Egyptian military on July 3, 2013 expressing “deep concern” of the decision to remove Morsi and urged the military to avoid “any arbitrary arrests” of the president and his supporters. The President “directed relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.”
Fox News noted.

Later in a November 2013 review of Erick Stakelbeck’s book, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy, we spotlighted the Obama Administration’s outreach to Muslim Brotherhood leaders:

Members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood have been invited to the Obama White House. Hani Nour Eldin, a former terrorist member of the Egyptian Ikhwan was part of a delegation that met with White House staff. Eldin lobbied for the release of the blind Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman who organized the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. In mid June 2013, just weeks before the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, Obama National Security staffers met with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. He is a colleague of Egyptian Ikhwan preacher Yusuf al Qaradawi. According to a Fox News report, Sheik Ben Bayyah “has urged the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy.” His group has spoken out in favor of Hamas and in 2009 issued a fatwa barring “all forms of normalization with Israel.”

Ironically, the title of review of Stakelbeck’s book tells the story in a tweet headline, “Willful Blindness to the global Muslim Brotherhood Threat”.

Kredo backs up these comments with further evidence:

Bin Bayyah is reported to have been one of several clerics who endorsed a 2004 fatwa that endorsed resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq, PJ Media reported in 2013, when Bin Bayyah met with Obama’s National Security Council staff at the White House.

Bin Bayyah has “urged the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy,” according to reports, and spoke “out in favor of Hamas,” the terror group that rules over the West Bank.

The cleric also issued a fatwa in 2009 “barring ‘all forms of normalization’ with Israel,” according to Fox.

The 2004 fatwa on Iraq stated that “resisting occupation troops” is a “duty” for all Muslims, according to reports.

Yusuf Qaradawi, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader who founded the IUMS—where Bin Bayyah served as vice president—has been called a “theologian of terror” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Bin Bayyah himself has advocated for the criminalization of “the denigration of religious symbols,” which critics call an infringement on free speech.

He cites counter terrorism expert Patrick Poole’s concerns about this latest State Department episode:

“This administration is continuing to push extremist clerics like Bin Bayyah as part of a fantasy foreign policy that somehow they are somehow a counter to al Qaeda,” Poole said. “But in Bin Bayyah’s case, it was his organization that issued the fatwa allowing for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and said it was a duty for Muslims all over the world to support the Iraqi ‘resistance’ against the United States that gave religious justification for al Qaeda’s terrorism.

“And [Bin Bayyah] said nothing as his pal Qaradawi issued fatwas authorizing the use of suicide bombings and publicly defended terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Poole added. “If anything, clerics like Bin Bayyah and [Yusuf] Qaradawi have actively aided al Qaeda.”

This State Department CT Bureau tweet about Sheik Bin Bayyah is evidence of the delusion fostered by the Obama White House that has lost all credibility with a policy directed at engaging Muslim Brotherhood theocrats and Shiite Ayatollah fostering Global Islamic terrorism.  Professor Richard L. Rubenstein commented in a June 2009 NER  You Tube video interview that Obama was “the most radical US President ever”.  This latest State Department action shows how prescient was Rubenstein’s observation.

“Obama Most Radical US President ever” states prestigious Harvard Phd:

Uploaded on Jun 29, 2010 by Grepssoftly

Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, Yale fellow, “Distinguished Professor of the Year”, and Harvard Phd, states that president Obama’s intention is to “correct the historical mistake of the creation of the state of Israel.” Moreover, Dr. Rubenstein states that president Obama is extremely pro Muslim due to his family past to the point of “wanting to see the destruction of Israel.”

Update:

On the Ground in Egypt: Patrick Poole and Stephen Coughlin

Secure Freedom, Published on May 13, 2014

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Friday, 9 May, 2014

Patrick Poole, National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy

Topic: US Policy and Egyptian Counter-terrorism Efforts: Report on Recent Travels to Egypt

Convicted for Assisting Al Qaeda Terrorist, Hired as IRS Analyst

IRSBY RYAN MAURO:

Reporter Patrick Poole has broken an outrageous story about how a current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) analyst was convicted for illegally assisting an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist. The IRS plays an important role in terrorism investigations.

The exposed individual is Weiss Rasool, who now goes by the name of Weiss Russell. Poole reveals that he currently works in the IRS Deputy Chief Financial Officer’s Office as a financial management analyst.

The story begins in June 2005 when the FBI began keeping tabs on a suspected terrorist in Virginia named Abdullah Alnoshan that had ties to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American who was leading a branch of Al-Qaeda at the time. Alnoshan headed the Virginia office of the Muslim World League, a Saudi-backed group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

One of Alnoshan’s friends was Fairfax County Police Sergeant Weiss Rasool. When the suspect became aware of three vehicles conducting surveillance on him, he asked Rasool to run their license plates.

Rasool left the suspect a phone message where he said that the vehicles did not have the same owner. The FBI believes the information undermined its investigation. When the authorities arrested him in November 2005, he was already in the process of destroying evidence. He was convicted on immigration fraud charges and deported to Saudi Arabia.

The authorities noticed that Rasool searched Alnoshan’s name in the National Crime Information System 17 times in 18 months. When Rasool was questioned in 2007, he denied even knowing the Alnoshan.

During the period between Alnoshan’s deportation and Rasool’s own arrest, Rasool worked to eliminate training that could facilitate his exposure and the Islamist movement as a whole.

Rasool persuaded his police department to immediately sever ties to the Higgins Center, a non-profit organization that produces law-enforcement training materials. He said that the Center promoted negative sentiment towards Islam, but the Center says its position is not anti-Muslim or even anti-Islam.

According to its president, Peter Leitner, the training materials included instructions on “fifth column activities and penetrating agents” and the “international revolutionary Islamist movement.” No wonder Rasool wanted to end the teaching.

Read more at Clarion Project

Islamist Propaganda – at taxpayers expense

Following September 11, 2001 corporations and government organizations stepped up training programs to educate employees regarding Islam and the American Muslim communities. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with local affiliated groups, quickly pushed for inclusion to place sympathetic individuals on advisory boards. The selling point being that only “good” Muslims can provide guidance on how to counter the threat posed by ”bad” Muslims.

For law enforcement and security entities, there was a move on the other side the spectrum to provide operational training to help personnel recognize and deal with extremist threats. These programs were presented by a variety of sources and usually included a level of profiling that many American Muslim leaders found offensive. Pushing the “political correctness buttons”, CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) campaigned to have any training/educational items they deemed offensive purged and replaced with programs they endorsed.

The Islamists encountered a “bump” in the road around 2007-2008 when the FBI brass finally realized they had a slight problem. CAIR  had been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case. It’s simply bad PR to have the U.S. Government’s lead law enforcement agency knocking elbows with a group funding the likes of Hamas.

muellerBy the fall of 2008, FBI headquarters had cut all ties with CAIR and instructed field offices to do the same. Then FBI director Mueller reaffirmed the ban on working with CAIR during congressional testimony in 2011. It appears Mueller’s orders to “cease and desist” relations with CAIR were apparently not followed by all offices and an Inspector General (IG) investigation was initiated in 2012.

Director Mueller was working another agenda as well. On February 8, 2012 he met secretly with a number of Islamist groups to advise them that the FBI had removed several hundred pages of documents that might be deemed“offensive” to Muslims. As reported by Patrick Poole in the www.theblaze.com, Mueller’s meeting appears to be only part of push by the Obama administration to appease Islamic outreach groups – the effort was government wide. According to Poole’s article:

Among other “don’ts” declared by DHS was this warning:
Don’t use training that relies on fear or conspiracies to motivate law enforcement. Don’t use training premised on theories with little or no evidence to support them. Examples (from the report “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace”) of unsubstantiated theories include…Mainstream Muslim organizations are fronts for Islamic political organizations who true desire is to establish Sharia law in America.

(I strongly recommend reading Poole’s article for an eye-opening account of the level of appeasement the U.S. government is willing go to.)

The above makes it clear that Islamists made significant inroads to influence U.S. national policy decisions by simply feeding on the politically correct fears of western society. The added benefit – a trickle down effect to state and local agencies that are coerced to follow federal policies/trends in order to enjoy the fruits of federal grants. By removing training that might be offensive to Muslims, the only option left would be training that Muslims don’t find offensive. In other words, only training that the Islamists approve.

Placing an emphasis on cultural awareness, a play has been made towards agency heads and program managers to promote”safe” and “politically correct” training – basically, content that they’d like to hear instead of content they need to hear. Still, the stigma of the terror funding label applied to CAIR and associated groups presents a difficult sell to have recognized Islamist groups present such training.  Socially attractive and non-threatening solution are needed.

cculturesEnter Connecting Cultures, LLC (www.connecting-cultures.net) …

With a move away from anti-terror themed awareness towards a “we are the world” mentality for many organizations, this company has managed to fill the vacuum created with the purge of many of the training programs found to be offensive to Muslims.  Promoted as a GSA approved contractor, the Justice Department features some of their publications on it’s website. According to the Connecting Cultures website, their list of clients, include:

U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Federal Judicial Center
DC Federal Court
Food and Drug Administration
Foreign Agricultural Service
Foreign Service Institute
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Army
U.S. Air Force Academy
U.S. Marines Law Enforcement
FBI
Transportation Security Administration
Michigan National Guard
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The flyer for an upcoming course in Florida, titled, “Understanding Muslim Diversity: Effective Engagement with Muslims” includes this endorsement:

This training has been vetted and approved
by the office of the US Attorney General and
delivered to all US Attorneys and thousands
of Law Enforcement Officers, military person-
nel across the nation

 

Alexander Kronemer, Lobna Ismail and Eric Holder

Alexander Kronemer, Lobna Ismail and Eric Holder

Connection Cultures has made a concentrated move to step up services to “first-responders” (i.e. local law enforcement). Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice features one of their videos on their website, entitled, “The First 3 to 5 seconds: Understanding Arab and Muslim Americans”.   Promoted as roll-call/officer safety training material it opens with a traffic stop of a stereo-typical middle-eastern looking male. The film then moves on to how Arabs are not stereo-typical and can be found in all communities and walks of life. Despite this, the film then highlights how Arabs and Muslims should be dealt with special cultural sensitivity to alleviate their fears of law enforcement.

It’s hard not to shake the feeling that the film is striving to instill an appeasement mentality on the street level cop.

Special note should be taken of the film’s credits. It was produced with Department of Justice funding under the Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS). It also includes a special thanks to Iman Jahari Abdul-Malik, Outreach Director, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is located in Falls Church, VA, The Department of Treasury’s Enforcement Communications System (TECS) records note that Dar al-Hijrah “is a mosque operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.,” “is associated with Islamic extremists,” “has been under numerous investigations for financing and proving aid and comfort to bad orgs and members,” has “been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing,” and “has also been associated with encouraging fraudulent marriages”.  Abdul-Malik has publicly defended known Al Qaeda and Hamas members as well as stating his desire to make Islam the predominate religion in the United States.

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