Israel Bans the Muslim Brotherhood for Inciting Violence, Seeking to Replace Israel with Caliphate

mb-montage1PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Nov. 17, 2015:

Just two weeks after Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart dropped bills in the U.S. Senate and House calling for the Obama administration to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, Israel announced today that it was banning the branch of the organization from operating in their country for inciting violence and trying to replace Israel with a caliphate.

This also follows recent action taken by other U.S. allies in the Middle East to designate the Muslim Brotherhood, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

A statement posted on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains:

For years, the northern branch of the Islamic Movement has led a mendacious campaign of incitement under the heading ‘Al Aqsa is in danger’ that falsely accuses Israel of intending to harm the Al Aqsa Mosque and violate the status-quo. In this context, the northern branch has established a network of paid activists (Mourabitoun/Mourabitat) in order to initiate provocations on the Temple Mount. This activity has led to a significant increase in tension on the Temple Mount. A significant portion of recent terrorist attacks have been committed against the background of this incitement and propaganda.

Outlawing the organization is a vital step in maintaining public security and preventing harm to human life.

The northern branch, headed by Sheikh Raad Salah, is a sister movement of the Hamas terrorist organization. The two movements maintain a close and secretive cooperation. The northern branch of the Islamic Movement is a separatist-racist organization that does not recognize the institutions of the State of Israel, denies its right to exist and calls for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in its place. The northern branch of the Islamic Movement belongs to radical Islam and is part of the global ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ movement. The two movements share an extremist ideology and a common goal – the destruction of the State of Israel.

According to Israeli press reports, the ban resulted in immediate action. Haaretz reports:

In light of the decision to outlaw the branch, the Israel Police and Shin Bet security service seized the group’s property and closed its offices. Court orders were issued to shut down 17 non-profit organizations and movements that operate on behalf of the group, including those in Rahat, Jaffa, Nazareth and Umm al-Fahm. The Shin Bet also said the bank accounts of these organizations that were used “for the movement’s activities against state security” had been frozen overnight, and that computers and documents found in the offices during an overnight raid had been seized.

The move by Netanyahu to ban the group began in June 2014, when protesters at Islamic Movement protests called for the kidnapping of IDF soldiers. That effort was resisted by elements within Shin Bet and the Ministry of Justice.

The two bills introduced earlier this month by Cruz and Diaz-Balart, S. 2230 and H.R. 3892, note in their findings that the U.S. government has already designated branches, leaders and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood internationally as terrorist organizations.

In submitting the bill, Cruz told the Washington Free Beacon that the Justice Department has argued in federal court that the Muslim Brotherhood is directly tied to terrorism:

“This bill puts the lie to the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a peaceful political organization that can be a legitimate partner for America,” the lawmaker said. “In 2008 the Justice Department successfully prosecuted the largest terrorism-financing trial in American history arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood directed U.S. affiliates such as the Holy Land Foundation to provide ‘media, money and men’ to Hamas. That support was used for terrorist attacks against Americans and our allies in the Middle East.  When they are capable they will try to do the same thing here.”

If passed, the bill requires the State Department to either designate the Muslim Brotherhood, or provide a set of detailed explanations to Congress of why the group doesn’t meet the terror designation criteria.

Obama Lackey Ben Rhodes Spreads Lies About Vetting Syrian Refugees on Sunday News Talk Shows

Ben Rhodes

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Nov. 15, 2015:

In the wake of Friday’s horrific terror attacks in Paris, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was dispatched to the Sunday morning talk shows to spin his boss’ claim the previous day that the ISIS threat had been “contained.”

But he was also asked about the ability of the Obama administration to properly vet a wave of 10,000 Syrian refugees announced in September in light of reports that one or more of the Paris terrorists had entered and transited the EU as a Syrian refugee.

And yet Rhodes’ response that measures to properly vet the Syrian refugees are in place flatly contradicts the recent sworn congressional testimony of FBI officials.

Rhodes appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. It brought this exchange:

TAPPER:  I think there is a question about how good this intelligence apparatus is, Christiane Amanpour – Christiane Amanpour reporting this morning that at least one of the terrorists, according to French authorities, seems to have smuggled himself into Europe by embedding with refugees.

Ben, are you confident enough in our vetting process as the United States brings Syrian refugees into our country to pledge that this will never happen here?

RHODES:  Well, first of all, Jake, the threat of foreign fighters has been front and center from the very beginning of this counter-ISIL campaign.  We have made that a focus, so that we’re working with countries to share information, to improve their laws and authorities to be able to monitor and detain people.

And we’re going to continue to do that.  That will be a focus of discussion here in Turkey.  With respect to refugees, we have the most extensive security vetting that we have ever had to deal with Syrian refugees coming into the United States that involves not just the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, but also our intelligence community, the National Counterterrorism Center, so that anybody who comes to the United States, we are carefully vetting against all of our information.

And let’s not forget, Jake, that some of these people are people who have suffered the horrors of war.  They’re women.  They’re orphans.  They’re children who have suffered at the hands of ISIL.  We cannot close our doors to these people.  We can focus on keeping terrorists out of the United States while having an open door to people who deserve a safe haven.

And when asked by Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press about whether the developments in Paris had given President Obama pause on admitting more Syrian refugees, Rhodes replied:

No, Chuck. We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who come to the United States. There is a very careful vetting process that including our terrorism community, our Department of Homeland Security. Let’s remember, Chuck, we’re also dealing with people who suffer the horrors of war. Women and children, orphans. We can’t just shut our doors to those people. We need to do our part to take refugees in need.

But as I reported here two weeks ago at PJ Media, FBI Director Robert Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee that vetting Syrian refugees will be “challenging” when asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the quality of intelligence and information that exists on Syrians:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

Those concerns echo congressional testimony given earlier this year by FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach to the House Homeland Security Committee about the quality of information available on anyone coming out of Syria:

The concern in Syria is that we don’t have systems in places on the ground to collect information to vet…You’re talking about a country that is a failed state, that does not have any infrastructure, so to speak. So all of the dataset, the police, the intel services that normally you would go to to seek information doesn’t exist.

The FBI director was also asked by Rep. Gohmert during his testimony last month about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government — considerably more extensive than anything the National Counterterrorism Center has for Syria.

And yet despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

Comey also said during a speech last month that the FBI has 900 active investigations on suspected ISIS supporters and other extremists.

DHS, White House Tout Ability To Screen Syrian Refugees. But Under Oath, FBI Says Opposite

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 28, 2015:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told USA Today yesterday that the wave of Syrian refugees that will be admitted into the U.S. in the coming year will be subjected to “extensive, thorough background checks.”

But just last week, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director James Comey said exactly the opposite.

When asked about criticisms made by Donald Trump about the administration’s immigration policies and about concerns that ISIS may embed themselves among Syrian refugees as a “Trojan horse,” Johnson replied:

Well, in terms of the level of effort of security review that we will apply and we have applied it will be and it is extensive. Both law enforcement and homeland security have improved the process from the days when we admitted a lot of Iraqi refugees.

We now do a better job of connecting the dots, consulting all the right databases and systems that we have available to us, and the refugee review process is probably one of the most if not the most extensive thorough background checks that someone seeking to enter this country goes through.

Now we’ve made this commitment for 10,000 Syrian refugees in FY2016. It is a commitment that the United States as a global leader should and will meet.

But during a House Judiciary hearing last Thursday, Comey was asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. Despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

When asked further about the nature of intelligence available to screen Syrian refugees, Comey admitted, contrary to Secretary Johnson, that the Iraqi database  – which possibly admitted dozens of terrorists — was much more extensive than anything they have for Syria.

Rep. Gohmert pressed further about the ability to screen refugees:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

The exchange between Rep. Gohmert and Director Comey on the Syrian refugee issue can be seen at about 2:05 in the video below:

The contrast between Johnson’s confidence and Comey’s concern is striking. This confusion comes on the heels of the White House announcing last month that it will admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the new fiscal year, more than five times the number admitted this year. Adding to the mixed messages coming from the administration, White House spokesman Josh Earnest touted the “robust” databases during the announcement:

Refugees go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States. Refugees have to be screened by the National Counter Terrorism Center, by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center. They go through databases that are maintained by DHS, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. There is biographical and biometric information that is collected about these individuals.

To recap: twice, the Obama administration appealed to the effectiveness of the screening databases to justifying the safety of allowing a dramatic increase in Syrian refugees.

But in a third statement, the only one of the three given under oath, the administration admitted the screening is inadequate.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees overall in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, up from 70,000 in the current year. And Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to Obama asking him to admit another 65,000 Syrian refugees, and former Obama and Bush officials have asked that he authorize an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees over and above the 70,000 worldwide ceiling for the current year.

Also see:

REWIND 2009: Obama, Clinton Enthusiastic About Engaging ‘Moderate’ Taliban in Afghanistan

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 15, 2015:

Just weeks into his first term, President Obama was cheery at the prospect of bringing a resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan by backing a plan to lure “moderate” elements of the Taliban to support the U.S.-backed government.

Obama’s new secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was also enthusiastic about the engagement with these “moderates.”

How’s that working out? Not so well. Obama announced today that — contrary to his stated plans — the U.S. will continue its military involvement in Afghanistan past 2016:

a tweet


As veteran White House reporter Ed Henry notes, this contradicts Obama’s repeated claims that he was ending the war in Afghanistan:


With such dismal news, it seems appropriate to recall those heady days more than six-and-a-half years ago when the D.C. foreign policy establishment was aflutter with talk of the administration engaging the “moderate” Taliban. They were cheerleading for the secretary, who was on board with the engagement plan:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday endorsed Afghan plans to hold reconciliation talks with moderate Taliban members.

“We must support efforts by the government of Afghanistan to separate the extremists of al Qaeda and the Taliban from those who joined their ranks, not out of conviction but out of desperation,” Clinton said in an address laying out the new U.S. strategy for the region that President Obama announced last week.

She added, “They should be offered an honorable form of reconciliation and reintegration into a peaceful society if they are willing to abandon violence, break with al Qaeda and support the constitution.”

As late as last year, administration officials were still pushing the “moderate” Taliban plan.

Not everyone was enchanted by the plan back in 2009, and these dissenters have of course been proven correct. As theWashington Times editorialized at the time:

The Afghan government believes the talks are going well, and that supportive statements from President Obama have “created enormous optimism.” The negotiations fit neatly into Mr. Obama’s “let’s talk it out” global strategy. The reported U.S. position is that if the Taliban cease fighting, evict al-Qaeda, and promise not to support terrorism in the future, the U.S. and NATO will leave Afghanistan. Call it Anbar Awakening: The Sequel.

The United States assumes only about 5 percent of the Taliban are incorrigibles, and the remaining “reconcilables” can be “peeled off.” Hamid Karzai, himself a former Taliban supporter, defines the moderates as “those who are not affiliated with al-Qaeda” and “who accept the constitution of Afghanistan.” But most of the people who fit that description either joined the political process years ago or were killed by their immoderate brethren.

With today’s announcement, and Hillary Clinton being the presumed Democratic Party presidential candidate for 2016, how are things faring in Afghanistan?


Read more


Yet Again: Turkey, Israel Terror Attacks Committed By ‘Known Wolves’

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 14, 2015:

Multiple individuals suspected in the terror attacks over the past week in Turkey and Israel appear to be additional examples of the phenomenon I have termed “known wolf” terrorism. The attacks were committed in part by people already known to law enforcement and national security authorities as being dangers.

Saturday’s horrific suicide bombing of a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara killed more than one hundred people and injured more. According to Reuters, the suspects are thought to be members of a previously identified terror network – the “Adiyaman cell”:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday Islamic State was the prime suspect. Officials in Ankara said they were focusing on the so-called “Adiyaman cell” — a group of Turks, some of whom had traveled to Syria, and who were thought also to have been behind a suicide bombing in July in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border, which killed 34 people.

The cell is also believed to have been involved in the bombing of a pro-Kurdish opposition rally in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on the eve of Turkey’s last election in June.

Additional information indicates that one of the bombers in Saturday’s attack in Ankara — Yunus Emre Alogaz — was the brother of a bomber who struck in Suruc back in July and who had been identified by Turkish media as potentially planning an attack:

Miller tweet

Additionally, the suspect’s father had reported his son to police, but to no avail:

Blaser tweet

What makes this “known wolf” situation all the more tragic is that the Turkish government has established policies that only allow for action against suicide bombers once they have struck, and presumably are already dead:

tweets 22

Information regarding the recent wave of terror attacks in Israel also indicates that many of these so-called “lone wolf” Palestinian terrorists were also already known to Israeli authorities.

One terrorist who struck in Jerusalem yesterday by ramming his car into a bus stop and then attacking onlookers — killing one — had been interviewed by Israeli TV last year after two of his relatives had butchered five people in an attack on a synagogue. He praised their actions, Arutz Sheva reports:

The Bezeq telephone company responded to the car attack conducted in Jerusalem Tuesday by its employee Alaa Abu Jamal, claiming there were “no warning signs” of his lethal terrorist leanings — but an interview he gave just one year ago would seem to prove that wrong.

Well before he used his company car to murder Rabbi Yeshiyahu Krishevsky and wound another person — running into passersby with the car and then getting out with a butcher’s knife before being shot – Jamal appeared on Yedioth Aharonoth where he gave an interview about the Har Nof massacre last November.

Jamal was in fact the cousin of the two terrorists who conducted the brutal attack with hatchets, knives and guns in western Jerusalem, in which four Jews were murdered at prayer — with two of them reportedly beheaded — in addition to a Druze police officer who was also killed in a subsequent shoot out with the murderers.

Speaking to the news station in Arabic in an interview broadcast on Israeli TV, Jamal appeared in the black and white khefiyeh associated with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, and spoke about the attack.

“This act was because of the pressure of the Israeli occupation government against the Palestinian people and Jerusalem in general, and the ongoing harm to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It’s a normal thing that can be expected from every man who has courage and a feeling of belonging to his people and to Islam. It’s a normal reaction to the treatment we receive.”

Asked if he thinks there will be more incidents, he said, “I don’t know, everyone is responsible for themselves. We were also surprised by the act.”

“But you’re happy?,” asked the interviewer, apparently noting Jamal’s wide smirk. The future terrorist immediately responded, “thank Allah, someone who dies as a martyr, that’s a great thing.”

The Jerusalem Post reports that more of the Palestinian terrorists who have struck this week, including Alaa Abu Jamal, were already known to the Shin Bet:

The deadly stabbing and shooting attack on board a Jerusalem bus was carried by two terrorists; The first was 23-year-old Baha Alian from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem, who is affiliated with Fatah and has a history of extremist statements, according to the Shin Bet intelligence agency.

Alian was shot and killed in the attack.

A second terrorist involved in the bus attack, who has not been named, was described by the Shin Bet as a Hamas operative from Jabel Mukaber, who has served time in an Israeli prison in 2013 to 2014 due to Hamas-related activities. He is being questioned by security forces.

The deadly vehicular and axe attack on Malacei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem was carried out by Ala Abu Jamal, 33, a resident of Jabal Mukaber. He is the uncle of Adi and Asan Abu Jamal, who carried out the gun and axe attack on Jewish worshippers in the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem in November 2014.

After last year’s attack, he made radical statements, and made online pledges of support for ISIS, the Shin Bet said.

Additionally, the suspect who got in a a gunfight with police last week in a Paris suburb had already been tagged by French authorities as a radicalization threat:

french t

The “known wolf” phenomenon is something that I have repeatedly documented here at PJ Media over the past year:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015: Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015: France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015: Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

Aug. 22, 2015: European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Yet the persistent media narrative, fed by many Western governments, is that the escalating wave of terrorism is from unknown individuals striking randomly.

Until Western authorities are willing to acknowledge their failures in identifying and acting on these threats, it is likely that this “known wolf” terrorism phenomenon will only continue to grow.


“Rise of Jihadist Attacks and the Fallacy of the ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist” – with Patrick Poole

Also see:

European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery Read more:

(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery
Read more:

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, August 22, 2015:

Quick action by unarmed off-duty U.S. servicemen on a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris narrowly averted tragedy yesterday as they subdued a terrorist gunmen before he could begin his rampage. And according to multiple reports, the suspect in custody was known to multiple European intelligence agencies – yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism.

Since last year, I’ve noted here at PJ Media that virtually all of the terrorist incidents in the West have been conducted by subjects who were already known to law enforcement and national security agencies, refuting the “lone wolf” narrative floated by authorities and the establishment media that such terrorist activity is random and unpredictable.

And such appears to be the case yet again in the case of what happened on the Thalys train.

CNN reports:

The suspected gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the European counterterrorism official said.

A second security source told CNN the gunman was known by French intelligence. The official said it appeared the gunman was sympathetic to ISIS, but a full determination on his specific loyalties had yet to be reached.

Another report from The Telegraph indicates that the gunman was known to multiple European intelligence agencies:

The gunman who tried to bring carnage to a high-speed train is believed to have been an Islamist extremist who traveled to Syria last year.

The 26-year-old of Moroccan origin, named in the Spanish press as Ayoub El Qahzzani, is understood to have been on the watch lists of three European intelligence services.

The gunman was taken into custody at Arras station and the French authorities have not released his name. But if he was Qahzzani, he appears to have left Morocco in 2013 and moved to Spain, where he lived for about a year.

And Reuters indicates that Qahzzani was no “lone wolf”:

According to Le Voix du Nord, citing security sources, the suspected Islamist militant was seen on a plane to Turkey from Germany in May, and was thought to have visited Syria.

The French newspaper said he may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January.

One terrorism expert makes an important point:

Neuman tweet

An editor at the Jerusalem Post also asks another relevant question:


The case of yet another returned foreign fighter from Syria engaged in terrorism seems to refute the attempts by many counterterrorism researchers to say the threat is “exaggerated” and that terror returnees should be treated with a “hands-off” reintegration approach, most recently advocated by Charles Lister at Brookings Institution.

The “Known Wolf” terrorism phenomenon is something I have documented here at PJ Media going back to last year:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015:Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015:France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015:Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

This was also the subject of a Capitol Hill briefing I gave back in late January sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET):

So why is it despite these repeated instances of “Known Wolf” terrorism, that authorities have yet to even acknowledge the problem, let alone try to solve it?


#BringBackOurRebels: Statement Confirms Arrest of U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels By Al-Qaeda After Pentagon Denial

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 30, 2015:

Earlier this week I reported here at PJ Media that the first class of Obama’s U.S.-trained “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels – 50 in all – had left Turkey for Syria and had not been heard from since, based on a McClatchy report.

Then yesterday I posted a follow-up report that 18 of the newly trained U.S. rebels, including some of its leaders, had been arrested/kidnapped by Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

In response to that report, Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Elissa Smith denied the claim:

daily sabah

Reports have claimed that the al-Qaida linked Al-Nusra Front has detained 18 opposition members, including Syrian Turkmen Colonel Nedim Hassan, -who is the leader of the U.S train-and-equip program-, and field commander Farhan Jasim near the Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, which was refuted by the Pentagon.

“While we will not disclose the names of specific groups involved with the Syria Train and Equip program I can confirm that there have been no New Syrian Force personnel captured or detained.” Pentagon spokeswoman or Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Daily Sabah.

It was claimed that the opposition members who were returning from the train-and-equip program from Turkey were cut in by the Nusra militants, and were allegedly detained on the grounds that they are cooperating with the U.S.

But that flat-out denial by the Pentagon on the matter is refuted this morning in a report by Reuters and a statement issued by the group itself:

reuters tweet

From the Reuters report:

The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front has abducted the leader of a U.S.-backed rebel group in north Syria, opposition sources and a monitoring group said, in a blow to Washington’s efforts to train and equip fighters to combat Islamic State.

A statement issued in the name of the group, “Division 30″, accused the Nusra Front of abducting Nadim al-Hassan and a number of his companions in a rural area north of Aleppo. It urged Nusra to release them.

A Syrian activist and a second opposition source said most of the 54 fighters who have so far completed a U.S.-led train and equip programmed in neighboring Turkey were from Division 30.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that reports on the war, said the men were abducted while returning from a meeting in Azaz, north of Aleppo, to coordinate efforts with other factions. The opposition source said they were abducted on Tuesday night.

The Telegraph is also reporting:

Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists kidnapped the commanders of a US-trained rebel faction operating in northern Syria on Wednesday, sources said, in another blow for the Pentagon’s train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Division 30 Infantry group accused the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, of taking the Division’s commander, Colonel Nadim Al-Hassan, and his companions in the northern countryside of Aleppo province.

“[The Division] demands that the brothers in the Nusra Front release the colonel… and his companions with the utmost speed so as to preserve the blood of the Muslims and… so as not to weaken the frontlines with side disputes between the brothers of one side,” said the statement, which was released on Division 30′s official page on social media.

Lister tweet2


So now the Obama administration and the GOP leadership that pushed thru the $500 million in funding for the program are now embarrassed on multiple levels:

  • The program was supposed to train 5,000 rebels to fight the Islamic State this year, but Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted to Congress earlier this month that only 60 had completed the program.
  • To train those 60 fighters, the Pentagon has burned one half of the funds allocated for the training, with $4 million spent per fighter so far.
  • No sooner had that first class of 54 been sent off to Syria on July 12, the Pentagon reportedly lost contact with them.
  • Then yesterday the initial reports were that 18 of those members had been arrested by Jabhat al-Nusra, prompting the Pentagon denial.
  • Now the Division 30 statement and the Reuters report flatly contradict the Pentagon denial yesterday, meaning they did not know or they lied about the embarrassing report.

As I stated in concluding yesterday’s report, does anyone still want to talk about a JV team?


Also see:

U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 23, 2015:

A training video released today by Liwa Fursan al-Haqq (Knights of Justice Brigade) of the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) opens with the group’s special forces practicing their abduction and kidnapping skills. And yet FSA units, funded, supported and armed by the U.S., have been repeatedly implicated in the abduction and kidnapping of U.S. citizens in Syria.

Here you can see them putting their U.S.-funded training to practice:


Also shown are critical military skills, such as standing on the back of a motorcycle while shooting two U.S.-funded AK-47s one-handed:


Of course no jihadist training video would be complete without the requisite traversing of the monkey bars:


Or the “Fiery Ring of Death”:


Delta Force and the Navy SEALs have nothing on Liwa Fursan al-Haqq. Yet all three elite units are funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars!

You can watch the whole 10 minute video in all of its glory:

What makes the video of U.S.-funded FSA units being trained in kidnapping and abduction so important to note is that FSA units have repeatedly been implicated in the abduction of American citizens who were later traded to Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, as well as the Islamic State.

That would include American journalist James Foley, beheaded by the Islamic State last year in its first such grisly video, who reportedly came into ISIS custody when the FSA-aligned Dawud Brigade that kidnapped and held Foley pledged allegiance to ISIS and delivered him to ISIS as a token of their submission.

That, however, is not the only such documented incident of FSA units abducting Americans.

In late October, American journalist Theo Padnos — who was captured by the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and then given over to Jabhat al-Nusra — told the story of his two-year captivity in the New York Times Magazine.

At one point, Padnos says he escaped from his Al-Qaeda captors and found himself back in the hands of the FSA, who then, again, promptly turned him back over to the terror group.

Padnos also relates this exchange with some U.S.-trained FSA fighters that exposes the glaring weaknesses of the CIA’s vetting system:

I returned to the FSA troops. One told me that his unit had recently traveled to Jordan to receive training from American forces in fighting groups like the Nusra Front.

“Really?” I said. “The Americans? I hope it was good training.”

“Certainly, very,” he replied.

The fighters stared at me. I stared at them.

After a few moments, I asked, “About this business of fighting Jebhat al Nusra?”

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

An NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, later admitted – following a New York Times investigation – that they were in fact held by an FSA criminal network.

Also, there is evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by U.S. allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

The chief Washington D.C. cheerleader for the Syrian rebels, Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution, happily announced the Liwa Fursan Al-Qaqq video release earlier today:

Lister tweet

As I noted back in April here at PJ Media, Lister finally admitted what he and most of the other Western supporters of the Syrian rebels have well known for a long time — that vast majority of Syrian rebel groups have been associated with Jabhat al-Nusra, a fact mostly concealed by the D.C. “smart set”:

This latter alliance with Jabhat al-Nusra has been a consistent facet of insurgent dynamics in Syria, but not only in terms of conservative Salafist groups like Ahrar al-Sham. In fact, while rarely acknowledged explicitly in public, the vast majority of the Syrian insurgency has coordinated closely with Al-Qaeda since mid-2012 – and to great effect on the battlefield. But while this pragmatic management of relationships may have secured opposition military victories against the regime, it has also come at an extraordinary cost. The assimilation of Al-Qaeda into the broader insurgency has discouraged the U.S. and its European allies from more definitively backing the ‘moderate’ opposition. That, by extension, has encouraged the intractability of the conflict we see today and the rise of jihadist factions like Jabhat al-Nusra, IS, and many others.

In fact, it was just a year ago yesterday that Liwa Fursan Al-Haqq announced they were separating from Jabhat al-Nusra. Nusra had been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in December 2012.

As a result of that separation, that gave the U.S. the go-ahead to begin supplying them with heavy weaponry, such as TOW anti-tank missiles, which you can see them using in the video below:

So the next time that an American citizen finds himself kidnapped by a FSA unit, possibly ending up starring in the Islamic State’s latest beheading video, he can take comfort that his captors have received the best training and received the most advanced weaponry courtesy of his own country’s support.

Your U.S. taxpayer dollars hard at work!

Massive Terror Attack on Military Checkpoints in Egypt’s Sinai Kills Dozens

CI0r3wTWsAAM86yPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 1, 2015:

A coordinated attack by terrorists on multiple Egyptian military checkpoints in north Sinai has left dozens dead with fighting still ongoing in some areas, according to multiple reports.


sinai attack


Wilayat Sinai, the ISIS affiliate operating in Sinai and formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) until their merger with ISIS in November 2014, has reportedly already taken credit for the attack:

haaretz tweet

This attack comes just two days after the assassination of Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, whose funeral was yesterday.


The attacks occurred near Sheikh Zuweid not far from the Rafah border crossing into Gaza.



If casualties are in fact 60 dead or more, this would be one of the biggest terror attacks in Egypt’s modern history and definitely would mark an escalation in the conflict between terrorist groups and the Egyptian government in the two years since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.


Egypt is one of the top U.S. allies in the Middle East, though the Obama administration withheld military supplies from Egypt for nearly two years as the insurgency in the Sinai escalated, only relenting recently.


Read more

Also see:

Number of Islamic Terror-Related Arrests in 2015 Surpass Previous Two Years Combined

Screen-Shot-2015-06-23-at-12.23.20-PM-800x442PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 25, 2015:

Last month I reported here exclusively at PJ Media on the rapidly escalating number of Islamic terror-related arrests this year, noting that we were on pace to surpass the number of arrests for 2013 and 2014 combined (48) before the halfway point of the current year next week.

In fact, that is exactly what has happened. At present 53 suspects have been arrested or involved in Islamic terror-related incidents with law enforcement since the beginning of the year.

This is top among reasons why Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said just a few days ago that this is “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country”.

Here are the additional cases since I reported last month, beginning with the most recent:

June 22: Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, of Morganton, North Carolina, was charged with attempting to materially support ISIS and two related weapons possession charges. According to local press reports, the teen intended to attack a bar or concert, and then kill as many as 1,000 victims. DOJ press release. Complaint.

June 19: Amir Said Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazi aka Robert C. McCollum, 38, of North Olmstead, Ohio, was arrested for attempting to provide material support to ISIS, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, and trafficking marijuana. Media reports indicate that Al-Ghazi had been known to the FBI since December 2012 due to his social media activity, and that in June 2014 he pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook posting.  FBI press release. Complaint.

June 17: Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with conspiring with others to provide services and personnel to ISIS. DOJ press release. Complaint.

June 17: Fareed Mumuni, 21, of Staten Island, New York, an associate of Topaz, was arrested for attempting to repeatedly stab an FBI agent investigating his role in a possible domestic terror plot. In court documents, prosecutors said that “Mumuni espouses violent jihadist beliefs and is a fervent supporter of (ISIS).” Complaint.

June 13: Munther Omar Saleh, 20, of Queens, New York, an associate of both Topaz and Mumuni, was arrested for plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb at a New York City landmark in support of ISIS. He was arrested when they lunged at a law enforcement surveillance vehicle that had been following his movements. According to the complaint, Saleh was active on social media, saying in September 2014 that Al-Qaeda was becoming too moderate, and expressing his praise for the Charlie Hebdo attack in January and the attempted attack in Garland, Texas last month. Complaint.

June 11: Akmal Zakirov, 29, an Uzbek national, was charged as the fifth member of a Brooklyn-based cell to materially support ISIS. Specifically, Zakirov had assisted in helping others plan to travel to Syria to join ISIS. DOJ press release. Indictment.

June 11: Nicholas Rovinski aka Nuh Amriki, 24, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was arrested for conspiracy to obstruct an investigation and conspiracy to materially support ISIS related to his role in an ISIS-inspired domestic terror plot with two Boston-based associates. FBI press release. Complaint.

June 10: Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem aka Decarus Thomas, of Phoenix, Arizona, was indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in the attempted Garland, Texas terror attack by his associates, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, in early May. According to the indictment, Kareem had taken the pair shooting, had supplied weapons to Simpson and Soofi, and hosted a gathering in his home to discuss the Garland “Draw Muhammad” event. He is accused of later lying to FBI agents after Simpson and Soofi were killed during the attempted attack. In a subsequent hearing in the case, the FBI said that Kareem had discussed attacking the Super Bowl. Indictment.

June 10: Reza Niknejad, 18, of Prince William County, Virginia, was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad. He was charged in abstentia since he traveled to Syria in January to join ISIS. The charges were announced in conjunction with the plea agreement reached with one of his conspirators, 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin. DOJ press release.

June 2: Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, of Roslindale, Massachusetts, was killed in a confrontation with FBI agents and a Boston police officer after lunging at them with a large, military-style knife. The FBI wanted to speak to Rahim about his intended plan to kill police officers. One of Rahim’s conspirators, David Wright aka Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, 25, of Everett, Massachusetts, was arrested later that same day and charged with obstructing justice in the investigation. Wright and Nicholas Rovinski were later charged with conspiracy to materially support ISIS. FBI press release. Initial Wright complaint.

May 27: Leon Nathan Davis, 37, of Augusta, Georgia, was charged with trying to aid ISIS. The charges appear related to his October 2014 arrest at Atlanta Hartfield Airport and weapons charges filed in February. FBI press release.

May 26: Asher Abed Khan, 20, of Spring, Texas, was charged with conspiracy to materially support ISIS. As I reported here at PJ Media, Khan planned to travel to Syria through Turkey to join ISIS, but was lured back home by his family who lied and told him that his mother was dying. Khan apparently made it onto the FBI’s radar when his social media messages turned up in another investigation. According to the criminal complaint, one of Khan’s friends was successful in leaving the country and joining ISIS in Syria. FBI press release. Complaint.

It should be noted that every single case I’ve reported on here involves support for ISIS. This is undoubtedly the result of a directive from FBI headquarters for its field offices to “shake every tree” following the attempted terror attack in Garland, Texas in early May, much to the bureau’s credit.

Last week Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee told CNN that small scale ISIS attacks should be expected on July 4th, amidst an active hunt for ISIS supporters by the FBI ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. But with rising support for ISIS here and abroad, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be sufficient.

Regardless, I’ll continue to provide updates on the Islamic terror-related arrests as 2015 looks to be an unprecedented year in domestic terrorism.

Also see:

U.S. Acting as Air Support to Al-Qaeda in Syria Against ISIS

Al Nusrah leader Abu Muhammad al Julani interview with Al Jazeera June 3, 2015 Source:

Al Nusrah leader Abu Muhammad al Julani interview with Al Jazeera June 3, 2015 Source:

PJ Media by Patrick Poole, June 7, 2015:

U.S. coalition aircraft struck ISIS positions in support of Syrian rebels, including Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official Syria affiliate, along with another prominent jihadist group, Ahrar al-Sham. This is a dramatic shift from just a year and a half ago, when Obama administration officials said they would support Islamist groups as long as they weren’t allied with Al-Qaeda.

Agence France Presse reports:

US-led aircraft bombed Islamic State group fighters as they battled rival Syrian rebels, including Al-Qaeda loyalists, for the first time, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the overnight raids in northern Aleppo as an intervention on the side of the rival rebels, which include forces who have been targeted previously by US-led strikes.

“The coalition carried out at least four strikes overnight targeting IS positions in the town of Suran,” the Britain-based Observatory said.

“It’s the first time that the international coalition has supported non-Kurdish opposition forces fighting the Islamic State,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

He said at least eight IS fighters were killed in the strikes and another 20 were injured.

This is also the first time that the U.S. has openly acted as air support for Al-Qaeda.

It needs to be stressed that U.S. airstrikes have targeted Jabhat al-Nusra in just the past month. Now we are effectively their air force. Nusra was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in December 2012.

Some may remember the breathless media reports last September that a previously unmentioned terror group operating inside Syria was plotting attacks on the U.S. and other Western targets, described by U.S. officials as the “Khorasan group.” As Al-Aan TV later revealed, the “Khorasan group” was nothing more than an elite group of foreign fighters working as part of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Thus began a series of U.S. strikes targeting al-Nusra:

Sept. 23: An airstrike killed Nusra leader Abu Yousef al-Turki.

Nov. 13: A Nusra base near Idlib was hit killing two.

Nov. 19: A storage facility controlled by Nusra was struck near the Turkish border at Harem.

March 9: A local Nusra headquarters in Bab al-Hawa was targeted close to the Turkish border.

May 20: Two Nusra buildings in Tawama were destroyed, killing 15 fighters.

This dramatic shift in U.S. policy towards al-Nusra has not gone unnoticed:



So what changed?

Undoubtedly Nusra’s role in the opposition to ISIS was the topic of conversation at last month’s U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council’s meetings at Camp David. Nusra’s role in the Syrian opposition, particularly in the northwest part of the country, has grown considerably. If anyone could direct the Al-Qaeda franchise to cease plans directed at Western targets to allay fears of the Obama administration, it would be their Gulf sponsors.

Perhaps the result of those discussions was a two-part Al Jazeera interview with Nusra commander Abu Muhammad al-Julani. Speculation by some in the D.C. foreign policy community was that Julani was going to renounce the group’s allegiance to Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri.

But, as Tom Joscelyn at the Long War Journal noted, Julani made clear that Jabhat al-Nusra was Al-Qaeda’s operation and would remain so in submission to Zawahiri. Yet some in the D.C. foreign policy circles still insist that Nusra is becoming more “pragmatic.”

As I reported here at PJ Media in March, there is a major effort on the part of academics and journalists to rehabilitate Al-Qaeda’s image in the face of a growing ISIS threat.

And now, with Julani doubling-down on his allegiance to Al-Qaeda and Zawahiri, the U.S. is in the awkward position of providing air support to the very terror group, along with other “moderate” jihadists, in their struggle over territory with ISIS.

So our official policy is now to support the terrorists in Column A to fight (for now) the terrorists in Column B.

Some are happy with this development:


I have reported here at PJ Media extensively over the past year about the shifting allegiances and alliances with terror groups by U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups. In fact, much of the recent gains made by Jabhat al-Nusra against the Assad regime have come as a result of U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles that had been provided to other groups that later fell into Nusra hands.

There are no assurances that Julani and Nusra will remain in the anti-ISIS camp. In fact, Julani previously served as one of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s deputies and nothing prevents some kind of reconciliation down the road.

Barack Obama’s schizophrenic — and at times, contradictory — policy towards Syria has led us to this point where U.S. forces are serving in support of anti-ISIS elements, including Al-Qaeda. Not fourteen years after 9/11, is this what American signed up for?

Stupid Foreign Policy MEME OF THE WEEK: You’re Helping ISIS If You Talk About Their Ramadi Victory

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 3, 2015:

Imagine the following headlines during World War Two:

December 1941: “If you talk about Pearl Harbor, you’re aiding Japanese imperialism.”

December 1944: “If you talk about the German encirclement of Bastogne, you’re aiding the Nazis.”

August 1940: “If you talk about the Italian conquest of British Somaliland, you’re aiding fascism.”

For most today, this would seem silly on its face. During that time, they would have been taken for a case of insanity.

But this sort of headline is what we were treated with in Foreign Affairs this week in response to the conquest of Ramadi in Iraq last week by the Islamic State in an article, “Don’t Aid ISIS,” by Bridget Moreng and Nathaniel Barr.

Foreign Affairs tweet 2

Their argument is that if you recognize the ISIS conquest of Ramadi and talk about its possible implications, you’re aiding ISIS propaganda efforts:

Alarmist analyses of Ramadi aren’t just wrong, they’re dangerous. By inaccurately interpreting the takeover as an indication that ISIS is on the rise, commentators are playing directly into the group’s narrative […]

This dynamic has been a problem for some time. In November 2014, multiple leading news outlets reported that ISIS had taken over the Libyan city of Derna, when in reality, ISIS was only one group in a patchwork of militant organizations operating in the city. And this time around, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour quoted a former CENTCOM advisor saying that 6,000 Iraqi forces had fallen to just 150 ISIS fighters in Ramadi. This claim is almost certainly untrue, as ISIS is unlikely to have sent only 150 fighters to wrest control of a major urban city. This is the type of exaggerated analysis that plays into ISIS’ hands by portraying it as a super-human fighting force.

ISIS has even incorporated Western analysts’ comments into its own propaganda: its monthly English-language magazine Dabiq dedicates a sectionentitled “In the Words of the Enemy”—to quoting Western government officials and analysts who have warned of ISIS’ growing strength.

Analysts should remember that their assessments of ISIS’ capabilities resonate far beyond the Beltway and the national media. Misinterpretations of battlefield developments and exaggerations of the jihadists’ strength complicate U.S. efforts to fight them in the arena of public opinion, and by extension, on the battlefield.

There seems to be several things happening here.

With respect to their claims about the number of ISIS fighters in Ramadi you have their naked assertion of what they think ISIS would do versus a statement by a former CENTCOM adviser to a news organization. Had Moreng and Barr responded with “ISIS mobilized X elements from city Y to Ramadi,” then their dismissal of the CNN report would have more merit. As it is, they’re engaged in little more than wishful thinking. Is their denial of the claim sufficient to dismiss the report altogether? Clearly not.

Then you have their claim that talking about the victory in Ramadi actually aids ISIS propaganda efforts. Are we really to believe that thousands are flocking to the cause of the Islamic State because of a republished Rick Santorum quote in the back pages of the ISIS Dabiq magazine?

It seems I’m not the only one to look askance at their claim:

Doug Sanders tweet

Peter  Swinger tweet

don't aid ISIS

We see this absurd argument now employed by members of the foreign policy establishment on a regular basis.

Earlier this week I noted here at PJ Media the escalating terror campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, including documented acts of terrorism by Brotherhood members during 2014. And yet in January you had two of the foreign policy elite write in the pages of the Washington Post that if you declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, that would cause them to become one.

Let me suggest what will aid ISIS: shouting down honest and informed analysis about their successes and its implications.

Fortunately, there are still some adults left in the foreign policy establishment who are willing to have a frank and candid conversation about the recent gains by the Islamic State, notwithstanding Ms. Moreng and Mr. Barr’s objection:

Jeff Stein tweet

how is could win

Let’s not forget that back in March, as I noted here at PJ Media, that Foreign Affairs was floating yet another stupid MEME OF THE WEEK: Accepting ‘Moderate’ Al-Qaeda.

What these continued episodes indicate is that there is a dangerous and pervasive moral sickness in the U.S. foreign policy establishment that enables analysts to embrace reckless policies without consequence. And as I’ve noted here repeatedly over the years, the adoption of these reckless policies by both Democrats and Republicans alike has wrought catastrophic consequences across the globe imperiling our own national security.

Tragically, the more reckless the idea the more attention they receive from the foreign policy establishment at the expense or more sober and sane analysis. That too is aiding ISIS and America’s other enemies.

Muslim Brotherhood Steps Up Terror in Egypt, While U.S. Provides Cover

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 2, 2015:

What are we doing? As the bodies pile up, the churches burn, and an MB statement justifies killing politicians, judges, security, and media, Kerry’s State Dept. hosts MB visits and lobbies to keep them off terror lists. (Also read: “More MB Leaders Arrested“.)

In recent weeks, the Muslim Brotherhood has stepped up their terrorist activity and made unmistakable calls for more violence in Egypt, effectively dropping the “moderate” mask that gave cover to Western analysts and government officials going back to the Bush administration.

This policy has nonetheless stayed intact — the Obama administration continues to meet with and be advised by Brotherhood officials.

A March 2007 Foreign Affairs article, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” provided talking points to the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” advising a continuance of this charade. At the time, I was one of the few analysts publicly challenging claims of the Brotherhood’s “moderation,” and I documented elsewhere the foreign policy disaster wrought by embracing the Muslim Brotherhood and other so-called “moderate” Islamists.

Just days before my arrival in Cairo last year, two Muslim Brotherhood members were killed in a shootout with Egyptian security forces as they attacked a police checkpoint in the Nile Delta. At the same time, the ISIS-linked Sinai terrorist group that has been waging a terror campaign there released a suicide bomber video showing one individual who was know to have been involved in the Muslim Brotherhood protests that were broken up by Egyptian authorities in August 2013.

As I traveled into Upper Egypt I saw churches and ancient monasteries that had been burned down by Muslim Brotherhood mobs, complete with graffiti identifying those terrorist acts with the group. I interviewed Coptic church officials who gave testimony to the direct role of Muslim Brotherhood officials in those attacks, which were responsible for the destruction of more than 70 churches and 1000+ Christian homes in the space of just a few days:


But when the United Arab Emirates gave terrorist designations to two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups in its efforts to stamp them out last November, the State Department weighed in on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood for increased violence by their members have escalated over the course of this year:

  • A group called the “Revolutionary Punishment Movement” closely tied with the Brotherhood issued a statement in early February warning all foreigners and diplomats to leave the country by February 28 or possibly be faced with becoming targets in their attacks.


The open question: what will the Obama administration’s do in response to this escalating terror campaign?

As Muslim Brotherhood attacks continued last year, 20 members of the House of Representatives co-sponsored a resolution calling for the designation of the group as a terrorist organization. That bill, H.R. 5194, noted in its findings that the U.S. government itself has already designated branches, leaders and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations, and that terrorism has been integral to the group since its founding.

As terror attacks directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood increase, and as the group issues more open calls for violence, perhaps Congress will consider reintroducing the resolution from the previous congressional session. Will the United States leave Egypt, one of its allies and the largest Arab country in the world, to fend off the ongoing terror campaign on its own just so the Obama administration isn’t forced to admit their embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood has been a catastrophic, deadly failure?

Read it all

American ISIS Propagandist Ahmad Abousamra Reported Killed in Iraq Airstrike

140904_wn_ross0_16x9_992PJ Media, by Patrick Poole On May 31, 2015:

An American, Ahmad Abousamra, who was wanted by the FBI since 2009 and listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list since 2013,  was killed today according to a statement published by the Iraqi government. He was reportedly one of the top ISIS media propagandist officials and involved in the production of videos showing the beheadings of Western ISIS hostages.

Al-Arabiya reports:

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the death of dozens of ISIS terrorists in an air strike in the west of Anbar province, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Sunday.

Among those killed was “Abu Mohammed al-Soory,” also known as “Abi Samra,” who is reportedly an expert in filmmaking, and ISIS documentary film maker, “Abu Osama al-Amriky.”

And in a statement obtained by Al Arabiya News, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the elimination of various ISIS commanders of various nationalities in an air strike that targeted their compound in the city of Qaim in the jurisdiction of Fallujah, “after following the leaderships (ISIS) meetings in a complex reconnaissance operation.” […]

The statement by the ministry added that, “amongst those killed were Abu Mohammed the Syria, nicknamed Abu Samra, who is an ISIS filmmaking expert, Abu Osama the American who is a documentary specialist for the militant group in addition to Abu Hareth Al Shami, Abu Aicha Al Ansari who is an explosives expert, Abu Saif Al Jazrawy, a Morrocan national, Abu Hussein Al Sulaimani who was in charge of the militant group’s charity foundation, Abdullatif Jumaa Al Mohammedy who was in charge of suicide bomber operations in Fallujah.

From the Iraqi Interior Ministry statement, it appears that another American, Abu Osama al-Amriki, may have also been killed.

Abousamra, who fled the US in 2006 and was indicted in a Boston-area terrorism case in 2009, was identified as one of the top ISIS propaganda experts who may have been involved in the production and filming of videos showing the beheading of Western ISIS hostages.

In announcing Abousamra’s addition to the Most Wanted Terrorist list, the FBI said about his 2009 indictment:

Ahmad Abousamra was indicted after taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen, where he allegedly attempted to obtain military training for the purpose of killing American soldiers overseas. On November 5, 2009, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Abousamra in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, after he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists; conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; conspiracy; and false statements. Abousamra was indicted on a total of nine charges and should be considered armed and dangerous.

The FBI had previously published this video, “Seeking Ahmad Abousamra“:

ABC News reported back in September about Abousamra’s propaganda role for the Islamic State:



The senior law enforcement official said it appears now that Abousamra may have taken up a similar job with ISIS as his co-conspirators had for AQI. Abousamra, the FBI says, has a “college degree related to computer technology and was previously employed at a telecommunications company.”

“There continues to be a worldwide search for Abousamra and he will be pursued until he is found,” another official, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey, told ABC News. The government offers a $50,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Terrorism observers have noted ISIS’s media savvy, from viral meme-like postings and hashtag campaigns on Twitter to elaborate full-production videos – efforts that can multiply the perception of ISIS’s breadth and power in Syria and Iraq.

As investigative journalist Paul Sperry reported for the New York Post, Abousamra was also tied to the notorious Islamic Society of Boston mosque also attended by the Boston bombers and other convicted terrorists:

Abousamra’s father, a prominent doctor, even sat on the board of directors of the Muslim organization that runs the mosque. He stepped down after the FBI began questioning his son. […]

Abousamra’s father, Dr. Abdulbadi Abousamra, was president of the Islamic Center of New England mosques until 2007, when he moved to Detroit. The FBI began questioning his son a year earlier. As mosque president, internal documents show, Dr. Abousamra hired Hafiz Masood, brother of a known Pakistani terrorist, to be the imam of a mosque in Sharon, Mass., which his son also attended.

Ilya Feoktistov of the Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance, which has tracked Islamic extremism in the Boston area, has thoroughly documented the Abousamra family ties to ISB.

Abousamra’s death might temporarily put a crimp in the Islamic State’s propaganda efforts targeting Westerners, but with more than a hundred Americans and US persons fighting for terror groups in Syria and Iraq, Abousamra may be quickly replaced.

SHOCK VIDEO: Widespread Support for Sharia and Blasphemy Laws…in Minneapolis

252_large (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On May 28, 2015:

Going back to 2007, I’ve reported on the growing problem of terror recruitment in the Twin Cities, particularly in the Somali community there.

In December 2007 I reported here at PJ Media on a well-attended terror fundraiser held in a prominent hotel in downtown Minneapolis that Homeland Security was warned about, but did nothing to prevent. Note that this was nearly a year before anyone else in the media was even paying attention to the recruitment of Somalis by foreign terrorist organizations.

Fast-forward to July 2009, and the media only then began reporting that the same meeting I had covered a year and a half before was the tipping point for terror recruitment in the Twin Cities. By that time, nearly two dozen young men had already been recruited and were fighting with Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

I have continued to report on that continued terror recruitment, including suicide bombers recruited from the streets of Minneapolis, and the extremist statements made by prominent Islamic leaders in the community.

More recently, I reported here on the failed jihadist deradicalization program set up by the chief federal judge of the District of Minnesota.

And in my article earlier this week on the rapidly escalating number of terror arrests in the U.S., I noted that many of the terror suspects nabbed by law enforcement this year for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIS have come out of Minneapolis.

Now comes documentary producer Ami Horowitz, who went to Minneapolis and conducted interviews with members of the Somali community there, finding widespread support for Islamic law over American law, as well as blasphemy laws limiting the First Amendment to punish depictions of Muhammad.

Back in November 2013, I appeared in an episode of The Blaze TV’s “For The Record” news magazine program talking about how court documents in many of these terror cases reveal the systematic recruitment inside the largest mosque in Minnesota, Masjid Abubakar As-Saddique.

In the following clip from that episode, “Minnesota Martyrs,” Abdirizak Bihi — whose nephew was recruited and killed fighting with Al-Shabaab, and I talk about the dozens of terror recruits tied to that mosque:

The problem of terror recruitment and promotion of widespread extremist ideologies in the Somali community is not an abstract concept for me, as my own hometown of Columbus, Ohio, has also seen a series of terror arrests over the years. Columbus has the second largest Somali population of any city in the country behind Minneapolis.

In November 2007, Columbus resident Nuradin Abdi pled guilty to his role in an Al-Qaeda terror cell in my city. According to court documents, Abdi and his associates discussed attacking an area shopping mall on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Abdi was released in 2012 and deported back to Somalia.

Then in September 2010, I reported here on Dahir Gurey, another Columbus resident, who was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu fighting as a senior commander for Al-Shabaab. I noted that local authorities had been made aware of Gurey’s fundraising and recruiting for Al-Shabaab but declined to do anything about it because of his close ties to Islamic religious leaders who were favored by local political figures. Gurey was later featured in an Al-Shabaab propaganda recruitment video on three American recruits to the terror group called “The Path to Paradise.” Yet as I noted, the local media, namely the Columbus Dispatch, continued to downplay the terror recruitment problem in our city.

And just last month I reported on the case of Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, again from the Columbus area, who had traveled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State and had returned to conduct terror attacks in the homeland — the first known case of an ISIS terror recruit returning home with plans to engage in terror domestically. His brother was reportedly killed fighting with ISIS last June. Upon Mohamud’s return to Columbus last year, he began conducting weapons training classes at a local gun range with other prospective recruits, theWall Street Journal reported.

The widespread support for Islamic law highlighted in Horowitz’s video above shows the ideological breeding ground that these recruits are eventually drawn from.

With terror arrests this year alone approaching all-time highs and the growing acceptance of the worldview that radicalizes these individuals, it seems clear that the terror recruitment problem in Minneapolis, Columbus, and many other cities around the country will continue for the foreseeable future.


From Cultural Jihad:

COMMENT: The Somalis constitute a sizable ethnic group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.   Some estimates are that 1 out of every 3 people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. live in Minnesota – a 2010 survey estimated the Somali community to be at 85,700 in the United States.  The largest growth influx  occurred as a result of refugee program efforts in response to the Somali civil war escalation in the 1990s.

The Minneapolis area has been experiencing a number of incidents involving ISIS recruitment.  A February 2015 NPR article notes:

In the discussions at the White House this week, one city has focused minds: Minneapolis-St Paul. It had been ground zero for terrorist recruiters in the past, and is fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.

See this post from the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog regarding April 2015 terror arrests in the area along with information on the US government contractors involved in the refugee resettlement program.