Did FBI Director Mislead on Americans Joining ISIS Before Mid-Term Elections?

60comey100514In October, he claimed “about a dozen” U.S. fighters were in Syria. Now we’re told 180 — with 40 already having returned.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, April 17, 2015:

For more than a year, U.S. officials have been warning of the potential terror blowback from Americans who have fought in Syria. Senior counter-terrorism officials have repeatedly claimed that more than 100 individuals have traveled from the U.S. to fight with terror groups in Syria and Iraq.

However, FBI Director James Comey began to walk those claims back in late September and early October — just weeks before the November mid-term elections.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, he claimed that “roughly a dozen” U.S. persons were fighting with extremist groups in Syria.

That was a marked change from his own comments in May, when his own figures were considerably higher:

Comey declined to give a precise figure for Americans believed to be involved in the Syrian struggle but said the numbers are “getting worse.”

“I said dozens last time,” said Comey, referring to an interview with reporters four months ago. “It’s still dozens, just a couple more dozen.”

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official estimated this year that 60 to 70 Americans have traveled to fight in Syria. Comey said that Americans in Syria are actively recruiting other Americans to join the fight.

Several dozen in May 2014 is still considerably more than “roughly a dozen” just a few months later.

An Associated Press article allowed Comey to explain his walk-back on his own numbers:

“When I use a number of more than 100, that means people who have gone and come back, people who have attempted to go and we locked them up, people who have gone and stayed,” Comey said during an interview with reporters at FBI headquarters. “The figure that I’ve been operating with is, ballparkish, a dozen still there fighting with terrorist groups.”

The AP reporters deemed the 100-plus Americans fighting in Syria claim that had been repeated by a number of U.S. senior officials — including Comey himself — as having reached “urban legend status”.

But once America was past the mid-term elections, the stated numbers provided by senior officials quickly soared.

In early March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed that 180 U.S. persons had traveled to Syria. More remarkably, he claimed that 40 such individuals had already returned to the United States.

According to Reuters, Clapper also said that he was not aware of any plots that anyone who had returned from Syria had been involved in. However, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud had already been arrested on state terror charges at the request of the FBI a week before Clapper made his comments.

Just yesterday, a federal grand jury indicted Mohamud on charges of traveling to fight with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. Having received training, he returned to the U.S. with the mission of conducting terrorist attacks here at home. This is the first known case of a fighter returning from Syria with terrorist intent.

According to the indictment, Mohamud became a naturalized U.S. citizen in February 2014. A week later, he applied for his U.S. passport to travel to fight in Syria.

(This case is of particular interest to me not only because Mohamud lived just a few miles from my home in Columbus, Ohio — I have been warning of terrorist recruitment in Central Ohio for more than a decade — but also because Mohamud roamed freely around our city for eight months before he was arrested, during which time he could have committed any number of terrorist acts.)

Was the Director of National Intelligence not informed of this terror plot, or was he keeping critical information away from the American public?

Additionally, why was this rapidly escalating terror threat apparently never mentioned during President Obama’s three-day White House “radicalization summit” just days before Clapper’s Council on Foreign Relations speech? There, all the talk was about “right-wing terrorism,” based on a Homeland Security report that is still kept under wraps.

Earlier this month, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared on 60 Minutes. He restated the claim that 180 U.S. persons have traveled to Syria and 40 have returned:

Lesley Stahl: As I understand it, of the 180 Americans who have gone overseas to fight in Iraq and Syria, 40 have come back. I assume you’re keeping close tabs on those 40?

Jeh Johnson: We have in fact kept close tabs on those who we believe have left and those who’ve come back. A number have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals. But you can’t know everything.

Amazingly, Stahl never asked Johnson about the discrepancy between those numbers and the “roughly a dozen” claim made by FBI Director Comey – on her own program – just six months before.

Was the FBI director deliberately misleading the public about the nature of the threat just four weeks before the mid-term elections?

Our national security leaders have been less than forthcoming about the nature of the threat from returnees who have fought with terrorist groups overseas, and this dishonesty is occurring while these terrorist groups are publicly threatening attacks on the American homeland.

The Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud indictment yesterday, which says he made statements indicating his intention to attack police and soldiers here at home, makes clear that this is not an imaginary threat. But as we saw in both the Fort Hood massacre and the Boston bombing, playing politics with national security will cost American lives, and our leaders are still playing games.

US Analyst Admits: “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Have Been Working With Al-Qaeda All Along

syrian-rebels-terrorists-400x294PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On April 16, 2015:

One of the most closely guarded secrets in Washington DC about US involvement in the Syrian war is that he “moderate” rebels that the Obama administration (and many Republicans) backed were closely aligned with Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, and at times with the Islamic State.

For regular PJ Media readers this will come as no surprise as I’ve repeatedly documented the ties between the State Department’s “vetted moderate” rebel groups and designated terrorist groups based on snippets of reporting that challenged the administration’s official narrative.

But with the “moderate” rebels on their heels and in retreat from internecine pressure from Jabhat al-Nusra, Brookings Institute-Doha Syria analyst Charles Lister, who has probably had as much direct contact with “rebel” leaders as any other US analyst, has finally admitted to the long-time cooperation between “moderates” and “extremists”.

In an article published last month on the Brookings website, Lister states:

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.

A year-and-a-half ago, uttering this outside of the polite company of the DC foreign policy “smart set”, where the official narrative of administration and the McCain/Graham “war at any cost” wing of the GOP was that the vast majority of rebels were moderate as expressed in John Kerry’s testimony before McCain’s committee in September 2013, would have gotten you branded a heretic. Such deep and complex truths were unworthy of the unwashed American masses at a time when many in DC were openly calling for more heavy weapons to be sent to the “vetted moderate” rebels.

But with the sudden surge of ISIS last June and the announcement of the re-establishment of the Islamic State the narrative was getting harder to publicly maintain even as the Obama administration did in fact begin sending heavy weaponry to the “vetted moderate” rebels.

The DC “smart set” and the establishment media then began to drop hints that the “vetted moderate” rebels were not so moderate after all, but certainly nothing so candid to give the whole game away. Hence why Lister notes that the rebel cooperation with Jabhat al-Nusra going back to mid-2012 (Nusra announced its formation in January 2012) was “rarely acknowledged explicitly in public”.

Now with things going very badly in Syria and Iraq the “smart set” is divided between walking back their support for the rebels or doubling-down by saying the US needs to begin backing “moderate Al-Qaeda”.

The media too has been more forthcoming about our “vetted moderate” allies since American reporters began losing their heads under Islamic State knives.

In late October, American journalist Theo Padnos, who was captured by the US-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 US-trained FSA fighters that exposes the glaring weaknesses of the CIA’s vetting system:

I returned to the F.S.A. 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.”

The treatment of Padnos by the FSA is important to recall in light of the revelations yesterday and today that that a NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, now admit following a New York Times investigation that they were in fact held by a FSA criminal network. Even more, there’s evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by US allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

An example of this new-found openness on the part of the establishment media was an Associated Press report in late November that noted the close cooperation of US-backed rebels with Al-Qaeda in southern Syria:

The gains are a contrast to northern Syria, where U.S.-backed rebels are collapsing in the face of an assault by Islamic militants. Notably, in the south, the rebels are working together with fighters from al Qaeda’s Syria branch, whose battle-hardened militants have helped them gain the momentum against government forces. The cooperation points to the difficulty in American efforts to build up “moderate” factions while isolating extremists.

Over the past year I’ve reported here at PJ Media on the slow cracks emerging in the official “vetted moderate rebel” narrative:

July 7: US ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

Sept 3: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

Sept 9: Fighter With ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Tells L.A. Times They Fight Alongside Al-Qaeda

Sept 10: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

Sept 24: U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

Nov 2: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov 3:  How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Nov 24: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec 2: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with Al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Dec 14: Report: Al-Qaeda Using CIA-Supplied TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Northern Syria

Dec 28: NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective Al-Qaeda Control

March 3: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands

March 24: Video Shows Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Using U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Syria

So it’s refreshing to see the DC “smart set” and the establishment media finally fessing up to what has been going on in Syria, but “rarely acknowledged explicitly in public,” but the damage done by the Obama administration’s policy (backed up by the McCain/Graham GOP chorus) and the hundreds of thousands dead is irreversible.

Who in DC or the media will be held to account for this failure?

BOMBSHELL: Afghan Colonel Was Paid $250,000 to Kill US Air Force Personnel, Pentagon Cover-Up Ensued

Thomas Creal, lead accountant for Task Force 2010, in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. Creal, in the blue shirt, was part of a team tracking what he calls “black money” used by terrorists to conduct operations against the West. (Photo courtesy Thomas Creal)

Thomas Creal, lead accountant for Task Force 2010, in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. Creal, in the blue shirt, was part of a team tracking what he calls “black money” used by terrorists to conduct operations against the West. (Photo courtesy Thomas Creal)

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On April 15, 2015:

A bombshell revelation has emerged in the incident responsible for the greatest US Air Force loss of life during the War on Terror and deadliest “green-on-blue” attack during the US involvement in Afghanistan. On April 27, 2011, Afghan Air Force Colonel Ahmad Gul gunned down eight US Air Force personnel and a civilian contractor inside the Afghan Air Force headquarters, including investigators who had just arrived in country to examine rampant corruption in the Afghan military.

Multiple Air Force and CENTCOM investigations claimed to find no motive for the attack, leaving the families of those killed with no answers. Now a senior US official has gone on the record claiming that a United Nations team tracked substantial payments to the killer and his family made days just prior to the incident.

These revelations appear in the season finale of For The Record that airs tonight at 8pm ET on The Blaze TV.

For the past year I have worked as a consultant with the For The Record documentary investigative team looking into the Kabul airport massacre and the Pentagon’s handling of the matter. Last November, I appeared in an episode of the program noting that the Pentagon’s multiple explanations for the attack didn’t match their own forensics. Here’s a trailer for that For the Record episode, “Insider Attack”:

A follow-up report on the Pentagon’s handling of the spike in “green-on-blue” incidents appeared in January after the killing of US Army Major General Harold Greene in August last year, the highest-ranking US official killed during the War on Terror, noting that US personnel who warned of a potential escalation of insider attacks were punished by their superiors:

Tonight’s For the Record episode includes an interview with one of the top US officials charged with combating illicit financing in Afghanistan who reveals the pay-offs made to Col. Ahmad Gul:

Sara Carter, senior investigative reporter for The Blaze, reported today on the stunning revelation that this official’s team tracked $250,000 in payments to the killer:

A final investigation by U.S. Central Command did find circumstantial evidence that Gul may have been involved in a criminal network, but that evidence was not pursued and a large portion of the investigation still remains classified, according to CENTCOM.

But a six-month investigation by For the Record suggests that Gul murdered the airmen at the behest of someone or a criminal network, according to numerous sources and military documents.

For the Record learned that a joint investigation conducted by then-U.S. Task Force 2010, charged at the time with tracing terror financing in Afghanistan and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, found that Gul had received a large deposit in a family bank account and that all of his debts were wiped clean just one week before the killings.

Thomas Creal, who served as the lead expert for Task Force 2010, investigated the killer’s finances and found evidence he says overwhelmingly points to Gul’s connection to criminal networks.

This report has never been made public.

“There was extensive corruption inside the Afghan military and investigations were cut short, hampered by ranking personnel at the State Department and military,” Creal said. “The insider killings don’t need to continue. We can take steps to mitigate these suicidal hits but we can’t do it if evidence is ignored.”

The Pentagon cover-up began almost immediately after the massacre, most likely to avoid embarrassing revelations of rampant corruption by our Afghan “allies”. The initial report had to be followed up by a second and third report after the lies in the first began to be challenged, including the first report’s claim that Gul had committed suicide after the attack, but was later have found to die from gunshot wounds to the chest from two different weapons.

And despite overwhelming evidence to the effect found in their own reports, the Pentagon claimed to find no conclusive evidence of Taliban involvement even though the terror group immediately claimed credit for the attack.

This resulted in bizarre reporting on the Pentagon’s findings, such as an Air Force Times article entitled, “Motive in Kabul shooting deaths remains elusive,” that reports:

Witnesses told investigators that Gul became increasingly radical in his religious views in the years leading up to the shooting and was deeply angry at the U.S. invasion of his home country — even saying on more than one occasion that he “wanted to kill Americans”

The Afghan shooter who smeared “God is one” in blood on the walls of the Afghan Air Force headquarters during the rampage a was a distinctly different man from several decades earlier.

According to testimony from those who knew Gul, in the late ‘80s, the Afghan native drank, liked to party and wasn’t terribly religious. But just a few years later, in about 1995, that changed when Gul started to follow the teachings of the Taliban.

He attended mosque for every prayer time and grew a beard. He also “developed an authoritarian approach when seeing other individuals that did not practice Islam to his liking,” according to one person who knew Gul at the time…

In 2006, Gul decided to move to Pakistan and started attending a local mosque, where he met an “unknown prominent figure” who is believed to have radicalized him. There were also rumors that Gul wanted to be a suicide bomber.

When Gul decided to move back to Afghanistan in 2008, people asked him why he would go back.

“[Gul] responded he ‘wanted to kill Americans,’” investigators said.

But the Pentagon concluded that his possible motive remained elusive.

More explosive details from this investigation will be revealed during tonight’s For the Record’s season finale episode, “Insider Attack: The Kabul Massacre,” at 8 p.m. ET onTheBlazeTV.

Also see:

Top U.S. Islamic Cleric Dr. Salah Soltan Sentenced to Death in Egypt

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On March 16, 2015:

A man once hailed as “one of the most respected Islamic scholars in the country” was sentenced to death today in an Egyptian court after being found guilty on charges of inciting murder.

Dr. Salah Soltan, a senior member of the international Muslim Brotherhood, lived and worked in the U.S. for more than a decade.

He is still listed as a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) on their organizational brochure.

Al-Ahram reports:

A Cairo criminal court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, and 13 other leading members of the group to death on Monday for inciting murder in the now infamous case known in the media as “Rabaa control room.”

The 14 convicted include Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan, former Kafr El-Sheikh governor Saad El-Hossainy and preacherSalah Sultan. The court has also set the date of 11 April to announce its verdict concerning other defendants in the case.

The court has referred the death sentences to Egypt’s Grand Mufti for revision. The referral of the sentences to the Mufti is the first step in the legal process required to enact a death sentence. The Mufti’s decision is not binding. However, following his decision the court will issue a final verdict. Once a final verdict is issued, defendants can appeal.

Badie and another 13 Brotherhood figures are convicted of setting up an operation after the violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya protest camp in mid-August in 2013 to direct the movements of Brotherhood supporters across the country as part of plans to defy the state and spread chaos, as well as plot attacks on police stations, private property and churches.

Soltan was arrested in September 2013 as he tried to flee to Sudan, and was charged with incitement to kill and attempted murder.

His son Mohamed, who has become a cause celebre for the American media and U.S. Islamic organizations, was also convicted in the current case and will be sentenced on April 11:

#freesolton

The story of Salah and Mohamed Soltan will not be unfamiliar to regular PJ Media readers.

Salah Soltan

Just last week, Mohamed Soltan was trying to paint himself in court as an innocent spectator swept up in the aftermath of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow. I noted here that multiple Western media reports at the time identified Mohamed as one of the top leaders organizing the violent Muslim Brotherhood protests in Cairo following Morsi’s removal from office.

Salah Soltan has also been the subject of several of my reports here at PJ Media going back to January 2009 when he appeared on Al-Nas TV threatening America with death and destruction for its support of Israel.

At the same time the elder Soltan was threatening America on Middle East TV, his son Mohamed was seen leading anti-Jewish genocidal chants in front of the Ohio Statehouse (as I reported here last week):

Salah Soltan was also a leading figure at the Muslim Brotherhood protests dispersed by Egyptian authorities in August 2013, even appearing on stage at the protest standing beside an al-Qaeda flag:

Soltan-beside-AQ-flag

Our late PJ Media colleague Barry Rubin noted here in August 2011 that Soltan had issued a fatwa in Egypt authorizing any Muslim to kill any Israeli that could be found in the country. He also took note of the media backlash I had received for reporting on Soltan’s extremist activities and open support for Islamic terrorism.

I followed up Barry’s report with my own observing everything I had written about Salah Soltan going back to my first report in April 2006. Despite all the attempts by the establishment media to paint him as an interfaith moderate, I chronicled a lengthy list of his activities:

  • Sultan leading a Hajj tour with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki following the 9/11 attacks (after Awlaki had been allowed to leave the country);
  • His appearance at a July 2006 pro-Hamas rally in Turkey featuring leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the prime minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh;
  • Sultan’s attendance at a July 2007 conference in Doha, Qatar, where he shared the speaker dais with the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, and Yousef al-Qaradawi;
  • The cancellation of his TV program in Bahrain by the that government (whom he worked for at the time!);
  • The L.A. Times article that identified Salah Sultan by name as a “controversial Sunni figure”, among those “glorifying holy war” and “sharing the outlook of Al-Qaeda” causing trouble in Bahrain;
  • His interview with the official Muslim Brotherhood website following the November 2008 elections where he claimed that Jews assassinated President Kennedy and advocating Islamic theocracy in U.S. elections;
  • His December 2008 appearance on Egyptian Al-Nas TV (which I reported on here at PJM) warning of the imminent destruction of the U.S., invoking notorious Islamic hadith calling for the extermination of the Jews by Muslims, and citing approvingly the Protocols of the Elders of Zion;
  • His March 2010 interview on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, where he invoked the blood libel claiming that Jews make their Passover matzos with the blood of non-Jews;
  • His leading a crowd in cheering fires in Israel that had claimed the lives of dozens of Israelis in December 2010;
  • And following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, in an article published on the Muslim Brotherhood website he lauded bin Laden as a warrior who “had raised the banner of jihad for the sake of Allah and had served a lofty goal,” and stating that U.S. “terrorism” was greater than bin Laden’s.

A year later, Salah Soltan was a senior member of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. As I reported here in August 2012, Soltan could be seen in his new role visiting with a number of U.S.-designated terrorists and Islamic extremists across the Middle East.

Those who have followed my reporting here and elsewhere on Salah and Mohamed Soltan know that my continued interest in their activities was not merely academic, as the pair were my former neighbors in my hometown of Hillard, Ohio.

The elder Soltan even served as religious director of our local mosque, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center.

That story was covered in the 2-part documentary by The Blaze titled The Project. My PJ Media colleague Andrew McCarthy and I were interviewed:

When Mohamed Soltan burned down their family home in Hilliard as part of a staged “Islamophobic” hate crime in January 2012, Soltan repeatedly cited in sworn testimony that my writings, that documentary, and Erick Stakelbeck’s October 2007 CBN News report on their presence here incited the arson. Here’s that 2007 CBN News report:

And yet court documents in a later civil case indicate that investigators fingered the younger Soltan for the crime, and he fled the U.S. for Egypt in February 2013 as investigators were looking to question him further on his role in the fire.

Now, nearly a decade into this saga, I expect that no apologies will be forthcoming from the various media outlets and local figures who publicly attacked me for reporting on this, including our local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch.

The establishment media needs to be more forthcoming in reporting on extremism inside the Muslim community. Salah Soltan, now sentenced to death for his crimes, was not some marginal figure in the American Muslim community, but one of its leaders. And those organizations that continued to support him in the face of the mountain of evidence compiled over the years should be subject to some hard questions. But I’m not holding my breath.

Foreign Policy Elite MEME OF THE WEEK: Accept ‘Moderate’ Al-Qaeda

By Patrick Poole:

As I’ve said here at PJ Media repeatedly, there are some ideas so profoundly stupid that they can only be taken seriously inside the political-media-academic bubble that stretches along the Washington, D.C.-New York-Boston corridor. These typically populate my annual year-end “National Security ‘Not Top 10′” review.

Such is the case with this week’s foreign policy “smart set” MEME OF THE WEEK: we need to accept “moderate” al-Qaeda in order to defeat “hardline” ISIS.

Understand, this is a continuation of a popular theme amongst the foreign policy “smart set.” See the “moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” which just a month ago declared all-out jihad on the Egyptian government. Or the New York Times, pitching “moderate” elements of the Iranian regime. Or current CIA director “Jihad” John Brennan calling for the U.S. to build up Hezbollah “moderates.” Or hapless academics proclaiming the “mellowing” of Hamas. Or the so-called “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups that, as I have reported here, regularly fight alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda and have even defected to those terror groups.

So why are the foreign policy elites now having to talk about engaging “moderate” al-Qaeda, of all things?

Because all of those previous “moderate” engagement efforts have ended in disaster. But rather than abandon the whole “moderate” theme, the foreign policy community seems intent to double-down on failure by continuing to move the “moderate” line.

First out of the gate this week was an article in Foreign Affairs by Harvard’s Barak Mendelsohn, “Accepting Al-Qaeda: The Enemy of the United States’ Enemy,” that argues:

Since 9/11, Washington has considered al-Qaeda the greatest threat to the United States, one that must be eliminated regardless of cost or time. After Washington killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, it made Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s new leader, its next number one target. But the instability in the Middle East following the Arab revolutions and the meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) require that Washington rethink its policy toward al-Qaeda, particularly its targeting of Zawahiri. Destabilizing al-Qaeda at this time may in fact work against U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS.

Here’s how Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, billed this conventional wisdom:

foreign affairs tweet

There are several problems with Mendelsohn’s thesis. One problem that he barely acknowledges is that al-Qaeda is still a declared enemy and an active threat to the United States. They have said repeatedly that they intend to kill U.S. citizens and have continued to plot to do so. The enemy of my enemy can still also be my enemy.

A second pragmatic problem with trying to use Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, as a tool against ISIS is that the relationship between the two groups is constantly evolving. Not long ago, ISIS and Nusra were comrades-in-arms. Despite their present falling-out, within recent months they still occasionally worked together: in August they joined forces to attack Lebanese border checkpoints; in September they were engaged in joint operations around Qalamoun. And Nusra appears more interested in wiping out the U.S.-backed “vetted moderate” groups and fighting the Assad regime than going head-to-head with ISIS.

Thus, it is considerably more likely that ISIS and al-Qaeda will engage in some form of reconciliation than al-Qaeda falling into the U.S. foreign policy orbit and serving as an anti-ISIS proxy in Syria.

So what drives the folly of the foreign policy “smart set”? Mostly it is the hubris that only they comprehend the vast and constantly changing complexity of international affairs, but also it is their added belief that their pals in the administration can harness this “smart set” omniscience to manipulate global events to a predicted end.

That rarely, if ever, happens. Just witness the Obama administration’s foreign policy disaster in Syria.

Mendelsohn has not been alone this week in calling for greater “acceptance” of al-Qaeda. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published Yaroslav Trofimov’s “Al-Qaeda a lesser evil? Syria war pulls U.S., Israel apart,” where he makes the following case:

MOUNT BENTAL, Golan Heights — This mountaintop on the edge of the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights offers a unique vantage point into how the complexities of the Syrian war raging in the plains below are increasingly straining Israel’s ties with the U.S.

To the south of this overlook, from which United Nations and Israeli officers observe the fighting, are the positions of the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda that the U.S. has targeted with airstrikes.

Nusra Front, however, hasn’t bothered Israel since seizing the border area last summer — and some of its severely wounded fighters are regularly taken across the frontier fence to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals.

To the north of Mount Bental are the positions of the Syrian government forces and the pro-Iranian Shiite militias such as Hezbollah, along with Iranian advisers. Iran and these militias are indirectly allied with Washington in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq. But here in the Golan, they have been the target of a recent Israeli airstrike. Israel in recent months also shot down a Syrian warplane and attacked weapons convoys heading through Syria to Hezbollah.

It would be a stretch to say that the U.S. and Israel are backing different sides in this war. But there is clearly a growing divergence in U.S. and Israeli approaches over who represents the biggest danger — and who should be seen, if not as an ally, at least as a lesser evil in the regional crisis sparked by the dual implosion of Syria and Iraq.

Trofimov’s argument boils down to: “Accept al-Qaeda! See, the Israelis are doing it!!!”

Read more at PJ Media

Also see:

Terrorism expert Patrick Poole discusses the latest on threats from ISIS and other extremist groups operating in the American heartland

 

Also see Poole’s latest at PJ Media: The Lies Behind #FreeSoltan: No, Mohamed Soltan Is NOT a ‘Humanitarian Activist’

Why Was ISIS Terror Operative Nihad Rosic Arrested in Plainfield, Indiana?

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

Six individuals of Bosnian origin from St. Louis, Rockford, Illinois and Utica, New York, were indicted last month on charges of supplying money and equipment to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

And yet late last week it was revealed that one of those terror suspects, Nihad Rosic, who is also one of two suspects additionally charged with conspiring to kill and maim others in a foreign country and had attempted to board a plane back in July 2014 to fly to Syria to join ISIS, had actually been apprehended in the small town of Plainfield, Indiana, right outside Indianapolis.

As the Indianapolis Star reported on Friday:

A Bosnian national indicted on charges of funneling resources to terrorists overseas was arrested earlier this month in Plainfield, officials confirmed Friday, but it was unclear why the man was in Indiana.

U.S. marshals booked Nihad Rosic, 26, in the Marion County Jail on Feb. 6, jail records show, though his connections to the state appear to be minimal.

A federal indictment alleges that Rosic and five others communicated on social media with coded language to organize financial support and send equipment to terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq.

Jan Diltz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, where the indictment was handed up, said she doesn’t know why Rosic was in Indiana.

While at first glance it may seem odd that Plainfield, Indiana might be a haunt for an international terror operative for perhaps the most dangerous Islamic terrorist group in the world today, it perhaps might be more clear when considering that Plainfield is the headquarters the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the most terror-tied Islamic organizations in American history.

As one former federal law enforcement official told me this weekend, if Rosic was not in Plainfield related to ISNA it would be an “extreme coincidence bordering on the unbelievable.”

ISNA’s ties to terrorism go back even before it’s founding in the early 1980s when the organization was operating in the Indianapolis area as an amalgam of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, including the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Teaching Center (ITC) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). I’ve previously reported on the MSA’s extensive terrorist lineup here at PJ Media.

Two of the visitors to the area in those early days included Al-Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam and his protege, Osama bin Laden.

According to a book published by Bin Laden’s first wife, Najwa, the Al-Qaeda leaders and the Bin Laden family visited the U.S. for two weeks in 1979 with stops in Los Angeles, and yes, Indianapolis. A clue why Bin Laden and Azzam might have been in the area might be an ITC newsletter dated February 1978 I uncovered that documents a previous visit to their Indianapolis offices in January of that year by Azzam and several other well known extremist Islamic clerics. ITC now operates as a subsidiary of ISNA.

From its earliest days ISNA was a hub for international Islamic terrorists. Terrorist figures associated with ISNA include:

  • Al-Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi, who started ISNA’s political action committee in November 1988, who was convicted in 2004 for his role in an international assassination plot targeting then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. In 2005, the US Treasury Department admitted that Alamoudi had operated as one of the top Al-Qaeda fundraisers in North America.
  • Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, one of ISNA’s self-admitted founders, was convicted in 2006 for his role in supporting the terrorist organization and was deported from the U.S. last month. Prior to his indictment, Al-Arian was deeply involved in numerous ISNA activities and organizations, and was a regular speaker at the ISNA annual conferences.
  • Pakistani intelligence agent Ghulam Nabi Fai, who not only worked for ISNA but also served for years on ISNA’s shura council, was convicted in 2012 for failing to disclose nearly $4 million he had received from the Pakistani ISI intelligence service to influence members of Congress on behalf of the Muslim separatist cause in Kashmir (I reported on Fai’s operation in a two-part series here at PJ Media, noting that Fai spoke at ISNA’s annual convention two weeks before his arrest). Fai’s co-conspirator, Zaheer Ahmad, reportedly met with both Bin Laden and Zawahiri just weeks before 9/11 to discuss their weapons of mass destruction program. As reported in an in-depth ProPublica expose of Fai’s activites, not only was Fai working for Pakistani intelligence at the same time he was working for ISNA, but key ISNA figures and affiliates helped start his Kashmir American Center.
  • As I reported exclusively here at PJ Media in September 2012, one speaker featured at ISNA’s 2001 annual conference held just days prior to the 9/11 attacks was Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. For years Awlaki’s ISNA speech had been cited, but we were the first to actual provide the video to the Al-Qaeda operative’s ISNA conference talk.
  • One other senior terror leader with deep ties to ISNA is current Hamas deputy head Mousa Abu Marzook. I’ll elaborate on the ISNA/Hamas ties below, but will note here that when Marzook was arrested in the U.S. in 1995 and designated a global terrorist by the Clinton administration, and was later deported in 1997, Marzook took out an advertisement in the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs thanking his supporters, including ISNA:

isna-marzook-web

In October 2014, Mohammed Hamzah Khan was arrested trying to board a flight to travel to Turkey to join ISIS. According to postings on Khan’s Instagram account, he had attended ISNA’s annual convention held in Detroit less than a month before.

But ISNA’s role in the international Islamic terror network isn’t just associational. Rather, they have taken a much direct role in supporting international terrorism.

According to forms filed with the IRS, ISNA provided $170,000 in start-up funds for the Islamic African Relief Association (IARA), which was designated a global terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury in October 2004 for supporting Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, and other Islamic terrorist organizations. Exhibits entered into trial evidence in court by federal prosecutors showed extensive payments from ISNA to IARA over the years in increments of tens of thousands of dollars. According to the Justice Department, IARA sent at least $130,000 to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Another ISNA-supported Islamic terror charity was the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA). As reported by Thomas Jocelyn at the Weekly Standard, German investigators found transactions between ISNA and TWRA in 1992 at the same time that TWRA was financing the US-based terror cell that conducted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned “Day of Terror” attacks targeting New York City landmarks.

Despite evidence of ISNA’s support of a long list of Islamic charities tagged by the US government and the United Nations as terrorist organizations, ISNA’s most notorious role in supporting international terrorism came up in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history in the successful prosecution of the executives of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) for supporting Hamas.

Not only did HLF receive ISNA’s longtime support, but it began as the Occupied Land Fund as an arm of ISNA operated out of the group’s Plainfield headquarters.

ISNA was named unindicted co-conspirator in the case, and extensive documentation entered into trial evidence by federal prosecutors (available on the Texas federal court’s website) shows that even after HLF was spun off of ISNA, the money transferred by the HLF to Hamas actually was moved by ISNA and the ISNA-affiliated North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and payments made directly by ISNA to Hamas officials, including Mousa Abu Marzook.

So intertwined was ISNA in conspiracy by the international Muslim Brotherhood to finance Hamas, in one court filing federal prosecutors lay out ISNA’s role in providing “media, money and men” to Hamas (page 13 in the file):

DOJ-ISNA-NAITsm

The federal judge in the case, Jorge Solis, agreed with the prosecutors about ISNA’s role, stating in a ruling that was later unsealed that there was “ample evidence” that ISNA and other US Muslim Brotherhood groups had supported Hamas.

ISNA’s terror support was even profiled by Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR in a 2003 two-part series entitled “Images in Conflict“:

 

 

But if it is the case that ISIS operative Nihad Rosic was in Plainfield meeting with ISNA officials it is highly unlikely that the Justice Department would ever admit to it since ISNA has been the closest Islamic group to the Obama White House.

That’s right, despite what federal prosecutors have said in federal court about ISNA’s role in supporting international terrorism, its ties to convicted terror leaders and supporting designated global terrorist organizations, and even Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez under the Bush administration cancelling meetings because of the presence of ISNA officials, as I noted here at PJ Media in the early days of this administration, ISNA has been openly embraced by the Obama White House.

In 2013, Obama even provided a video greeting to open ISNA’s annual convention:

 

So what is the connection between Nihad Rosic and ISNA, and why exactly was he arrested in Plainfield, Indiana? Most likely federal authorities will never say, but an educated guess about the possible involvement of ISNA given their lengthy track record on these types of activities is hardly out-of-order.

Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

jihadi johnPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Feb. 26, 2015:

A man seen in multiple ISIS propaganda videos speaking with a British accent beheading Western hostages had his identity revealed in the Washington Post this morning, and yet again the suspect is another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome since he was already known to authorities before engaging in acts of terrorism.

The Washington Post reports:

The world knows him as “Jihadi John,” the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who taunts audiences in videos circulated widely online.

But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.

But the article goes on to reveal that Emwazi had been detained by authorities not once, but twice:

Emwazi and two friends — a German convert to Islam named Omar and another man, Abu Talib — never made it on the trip. Once they landed in Dar es Salaam, in May 2009, they were detained by police and held overnight. It’s unclear whether the reason for the detention was made clear to the three, but they were eventually deported.

Emwazi flew to Amsterdam, where he claimed that an officer from MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, accused him of trying to reach Somalia, where the militant group al-Shabab operates in the southern part of the country, according to e-mails that he sent to Qureshi and that were provided to The Post.

Emwazi denied the accusation and claimed that MI5 representatives had tried to recruit him […]

In June 2010, however, counterterrorism officials in Britain detained him again — this time fingerprinting him and searching his belongings. When he tried to fly back to Kuwait the next day, he was prevented from doing so.

The BBC added that Emwazi was part of a known network of jihadist sympathizers:

We don’t know when the British or the American security services worked out that the masked man in the killing videos was Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.

But we do know that he was a “person of interest” to MI5 going back to at least 2011 because he features in semi-secret court cases relating to extremism overseas and back in the UK.

Nobody in official security circles is going to comment on what they know and why they know it.

Emwazi has been previously described as a member of a network involving at least 13 men from London – and at least two of them were subjected to house arrest control orders or T-Pims. One absconded. The chances of Emwazi ever returning to the UK are vanishingly small.

So yet again, as we’ve seen in practically every recent terrorism case, the suspect was already known to authorities.

I’ve reported here at PJ Media on the long line of “Known Wolf” terror suspects who committed acts of terror:

  • Earlier this month I reported that Copenhagen shooter was Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who had been convicted in a stabbing in December, and yet remarkably released by authorities despite being branded as “extremely dangerous.”
  • Also this month I noted that Moussa Coulibaly, who stabbed three police officers outside a synagogue in Nice, France, had just days before been deported from Turkey for attempting to join ISIS.
  • The two Kouachi brothers behind the massacre on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices last month in Paris had been long known to law enforcement, with one of them already having been in prison on terror-related charges, and yet they had been removed from the radar by authorities just last summer because they were deemed no longer a threat. They were also on the no-fly lists of both the U.S. and the UK.
  • Man Haron Monis, aka Sheikh Haron, who in December took hostages at a chocolate shop in the heart of the commercial district in downtown Sydney, Australia, was not only known to law enforcement, but was out on bond on two separate cases and had previously been convicted of harassing the widows of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Authorities had been tipped off via their hotline to extremist statements Haron had been making on his website 48 hours before the attack.
  • I first noticed this “Known Wolf” trend back in October after two separate attacks in Canada by Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, both of whom reportedly had their passports stripped by Canadian authorities because they were deemed “high risk” to travel overseas to join ISIS.

Yesterday, an interview I had with Erick Stakelbeck aired where I discussed the “Known Wolf” terror phenomenon (the first 11 minutes of the program):

 

Needless to say, if the currently growing track record of Western authorities missing these “known wolf” suspects is any indication, the next terror case will undoubtedly be a subject already known to law enforcement and intelligence authorities, but sufficient action not taken to stop their terrorism.

Also see:

Hero of the Middle East: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, February 23, 2015:

The courageous, historic speech yesterday by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam, calling for the reform of Islam, was the result of the even more courageous, historic speech delivered a few weeks ago by Egypt’s devoutly Muslim President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the current American administration’s great friend, is the tree whose fruit is the Islamist terrorism embodied by the ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and others.

Apparently some of the Sunni Arab States have not yet realized that their own national security, and ability to withstand Iran, depend on how strong Egypt is.

It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israel-Palestine conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran.

The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egypt’s faith in the United States, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated.

And now the greatest American insanity of all time: America and Turkey are arming and training Islamist terrorist operatives in Turkey, on the ground that they are “moderates” opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. They either ignore or are unaware that there is no such thing as a moderate Islamist terrorist. The other name of the “moderates” opposing Assad is ISIS.

The Muslim Brotherhood, in effect, runs Turkey. According to recent rumors, Turkey is also planning to build a nuclear reactor, “for research and peaceful purposes.”

Sheikh Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam, yesterday delivered a courageous, historic speech in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, urging reform in religious education to curb extremism in Islam. Al-Tayyeb’s address was the result of an even more courageous and historic speech, delivered a few weeks ago by Egypt’s devoutly Muslim President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, at Al-Azhar University.

El-Sisi’s monumental statement, truly worthy of a Nobel Prize, is having a seismic result. Al-Sisi directed his remarks, about the ills of Islam to Islamic clerics in Egypt and around the world. It was enormously brave of him. He did not single out radical Islam, but he did call on all Muslims to examine themselves, carry out a religious revolution and renew their faith.

El-Sisi, a man of monumental courage, urged Muslims not to behave according to the ancient, destructive interpretations of the Qur’an and Islam that make the rest of the world hate them, destroy Islam’s reputation and put Muslim immigrants to Western countries in the position of having to fight their hosts. He claimed that it is illogical for over a billion Muslims to aspire to conquer and subdue six billion non-Muslims.

Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, delivered a historic speech to top Islamic scholars and clergy at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, December 28, 2014. (Image source: MEMRI)

Islam deals in depth with uniting the Muslim nation (umma) and mutual responsibility among Muslims, as though they were one entity. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.) said that every drop of Muslim blood is more precious than the entire Kaaba. Thus the liberty ISIS took upon itself to burn alive a Jordanian pilot and 45 Egyptians, to spread terrorism throughout Syria, Iraq and Egypt and to kill other Muslims in various locations around the globe, claiming they were “infidels,” is heresy in and of itself.

The calls for the deaths of “a million shaheeds” and the killing of Jews for the sake of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, as was done by Arafat in the past, and is being done now by his heirs in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, are a crime; they are extremist incitement that is opposed to the forgiving and compromising spirit of Islam. The murder and terrorism carried out by terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] and other Islamist organizations against Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims is contrary to the modern Islam needed in the contemporary era.

El-Sisi was correct that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sunni ideology, which drives most of the extremist Islamist organizations around the world, preaches forced conversion of “infidels” to Islam at any price, or death. Some of the “infidels” are supposed to join Islam of their own accord (targ’ib), out of self-serving interest, and some not of their own accord (tarhib), out of fear and death threats. Such conversions are also contrary to the original Islam, which states that no one is to be forced to convert to Islam and that a calm religious dialogue should be held.

However, a few days after President el-Sisi’s speech, which attempted to unify Muslims and Christian Copts, the Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliated terrorist organizations increased their attacks on Egyptian civilians and security forces throughout Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, as well as murdering 21 Egyptian Christian Copts in Libya. The Muslim Brotherhood knows that behind the scenes, U.S. President Obama supports the movement, especially the branch in Egypt seeking to overthrow President Sisi. This approval from the U.S. encourages the Muslim Brotherhood to be even more determined to subvert and undermine Egypt’s stability, sabotage its economic rehabilitation and destroy the el-Sisi regime.

In this atmosphere of American support, the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula operates under Muslim Brotherhood protection. It recently changed its name to the “Sinai Province” of the Islamic State and swore allegiance to the “Caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It is currently working hand-in-hand with Hamas in the Gaza Strip to weaken el-Sisi’s Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

Other Islamist terrorist organizations also kill Egyptian civilians and security forces with bombs and assault rifles. In the name of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, they indiscriminately attack people on public transport, in airports and in public places, with the intent of retaking control of Egypt.

For this reason, an Egyptian court recently designated Hamas a terrorist organization, along with its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and outlawed both of them. In response, Qatar, a slippery agent in the service of America but also, treacherously, in the service of Iran, allowed armed Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives to be interviewed by its Al-Jazeera TV. The operatives called the Egyptian president a traitor to the Islamic-Arab cause and to those seeking to “liberate Palestine.”

At the same time, Qatar continues to use its Al-Jazeera TV to broadcast hate propaganda targeting the el-Sisi regime, to disseminate videos and to fabricate insulting quotes intended to cause friction between el-Sisi on one side and the leaders of the Arab world and the Gulf States on the other — and to keep them from giving hungry Egyptians economic aid.

As the date for the economic conference in Sharm el-Sheikh (in the Sinai Peninsula) nears, Al-Jazeera’s propaganda machine has moved into ever-higher gear. Apparently, some of the Sunni Arabs states have not yet realized that their own national security and ability to withstand Iran depend on how strong Egypt is.

The U.S. Administration could easily halt the subversion of Egypt, but not only does it turn a blind eye, it suffers from a peculiar form of ignorance that makes it fight ISIS while at the same time supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the hothouse of most Islamic terrorist organizations, including ISIS. The damage done to Egypt and the cracks in the weak Sunni Muslim ranks in the Middle East will eventually harm American interests and expose the Gulf States to the increasing Iranian threat.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the current American administration’s great friend, is the tree whose fruit is the Islamist terrorism embodied by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and others. This linkage has become obvious to all the Arab states, while the U.S. and Europe steadfastly ignore the danger to their own survival, and refuse to outlaw them.

It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world that is seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran. That is why the West does not really want to rehabilitate the Palestinian refugees by settling them in the Arab states, and why the West continues to nourish false Palestinian hopes that perpetuate this conflict.

The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egyptians’ faith in America, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated.

In the meantime, Iran’s Houthi proxies have taken over Yemen, threatening the entire Persian Gulf from the south. The el-Sisi regime is currently in the market for new allies, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin recently paid a visit to Egypt to examine the possibilities of building a nuclear reactor, sounding the first chord of a regional nuclear arms race.

The problems of the Middle East begin in the United States: that was the claim of participants in the Al-Jazeera TV show, “From Washington.” They described American policy towards Egypt as hesitant, indecisive and undemocratic. They claimed that the U.S. Administration had not yet decided whether or not to support el-Sisi, who heralded change and the willingness to fight radical Islam (a fight America used to participate in) or to remain neutral and waffle, in view of Egypt’s presumed instability. The Americans seem to be putting their all money on the extreme Islamists, who they seem to think will eventually win the bloody conflict currently being waged in Egypt.

The Americans have forgotten that under Mubarak, the regime turned a blind eye to attacks against Israel that were carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood and their carefully fostered agents. Unfortunately, since el-Sisi was elected, Egypt itself has become a victim of radical Islamic terrorism. The U.S. Administration, however, appears clearly to hate el-Sisi, and seems to be doing its utmost to undermine him and see him thrown out.

Under ousted President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt was tolerant and patient toward the U.S. Administration’s best friends, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Islamist and Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Al-Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, all of which set up camp in the Sinai Peninsula. These terrorist groups smuggled weapons in from Iran, Sudan, Libya and Lebanon; dug smuggling and attack tunnels; developed missiles and carried out terrorist attacks “only” against Israel, the current U.S. Administration’s other apparent enemy, even though so many American Jews foolishly voted for them.

Now those same Islamist and Palestinian terrorist organizations are striking a mortal blow to the security or Egypt, and killing its civilians and security personnel.

The Muslim Brotherhood, mindful of America’s pro-Islamist policy toward it, is deliberately indulging in a wave of terrorism in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula. Muslim Brotherhood operatives there are targeting civilians, public transport, airports and natural gas pipelines, all to undermine Egypt’s internal security and bring down el-Sisi’s regime in favor of extremist Islamists and a nuclear-threshold Iran.

In the current international situation, the U.S. Administration has apparently finally cut a deal with Turkey — which will be flimsy and ethereal — that allows Turkey to do the only thing it really cares about: to bring down the regime of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. is also trying to cut a deal with Qatar, which along with Turkey openly supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist proxies in Egypt, Gaza, Syria and Iraq, who in general work against Western interests.

The ironic result is that Turkey plays host to both NATO and senior Hamas figures, while it deliberately ignores the slaughter by ISIS of Kurds and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood, in effect, actually rules Turkey. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party make it easy for foreign fighters to cross the Turkish border into Syria and join the ranks of ISIS. Meanwhile, the Turkish government wages a diversionary propaganda war against Israel. According to recent rumors, Turkey is also planning to build a nuclear reactor, “for research and peaceful purposes.”

Another surreal result is that Qatar hosts the U.S. military bases, while it finances and encourages terrorist organizations operating against Israel and the Egypt. It also panders to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist who issues fatwas permitting the murder of civilians and approves death sentences for apostasy.

And now the greatest American insanity of all time: the U.S. and Turkey are arming and training Islamist terrorist operatives in Turkey, on the grounds that they are “moderates” opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. They either ignore or are not aware that there is no such thing as a moderate Islamist terrorist.

The other name of the “moderates” opposing Bashar Assad is ISIS; Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah are now even saying that the U.S. is arming ISIS.

In the meantime, the Egyptian army continues its struggle against Islamist terrorist targets in the Sinai Peninsula and Libya, unaided, and even undermined, by the U.S.

In view of the U.S. Administration’s collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, I am persuaded that in the near future it will be possible to find a joint Egyptian-Israeli-Palestinian formula for eradicating the Hamas-PIJ enclave of terrorism, this time by Arabs.

Most ironically of all, in the shadow of American zigzagging, a joint Arab-Israeli front is developing against Sunni and Shi’ite radicalism, and the Palestinians can only profit from it. Thus el-Sisi, who, with towering vision and courage, dares to speak openly about the tree of radical Islam and its fruit, when others are afraid, is a truly great Islamic hero.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

****

On the Ground in Egypt: Patrick Poole and Stephen Coughlin – US Policy and Egyptian Counter-terrorism Efforts

Published on May 13, 2014 by securefreedom

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

Also see:

Media Hoax: 20 Muslims Holding Hands Become 1,000-Strong ‘Ring of Peace’ at Oslo Synagogue

oslo-ring-of-peace-afp-640x480

Update 2/23/15: Oslo Synagogue “Muslim Peace Ring” Organizer: Jews Were Behind 9/11, Mumbai Terror Attack by Patrick Poole at PJ Media

Breitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL, Feb. 22, 2015:

The weekend’s feel-good story about a Muslim “ring of peace” formed to “protect” Jews at an Oslo synagogue turned out to be a complete fabrication by the mainstream media, according to an eyewitness report, local officials, and attendees’ photos.

According to a local eyewitness, only about 20 or so Muslims formed the “ring of peace” around the Oslo synagogue. In fact, pictures from multiple angles show that there wasn’t enough people to form a ring, so the locals instead formed a horizontal line in front of the synagogue.

A local news outlet explained how the media got to its “1,300 Muslims” number. “According to police, there were 1300 persons present in the event. Very many of them ethnic Norwegians,” read a translated report from Osloby.no.

Demonstrators also reportedly chanted, “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,” conflating criticism of Islam and hatred of Jews.

Photos pulled off of social media appear to corroborate the narrative that only twenty or so people formed the “peace ring.”

Multiple news outlets, including wire services for hundreds of news sites, ran with the false narrative that 1,000 or more people–sometimes all of them Muslim–formed the ring of peace outside of the Oslo synagogue.

The AP incorrectly reported, “More than 1,000 people have formed a ‘ring of peace’ outside Oslo’s main synagogue at the initiative of a group of young Muslims.”

AFP reports almost identically, “More than 1,000 people formed a ‘ring of peace’ Saturday outside Oslo’s main synagogue at the initiative of a group of young Muslims. The newswire agency has no excuse for the false report, as it had a photographer taking shots of the “ring” at the scene–and one shows a man who appears to be at the end of the line of hand-holders, with his left hand in his pocket.

The far-left Think Progress site published a story titled, “More Than A Thousand Muslims Form Human Shield Around Norewegian Synagogue After Copenhagen Attacks.”

Even Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported, “More than 1,000 Muslims formed a human shield around an Oslo synagogue on February 21, offering symbolic protection for the city’s Jewish community and condemning an attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark the previous weekend.”

In even worse news, it appears as if the organizer of the Muslim “peace ring” is a virulent anti-Semite, 9/11 truther, a gay-basher, and an Israel-hater.

Ali Chishti, who organized the event, said bluntly in 2008, “I hate Jews and how they operate,” reports Daniel Greenfield. Chishti added in his conspiracy-laden rant about the Jewish people, “It is a fact that during the attacks on the Twin Towers [World Trade Center] 1600 Jews were absent from work. OK, OK, what’s even more suspicious, is how unusually many Jews there were present in Mumbai on the day that Pakistani terrorists struck. How come?”

At a March, 2008 meeting in Oslo promoting his 9/11 conspiracy theory that the Jews were responsible for the World Trade Center attacks, Chishti read his speech titled, “Therefore I Hate Jews And Gays,” Haaretz reports.

As it turns out, as many as 40 times more Northern European Muslims attended the funeral of a Copenhagen Muslim terrorist than those who decided to form the non-existent “ring of peace” around an Oslo synagogue.

Read more

Also see:

Copenhagen Killer Was Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

While the identity of the killer who attacked a free speech event and a synagogue yesterday in Copenhagen has not yet been released, media are now reporting that the suspect is “known to authorities” in what appears to be yet another case of what I have termed “Known Wolf” terrorism.

My friend and PJ Media colleague Andrew McCarthy noted this on Twitter this morning:

mccarthy tweet
As the incident was ongoing yesterday, I predicted that such might be the case:

ppoole2 tweet

So this attack in Copenhagen is yet another in a growing line of terror incidents in the West in recent months where the attacker was already known to intelligence and law enforcement authorities, and yet sufficient action was not taken to protect citizens:

Last month, I gave a briefing on the “Known Wolf” terror phenomenon on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth.

What remains to be seen after this Copenhagen incident is whether Denmark’s very passive “jihad rehab” approach to jihadists returning home after fighting with terrorist groups abroad will come under review. That will especially be the case if the killer in this incident (as yet undetermined) had traveled to Syria or Iraq.

With Canada, Australia, France and now Denmark having citizens killed by these “Known Wolf” terrorists, one has to wonder when the U.S. will be targeted again, too.

I’ll update here as more information is available.

UPDATE: Some details about the suspect starting to emerge:

max

The Guardian is reporting:

The gunman believed to have attacked a Copenhagen synagogue and a free speech event on Saturday was a Danish-born 22-year-old known to police because of past violence, gang-related activities and possession of weapons, officers have said.

***

Also see:

Omar El-Hussein: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know (heavy.com) 

Omar El-Hussein (Twitter)

Omar El-Hussein (Twitter)

Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein is the reported shooter who went on a terroristic killing spree in Denmark on Saturday. He targeted cartoonist Lars Vilk and a synagogue.

Killer of 3 UNC-Chapel Hill Muslim Students Was Hardcore Anti-Religion Atheist Progressive

This image provided by the Durham County Sheriff's office shows a booking photo of Craig Stephen Hicks (AP Photo/Durham County Sheriff)

This image provided by the Durham County Sheriff’s office shows a booking photo of Craig Stephen Hicks (AP Photo/Durham County Sheriff)

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On February 11, 2015:

A horrific act of domestic terror yesterday in Chapel Hill, NC as three Muslim students were apparently targeted by a deranged anti-religion progressive in what appears to be a hate crime.

The News & Observer reports:

Police charged a Chapel Hill man Wednesday with first-degree murder in the deaths of three family members in a quiet neighborhood near Meadowmont just south of N.C. 54.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, is being held in the Durham County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder.

He is accused of shooting Chapel Hill residents Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.

Police officers found the victims dead at the scene, after responding to a report of gunshots on Summerwalk Circle at 5:11 p.m. Tuesday.

According to other reports, Barakat and Abu-Salha were just married a few weeks ago. She had recently graduated from UNC, and he was a dental student.

A review of the Facebook page of the man charged in these murders, Craig Hicks, shows a consistent themes of anti-religion and progressive causes. Included in his many Facebook “likes” are the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups, and a host of anti-conservative/Tea Party pages.

Remarkably, one of the four Facebook groups he had joined included “Religious Tolerance”.

Just a few weeks ago he had posted this to his Facebook page:

atheism

Police no doubt will be releasing further details of this case in the coming days.

UPDATE: Never let the facts get in the way of a good narrative (HT: RBPundit)

Michael Lee tweet

Sharia Court in Texas: What Could Go Wrong?

By Patrick Poole:

Yesterday I was interviewed by the Glenn Beck Show on Blaze TV following up from Glenn’s interview on Monday with two of the imams responsible for the sharia court that they’re opening up in Dallas, Texas.

A sharia court in Texas? What could possibly go wrong? Well, I can think of a few things…

In this segment of Glenn’s interview with the imams, Taher El-Badawi claims that cutting off heads is not just something they do in Islam, but it’s practiced everywhere, including the US (!!!), and that cutting off hands for theft in America would be economical:

 

Taher : We are ready for any point to discuss with, but the main point here, the reason we are here to discuss this issue what kind of cases Islamic tribunal handle, and you start with the sharia. Why the people afraid from sharia? I’m sorry to say it, one point related to this, cut head is not just in sharia law, just in Islamic law. It’s everywhere. Who said that just in Islamic law? That’s even another sharia, in Jewish sharia, in Christian sharia, in American here, we cut we cut head for some reason.

So, I’m asking you an easy question, if anyone kill another, he should get killed by law, by Islamic law, by government. He should get killed. What is wrong with that? If a thief jump, I’m sorry, to your house, scare your wife, scare your children, scare your neighbor, and they did that with our stores, this is the law, the law to cut his hand because if he feels my hands were cut because of that, he will think about this 100 times. He will never do it. If he do that one time, he will never do it again.

Look how many millions of dollars American here or other states or other states outside spend to keep the criminal in jail, a lot of millions of dollars. We can save that, just let him go, and that’s it, because he did something wrong in the whole community and this kill the whole community. Why not?

OK, then…

One of the other important issues covered my interview was about the imam’s claims that the court will only handle “family issues, includes manners, behavior characters, including marriage divorces, including inheritance law…”.

Contrary to sharia apologists, these courts are not just about whether you pray five times a day or which foot you enter a bathroom with. It is precisely where U.S. family law conflicts with Islamic law that is one of the greatest concerns some have with the establishment of sharia courts in the US.

In 2013, the BBC program Panorama went undercover in sharia courts operating in the UK and found systematic discrimination against women in these courts and regularly telling women suffering from domestic violence not to go to police against UK public policy.

You can view the full Panorama program here:

 

When Glenn asked whether divorces by U.S. courts would be recognized, the imam admitted that women would also need to get an Islamic divorce, and that her US court divorce would not be recognized if she traveled to Islamic countries (the imam specifically mentions US ally, Jordan). So US civil law, even by their own admission, isn’t recognized by Islamic law, here or abroad.

And what about the testimony of women in Islamic court? The imams tried to brush it off that it only related to financial transactions, but you only need to go to the IslamQA website where they defend the principle that the testimony of women isn’t the same as that of men.

As I noted in my own interview, a 2011 survey of Middle East countries by UNICEF found only in Tunisia and Oman (one could also add here Israel) is the testimony of women fully admitted in all judicial proceedings. In most Middle Eastern countries, a woman’s testimony is regularly limited in family and financial matters. This is hardly a secret.

I recall the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Barack Obama’s favorite US Islamic group, used to publish a ruling on their website by one of the top Islamic jurists in the US expressly forbidding Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men, saying “It is better to a slave, bondsman than get married to a non-Muslim.”

After the ruling was pointed out by sharia critics, ISNA removed it from its website, but it still can be found at Web Archive.

fiqh

Among the more laughable claims the imams made in their interview is that you need an Islamic state led by a caliph to implement penal “hudud” punishments (meaning therefore that no one is actually implementing Islamic law anymore), and that Saudi Arabia is not governed by Islamic law.

One only need look at the implementation of sharia in Islamic-majority countries around the world, and enshrining sharia as the ultimate source of their law codes in their respective constitutions, to see they have no problem implementing sharia in the absence of a recognized caliph or an Islamic state.

And Saudi Arabia isn’t governed by Islamic law? Really? [insert laugh track]

In my interview I noted that you can walk into practically any mosque or Islamic bookstore and pick up books like Mohamed S. El-Awa’s “Punishment in Islamic Law,” which is published by American Trust Publications, the publishing arm of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which owns and operates hundreds of mosques around the country. In El-Awa’s book, you find helpful advice on: “How the hand should be cut off (Makan al-Qati’),” “Stoning as punishment (al-Rajm),” “Flogging (al-Jald),” and “The Death Penalty (al-Ta’zir bil-Qatl).”

The same is true for another manual of Islamic law from the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence published in America – translated in English and approved by many global Islamic authorities – called “Reliance of the Traveller (sic).” Book O is dedicated to “Jihad,” and they don’t mean “internal struggle.” Again, these are books marketed directly to American Muslims.

And let’s not forget the imam last July, as reported by Reuters, who tried to cut off the hand of one of the mosque attendees accused of stealing. But this wasn’t Cairo, Tehran or Riyadh. This happened in Philadelphia. Did this imam misunderstand Islam?

Read more at PJ Media

The Rise of Jihadist Attacks and the Fallacy of the “Lone Wolf” Terrorist

We are 13 years after 9/11 and our war fighters say we do not understand the ideas that are driving our enemies…it is criminal – somebody should be in jail! – Patrrick Poole

 

 

EMET –  The tragic attacks in Paris have been a disturbing climax to a consistent trend of violent attacks from radical Islamic terrorists. Preceding the events in Paris was a string of violent actions in just the past few months which included the murder of a soldier in Canada, the hostage situation in Australia, and the beheading of a woman in Nebraska. The media and several counter-terror experts have since coined the term ‘lone wolf’ in reference to the supposed random and independent nature of these attacks. In October 2014, Patrick Poole in turn coined the term ‘known wolf’ to describe these attackers, pointing out the fact that many of them have been known by authorities to have ties to terror organizations and criminal behavior. Please join us as we host Mr. Poole for a seminar in which he explains why the perpetrators of these attacks are in fact ‘known wolves,’ and why it is important to change the way in which we think about these kinds of perpetrators.

jpeg (1)Patrick Poole is a counter-terrorism and national security consultant. He is an internationally recognized subject matter expert on domestic terrorism and the global jihadist movement, and he has been actively involved in and served as a consultant on numerous terrorism cases.  Mr. Poole regularly briefs members of Congress and congressional staff, he has conducted lectures and training for numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and he has taught classes at the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Air Force Staff and Command College. His peer-reviewed research articles have appeared in the Middle East Review of International Affairs, the Journal of International Security Affairs and Middle East Quarterly. He also is a correspondent for PJMedia. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Mr. Poole splits his time between Ohio and Washington D.C.

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Here is an article by Katie Gorka where she links to her white paper, “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” that Patrick Poole recommended.