If We Want to Beat Al Qaeda, We Have to Stop Arming It

23by Daniel Greenfield:

Obama’s call for $500 million to arm and train Syrian Jihadist fighters couldn’t have possibly come at a more inappropriate time as Al Qaeda in Iraq menaces both countries.

It wasn’t the Iraq War that made the Al Qaeda affiliate so dangerous. In 2008 it specialized in suicide bombings. It wasn’t marching on Baghdad with an army behind it.

The Arab Spring destabilized the region while money, weapons and recruits poured into Libya and Syria. Obama’s regime change war in Libya led not only to the takeover of entire Libyan cities by Al Qaeda, culminating in the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, but to an Al Qaeda affiliate seizing much of neighboring Mali. Libyan terror training camps also led to an attack on the Amenas gas plant in Algeria.

Three Americans were killed in that attack bringing the US death toll from Obama’s Libyan War up to seven.

But that was last year. This year it’s the Syrian Civil War that turned its local Al Qaeda affiliates into breakout Jihadi stars seizing entire cities and terrorizing the region.

Obama’s solution is to direct money intended for counterterrorism partnerships to terrorists in Syria.

This may be one of the worst ideas that he has ever come up with. Attempts to control the flow of weapons likely played a role in the Benghazi attacks. NATO forces enforcing an arms embargo on Libya had been told to ignore Qatari weapons shipments that were meant for “moderates”.

Instead they went to Al Qaeda.

Obama and Kerry, not to mention Graham and McCain, believe that weapons can be directed to “moderate” Syrian groups and that by arming the “good” terrorists, we’ll stop the “bad” terrorists.

But there are no “good” terrorists. Promises of delivering weapons only to “pre-vetted” groups are worth as much as Obama’s assurances that Al Qaeda was on the run and that ISIS is only a jayvee team.

Kerry met with Ahmad al-Jarba, the President of the Syrian National Coalition. Al-Jarba said that $500 million wouldn’t be enough and demanded more weapons. Meanwhile Al-Jarba was feuding with Ahmad Tohme, the Prime Minister of the SNC’s fictional government. Tohme had attempted to disband the Supreme Military Council over corruption charges while firing the head of the Free Syrian Army.

None of this really matters because the SNC is a puppet regime with many puppet masters and no puppets. The Syrian front men for the Saudis, Qataris, the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and other factions are constantly firing each other. Their Free Syrian Army is a label stamped on a bunch of Islamist militias, many of whom openly support Al Qaeda.

Four out of five of the FSA’s front commanders had demanded to work with Al Qaeda last year. Parts of the FSA joined the Islamic Front and seized the FSA’s weapons warehouses taking anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons. The FSA fighters fled. Earlier ISIS had seized USAID items intended for the FSA.

After these embarrassments Obama was forced to temporarily suspend aid to the Free Syrian Army.

A senior Al Qaeda terrorist who answered to Ayman Al-Zawahiri was a leading figure in the Islamic Front through Ahrar al Sham, which operated alongside the FSA, until he was killed in an attack by ISIS. Ahrar al Sham had a powerful role in the Supreme Military Council through Deputy Chief of Staff Abdel-basset Tawil.

The FSA, to the extent that it exists, consists of bearded Salafist fighters and commanders in the field and “moderate” leaders in suits in Qatar and Turkey who usually never set foot in Syria. They obtain weapons and money from the West for Jihadists who are much less camera friendly.

Groups such as Liwa al Ummah choose to affiliate with the FSA even while they continue fighting alongside the Al Nusra Front. Experts label some Syrian Jihadist groups as moderate and others as extremist, but the “moderates” and “extremists” fly the black flag of Jihad and fight for an Islamic state.

Pre-vetting the groups means nothing because names like the Free Syrian Army or the Supreme Military Council are only fronts for outside interests. Even the names of the individual militias are often meaningless because new groups and new umbrella groups are constantly being created and dissolved.  Fighters and commanders move from one group to another taking their weapons with them.

Keeping track of the various pseudonyms used by the commanders is already a full time job. It is often impossible to tell whether two Jihadist commanders with the same pseudonym are even the same person. Figuring out the relationship between various groups means depending on intelligence from those groups and various activists on the ground who all have their own alliances and agendas.

No meaningful vetting is possible under these circumstances and supplying weapons to “pre-vetted” groups is as good as supplying them to Al Qaeda. Supplying weapons to pre-vetted groups only  means that it will take longer for those weapons to reach Al Qaeda through barter, alliance or capture.

And even if the weapons don’t end up with Al Qaeda, they will go to Salafist groups that share its goals. The difference is that those have not yet officially declared war on us. That same false sense of security led to the murder of four Americans in Benghazi.

Read more at Front Page

Blowback! U.S. trained ISIS at secret Jordan base

Army trainers

Army trainers

WND, By Aaron Klein:

JERUSALEM – Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.

The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.

That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.

Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.

Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine’s report. The French foreign ministry and Britain’s foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.

The Jordanian officials spoke to WND amid concern the sectarian violence in Iraq will spill over into their own country as well as into Syria.

ISIS previously posted a video on YouTube threatening to move on Jordan and “slaughter” King Abdullah, whom they view as an enemy of Islam.

WND reported last week that, according to Jordanian and Syrian regime sources, Saudi Arabia has been arming the ISIS and that the Saudis are a driving force in supporting the al-Qaida-linked group.

WND further reported that, according to a Shiite source in contact with a high official in the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Obama administration has been aware for two months that the al-Qaida-inspired group that has taken over two Iraqi cities and now is threatening Baghdad also was training fighters in Turkey.

The source told WND that at least one of the training camps of the group Iraq of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria, the ISIS, is in the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located.

He called Obama “an accomplice” in the attacks that are threatening the Maliki government the U.S. helped establish through the Iraq war.

The source said that after training in Turkey, thousands of ISIS fighters went to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish an Islamic caliphate subject to strict Islamic law, or Shariah.

 

 

US-made missiles reportedly in hands of Islamist fighters in Syria

1526028_-_main-340x160By 

While the opposition Syrian National Coalition, headed by Ahmad Jarba, has been meeting with US officials this week in Washington in an effort to secure further support, including more funding and additional antitank and antiaircraft weapons, news from Syria indicates that some advanced US-made weapons are already being used in various Syrian provinces by rebel fighters.

Over the past few weeks, media reports have stressed that US officials have begun a “pilot program” of providing small quantities of advanced weapons, including TOW missiles, to vetted “moderate” groups, and specifically the Harakat Hazm, which fights in a newly formed coalition called the Southern Front. [See Threat MatrixThe shadowy flow of US weapons into Syria.]

As we at LWJ have pointed out, however, alliances and accommodations between the so-called ‘moderate’ rebel groups and the Islamists have made it very difficult for outside backers of the Syrian opposition to ensure that weapons and other aid provided does not end up in the hands of the Islamists, who dominate the battlefields. [See Threat MatrixSouthern Front tries to disassociate itself from Al Nusrah, which illustrates that an increasing number of reports from 'moderate' commanders claiming independence from Islamist groups such as Al Nusrah appear to be concocted in order to secure the provision of more weapons and funding from the West.]

Yesterday the opposition activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Islamic Front, a large coalition of mainly Islamist fighting groups, was using US TOW missiles in clashes in Aleppo against the forces of President Bashar al Assad and allies. According to SOHR, the Islamic Front (which it refers to as “Islamic battalions”) employed the weapons in Aleppo’s Al Sheik Najjar area and near Al Brej, and possibly near the air force intelligence building in Al Zahraa district as well.

Read more at Long War Journal

Also see:

Who’s Who in the Syrian War (clarionproject.org)

Britain’s Jihadists Within

70976852_019514832-2-450x325by :

Some of the “freedom fighters” who are at war against the evil tyrant Assad in Syria, the “rebels” whom both U.S. President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron wanted to help, have now been re-classified as “the biggest threat to Britain’s security” and a “greater threat than al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The British Home Office identifies Syria as “the most significant development in global terrorism.”

More than half of anti-terror investigations by the UK security service MI5 involve “Britons” who went to fight in Syria. Charles Farr, the Home Office’s counter-terrorism chief, and others warned that the Syrian war is stoking the biggest terror threat to the West since September 11, and this problem is predicted to persist for as long as the hostilities will continue.

Syria is much closer to Europe than Afghanistan and Pakistan, making it a particularly easy and dangerous destination for UK Muslims who come back well trained, armed and ready for business: terrorism. And because the security services monitor about half of them, the risk is very high.

Robert Spencer asks some pertinent questions:

Why aren’t they monitoring the rest? And why were these men let back into the country in the first place? Simply because they’re citizens? (Are they even all citizens?)

In the past three years, from the beginning of the conflict, no fewer than 500 Britons have travelled to Syria to fight, many more than the corresponding number for Iraq. According to French President Francois Hollande, they are actually up to 700.

Between 250 and 400 of them are believed to be back with us, although the number may be higher. Apparently, they found life there “too hard,” so they say. But they may have been encouraged to return “home” in order to carry out attacks in the UK.

Hundreds more are still in Syria, and one of them has posted an Internet video urging his coreligionists in Britain to join them and help their Syrian brothers and sisters, saying: “The doors of jihad are still open.” He is a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a group which wants Syria to become an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law and which is considered too extreme even by Al-Qaeda, that officially disowned it. The first jihadists returning provincial capital to be occupied by ISIS was the city of Raqqa, on whose Christian community it has imposed payment of the jizya and other rules associated with dhimmi status.

These are people who know their Islam, no doubt. They’ve forced even the BBC reporters to become familiar with the triple choice: convert, submit, die.

Read more at Front Page

U.S. State Department Policy Facilitates Al Qaeda in Somalia, Syria

female syrian rebelBY TAREK FATAH:

Just when you thought amateur hour had run its full course at the U.S. State Department, events in Somalia and Syria — two war zones where al-Qaida is a major player — show American ineptness has a lot more to offer.

First, came news the man hand-picked by Secretary of State John Kerry to act as the sole conduit for aid to Syria’s rebels, Gen. Salim Idriss, has been dismissed by the very Supreme Military Council of the Syrian “moderate” opposition he was supposedly heading.

Now, with no leverage on the ground, it appears the U.S. has given a walkover to whoever wins the Iran vs. Saudi Arabia proxy war in Syria.

With an insurgency that’s dominated by Islamist factions, including groups with connections to al-Qaida, even the best outcome will leave Syria in the hands of hostiles.

Further south in Somalia, the government that is supposedly an ally of the West has been accused of smuggling Western-supplied arms meant for the Somali army straight into the hands of the pro al-Qaida army of al-Shabab .

The “UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group” last week issued a confidential report accusing the Somalia government of allowing the diversion of weapons meant for its own army into the hands of a leader of the al-Qaida linked Islamist militant group, al-Shabab.

Read more at Clarion Project

McCain Lashes Out at Persecuted Syrian Christians

Syrian child

McCain claims to be motivated by the need to overthrow of Bashar Assad and to establish democracy in Syria, but the fact remains that he is supporting extremists like the Brotherhood and the Syrian Islamist rebels and is hostile to those who are being persecuted by them, like the Syrian Christians.

BY RYAN MAURO:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reportedly erupted at a private meeting with Syrian Christians after they complained about Islamist rebel attacks on churches and the Christian minority. The display prompted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to apologize for McCain’s behavior. This is just the latest episode of McCain going to the bat for Islamists.

The source that reported the confrontation said that McCain “didn’t think the Syrian church leaders should even be allowed in the room.” After furiously leaving the conference room, he returned and would not even look at the Syrian Christian delegation.

Approximately 10% of Syria’s population is Christian and it was a protected minority before the arrival of jihadist groups in Syria. Though some Christians support the rebel cause — atrocities have been committed by both the rebels and the regime against Christians — far more violence is perpetrated by the Islamist rebels. The Christians’ fear for their future has prevented the community from endorsing the rebellion, which has angered Islamist rebels that consider such silence an endorsement of Assad.

McCain is a prominent supporter of U.S. military intervention in Syria on behalf of the rebel forces. While secular rebels do exist, Islamists like Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and assorted Salafists dominate the opposition forces.

McCain’s support for the rebel cause has led him to downplay the threat from its Islamist components and even to embrace discredited “experts” that share his view. In September, he hired Elizabeth O’Bagy, an expert on Syria that was fired after her lies about her resume were exposed. On Twitter, she stated that not all Islamists are extremists.

O’Bagy is a strong advocate of supporting the Syrian rebels and worked for one rebel-linked group in the U.S. named the Syrian Emergency Task Force. The group’s executive director, Mouaz Moustafa, “liked” a video on YouTube of the top Hamas leader. His “favorite videos” playlist includes other videos that support Hamas and perpetrators of terrorist attacks. Other outlets found tweets where he said he’d rather be called a member of Al-Qaeda than a supporter of Israel.

Read more at Clarion Project

Also see:

Congress secretly approves U.S. weapons flow to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

People stand on a street lined with damaged buildings in the besieged area of Homs January 27, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/YAZAN HOMSY

People stand on a street lined with damaged buildings in the besieged area of Homs January 27, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/YAZAN HOMSY

BY MARK HOSENBALL:

(Reuters) - Light arms supplied by the United States are flowing to “moderate” Syrian rebel factions in the south of the country and U.S. funding for months of further deliveries has been approved by Congress, according U.S. and European security officials.

The weapons, most of which are moving to non-Islamist Syrian rebels via Jordan, include a variety of small arms, as well as some more powerful weapons, such as anti-tank rockets.

The deliveries do not include weapons such as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, known as MANPADs, which could shoot down military or civilian aircraft, the officials said.

The weapons deliveries have been funded by the U.S. Congress, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30, two officials said.

The apparently steady weapons flow contrasts with the situation last summer, when lethal U.S. aid to the Syrian rebels dried up for a time due to congressional reservations.

Congressional committees held up weapons deliveries for months over fears that U.S. arms would not prove decisive in the rebels’ efforts to oust President Bashar Assad and his government and could well end up in the hands of Islamist militants.

A U.S. official familiar with recent developments said national security officials and members of Congress are more confident that weapons delivered to southern Syria are going to, and remaining in, the hands of moderate rebels rather than militant jihadist factions.

Congress approved funding for weapons deliveries to the Syrian rebels in classified sections of defense appropriations legislation, two sources familiar with the matter said. It was not clear when the funding was approved, but unclassified defense funding passed Congress in late December.

Some additional budget tweaks may be necessary to ensure that all the approved funding is fully available for disbursement during the current fiscal year.

Yet, officials who support providing U.S. arms to the rebels acknowledge that this has not greatly increased U.S. expectations of victory by anti-Assad forces, whether moderate or militant.

“The Syrian war is a stalemate. The rebels lack the organization and weapons to defeat Assad; the regime lacks the loyal manpower to suppress the rebellion. Both sides’ external allies… are ready to supply enough money and arms to fuel the stalemate for the foreseeable future,” said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst and sometime foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama.

Both U.S. and European officials said that “moderate” rebels had recently consolidated their positions in the Syrian south, where they are pushing out elements linked to al-Qaeda. More militant factions remain dominant in the north and east.

Another recent development favorable to more moderate factions is that Kurdish groups that had been providing weapons and other aid financed by donors in the Gulf state of Qatar indiscriminately to both moderate and religious extremist rebel factions had greatly reduced their involvement in the arms traffic, one of the officials said.

A White House spokeswoman had no comment. Other U.S. agencies did not respond to requests for comment.

As for “non-lethal” aid like communications and transportation equipment, the United States hopes to resume deliveries to moderate groups in Syria soon, a U.S. official said on Monday.

The United States and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria in December after reports that Islamist fighters seized Western-backed rebel weapons warehouses, highlighting fears that supplies could end up in hostile hands.

“We hope to be able to resume assistance to the SMC shortly, pending security and logistics considerations,” said the official, referring to the Supreme Military Council moderate rebel group. “But we have no announcements at this time,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Non-lethal aid was resumed to civilian groups in that region in late December.

(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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So, are we to believe there are “moderate jihadists”? —-> The Good and Bad of Ahrar al-Sham –  An al Qaeda–Linked Group Worth Befriending h/t @pspoole

“Are you waging Jihad for the sake of democracy and secularism? You don’t want Allah’s shari’a.”

ISIS vs FSAJihad Watch, by Robert Spencer:

Note how the ISIS jihadist assumes, and takes for granted that the FSA jihadist will know as well, that democracy and secularism are opposed to Sharia, and that jihad is to be waged for the sake of establishing Sharia. These are elementary points taught by all sects of Islam and schools of Islamic jurisprudence; they’re only obscured by Islamic apologists in the West who want to keep non-Muslims ignorant and complacent about what is happening not only in Syria, but in their own countries.

“FSA, ISIS Fighters Exchange Insults over the Two-Way Radio in the Wake of Aleppo Rebel Infighting,” from MEMRI, n.d.:

Following are excerpts from a two-way radio conversation between ISIS and FSA fighters, which was posted on the Internet on January 6, 2014:

Foreign Fighter for Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]: You worship [FSA commander] Khaled Hiyani, you apostate infidels. We’ve declared you to be “apostates,” you heretics.

Voice of Fighter for the Free Syrian Army [FSA]:[Indistinct chatter]

ISIS Foreign Fighter: You don’t know Allah or His Prophet, you creature. You sow corruption upon the land. Allah said: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and sow corruption upon the land, is that they should be killed, be crucified, or have their hands and feet cut from alternate sides, or be banished from the land. Such shall be their disgrace in this world, and their torment in the Hereafter.”

That’s Qur’an 5:33, the verse right after the only one every non-Muslim politician in the West knows, 5:32, the one that cribs from the Talmud about how killing an innocent person is like killing all of humanity.

You people have sown corruption upon the land. You have killed women, fornicated with women, and raped men, women, and children, yet you dare call yourselves Muslims?! What kind of Islam do you follow?!

Voice of FSA Fighter: [Indistinct chatter] Why did you come here? Go fight Israel, brother.

ISIS Foreign Fighter: Fighting apostates takes precedence over fighting original infidels. Fighting apostates, like you people, who curse Allah and His Messenger, and violate the honor of Muslims, takes precedence over fighting the Jews and the Christians. All imams concur on that.

Voice of FSA Fighter: We fight for the sake of Allah, and you fight for the sake of the taghout, you oppressor, you apostate, you [follower of Abu Bakr] Al-Baghdadi. We are mujahideen, and you are…

Taghout is rebellion against Allah, idolatry.

ISIS Foreign Fighter: For whose sake do you wage Jihad? For Hiyani, ‘Afash, and the National Coalition? Are you waging Jihad for the sake of democracy and secularism? You don’t want Allah’s shari’a, and you fight whoever does. You people are apostate infidels. Fighting you takes precedence over fighting the original infidels.Voice of FSA Fighter: You swine… …you prostitutes, you supporters of Al-Baghdadi… They follow Satan… You follow the accursed Devil. May Allah curse you. We opened our homes to you… [Indistinct chatter]

Why do you… Let’s see you dare come here. Allah be praised.

ISIS Foreign Fighter: Those of you who listen to [Khaled] Al-Hiyani should know that he is no Muslim. He curses Allah and His Messenger. He violates the honor of Muslims. He sows corruption upon the land, and is negligent about his prayers. Due to all the prohibitions that you and he violate, you are not Muslims.

Voice of FSA Fighter: You infidels. You enemies of Allah.

See also:

McCain Claims Syria Won’t Turn Al Qaeda Because of High Literacy Rate

McCain_RazanBy :

Retirement. It can’t come too soon.

Sen. John McCain angrily disputed claims that at least half of Syria’s rebels are Islamic extremists on Tuesday night.

“Not true, not true!” the Arizona Republican said to an audience member during a discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Daily Caller reports. “There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army.”

Much of the Free Syrian Army consists of people barely distinguishable from Al Qaeda. That is what the study documented. McCain is rigidly sticking to the FSA tag as some kind of certification of moderation while ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

Mr. McCain said it’s a “cop-out” for critics of intervention in Syria to say “we don’t know who they are.”

“The point, I think, that you and others are missing … [is that] Syria is a moderate nation. Syria has the highest literacy rate of any nation in the Middle East. They are not going to submit to a jihadis or al Qaeda group governing them. They will not.”

If there’s any proof that McCain isn’t just wrong, but has become completely incompetent to even discuss the topic, here it is. Studies have repeatedly shown that Jihadists are drawn from the middle and even upper classes.

High literacy rates is not an obstacle to terrorist involvement. It increases the probability of Islamist interests.

Assuming you can even trust the literacy rate coming out of Syria, it’s 79 percent. (If you want a reason to distrust self-reported literacy rates, Russia’s is 99 percent)

Iran’s literacy rate is 77 percent. Is that 2 percent really all the difference between being susceptible to a totalitarian Islamic regime or not?

For that matter, Turkey’s literacy rate is 95 percent (again, unrealistic) and yet it’s governed by an Islamist thug whose backers claim he’s warding of telekinesis attack plots.

Finally there’s Jordan. Jordan is the Muslim country with some of the highest rates of approval for Al Qaeda. In 2006, 61 percent of Jordanians liked Al Qaeda. (Then Al Qaeda in Iraq started bombing them and his approval ratings fell a whole lot.)

Jordan also has a literacy rate of 93.4%.

Finally, if we’re going to look at terror states, let’s hop over to the Palestinian Authority which is supposedly at 92%. 37% poll as supporting Islamic fundamentalism. (36% in Jordan, also known as Palestine 1.0)

Finally Pakistan claims a literacy rate of 79%. That ties Syria.

And we know therefore that Pakistan is a “moderate” nation that could never be taken over by “extremists”. Just ask Senator McCain. Assuming he can read.

Video Report: U.S. Syrian Jihadist ‘Allies’ Establish Brutally Unjust Aleppo Sharia Courts

An Islamist rebel group in Aleppo called "the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Supporting the Oppressed" reviews applications for aid on Feb. 25. In addition to handing out aid, the Islamist group says it is carrying out civilian administration in parts of Aleppo.

An Islamist rebel group in Aleppo called “the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Supporting the Oppressed” reviews applications for aid on Feb. 25. In addition to handing out aid, the Islamist group says it is carrying out civilian administration in parts of Aleppo.

By Andrew G. Bostom:

N. J. Coulson, the renowned twentieth-century scholar of the Sharia, elaborated how “matters of procedure” under Islamic law were antithetical to Western conceptions of the rule of law. Coulson demonstrated the flimsy nature of Sharia-based “evidentiary proof,” while elucidating, under the Sharia doctrine of siyasa (“government” or “administration”), which grants wide latitude to the ruling elites, how arbitrary threats, beatings, and imprisonments of defendants were permissible to extract “confessions,” particularly from “dubious” suspects.

Particularly harsh treatment is recommended for the individual of reputedly bad character whose guilt is suspected but cannot be proved in orthodox fashion. He [she] should be subjected to rigorous examination, with beating and imprisonment if necessary,

Clearly, Sharia “standards,” which do not even seek evidentiary legal truth, and allow threats, imprisonment, and beatings of defendants to extract “confessions,” while sanctioning explicit, blatant legal discrimination against women and non-Muslims, are intellectually and morally inferior to the antithetical concepts which underpin Western law.

This is the “legal system” being applied now by the Syrian anti-Assad Sharia-supremacist “rebels” in the 2/3 swath of Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, under their control. A TF-1 (the private, national French TV channelvideo report (with English subtitles) filmed by Solomon Kane and Luc Golfin at 5 minutes, 35 seconds through minute 6, demonstrates, explicitly, the application one such barbarous method of “extracting” a confession—beating a man on the souls of his bare feet with a wooden cudgel. Indeed, at just after the 6-minute mark, the head Sharia judge, “Al-Maz” enters the room where the “confession” is being “extracted,” and objects to the scene being filmed, exhorting his colleagues,

Do you want the people in Europe to think [emphasis added] we are barbarians?

Moreover, the documentary filmmakers also capture the good Sharia judge attempting to deny the very brutality their camera’s have in fact just recorded!

It is both morally unconscionable, and a looming geo-strategic disaster for the U.S. to be supporting with armaments, and potentially, missile strikes against the Assad regime, predatory, jihad-promoting “allies” who aggressively seek broad application of such a brutally unjust, Islamic Sharia totalitarian system.

Watch the French TV report below.

http://www.mrctv.org/videos/invading-sunni-muslims-force-sharia-law-occupied-aleppo-syria

Many thanks for Translation to C.B.Sashenka, and subtitling to www.vladtepesblog.com.

 

Expert who traveled with Syrian rebels: So-called ‘moderates’ are Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamists

3ee5ad57ca164480b7c406b86fcd7872-e1378934344562By Jamie Weinstein:

Jonathan Spyer says the moderate rebels in Syria the Obama administration has been touting are really Muslim Brotherhood-types who adhere to an Islamist ideology.

Spyer should know. An academic who lives in Israel and studies the Middle East, he has traveled to and through Syrian rebel-controlled territory, reporting on what he saw for various publications. Asked by The Daily Caller to respond to a much-cited Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth O’Bagy, which claimed “[m]oderate opposition forces … continue to lead the fight against the Syrian regime,” Spyer said, “I can only speak regarding my own experiences and my own knowledge.”

“Undoubtedly outside of Syria, and in the Syrian opposition structures, there are civilian political activists and leaders who are opposed to al-Qaida and opposed to Islamism,” Spyer explained to TheDC in an email interview. “There are also civilian activists and structures within the country which are opposed to al-Qaida and Islamism. But when one looks at the armed rebel groups, one finds an obvious vast majority there who are adherents of Islamism of one kind or another — stretching from Muslim Brotherhood-type formations all the way across to groups openly aligned with al-Qaida central and with al-Zawahiri.”

“The ‘moderate’ force which we are told about supposedly consists of those rebel brigades aligned with the Supreme Military Command, of Major-General Salim Edriss,” he continued. ”Most of the units aligned with the SMC actually come from a 20-unit strong bloc called the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. This includes some powerful brigades, such as Liwa al-Islam in the Damascus area, Liwa al Farouq and Liwa al Tawhid. These and the overwhelming majority of the units aligned with the SMC are Islamist formations, who adhere to a Muslim Brotherhood-type outlook.”

Spyer, author of “The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict” and a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel, said there is no question that the leaders of rebel forces are not “moderates,” at least as would be defined in the West.

“I spent some time with the Tawhid Brigade in Aleppo city at the height of the fighting there,” Spyer said. ” I interviewed one of the leaders of the brigade. I’ve been in the Middle East for a long time and have worked on these issues for a long time. This was an Islamist fighting force, adhering to an Islamist ideology. So even those forces nominally aligned with western supported bodies are themselves overwhelmingly Islamist in outlook (there may be a very small and marginal number of forces who are ostensibly secular, but these are of no military significance). It’s my contention that the real power in the rebellion lies not in the external structures, but among the commanders of the major fighting groups. These men are Islamists.”

Spyer said he initially supported a quick strike by the U.S. after the regime of Bashar al-Assad most recently gassed its own people, but now believes the Obama administration’s handling of the situation has made America look “indecisive.”

“I did support a rapid response following the use by the regime of chemical weapons on a large scale on August 21,” Spyer explained. “I don’t think it was necessary to begin a huge political process and to telegraph intentions, and it doesn’t surprise me that that whole great mountain has now given birth to the mouse of no action at all. Israel’s actions over the last year in Syria offer I think an object lesson in how to enforce red lines. Go in quickly and forcefully, deliver the lesson, achieve the objective and get out — with the proviso that the action can be repeated if deemed necessary. That didn’t happen in this case with the U.S., and I think instead the administration came across as vacillating and indecisive — and glad to take the fig leaf that the Russian president provided for it.”

Asked to evaluate how President Obama’s Middle East policies are viewed in the region compared to those of former President George W. Bush’s, Spyer said, “All the indications are that the U.S. is no more popular in the Middle East today than it was in the last year of the Bush administration.”

“The difference, I would say, is that while Bush was hated by America’s enemies in the region, they also regarded him at least to some degree as a serious customer who understood the way power is wielded and knew how to reward friends and punish enemies. This isn’t the case with Obama,” he said.

Spyer earned a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics. He also served in the Israel Defense Forces and worked for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office from 1996 to 2000.

Read more at The Daily Caller including the TheDC’s full interview with Spyer on his time in Syria, the make-up of the so-called “moderate” rebels, the fate of Jordan and much more.

Also See Daniel Greenfield’s posts, NBC News Admits “Free Syrian Army” is a Myth and The Myth of the Moderate Syrian Rebels

Al Qaeda and the threat in Syria

 

THOMAS JOSCELYN

THOMAS JOSCELYN

Long War Journal, By THOMAS JOSCELYN:

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security, on al Qaeda in Syria and the threat it poses to the US. Al Qaeda affiliates and allied jihadist groups dominate the insurgency in the heart of the Middle East.

Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Thompson and members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the potential threats to the U.S. emanating out of Syria. Obviously, the situation inside Syria is grim, with a despicable tyrant on one side and a rebellion compromised by al Qaeda and like-minded extremists on the other. In between these two poles are the people who originally rose up against tyranny in search of a better life. As we’ve seen time and again in this long war, Muslims embroiled in violence in faraway lands are often the first line of defense against an ideology and an organization that pose a direct threat to the West. There are many Syrian families who deserve the free world’s support today, beyond the prospect of limited airstrikes.

We should have no illusions about the nature of the Syrian war. What we are witnessing right now is a conflict that will have ramifications for our security in the West. The fighting in Syria and the terrorist campaign in Iraq are deeply linked, feeding off of one another in a way that increases the violence in both countries and potentially throughout the region. American interests outside of Syria have already been threatened by the war. We saw this late last year when al Qaeda repurposed a cell of Jordanian citizens who had fought in Syria for an attack inside their home country. They reportedly had the U.S. Embassy in their crosshairs and were planning a complex assault that involved other targets as well.

In my testimony today, I focus on the threat posed by al Qaeda and allied groups inside Syria, recognizing that al Qaeda did not start the Syrian rebellion. Moreover, there are many groups fighting on the side of the rebellion, making any clear-eyed analysis difficult. However, we can distill a number of observations.

Al Qaeda and its extremist allies have grown much stronger since late 2011. Al Qaeda does not control the entire rebellion, which is made up of a complex set of actors and alliances. However, al Qaeda and its allies dominate a large portion of northern Syria and play a key role in the fighting throughout the rest of the country. These same al Qaeda-affiliated forces have fought alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. There is no clear geographic dividing line between the most extreme fighters and other rebels. For example, al Qaeda’s affiliates played a key role in the fighting in Latakia, an Assad stronghold on the coast, in early August. And within the past week we saw al Qaeda-affiliated fighters lead an attack in Malula, a Christian village not far from Damascus. These are just two examples chosen from many.

Al Qaeda has made the fight for Syria a strategic priority. Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s emir, has repeatedly called on jihadists to concentrate their efforts on the fight against the Assad regime. But al Qaeda desires much more than Assad’s defeat. Al Qaeda wants to control territory and rule over others. This is consistent with al Qaeda’s desire to establish an Islamic Emirate in the heart of the Levant. In his book, Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, Zawahiri discussed at length the importance of creating such a state. Al Qaeda and associated groups have consistently pursued this goal in jihadist hotspots around the globe and this is especially true in Syria today.

Two known al Qaeda affiliates operate inside Syria: Jabhat al Nusrah [Al Nusrah Front] and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (or Levant). The leaders of both groups have sworn an oath of loyalty (bayat) to Ayman al Zawahiri and al Qaeda’s senior leadership. The heads of these two affiliates openly bickered over the chain-of-command in early April 2013. This forced Zawahiri to intervene, but the head of the ISIS initially rejected Zawahiri’s decision to have the two remain independently-operated franchises. It appears that some sort of compromise has been brokered, however, as the two al Qaeda affiliates fight alongside one another against their common enemies, including Kurdish forces in the north.

Al Qaeda is not just a terrorist organization. Al Qaeda’s leaders are political revolutionaries seeking to acquire power for themselves and their ideology in several countries. They have a plan for Syria. Al Qaeda’s affiliates inside Syria are not just fighting Assad’s forces, or committing various other acts of terror. They are seeking to inculcate their ideology within the Syrian population. Many Syrians have no love for al Qaeda’s ideology, or its harsh brand of sharia law. But al Qaeda knows this and has adjusted its tactics accordingly. Jabhat al Nusrah and the ISIS are providing local governance in the areas they control, and are seeking to win hearts and minds by making various social services available to the population. This is a continuation of a trend that we’ve seen elsewhere, beginning in Yemen, where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched Ansar al Sharia as its political face. Ansar al Sharia does more than fight al Qaeda’s enemies. It has provided food, electricity, medical care, and various other necessities to Yemenis. Al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria have copied this strategy in Syria, and are increasing their popular support in some areas (especially in the north and east) in this manner. This model is being implemented in Raqqah, Aleppo, Deir al Zor.

Syria has become the central front in the global jihad. Other al Qaeda-linked groups have joined the fight in Syria, thereby strengthening al Qaeda’s hand. Groups including the Pakistani Taliban (Tekrik-e Taliban) and the Muhajireen (Migrants) Brigade are fighting in Syria. The first group sent fighters and trainers from South Asia to Syria, while the second is comprised of Chechens and other foreign fighters. Indeed, several thousand foreign fighters from around the globe have joined the fight. Countries throughout North Africa and the Middle East have supplied a large number of jihadist recruits. In addition, a significant number of Europeans have traveled to Syria for jihad.

Some of the more powerful Syrian rebel groups are closely allied with al Qaeda’s affiliates. Ahrar al Sham and its coalition of like-minded groups, the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), fight alongside al Qaeda’s fighters regularly. Brigades belonging to another Islamist coalition, the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), have coordinated their operations with al Qaeda’s affiliates and Ahrar al Sham in key battles as well. For example, fighters from Nusrah, the SIF, and the SILF overran the Taftanaz Airbase in January. The collective strength of these groups is easily in the tens of thousands of fighters nationwide.

As the 9/11 Commission recognized, there is a direct connection between terrorism “over there” and the terrorist threat to Americans “over here.” Most of al Qaeda’s assets are devoted to acquiring power in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. However, some portion of their assets is always devoted to terrorist plots against the West. Before the 9/11 attacks, most al Qaeda recruits were trained to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan or as part of insurgencies elsewhere. Only a small number of al Qaeda members were selected to take part in international operations. Since 9/11, al Qaeda has greatly expanded its overall footprint by directing or supporting various insurgencies. This increases al Qaeda’s potential recruits, with a small percentage of them being repurposed for operations against the West. We have seen this in Yemen, for example, where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula simultaneously increased its capacity to wage an insurgency against the government, while also increasing its ability to launch attacks on the U.S. homeland. Al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate, which spawned the Al Nusrah Front, has dedicated a small part of its resources to attacking the West as well. The Department of Homeland of Security announced in 2004 that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was ordered by Osama bin Laden to assemble a cell capable of attacking the U.S. In 2007, failed attacks in London and Glasgow were tied back to AQI. It should be noted that during this same time-period AQI was mainly focused on winning territory, not attacking the West.

Al Qaeda has talent inside Syria today, including top operatives who currently pose a threat to the West. According to credible press reports, a top al Qaeda terrorist named Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (a.k.a. Abu Musab al Suri) was freed from prison in the wake of the rebellion. Nasar has been tied to al Qaeda’s terrorist plotting inside Europe, including the networks that executed the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 attacks in London. Nasar played a prominent role in al Qaeda’s operations prior to being detained in 2005 and transferred to Syrian custody. Nasar is a widely influential jihadist thinker and a key advocate of small-scale terrorist attacks inside the West. He was reportedly freed by the Assad regime in the wake of the current rebellion. One of Nasar’s closest colleagues, known as Abu Khalid al Suri, was appointed by Zawahiri to a key position within the region. We should wonder what happened to Mohammed Zammar, an al Qaeda recruiter who helped convince the 9/11 Hamburg cell to travel to Afghanistan for training. Zammar was once imprisoned by the Assad regime and may very well be free today. In addition to this “old school” talent, al Qaeda has been recruiting Westerners who could be used in attacks against their home countries or elsewhere in the West. In recent months, European officials have openly worried about this possibility.

Al Qaeda’s affiliates are seeking possession of chemical and biological weapons in Syria. On May 30, the Turkish press reported that an al Nusrah Front cell had been arrested and was found to be in possession of about two kilos of sarin gas. The following day, June 1, Iraqi officials announced that they had broken up an al Qaeda cell that was seeking to launch sarin nerve gas attacks in Iraq, Europe and possibly North America. If the Iraqi government’s claims are accurate, then we already have evidence that al Qaeda’s affiliates in Iraq and Syria intend to use chemical weapons in an attack the West. I encourage the Homeland Security Committee to investigate these claims and ascertain for itself the extent of al Qaeda’s efforts in this regard.

 

Chairman McCaul Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Syria:

 

More on the hearing here: 

Crisis in Syria: Implications for Homeland Security