Islamic State Now Opening…In Afghanistan

Recently several Taliban leader were seen swearing their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a video.

Recently several Taliban leader were seen swearing their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a video.

CSP, by Sean MacCormac, Jan. 15, 2015:

Afghani officials claim that the Islamic State is operating in Afghanistan less than a month after the cessation of US combat operations in the area. Several sources, including General Mahmood Khan of the Afghan National Army and an unnamed provincial governor, have reported that a man known as Mullah Abdul Rauf was active and recruiting people for ISIS in the southern province of Helmand. General Khan, the deputy commander of the 215th Corps, stated that “(A) number of tribal leaders, jihadi commanders and some ulema and other people have contacted me to tell me that Mullah Rauf had contacted them and invited them to join him.”

The Taliban apparently see ISIS as a threat and have warned people in Helmand not to trust the newcomers. Amir Mohammad Akundzada, the governor of Nimroz province and a distant relative of Rauf, has stated that Mullah Rauf is a former Taliban leader. Mullah Rauf was captured by US forces in 2001 and was imprisoned in Guantanamo for six yearsbefore being released, and had a falling out with the Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Both Khan and Akundzada believe that Rauf may have had his disagreements with the Afghan Taliban after spending time in Quetta, Pakistan.

A video showing members of the estranged Pakistani Taliban swearing fealty to ISIS has emerged, though there is no independent verification of Taliban leaders allying themselves to ISIS. The Pakistani Taliban officials in the video do state that they have shifted their alliance from Mullah Omar to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This appears to be the first serious challenge to the Taliban’s authority in some time. Further reports state that an Islamic State-affiliated group known as Khorasan is attempting to recruit fighters in Wardak province. Akundzada believes that the ISIS affiliated fighters and Taliban are really one in the same; “…one day they are wearing white clothes (of the Taliban) and the next day they have black clothes and call themselves Daesh, but they are the same people.” Reports state that around twenty people have been killed so far in skirmishes between Taliban and pro-ISIS fighters. However, the Afghani Ministry of the Interior denies that there are any ISIS operatives active in the country.

The fact that ISIS, if it actually is making a serious attempt to expand into Afghanistan, and is operating in Helmand province should be cause for concern. Helmand is infamous for being Afghanistan’s most dangerous province, and has been a traditional stronghold for the Taliban. Given the Afghani government’s track record with securing the country, ISIS could prove to be an even greater threat to the Afghan government than the Taliban ever was.

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The Islamic State’s curious cover story

 

In the recently released edition of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s online English magazine, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s followers make their bitter rivalry with al Qaeda the centerpiece of their presentation to the public.

The cover story, entitled “Al-Qaidah of Waziristan,” is written by an alleged al Qaeda defector known as Abu Jarir ash-Shamali.

His story begins before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when he joined Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s organization, Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad, in Jordan. Shamali is keen to emphasize the differences between Zarqawi and al Qaeda from the first. It is easy to see why, as the Islamic State is attempting to portray Zarqawi’s legacy as entirely its own. Zarqawi, who formally pledged allegiance to al Qaeda in 2004, had been working closely with senior al Qaeda leaders years before he officially became al Qaeda’s man in Iraq. Zarqawi is still featured in both al Qaeda’s and the Islamic State’s propaganda.

But in their retelling of Zarqawi’s and al Qaeda’s story, Shamali and the Islamic State made an odd editorial decision — odd, that is, from the perspective of a jihadist group that is trying to poach from al Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s supporters.

Shamali portrays Osama bin Laden during the 1990s in a somewhat negative light. The gist of Shamali’s argument is that bin Laden pulled his punches with respect to the Saudi monarchy and other apostate regimes. Shamali criticizes what he sees as al Qaeda’s pre-9/11 “hesitance” to declare the “apostasy” of “rulers and their armies” throughout the Muslim majority world. In Shamali’s telling, this was the main point of tension between Zarqawi and al Qaeda’s leaders prior to their formal alliance.

According to Shamali, it was not until sometime after 9/11 that bin Laden “declared the apostasy of the rulers of [Saudi Arabia] and their soldiers and the obligation to fight them in some of his addresses.” Only then did Shamali and his brethren change their view of al Qaeda “from what it was before” to a more positive opinion.

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Throughout much of their propaganda, the Islamic State’s jihadists have portrayed themselves as the true heirs of Osama bin Laden. For example, the group produced a series of videos entitled “The Establishment of the Islamic State.” In the videos, which were published in English and other languages, Baghdadi’s group attempted to undermine al Qaeda’s current leadership by revisiting the words of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, all of whom praised the Islamic State of Iraq before its expansion into Syria and rebranding as a “caliphate.” [See LWJ report, Analysis: Al Qaeda attempts to undermine new Islamic State with old video of Osama bin Laden.]

By publishing Shamali’s piece, the Islamic State risks undermining its previous anti-al Qaeda propaganda efforts, which were misleading, but still had a cogent story to tell. The group also risks giving credence to its critics within the jihadist world. Citing Shamali’s piece, some of the Islamic State’s critics on Twitter have been quick to point out that Baghdadi’s followers are so extreme that they even attack the legacy of bin Laden, who remains wildly popular among the jihadists. Therefore, Shamali’s piece is not a smart attempt to win over al Qaeda’s followers.

The Islamic State takes its criticism of other jihadists a step further, as Shamali also disparages the Taliban and Deobandis in South Asia. “We also considered the Taliban in Afghanistan to have shortcomings with regards to teaching tawhid [monotheism] to their individual members,” Shamali writes of the pre-9/11 world. “This deficiency caused many of their individuals to fall into shirkī matters [polytheism, or idolatry] such as circumambulating graves and wearing amulets. And sadly, these matters exist until now.”

Shamali sees Deobandis as so deviant that he uses the word “Deobandis” as a pejorative to describe the two principal leaders of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Asim Umar and Ustad Ahmad Faruq. Al Qaeda “handed” them “the nerve center of the organization…corrupting all that was left,” Shamali writes.

The Islamic State has been trying to cut into al Qaeda’s dominant market share within the jihadist community in South Asia. But Shamali’s piece will not help the Islamic State accomplish this goal. The Deobandi ideology shares many points in common with the Salafi jihadist traditions of the Islamic State and al Qaeda, but also has some differences. Instead of emphasizing their points of commonality, or ignoring any areas of disagreement, Shamali portrays Deobandis in a wholly negative manner.

Shamali argues that al Qaeda’s efforts to “alienate” the many jihadist groups in South Asia “from the Islamic State and [to] incite them” against Baghdadi’s group “failed,” because “many” of these groups have either given their bayat (oath of allegiance) to Baghdadi “or are on their way to doing so.” However, at this juncture, there is little evidence to support Shamali’s claim. Only a select handful of jihadist commanders in South Asia have announced their allegiance to Baghdadi. The Islamic State’s blatant disrespect for the Taliban will not help it grow in the South Asian jihadist market.

Shamali also concedes that he had a bayat to both Mullah Omar and Ayman al Zawahiri before swearing his allegiance to Baghdadi, thereby breaking his previous oaths of allegiance. It is likely that many jihadists will not look upon his admission in a positive light, as Shamali will be perceived as an oath breaker.

Shamali’s revelations about al Qaeda’s structure

Shamali spent most of the period after 9/11 in Iranian custody. Shamali says he first left Jordan to wage jihad abroad sometime in 2002 or 2003, but he was detained in Iran while attempting to make his way to Afghanistan. He was released in 2010.

Shamali’s story contains multiple indications that al Qaeda’s bureaucracy continues to function despite setbacks caused by its jihadist rivals and other enemies. For instance, Shamali says that upon arriving in Miranshah, Pakistan he “wrote a message to Lajnat Bukhārā,” or “the Committee of Bukhārā – an administrative committee belonging to the leadership of” al Qaeda. Shamali says the committee was set up after al Qaeda lost two senior officials, Atiyyah Abd al Rahman and Abu Yahya al Libi, in drone strikes.

A senior al Qaeda official named Muhammad bin Mahmoud Rabie al Bahtiyti, also known as Abu Dujana al Basha, is identified as a member of the committee in Shamali’s article. The al Qaeda defector says that he met with both Bahtiyti, who has been highly critical of the Islamic State, and the unnamed leader of the Lajnat Bukhārā.

The Lajnat Bukhārā has received little to no attention in the West’s public discussions of how al Qaeda is structured, but Shamali’s story is an indication that al Qaeda still operates committees as part of its hierarchy. Shamali explains that another committee, the “Security Committee,” was “expelled from” al Qaeda, “removed from the field, and forced to remain in their homes” after it was decided that members of the committee had mishandled a controversial situation. Of course, al Qaeda must have had enough of a bureaucracy in place to hold members of the committee accountable in this fashion. And it is likely that the “Security Committee” was replaced in some capacity.

Al Qaeda decided to evacuate many jihadists from the areas of northern Pakistan where they had been holed up for years, Shamali notes, adding that they had been asked to swear allegiance to the Al Nusrah Front even before they relocated to Syria. The Al Nusrah Front, an official branch of al Qaeda, was still part of the Islamic State when al Qaeda began moving its personnel to Syria, Shamali says. He introduces this anecdote in an attempt to portray al Qaeda as scheming against the Islamic State before the two sides had their falling out. But it is further confirmation of something that we know from other sources: Al Qaeda moved personnel out of the American drones’ strike zone in northern Pakistan to safer areas.

Shamali also reveals that those al Qaeda commanders who broke their allegiance to Zawahiri were immediately cut off from al Qaeda’s payroll. Only a functioning accounting department could make such move.

Shamali confirms one of al Qaeda’s anti-Islamic State moves in Iraq. Pro-al Qaeda Twitter feeds circulated rumors earlier this year that al Qaeda was attempting to work with Ansar al Islam, a jihadist group that had long been opposed to the Islamic State and its predecessors in Iraq. Shamali purports to offer new details about this nascent alliance, saying that al Qaeda “received a representative of Ansar al Islam…for the purpose of a joint operation in Iraq with [al Qaeda] against the Islamic State.” Al Qaeda’s leaders “began facilitating for the representative to meet with Kurdish members” of al Qaeda in the Pakistani city of Miranshah “for counsel and planning.”

Shamali says this “counsel and planning was in order to gather Kurdish personnel — both military and [sharia officials] — from [al Qaeda] to assist them in training inside Afghanistan so as to operate in Iraq after passing through Iran.” Shamali points out that Ansar al Islam published a video highlighting its Sheikh Rashid Ghazi Camp, which was named after an infamous Pakistani jihadist. The video, which was posted online in early March 2014, included a clip of bin Laden praising Sheikh Ghazi.

Shamali argues that even though Ansar al Islam was marketing its adherence to al Qaeda’s ways, and meeting with al Qaeda’s senior leadership, the anti-Islamic State gambit failed. “Allah made their plot futile,” Shamali writes, “for Ansar al Islam declared their [bayat, or oath of allegiance] to the Islamic State.” At least part of Ansar al Islam issued a statement swearing allegiance to the Islamic State in the summer of 2014, while another faction remains active in Syria. There continue to be rumors suggesting that al Qaeda will be relaunching its official presence in Iraq in the near future, but that has not been confirmed.

In sum, assuming he is accurately recounting his experience in northern Pakistan, Shamali’s anti-al Qaeda diatribe actually tells us something about how Ayman al Zawahiri’s organization continues to function. We learn that al Qaeda: has set up an administrative committee known as the Lajnat Bukhārā; had a security committee in place that has been disbanded (it is natural to assume its members have been replaced); is still paying its commanders in Afghanistan and can punish wayward leaders by cutting off their stipends; ordered personnel to evacuate northern Pakistan for Syria and other areas, which we know is true from Osama bin Laden’s files and other sources; and had brought Kurdish jihadists to Pakistan for “counsel and planning.”

Thus, Shamali’s portrayal of al Qaeda is not consistent with Western claims that the group can barely function in South Asia. [emphasis added]

Muslim Congressman’s Ferguson Panel at Chicago Islamic Convention Features Al-Qaeda Webmaster, Taliban Fundraiser

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On December 27, 2014:

Congressman Andre Carson found himself in strange company Saturday evening when he was scheduled to be featured on a panel with a known Al-Qaeda webmaster and Taliban fundraiser, Mazen Mokhtar, during the just-concluded 2014 Muslim American Society/Islamic Circle of North America (MAS/ICNA) 2014 convention held in Chicago.

The panel was titled “Ferguson is our issue: We Can’t Breath.”

Here’s a promotional video of the three-day event:

 

One attendee tweeted that the joint Carson/Mokhtar panel was the “most important session” of the convention:

Azhzr tweet

Mokhtar is presumably well-known to Carson, one of two sitting Muslim members of Congress, since Mokhtar is well-known to the FBI.

In 2004, Mokhtar was named in a federal affidavit in the case of a UK-based Al-Qaeda website that raised money for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.

According to the Washington Post:

Meanwhile, a New Jersey man is under investigation for having helped a British computer specialist, also arrested in London this week, allegedly solicit funds for a terrorist group by creating and operating an exact replica of the British man’s Web site.

Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week.

The affidavit said the New Jersey home of the mirror Web site operator, identified on a Web site as Mokhtar, was searched in the recent past and that copies of Azzam Publications sites, operated by Ahmad, were found on Mokhtar’s computer’s hard drive and files.

Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, which is leading the investigation, declined yesterday to comment on Mokhtar or the New Jersey investigation.

A CNN report (now removed from their website) added:

Federal officials are investigating a man accused of running Web sites that are exact replicas of those used to solicit funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujahedeen, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office in New Haven, Connecticut.

Law enforcement sources identified the man as Mazen Mokhtar, 36, of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Those sources said Mokhtar is the “specific individual who resides in the United States” referred to in the affidavit as working with Babar Ahmad to solicit funds for the “blocked organizations … in an effort to support their goals.”

Predictably, when Mokhtar’s name surfaced in the investigation, the Muslim community rallied around him and the media began pushing the “moderate Islamic cleric” narrative.

In fact, the accusations by federal law enforcement authorities have barely made a dent in Mokhtar’s rise to prominence in the Islamic community.

Mokhtar currently serves as the executive director of the national MAS. A 2004 Chicago Tribune investigative report, published just a month after Mokhtar was named in the federal affidavit, noted that MAS was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members to conceal their ties to the Egyptian Islamic group.

In 2007, federal prosecutors described the group in a federal court filing saying that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States”:

DOJ-on-MAS (1)

Congressman Carson is not without his own controversy. While speaking to a 2012 ICNA convention, Carson told attendees that American schools will never be innovative until they become modeled after the Islamic education system.

Carson’s fellow Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, is not without his own controversy. In 2012, I noted here at PJ Media Ellison’s long entanglement with Muslim Brotherhood front groups and Islamic organizations identified in federal court as fronts for foreign terrorist organizations, with even his hajj trip to Mecca being paid for by MAS to the tune of $13,500.

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia

Pakistan Massacre Organizer Vows More Killings

A screengrab from a Taliban video shows Khalifa Omar Mansoor, named by the Pakistani Taliban as the organizer of the attack on a Peshawar school attended by children of military personnel, promising more such attacks.

A screengrab from a Taliban video shows Khalifa Omar Mansoor, named by the Pakistani Taliban as the organizer of the attack on a Peshawar school attended by children of military personnel, promising more such attacks.

By SYED SHOAIB HASAN:

KARACHI, Pakistan—The self-proclaimed organizer of the assault that killed 132 schoolchildren this week in the Pakistani city of Peshawar vowed in a video Thursday that his fighters would attack more schools and other civilian targets.

Khalifa Omar Mansoor, named by the Pakistani Taliban as the man who organized the attack, appeared in a short video that was uploaded to a site used by the militants for distributing propaganda videos.

Mr. Mansoor said the group would continue to strike civilians in revenge for Pakistani military operations under way in the country’s North Waziristan tribal area to destroy al Qaeda and Taliban havens. He said that ordinary Pakistanis have disregarded the plight of residents there.

Pakistan’s security forces say they are focused on taking out the Taliban, but some civilian casualties are inevitable. They deny there have been large-scale civilian casualties

“This is something we cannot accept anymore, and if you continue to target our women and children, then your children will not be safe anymore,” he said Mr. Mansoor. “We announce that we will not discriminate in our attacks any longer, and will be as unconcerned as you are.”

The Pakistani military began its North Waziristan offensive in June. It is the last of the tribal areas being cleared by the Pakistani army, and the operation has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.According to Pakistani security experts, Mr. Mansoor is the head of the Pakistani Taliban chapter that originates from the tribal region of Darra Adam Khel, in northwestern Pakistan. The group grabbed international headlines in 2009 when it beheaded a kidnapped Polish engineer.

The attack in Peshawar, which claimed 148 lives, was on the city’s Army Public School. The school served the children of army personnel as well as the children of civilians. Pakistan has 146 Army Public Schools around the country, and many other schools administered by other arms of the military.

Mr. Mansoor threatened to target similar institutions around the country.

“I want to tell the Pakistan government, and the directors, teachers and students of the army’s affiliated institutions, that you are the ones strengthening this un-Islamic democratic system,” he said. “It is these institutions that graduate future generals, brigadiers and majors, who then kill Taliban and innocent tribal people.”

Read more at WSJ

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Pakistani Taliban assault military high school in Peshawar

Pakistani army personnel patrol the streets following an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. – AFP

Pakistani army personnel patrol the streets following an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. – AFP

LWJ, By

A suicide assault team from the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (or Pakistani Taliban) stormed a military high school in Peshawar today. It is one of the deadliest jihadist attacks in the country’s history. According to initial reporting, the attackers have killed more than 130 people, including dozens of children.

At least six Taliban fighters armed with assault weapons and suicide vests entered the Army Public School in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, this morning. The fighters fanned out through the school and killed everyone in their path, according to press reports.

Shahrukh Khan, a child who survived the attack by feigning death after being shot in both legs, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the Taliban fighters were instructed to kill the students. The terrorists deliberately executed students who were already wounded.

“There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them,” one Taliban fighter told another, according to Khan.

“The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again,” Khan stated. The fighters shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or Allah is greatest, as they executed the children.

Pakistani officials have stated that 131 people have been killed, including more than 100 students, but warned that the death toll may rise.

At least 15 explosions were heard during the fighting, Dawn reported. Pakistani security forces surrounded the building and assaulted as the Taliban continued to execute students and staff. The military claimed it killed six Taliban fighters, but more may have been involved in the attack. Troops are still searching the building for Taliban fighters and survivors.

Muhammad Khurasani, the official spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, claimed the gruesome assault and admitted that his fighters intentionally targeted civilians.

“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” Khurasani said, according to Reuters. “We want them to feel the pain.” Khurasani is referring to the current Pakistani military operation in the tribal agencies of North Waziristan and Khyber, which are adjacent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Pakistani military is targeting the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and jihadist organizations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, but is leaving groups such as the Haqqani Network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group alone.

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has targeted military high school students in the past. In 2009, the jihadist group kidnapped hundreds of students as they fled their military school in Ramzak, North Waziristan. The Taliban ultimately released the students as part of a prisoner exchange.

The Taliban has also launched numerous attacks on soft targets such as churches, mosques, shrines, markets, hotels, and even hospitals. Thousands of civilians have been killed in those attacks since the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan was formed in late 2006.

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has also targeted the US. In an email first sent to The Long War Journal, the group claimed responsibility for the May 2010 attempted bombing in New York City’s Times Square. [See LWJ report, Pakistani Taliban claim credit for failed NYC Times Square car bombing.]

The US has targeted the organization’s top commanders as part of its drone campaign. Baitullah Mehsud, the group’s founder and first leader, was killed by an American missile in August 2009. In late 2013, Baitullah’s successor, Hakeemullah Mehsud, was also killed in an American airstrike. Hakeemullah had gloated over the failed Times Square attack in the group’s propaganda prior to his demise.

Hakeemullah was replaced by Mullah Fazlullah, but his appointment as emir of the Pakistani Taliban proved to be unpopular within the terrorist group’s ranks. Earlier this year, key constituencies that were part of Baitullah’s original coalition began peeling away to go on their own. Much of the group founded by Baitullah no longer answers to Fazlullah. One of the larger blocs to break away from Fazlullah’s leadership has rebranded itself as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. Other commanders have reportedly pledged their allegiance to Islamic State emir Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

[For more on the dissolution of the original Pakistani Taliban alliance, see LWJ report: Discord dissolves Pakistani Taliban coalition.]

Taliban flexing muscle with high-profile attacks ahead of US drawdown

120214_sr_taliFox News, By Justin Fishel, Jennifer Griffin, Dec. 2. 2014:

The Taliban are flexing their muscle with a series of high-profile attacks in recent weeks, showing they are far from defeated as the U.S. prepares to withdraw most of its forces from Afghanistan at year’s end.

The Taliban have staged at least 12 attacks targeting foreigners in the past three weeks, many of them inside Kabul.

Although the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, has said any talk of a Taliban resurgence is “absolutely false,” critics who have watched the Islamic State sweep over Iraq after the U.S. withdrawal are looking on nervously.

The Afghanistan attacks come as the U.S. prepares to pull out all but nearly 10,000 troops.

Retired Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News military analyst, said the current problem in Kabul was avoidable.

“We predicted that we were going to have major problems around Kabul and to the east of Kabul to the Pakistan border with the Haqqani network,” Keane said, referencing the powerful Pakistan-based Taliban affiliate. “The president did not give us the full number of surge forces, and then over General Petraeus’ objections, he pulled them out early.”

Aid and charity groups in the region are urging their workers to leave the country over the Christmas holidays. Even the Canadian Embassy issued an advisory to its citizens cautioning all of them to leave immediately.

“If you choose to travel to Afghanistan despite this warning, you are taking a serious risk. … If you are already in Afghanistan, you should leave,” the message said.

On Saturday, a guest house of the California-based charity, Partnership in Academics and Development, was attacked by Taliban gunmen who killed a South African family – a father and his teenage son and daughter.

The family had lived there for 12 years. The Taliban accused them of being Christian missionaries. The mother, a South African doctor who had been working at a Kabul health clinic, has decided to remain in Kabul in defiance of the Taliban’s attempt to frighten international aid workers.

It was the third high-profile attack on western-occupied guest houses in the past 10 days. On Sunday, the Kabul police chief resigned.

So far this year, 36 aid workers have been killed and 95 wounded.

South of Kabul in the Helmand Province, it took the Afghan security forces three days to expel Taliban fighters who last Thursday overran Camp Bastion, the former British and American Marine base handed over to Afghan security forces four weeks ago.

The bulk of the U.S. and international forces will depart at the end of December and plan to hand over all combat missions to the Afghans. About 9,800 American forces will stay to “advise and assist” the Afghan Security Forces.

Many believe the attacks on foreigners are strategically timed by the Taliban to coincide with a two-day international aid conference in London and a NATO summit Tuesday in Brussels, where Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, urged the international community to stay.

“I pay tribute to more than 3,400 NATO personnel who did the ultimate sacrifice of losing their lives,” he said. “What brings us together is a compelling case of mutual interest.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says the recent attacks by the Taliban are not a cause for major concern.

“I think what we’re seeing in Afghanistan in the last week or so was to be expected,” Kirby said at a Pentagon briefing Tuesday. “I would not consider what they’re doing a resurgence.

“It’s not atypical for them, around periods of transition in Afghanistan, whether it’s an election, or now, coming up in December, the end of the combat mission, for them to try to scare the local populace and try to terrorize people with sporadic attacks. But those attacks have had no strategic effect and I might add that the Afghan National Security Forces and police reacted bravely and quickly to each one of those attacks.”

Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel . She joined FNC in October 1999 as a Jerusalem-based correspondent. 

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Canadian Watchdog Report Chastises RCMP for Islamist Engagement

1098by John Rossomando
IPT News
November 24, 2014

A new report by Canada’s Point de Bascule takes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to task for participating in a panel discussion Wednesday sponsored by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of Windsor. RCMP Superintendent Doug Best, who heads the Canadian law-enforcement agency’s national security operations in Ontario, will appear alongside two Canadian Islamists.

“The upcoming event in Windsor is the latest example of an increasing and dangerous collaboration between Canada’s security agencies and Islamists linked to the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure,” the Point de Bascule report says.

The program, “Violent Radicalization and It Impact on Muslims,” also features two speakers with a history of supporting radical Islamists. One of those speakers is Muhammed Robert Heft who recently met with Taliban officials in Qatar in hopes of getting the Taliban to stand against the Islamic State. The other radical Islamist is law professor Faisal Kutty has been a spokesman for two charities accused of al-Qaida ties.

The host organization, MSA, was founded in 1963 by Muslim Brotherhood members at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. It served as the organizational base from which the Islamist movement in North America sprang. A 2007 New York Police Department report found that extremists use MSAs as “forums for the development and recruitment of like-minded individuals.”

Numerous individuals with MSA ties have been convicted or charged with terrorism-related offenses.

“However, if we look carefully at the organizations that they support and the goal that they pursue, they are indistinguishable from those defended by violent Islamists,” said Marc Lebuis, director of Point de Bascule. “In fact, Islamists waging violent jihad and those waging what they call themselves the “jihad of the tongue” are executing a good cop/bad cop routine in front of our very eyes.”

The “jihad of the tongue” involves calling non-believers to Islam, and it can accompany a military or political struggle. Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi contends that this sort of jihad can be waged by “calling others to Islam, highlighting the merits of Islam and preaching in the language of the target audience.”

Qaradawi also notes that this “collective jihad of da’awah (Islamic preaching)” precedes military jihad.

The Hamas Charter similarly endorses the jihad of the tongue as a prong of its offensive against Israel and the Jews, Lebuis said.

“Jihad is not confined to the carrying of arms and the confrontation of the enemy. The effective word, the good article, the useful book, support and solidarity – together with the presence of sincere purpose for the hoisting of Allah’s banner higher and higher – all these are elements of the Jihad for Allah’s sake,” Hamas says in Article 30 of its 1988 charter.

Point de Bascule, a non-profit watchdog group that monitors the activities and operations of radical Islamic groups in Canada, warns that if those waging the “jihad of the tongue” on Canada’s security infrastructure succeed, it will make the “task of neutralizing violent jihadists almost impossible.”

The fruits of this engagement include a 2009 RCMP document “Words Make Worlds” that discourages police officers from using Islamic concepts to describe the Islamist threat. Michel Coulombe, director of Canada’s Security Intelligence Service, testified in February that his agency prefers to refer to jihadism as “terrorism inspired by Al-Qaida ideology” rather than invoking Islamic terminology.

It’s not a notion that will be challenged by the others on Wednesday’s Windsor panel.

Muhammed Robert Heft is a Toronto-based convert imam who has advised the RCMP, Canadian parliamentarians along with U.S. and Australian government agencies counter-terrorism issues. Heft helped create a “Specialized De-Radicalization Intervention Program” modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous to work with radicalized Muslim youth. He also founded P4E Support Group, which states on its website that it exists to “assist Muslims converts.”

Heft portrays himself as a moderate; however, his Facebook page raises questions about that. Earlier this month, Heft travelled to Doha, Qatar to meet with Taliban representatives at their “embassy” there.

“Please pray for the success of my mission. I am meeting with the head of the Taliban Embassy in Doha, Qatar and we are working on a treaty that would state clearly that the Taliban (Mujahideen) don’t condone vigilante violence, Criminal acts or Terrorism in Non Muslim Countries. They have agreed to take it to Mullah Omar,” Heft wrote Oct. 24. “This will hopefully put some doubt as to the legitimacy of ISIS and there(sic) Fatwas about killing indiscriminately.”

He said that he had been in communication with the Taliban for the previous six months leading up to his announcement.

Such sentiments ignore the Taliban’s history of indiscriminate killing of innocents and its support for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida both before and since 9/11. Al-Qaida Emir Ayman Al-Zawahiri pledges his loyalty to Mullah Omar.

Canada’s government added the Taliban to its list of terrorist organizations in 2013, noting that the terrorist group mostly relies on suicide bombings and improvised-explosive devices to kill indiscriminately.

Heft’s Facebook page links to the website of Zakir Naik, a Muslim televangelist banned from entering Canada in 2010.

Naik described Jews as “our staunchest enemy” and endorsed Osama Bin Laden,saying:” If [Osama bin Laden] is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him … If he is terrorizing a terrorist, if he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him.”

Faisal Kutty, the third panelist at the MSA event, is a Valparaiso University law professor in Indiana..

Kutty served on the board of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Canada office and worked as a spokesman for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a radical Saudi funded organization and the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) – both organizations linked to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Kutty told journalists that BIF “provides succor for the needy, not help for terrorists” and denied that Benevolence International Foundation had ties to Al-Qaida in October 2001, according to the Point de Bascule report.

The United Nations added BIF to its list of Taliban and al-Qaida supporting entities in November 2002, noting its active support for Bin Laden’s activities in Bosnia, Pakistan, China, Chechnya and Russia. Three months later, BIF director Enaam Arnaout entered a plea agreement for diverting charitable donations to jihadists.

Kutty publicly defended WAMY in October 2001, telling a Canadian newspaper it was a “very respected organization” and that people “would be shocked” to hear allegations linking it with al-Qaida. But a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit released in 2011 found that WAMY had served as “primary of Al-Qaida financial and fundraising activity” in 1993 and that it “served a critical role in the Arab-Afghan terrorist infrastructure.”

Furthermore, in 2003, David Kane, a special agent with U.S. Customs Service, signed an affidavit in which he revealed numerous radical, racist and terrorist activities supported by WAMY, including active support for Hamas’ terrorist wing. Kane also cited the fact that WAMY published many books for Muslim youth promoting hatred of Christians and Jews. Kane quoted from one book as follows:

“[T]he seed of the Gulf-war was planted by a Jew; the Jews are enemies of the faithful, God and the angels; The Jews are humanity’s enemies; they foment immorality in this world; The Jews are deceitful, they say something but mean the exact opposite; Who was behind the biological crisis which became like brain washing? A Jew; Who was behind the disintegration of family life and values? A Jew; The one that stirred-up hate and turned the individuals against their Muslim governments in the Arab peninsula – a Jew; Who promoted Atheism and made the countries thrive on Muslims’ blood? The Jews; Every tragedy that inflicts the Muslims is caused by the Jews.”

More recently, Kutty downplayed the role Islam plays in motivating jihadists. In a Nov. 22 column in the Windsor Star, he blamed “mental illness” for jihadist terrorist acts, including that of Parliament Hill shooter Michel Zehaf-Bibeau.

“In fact, a few ‘radicals’ that I have counselled were diagnosed schizophrenics,” Kutty wrote.

The report shows that , the RCMP fallen into the same trap as some U.S. law enforcement agencies in that have established close relations with radical Islamist groups who pretend to be moderate. The danger is that the RCMP legitimizes militant groups and radicals who should be shunned rather than dignified as respected moderate allies of the Canadian government in its war against war against Islamic terrorism.

By embracing Islamic extremists who masquerade as moderates, the RCMP effectively has ostracized genuine Islamic moderates in Canada who deserve recognition for their courage in speaking out against the terrorists.

Read the full Point de Bascule report here.

Afghanistan: A Case Against a Residual US Military Presence

November 21, 2014 / ISIS Study Group:

The US government and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) finally inked a bilateral security agreement (BSA) on 30 SEP 14 that will leave a residual US military force of 9,800 – 10,000 personnel in the country. Since the signing of the BSA the US government has been fueling the mainstream media with talk about how it may boost the chances for resuming peace talks with the Taliban by “demonstrating to the insurgents that they cannot hope to achieve a military victory.” We strongly disagree with this dangerously naive view of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, and submit to the American people that the presence of US military personnel in the country is irrelevant. Why? Because the central government will fall whether a residual force is there or not. The only thing a continue US military presence will do is delay the inevitable.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-afghan-bilateral-security-agreement-signed-1412076436

http://www.stripes.com/news/security-pact-may-foster-afghan-peace-process-us-envoy-says-1.305996

ANA 1
ANA troops
Source: http://www.afghanistan-today.org/media/photos/ANAunit.jpg

So keeping this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that we had the customary “friday afternoon information dump” with the Obama administration authorizing an expansion of the US military’s residual force in Afghanistan starting in 2015 – complete with the same restrictive rules of engagement (ROE) that have led to so many deaths over the past 6 yrs in the country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/22/us/politics/in-secret-obama-extends-us-role-in-afghan-combat.html?_r=0

Whereas the US government should’ve kept a residual force in Iraq, the opposite is true for Afghanistan. Here’s some of the primary reasons:

1. The Afghan people have no national identity. Where the average Iraqi (with the exception of the Kurds) identifies as being “Iraqi,” the Afghans’ loyalty falls in line with the following: Family, tribe, ethnic group, religion, nationality – all in this order. National identity is so far down on the totem pole that its barely a blip on their radar, and that’s one of the reasons why GIRoA can barely control Kabul. In other words, you’re more likely to find an Afghan who will identify as a being a member of the Zadran or Shirzai tribes than you will one who will identify himself as being “Afghan.” That’s a big problem to overcome in a country where unity is such a foreign concept. The UK and Soviets both tried – and failed in doing exactly what’s being attempted here. Should we really expect things to be different? Remember, even before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the central government was having difficulty maintaining its grip away from the capital.

http://www.kabultec.org/ntlid.html

http://www.rferl.org/content/afghanistan-id-cards-ethnic-divisions/25205181.html

http://www.fravahr.org/spip.php?article424

2. Insider attacks. The concept of insider attacks have become a fixture in the enemy’s TTPs in the country – and enlisted men aren’t the only targets. Senior US military officers have also been targeted, with the most recent incident being the attack that led to the death of US Army MG Harold Greene. We assess that the restrictive ROE and ludicrous policy of “cultural sensitivity training” so as not to “offend” our Afghan National Army (ANA) counterparts will not prevent future insider attacks. Furthermore, the only reason there has been a drop in these attacks this year is because of the US drawdown. The ANA are now taking the brunt of insider attacks, and we have several contacts who have served in the country – some of which are still there– who have informed us that many of these incidents go unreported so as not to paint a “negative picture.” We had problems with the IA being compromised by the former regime and IRGC-Qods Force proxies, but never experienced attacks on this scale. It’s also worth noting that in the final days of the Soviet occupation, the Soviet Army was experiencing several insider attacks by Afghan military officers who defected to the Mujahidin. In fact, they saw an increase towards the end of their mission embedding advisors as whole units defected to the Mujaheddin.

Read more

Also see:

Clinton State Department’s “Lady Taliban” Under Active FBI Investigation

Robin L. Raphel testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in 2004. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Robin L. Raphel testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in 2004. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On November 6, 2014

Stunning news related to a top Clinton State Department diplomat, former Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel, that the Washington Post is reporting tonight is subject to an active FBI counter-intelligence investigation:

A veteran State Department diplomat and longtime Pakistan expert is under federal investigation as part of a counterintelligence probe and has had her security clearances withdrawn, according to U.S. officials.

The FBI searched the Northwest Washington home of Robin L. Raphel last month, and her State Department office was also examined and sealed, officials said. Raphel, a fixture in Washington’s diplomatic and think-tank circles, was placed on administrative leave last month, and her contract with the State Department was allowed to expire this week.

Two U.S. officials described the investigation as a counterintelligence matter, which typically involves allegations of spying on behalf of foreign governments. The exact nature of the investigation involving Raphel remains unclear. She has not been charged.

She was the first official to hold the position of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton, and later served as US Ambassador to Tunisia and Senior Vice President of the National Defense University.

In August 2009, she was appointed as deputy for US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, where she was responsible for disbursing non-military aid to Pakistan.

This appointment was controversial because Raphel had been a registered agent for the Government of Pakistan just days before her new position was announced, and because of her close association with the Taliban during the Clinton Administration, earning Raphel the moniker, “Lady Taliban.”

According to one 2009 report:

Robin Raphel, 67, who has the dubious distinction of being a lobbyist for the former military regime of General Pervez Musharraf and who also has close ties with the Taliban as part of her lobbying for UNOCAL, will be the main person overlooking the $1.5 billion aid package to Pakistan, giving rise to concerns the U.S. taxpayers monies would go down the Pakistan drain.

Raphel is widow of former US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel who had perished in the mysterious aircrash that killed Pakistan military dictator General Ziaul Haq and top brass of his military on August 17, 1988.

Raphel was appointed last month as deputy to Mr. Richard Holbrooke, the US. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan…

He said another reason to doubt Secretary Clinton’s assertion of accountability is in the naming of Robin Raphel as a deputy to U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakstan, Richard Holbrooke.

“She had been a Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs beginning in 1993 and on her watch, the madrassas bloomed. Robin Raphel is the person who, during the Clinton presidency, squired Taliban officials around Washington as the next best hope for Afghan leadership,” Dienstag recalled.

Raphel was lobbying for the ill-fated UNOCAL pipe line project at the time.

Raphel eventually became a lobbyist at Cassidy & Associates for the military administration of General Pervez Musharraf. “She was responsible for the lobbying for Pakistan in the State Department as a registered foreign agent of Pakistan and the firm had a $1.2 million contract with the Govt of Pakistan. At this time Jezail sees this as a highly dubious appointment of a well known revolving door retread to a sensitive position,” Dienstag said.

Details of the current FBI investigation haven’t been released, but it is expected that her ties to Pakistan are likely to be focus of the matter.

Al Qaeda Announces New Branch and Bid for Own Caliphate

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

BY RYAN MAURO:

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the opening of a new branch targeting India, Bangladesh and Burma in a videotape release. He did not mention the Islamic State (formerly ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), but his announcement could be interpreted as an attempt to demonstrate Al Qaeda’s viability as it is being eclipsed by the Islamic State.

Zawahiri, who is thought to be hiding in Pakistan, said that it took Al Qaeda two years to merge its associated forces into this new branch. Tellingly, he said that the new branch, named Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent (QJIS), would be loyal to Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

QJIS is led by a Pakistani commander of Al Qaeda named Asim Umar. His official position in Al Qaeda is chief of the group’s Sharia Committee in Pakistan. He is also a Pakistani Taliban commander.

Zawahiri named Ustad Usama Mahmoud as the spokesperson for QJIS.

He emphasized that the group’s goal is to “Establish sharia in the land and to free the occupied land of Muslims in the Indian sub-continent.”

The jihad is not fundamentally about territorial disputes. Indian control of Kashmir, the crackdown on Islamists by the Bangladeshi government and the dictatorship of Burma are road blocks standing in the way of this greater objective of sharia governance. Al Qaeda takes up these political causes as a means to this end.

Zawahiri called on Muslims to help QJIS create a caliphate. He describes its mission statement as “to call the ummah [Muslim world] to unite round the word of Tawhid [monotheism], to wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty, and to revive its Caliphate.”

This is an important detail. The Islamic State’s pitch is that it is an established caliphate and the one with the best chance of a success. Zawahiri is showing that Al Qaeda is also pro-caliphate and is suggesting the Indian subcontinent as an alternative starting point.

Read more at Clarion Project

Also see:

Al Qaeda opens branch in the ‘Indian Subcontinent’

 

In the video, Umar called on Indian Muslims to participate in the “global jihad to give a final push to the collapsing edifice of America.”

By Bill Roggio:

Al Qaeda has announced the establishment of a new branch, called “Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent.” The group reports to Mullah Omar, the head of the Afghan Taliban, and is led by a former commander in the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan who also served as a sharia official in al Qaeda’s branch in Pakistan. The ultimate goal of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is the same as al Qaeda’s: to establish a global caliphate and impose sharia, or Islamic law.

As Sahab, al Qaeda’s official media outlet, released a lengthy video promoting the creation of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent today. The video, which was published on various Internet video sites, including YouTube, features Ayman al Zawahiri as well as Asim Umar, the new emir of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, and Usama Mahmoud, the group’s spokesman. The video was translated by the SITE Intelligence group.

“A new branch of al-Qaeda was established and is Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent, seeking to raise the flag of jihad, return the Islamic rule, and empowering the Shariah of Allah across the Indian subcontinent,” Zawahiri says in the opening of the video, according to the translation by SITE.

Zawahiri says the group was years in the making, contains “soldiers of the Islamic Emirate” (a reference to the Afghan Taliban), and ultimately reports to Mullah Omar.

“This entity was not established today, but it is the fruit of a blessed effort for more than two years to gather the mujahideen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity to be with the main group, Qaedat al-Jihad, from the soldiers of the Islamic Emirate and its triumphant emir, Allah permitting, Emir of the Believers Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid,” Zawahiri says. Zawahiri renewed his oath of allegiance to Mullah Omar in a statement that was released in July of this year. [See LWJ report, Al Qaeda renews its oath of allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.]

“It is an entity that was formed to promulgate the call of the reviving imam Sheikh Usama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him, to call the Ummah to unite round the word of Tawhid [monotheism], to wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty, and to revive its Caliphate,” Zawahiri continues in the video.

Zawahiri says the group will defend the “vulnerable in the Indian subcontinent, in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujurat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir …” and “your brothers in Qaedat al-Jihad did not forget you and that they are doing what they can to rescue you from injustice, oppression, persecution, and suffering.”

Read more at Long War Journal

Also see:

U.S. Links Iran to Both Al-Qaeda and Taliban Terrorists

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The U.S. Treasury Department is again linking the Iranian regime to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. On August 21-22, it sanctioned several terrorists and disclosed their Iranian ties. Yet again, it is confirmed that Shiite and Sunni terrorists are willing to cooperate against common enemies.

An August 22 press release announces the sanctioning of Abdul Mohsen Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh, described as an Al-Qaeda facilitator and strategist in Syria. He is also a senior leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, and very active in social media.

The Obama Administration explains that he also played a leading role in Al-Qaeda’s pipeline in Iran that operates with the consent of the regime:

“Prior to his work in Syria with [Jabhat al-Nusra], al-Sharikh served in early 2013 as chief of al-Qaida’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network before the return of already designated al-Qaida facilitator Yasin al-Suri to the position. Al-Sharikh has also previously served al-Qaida as a key financial facilitator in Pakistan.”

A press release from a day prior announced that the Treasury Department was sanctioning the Basir Zarjmil Hawala based in Chaman of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province. Hawala networks are underground money transfer systems in the Muslim world.

The U.S. government says the Basir Zarjmil Hawala became the “principal money exchanger” for Taliban leaders in Pakistan in 2012. It provides a list of branch offices, with one being in Iran. Given the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime and suspicion of Sunni terrorists, it is inconceivable that the regime is unaware of this major operation. Other offices are in Afghanistan and Dubai.

The Clarion Project’s fact sheet on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism details how the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations have all asserted that the Iranian regime supports Al-Qaeda, despite their intense ideological divisions.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Iran and Al-Qaeda began collaborating in late 1991 or early 1992. Al-Qaeda operatives began receiving training, particularly in explosives, inside Iran and Lebanon.

The report leaves open the possibility that Al-Qaeda worked with Iran in carrying out the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996. The attack killed 19 U.S. soldiers. The Iranians wanted to expand the relationship after Al-Qaeda’s bombing of theUSS Cole in Yemen in 2000, but Osama Bin Laden was worried about losing Saudi supporters.

“The relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran demonstrated that Sunni-Shi’a divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations,” the 9/11 Commission concluded.

***

Iran is offering to help the U.S. defeat the Islamic State (formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq) if sanctions are lifted on its nuclear program. The Iranian regime is acting like a firefighter that sets blazes so it can come to the rescue.

The Shiite Iranian regime and the Sunni terrorists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State may kill and condemn each other, but they are far closer to each other than they are to us. The history of the relationship shows that they will work together against us, even as they fight tooth-and-nail in Syria and Iraq.

At the end of the day, Islamist terrorists will always choose each other over us. We ignore that demonstrated behavior at our own cost.

Read more at Clarion Project

DECLARE WAR ON SHARIAH

iraq-machine-guns-held-aloft-afpBreitbart, by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR., Aug. 24.2014:

The National Journal called earlier this week for the United States to “declare war on ISIS.” The magazine is right to argue for a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), a legislative vehicle that passes these days for a congressional declaration of war. It is wrong, however, to urge that the existing AUMF, which targets al Qaeda and “associated forces,” be replaced by one that focuses just on the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham/Syria, or ISIS, or the Islamic State in the Levant, or ISIL).

Nearly thirteen years after 9/11, it is past time to recognize that we are at war not with one group of “terrorists” or another. Rather, adherents to a doctrine or ideology they call shariah are at war with us. Shariah is, at its core, about power, not faith. While some small percentage (some estimates suggest ten-percent) of its dictates prescribe the religious practices, the rest of it defines comprehensively how every relationship must be ordered – between individuals, families, neighbors, business associates, all the way up to how the world is governed.

Most importantly, shariah obliges its followers to engage in jihad (or holy war). Don’t be misled by those who argue jihad means “personal struggle.” The Koran makes clear that jihad is “holy war.” And for shariah-adherent Islamists that war has two goals: the triumph of shariah worldwide and the establishment of what is, for want of a better term, a theocratic government to rule the entire planet according to that doctrine.

The jihadists may disagree among themselves about some points of theology (notably, differences that divide Sunnis and Shiites). They may be committed to the use of terrifying violence under all circumstances. Or, as in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood, they may believe it is to be used where practicable, but insist on employing not so much non-violent as pre-violent, subversive techniques where terrorism will be counterproductive.

Whatever the banner under which these shariah-adherents wage jihad – for example, the Islamic State, al Qaeda, Taliban, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Ansar al-Shariah or Muslim Brotherhood – all these Islamists are our avowed enemies. That is not because of how we view them. That is because of their own doctrine which is endlessly reinforced in their mosques, via the Internet, through social media and other vehicles.

We can no longer kid ourselves, or otherwise avoid a harsh reality: While perhaps hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world – including it seems the majority of those in America – practice their faith without regard for shariah (they don’t want to live under it themselves and they do not seek to impose it on others), the authorities of Islam regard shariah as the true faith and consider these co-religionists to be apostates.

At the moment, fortunately, only a relatively small number are actively engaged in violent jihad. Many more, though, are doing what shariah demands of those unable or unwilling to wield the sword in holy war: underwriting those who do, through the practice of zakat (Islam’s obligatory contributions to approved charitable causes, one of which is jihad).

Unless and until we understand that shariah-adherent Muslims are inherently dangerous, we will be unable to define our enemy correctly. Unless and until we hold such Muslims accountable, we will not only restrict unduly the focus and effectiveness of our countervailing efforts.

Worse yet, we will actually encourage Muslims – whether states like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, organizations or individuals – to associate with, underwrite, or in other ways enable deadly foes of freedom.

Some will respond that an AUMF focused on shariah is a formula for a “clash of civilizations.” The truth is that enemies of civilization – namely, those who adhere to and seek to impose, whether through violence or by stealth, brutally repressive, totalitarian, misogynistic, homophobic, intolerant and anti-constitutional shariah on others – have made no secret of their determination to conquer and destroy us and the rest of the civilized world.

Only by making clear that we are determined to fight back in defense of freedom will we have a chance of protecting our civilization against these enemies. By identifying the political-military-legal ideology of shariah as the defining ideology of those with whom we are at war – much as we did in the past against Nazism, Fascism, Japanese imperialism, and communism – we have a chance of prevailing. And that chance will be greatly enhanced if we bring to bear now, as in the past, not only military but all other instruments of national power.

We will also incentivize Muslims who do not conform to this doctrine to join us in fighting those who accuse them of apostasy, a capital offense under shariah. If they do so, the likelihood of our early success improves still further.

So, by all means, let’s have a new authorization for the use of military force. Or better yet, a proper declaration of war approved by the Congress, authorizing the use of the full array of our economic, political, intelligence, strategic and military means of waging war. But for the sake of our civilization and freedoms, we must ensure that it correctly defines the object of our defensive war: those who adhere to and are trying compel us to submit to shariah.

Daniel Greenfield on “How Obama Surrendered Iraq” – on The Glazov Gang

Front Page:

This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He writes the blog, The Point, at Frontpagemag.com.

Daniel discussed “How Obama Surrendered Iraq,” outlining a Radical-in-Chief’s suicidal foreign policy [starting at the 8:30 mark].

The dialogue also involved an analysis of Obama’s disastrous Afghanistan give-away, more revelations on the Benghazi betrayal, the scandalous Taliban-Bergdahl swap, and much, much more:

Their 9/11 Role – The Taliban Five are even worse than you’ve heard

The Taliban’s Afghanistan “was the incubator for al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks,” the 9/11 Commission found. Another passage from the commission’s final report reads: “The alliance with the Taliban provided al Qaeda a sanctuary in which to train and indoctrinate fighters and terrorists, import weapons, forge ties with other jihad groups and leaders, and plot and staff terrorist schemes.”

MOHAMMAD FAZL

MOHAMMAD FAZL

BY THOMAS JOSCELYN:

One of the five senior Taliban leaders transferred to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl played a key role in al Qaeda’s plans leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mohammad Fazl, who served as the Taliban’s army chief of staff and deputy defense minister prior to his detention at Guantánamo, did not have a hand in planning the actual 9/11 hijackings. Along with a notorious al Qaeda leader, however, Fazl did help coordinate a military offensive against the enemies of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan the day before. And Osama bin Laden viewed that September 10 offensive as an essential part of al Qaeda’s 9/11 plot.

The 9/11 Commission found that the hijackings in the United States on September 11, 2001, were the culmination of al Qaeda’s three-step plan. First, on September 9, 2001, al Qaeda assassinated Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah Massoud in a suicide bombing. Massoud’s death was a major gift to the Taliban because he was their chief rival and still controlled parts of the country. The assassination was also intended to weaken opposition to the Taliban and al Qaeda within Afghanistan before the United States could plan its retaliation for the most devastating terrorist attack in history. The Northern Alliance did, in fact, play a role in America’s response.

The following day, September 10, al Qaeda and the Taliban took their second step. A “delayed Taliban offensive against the Northern Alliance was apparently coordinated to begin as soon as [Massoud] was killed,” the 9/11 Commission found. Fazl and one of bin Laden’s chief lieutenants, Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, played key roles in this setup for 9/11. At the time, al Iraqi oversaw what al Qaeda called the Arab 55th Brigade, which was Osama bin Laden’s chief fighting force inside Afghanistan and fought side by side with Mullah Omar’s forces.

According to a leaked Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment of Fazl, al Iraqi met with Fazl “on several occasions to include immediately following the assassination of [Massoud] in September 2001.” Al Iraqi “stated the Northern Alliance was demoralized after the assassination and [he] met with [Fazl] to immediately coordinate an attack with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance.”

Al Qaeda viewed both the assassination of Massoud and the offensive launched the following day as necessary components of the 9/11 plot. At first, Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders were said to be wary of any spectacular attack against the United States, as it would likely draw fierce retaliation from the world’s lone superpower. (The 9/11 Commission did find “some scant indications” that Omar “may have been reconciled to the 9/11 attacks by the time they occurred.”) The plan to attack the United States was controversial even within al Qaeda, with some senior leaders objecting to the idea.

But Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders believed, correctly, that the first two steps of their plan would ensure the Taliban’s continuing support. The 9/11 Commission found that as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda’s military chief at the time, Mohammed Atef, “deliberated” the 9/11 hijackings “earlier in the year,” they “would likely have remembered that Mullah Omar was dependent on them for the Massoud assassination and for vital support in the Taliban military operations.” And, while the commission’s sources were “not privy to the full scope of al Qaeda and Taliban planning,” bin Laden and Atef “probably would have known, at least,” that the “general Taliban offensive against the Northern Alliance” on September 10 “would rely on al Qaeda military support.”

The 9/11 Commission’s final report goes on to say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind of 9/11, remembers Atef “telling him that al Qaeda had an agreement with the Taliban to eliminate Massoud, after which the Taliban would begin an offensive to take over [all of] Afghanistan.”

Mohammad Fazl’s cooperation with al Iraqi was, therefore, part of the plan KSM remembered.

As controversy over the deal for Sgt. Bergdahl has continued to swirl, current and former Obama administration officials have sought to draw a sharp distinction between the threat posed by the Taliban Five and al Qaeda.

“These five guys are not a threat to the United States,” former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said during an interview on NBC News last week. “They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them. So I think we may be kind of missing the bigger picture here. We want to get an American home, whether they fell off the ship because they were drunk or they were pushed or they jumped, we try to rescue everybody.”

Read more at Weekly Standard