Emerson with Judge Pirro: No-Go Islamic Zones and Western Self-Denial

 

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
January 11, 2015

Jeanine Pirro: Developing tonight, new reports that terrorist sleeper cells may have been activated in France. This as we’re learning new details about hundreds of no-go zones across France and other countries that are off limits to non-Muslims. Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project joins us. Alright Steve, my last guest told us some chilling details about these no-go zones. What more can you tell us about these zones, Steve?

Steve Emerson: Well these no-go zones exist not only in France, but they exist throughout Europe. They’re sort of amorphous, they’re not contiguous necessarily, but they’re sort of safe havens and they’re places where the governments like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany don’t exercise any sovereignty. So you basically have zones where Shariah courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don’t go in, and where it’s basically a separate country almost, a country within a country.

Pirro: You know what it sounds like to me, Steve? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country.

Emerson: It certainly does sound like that. It’s almost the prescription that they’re asking Israel to do, which is to set up a separate state within their own state, except they’re not recognizing it. And they’re not dealing with it because they don’t want to; I got into a tweet fight with the French ambassador who denied that there are any such things as no-go zones, except on the French official website it says there are and it actually has a map of them…. [A]nd in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in. And parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire. So there’s a situation that Western Europe is not dealing with. And in this country, you know, we have this, you know this selective orientation toward what is radical Islam. The president doesn’t [even] say the [words, “radical Islam.”] We include Turkey as…our ally, despite the fact that it supports Hamas, it provides safe haven to the leaders of Hamas that coordinate attacks on Israel. Europe just lifted the sanctions on Hamas. So when Europe says or France says, ‘We’re engaged in a war against radical Islam,’ they don’t include Hamas, they don’t include Hizballah.

Pirro: OK tell me, Steve, is there any way to get these no-go zones back? In other words, does France want it back? Does Belgium want it back? Does Germany want these zones back? Because what’s happening is this is metastasizing into a simple takeover. I think even you said Europe is over. What did you say, Steve?

Emerson: I said the other day, Europe is finished because if you extrapolate the number of Muslims [now into the future, you will get Muslim dominated countries] and I’m not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, far from it.

Pirro: Of course not.

Emerson: Because the problem is that the leadership of the Muslim communities in Europe deliberately don’t want to integrate. And so they establish these zones which refuse to integrate and use them as leverage against the host country as political and military leverage. So will these countries take it back? I don’t see it happening at this point. You see [the] reaction by the population, Judge. But I don’t see the country elites taking it [the Muslim no-go zones] back. And that’s really unfortunate, because it fosters the whole perpetuation of radical Islamic generations from here to come.

Pirro: Alright, I just have a few seconds left, Steve. Tell us very quickly about these women — you know, we hear about this woman, [Hayat] Boumeddiene, as well as some of the other female terrorists, I mean there are a lot of them in France, I understand.

Emerson: Yeah, well listen, there are many of them, not many, I can’t give you the specific number. But they’ve trained, first of all they’ve carried out terrorist attacks in the Middle East for sure. Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad. ISIS even has women trained [as] Islamic female terrorists, and Europe also [has]; we’ve seen now in Britain where [some Muslim] women [trained as terrorists] wear burkas to hide their identities, and in fact in certain airports, believe it or not, they don’t require the burkas to be removed to identify them to see who they are in their passport controllers.

Pirro: Exactly. Gotta wrap. Great point. I’ve seen it at airports myself.

Update 1/11/15 – 

I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing this apology and correction for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham. I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham.  I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake.  I wish to apologize for all residents of that great city of Birmingham.

Steve Emerson

PS. I am making  donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Erdogan Grooms a New Jihad Generation

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
January 6, 2015

913First, he promised to build a new, “religious generation.” Now, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be going one step further: creating, too, a new generation for jihad.

If that sounds a bit like the Islamic State, there is one significant distinction: IS leaders shape their youth by teaching them to use Kalashnikovs and knives. Erdogan is shaping children’s minds. And that can be far more dangerous.

This is not to say that Erdogan is himself a terrorist leader, despite his cozy relationships with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. And perhaps has has never realized the full gravity of his programs. But is there, leaving many in Turkey’s Western, secular, intellectual elite to worry about their children’s future.

Throughout his leadership, beginning with his election to prime minister in 2003, Erdogan has restructured the formerly-secular education system overseeing the growth of imam hatip, or religious training schools, throughout the country. According to the Financial Times, such schools boasted 63,000 students in 2002-2003; by 2014, the number of imam hatip students had exploded to 983,000.

What makes this particularly disturbing is the fact that tens, if not hundreds of thousands of these students never signed up for imam hatips to begin with. Rather, Erdogan systematically reshaped existing secular public schools and redesigned the student examination system so that thousands of children are assigned to imam hatipseven against their will.

But he hasn’t stopped there. As of a year ago, all public schools also provide mandatory “religious culture and ethics” courses beginning at age nine. Yet despite a 2007 European Court of Human Rights ruling requiring education in all religions, human rights lawyer and columnist Orhan Kemal Cengiz writes in Al-Monitor, “Sunni Islam continues to be imposed, with students required to memorize Islamic prayers and Quranic verses.”

Now Turkey’s first democratically-elected president has, through his education minister, expanded such “morality” classes to begin in nursery school, where six-year-olds will receive such lessons as “patience protects young people’s chastity in environments full of illegitimate desires.” Children throughout the Republic, according to newspaper Milliyet, will also learn that “death is a blessing according to our faith. It means salvations from the heavy burden of living.”

Can calls for martyrdom be far behind?

Moreover, the “morality” and “values” lessons being taught to many of Turkey’s youth are being given by teachers whose religious and political leanings heavily tint their “moral” views. At Istanbul’s 500-year-old Galatasaray academy, a student’s mother told me, one teacher taught her class that green is the color both of inner peace and of Islam. But be careful, the teacher said. Starbucks’ logo is also green, yet she would never buy her coffee from them: “the owners of Starbucks are Jews, and the Jews are killing our Muslim brothers.” A Jewish girl in the class remained silent; but when her mother complained to the school’s director, he did nothing.

And so goes “morality” for the future of the Turkish people.

These latest moves follow another, significant effort: requiring schools to teach the Ottoman language and alphabet, both of which were banned by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1928, five years after the founding of the Republic.

This, as Al Jazeera recently pointed out, is no small matter. Ataturk banned Ottoman as a language, including its written form – which melded Arabic and Farsi script –as a critical part of his program to turn the country Westward: modern Turkish uses a Western, Latin alphabet and incorporates words from English and German. Few contemporary Turks can read Ottoman, and even fewer understand Arabic or Farsi.

But a culture rests profoundly on its language. Stanford University psychology professor Lera Boroditsky has found that “if you change how people talk, that changes how they think. If people learn another language, they inadvertently also learn a new way of looking at the world … All this new research shows us that the languages we speak not only reflect or express our thoughts, but also shape the very thoughts we wish to express. The structures that exist in our languages profoundly shape how we construct reality.”

By reintroducing Ottoman as a language, especially alongside religious educational systems, Erdogan is returning his country to its Ottoman, Islamic past both in knowledge and in thought – and away from the modern secular state that has long been a partner and ally of the West. And in his oft-underestimated shrewdness, he is using the minds of Turkey’s youngest to lead the way: those six-year-olds now learning to honor death and memorize the Quran and identify with the glory of the Ottomans will, in 12 years, enter the nation’s military.

Which seems to be just what Erdogan has had in mind all along. Writing in World Affairs Journal in 2013, Hillel Fradkin and Lewis Libby pointed to a little-noticed remarkthen-Prime Minister Erdogan made to his congress, in which he called on the country’s youth to look beyond the 100th anniversary of the Republic in 2023 and to prepare for the year 2071. “This is a date that is unlikely to be meaningful for Westerners,” Fradkin and Libby observe, “but is evocative for many Turks. 2071 will mark one thousand years since the Battle of Manzikert. There, the Seljuk Turks—a tribe originally from Central Asia—decisively defeated the leading Christian power of that era, the Byzantine Empire, and thereby stunned the medieval world. At the battle’s end, the Seljuk leader stepped on the Christian emperor’s throat to mark Christendom’s humiliation. The Seljuk victory began a string of events that allowed the Seljuk Turks to capture the lands of modern Turkey and create an empire that would stretch across much of Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

In evoking Manzikert, Erdogan recalled for today’s Turks the glories of their aggressive warrior ancestors who had set out to conquer non-Muslim lands and, along the way, fought off the hated Shias of their day to dominate much of the Middle East.”

Less than two years later, with ISIS building its caliphate-by-blood just across the border, the shaping of the new Erdogan generation looks more threatening than ever.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Also see:

Report: Qatar to banish Hamas’ Mashaal, who will relocate to Turkey

Hamas’ political bureau, is expected to leave his base in the Qatari capital of Doha and relocate to Turkey, Turkish press reports indicated on Tuesday.

Qatar has reportedly been under pressure from the international community to cease serving as a host of organizations considered by the West to be terrorist groups.

Hamas on Tuesday denied reports that Mashaal has been expelled from Qatar.

“There is no truth to what some media outlets have published over the departure by brother Khaled Meshaal from Doha,” Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq told Reuters by telephone.

Another Hamas source confirmed that Mashaal was still in Doha and has no plans to leave the country.

The ruling family in Doha has been accused of providing financial and political support to Hamas and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

Last year, the emir of Qatar denied accusations that the Gulf sheikhdom is a sponsor and supporter of Islamist terrorist organizations.

In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani rejected suggestions that the groups that Doha was backing were terrorist in nature.

“We have to see the difference between movements,” Al-Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “I know that in America and some other countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. In our part of the region, we don’t.”

The Qatari leader did say that his government opposed “certain movements in Syria and Iraq,” a reference to the Islamic State. He denied accusations that Qatar was funding IS or that his government was turning a blind eye to private citizens’ activities in support of the group.

In the interview, Al-Thani never mentioned Hamas by name, despite the fact that his government is known to provide financial support to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israeli officials have denounced Qatar for backing Hamas.

Earlier this year, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he deemed Qatar “the Club Med for terrorists.”

“In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza,” Prosor wrote. “Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the Emir of Qatar.’”

Also see:

Emerson on Fox with Judge Jeanine: “We’re embracing [Muslim Brotherhood] front groups….”

 

Judge Jeanine: And with me now, Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigator Project. Good evening Steve. We have disturbing new information that ISIS is creating the next generation of terrorists by recruiting young moms, teaching them to raise jihadi babies, showing them how to use AK-47s, trying to desensitizing them to violence, teaching them the importance of allowing their children to see people being murdered. How do we fight that?

Steve Emerson: This is part of fighting ISIS; it’s part of fighting radical Islam. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, all have employed women as radical Islamic terrorists. They’ve all used women as terrorists, so it’s really nothing new. What’s new here is that they’re basically exploiting mothers to raise their children [as jihadi babies]. And it’s playing well in the Western media. The bottom line here is that this is nothing new under the sun, Judge. What’s new here is the fact that we’re reacting as if it’s new. it’s like the front page of the New York Times this past week [reported that] … the top general, General Nagata, [as] saying “we don’t really understand ISIS, we don’t understand what motivates them, we have to understand them” as if they need a psychiatrist. Bottom line here, they’re motivated by radical Islamic theology. It didn’t take much to understand what motivated the Nazis. It doesn’t take much to understand what motivates them. Is ISIS raising a new generation [of jihadis] ? Absolutely. But so are all of the other groups that belong to the spectrum [of radical Islam].

Jude Jeanine: But my question, Steve, is that they’re doing this. What are we doing to confront it? As these children are being raised to hate us, to kill us, I don’t care what their motivation is, that is the context within which their lives are occurring. And you can see there a screen of a kid with what looks like an AK-47, yeah, an AK-47. What are we doing other than spoiling our kids and, you know, giving them more Iphones?

Steve Emerson: Well you raise a good point because discussions has always been how do we – in the West, in the United States in particular – develop a “counter narrative,” that’s the term, to basically neutralize the al Qaeda or the ISIS point of view. Bottom line is there’s no counter-narrative that the West can develop. We can beat them by destroying them. Period. And the real problem is we’re embracing politically [Islamist] groups like the Muslim Brotherhood or their front groups in the West that are basically appealing to ISIS [supporters] , developing a motivation for ISIS to fight the West by spreading the [incendiary] message this there’s ” a war against Islam.” That’s the number one motivational factor in inducing Islamic terrorism against the US and the West, and [yet] we are embracing those [very same] groups that spread it into the White House and into the public policy organizations throughout the United States.

Judge Jeanine: And not to mention the release of terrorists from Gitmo, those who are being released now, no conditions, no restrictions. The worst of the worst. Reducing our military. We’ve got Hillary Clinton, she’s a front runner to run for President of the Democrat Party saying we need to understand and empathize with our enemy. We’re in for real dark days.

Steve Emerson: We have been. And the seeds are sown now for the future. We’ve embraced Turkey despite the fact that it’s basically been a safe haven for Hamas to carry out attacks against not just friends of ours [like the].. Israelis [but also].. Americans. Number two, we’ve embraced Qatar, which is the number one financial supporter of [Islamic] terrorism. Three, we’ve basically distanced ourselves from countries like Egypt and we’ve embraced the Muslim Brotherhood through front groups in the United States. Just a week before Christmas the US State Department met with front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood to basically stop the designation of those groups as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. We [the United States Government] should have designated tem as terrorists groups. You look at all fronts here, it’s really amazing what’s going on.

Judge Jeanine: What amazes me is that Egypt stood up and said, 35 million strong, we don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood. And we allow them to integrate our government, the White House, to meet at the highest levels. What does it say about where this country is headed?

Steve Emerson: It says very bad thing unfortunately. And it says that we as a country unfortunately have embraced the worst type of politically totalitarian groups under the guise of “multiculturalism,” under the guise of their deception, their deceit basically in fooling us into thinking that they’re democratic, that they’re open, that generally they’re egalitarian. Nothing could be further from the truth. These Islamist groups are misogynist, they’re totalitarian, they’re racist, they’re terrorists. And we shouldn’t be afraid to say that and designate them as so.

Judge Jeanine: And you never are. Steve Emerson, it’s always good to have you on the show. Thanks so much.

“Palestine” and the ICC

by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
December 31, 2014

1108The Palestinian Authority’s latest unilateral attempt to gain recognition as a state without negotiating any concessions failed Tuesday. But other mischief remains in play, including Wednesday’s move to join the International Criminal Court(ICC).

Earlier this month, “Palestine” was upgraded from “observer entity” to “observer state” at the ICC. It was another milestone on the Palestinian Authority’s road to international recognition as a state without having to negotiate directly with Israel, make any concessions, or commit to a genuine dialogue for peace, a unilateral stem directly violating both the Oslo Accords and UN Resolution 242. Countries supporting the move know – but are apathetic to the fact – that their actions only reinforce the PA’s intransigence and destroy any motivation the Palestinians might have had to compromise on any issue that would bring about a just peace for both sides.

The Palestinian Authority’s dream to try Israel in the ICC for so-called “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip is the height of absurdity. The PLO won international recognition after it claimed to have abandoned terrorism against Israel. If its operational wing, the Palestinian Authority, manages to penetrate the international legal network, sign the Rome Convention and bring Israel to trial for its activities in the Gaza Strip, senior PLO and Palestinian Authority figures will immediately find themselves in the ICC accused of their own crimes.

The Palestinian national consensus government, with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as “president,” is a coalition with Hamas, whose suicide bombers blew themselves up in Israel on busy streets and in crowded public places and caused thousands of deaths and maimings, to say nothing of abducting and murdering three teen aged boys just six months ago. The Palestinian government is responsible for the war crimes committed by Hamas this past summer, including launching long-range rockets at densely populated cities, among them Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and sending its death squads to murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately.

Israel conducts military operations against Palestinian terrorism with pinpoint precision and in accordance with the best international legal and moral criteria. This past summer, as always, it warned the civilian population before it attacked terrorists, whose leaders had fled like rats into the basements of hospitals to wait out the war. In contrast, Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately attacked the Israeli civilian population; they uttered no word of regret or sorrow, and certainly did not appoint a committee to investigate.

While Palestinians bemoan their failure to carry out a mass slaughter of Israeli civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure, mainly thanks to the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Israel is undertaking a comprehensive examination of complaints lodged by Palestinians, Israelis and the international community regarding possible illegal actions taken by Israeli soldiers and officers during Operation Protective Edge.

No country comes close to Israel in following the letter of the laws of warfare. Arab countries, many of which are currently engaged in mutual slaughter, cannot even approximate Israel’s conduct when it comes to morality. Needless to say, no Palestinian or other terrorist organization has ever examined its own behavior the way Israel constantly does.

There are many Palestinians honest enough to admit – although not brave enough to do so publicly – that if they had the weapons Israel does, not one single Israeli would be left alive. Article 7 of the Hamas charter decrees the total annihilation of all the Jews in the world. Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ partner in the Palestinian national consensus government, had the unmitigated gall to stand before the UN General Assembly and accuse Israel of genocide.

Read more at IPT

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel’s top experts on Arab affairs.

Qatar: A Change of Heart? Or merely rearranging the Camels?

qatar_awareness_campaign_logoBy William Michael:

An Update from the Qatar Awareness Campaign

Several recent news reports point to the possibility that Qatar, the host nation of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be genuine in their attempt to reconcile with their Arab neighbors.  After expelling the Qataris and isolating them diplomatically, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt appear to have reached an accord with Doha.  The Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood was long ago banished from Saudi Arabia (in the late 1920s), and Egypt has violently suppressed them many times, notably after the assassination of Sadat.  Yet the daily report out of the Middle East suggests that KSA, UAE, and Egypt may really welcome Doha back into the family.

Consider:

  • Yesterday, it was reported that Qatar pledged to stop funding Hamas – truly remarkable, if true.
  • A few months ago, they expelled prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader”), and he will no longer broadcasting on Al Jazeera (if reports are to be believed).

It is possible that the month-long Qatar Awareness Campaign, which issued an open letter to nearly 30 companies, universities, individuals, and politicians who benefited financially from a relationship with terror-sponsoring Qatar, had something to do with this apparent change of heart.  The campaign identified Qatar as the primary sponsor of Islamic terror, with connections across the Middle East and North Africa to groups such as Hamas, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

But, there is another explanation for this apparent change of heart which, given Qatar’s two-faced nature, may be more realistic.

The MB could simply be shifting their bases of operation, leaving their financial hub, Qatar, alone (for the moment), thus providing their wealthy benefactor with the good press to alleviate them of the international pressure. For over the past four months, the world press had suddenly taken notice of the corrupt Gulf terror state, and its causing them trouble. FC Barcelona, for example, dropped their sponsorship deal Qatar Foundation over Qatar’s financing of Hamas.

The evidence for this “camel rearranging” is as follows:

  • Turkey, a close ally of Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood proxy themselves, welcomed the expelled Muslim Brothers from Qatar.
  • Qatar and Turkey recently reaffirmed their mutual support for “oppressed peoples” – i.e., Islamists in secularly governed countries, and Hamas in Gaza.
  • Other MB expelled from Qatar have gone to Libya, where the UAE/Egypt are in a proxy war with Qatar.
  • Hamas has been removed from the EU list of terrorist groups, providing more flexibility to terrorists in Palestine.
  • The White House (Obama) tacitly threatened to sanction Israel, and remains extremely hostile to Netanyahu.
  • Qatar’s reconciliation with their Gulf neighbors appears to be directly related to lower oil prices, which have crippled Russia’s economy and hurt Iran (Russia and Iran being no friends of Saudi Arabia).  This also directly affects Syria, a Russian and Iranian client state that is under siege by Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, elements in Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration.
  • ISIS is preparing to attack Israel.

Another development to take into account is the increasingly sharp language of the conservative press aimed at Obama and the Islamists.  We may finally be reaching a point where, sooner or later, the mainstream press is going to have to face up to the possibility that Obama is not who he says he is, but in fact an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Consider, the cop killer in NYC worked for Islamic Society of North America, and the president of ISNA is a close Obama advisor, including to DHS and the National Security Council.  The truth is getting harder to ignore.  As many people who have spent the time investigating Obama’s roots and connections have determined, the real threat to world peace is not in fact Qatar, but the Obama administration.

Now is truly the time to make the case that the administration is the North American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, and Hamas.  It must be done for posterity, before it is too late!

Let the chips fall where they may – the future belongs to the brave.

Islamic State: The French Connection

December 15, 2014 / ISIS Study Group /

Background

This section provides a brief recap of radicalized Islamic French citizens involved in terrorism. This will lead into more current events involving French citizens in the on going conflict with the Islamic State.  France has an estimated 700-900 citizens that have or are participating in Syria or Iraq.

Keep in mind that the Islamic State evolved from Al Qaeda in Iraq, which became Islamic State of Iraq, then Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Levant) and finally re-branding itself as the Islamic State in order to legitimize itself.

France has been no stranger to the world of Islamic terrorism. Early on in Operation Iraqi Freedom several French citizens had been killed or killed themselves in suicide attacks against US forces in Iraq. Abdelhalim Badjoudj carried out a suicide bombing with a car filled with explosives in an SVBIED attack on October 20, 2004. The attack took place on the airport road in Baghdad wounding two US soldiers and two Iraqi police officers. Abdelhalim’s friend, Redouane el-Hakim was identified as an insurgent killed in Fallujah after an airstrike in 2004, during the Battle of Fallujah, when a combined force of approximately 18,500 troops from the US, Iraq and UK conducted clearing operations there. Another French citizen by the name of Tarek Ouinis was killed in the Sunni Triangle during a firefight with US troops. Redouane al-Hakim’s older brother was also arrested in Syria before he could enter Iraq.

France’s Islamic terrorist ties also stretch beyond the Iraq/Syria conflict area to the Far East in Indonesia.  An Islamic boarding school, Al-Mukmin (Ngruki) in Surakarta, is believed to be tied to terror incidents in Paris and Toulouse in March of 2012. Three French nationals were planning to seek refuge at that school after the attacks. One of the French nationals was Frederic C. Jean Salvi who has links to the network responsible for the shootings that took seven lives in Toulouse.  One French national, Mohammed Merah, was shot dead in the Toulouse incident.

The Ngruki boarding school was founded by Abu Bakar Ba’asyir who is serving a 15 year sentence for organizing a terror camp in Aceh. The boarding school is also connected to the 2002 Bali bombing. Salvi’s terror group is suspected in two bombings in the vicinity of the Indonesian embassy in Paris. Once took place in 2004 and another took place in March 2012. According to Asianet News the attack by Salvi’s group was to warn Indonesia to stop arresting and imprisoning Muslims.

Salvi has ties to Al Ghuroba which has been active since 1999 and is a study group for Indonesian students in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Arab countries. This connection introduced Salvi to Ba’asyir.

France’s Islamic terrorists are in Africa as well which is of significant importance to the Islamic State.  Recently, Morocco arrested four French nationals suspected of connections to Islamic terrorist groups. The men were arrested in Marrakesh and Laayoune. There are many ties to France and Islamic groups in the Islamic Maghreb because many of these countries are former French colonies such as Algeria and Mali.

A former French nuclear physicist was on trial for accusations he was plotting attacks with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Adlene Hicheur was sentenced to five years after corresponding with a presumed member of AQIM by the name of Mustapha Debchi. Some of the exchanged messages were said to be encrypted.

In the recent video of the beheading of former US Army Ranger Peter Kassig, along with 18 Syrian pilots, showed two individuals that are identified as French citizens taking part in the beheadings. Each beheaded one of the pilots while the infamous “Jihadi John” beheaded Peter Kassig. One of these individuals is identified as former Normandy resident Maxime Hauchard. The second individual was a resident of Paris and identified as Abu Othman (Michael Dos Santos).  Maxime Hauchard had traveled to Syria in 2013 as part of a humanitarian mission.

We have pointed out in several articles that individuals joining the jihad often travel through Turkey posing as aid workers where they slip across the border into Syria with the aid convoys and then break away to join the Islamic State. This requires some coordination to find a “fixer” which is usually done through social media. The “fixer” helps connect the wannabe jihadist up to a “sponsor” that gets them to their Islamic State destination. This “fixer” may or may not be part of the aid groups working through Turkey to deliver aid.

The French town of Lunel has had 20 or more of its citizens leave for the conflict in Syria over the past several months.  Two of these citizens were recently killed in the fight for the airport in Der al-Zur. They were identified as Karim and Hamza. Karim was married and a business owner. Hamza was a young man from a devout Muslim family.

More recently, the Islamic State used suicide bombers against the Shiite militia Badr Organization (sometimes referred to as Badr Brigade) near the city of Samarra.  Abu Anas al-Firansi, a French citizen, was one of the three suicide bombers used in a series of attacks.

In the above image, Abu Anas al-Firansi (far left) of France was killed during a suicide bombing in Iraq while fighting for the Islamic State. Source: The Long War Journal

In the above image, Abu Anas al-Firansi (far left) of France was killed during a suicide bombing in Iraq while fighting for the Islamic State. Source: The Long War Journal

Two French citizens were identified as participating in the execution of Syrian pilots in the Islamic State’s video release when it executed Peter Kassig.

French terrorists

How individuals are recruited

Many of the individuals recruited from France are engaged through either social media or through contacts at local mosques or Islamic Centers. The individuals that do the recruiting are not always a direct part of the facilities as staff, but may be there for a specific period of time, such as guest speakers, before moving to another location. This keeps them from being identified by law enforcement but also gives them sufficient time to establish contacts in an area to identify spotters. Spotters work through direct contact or social media.

The Spotters:  These people are tasked with actively looking for targets for jihad or support work. They may work through social media such as Facebook, Diaspora, Twitter and the like. The Muslim slums in France are areas ripe for recruitment, however, spotters work across the social spectrum looking for disenfranchised individuals. Their specific job is to monitor as many local postings as they can.

Spotters may engage the individual or may simply monitor their posts and then pass this off to the recruiter who will eventually pass the individual off to a “fixer” that links them up with jihadist in the Turkish border area with Syria. As we have pointed out in other articles, Turkey’s border region is a major gateway for jihadists into Syria and Iraq. The spotter will identify those that posts things that are anti-Western or very pro-Islamic particularly those that mention jihad. Spotters will also search through the individual’s connections/friends to find any common links or connections to jihadists already in country to provide common ground. The spotter may use a “dummy” account, which is basically a shell account with some base information so if they lose it they don’t lose their personal information and it keeps their own personal information private from authorities.

If the spotter makes direct contact with the individual they will start out with trivial things to start building the relationship moving it towards the Islamic faith and slowly progressing it towards jihad selling the Islamic State as a “brotherhood” of the faithful fighting the injustice in the Muslim world. This could be accelerated in some cases and slower in others. The Muslim slums in France are ideal places for spotters to use social media, but spotters can also be real-time instead of online.  On the downside, they lose their anonymity if they are in person spotters and run more risk of being spotted themselves. The slums are saturated with disenfranchised individuals and multiple individuals from the OIF period and present period that have been involved in the Syria/Iraq conflict area have come from these areas. There are exceptions that come from wealthier families, but many of these find their way into higher levels of the Islamic State.  They may fill positions that aren’t as involved in the fighting. Some, however, do become very involved in fighting or other violent measures.

Once the spotter has identified the individual for potential recruitment the individual is developed by the actual recruiter.

The Recruiters:  Once the spotter has made an assessment and contacted the recruiter with the individual’s information the recruiter will then further the assessment. The recruiter again goes through motivations the individual has for becoming involved in jihad. The recruiter will also make further assessments of the individual’s abilities and usefulness. For example if the individual has technical capabilities such as computer skills they may be developed for potential spots in Al Hayat Media Center or Al Furqan Media Foundation or the publishing house of Al-Himma Library. If they have prior military or medical skills they may be directed to the appropriate department for further assessment. The recruiter is working the same as somebody conducting a job interview would. Some of this is skill assessment, but it is also as a security measure to trip up law enforcement should they be suspected of being one. Once the recruiter is satisfied with the legitimacy of the individual as well as their potential skill sets a fixer is contacted.

The Fixer: Once the individual is well vetted by the recruiter he is then put in contact with the Fixer and travel arrangements are made.  The fixer is generally located in Turkey in places like Hatay, Gaziantep or similar border areas. Sometimes the travel is set up as tourism but may also be set up through aid groups. Multiple individuals that have become involved in the Syrian conflict have traveled there in the guise of an aid worker. This has been happening since the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well. Once the individual arrives in Turkey they travel to the border area.  Travel is usually taking local transportation and paying cash in order to avoid being traced. Some of these individuals intend to return to France and avoiding being tracked helps prevent jihadist suspicions. Once in the specified area contact will be made in the prescribed manner set out by the fixer prior to arrival in country. The fixer will likely have security spotters to monitor the individuals approach to the meet site to see if they have been followed or have brought any sort of authorities.

Upon tendering his “bona fides” the fixer will then assist the jihadist in purchasing equipment for use in the conflict. This equipment will include any number of things such as comfort items and military type gear or weapons. There will also be some instructional time with the fixer on basic do’s and don’ts. The fixer will also explain the border crossing process and where the recruit will be going for their initial contact with the jihadists in Syria. Once this has been done the fixer will then move the individual to the particular border crossing location.

On the Syrian side of the border a small group will await the arrival of the recruit and transport them to whichever location has been designated. Once they arrive in their designated area of assignment they will be placed. Placement is done based off what was assessed in the recruitment stage, but may change once at the final destination.

The graphic below shows a flow of how the process works, but keep in mind that people can be recruited without ever having stepped foot into a mosque or an Islamic Center.  Social media has greatly increased and refined the recruiting process and this is also why the Islamic State is a global problem and not just a regional problem.

France-Recruitment

In the following CNN video it talks about French jihadists joining the Islamic State in Syria:

 

Assessment: France has had a large Islamic immigration issue that started in the 1970’s and increased dramatically driving the population in the Islamic community to about 7-12% of the country’s entire population. This has led France to have the highest Muslim population in Western Europe. The French city of Marseille, France’s second largest city, has a 30-40% Muslim population and will likely become the first major city to have a Muslim majority. France has had a lot of strain placed on its social system by this immigration which has caused the creation of the so called Muslim slums. These slums will continue to be ripe recruiting pools for the Islamic State as well as other Islamic extremist groups including Al Qaeda, AQAP and AQIM. AQIM may get a particular boost since it has a lot of potential with those that immigrated from the Maghreb portion of Africa to France.

One of the issues that France faces in combating this problem is similar to that in the United States and other nations where individual freedoms are important to the citizens of the nation. Trying to balance free speech, individual liberties, security and other issues is difficult to put it mildly. Democracies want to maintain those freedoms, but at the same time ensure the security of their citizens without becoming an authoritarian state. The French government may want to review its own immigration policies as well as better engagement with influential imams within France to curb their rhetoric that is preached to young Muslims. This is probably one of the biggest issues because without defeating the ideology the confrontation is an endless cycle of violence.

France may also want to discourage or suspend travel to Turkey. Turkey remains one of the flood gates for foreign fighters entering the conflict. France should also be pressuring Turkey along with the United States and other nations for Turkey to do a better job at sealing its border to prevent foreign fighters from entering Syria. This has been a huge issue that the United States has attempted to do with some international support, but more weight must be brought to bear on the Turkish government which still believes the FSA is the answer to toppling Bashar al-Assad and destroying the Islamic State. The problem with that has been a large number of the FSA fighters have either defected to Islamic State, Al Nusra Front or other jihadist groups, have cooperated with them or are just not competent enough to win major battles against the stronger jihadist groups.

The problems France is facing is similar to those being experienced in many European countries. It is also happening on a smaller scale in the United States. Immigrants should conform to the nation’s to which they move not the other way around. Allow free speech, but also crackdown on those that are preaching for Muslims to join jihad. Eventually, these citizens will come back home as we’ve already seen in this article. Some of these returning citizens will likely carry out some form of an attack sometime after they return.

Turkey-based Hamas Leader Well Known to US Law Enforcement

IPT News
December 19, 2014

1105It has been a busy year of plotting death and destruction for Hamas leadership. As we noted Thursday, Hamas has three key operating bases in three separate locations – Gaza, Qatar and Turkey.

The Turkish operation may be the most active in plotting terror attacks. And the man who runs that base, Saleh Al-Arouri, has risen to prominence as a result. Al-Arouri has been linked to a series of terrorist plots and attacks primarily aimed at West Bank targets, an area where the terrorist group hopes to regain strength and popular support.

As a new Investigative Project on Terrorism report on Al-Arouri shows, while his infamy may be relatively new, his efforts to help Hamas foment terror date back years and are well known among American prosecutors and investigators.

Al-Arouri is a longtime Hamas military commander who operates openly in Turkey, a NATO member country and ostensibly an ally of the United States and the West.

He was the first Hamas official to acknowledge the group’s responsibility for the June abduction and murder of three Jewish teenagers in Israel.

Naftali Fraenkel, one of the murdered teens, was a U.S. citizen. The U.S. government is authorized to investigate and prosecute murder and attempted murder of U.S. citizens committed in foreign countries under Title 18, Section 2332 of the United States Code. This statutory authority is the basis for the FBI and other federal agencies to investigate many foreign terror attacks against U.S. citizens and for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring U.S. criminal charges against the perpetrators of such attacks.

U.S. law allows victims of foreign terror attacks to sue those responsible. Foreign state sponsors of terrorism that are officially designated as such by the U.S. governmentalso can be civilly liable for terror actions against the U.S. Turkey, of course, is not a U.S. designated state sponsor of terrorism.

In August, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder and director of the Israeli NGO law center Shurat HaDin, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting the U.S. government investigate, prosecute and extradite Al-Arouri from Turkey on charges related to Fraenkel’s murder.

Such legal action would not be the first time Al-Arouri’s name appeared in federal court proceedings. In 2003, three Hamas operatives were indicted in Chicago for a racketeering conspiracy. Those operatives were Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, and Chicago residents Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar. Marzook was in Syria and was never tried under the indictment. Salah and Ashqar were ultimately convicted of obstruction and contempt violations and sentenced to prison terms.

Al-Arouri was named among the “Hamas Co-Conspirators” in a superseding indictment in that case. Al-Arouri was described as a high-ranking Hamas military leader dating back to his role as a Hamas student cell leader at Hebron University in the early 1990s.” He received “tens of thousands of dollars for Hamas-related activities” from Salah which were used to buy weapons for terrorist attacks, the indictment said.

In addition, Al-Arouri appears in a 1999 federal court ruling involving a civil forfeiture action against Muhammad Salah. The court order described a 1992 trip Salah took to Israel and the Palestinian territories. There, he “funneled approximately $100,000 to an alleged HAMAS operative, Salah Al-Arouri, which, according to both Salah and Al-Arouri, was used to purchase weapons. Al-Arouri allegedly admitted to Israeli officials that he gave an individual named Musa Dudin approximately $45,000 of the money he received from Salah so that Dudin could purchase weapons in September 1992. Al-Arouri further related that Dudin purchased the weapons as planned and that these weapons were subsequently used in terrorist attacks, including a suicide attack resulting in the murder of an Israeli soldier in Hebron in October 1992.”

That was among a series of terrorist attacks “supported with weapons and money provided by Al-Arouri with funds he received from Salah” that led Israel to deport 415 Hamas operatives to Lebanon in December 1992, the court ruling noted.

As mentioned, Al-Arouri operates openly in Turkey. The first statement admitting that Hamas was responsible for kidnapping Fraenkel and two other students came during an August gathering of Islamic clerics. From that base, Israeli officials say, Al-Arouri also plotted a coup against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. If Al-Arouri succeeded, it would dramatically threaten U.S. national security interests in the region.

American law enforcement has the power to investigate Al-Arouri for killing Fraenkel, the American teenager. Failure to do so only enables his incessant plotting to kill people in Israel and, perhaps, his Palestinian foes.

Read the full report on Saleh Al-Arouri here.

Also see:

Hamas’s International Triangle of Bases: Gaza, Turkey and Qatar

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2014

1104In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has developed into a truly international entity. Today, it enjoys three territorial bases of operation: Gaza, the seat of the Hamas regime, Turkey, and Qatar.

According to Israeli intelligence estimates, each base serves a different purpose. The three branches have worked, alternatively, in harmony and in discord, together and independently, in line with the various terrorist activities they pursue.

“These are not the same leaderships,” one security source said, speaking of the Hamas command structure in each base.

“Qatar is home to Hamas’s political branch, headed by Khaled Meshaal. In Turkey [in the city of Istanbul], Hamas maintains a military branch headquarters, which sets up terrorist infrastructure. This headquarters is comprised partly of former Hamas prisoners who were ejected from Israel during the [2011] Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. In Gaza, there are both military and political operatives.”

Each branch plays a unique role, and relations between them fluctuate.

Hamas’s headquarters in Istanbul is headed by Salah Al-Arouri, a senior figure in the military wing who is focused on rejuvenating Hamas terrorism cells in the West Bank, and using it as a springboard for orchestrating deadly attacks against Israel.

Gaza is home to the main military wing, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, whose operatives focus on building up their offensive rocket capabilities, tunnel networks, and, like Arouri, they also seek to also set up West Bank terrorism cells.

On Thursday, Hamas held what is described as its largest military exercise since the summer war against Israel.

Gaza is also home to Hamas’s political wing, headed by Ismail Haniyeh.

“They all have their own interests. Those in Gaza have one point of view, those abroad have another. There have, in the past, been disagreements,” the source said.

One example of such internal conflict was the dispute between Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza over when to end the summer war with Israel. Meshaal pushed Hamas to continue the fighting, despite growing calls by Hamas in Gaza to agree to a ceasefire. The conflicting positions were partly the result of geography: Hamas in Gaza had a better real time understanding of the heavy costs Israel was inflicting on it during the fighting than the overseas Meshaal, who, from his luxurious Qatari surroundings, could afford the privilege of calling for more fighting.

Nevertheless, a basic level of cooperation and consent exists among all three branches. Saleh Al-Arouri in Turkey would not have embarked on a major mission to set up a large-scale Hamas terrorist network in the West Bank, plan atrocities against Israel, and aim to topple the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, without approval from Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza.

Cooperation may not always be close, but it exists.

“There are connections,” the security source said. “Hamas in Gaza is connected to those trying to orchestrate terrorism in Judea and Samaria. There is a circle of cooperation.”

Arouri could seek and receive assistance from Gaza, as he has done, but he can also try to work independently. “There are no laws,” the source stressed.

In recent months, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] uncovered two intricate Hamas terror plots to inflict mass-casualty attacks on Israelis, and to weaken Fatah in the West Bank. Both were tied to Arouri.

This discovery has led Israeli defense chiefs to become more vocal about the Hamas base in Turkey.

“Hamas’s terrorism headquarters are in Gaza and in Istanbul. It is unbelievable that a NATO member is hosting the headquarters of a terrorist organization in its territory,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told his Spanish counterpart earlier this month.

“We have stopped a coup planned by Hamas, which was organized in, among other places, its Turkish headquarters, against [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen in Judea and Samaria. We saved him from this revolution. Hence, there is much significance and importance in our having freedom to operate security-wise in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon stated.

Likewise, at the end of November, the Shin Bet and IDF announced that they had broken up a large-scale international Hamas terrorist infrastructure that was in the planning stages of multiple mass-casualty attacks, including an intended bombing of a soccer stadium in Jerusalem.

The plot included car bombings, bombing Jerusalem’s light rail system, and targeting Israelis overseas.

This case illustrates the growing centrality of Istanbul to Hamas terror activities in the West Bank. Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey has become a key command and planning center.

Earlier this year, the Shin Bet announced the thwarting of another large Hamas network in the West Bank, set up by Saleh Al-Arouri in Istanbul, and headed locally by a Hamas member in Ramallah.

Hamas funneled more than a million shekels [more than $250,000] to terror operatives to prepare a series of attacks, which were designed to allow it to shift attention away from Gaza, and ultimately lead to the fall of the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority, according to Israeli investigation. This would be achieved by provoking Israel into harsh responses in the West Bank, destabilizing the area and leading to the toppling of the PA.

Hamas has come a long way since the days when its founders, Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the Palestinian territories, set up indoctrination and social support centers.

Today, it is an international terrorist organization, which continues to plot new ways to murder and maim Israelis from its various bases, while it dreams of setting up a second Islamist-jihadist regime in the West Bank, as it did in Gaza.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

Turkey, Friend or Foe?

turkish-prime-minister-turkey-436x350by Kenneth R. Timmerman:

As the battle for the Syrian border city of Kobani raged and prospects of an ISIS-led massacre of thousands of innocent civilians loomed this fall, the BBC interviewed the vice-chairman of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP Party in Ankara.

Why hadn’t Turkey responded to NATO’s request to launch joint military operations to halt the ISIS assault on Kobani? How could Turkey just sit back and watch so many innocent civilians die, BBC correspondent Jonathan Marcus asked.

The replies from Yasin Aktay are telling.

“Why is Kobani the most important problem?” he asked. “There is no tragedy in Kobani as cried out by the terrorist PKK. There is a war between two terrorist groups. You mean we should… favor one terrorist organization over another?”

The AKP deputy leader went on to explain the calculus of death as seen from Turkey’s point of view. “Less than 1000 people have been killed in Kobani, but more than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria. Which is more important?”

Aktay’s remarks reveal much more than just a callous disregard for the Kurds, who comprise roughly one-third of Turkey’s overall population, or for the popular Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which broke off peace talks with the Turkish government in October to protest Turkey’s stranglehold over the Kurds in Kobani.

According to Vice-president Joe Biden, Erdogan himself admitted that Turkey had ordered border guards to turn a blind eye as new ISIS recruits flooded across Turkey’s borders to join the battle against Assad in Syria. (Okay, when Erdogan was informed of Biden’s comments, he hit the roof and demanded that “loose-lips” Uncle Joe retract them).

In response to a Harvard University student’s question whether the U.S. could have intervened earlier in Syria, Biden went even further:

“[O]ur allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends – and I have the greatest relationship with Erdogan, which I just spent a lot of time with – the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.

“Now you think I’m exaggerating – take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden – I don’t want to be too facetious – but they had seen the Lord. Now we have – the President’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be seen as the aggressor – it has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization.” [h/t to Mark Langfan for excerpting this Q&A from Biden’s speech]

But Erdogan’s treachery goes much deeper.

Kurdish sources tell me that the initial Turkey-al Nusra front agreement was made more than two years ago, and included Turkey’s agreement to help smuggle arms to the Syrian rebels from Benghazi and other parts of Libya.

Earlier this year, Turkish and Qatari intelligence officials met with senior ISIS leaders in Jordan to plot the take-over of Mosul and the predominantly Christian Nineveh Plain.

Also at the meeting was a representative of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) president Massoud Barzani, who has worked closely with the Turkish government and has spearheaded massive Turkish investment in northern Iraq. Barzani apparently believed ISIS would stop their advance after seizing Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, and ordered his peshmerga fighters to withdraw rather than fight the ISIS advance.

The most dramatic events occurred in Sinjar, when 13,000 peshmerga fighters mysteriously “melted away” in August rather than confront an ISIS assault force of around 1000 men. While much of the national media focused on the plight of the Yazidis, a Shiite sect considered heretical by most Sunnis, ISIS continued to march eastward through the Nineveh plain, massacring the Christians who failed to flee.

Not until they began threatening Erbil, the capital of the KRG, did Barzani apparently realize he had been duped and called on the United States to supply heavy weapons so the peshmerga could halt the ISIS advance. As Kobani was falling, Barzani authorized Kurdish fighters from the PKK and PJAK, who had bases in northern Iraq, to transit through his territory to relieve the besieged city.

Read more at Frontpage

The Threat of Qatar: Is the American Media and Political Class finally waking up?

Skyline of Doha at night - Wikipedia

Skyline of Doha at night – Wikipedia

By William Michael – Qatar Awareness Campaign

Over the past two days, several news reports have emerged that suggest the media and, yes, even some politicians in Washington, have begun to appreciate the threat posed by the small Gulf State of Qatar.

On December 9, a bipartisan group of 24 members of Congress wrote a letter to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, that stated in part:

“We are concerned about the ties between Qatar and Hamas, and we commend you on your speech before the Center for a New American Security, where you stated that, ‘Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas,’ and that press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also ‘supporting extremist groups operating in Syria,’ further adding to the instability of the region. As you noted in your speech, there are private fundraising networks in Qatar that solicit donations for terrorists. Qatar, in your words, is ‘a permissive terrorist financing environment.’”

It urged Treasury to focus on terrorist financing from Qatar and another Muslim Brotherhood-dominated country, Turkey. They made it clear that anti-terrorism officials in Treasury should do everything possible in their power to end Qatari and Turkish financing of jihadi groups. These groups have destabilized the Middle East and North Africa, and are a significant factor in America’s rapidly deteriorating relations with Russia.

On December 10, The Daily Beast published an article that, for the mainstream press, called Qatar out pretty straight: as they put it, they’re “the world’s most two-faced nation.”

Two-faced indeed. Qatar simultaneously hosts, and pays for the campuses of, Georgetown (where they help train American diplomats), Carnegie Mellon (which is in partnership with the Department of Defense), and Cornell, yet also hosts the Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood. They try to pass themselves off as “progressives,” but have been implicated in funding the genocidal armies of ISIS. Qatar’s capital, Doha, is home to two large American military bases and CENTCOM for the region, yet 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a guest of their Minister of Religious Affairs from 1992-1996.

How do they get away with this behavior? Surely, a lack of public awareness about the tiny country is one reason. Most Americans have never heard of Qatar, and even fewer know how to pronounce its name – “cutter,” or depending on the Arabic accent, “gutter.” And yes, anonymity is an asset to any criminal, especially a criminal regime.

But while anonymity only goes so far, a vast ocean of money goes much further. Qatar is, per capita, the richest country in the world (~$93,000 in 2013). With the globe’s third largest natural gas reserves (behind Russia and Iran), the less than 300,000 Qatari citizens have cash to burn.

And, since we’re on the topic of burning, Qatar’s foreign policy seems to be that of burning down their neighbors’ countries (unfortunately, with American backing). The Arab Spring, which a) caused widespread death and destruction in Egypt b) left Syria in an unending civil war, and c) still has Libya in a state of utter chaos, further complicated by a Qatari proxy war against Egypt and the UAE… all these Islamist insurrections were and are backed by the Qatari government; specifically, by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders who reside there and the sympathizing Al-Thani royal family. More than any other nation, it is Qatar who is seeking to re-establish an Islamic Caliphate. To accomplish this, they don’t much care if the world, and infidel, are lit on fire.

The other side of Islamist gangs, which is rarely given enough coverage in the media, is the organized crime aspect of these stateless, revolutionary entities. Whether it’s Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Qaeda in Iraq, AQIM across North Africa, or the Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamist terrorist organizations double as cartels. Narcotics, human trafficking, racketeering, and the usual terrorizing of local populations are their trademarks.

It should come as a surprise to no one that tiny, corrupt, and fabulously wealthy Qatar has at one time or another financed all of the above terrorist groups.

Do you think that the Al-Thanis do this out of the goodness of their Islamist hearts? Or is it more realistic to think that, just maybe, they are recipients of ill-gotten billions resulting from organized crime?

To explain the Qatari way of “diplomacy” to yourself, try this thought experiment. A man in a very expensive suit hands you five checkbooks. He gives you a mission: make as many friends as possible, who, should his reputation ever be questioned in public, will come to his defense. To accomplish this, you are permitted write checks up to $10 million and hand them out freely. Considering how much political coverage and favors can be purchased from American politicians and media for relatively less, it’s no wonder Qatar has so many “friends.”

In fact, Qatar’s “friends” comprise a veritable “Who’s Who” of the American (and even international) establishment. During the month of October, the Qatar Awareness Campaign, an ad hoc Coalition of concerned journalists, activists, publishers, and researchers published a letter each weekday, identifying American interests and individuals compromised by Qatari money and/or who toe the Qatari line. Many of the figures named might surprise you: Michael Bloomberg, ExxonMobil, Al Gore,John McCain, The Boeing Company, Miramax, the Chamber of Commerce, CNN, Harvard University,Bill and Hillary Clinton, FIFA, to name just a few.

Do you see now why it has taken so long for the political and media figures to finally peep up, even just a little? Hint: they’re bought off, paid for… and you – the American citizen – don’t have a blank checkbook like the terror masters in Doha.

Maybe, just maybe, the tide is beginning to turn. If the American public, and the global public, understood that the U.S. government had as one of its closest allies a narco-terror slave state, the politicians would be forced to act, if merely to save face. Terrorism in the United States is still a crime, and those who support it are therefore guilty under penalty of law.

Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced he was resigning from his position as the civilian head of the Pentagon. Among the most prominent reasons given for his departure was the continuing debacle in the Middle East.   It was also reported that he never established a good relationship with Obama’s inner circle. In this respect, Hagel’s frustrations were certainly in no small part tied to Qatar; for it was the Qatari royal family, the Al-Thanis, who bankrolled and strategically coordinated the Arab Spring, and who remain so intimate with the administration as to accept and shelter the Taliban 5 for the deserter Bowe Bergdahl. (That infamous deal, it is worth mentioning, was finalized while the former Qatari Emir was visiting with Obama at West Point, attending the graduation of his son.)

Hagel, if pressed, may indeed admit that Obama’s alliance with Qatar and the Al-Thanis was the ultimate driver behind his resignation. Might we soon get some truth from the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet?

Secretary Hagel, your country needs you to speak up NOW!

Originally posted at Right Side News

Congress Calls for Increased Sanctions on Hamas Allies

Khaled Meshaal , head of Hamas Politburo in Damascus / AP

Khaled Meshaal , head of Hamas Politburo in Damascus / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Dec. 9, 2014:

A bipartisan delegation of foreign policy leaders in Congress are calling on the Obama administration to increase U.S. sanctions on Hamas and its allies, including the terror group’s top financier, Qatar, and its close ally, Turkey, according to a letter sent Tuesday by lawmakers to the Treasury Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration can and should be doing more to crackdown on Hamas’ top allies, including Iran, Qatar, and Turkey, according to the letter, jointly endorsed by 24 of the 29 members on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and its Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

The letter—which is signed by the chairmen and ranking members of both committees—follows months of appeals by lawmakers and foreign policy experts to the Obama administration urging it to crackdown on Hamas’ main funders, particularly Qatar, which has kept the terror group financially afloat via major cash infusions.

“We believe that more can be done, and we urge Treasury to take all necessary measures to sanction individuals or entities that are directly or indirectly financing or materially supporting Hamas,” the lawmakers wrote to Treasury Department Under Secretary David Cohen, who handles terrorism and finance intelligence.

While the United States has navigated a diplomatic tightrope with Turkey and Qatar, who are considered close U.S. allies on many fronts, the lawmakers argue that all of Hamas’ backers should be hit with U.S. sanctions.

“Any entity or nation that continues to back this U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and provide it material and financial support should be sanctioned,” they wrote.

“We are requesting that Treasury use every tool available to designate all individuals, institutions, entities, charities, front companies, banks, and government officials who clearly violate U.S. laws by assisting Hamas and its proxies,” according to the letter.

Lawmakers also are requesting that the administration provide them with “specific public updates” about conversations taking place with the “Qatari government on previously designated, Qatar-based terrorist financiers that the Qataris have yet to act upon.”

Qatar’s relationship with Hamas has been particularly problematic for the United States.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called for greater pressure on the nation, the Obama administration has maintained that Qatar should play a key role in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Hamas traditionally relied on Iran for much of its financial and political support,” the lawmakers state, noting that Qatar donated $400 million to Hamas in 2012 .

“Qatar’s $400 million donation for Gaza reconstruction in 2012 bolstered Hamas’ credibility in Gaza and may have directly supported Hamas-backed entities,” they write. “Qatar also allows Hamas’ top leader, politburo chief Khalid Mishaal, to operate out of its territory knowingly and with impunity. It was even widely reported in the press that Qatar threatened to deport Mishaal if Hamas had accepted an Egypt-backed ceasefire agreement to end this summer’s conflict in Gaza.”

Turkey also remains one of Hamas’ top enablers.

“Turkey serves as the headquarters for Saleh al-Arouri, who is believed to head Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank,” the lawmakers state. “In August, the media reported that he was behind an allegedly thwarted plot to topple, undermine, or replace the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank. Also in August, al-Arouri stated that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens this June.”

In addition, Turkish charities, front companies, and even some banks are suspected of providing support to Hamas, according to the lawmakers.

“It’s no secret that Turkey and Qatar provide refuge to many Hamas operatives, and that both of these supposed American allies have become major terror financial hubs,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

“While the Treasury Department has taken significant action against Hamas and its supporters, more can be done to halt support for this terrorist group,” she said. “Both Turkey and Qatar have thus far been extremely lax in enforcing their terror financing laws and taking action against U.S. designated individuals or entities.”

Meanwhile, it also has come to light that one of Hamas’ top Iranian allies, Imad al-Alami, has been identified as residing in Turkey, according to a recent report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Al-Alami, who has traveled to Iran on many occasions, is designated as a terrorist by the U.S. government, though it is unclear what action the Obama administration will take in light of the recent revelations.

“I would argue now that Turkey is liable like Qatar as the top external headquarters for Hamas,” said FDD vice president for research Jonathan Schanzer. “It may have even surpassed it.”

Also see:

Clifford D. May: Rise of the neo-Ottomans

Turkey supports terror. It imprisons more journalists than any other country. Its president equates Israel to Nazis. And, officially, the country is our ally. ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey supports terror. It imprisons more journalists than any other country. Its president equates Israel to Nazis. And, officially, the country is our ally. ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

National Post, by Clifford D. May, Dec. 5, 2014:

Turkey should have been part of the solution. Instead it’s become part of the problem. The problem, of course, is the spread of jihadism throughout the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.

Turkish policies have been aiding and abetting Jabhat al Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate; the Islamic State (ISIS), which has turned large swaths of Syria and Iraq into killing fields; the Islamic Republic of Iran, still ranked by the U.S. government as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and well on its way to becoming nuclear-armed; and the Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas, the group’s Palestinian branch.

Troubling, too, is the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from Turkish leaders. Fikri Işık, Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister, claimed last week that it was Muslim scientists who first discovered that the Earth is round. Two weeks earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insisted that Muslim sailors reached the Americas 300 years before Columbus — only to find that well-established Muslims in Cuba had built a beautiful mosque.

Such myth-making might be dismissed as nothing more than attempts to play to Islamic pride. Less easy to excuse is Mr. Erdoğan’s increasing xenophobia. “Foreigners,” he recently observed, “love oil, gold, diamonds and the cheap labour force of the Islamic world. They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East.” He added that Westerners “look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die. How long will we stand that fact?”

If Turkey were just another tin-pot dictatorship none of this would much matter. But Turkey is a Muslim majority (98%) republic with a dynamic economy (not dependent on the extraction of petroleum), a member of NATO (making it, officially, an American ally) and a candidate for membership in the European Union (though that possibility now appears remote).

Just three years ago, President Barack Obama listed Mr. Erdoğan as one of five world leaders with whom he had especially close personal ties. He regarded the Turkish leader as a moderate, his interpreter of — and bridge to — the tumultuous and confusing Islamic world.

And now, as detailed in a new report by Jonathan Schanzer and Merve Tahiroglu, my colleagues at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), Erdoğan is refusing to allow the American-led coalition formed in August to launch strikes against the Islamic State from Turkish soil.

Worse, there is mounting evidence that weapons and fighters are crossing from Turkey into Syria where they are delivered to ISIS. Turkish officials are turning a blind eye — or maybe even facilitating the traffic. Stolen oil is moving in the other direction, sold to raise cash for ISIS. Inside Turkey, as well, Mr. Schanzer and Ms. Tahiroglu write, ISIS has “established cells for recruiting militants and other logistical operations.” Last weekend, Turkey’s main Kurdish party accused the Erdoğan government of allowing ISIS fighters to attack the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from within Turkey.

The FDD report cites numerous sources alleging that Turkey also has given assistance to A-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra. To be fair: The Turkish government, like the Obama administration, seeks the fall of Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, satrap of the Islamic Republic of Iran. A Turkish official is quoted as saying that Nusra fighters are essential to that effort, adding: “After Assad is gone, we know how to deal with these extremist groups.”

Do they? Hamas is an extremist group and one of its top leaders, Saleh Al-Arouri, has been permitted to set up his headquarters in Turkey. In August, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said it had thwarted a Hamas-led plot to topple Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — and that Mr. Al-Arouri was behind it. Mr. Al-Arouri also claimed responsibility — in the presence of Turkey’s deputy prime minister — for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli boys in the West Bank early last summer, an act of terrorism that led to a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Also see:

Is Erdogan’s Turkey an Emerging State Sponsor of Terrorism?

Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Istanbul, Turkey, November 22, 2014 Source:  AP Emrah Gurel

Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Istanbul, Turkey, November 22, 2014
Source: AP Emrah Gurel

By Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates:

On November 22, 2014, Vice President Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. The agenda was ‘consultation’ with this alleged “valued ally” of the Administration. To ease the conversation, Biden announced at a joint press conference $135 million in aid for Syrian refugees in Turkey. It all had to do with Erdogan’s opposition to the US led coalition fight against the Islamic State, formerly ISIS in both Syria and Iraq. According to a report in Defense News, the meeting did not go well:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed US “impertinence” on the Syrian conflict, exposing the extent of strains between Washington and Ankara days after his key meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden.

Ties between the US and Turkey have soured in recent months over the reluctance of Turkish leaders to intervene militarily in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State jihadists, who have taken control of swathes of Iraq and Syria.

That meant relations between President Obama and President Erdogan have seriously deteriorated from the May 16, 2013 White House Rose Garden joint press conference. They were seeking to topple Syrian strongman Assad engaged in a civil war against opposition groups with hundreds of thousands of dead civilians. There was more than ample indication that Erdogan was playing a double game against the Syrian Kurds in support of ISIS. Turkey appeared to be emerging as the second state sponsor of terrorism across the Middle East, after Iran. That was reflected in a recent Business Insider, headline story, The US Is On A Collision Course With An ‘Absolutely Indispensable’ Ally. Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies was cited in the Business Insider article saying:

The American Foreign Policy with Syria has been feckless while Turkey has been reckless. They have become one of the top sponsors or enablers of ISIS and this should be cause for serious concern.

The Administration has been thwarted in its objective of “degrading and destroying” the Salafist Jihadist Islamic State that has torn through Syria and Iraq leaving death and destruction in the wake of its blitzkrieg. It has become the second wealthiest terrorist group after Hamas in the Middle East. Erdogan permitted a small contingent of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga to enter Kobani from the Turkish side of the border.Together with US led air strikes that may have temporarily set back ISIS forces ranged against this Syrian Kurdish bastion. Nearly 180,000 Syrian Kurds had fled Kobani for sanctuary in the Turkish border town of Suruc. The world media was consternated by this NATO member with the largest ground force equipped with US tanks and aircraft not joining the fray. Erdogan’s justification for stiff arming the Obama White House ISIS strategy was that the Assad regime’s oppression of its own citizens needed to be addressed.

The realities are that this Sunni supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood has turned the Southeastern frontier into a major center of terrorist finance for ISIS and Al Qaeda opposition groups in Syria. It is aiding funding of ISIS with sales of captured oil and even plundered antiquities. It has provided a veritable Jihadist highway for thousands of foreign fighters to enter the combat zone. They have even extended facilities for care of wounded ISIS fighters in Turkish hospitals. In late September 2014, they exchanged 180 foreign jihadists for return of 49 Turkish diplomats and their family members trapped in the Iraqi city of Mosul when ISIS captured it from fleeing national security forces on June 10, 2014.

That is not the only example of Erdogan’s support of terrorism. On November 27, 2014, Israel’s Shin Bet announced that it foiled a plot by 30 Hamas operatives on the West Bank. The Times of Israel reported:

The Shin Bet announcement said Israel had arrested dozens of members of a Hamas terror network operating throughout the West Bank. The network, Palestinian officials said, was funded and directed by Hamas officials in Turkey who have set up a de facto command center in [that] country.

More than 30 Hamas operatives were arrested during the month of September, the Shin Bet said Thursday. The majority were recruited while studying in Jordan and trained in either Syria or the Gaza Strip, which they entered via tunnels from Sinai.

The Shin Bet said the ring was preparing to kidnap Israelis in Israel and abroad, enter Israeli villages, detonate car bombs, perpetrate roadside attacks, and execute a major terror attack in Teddy Stadium, where the Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem plays its home games.

The Shin Bet asserted that the plan was evidence of an “indefatigable” desire on Hamas’ part to rehabilitate its terror infrastructure in the West Bank and to tug Israel into a sharp military response, which might indirectly lead to the toppling of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ regime, which is “one of Hamas’ goals.”

The admitted mastermind for this failed operation is Saleh al-Arouri who has been based in Turkey since 2010. He had founded the Hamas Qassem Brigade on the West Bank. Al-Arouri claimed in August, 2014 responsibility for  the operation by two Hamas terrorists masquerading as Orthodox Jews who murdered three young Jewish yeshiva students near Hebron on June 12, 2014. Israeli security and IDF launched a massive man hunt that recovered  their remains on June 30th.  Hamas began a rocket campaign. On July 8th the IDF launched the 50 day Operation Defensive Edge against the rocket and terror tunnel war from Gaza against Israel.

We had written extensively about the corruption of the Erdogan premiership in 2013 and early 2014, noting a $13 billion illicit gold trade for gas with Iran, thus enabling the evasion of US, EU and UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear development program.

On November 24, 2014 the P5+1 and Iran announced a seven month extension to June 2015 endeavoring to conclude a seemingly unattainable agreement. This in the face of continued implacable demands by Iran to lift sanctions while refusing to comply with disclosures requests from UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. One expert called this “an unmitigated disaster.” This has raised the prospects that bi-partisan members of the US Congress would likely pass new stronger sanctions that the Administration opposes. Meanwhile the clock is ticking on Iran achieving nuclear breakout. Many consider that an overarching threat to both regional and world nuclear non proliferation.

Against this background we convened another 1330amWEBY wide-ranging Middle East Round Table discussion with Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of FDD.

Read more at NER

Turkey’s Hamas ‘bureau’

A masked member of Hamas stands in front of a banner depicting Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a protest in the central Gaza Strip against Israel's interception of Gaza-bound ships, June 4, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

A masked member of Hamas stands in front of a banner depicting Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a protest in the central Gaza Strip against Israel’s interception of Gaza-bound ships, June 4, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

By Shlomi Eldar:

Hamas is a multi-headed movement whose power centers and modalities of influence were shaped and institutionalized by changing realities. Its power centers and decision-making apparatus moved from the Gaza Strip to the control of the Hamas political bureau abroad, following Israel’s pursuit of the movement’s heads and activists in the territories, and the leadership vacuum that was created as a result.

The internal power struggles that waged within the movement secured and institutionalized Hamas’ current well-known structure: the Gaza Strip leadership, the West Bank leadership, the leadership of the prisoners in Israeli prisons and also, over the years, Hamas’ military wing in Gaza. The military wing has developed into an almost autonomous entity that makes crucial decisions on its own.

The relative weight of the political bureau as the movement’s supreme body — in addition to the Shura Council — was, and still is, due to the money raised by its members to fund Hamas’ activities. Its military wing in Gaza — as opposed to the political leadership — established its power and influence by virtue of the large quantity of weapons that flowed into the Gaza Strip under Hamas control.

This is how the movement operates and how it managed to survive the tremors and shocks it has undergone in the course of its 27 years. While the internal balance of power between the movement’s assorted heads has somewhat changed, the structure that was set over the years has been meticulously maintained.

Recently, another chief added himself to Hamas’ leadership: Salah al-Arouri. Arouri amasses significant power within the familiar Hamas structure and even has substantive influence on the functioning of the movement — influence that bends Hamas leadership to his will. Based in Istanbul, Arouri tends to adopt autonomous characteristics similar to those of the Hamas military wing in the Gaza Strip.

Arouri, one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing in the West Bank, lived previously in Ramallah. In May 2007, he was arrested and jailed by the Israeli authorities, and in April 2010 he was expelled from the territories. Arouri asked to move to the Gaza Strip, but Israel preferred to expel him abroad, under the assumption that his presence in Gaza would endanger Israel.

Read more at Al Monitor