FBI Foils Islamist Terror Shooting in New York

FBI-Agents-HPBY RYAN MAURO:

On May 31, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen was arrested in Rochester, New York as he aspired to shoot U.S. soldiers and Shiite Muslims. He was angry at U.S. foreign policy, but the basis of his worldview was a belief in Islamist doctrine and that Shariagovernance must be fought for.

The criminal complaint says Mufid E. Elfeegh illegally purchased two unregistered firearms silencers so he could go on a shooting rampage against U.S. troops that returned from Iraq and Shiite Muslims. He expressed support for Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra, and Ansar al-Islam.

The complaint says Elfeegh sent out tweets “stating that people will have an honorable life under sharia law and that with grenades in their hands they are ready to die for the sake of Allah.”

He made it clear that he was fighting for the sake of global conquest by his version of Islam. He said that ISIS, a former Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria and Iraq, “will one day rule the world with the will of Allah.”

His targeting of the U.S. was largely because he views the country as standing in the way of this objective.

“Al-Qaeda said it loud and clear. We are fighting the American invasion and their hegemony over the earth and its people,” he was recorded saying.

Read more at Clarion Project

CNN: U.S. Facing a ‘Triple Threat from Al Qaeda’

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
May 20, 2014 5:47 pm

CNN’s Pentagon corespondent Barbara Starr reported Tuesday on a “triple threat from al Qaeda” the United States faces in Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.

Syria has become a “hot bed” for training camps and planning of external attacks, and a “growing threat” from al Qaeda exists in Yemen. Starr said there is a concern al Qaeda there are capable of attacking the U.S. embassy in Yemen, as well as inside the U.S. itself.

Also, an American-born terrorist known as Abdullah al-Shami is essentially the head of al Qaeda’s external planning operations in Pakistan and is being closely monitored by American intelligence.

“This is not al Qaeda on the run,” Starr said. “This is someone they’re watching very closely.”

US targets AQAP master bomb maker in 2 strikes in Yemen

 

April 19, 2014 - People gather near a destroyed car that was carrying militants in the Sawmaa area of al-Bayda province, Yemen.AP

April 19, 2014 – People gather near a destroyed car that was carrying militants in the Sawmaa area of al-Bayda province, Yemen.AP

By 

The US targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s top bomb maker in one of two strikes that took place in Yemen over the past two days. Unnamed Yemeni officials have speculated that Ibrahim Hassan Tali al Asiri, who has built innovative bombs for the Yemeni terror group, may have been killed, but the reports are unconfirmed.

The strike that targeted Asiri took place after midnight last night on a highway between the districts of Markhah and Bayhan in Shabwa province, according to Barakish. The unmanned Predators or Reapers targeted a car as it traveled on the highway, and killed four AQAP fighters.

Asiri is reported to be among them, but his death has not been confirmed by AQAP or Yemeni officials. Initial reports suggest that the helicopters picked up four bodies, presumably to identify them. Although Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi sent a message of “thanks, praise, and appreciation” to the Yemeni antiterrorism unit for carrying out the strike, eyewitnesses confirmed that US drones targeted and fired on the AQAP vehicle.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Asiri is at the top of the list of the most dangerous AQAP leaders and is actively being targeted. Asiri is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and was behind the failed Christmas Day 2009 airliner attack as well as the design for an underwear bomb that is nearly undetectable and was to be detonated on an airliner. Asiri has said that he has trained other operatives in AQAP to build bombs.

Drones target AQAP training camp in the Al Mahfad district

In the other strike, which took place yesterday, US drones struck an AQAP training camp in the Al Mahfad district of Abyan province. Reports in the Arabic press claim that more than 30 AQAP militants were killed in the strike aimed at a training camp hidden in the mountainous areas between Shabwa and Abyan provinces. A source in Yemen’s Security Council said the strike was carried out after Yemeni intelligence received information regarding the presence of AQAP operatives at the camp who were actively planning to attack vital military and civilian installations.

The same Yemeni source said that AQAP operatives from various nationalities were killed in the drone strike. Local eyewitnesses said they had noticed a big gathering of suspected AQAP militants in the area of the camp the night before. They also claimed that following the strike AQAP militants hastily collected the bodies of those killed.

Reports in the Arabic media also describe a Yemeni air force bombardment of the camp that lasted for a few hours after the drone strike.

In related news, in the evening before the strike on the training camp, the Yemeni Defense Ministry arrested 10 AQAP militants in Shabwa. In an official statement issued after the third strike this weekend, authorities said the 10 militants were headed to the training camp that was targeted in Al Mahfad.

The US also hit AQAP training camps in the Al Mahfad area on April 1.

The Al Mahfad district is a known stronghold for AQAP. In the spring of 2012, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters and leaders regrouped in the Al Mahfad area after being driven from cities such as Zinjibar, Jaar, Lawdar, and Shaqra during a Yemeni military offensive that began in the spring of 2012 [see Threat Matrix report, AQAP regroups in Abyan province]. AQAP controlled the cities in Abyan, as well as other cities and towns in neighboring Shabwa province, after launching its own offensive in 2011.

AQAP remains entrenched in the Al Mahfad area despite several Yemeni military operations that attempted to dislodge the terror group. The US launched three drone strikes in Al Mahfad in 2013; one in May, one in June, and one in July.

Read more at Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s general manager threatens America in video of large gathering

WuhayshiBy 

A video released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in late March has garnered renewed attention in the media. The video, entitled “The First of the Heavy Rain,” features two AQAP leaders, as well as lower-level fighters who escaped from a Yemeni prison in February 2014.

Nasir al Wuhayshi, who is both the emir of AQAP and al Qaeda’s overall general manager, is shown speaking to a gathering of more than 100 people. “O brothers, the Crusader enemy is still shuffling his papers, so we must remember that we are always fighting the biggest enemy, the leaders of disbelief, and we have to overthrow those leaders, we have to remove the Cross, and the carrier of the Cross is America,” Wuhayshi says, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Ibrahim al Rubaish, a Saudi who was once held at Guantanamo and now serves as a top sharia official in AQAP, is also shown speaking in the video. Rubaish praises the newfound freedom of some jihadist fighters, including those shown in the video, but he laments the fact that others remain imprisoned in Guantanamo and elsewhere.

The video has sparked the media’s interest because it is a brazen display of AQAP strength inside Yemen. Wuhayshi is a hunted man and he is presumably on America’s list of potential targets for drone strikes. Yet, he felt comfortable enough in his home country to lead a large, public gathering of his followers.

“Core” al Qaeda in Yemen

Wuhayshi served as Osama bin Laden’s aide-de-camp and protégé in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. He fled to Iran, where he was detained, sometime after the Battle of Tora Bora. Wuhayshi was eventually transferred to Yemeni custody, but he escaped from prison in 2006.

Al Qaeda has long sought to wage insurgencies in Muslim countries it considers ripe for a jihadist takeover. Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been high on al Qaeda’s list of target countries. However, a fierce counterterrorism campaign in Saudi Arabia that began in 2003 quashed al Qaeda’s early efforts in the Arabian Peninsula. Al Qaeda also struggled, at first, to establish a full-scale insurgency in Yemen. But prison escapees such as Wuhayshi and Guantanamo returnees such as Rubaish have replenished al Qaeda’s leadership in the Arabian Peninsula and contributed to al Qaeda’s resurgence.

In early 2009, Wuhayshi and other jihadists announced the rebirth of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, swearing allegiance to al Qaeda’s senior leadership in the process. Ayman al Zawahiri had previously recognized Wuhayshi as al Qaeda’s top man in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the summer of 2013, Zawahiri appointed Wuhayshi to the position of al Qaeda’s general manager. Wuhayshi’s appointment to the role of general manager was accompanied by a large-scale threat that forced the closing of American diplomatic facilities around the world. The US learned of this threat when intelligence officials captured video of Zawahiri communicating, via a complex Internet-based system, with more than 20 of his subordinates, including Wuhayshi.

Al Qaeda’s general manager serves a “core” function within the group. The role was previously held by senior terrorists in South Asia. According to declassified documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound, the duties performed by al Qaeda’s general manager include coordinating military and media activities, and communicating with al Qaeda’s “regions,” or branches, as well as with allies such as the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. [For a more complete discussion of the general manager's role, see LWJ report, AQAP's emir also serves as al Qaeda's general manager.]

In another recent video, Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, a sharia official in the Al Nusrah Front, explains that al Qaeda also has a leader who oversees the organization’s efforts in various geographic locations, or regions. The Al Nusrah Front is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.

Al Qaeda “draws up its plans and its strategy based on what we call al Qalim, or locations,” Sulayman says in the video. And a leader, who swears bayat (an oath of allegiance) to Ayman al Zawahiri, is chosen to oversee each of these locations. In addition, Sulayman explains, al Qaeda appoints another leader who “overlooks all of these different locations,” and this position is called Masul al Qalim. [See LWJ report, Al Nusrah Front official explains al Qaeda's strategy, conflict with former branch.]

This leadership role described by Sulayman is filled by someone other than al Qaeda’s general manager, according to US intelligence officials. Both the general manager and the Masul al Qalim have deputies on their staff to support their work.

Such roles, and what they say about how al Qaeda is actually organized, are generally not reflected in the public discourse. It is commonly argued that there is a “core” of al Qaeda in South Asia and this entity is distinct from al Qaeda branches elsewhere. But Wuhayshi serves as one of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders from Yemen. And his role is part of the same leadership structure that includes Zawahiri, other deputies, and various supporting councils. These leaders are located not just in South Asia, but also elsewhere.

Read more at Long War Journal

U.S. May Have Missed Opportunity to Take Out Top Al Qaeda Leaders

Screen-Shot-2014-04-16-at-10.06.28-AMBY: Washington Free Beacon Staff:

April 16, 2014 10:14 am

Al Qaeda leaders were able to hold a large meeting somewhere in south Yemen despite U.S. drone warfare targeting that region, according to a video published on Hot Air.

The video comes from a CNN report:

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won’t comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

The video started appearing on jihadist websites recently, drawing the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. U.S. officials say they believe it’s authentic.

Hot Air writer Ed Morrisey wonders if the United States may have missed a “golden opportunity to take out a large number of al Qaeda leaders.”

Did the U.S. know about this [meeting] ahead of time? If they did, they must have either had difficulty arranging the logistics of an attack — or perhaps had other assets in place for other reasons. 

Morrisey speculates that the lost opportunity could have been caused by the effort to transfer the drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department.

The Tribal Paradigm – They are Finally Beginning to Understand

yemen-regions-2By Mordechai Kedar:

I will begin on a personal note: I sometimes wonder if the things that I publish on this honorable stage reach decision makers in Israel, the Arab world or the world at large. I am usually fairly skeptical, because the conduct of Western politicians indicates a rather poor understanding of Middle Eastern matters, and the rulers in this region prefer their personal interests over the general good.

For years I have been claiming that the only thing that can save the population of the Middle East from sinking into a morass of violence, blood, tears and fire is to partition the dysfunctional states into emirates with a homogeneous population and traditional leadership emerging from within the people, not appointed by colonialists, whether from historical times or modern times. Only this type of framework can offer its citizens a reasonable quality of life.

Lately a glimmer of hope has begun to shine, with the government of Yemen deciding to divide the state into six regions, each of which with its own capital city: the region of Hadramawt and its capital Al Mukalla, the region of Saba (the modern name for the historical kingdom of Sheba) with its capital of Ma’rib; the region of Aden with its capital the port city of Aden; the region of Janad with its capital Taez; the region of Azal with its capital of Sana’a; the region of Tehama with its capital the port city of Hudaydah. The idea of partition has won the overwhelming support of the decision making bodies in Yemen.

In a federation of tribal regions, the general good must take precedence over any specific tribe and resources must be shared

The Basic principles behind the proposal:

  • Equality of citizenship for all citizens of the state, meaning that no tribe – even that of the president of the country – will have preferred status over any other tribe.
  • The regions will be autonomous and no region will attempt to interfere in the matters of any other region.
  • Regions with natural resources will cooperate in the exploitation of these resources with regions that have fewer such resources, especially regarding oil.
  • Regions will seek to achieve social and economic harmony in order to satisfy the needs of the population and grant it a life of dignity.
  • The authorities to be vested in the branches of government in each region and on every level will be determined in a federal constitution.

For our purposes, the important point in this plan is the fact that it is the fruit of the people of Yemen’s own public thought process and is based on familiarity with the social characteristics specific to each individual region. Each region has a solid social basis with familiar and legitimate leadership that is capable of establishing a way of life based on law and order that will be acceptable to the great majority of the population. Each region is capable of maintaining itself economically.

The capital of the federation will be Sana’a. Its municipal management will not be under the control of any of the regions, and the constitution will assure its neutrality and its independence. The city of Aden will have special status in the federal constitution, in order to assure that the port located in this city will serve all of the regions equally.

Each region will be able to partition itself into administrative districts according to its own considerations, that is, according to the internal distribution of its population. The purpose of this is to allow the tribes and their leaders to express themselves on the public stage.

The federal state will have a parliament in which each region will be represented. The natural resources of the well-endowed regions (in oil and minerals) will be managed transparently and fairly so that the state will be able to enjoy these resources, and the regions which do not have natural resources will not feel that they are economically marginalized members of the federation.

Free movement of goods, capital and services will encourage entrepreneurship and economic development

Each region will have economic freedom. Citizens, goods, capital and services will be able to move about freely, without customs-related barriers or prohibitions on imports or exports between regions, in order to encourage commercial activity and entrepreneurship.

The federal government will be responsible for conducting inter-regional activity, and it will watch for the development of pockets of economic neglect, because these pockets could become a source of public anger that may eventually cause violence to be directed against the general public.

The borders of the regions were determined by a committee of experts, who partitioned north Yemen into four regions and south Yemen into two. The committee is headed by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has been the president of Yemen for the two last years. At the meeting of the committee held in late January of this year (2014) he called on the members of the committee to act impartially, giving priority to the general good of the citizens of Yemen over the local interests of any sector of the population.

The fact that the president of the country was personally involved in the work of the committee is very important, because it clearly illustrates that he operates in a totally differently way from the failed policy of his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Salah, who insisted that the country remain one unit under his and his tribe’s sole control. Hadi, in contrast, tries to find a way to transfer authorities from the central government to the local leadership, thus responding to the sensitivities of a population that has never undergone a process of obscuring tribal identities.

Who will be responsible for privately owned weapons and recent jihadi immigrants?

This is the plan, and it has a broad and solid basis in social logic in a land as divided as Yemen, but the devil – as always – is in the small details, for example: who will deal with the weapons that are freely traded in the Yemenite markets, will it be the federal government or perhaps this will be assigned to the local government, which is, in many cases, managed by cousins of the weapons dealers. This matter is especially important, since in Yemen every man has at least one automatic, long barrel weapon, and whenever he feels that something of his was taken from him he uses his weapon freely.

The second question that casts a shadow on the plan is who will deal with the aliens who have entered Yemen from all over the Islamic world under al-Qaeda leadership; will it be the federal government or perhaps the local friends of these foreign jihadists. This matter will be especially problematic if responsibility for security is transferred to local governments, because then local militias will be able to impose their agenda on the population while claiming to be the “regional police”.

One one hand, local militias are supposed to be a legitimate force to impose the local interests on all of the people of the region and on their behalf, however – on the other hand – they may become crime organizations under the leadership of “war barons” dealing in drugs, weapons, goods and currency, sowing fear and terror among the population while being camouflaged as “local police”, who are acting within their authority and responsibility.

Conflicting ideals: the cohesive tribal unit vs. the greater Arab nation

Arab intellectuals who see the plan view it with significant doubt and great suspicion, because – in their opinion and according to their approach – the Arab nation must go in the direction of erasing the differences between the groups and unifying the people under the concept of one great Arab nation.

However, the deteriorating situation in Syria, Iraq and Libya, countries where there is a great deal of tribalism, prompts Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the president of Yemen, to go forward in the direction of partitioning the country. He and his associates do not want Yemen, which is similarly socially divided, to deteriorate as well into the situation that exists in Syria, Iraq and Libya, so they decided to take preemptive steps by increasing regional autonomy of the various sectors of the population, despite the implicit recognition that with this plan, traditional frameworks are given priority over the modern ideas of unity and social blending. Hadi and his associates understand well that they must tailor the country according to the “social dimensions” of the population, and not continue imposing upon the population a state that does not reflect the traditional social characteristics of most of its citizens.

Hadi takes a strategic decision not to fight the natural tendencies of the citizens

President Hadi has made a strategic decision: instead of shaping the people to fit the criteria of the state he has decided to shape the state according to the principles of the people. He is cooperating with the people and with its established inclinations, and does not forcibly try to impose upon the people a political template that most of the people of Yemen are not interested in.

In my opinion Hadi will enter the pantheon of leaders who have understood – sometimes after difficult and bloody struggles – that there is room to challenge the artificial political frameworks that had been determined by colonialist superpowers according to Europe’s interests, and to begin to establish frameworks according to the desires of the peoples of the Middle East.

And if, in a given place, the public is loyal to the tribal framework, then the most correct thing is to allow the the tribal framework to manage the life of its population according to its own principles and by means of its own traditional leadership. Is this scheme impervious to danger? No, however the modern political scheme has been proven to be a failed plan with no chance of success, and the hundreds of thousands of fatalities in Syria, Iraq and Libya are the irrefutable proof of this.

Hadi is willing to try the tribal paradigm, which we have been claiming for years is the only one capable of granting the people of the Middle East a reasonable way of life, and from this honorable stage, we wish him great success.

Mehanna Ruling Draws Line Between Speech and Material Support

Gitmo Parting Gifts: Job Training & Islam Classes

en_0501_martin_640x480-450x336By :

In another triumph of idiocy, the Obama administration is negotiating with the Yemeni government to release Guantanamo Bay and Afghan terrorists to a “rehabilitation” facility to be constructed outside Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a. According to the Los Angeles Times, the detainees “would undergo counseling, instruction in a peaceful form of Islam, and job training in Yemen before any decision on freeing them,” would be made.

The deal is part of the president’s ongoing effort to close Guantanamo Bay. He reiterated that intention on November 4, asking Congress to once again consider lifting restrictions on detainee transfers. Speaking on behalf of the president, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney contended that Congress has “significantly limited our ability to responsibly reduce the detainee population and ultimately close the facility.”

Rightfully so. Unlike the Obama administration, Congress recognizes that many nations refuse to repatriate potential terrorists, as well as the reality that some released prisoners rejoin the ranks of those seeking to destroy the West. A report released early last month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) revealed that out of the 603 terrorists released from Gitmo, 100 have been “confirmed of reengaging” in terrorist activities, and another 74 are “suspected of reengaging.”

In other words, as many as 174 thugs we had already risked Americans lives to capture are now free to pursue jihad against our soldiers all over again. Not only is such a reality apparently a reasonable tradeoff for an Obama administration determined to elevate politics over the safety of Americans, it is a willful determination to ignore the threat that Yemen itself presents and has presented for quite some time.

In 2009, Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined Republicans calling for a halt of Gitmo prisoner transfers to Yemen because it was “too unstable.” Nine days earlier, the Obama administration had released 12 detainees from Guantanamo Bay, six of whom ended up in Yemen. Four days after that, Yemen-trained “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up Northwest flight 253, and a Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate claimed credit for the attempt. Furthermore, ABC News revealed that the Christmas Day plot was abetted by two Gitmo detainees released to Saudi Arabia in 2007.

At the time Obama blamed it all on a “systemic failure” of Yemen’s security apparatus. He imposed a moratorium on releasing detainees to Yemen in January 2010, and promised not to release any detainee who posed a threat to the American people. Yet in spite of the ongoing terror threat emanating from that nation, Obama lifted his moratorium on May 23, 2013. He did so despite the belief of intelligence officials that the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen represents the greatest threat to the U.S. homeland and that the affiliate’s creation was abetted by several former Gitmo detainees released in 2006.

But it gets worse. According to al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) expert Gregory Johnsen, the formation of AQAP was the result of a merger between a “handful of former Gitmo detainees, primarily Saudi citizens” who slipped into Yemen, and al Qaeda members who staged a 2006 break from a maximum security prison in Sana’a. Regardless, the president remained defiant. “I think the lifting of the moratorium reflects a changing U.S. policy that reflects a changing Yemen,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in August.

Thus, the president is continuing the effort to create a de facto “half way house” for the Yemeni prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Yemenis comprise more than half the facility’s remaining 164 inmates.

Read more at Front Page

Al-Qaeda’s Emerging Leader: Nasir Al-Wuhayshi

images (6)An Advocate Of Lone Wolf And WMD Attacks On Planes, Buses And Subways In Western Countries

MEMRI:

This month’s unprecedented terror alert and subsequent shutdown of U.S. embassies across the Middle East and Africa were triggered by intercepted communications between Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri and his newly appointed “general manager” and second-in-command, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasir Al-Wuhayshi, aka Abu Basir, about plans for a major terror attack.

The terror plot, as it turned out, was not ordered by Al-Zawahiri, as first reported, but was proposed by Al-Wuhayshi and approved by Al-Zawahiri.

The Yemen-born Al-Wuhayshi, leader of the Yemen-based AQAP, won his reputation as a fighter in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, and was personal secretary to, and remained close to, Osama bin Laden. After fleeing to Iran from Tora Bora in 2001, he was arrested there and deported back to Yemen, where he was imprisoned until his escape in 2006 and his reemergence to establish and head AQAP in 2009. He has significant ties to Al-Zawahiri, and was one of the first leaders to express his approval of him and pledge his loyalty to him as Al-Qaeda leader following Osama bin Laden’s killing. He has been a major target of the U.S. for years, and has been reported killed a number of times.

At 36, Al-Wuhayshi represents the next generation of the Al-Qaeda leadership; he is Internet savvy, and for the past five years has been actively bringing the philosophy of independent jihad and lone wolf attacks in the West directly to readers of Al-Qaeda’s Internet forums, as he has openly and actively helped to create and grow Al-Qaeda’s cyber army on these sites. These efforts have included providing email addresses for potential Western recruits of Al-Qaeda to contact Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and even providing encryption codes to be used for the messages.

Along with his close comrades from AQAP, Al-Wuhayshi was active in the founding of AQAP’s English-language online Inspire Magazine, whose first issue, published in the summer of 2010, included the infamous “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” article. That article was based on a November 2009 article by Al-Wuhayshi that was published in an AQAP magazine. The first issue of Inspire also included an exclusive and lengthy interview with Al-Wuhayshi.

Since Al-Wuhayshi is now known to be both Al-Qaeda second-in-command and the author of the terror plot that prompted the alert and the shutdown of U.S. embassies, there is much for the West to be concerned about. His long-declared military strategy focuses on attacks on the West, including airplanes, trains, and subways, by methods including WMDs.

Al-Wuhayshi has stated that “we are infatuated with the events of 9/11″ and that he and the mujahideen are seeking to repeat attacks on this scale. He also openly discusses and acknowledges that since 2010 he has been involved in planning strategies and plots to strike the U.S. Additionally, he has expressed satisfaction with the fear in the U.S. caused by AQAP’s attacks, and the amount of money that the U.S. has been forced to spend on homeland security.

MEMRI JTTM – Following Al-Wuhayshi Since 2006

The MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Monitor (JTTM), have been monitoring Al-Wuhayshi’s statements since 2006, publishing translations of his writings and of his audio and video messages – the most recent of which was a translation of his August 11, 2013 letter to imprisoned mujahideen everywhere. In that message, he promised the mujahideen that very soon they will be freed by their mujahideen brethren, who are toppling oppressive regimes daily, and assures them that they are on the verge of attaining victory and restoring the Caliphate.

 

Drone Strike Reportedly Wounds Al Qaeda Master Bomb Maker

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

By Bill Gertz:

A Saudi national known to be a key al Qaeda bomb maker was wounded during a U.S.-led drone strike in Yemen, according to a Yemeni news report.

Ibrahim al Asiri, the bomb maker, was targeted during a missile strike launched from a U.S.-operated armed drone in southern Yemen that killed two other al Qaeda terrorists, the online Yemeni news outlet Al Watan reported Sunday.

A U.S. official had no public comment but urged caution regarding claims that al Asiri was dead.

The drone attack took place in Yemen’s southernmost Lahij Governorate that borders the Gulf of Aden. Covert, U.S. military-operated drones carried out the strike. The United States operates a drone base located in southern Saudi Arabia.

According to the Al Watan report, photos of the drone strike victims showed one man whose facial features matched al Asiri, who was said to have been severely wounded.

Al Asiri is one of the most wanted terrorists and was behind at least two unsuccessful plots to blow up airliners.

Al Watan quoted eyewitnesses as saying the drone strike Saturday was carried out against a passenger car that heard the drone and sought refuge under a bridge. However, before the passengers could get out of the car, a missile struck the vehicle and destroyed it.

After seeing that the missile had not hit the passengers, the drone fired three more missiles against four people who had fled from the car.

Al Asiri is believed by U.S. officials to have been the mastermind behind the bomb concealed in the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on the way to Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009.

Abdulmutallab was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2012.

Al Asiri also is suspected in the plot to blow up cargo planes using printer cartridges filled with plastic explosive in 2010.

Al Asiri, a chemist by training, is also believed to have trained other members of the group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Saturday’s drone strike followed an unprecedented public warning by the U.S. government that terrorists were planning an attack on the United States.

Read more at Free Beacon

 

Inability To Call Terrorism What It Is Dooms U.S. Policy To Incoherence

pic_giant_080813_SM_Obama-Lexicological-War (1)

For President Obama, the word “Islamist” may not be uttered. Language must be devised to disguise the unpleasantness. Result? The world’s first lexicological war.

By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER:

Jen Psaki, blameless State Department spokeswoman, explained that the hasty evacuation of our embassy in Yemen was not an evacuation but “a reduction in staff.”

This proved a problem because the Yemeni government had already announced (and denounced) the “evacuation” — the word normal folks use for the panicky ordering of people onto planes headed out of country.

Thus continues the administration’s penchant for wordplay, the bending of language to fit a political need.

In Janet Napolitano’s famous formulation, terror attacks are now “man-caused disasters.” And the “global war on terror” is no more. It’s now an “overseas contingency operation.”

Nidal Hasan proudly tells a military court that he, a soldier of Allah, killed 13 American soldiers in the name of jihad. But the massacre remains officially classified as an act not of terrorism but of “workplace violence.”

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others are killed in an al-Qaida-affiliated terror attack — and for days it is waved off as nothing more than a spontaneous demonstration gone bad.

After all, famously declared Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make?

Well, it makes a difference, first, because truth is a virtue.

Second, because if you keep lying to the American people, they may seriously question whether anything you say — for example, about the benign nature of NSA surveillance — is not another self-serving lie.

And third, because leading a country through yet another long twilight struggle requires not just honesty but clarity. This is a president who to this day cannot bring himself to identify the enemy as radical Islam.

Just Tuesday night, explaining the U.S. embassy closures across the Muslim world, he cited the threat from “violent extremism.”

The word “extremism” is meaningless. People don’t devote themselves to being extreme. Extremism has no content. The extreme of what? In this war, an extreme devotion to the supremacy of a radically fundamentalist vision of Islam and to its murderous quest for dominion over all others.

But for President Obama, the word “Islamist” may not be uttered. Language must be devised to disguise the unpleasantness.

Result? The world’s first lexicological war. Parry and thrust with linguistic tricks, deliberate misnomers and ever more transparent euphemisms. Next: armor-piercing onomatopoeias and amphibious synecdoches.

This would all be comical and merely peculiar if it didn’t reflect a larger, more troubling reality: The confusion of language is a direct result of a confusion of policy — which is served by constant obfuscation.

Obama doesn’t like this terror war. He particularly dislikes its unfortunate religious coloration, which is why “Islamist” is banished from his lexicon. But soothing words, soothing speeches in various Muslim capitals, soothing policies — “open hand,” “mutual respect” — have yielded nothing.

The war remains. Indeed, under his watch, it has spread. And as commander in chief he must defend the nation.

Read More at Investor’s Business Daily

 

Obama standing by decision to lift moratorium on releasing Guantanamo Bay prisoners back to Yemen

Map-Yemen_full_600By :

In spite of the ongoing terror threat emanating from Yemen, the White House says it does not plan to rethink President Obama’s decision last May to lift a moratorium on releasing Guantanamo Bay prisoners back to that country.

“I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis,” Obama told an audience at the National Defense University during a major counterterrorism policy speech on May 23.

The president is standing by that announcement, even though Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen that U.S. intelligence officials say is now the greatest Al Qaeda threat to the U.S. homeland, was formed in part by several former Guantanamo Bay detainees who were released in 2006.

“A handful of former GITMO detainees, primarily Saudi citizens, made their way across the border into Yemen and they joined AQ in Yemen,” according to AQAP expert Gregory Johnsen, author of “The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia.”

“It was that merger between people, former GITMO detainees from Saudi Arabia and the AQ escapees in Yemen, that really formed AQAP, the group that announced itself in January 2009, and that’s the group we know today as AQAP.”

The genesis of AQAP goes back to a prison break in Yemen in February 2006. That’s when 23 Al Qaeda suspects, including Nasser Al Wuhayshi – who once served as Usama bin Laden’s secretary and whose communications with Ayman Zawahiri were intercepted by U.S. intelligence – tunneled out of a maximum security prison in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.

The prisoners tunneled their way out of their two-room prison cell into a neighboring mosque, where they dusted themselves off, said their morning prayers and walked out the front door to freedom.

Wuhayshi and several prisoners who had been released from Guantanamo Bay, including Said Al Shihri, who was killed by a U.S. drone earlier this year, formed AQAP officially in 2009.

On Aug. 1, just one day before this week’s terror warning that led to the closure of the 19 Embassies, Obama met Yemen’s president at the White House.

Presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters then,“I think the lifting of the (detainee transfer) moratorium reflects a changing U.S. policy that reflects a changing Yemen.”

One thing that has not changed in Yemen is the strength of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Read more at Fox News

 

Under Terror Threat, U.S. Closes Embassies in Muslim Countries

The week-long closure also includes a month-long travel warning amid a concrete warning of a severe terrorist attack.

EmbassyClosuresHP

In an unprecedented move, the United States closed its embassies and consulates yesterday in 22 predominantly Muslim countries and issued a worldwide travel alert amid a warning to Americans that Al-Qaeda may be planning severe attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

News reports that the U.S. had intercepted communications that Al-Qaeda was planning a “strategically significant” attack specifically targeting American interests in Yemen prompted the closings which will remain in effect in 16 countries, including four in African nation not on the original list.

Security outside the U.S. Embassy in Yemen

Security outside the U.S. Embassy in Yemen

One official said the warning was the result of a comminique intercepted between the head of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Pennisula, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, and Al-Qaeda head Ayman al Zawahiri, who reportedly gave “clear orders” to carry out an attack.

“The part that is alarming is the confidence they showed while communicating and the air of certainty,” an intelligence official toldABC news.

ABC news also reports that an additional 500 Marines have been sent to the region.

A stone wall hasbeen built in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo

A stone wall hasbeen built in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo

The current precaution are the first of it’s kind since alerts went out after America Special Operations forces killed Al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan nearly two years ago.

A report in This Week said that Al-Qaeda in Yemen “developed techniques to evade Western security measures,” including “surgically implanted bombs.”

Other news outlets report that “Al-Qaeda affiliate leaders in Yemen are so certain of their success that they have even ‘talked about their media plan’ for after the attacks take place.”

The terror alert coincides with the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan and the Eid holiday that follows, both occurring this week. The State Department’s travel alert, which remains in effect until August 31, states, “Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. US citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.”

Senator  Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the latest terror threat “scary,” and said that an emboldened Al- Qaeda has been “on steroids” since the last year’s deadly strike on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

“I had a briefing with the vice president and it is scary,” Graham said on CNN’s State of the Union program. “Al-Qaeda is on the rise in this part of the world.”

“They attacked our consulate, they killed an ambassador, a year has passed, and nobody has paid a price,” he added. “After Benghazi, these Al-Qaeda types are really on steroids thinking we’re weaker and they’re stronger.”

Read more at The Clarion Project

Terror Alert Sign of Resurgent Al Qaeda

By Christopher Holton:

The terror alerts issued by the US State Department, Interpol and the foreign offices of Great Britain, France and Germany should worry Westerners very much.

US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen

US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen

If there is indeed specific information about a credible threat that closed down US embassies in 22 nations, grounded 6 international airline flights (so far) and resulted in the most serious global travel advisory put out by the US State Department in several years (covering an entire month) then it is an indication that Al Qaeda is not only NOT “on the run,” but is evidently more prolific than ever in terms of its reach.

Under such circumstances, it’s not a question of “if” Western targets will be struck again, but “when.”

We have been lied to about the magnitude and scope of the Jihadist terrorist threat. That is the unmistakable conclusion.

Some cynics and skeptics seem to think that the whole issue has been contrived by the Obama administration for political purposes, but this makes no sense at all.

Obama has repeatedly declared victory over Al Qaeda. He essentially declared that the killing of Osama Bin Laden placed the terrorist organization on the ropes and all but announced an end to the war on terror, complete with a re-orientation of the US military toward a significantly smaller force primarily focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

Moreover, his policy of drone strikes was supposed to have decimated Al Qaeda’s leadership structure.

Apparently none of what Obama told us was correct.

So for Obama now to use that same terrorist threat to improve his political fortunes makes no sense at all.

Think about it: So when Obama repeatedly says Al Qaeda is on the run and for all practical purposes defeated—-it’s regarded as propaganda for the masses. And then when the State Dept issues a global travel advisory and closes 22 embassies because of a threat from Al Qaeda, that’s also propaganda for those same masses?

It doesn’t add up.  I think Obama lied about Al Qaeda in the first place. It was in his best interests to remove a major national security threat from the public sphere and, with the aid of a compliant media, he successfully did so. But it was never anything more than words on paper and talk in pretty speeches.

Al Qaeda isn’t on the run. They aren’t defeated. And this terror alert, unfortunately, isn’t phony.

The alert coincides with the end of Ramadan, a holy month in Islam in which America has often restrained itself in fighting Islamic enemies, but during which Jihadists have actually escalated their attacks. The closure of the embassies comes on the Ramadan “Night of Power.” Without getting into obnoxious detail about Islamic doctrine, all you really need to know about the “Night of Power” is that it was the day on which the USS Cole was attacked in Aden harbor in Yemen in 2000. And this is the same week during which the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in east Africa were bombed back in 1998.

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So, when intelligence emerges suggesting that US targets will come under attack at this time, it is something to take seriously, especially given the fact that Al Qaeda leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri released a statement in the past week instructing Al Qaeda’s followers to attack US targets now.

Read more at Terror Trends Bulletin

U.S. Arrests 19 Yr-Old Jihadist Convert – This Time We Got Lucky

Qassim al RimiBY CLARE LOPEZ:

A Jacksonville, Florida teen named Shelton Thomas Bell was indicted July 18 on charges of conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to terrorists. Only 19 years old at the time of his arrest, Bell was a convert to Islam who previously had attended the N.E. Florida Islamic Center in Jacksonville before departing in late 2012 on an overseas journey to join the “jihad.”

Somehow, somewhere, Bell seemed to have gotten the idea that jihad was violent armed fighting, and he wanted to link up with a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) called Ansar al-Shariah (AAS), which is based in Yemen.

The primary objective of both AQAP and its AAS spin-off is the imposition and enforcement of Islamic (sharia) law. Both AQAP and AAS are on the list of U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations , which makes it a crime to provide them material support.

Unfortunately for Bell, his late September 2012 journey to the Middle East began with a stopover in Israel, who promptly refused him entry and put him on a return flight to his previous stopover, in Warsaw, Poland. There, Bell bought a ticket to Amman, Jordan, where things seemed to come apart for him.

According to the indictment, Bell intended to travel to Oman before making his way overland to join Islamic fighters in Yemen; he even bought a plane ticket to Oman. Whether it was an Israeli entry refusal stamp in his passport, or simply Jordanian officials talking with their Israeli counterparts, Bell’s journey to jihad went no further than Amman and he returned to the U.S.

As Randy McDaniels noted in a July 22 WatchDogWire article about the case, Bell was only 17 years old when attended the N.E. Florida Islamic Center; and yet, even at that young age, according to Parvez Ahmed, a Board member and official spokesman for the Islamic Center, Bell already stood out for his “very traditional Islamic clothing,” an obvious signal to his developing Islamic devotion.

The district court indictment further notes that, during 2012, Bell had drawn attention to himself by trying to persuade at least one other Jacksonville juvenile to join him in his journey to jihad. That unnamed juvenile participated in physical fitness and firearms training with Bell and even conducted a practice run with him one night in July 2012 when they “caused significant damage to religious statues at the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens Cemetery.”

Inept as Bell’s attempts to fight jihad with AAS/AQAP may have been, the key issues here, as McDaniels points out, center rather on who were the influential individuals in Bell’s life that led him to convert to Islam in the first place and then so deeply indoctrinated him with Islamic precepts on jihad that he took such concrete, indictable steps towards joining forces that are implacably hostile to U.S. national security interests.

Did Bell fall under the influence of individuals at the N.E. Florida Islamic Center? Did any of such influences point him in the direction of online internet contacts in the world of jihadist chat rooms?

Read more at The Clarion Project