The FBI Investigation of EmailGate Was a Sham

FBI Director James Comey. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FBI Director James Comey. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Observer, by John R. Schindler

From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the Bureau to do its job – at least where high-ranking Democrats are concerned.

As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.

Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

This stunning omission appears highly curious to anybody versed in counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less classified than what Clinton and her staff exposed on Hillary “unclassified” email server of bathroom infamy.

This week, however, we learned that there is actually no mystery at all here. The FBI was never able to get enough traction in its investigation of EmailGate to prosecute anybody since the Bureau had already granted immunity to key players in that scandal.

Granting immunity is a standard practice in investigations, and is sometimes unavoidable. Giving a pass to Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT guru who set up her email and server, made some sense since he understands what happened here, technically speaking, and otherwise is a small fish. The wisdom of giving him a pass now seems debatable, though, since Pagliano has twice refused to testify before Congress about his part in EmailGate, blowing off subpoenas. Just this week the House Oversight Committee recommended that Pagliano be cited for contempt of Congress for his repeated no-shows. That vote was on strictly partisan lines, with not a single Democrat on the committee finding Pagliano’s ignoring of Congressional subpoenas to be worthy of censure.

Now it turns out the FBI granted immunity to much bigger fish in the Clinton political tank. Three more people got a pass from the Bureau in exchange for their cooperation: Hillary lawyer Heather Samuelson, State Department IT boss John Bental, and – by far the most consequential – Cheryl Mills, who has been a Clinton flunky-cum-factotum for decades.

Mills served as the State Department’s Chief of Staff and Counselor throughout Hillary’s tenure as our nation’s top diplomat. Granting her immunity in EmailGate, given her deep involvement in that scandal – including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails so they could not be handed over to the FBI – now seems curious, to say the least, particularly because Mills sat in on Hillary’s chat with the Bureau regarding EmailGate.

This was in fact so highly irregular that Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, pronounced himself “absolutely stunned” by the FBI’s granting of immunity to Cheryl Mills – which he learned of only on Friday. “No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case,” Rep. Chaffetz observed of Comey’s Bureau: “They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”

Not to mention that Mills has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation in Washington for helping the Clintons dodge investigation after investigation. When Bill and Hillary need a fixer to help them bury the bodies – as they say inside the Beltway – trusty Cheryl Mills has been on call for the last quarter-century.

She played a key role in the Whitewater scandal of the 1990s – and so did James Comey. Fully two decades ago, when Comey was a Senate investigator, he tried to get Mills, then deputy counsel to Bill Clinton’s White House, to hand over relevant documents. Mills went full dog-ate-my-homework, claiming that a burglar had taken the files, leading Comey to unavoidably conclude that she was obstructing his investigation. Mills’ cover-up, the Senate investigators assessed, encompassed “destruction of documents” and “highly improper” behavior.

Such misconduct is a career-ender for normal people in Washington, but not for Cheryl Mills, who over the last several decades has followed the Clintons everywhere they go. Mills has proven her loyalty to Clinton, Inc. time and again, and that loyalty has been rewarded with a pass on prosecution in EmailGate.

To say nothing of the fact that as chief of staff at Foggy Bottom, Mills was in no way functioning as Hillary’s personal lawyer, as Clinton advocates have contended. Even her other title, State Department Counselor, has nothing to do with legal matters, despite the name. That role is traditionally assigned to an esteemed foreign policy guru who is supposed to offer sage counsel to the secretary of state. Mills’ predecessor as Counselor was Eliot Cohen, one of the country’s preeminent scholars of international relations. Leave it to the Clintons to turn that job over to one of their trusted cabal, translating Counselor in mafia fashion as consigliere.

“The whole thing stinks,” explained a retired FBI senior official who professed dismay about the state of his former employer. “This was impossible in my time, unthinkable,” he rued, expressing shock that the Bureau allowed Mills to remain involved in the investigation, including acting as Hillary’s personal lawyer, despite her own immunity.

How exactly Cheryl Mills got immunity, and what its terms were, is the long-awaited “smoking gun” in EmailGate, the clear indication that, despite countless man-hours expended on the year-long investigation, James Comey and his FBI never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton – or anyone – for her mishandling of classified information as secretary of state.

Why Comey decided to give Mills a get-out-of-jail-free card is something that needs proper investigation. This is raw, naked politics in all its ugly and cynical glory. Corruption is the tamest word to describe this sort of dirty backroom deal which makes average Americans despise politics and politicians altogether.

How high in this administration EmailGate went is the key question, and it’s been reopened by the latest tranche of redacted documents that the FBI released – on Friday afternoon, as usual. There are lots of tantalizing tidbits here, including the fact that early in Hillary’s term at Foggy Bottom, State Department officials were raising awkward legal questions about her highly irregular email and server arrangements.

Most intriguing, however, is the revelation that Hillary was communicating with President Obama via personal email, and he was using an alias. The alias he used with Hillary, and apparently others, was withheld by the FBI, and let it be said the fact that the president wanted to disguise his identity in unclassified email is not all that odd.

What is odd, however, is the fact that Obama previously told the media that he only learned of Hillary’s irregular email and server arrangements from “news reports.” How the president failed to notice that he was emailing his top diplomat at her personal, clintonmail.com address, not a state.gov account, particularly when they were discussing official business, is something Congress may want to find out – since certainly the FBI won’t.

Indeed, when she was being interviewed by the Bureau, Hillary’s ever-faithful sidekick Huma Abedin, was asked about President Obama’s emailing to Hillary using an alias. “How is this not classified?” inquired the mystified Abedin.

How indeed?

The fact that the FBI redacted the contents of that email indicates that is wasclassified, although it was sent to Hillary’s personal email and transited her personal server.

This, like so many aspects of EmailGate, seems destined to remain a mystery, at least for now. The State Department won’t release the full collection of Clinton’s emails until after our November 8 election. Just this week a Federal judge blasted Foggy Bottom for its slow-rolling: “The State Department needs to start cooperating to the fullest extent possible. They are not perceived to be doing that.” Nevertheless, thepublic won’t get to see all of Hillary’s emails until after Americans decide who the next president will be.

For Hillary Clinton, winning that election may be a legal necessity to protect her from prosecution. Congress, animated by these latest revelations of illegality and corruption, will now pursue her with vigor, while an FBI in the hands of Donald Trump seems likely to show an interest in EmailGate which the Bureau never possessed under President Obama.

Regardless, this story has emerged yet again to tar Hillary Clinton’s reputation at the worst possible time, when her campaign is lagging in the polls. We can be sure that her Republican opponent will mention EmailGate in Monday’s inaugural presidential debate. The Democratic nominee should have coherent answers about her email and server at the ready if she wants to avoid a debacle before the cameras.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee.

Jordanian writer shot dead outside court after being charged with insulting Islam

Nahed Hattar was killed after being charged with offending Islam

Nahed Hattar was killed after being charged with offending Islam

Telegraph, by Sept. 25, 2016:

Aprominent Jordanian writer was shot dead by a suspected Islamist gunman on Sunday outside the courtroom where he was due to stand trial for offending Islam by sharing a cartoon on Facebook.

Nahed Hattar, a 56-year-old intellectual from Jordan’s Christian minority, was gunned down on the steps of a courthouse in Amman in what appeared to be a religiously motivated attack.

The gunman was arrested at the scene and a Jordanian security source identified him as Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old imam who was wearing traditional Islamic robes at the time of the shooting.

The alleged shooter recently returned from making the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, the source said. The gunman is believed to have acted alone rather than as part of an organised group.

The high-profile murder is a fresh blow to Jordan’s image as a bastion of stability amid the sectarian violence that is wracking much of the Middle East and the latest in a long string of killings across the world linked to cartoons about Islam.

Mr Hattar was arrested in August for sharing a cartoon on his Facebook page which showed a jihadist smoking in bed with two women while Allah waits attentively at the window for him.

The jihadist orders Allah to fetch him some wine and take away the dirty plates while demanding the archangel Gabriel get him some cashew nuts.

Mr Hattar said the cartoon was intended to mock jihadists and their twisted interpretation of Islam but Jordan’s government charged him with insulting the faith and “provoking sectarian rifts”.

The writer rejected the charges and planned to fight the case. If convicted, he could have faced up to three years in prison.

“I am mocking the terrorists and their conception of hell and heaven,” Mr Hattar wrote shortly before his death. “I’m not insulting the supreme Allah, at all, on the contrary, I’m against the type of God that the terrorists worship.

Nahed Hattar was shot outside a courthouse and died in hospital in Amman CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RAAD ADAYLEH

Nahed Hattar was shot outside a courthouse and died in hospital in Amman CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RAAD ADAYLEH

Mr Hattar’s family immediately blamed Jordan’s government for failing to protect the writer, saying the decision to publicly charge him with offending Islam had made him a target for Muslim extremists.

“We hold the Ministry of Interior responsible,” said Jamal Attar, a cousin. “This is the first assassination in Jordan that targets a person over nothing but his opinion, for freedom of speech.”

Jordan’s government condemned his murder, calling it an “ugly crime” and promised “investigating the incident and holding the criminal accountable for his offense”.

Christians make up only around 4 per cent of Jordan’s 8 million residents but they live in relative affluence and usually in peace with country’ Muslim majority.

Nine seats in the 130-seat parliament are reserved for them and they hold prominent positions in the business sector and Jordan, a key Western ally, presents itself as a staunch defender of minority groups.

During his speech to the United Nations last week, Jordan’s King Abdullah said: “Every citizen is guaranteed the state’s protection for their lives, families, properties, honour, privacy, and freedom of religion and thought.”

But many diplomats and analysts worry that that the Jordanian government’s tolerant rhetoric is at odds with wide swathes of religious extremism in the country.

“Jordan’s leaders are reticent to acknowledge domestic radicalisation, including self-radicalisation,” the US State Department said in a report in June.

Around 2,000 Jordanians crossed the border to fight in Syria in 2015, according to the Soufan Group, making Jordan one of the largest per capita sources of foreign fighters.

Mr Hattar was a regular columnist for al-Akhbar, a pan-Arab newspaper based in Lebanon, where he wrote regularly against Islamic extremism.

The Left-wing writer was also a staunch supporter of the Assad regime in Syria. Most of the Jordanian public opposes the Assad regime and supports the opposition and armed rebel groups.   He was arrested several times in Jordan in the 1970s for his outspoken criticism of the Jordanian government.

On a Facebook group formed after his death, some people compared him to other recent artists and intellectuals who fell victim to violent extremism, for example the staff of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo who were killed by gunmen in January 2015.

Others spoke critically of the decision to bring charges against him in the first place.

“The Jordanian authorities who charged Nahed Hattar with ‘insulting Islam’ and the social media storm aroused by the cartoon he shared may not have murdered him but they provided his killers with the ideological ammo to shoot him,” wrote Khaled Diab, an Egyptian-Belgian writer.

***

Here is the offending cartoon:

Also see:

Washington State Mall Shooter Captured: 20-Year Old Arcan Cetin; Authorities Begin Identifying Victims

arcan-cetin-in-custody-sized-770x415xt

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sept. 24, 2016:

Last night I reported on a mall shooting in Burlington, Washington, about 65 miles north of Seattle. Washington State Patrol said at a 2:30am ET press conference that four female victims were killed inside the Macy’s at Cascade Mall. Earlier today they announced that a fifth victim had also died while the killer was still at large.

Then earlier this evening reports began to trickle out that the unknown suspect had been apprehended in Oak Harbor, Washington, about 30 miles away from Burlington.

Police have confirmed that the suspected killer is 20-year-old Arcan Cetin.

Read more

Why did feds grant immunity to Hillary’s ‘highly improper’ aide?

Cheryl Mills and Hillary Clinton Photo: AP; Reuters

Cheryl Mills and Hillary Clinton Photo: AP; Reuters

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 24, 2016:

If anyone would know Hillary consigliere Cheryl Mills’ reputation for obstructing investigations, it’s FBI Director James Comey. He complained about her lack of cooperation while probing Clinton scandals in the 1990s. Yet he agreed to give Mills immunity from prosecution in his probe of Hillary’s illegal e-mails as secretary of state, where Mills was chief of staff.

As a Whitewater investigator for the Senate in the mid-1990s, Comey sought information from Mills; but wouldn’t you know, the then-deputy White House counsel claimed a burglar stole her notes.

Comey concluded that Hillary Clinton ordered Mills to block investigators. The obstruction, the Senate committee found, included the “destruction of documents” and other “highly improper . . . misconduct.”

Two years later, Mills was in the middle of another Hillary scandal, involving the then-first lady’s integration of White House and Democratic National Committee computer databases.

This time the House subpoenaed information from Mills, who not only withheld the documents but, a government committee said, “lied under oath” — prompting staff lawyers to send a criminal referral to the Justice Department demanding prosecutors charge Mills with obstruction of justice and perjury.

In 2000, a Commerce Department official testified that Mills ordered her to “withhold” from investigators e-mails and other documents exposing yet another scandal involving the first lady — the selling of seats on foreign trade junkets for campaign cash.

At the same time, a federal judge suggested Mills helped orchestrate a cover-up that blamed a technical “glitch” in the White House archiving system that conveniently resulted in the loss of 1.8 million e-mails under subpoena in the Monica Lewinsky, Filegate and other scandal investigations.

Fast-forward to Hillary’s tenure as secretary. In October 2012, Mills sorted through key Benghazi documents and decided which to withhold from a review board. She also leaned on witnesses. Deputy ambassador to Libya Gregory Hicks testified before Congress in 2013 that Mills told him in an angry phone call to stop cooperating with investigators.

The FBI chief was fully aware of Mills’ M.O. when he launched his investigation. Yet even after discovering she was in the middle of everything improper, if not illegal, he treated her with kid gloves.

Comey knew it was Mills who had Hillary’s e-mails moved off her private unsecured server and onto laptops, where she decided which ones were government-related and OK for public release and which were “personal.” He knew it was Mills who shredded the e-mails that were printed out and who had the rest of the 31,000 e-mails deleted, and then had the laptops bleached clean.

And he knew it was Mills who told the Denver tech who maintained the server to stop retaining her e-mails and to delete Hillary’s archived e-mails, all of which the tech dutifully performed after Congress subpoenaed them and ordered them preserved.

Even so, Comey agreed to grant Mills immunity in exchange for her cooperation in the investigation. He also agreed to ground rules that left some lines of inquiry off-limits. When agents in April tried to pin her down on the procedures she used to search for Hillary’s e-mails under order, she and her lawyer stormed out of the room. So much for Comey’s cooperative witness.

Mills claimed such information was protected under “attorney-client privilege,” which is ridiculous. Mills was chief of staff for Hillary, not her lawyer, at the time Hillary was bypassing government security and squirreling away state secrets in her basement.

And even though Mills deleted the records after she left State and was supposedly acting as Hillary’s attorney then, privilege does not apply when a client seeks advice on how to commit a crime and the crime is committed.

Yet Comey’s agents abided by her claim and never pursued the line of questioning again. In effect, they gave her a pass on the whole question of the criminal obstruction behind which she looks to be the mastermind. And then, three months later, they let her sit in on Hillary’s interview even though Hillary was represented by attorney David Kendall!

Mills should be dragged before Congress to publicly answer questions the FBI refused to ask her. But she would just lie with impunity like she did in her past testimony involving other Hillary scandals.

Rather, it would be more productive to grill Comey under the klieg lights. Why did he give a key suspect who orchestrated the destruction of government records immunity as a witness? Why didn’t he demand prosecutors convene a grand jury to question Mills under oath? Was he pressured by the attorney general?

Sweating Mills could have cracked the case wide open. No one would have ever let H.R. Haldeman get away with editing the Nixon tapes. Why would the FBI director let Hillary’s chief of staff get away with deleting her e-mails?

Paul Sperry is author of “The Great American Bank Robbery,” which exposes the role of race-based Clinton housing policies in the mortgage bust.

Also see:

Bombing suspect is no lone wolf, but a terrorist with a family of sympathizers

Law enforcement officials work at the scene of Chelsea bombing. Photo: Getty Images

Law enforcement officials work at the scene of Chelsea bombing. Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 24, 2016:

Last weekend’s NYC bombing is yet another case of terrorism and hatred for America not being isolated to a “lone wolf” but running in the family. We’ve seen this horror before, in Orlando, San Bernardino, Chattanooga and Boston — Muslim families playing dumb after their son goes on a terrorist rampage, only to find out later that the family sympathized with terrorism.

The latest evidence is damning: Two days before Ahmad Rahami allegedly planted the Chelsea bomb that injured 31, a family member’s cellphone video camera was used to film him testing bombs in the back yard of the New Jersey residence/chicken shack where he had lived and worked with his parents. After one “cylindrical” device explodes, unidentified people are overheard laughing on the recording, an FBI document reveals.

The video isn’t the only piece of evidence suggesting the fiend’s family may have known about his plot. A cellphone used as a timer to detonate the Chelsea bomb “was subscribed in the name of a family member” until 2013, FBI Special Agent Peter Licata wrote in the government’s 13-page complaint filed against Rahami.

What’s more, Rahami allegedly used the family SUV to travel to Manhattan to plant the pressure-cooker bomb. Late the next night, the FBI pulled over the same SUV occupied by five people including Rahami relatives — including three women dressed in Islamic robes — who reportedly were headed to the airport. They were questioned by joint Terrorism Task Force agents, but authorities said they were not in custody and none had been arrested.

The FBI complaint indicates that Rahami started plotting his terrorist attacks as early as June — the same month his wife left the US for Pakistan. Placed on a terror watch list, Asia Bibi Rahimi on Wednesday returned to New York where she submitted to FBI interviews. Rahami’s mother left the US for Turkey three weeks before the bombing.

Rahami’s older brother and sister appear to share the same affection for terror leaders and same hatred for America as him. Reports have linked the sister to messages posted on social media quoting the late Anwar al-Awlaki, the American al Qaeda cleric who privately ministered to some of the 9/11 hijackers. (Rahami wrote that he sought “guidance” from Awlaki in a blood-stained journal FBI agents seized from him after a shootout.)

The brother, Mohammad, who is now in custody in Pakistan, posted ISIS-related propaganda, including images of jihadists with the message: “I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life.”

In the 1980s, Rahami’s father fought with the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet Union, according to statements made by a family friend; he also opposed the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The media have portrayed him as a hero for ratting out his son as a terrorist. After the bombing, he shouted to them, “Two years ago, I call the FBI.”

In fact, the elder Mohammad Raham may have only mentioned that his son was a terrorist on a call with local police in 2014 to report a domestic fight between Rahami and a younger son involving a knife. Local police, in turn, contacted the FBI through the local Joint Terrorism Task Force out of concern Rahami had been radicalized. The FBI interviewed the father, who recanted his story about Rahami, who was never indicted for the alleged stabbing. The father let Rahami continue staying at his home and even let him run the family fried-chicken shop.

This is reminiscent of other recent homegrown terrorist cases, where extremism also runs in the family, including:

  • Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, whose father was an anti-gay Taliban booster, and whose wife’s Palestinian family proclaimed support for Hamas terrorists. His wife even drove him to sites he scouted as targets, including the gay nightclub he attacked in June and to the store where he bought ammo for the massacre.
  • San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook, whose father shared his hatred for Jews and even knew his son followed ISIS. His mother was involved in a subversive Pakistani front group and lived with her son where he and his wife made pipe bombs. Both parents were placed on a terror watch list after the 2015 massacre.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn., terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, influenced by his devout Muslim father who appeared at one point on a federal terrorist watch list. The FBI now says those close to Abdulazeez knew he had been radicalized a year before his deadly 2015 attack on two Tennessee military sites but failed to alert authorities.
  • The Boston bombers — influenced by their America-hating Muslim mother, who forced them to go to an extremist mosque and study hardcore Islamic texts. After 2013’s marathon attack, the Muslim convert wife of the older Tamerlan son expressed more sympathy for “people killed every day in Syria” than those killed and maimed by her husband.

Maybe Trump’s right. Maybe we do need to start looking more closely at the families of terrorists and holding them accountable, as well.

Paul Sperry is the author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”

***

Clarion Project’s national security analyst, Prof. Ryan Mauro, appears on CBN News to discuss the latest with the bombings perpetrated by Ahmad Khan Rahami, targeting the Islamist ideology and the problems that come with describing terrorists as “lone wolves.”

Ill Informed House Dem Wrongly Blasts “Ill Prepared” DHS Official

1845IPT NewsSeptember 22, 2016

Last Saturday, a Somali Muslim in St. Cloud, Minn. slashed 10 people in a local mall.

ISIS claimed him as a “soldier of the Islamic State” and Dahir Adan reportedly asked people whether they were Muslims or Christians before stabbing them. An off-duty police officer shot Adan before more people were injured or anyone was killed.

Also on Saturday night, a pressure-cooker bomb allegedly made and planted by Ahmad Khan Rahami blew up in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood injuring 31 people. Two police officers were wounded in a shootout Monday as they tried to arrest Rahami.

Officials say the casualty count could have been exponentially higher Saturday had all the powerful explosives that officials found in New York and New Jersey detonated.

Rahami’s journal makes it clear he was influenced by radical Islamists like American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani, among others.

With those attacks still fresh, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., used a House Homeland Security subcommittee Thursday to insist that the government is wrong to make the threat of Islamist terror its top priority.

Thompson blasted DHS Office of Community Partnerships Director George Selim for repeating DHS’s position that ISIS’s ability to radicalize and recruit Americans is “the pre-eminent threat to our homeland security today.”

It has been proven, irrefutably, that right wing domestic terror is the greater threat, Thompson said, adding he was “disappointed that [Selim] come before this committee ill prepared to answer the questions.”

video

After the hearing, committee spokesman Adam Comis told the Investigative Project on Terrorism that Thompson was referring to a 2015 report by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University. The center surveyed nearly 400 law enforcement agencies across the country, finding most were more concerned with anti-government extremism by groups like sovereign citizens and militias.

That’s an opinion survey, not “irrefutable” evidence as Thompson claimed.

But the DHS position states a national priority, while the Triangle Center paper primarily quizzed local law enforcement. It’s a mistake to assume their challenges and perspectives are the same.

It makes sense that a sheriff in Iowa or a police chief in Arizona would worry that their people might encounter someone who somehow believes he is exempt from the law, as sovereigns do. And they often are quick to violence.

Thompson’s remarks were the most animated, but other Democrats at the Homeland Security committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency hearing, “Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terrorism,” took aim at the focus on Islamic radicalization. Domestic terror, they argued, merits the greater concern.

Advocates of that position used to argue that the data supported them, citing New America Foundation figures showing more Americans since 9/11 died at the hands of domestic extremists like Dylann Roof than by Islamists.

That’s no longer true, after Omar Mateen’s June slaughter of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Mateen paused in his shooting spree to call 911 and pledge allegiance to ISIS.

1847

As we’ve noted, the debate over whether the Islamist or domestic threat is greater – when both are clear and present – is beside the point. Another Dylann Roof out there might tip the scales some day, at least temporarily.

The threats are driven by drastically different ideologies, and DHS should focus on ways to combat them. Hearing organizers and witnesses (including IPT Senior Shillman Fellow Pete Hoekstra, whose testimony can be seen here, and written testimony can be read here) say the Obama administration’s refusal to speak specifically about radical Islamist terror hinders that effort.

The threats also manifest themselves differently. Many incidents of anti-government violence target specific foes or involve a robbery that leads to murder.

ISIS, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and other Islamist groups have well organized media campaigns aimed at radicalizing Western Muslims and encouraging them to wage violent jihad. They seek spectacular attacks that create as many victims as possible. When those aren’t possible, they encourage random attacks like stabbings and car rammings.

Thompson seemed to equate assessments which are driven by dramatically different perspectives, and he tried to shame a national official for espousing the big picture. The congressman is free to have a separate hearing on other threats, but trying to deny the unique challenges posed by Islamist terrorism doesn’t seem to serve anyone’s interest.

***

The director of The Centers Threat Information Office, Kyle Shideler appears on Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler to discuss the recent U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terror.

I think what we’ve seen is really almost the radicalization of the democrat’s position when it comes to dealing with counterterrorism, We saw today Democratic members of congress who essentially were prepared to abandon countering violent extremism as a strategy, a strategy which already doesn’t work, and move on to something even more inept which was essentially telling Americans to shut up when it comes to asking questions about who is behind Islamic extremism and moving towards questions of gun control as if attacks on the first and second amendments is the best way to deal with the Islamic State and that is simply not true.

Also see:

The Democrat Party is a progressive party with all that that entails, including an ignorantly morally relativistic outlook which says that all belief systems are equal (except theirs). That party boasts a multiculturalist bent unable to recognize that different peoples hold dear different values and principles. Likewise, it refuses to acknowledge a suicidal materialist worldview that views the West as the oppressor and all others as the oppressed leading to a perverse left-Islamic supremacist alliance, wittingly for some and unwittingly for others, that threatens our very existence.

As with the socialist revolutionaries of the past, of course it would be the progressive intelligentsia that would be the first to be lined up and shot should their Islamic supremacist “underdogs” inherit the Earth.

National security-minded Democrats in the Reagan mold have largely either passed away or become Republicans.

Saddest of all, on account of how much the culture has moved, so too have Republicans.

Though the 2016 election may be viewed as a test on this thesis, clearly the public has shifted substantially in the last 14 years, on account of the wages of political correctness and the onslaught of progressive messages in media, academia, and among our political elites. Look no further than the question of gay marriage.

In the final analysis, politicians follow the public and the donors. Cultural changes lead to political changes.

Netanyahu: The U.N. Is a Global ‘Moral Farce’

netanyahu-unWashington Free Beacon, by Jack Heretic, Sept.22, 2016:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated the United Nations on Thursday in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, calling the organization a “moral farce.”

After stating that he believes Israel has a bright future with the U.N., Netanyahu gave a scathing indictment of the international institution for having a bias against the Jewish state.

“Year after year, I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the U.N. for its obsessive bias against Israel and the U.N. deserved every scathing word,” Netanyahu said. “For the disgrace of the General Assembly, that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic state of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet. Israel: 20, rest of the world: three.”

Netanyahu then lambasted two other U.N. entities, the Human Rights Council and the Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“And what about the joke called the U.N. Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the other countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the U.N.’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it, Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Israel, where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside, twice, over the Supreme Court, and have served as speaker of the Knesset and prime minister.”

“And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the U.N. body charged with preserving world heritage,” he continued. “Now, this is hard to believe, but UNESCO just denied the 4,000-year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.”

Before addressing why he believes Israel has an optimistic future, citing in part the country’s robust technology sector and growing diplomatic ties around the world, Netanyahu delivered another scathing line against the international body.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the U.N., begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce.”

***

READ: Full text of Netanyahu’s speech to UN General Assembly (jpost.com)

John Bolton on Obama’s Internet Handover: ‘Within Ten Years, the Internet as We Know It Will End’

icann-tim-halesassociated-press-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept 22, 2016:

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton predicted that the impending transfer of Internet domain control from American supervision to an international body will mean the end of the Internet “as we know it.”

Speaking to Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Bolton explained that we should be “very concerned” about the transfer from “a national-security perspective.”

“What we’ve gotten out of the Internet, under the shelter of a private American organization that contracts with the Commerce Department, [is] one of the few cases that I can think of in our history where we’ve had that kind of government involvement without regulation and interference,” said Bolton.

He continued:

But because it’s entirely a U.S. government proposition with U.S. people involved, the Internet has been free and open. If, as the Administration wants to do, it’s transferred to an international body, I will predict right here: within 10 years it will come under the control of the United Nations, and the Internet as we know it will end because there are governments around the world that are already doing everything they can to prevent a free and open Internet in their countries, and it will extend to ours in due course.

Bolton called the Internet handover “a mistake of such colossal proportions that you would have thought we’d have a huge debate about it in this country.”

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“Ted Cruz has been leading the charge in the Senate to prevent this from happening,” he said. “There may be legislation passed in these last days of this Congress, as they try and wrap the budget up. But really, people need to wake up to this. This is something from Obama I have feared for eight years, his tendencies toward global governance. I’ve been surprised to have to say he hasn’t done more, but in his last days in office, we may see the full flowering of it, and this transfer of control of the Internet is perhaps the worst example right at the moment.”

Bolton elaborated on what he meant by the Internet as we know it dying within 10 years:

What they’re talking about is succumbing to the demands of foreign governments and foreign interests who say, in what is effectively a global means of communication, it’s just wrong to have the United States in charge of it.

But the fact is, under American control, it’s had remarkable growth. It’s been kept free. It’s been able to withstand a lot of pressure to try and set rules that favor one side or another. And in an international environment, I can tell you from my own experience, when you get all kinds of governments from all over the world setting standards and making decisions, it will be far less free than it is now.

And I don’t think the particular kind of transfer we’re talking about now is the end of the game. This is a black-and-white, binary choice: it’s either under American control, or it’s not. And once we let go of it, we are never getting it back.

Marlow turned the conversation to Barack Obama’s final speech to the U.N. General Assembly, describing it as a “toned-down Obama” with a few condescending lines, but not as much “fiery rhetoric” as he anticipated.

“I think he wanted this to be his swan song,” said Bolton. “It was a very pedestrian speech, so I think he certainly failed in that effort. A lot of was just domestic American politics, which personally I think is unseemly in a speech to the U.N. or an international forum. I think the President, especially a lame duck President, should be above that.”

“I think it shows that, really, Barack Obama is not a statesman. He is a political hack, when it comes right down to it,” Bolton judged. “He was unsparing in his criticism of many countries — criticism I agree with, in the case of Russia, North Korea, and so on — but he couldn’t withstand the temptation to criticize America. Thank God he’s the smartest man in the country, and he can tell us what we’re doing wrong.”

Bolton said he was “utterly struck” by “the reaction in the hall — which was essentially no reaction.” He noted there was “very perfunctory applause by the international community, after years where they’ve repeatedly interrupted him.”

“My sense was, they understand he’s a lame duck now. Maybe they’re just as tired as many Americans of being lectured by this morally superior being, and they’re happy to see the back of him.”

Marlow asked for Bolton’s take on the state of the United Nations and if there was still anything productive emerging from its meetings. Bolton replied that “things are happening, but not because it’s the U.N.”

He explained:

This week in September is just a very convenient point, where a lot of leaders come to New York. You can do a lot of business in a short period of time without having to travel all over the world, although traffic in New York makes it feel like it takes forever to get from one place to another. But it’s less about the U.N. than it is about other forms of diplomatic business.

That said, I believe that if Hillary Clinton wins, she will do what I expected Obama to do, which is try to transfer more and more American sovereignty into international organizations across the range of issues — whether it’s climate change or the conduct of international affairs. I think Obama didn’t do as much as I expected in that vein because he really just doesn’t care about international affairs as much as he cares about ‘fundamentally transforming’ our country.

I think Hillary does have even grander ambitions, and so that’s why what we started off, the end of ICANN or the effective control of ICANN over the Internet, is an excellent example of global governance replacing American sovereignty in effect. And I think she’ll be much more on that. I hope that’s something Trump emphasizes in the upcoming debate.

Turning to last weekend’s terrorist attacks, Bolton said they were “evidence that the terrorist threat continues to increase, as senior intelligence officials of the Obama Administration itself have testified in an open session of Congress.”

“It’s a demonstration of the diversity of the sources of terrorism and the kinds of terrorism that we see,” he continued, referencing the Chelsea bomber’s evident affinity for al-Qaeda, rather than ISIS, and the Somali origins of the Minnesota mall stabber. “It doesn’t all come from Syria or Iraq in the Middle East. It comes from as far away as Somali or Afghanistan.”

“And I think it’s also a measure of the kind of terrorism, that some people want to call it ‘lone wolf’ terrorism because they’re trying to downplay its significance. But it’s not lone wolf terrorism,” Bolton argued. “We’re seeing increasingly the networks, the connections of these two terrorists. ISIS has claimed credit for the one in Minnesota. We see how the terrorist arrested in New Jersey was in communication with terrorists in Afghanistan.”

“Terrorism doesn’t look like a corporate organization chart. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, or any easier to prevent,” he warned. “I think it’s one reason what that issue is so important in the 2016 campaign, and it should be.”

Marlow brought up the nuclear threat from North Korea, saying that “half the time, I feel like this is a joke, and half the time I feel like this is one of the scariest things happening on Planet Earth.”

“Unfortunately, it’s the latter,” Bolton said, explaining that the Communist dictatorship in Pyongyang presents a real danger to the United States and its allies:

The regime has always struck most Americans as a joke. Who can believe these people who talk and look the way the Kim family dictatorship has over the years?

But serious military officials, both American and South Korea, have repeatedly ramped up their judgment of what the North is capable of, and they’ve been saying for some time now that it’s only a very short period of time before North Korea is able to take their nuclear devices — and they’ve now tested five — and miniaturize them, and put them under the nose cone of their increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles, and hit targets on the U.S. West Coast.

So the need for missile defense, at an absolute minimum — national missile defense for the United States, a program the Obama Administration gutted when they came into office, with the full support of Hillary Clinton. Dealing more effectively with North Korea, and I think trying to get more intelligence on whether and to what extent there is a connection between the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea — because these may seem like very different threats, but we know that for 20 years, if not more, they’ve cooperated on their missile programs, and I personally think there’s every reason to believe they’re cooperating on the nuclear programs as well.

We just don’t have enough information, and people don’t take this threat of the ‘Axis of Evil’ seriously enough. But if either or both of them get the capability to deliver nuclear by ballistic missile, we’ll take it seriously then.

Bolton concluded with his thoughts on the situation in Syria, where he sees the Russians and Iranians as having a “very distinct interest,” namely keeping Bashar Assad in power, while Obama’s goals and strategies remain vague and ineffective:

The ISIS threat is something that could have been dealt with a year, year and a half ago, if the Obama Administration had had a coherent foreign policy, but it doesn’t. And I think now we’re seeing continued chaos in Syria. ISIS may have lost some territory, but it’s still there, still recruiting terrorists. The Assad regime is still in place. Russian influence has increased, Iranian has increased, American influence has decreased. Really, how could it get much worse?

Muslim Brotherhood’s ties to the Obama Administration

obama-egypt-450x338-1Family Security Matters, by Slater Bakhtavar, Sept. 23, 2016:

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.”

The above is the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, and organization founded in Egypt in 1928 for the express purpose of rebuilding human civilization in a form consistent with the customs of Shariah (Islamic) law and instituting a global Muslim paradise. The group’s own original bylaws leave little for interpretation, declaring: “The Islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and the enemies of Allah as a prelude to establishing an Islamic state.” As can be expected, then, the Brotherhood has been an enemy of the free world since its inception, engaging in such malignant acts as aligning itself with the National Socialist (Nazi) party in Germany during World War II, openly committing terrorist acts on its own, and more recently, supporting other terrorist organizations such as Hamas.

By any reasonable measure, the Muslim Brotherhood should be an unambiguous enemy of any American, regardless of political stripe. That is why it’s profoundly disturbing to consider that the group has steadily risen in influence within the United States, most particularly within the Democratic party. We see this broadly in the findings of a 2014 analysis that shows Islamist campaign donations overwhelmingly favor Democratic candidates over Republicans by a ratio of 12 to 1 since 9/11, but a specific and disturbing example can be found in the person of Huma Abedin, Vice Chairwoman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and reportedly longtime personal friend of Mrs. Clinton. Through her family, Abedin has a number of troubling ties to extremist Islam in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular. Her father is known to have founded the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, an academic publication that has been called a “sharia newspaper” by some. Her mother currently runs it, and Huma herself has worked as an editor on it.

Her brother introduces further suspicions of extremist loyalties. Abedin’s shady connections to the Muslim Brotherhood – which the Democratic party never fails to frantically deny or simply ignore – run so deep that five members of Congress wrote a letter in 2012 to the State Department Inspector General, listing her suspicious associations and contending that her family affinity with Islamic extremism disqualifies her from the sort of high level security clearance that would grant her access to someone like Hillary Clinton – an important and powerful person, and possible future President of the United States.

Huma Abedin’s role in American politics first rose to prominence when she served as a top adviser to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (again, their friendship stretches back considerably). Since then, the Muslim Brotherhood has vastly strengthened its position within the US. Within that time period, the US government has reversed a standing policy against formal contact with the Brotherhood, went on channeling funds into Egypt despite the Brotherhood’s victory in post-Mubarak elections there, and hosted official Brotherhood delegations in the United States. Abedin’s level of involvement in these actions can be debated, but whether she is personally responsible or not, what is beyond question is that the Democratic party should not be coddling a known terrorist organization like this.

One would think the Democrats had learned their lesson when it comes to backing Muslim extremists. After all, that was their strategy in and immediately leading up to 1979, when they forsook the United States’ “stalwart ally” (as Ronald Reagan put it) in the Shah of Iran, effectively allowing the Islamic Revolution and the brutal, theocratic dictatorship that has followed ever since. Today Iran, once a generally friendly nation toward the United States and potential ally in the crucial Middle East, is a bitter enemy, its people strongly sympathetic to American ideals while its fundamentalist government denounces the US, and its absolute religious “Supreme Leader” works feverishly to acquire nuclear weapons.

In case it was not obvious, all of the above obviates the fact that it is in the best interests of the United States (and, ultimately, the people of the Middle East) to support secular leaders and causes. Especially in countries such as Iran and the northern part of the African continent, there are many younger and well educated people who are far less indoctrinated in the uncompromising religious dogma of the past than their elders. These are the people whom the West should be supporting, both abroad and at home – while being exquisitely careful to avoid allowing individuals like Huma Abedin to reach powerful positions within the United States.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an unambiguously dangerous organization with a shady and bloody past. It is imperative that the United States awake to the reality that this organization must be combated and avoided, not embraced, and that secular segments should be encouraged to flourish around the world – especially at home, and in the Middle East.

Slater Bakhtavar is an attorney, journalist, author and political commentator. He is author of “Iran: The Green Movement”. He has appeared on hundreds of network radio shows, including G Gordon Liddy, Crosstalk America, Les in the Morning, NPR,  Jim Bohannon Show and VOA.

Ted Cruz Endorses Donald Trump for President

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Michelle Moons, Sept. 23, 2016:

Sen. Ted Cruz has endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump for President four months after dropping out of the race for president, returning to his work in the U.S. Senate, and beginning to campaign for re-election in 2018.

A statement from Cruz read:

This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.

If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.

My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.

We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.

Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.

The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.

Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.

A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.

During the first Republican presidential primary debate, all the candidates on the stage were asked if they would support whichever candidate won the Republican nomination. Only Trump expressed at the time that he could not yet make that commitment. Cruz was on that stage. Eventually, each candidate present at the first debate made the pledge to back the Republican nominee. Cruz re-affirmed that pledge in March as the race tightened.

Trump invited Cruz to speak at the Republican National Convention in July, where Trump was officially named and accepted the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Rumors flew around the convention speculating on whether Cruz would seize the public opportunity to endorse Trump. But while Cruz congratulated Trump on winning the nomination and made several indictments of Democratic nominee-to-be Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, he stopped short of endorsing Trump, instructing those listening rather to “vote your conscience.”

That statement was made in this portion of Cruz’s RNC speech:

We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Who unite us all behind shared values. Who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody.

And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country…stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.

Also see:

Man pleads guilty to plotting to help Islamic State group behead popular conservative blogger

The Blaze, Sept. 22, 2016:

BOSTON (AP) — A man charged with plotting to help the Islamic State group pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy charges, including a plot to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller.

Nicholas Rovinski, of Warwick, Rhode Island, admitted he conspired with two Massachusetts men to kill Geller and attempted to recruit others to carry out additional violent attacks in the United States. The plots were never carried out.

Conservative blogger Pamela Geller (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Conservative blogger Pamela Geller (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

A plea agreement between Rovinski, 25, and federal prosecutors calls for a sentence of between 15 years and 22 years. Judge William Young set sentencing for March.

Rovinski, who has cerebral palsy and walks with a limp, answered softly when asked by the judge why he decided to plead guilty instead of going to trial.

“I feel that in the interest of myself and the people of the United States I should pay for the crimes that I have committed,” he said.

Prosecutors said Rovinski plotted with David Wright, of Everett, and Wright’s uncle Usaamah Rahim, of Boston, to kill Geller, who angered Muslims when she organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, in May 2015. The contest ended in gunfire, with two Muslim gunmen shot to death by police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann said Rovinski told authorities after his arrest that he, Wright and Rahim had agreed to kill Geller, who’s from New York. Siegmann said Rahim later told Wright he wanted to go after “those boys in blue,” a reference to police.

Rahim, who had been under surveillance, was shot and killed by authorities on June 2, 2015, after he lunged at them with a knife when they approached him in Boston, prosecutors said. Wright has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

Siegmann said that after Rovinski’s arrest in June 2015 he sent two letters to Wright in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, talked about beheading people and told Wright he had recruited a fellow inmate to help “take down” the East Coast and the U.S. government.

“Can’t wait for them juicy necks,” Rovinski wrote, a reference to beheadings, Siegmann said.

Geller called Rovinski a “murderous thug” and said he was right to plead guilty.

“He still deserves the maximum sentence — until he proves he is not a danger to human beings who don’t accept his beliefs,” she said.

Rovinski’s lawyer, William Fick, said Rovinski was a “vulnerable young man” who was “seduced by extremist ideology.”

“He has unequivocally renounced violence and renounced terrorism,” Fick said after the court hearing.

Siegmann said Islamic State recruiter Junaid Hussain communicated instructions about the plot to kill Geller directly to Rahim from overseas in May 2015. Hussain was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria in August 2015.

Rovinski pleaded guilty to two federal charges: conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.

Maryland imam swept up in alleged ‘conspiracy’ to commit jihad

Sebastian Gregorson, left, may have had help in purchasing an ‘arsenal’ of weapons by Maryland imam

Sebastian Gregorson, left, may have had help in purchasing an ‘arsenal’ of weapons by Maryland imam

WND, by Leo Hohmann, Sept. 23, 2016:

The FBI is widening its probe into a Detroit Muslim who investigators now suspect was conspiring with a Maryland imam to acquire military-grade weapons and commit acts of jihad on behalf of ISIS.

WND reported Aug. 30 on the alleged “arsenal” found at the home of Sebastian Gregerson, a convert to Islam who now goes by the name Abdurrahman Bin Mikaayl.

The Detroit News reported a new twist in the story Thursday, that Gregerson likely did not act alone. He allegedly had help from an imam who specializes in Shariah law. That imam, Suleiman Bengharsa of Clarksburg, Maryland, may have used donations from his mosque to help finance Gregerson’s purchase of grenades, two AK-47s, seven rifles, tactical knives, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

More than 200 pages of sealed federal court records offer new details about an FBI investigation spanning at least three states, the News reported.

The investigation started about 18 months ago but bore fruit on July 31 when Gregerson was arrested near his Detroit home after allegedly buying fragmentation grenades from an undercover FBI agent.

It is unclear whether imam Bengharsa was financing weapons purchases in other parts of the country, but WND sources, including retired Homeland Security officer Philip Haney, say this type of financing involving American mosques happens all the time.

According to Shariah law, one-eighth of all charitable donations at a mosque, called zakat, must go to fund jihad around the world, Haney told WND. And approximately 80 percent of America’s more than 3,000 mosques are financed by Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most Shariah-compliant nation in the world.

“Based on the totality of the aforementioned information and evidence, there is reason to believe that Bengharsa and Gregerson are engaged in discussions and preparations for some violent act on behalf of (the Islamic State),” an FBI agent wrote in a Jan. 7 search warrant application.

The scope, targets and number of people involved in the investigation are unclear, but the case also involves Virginia, according to the Detroit News report.

Imam Bengharsa, 59, laughed and scoffed at the FBI’s allegations, which he told the Detroit newspaper were “ridiculous.” He also denied being an ISIS supporter and dismissed the charges as a witch hunt against Muslims.

“It feels like McCarthyism,” Bengharsa told the newspaper.

“No, no, no, that is absolutely untrue,” Bengharsa added. “It might appear that way. I am an advocate of the United States and the West getting the hell out of the Middle East and the Muslim world.

“It’s ridiculous. All I can say is it’s ridiculous,” he added. “If this was the case, why haven’t they come to arrest me?”

He said he would rather go to jail than live in a country that goes the route of McCarthyism.

Haney said the imam’s comments were brazen.

“People will say, ‘Oh, Sharia doesn’t teach that.’ Well, one-eighth Muslim charitable contributions are obligated according to Shariah to go to the support of jihad, which means if this imam is gathering money up to buy hardware, like grenades and guns, then he’s doing it in accordance with Shariah. And according to the Detroit News article, he’s an expert in Shariah,” said Haney, author of the best-selling book “See Something Say Nothing.”

Promoting Shariah law in U.S.

Bengharsa is founder and director of the Islamic Jurisprudence Center, an independent legal resource center near Baltimore that promotes understanding of Shariah law.

The center has issued several fatwas, or religious edicts, including one calling supporters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations disbelievers and traitors to Allah, the News reports.

“(Islamic Jurisprudence Center) management firmly believes and propagates that Islamic law is divine law, and therefore, unequivocally superior to man-made laws,” according to the center’s website.

“He actually presents himself as a Shariah-compliant imam but he is using taqiyya, a defensive response, when questioned by the newspaper,” Haney told WND. “He responds to the allegations, saying it’s ridiculous, that it feels like McCarthyism, pushing it on us, he’s the victim, an innocent victim, and we are the oppressors.

“It’s a wonderful arrangement,” Haney added, and a favorite tactic of the Muslim Brotherhood. “Victims are never responsible for anything they do. And that’s exactly what the imam’s position is: ‘We’re not at fault, they’re persecuting us, we’re the victims.’”

The imam said “if that’s what this country has come to,” he’d rather be in jail.

“This is how bold they are now,” Haney said. “He’s throwing it in our face that he’d rather go to jail.”

The imam is clearly well schooled in how to deploy classic Islamic deception while living in a non-Islamic society, Haney said.

There’s a passage, Quran 8:60, that Haney points to. It says, “prepare to strongly terrorize your enemy.”

That word “prepare” is also a main tenet of the Brotherhood.

Bengharsa has not been charged with a crime during the investigation, which is ongoing.

“In the real world, evidence matters,” former FBI counter-terrorism specialist John Guandolo told WND.

“Yet another Islamic leader is found to be directly involved with jihad on behalf of some named jihadi group, all for the sake of Islam,” said Guandolo, founder of the website UnderstandingTheThreat.com. “He joins the ranks of Alamoudi, Awlaki, and so many others. And he does it all while laughing at us and throwing ‘McCarthyism’ in our face. Our leaders will probably apologize to him for executing the legal search warrant based on facts.”

Search warrant affidavits that revealed the focus on the imam were briefly unsealed in federal court in Detroit this week and obtained by The News before a federal magistrate resealed them.

The affidavits show that FBI counterterrorism agents have spent months analyzing bank records, social media accounts, phone records, emails and messages involving Gregerson, 29, and the imam.

American convert supports ISIS

As WND reported last month, Gregerson is an Islamic State supporter who allegedly told undercover FBI agents that he fantasized about killing local Muslim religious leaders and others.

Detroiter Sebastian Gregerson, aka Abdurrahman Bin Mikaayl

Detroiter Sebastian Gregerson, aka Abdurrahman Bin Mikaayl

Gregerson is being held without bond and faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of the weapons charges. He has not been charged with a terror-related crime amid the ongoing investigation.

FBI agents likely are investigating whether the imam bankrolled weapons purchases for anyone else and if there are plans underway for attacks, Peter Henning, a Wayne State University law professor and former federal prosecutor, told the News.

Gregerson grew up near Ann Arbor and converted to Islam after high school. He is married, the father of 4-year-old twins and, until his arrest, worked retail at a Target store.

Gregerson and the imam met about five years ago in Maryland, the FBI alleges.

“Suleiman Bengharsa is the former imam of a mosque Gregerson attended while living in Maryland,” an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit.

Gregerson lived in Windsor Mill, Maryland, from 2011 to 2014.

During that time, Bengharsa was imam at the Masjid Umar mosque in Woodlawn – less than three miles from Gregerson’s apartment – according to the imam’s LinkedIn page, the News reports.

By 2015, Gregerson had moved to Detroit and started amassing tactical knives, according to the FBI.

“(Islamic State) members have used knives that appear similar to those purchased by Gregerson in beheadings, such as those seen in the videos of ‘Jihadi John’ beheading western hostages,” an FBI agent wrote in one search warrant affidavit.

“The nature of Gregerson’s purchases roughly correlate with instructions given by (the Islamic State) to individuals living in Western countries on how to prepare to commit violent jihad in those countries,” the FBI agent wrote in a filing.

The FBI subpoenaed Gregerson’s phone records and learned he was in frequent phone contact with Bengharsa while amassing the arsenal.

Bank records obtained by the FBI showed the imam wrote a $1,300 check to Gregerson on June 24, 2015.

In the memo line on the check was the word “zakat,” a word referring to the Muslim obligation to give charity, according to the FBI.

Gregerson cashed the check days later and deposited $800 in his checking account, the FBI said.

“This is a very typical event,” Haney told WND. “You see this type of thing going on in many places around the world, where you see Islamic leaders or imams providing leadership, counsel, guidance, to members of the Islamic community. And one of the ways to become a better Muslim is to follow Shariah law.

“Violence is but one part of a spectrum of tactics used explicitly for the implementation of Shariah law; it’s a tactic. What you’re looking at in this story is a tactic for the ultimate implementation of Shariah law.”

Hungarian PM: Deport Millions of Migrants To Remote Island

Sean Gallup/Getty

Sean Gallup/Getty

Breitbart, by Chris Tomlinson, Sept. 23, 2016:

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has railed against the political establishment’s migrant policy, calling for the deportation of over a million migrants from the European Union (EU).

Regularly at odds with EU leaders in Western Europe, the Hungarian Prime Minister has said that the political bloc needs to consider deporting over a million migrants who flooded into Europe over the last year, reports Spiegel Online.

All who have come illegally should be picked up and taken away,” Mr. Orbán told Hungarian media. After securing the borders of his own country, Mr. Orbán is taking his secure border ideology to the rest of the EU, targeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy.

Mr. Orbán said that he didn’t want to see migrant camps set up within the borders of the EU but rather the bloc should create migrant camps on islands or on the North African coast. He proposed that the camps should be financed by EU member states, where all migrant claims could be rigorously scrutinised before those designated as ‘refugees’ are allowed into the bloc.

The lack of background checks has led to radical Islamic extremists, including members of Islamic State, being admitted into the EU. So-called ‘refugees’ have gone on to commit acts of terror in Paris, Brussels, and several cities in Germany.  Law enforcement officials have been alarmed by the scale of the network of Islamic State-linked fighters who were able to walk into Europe thanks to the migrant crisis.

Processing migrants offshore is a system that Australia has practised for years and has been proposed by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz for incoming migrants. Mr. Orbán’s idea to remove existing migrants from Germany and elsewhere and place them overseas is a more radical version of the plan.

These comments come less than two weeks before the Hungarian people vote in a referendum on whether or not to accept any migrants into Hungary as part of the EU’s proposed migrant redistribution policy. Mr. Orbán hopes that the people will vote to not allow migrants to be sent from Western Europe to Hungary, and polls show that the Hungarian people strongly support his tough stance.

Earlier this week Mr. Orbán’s spokesman Zoltan Kovacs spoke in Brussels and attacked the so-called “migrant helpers” who drive many migrants out of Hungary and across the borders to Austria and Germany, calling them organised criminals. Mr. Kovacs also noted that if the government won the referendum, the EU could expect even tougher migrant laws to be passed in the Central European nation.

France: The Great Wall of Calais

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, September 23, 2016:

  • Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph.
  • In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles.
  • “Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe.” — David Sagnard, president of France’s truck drivers’ federation.
  • “They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. … They can easily find work outside the formal economy…” — Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais.
  • “The asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in… they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not.” — James Glenday, ABC News.

Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain.

Dubbed “The Great Wall of Calais,” the concrete barrier — one kilometer (half a mile) long and four meters (13 feet) high on both sides of the two-lane highway approaching the harbor — will pass within a few hundred meters of a sprawling shanty town known as “The Jungle.”

The squalid camp now houses more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are trying to reach Britain. The migrants at the camp are mostly from Sudan (45%), Afghanistan (30%), Pakistan (7%), Eritrea (6%) and Syria (1%), according to a recent census conducted by aid agencies.

Construction of the wall — which will cost British taxpayers £2 million (€2.3 million; $2.6 million) and is due to be completed by the end of 2016 — comes amid a surge in the number of migrants from the camp trying to reach Britain.

Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by theTelegraph. This amounts to more than 10,000 so-called “lorry drops” — when illegal migrants hiding in the back of trucks jump out after reaching the UK — this year.

In 2015-16, more than 84,000 migrants were caught attempting illegally to enter Britain from the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, according to Home Office figures cited by the Guardian. On just one day, December 17, 2015, around 1,000 migrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain. Police, who used tear gas to disperse them, said the number seeking to cross the Channel in a single day was “unprecedented.” Many of the migrants who are turned away move to “The Jungle” and try over and over again.

Migrants at the camp have been using felled trees and gas canisters to create makeshift roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain. When the trucks come to a stop, migrants climb aboard to stow away as the vehicles head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.

UK-bound migrants are building up to 30 barricades a night to stop vehicles travelling through Calais, according to French officials. Teams of traffic police now spend every night trying to keep the roads around Calais clear of migrants and their debris.

In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, has described the main route to the port as a “no-go area” between midnight and 6am.

Hundreds of migrants roam the highway near Calais, France, trying to stop trucks headed for Britain, in an attempt to stow away on board. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Xavier Delebarre, who is in charge of France’s northern road network, said the migrants have “tools, electric chainsaws that can be bought anywhere for fifteen euros.” He added:

“There is a strategy in their concerted attacks. They launch simultaneous assaults, and also diversions. Migrants build barricades by piling different materials on the road, including branches, as well as mattresses and trash. They set it on fire, and then put gas cylinders in the fire, which is very worrying. They create traffic jams to storm the trucks, so they can board them to try to get to England.”

On September 5, hundreds of French truck drivers and farmers (who complain that fields around the migrant camp are full of rubbish and human excrement) blocked off the main route in and out of Calais, in an attempt to pressure the French government to close “The Jungle.” The blockage brought to a standstill the route used by trucks from all over Europe to reach Calais and Britain.

Antoine Ravisse, president of the Grand Rassemblement du Calaisis, a coalition of local businesses, said the protesters wanted assurances from the French government that the roads in Calais will be made safe again. He said:

“The main image of Calais today in the newspaper and on TV is very negative, all about the migrants and attacks on the highway. The first point is we want the highways safe again. It’s unacceptable that today in France you can’t travel without fear and without the certainty that you won’t be attacked.

“We apologize to our British friends — our economy depends very much on the business we do with England. We apologize to all the families but some of them have experienced very bad times and dangerous times and they will agree it can’t go on.

“We are standing here and we will wait until we hear something back from the government. We are not moving until we hear from the government.”

David Sagnard, president of FNTR national truck drivers’ federation, said:

“We have to do this. We have to escalate things, because for months now the situation has been getting worse and worse. Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe.”

The problems in Calais are a source of increasing tension between France and Britain.

The Treaty of Le Touquet, signed between France and Britain in 2003, allows for so-called juxtaposed controls, meaning that immigration checks are carried out before people board trains or ferries, rather than upon their arrival after disembarkation. France, for example, maintains an immigration checkpoint at the Port of Dover in Britain to check the passports of all travelers bound for France.

Conversely, British border police check the passports of UK-bound travelers at checkpoints at Calais and Dunkirk. Travelers without proper documentation are removed from cars, trucks, ferries and trains and left behind in France. Migrants denied entry into Britain can apply for asylum in France or go elsewhere.

Some French politicians are blaming Britain for the problems in Calais. Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said Britain’s “black market economy” and “cushy benefits system” were responsible for drawing migrants to her town. She said:

“They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. There are no ID cards. They can easily find work outside the formal economy, which is not really controlled.

“Calais is a hostage to the British. The migrants come here to get to Britain. The situation here is barely manageable. The UK border should be moved from Calais to the English side of the Channel because we’re not here to do their jobs.”

Xavier Bertrand, president of the Calais region, said: “It’s all England’s fault. The main reason we have so many problems is because of the English. Either they change their rules, or we hand them back their border.”

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is a candidate for presidential in elections in 2017, has said the Le Touquet treaty should be renegotiated and that Britain should be required to process asylum claims in the UK. During a campaign speech, he said:

“I demand the opening of an asylum processing center in Britain for those who are in Calais, so that the British do the work there. The British should organize charter flights to send home people they do not want.”

It was Sarkozy himself who signed the treaty with Britain in 2003 when he was the French interior minister.

By contrast, British authorities view “The Jungle” as primarily a French problem. In the words of correspondent James Glenday:

“Firstly, the camp is in France…. Secondly, the asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in. Lastly, they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not.”

A European law known as the Dublin Regulation requires anyone seeking asylum in the European Union to do so in the first EU country they reach. In other words, according to EU law, French authorities should send most of the migrants in Calais back to Italy or Greece, where they first entered the EU, rather than to Britain.

The Dublin Regulation, however, has been in disarray since August 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel suspended the requirement for asylum seekers from Syria. The move, which allowed Syrians reaching Germany to stay while their applications are being processed, has resulted in a collapse of the EU’s refugee system — and has encouraged even more migrants to make their way to Germany.

Authorities in France are worried that any changes to the Le Touquet treaty could attract thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of additional migrants to Calais. This would play into the hands of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration National Front party, and one of the most popular politicians in France.

A recent poll showed that if the French presidential election were held today, Le Pen would win the first round with 29%, compared to 20% for Sarkozy and 11% for the incumbent, French President François Hollande.

Not surprisingly, Hollande has ruled out making changes to the Le Touquet treaty. He has also said that the decision by British voters to leave the EU will have no bearing on the treaty, which is a bilateral agreement. He said:

“Challenging the Le Touquet agreement on the pretext that the UK passed the Brexit does not make sense. What should perhaps be seen is how the UK and France could better work together to improve the situation of these immigrants.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve recently pledged to dismantle “The Jungle” with the “greatest determination.” Migrants at the camp are to be relocated throughout the rest of France.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Is Obama’s ‘Narrative Battle’ with ISIS or Reality?

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Sept. 23, 2016:

According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight—a narrative fight with them. A narrative battle.”  Earnest said this the day after two separate bombings occurred in New York, and an ISIS-linked Muslim went on a stabbing spree in Minnesota.  Obama’ spokesman later elaborated:

What is important in the context of political debate is to remember ISIL is trying to assert a narrative, that they represent the religion of Islam in a war against the west and in a war against the United States. That is mythology. That is falsehood. That is not true. That is bankrupt ideology they are trying to wrap in the cloak of Islam.

This, of course, is a strawman argument: the real question isn’t whether ISIS “represents” Islam, but whether ISIS is a byproduct of Islam.  And this question can easily be answered by looking not to ISIS but Islam.  One can point to Islamic doctrines that unequivocally justify ISIS behavior; one can point to the whole of Islamic history, nearly 14 centuries of ISIS precedents.

Or, if these two options are deemed too abstract, one can simply point to the fact that everyday Muslims all around the world are behaving just like ISIS.

For example, Muslims—of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, in Arab, African, Central and East Asian nations—claim the lions’ share of Christian persecution; 41 of the 50 worst nations to be Christian in are Islamic.  In these countries, Muslim individuals, mobs, clerics, politicians, police, soldiers, judges, even family members—none of whom are affiliated with ISIS (other than by religion)—abuse and sometimes slaughter Christians, abduct, enslave and rape their women and children, ban or bomb churches, and kill blasphemers and apostates.

Anyone who doubts this can access my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” reports and review the nonstop persecution and carnage committed by “everyday” Muslims—not ISIS—against Christians.  Each monthly report (there are currently 60, stretching back to July 2011) contains dozens of atrocities, most of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive nonstop media coverage in America.

Or consider a Pew poll which found that, in 11 countries alone, at least 63 million and as many as 287 million Muslims support ISIS.  Similarly, 81% of respondents to an Arabic language Al Jazeera poll supported the Islamic State.

Do all these hundreds of millions of Muslims support the Islamic State because they’ve been suckered into its “narrative”—or even more silly, because we have—or do they support ISIS because it reflects the same supremacist Islam that they know and practice, one that preaches hate and violence for all infidels, as America’s good friends and allies, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar—not ISIS—are on record proclaiming?

It is this phenomenon, that Muslims the world over—and not just this or that terrorist group that “has nothing to do with Islam”—are exhibiting hostility for and terrorizing non-Muslims that the Obama administration and its mainstream media allies are committed to suppressing.  Otherwise the unthinkable could happen: people might connect the dots and understand that ISIS isn’t mangling Islam but rather Islam is mangling the minds of Muslims all over the world.

Hence why White House spokesman Josh Earnest can adamantly dismiss 14 centuries of Islamic history, doctrine, and behavior that mirrors ISIS: “That is mythology. That is falsehood. That is not true.” Hence why U.S. media coverage for one dead gorilla was six times greater than media coverage for 21 Christians whose heads were carved off for refusing to recant their faith.

The powers-that-be prefer that the debate—the “narrative”—be restricted to ISIS, so that the group appears as an aberration to Islam.  Acknowledging that untold millions of Muslims are engaged in similar behavior leads to a much more troubling narrative with vast implications.

Even so, until this ugly truth is accepted, countless more innocents—including born Muslims who seek to break free from Islam—will continue to suffer.