New White House Counterterrorism Strategy Singles Out ‘Radical Islamists’

National Security Adviser John Bolton / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, October 4, 2018:

The Trump administration is implementing a new, government-wide counterterrorism strategy that places renewed focus on combatting “radical Islamic terrorist groups,” marking a significant departure from the Obama administration, which implemented a series of policies aimed at deemphasizing the threat of Islamic terror groups.

In releasing the first national counterterrorism strategy since 2011, the Trump administration is working to take a drastically different approach than that of the former administration, according to senior U.S. officials.

While the Obama administration sought to dampen the United States’ focus on Islamic terror threats, the Trump administration has made this battle the centerpiece of its new strategy.

National Security Adviser John Bolton acknowledged in remarks to reporters Thursday afternoon that the new strategy is “a departure” from the former administration’s strategy, which has been characterized as a failure by Republican foreign policy voices due to the increasing number of domestic terror attacks and plots across the United States

“Radical Islamist terrorist groups represent the preeminent transnational terrorist threat to the United States, and to United States’ interests abroad,” Bolton said.

“The fact is the radical Islamic threat that we face is a form of ideology,” Bolton said. “This should not be anything new to anybody. King Abdullah of Jordan has frequently described the terrorist threat as a civil war within Islam that Muslims around the world recognize, and he is, after all, a direct descendent of the Sharif [inaudible], the keepers of the holy cities. If that’s how King Abdullah views it, I don’t think anybody should be surprised we see it as a kind of war, as well.”

“One may hope that the ideological fervor disappears, but sad to report, it remains strong all around the world, and even with the defeat of the ISIS territorial caliphate, we see the threat spreading to other countries,” Bolton added.

The Trump administration strategy also shifts the focus to Iran, characterizing the country as the foremost state sponsor of terror across the globe.

“The United States faces terrorist threats from Iran, which remains the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism that, really, the world’s central banker of international terrorism since 1979,” Bolton said. “And from other terrorist groups. Iran-sponsored terrorist groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic jihad, continue to pose a threat to the United States and our interests.”

The focus on Iran also represents a striking departure from the Obama administration’s strategy, which sought to moderate Iran via the landmark nuclear deal and other diplomacy aimed at rewarding the Islamic Republic for moderation efforts.

The United States will also take greater steps to pursue “terrorists at their source” by destroying them militarily, as well as with international sanctions aimed at choking off their funding.

Additionally, it focuses on “protecting U.S. infrastructure and enhancing preparedness, countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment and strengthening the counterterrorism abilities of our international partners,” according to the White House.

President Trump, in discussing the new strategy, also emphasized efforts to counter Iran.

“I ended United States participation in the horrible Iran deal, which had provided a windfall for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies, funding Iran’s malign activities throughout the world,” Trump said.

In outlining what it calls “a new approach,” the White House said it would actively combat “all terrorists with the intent and ability to harm our country.” This includes both a military prong and other efforts to counter the spread of radical ideologies.

“America First does not mean America alone,” the White House said in a preview of the full strategy guide. “The new strategy commits us to expand our partnerships at home and abroad to encourage partners’ assistance in counterterrorism activities,” including with NATO and other allies.

4 thoughts on “New White House Counterterrorism Strategy Singles Out ‘Radical Islamists’

  1. The biggest mistake us ‘infidels’ can make is to think there is a radical islam and a non-radical islam. This is a falsehood straight from Satan. The muslim/islamic people group follow a book called the Quran. The Quran outlines and gives in minute detail every aspect of how they are to live. That is their governing structure. Their religious structure. Their social structure. Their economic structure. Their everything. All either abide by this doctrine or they will be killed. Yes, they even kill their own if they decide someone is not talking, walking, looking, eating, breathing or snoring appropriately. This people group is evil to the core.

  2. Why did they forget the Muslim Brotherhood and their “Civilization-Jihadist Process” plan dated May 22, 1991? We must break the stranglehold our politically correct media has on us along with the wimps in our government that prevents them from addressing one of the largest NATIONAL SECURITY issues in the history of the United States. Islam and Shariah/Islamic law!
    Our USELESS politicians in BOTH political parties have been kicking this can down the road for over 232 years now and we will be destroyed if the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act” is not fully debated! Take time to read a letter written by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, March 28, 1786. Here is quote: “The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every musselman [muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
    This statement was a part of a March 28, 1786, letter from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, the United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Continental Congress, concerning their conversation with Tripoli’s to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman as to why his pirates/terrorists hijacked our merchant ships, stole the ships and cargo while holding the sailors for ransom. (Source: Founders Online: http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-09-02-0315

    • Don’t worry, this is laying the groundwork for going after both Sunni and Shiite jihadists. Policy set at the top informs all actions. It just takes time. There’s a lot going on and it’s amazing that Trump is accomplishing as much as he is with the incredible resistance to his agenda.

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