The Son of the Man who Put the Saud in Saudi Arabia

by Mark Steyn
Ave atque vale
July 18, 2017

I see that Prince Abdul-Rahman bin Abdulaziz al Saud died the other day. If you’re having trouble keeping track of your Saudi princes, well, I don’t blame you. Unlike the closely held princely titles of the House of Windsor, the House of Saud is somewhat promiscuous with the designation: there are (at the time of writing) over 10,000 Saudi “princes” running around the country – and, in fact, at this time of year, more likely running around Mayfair and the French Riviera, exhausting the poor old blondes from the escort agencies. I believe that’s Abdul-Rahman at right, although to be honest all Saudi princes look alike to me, except that some wear white and others look very fetching in gingham. As I once remarked to Sheikh Ghazi al-Ghosaibi, the late cabinet minister, he was the only Saudi I knew who wasn’t a prince.

Abdul-Rahman was a longtime Deputy Defense Minister, whose catering company, by happy coincidence, held the catering contract for the Defense Ministry. The first Saudi prince to be educated in the west, he was a bit of a cranky curmudgeon in later years, mainly because of changes to the Saudi succession that eliminated any possibility of him taking the throne. But he nevertheless held a privileged place as the son of Ibn Saud, the man who founded the “nation” and stapled his name to it. When I say “the son”, I mean a son: Ibn Saud had approximately 100 kids, the first born in 1900, the last over half-a-century later, in 1952, a few months before ol’ Poppa Saud traded in siring for expiring.

Abdul-Rahman’s mother was said to be Ibn Saud’s favorite among his 22 wives – or, at any rate, one of the favorites. Top Five certainly. She also had the highest status, because she bore him more boys – seven – than any other other missus. They’re known as the Sudairi Seven or, alternatively, the Magnificent Seven. She also gave him seven daughters. They’re known as the seven blackout curtains standing over in the corner. This splendidly fertile lady’s name was Hussa bint Ahmed, and she was Ibn Saud’s cousin once removed and then, if I’m counting correctly, his eighth wife. But she’s a bit like the Grover Cleveland of the House of Saud – in that he’s counted as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, and she’s the eighth wife and also either the tenth or eleventh. He first married her when he was 38 and she was 13. But he divorced her and then remarried her. In between their marriages she was married to his brother, but Ibn Saud was a sentimental lad and never got over his child-bride-turned-sister-in-law, so he ordered his brother to divorce her.

Don’t worry, though: In the House of Saud, it’s happy endings all round. Two of their daughters wound up marrying two of the sons of another brother of Ibn Saud. The Saudi version of Genealogy.com must be a hoot: “Hey, thanks for the DNA sample. You’re 53.8 per cent first cousin, and 46.2 per cent uncle.”

Anyway, all this Saudomy reminded me that on The Mark Steyn Show back in January I offered a few thoughts on Ibn Saud’s establishment of his alleged kingdom. This is the first time this has been aired in the wider world, so give it a click and see what you think:

Also see:

Incitement Over Temple Mount Spurs Continuing Clashes Between Palestinians, Israeli Police

[Photo: The Telegraph / YouTube ]

The Tower, July  21, 2017:

Violent clashes erupted in Jerusalem on Friday between Israeli police and thousands of Palestinians who protested the installation of metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount, following days of incitement by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Authority.

Three Palestinians were reported killed in the rioting.

The upgraded Israeli security measures were introduced in direct response to the deadly terrorist attack carried out by three Arab Israelis just outside the compound on July 14, in which two Israeli officers were killed. The terrorists used guns that had been smuggled into the al-Aqsa Mosque.

While searching the area after the lethal shooting, authorities reportedly found a stockpile of weapons, including knives, slingshots, cudgels, spikes, inciting material, unexploded munitions, stun grenades, and binoculars.

The decision to install metal detectors was met with opposition by Palestinian leaders and parts of the Muslim world, who accused Israel of upsetting the status quo. However, at all of the four entrances to the Western Wall Plaza, visitors are required to walk through a metal detector and place their bags in an x-ray machine to ensure that they are not carrying any weapons.

Tight security is a matter that has become routine in holy places because of terrorism. The Saudi government installed metal and explosives detectors at the Holy Mosque in Mecca in 2011. The UAE set up metal detectors in mosques in 2015 and they can also be found at the Vatican.

The United States has supported the Israeli position throughout the last week and has continued to make efforts to calm the situation. “The attack forced the government of Israel to temporarily close the Temple Mount to conduct its investigation,” the White House said in a statement, adding “We urge all leaders and people of good faith to be understanding as this process proceeds and reaches its conclusion.”

Meanwhile, the Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called for a “Day of Rage” on Wednesday and continued to call for “rage for al-Asqa” on Friday.

The Times of Israel reported Sunday that the Waqf—the Islamic trust that administers the Temple Mount—sent people to pray in the streets and led the opposition to the metal detectors, enforcing a strict no-prayer rule until the devices are removed. The paper also speculated that Waqf officials knew in advance that metal detectors now stood at the gate and used the large media turnout to stage a made-for-TV protest. Citing Israel’s Channel 2, The Times of Israel reported that only 150 Muslims passed through the metal detectors to pray on the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount—the holiest site in Judaism and third holiest in Islam—has long been used as a subject of incitement against Jews by officials and hate preachers. President Abbas promised in 2015 not to allow Jews’ “filthy feet” on Temple Mount. A teacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque school once described Jews who visit the area “monkeys and pigs.” And numerous hate preachers have called “to annihilate the Jews” and implored their followers to “slaughter Jews.”

Palestinian leaders often declare that al-Aqsa is in danger, an accusation that predates the founding of Israel.

In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2015, Washington Institute for Near East Policy distinguished fellow David Makovsky explained:

Sadly, the charge that Israel is out to destroy the mosque is not new. This claim was made in 1929, resulting in riots in Hebron that killed 63 people. More recently, fatal violence surrounding the Temple Mount occurred in 1991 (20 killed), 1996 (87 killed), 2000 (153 killed within the first month of violence), and 2014 (9 killed).

Also see:

‘JUSTINE DIDN’T HAVE TO DIE’

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau

WND, by Leo Hohmann, July 21, 2017:

A day before submitting her resignation, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, in her first public statement on the killing nearly a week ago of an unarmed woman by a Somali refugee cop, called her death “unnecessary” and said it went against the protocol and training given to her officers.

“Justine [Damond] didn’t have to die,” Harteau, the city’s first openly lesbian police chief, said at a press conference Thursday night. Harteau had been hiking in Colorado all week in the aftermath of the shooting.

Harteau said based on current information about the case, there was no justification for officer Mohamed Noor’s decision to shoot Damond, a 40-year-old bride-to-be and yoga instructor who had moved to the U.S. from Australia to be with her fiancée.

Harteau submitted her resignation Friday in the wake of the fatal shooting at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges, according to a statement from the city.

Noor is one of about half a dozen Somali-Americans on the Minneapolis police force and he was the first such hire in the 5th precinct [Minneapolis has the nation’s largest community of Somali refugees].

He has been with the department two years and in that time had already been the subject of two complaints and one lawsuit brought by a woman who alleged he brutalized her.

See WND’s previous report revealing how Mohamed Noor was hired as part of the city’s ‘diversity’ program.

Noor reportedly told friends he heard a “loud noise” as he and his partner pulled into an alleyway where Damond had summoned them via a 9-1-1 call in which she tried to report a sexual assault in progress. If that story is true, the noise startled Noor, causing him to fire his weapon across his partner, who was driving, through the car window, striking Damond once in the abdomen. She died at the scene.

The shooting by Noor remains under investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but Harteau said the officers involved should have turned on their body cameras. She characterized the shooting as “one individual’s actions” and not reflective of the department.

Watch video of the police chief’s full statement.

Noor has refused to talk with police investigators since the July 15 incident.

Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said Harteau was right to come out and admit the shooting was totally unnecessary, but she must probe further and make sure no stone is left unturned in investigating Noor, including his background and training.

“Finally the female chief of Minneapolis police came out and said Justine Damond should still be alive. She said Mohammad Noor had no reason to shoot Justine,” Bachmann told WND. “He violated police policy and training. Noor refuses to cooperate with investigators. He refuses to give a statement.

“Firing him isn’t enough, the question is whether a grand jury will be impaneled. Manslaughter charges should be considered,” she added.

Mohamed Noor, from a Somali refugee family, pictured with family.

“Again, will the prosecutor and police department work to determine whether this was in fact a hate crime. Clearly it wasn’t premeditated, but was it a gut reaction of Mohammad Noor resulting from his cultural beliefs? What mosque did he attend? What are his beliefs?”

The Minneapolis police earlier this week released a tape of the 9-1-1 call by Damond that only adds to the mystery of why a trained police officer would shoot an unarmed woman in her pajamas through the window of his squad car?

Even more perplexing, if it truly was a case of an officer being “surprised” and rattled by a supposed “loud noise” outside the car about the same time that Damond appeared, why has officer Mohamed Noor refused to talk to detectives, referring all questions to his lawyer?

That has prompted critics such as Robert Spencer to ask in a tweet:

As noted by a media outlet in Damond’s native Australia, the 9-1-1 tape reveals a “critical missing two minutes.”

A timeline pieced together through the bride-to-be’s 911 calls and a newly released police incident report shows Damond was shot two minutes after police officers arrived at the alleyway behind her home.

“What it doesn’t explain is what happened in those two crucial minutes that prompted officer Mohamed Noor to draw his gun, reach over his partner and discharge his weapon through the open window, delivering a fatal shot to Ms Damond’s abdomen,” reports News.com.au, an Australian outlet.

The incident report shows officers arrived 12 minutes after the concerned resident’s initial 911 call at 11.39 p.m. when she reported a suspected sexual assault in progress in the alley.

The officers gave no indication that any dire situation was transpiring. Everything was under control, no call for back up.

Two minutes later, the female caller was dead.

Officers reported shots had been fired, they had ‘one down,” and emergency back-up was definitely needed.

A timeline of the calls and police response, compliments of News.com.au, follows:

11.27 p.m.: First 911 call. Ms Damond reports she hears a woman “having sex or being raped” in the alley behind her home on 51st St and Washburn Ave. The operator says they have “already got an officer on the way.”

“What is your name?” the officer asks.

“JUSTINE.”

11.35 pm: Second 911 call. Damond calls emergency services again saying no one has arrived and checks if officers got the address wrong. “Are you JUSTINE?” the operator asks. “You’re hearing a female screaming?”

Damond confirms and is told “officers are on the way there”.

11.39 pm: Police arrive. A squad car, driven by officer Matthew Harrity with officer Mohamed Noor in the passenger seat, arrive at the address. The officers report on police radio the incident is a “Code four,” meaning no back up is required.

11.41 pm: Shooting reported. The situation has completely changed. Officers call for back up requesting a police, fire and emergency response. The incident report notes at this time: “ONE DOWN… STARTING CPR.”

Police radio transcript from the time shows officers reported: “Shots fired at Washburn and 53rd Street. Correction 51st. Sergeant to acknowledge shots fired and one down at Washburn.”

11.46 pm: Police radio in to confirm there are “no suspects at large.”

11.49 pm: Incident report shows police “have been doing CPR for last four minutes.” “Two additional police units have arrived on the scene.”

Trump State Dept Unsure Why Palestinian Terrorists Kill Israelis

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, July 21, 2017:

Officials in the Trump administration’s State Department are standing by a recent report criticized by Congress that blamed Israel for terror attacks and claimed Palestinians rarely incite violence, telling the Washington Free Beacon that it remains unclear why terrorists engage in violent acts.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, criticized the State Department Thursday for releasing a report portraying Israel as the culprit in terrorism and downplaying Palestinian incitement of violent acts against the Jewish state, the Free Beacon first reported.

Roskam demanded the State Department alter its report to bring it more in line with what he believes are the facts on the ground—that Palestinian leaders routinely incite violence against Israel, which has been forced to defend itself against a growing wave of terror attacks on Jewish citizens.

A State Department official, speaking on background, defended the report’s conclusions and said that it cannot precisely pinpoint the motivations behind Palestinian terror attacks on Israel.

“We recognize that in any community, a combination of risk factors can come together to create a higher risk of radicalization to violence,” the official said. “There is no one single pathway to violence—each individual’s path to terrorism is personalized, with certain commonalities. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint precisely what the sources of radicalization to violence are. What could drive someone to violence in one instance could vary significantly with someone else who is similarly situated.”

The State Department’s response prompted a fierce backlash among U.S. officials and Trump administration insiders, who said the State Department under the leadership of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has gone rogue and is out of line with the White House’s position on a range of sensitive diplomatic issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

Sources pointed to the administration going into damage control mode last week after State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert stated during a press briefing that the U.S. was “upgrading” its diplomatic standing with the Palestinians, a declaration that came as a surprise to those in the White House.

The report singling out Israel is another clear example of the State Department pursuing policies that are well out of line with the White House’s stated agenda, which the sources said has been pro-Israel. One source who advises the White House Middle East policy described the State Department’s explanation to the Free Beacon as “spectacular bull—t.”

“The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism,” Roskam wrote in a letter sent Thursday to the State Department. “This report wrongly insinuates Israeli security measures on the Temple Mount and a stalled peace process as key forces behind terrorism.”

The officials additionally maintained that Israel remains one of America’s “closest counterterrorism partners,” and that it continues to work closely with the Jewish state to combat threats from ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah.

“Most egregiously,” Roskam wrote in his letter calling out the report, the State Department’s finding portray “the PA as innocent peacemakers far removed from being the source of terrorist activity.”

The State Department’s defense came just hours after three Israelis were killed and another severely wounded following a terror attack by a Palestinian terrorist that was described in the press as the “worst bloodshed” in years.

The official maintained that there is “no justification for any acts of terrorism,” but said the section of the report focusing on Israel is meant to help U.S. officials understand regional tensions.

“This section of the report—which is based on input from our embassies around the world—is intended to inform our efforts to counter radicalization to violence, and to better understand what might be assessed as motivations that could drive individuals towards violence,” the official said. “But this is not intended in any way to condone these acts or to justify them. As we said, there is no justification for any act of terrorism.”

The State Department would not specifically address Roskam’s concerns about the factual inaccuracies surrounding the report’s claims that Israel is to be blamed for terrorism, as well as its claim that Palestinian calls for violence against Israel are “rare” and not tolerated by Palestinian Authority leadership.

“Explicit calls for violence against Israelis, direct exhortations against Jews, and categorical denials by the [Palestinian Authority] of the possibility of peace with Israel are rare and the leadership does not generally tolerate it,” the original report stated.

Roskam called this characterization “demonstrably false,” citing multiple instances in which Palestinian officials and state-sanctioned media organs promote violence, terrorism, and attacks against Israel and Jews.

Multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon, including Trump administration insiders and senior Congressional officials, expressed shock at the State Department’s response to Roskam’s letter and cited it as proof that Tillerson department is dramatically departing from the White House’s own policy on these matters.

“Palestinians hate and kill Israelis because they’re taught from a very young age to hate and kill Jews,” one veteran Middle East expert who advises the White House on Israel policy said. “Of course the Obama administration never liked to admit that, but everyone around President Trump understands it.”

Officials appointed by the Obama administration still work in key State Department positions, the source noted.

“The problem is that the Obama team spent eight years filling the State Department with career staffers who think exactly like they think, and those people are still running things,” the source said. “Some really good people have tried to clean house, but every time anything got going Tillerson went to the president personally to protect the Obama holdovers. So they feel safe producing this kind of mind-numbing nonsense and sending it to Congress.”

One senior Congressional official who works on the Middle East situation expressed shock at the State Department’s defense of its report and subsequent claims about the unknown source of terror against Israel.

“Chalking up Palestinian terrorism to anything other than deep-seated anti-Semitism is not only disgraceful, but a reinvention of history,” the source said. “Palestinians are brainwashed by their governments from birth to hate Jews and celebrate suicide bombers. Countering terrorism against Israelis first and foremost requires clarity, which the State Department evidently lacks.”

The source slammed the State Department from departing from clear policy positions outlined by President Donald Trump and the White House.

“This is not what the American people voted for when they elected President Trump, and they deserve better,” the source said. “Members of Congress and the hardworking citizens they represent will not tolerate this nonsense.”

A second source, also a senior congressional official intimately involved in the issue, said the sources of Palestinian radicalization are well established.

“Money, fame, and education are the driving factors here, let’s not kid ourselves,” the source said. “We’re dealing with a community whose government openly lauds child murderers as national heroes and rewards terrorists with large sums of cash. Our State Department needs to focus on combating the PA’s heinous policies instead of praising terrorist-supporters and philosophizing incoherently about the sources of radicalization.”

Also see:

Can Ayaan Hirsi Ali Liberate Islam from Islamism?

Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, PhD, Jul 20th, 2017

“Dawa is to the Islamists of today what the ‘long march through the institutions’ was to twentieth-century Marxists,” writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her latest monographThe Challenge of Dawa:  Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It.  In it the Somali-born political activist accurately analyzes the threat of, and necessary response to, Islam’s faith-based political ideology, yet the feasibility of her desire to reform this “Islamism” out of Islam is questionable.

Analyzing dawa’s call to Islam, Ali calls for a “paradigm shift that recognizes how violent jihad is intertwined with the ideological infrastructure of dawa,” the “subversive, indoctrinating precursor to jihad.”  Reflecting a commonplace myopic focus on jihadists, President George W. Bush “often referred to a ‘war on terror,’ but terror is a tactic that can be used for a variety of ideological objectives.”  Accordingly, “nonviolent and violent Islamists differ only on tactics; they share the same goal, which is to establish an unfree society ruled by strict sharia law.”

Officials like President Barack Obama, who often appeared “as if he worried more about ‘Islamophobia’ than about radical Islam,” blinded the government to Islamic doctrine, Ali notes.  Therefore “[s]ince 9/11, the United States has committed a series of blunders in partnering with ‘moderates’ who turned out to be either Islamists active in dawa or fully fledged terrorists.”  Additionally, “nonviolent Islamists have benefited from terror attacks committed by jihadists because such attacks make nonviolent Islamists appear moderate in the eyes of Western governments.”

Ali sees positive indications that President Donald Trump is taking a “more comprehensive approach” to “defeat political Islam (or Islamism)” and offers her own proposals for this strategy.  Among other measures, public diplomacy entities like Voice of America should “fight the war of ideas by disseminating a counter-dawa message.”  The United States also should also apply “ideological scrutiny” to immigrants, refugees, and military chaplains.

Ali carefully distinguishes between personally devout Muslims and those following a totalitarian ideology.  “‘Islam,’ ‘Islamism,’ and ‘Muslims’ are distinct concepts.  Not all Muslims are Islamists, let alone violent, though all Islamists—including those who use violence—are Muslims.”  Therefore the “religion of Islam itself is indeed capable of reformation.”

Ali’s distinction between Islam in general and its political elements in Islamism derives from the canonical biography of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in seventh century Arabia.  She contrasts his early prophetic career when he was merely a preacher in Mecca with the polity he and his followers later founded in Medina.  She differentiates between “Mecca Muslims, who prefer the religion originally promoted by Muhammad in Mecca” and “Medina Muslims, who embrace the militant political ideology adopted by Muhammad in Medina.”

Notwithstanding worldwide disturbing polling data, Ali questionably asserts that “Mecca Muslims” are the “clear majority throughout the Muslim world.”  They “are loyal to the core religious creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence or even intolerance toward non-Muslims.”  Yet a “fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.”

“Muslim reformers” or “modifying Muslims” form Ali’s third Muslim subgroup.  They “promote the separation of religion from politics and other reforms” and “realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.”  Thus the “future of Islam and the world’s relationship with Muslims will be decided by which of the two minority groups—the Medina Muslims or the reformers—wins the support of the Meccan majority.”

Ali’s own analysis of Europe’s Islamic immigration gives an ominous portent for the struggle between Medina and reform.  She observes that “emigration, called hijra, is central to Islam and—more importantly—to the mission of Islamization to this day,” as shown by the exile of Muhammad and his companions to Medina, the start of the Islamic calendar.  True to Muhammad’s Medina example:

Forty or fifty years ago, it was still widely believed that the migration of Muslims to Europe, whether as ‘guest workers,’ immigrants, or refugees, would lead to their secularization and assimilation.  Americans who assume that this will happen in the United States should take note that the opposite has happened.

European Muslims are not the only disappointment for Ali’s Muslim reformer allies like former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani, with whom Ali jointly testified before the Senate on June 14.  She has joined with like-minded Muslims worldwide such as Zuhdi Jasser, who makes in his longstanding “Battle for the Soul of Islam” precisely Ali’s same distinction between Islam and Islamism.  Yet their Muslim Reform Movement has suffered sobering setbacks in America.

Several logical reasons explain why the Muslim reform failures of Ali et al. are not surprising.  Whatever moral inclinations Muslims might have, her Mecca/Medina distinction demands that Muslims somehow eschew Muhammad’s political practice while still viewing him as a religious authority.  Yet as the example of Jews and Christians show, over time mainly orthodox are faithful to religions, not people who split differences over prophetic examples.

By contrast, the liberal spirit advocated by Ali could very well lead freethinkers like her not to orthodoxy, but rather to her atheism or another belief system like Christianity, particularly in light of Islam’s numerous legalisms.  She strives to separate Islamic politics and piety, yet certainly many remain within Islam’s fold not out of sincere conviction, but coercion.  Even in “moderate” Indonesia, Islamic repressionexists in the form of blasphemy laws.

Ali at her Senate testimony raised eyebrows when she ominously described the Netherlands’ second largest party as a “radical right wing group.”  As knowledgeable observers like this author in the hearing room instantly recognized, she was anonymously referencing the Freedom Party of Geert Wilders.  While she has many sound policy proposals, time will tell who is more radical, Ali or Wilders, a strident critic of Islam who has personally explained to this author severe doubts concerning Islam’s reform.

To purchase her autobiography, click here.

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

Jihad Horror in Austria

Front Page Magazine, by Stephen Brown, July 19, 2017

It is not a club that anyone would willingly want to join, and Austria certainly didn’t apply for membership.

However the Danube state, which had been spared until now, recently joined the growing fraternity of European countries to experience a murderous jihad attack, whose depth of savagery and hatred has left the country deeply shaken.

The latest “victory” for the establishment of the worldwide caliphate took place June 30 in Linz, the country’s third largest city. Besides being Austria’s first such killings, the double murder stood out for its incredible cruelty, the victims’ age, and possible political motivation.

The jihadist-killer, a 54-year-old Tunisian immigrant identified only as Mohamed H., a resident of Austria since 1989, first slit the throat of Hildegard Sch., 85, and then stabbed and beat her husband, Siegfried, 87, to death in their home.

Before leaving, the “holy warrior” then burned the dead couple’s residence down over them. Firemen discovered the murder victims’ bodies when extinguishing the blaze.

“This man caused a bloodbath in the apartment – this was obviously a proxy war,” said the couple’s son, who was not identified.

After the killings, Mohamed H. told police he considered drowning himself in the Danube but decided to give himself up instead. He then went to the police station where he said he waited his turn to report the double murder.

Mohamed H. gained entrance to the old couple’s home because he regularly delivered groceries there from his wife’s vegetable store.

The Tunisian was so well known to the elderly Austrians, and relations so friendly, that the couple had given Mohamed’s daughter, and only child, $225 as a high school graduation present.

But on the day of their deaths, the couple’s friendly deliveryman arrived not only with their groceries, but also with “a belt, a wooden stick, a knife, as well as a can of gas” hidden under his apron. Police called the murders “carefully planned.”

Tragically, what the elderly couple did not know was that behind Mohamed M.’s familiar, amiable smile now lurked a   jihadist killer who had sworn loyalty to the Islamic State (IS) and its leader, al-Baghdadi. The Tunisian had “praised… diverse IS horrors” on social media, exhibiting a radicalization trend “right up to the last entry,” although there is no evidence he ever fought for the terrorist entity.

One newspaper report states residents in his neighborhood remember him wearing a head covering, kaftan and beard before he went back to Tunisia in 2014, where, authorities believe, he was radicalized. He returned in 2015, clean-shaven and wearing Western clothes but noticeably more “difficult and aggressive.”

Several reasons have been offered as to why Mohamed M. chose the elderly couple as his target in Europe’s latest jihad attack.

One is that the murderer believed the elderly pair, besides being defenseless, were supporters of the anti-migrant Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), which had almost won the last federal election.

“The police say in the past years he settled more and more into the role of victim,” the newspaper, Kronen Zeitung, stated. “As a Muslim and foreigner, he felt discriminated against and blamed the FPO.”

The couple’s son believes he may also have been a target for the Tunisian’s homicidal rage. Although he never personally knew his parents’ murderer, he is a lawyer for the FPO, which currently rules Upper Austria, the province containing Linz.

“He had asked my mother whether I could come for a talk with him in my parents’ apartment,” said the son. “Obviously, he definitely wanted me there.”

The head of Upper Austria’s FPO government, Manfred Heimbuchner, believes the murders were political and that the son was certainly a target.

“This deals with a politically motivated murder…,” said Heimbuchner. “One must imagine. The criminal murdered the couple because they had at home a photo of their son with me. That is just insanity!”

Heimbuchner also confirmed the murdered couple did not have a close relationship with party; and the son was not a party follower.

One report suggested Mohamed H.’s targeting alleged FPO supporters may have had more prosaic reason than immigration policies. In 2012, a FPO party representative had reported the Tunisian to police for cruelty to animals. He was later convicted on the charge.

But while political motivations may, or may not, have formed in whole or in part the reasons for Mohamed H.’s murders, they do not account for his actions’ sheer savagery. To understand this, one has to understand how Islam’s” holy warriors” view the conduct of jihad itself, whose precepts Mohamed H., as a sworn jihadist, would have been following.

These are probably best summed by Pakistani Brigadier General S. K.. Malik in his book, The Quranic Concept of War, whose forward was written by a Pakistani former chief of army staff and president of Pakistan, General Zia-Ul-Haq.

“The Koranic military strategy,” Malik writes, “thus enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy…In war, our main objective is the opponent’s heart or soul…”

Mohamed H’s slaughter of the helpless, old couple follows this strategy perfectly. It shook Austria to its very core.

Many Austrians, such as one provincial parliamentarian for Upper Austria, are bewildered as to “why a man we took into our country 30 years ago develops a hatred of this kind for our society and sympathy for the IS.”

Journalist Ani Cyrus, a former Iranian Muslim, may have answered this in her recent video, “Non-Devout Muslims and the Threat They Pose” (see video here). In it, she blames the Koran for apparently “friendly Muslims that seem to be your lovely, caring neighbor” becoming heartless killers.

“The toolbox of the Koran is giving you enough tools that when it is convenient for them to use them, well, it’s party time!” said Cyrus. “You’re talking about a book that freely allows the followers of it to kill.”

Besides the bloody murders, what has also angered Austrians, as well as other people in Europe, is the behavior of their security authorities and politicians after the fact.

In what has become almost standard practice, the police immediately denied the slaughter in Linz had an “Islamic background” – until overwhelming evidence was soon produced showing otherwise.

Security authorities also said they did not know anything about Mohamed H. and his radicalization. That he was unknown to them.

Again, another false statement. An Austrian newspaper quickly found a neighbor who had reported the Tunisian as a possible “IS sleeper” two years earlier to a government office combating National Socialist (Nazi) activities. (A name change is perhaps in order here. The office’s title should also include Islamo-Fascism.)

Authorities then questioned Mohamed H., but classified him as “non-dangerous.” Police say this was due to “a clerical error.”

Fourteen suspected Islamic radicals were arrested in Vienna and Graz last January. At least one other Islamic attack was also foiled this year. And with an estimated 300 Austrians currently fighting for the IS with a right to return home, Austria will not be able to resign from its new club any time soon.

Trump Administration Still Doesn’t Have an Iran Policy

In this Dec. 29, 2016, photo released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)

PJ Media, by Michael Ledeen, July 21, 2017:

The Trump administration, for once in harmony with Congress, is going to slap more sanctions on Iran. They stress this has nothing to do with the nuclear deal, but is rather in response to Tehran’s ongoing support of terrorism from the Middle East to Latin America. At the same time, the government is not (yet?) ready to sanction the Iranians for violating the terms of the deal.

The White House is still designing its overall Iran strategy, including the question of the nuclear deal. And, according to Adam Kredo, the hints all point in the direction of ultimately accusing the Iranians of violating it.

The White House must make a decision by Tuesday on whether it will recertify that Iran is in compliance with the deal. The administration is likely to again certify Iran as in compliance of the agreement, despite mounting evidence this not the case. Deliberations in the White House had not concluded as of late Monday morning, but officials signaled they were leaning towards certifying Iran as not in technical violation.

U.S. officials were hesitant to deem Iran in direct violation of the deal, but said Tehran “is in default on the spirit of that agreements,” according to senior administration officials who spoke on background.

In the event, the government finessed the “deal” and instead said Iran was not in violation of its agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency(a generous reading). There was no “certification” even though you’ll have no trouble finding news stories that claim there was.

Bottom line: they’re stalling. We’re told that the official “review” will be finished in a month or two, and we’re also told that the president wants a tough policy. We shall see. So far, despite his image as a tough guy, Mr. Trump hasn’t been all that forceful when it comes to dealing with the Islamic Republic. Yes, there are sanctions aplenty, but economic pressure isn’t going to change the Tehran regime or its aggressive policies, and the “certification” policy will encourage the Iranians to believe that Trump is not going to threaten their rule.

Some in Congress have a really smart idea: instead of separate actions against the global enemy alliance, merge them into a single policy. This has the great benefit of moving us toward a global approach to what is, after all, a global war. So when they say, “let’s make North Korea part of our Russia-and-Iran sanctions,” they have the correct instinct. If only Tillerson, Mattis and McMaster were saying such things.  I’m not swayed by the claim that the new sanctions bill would effectively tie the president’s hands if he wanted to ease sanctions on Russia. Somehow presidents get their way in such matters. I’m more worried about finding a way to raise the strategic question—how to win the big war. I’m also worried that our foreign policy team may be excessively military, and insufficiently political/ideological to defeat the enemy alliance.

Which, inevitably, takes us to personnel. I’m a Marine dad, so Jim Mattis occupies a special place in the Ledeen family heart. But Mattis’ top assistants are politically well to the left, and I rather suspect that they weren’t great fans of Trump’s Warsaw speech, the one that spoke to our will to defend and advance Western civilization. So I worry: Does Mattis appreciate the power of American values? Or does he look at conflict in fairly narrow military terms?

The same goes for McMaster, who is said to have deleted the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” from Trump’s Warsaw speech, only to have the president put it back. McMaster is a friend and follower of David Petraeus, who is not the right guru for the current war. We don’t need new surges so much as new revolutions. The Iranian people are waiting for our embrace, as are the Venezuelans. They’re not getting it. Sooner or later, I think they will. I think it’s inescapable, and I think Trump will work that out.

But it had better be sooner, because I also think our enemies think they’re in the driver’s seat right now, and doubt it will last. To quote a deep strategic thinker, Faster Please!