The Strategic Role of Saudi Arabia

Security Studies Group, by Brad Patty, October 16, 2018:

The editorial boards of newspapers rarely employ strategists, so it should be no surprise when we see both the New York Times and the Washington Post openly wondering what America needs with Saudi Arabia. They have a handle on some of the facts – America is increasingly energy independent, and soon to be an exporter rather than an importer of energy; the Kingdom relies on the United States’ security guarantees for its stability and possibly for its survival. The question they ask is why, then, the United States needs Saudi Arabia (KSA) at all. It is important that the answer to that question be understood.

KSA plays four critical roles in the American-led world order.

Resisting Iranian Domination of Oil Routes.  While it is true that the United States is increasingly independent, the market for oil is worldwide. Major trading partners in Asia depend on oil that comes from the gulf that is variously called “Persian” or “Arabian.” The contest of the name is symbolic of a very real contest for control. The outcome of that contest could leave Iran, and their allies Russia and China, in a position to use oil as a weapon against American allies in Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea. Just as Russia already uses energy as a weapon to dominate much of Eastern Europe, and to influence even the heart of Europe, American allies in Asia are at risk if Iran succeeds in gaining control of oil routes.

How likely is it that this will occur? Let’s look at the map.

Notice the two straits that have red ovals around them, and the arrows that indicate flows of oil towards Asia. Iran directly borders one of these, the Strait of Hormuz. Notice how the pipelines of many nations all can be cut off from Asia if that strait is closed to shipping. This can be done with missiles, not only with ships. Contesting Iran’s control of that strait is thus a geostrategic interest of the United States.

The second, southern oval is bordered by Yemen. That is where the war between Iranian proxies and the Saudis is being fought. If the Strait of Hormuz is closed, at least some oil could be re-routed via pipelines to ship through that strait instead. Indeed, a certain amount of oil ships from there already. Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen have already succeeded in using missiles to close this strait to Saudi shipping. Re-opening and maintaining control of this shipping lane is, again, a crucial American interest in defense of our allies in Asia. It is how we keep the Russian/Chinese/Iranian axis from using oil as a weapon against the free nations in Asia.

KSA plays several important roles in this contest. It is the leader of the Gulf States’ naval contributions to keeping the straits open, and is leading the effort in Yemen as well.  The conflict in Yemen has been ugly, but neither America nor the free nations of the world can afford to walk away from it. KSA is also central to American efforts to build a kind of NATO in the region, one that unifies allied states such as Jordan and Egypt with the Gulf states. The aim is to establish forces that are trained and equipped alike, and that have compatible systems of command and control. Such a force would be stabilizing to the region, and an effective counter to Iran.

Even if America’s cutting off of KSA merely caused Saudi Arabia withdraw within itself, there would cease to be an effective counter to Iran’s efforts to dominate the region. If KSA were to collapse, Iran’s domination of the region would be the first step in the authoritarian domination of the Middle East and Asia by Russian and Chinese interests.

Those are the stakes of that ugly little war in Yemen, and the mostly invisible contest in the Straits of Hormuz.

Influence Over a Key Faction of Islam. For more than a century, the Saudi kingdom has nurtured the Wahabi faction of Islam as a means of self-defense and power projection. Schools of this faction exist widespread throughout the world. This is the school that gave rise to Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks, conducted as they were from caves in Afghanistan. It is a crucial interest of the United States and indeed of the whole world that KSA exert its leadership here in ways that lead this school of thought towards reform and co-existence rather than to a sense that war with non-Muslims is desirable.

The Security Studies Group (SSG) believes that reform is possible, and to be encouraged. We aspire to friendship rather than enmity. Even for those who believe otherwise, however, it matters whether a stabilizing authority is working to discourage violence. It matters that the Saudi security apparatus has the ties necessary to keep an eye on this network. In the absence of that leadership, we have already seen what groups like Al Qaeda do. It would be reckless of the United States to disregard the opportunity to use our influence toward the reform of the Wahabi faction by cutting off the KSA leadership.

Restraint of Refugee Flows into Europe. The civil war in Syria has produced massive refugee flows into Europe, as has the ongoing war in Afghanistan. These refugee flows have been large enough to be destabilizing even to core European powers; they may yet bring down the German government. American allies are very much feeling political and social pressure from the instability already existing in the Middle East.

Syria’s population is on the order of half of that of Saudi Arabia. Should KSA collapse into civil war due to an absence of security guarantees from the United States, Europe will see more massive waves of refugees swarming its borders.

Alternatively, should the Trump administration succeed in establishing a kind of Middle Eastern NATO built around KSA, Egypt, and Jordan, the effect will be stabilizing to the region. Many pressures on American allies in Europe will be lessened if the refugee flows decrease, or if the region is stabilized sufficiently that people can consider returning home.

Defense of Israel. There is some debate about whether or not defending Israel is a US interest, but it has been taken to be by successive administrations. Israel is, at least, a regional power that offers significant intelligence assets in support of American goals.

KSA is making moves towards the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, which is likely a precondition for success in any hope for peace talks to which Israel is a party. Insofar as the attainment of peace is thought to have a role in reducing the incidence of global terrorism, supporting this dynamic is in America’s interests.

KSA’s status as a bulwark against Iranian domination of the region is also very much in the interest of not only America but certainly also Israel, as Iran continues to proclaim – loudly, and to anyone who will listen – that it is devoted to the outright destruction of Israel. Iranian missiles with messages promising destruction written in Hebrew are worth taking seriously as legitimate threats. If America is devoted to the defense of its allies in Israel, then KSA plays a significant role in securing that outcome.

Conclusion

These four strategic interests show that it is necessary for America to continue its relationship with the Saudi leadership. That does not mean that we should not continue to press for social reforms, respect for human rights, and similar improvements within KSA. We certainly should do that, as a modernizing KSA is a better and more natural ally for the United States than one mired in beheadings and the suppression of religious minorities.

It is a commonplace criticism of American foreign policy that it has been insensitive to supporting awful strongmen in the face of even worse things. Perhaps that is true, but the answer is not to give in to the worse things. A clear-eyed assessment of our strategic interests must rule our actions. Using our influence to press allies for social and political reform is proper and wise. Abandoning our allies, and allowing authoritarian powers to dominate the world’s flows of energy, is neither proper nor wise. We must act in wisdom.

***

Also see:

MEF Uncovers Obama-era Scandal; Congress Investigates

THE OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL’S ROLE IN THE AWARD OF TAXPAYER FUNDS TO AN ORGANIZATION INVOLVED IN SUPPORTING TERRORISM RAISES QUESTIONS.

Middle East Forum, by Sam Westrop, October 16, 2018:

PHILADELPHIA – October 16, 2018 – An investigative report by the Middle East Forum has prompted the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate an investigation into a 2014 decision by the Obama administration.

The U.S. Treasury Department listed the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA, aka the Islamic Africa Relief Agency), a Sudanese organization in 2004 a “Specially Designated Terrorist Organization.” It did so because ISRA provided “direct financial support” to Osama bin Laden; “was responsible for moving funds to the Palestinian territories for use in terrorist activities”; and “serve[s] as a conduit to Hamas.”

The Forum’s Sam Westrop exposed in National Review that in 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) approved a $200,000 grant to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) in Sudan through World Vision, Inc.

The project was temporarily suspended in November 2014 after USAID and the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) were alerted to ISRA’s terror links.

However, after confirming ISRA’s status as a sanctioned entity, the Forum uncovered that OFAC nonetheless authorized a $125,000 transfer to ISRA in May 2015 after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State.” This done, Charles Wanjue, a USAID official exulted: “Good news and a great relief, really!”

The Forum’s findings – reported by Fox Newsi24 NewsBreitbart, the Daily Mail (UK), and many others – resulted from a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against USAID, countless hours poring through documents, and working with an investigator in Khartoum.

“The Office of Foreign Assets Control’s role in the award of taxpayer funds to an organization involved in supporting terrorism raises questions,” said Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), chairman of Oversight’s Subcommittee on National Security. Rep. Russell has requested details from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and USAID Administrator Mark Green on USAID’s vetting procedures for grant recipients, a list of all USAID grants to groups suspected of involvement with terrorism, and copies of all documents and communications relating to ISRA.

“It is disturbing that the federal government would knowingly authorize payment to a designated Osama Bin-Laden funding charity,” said Cliff Smith, director of the Washington Project. “We welcome this investigation, which is necessary to hold government officials accountable and ensure such an outrage is not repeated.”

Iranian Front Group Funds Institutions Across US

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (C) arrives at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport. (Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro and Justin Charters, October 16, 2018:

The Alavi Foundation is an Iranian front group that funds mosques and educational institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

In 2009, federal prosecutors charged that the Alavi Foundation was a front group for the Iranian government and violated U.S. law by transferring rental income from its properties to Iran’s Bank Melli, which was sanctioned in 2007 for supporting the Iranian nuclear program.

Those properties included a 36-story office building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan worth $1 billion owned by the Alavi Foundation along with the Assa Corporation. Other properties included Islamic centers comprising schools and mosques in New York City, Maryland, California, Texas and Virginia.

A suit was later brought against the Alavi Foundation and the Assa Corporation by survivors of Iranian-regime terror attacks. In 2017, a New York court ruled the U.S. government could seize the Manhattan skyscraper  from the Alavi Foundation. (The court concluded the foundation knew and helped hide the fact that the Assa Corporation was also a front for the Iranian government.)

The decision was overturned by an appeal’s court later that year saying the buildings did not qualify as being owned by Iran under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: “Given the lack of evidence demonstrating Iran’s day-to-day control of Alavi, we conclude, as a matter of law, that defendants cannot be deemed Iran’s alter egos.”

The building on Fifth Avenue was built in the 1970s on land owned by the Pahlavi Foundation, a non-profit corporation formed in New York by then Iranian leader Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Pahlavi was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and the foundation morphed into the Alavi Foundation, which was tasked with promoting Shiite Islam and Persian culture and the Iranian regime in the U.S.

The Alavi Foundation continues to fund both Islamic and non-Islamic institutions across North America. Here are 10 Islamic groups in the U.S. the foundation has funded since 2014:

California

  • San Diego — the Farsi School received $13,800 in 2016
  • Carmichael — the Qoba Foundation received $5,000 in 2016. In addition, its website suggests Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi are top scholars.

New York

  • the Persian Society of New York received $5,000 in 2016
  • the Islamic Institute of New York received $20,000 in 2015
  • the Ahlul Bayt Mosque received $60,000 in 2016

Connecticut

  • the Jafria Association of Connecticut received 16,100 in 2015. In May of 2017, the association hosted an event with Sheik Jaffer Ladak, who (based on his Facebook likes) is a supporter of Ayatollah Khamenei.

Maryland

  • the Muslim Community School received $123,000.00 in 2014. Clarion Project previously reported that Sheik Jalil Nawee teaches Qu’ran classes there. Nawee’s daughter posted an image on Instagram in support of the Iranian-funded Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Michigan

  • the Islamic House of Wisdom received $3,000 in 2014. The imam there, Mohammad Elahi, has been seen in pictures with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Kansas

  • Az Zahra Center received $7,500 in 2015.

Location Unknown

  • the Imam Ali Foundation received $12,000 in 2016. Interestingly, the foundation supports Ayatollah Sistani, who is seen as the moderate among the marjas (the highest level Shiite authorities in the Middle East). Sistanti refused to meet with Khameini when asked to do so.

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Iranian Front Group Funded 30 Universities in U.S. & Canada

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s Shillman Fellow, national security analyst and the director of Clarion Intelligence Network. Mauro is also an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Justen Charters is a research analyst with the Clarion Intelligence Network.

Trump Admin Sanctions Iranian Paramilitary Group Training Child Soldiers

Iranian members of the Basij militia march during a parade / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, October 16, 2018:

The Trump administration on Tuesday leveled a bevy of harsh new sanctions on a top Iranian fighting force known to be training children and other soldiers that are engaging in terrorism in Syria and other regional hotspots, according to senior Trump administration officials.

The sanctions hit “a vast network” of businesses and financial institutions supporting Iran’s Basij Resistance Force, a paramilitary organization tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC, the Islamic Republic’s chief fighting force that is widely known for conducting terrorist operations outside Iran’s borders, including ones that have killed Americans.

The sanctions—part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” on Iran—come after a series of Iranian missile and drone strikes in the region that have drawn widespread condemnation, including from the Trump administration.

Trump administration officials familiar with the new action said the sanctions are meant to expose Iran’s global terrorism networks, including a web of financial institutions and shell companies that fund the rogue country’s military intervention across the globe.

“The Bonyad Taavon Basij network is an example of how the IRGC and Iranian military forces have expanded their economic involvement in major industries, and infiltrated seemingly legitimate businesses to fund terrorism and other malign activities,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. This vast network provides financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction.”

“The international community must understand that business entanglements with the Bonyad Taavon Basij network and IRGC front companies have real world humanitarian consequences,” Mnuchin said. “This helps fuel the Iranian regime’s violent ambitions across the Middle East.”

The Basij’s financial network consist of at least 20 corporations and financial institutions, all of which have been hit with sanctions ahead of a Nov. 4 deadline by which the Trump administration aims to reimpose all sanctions lifted by the Obama administration as part of its landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

The sanctions are likely to cripple an already ailing Iranian economy and further fuel popular protests against the hardline regime.

The Basij has been a particularly prolific fighting force for Iran that operates across the Middle East.

The force “recruits, trains, and deploys child soldiers to fight in IRGC-fueled conflicts across the region,” according to the Trump administration.

Basij

“The Bonyad Taavon Basij employs shell companies and other measures to mask Basij ownership and control over a variety of multibillion-dollar business interests in Iran’s automotive, mining, metals, and banking industries, many of which have significant international dealings across the Middle East and with Europe,” according to information provided by the Treasury Department.

“In addition to its involvement in violent crackdowns and serious human rights abuses in Iran, the Basij recruits and trains fighters for the IRGC-QF, including Iranian children, who then deploy to Syria to support the brutal Assad regime,” according to the administration. “Since at least early 2015, the Basij has recruited and provided combat training to fighters before placing them on a waiting list for deployment to Syria.”

Iran’s Bank Mellat has been found to be a major financier of this fighting force and is now being slapped with sanctions by the Trump administration, a blow to the Islamic Republic’s coffers.

The sanctions could also impact any international company or individual known to be doing business with any of the 20 or so entities now subject to sanctions.

“International companies from Asia to Europe that partner with companies associated with the Basij are conducting business that could contribute to the ongoing human rights abuses and terrorism the Basij exports to the region,” according to the Treasury Department.

“Treasury urges international companies to ensure they are conducting the necessary due diligence to avoid engaging in sanctionable activity with entities that support the Iranian regime’s malign activity,” it said.

UTT Domestic Enemy SITREP – Part I

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, October 15, 2018:

From a military perspective, the Islamic Counter-State has gained significant ground in the last five years to prepare the battlefield in the United States, while U.S. intelligence and security forces remain nearly completely ignorant of the true nature of the threat.

The following is UTT’s brief Domestic Enemy SITREP (Situation Report) as it relates primarily to the Islamic threat in the United States:

Summary

Since 9/11/01, the Islamic Counter-State has been able to conduct military operations inside the United States without any assessment by U.S. intelligence, law enforcement or military forces attributing these actions to the massive Islamic jihadi network supporting them.  The 9/11/01 attack and nearly all of the 71 attacks on U.S. soil by jihadis since 9/11, were all conducted with the support and assistance of a massive jihadi network in the U.S. primarily controlled by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet, there has been no concerted effort by any U.S. government entity to target and destroy this network, or even seek to identify it.

This points to a highly sophisticated and successful enemy Information Operation which has matured to the point the leadership of the Islamic Counter-State controls the national security decision-making process to the point it has kept the current administration from designating the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

UTT will discuss the enemy’s Information Operation in Part II of this SITREP this coming Thursday.

Enemy’s Preparation of the Battlefield

  • Hostile domestic and foreign Islamic entities continue to build Islamic Centers/mosques at a rapid rate in all 50 states.  The number of mosques in the U.S. increased by 900 between 2000 and 2010 (from 1209 to 2106), and by over 1000 between 2010 and 2015.  Today, there are over 3200 mosques in all 50 states.  As an example, there are 52 mosques within 20 miles of the center of Dallas, Texas.  The majority of the mosques in the U.S. (at least 81%) teach that war against non-muslims (jihad) is legal under sharia (Islamic Law), and they also teach jihad is one of the three duties of every muslim.  In Islam, the primary purpose of a mosque is NOT a “place of prayer.”  A mosque is the center of the Islamic government, where sharia is adjudicated, Islam/sharia is taught, and jihad is planned.  A mosque is the place from which jihad is launched.  This is why U.S. troops found weapons in mosques in Afghanistan and Iraq, Europeans are finding military grade weapons in the mosques they raid, and why the U.S. government has discovered weapons training takes place in U.S. mosques.
  • Muslims continue to: (1) purchase fuel centers (gas stations) and mini-marts (pre-positioning); (2) take positions as managers or assistant managers in the biggest hotels in major metropolitan areas (intelligence gathering); and (3) purchase hotels in small rural areas.
  • Across the United States, hostile Islamic organizations and their emissaries are purchasing property immediately adjacent to key communications, financial, military and logistic nodes.  This is causing great concern by local officials who understand the Islamic threat, not only because they see the intentional actions by jihadis in their jurisdictions, but because federal agencies with legal duties to act generally have no interest in taking any action.
  • The organized Islamic Counter-State in the U.S. is currently consolidating forces.  Domestically, the Muslim Brotherhood, Deobandi, Iranian/Hizbollah, and other Islamic jihadi forces have been growing and coordinating for several years.  The creation of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) in June 2014 brought a more focused avenue for the jihadi efforts.  Recently, the Turkish government has literally established official Turkish government entities in the United States without any permission or official sanction from the U.S. government.  The development of the Diyanet and its related mosques on the East Coast, is the next major step of the development of the extension of Turkish Islamic power in America.  The Diyanet Center of America was officially opened in 2016 in Lanham, Maryland as a part of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), an institution of the Government of Turkey.  President Erdogan of Turkey, who came to America in support of the Diyanet when it was opening, makes clear he is moving to be the next Caliph with Turkey at the center of the Caliphate.  It should be noted, the last Caliphate – the Ottoman Empire – which was dissolved in the early 1920’s, was centered in modern-day Turkey.
  • UTT assesses the Islamic Counter-State will use the U.S. as a staging platform for its war in Europe after the Caliphate is officially established, which will be in the near future.  Once they assess they have gained significant control of Europe and established control of the power base in the U.S., they will focus their efforts here.

Based on the information provided herein, and a significant amount of other information collected by Understanding the Threat (UTT), UTT assesses America’s security vulnerability to the Islamic Counter-State as GRAVE at this time.  Without a significant and radical course change, the U.S. cannot win this war at the federal level.

However, UTT assesses a significant awakening at the local level in a number of areas across the United States where police, elected officials and citizens trained by UTT are coordinating efforts and taking the fight to the enemy at the local level.

See UTT’s next installment of UTT’s Domestic Enemy SITREP this coming Thursday.

ISIS in the Caribbean

Full Measure, October 14, 2018:

President Trump frequently says the US and its allies, have turned the tide in the battle against ISIS… especially, in the Middle East. But there’s another concern, much closer to home. In the last few weeks, the U-S government announced sanctions against two men for providing support to ISIS… both, were from a small Caribbean island near America’s shores. And to the surprise of many, it’s become a hotbed of support and recruitment, for the terror group.

From the battlefields of Syria to Iraq, in the fog of war, it can be difficult for American forces to know exactly who they’re up against–since foreign fighters supporting ISIS, have come from all over the world. Here, on this tiny Caribbean island, a not so small secret. In relation to its size, Trinidad and Tobago has sent more foreign fighters overseas, than any other western country. We went to this tourist destination just off the coast of Venezuela, to find out why.

Scott: Are there those who have gone, that you’re aware of as foreign fighters?

Abdullah: There are those who have gone and joined the battle of course. All right. Those individuals, I know some of them.

Umar Abdullah is a self-proclaimed Muslim leader in Trinidad…Accused of once helping to radicalize young men.

Scott: Do you believe it’s okay for them to go overseas and take up arms against American interests?

Abdullah: If, in the case where America is fighting our Muslim brothers and sisters in different countries, and individuals decide to leave and go there to fight against the American soldiers, that’s their call, right?

Scott: A lot of people hearing that, especially back in the United States, would find that a detestable comment. They wouldn’t be okay with any of what you just said.

Abdullah: So does the American people, the American government wish that when they go into a country and invade a country and starts fighting the people there, the people should just lay down and kneel before them and surrender? That’s what they expect what’s gonna happen? That’s not gonna happen. Let us be real. People are going to fight back.

And doing so, in alarming numbers. According to multiple reports, 135 Trinidadians have made their way to the Middle East. They’ve been documented taking up arms against Americans… and even dying in the fight. One of the first, was Shane Crawford. The 28 year old joined ISIS in Syria. Where the terror group used him in propaganda videos because of his English and his origin, even featuring his Trinidadian home in their online recruiting magazine. Imam Morland Lynch says he knows half a dozen men like Shane, who have since joined ISIS overseas.

Morland Lynch: He was quiet, but you never know when a man quiet what they’re planning, or what they’re thinking, or who’s giving them their school of thought, who’s teaching them or who’s training them.

Lynch preaches a different message. One of peace. He is critical of ISIS and its followers on the island. One of them, he says, retaliated, shooting and killing his 22 year old son Ackmal. That was three years ago. The problem, he says, has only grown.

Scott: Some people have reported, 135 Trinidadians have left and gone overseas as foreign fighters, do you think that number is high, low, accurate?

Lynch: I feel more than that.

Scott: You feel it’s more than 135?

Lynch: Yeah, I feel more than that.

Scott: Because the attorney general and the government seems to think it’s a relatively low number. Lynch: No, it’s huge. I don’t know where you’re getting your statistics from, it’s huge.

Al-rawi: That of course is on a population bed of 1.4 million citizens, but sometimes statistics don’t really let you know the phenomenon. You can say 100% of a teacup, or you can say 100% of the ocean.

While Trinidad’s attorney general, Faris Al-rawi, downplays the numbers, he doesn’t trivialize the threat, and under his watch, the government has passed stricter new anti-terrorism laws and frozen the assets of 356 individuals and entities.

Al-rawi: I can tell you that we have put it on steroids. We really ramped up the production. I think we’re headed in the right direction. Terrorism mutates, you must be always nimble and always prepared. We will not stick our heads into the sand and pretend that the phenomenon is one that can avoid us simply because we’re a beautiful people and wonderful Caribbean island.

The danger, isn’t just abroad. This February, Trinidad’s law enforcement, with U.S. Support, thwarted a plot to attack the island’s biggest annual festival, it’s carnival. The American embassy, was also a target. Police and security specialist Paul Nahous has long been monitoring the spread and actions of ISIS sympathizers here. He claims, they’re gearing up.

Nahous: What I observe in Trinidad is that the gangs now are starting look less like gangs and more like terrorists cells or insurgent cells because these type of weapons they have, the amount of ammunition they have stockpiled. They’ve been finding grenades all around. They’ve been finding AK-47 rounds, AR-15 is the new pistol now. All gangs have a stockpile of automatic weapons. So, the street violence now is beginning to resemble insurgency.

Scott: Does the government have a grip on what’s happening here?

Nahous: No, not at all. The government doesn’t have a grip and the police services don’t have a grip.

Just how severe the problem is and how prevalent recruitment may be differs depending on who you ask. But one consensus found among people we talked to, is that more U.S. Involvement is welcome. Earlier this year, the U.S. Military’s southern command, which helps oversee threats in the Caribbean, held a joint exercise with Trinidad’s forces to prepare for terror incidents.

Al-rawi: Can we happily say that we accept more? We’re always willing to accept more from our international friends Scott: Though solutions here seem outnumbered by the challenges. Despite the island’s lucrative oil reserves, wealth isn’t well spread. Unemployment is high, street crime too. And the tiny Muslim population, just about 5 percent, feels shut out. One gang even named itself Unruly ISIS. Online sermons from terror groups thousands of miles away, still prove persuasive here.

Abdullah: I’m fearful when that time comes, the government who is already showing indications that they’re unable to address the issue of crime, petty crime, they’ll be unable to address this issue.” Scott: Talk to me about that anti-American sentiment.

Nahous: There are those who don’t sympathize with terrorist cells, but at the same time have an anti-American sentiment and anti-Israeli sentiment and because we see what’s going on in the world, we see certain injustices done by first world nations.

Scott: And that’s what’s driving some of this recruitment?

Nahous: Yup, I think so. And I think it’s two sides of the same coin. They have that sentiment and anti-western sentiment, and then they have a lack of real knowledge in terms of the Middle East, in terms of what goes on there, in terms of culture there. So, what they know is what they read, what they see on tv. So they use that to formulate their opinions and I find in this nation that people are very hardened by their opinions.

Scott: An opinion both posing a threat to U.S. Soldiers overseas… and formulating, not far, from American shores.

President Trump’s new ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph Mondello, is due to take up his post next week. At his confirmation hearing in the summer, he said radicalization and ISIS recruitment of Trinidadians is the most important issue he’ll face.

Communist Antifa Places Severed Pig Heads At Campaign Offices In Texas Calling For A Violent Revolution

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton,  NoisyRoom

Communist Antifa is beloved on the left and defended by both Democrats and the media. That’s because they share the same goals of revolution, chaos and a violent coup. Hell, they’re all communists.

This past week, at least five separate GOP offices were vandalized and attacked by these goons. Now, Antifa has stepped up their game by placing severed pig heads at multiple polling locations and campaign offices in the Austin, TX area. But you won’t hear about this. Instead, you will hear the left whine incessantly because Republicans have correctly labeled the left as having an angry mob mentality. They simply love mobs like Antifa, Democratic Socialists of America, the Communist Party USA, and all their minions bent on terrorizing those who do not share their violent Marxist views.

Red Guards of Austin just recently posted a blog post to their more than 8,000 Facebook followers where they commemorated Mao Zedong’s brutal communist revolution that resulted in millions of people being slaughtered. Meanwhile, NoisyRoom.net and Right Wing News were purged from Facebook with other conservatives because of what Facebook and Media Matters have deemed as ‘wrong-think’. If only we had hearted a butcher like Mao, we could have stayed on Facebook. No great loss.

Picture from Red Guards Austin Facebook Page

In Red Guard’s post, they called for a boycott of the “bourgeois elections” and advocated for organized revolutionary violence – subtle they are not anymore. They even had the stones to call for the formation of a “Red Army” that will destroy the existing state and replace it with a new authoritarian communist state:

Mainly this means uniting under Maoism, establishing self-defense units which are in time converted into a mighty Red Army, encouraging the self-administration of the community under the protection of this army, forming a new state posed to make war on the old.

They went on to call for armed violence which is their schtick: “Boycott the Bourgeois Elections! Elections, no! Revolution, yes! The ruling class will rule no more! Revolution, Peoples War!”

 

While the Red Guard and Antifa were pushing their public proclamation for an election boycott, they decided to take an unoriginal swipe at both Senator Ted Cruz, who they labeled as a “Homophobic Imperialist Pig” and his Democrat opponent, Beto O’Rourke, who they called a “Zionist Imperialist Pig.” Guess they have more than enough hate to spread around to both parties these days.

From Far Left Watch:

Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Red Guard cell tweeted (archive) out images of the severed pig heads that were “placed at polling places and campaign offices” by their comrades in Austin, TX. The images suggest that the severed heads were placed at both Senator Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke’s campaign offices.

This armed extremist group that for months has been openly advocating for “revolutionary violence” is now putting the severed heads of pigs at polling places and campaign offices. Contrary to what many media outlets and personalities would have you believe, the left absolutely presents a legitimate threat of political violence.

Glad to see Far Left Watch is reporting on this. So is Gateway Pundit. I haven’t seen it anywhere else. But then again, considering no one seemed very upset that over 800 pages were purged from Facebook last week primarily because we reported facts and were conservatives, I’m not surprised.

Most of us violated no standards at all. My sin was being an editor for Right Wing News and writing an article that defended Kavanaugh and shredded Dr. Ford. It was full of sourced facts that were true. For that, I was non-personed a la Alex Jones. And the ones giving Facebook their marching orders on that was Media Matters.

Antifa is beating people, intimidating others and wreaking havoc in the streets. Now, they hang pig heads as a warning to politicians. They are very close to taking the violence all the way here and should be stopped. Unfortunately, they are cuddling with the Democrats even while protesting them along with the Republicans. It’s a small step from the threat of violence to the reality of it.

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The Communist Origins of the Antifa Extremist Group

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Also see Discover the Networks Antifa profile on their newly revised and updated website:

A Communist & Anarchist Movement That Explicitly Endorses Violence

Antifa is a revolutionary Marxist/anarchist militia movement that seeks to bring down the United States by means of violence and intimidation. As a September 2017 report in The Atlantic notes, Antifa is responsible for “a level of sustained political street warfare not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s.”

The name “Antifa” (pronounced on’-tee-fah) is a shortened form of the term “antifacist,” and its adherents are commonly seen waving the red-and-black flag of anarcho-communism. The website ItsGoingDown.org, which serves as a newsblog for Antifa, says that “in the U.S., most [anti-fascist] activists are anarchist, although a few are Maoist or anti-state Marxists” ― while “in other countries, the movement is predominately Marxist.” The U.S.-based anarchists of Antifa typically denounce not only the capitalist economic system, but the institution of government itself. And they explicitly advocate and encourage the use of violence to undermine and destroy both.

The organizer of ItsGoingDown.org notes that leftists in “the anarchist movement” are “excited” about “looking for alternatives outside of party structures.” The New York Times concurs that Antifa’s foot soldiers typically “express disdain for mainstream liberal politics, seeing it as inadequately muscular, and tend to fight the right through what they call ‘direct actions’ rather than relying on government authorities.” In other words, traditional political processes are too mild to accomplish anything of consequence; violence is the only real answer.