John Bolton: Iran Deal ‘Worst Appeasement in American History’

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, Aug. 25, 2016:

LOS ANGELES, California — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton declared Sunday that the Iranian nuclear deal is the “worst act of appeasement in American history.” Bolton was speaking at the Luxe Hotel on Sunday for the American Freedom Alliance‘s conference, titled “Islam and Western Civilization: Can They Coexist?”

Bolton, who is also a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, elaborated on the threat that radical Islam and political Islam pose to the United States of America, Europe and the whole of Western civilization. In doing so, he explained the propaganda inherent in the term “Islamphobia,” and dismissed the “lone-wolf” concept of radical Islamic terrorism.

Bolton said there is plenty of evidence from western intelligence, among other sources, that the Iranian regime is violating the terms of the deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “I don’t think they ever intended to comply with its central provisions. They made minimal concessions to begin with and in exchange they got over $100 billion.”

Pressing further, Bolton criticized the recent ransom paid for American captives.He joked: “The good news is: each and every one of you is worth $100 million to the Obama Administration. The bad news is: Iran understands this.”

On a serious note, Bolton said: “All of our adversaries, and even our friends, are appalled by what they’ve seen. And the abandonment of our decades-long, bipartisan policy of not negotiating with terrorists. But it was all part of the nuclear deal.” He predicted there are many more surprises that will come up.

Bolton also explained that the “nature of the threat here is extraordinarily broad” and that “it has  been growing” because in the last eight years it has faced “no effective American opposition whatsoever.” That unfettered dynamic has resulted in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. “Turkey and the Saudis and Egyptians, and likely other governments throughout the region, have also embarked on their own nuclear programs missions,” he said.

Regarding the threat of radical Islam, Bolton told the audience,  “I think it’s important to say, at the outset every time the subject comes up, that we are talking about politics and ideology here. This is not a question about religion. And those who say that ‘when you talk about radical Islam you are insulting Muslims all over the world,’ are simply engaged in propaganda.” Bolton added that these are “exactly Muslims, themselves, who have felt the worst effects of Islamic terrorism and who suffer under its rule in places as diverse as Iran and the caliphate that ISIS now holds.”

Bolton explained that individuals who do not wish to have a clear understanding of the true nature of radical Islam are “quick to obscure” it. “It’s a struggle for how the religion is perceived around the world,” Bolton noted.

He pointed out that Muslim leaders like King Abdullah of Jordan and Egypt’s President and former military general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have called for a transformation within Islam, going so far as pointing out that this is a civil war that must be embraced and led by the people themselves.

He also lauded al-Sisi for being “courageous enough a couple of years ago to join the Coptic Christians in their celebration of Christmas and say ‘we are all Egyptians together,’ and thus putting a target on his own back with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Bolton said that to suggest phrases like “lone-wolf terrorists and self-radicalized terrorists” when explaining these attacks is like comparing them with “spontaneous combustion: they were normal people one day and then the next day they became terrorists.” The West, he said, had failed “to understand the ideological nature of this war.”

Turning the spotlight onto President Barack Obama, Bolton said “the president says his objective is to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. The problem with his strategy is his first three words: ‘degrade and ultimately’. The answer to ISIS is to destroy it as rapidly as possible. The reason you want to do that is because every day that we delay allows ISIS to implement strategies in Europe.”

Bolton added: “Innocent civilians are at risk because of our unwillingness to take appropriate military action.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz

From Vlad Tepes:

This week in jihad: ‘If we lose Africa, we lose the War on Terror’

Boko HaramConservative Review, by Nate Madden, Aug. 18, 2016:

As Turkey arrests tens of thousands of political prisoners following last month’s coup attempt, and ISIS horrifically executes dozens of captives accused of spying, Boko Haram’s new leader and new mission in West Africa highlight the precipitous state of jihadism on the continent.

It has been over two years since almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in April 2014.

New video released Sunday by Nigerian-based ISIS-affiliate Boko Haram highlights the sad and troubling reality that the insurgency — now the deadliest terror group in the world — is still terrorizing West Africa, with a new focus on targeting Christians.

According to a report from the Associated Press:

The video posted Sunday on Twitter shows a young woman, covered in a hijab with just her face showing, who was one of the students abducted from a remote school in northeastern Nigeria in April 2014. She claims that some of her kidnapped classmates died in aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force. She also said that 40 have been “married” to fighters.

The video shows a militant warning in the Hausa language that if President Muhammadu Buhari’s government battles Boko Haram with firepower, the girls won’t be seen again.

“Presently, some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military,” the fighter says, appearing before a group of more than 40 young women in hijabs, some holding babies.

The video’s release comes just two weeks after news broke of an internal shakeup in the Boko Haram’s organization’s ranks, in which its long-time leader Abu Bakr Shekau was reportedly replaced by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who has pledged to re-focus the group’s terror focus on Christians and churches while ending attacks on markets and mosques.

In an interview published by ISIS and reported by SITE Intelligence on August 8, al-Barnawi vowed to respond to what he called attempts to “Christianize the society” by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross.”

Al-Barnawi, who was confirmed by ISIS’ English language magazine, Dabiq, as the new governor of its so-called West Africa Province — a name that Boko Haram adopted last spring — had been a spokesperson for the group for over a year, speaking in lieu of the mysterious Shekau, leading to speculation of the latter’s death.

Boko Haram’s new announced strategy in West Africa echoes sentiments laid out in the latest issue of Dabiq, in which the multinational insurgency focused attacks directly at Christianity with articles as titled “Break the Cross” and “Why we hate you and why we fight you.”

Elsewhere in Africa, a Ugandan Islamist group hacked at least 64 people to death with machetes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The massacre was carried out by the Allied Defense Forces in the town of Beni, according to a report at the Daily Mail. The ADF is known as a quasi-jihadist militant group initially focused on overthrowing the Ugandan government with the intention of installing Sharia law in the East African country.

As pointed out in a previous two-part series at Conservative Review, the continued violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and the spread of jihadism in other regions is largely a result of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failed and reckless Africa policies. These have helped increase the jihadist footprint on the continent.

“We’re on the verge of losing the whole continent of Africa,” to jihadist groups Counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole told Conservative Review in a phone interview for the series.

“Africa is the war on terror,” he added. “If we lose Africa, we lose the war on terror.”

Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religion and culture. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate has previously written for The Washington Times, Catholic News Service, Patheos, and The Christian Post. Follow him @NateMadden_IV.

Islamic State Expands to East Africa With New Allegiance Pledge

Illustrative picture. (Photo: ISIS propaganda)

Illustrative picture. (Photo: ISIS propaganda)

Clarion Project, April 10, 2016:

A new terrorist group in Somalia has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State styling itself “Jabha East Africa” (The East-African Front).

In a statement the group recognized the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the “rightful Khalifa (leader) of all Muslims.”

“We in Jahba East Africa are advising all East Africans to leave al-Shabaab and their sponsor groups, like Al-Muhajiroun, Al-Hijra and Ansar Islam,” the statement said.

“Like Al-Shabaab the sponsor groups have not understood the binding obligation of the Khalifah (caliphate).

“We are telling the mujahideen in East Africa that al-Shabaab has now become a psychological and physical prison.

“To pledge bayah to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is freedom for the mujahideen in East Africa and opportunity to wage jihad according to the Sunnah against the enemies of Allah.”

Despite rumors circulating that Somalia’s primary jihadist group Al-Shabaab was considering pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, the group has not yet done so. The Islamic State has accepted pledges of allegiance from terrorist groups around the world. The most notorious of the Islamic State’s vassals is Boko Haram, now styling itself the Islamic State in West Africa. Boko Haram reportedly has a higher body count than the Islamic State’s main army in Syria and Iraq.

Other important ISIS vassals include Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Egyptian Sinai.

On Saturday April 9 a car bomb killed three people at a restaurant in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Girls Carry out Suicide Bombing; Kill at Least 58 in Nigeria

The aftermath of a previous attack by Boko Haram. (Photo: © Reuters)

The aftermath of a previous attack by Boko Haram. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, Feb. 11, 2016:

At least 58 people were killed and many others injured in a double suicide bombing attack on a refugee camp in Nigeria. The camp is in the northeastern town Dikwa, 53 miles outside the capital of Borno state. It was serving as a temporary home for people fleeing the insurgency of the jihadist group Boko Haram.

Reports vary from 58 killed to more than 70, with dozens more reported injured.

Two female suicide bombers entered the camp and detonated their devices in the middle of it. A third was reportedly arrested before she detonated her bomb, after changing her mind.

“The one they arrested alive, she confessed,” Ahmed Satomi, of the State Management Agency, told Al Jazeera. “She feel [sic] that her parents would come and that’s why she refused to detonate her own bomb.”

She reportedly recognized her parents and siblings in the camp and therefore decided not to blow herself up.

The attack was carried out on February 9 but information was slow to filter out due a breakdown in the telephone system. It was carried out in revenge for a Nigerian military operation against Boko Haram in the village of Boboshe, according to The New York Times.

Boko Haram is trying to establish a sharia state in northeastern Nigeria and pledged allegiance to the caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year.

Also see:

Boko Haram Jihadis Burn Children Alive, Slay Over 100 Villagers in Nigeria Massacre

AP

AP

Breitbart, by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. Jan. 31, 2016:

In one of their most heinous massacres to date, militants from the radical Islamist Boko Haram group slaughtered over a hundred victims in a village in northeast Nigeria Saturday night, including a number of children whom they burned alive.

The latest atrocity from the jihadi group allied to the Islamic State took place in the village of Dalori, some three miles from Maiduguri, Nigeria. Vice Chairman of a civilian joint task force in Dalori, Modu Kaka, said that at least 100 dead bodies were taken away but that hundreds are still missing.

Witnesses spoke of “scores of bodies” burned and riddled with bullets lying in the streets after the attack Saturday night. One man, who managed to escape by hiding in a tree, said that he could hear the wails of children screaming in the flames.

Residents of the community said the militants stormed into town around 6:20 pm and began their killing spree, which lasted for several hours. During the assault, the jihadis demolished houses and burned livestock once they had pillaged and carried away foodstuffs. Several of the villagers were burnt beyond recognition.

Witnesses reported that the fighters ravaged the settlement for four hours, and that three female suicide bombers blew themselves up among people who were fleeing.

Students at nearby University of Maiduguri heard explosions and gunfire, and many fled the area as the conflict raged.

One political science student named Hauwa Ba’na said: “We are crying in our hostel because the explosions are loud and everyone is panicking.”

A Dalori resident, Mallam Buka, decried the lack of protection from the Nigerian military. “We were helpless. Could you believe that there was no military presence in Dalori? The government didn’t provide security to protect us. I lost 11 people, and 5 of our children are nowhere to be found,” she said.

Another resident by the name of Ibrahim Muhammad said that the Boko Haram insurgents had dressed up as military personnel and began opening fire on everybody. “All our wives and children were brutally killed while they looted and destroyed our livestock,” he said.

Boko Haram terrorists began their Islamist insurgency in Maiduguri in 2009, and during their 6-year uprising have killed some 20,000 people and driven another 2.5 million from their homes.

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South Africa Hosts Hamas

949702009Center for Security Policy, by Kyle Shideler, Oct. 23, 2015:

South Africa’s ruling party The African National Congress (ANC) is currently playing host to foreign terrorist organization Hamas, including leaders Khaled Mashaal and Mousa Abu Marzook. Mashaal met personally with South African president Jacob Zuma, exchanged gifts and signed a letter of intent for future cooperation. The ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said the ANC would be “starting a relationship with Hamas” and that the two would work together in “all struggles for freedom of Palestine.”

South Africa’s support for the terrorist organization Hamas does not come as a particular shock. South Africa has grown increasingly close to a number of rogue actors, including Iran, Sudan, and Hamas.

South Africa’s ever-closer alignment with Hamas has been a long time coming, facilitated by local South African Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations. Specifically, the two organizations that are sponsoring a rally on October 21st Rally, to welcome Hamas, the Muslim Judicial Council and the Al Quds Foundation-South Africa.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is one of the leading South African Islamic organization established in 1945, but opening its first formal office in 1982. It describes itself as “a Muslim Judiciary” for South Africa, and manages everything from Halal inspection of food to issuing Islamic legal rulings, or fatwas.

It is also the South African branch of the global Hamas fundraising network known asThe Union of the Good. This gives the MJC the same role in South Africa as was played by the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) in the United States. In 2008, HLF and its founders were convicted for their role in supporting material support for Hamas.

Additionally, the president of the MJC serves as a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose scholarly authority provides Islamic legal support for Hamas’s activities, including suicide bombings, heads both the UoG and the IUMS.  As the Center noted in its occasional paper on Qaradawi and the IUMS:

Founded in Dublin, Ireland, the International Union of Muslim Scholars bills itself as an organization open to Islamic scholars of all sects and schools of Islamic law. Despite this, IUMS maintains close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing Hamas, and numerous individuals known or suspected of Brotherhood ties make up its membership. According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch-a repository of information on Muslim Brotherhood organizations and members- Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas operatives from around the world have served with IUMS.

The Al Quds International Foundation-South Africa, is the South African branch of the Al Quds International Foundation, a specially designated terrorist entity, and its South African chapter is closely-linked to the MJC. The Treasury Department noted:

Hamas’s leadership runs all of the foundation’s affairs through Hamas members who serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors, and other administrative committees. All documents, plans, budgets, and projects of Al-Quds are drafted by Hamas officials.  Several senior Hamas officials, including Specially Designated Global Terrorists Musa Abu-Marzuq and Usama Hamdan, served on Al-Quds’ Board of Trustees.

The General Secretary of the Al Quds International Foundation is Dr. Mohammed Akram al-Adlouni. Akram is the author of the notorious Explanatory Memorandumdocument, a Muslim Brotherhood planning document entered into evidence by prosecutors in the HLF trial. In the Memorandum Akram describes a long-term Muslim Brotherhood plan as a “civilization-jihadist” process to undermine “Western Civilization from within.”

South Africa’s descent into what is essentially state support for terrorism, did not happen overnight.  According to a leaked document which purports to be a South African Intelligence report on Hamas in South Africa, Hamas, together with international Muslim Brotherhood organizations, and South African Brotherhood organizations like the South African Muslim Students Associations (established in 1968), have long been at work proselytizing, recruiting and indoctrinating South African Muslims. According to the report the surveillance of these activities was cancelled when it revealed Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas, were meeting on South African soil with politically connected South African Muslims at an Islamic Conference in Laudium in 1996. Similarly in March 2010, the Obama administration, thanks to political sympathy to MB organizations, halted further prosecutions of Hamas figures in the United States. MB-linked organizations have aggressively sought to eliminate surveillance of their activities, through political pressure and lawsuits.

While South Africa’s relationship with Israel has always been complex, with South Africa honoring an unrepentant jihadist organization, we see the culmination of a successful Brotherhood effort to influence policy through building alliances with other anti-Western parties.

It would be a mistake to assume that what has taken place in South Africa couldn’t likewise occur in other countries where the Brotherhood is hard at work with a “civilization-jihadist” effort to forge a political environment that not only tolerates the Brotherhood’s jihad against Israel, but openly participates in it.

Terrorism in Africa: The Imminent Threat to the United States

Ansar al Sharia recruits receive training at a camp near Benghazi.

Ansar al Sharia recruits receive training at a camp near Benghazi.

Long War Journal, April 29, 2015:

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on the threat posed by jihadist groups in Africa. 

In preparing today’s testimony, I reviewed the history of al Qaeda’s plotting against the West. A number of facts demonstrate that al Qaeda’s presence in Africa has been tied to these efforts. For instance, declassified documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound show that he ordered al Qaeda’s branches in Africa to select candidates capable of striking inside the U.S. Bin Laden also ordered al Qaeda’s African branches to coordinate their work with his “external operations” team, which was responsible for plotting attacks against Western interests. Some of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders, including those who have overseen al Qaeda’s planned attacks in the West, have come from Africa. Senior al Qaeda leaders embedded in Shabaab have also trained operatives to attack in Europe. I discuss this evidence in detail in the final section of my written testimony.

Complex tribal, ethnic, and religious dynamics mean that any summary of the situation in Africa will be necessarily incomplete.  However, I will attempt to distill some themes that are important for understanding the rising jihadist threat in the continent. While there are important differences between ISIS and al Qaeda, and the two are at odds with one another in a variety of ways, they are both inherently anti-American and anti-Western. Thus, they constitute a threat to our interests everywhere their jihadists fight.

Since the beginning of the year, the ISIS branch in Libya has repeatedly attacked foreign interests. The group has bombed and/or assaulted with small arms the Algerian, Moroccan, Iranian, South Korean and Spanish embassies in Tripoli. Fortunately, these attacks have caused only a few casualties, as foreign governments pulled most of their diplomatic personnel out of Libya months ago. But these incidents show the organization’s followers are deeply hostile to any foreign presence.

Other ISIS attacks on foreigners in Libya have been more lethal and at least two Americans have been killed by ISIS’ so-called “provinces.” In January, the group’s fighters launched a complex assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. Ten people, including David Berry, a former U.S. Marine serving as a security contractor, were killed. In August 2014, jihadists from the ISIS province in the Sinai killed William Henderson, an American petroleum worker.

Some of ISIS’ most gruesome acts in North Africa have come with pointed threats against the West. In February, the jihadists beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts. The propaganda video showing the murders was entitled, “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” ISIS explicitly threatened Italy in the video and also made it clear that they would target Christians simply for adhering to a different faith. Earlier this month, ISIS’ branch followed up by killing a large group of Ethiopian Christians.

In March, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. More than 20 people were killed in the assault, which targeted foreign tourists. Citizens of Britain, France, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, and Spain were among the victims. Although ISIS was quick to lay claim to the museum slayings, the reality is more complicated. The Tunisian government has blamed the Uqba ibn Nafi Brigade, which is part of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official branch of al Qaeda. Based on publicly-available information, it appears that the attackers may have joined ISIS, but the operation itself was planned by the AQIM brigade’s leadership.

Al Qaeda’s international network continues to launch high-profile attacks across the continent. Some of these operations directly target foreigners. Earlier this month, Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in Somalia, killed more than 140 people at the Garissa University College in Kenya. The gunmen reportedly separated out non-Muslims for killing, letting many Muslims go. This shows that the organization, like other parts of al Qaeda, is very concerned about the impact of its violence in the Muslim-majority world. In this respect and others, the Garissa attack was similar to Shabaab’s siege of the Westgate shopping mall in September 2013. More than 60 people were killed, with Shabaab’s gunmen singling out non-Muslims. Shabaab’s attacks in Kenya and other neighboring countries are part of what the UN has identified as the group’s “regional” strategy. Shabaab has undoubtedly suffered setbacks since the height of its power in East Africa, but it still operates a prolific insurgency inside Somalia, while also seeking to expand its capabilities in the surrounding countries. In fact, America’s counterterrorism efforts in East Africa seem to be principally aimed at the part of Shabaab tasked with exporting terrorism throughout the region.

As we’ve seen over the past several years, al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Africa will attack American and Western interests when the opportunity presents itself.  The September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Mission and Annex in Benghazi and the raid on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis three days later were carried out by al Qaeda-linked groups. The Ansar al Sharia organizations in Libya and Tunisia, both of which are tied to AQIM, were involved in these assaults on America’s diplomatic presence in North Africa. In early 2013, terrorists commanded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar killed dozens of foreign workers during the siege of the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria. Belmokhtar, who is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri, claimed responsibility for operation on behalf of al Qaeda.

There is no doubt, therefore, that both ISIS and al Qaeda pose a threat to Western interests in Africa. Below, I explore current trends within both organizations, highlighting some ways these international networks may threaten Americans both home and abroad. But first, I briefly look at the different strategies ISIS and al Qaeda are employing to build up their networks.

Read more

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Subcommittee Hearing: Terrorism in Africa: The Imminent Threat to the United States

Witnesses

Dr. J. Peter Pham
Director
Africa Center
Atlantic Council
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Thomas Joscelyn
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Dr. Daniel Byman
Research Director
Center for Middle East Policy
Center for Security Studies
Brookings Institution
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]