Ten Arabic Words: A Challenge to National Security Professionals

This was written before Trump was elected. Unfortunately there has been little progress in our counterterrorism training. Obama holdovers need to go. Personnel is policy.

Unconstrained Analytics, by Matthew Bracken, May 26, 2016:

Former US Navy Officer and SEAL Matthew Bracken has thrown down the gauntlet to professionals in our government and the military who purport to be guardians of our national security:

Ten Arabic Words: A challenge to national security professionals engaged in the Global War On Terror

by Matthew Bracken

If you are a politically-correct bliss-ninny with a coexist bumper sticker slapped on the back of your Subaru, and you don’t have the slightest clue what the following ten words mean, then this essay is not meant for you. You are excused.

  1. dawah

  2. dhimmi

  3. hijra

  4. jizya

  5. kafir

  6. shaheed

  7. shariah

  8. takfir

  9. taqiyya

  10. ummah

But if you are a national security professional, senior military officer or political leader involved in any aspect of the “Global War On Terror,” AKA “Countering Violent Extremism,” these are ten words that should already be a part of your working vocabulary.

If you can’t readily discuss their meaning, significance, and relationships, then you are worse than a fool, you are disgrace to your office and a danger to your country.

If you don’t already have a firm grasp of the meaning of these words, then you are as prepared to conduct the GWOT as President Obama’s “Pajama Boy” is prepared to fight a heavyweight MMA champion in a no-quarter steel-cage death match.

If you couldn’t accurately define at least eight out of the ten directly from your personal knowledge base, then as a national security professional, you are an abject failure.

You are as dangerously ignorant as a parent who would send his ten-year-old son to a NAMBLA summer camp, because a friendly self-identified “Namblan” neighbor said it was like Boy Scout Camp, but even more fun, and completely free of charge. In effect, you sent your innocent and vulnerable young son to a summer camp run by perverts, pedophiles and predators, and you didn’t even know it, because you couldn’t be bothered to learn the actual meaning of NAMBLA independently from your helpful Namblan neighbor. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? Nobody could be that stupid, right? Wrong. That level of stupidity is official Obama administration policy when it comes to fighting the GWOT.

So, if you are an Army general or Navy admiral who, right here and now, without looking at your smart phone, cannot discuss how a kafir becomes a dhimmi, and what a dhimmi’s rights and options (if any) are under shariahthen you are as ignorant of your job as an European-theater Army general circa 1942 who did not know a panzer from a pancake, or a schutzstaffel from a schnitzel. A person as ignorant as you should be kept away from any responsibility for protecting our nation. You are incompetent, and you are a fool.

If you don’t know how to determine when a Muslim suicide bomber is a shaheed and when he is a terrorist according to the shariah, then you are as dangerous to our national safety as a North Atlantic ship captain who believes that icebergs are a fairy tale concocted by conspiracy theorists. Full speed ahead, Captain Smith!

If you don’t know takfir from taqiyya, and can’t discuss the meaning and importance of both, you are as useless as a WW2 intelligence officer who didn’t know the Kriegsmarine from the Luftwaffe, (but who thought that one of them was a private flying club, based on conversations that he overheard among his ever-helpful German cleaning staff).

If you cannot, right now, intelligently discuss the global ummah and its relationship to the OIC in the context of the GWOT, then you should be working for the Department of Parks and Recreation, and not the Department of Homeland Security. If you don’t know what the OIC refers to in this context, put on a dunce cap, and go stand in the corner.

And if you don’t know whether your office is in the Dar al Islam or the Dar al Harb, please jump out of an upper-story window, and when you hit the sidewalk, ask any immigrant who is engaged in hijra. He’ll know the answer, even if you do not.

If you don’t know how dawah relates to jihad when faithful Muslims are engaged in long-term hijra, you should turn in your official credentials and take early retirement. You are as oblivious as a WW2 U.S. Army general who thought that the Geheime Staatspolizei were German motorcycle policemen much like our American state troopers, because a helpful German passer-by told him so.

If you don’t know what the three options are for a kafir who violates the shariah when living in the dar al Islam, then please get out of the national security business.

If you don’t know why a dhimmi would care about jizya, please retire, and hand your duties over to someone who has the natural curiosity and personal integrity to conduct his own study of our actual enemies and their actual strategies.

But in the meantime, you must immediately stop lapping up the false narrative being spoon-fed to you by hostile foreign agents, domestic traitors, useful idiots, and cowards who know better—but who won’t make waves while their pensions are beckoning.

If your job is national security, and you didn’t score at least an eighty on the ten-word quiz, then you have obviously swallowed the big lie that we can safely delegate the understanding of our Islamist enemies to the WW2 equivalent of “moderate Nazis.”

Sounds insane, doesn’t it?

But under President Obama, this is indeed our national policy for fighting the GWOT: allow a range of Muslim Brotherhood front groups to conduct America’s narrowly limited analysis of so-called “radicalized Islam,” and thereafter guide our policies toward Islam and Muslims in general.

Here is an important example straight from current events. Please tell us, oh national security professional, whom has the United Nations delegated the critical task of selecting and “screening” the Muslim “refugees” who are currently arriving in the USA at the rate of thousands per month? Any guesses? It is the same organization that the Obama administration has also optimistically granted the authority to choose our new Muslim “refugee” immigrants? If you don’t know the answer, please get out of the national security business.

organizationofislamicconferenceSo who is it?

It’s the fifty-seven-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, which I referenced above. The mission of the OIC is to promote the spread of Islam across the globe until there is no more dar al harb, and all of the kafirshave either been converted to Islam, killed, or forced into submission as dhimmis. If you didn’t know, dhimmis are formally and legally subjugated second-class citizens who must pay the special jizya tax as the price of their being allowed to live under shariah in the ummah.

But this special offer is only extended to Christians and Jews: all others must choose between conversion to Islam, and the sword. That is, if their Muslim conquerors grant them the option of conversion.

According to the Shariah, the defeated kafirs may also be killed or enslaved, if either of these two outcomes would be considered more beneficial to the ummah, based on local conditions and needs. (Of course, the captured women and girls may be taken as sex-slaves.) Mohammed did all of the above, and he commanded that these practices be continued in perpetuity, and they are.

The charter of the OIC puts Islamic shariah law ahead of secular law. This means, for example, that the official position of the OIC is that Muslims who leave the faith should be killed, and that any faithful Muslim who kills an apostate ex-Muslim has done no sin, but instead should be thanked and congratulated for the deed. It’s the same with adulterers: they should die, and killing an adulterer is no crime.

Yes, that really is their position, and they really do believe it, and much more than that.

The OIC is made up of fifty-seven Muslim nations, united by a common belief in the supremacy of Islam, and their mutual obligation to conduct both dawah and jihad until the Dar al Islam covers the globe, and Allah’s eternal and immutable shariah has supplanted godless democracy and all manmade laws. This dawah includes the practice of using taqiyya when making arrangements or having negotiations with as-yet unsubmitted kafirs in the dar al harb.

So it’s no wonder that ninety-nine percent of the “refugees” being “screened” by the OIC and transported into the USA are Muslim, even though the Christians and other non-Muslims (who until recently made up over ten percent of the populations of Syria and Iraq) are suffering a brutal genocide and holocaust at the hands of Islamic State kidnappers, mass-rapists and mass-executioners.

The same OIC which is choosing our Muslim “refugees” is also strong-arming the European Union, the United States and the United Nations into accepting shariah-compliant religious blasphemy laws, which will turn criticism of Islam into illegal “hate speech.

It’s worth noting that Bill and Hillary Clinton have collected millions of dollars in “speaking fees” and “donations” from OIC members, and perhaps unremarkably, Hillary Clinton also supports outlawing criticism of Islam, if the criticism leads to violence by Muslims.

In light of this, it’s particularly sad to see disgraced former General David Petraeus heap even more shame upon himself, with his recent call for a mindless capitulation to Islamic extortion threats, extortion threats which have been ongoing against kafirs for 1,400 years.

With fourteen centuries of history to examine, “Don’t make the Muslims angry, or they’ll run amok like uncontrollable sub-human savages, and kill lots of innocent people” is a wretched strategy for a former American general and intelligence agency director to espouse.

His call for the end of free speech rights anywhere and anytime that they “offend” Muslims is no different than warning a beaten wife not to anger her chronically abusive husband again, lest he give her yet another violent thrashing—which would then be entirely her fault. In fact, she should be punished again, just for provoking him after being warned not to!

This is not merely the heckler’s veto, which we are, sadly, familiar with today on the American college campus. This is the Muslim terrorist’s veto, and it means forced submission to Islam’s shariah law as the price of temporarily forestalling Muslim violence.

Shame on David Petraeus for siding with the perpetrators of Islamic terrorism, and not the victims.

But at least his motives are transparent: pure greed. Petraeus, who has no background in finance or economics, is making millions of dollars by hustling in Muslim nations for the multi-billion-dollar global hedge fund KKR. They want something for their money, and he gave it to them in his recent Washington Post column. (Read “Why David Petraeus really wants you to shut up about Islamism,” TheFederalist.com, May 18, 2016.)

Let me offer you another simple test that you may apply to your own national security work space and mission.

If you have been ordered to purge the ten listed Arabic words (and others) from your official GWOT lexicon, and instead to hand over the task of analyzing “Islamic radicalism” to alleged “moderate Muslims,” then you are being played for a fool by our nation’s most implacable and devious enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Fifteen years after the twin towers came down, you have no excuse for such obliviousness. After the next 9-11, you will not be able to plead ignorance yet again.

As a national security official, you have a duty to perform your own due diligence. You must educate yourself, and reject the politically-correct blindfold that you have been ordered to wrap around your own mind.

Sun Tzu wrote: “if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

Today, we are literally outsourcing our intelligence analysis in the GWOT to the OIC and various Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Simply do a search for “Holy Land Foundation, Hamas, CAIR, and FBI” to begin your overdue education.

Is it any wonder that the official “Countering Violent Extremism” narrative holds:

  • That there is utterly no connection between Islamic terrorism and Islam?
  • That the Islamic State, which quotes chapter and verse of the Koran as justification for its every decision, is not Islamic?
  • That Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Caliph of ISIS, who holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad, knows less about Islam than President Obama and his American-trained national security staff?

In 2016, ignorance of the reality of the Islamist threat is no longer an excuse. Many resources are readily available if you are willing to look unblinkingly at the light of truth.

I would suggest the online video lectures given by Stephen Coughlin and Dr. Bill Warner as starting points. Those who need or desire to read an exhaustively researched (over a thousand footnotes) academic treatise on the present Islamist threat should carefully study Coughlin’s “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.”

After 9-11, Mr. Coughlin was an acclaimed subject matter expert and frequent high-level lecturer at the CIA, the FBI, and the Pentagon, until 2008 when he was made persona-non-grata on federal property as an unwelcome “Islamophobe.”

And who made the determination of Mr. Coughlin’s “Islamophobia?” The same Muslim Brotherhood front groups that our intelligence agencies now rely upon for their understanding of “violent extremism,” which, of course, we are assured has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

We know this must be true, because President Obama has told us so. Unless, of course, he is practicing taqiyya on behalf of the ummahTaqiyya is a bedrock principle of Islamic shariah, a ready tool for Muslims to use when they are dealing with kafirs.

And not only radical Muslims, but ordinary, everyday, “moderate” Muslims. According to the shariah, it’s not a sin when a Muslim lies to a kafir in order to promote Islam. In that case, taqiyya is just a very clever form of dawah, helping to prepare the kafirs for the final Islamic jihad victory.

Now, go look up the Arabic words that you didn’t know, and read the article again, with fuller understanding. Then, go ask your colleagues how they did on the quiz.

In the current threat environment, when mistakes are punished with passenger jets falling out of the sky, seventy is a failing grade for a trained and educated national security professional.

Please strive to do better. Your country is depending on you. Don’t let us down again. Educate yourself, and then prepare to stand firm against the prevailing winds of political correctness.

Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Remember your core values, and stand tall against America’s enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Matt Bracken graduated from the University of Virginia in 1979 with a degree in Russian Studies. He was commissioned in the US Navy through the NROTC program at UVA, and then graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training class 105 in Coronado California. He served on east coast UDT and SEAL teams, taking a Naval Special Warfare detachment to Beirut in 1983. Mr. Bracken left active duty after Lebanon, upon completion of his obligated military service, but he remained in an active reserve status through the remainder of the 1980s. Since then he has lived in Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, Guam and California. Matt is a self-described freedomista who loves ocean sailing for the pure freedom it often permits. In 1993 Mr. Bracken finished building a 48-foot steel sailing cutter of his own design, on which he has done extensive ocean cruising, including a solo voyage 9,000 miles from Panama to Guam and two Panama Canal transits. He is a constitutionalist who believes in the original intent of the founding fathers of our country. He lives with his family in North Florida and longs for the wide blue ocean. His website is EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com

Abdullah X’s Cartoonish CVE Failure

Jihad Watch, by Andrew Harrod, July 1, 2018:

“We are failing, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise” in an anti-jihadist ideological struggle, stated Farah Pandith, President Barack Obama’s former special representative to Muslim communities, at a Washington, DC event in 2015. She should know, given her affiliation with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and its Abdullah X project, an online animated character who demonstrates Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)’s miserable failure against jihadists.

Little in Pandith’s or ISD’s history of promoting CVE programs such as ISD’s Strong Cities Network (SCN) indicates their suitability for an ideological counter-jihad. Launched in New York City in conjunction with the Obama Administration the day before Pandith’s September 30, 2015 McCain Institute appearance, ISD’s SCN suffered from the same ideological vacuity afflicting all CVE efforts. Pandith’s previous appearance at a February 2015 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) panel in conjunction with a Washington, DC, CVE summit was no better.

Produced by a former jihadist recruiter and addressing British Muslims in particular, ISD’s Abdullah X, meanwhile, does not fulfill its promise of winning a battle of ideas. This Muslim Londoner character left one online British Muslim hardliner unimpressed; he dismissed the “insipid graphic novel” of “Abdul Neocon.” This critic noted in particular that ISD founder George Weidenfeld was an ardent Zionist who expressed his pro-Israel sentiments in conjunction with “Islamophobic” groups such as the Gatestone Institute.

Abdullah X’s Twitter account appears to confirm this Muslim blogger’s opinion as to Abdullah X’s unpopularity among the wider Muslim community. The moribund account has merely 1,175 followers. Its latest tweets appeared in November 2016, with lamentations over Donald Trump’s presidential election.

Abdullah X’s Muslim philosopher in the city is also unconvincing as a counter-jihad figure, particularly given his superficially benign treatment of Islamic doctrine. He has tweeted that the “most significant proof of that Islam is a religion of peace and security is that God has named it as Islam.” Yet despite this being a common falsehood, “Islam” derives from the Arabic for “submission,” not “peace.”

In one video, Abdullah X proclaims that “I would love to live in a state of Islam, where Islam was able to be the foundation upon which we would be living.” Another video bases such enthusiasm on dubious claims that Islam’s prophet Muhammad founded in seventh-century Arabia a Medina city-state that protected freedom of religion and minorities. Similarly, Abdullah X has tweeted that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or “ISIS act in the complete opposite way to the teachings and spirit of Islam,” despite  scholarly evidence to the contrary.

Abdullah X’s video against jihadist recruitment invokes Islamic canons against groups such as ISIS, but his case is not as clear-cut as meets the eye. The video quotes Quran 5:32’s prohibition against killing, without, as is often the case, omitting the actually deadly exception for those “spreading disorder in the land,” a phrase that can encompass any “enemy” of Islam. A quotation from the book Kitab al-Kharaj also forbids Muslims from “consuming their [non-Muslims’] wealth illegally,” but ignores the legal exactions Islamic doctrine has imposed upon subjugated non-Muslim dhimmis. The book’s author, Abu Yusuf, was the chief jurist for the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid (ruled 786-809) of Arabian Nights fame, and both individuals manifested how past Islamic rule could be just as brutal as ISIS.

The video also quotes Umayyad Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz (Umar II, ruled 717-720), a man often lionized in Islamic history as the “fifth and last caliph of Islam” after the four “rightly guided caliphs” following Muhammad’s death in 632. “Do not demolish any church, cloister, or Zoroastrian temple that were extant during their reign,” states a video text, without saying what happens to non-Muslim houses of worship after this reign (of the rightly guided caliphs?). The video leaves out Umar II’s sharia-based support for oppressing non-Muslims that follows logically from the Pact of Umar that is usually attributed to Umar II’s great-grandfather, Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (Umar I, ruled 634-644).

When not opposing jihadists with questionable results, Abdullah X often directs his efforts towards promoting Muslim victimhood, as one of his videos on “Islamophobia” indicates. He has tweetedabout his simultaneous “defensive jihad against Islamists and Islamophobes,” along with typical leftist-Muslim condemnation for the Iraq war film American Sniper. Another tweet generalizes that “[i]f a Muslim expresses any loyalty to his/her way of life…he/she by default is an extremist.” Meanwhile, an Abdullah X video attacks the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote as “using democracy to mask the prejudice of ages,” just as British “haters…are blaming us [Muslims] for their own system’s failures.”

Abdullah X’s sense of Muslim grievance also extends to his ambiguous relationship to free speech concerning Islam. One tweet states that “[f]ree Speech became hate speech a long time ago for some.” His “Freedom of Speech vs Responsibility” video following the 2015 jihadist Paris massacre of Charlie Hebdo satirists similarly spends more time admonishing unrestricted speech than condemning the cartoonists’ murderers.

Thus the Muslim Abdullah X, supposedly focused on extremism, directs his accusatory questions not towards Muslims who are considering violence, but rather towards non-Muslims who are criticizing Islam and Muslims. “Can I incite hatred and anger and use things like satire to justify it? Can I intentionally target those I don’t fully understand and say that it is my inalienable right to do so?” he asks in the video. “Freedom depends on how you use it. If you use it to hurt me, you are wrong,” he states sternly, and concludes with the self-censoring moral that “I am free to be able to think carefully about my freedom and how I use it.”

Abdullah X’s victim mindset easily turns to the conspiracy-mongering that afflicts many Muslims worldwide, as indicated by his tweeting “War is deception,” a phrase that is actually a hadith, or canonical saying of Muhammad. In one of his videos, he states that the Islamic State “sounds like something a Westerner would call it,” as if non-Muslims created these jihadists. “Some political chess players were toying with the idea of creating a physical enemy within Islam to occupy our minds,” he feverishly imagines. “Any ‘alternative’ to the pathetic global reality is seen as a threat,” he has likewise tweeted, while channeling Noam Chomsky; “Islam is just the most well publicized. It’s all part of the plan.”

No Muslim victimhood would be complete without lamentations for the Palestinians and pillorying of Israel. “While Palestine remains in this hell…there will never be and can never be peace,” he has tweeted, without any assignment of responsibility to Israel-hating Palestinians for their plight. Abdullah X has also tweeted messages including “FREEDOM4GAZA,” without any mention of the region’s ruling Hamas terrorists and their ongoing intentions to destroy Israel.

Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge military campaign against Hamas forms the backdrop for one Abdullah X video that combines conspiracy theories with incongruous praise for Islam as Gaza’s hope for peace. “Those regions, states, and lands where there is an absence of leadership based on the Sunnah invariably create the climate for the death, suffering, and displacement of innocent people,” he states with unquestioned confidence in Islamic norms. Meanwhile, the “chessboard of the Arab world is silent on Gaza” because “they live in the shadow of their paymasters” (Zionists, Western imperialists?) who “are not those who practice the Sunnah.” “A true Muslim ruler would never allow Gaza to end up in this mess, and a true Muslim ruler would never resort to terrorism or selling out to achieve it,” he vaguely and haughtily concludes.

Abdullah X’s armchair musings on Gaza show that more often than not he acts as a defender of the Muslim faithful and not as any self-reflecting critic. He has approvingly tweeted an article from the deranged Israel-hater Max Blumenthal condemning Muslim apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali for supposed fabrications. Yet she has good evidence for her statistic that conflicts involving Muslims are responsible for 70 percent of global conflict fatalities.

Likewise, Abdullah X’s opposition to the Islamic State does not mean that he opposes all Muslims fighting against Bashar Assad’s dictatorship in Syria’s multifaceted civil war. “Yes, there are 70,000 moderate opposition fighters in Syria,” he has gushingly tweeted, in agreement with a 2015 claimby British Prime Minister David Cameron. Yet about 30,000 of these “moderates” are actually non-Islamic State jihadists aligned with rival groups including Al Qaeda, an assessment that is actually highly optimistic compared to other detailed studies.

Jihadists of whatever background in Syria or elsewhere, but not human rights defenders, would certainly embrace Abdullah X’s tweet that a “united Islam is the only goal worth attaining.” While Abdullah X’s creator may be remorseful about jihadist ideology’s ultimate brutal consequences, he has apparently not fully scrutinized this ideology’s doctrinal basis. He has instead embraced CVE’s false premises promoted by groups such as ISD, that jihadist mayhem derives not from Islamic spiritual claims, but rather “root causes” societal deprivations like poverty. Trump’s scrapping of CVE’s failed initiatives including Abdullah X has come none too soon.

White House keeps failed ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ program

Department of State | Flickr

GEORGE SELIM PROMOTES NARRATIVE THAT ISIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM.

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, July 29, 2017:

The Trump White House continues to support a failed counter-extremism office in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that engages fringe Islamic activists while rejecting Muslim reformers.

The promotion of “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) was initiated by the Obama administration as an approach to stopping radicalization from within vulnerable communities. CVE resources mostly focused on Islamic radicalism, but did not officially recognize the Islamic component due to the former administration’s politically correct approach.

On Thursday, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on “Combatting Homegrown Extremism.” One of the panelists at the hearing, George Selim, is the director of “Countering Violent Extremism” at DHS. His office was established by the Obama administration in 2015. Before Selim went over to DHS, he was a lead figure in the National Security Council, working alongside Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice as the White House director for community partnerships.

In his position, Selim admitted to holding “hundreds” of meetings with representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group originally founded as a Muslim Brotherhood front group to support Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist organization. The shocking revelations documenting the extensive relationship between the Obama White House and CAIR came as a surprise to the law enforcement community. At the time, FBI policy had banned meeting with CAIR due to its nefarious ties.

Instead of calling for reform within the Islamic world (a track that several Muslim world leaders and segments of the Trump administration now advocate), the Obama White House under Selim (in both his positions on the NSC and now at DHS) sought to protect Islam from the jihadi groups that wage terror in the name of the religion.

Selim told a House committee in 2016: “To be successful in our homeland security efforts, we have to underscore and reinforce the fact that ISIL does not represent Islam and cannot justify its barbaric terrorism with twisted interpretations of one of the world’s most prominent religions.”

Well-informed families and communities are our best defense against terrorist ideologies, which represent the current threat from ISIL propaganda,’’ Selim continued in September. “Within this context, working with communities to prevent radicalization to violence has become imperative.”

So, according to Selim’s logic, Muslim reformers are in the wrong, because they propose (like Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi) that a conversation must be had about Islamic doctrine as a whole.

As Andrew McCarthy explains at National Review, “CVE delusionally forbids the conclusion that radical Islamic ideology has any causative effect on terrorist plotting.”

The Muslim Brotherhood believes in essentially the same end-goal as ISIS: the installation of a worldwide Islamic caliphate. The group actually acts as a gateway to violent jihad. For example, the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, and current al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri were once members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Trump Administration needs to understand that countering violent extremism as a policy runs against their vision of tougher counterterrorism. As long as the Trump Administration allows Obama holdovers to conduct outreach to Islamists like CAIR under the guise of CVE, the President’s efforts to make America safe again will fail,” Kyle Shideler of the Center for Security Policy tells Conservative Review. “Returning to a strong counterterrorism policy that focuses on solid intelligence and police work requires shutting down the White House CVE effort.”

The CVE strategy is dangerous for two reasons. Not only does it quash discussion over the connection between Islam and terror, but it empowers radical groups like CAIR to act as the voice of the Muslim community. This dangerous blend results in a policy concoction of political correctness and the empowerment of Islamic supremacists that threatens to undermine American national security. If the Trump administration fails to rid itself of CVE, it will succumb to an America-last strategy that has shown no documented successes in curbing terror and extremism.

Also see:

Trump Continues Obama DHS Policy of Engaging CAIR

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  May 17, 2017:

Donald Trump might be the president of the United States, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to treat the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a credible outreach partner.

Its officials participated in DHS town hall discussions in Miami and Tampa, CAIR-Florida announced Thursday.

A discussion at Miami-Dade College included Veronica Venture, the outgoing DHS acting officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Kareem Shora, section chief of the DHS Community Engagement Section.

Venture and Shora are both holdovers from the Obama administration.

Shora enjoys close relations with CAIR-FL, organizing multiple events with the group on DHS’s behalf. He helped organize a December training event for visiting French police officials with CAIR-FL in conjunction with the State Department.

This marks the latest example of DHS’s partnering with CAIR as a Muslim community liaison partner despite its well-documented connection to Hamas – a tie that caused the FBI to sever similar outreach in 2008. CAIR officials have worked to discourage Muslims from cooperating with the FBI.

Both Shora and CAIR oppose to President Trump’s vocal support for Israel and desire to counter Islamic terrorism.

Shora urged the U.S. to stop shipping weapons to Israel during its 2006 war with Hizballah because Lebanese civilians we “getting bombed.” As executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Shora claimed in 2009 that Muslim charities fell victim to “undue scrutiny” from law enforcement in the effort to cut off funding terrorist groups. He also called the portrayal of Muslims as more “vulnerable” to terrorist recruitment an “unfortunate reality.”

The two Florida DHS programs indicate that the Trump administration has yet to change course on the Obama administration’s controversial Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. The government has no way of telling whether these outreach programs work, the General Accountability Office (GAO) noted in an April report.

In Tampa, DHS allowed CAIR-FL Executive Director Hassan Shibly to participate in a roundtable with local law enforcement. Shibly played a key role in the December outreach event with the French police along with Shora. He also has made his share of radical statements.

He accuses FBI agents of unjustly killing a Muslim suspect who attacked them after questioning. After independent investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing, Shibly repeated the accusation and is helping the family sue the FBI.

He also opposes FBI sting operations as an “entrapment program targeting the Muslim community” and a form of tyranny that strayed away from the “great ideals of liberty, equality and justice.”

Experiment with terrorist rehab fails 1st U.S. test

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the existence of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria and all ISIS fighters are required to swear an oath to support him as their caliph. Is it possible to ‘rehab’ an ISIS terrorist? The federal government thinks so and is trying to test the concept out on a Somali man who tried to leave Minnesota to join ISIS.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, May 7, 2017:

After six Somali refugees were convicted of plotting to board planes and join ISIS in Syria, a U.S. federal judge in Minnesota decided to enroll one of them in an experimental terrorist rehabilitation program.

The program was developed in Europe and operates on the principles of the “countering violent extremism” or CVE, which is also part of the global, United Nations-supported Strong Cities Network.

Rather than going to prison, Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf, 21, was sentenced in November to a 20-year supervised release. He was granted time served and sent to live in a halfway house. He receives counseling, reports to a probation officer and wears an ankle monitor but is otherwise free to come and go.

Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf same to U.S. as a child refugee from Somalia but tried to leave and fight for ISIS.

But less than six months from the time he was released, Yusuf has already hit a road block.

He was returned to federal custody last week for allegedly failing a polygraph test and watching a documentary about ISIS in Europe.

According to a report by a U.S. probation officer, Yusuf failed a polygraph while under questioning, then admitted to watching CNN’s “ISIS: Behind the Mask,” a film about a Belgian ISIS soldier that was on TV April 18 at his halfway house, the Star-Tribune reported.

The terms of his 20-year supervised release include a provision that Yusuf not “possess, view, access, or otherwise use material that reflects extremist or terroristic views or as deemed to be inappropriate by the U.S. Probation Office.”

It’s all part of a “unique approach to supervising federal terrorism cases,” the Star-Tribune reports. This approach was approved by federal Judge Michael Davis and the U.S. District Court’s Probation and Pretrial Services department, which chose the Minnesota case to introduce the country’s first terrorism “disengagement and deradicalization” program.

In essence, they would try to “deradicalize” the young jihadist.

The program is based on evaluations and training from German researcher Daniel Koehler, who concluded that Yusuf had “a medium to low risk of future offending and a comparatively advanced stage of disengagement,” according to court filings.

Almost everyone in Minnesota law enforcement is not on board with the controversial program, sources tell WND. And groups that try to educate police on the religious underpinnings of jihad are typically closed out of the discussion.

Even citizens find it hard to get the ear of their local sheriff or police chief, says Debra Anderson, the ACT for America chapter leader for Minnesota.

“It’s CVE at the highest level down to the local level and even though the grassroots activists are trying to train our law enforcement it’s almost impossible to even get these guys to have a meeting with you,” Anderson told WND. “I get doors shut in my face every day.”

Philip Haney, who spent more than a dozen years screening for jihadists at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before retiring in 2015, told WND that Minnesota is not the first to experiment with the idea that terrorists can be rehabilitated.

He says it’s been tried many times, in many places, including the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.

The concept, that religiously motivated terrorists can be reformed, finds its roots in the “countering violent extremism” movement – an approach that began in Europe and was brought to the U.S. by the Obama administration.

“Rehabilitation is part of CVE. In fact, the idea that terrorists can be rehabilitated is woven into the overall CVE concept,” said Haney, co-author of the book “See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”

“But the bottom line is these programs have been demonstrable failures,” he said. “They started with Saudi Arabia rehabbing Gitmo prisoners, and it’s actually achieved the opposite results.”

According to data released in March, the intelligence community has confirmed a total of 121 former Gitmo detainees have re-entered the battlefield. Another 87 former detainees are suspected of rejoining the ranks of their brother terrorists. The total of 208 confirmed and suspected terrorists makes up 30 percent of all those released from Gitmo.

Sweden and Denmark have also engaged in a concerted effort to rehab their jihadists.

“They’re trying it out in Denmark now, but there’s no real quantifiable way of demonstrating the program is effective because they universally overlook the real source of what they call ‘radicalization,’ and no program will ever work if you overlook the source of what is causing this violent behavior,” Haney said.

Such attempts completely ignore the original source of inspiration for Islamic violence – the Islamic texts, which include the Quran and hadiths – the reported words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, Haney said.

Rehab in Denmark

Morten Storm, a former Danish al-Qaida member, told Newsweek he dismisses the experiment on its face.

“It’s completely ridiculous,” he says. “It means disregarding the life and dignity of the people the jihadists have been terrorizing – simply because the jihadists happen to be Danish. And deradicalizing the jihadists doesn’t work, because they’re religiously motivated. Yes, some may enroll [in the program], but then they’ll go back to the front lines.”

Danish leaders, like Obama’s former U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harp, are striving to pin the causes of terrorism on something other than Islam. Harp famously said it was a lack of jobs in the Middle East that led young men to become terrorists.

But what about here in the U.S. or Europe, where jobs are plentiful and education is often free?

“One school of thought is that the jihadists feel excluded, versus the reality that assimilation into a non-Muslim society is counter to the teachings of Islam, so we’re blaming the host nation for not being inclusive enough and enabling the [Muslim] migrants to be a part of our country when in reality they don’t want to assimilate and be a part of it,” Haney said.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently blamed “Islamophobia” for “fueling the rise in global terrorism.”

Strong Cities Network

On Sept. 29, 2015, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the launch of the Strong Cities Network at United Nations headquarters in New York.

“At that point, CVE went global, it morphed into this Strong Cities Network, part of a much bigger agenda to enable, or refuse to acknowledge, the threat that we face from Islamic terrorism,” Haney said. “The White House all but admitted it didn’t work and yet they tripled the budget for CVE as part of this attempt to provide alternative narratives that transform how we think about terrorism. The focus of law enforcement went from ‘Islamic terrorism’ to ‘violent extremism in all its forms.’”

The U.S. State Department even launched a Twitter campaign in February 2016 to try to deny the Islamic role in terrorism. It was a bust. The year 2016 was the most Islamically violent year in decades with terrorist attacks launched across Europe and the U.S., from Orlando to Paris, Normandy, Nice, Bavaria and Berlin.

And Minneapolis, with its large Somali refugee community admittedly struggling with ISIS and al-Shabab “recruitment problems,” was one of three cities the Obama administration chose in 2014 for CVE pilot programs, along with Boston and Los Angeles.

Minneapolis and L.A. would go the extra step and join the global Strong Cities Network, or SCN.

Minneapolis was one of four initial U.S. cities to sign up for SCN, along with New York, Denver and Atlanta.

Jordanian Prince Zeid Raad Zeid al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, came to New York to help roll out the SCN in September 2015 at the U.N., standing beside Loretta Lynch and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Since then, six more U.S. cities have joined the global policing network – Aurora, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Los Angeles; San Diego; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Louisville, Kentucky.

See list of Strong Cities Network member cities worldwide.

So the CVE and Strong Cities Network are inexorably linked, both tracing their U.S. points of origin into the heart of the Obama administration and its effort to take the heat off of Islam and place it onto “right wing” terrorists.

Draining the swamp?

All of this was done without consulting Congress, or with any apparent consideration of states’ rights, or the Constitution itself, says Haney.

Part of the U.N.’s focus is to cultivate global governance through cities, bypassing nation-states. This was made evident in the New Urban Agenda adopted by the Obama administration and more than 100 other world leaders at the Habitat III Conference last year in Ecuador.

As for the Trump administration, it has shown little awareness of the power of these programs, nor has it signaled any sense of urgency in reversing them, Haney said.

“I don’t think they really are aware of how much is really being done [through the U.N.], I think Trump is on a steep learning curve, and he’s touching some of these issues and I give him credit for it,” he said. “The question is whether he has the political courage to go forward, because if he’s going to drain the swamp these are the kinds of programs that need to be drained. They put our sovereignty subject to an outside international body.”

Ignoring history

Most of the government attempts at deprogramming jihadists focus on poverty or some other “subjective” cause that deflects attention from the central issue, Haney said. They also ignore the broad sweep of history.

“Islam is not a subjective ideology, but they’re using subjective terms to try to define a religion that is objectively very well defined … poverty, colonialism, lack of inclusiveness, it has all existed well before modern times,” Haney said. “The ideology existed before the times we live in. We saw it in their crossing the Straights of Gibraltar in 711 A.D. [into Spain]. And we saw it in 732 A.D. exactly 100 years after Muhammad died, when they were invading France, only to be driven out by Charles Martel.”

Another incursion was made in 1683 at the Gates of Vienna, only to be repelled by the Polish King John Sobieski.

The West has been in a 1,300-year, on-and-off war with Islam. It seems the war is back on, but few in the West are aware.

Anderson said the Obama policy of playing nice with terrorists has had a severe impact on her state, which is home to so many Somali Muslims.

“They have fundamentally transformed counter-terrorism from a law-enforcement-based approach, which treated them as criminals with all the rights of normal defendants and that in itself was the subject of great debate, but Obama took it a step further and transformed the U.S. system from a law-based approach to a civil-rights and civil-liberties approach. So they’ve basically paralyzed our law-enforcement system,” Anderson said.

Gov. Dayton tells detractors: ‘find another state’

Meanwhile, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking openly at a community forum in St. Cloud in October 2015, told residents that anyone who cannot accept living alongside Somali immigrants “should find another state.” Less than a year later, in September 2016, a Somali refugee went on a stabbing spree at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, injuring 10 people.

“We have a governor who doesn’t listen to us and our mayor in Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, signed us up for Strong Cities Network, so we have it bad here,” Anderson said. “We’re just a sinking state.”

“On the one hand the grassroots is getting it, we’ve circumvented the hostile media, and we’ve traveled around and what I’m learning is the surrounding states are recognizing Minnesota is ground-zero for jihadi training,” Anderson said.

Waleed Idrus al-Maneesey is a radical imam who heads up the Al-Farooq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, attended by at least six known terrorists and terrorist supporters.

Dar al-Farooq in Bloomington is one mosque that draws suspicion. It operates under the guidance of imam Walid Idrus al-Maneesey, who is also a member of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, the organization responsible for issuing fatwas in North America.

The mosque supports the Islamic University of Minnesota, which turned out its first graduating class recently with intense training in Shariah law, the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence. At least six Somali terrorism suspects have been known to attend al-Maneesey’s mosque.

And now the Minneapolis police are tolerating an Islamic Shariah cop who patrols the Cedar Riverside neighborhoods looking for violations of Islamic dress and food laws, as well as social interaction deemed inappropriate between the sexes. He has recruited 10 others to work under him and police have not arrested any of them.

Another example of Minneapolis police backing off of Somali Muslim criminal activity occurred last June in the Linden Hills community on Lake Calhoun. For three straight days a gang of Somali thugs terrorized the neighborhood, riding vehicles over lawns, shouting threats of rape and pretending to shoot people on the beach. One neighbor’s dog was beaten. Not a single arrest was made and the police chronically showed up “too late” to catch the thugs when they were called by residents.

“They are more interested in protecting their civil rights and civil liberties than protecting the local population,” Anderson said.

“What the average citizen does not know is they no longer have reliable law enforcement,” she added. “They don’t know that. Linden Hills is a perfect example of that.

“So this is a country gradually surrendering to Islamic sharia law. We are, already, incrementally surrendering. Former Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, several times made public statements that showed his bias toward Muslims and against non-Muslims in Minnesota. After the Somali arrests, and after the Brussels, Belgium, terrorist attack he said ‘we’re here to protect you, our Muslim friends, from Islamophobia.’”

MEF Sues DHS for Hiding Information on Its Funding of Islamists

News from the Middle East Forum, May 1, 2017:

Philadelphia – May 1, 2017 – The Middle East Forum has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure the release of documents related to the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) grant program.

The grant program, which began last year, is intended to assist “efforts at the community level to counter violent extremist recruitment and radicalization to violence,” but MEF was concerned about U.S. Islamist groups – themselves radicals – receiving CVE funds. Indeed, grant recipients have included the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and a long history of sanitizing Islamist terrorism.

On January 10, MEF filed a detailed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with DHS seeking documents about the selection criteria and specific decisions in awarding CVE grants. The request indicated that the documents are mostly located at the DHS Office for Community Partnerships (OCP), headed by George Selim.

Having failed to receive even a response to its request within the 20-day period mandated by law, MEF contacted DHS. Finally, on March 23, DHS FOIA officer Ebony Livingston informed us that the request had been routed to the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA), which found no pertinent records.

On April 26, MEF filed a lawsuit alleging that DHS violated the law by not only failing to produce the documents, but failing even to conduct a search for the documents.

The complaint, prepared by attorney Matt Hardin, a specialist in FOIA litigation, seeks injunctive relief compelling DHS “to search for and produce all records in its possession responsive to plaintiff’s FOIA request.”

“We filed a detailed FOIA request, specifying the documents we were looking for and where they likely were,” said MEF Director Gregg Roman. “DHS not only failed to produce the documents, it failed even to conduct a search and closed our case without bothering to tell us. This is not just unacceptable but illegal.”

The case has been assigned to Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. It bears noting that Judge Lamberth previously handled FOIA litigation concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“The CVE program should be canceled altogether,” said Sam Westrop, director of MEF’s Islamist Watch project. “And guidelines should be put in place to make sure that extremist groups like MPAC never receive taxpayer money to counter extremism.”


The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves its goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.

America’s ‘known wolf’ jihadist problem: Why haven’t we learned from our mistakes?

Muhammad ud-Deen | Greg A L | Wikimedia Commons

Conservative Review, by Benjamin Weingarten, April 20, 2017:

One of the more disturbing and dangerous trends in American national security is the proliferation of “known wolves” — jihadists who are able to commit terrorist attacks against our homeland in spite of the fact that they are on law enforcement’s radar.

This issue is becoming so commonplace that literally in the midst of drafting this piece, news broke of one such potential figure. Kori Ali Muhammad murdered three innocents in Fresno, California during a rampage in which he reportedly screamed “Allahu akbar.” In spite of authorities characterizing his attack as a hate crime rather than terrorism, Muhammad certainly appears to have been a “known wolf”, with local news sources reporting not only a criminal background but a history of “making terrorist threats.”

More chilling were the revelations detailed in a recent episode of 60 Minutes concerning the would-be terrorists known to the FBI who attempted to shoot up the 2015 “Draw Muhammad” cartoon event held in Garland, Texas. The show’s investigators found that an undercover FBI agent working with the pair of jihadists had urged one of them to “Tear up Texas,” and was in an automobile directly behind them in the moments leading up to their failed attack. Maddeningly, the agent apparently did not attempt to intervene and prevent the potential massacre.

But perhaps the most infamous known wolf of all is Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki was an American citizen who would become one of the leading jihadist clerics and al-Qaeda recruiters in the world before being assassinated via drone in Yemen in 2011.

Awlaki’s name has surfaced in connection with a FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch of great importance and relevance as a new administration grapples with how to defend America from the jihadists within.

Judicial Watch filed suit against the FBI in order to force the agency to produce records relating to its investigation of Awlaki, given his confirmed connection to several 9/11 hijackers.

Fox News recently released images captured by the FBI stemming from this investigation that show Awlaki being surveilled on the same day in February of 2002 as he spoke at a conference at the Pentagon on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture.”

The fact that Awlaki — who was interviewed by the FBI at least four times in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks due to his known ties to three of the hijackers — was invited to speak at a Department of Defense luncheon intended to serve as a forum for Muslim outreach alone is unsettling.

But the story gets worse:

The FBI documents confirm the imam was under bureau surveillance as part of the “IT UBL/Al-Qaeda” investigation, but the information was not shared with the Defense Department’s Office of General Counsel, which sponsored the 2002 Pentagon lunch.

The high-level FBI surveillance – including specialized teams, as well as video and photos – also calls into question the bureau’s explanation regarding a decision eight months later, in October 2002, by FBI agent Wade Ammerman. While Awlaki was held by Customs officers at JFK airport because of an outstanding warrant for the cleric’s arrest from the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego, Ammerman told Customs to release him. The FBI has maintained Ammerman’s actions were routine. 

Meanwhile, the FBI has been reluctant to divulge details of the Awlaki investigation.

As the Fox News report notes:

The FBI first released blurry ‘Xerox’ copies in 2013 of the photos with poor resolution. Chris Farrell, director of Judicial Watch investigations, said they sued the bureau for more because Awlaki had confirmed contact with the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego and Virginia.

“The FBI continues to obstruct and delay the production of records concerning their investigation of the dead terrorist spiritual leader of the 9/11 hijackers –Anwar Awlaki,” Farrell said…

Farrell said the FBI released screen grabs but refused to release the surveillance videos. “Almost 16 years later [after 9/11 attacks], how are the interests of the American public served by the FBI’s legal gamesmanship and excessive redactions?” he said.

This is a valid question that Congress ought to take up in earnest.

The American people also deserve to know the answers to several other pertinent questions:

  • How is it that an individual could be investigated for terrorist links at the same time he was invited to speak to U.S. government defense officials in an outreach capacity?
  • Can the FBI report of any other analogous instances in which this has occurred?
  • What steps has the FBI taken to ensure that figures like Awlaki under FBI investigation are not actively consulting with U.S. government authorities, whether formally or informally?
  • In outreach efforts under the government’s countering violent extremism paradigm, is the FBI contacted to ensure that partners have been vetted for terrorist ties and are not the subject of current or past investigation, a la Awlaki?
  • Does the FBI believe it committed any additional errors in connection with its handling of its investigation of Awlaki? If so, what are they, and what measures has the FBI taken to ensure they will never be made in the future?

In formal remarks delivered by DHS Secretary John Kelly on April 18 on threats facing America, Sec. Kelly devoted substantial space to the issue of “Homegrown Terrorism,” which includes known wolves like Awlaki.

If we do not have an open and honest accounting of past failures on this count, we cannot hope to correct them in the future.

Given the great damage inflicted by the countering violent extremism project —- whereby the U.S. government outsourced its counterjihadist policies to the very Muslim Brotherhood-aligned groups responsible for purging the materials and figures best-equipped to orient our policies towards the Islamic supremacist threat (some groups of which may directly constitute the threat themselves) — time is of the essence if we are to change course and keep the homeland safe.

Ben Weingarten is Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. A graduate of Columbia University, he regularly contributes to publications such as City Journal, The Federalist, Newsmax and PJ Media on national security/defense, economics and politics. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.