What’s Wrong with These Four Approaches to “Deprogramming” Jihad?

1769

You have to look past what you wish were true.

CounterJihad, Aug. 26 2016:

Let’s say that you wanted to reach the people who carry out murder in the name of jihad, and persuade them not to kill anyone.  How would you do it?  There are four approaches that governments are trying today, and none of them work.

The first approach is to identify likely candidates for radicalization while they are young, and talk them out of it using government propaganda.  The FBI’s “Don’t Be A Puppet” campaign is an example of this.  It aims at young people using an online video game that rewards them for solving problems associated with recognizing attempts to radicalize them.  The hope is to teach them to recognize that they are being manipulated by radical religious figures so that these young people will turn away from those messages.

Because the FBI is a counterintelligence agency using government propaganda, however, it has a serious credibility problem with young people — especially those in the community that the FBI is targeting.  Credibility is the currency in propaganda operations, just as it is in any other attempt to lead or influence or persuade.  If you’re a young Muslim, you can see that the FBI doesn’t trust you, is thinking a lot about you, and is trying to manipulate you.  Secretive government agencies — of the US or any other government — are operating out of a serious deficit compared with any religious leader that the community takes to have a real relationship with God.  While these propaganda efforts are not necessarily a complete waste of time and money, as they might persuade a few who are inclined to view the government positively, the people you really want to reach are likely to take this attempt to manipulate them as further evidence that you don’t trust them — and, therefore, that they shouldn’t trust you either.

The second approach treats jihad not as a crime or an act of war, but as a psychological problem.  There are significant moral and legal problems for forcing people into psychological programs designed to alter their religion.  An even bigger problem, though, is that there’s very little evidence that such psychological approaches even work.  Thus, in addition to being government-backed violations of the basic human right to freedom of religion, it’s likely that the approach will only harden opposition among Muslims to the government.  Indeed, there’s a reasonable argument that a government that used these approaches to force your children to change their beliefs would really be creating an actual moral justification for violence.

What about an approach by leaders of factions of Islam to persuade the young?  Egypt’s Al Azhar University is attempting that right now.

In a speech to Muslims worldwide and the West, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb had renounced all radical takfiri-inspired actions, saying that such deeds are in no way related to the teachings of Islam’s fundamental Sunni sect….  The top Muslim scholar then confirmed that the sole salvation and solution for such an abomination is the true interpretation and abiding by the true Sunnah teachings of prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and companions.

Allowing that a rejection of “all takfiri-inspired actions” would represent a real improvement, this approach does nothing to solve the problem of jihad against non-Muslims.  Takfiri violence is about declaring other Muslims not to be real Muslims, and thus to be subject to violence as apostates.  The attacks on 9/11, and in places like San Bernardino, Orlando, and Paris, are attacks of jihad against non-Muslims.  The attempt to spread Islam through coercion is a huge part of the problem, and yet in the traditions of Islamic law endorsed by generations of scholars, that is more plausibly a duty than an affront.  A full scale reform of Islam must occur to change that, one that sets aside all of its existing factions for a new way.

Finally, what about divide and conquer?  The Russian government appears to be approaching the problem in this way.  They are backing Iran and Assad against Sunni groups in a manner designed to set various Islamic groups against one another.  There is also a propaganda campaign designed to push the idea that a kind of socialism designed to govern Islam was the real answer to violence.  This campaign paints the United States as the real enemy of Islam (and therefore not Russia), as the United States opposed socialist Islam and Russia supported it.

Divide and conquer does not reduce violence, however, it increases it.  The hope is that it will become manageable not because people stop fighting, but because they expend most of their energy fighting one another.  In terms of the number of people convinced that violent jihad must govern their lives, however, that number will greatly increase if we follow such a strategy.

Ultimately none of these answers work, though in the third answer we at least get a glimpse of a solution that might.  Pushing a real reform of Islam, one that sets aside all existing categories and all traditional schools of thought, at least has the potential for putting an end to the violence.  So far, however, that approach is the purview of only a tiny minority of Muslims.  No government, Islamic nor Western, has endorsed the program.

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:

Islamic Jihad’s Most Effective Weapons

(Artwork by Shutterstock.com.)

(Artwork by Shutterstock.com.)


PJ MEDIA, BY DAVID SOLWAY, AUGUST 24, 2016:

Recently I published a pair of articles proposing in the first a series of severe legislative measures to curtail, if not eliminate, the carnage of jihad inflicted upon innocent people in all walks of life, and suggesting in the second that Islam, unlike Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths, should not be entitled to the protection of the First Amendment. In the sequel, I received a couple of messages accusing me of promoting a “final solution.” One from a former colleague read: Bravo. Your final solution is so simple and elegant. Another from a friend read, in part: Implicit in all your articles is that Islam…should or be made to disappear. The case against Islam taken to its extreme begins to sound very close to a “final solution.” Do we want or should we want to go there? 

My former colleague appears never to have read the Islamic scriptures and ancillary texts and obviously has little knowledge of Islamic history. My friend is considerably more erudite but seems, nonetheless, to believe that direct and aggressive confrontation is not the proper route to take. To imply that I, a Jew, am advocating a “final solution,” an Endlösung, is at the very least rather tactless. It is also, as I hope to show, the height of folly. What I said in my articles is that the terror apparatus needs to be dismantled without delay or equivocation, and that we have to go to the source of the violence, Islam itself. I was not advocating killing anyone, or rounding Muslims up in cattle cars and shipping them off to concentration camps, or burning  ghettoes and no-go zones to the ground.

I said in particular that terror mosques have to be investigated and if necessary shut down (military-grade weapons have been found in a German mosque, but jihadist-inspired sermons are also heavy weapons), that no-go zones have to be disarmed and opened to safe public dwelling, that Sharia, a draconian atavism incompatible with our constitutions, should be outlawed, that unscreened immigration simply has to stop, and that the status of Islam as a “religion” entitled to the shelter of the First Amendment is a legitimate issue to be debated—at least until the Koran, Hadith, Sira, schools of jurisprudence, etc. are sanitized, if ever.

My friend replied to a stern rebuke in partial walkback fashion. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you’re advocating an actual “final solution,” that’s absurd…Explicit in your many articles is that any decent, self-respecting, tolerant Muslim should…defect from Islam (reject the Koran, for all the reasons you have been laying out for years). Their example, taken to the extreme, would have Islam disappear gently into the night, which would be like a “final solution.” That’s all I’m saying. He continued: What your latest article doesn’t allow re. religious protection is a reformation within Islam, which I believe has already begun.

The question is: how long are we willing to wait for this putative reformation to bear fruit? I see a few “moderates” here and there trying to effect change, but they are having little appreciable impact, and most still adhere to the adulation of Mohammed, turn a blind eye to the dictates of their faith, or pretend the offending passages, with which the scriptures and commentaries are replete, mean something other than what they explicitly say.

A substantial and rooted reformation of Islam is the pipe dream of the cowed and complaisant who cannot face the indigestible fact that Islam is at war with us, has been at war with the Judeo-Christian West (and other civilizations) for fourteen hundred years, and shows no sign of relenting. I’d also suggest—assuming reform were conceivable—that my proposals, if taken seriously, might accelerate the reform my correspondent is piously wishing for. With terror mosques closed and fundamentalist Islam in official disgrace, true reformers might gather momentum. But this is only a thought-experiment.

The exception to the rule of Islamic hegemony, according to Supra Zaida Peery, executive director of Muslim World Today, appears to be Azerbaijan, with its history, at least since independence from the Soviet bloc in 1991, of “egalitarianism, democracy, and rule of law.” Such advancements are possible only where the Islamic scriptures are studiously disregarded, which reinforces the argument that canonical Islam is anti-freedom and an ever-present danger.

Ms. Peery admits that traditional Islam, honor codes and all, is making a comeback. Azerbaijan also enjoys strong relations with Erdogan’s Turkey, a political alliance that provokes a degree of skepticism respecting Ms. Peery’s claims. Everything considered, I would agree with Danusha Goska’s critical review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’sHeretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now—a book which claims that Islam is susceptible, however tardily, to modernization. Goska writes: “We must confront jihad for what it is: a timeless and universal threat that requires an equally timeless and universal response.”

I have nothing against Muslims practicing their faith in their homes, as long as they don’t take its injunctions to rape, enslave, subjugate and murder in the name of Allah literally, and I have nothing against imams sermonizing from an extensively expurgated Koran—though their temples should have no greater legal status than, say, a Masonic clubhouse.

Meanwhile we line up at airports, remove our shoes, wait interminably to be processed, and expect to be groped—followed by the apprehension, shared by many, that the flight we have boarded may disappear off the radar. Meanwhile theFrench police are patrolling the beaches lest some “scantily clad” woman or child is knifed by some offended Muslim, as happened not long ago, a Jewish man in Strasbourg is stabbed by an Allahu Akbarist, seven people including a six-year-old child are injured in a “fire and knife” attack on a Swiss train, and an American tourist is stabbed to death in London’s busy Russell Square by a Somalian. “He’s still here, he’s still here,” were the dying woman’s last words, and indeed he is.

Meanwhile entire cities go into lockdown and people are warned to stay indoors after another jihadist onslaught. Meanwhile Pew polls report that young, second-generation Muslims—those we thought were Westernized “moderates”—increasingly favor death for apostates and gays and harsh punishment for criticism of Islam. Meanwhile countries are being swarmed with military-age “refugees,” a troubling number of whom are estimated to be ISIS plants or sympathizers; German intelligence official Manfred Hauser warns that ISIS has infiltrated the migrant hordes and set up a command structure in the country. Patrick Poolereports that the first two weeks of August 2016 have seen five dozen incidents of Muslim-related domestic insurgency in Europe. (As I write, a Muslim convert armed with detonation devices has just been shot by the RCMP in an Ontario community.)

The very conduct of our lives has changed—it’s called the “new normal.” We now hear from the lips of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls that we will have to “learn to live with terrorism.” Is this OK? Are we prepared to accept the limitations upon our traditional freedoms and the ever-present threat of violence upon our persons as a customary aspect of daily life in the hope that one day in the indefinite future the “religion of peace” will become a religion of peace? As things stand, our enemies are laughing all the way to the future.

More to the point, the irony very few observers wish to acknowledge—and certainly not my interlocutors—is that it is no one and nothing but Islam that is pursuing a “final solution “—and not only for Jews.

Read more

No Saudi Money for American Mosques

saudi duplicityMEF, by Daniel Pipes, originally at The HillAugust 22, 2016:

Saudi Arabia may be the country in the world most different from the United States, especially where religion is concerned. An important new bill introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) aims to take a step toward fixing a monumental imbalance.

Consider those differences: Secularism is a bedrock U.S. principle, enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment; in contrast, the Koran and Sunna are the Saudi constitution, enshrined as the Basic Law’s first article.

Anyone can build a religious structure of whatever nature in the United States, so the Saudis fund mosque after mosque. In the kingdom, though, only mosques are allowed; it hosts not a single church – or, for that matter, synagogue, or Hindu, Sikh, Jain, or Baha’i temple. Hints going back nearly a decade that the Saudis will allow a church have not born fruit but seem to serve as delaying tactics.

Pray any way you wish in America, so long as you do not break the law. Non-Muslims who pray with others in Saudi Arabia engage in an illicit activity that could get them busted, as though they had participated in a drug party.

The United States, obviously, has no sacred cities open only to members of a specific faith. KSA has two of them, Mecca and Medina; trespassers who are caught will meet with what the Saudi authorities delicately call “severe punishment.”

With only rare (and probably illegal) exceptions, the U.S. government does not fund religious institutions abroad (and those exceptions tend to be for Islamic institutions). In contrast, the Saudi monarchy has spent globally an estimated US $100 billion to spread its Wahhabi version of Islam. Products of Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools and mosques have often been incited to political violence against non-Muslims.

The Saudis have been arrogantly indiscreet about spending to promote Wahhabism. For example, a 2005 Freedom House report reviewed some of the extremist literature provided to the public by Saudi-funded institutions and concluded that it poses “a grave threat to non-Muslims and to the Muslim community itself.” The monarchy has also given multiple and generous grants to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the most aggressive and effective Islamist organization in the United States.

Freedom House blew the lid off of Saudi funding of extremism in 2005.

Freedom House blew the lid off of Saudi funding of extremism in 2005.

This discrepancy, a version of which exists in every Western country, demands a solution. Some Western governments have taken ad hoc, provisional steps to address it.

• In 2007, the Australian government turned down a Saudi request to send funds to the Islamic Society of South Australia to help build a new mosque. “Obviously we don’t want to see any extremist organisation penetrate into Australia,” explained then-Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. Eight years later, Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks affirmed the kingdom’s intense interest in influencing Islamic politics in Australia.

• In 2008, the Saudis offered to finance construction of a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Moscow, prompting three Russian Orthodox groups to write an open letter to then-King Abdullah suggesting that his kingdom lift its ban on churches.

• In 2010, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støreturned down Saudi funding for a mosque on the grounds that the Saudi kingdom lacks religious freedom.

• In July, reeling from multiple attacks over 18 months that killed 236 people on French soil, Prime Minister Manuel Valls mused about prohibiting foreign funding of mosques “for a period of time to be determined,” provoking an intense debate.

These one-off responses may satisfy voters but they had almost no impact. That requires something more systematic – legislation.

Brat’s proposed bill, H.R. 5824, the “Religious Freedom International Reciprocity Enhancement Act,” makes it unlawful for “foreign nationals of a country that limits the free exercise of religion in that country to make any expenditure in the United States to promote a religion in the United States, and for other purposes.” Hello, Saudi Arabia!

To “promote a religion” includes funding “religious services, religious education, evangelical outreach, and publication and dissemination of religious literature.” Should funding proceed anyway in defiance of this bill, the U.S. government can seize the monies.

The bill needs more work: it omits mention of religious buildings, offers no criteria for seizure of property, and does not indicate who would do the seizing. But it offers an important beginning. I commend it and urge its urgent consideration and adoption.

Americans cannot abide aggressive unilateral actions by Riyadh (or, for that matter, Tehran and Doha) exploiting their oil bonanza to smother the secularist principles basic to Western life. We must protect ourselves.

Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.

Kerry in Nigeria: ‘Trouble Finding Meaning’ of Life Leads ‘Too Many’ to Terrorism

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, AUGUST 23, 2016:

On a visit to Nigeria today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared there are “far too many” who join terrorist groups like Boko Haram “because they have trouble finding meaning or opportunity in their daily lives.”

“Because they are deeply frustrated and alienated — and because they hope groups like Boko Haram will somehow give them a sense of identity, or purpose, or power,” Kerry said after meeting with local religious leaders to discuss community building and countering violent extremism in Sokoto, Nigeria.

“We see this in every part of the world — whether we are talking about the Lake Chad Basin or the Sahel, or a village in the Middle East or a city in Western Europe, it’s the same. When people — and particularly young people — have no hope for the future and no faith in legitimate authority — when there are no outlets for people to express their concerns — then aggravation festers and those people become vulnerable to outside influence,” he added. “And no one knows that better than the violent extremist groups, which regularly use humiliation and marginalization and inequality and poverty and corruption as recruitment tools.”

Kerry stressed that “one of our central tasks — and almost every single religious leader I just heard in the other room talked about this task — has to be to remove the vulnerabilities in our own position.”

“To effectively counter violent extremism, we have to ensure that military action is coupled with a reinforced commitment to the values this region and all of Nigeria has a long legacy of supporting — values like integrity, good governance, education, compassion, security, and respect for human rights,” he said.

The Obama administration has been critical of Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, charging that human rights are being violated as they target suspected terrorists.

“It is understandable that in the wake of terrorist activity, some people are tempted to crack down on everyone and anyone who could theoretically pose some sort of a threat. I caution against that today,” Kerry said. “Extremism cannot be defeated through repression or just creating fear. Fear instilled through repression invites not confidence; it invites contempt. It creates terrorists — trust creates citizens.”

Nigeria is about half Muslim and 40 percent Christian, with indigenous religions making up the balance. Kerry told the Nigerians that “those who would tear our communities apart — pitting one religion or one sect against another — they can only be defeated by citizens’ unyielding commitment to unity and mutual understanding.”

“Equality and tolerance; justice and mercy; compassion and humility — these are values that transcend religions, ethnicities, and all kinds of moral codes,” he said. “They are certainly in keeping with the teachings of Islam that have enriched the world for centuries.”

Kerry’s trip also included a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and a sit-down with northern governors.

The Nigerian Army claimed Monday that “believed to have fatally” Boko Harm leader Abubakr Shekau. The army claimed the same back in 2014, only to have Shekau emerge alive and well.

“In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded,” spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka said in a statement, claiming the terrorists were killed during Friday prayers.

Deaths and injuries from Boko Haram attacks jumped 190 percent in 2015. Over the same period, the Nigeria-based terror group’s use of suicide bombers rose 167 percent. They pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.

Our Catastrophic Failure of Jihad Denial

cf

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug. 23, 2016:

An outraged nation watched on September 11 as a handful of Muslim terrorists managed to kill thousands of Americans in one of the worst attacks in our history. Answers were demanded and commissions were established to investigate why we failed to prevent the attack.

Why didn’t we know that it was coming? Why didn’t we do something?

It’s still a good question as the number of attacks mount. But under Obama, we actually know less about Islamic terrorism than we used to.

While thousands of Americans died on that terrible day at the hands of Islamic terrorists, thousands of other Americans stepped forward to do their duty. Some brought sandwiches to Ground Zero. Others enlisted in the military to fight. Still others sought unique ways to use their special talents to make a contribution to combating the enemies of civilization.

Stephen Coughlin was a reserve Army officer called up to active duty. He left the private sector for the Directorate for Intelligence. For the next six years he worked in a variety of key roles to shape and orient the war and spoke about the threat of Islamic terrorism everywhere from Quantico to the Naval War College so that those on the front lines of the conflict would understand who the enemy was.

Then he was forced out because he was too good at pointing out the enemy. And the enemy had gotten inside. It would bore deeper and deeper into our national security infrastructure as the years and the wars dragged on.

But the government’s loss is our gain.

Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is Coughlin’s vigorous blast of fresh air through the stale clichés that clutter up counterterrorism conversations. You know the ones. Offending Islam plays into the hands of the terrorists. Mentioning that Al Qaeda is Islamic plays into the hands of the terrorists. Doing anything except playing the denial game also plays into the hands of the terrorists.

“Catastrophic Failure” conveys the information that Coughlin packaged in briefings to the men and women fighting the war. It is the outcome of his work, his briefings and his research. It is why he was fired.

As one of the leading experts in what the terrorists of Islam actually think and want, Stephen Coughlin not only shatters this brass wall of dishonesty, but shows that the real threat comes from the concealment of whom the terrorists we are fighting are and what they really want.

Coughlin’s conviction in analysis took him on this Diogenesian journey for the truth. He was not the only one traveling this road, discarding the excuses and the lies, striving to see clearly what was happening and why. And yet his position so close to the heart of the great failure machine of national security gives him a unique insight into what has gone wrong and into what must be set right.

That is what “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is. It is an analysis of what has gone wrong. Its cover of an eagle wearing a green blindfold all too aptly captures the tragic farce of our fight against terrorism. But it is also a compelling argument about what we must do.

Instead of seeing the threats the bird of prey tasked with our national defense has been hooded in green. He sits tamely on the arm of the Muslim Brotherhood falconer. Our government has responded to Muslim terror by seeking out Muslim moderates to save us from the extremists. But the moderates are not moderate. And working so close to the machine, Coughlin saw how the need to win over moderates, to consult them and rely on them, led to the shift in power as they created the framework in which decisions were made.

Counterterrorism was increasingly being made in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The great struggle of our time is to flip that framework over and restore the power of decision for this war to Americans. Coughlin is a powerful writer and thinker, and he has poured his passion into these arguments that are meant to accomplish just that. He knows Islamic thought and law, and their real life implications, but his background has also prepared him to present focused laser blasts of information to audiences. His key goal and theme has been the importance of knowing the enemy.

“Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is a text of knowledge. It is a book about the importance of knowing the enemy so that we may know the war that we are in.

Coughlin draws us a map of the Islamic organizational war against civilization “unconstrained” by the usual preconceptions about moderates and extremists. Instead he shows us who the enemy is by showing us how they think and how they see themselves. He connects the red dots of the Islamic Movement and the road to the Caliphate which is being pursued by far more Muslim groups than just the overt butchers of ISIS whose lack of patience leads them to act before they can sustain their Jihad.

“Catastrophic Failure” is not merely a book about Islamic terrorism. It is about the core worldview of the struggle. It is about how the bombings, shootings and stabbings that we see on the evening news are rooted in an Islamic mindset that stretches from the proverbial “lone wolf” whose actions are blamed on psychiatric problems or a failure to integrate to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the rest of our so-called moderate allies and partners.

It is also about how our process, our ability to analyze and produce forecasts, and then to make decisions based on them, was corrupted by Islamic influence operations. It is about how the “eagle” was seduced with fantasies of moderate Islam by the enemies of this country. And it is about what must be done to lift the eagle’s blindfold and allow him to soar overhead again.

Stephen Coughlin has seen the profound failure of our national security up close. He saw what went wrong and equally importantly, he has seen what could have been if national security were oriented around our security instead of orbiting like a satellite around our impulses toward political correctness.

“Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” is a valuable book because it reflects the invaluable experiences of its author. It is a story of three wars. The war that was. The war that is. And the war that will be. The motives and the tactics of the enemy have remained consistent in these wars. And that allows Coughlin to predict their patterns. The enemy will not suddenly turn moderate. The question that hangs over the war that will be is whether our leaders will open their eyes to the fight.

Why It’s So Hard To Prosecute Islamists And Keep A Free Society

15550797688_530368b89b_o

Anjem Choudary’s case exemplifies the difficulties we in the West face in dealing with homegrown Islamic radicalism.

The Federalist, by M. G. Oprea, Aug. 23, 2016:

The British Muslim “hate preacher” Anjem Choudary has finally been convicted after 20 years of preaching fundamentalist Islam aimed at radicalizing young Muslims and encouraging them to engage in terrorist activities. Last week, he, along with Mohammed Rahman, was found guilty of inviting support for ISIS in speeches and lessons posted online. Choudary’s case, and his long history of Salafist extremism, exemplifies the difficulties that we in the West face in dealing with homegrown Islamic radicalism.

Choudary, a British citizen born to Pakistani parents, has spent two decades working toward global Islamic domination. These are his words. He wants Islamic law to spread throughout the world, and told the Washington Post in 2014 “We believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam.” He has also said that “Britain belongs to Allah.”

Choudary founded multiple Islamist and Wahhabist organizations in England, all of which were eventually banned. He has connections with numerous other Salafist and Islamist groups and is a known leader of “dark networks” that stretch across Europe and seek to radicalize young Muslims. He has praised terrorists, including the 9/11 attackers, and proclaimed they are in paradise. He has been friendly with a top ISIS figure and executioner, who at the time was part of the terrorist group Sharia4Belgium, and is connected to more than 100 British terrorists, and many terror plots.

Terrorism’s Victims Include Freedom of Speech

But somehow Choudary has managed to skirt the law all these years. A lawyer until 2002, he knew how to step up to the line of criminality without crossing it. Although his influence on European Muslims is well-known and -documented, he managed to skate by on technicalities of the law, because he hadn’t engaged in terrorist activities himself, nor was it proven he had directly sent people to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS.

What finally allowed authorities to arrest him last year and convict him this month was an oath he signed to ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in conjunction with speeches posted online that called on Muslims to join ISIS. As a prohibited organization, membership in ISIS is considered a criminal offence. British authorities convicted him of “inviting support for a proscribed organization,” under Terrorism Act 2000.

Choudary’s case raises questions of how far freedom of speech extends, and what ought to be done with terrorists once convicted. Although freedom of speech in Britain is a long-established common law right, in recent years it has suffered many setbacks. A Reason magazine article from last year highlighted the policing and punishment of Twitter users and journalists, as well as advertisers (a notable case was an ad banned in London for supposedly body-shaming women by depicting a fit woman in a bikini).

But what about here in the United States? People often ask what we should be doing at home to protect our country from Islamist terrorism. While presidential candidate Donald Trump would point solely to immigration, this misses the glaring fact that many Islamist terrorists were born in America or came as young children. This list includes Omar Mateen (Orlando), Faisal Mohammed (University of California-Merced), the Tsarnaev brothers (Boston Marathon), Syed Farook (San Bernardino), Nadir Soofi (Garland, Texas), and Nidal Hassan (Fort Hood).

Terrorists like these are drawn to Salafist Islam either in their communities and mosques or on the Internet. It isn’t always clear what the authorities can legally do beyond monitoring radical clerics and mosques and looking for connections between radicalized individuals and groups. How far can they go in policing what Islamists are preaching?

It Would Be Difficult to Prosecute Choudary in America

Freedom of speech is perhaps the most crucial right in a free society. There’s a reason it was the first right enshrined in the Bill of Rights: it’s meant to protect citizens from government attempts to silence dissent and regulate ideas and messages. In America, a country with arguably the most robust free speech protections, there are only a few exceptions to this First Amendment right. These include speech others own, child pornography, commercial speech, obscenity, and fighting words. None of these, however, are applicable to combatting Islamists, who are essentially supporting terrorism without providing terrorists with direct material support like guns, bombs, or money.

The one type of unprotected speech that would be applicable in a case like Choudary’s is incitement to violence. Speech that advocates force is unprotected, but only if its intention is to produce “imminent lawless action” and is likely to succeed. This could potentially apply to the sermons of Salafist imams, which, if encouraging people to fight with ISIS, are promoting lawless action. However, proving that they’re likely to lead to imminent action is more difficult.

Expressing even the most reprehensible views is protected by the First Amendment, including having a Ku Klux Klan parade or arguing for the overthrow of the government. So an Islamist imam could preach beliefs whose natural conclusion might be violence, but so long as he isn’t calling on a crowd to go out right away and commit terrorism, his speech is protected. This is why we may not have been able to prosecute a man like Choudary here in America.

Another way unprotected free speech comes into play is “true threats.” This recently made news when a Missouri woman was arrested for retweeting Twitter posts calling for the murder of U.S. law enforcement officials. The tweet contained names, addresses and phone numbers. Federal prosecutors argue that her retweets are tantamount to active support of ISIS, and charged the woman with conspiracy and transmitting a threat across state lines. Her defense, based on First Amendment grounds, argues the charges are unconstitutionally vague, once again illustrating the tension between free speech and national security.

Prisons Aren’t a Great Place for Islamists, Either

Once a conviction is made, as with Choudary, the problems don’t end there. Choudary faces up to ten years in prison. But what will he do once behind bars? Prison systems have become notorious in Europe and America for breeding radical Muslims, so a man like Choudary poses a threat inside as well as outside of prison.

Islamists in prison are treated like “aristocracy,” according to an audit of French prisons. When Salah Abdeslam, one of the Paris attackers, was arrested and sent to the Fleury-Mérogis prison he was “welcomed as the messiah,” according to one guard there. That same audit also found jihadi inmates can easily communicate with the outside world, including Syria.

So officials face a difficult decision between keeping Islamists like Choudary in the general population, where they can influence and indoctrinate other men, or concentrating Choudary and others like him in cell blocks so they don’t have access to non-radicalized inmates. This, of course, has its own dangers, namely that these men may plan future attacks and terrorist operations together. The third option, total isolation, is widely unpopular in places like Britain and France, where it is, perhaps correctly, seen as inhumane and cruel.

Choudary’s stay in prison will last a maximum of ten years. Then what? Does he get out in a few years after having been active in prison, and go on as he did before? Perhaps this time he’ll be more careful so as not to get caught. Some countries are working on de-radicalization programs, but their success has been dubious.

Choudary’s case typifies the difficulties the Western world faces in combatting radicalization. As a country that is fundamentally based on concepts of liberty and freedom of speech and of association, our principles and constitutionally protected rights sometimes run up against threats to national security. This is the great challenge we will face in the fight against Islamist ideology and homegrown radicalization in the years ahead. For a sense of the challenges to come, we need only look to Europe, where that fight is well underway.

M. G. Oprea is a writer based in Austin, Texas. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Also see:

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): An Uncomfortable Reality Check

ghACT for America, by Brig Barker, August 18, 2016:

Currently, with the increased operational tempo of Jihadist attacks around the world people understandably want solutions.  The harsh reality is that people can no longer live their lives as they desire.  The populace around the world now lives with a constant low grade concern that Islamic terrorism is going to impact their life in some way.  Americans, and in particular those of the Christian or Jewish faith, live in this reality specifically because they are considered the highest target to the Jihadist.  Again, because the threat of Jihadist attacks is not going away people inevitably want solutions.

Thus arrives the magical term CVE, now being touted as the elixir to all things Jihad.  CVE, otherwise known as Countering Violent Extremism, is a new program that is being touted as a primary solution to either thwart an attack or redirect an intended Jihadi from his radical bent.  From the very top of the U.S. Government there are a plethora of departments, programs, advocacy groups, and grass roots entities all being stood up and hailed as the answer to the global Jihad.  In a particular community, social workers, psychologists, schoolteachers, and even law enforcement will stand together fighting the Jihadists one meeting at a time.  The concept overall is that the group will be able to square off in a timely yet sensitive manner against a young man who is showing signs of Islamic radicalization.  In reality, however, after having spent the last 18 years deeply interviewing and investigating the most radical extremists, I see this as a futile effort.  Much like the de-radicalization programs in various Muslim countries and the “hope” program of releasing Jihadists from GTMO, the probability of success will most likely be zero.

Nevertheless, global Jihad does call for a solution and much can be done at the local level.  The following represents two tangible yet realistic recommendations that could reasonably lead to the disruption of an individual’s radicalization intentions.

1.  Start with the Imams and the Muslim community.  After the attacks on 9/11 there was increased dialogue between law enforcement and the Imams at local mosques.  This proved invaluable on both sides.  Given the exponential increase in the number and severity of Jihadist attacks around the world, and the 100+ plots on U.S. soil, this interaction has to be resurrected.  In fact, this program can easily be implemented starting with the FBI.  What is the best platform and mechanism?  Monthly meetings at one of the mosques or an Islamic center with the heads of each mosque and each law enforcement agency attending.  The FBI Special Agent in Charge at each field office could host the meeting and determine the best agenda and topics collaboratively with the Imams.  In addition to developing honest relationships, discussions should efficiently and most importantly focus on who is potentially radicalizing within the Muslim community.

2.  Institute community awareness programs educating the public on the signs of radicalization.  After taking in so many years of the Jihadist’ mindset, belief system, and behavioral characteristics the indicators of Jihad are clear.  As such, I developed a 10 point system that enables the concerned citizen to identify how radical an individual is.  Such a system could be formalized and taught in an almost academic setting such as a counterterrorism education center for public citizens.  The 10 evaluative points of radicalization that I find essential includes the following. These should be used in totality as the presence of one factor alone doesn’t necessarily constitute one who is radicalized.

  1. Religiosity:  Radical Islamists will always have a deep trajectory towards all aspects of the religion.  Islam provides a roadmap for such a life system via the guidelines of the Qur’an and approximately 4,500 rules identified under the other books of the Hadith.
  2. Mentorship:  The media often out of ignorance advertises that the Jihadist was radicalized over the Internet.  A Jihadist is never “radicalized” as he/she made the decision to travel down that very unique road and did it deliberately.  Further, there is almost always someone with their arm around the Jihadist guiding through that last six months or so of preparing for an attack.
  3. Travel History:  The preparing Jihadist generally has either traveled to the Middle East or seeks to as part of their desire to study the Qur’an or Arabic on a deeper level.
  4.  Propaganda:  Islamists are always consuming various forms of radical propaganda.
  5. Physical Appearance:  This can be either the presence of one’s Salafi lifestyle or the deliberate absence thereof for purposes of obfuscation.
  6. Fixation on Islamic Theology:  The radical believer is almost always swimming in the deep nuanced ocean of Salafi micro theology.  This manifests itself through uncontrollable discussions sometimes even with non Muslims.
  7. Black and White Belief System:  With radicalization comes a belief system wherein everyone and everything is either Haram (prohibited) or Halal (acceptable), there is no gray area.
  8. Shedding of Western Ways:  Radical followers intentionally will shed their western lifestyle piece by piece prior to attack.
  9. Language of Jihad:  Due to their consumption of propaganda and their presence with fellow believers, the Jihadist will begin using terms that only those with a radical belief system would use.
  10. Apathy Towards Mainstream Activities:  Work and school life, not to mention general relationships with family and friends takes a turn as much of this becomes viewed as “Dunya” or evil.

Brig Barker is an ACT for America fellow and one of leading experts on counterterrorism and radicalization matters in the U.S. He is a retired FBI counterterrorism agent and former U.S. Army officer. Mr. Barker is the CEO of Counterterrorism Consultants International. He can be reached at contact@ct-consultants.com.

What’s the Number of Terrorists We’ll Accept from a U.S. Mosque Before We Start Asking Questions?

Screen-Shot-2016-08-19-at-9.27.56-AM

In an age of religious terror, of course you need surveillance to monitor religious sites.

CounterJihad, by Shireen Qudosi, Aug. 19, 2016:

In the aftermath of one of Islamism’s bloodiest summers, Western countries are stepping up efforts to filter for potential threats. Germany has held raids targeting Islamist preachers suspected of recruiting ISIS supporters. Belgium launched a police hunt for an imam’s son who walked down the street loudly praying to Allah for the annihilation of all Christians. And France recently banned the “burkini” – the Muslim adaptation of a swimsuit. At this point, it’s a bandage on a gaping wound. More aggressive and strategic measures need to be taken to target the environment where Islamic supremacism flourishes, rather than just the behavior it produces. One place is in U.S. mosques.

For the last year, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has rallied for greater U.S. mosque surveillance. He’s introduced a series of ideas that are both shocking and bold in a climate where one more serious domestic terrorist attack could very likely escalate the situation beyond our control.

Principal among them, Giuliani proposed electronic monitoring tags and bracelets for Muslims on the terror watch list. The problem with this is ensuring the right people are on that list. If that watch list is anything like the TSA no-fly list (easy to get on, impossible to get off of), we have a problem. And just like with mosque surveillance that is made public, tracking radical threats doesn’t deter their activity. Islamic extremists have a start-up mentality: they are extremely flexible and expect to adapt to the environment. In the case of next generation Muslims, that activity will shift to universities, social venues, and online. This is why announcing a surveillance program is an ill-advised move. Don’t announce it, just do it.

The fact is, 80% of U.S. mosques are known to be complicit in promoting violence. The Islamic Society of Boston is one of them. At this one mosque we find, not only inciters of violence and hatred, but the inevitable result of that incitement: actual violent jihadists who’ve drawn blood. In the case of the ISB, it was perpetrators of the Boston Marathon Massacre in 2013.

And when Islamists complain about the need for mosques, chatter among Millennial Muslims show a growing frustration for mushrooming mosques at the expense of diminishing community services for Muslims in need.  In other words, Muslims themselves say the mosques aren’t necessary.

However, tracking activity within mosques is necessary given the causal relationship between extremism and mosque affiliation. For Giuliani, the imperative on tracking red-flagged Muslims with bracelets comes after a string of Western attacks by extremists who were on a terror watch list – or had at some point been detained for questioning. Though active monitoring can be implemented, there’s a greater question of resources. The reason many of these red-flagged terrorists went under the radar was because officials were simply overwhelmed with data.

The solution to curtailing America’s terror threat isn’t just one extreme solution or another; it’s a combination of extreme measures paired with creative initiatives. This starts with recognizing that mosques are a portal for Islamism and extremism. This is not to say that every mosque is hoarding ammunitions in the backroom, but rather mosques (1) aren’t challenging their own narratives of Islamic supremacy within their congregation and community, and (2) aren’t rejecting hate preachers who hold an animosity toward at West.

In addition to more sound surveillance programs that perhaps works with progressive Muslims, it would be advisable to put searing pressure on mosques, leaders, organizers and Islamic organizations that makes it clear that ambivalence, acceptance, and/or embrace of radical Islamic philosophy will not be tolerated. This means that as a collective society, we need Muslim Reformer-lead conversation about Islamic philosophy, a principle tenet in Trump’s foreign policy speech.

Alongside, the U.S. government has to recognize it’s in an ideological war, meaning that empowering counter narratives among Muslim reformers and critical thinkers – and funding initiatives and centers spearheaded by them – is no longer an option to be explored; it must be supported. This doesn’t mean additional funds for CVE or vague counter-terrorism funding. It means funds for hoisting the flag of reform and making it possible for true progressive to establish ideological lighthouses that build a movement.

But there’s a larger problem: a total lack of solidarity between party lines and across national and state agencies.

Giuliani correctly pointed out the need for continued surveillance programs, especially after the Orlando Shooting – an attack that is strongly suspected to have been triggered in part by radical imams. These programs were in place under Bloomberg but were halted under current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The New York City Police Department has also faced wavering support for its efforts to combat Islamic extremism in the city that has faced the most brutal Western assault by Islamic extremists. Though a post 9/11 era saw support for increased surveillance and controls, that support has dwindled with each changing of the guards – at a national stage from Bush to Obama, and more regionally, between NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to newcomer Bill Bratton. Bratton disbanded a critical undercover police unit assigned to look for terrorist activity in New York Mosques and social venues popular among local Muslims. Bratton also chose to shelf an instrumental 92 pages report that was heralded as groundbreaking.

And nationally, while the CIA and the FBI joined forces post 9/11 to pool resources and create efficient information networks, the FBI has largely failed in their attempt to recruit and deploy undercover agents. Caught between fruitless community relations with Islamists and a failure to put into action credible undercover assets, the FBI has faced a backlash from the Muslim community for entrapment scenarios that have actually created viable threats.

It’s clear that any plan moving forward is going to need having everyone on the same page. That starts with recognizing we’re dealing with an ideological problem that goes beyond jihadi training grounds overseas. We’re dealing with a mindset that goes beyond mosques and borders.

***

‘The War Is Here’: Trump & Gorka Warn of Worsening ISIS Threat

gorkatrump

Fox News Insider, Aug. 18, 2016:

Donald Trump joined Sean Hannity tonight for an exclusive town hall conversation about the threats of ISIS and radical Islam.

Counterterrorism expert and author Dr. Sebastian Gorka joined Trump and Hannity onstage at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, declaring that President Obama, Hillary Clinton and those who think like them simply don’t understand the dire threat we’re facing.

“The war is real and the war is here,” Gorka said. “This is a threat that is real and is escalating every day.”

He pointed out that not only has ISIS turned Iraq and Syria into a “hellhole,” there is now an ISIS-related attack abroad every 84 hours.

Gorka said that Trump’s proposals will “absolutely” keep Americans safer than those of Obama or Clinton.

“If you don’t have borders, you don’t have security,” Gorka said. “If Hillary Clinton becomes the commander-in-chief and continues the policies of this administration, American lives will be endangered.”

***

Trump Meets Victims of Radical Islamic Terror at ‘Hannity’ Town Hall

During a “Hannity” town hall event tonight, Donald Trump spoke to several victims of radical Islamic terror.

Karen McWatters, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, said that we need leaders who will speak openly and honestly about the threats facing our country.

Trump said that unlike President Obama and Hillary Clinton, he actually wants to do something to protect Americans from radical Islamists, and that’s why he’s advocating “extreme vetting” of any immigrants coming into the U.S.

Kris Paronto, one of the heroes of Benghazi, and Dorothy Woods, whose husband Ty Woods was killed in the 2012 terror attack, agreed that there’s no doubt that we’re at war with radical Islam in the U.S. and abroad.

“I believe in the vetting process,” Paronto said. “Not all Muslims are bad, but the Muslim community in America – they are Americans because they’re here – they need to start speaking out publicly and condemning.”

***

Trump on ‘Extreme Vetting’: Orlando Shooter’s Dad Should Be ‘Thrown Out’

The Orlando shooter’s father should be “thrown out” of the United States, Donald Trump said in a Hannity town hall event that aired last night.

Trump, who earlier this week laid out his plan for “extreme vetting” of those who want to emigrate from Middle Eastern nations, was asked about how he would handle Seddique Mateen.

“I’d throw him out,” said Trump, mentioning Mateen’s attendance at a Hillary Clinton rally in Florida earlier this month.

“He’s got a big smile on his face throughout the whole thing. He obviously liked what he heard from her,” said Trump.

Hannity noted that Mateen, whose son murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub, had expressed “radical” views in the past and support for the Taliban.

Trump said Muslims living in the United States need to help authorities in identifying possible terrorists before they strike.

“If they’re not gonna help us, they’re to blame also,” he said.

Trump argued that in San Bernardino there were warning signs about the couple that carried out the attack on an office building last year. But he said that neighbors did not call policebecause they didn’t want to be seen as racially profiling the couple.

Watch the whole thing:

Team Trump offers a solid security plan … if the candidate himself can keep it

fighter jets puffy clouds

Trump needs to stay on message, build a real campaign, raise and spend money, and shed the clown show. 

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, Aug. 15, 2016:

When elections are about issues, Republicans win; when they are about personalities, Democrats win. Today’s national security speech from Donald Trump is an excellent opportunity to transform this election from a disastrous reality TV show that focuses around Trump’s personality to a real campaign that centers on issues of grave importance.

There has been a re-occurring theme in this campaign: whenever Trump’s policy staff write his speeches, especially when it comes to national security and sovereignty, they are on message, more so than past GOP nominees. Yet, whenever Trump is allowed to flail around on his own, he goes off the rails, drawing needlessly negative attention to himself that also taints any of the useful or substantive ideas.

Today’s foreign policy/immigration speech was a perfect example. It was a solid speech that must be used as a reboot to relentlessly focus on Hillary’s dangerous policies. Trump should stick to this message and run endless ads exposing Hillary’s record of chaos in the Middle East, her desire to bring Angela Merkel’s immigration policies, and ensuing homeland security disasters, to our shores.

On foreign policy, Trump struck the right balance. He repudiated the Obama/Hillary policies of nation-building, and charted a new course towards focusing on America’s security interests as it relates to Islamic terror. It would have been a useful to also include Republicans in the list of those who made past mistakes, but it was nice to finally hear a policy that directly repudiates the false choice between isolationism and insane interventionism.

The first part of the speech effectively framed the issue by laying out the history of ‘how we got here’ with the security disasters in the Middle East. Trump pinned the blame right on Hillary for setting places like Libya and Iraq on fire, as we have called on him to do. He also effectively wove together the endless rise of attacks in Europe, pointing out how America’s destiny will be that of Europe’s if we don’t change course from the policies that created this fifth column within their entire continent. He smoothed over his previous comments about NATO, and made no mention of praise for Putin or Turkey’s brutal Islamic dictator. He should keep it that way. And of course, no presidential candidate can mention George Patton too often!

The most effective part of the speech was how Trump interlaced foreign policy and immigration by noting that both problems must be dealt with by waging ideological warfare. This cuts to the core of our failures dating back to the Bush administration. We must identify and understand the threat doctrine of our enemies, and as he mentioned in the speech, “all actions should be oriented around this goal” of halting the spread of islamo-fascism.

Such a strategy begins by not voluntarily bringing that ideology to our own shores through suicidal immigration policies. The following line was very refreshing and clearly has the hallmarks of some of Trump’s policy staff: “A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people.”

He went on to say that “Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.”

In my book Stolen Sovereignty, I dedicated an entire chapter to showing how our founders and political leaders believed exactly in this concept – of only allowing in those whose values reflected our constitutional values. All of our early immigration laws (and even existing ones that are discarded) reflect this desideratum. For example, when discussing immigration during the Constitutional Convention, Madison said that he desired to “maintain the character of liberality which had been professed in all the Constitutions & publications of America” and “wished to invite foreigners of merit & republican principles among us.”

It is, in fact, Hillary’s policies that are completely divorced from our history and traditions on immigration. Trump was right to call Hillary “America’s Angela Merkel,” but it will only make a difference if he runs a relentless campaign honing in on that point.

Trump needs to stay on message, build a real campaign, raise and spend money, and shed the clown show. Not to be nit-picky, but one thing I noticed, Trump kept referring to his immigration policies as “extreme.” “We will be even extreme.” “I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting.” For goodness sakes! There is nothing extreme about this, and that’s the point. You illustrate the extremism of the other side, not express self-culpability for your common sense views.

Trump must stop dragging down common sense policies with an “extreme” personality. An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose bringing in more Syrian refugees, according to a newly released poll. Trump must not give an already-zealous media any opportunity to make this about personalities and distract from Hillary’s extreme and unpopular policies.

In politics, the messenger is even more important than the message. Thus far, Trump has allowed a common sense message, at least on immigration and national security (putting aside some of the progressive economic and social policies, and apparent fondness for Putin), to be tainted by his flawed personality. His job from now until November is to elevate his personality to the seriousness of the message, not weigh down the message with his capricious personality

***

Center for Security Policy Vice President Jim Hanson comments on Donald Trump’s speech:

Also  see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka Talks ‘Defeating Jihad’ on Glazov Gang

gorka3
This special edition of The Glazov Gang was joined by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War and Professor of Strategy and Irregular Warfare at the Institute of World Politics.

Dr. Gorka unveils the winning strategy against Jihad, unmasks the Radical-in-Chief, describes the horrific scenario of a Hillary victory, and much, much more.

***

Dr. Sebastian Gorka said  on his  facebook  that he will be appearing at this special FOX townhall event in Milwaukee Tuesday with Sean Hannity and Donald Trump:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hannity-exclusive-one-hour-event-with-trump-in-milwaukee-tickets-24793306447

What to Tell Would-be Jihadis

rifleMEF, by Mark Durie  •  Aug 12, 2016
Cross-posted from Markdurie.com

Malcolm Turnbull has warned Australians fighting with the Islamic State that they face “almost certain death.”He needn’t encourage them. The Australian Prime Minister has apparently not yet learned that jihadis seek death and despise those who don’t (Sura 2:94-96).

Instead of inciting jihadis in their mission to attain paradise through martyrdom, Malcolm Turnbull might try discouraging them.

They might be told that their leaders have deceived them, and the Islamic State has done great damage to the Muslim cause.

They might be told that many Muslims who know more than they do consider their jihad to be null and void, so they risk being condemned as hypocrites and relegated to the lowest place in hell (Sura 4:145).

They might be told that with so many jihadi groups fighting each other to attain paradise, they have no sure way of knowing which group is on Allah’s side, and they are playing Russian roulette with their eternal destiny. Not Smart.

They might be told that they can expect to be captured and banished to some desolate place for the rest of their long lives, without friend or family to comfort them.

They might be told that they are dragging themselves down the path to failure and disgrace in the eyes of their own community. (To be fair Malcolm Turnbull did almost say something like this, if accidentally.)

Whatever we say, let’s not tell them they face certain death.

Mark Durie is the pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Founder of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.

Duck And Cover — It’s Jihad!

DuckAndCover2CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Aug. 12, 2016:

The threat of jihadi terror affects almost all sectors of society, since Islamic terrorists target both government/military as well as civilian sectors.  The French have suffered especially.  In January of 2015 after the kosher market attack in Paris, we saw how the French government resorted to drastic measures in protecting its citizens by deploying thousands of soldiers around “sensitive sites” – including Jewish schools, synagogues, airports, and more. One of the most frightening areas of concern are schools. French schools have already been a target of jihadi barbarity such as the Toulouse incident in March of 2012 when a teacher and three children were murdered at a Jewish school. In addition, Breitbart reports how late last year ISIS issued a statement “commanding Muslims to pull their children out of French schools and to ‘kill teachers’, who Dar al-Islam [ISIS’s French online magazine] refer to as ‘corrupters.’” Now we’re seeing more of a concerted effort by the French in prepping school children for possible terror attacks. The French government recently gave an announcement ensuring the public that “security of schools is a top priority.” Breitbart lists some of the safety measures, which include:

From September, children will undergo three ‘exercises’ during the school year, including one bomb threat drill. Schools will also install a second bell, distinct in tone from the fire alarm, which the pupils will be taught to recognise as signalling [sic] that they are under threat, and administrators will also implement SMS text messaging warnings to all pupils in the event of an attack.

In addition, pupils in the third form (14-year-olds) will be taught first aid, and “resilience” – i.e., preparedness and how to react when caught up in a terrorist attack.

Headteachers will be responsible for securing all vulnerable areas of the schools’ premises, increasing surveillance on public roads in the vicinity, and appointing a “security manager” to oversee security and crisis management.

Furthermore, there will be the (translated by Bing) “monitoring of students and staff reported as entered a process of radicalization[.]” It will be interesting to see if France uses this as an opportunity to examine more closely the Sharia ideology that is a driver behind radicalization leading to jihad. In fact, France is starting to take this “radical Islamic ideology” head-on and has even been shutting down mosques where this ideology is preached. For example, since December of 2015, France has closed about twenty mosques/prayer halls. One hopes France will take additional preventive measures when addressing the threat of jihad. French children’s very lives are being targeted and their safety is on the line!

Follow-Up: Geert Wilders Demands Explanation from US on FBI “Egging On” Jihad

160805_atm_nc_man_isis_arrest_16x9_1600As reported last week, affidavits suggest the FBI may have ‘egged on’ the jihadist attack in Garland, Texas. The Dutch government has become interested in the case, while the suspect’s mother claims he is “patriotic” and unfairly targeted because he is a Muslim.

CounterJihad, Aug. 10, 2016:

Last week, CounterJihad reported on suggestions that the FBI may have “egged on” jihadist killers who attacked a free speech protest in Garland, Texas.  The attackers were shot dead at the scene by a heroic off-duty traffic policeman.  The reports of FBI interaction with them were made public during a related trial of an alleged Islamic State (ISIS) recruiter, one Erick Hendricks.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch “Party for Freedom” political party, has demanded that his government pursue answers from the United States on this case.  The Dutch are interested because of similar killings by jihadists opposed to Western norms of free speech both in their country and in neighboring France.

Geert Wilders is demanding clarification from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on this matter. He wants to know whether it is true that an FBI agent contacted one of the terrorists and possibly egged him on. He also wants to know whether the American authorities passed FBI information on to the Dutch authorities. “If so when, and what was done with this information? If not, why not?”

“Are you prepared to ask the US immediately for clarification on these reports? If not, why not?” Wilders writes on his website. “Are you prepared to answer these questions this week?”

So far the Dutch Prime Minister has not responded to the inquiry.  Nevertheless, the matter is likely to be of great interest internationally.  The Netherlands has seen explosive growth in jihadist elements.  Research by the Motivaction group reveals that 80% of Turks in the Netherlands support the practice of jihad in order to spread Islam.  The horrifying Paris attacks of last year provoked emergency meetings of Dutch ministers, and a German-Netherlands football game was canceled due to “concrete” threats of a similar attack targeting it.

European governments depend on the United States to handle a substantial piece of the counter-jihad effort as the European Union lacks genuine intelligence-sharing programs.  In the United States, the Federal government can readily share information with state and local agencies, as well as with partner governments worldwide with whom it has proper agreements.  In Europe, it is often the case that even police agencies cannot talk to each other across national borders.  Even police forces within a nation may not be allowed to talk to each other.

Meanwhile, at the trial of accused ISIS recruiter Erick Hendricks, his attorney and his mother are alike trying to claim that the charges against him are incredible due to the FBI’s use of paid informants to gather evidence.  His mother described him as “patriotic,” and said that the government was trumping up charges against him because of he was a Muslim.

During his detention hearing in Charlotte, Erick Jamal Hendricks sobbed as his attorney attempted to poke holes in the federal government’s allegations that the 35-year-old Arkansas native recruited for the Islamic State, also known as IS, ISIS or ISIL…. Culler argued for 35 minutes that the government lacked probable cause for the case, and that an FBI affidavit cited by prosecutors as grounds for Hendricks’ continued confinement lacked facts and was based on statements from paid informants, some of them with criminal records.

If Hendricks posed such danger to the public, why did the government wait so long to arrest him, Culler asked the judge. “They looked in on him for more than a year, and he’s a threat?”

Cayer, without explanation, ordered that Hendricks remain in custody….

[Hendricks’ mother Lisa] Woods, 62, said he has been singled out because of his religion. “He is a successful African-American Muslim. I feel that’s why it happened, and the rest of them better be ready for it.”

The judge may be motivated by the recent Pulse nightclub shooting, in which the FBI had twice investigated and cleared Omar Mateen, the gunman who went on to murder dozens while pledging allegiance to ISIS.  The FBI also looked into Mateen for a very long time, were unable to prove anything, and yet he still turned out to be a serious danger to the American public.