Top U.S. Commander: Iran’s Heightened Threat Since Nuclear Deal May Require Military Action

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, March 30, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. needs to consider military action to disrupt Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, which have intensified since the Islamic Republic signed a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, a top American commander warned American lawmakers.

Former President Barack Obama and other supporters of the nuclear deal argued that it would promote peace and avoid military confrontation.

Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) testified Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee about the security challenges facing his area of responsibility (AOR).

The Central Region, or CENTCOM AOR, spans more than 4 million square miles that cover 20 predominantly Muslim nations that stretch from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia.

In his written testimony, Gen. Votel declared:

Iran poses the most significant threat to the Central Region and to our national interests and the interests of our partners and allies.

We have not seen any improvement in Iran’s behavior since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), addressing Iran’s nuclear program, was finalized in July 2015.

Over the past year, after the nuclear deal was signed, the U.S. military has been dealing with Iran and its proxies carrying out “a range of malign activities” in the Central Region, namely in “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, the Sinai, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait [located between Yemen and Djibouti and Eritrea] and in other parts of our area of responsibility,” declared Gen. Votel.

Democrat Congresswoman Jacky Rosen from Nevada asked the top U.S. general during the hearing, “Do you believe Iran has increased destabilizing activity since the JCPOA?”

“I do believe they have,” responded Gen. Votel, adding in his written remarks:

Unfortunately, the [nuclear] agreement has led some to believe that we have largely addressed the Iranian problem set and that is not the case. In addition to its nuclear weapons potential, Iran presents several credible threats. They have a robust theater ballistic missile program, and we remain concerned about their cyber and maritime activities, as well as the activities of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Forces (IRGC-QF) and their network of affiliates, [including their narco-terrorist proxy Hezbollah].

Since the nuclear agreement was signed, Iran has been “clearly focused” on expanding its influence and power in the Central Region, noted Votel.

“Recognizing that Iran poses the greatest long-term threat to U.S. interests in the Central Region, we must seize opportunities to both reassure our allies and shape Iran’s behavior,” he pointed out, adding, “Through both messaging and actions, we must also be clear in our communications and ensure the credibility of U.S. intentions.”

To disrupt Iran’s growing threat, the U.S. must consider military action and other ways, proclaimed Gen. Votel.

“I’ve had an opportunity to talk with some of our regional partners about it,” he said. “I think we need to look at opportunities where we can disrupt through military means or other means, their activities.”

“In addition to ready military actions, we must support the broader USG [U.S. Government] strategy with regard to Iran which should include new diplomatic initiatives that provide Iran with viable alternatives to its present course,” he conceded.

The U.S. general did stress that Iran must be aware that there will be consequences if it continues its malign and provocative activities.

“The point that I would emphasize to you is that while there may be other more strategic or consequential threats or regions in our world, today, the central region has come to represent the nexus for many of the security challenges our nation faces,” warned the CENTCOM commander.

“Most importantly, the threats in this region continue to pose the most direct threat to the U.S. homeland and the global economy. Thus it must remain a priority and be resourced accordingly,” added Gen. Votel.

The Af-Pak region is home to the largest concentration of U.S. and United Nations-designated terrorist groups — 13 in Afghanistan and seven in Pakistan, according to the U.S. military.

Moreover, “the Middle East remains the global epicenter of terrorism and violent Islamist extremism,” wrote Gen. Votel.

Citing the Institute for Economics and Peace’s 2016 Global Terrorism Index, he testified that “the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) AOR accounted for 78% of all terrorism incidents worldwide.”

Also see:

Did the FBI Want Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Dead?

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, March 30, 2017:

60 Minutes ran a feature Sunday night about the FBI curious role in the May 2015 Garland jihad attack at a free speech event co-organized by Pamela Geller and me. It was, predictably enough, viciously biased, sloppy, and incomplete, but it was nonetheless illuminating in raising a hard and unanswerable question: did the FBI want Pamela Geller and me dead?

Despite the fact that the jihad attack took place at our event, neither Geller nor I appear, except in one still photo, in the 60 Minutes piece. All they say is that “a self-described free speech advocate named Pamela Geller was holding a provocative contest.”

The contempt fairly leapt from the screen. “A self-described free speech advocate”? Did 60 Minutes mean that Pamela Geller didn’t have the requisite degree in free speech advocacy? Or that she wasn’t really a free speech advocate? What they really mean, of course, is that she is not on the Left, and so cannot be celebrated as a free speech advocate the way the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, who were all Leftists, can be.

60 Minutes also gave a nod to Sharia blasphemy laws by describing the contest as “provocative.” It was an art exhibit, featuring historical and modern images of Muhammad, some created by Muslims. It was only provocative to Muslims who believe in Islam’s death penalty for blasphemy (and brainwashed dhimmis). Was 60 Minutes implying endorsement of that death penalty? Why, yes. If our event was provocative, the shooters were justifiably provoked.

Meanwhile, CBS gave a lot of space to Usama Shami, the imam of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, from which the jihadis came, allowing him to exonerate the mosque of any responsibility for “radicalizing” the jihad attackers. 60 Minutes didn’t mention what Simpson’s friend Courtney Lonergan told the Arizona Republic: “Simpson would never waver from the teachings he picked up in the mosque and elsewhere….He was one of those guys who would sleep at the mosque. The fact that he felt personally insulted by somebody drawing a picture had to come from the ideological rhetoric coming out of the mosque.”

60 Minutes also doesn’t challenge Shami on his lies right after the attack, when he said that the jihadis were not regular members of the mosque.

Despite all the predictable politically correct whitewashing and appeasement, CBS did a good job of highlighting a curious and still unexplained aspect of the attack: the FBI clearly knew the attack was coming (although it didn’t bother to inform us or our security team), as the FBI agent was right there, following behind the jihadis, whom he had encouraged to “tear up Texas.” But even though they knew the attack was coming, they didn’t have a team in place to stop the jihadis. They had one man there, and one man only. The jihadis were not stopped by FBI agents, but by our own security team. If the jihadis had gotten through our team, they would have killed Pamela Geller and me, and many others. (They would no doubt have loved to kill Geert Wilders, but he left before they arrived.)

The Daily Beast wrote in August 2016 about how this undercover FBI agent encouraged the jihadis. The Beast’s Katie Zavadski wrote: “Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent. ‘Tear up Texas,’ the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit (pdf) filed in federal court Thursday.”

This was not entrapment. Simpson and Soofi were determined jihadis who had scouted out other targets. Simpson, along with Soofi and Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, who supplied weapons to the pair and helped them train, sought information about pipe bombs and plotted to attack the Super Bowl, and planned to go to Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIS), long before anyone told him to “tear up Texas.”

But what was the FBI’s game in telling them to do that? Why didn’t they have a phalanx of agents in place, ready to stop the attack? Or did they want the attack to succeed, so that Barack Obama’s vow that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” would be vividly illustrated, and intimidate any other Americans who might be contemplating defending the freedom of speech into silence?

We twice asked the FBI for an investigation into this matter. They have ignored us. Of course. After all, it isn’t as if this happened to someone important, like Linda Sarsour.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

’60 Minutes’ Whitewashes Massive FBI Failure in 2015 ISIS Texas Terror Attack

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, March 26, 2017:

“Complexities.”

That’s the excuse invoked at the end of a 60 Minutes segment that aired Sunday evening to explain why the FBI failed to stop two ISIS-inspired terrorists in direct contact with two ISIS terror recruiters. The attackers rolled up in a car loaded with guns and ammunition to the “Draw Mohammad” cartoon contest event in Garland, Texas, on May 3, 2015:

What 60 Minutes, fronted by Anderson Cooper and echoed in an interview with Seamus Hughes of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, explains is that FBI sources are stretched so thin that there’s no possible way to devote resources to every single potential threat.

I’ll grant that FBI counter-terrorism resources are overloaded WAY BEYOND capacity. That’s an appropriate and warranted discussion for policymakers to address. Also, in the real world of law enforcement, there are indeed many “complexities” during a case that lead to some very important investigative clues being missed — especially when FBI resources are overstretched beyond capacity.

But these “complexities” don’t even remotely begin to explain the massive failure by the FBI in this particular case. Like a blanket that’s too short that you can never turn the right way to cover everything, invoking “complexities” to explain the FBI failure in the attempted Garland attack doesn’t cover the very issues raised by 60 Minutes in their own report. Yet “complexities” is all that 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper, and Seamus Hughes give viewers.

So here’s the real clarity in this story: at the time of the Garland attack, as the two terrorists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were traveling in their car loaded with guns and ammo, they were being closely tailed by an undercover FBI agent (not an informant — an actual FBI agent) whom they had previously been in contact with on social media.

The undercover agent even snapped pictures of the attack site just seconds before Simpson and Soofi jumped out of their car with guns blazing:

60 Minutes helpfully provides the undercover FBI agent’s picture taken seconds before the attack showing two individuals, including a police officer, who were shot at by the pair:

And they provide a helpful graphic of how close the undercover FBI agent was tailing Simpson and Soofi (see the terrorists’ car turning into the Curtis Culwell Center, and the FBI undercover agent following immediately behind):

And yet, according to a statement provided to 60 Minutes, the FBI claims they had no advanced knowledge of the attack:

We wanted to ask the FBI those same questions. But the bureau would not agree to an interview. All the FBI would give us was this email statement. It reads: “There was no advance knowledge of a plot to attack the cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas.”

This is not even remotely believable.

The information about the undercover FBI agent being at the scene was already known before the 60 Minutes broadcast, given some details were included in court documents for a related terrorism case in Ohio this past August:

I noted that here at PJ Media, while mentioning the (at that point) dozen “Known Wolf” terror cases during the Obama administration:

But the FBI undercover agent being at the Garland attack site was more than coincidence. In fact, the FBI agent had been in contact with Simpson on social media in the three weeks prior to the attack, and at one point had even told Simpson to “tear up Texas,” as the attorney in the Ohio case explained to 60 Minutes:

Anderson Cooper: After the trial, you discovered that the government knew a lot more about the Garland attack than they had let on?

Dan Maynard: That’s right. Yeah. After the trial we found out that they had had an undercover agent who had been texting with Simpson, less than three weeks before the attack, to him “Tear up Texas.” Which to me was an encouragement to Simpson.

The man he’s talking about was a special agent of the FBI, working undercover posing as an Islamic radical.  The government sent attorney Dan Maynard 60 pages of declassified encrypted messages between the agent and Elton Simpson — and argued “Tear up Texas” was not an incitement. But Simpson’s response was incriminating, referring to the attack against cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo: “bro, you don’t have to say that … ” He wrote “you know what happened in Paris … so that goes without saying. No need to be direct.”

Again, this is information that was reported months ago:

The FBI isn’t too interested in answering questions about their undercover agent’s encrypted communications with would-be Garland killer Elton Simpon, as Daily Beast reporter Katie Zavadski found out when she asked them directly:

Press officers for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, the Cleveland FBI Office, and the Department of Justice declined to comment beyond the affidavit. FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty hung up on The Daily Beast after being asked about the “tear up Texas” text.

Complexities. But as the late Billy Mays would say: “But wait! There’s more!”

Unmentioned in the 60 Minutes report: the FBI sent a bulletin to Garland police hours before the event warning that Simpson — whom the Justice Department had already unsuccessfully prosecuted previously for his role in a terror cell — might be on his way to the Garland event, even including his photo and his license plate number:

FBI Director James Comey even admitted they had information, saying:

We developed information just hours before the event that Simpson might be interested in going to Garland.

Garland police claim they never saw the FBI’s bulletin. But 60 Minutes never bothers to mention it at all.

Also unmentioned was the considerable online chatter in ISIS circles about the event, and in some cases directly threatening it.

As I reported exclusively here at PJ Media at the time, what initiated most of the chatter was the attempt by the only two Muslim members of Congress — Keith Ellison and Andre Carson — to prevent Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders from attending the event:

The chatter began when news broke that two Muslim congressmen, Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, had appealed to Secretary of State John Kerry to deny entry into the U.S. for Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

Wilders was scheduled to be the featured speaker at Sunday’s cartoon contest.

One law enforcement source who was monitoring potential threats to the event told PJ Media the following:

[Ellison and Carson] clearly set things off. Nothing was being said until that news story came out, and then the usual suspects began to talk about it. By the time the weekend rolled around, there were clear and identifiable incitements calling for an attack on the event.

So there was considerable ISIS chatter about the event, even incitement calling for an attack on the event. That concerned the Texas Department of Public Safety so much they committed considerable resources, including creating what one Texas DPS described to me as “a death trap” for anyone who attempted to attack the event.

The online chatter caused no concern for the FBI or any other federal agency. Again, as I reported exclusively, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent out a “Joint Intelligence Bulletin” to law enforcement four days before the Garland event dismissing any threat:

Their reasoning was astounding:

Although past events involving the alleged defamation of Islam and the prophet, Muhammad, have resulted in threats or overt acts of violence overseas, we have not yet seen such violence in the United States. The most frequent reaction among US-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) is discussion and verbal disapproval via online communication platforms, including websites with violent extremist content and social media sites.† We assess it is unlikely that any one event perceived to defame Islam would alone mobilize HVEs to violence.

Because such an attack had not happened here yet, as it had just four months prior in the attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, it was unlikely to happen here, the FBI and DHS said.

The FBI and virtually all federal agencies were following a narrative enforced by the Obama White House that ISIS was the “JV team” and posed no domestic terror threat to the United States. That’s not where the facts led, but it was the narrative blinders that the FBI and Director James Comey were willing to assume.

How much of that narrative enforcement is still in place? No one really knows, and 60 Minutes doesn’t bother to ask.

So at this point we have:

  • An undercover FBI agent tailing the Garland terror attackers to the Draw Muhammed event
  • The FBI agent in direct communication with Elton Simpson telling him to “Tear up Texas”
  • The FBI sending Garland police a bulletin with Simpson’s picture and license plate warning he may show up hours before the attack
  • Considerable online chatter by ISIS operatives, including direct incitement calling for an attack on the event

For those outside the political/media establishment bubble, these might seem to be really important investigative clues that raise serous concerns about the FBI’s claims they had no prior warning to the Garland attack. But for 60 Minutes and Seamus Hughes of GWU’s Program on Extremism, all their viewers are left with in conclusion are … “complexities”:

The FBI’s actions around this foiled attack offer a rare glimpse into the complexities faced by those fighting homegrown extremism. Today, the battle often begins online where identifying terrorists can be the difference between a massacre, and the one that never occurred in Garland, Texas.

Anderson Cooper: People brag about stuff. People talk big. One of the difficulties for the FBI is trying to figure out who’s just talking and who actually may execute an attack.

Seamus Hughes: That’s the hardest part when you talk about this, right. There’s a lot of guys who talk about how great ISIS is. It’s very hard to tell when someone crosses that line. And in most of the cases, you see the FBI has some touchpoint with those individuals beforehand. There had been an assessment, a preliminary investigation or a full investigation. It’s just very hard to know when somebody decides to jump.

It should come as no surprise that Seamus Hughes trains FBI officials in knowing when somebody decides to jump.

Yes, that’s right. 60 Minutes turned to, as its sole outside “expert,” one of the FBI’s own advisers and terrorism training instructors.

That said, let me suggest that when one of your undercover agents is tailing a car with two ISIS operatives, including one you’ve already tried unsuccessfully to put in prison on previous terrorism charges, loaded with guns and ammunition and headed towards an event that has been targeted by ISIS supporters on social media: that might be an indication that somebody is prepared to jump.

Ironically, after their Garland attack whitewash, 60 Minutes continued their broadcast with a segment on “Fake News”:

However, Hughes’ colleagues over at the GWU “Project on Extremism” seemed pretty happy with how it all turned out:

No doubt a contract for FBI training is on its way to GWU right now.

London Parliament attack was straight out of the ISIS playbook

A man is treated by British officials following the attack outside the House of Parliament in London. Getty Images

New York Post, by  Paul Sperry, March 26, 2017:

Using vehicles to mow down pedestrians, as horrified Londoners witnessed Wednesday, is a terrorist tactic right out of the ISIS playbook. Instead of driving heavy trucks, the terror group’s followers are now using smaller vehicles with similar devastating effect — making it even harder to detect and foil such brutal attacks.

The terror group, which took credit for the London attack, has specifically called on followers to weaponize vehicles and kill “infidels” gathered in outdoor spaces throughout the West.

In November, it instructed such terrorists to drive at “a high speed into a large congregation of kufar (infidel), smashing their bodies with the vehicle’s strong outer frame, while advancing forward – crushing their heads, torsos and limbs under the vehicle’s wheels and chassis – and leaving behind a trail of carnage.”

Sickeningly, the order, which added gruesome detail to a similar 2013 exhortation, encouraged drivers to use “a gun or a knife” to increase “the kill count.”

Allegedly following such orders, ISIS-claimed “soldier” Khalid Masood rented a small Hyundai SUV and ran down tourists walking along London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four and hospitalizing 29, before storming Parliament and stabbing a police officer to death.

Such vehicle-mounted terrorist attacks are effective — and increasingly popular — because they defeat Western security systems, which are designed to screen for bombs and guns. Unlike conventional weapons, motor vehicles are cheap and easy to obtain, and require little training to use.

And there’s no shortage of vulnerable targets. ISIS advises hitting “large outdoor conventions and celebrations, pedestrian-congested streets, outdoor markets, festivals, parades (and) political rallies.” Times Square, the Coney Island boardwalk and the Thanksgiving Day Parade all fall within that target list. (So, for that matter, do candlelight vigils to mourn the victims of such attacks.)

Al-Qaeda has also urged jihadists to plow vehicles into large crowds of innocent bystanders, going so far as to suggest wielding steel blades on bumpers to “achieve maximum carnage,” according to a 2010 article in its propaganda rag.

It’s plain from recent attacks that vehicles have become the jihadists’ weapon of choice. The London assault, which was followed the next day by a copycat strike in Brussels foiled by police, was the third deadly car attack in Europe in less than a year. They follow a pattern of similar incidents:

  • January: An ISIS-inspired Palestinian terrorist driving a large truck jumped a curb and killed four Israeli soldiers; and earlier that month, German police arrested an ISIS-tied Syrian immigrant for plotting to use police cars to ram into New Year’s Eve crowds.
  • December 2016: A Tunisian immigrant hijacked a truck and killed 12 shoppers in a Berlin Christmas market.
  • July 2016: An Islamic terrorist in Nice, France, rented a 19-ton cargo truck and plowed into a Bastille Day crowd, killing 86 and injuring 484.
  • 2014: A driver shouting “Allah Akbar!” crashed his car into pedestrians in Nantes, France, killing one and wounding nine.
  • 2014: An ISIS follower in Quebec struck two Canadian soldiers with a car, killing one and injuring the other.
  • 2014: A Palestinian terrorist swerved off the road and slammed into a crowd in Jerusalem, killing an American baby girl and another tourist.

Could it happen here? It already has. In fact, an Iranian-American student may have started the trend in 2006, when he rammed a rented Jeep into a crowd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, injuring nine. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar said he was taking revenge for “the deaths of Muslims worldwide.”

Last November, another Muslim student at Ohio State University rammed a car into a crowd and stabbed several people. ISIS called Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who said on Facebook he was protesting “the killing of the Muslims in Burma,” a “soldier.”

What can be done to foil such attacks? Adding barriers between streets and walkways with heavy foot traffic — as they have done in Times Square — for starters. Masood was able to mount the payment along the Westminster Bridge because there are no bollards between the street and sidewalk; and he was able to build speeds in excess of 70 mph because there are no obstacles, such as concrete flower pots, on the sidewalk itself. The large pots, reinforced with steel bars, are commonly used as security barricades.

“Blocker trucks” can also be deployed. After Berlin, NYPD used hundreds of dump trucks to protect pedestrians celebrating New Year’s Eve at Times Square and the Coney boardwalk. Sanitation trucks were also stationed along last year’s Thanksgiving parade.

During last month’s Mardi Gras, New Orleans police deployed portable steel walls that were raised electronically at night to protect Bourbon Street crowds from car attacks.

London authorities, in contrast, reportedly opted for a “lower-key” approach to protecting the tourist area around Parliament in reaction to Nice and Berlin.

Since many of the vehicles used in recent attacks have been rentals, NYPD and other police have been checking with auto rental agencies, especially large truck rental locations, for suspicious renters. Red flags include: SUV or truck rentals, no previous history of rentals, and customers with Arabic surnames, religious head coverings or beards and behaving nervously at the counter.

Reporting to authorities signs of surveillance, casing and targeting by suspicious individuals can also help thwart car attacks. ISIS advises would-be terrorists to survey the route of attack they’ve mapped out — including on the day of attack — for “obstacles, such as posts, signs, barriers, humps, bus stops, dumpsters, etc., which is important for sidewalk-mounted attacks.”

Sperry, former Hoover Institution media fellow, is author of several books on terrorism including the bestseller “Infiltration.”

Gaffney defiant in the face of mainstream media attacks

Center for Security Policy, by Frank Gaffney, March 21, 2017:

Extract from Secure Freedom Radio, 20 March 2017:

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

I want to take a few minutes for what is known in government as a “point of personal privilege.” It’s what you do when someone attacks you and you need to set the record straight.

In my case, reporters for prominent national publications have gone after me as a way of attacking Donald Trump and his senior subordinates. Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, Eli Lake of Bloomberg, Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post and most recently Peter Beinart of the Atlantic have largely ignored the substance of lengthy interviews I have given them, in order to vilify me and the work we do at the Center for Security Policy.

In each case, it’s clear these journalists don’t approve of our research and the fact that first Candidate Trump and President Trump have arrived at similar conclusions.

As I told each of these reporters, that research has demonstrated several realities:

  • The authorities of Islam contend that the practice of their faith requires abject adherence to a political, legal and military doctrine they call Sharia.
  • It has a veneer of religiosity to it – by some estimates ten percent is concerned with pietistic practices like how often Muslims are supposed to pray, what they can eat, and the like.
  • But at the end of the day, Sharia is about power, not faith.
  • Sharia has been defined for some 1300 years by a rendering of it known as The Reliance of the Traveler.
  • This massive book makes clear that the faithful Muslim is entitled, for example, to brutalize women and otherwise treat them as property, murder homosexuals and kill Jews, apostates, females accused of adultery and anyone who “defames” Islam.
  • I impressed upon each of these journalists – as I do with audiences I address across the country – thankfully, all Muslims do not practice their faith according to Sharia.
  • That is particularly true in the United States to which many of them came from Sharia-compliant countries to escape its horrors.
  • They neither want to live under Sharia nor impose it on others.
  • That said, there is no getting around the fact that Sharia is a supremacist ideology that commands its adherents, not only to practice it unquestioningly themselves, but to compel everyone else – Muslim and non-Muslim, alike – to submit to it worldwide.
  • Sharia dictates that the faithful must engage in jihad in one form or another – violent jihad, demographic jihad, financial jihad or the subversive, stealthy kind the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.”
  • To the extent that Muslims conform to Sharia as the authorities of Islam and Reliance of the Traveler demand, they must reject such American principles and values as democratic self-governance, man-made laws, the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, respect for human rights, etc.
  • Instead, it is their duty to supplant those principles and values with Sharia.
  • For example, according to the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam adopted by 56 Muslim nations in 1990, Muslims can enjoy freedoms only to the extent allowed by Sharia.

These are statements of fact.

  • Recounting them is not “Islamophobia,” hate-mongering, racism or bigotry.
  • Rather, it is essential to an accurate understanding of the threat Sharia poses to this country and to Western civilization more generally.
  • And such an understanding is essential if we are to defend our constitutional republic from those who believe it’s Allah’s will for them to destroy it through whatever means is practicable.
  • Yet, Messrs. Rosenberg, Lake, Jaffe and Beinart promote in their respective publications and to varying degrees the false meme that pointing out such facts is evidence of hostility to all It’s said to reflect a desire to deny those in this country their constitutionally protected freedoms and keep those outside our borders from coming in.
  • They are not alone in promoting this phony narrative, of course.
  • According to documents from George Soros’ foundation released last fall by Wikileaks, “marginalizing” me and others who speak such truths has been a project for his philanthropy.
  • And Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American Islamic Relations, which was founded by Hamas in 1993, the leftist Center for American Progress and the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center have been among those determined to silence national security professionals and others who are effective in challenging Sharia-supremacism in this country and elsewhere.

Let’s be clear, by falsely accusing me and my colleagues of such views, these journalists are not just discounting the salience of our warnings. They are helping Soros and his minions suppress our freedom of expression and reinforcing what amounts to hate-mongering against us.

More importantly, to the extent that such reporters are promoting the fraudulent meme that Donald Trump and his subordinates are being unduly influenced by me or others – and are, therefore, also Islamophobes, racists, etc. – they are seeking to suppress them, too.

Indeed, that’s the transparent object of the exercise. Reporters and media outlets are making common cause with what’s been called the “Red-Green axis” for the purpose of neutralizing – if not actually removing from office – the President and his most principled and capable subordinates, such as Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Sebastian Gorka and Steven Miller.

Time won’t permit at this juncture a point-by-point rebuttal of the various, spurious charges made against me and others by the aforementioned reporters and their ilk.

Let me take a moment, though, to address a new one leveled by Peter Beinart in his hit piece in The Atlantic concerning the so-called “denationalization” of Muslims in this country.

I had never heard this term before and certainly have never used it myself. Neither have I ever advocated what it evidently describes – seeking to strip all American Muslims of either their nationality or their rights and shutting down all mosques in this country.

Here’s what I do believe: The Sharia-supremacist infrastructure built here over the past fifty years by the Muslim Brotherhood and its fronts –in the form of mosques, Islamic societies, cultural centers and organizations targeting our government, media, churches and synagogues, schools, businesses, etc. – is an incubator for jihad. We continue to ignore it and the stated purposes of those Brotherhood operatives and their Shiite counterparts at our extreme peril.

The first order of business must be to be clear about the threat posed to our Constitution and freedoms by Sharia-supremacism. In his August 15th speech in Youngstown, Ohio, Candidate Donald Trump made clear that he gets that.

Second, we must stop importing more Sharia-supremacists. That is a purpose President Trump’s immigration pause could helpfully advance.

Third, the Trump administration must officially designate the Muslim Brotherhood as the terrorist organization it is. That would create a basis for countering those mosques and front groups it owns and/or operates in this country.

Finally, if the foregoing steps are taken, we have an opportunity to encourage the Muslim-American community to eschew the Sharia-supremacists and their efforts to promote the real denationalization agenda – namely, the Brotherhood’s practice of demanding non-assimilation in and hostility toward the United States, its culture and laws.

These are the sorts of recommendations warranted by the facts, appropriate to the challenges of our time and necessary to protect Western civilization. I am proud to espouse them and refuse to be intimidated or silenced by the relentless vilification to which I am subjected.

I am gratified that people who have arrived at a similar understanding of the facts are now in a position to ensure that those facts receive the necessary policy analysis and debate – instead of being officially suppressed in the name of “political correctness,” “multiculturalism” and “diversity sensitivity.” Whatever we call such behavior, our Sharia-adherent enemies regard it as evidence of our submission, which only emboldens them to secure that condition irreversibly through ever-more-aggressive acts of jihad.

The time has come for action in countering the jihad. Despite all the vilification, intimidation and coercive pressure aimed at silencing those of us at the Center for Security Policy, we will continue to speak the truth about Sharia-supremacism and help those in power act decisively to defeat it.

Also see:

GOP to Introduce War Authorization Legislation to Fight ISIS

Newsmax, by Brian Freeman, March 15, 2017:

Republicans in both the House and Senate plan to introduce a new war authorization on Wednesday that could put the fight against the Islamic State on more solid legal ground, the Washington Examiner reports.

The Obama administration argued that its confrontation against ISIS was covered by two previous war authorizations from the beginning of this century that specified the war on terrorism and fighting in Iraq.

Legal scholars, however, have challenged this, because the Islamic State did not exist when Congress passed the two previous war authorizations, and only about a fourth of current congressmen were even serving and voted on them, according to the Examiner.

Although most on Capitol Hill agree that a new war authorization is an important statement of national support for the battles being waged, disagreements among Republicans and Democrats have prevented the measure from being passed for two years.

When former President Barack Obama sent his request to Congress in February 2015, the GOP said it did not give the commander in chief wide enough powers to properly conduct the war, while Democrats said they were concerned the authorization was too broad and could become a blank check.

Since then no proposal on the issue has received a vote on the floor.

The new war authorization being introduced by Republicans on Wednesday specifies those that can be targeted by American forces as al-Qaida, the Taliban and the Islamic State, as well as successor or associated groups, the Examiner reported.

In addition, it would allow the U.S. to detain members of those terrorist groups, repeal the authorizations from 2001 and 2002, and require the president to give Congress a plan to defeat ISIS within 30 days of the authorization passing.

Freshman Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.,  a former Marine intelligence officer who is on the Foreign Relations Committee and is spearheading the legislation in the Senate, told Stars and Stripes: “We have a moral obligation to weigh in from time to time about issues pertaining to military force and when we send out young men and women into battle.

 “To the extent we delegate that authority to the commander in chief, we act in a less than ethical and a less than constitutional fashion,” he added.

UTT Throwback Thursday: Attacks on UTT Intensify, But Have Less Effect

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 9, 2017:

In the summer of 2014, UTT scheduled a one-day training program for law enforcement in the Phoenix, Arizona area hosted by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO).  The program was designed to teach police officers and investigators about the Islamic Movement in the United States and Arizona, and provide them with tools to help them identify and investigate the threat.

The attacks against UTT and the MCAO were immediate.

On August 14th the Muslim Advocates along with 75 other organizations sent a letter to President Obama’s Counterterrorism Advisor Lisa Monaco which called UTT’s training “bigoted” and asked the administration to re-train all law enforcement officers who have been through such training.

By September 10th, the ACLU and several Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations called for the training to be cancelled, saying the speakers (UTT President John Guandolo, Former CIA Case Officer Clare Lopez, and Former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz) were “known for inaccurate, dangerous statements about the Muslim community.”

The letter, signed by the ACLU’s legal director in Arizona, was also signed by the current and previous leaders of Hamas (dba CAIR) in Arizona (Imraan Siddiqi and Mohamed El-Sharkawy), the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim American Society (AZ), and the leaders of the MB’s Islamic Community Center of Tempe (ICCT) and Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP).  The properties of the ICCT (1131 East 6th Street, Tempe) and ICCP (7516 North Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix) are owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) which is the bank for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.  In the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in U.S. history (US v Holy Land Foundation, Dallas 2008), NAIT was identified by the Department of Justice as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which directly funds Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

In fact, the two jihadis who attacked the Draw Mohammad competition in Garland, Texas came from the ICCP.  Fortunately, they were killed before they could harm anyone.

On September 19, 2014, 300 police officers from all over Arizona sat through approximately 8 hours of training from UTT which detailed the jihadi threat with facts and evidence.  At the end of the program, when asked, all of the officers admitted they did not previously know the information presented, and all agreed the information is critical to protecting their community.

A victory for the good guys.

So why did the ACLU, the Arizona media, and religious leaders join with the terrorist group Hamas (doing business as CAIR) to condemn fact/evidence-based training which law enforcement calls “critical” to doing their jobs and has led to investigations into terrorism matters being opened in Arizona?  That is a fair question.

This week, UTT finds itself in Louisiana training over 150 law enforcement officers from all over the state. Six days ago, attacks and threats targeting UTT and the host – the Rapides Parish District Attorney – came from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Hamas (dba CAIR), the Associated Press and local media, and local Islamic organizations, including the Islamic Society of Central Louisiana.

What a shock.

Yet, over 150 law enforcement officers now know, from reviewing facts and evidence, the Muslim Brotherhood has a massive jihadi network here in America.

Police also now know CAIR was created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas in the U.S., and got to hear from UTT’s Vice President Chris Gaubatz as he shared about his experience undercover inside Hamas’ (CAIR) headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Chris shared about retrieving over 12,000 documents from CAIR’s headquarters which revealed CAIR is involve in fraud, sedition, and terrorism.  The police now know CAIR is Hamas.

Chris also shared other experiences he had visiting mosques across America and what is being taught there.

Another victory for the truth and for freedom.

Now these officers will be able to take what they have learned back to the streets to identify real threats so they can use the full force of the law to protect their communities.

What are the common denominators for the successes then and now?

First is the power of UTT’s message, built on facts and evidence – real truth about real threats.

Secondly, the courage and tenacity of leaders like Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Rapides Parish District Attorney Phillip Terrell are an important key to these successes.

These warriors are ensuring their citizens are well-served by the men and women in blue.  Citizens of Maricopa County (AZ) and Rapides Parish (LA) should thank and support these men of courage.

Trump’s Plan For ISIS Poised To Put Marines 20 Miles From ISIS Capital

Daily Caller, by Saajar Enjetti, March 8, 2017:

U.S. Marines arrived in Syria Wednesday to begin the first phase of President Donald Trump’s plan to expel the Islamic State from its capital of Raqqa, The Washington Post reports.

The Marines will provide artillery support to the Syrian Democratic Forces, and accompanying U.S. special operators in the assault on the city. The type of artillery base must be within 20 miles of its intended target to be effective, the WaPo notes. Some infantry Marines accompanied the unit to provide force protection on the mission.

Trump, along with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, will also likely lift the current cap on U.S. special operators embedded with local forces in tandem with the deployment. The U.S. has approximately 500 special operators in the country currently. Their proposal would also include the use of U.S. attack helicopters, U.S. artillery, and increased arms sales to U.S.-backed forces.

The main recipient of U.S. aid and artillery support will likely be the Syrian Democratic Forces, an anti-ISIS force largely composed of Syrian Kurdish fighters. American reliance on Syrian Kurds will likely spark major tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, who regard the Kurdish forces as an existential threat on par with ISIS. The Kurdish forces have proven the only reliable, large-scale U.S.-backed force capable of fighting the terrorist group effectively.

New strategic plans for Raqqa are likely just a small facet of a new overall strategy to eradicate ISIS. Trump ordered a 30-day review of U.S. strategy, along with options to increase operations tempo, which the Pentagon delivered to the White House Monday.

“This plan is a political-military plan,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford told a think tank audience in late February. “The grievances of the [Syrian] civil war have to be addressed, the safety and humanitarian assistance that needs to be provided to people have to be addressed, and the multiple divergent stakeholders’ views need to be addressed.”

Also see:

HOLTON: Why Is Louisiana’s Media Attacking Efforts To Aid Law Enforcement In Keeping Us Safe Against Terrorism?

The Hayride, by Christopher Holton, March 6, 2017:

In case you haven’t noticed, the global jihadist insurgency has entered a new, more dangerous phase in the past two years.

The number of jihadis and the number of attacks that they have carried out–as well as the number of casualties they have inflicted and the number of countries they operate in–has grown drastically.

The excellent, private IntelCenter organization estimates that the Islamic State has killed 18,000 people in 28 countries since they declared their Caliphate on 29 June 2014.

This includes individual acts of jihad carried out in this country in places like Orlando, Chattanooga, Boston, Garland, San Bernardino, Queens and Philadelphia.

There is no reason to believe that this trend won’t continue. The effort to take down the caliphate was half-hearted at best because it simply wasn’t something President Obama was interested in. He apparently felt that the killing of Osama Bin Laden should have been enough. Never mind that the world has become awash in jihad since then.

Because of the complete lack of leadership on this vital issue, our federal bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus has not even allowed to study Islamic threat doctrine–the very doctrine that the Islamic State cites repeatedly.

Time and time again we find that the warning signs of the jihadi attackers were missed. We were warned about the Tsarnaev brothers (the Boston bombers) repeatedly by the Russians and the FBI knew that their mosque was founded by a convicted Al Qaeda member, yet they were still able to carry out their attack.

There were warning signs about the San Bernardino jihadis as well. The female, Tafsheen Malik, used a fake address to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. She also gained entry into the U.S. under the horribly flawed federal “Visa Express” program that allowed applicants to bypass the interview in the screening process.

Moreover, DHS whistleblower Phillip Haney has testified before Congress and written in his new book, See Something, Say Nothing, that he had been ordered to cease investigations into Tablighi Jamaat, the notorious Islamist organization that had ties to the San Bernardino mosque.

Then there is the case of Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, who was twice interviewed by the FBI because he was on the contact list for an American Islamikaze bomber in Syria and because he made “incendiary” remarks to co-workers about jihad. Oh, and his Dad posted pro-Taliban online videos too. He was given the “all-clear,” only to end up massacring 49 innocent Americans.

What all this points to is the vital need for state and local law enforcement to take the lead against jihad inside this country. I promise you, the NYPD does not wait for the FBI to vet suspected terrorists. Other state and local agencies around the country need to take the same approach, albeit with resources that can’t match the NYPD, which is probably the most effective counterterrorism law enforcement organization anywhere in the world.

The fact is, the Feds are unaccountable. They can’t follow up all the leads they have now and very often have a lack of knowledge as to what or who they are dealing with. I have a hunch that the FBI agents who interviewed Omar Mateen probably thought he was creepy at best, but they had nothing to charge him with and they had to go about their business. Complicating matters even more is the fact that both the FBI and DHS have been forbidden from tying Islam to terrorism. That restriction right there makes them ineffective at conducting counterintelligence operations.

State and local cops are not unaccountable. They have deep roots in their communities. If an Omar Mateen is in someone’s precinct and they know he is a known associate of an Islamikaze bomber and made threatening statements about terrorism, they will keep an eye on him way past the initial interview. There won’t be much more important in that precinct once an Omar Mateen comes to the local cops’ attention.

Furthermore, state and local police are not under any restriction to refrain from studying the enemy threat doctrine. If the local sheriff or police chief is bold enough, he will mandate that his intelligence and investigative people get educated about the threat in an objective, unbiased manner–allowing the subject matter to take them where it leads them, rather than starting from the position that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism.

State and local police are now at the tip of the spear in this war. 15 years ago America sent soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines overseas to protect us all from jihad. Today, local law enforcement is being tasked with protecting soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from Jihad inside our own country. This is a profound shift in this war that has been lost on the overwhelming majority of the American people.

In Garland, Texas, it was a 62-year old motorcycle cop who gunned down the two jihadi attackers who were wielding AK47s.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, it was the local police who gunned down Mohammad Abdulazeez.

In Boston, it was Boston PD who ran down the Tsarnaev brothers.

In Queens, New York, it was rookie patrolmen who were targeted by and gunned down Zale Thompson.

The San Bernardino shooters were killed by members of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.

In Philadelphia, it was a police officer sitting in his patrol car that was targeted by Edward Archer in the name of ISIS.

And, of course, we know that it was the Orlando Police Department who responded to Omar Mateen’s massacre.

By the time DHS and FBI show up, they have to ask permission to cross the crime scene tape. In Marine Corps parlance, by the time the Feds get involved, it’s “right of bang.”

State and local police need to prepare to operate against jihadis “left of bang,” and that means taking their own initiative and not depending solely on our bureaucratized, federal counterterrorism apparatus for training or intelligence about potential bad guys in their jurisdictions.

Fortunately, increasingly, local sheriffs departments around the country have recognized the threat from jihad and have taken the initiative in training their personnel in the strategy and tactics needed to prepare, including studying the enemy threat doctrine as our jihadist enemies themselves teach it.

One such curriculum of training is from an organization called Understanding the Threat (UTT). The leader of this organization is former FBI agent and Force Recon Marine officer John Guandolo. There is no one in America more qualified to conduct training on the threat from jihad than this organization. Mr. Guandolo was decorated by the FBI for establishing the original training program for the Bureau on the Global Islamic Movement, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. Guandolo’s colleague, Chris Gaubatz, is the only known operative to have conducted counterintelligence of HAMAS, when he interned for the Council on American Islamic Relations. That operation is detailed in Paul Sperry’s book, Muslim Mafia.

Recently, UTT has conducted training for several departments and agencies in Louisiana. Their program has come under fire from two out of state organizations with questionable ties and a record of nefarious activity. Louisiana’s media, including the Times-Picayune’s J.R. Ball at the link just above, have repeated the attacks of those organizations.

The first organization is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC). At one time the SPLC may have served a useful purpose, but those times have long since passed. Today, the SPLC uses the term “hate” to silence and intimidate those with whom it disagrees politically.  The SPLC’s abuses of the term “hate” became so bad that in 2014, during the Obama administration, the FBI quit using the SPLC as a hate crimes resource.

The SPLC’s fast and loose use of the term and its blacklisting of those whom it disagrees with has even contributed indirectly to violence when Floyd Lee Corkins attacked the Family Research Council’s headquarters after viewing the SPLC’s irresponsible list of “hate groups.” Corkins shot and wounded a security guard during his attack.

The fact that the media regurgitates SPLC statements and data without question demonstrates the degree to which our free press has become corrupted by ideologues who no longer act as responsible journalists to report the news, but work as advocates for certain viewpoints.

The other organization that has raised objections to UTT’s training program in Louisiana is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a wing of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood here in the United States.

Michael Kunzelman of the Associated Press actually referred to CAIR as a “civil rights group,” again demonstrating the degree to which the media have been infected with corruption.

CAIR’s statement on the training actually included chilling code language used internationally by Islamist organizations to silence free speech. CAIR referred to John Guanadolo as an “Islamophobe.”

The term Islamophobe was made up by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), a Muslim Brotherhood organizationwhose founding board included Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual guide for the Muslim Brotherhood for decades.  Qaradawi is also infamous for having been banned from travel to the US, the UK and France for his ties to terror. Moreover, he is particularly notorious for having, as a renowned Shariah scholar, instructed Muslim men on how they are to properly beat their wives and endorsed the barbaric, Shariah practice of female circumcision (known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

IIIT coined the term Islamophobe with the express purpose of silencing critics of the Global Islamic Movement and to label enemies.

For CAIR to label someone as an Islamophobe is not to be dismissed or taken likely, especially given CAIR’s nefarious activities and those of its members, employees and directors:

  • The FBI suspended all formal contacts with CAIR due to evidence demonstrating a relationship between CAIR and HAMAS, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
  • In the U.S. v the Holy Land Foundation, the largest successful terrorism financing prosecution in U.S. history, CAIR was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group and was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial.
  • CAIR opened its first office in Washington, D.C. with the help of a grant from the Holy Land Foundation., a charitable organization that was shut down by the US Treasury Department for funding Jihadist terrorist organizations.
  • In 2014, US ally the United Arab Emirates officially designated CAIR as a terrorist organization.
  • In March 2011, Muthanna al-Hanooti, one of CAIR’s directors, was sentenced to a year in federal prison for violating U.S. sanctions against Saddam’s Iraq.
  • In 2006, the co-founder of CAIR’s parent organization, IAP (Islamic Association for Palestine), Sami Al-Arian, was sentenced to 57 months in prison on terrorism charges for financing Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terrorist organization according to the US State Department.
  • In 2004, CAIR-Northern Virginia director Abdurahman Alamoudi pled guilty to terrorism-related financial and conspiracy charges, which resulted in a 23-year federal prison sentence. Alamoudi was a major financier for Al Qaeda. It’s was John Guandolo’s team that took down Alamoudi.
  • In 2009, Ghassan Elashi, who served as a founding board member for CAIR’s regional chapter in Texas, was sentenced to a total of 65 years in prison after being convicted of 10 counts of conspiracy to provide, and the provision of, material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization; 11 counts of conspiracy to provide, and the provision of, funds, goods and services to a Specially Designated Terrorist; 10 counts of conspiracy to commit, and the commission of, money laundering; one count of conspiracy to impede and impair the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); and two counts of filing a false tax return.
  • Randall Todd (Ismail) Royer, who served as a communications specialist and civil rights coordinator for CAIR, trained with and set up an internet-based newsletter for Lashkar-I-Taiba, an al Qaeda-tied Kashmir organization that is listed on the State Department’s international terror list and was also indicted on charges of conspiring to help al Qaeda and the Taliban battle American troops in Afghanistan and was sentenced to twenty years in prison on April 9, 2004.
  • In September 2003, CAIR’s former Community Affairs Director, Bassem Khafagi, pled guilty to three federal counts of bank and visa fraud and agreed to be deported to Egypt after he had funneled money to activities supporting terrorism and had published material advocating suicide attacks against the United States, illegal activities which took place while he was employed by CAIR.
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan CAIR fundraiser Rabih Haddad was arrested on terrorism-related charges and was deported from the United States due to his work as Executive Director of the Global Relief Foundation, which in October 2002 was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

For most citizens of Louisiana, we can be thankful that Understanding the Threat is training our law enforcement heroes about this threat.

The Swamp Takes Aim at Seb Gorka

Sebastian Gorka (Photo: Seventh Army Training Command)

Sebastian Gorka (Photo: Seventh Army Training Command)

A series of hit pieces is part of an effort to take down the White House counterterrorism adviser.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy — March 1, 2017

They’ve taken down General Michael Flynn. The former Trump national-security adviser resigned under fire when a false narrative — his purported collusion with election-hacking Russians — was inflamed by criminal intelligence leaks, exacerbated by his poor judgment (or, at the least, poor execution of his duty to brief senior administration officials). Now, the swamp is after its next scalp, Sebastian Gorka, a White House counterterrorism adviser. If the White House is wise, they won’t get it.

Seb is a friend of mine. He is also an accomplished scholar of jihadist ideology and methodology. A series of transparently coordinated hit pieces against him has issued from the usual mainstream-media sources. They have been ably rebutted, among other places, here at National Review Online, in a column by Colin Dueck, and at the Washington Free Beacon, in reports by Bill Gertz and Adam Kredo. The notion that he is racist, “Islamophobic” (as opposed to anti-jihadist), or uninformed is absurd. I wish only to add a couple of observations to the mix.

First, Washington’s government-centric clerisy has forged its own counterterrorism industry over the years, consisting of former investigators and intel analysts, along with the academics who collaborate with them. Much of the work they have done is very solid. But some of it has been highly politicized — in the Bush years, when the powers that be took umbrage at any suggestion that Islamic culture and some mainstream currents of Islamic thought are inherently resistant to Western democracy; and in the Obama years, when any whisper of the nexus between classical, scripture-based Islamic doctrine and terrorism committed by Muslims was a firing offense.

Gorka, an American citizen who grew up in London and holds a doctorate in political science from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, is an outside-the-Beltway academic. His clear-eyed understanding of totalitarian ideology, as we shall see, is largely based on having experienced its wages. In short, he is a gate-crasher who does not share the industry’s presumptions. Worse, from the industry’s perspective, he is an extraordinarily effective speaker and writer, who connects well in the classroom, on the page, in the council hall, and at the television studio. He is anathema to an expert class that has spent years willingly putting itself in the service of such farce as “countering violent extremism,” “workplace violence,” “Arab Spring,” “religion of peace,” and other manifestations of willful blindness.

There is thus a target on his back. The Trump administration’s quick cashiering of General Flynn has convinced establishment Washington that it may not take much character assassination for the next guy to be thrown under the proverbial bus.

Second, Flynn was replaced as national-security adviser by General H. R. McMaster, a commendable warrior but one lodged firmly in the Bush/Obama see-no-Islam mindset, which is at odds with Trump’s oft-stated determination to recognize the connection between Islam and terrorism. General McMaster evidently objects to Trump’s naming of “radical Islamic terrorism” as the enemy. As I’ve contended, naming the enemy is necessary but not nearly sufficient; it is but a first step toward the real necessity of understanding the enemy. I have expressed my own reservations about the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” so I can hardly fault McMaster on that score. I can quarrel, though, with his reportedly Obama-esque position that the Islamic State is not Islamic. That is no more sensible than saying that the Islamic State is perfectly representative of Islam.

There is wide diversity in the observance of Islam, and significant diversity — though less of it — in Islamic doctrine. If that were not the case, there would be no Muslim reformers, since there would be nothing objectionable to reform. I’ve argued that there is enough internecine conflict among Muslims to call into question whether there actually is a “true Islam”; and that it has thus been a waste of precious national-security energy to debate for nearly the last 40 years whether jihadists — who are practicing a scripturally endorsed form of warfare — are “un-Islamic.” From the perspective of Americans concerned about security and liberty, what matters is that (a) a sizable plurality of the world’s 1.5 billion-plus Muslims believes classical sharia — which fundamentally contravenes our Constitution — is the required framework for governing society, and (b) some percentage of that plurality is active in the pursuit of that belief, including a small but not insubstantial subset of violent jihadists. Whether these sharia-supremacist Muslims are faithful or heretical is not something non-Muslims are going to decide for Muslims, nor are Muslims much interested in our meanderings on the subject.

There is not only diversity in Islam, there are salient contextual differences in how we must deal with this diversity. There are places in the world where American interests are at stake and where Islamists are the only game in town — such that alliances with unsavory elements are unavoidable if worse elements are to be quelled. Warriors like General McMaster were thrust into such situations and could not have carried out their missions otherwise. Understandably, they have a perspective on the prudence of going the extra mile not to give offense to Muslims that is apt to be different from, say, a federal prosecutor whose case hinges on a jury’s understanding of the nexus between the defendants’ fundamentalist Islamic doctrine and their terrorist actions. It ought, moreover, to be common sense that how we should deal with Islamists on their turf when our security requires it may be markedly different from how we should deal with them on our turf when they are making demands that run counter to our principles and culture.

What these and other permutations ought to tell us is that group-think burdened by political correctness is the enemy of security. If an administration is going to meet our challenges effectively, it needs General McMaster and Dr. Gorka. It needs patriotic experts whose goal is the same — to protect the United States — but whose well-grounded views and experiences of what that requires may be very different. To untold millions of Muslims, jihadist terror is an abomination. But if the president is hearing only that terrorism is “un-Islamic,” he is missing a big part of the picture, and he can never “know thine enemy.”

Seb Gorka is far from an extremist. His short, accessible, best-selling book Defeating Jihad is a good, macro-level primer on the Islamic doctrinal and scholarly roots of jihadist terror. He is quite clear in it, as he has been in his public presentations, that Muslims are, by far, the most numerous victims of jihadism. Indeed, while I see the focal point of the threat as adherence to classical sharia, Seb emphasizes takfiri jihad, which targets Muslims who do not adhere to the brutal al-Qaeda and ISIS construction of Islam.

There are three major takeaways from the book, all rooted in Seb’s argument that the threat against us is ideologically-based. First, the ideological challenge is as much within Islam as about Islam, so it is critical that we empower our Muslim allies. Second, it is an ideological challenge of a nature we have successfully dealt with before (the book seeks a modern analogue to the Cold War containment doctrine championed by George Kennan and Paul Nitze). Third, it is an ideological challenge rooted in totalitarianism, a subject Seb grasps with particular clarity. The most riveting part of the book is the prologue, in which he relates the story of his own father, an operative in Hungary’s anti-Soviet resistance, who was detained for years and tortured after being double-crossed by Britain’s traitorous Philby spy ring. The elder Gorka made his way to the West, and to freedom, in the chaos of the 1956 uprising, even as the Kremlin crushed it.

Seb Gorka has valuable insight about the need for clarity and resolve in confronting a determined, remorseless enemy. He is a resource the Trump national-security team is fortunate to have. They’d be well advised to keep him, regardless of the Swamp’s preferences.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Also see:

Trump: Yemen Commando Raid Produced Valuable Intelligence

AP

AP

New data will produce counterterrorism ‘victories’

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, March 1, 2017:

President Trump on Tuesday told a joint session of Congress that a recent covert military operation in Yemen produced intelligence information that will be used in further efforts to counter terrorism.

Outlining his first weeks in office, Trump defended the Jan. 29 special operations raid in Yemen that led to the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens and the wounding of six others.

Owens’ widow, Carryn Owens was a guest of the president for the speech.

“Ryan died as he lived: A warrior, and a hero—battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Trump said.

Trump then said the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “reconfirmed that, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.”

The Pentagon, Trump said, is developing plans to “demolish and destroy ISIS—a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs.”

“We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet,” he said.

On Iran, Trump noted that he has imposed sanctions on organizations and people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, following the recent test of an Iranian missile.

On the NATO alliance, Trump said he strongly supports NATO but urged America’s partners to “meet their financial obligations.”

“And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that,” he said. “We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific—to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.”

Much of the speech was focused on how the Trump administration would seek to solve American problems and lessen involvement in foreign affairs and overseas conflicts.

“We’ve financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit—and so many other places throughout our land,” he said. “We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross—and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.”

Trump said he has ordered government agencies to engage in an aggressive campaign to shut drug networks operating in the United States.

Trillions of dollars have been spent overseas while American infrastructure has not been modernized, he said.

Trump promised to bring dying U.S. industries back to life and provide more resources to the U.S. military. New roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and railways will be built and the drug epidemic will be curbed and “ultimately stop,” he said.

American urban areas will be provided with a “rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity,” the president added.

Trump also stated that he is moving ahead with building a wall along the United States’ southern border to prevent terrorists from entering the country and to block the flow of illegal drugs into the country.

“We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America—we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists,” the president said.

Trump administration national security officials said the new information, which was not revealed prior to the speech, was discussed during a Tuesday meeting between Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the White House.

The White House and Pentagon are pushing back against what officials said are inaccurate news reports claiming the Yemen raid did not produce very valuable intelligence.

The Jan. 29 commando raid in Yakla village in central Yemen targeted a group of terrorists belonging to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda branch that has been linked to several terrorist attacks in the United States, including the 2015 San Bernardino and 2016 Orlando attacks. Fourteen people were killed in the San Bernardino shootings, and 49 people were shot at a night club in Orlando.

In both attacks, the terrorists who carried out the shootings had been inspired by Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born al Qaeda terrorist who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011 in Yemen but whose English-language lectures on jihad are available on the Internet.

U.S. Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was killed and six others wounded in the Yemen raid. Unconfirmed reports from Yemen said 25 civilians also were killed in the commando raid, including the daughter of Awlaki.

Officials said the covert military operation produced a large volume of valuable intelligence information on the group and its activities.

“The raid did achieve its objectives even if it did so at a significant cost,” said one official familiar with details of the raid. “And it did produce a lot of intelligence—terabytes of information and multiple devices along with information on hundreds of people.”

The official said the raid was likely the “most significant AQAP haul in recent years.” AQAP is the acronym for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The massive amount of information from the raid is still under review by intelligence officials.

The official said an NBC News report from Monday asserting the Yemen raid produced no significant intelligence was wrong.

NBC quoted “multiple senior officials” as saying they were unaware of valuable intelligence taken from the raid.

A second official said Trump will speak forcefully in his speech on the need to defeat what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism.” There is no plan for the president to back off on use of the term, this official said.

News reports published this week stated that the new White House national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, has sought to play down use of the term radical Islamic terrorism.

The second official said Trump remains firmly committed to using the term, an issue Trump raised extensively during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump is proposing a $54 billion increase in defense spending offset by similar cuts in foreign aid and other federal spending.

AP ‘Fact Check’ FAIL: Trump Claim on Terrorism and Immigration Correlates with Justice Dept. Data

trump-sotu-terrorism-immigration-sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 28, 2017:

During his Tuesday address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump cited Justice Department terrorism figures:

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.

We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm.

The Associated Press “fact check” on this claim pretends that Trump pulls this number out of thin air:

From the AP:

TRUMP: “According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.”

THE FACTS: It’s unclear what Justice Department data he’s citing, but the most recent government information that has come out doesn’t back up his claim. Just over half the people Trump talks about were actually born in the United States, according to research from the Department of Homeland Security revealed last week. That report said of 82 people the government determined were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to attempt or carry out an attack in the U.S., just over half were native-born citizens.

This terrorism data identifying 280 terrorism cases from 9/11/2001-12/31/2014 come from a Justice Department letter (dated January 13, 2016) sent to Senator Ted Cruz and then-Senator (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. This letter is provided below.

When the staff of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest examined the open-source data for the 580 cases, this is what they found:

Based on open-source research conducted on a list provided by the Department of Justice, the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest has determined that at least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014, were born abroad.  

On August 12, 2015, December 3, 2015, and January 11, 2016, letters were sent to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State, requesting the immigration histories of individuals implicated in terrorism since early 2014. For over 10 months, the Obama Administration has refused to provide this crucial and easily accessible information. Since sending the last letter on January 11, however, the Subcommittee has identified 18 additional individuals implicated in terrorism since early 2014 – bringing the total to 131, of whom at least 16 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 17 of whom are the natural-born citizen children of immigrants.

However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did provide the Subcommittee with a list it maintains of 580 individuals not only implicated, but convicted, of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014. DOJ has deferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide immigration background information regarding these individuals, but to this day, DHS has not done so – despite having the information on the foreign-born easily accessible in its records and databases.

Using this list, the Subcommittee conducted open-source research and determined that at least 380 of the 580 were foreign-born (71 were confirmed natural-born, and the remaining 129 are not known).  Of the 380 foreign-born, at least 24 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 33 had overstayed their visas. Additionally, of those born abroad, at least 62 were from Pakistan, 28 were from Lebanon, 22 were Palestinian, 21 were from Somalia, 20 were from Yemen, 19 were from Iraq, 16 were from Jordan, 17 were from Egypt, and 10 were from Afghanistan.

So Trump is correct: 380 of 580 (65.5%, or just under 2/3) were in fact foreign born.

It is no mystery, contra the Associated Press, where this data came from. And as you can note, all of these cases involved Category I, II, and III terrorism offenses.

That notwithstanding, some in the media and terrorism industry began throwing out other terrorism numbers from a number of difference sources with no reference to the Justice Department data cited by President Trump:

The Radical Islam Bits of Trump’s Congress Speech

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28:  U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of  the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump’s first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, March 1, 2017:

U.S. President Donald Trump addressed Congress February 28 – the first time since taking office. Here are the parts of his speech that addressed radical Islam interspersed with video comments from our in-house experts.

Trump: Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve.

…my Administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed — but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.

Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism.

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.

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Trump: We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm.

Trump: “We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism”

trump-vows-to-take-measures-to-protect-us-from-radical-islamic-terrorism_1488341435Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 1, 2017:

A great speech tonight from President Trump. It is astonishing that the President of the United States vowing to protect and defend the American people would be remotely controversial, and meet with stony silence and angry stares from one of the nation’s two major political parties (and probably inwardly from a good many establishment Republicans as well), but that is the degenerated state of affairs today.

In any case, one significant aspect of this address was that President Trump reiterated his determination to combat “radical Islamic terrorism” — a formulation is new national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, has explicitly rejected. Questions about whether Trump was retreating from his previously stated determination to discuss honestly the motivating ideology of the enemy, which is an indispensable prerequisite to defeating that enemy, were put to rest for the moment.

From President Trump’s speech before Congress tonight:

Our obligation is to serve, protect and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.

(APPLAUSE)

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home, from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and, yes, even the World Trade Center. We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur.

(APPLAUSE)

Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values. We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America, and we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

(APPLAUSE) That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe, and to keep those out who will do us harm.

(APPLAUSE)

As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS, a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women and children of all faiths and all beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.

(APPLAUSE)

I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the state of Israel.

***

Gorka: The importance of 3 little words

Trump to Disclose Intel From Yemen Raid

AP

AP

Islamic terrorism a central topic of remarks to Congress

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Feb. 28, 2017:

President Donald Trump will outline plans for stepped-up operations against Islamic terrorism in his speech to Congress tonight, and is expected to disclose newly obtained intelligence gathered during a recent commando raid in Yemen.

Trump administration national security officials said the new information, which was not revealed prior to the speech, was discussed during a Tuesday meeting between Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the White House.

The officials cautioned that as of Tuesday afternoon the final speech containing the new intelligence was still being worked on.

The White House and Pentagon are pushing back against what officials said are inaccurate news reports claiming the Yemen raid did not produce very valuable intelligence.

The Jan. 29 commando raid in Yakla village in central Yemen targeted a group of terrorists belonging to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda branch that has been linked to several terrorist attacks in the United States, including the 2015 San Bernardino and 2016 Orlando attacks. Fourteen people were killed in the San Bernardino shootings, and 49 people were shot at a night club in Orlando.

In both attacks, the terrorists who carried out the shootings had been inspired by Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born al Qaeda terrorist who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011 in Yemen but whose English-language lectures on jihad are available on the Internet.

U.S. Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was killed and six others wounded in the Yemen raid. Unconfirmed reports from Yemen said 25 civilians also were killed in the commando raid, including the daughter of Awlaki.

Officials said the covert military operation produced a large volume of valuable intelligence information on the group and its activities.

“The raid did achieve its objectives even if it did so at a significant cost,” said one official familiar with details of the raid. “And it did produce a lot of intelligence—terabytes of information and multiple devices along with information on hundreds of people.”

The official said the raid was likely the “most significant AQAP haul in recent years.” AQAP is the acronym for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The massive amount of information from the raid is still under review by intelligence officials.

The official said an NBC News report from Monday asserting the Yemen raid produced no significant intelligence was wrong.

NBC quoted “multiple senior officials” as saying they were unaware of valuable intelligence taken from the raid.

A second official said Trump will speak forcefully in his speech on the need to defeat what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism.” There is no plan for the president to back off on use of the term, this official said.

News reports published this week stated that the new White House national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, has sought to play down use of the term radical Islamic terrorism.

The second official said Trump remains firmly committed to using the term, an issue Trump raised extensively during the 2016 presidential campaign.

According to White House officials, Trump in his speech to a joint session of Congress will seek to assure lawmakers about his administration’s plans on tax reform, federal deregulation, infrastructure repair, and military spending.

The president, who is expected to read his speech on a teleprompter rather than deliver it in his usual impromptu speaking style, also is expected to make some gestures aimed at unifying a politically divided country.

Trump is proposing a $54 billion increase in defense spending offset by similar cuts in foreign aid and other federal spending.