FACT CHECK: 94 Percent of U.S. Domestic Terrorism Fatalities Are Caused by Islamic Terrorists

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PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 9, 2017:

Fake statistics die as hard as fake news.

This is especially true when statistics are used to reinforce entrenched positions during highly charged political debates.

One particular false statistic — even under the most charitable reading of the data, it’s highly misleading — is trotted out after virtually every major terrorist attack in order to claim that Islamic terrorism is a big nothingburger.

I’ve had to deal with various incarnations of this here before:

It goes something like this:

94% of all terror attacks are committed by non-Muslims

Another version:

Only 6% of terror attacks in the U.S. are by Muslims

And yet another (one that is flatly false, because the data cited is never broken out by sex or race) says:

94% of terror attacks are committed by white men

The data behind this statistic comes from the FBI’s Terrorism 2002-2005 report. You can find it on the FBI’s website here.

First thing to consider when you see this statistic bandied about: realize the data is more than a decade old.

Including the data from 2006-present will give very different results (results that purveyors of these claims may not like), but since this is the data set they choose to use, I will use their preferred source.

Second, note that this statistic is counting “incidents.” The data ends up being portrayed like this:

The problem with using this standard of measure is that it is basically useless. An ecoterrorist mailbox bomb that doesn’t injure or kill anyone is given the exact same weight as the Oklahoma City bombing or the 9/11 attacks. So how does measuring terrorism in this way tell you anything important?

Still, after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015, Dean Obeidallah at The Daily Beast floated these numbers:

Following the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando last year that killed 49, HuffPo pushed this questionable statistic to assure us that Islamic terrorism really isn’t a thing:

Arianna Huffington herself circulated the article:

As did Sally Kohn:

It also pops up at Fox News from time to time:

I observed earlier that this statistic gets used to float bogus claims that aren’t even supported by the data they cite. Here’s one example:

Here’s the bad news for those pushing this statistic. Again, using the exact same data comes this finding:

94% of all terrorism fatalities in the U.S. are caused by Islamic terrorists

Keep in mind that Muslims in the the U.S. represent less than one percent of the population.

So how do the numbers break down?

This graphic is taken straight from the FBI’s 2005 report (p. 31). So here are some data points.

Out of the 3,178 terrorism fatalities during this period, Islamic terrorists account for 2,989 (94 percent).

All but six fatalities due to Islamic terrorism come from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 9/11 attacks.

For comparison, the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh accounts for only 168, or 5.2 percent of, terrorism fatalities during that period.

Here’s another data point from the FBI terrorism report:

Of the 14,038 injured in terror attacks, Islamic terrorism was responsible for 13,067 (93 percent).

So, to put it another way:

Islamic terrorism is responsible for 94 percent of all terror fatalities and 93 percent of all terror-related injuries.

I doubt that’s going to get trumpeted over at The Daily Beast or the HuffPo. And it’s important to repeat that I’m using the exact same data they use.

As the late Billy Mays would say, “But wait, there’s more!”

The “94% of terrorism is non-Muslim” statistic is typically used by left-leaning types to claim that others, usually couched as “right wingers,” are false hyping Islamic terrorism as a major threat.

It’s also portrayed as: “The real danger is right-wing terrorism, not jihadists.”

The crushing reality of the 2005 FBI terrorism data (the data they’ve chosen to rely on) is:

7 out of 10 terrorist incidents are committed by the Left-wing

You read that correctly. In attempting to absolve the American Muslim community, they end up implicating themselves.

When you look at the data by “incident” — the measure they use to get their “6 percent of attacks are Muslim” stat — more than half (68 percent) were committed by Puerto Rican independence groups favored by the political Left (the ones who just got a parade in New York City a few weeks ago) and ecoterrorists.

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Terror in Fresno: What you should know about Kori Ali Muhammad

AP Photo

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, April 18, 2017:

A gunman went on a shooting rampage Tuesday afternoon in Fresno, Calif., murdering three people.

Police said that gunman Kori Ali Muhammad yelled the Islamic war cry “Allahu Akbar” (God is greater) after shooting multiple innocents in the area. According to Los Angeles’ KABC, Muhammed — who expressed a hatred of white people — executed a man in a Catholic Charities parking lot, and also murdered a passenger inside a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) truck.

In total, the 39-year-old Muhammad fired 16 rounds from a “revolver-style gun” from three different locations.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer described the attack as a “random act of violence.”

“Too early to say whether or not this involves terrorism,” Dyer said. “Certainly by the statement that was made it could give that indication, however, there was no statement that was made Thursday night when he shot the security guard. There was no comments made at that time.”

The suspect has a long criminal history, which includes making terrorist threats, police said in their press conference. Muhammad was wanted by authorities in connection to the killing of a security guard outside of a motel last week.

The Fresno Bee reports: “Officers responding to the initial shotspotter reports found Muhammad running south on Fulton. Muhammad dove to the ground and yelled ‘Ali Akbar’ before he was taken into custody.” The Bee also reports that Muhammad also used the phrase “Allahu Akbar” on his Twitter account.

Although he was able to obtain a gun and several rounds, Muhammad was homeless, police said. The FBI and the ATF have been brought into the case, according to reports.

A statement from the affected PG&E read:

“Our thoughts are with all involved in the incident that occurred in Fresno today […] Public and employee safety is always our top priority. We are still gathering information on what happened, and will work to support first responders and law enforcement in their efforts.”

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Also see:

FBI Investigating Radical Terrorists in All 50 States as Threats Hit Peak

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly / Getty Images

Robert Spencer has a very good comment on this article. I’m wondering why the word “radical” needs to be used as a qualifier for  the word terrorist.

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April 18, 2017:

Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike “each and every single day.”

The FBI has “open terrorist investigations in all 50 states,” according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 “ISIS-linked plots to attack our country” since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.

Kelly, in his first wide-ranging public address on the threat of terrorism in America since taking office, warned that America’s borders remain wide-open and that there is evidence terror-linked individuals are exploiting these national security weaknesses and entering the United States.

“We don’t know their intentions,” Kelly said during an address at George Washington University. “We don’t know why they’re here or why they’re coming. We are completely blind to what they’re capable of.”

Terrorist also continues to sprout inside American communities across the country, according to Kelly, who said that in just the past year, there have been “36 homegrown terrorist cases in 18 states.”

“We’ve seen an unprecedented spike in homegrown terrorism,” Kelly disclosed. “These are the cases we know about—homegrown terrorism is notoriously difficult to predict and control.”

Terrorists in the United States are plotting attacks “every single day,” according to Kelly.

“I tell you, without exaggeration, they try to carry out this mission each and every single day and no one can tell you how to stop it. No one,” he said.

The United States, he continued, is “under attack” from a wide variety of bad actors, including “failed states, cyber-terrorists, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals.”

“And we are under attack every single day,” he said. “The threats are relentless.”

Those who slip over the border undetected, including criminals and potential radicalized terrorists, pose an unparalleled threat to the country.

“We don’t get to vet them,” Kelly said. “We don’t know their intentions. We don’t know they’re here. They slip into our country unnoticed, living among us, and we are completely blind as to what they are capable of.”

These threats just scrape the surface of the danger posed to America by terrorists inside and outside of the country, Kelly said.

“This is all bad news, but it gets much worse,” he explained. “Experts estimate that perhaps 10,000 citizens of Europe have joined the caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Thousands more are from nations in Asia, Africa and the Western Hemisphere. They have learned how to make IEDs, employ drones to drop ordnance, and acquired experience on the battlefield that by all reports they are bringing back home.”

These highly trained terrorist fighters are likely to return to their countries of origin and “wreak murderous havoc” across Europe, Asia, and the United States, among other countries.

America lacks the ability to properly vet these individuals when they attempt to enter the country, according to Kelly, who warned that scores of radicalized individuals are trying each day to enter America.

“Many are citizens of countries in our Visa Waiver Program, they can more easily travel to the United States which makes us a prime target for their exported violence,” he said.

The threat to America “has metastasized and decentralized, and the risk is as threatening today as it was that September morning almost 16 years ago,” Kelly warned.

“We are under attack from terrorists both within and outside of our borders,” he said. “They are without conscience, and they operate without rules. They despise the United States, because we are a nation of rights, laws, and freedoms. They have a single mission, and that is our destruction.”

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.

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:

Video Clip Shows IRGC Support For Terror Against America

CNS News, By Patrick Goodenough | February 28, 2017

(CNSNews.com) – As Iran’s government claimed that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is widely known to be fighting terrorism in neighboring countries, a newly-emerged video clip purportedly shows an IRGC strategist threatening to unleash terror cells in the U.S., targeting nuclear missile launch facilities, among other things.

At a time when the Trump administration is considering listing the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at the weekend U.S. efforts to sanction the organization have never benefited the U.S.

Zarif said the world at large agrees that the IRGC has extended the utmost support for neighboring countries in their fight against terrorism.

Iran is supporting Shi’a militias fighting alongside the Iraqi military against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists. The IRGC is also heavily involved, in conjunction with Tehran’s Hezbollah allies and other Shi’a fighters, in supporting the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, where combatants include Sunni nationalists, Kurds, Salafists, and ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliated jihadists.

The exiled Iranian opposition group National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) called Zarif’s claim that the IRGC fights terrorism “ridiculous.”

“The IRGC is the most powerful military-security organization that represses internal clashes and exports warmongering plans in the region,” it said Monday. “This organization is almost involved in all key industries and businesses in Iran.”

The NCRI added that Iran’s widely-criticized missile tests are also carried out by the IRGC.

U.S. lawmakers and others pressing for foreign terrorist organization designation for the IRGC point to a long history of involvement in perpetrating and sponsoring terrorism abroad – especially through its Qods Force foreign operations wing.

The State Department says Iran remains the world’s “foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”

A newly-emerged – although undated – video clip purports to show Hassan Abbasi, an IRGC strategist and theoretician associated with the IRGC think tank, “Center for Borderless Security Doctrinal Analysis,” threatening to unleash terror in the United States.

Abbasi says in the poor-quality clip that a small number of Saudi terrorists were able to carry out the 9/11 attacks, and he asks how much more an Iranian “guerilla army” could do, noting that large numbers of Iranians live in the U.S.

“If only 11 [sic] people carried out 9/11, do you realize that the possibility exists for us to execute [what we want]? We don’t need nuclear weapons.”

“You [Americans] possess 6,000 nuclear warheads in your land,” he continued. “These 6,000 nuclear warheads are targets of our plans for our guerilla movements to destroy them right there.”

“It won’t even be an Iranian-only guerilla movement, but from all Islamic countries,” Abbasi said. “You can deport all the Muslims, but we are involving and working on Mexicans as well, and Argentinians too. We will organize anyone who has problems with the United States.”

Abbasi went on to threaten to direct “global guerilla organizations” to target U.S. military and vulnerable targets.

Queries sent to Abbasi by email and via his official website brought no response by press time.

Excerpts of Abbasi’s video clip comments (The translation was reviewed by two first-language Farsi speakers):

“I’ll be brief with you. We have two million Iranians there [in the United States.]  Be assured that I will raise a guerilla army from among them against you. You are fully aware of this.”

“Look how vulnerable you were on 9/11, when four [sic] Arabs from Saudi Arabia who don’t pose the spirit of fighting, managed to endanger your foundations. Yet with us [Iran] you face a nation that is even more deeply rooted.”

“Don’t forget we have 7,000 PhD holders in the United States. If only 11 [sic] people carried out 9/11, do you realize that the possibility exists for us to execute [what we want]?”

“We don’t need nuclear weapons. You possess 6,000 nuclear warheads in your land. These 6,000 nuclear warheads are targets of our plans for our guerilla movements to destroy them right there.”

“It won’t even be an Iranian-only guerilla movement, but from all Islamic countries. You can deport all the Muslims, but we are involving and working on Mexicans as well, and Argentinians too. We will organize anyone who has problems with the United States.”

“… We have identified all of the U.S. Achilles heel: We have all their ground, naval, air, technological, and their other vulnerabilities.  We will let the global guerilla organizations target them.”

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Iranian Resistance Exposes Iranian Terror Training Camp

Published on Feb 14, 2017 BY NCRI US

On February 14, 2017, the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) held a press conference to share details of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) terrorist training bases.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of NCRI-US, explained that the intelligence had come from the NCRI’s main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which had previously exposed key information about Iran’s nuclear weapon program.

The unearthed information concerning the training facilities indicates a rise of recruitment of foreign nationals, an expansion that has been explicitly endorsed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Currently, the Quds Force, an operation division of the IRGC, is designated by the US Government under executive order 13224 as an entity engaged in terrorism, but the IRGC itself is not. The NCRI pointed out that there is no distinction between the IRGC and the Quds Force, either in the Iranian constitution or national budget.

Jafarzadeh showed maps and details of 14 terrorist training centers in Iran. The main headquarter, known as Imam Ali Garrison, is where terrorist training is provided to foreign nationals. He also included specifics on the types of training given to the mercenaries from around the world.

The conference emphasized the IRGC’s deep involvement in each of the “three pillars” upon which the regime’s power rests: the suppression of dissent inside Iran, the export of its Islamic revolution through terrorism and regional military operations, and the amplification of the Iranian military threat through the pursuit of WMDs.

IRGC’s connection to the international terrorist network was also discussed. Trainees were “dispatched to various countries in the Persian Gulf area, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.”

The NCRI said measures like designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization would decrease the likelihood of similar incidents in the West, and would strike a blow against the Iranian theocracy.

In his written statement, Jafarzadeh concluded: “If the day comes when the Tehran regime stops its export of terrorism and religious fascism; and if it reins in the Revolutionary Guards Corps, mandating it only to protect Iran from within Iran’s borders; and if it lets go of its hostility towards the United States and drops its ‘anti-imperialist’ slogans, that day the mullahs’ regime will collapse.”

The future of counterterrorism: Addressing the evolving threat to domestic security

joscelynLONG WAR JOURNAL, BY THOMAS JOSCELYN | February 28, 2017 | tjoscelyn@gmail.com | @thomasjoscelyn

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee Counterterrorism and Intelligence, on the future of counterterrorism and addressing the evolving threat to domestic security.

Chairman King, Ranking Member Rice, and other members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. The terrorist threat has evolved greatly since the September 11, 2001 hijackings. The U.S. arguably faces a more diverse set of threats today than ever. In my written and oral testimony, I intend to highlight both the scope of these threats, as well as some of what I think are the underappreciated risks.

My key points are as follows:

– The U.S. military and intelligence services have waged a prolific counterterrorism campaign to suppress threats to America. It is often argued that because no large-scale plot has been successful in the U.S. since 9/11 that the risk of such an attack is overblown. This argument ignores the fact that numerous plots, in various stages of development, have been thwarted since 2001. Meanwhile, Europe has been hit with larger-scale operations. In addition, the U.S. and its allies frequently target jihadists who are suspected of plotting against the West. America’s counterterrorism strategy is mainly intended to disrupt potentially significant operations that are in the pipeline.

-Over the past several years, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies claim to have struck numerous Islamic State (or ISIS) and al Qaeda “external operatives” in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. These so-called “external operatives” are involved in anti-Western plotting. Had they not been targeted, it is likely that at least some of their plans would have come to fruition. Importantly, it is likely that many “external operatives” remain in the game, and are still laying the groundwork for attacks in the U.S. and the West.

-In addition, the Islamic State and al Qaeda continue to adapt new messages in an attempt to inspire attacks abroad. U.S. law enforcement has been forced to spend significant resources to stop “inspired” plots. As we all know, some of them have not been thwarted. The Islamic State’s caliphate declaration in 2014 heightened the threat of inspired attacks, as would-be jihadists were lured to the false promises of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s cause.

-The Islamic State also developed a system for “remote-controlling” attacks in the West and elsewhere. This system relies on digital operatives who connect with aspiring jihadis via social media applications. The Islamic State has had more success with these types of small-scale operations in Europe. But as I explain in my written testimony, the FBI has uncovered a string of plots inside the U.S. involving these same virtual planners.

-The refugee crisis is predominately a humanitarian concern. The Islamic State has used migrant and refugee flows to infiltrate terrorists into Europe. Both the Islamic State and al Qaeda could seek to do the same with respect to the U.S., however, they have other means for sneaking jihadists into the country as well. While some terrorists have slipped into the West alongside refugees, the U.S. should remain focused on identifying specific threats.

-More than 15 years after 9/11, al Qaeda remains poorly understood. Most of al Qaeda’s resources are devoted to waging insurgencies in several countries. But as al Qaeda’s insurgency footprint has spread, so has the organization’s capacity for plotting against the West. On 9/11, al Qaeda’s anti-Western plotting was primarily confined to Afghanistan, with logistical support networks in Pakistan, Iran, and other countries. Testifying before the Senate in February 2016, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper warned that the al Qaeda threat to the West now emanates from multiple countries. Clapper testified that al Qaeda “nodes in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey” are “dedicating resources to planning attacks.” To this list we can add Yemen. And jihadists from Africa have been involved in anti-Western plotting as well. Incredibly, al Qaeda is still plotting against the U.S. from Afghanistan.

Both the Islamic State and al Qaeda continue to seek ways to inspire terrorism inside the U.S. and they are using both new and old messages in pursuit of this goal.

The jihadists have long sought to inspire individuals or small groups of people to commit acts of terrorism for their cause. Individual terrorists are often described as “lone wolves,” but that term is misleading. If a person is acting in the name of a global, ideological cause, then he or she cannot be considered a “lone wolf,” even if the individual in question has zero contact with others. In fact, single attackers often express their support for the jihadists’ cause in ways that show the clear influence of propaganda.

Indeed, al Qaeda and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) first began to aggressively market the idea of “individual” or “lone” operations years ago. AQAP’s Inspire magazine is intended to provide would-be jihadists with everything they could need to commit an attack without professional training or contact. Anwar al Awlaki, an AQAP ideologue who was fluent in English, was an especially effective advocate for these types of plots. Despite the fact that Awlaki was killed in a U.S. airstrike in September 2011, his teachings remain widely available on the internet.

The Islamic State capitalized on the groundwork laid by Awlaki and AQAP. In fact, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s operation took these ideas and aggressively marketed them with an added incentive. Al Qaeda has told its followers that it wants to eventually resurrect an Islamic caliphate. Beginning in mid-2014, the Islamic State began to tell its followers that it had already done so in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Baghdadi’s so-called caliphate has also instructed followers that it would be better for them to strike inside their home countries in the West, rather than migrate abroad for jihad. The Islamic State has consistently marketed this message.

In May 2016, for instance, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani told followers that if foreign governments “have shut the door of hijrah [migration] in your faces,” then they should “open the door of jihad in theirs,” meaning in the West. “Make your deed a source of their regret,” Adnani continued. “Truly, the smallest act you do in their lands is more beloved to us than the biggest act done here; it is more effective for us and more harmful to them.”

“If one of you wishes and strives to reach the lands of the Islamic State,” Adnani told his audience, “then each of us wishes to be in your place to make examples of the crusaders, day and night, scaring them and terrorizing them, until every neighbor fears his neighbor.” Adnani told jihadists that they should “not make light of throwing a stone at a crusader in his land,” nor should they “underestimate any deed, as its consequences are great for the mujahidin and its effect is noxious to the disbelievers.”

The Islamic State continued to push this message after Adnani’s death in August 2016.

In at least several cases, we have seen individual jihadists who were first influenced by Awlaki and AQAP gravitate to the Islamic State’s cause. Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife were responsible for the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino massacre. They pledged allegiance to Baghdadi on social media, but Farook had drawn inspiration from Awlaki and AQAP’s Inspire years earlier.

Omar Mateen swore allegiance to Baghdadi repeatedly on the night of his assault on a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. However, a Muslim who knew Mateen previously reported to the FBI that Mateen was going down the extremist path. He told the FBI in 2014 that Mateen was watching Awlaki’s videos. It was not until approximately two years later, in early June 2016, that Mateen killed 49 people and wounded dozens more in the name of the supposed caliphate.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man who allegedly planted bombs throughout New York and New Jersey in September 2016, left behind a notebook. In it, Rahami mentioned Osama bin Laden, “guidance” from Awlaki, an also referenced Islamic State spokesman Adnani. Federal prosecutors wrote in the complaint that Rahami specifically wrote about “the instructions of terrorist leaders that, if travel is infeasible, to attack nonbelievers where they live.” This was Adnani’s key message, and remains a theme in Islamic State propaganda.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has alleged that other individuals who sought to support the Islamic State were first exposed to Awlaki’s teachings as well.

These cases demonstrate that the jihadis have developed a well of ideas from which individual adherents can draw, but it may take years for them to act on these beliefs, if they ever act on them at all. There is no question that the Islamic State has had greater success of late in influencing people to act in its name. But al Qaeda continues to produce recruiting materials and to experiment with new concepts for individual attacks as well.

Al Qaeda and its branches have recently called for revenge for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who died in a U.S. prison earlier this month. Rahman was convicted by a U.S. court for his involvement in plots against New York City landmarks in the mid-1990s. Since then, al Qaeda has used Rahman’s “will” to prophesize his death and to proactively blame the U.S. for it. Approximately 20 years after al Qaeda first started pushing this theme, Rahman finally died. Al Qaeda’s continued use of Rahman’s prediction, which is really just jihadist propaganda, demonstrates how these groups can use the same concepts for years, whether or not the facts are consistent with their messaging. Al Qaeda also recently published a kidnapping guide based on old lectures by Saif al Adel, a senior figure in the group. Al Adel may or may not be currently in Syria. Al Qaeda is using his lectures on kidnappings and hostage operations as a way to potentially teach others how to carry them out. The guide was published in both Arabic and English, meaning that al Qaeda seeks an audience in the West for al Adel’s designs.

Both the Islamic State and AQAP also continue to produce English-language magazines for online audiences. The 15th issue of Inspire, which was released last year, provided instructions for carrying out “professional assassinations.” AQAP has been creating lists of high-profile targets in the U.S. and elsewhere that they hope supporters will use in selecting potential victims. AQAP’s idea is to maximize the impact of “lone” attacks by focusing on wealthy businessmen or other well-known individuals. AQAP has advocated for, and praised, indiscriminate attacks as well. But the group has critiqued some attacks (such as the Orlando massacre at a LGBT nightclub) for supposedly muddying the jihadists’ message. AQAP is trying to lay the groundwork for more targeted operations. For example, the January 2015 assault on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris was set in motion by al Qaeda and AQAP. Inspire even specifically identified the intended victims beforehand. Al Qaeda would like individual actors, with no foreign ties, to emulate such precise hits.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State has lowered the bar for what is considered a successful attack, pushing people to use cars, knives, or whatever weapons they can get in their hands. The Islamic State claimed that both the September 2016 mall stabbings in Minnesota and the vehicular assault at Ohio State University in November 2016 were the work of its “soldiers.” It may be the case that there were no digital ties between these attackers and the Islamic State. However, there is often more to the story of how the Islamic State guides such small-scale operations.

The Islamic State has sought to carry out attacks inside the U.S. via “remote-controlled” terrorists.

A series of attacks in Europe and elsewhere around the globe have been carried out by jihadists who were in contact, via social media applications, with Islamic State handlers in Syria and Iraq. The so-called caliphate’s members have been able to remotely guide willing recruits through small-scale plots that did not require much sophistication. These plots targeted victims in France, Germany, Russia, and other countries. In some cases, terrorists have received virtual support right up until the moment of their attack. The Islamic State has had more success orchestrating “remote-controlled” plots in Europe, but the jihadist group has also tried to carry out similar plots inside the U.S.

Read more

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Homeland Security Committee:

Multiple terrorist networks actively plot attacks against the United States, and American interests, or encourage adherents to conduct inspired attacks inside the U.S Homeland without specific direction. Though significant progress has been made in improving American counterterrorism efforts since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, challenges persist. Over the last several years, the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence (CT&I) has continually worked to identify and address these weaknesses and improve U.S. domestic security. This hearing provides an opportunity to examine the continued evolution of the terrorist threat and review recommendations for improvement from national security experts.

OPENING STATEMENTS

Rep. Pete King (R-NY), Subcommittee Chairman
Opening Statement

WITNESSES

Mr. Edward F. Davis
Chief Executive Officer
Edward Davis, LLC
Witness Testimony

Mr. Thomas Joscelyn
Senior Fellow
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy
Witness Testimony

Mr. Robin Simcox
Margaret Thatcher Fellow
Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom
Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
The Heritage Foundation
Witness Testimony

Mr. Peter Bergen
Vice President, Director
International Security and Fellows Programs
New American
Witness Testimony