FBI, CIA go on hiring spree in America’s most Muslim city

FBI

WND, by Leo Hohman, July 14, 2016:

The FBI and CIA are looking to increase the “diversity” of their agencies and that includes hiring more Arab Americans.

One of the ways it hopes to achieve its goal of greater diversity is by holding a career fair in America’s most Islamic city – Dearborn, Michigan.

Notices about the career fair have been posted on the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page, as well as in local news publications in Dearborn.

fbi-cia-ad-dearborn-michigan

The Press and Guide, for instance, ran a public notice that stated the following;

“Learn about working for two top government agencies during an informational session being held by The Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Attendees will learn about both agencies and have the chance to hear about career opportunities as well as network with CIA and FBI representatives.

“The event takes place at 6 p.m. July 19 at the Ford Motor Company Conference & Event Center, 1151 Village Road, Dearborn. A formal presentation will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. followed by networking from 7:30 to 8:30.

“Both the FBI and CIA are seeking to increase diversity within the organizations and find specifically skilled applicants to fulfill critical roles within the agencies.

“Those at the event will hear about specific job positions and qualifications through a panel discussion as well as the agencies’ similarities, strategic differences and shared commitment to thwart threats to national security.

“Dinner will be provided, but seating is limited. RSVP by July 12 to Christina Petrosian at chrissp@ucia.gov.”

Petrosian did not immediately respond to emails from WND.

Dick Manasseri, communications director for Secure Michigan, a citizen-watchdog group fighting what it sees as the Islamization of Michigan, said he found the advertisements troubling, but not surprising.

“How can the FBI/CIA vet job applicants when they cannot mention the word Shariah?’” Manasseri said.

Manasseri was referring to the scrubbing of all FBI training manuals, removing all references to Shariah and Islam that were seen as discriminatory by Muslim groups. That concession was made in response to complaints by the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, by then-Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, who is now in charge of the CIA.

“How can the FBI/CIA vet the information provided on applications from Shariah-adherents who are encouraged to lie to non-Muslims when it furthers the goals of Shariah?” Manasseri told WND.

The Obama administration has also invited former CAIR officials into its circle of advisers within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“The opportunities for further federal government infiltration increases the probability that we will see Shariah courts in Southeast Michigan before long,” Manasseri said.

Dearborn’s population is about 40 percent Arab and includes both Sunni and Shiite Muslims. A minority of the Arab-American community in Dearborn are Christian.

And the Dearborn area is getting more Muslim by the month thanks to the current Syrian refugee program being carried out by President Obama. Just in the last nine months the U.S. State Department has delivered 143 Syrians to Dearborn for permanent resettlement.

Another 174 Syrians have been sent to Troy, which is only 25 miles north of Dearborn.

Michigan has been targeted to receive nearly half of the 10,000 Syrian refugees Obama has promised the United Nations he would admit into the U.S.

After getting off to a slow start, Syrian arrivals are now occurring by the hundreds per day. On Wednesday another 249 Syrians arrived in the U.S. for permanent resettlement.

Obama’s pledge of 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal 2016, which ends Sept. 30, now appears to be a deadline he will make. His State Department has delivered nearly 60 percent of the 10,000 with two and a half months to go.

Hey New York Times, Here’s What We Know About Orlando Killer’s Motive

new-york-times-orlando.sized-770x415xcPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, JUNE 16, 2016

A lot of digital ink has been spilled in recent days following the horrific terror attack early Sunday morning in Orlando. But within hours, a predictable media narrative began to take root as news of the killer’s jihadist motives became clearer. The media expressed uncertainty over whether he had been inspired by radical Islam.

The following day, this came from the New York Times:

So let’s help the <i>New York Times</i> and the establishment media find some clarity. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know about the killer’s motive:

  • In that Facebook post, he also raged against the “filthy ways of the West.”
  • He called local media during the attack, saying: “I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State.”
  • On the day of the 9/11 attacks, when his fellow high school students watched in horror as the second plane hit the World Trade Center towers, he “started jumping up-and-down cheering on the terrorist.”
  • In previous FBI investigations, according to FBI Director Comey, he had said: “[h]e hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself.”
  • A witness told the FBI that he had been watching videos of al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki “years ago.”
  • Law enforcement sources say that the killer was a disciple of local imam Marcus Robertson, aka Abu Taubah. Robertson was released from prison last year. He had previously served as bodyguard to convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing leader, Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman

That’s what the New York Times has to go on right now.

All that, according to the establishment media narrative, leaves the matter of motive “unclear.”

Now let’s see what information the FBI had, as the organization somehow also felt “unclear” on Mateen’s intentions prior to his attack.

The FBI has been quick to absolve itself of any responsibility for the largest terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11. And yet, as I noted here at PJ Media on the day of the attack, this incident is yet another case of what I have termed “Known Wolf” terrorism.

In this case, we don’t have a situation of missed “red flags.”

We have a willful ignoring of the 1,000,000 lumen spotlight shining on the terrorist killer:

As the investigation into the attack continues, there needs to be a corresponding investigation by Congress as to why these failures by the FBI and the national security establishment repeatedly continue to happen.

Also see:

Former FBI Instructor John Guandolo: FBI Has No Strategic Plan to Deal with Islamic Terror Threat: ‘Average Law Enforcement Officer Knows Less Than Citizens That Are Paying Attention’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, June 1, 2016:

Former FBI agent, counter-terrorism instructor, and founder of UnderstandingTheThreat.com John Guandolo appeared on Monday morning’s edition of Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon to talk about the Orlando jihad attack.

Following up on a caller who wondered how the FBI could have interviewed shooter Omar Mateen three times without concluding he was a serious threat, Bannon asked Guandolo if the FBI counter-terrorist unit was “incompetent,” or “hamstrung” by political correctness.

“It’s a combination of both, actually,” Guandolo replied. “You’ve got the agents busting their butts on the street level, but you’ve got the leadership of the FBI who refuse to look at this strategically.”

“And it is because, on orders from the White House — I know even under Director Mueller’s tenure there, before Director Comey — they were forced to work with organizations like the Islamic Society of North America and others, Muslim Public Affairs Council, which are Hamas — Muslim Brotherhood organizations,” Guandolo charged.

He also mentioned CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which he described as a “Hamas group.”

“They were created by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which was Hamas in the United States, “ Guandolo explained. “So they’re not merely a Muslim Brotherhood group. Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and CAIR was the full Hamas organization created in the United States.”

He said the government has not “identified the larger threat,” which is that “the teaching these guys are getting is all from the Islamic centers.”

“The majority, eighty-plus percent of the Islamic centers’ mosques in the United States are teaching this,” he said. “All of the major Islamic organizations, per evidence in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial in American history, demonstrates clearly that these groups are jihadi organizations.”

Guandolo said the FBI has a “responsibility to the nation to address the threat, regardless of the public outcry, or the political implications.”

“That’s their job. That’s the FBI’s job, and they have to do it, and the leadership has to get on board,” he insisted. “Nowhere in the FBI is there a room at headquarters where six people sit with a whiteboard and think strategically about this threat.”

He said this was partially because “there are fires every day — in other words, they’re running around putting out fires from all the threats that are coming in, and the problem is, just like the Director himself has publicly said, they have over a thousand open cases on guys like this guy, Omar Mateen, and the regulations that have been put on them since 9/11 hamstring them.”

Guandolo said there have been some “tough questions” asked by congressional oversight committees, but “nothing has been done.” His recommendation for reform begins with understanding that “the primary work for understanding the threat that we do is at the state and local level.”

“The federal level has demonstrated that there is no strategic understanding of this threat, of the Islamic threat,” he declared, repeating that there was no grand strategy under consideration by our $4.2 trillion government. “That’s why we’re losing the war… we crushed the enemy on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military did what they were supposed to do. The soldiers, the Marines, the sailors, the airmen, they did their job. And yet, we came away with losses in Afghanistan and Iraq, because we didn’t understand the enemy. We don’t understand that they don’t intend to win the war with guns and blowing themselves up, but that that’s a tactic in a much larger strategy.

“And yet, they came away defeating us in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that we crushed them on the battlefield, because the average four-star general, the average senator, the average head of the intelligence agency, pick which one — at the federal level has not a clue about the strategic workings, and inner workings, the doctrine, the sharia, that drives every one of these guys.”

He warned against underestimating “the catastrophic failure of our leadership at the federal level.”

“My experience in training and teaching federal agents, state law enforcement, local law enforcement all over the country, thousands of them — the average law enforcement officer knows less than citizens that are paying attention,” Guandolo said. “I can talk about that objectively, because we share a questionnaire when we start the training. I mean, the knowledge level is zero. The lower you go – in other words, federal, state, local – there’s a higher chance at the local level that a local police officer will have a better understanding of the problem than an FBI counter-terrorism agent.”

He recommended an article posted at his UnderstandingTheThreat.com website about “how bad it’s going to be, and unfortunately, what happened in Orlando is nothing compared to what is coming our way.”

“The Islamic movement has been focused, since prior to 9/11, on primarily the Islamic world. They’ve been focused, as you’ve seen, in Syria, and in Libya, in eastern Africa, in the Middle East. They’ve been focused on getting Islamic countries to adhere to sharia and begin imposing sharia outside of its borders,” Guandolo explained, referring to the Islamic legal code.

“That’s the focus. What we’re watching right now is the turn toward the West,” he said, citing terrorist attacks popping up in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, which have all been “individual acts of jihad,” until now.

“What you’re gonna see is, multiply Orlando, and Beslan, and Mumbai – and, by the way, since they’re working with the Marxist-socialist collaborators like Black Lives Matter and others, many Soros-funded groups and other groups, you’re gonna see a national level, where the violence will raise significantly, and you’ll see things precipitated by other events,” Guandolo warned.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

FBI Edits Radical Islam Out of Anti-Terror Video Game: Who Is the Real ‘Puppet’?

FBI/Screengrab

FBI/Screengrab

Breitbart, by Clare Lopez, March, 2, 2016:

The FBI has released a new edition of its anti-terror video game, Don’t Be a Puppet, that conforms to demands from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to exclude Islamic jihad from a list of potential terror threats.

In the game, a player is asked to work through a series of numbered boxes, beginning with “What is Violent Extremism?” and finishing with “Who [sic] Do Violent Extremists Affect?” Completing the activities in each box — watching short videos, reading through short texts, taking a quick quiz — allows the player, string-by-string, to free the puppet.

Despite the fact that Islamic jihadist violence ranks at the very top of global security concerns, though, it is not mentioned anywhere in the FBI’s puppet game. Instead, the game offers a psycho-babble of possible motivations including alienation, anxiety, personal frustration, and an unsupported claim about “twist[ing] religious teachings and other beliefs to support their own goals.” Anyone who actually perseveres through the game is left with the curious sense that they have just passed a Psych 101 class rather than learned anything substantive about Islamic terror.

Execrable grammar aside, Don’t Be A Puppet, does raise some important questions about who is the real puppet here — and who is the puppeteer. The FBI originally released the online game in early February 2016 but then, under pressure from CAIR, decided to scrub all references to Islamic terrorism (aka jihad) from the website. The new and improved version now focuses on animal rights activists, white supremacists, and other “violent extremists” approved for mention by the Muslim Brotherhood.

FBI leadership – as well as top officials at the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the National Security Council, and the White House – all know that the Ku Klux Klan was dismantled decades ago and that animal rights activists will never threaten the existence of the Republic. They also know that CAIR is not a suitable partner in anti-terror operations. The FBI (officially) cut ties with CAIR in 2009, calling the group “not an appropriate liaison partner” because of its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a subversive jihadist organization committed to “destroy the Western civilization from within.” CAIR not only was directly established in the U.S. by HAMAS, but remains closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood as part of the Global Islamic Movement. Although obviously done for political, not actual security reasons (as CAIR has no presence there), the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR to its list of terrorist organizations in November 2014.

That the FBI thinks it appropriate to take advice from an organization linked to Hamas, a group openly dedicated to jihad (“warfare against non-Muslims…to establish the religion”) indicates an advanced stage of infiltration by such forces inside the top levels of U.S. national security. That the FBI submits to blatant pressure in a way that strips an already ludicrous effort at counterterrorism of all relevance in a world being savaged by terrorists acting in obedience to Islamic doctrine only makes it worse.

And while we’re on the subject: what precisely is “Violent Extremism” anyway?

The FBI apparently would have us believe it has something to do with some people, somewhere, who “have very different beliefs and goals” and may be “loosely motivated” by “personal needs, fears and frustrations”… or something. All clear now?

Let us be clear: this level of incoherence is the intended result of a decades-long influence operation by the Muslim Brotherhood in America, which obviously has succeeded in turning the brains of our top counterterrorism experts to mush. Brilliant scholar of Islamic law Stephen Coughlin calls it “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad” in his recent book of that title. And it is catastrophic failure, the overt indicator of subversion at the highest levels of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). As Coughlin notes, such failure is in fact dereliction of duty by the IC. It would be prosecuted were there anyone left in the Department of Justice willing and able to name the Global Jihadist enemy, indict, or prosecute the lot of them.

Once the IC allowed itself to be lured away from what used to be called the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in the wake of 9/11, and instead listened to the insidious voices of Islamic dawah, the course was set. A Great Purge of the official lexicon gathered acceptance, and words like Caliphate, Islamic terror, and jihad, along with any instructors knowledgeable about Islamic doctrine, law, and scripture, and their inspirational role in instigating Islamic terrorism, were literally removed from official use and the training curricula inside the U.S. government.

By studiously ignoring a force responsible for at least 28,000 attacks worldwide since September 2001 and instead turning its focus to irrelevant distractions like the FBI’s silly wooden puppet, the U.S. IC is losing ground by the day to the Islamic Republic of Iran (now on the verge of deploying nuclear weapons), Al-Qa’eda (now massively metastasized), the Islamic State (practically weekly receiving new pledges of bayat), and yes, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose tentacles reach deep inside the entire structure of U.S. national security from the White House to Local Law Enforcement (LLE), that must confront a surge of individual jihad (fard ‘ayn) attacks against its communities without knowing why or how to stop them.

It is high time for the FBI puppet to cut the strings that tie it to its Muslim Brotherhood puppeteer, stop letting jihadis pull its strings, and become a real counterjihad warrior.

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

FBI Succumbs To Islamists Once Again

Daily Roll Call, by Cathy Hinners, Feb. 29, 2016:

Terror organization CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) has once again managed to dictate how the FBI operates by demanding a new website for countering violent extremism be changed to include more white groups that Islamic.

Since when does the largest law enforcement agency in the United States give in to a group that is an arm of Hamas, has been labeled a terrorist group in the Middle East and is also Muslim Brotherhood? It is clear the FBI has been weakened and diminished and can no longer investigate or protect Americans.

The website, “Don’t be a Puppet” (https://cve.fbi.gov/home.html) is exactly that, a puppet!

fbi-pupppet-website

The website is designed to identify various groups, explain what they stand for and against and then make suggestions how to identify someone that may be leaning towards violence. Included in those suggestions is a link to a stop bullying website. Really? Terrorism equals bullying? What is disturbing is how the different groups are defined and separated.  No where under domestic groups are the Islamist organizations within the United States, such as Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, or Al-Shabaab.

domestic

The FBI obviously does not want Americans to believe Islamic terrorists live amongst us. Another disturbing aspect of this site is how the most violent, vile Islamic group , ISIS, is described.

“ISIL is a highly violent extremist group that has killed thousands of men, women, and children, mostly Muslims. The group calls itself the “Islamic State,” but its members follow an extreme, fringe interpretation of Islamic law. They do not represent mainstream Islam, and the vast majority of Muslims are horrified by their actions. ISIL members work to enslave or kill anyone who disagrees with them and have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria”

How about ISIS has slaughtered thousands of Christians that have refused to submit to Islam. ISIS is not a “fringe interpretation of Islamic law”, ISIS in fact is following the doctrine of Islam as demanded by their prophet, Muhammad. If Muslims are so horrified by the atrocities, why do they not fight to destroy them? Not condemn them, destroy them.

482_largeThe Muslim community across America has done nothing to contribute to a safe, secure country, but rather continues to be divisive by embracing groups such as Black Lives Matter, opposing anti-terrorism material support bills and demanding thousands of Muslim refugees be admitted despite the lack of authentic vetting.  One of the biggest slaps in the face was a campaign by CAIR and the Muslim community which discourages Muslims from speaking to any law enforcement, but specifically the FBI.

Political correctness continues to strangle American law enforcement, as the leadership fails to allow its rank and file to be exposed to the truth about Islamic issues. Until citizens demand their elected and appointed officials refuse to succumb to this pressure, the infiltration will continue.  If you want the truth about Islam don’t ask a Muslim.

Phone Fight with the Government Shows How Apple Misled the Public

Apple iphoneCSP, by Fred Fleitz, Feb. 18, 2016:

The conflict that arose this week when Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company will resist a court order to provide the FBI with “reasonable technical assistance” to break into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists stunned many observers, because Apple was saying just a few months ago that the encryption on its latest smartphones was so secure that even Apple could not break it.

But it turns out the FBI thought of a way to break into iPhones by having Apple disable a feature that destroys information on a phone if too many incorrect passcodes are entered. This reportedly would be done by Apple using its “master key” to update the phone’s operating-system software to disable this feature.

Getting the information on this phone is crucial to U.S. national security. Its user, Syed Farook, likely was working with others in addition to his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in amassing what law enforcement called a bomb factory in their home. Farook and Malik both swore allegiance to ISIS. Questions need to be resolved as to whether the couple were involved in a broader terrorist conspiracy and whether they were in contact with ISIS members in Syria and Iraq.

Before this week, some members of Congress were discussing forcing Apple and Google, the maker of Android smartphones, to make new operating systems for their phones to allow law enforcement access to gather evidence for criminal and terrorist cases. This was because Apple and Google were responding to court orders to break into their phones with an assertion that this was technically impossible with the new encryption technology.

This included the June 2015 murder of a father of six in Chicago that might be solved if evidence could be retrieved from iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones found at the scene of the crime. An Illinois judge issued a warrant ordering Apple and Google to unlock these phones and share any data they contained with law enforcement. Both companies said they could not comply with the warrant since they did not know the passcodes and were unable to break into the phones. Now we know that Apple (and probably Google) can, in fact, break the encryption on their new smartphones.

Apple is claiming that this is a privacy issue. But the phone’s user is a deceased terrorist, and the phone was not his property — it was owned by San Bernardino County, which does not object to letting law enforcement break into the phone. Apple also asserts that it is being forced to give the government a backdoor that could be used to break into all of its users’ phones. This also is a false argument, since Apple would not be providing a master key to the government but only giving it access to this particular phone.

This development proves what the new encryption on iPhone and Android phones is really about: protecting users from the U.S. government, not from criminals and terrorists, because of the hysteria caused by the leaks of classified information by former NSA technician Edward Snowden. Apple and Google know their younger customers were especially affected by this. It therefore has tried to create the illusion that their phones are completely immune to government snooping. Playing on this fear for greater profits, both companies have tried to make users think their phones are so secure that they will be beyond the reach of court orders.

Many members of Congress believe this is intolerable. As a result, pressure to force phone makers to provide legal backdoors for the government to access smartphones has been mounting. Senator Richard Burr (R., N.C.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a December 23 Wall Street Journal op-ed that new smartphone encryption was “enabling murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers and, increasingly, terrorists.”

Apple does not have a leg to stand on in this dispute. It has been forced to change its position from “it’s not possible” — “not possible” to cooperate with legal court orders to break into the phones of terrorists and criminals — to “we refuse to cooperate” with such orders. This latter position is untenable because the vast majority of Americans agree with Senator Burr that they are not entitled to perfect security if it prevents the government from protecting them from bad actors. It’s hard to imagine the courts supporting Apple’s argument that the broader privacy rights of Americans are why it is refusing to help the U.S. government access the smartphone used by a dead terrorist and owned by a county government.

I see a big win coming out of this case for the security of our nation, and a big loss for anti-government privacy fanatics inspired by the traitor Edward Snowden. Given the urgency of this case, let’s hope it is resolved quickly.

***

Also see:

Did Hamas Inspire Muslim Mass Shooting Terror Plot in Milwaukee?

samy-770Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 27, 2016:

Defending Islam, the Muslim religion, requires killing everyone who isn’t a Muslim. So far there have been Muslim terror plots against synagogues, churches and a Hindu temple. Now there was a Muslim terror plot against a Masonic temple.

Federal law enforcement agents said Samy Mohamed Hamzeh told secret FBI informants that “We will eliminate everyone” once inside one of Milwaukee’s grandest cultural landmarks — the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

According to the federal complaint, Hamzeh had originally planned to attack Israelis in the West Bank, but dropped those plans because of logistical problems and focused on leading an attack on a target at home in Milwaukee.

Masons, Jews. Who cares. Just kill some infidels.

The feds said Hamzeh is heard on undercover recordings stating how many Americans he wanted to shoot and kill in Milwaukee.

“Thirty is excellent” he allegedly said. They “will know that nobody can play with Muslims.”

Nobody can play with Muslims, because they’re sore losers.

Hamzeh apparently came to the U.S. from the West Bank about six years ago

Clearly we need more Muslim immigration. Just think of all the added terror arrests and shooting sprees.

“I am telling you, if this hit is executed, it will be known all over the world … all the Mujahedeen will be talking and they will be proud of us,” Hamzeh said, according to the affidavit. “Such operations will increase in America, when they hear about it. The people will be scared and the operations will increase. … This way we will be igniting it. I mean we are marching at the front of the war.”

Hamzeh added that he hoped to kill 30 people. He also said his group was Muslims and they were “defending Muslim religion.”

“We are here defending Islam, young people together join to defend Islam, that’s it, that is what our intention is,” he said.

But, according to the media, it has nothing to do with Islam. Not a thing. Just everything.

So why Masons? The media is pretending to be baffled, but Masonic conspiracy theories are popular in the Muslim world, largely because of the Muslim Brotherhood which has a particular obsession with them. The Hamas charter, in between calling for the extermination of the Jews and Islamic rule, has this wacky paragraph.

The Moslem woman has a role no less important than that of the moslem man in the battle of liberation. She is the maker of men. Her role in guiding and educating the new generations is great. The enemies have realised the importance of her role. They consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up they way they wish, far from Islam, they would have won the battle. That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through information campaigns, films, and the school curriculum, using for that purpose their lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs.

Yes… rotary clubs. We’re lucky Muslims haven’t tried to shoot them up too.

I blame Muslim Masoniphobia. It’s really time we addressed the Muslim Masoniphobia crisis. Because this does look like Mohammed picked up a few ideas from the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

***

Former FBI Military Intel Officer Steve Rogers, Fox News Military Analyst (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Robert Scales and former National Security Council Director Cathy Taylor on a mass shooting plot thwarted by the FBI:

Threat Knowledge Group Chairman Sebastian Gorka on efforts to prevent homegrown terrorism:

Protecting the Homeland

usis-1024x565THE CIPHER BRIEF, JANUARY 6, 2016, BY KATHARINE CORNELL GORKA:

Some have argued that since the jihadist attack in Paris on November 13th, killing 130, and the December 2nd attack in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14, the United States has stepped up its domestic counter-terrorism efforts.  But with only five interdictions of ISIS supporters in the six weeks since the San Bernardino attack, the rate of interdiction has not picked up at all (an average of 4.5 per month for a total of 90 since March 2014 when ISIS first appeared in international headlines).  The bottom line is that the United States has not stepped up counter-terrorism efforts, and it continues to downplay the threat of ISIS to the homeland, emphasizing instead the threat from right-wing extremism.

Throughout the autumn, when it was already clear that ISIS was recruiting in the U.S. at a rate 300 percent greater than al Qaeda, and that the U.S. had ISIS investigations in every state, the administration implemented a number of initiatives that emphasized right-wing extremism and racial hatred over Islamist extremism. On September 28, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh  Johnson announced the creation of the DHS Office for Community Partnerships, whose goal would be “to build relationships and promote trust, and, in addition, find innovative ways to support communities that seek to discourage violent extremism and undercut terrorist narratives.” The office, both in its staffing and in its mission statement, is placing heavy emphasis on civil rights and civil liberties, suggesting it is more concerned with protecting Muslim communities than with rooting out Islamist extremism and potential terrorists.

On September 29th, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Attorney General Loretta Lynch introduced the Strong Cities Network to combat violent extremism.  Her speech did not name radical Islam as one of the threats to be addressed but only identified violent extremism.   And on October 14th, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin announced the creation of a new Domestic Terrorism Counsel to focus on what he calls “Americans attacking Americans based on U.S.-based extremist ideologies.”

As suggested by the initiatives above, the Obama administration has built its strategy to prevent ISIS-inspired acts of terrorism in the United States on the Muslim community’s ability to police itself.  As Attorney General Lynch said in her UN speech,  “As residents and experts in their communities, local leaders are often best positioned to pinpoint sources of unrest and discord; best equipped to identify signs of potential danger; and best able to recognize and accommodate community cultures, traditions, sensitivities, and customs.”  But the evidence does not support this.  Of the 90 ISIS supporters who have been interdicted, only 18 (20 percent), were turned in by someone they knew, and not a single one of those by a local Muslim leader or Imam.  As Melvin Bledsoe, the father of one convicted terrorist, testified before Congress, “Some Muslim leaders had taken advantage of my son. But he’s not the only one being taken advantage of: this is going on in Nashville and in many other cities in America. In Nashville, Carlos was captured by people best described as hunters. He was manipulated and lied to. That’s how he made his way to Yemen.  …the former Imam of a Nashville mosque, the Al Farooq Mosque, wrote the recommendation letter Carlos needed for the school in Yemen. We also discovered that the school functions as an intake front for radicalizing and training Westerners for Jihad.”

This problem is also explained in a recent book on the FBI, in which former senior FBI executive Arthur  Cummings said that in his experience, Muslim leaders want to fix problems within their own communities and not bring problems with extremism to the FBI. When Cummings suggested to a Muslim group that they let the FBI know when they had an extremist within their community, they told him, “That could never happen.  We would lose our constituency. We could never admit to bringing someone to the FBI.”

What then can the U.S. government do to improve its ability to counter the homegrown threat?  Obviously, defeating ISIS on the battlefield will have the single greatest impact on the threat, but even then, many other extremist Islamist groups will remain. Until radical Islam itself is discredited, there are important steps the U.S. government can take to better protect the homeland:

  • Present a more accurate threat assessment, one shaped by the reality on the ground and not on ideological biases.
  • Facilitate training for both federal and local law enforcement on the nature and scope of the threat (training budgets for both federal and local law enforcement have recently been cut).
  • Target and interdict those who are propagating radical ideas, not merely those who are plotting or carrying out attacks.
  • Implement a more aggressive counter-ideology campaign, both at home and abroad, one that is not based on the false premise that poverty and lack of education lead to jihadism.

ISIS has shifted away from the grand, centrally planned attacks that al Qaeda favored and instead is encouraging supporters to carry out independent attacks wherever they are able.  As a result, we are likely to see more of the types of attacks carried out at the Boston marathon, in Paris, and in San Bernardino.  This is borne out by statistics: of the 90 ISIS supporters interdicted in the United States since March 2014, 29 (32 percent) were domestic plotters who believed the best way to support ISIS was to carry out attacks against Americans on U.S. soil.  If the administration does not begin to take this threat more seriously, there may yet be far worse to come.

Katharine Cornell Gorka is the President of Threat Knowledge Group, which provides training and expertise on threats to U.S. national security.  She works closely with U.S. government agencies, law enforcement and the intelligence community.  From 2008 to 2014 Katharine served as executive director of the Westminster Institute, a think-tank based in McLean, Virginia. She co-edited the volume, Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Islamism to Communism and most recently co-authored the report ISIS: The Domestic Threat

10 Reasons to Be Suspicious of CAIR

Jessica Gresko / Associated Press

Jessica Gresko / Associated Press

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Dec. 28, 2015:

One reason to be suspicious of Washington’s ability to deal with the threat of Islamist terrorism is that the same dodgy characters keep showing up as self-appointed spokespersons for the American Muslim community.

The Beltway-media complex is too politically correct and/or afraid of being labeled “anti-Muslim” to ask tough questions about their background. They become unchallenged, unquestioned sources for a great deal of news coverage.

Chief among these organizations is CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. If you’re looking for a squeaky-clean activist group to carry the banner of Muslim resistance to Islamist extremism… well, CAIR hardly seems to fit the bill, despite being portrayed that way by the Mainstream Media.

Here are 10 reasons you should be suspicious of CAIR:

1. They are a suspected Hamas fundraiser. This is the big one, and it has beenaffirmed by the Justice Department on several occasions. CAIR was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial, which concerned fundraising for the Palestinian terror organizations Hamas and the Palestinian Committee. The strong tiesbetween CAIR’s founders and Hamas are well-documented and beyond dispute. CAIR generally addresses these issues by attacking virtually everyone who mentions them as an “Islamophobe.”

2. The FBI suspended formal contacts with CAIR.  As a result of the Holy Land Foundation scandal, the FBI determined CAIR was not an “appropriate liaison partner.” The Bureau had a list of issues CAIR would have to address to restore this relationship, including demonstrating that CAIR had cut all ties with Hamas and similar groups, but those conditions have not been met.

3. CAIR encourages Muslims to distrust the FBI. Another reason the Bureau might not be eager to have close ties with CAIR is that the latter has in the past portrayed the FBI as a sinister conspiracy against Muslims. For example, they advised Muslims to “use caution when speaking with the FBI” during the 2010 investigation of a Muslim described to local Arizona media as “humble, pious, and well-liked in the community.” His name was Elton Simpson, and he died launching a jihadi attack against the Mohammed Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas four years later.

More recently, CAIR National’s Twitter account issued a string of messages opposing the no-fly list – which Democrats are now using in a bid to bypass the Constitution for gun control – because it had too many Muslims on it, and the FBI could be using the no-fly list to “pressure Muslims to become informants.” CAIR accuses the FBI of using “blackmail” tactics against Muslims.

The California chapter of CAIR held a conference in 2011 that was advertised with a poster depicting what Fox News described as “a sinister-looking FBI agent” and the headlines “Build a Wall of Resistance” and “Don’t Talk to the FBI.”  The conference was entitled “FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities.”  CAIR ultimately decided to take the poster down, out of what spokesman Ibrahim Hooper described as “extreme caution”… while nevertheless complaining about “Muslim bashers” and “the Islamophobic hate machine.”

4. CAIR has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates. The UAE prepared a list in 2014 that designated all organs of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations, including CAIR and the Muslim American Society. Officials of the Obama Administration were dispatched to work with CAIR to oppose the UAE designation, a designation which CAIR described as “shocking and bizarre.”

5. They threw a banquet for an Islamic Jihad leader. One reason the UAE designation of CAIR was not shocking is that a week beforehand, CAIR-SFBA threw a banquet in honor of former Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami al-Arian and gave him a “Promoting Justice” award. Al-Arian pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide goods and services to this known terrorist organization, which is dedicated to using homicidal and suicidal violence for the “Palestinian Cause,” and even agreed to deportation to Turkey as part of his plea deal.

Al-Arian’s defenders contend his trial was unfair, whistling past documentation such as his unsent handwritten letter to Kuwait seeking money for “the jihad effort in Palestine,” but his relationship with law enforcement is, shall we say, profoundly unhelpful to those who think CAIR and its friends can help the Muslim-American community work with the authorities to crush domestic terrorism.

6. Some CAIR members have a nuanced view of suicide bombing. One of the CAIR spokesmen who “condemned all violence everywhere” after the San Bernardino attack, Muzammil Siddiqui, in 1995 praised suicide bombers, and then in 2000 thundered about the “wrath of God” descending upon America for its support of Israel. He has also gone off-message by admitting jihad “may take a military action,” rather than pushing the preferred narrative about it being an entirely peaceful internal struggle, in 2007.

7. CAIR executives have described notorious terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah as “resistance movements.” That’s how CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly described Hezbollah, while insisting it is “absolutely not a terrorist organization.” Israel and its supporters, on the other hand, were described as “enemies of God and humanity” by Shibly in 2014.

Hezbollah most certainly is a violent terrorist organization, although they are not big fansof the terrorist attacks perpetrated by their enemies in ISIS, which is currently facing them across the chaotic battlefields of Syria. Hezbollah is a Shiite murder squad aligned with Iran, while the Islamic State is Sunni.

In 2008, then-National Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed described Hamas and Hezbollah as “part of the political processes in their societies, just like the IRA was part of the political process in their society.”

In 2001, Ghazi Khankan, then-Executive Director of CAIR’s New York office, claimed “the people of Hamas who direct their attacks on the Israeli military are in the correct position, those who attack civilians are wrong.”  When he was asked how he defined Israeli civilians, Khankan replied, “Who is a soldier in Israel and who is not? Anyone over 18 is automatically inducted into the service and they are all reserves. Therefore, Hamas in my opinion looks at them as part of the military. Those who are below 18 should not be attacked.”

8. They are very quick to accuse law enforcement of improperly using deadly force against Muslims. If Americans want close “see something, say something” cooperation with a fully-integrated Muslim community, the last thing they need is paranoia built with wild accusations of cops with itchy trigger fingers shooting Islamic suspects for no good reason. CAIR is quick to cry foul on such shootings, and stands by its judgments despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.  Examples include the shootings of Ibragim Todashev, an associated of the Boston Bombers who was shot while attacking state police and an FBI agent, and Usaama Rahim, who was under surveillance for planning the jihad murders of policemen in Boston, and died when he attacked law enforcement officers with a knife.

The CAIR spokesman who thinks Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, Hassan Shibly, was still pushing paranoid narratives about the FBI gunning down Todashev – an associate of the Boston Marathon bombers implicated in a previous triple homicide that may have also involved the Tsarnaevs – for no good reason, even after the Justice Department revealed he had a half-written confession in his apartment, threw a coffee table in the face of an FBI agent when he realized he was about to be arrested, and then went after a Massachusetts State Police officer with a five-foot metal pole.

In the Rahim case, CAIR floated suspicions that he was innocently chatting on his cell phone with his father when a police officer and FBI agent confronted and shot him for no good reason.  “We have a number of questions: Why exactly was he being followed? What was the probable cause for this particular stop? Were there any video cameras or body cameras of the incident? How do you reconcile the two versions of the story, the family version being that he was on his normal commute to work at a bus stop?” asked CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

9. They tried to discredit the investigation of a political assassin.  That would be Mannsor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-American busted in 2011 for plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, allegedly at the behest of Iran’s foreign espionage team, the Quds Force. Arbabsiar was trying to hire the Zeta drug cartel to pull of the hit, but he got a DEA informant on the line instead.

CAIR labored mightily to portray this investigation as a farce based on false intelligence.  One CAIR official said on Twitter that he didn’t believe Attorney General Eric Holder’s assertions of an alliance between Iran and Mexican drug cartels, while another declared, “If Holder hadn’t announced so many ‘foiled’ plots that were really FBI provocateur led, I’d be more inclined to believe this Iran plot biz.”

The latter Tweet, from Dawud Walid of CAIR-Michigan, was eventually deleted, but he came back with more posts alleging the Administration had falsified its claims that Iranian officials were involved in the Arbabsiar plot.  One of these posts included “smh,” which is Internet slang for “shaking my head,” indicating disgust.

Arbabsiar eventually confessed to the plot, including the involvement of Iranian intelligence agents, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, despite a game effort at an insanity defense. (“I can’t change what I did, but I have a good heart. I never hurt anyone. My mind is sometimes not in a good place,” he explained.)

10. They work hard to silence critics of Islamic extremism.  CAIR will not be throwing any banquets or giving a “Promoting Justice” award to courageous Somali-born critic of Islamic misogyny Ayaan Hirsi Ali. They were part of the disgraceful effort to quash her honorary degree from Brandeis University, comparing her to “white supremacists and anti-Semites” in the process.

They are not fond of other Somalis who work to keep young Muslims in Minnesota from falling into the clutches of al-Shabaab, either.  When two Muslim activists attended a seminar describing al-Shabaab as an “Islamic extremist terrorism organization” in 2011, CAIR denounced them as “anti-Muslim.”  A local reporter described CAIR-Minnesota’s attacks on the two anti-al-Shabaab activists as “character assassination,” carried out because the targets “were the first to blow the whistle on the effort to recruit Minnesotan Somalis for terrorism in Somalia.”

CAIR statements on Islamists often come with asterisks and qualifications, but they are full-throated when denouncing everyone they see as a critic of Islam.

Bottom line: these and other examples show that CAIR is just about the exact opposite of what anyone who wants to enlist sincere Muslim-Americans in a pushback against Islamist extremism and terrorism is looking for. The last thing we need right now is CAIR’s toxic mixture of terrorism-apologias, attempts to discredit counter-terrorist activity, mindless political correctness, and fishy international politics. We need bold, unambiguous critics of violence and extremism, champions of assimilation with squeaky-clean backgrounds, not “Islamophobia” hysterics who think terrorists have legitimate grievances.

FBI using elite surveillance teams to track at least 48 high risk ISIS suspects

Screen-Shot-2015-06-23-at-12.23.20-PMFox News, by Catherine Herridge, November 26, 2015:

With as many as 1000 active cases, Fox News has learned at least 48 ISIS suspects are considered so high risk that the FBI is using its elite tracking squads known as the mobile surveillance teams or MST to track them domestically.

“There is a very significant number of people that are on suspicious watch lists, under surveillance,”  Republican Senator Dan Coats said.

Coats, who sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence, would not comment on specifics, but said the around the clock surveillance is a major commitment for the bureau. “The FBI together with law enforcement agencies across the country are engaged in this. It takes enormous amount of manpower to do this on a 24-7 basis.  It takes enormous amount of money to do this,” Coats explained.

These elite FBI teams are reserved for espionage, mob violence and high priority terrorism cases, like a joint terrorism task force case last June, where a 26 year old suspect Usaama Rahim, was killed outside a Massachusetts CVS.  When a police officer and FBI agent tried to question him, the Boston Police Commissioner said Rahim threatened them with a knife, and was shot dead.

With at least a dozen agents assigned to each case, providing 24/7 coverage, this high level of surveillance reflects the severe risk associated with suspects most likely to attempt copycat attacks after Paris.

“It is a big resource drain.  Yes it is.  Almost overwhelming,”  Coats said when asked about the demand placed on the FBI.   “There will be a lot of people over the Thanksgiving weekend that will not be enjoying turkey with their family.  They’ll be out there providing security for the American people and the threat is particularly high during this holiday period.”

One of the lessons of Paris is that the radicalization process can be swift.  According to published reports, friends of the female suspect who was killed in the siege of Saint Denis, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, abandoned her party life only a month before joining her cousin, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the plot’s on the ground commander.  He was also killed in the siege.

The FBI Director James Comey has consistently drawn attention to this phenomenon, calling it the “flash to bang,” that the time between radicalization and crossing the threshold to violent action can be very short. Last week, in a rare public appearance with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey would only say that “dozens” of suspected radicals have been under “tight surveillance.”

“Together we are watching people of concern using all of our lawful tools.  We will keep watching them and if we see something we will work to disrupt it,”  Comey said.

Contacted by Fox News, an FBI spokesman had no comment on the high risk cases, nor the use of elite surveillance teams.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

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Obama Lackey Ben Rhodes Spreads Lies About Vetting Syrian Refugees on Sunday News Talk Shows

Ben Rhodes

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Nov. 15, 2015:

In the wake of Friday’s horrific terror attacks in Paris, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was dispatched to the Sunday morning talk shows to spin his boss’ claim the previous day that the ISIS threat had been “contained.”

But he was also asked about the ability of the Obama administration to properly vet a wave of 10,000 Syrian refugees announced in September in light of reports that one or more of the Paris terrorists had entered and transited the EU as a Syrian refugee.

And yet Rhodes’ response that measures to properly vet the Syrian refugees are in place flatly contradicts the recent sworn congressional testimony of FBI officials.

Rhodes appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. It brought this exchange:

TAPPER:  I think there is a question about how good this intelligence apparatus is, Christiane Amanpour – Christiane Amanpour reporting this morning that at least one of the terrorists, according to French authorities, seems to have smuggled himself into Europe by embedding with refugees.

Ben, are you confident enough in our vetting process as the United States brings Syrian refugees into our country to pledge that this will never happen here?

RHODES:  Well, first of all, Jake, the threat of foreign fighters has been front and center from the very beginning of this counter-ISIL campaign.  We have made that a focus, so that we’re working with countries to share information, to improve their laws and authorities to be able to monitor and detain people.

And we’re going to continue to do that.  That will be a focus of discussion here in Turkey.  With respect to refugees, we have the most extensive security vetting that we have ever had to deal with Syrian refugees coming into the United States that involves not just the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, but also our intelligence community, the National Counterterrorism Center, so that anybody who comes to the United States, we are carefully vetting against all of our information.

And let’s not forget, Jake, that some of these people are people who have suffered the horrors of war.  They’re women.  They’re orphans.  They’re children who have suffered at the hands of ISIL.  We cannot close our doors to these people.  We can focus on keeping terrorists out of the United States while having an open door to people who deserve a safe haven.

And when asked by Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press about whether the developments in Paris had given President Obama pause on admitting more Syrian refugees, Rhodes replied:

No, Chuck. We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who come to the United States. There is a very careful vetting process that including our terrorism community, our Department of Homeland Security. Let’s remember, Chuck, we’re also dealing with people who suffer the horrors of war. Women and children, orphans. We can’t just shut our doors to those people. We need to do our part to take refugees in need.

But as I reported here two weeks ago at PJ Media, FBI Director Robert Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee that vetting Syrian refugees will be “challenging” when asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the quality of intelligence and information that exists on Syrians:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

Those concerns echo congressional testimony given earlier this year by FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach to the House Homeland Security Committee about the quality of information available on anyone coming out of Syria:

The concern in Syria is that we don’t have systems in places on the ground to collect information to vet…You’re talking about a country that is a failed state, that does not have any infrastructure, so to speak. So all of the dataset, the police, the intel services that normally you would go to to seek information doesn’t exist.

The FBI director was also asked by Rep. Gohmert during his testimony last month about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government — considerably more extensive than anything the National Counterterrorism Center has for Syria.

And yet despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

Comey also said during a speech last month that the FBI has 900 active investigations on suspected ISIS supporters and other extremists.

FBI Suspends Counterterror Program After Pressure from Fringe Islamic Groups

GettyImages-73534290-FBI-seal-640x480Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Nov. 2, 2015:

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation has suspended the unveiling of a new counter-radicalization website designed for kids after fringe Islamic advocacy organizations said the anti-terror programming discriminates against Muslims.

The FBI website titled, “Don’t Be A Puppet,” was scheduled to go live Monday morning but has been suspended indefinitely after fierce opposition by Islamic groups, the Washington Post reports.

According to reports, the program was designed to lead children and teens through games that were designed to help them identify potential extremists. The FBI initiative also sought to help young men and women steer clear from the radical ideologies that lead people to join Islamic extremist groups.

A spokesman with the FBI told the New York Times late Sunday, prior to the program’s scheduled release: “The F.B.I. is developing a website designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the Internet, with input from students, educators and community leaders.”

Some Muslim leaders who were invited to beta-test the program were outraged that the FBI would take the time to develop counterterror initiatives.

“The greatest threat facing American schoolchildren today is gun violence,” Arjun Sethi, a Georgetown Law professor who was invited to screen the program over the summer, told the New York Times. “It’s not Muslim extremism.”

Members from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a hard-line anti-Israel organization, were also invited to test the FBI program before it was rolled out.

Abed Ayoub, the ADC’s policy director, said his meetings with the FBI over the program were “very tense.” “If this is shown to middle and high-school students, it’s going to result in bullying of these children,” Ayoub said.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a Muslim advocacy organization that wasfounded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, applauded the FBI’s decision to suspend the program..

MPAC Policy Director Hoda Hawa said in a press release:

While we welcome efforts to promote the safety and security of our nation, tools like this that improperly characterize American Muslims as a suspect community with its targeted focus and stereotypical depictions stigmatize Muslim students (or those perceived as such) and can actually exasperate the problem by leading to bullying, bias, and religious profiling of students.

MPAC wrote a follow-up letter to the FBI, declaring that the bureau has no business “educating our youth on countering violent extremism.” Creating programs that attempt to counter Islamic radicalism “can lead to bullying, bias, misperception, as well as racial and religious profiling of students,” the letter added.

Also see:

How Much Does the U.S. Government Still Deal with CAIR?

cair-1 (1)American Thinker, by Johanna Markind, Oct. 30, 2015:

October 6 Conference Call with DHS, DOJ & FBI

Several federal agencies appear to have ongoing contacts with an organization that has been connected to international terrorism.

On October 6, 2015, according to Department of Homeland Security spokesman S.Y. Lee, DHS convened a conference call with “senior officials from the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, DOJ Community Relations Service, DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection and Federal Emergency Management Agency.” Also on the call were what Lee characterized insipidly as “faith-based, community-based, and civil rights and civil liberties advocacy stakeholders,” and what the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) characterized as “American Muslim community leaders.”

CAIR’s press release on the subject coyly does not say whether CAIR was one of the “American Muslim community leaders” participating in the meeting.

Its possible involvement is significant because, after several CAIR founders and/or officials were convicted in the Holy Land Foundation case – America’s largest terrorism financing case – the FBI severed its liaison relationship with the group, banning it from cooperation for the foreseeable future.  CAIR was not indicted as a defendant, but was deemed an unindicted co-conspirator.  The FBI did “not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner” and “suspended all formal outreach activities” with it.

Despite the FBI’s policy restricting contact with the group, a 2013 inspector general report concluded that during the current administration, FBI offices have flouted the policy by continuing outreach activities with CAIR. FBI leadership “did not conduct effective oversight to ensure compliance with the policy.”

Fourteen months after the IG report was released, the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR a terrorist organization.

FBI spokesman Christopher M. Allen confirmed the FBI’s participation in the October 6 call and claimed he did “not have information” about whether CAIR likewise participated.  He also confirmed that the bureau’s anti-CAIR policy remains in effect.  The policy does not ban all interaction between CAIR and the bureau, Allen said.  Even if CAIR were present, that “would not necessarily represent a violation of the policy.”  Asked the identity of the FBI official who approved the bureau’s participation in this non-public call organized by a federal agency, Allen did not respond.

DHS spokesman Lee likewise failed to answer questions about whether CAIR participated in the October 6 call.  He also ignored questions about whether DHS has a policy in place restricting the agency’s contact with CAIR.

DOJ’s main press office (the FBI has its own office) completely ignored questions about whether it had its own policy regarding CAIR contacts and whether CAIR participated in the October 6 call.  DOJ even refused to confirm that it participated in the call, as DHS’s Lee reported.

In fairness, it should be noted that the call was evidently convened in response to a request from CAIR that DHS address Muslim community concerns about protests planned to take place outside mosques in several American cities on October 9-10.  Nevertheless, even if true, the fact that CAIR may have requested a call does not mean government agencies were obliged to include it, let alone one with “senior officials.”

It is noteworthy that none of these agencies – the FBI, DOJ, and DHS – would answer direct questions about whether CAIR participated in the call, and that the FBI – which by its own admission still has a policy sharply restricting contact with CAIR – failed to address a direct question about who authorized (what DHS spokesman Lee characterized as) “senior officials” to participate.  Lee’s failure to respond to the question about DHS’s policy on CAIR, and DOJ’s complete failure to answer any questions, are also of note.  Lee’s description of call participants as “faith-based” and “civil rights” stakeholders is suggestive, because CAIR presents itself as a mainstream organization advocating for the civil rights of American Muslims, and mainstream media sometimes echo CAIR’s self-description.

It seems quite likely CAIR did participate in the call, and that the FBI ignored its policy of avoiding contact with the organization (either violating it outright or failing to follow required procedures to obtain approval/waiver).  Given their reluctance to answer questions, it also seems likely that DHS and DOJ either have similar policies in place or recognize how awkward it is that they don’t have such a policy, in light of the FBI policy and the reasons for it.

October 6 Meeting with State

A State Department official confirmed CAIR’s report that CAIR and other American Muslim organizations met with officials from State on October 6.  CAIR described the purpose of the meeting as to increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States and to complain about the situation on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, aka the Temple Mount.  The State Department source characterized the meeting as part of its “routine” engagement with faith-based organizations.

The October 6 meeting with CAIR is not unique.  Previously, State Department press director Jeff Rathke stated, “As part of our routine engagement with a broad spectrum of faith-based organizations, a range of US government officials have met with officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” implying that the State Department is among those government officials meeting with CAIR.

The same source who confirmed the October 6 meeting also indicated that State has no special policy limiting its contacts with CAIR, but did reiterate that the US requested additional information about the UAE’s November 2014 decision to designate CAIR a terrorist organization.  The source did not say whether the government had received any further information from the UAE.

Given both the prior involvement of CAIR officials in terrorist funding, resulting in CAIR’s unindicted co-conspirator status and the FBI decision to sever its prior liaison relationship with the group, and the UAE’s decision less than a year ago to designate the group as a terrorist organization, it is disappointing that the State Department has no policy at least limiting its contact with the group.  It is also disappointing that DOJ (of which the FBI is a part) and DHS are not open about their policy toward CAIR and the reasons for it.

In fact, it is regrettable that the executive branch as a whole does not have a unified policy about it and enforce that policy.  As the FBI indicated in its April 2009 letter to Senator Kyl, its decision to suspend CAIR was made pending resolution of “whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas” or, one assumes, any other terrorist group.  That was six and a half years ago.  What have the FBI, and the executive branch as a whole, found?  Have they done nothing since then besides ask the United Arab Emirates for information about this American group?

Johanna Markind is associate counselor for the Middle East Forum.

DHS, White House Tout Ability To Screen Syrian Refugees. But Under Oath, FBI Says Opposite

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 28, 2015:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told USA Today yesterday that the wave of Syrian refugees that will be admitted into the U.S. in the coming year will be subjected to “extensive, thorough background checks.”

But just last week, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director James Comey said exactly the opposite.

When asked about criticisms made by Donald Trump about the administration’s immigration policies and about concerns that ISIS may embed themselves among Syrian refugees as a “Trojan horse,” Johnson replied:

Well, in terms of the level of effort of security review that we will apply and we have applied it will be and it is extensive. Both law enforcement and homeland security have improved the process from the days when we admitted a lot of Iraqi refugees.

We now do a better job of connecting the dots, consulting all the right databases and systems that we have available to us, and the refugee review process is probably one of the most if not the most extensive thorough background checks that someone seeking to enter this country goes through.

Now we’ve made this commitment for 10,000 Syrian refugees in FY2016. It is a commitment that the United States as a global leader should and will meet.

But during a House Judiciary hearing last Thursday, Comey was asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. Despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

When asked further about the nature of intelligence available to screen Syrian refugees, Comey admitted, contrary to Secretary Johnson, that the Iraqi database  – which possibly admitted dozens of terrorists — was much more extensive than anything they have for Syria.

Rep. Gohmert pressed further about the ability to screen refugees:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

The exchange between Rep. Gohmert and Director Comey on the Syrian refugee issue can be seen at about 2:05 in the video below:

The contrast between Johnson’s confidence and Comey’s concern is striking. This confusion comes on the heels of the White House announcing last month that it will admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the new fiscal year, more than five times the number admitted this year. Adding to the mixed messages coming from the administration, White House spokesman Josh Earnest touted the “robust” databases during the announcement:

Refugees go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States. Refugees have to be screened by the National Counter Terrorism Center, by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center. They go through databases that are maintained by DHS, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. There is biographical and biometric information that is collected about these individuals.

To recap: twice, the Obama administration appealed to the effectiveness of the screening databases to justifying the safety of allowing a dramatic increase in Syrian refugees.

But in a third statement, the only one of the three given under oath, the administration admitted the screening is inadequate.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees overall in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, up from 70,000 in the current year. And Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to Obama asking him to admit another 65,000 Syrian refugees, and former Obama and Bush officials have asked that he authorize an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees over and above the 70,000 worldwide ceiling for the current year.

Also see:

Comey: Feds have roughly 900 domestic probes about Islamic State operatives, other extremists

(Photo: Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images)

USA Today, by Kevin Johnson, Oct. 23, 2015:

WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey said Friday that federal authorities have an estimated 900 active investigations pending against suspected Islamic State-inspired operatives and other home-grown violent extremists across the country.

In a speech to intelligence officials, Comey initially indicated that all 900 of the inquiries were ISIL related. Later, officials said the vast majority involved ISIL but the number also included other U.S.-based extremists.

Still, Comey said that the total number of inquiries is “slowly climbing” as ISIL has sought to expand their reach into the U.S., targeting largely young, disaffected potential operatives through a provocative social media campaign.

The national scope of U.S.-based extremist inquiries has been the subject of much recent discussion. But rarely has there been a public reference to a number of such investigations.

Because the pace of the investigations has varied in the last several months, Comey said it was still unclear whether the bureau had the necessary resources to meet the demand. Comey referred to a particularly taxing period in mid-summer when federal authorities expressed public concern about the prospect of an attack around the July Fourth holiday.

“If that becomes the new normal … That would be hard to keep up,” the director said, though he said the pace has eased somewhat recently.

Since July 1, the director said, investigators have been tracking a decline in numbers of Americans seeking to travel to Syria to join forces with ISIL. But it is unclear how that drop-off may be affecting the domestic threat.

“Something has happened that is flattening the curve (the number of travelers),” he said