Islamic State Finds A Familiar Place To Regroup With Devastating Effects

Daily Caller, by Joshua Gill, September 18, 2018:

  • ISIS’s Libyan branch has regenerated after two years of regrouping near the Tunisian border.
  • The militants have waged over a dozen attacks against militia groups, security forces, and oil facilities, posing a threat to the countries crude oil supply to Europe.
  • The group’s resurgence largely follows the 2017 predictions of terrorism analysts, some of whom theorized that ISIS would try to destabilize surrounding countries by unleashing a mass migration from Libya.

The Islamic State has reared its ugly head in Libya once more, conducting over a dozen attacks, drawing recruits, and threatening Libya’s oil production.

The terrorist group re-emerged in the country in early 2018, two years after the Libyan National Army, backed by U.S. airstrikes, drove ISIS out of their stronghold in the town of Sirte. The militants regrouped in remote desert hideouts and, buoyed by funds and taxes stolen from Sirte’s treasury, have waged a series of attacks that not only threatens to disrupt the flow of oil from one of Africa’s richest oil reserves, but could also destroy the country’s fragile potential for recovery from civil war. (RELATED: Former Anti-Nuclear Peace Activist Sentenced For Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attacks)

The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for attacks on rival militia groups, Libyan security forces, and the May bombing of the headquarters of the Libyan election commission. They also attacked Libya’s state oil company with gunmen and suicide bombers last week, killing two employees.

“They use these attacks to show they’re back in business, to rebrand themselves, to draw recruits,” Frederic Wehrey, a Libya expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Wall Street Journal. “The best recruiter for the Islamic State in Libya is political turmoil, political infighting. When Libya is divided, that gives room for the Islamic State to grow.”

While the attack on the state oil company did not disrupt oil production, it did temporarily drive up oil prices worldwide and also deepened concerns that potential supply disruptions in Libya would add to those already happening in Venezuela and Iran. Given the fact that Libya provides high quality crude oil to European countries, the country’s oil facilities are all the more appealing to ISIS as potential targets. ISIS has, in fact, said as much.

“We stress that the oil fields supporting the Crusaders and their projects in Libya are legitimate targets for the mujahedeen,” an ISIS communiqué concerning the attack on the state oil company read.

ISIS’ resurgence in the region is anything but unexpected, given analysts’ observations from as early as 2017 that the militants were regrouping in towns along the Tunisian border. Their attacks on Libya’s oil facilities lend further credence to the 2017 prediction of Joseph Fallon, Islamic Extremism expert and U.K. Defense Forum research associate, who said that ISIS would likely take advantage of the chaos in Libya to carry out such attacks.

Fallon predicted that ISIS would use the attacks on the oil facilities and ports “to unleash a mass migration of people to destabilize neighboring countries and Europe,” according to Fox News.

While ISIS’ new series of attacks has aided the militants’ recruitment efforts, so too has their resources stolen from Sirte and their more recent source of funds  from a protection racket for human traffickers. ISIS’ resources in the region mean that they can afford to pay their recruits better than local militias and can pay theirs and, as long as Libya’s security forces are locked in the chaos of civil war, ISIS’ swelling ranks can operate in the country with relative impunity.

State Department: Iran allows al Qaeda to operate its ‘core facilitation pipeline’

 

The US government has repeatedly identified al Qaeda’s leadership in Iran. From left to right: Yasin al Suri, Atiyah Abd al Rahman, Sanafi al Nasr, Muhsin al Fadhli and Adel Radi al Harbi. OnlyYasin al Suri is believed to be still alive. Others continue to operate in Iran.

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn, September 19, 2018:

The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism today. The report covers events during the previous calendar year. As in past assessments, State says that Iran “has allowed” al Qaeda to operate its key facilitation network on Iranian soil.

“Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al Qaeda (AQ) members residing in Iran and has refused to publicly identify the members in its custody,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 reads.*

Moreover, “Iran has allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran since at least 2009, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.”

The language closely mirrors that included in past State Department reports and statements, as well as in a series of terrorist designations issued by the Treasury Department. The paragraphs below borrow from previous reports on these official statements, including an article summarizing last year’s Country Reports on TerrorismFDD’s Long War Journal has repeatedly summarized these official US government reports in the past. See, for example, State Department: Iran continues to host al Qaeda’s ‘core facilitation pipeline’.

Since July 2011, the US Treasury and State Departments have repeatedly stated that the Iranian regime allows al Qaeda to maintain a “core pipeline” on its soil. This arrangement is the result of a specific “agreement” between the Iranian government and al Qaeda’s leadership. A timeline of these statements is included below.

In addition, the UN reported in late July that “Al Qaeda leaders in the Islamic Republic of Iran have grown more prominent, working with” al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri and “projecting his authority more effectively than he could previously.” According to the UN, the Iran-based al Qaeda leadership has worked to undermine the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the head of Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS). Separately, the State Department increased the reward for information on these two same al Qaeda managers, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Saif al-Adel. [See FDD’s Long War Journal reports, UN: Iran-based leaders ‘have grown more prominent’ in al Qaeda’s global network and Analysis: 2 wanted al Qaeda leaders operate in Iran.]

The agreement between al Qaeda’s leadership and Iran is, in some ways, curious to say the least. The two sides have openly fought one another in Syria and Yemen. Iran also detained a number of al Qaeda leaders and family members for years after the 9/11 attacks. This led al Qaeda to agitate for their release. Al Qaeda considers the expansion of Iranian influence throughout the Middle East to be pernicious. And al Qaeda’s leaders regularly frame their Sunni jihad as a counterweight to Iran’s Shiite designs.

Still, unlike the Islamic State, al Qaeda has not conducted a direct terrorist attack inside Iran, as this would cause problems for its facilitators. According to the US government, these same operatives have managed al Qaeda’s “core pipeline” inside Iran for years.

Previous designations and other statements by Treasury and State Departments

The State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 is the latest instance in which a branch of the US government has officially recognized al Qaeda’s “core facilitation pipeline” inside Iran, or exposed related aspects of al Qaeda’s operations inside the country.

In 2008 and 2009, Treasury reported that several al Qaeda operatives were either living inside Iran, or working with others jihadists in the country.

Then, beginning in July 2011, both the Treasury and State Departments repeatedly targeted the Iran-based network with sanctions and terror designations, saying that the hub is operated as part of a formerly “secret deal” between the Iranian government and al Qaeda’s leadership.

Below is a brief timeline of designations and other official statements by the US government.

June 2008: Treasury designated `Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Jaffar `Ali, an al Qaeda “financier and facilitator” based in Bahrain “who has provided significant funding to” al Qaeda. Among his other tasks, `Ali “facilitated the movement of money to a senior al Qaeda facilitator in Iran.”

Treasury also designated Adil Muhammad Mahmud Abd Al-Khaliq, who served al Qaeda’s senior leaders and senior leaders and “provided financial, material, and logistical support to al Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).” Treasury explained that “[b]etween 2004 and 2007, Abd al-Khaliq traveled to Iran five times on behalf of al Qaeda and the LIFG for his facilitation duties.” Abd al-Khaliq “met with senior al Qaeda facilitators” during “each of these trips.” And during “this same timeframe,” Abd al-Khaliq “provided material support to al Qaeda and the LIFG by equipping them with electrical parts used in explosives, laptop computers, jackets, GPS devices, and other equipment.” He also “arranged the transportation of fighters, money, and material to LIFG camps in Pakistan.”

Jan. 2009: Treasury designated four al Qaeda members in Iran, including Osama bin Laden’s son Saad, who was later killed after relocating to Pakistan. “It is important that Iran give a public accounting of how it is meeting its international obligations to constrain al Qaeda,” Stuart Levey, who was then Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said at the time.

July 2011: Treasury targeted Iran’s formerly “secret deal” with al Qaeda, designating six jihadists who were involved with al Qaeda’s network inside the country. One of them is known as Yasin al Suri, “a prominent Iran-based al Qaeda facilitator” who operates “under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government.” The agreement was negotiated with Atiyah Abd al Rahman’s permission. Rahman was a top al Qaeda lieutenant who was killed in a US drone strike in mid-2011. “Rahman was previously appointed by Osama bin Laden to serve as al Qaeda’s emissary in Iran, a position which allowed him to travel in and out of Iran with the permission of Iranian officials,” Treasury noted.

“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today,” David S. Cohen, who was then Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a press release. “By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism,” Cohen emphasized.

Dec. 2011: The State Department announced a $10 million reward for Yasin al Suri, making him one of the most wanted terrorists on the planet. “Under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Government of Iran, Yasin al Suri has helped move money and recruits through Iran to al Qaeda leaders in neighboring countries in the region,” Robert Hartung, the State Department Assistant Director for Threat Investigations and Analysis, explained during a briefing.

Feb. 2012: The Treasury Department designated the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for a number of reasons, including the assistance it provided to al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq. According to Treasury, the “MOIS has facilitated the movement of al Qaeda operatives in Iran and provided them with documents, identification cards, and passports.” In addition, the MOIS has “provided money and weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)…and negotiated prisoner releases of AQI operatives.”

July 2012: In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, the State Department reported that “Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior AQ members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody.” Iran “also allowed AQ members to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iranian territory, enabling AQ to carry funds and move facilitators and operatives to South Asia and elsewhere.”

October 2012: Treasury explained that Yasin al Suri had been temporarily sidelined as the chief of al Qaeda’s network in Iran. His replacement was Muhsin al Fadhli, a veteran Kuwaiti operative, who later relocated to Syria as part of al Qaeda’s “Khorasan Group” and was killed in an American airstrike. Treasury named Adel Radi Saqr al Wahabi al Harbi as one of Fadhli’s men inside Iran. Harbi also eventually relocated to Syria, where he served as the military commander of Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group, until meeting his own demise.

Treasury explained how the deal between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda works. “Under the terms of the agreement between al Qaeda and Iran,” Treasury reported, “al Qaeda must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities.” As long as al Qaeda didn’t violate these terms, “the Government of Iran gave the Iran-based al Qaeda network freedom of operation and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.”

Treasury’s Cohen explained in a press release that the designation of Harbi “builds on our action from July 2011” and “further exposes al Qaeda’s critically important Iran-based funding and facilitation network.” Cohen added: “We will continue targeting this crucial source of al Qaeda’s funding and support, as well as highlight Iran’s ongoing complicity in this network’s operation.”

May 2013: In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2012, the State Department said that Iran “allowed AQ facilitators Muhsin al-Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and to Syria.” Fadhli “began working with the Iran-based AQ facilitation network in 2009,” was “later arrested by Iranian authorities,” but then released in 2011 so he could assume “leadership of the Iran-based AQ facilitation network.”

Jan. 2014: Treasury and State Department officials told Al Jazeera that Yasin al Suri was once again in charge of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network.

Feb. 2014: Treasury identified another Iran-based al Qaeda facilitator, Olimzhon Adkhamovich Sadikov, who is an Uzbek and part of the Islamic Jihad Union. Sadikov “provides logistical support and funding to al Qaeda’s Iran-based network,” according to Treasury.

Apr. 2014: In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, the State Department once again noted that the Iranian regime hosted al Qaeda’s “core facilitation pipeline” and “remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al Qaeda (AQ) members it continued to detain,” while also refusing “to publicly identify those senior members in its custody.”

Aug. 2014: Treasury designated a senior al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr, who “served in early 2013 as chief of al Qaeda’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network.” Nasr relocated to Syria in 2013 as part of al Qaeda’s “Khorasan Group” and was killed in an American airstrike in 2015.

June 2016: The State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 is released. “Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain and refused to publicly identify the members in its custody,” the report read. State added: “Iran previously allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran since at least 2009, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.” The implication of the language (“previously allowed”), which was included in the 2014 report as well, was that al Qaeda no longer operated its facilitation network inside Iran. However, al Qaeda did in fact continue to operate its pipeline inside Iran. Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 removed the phrase “previously allowed” from its summary.

July 2016: The US Treasury Department designated three senior al Qaeda figures “located in Iran”: Faisal Jassim Mohammed Al Amri Al Khalidi, Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi, and Abu Bakr Muhammad Muhammad Ghumayn. Treasury explained that it took the action to “disrupt the operations, fundraising, and support networks that help al Qaeda move money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East.”

Faisal Jassim Mohammed Al Amri Al Khalidi (a.k.a. Abu Hamza al Khalidi), has served as al Qaeda’s “Military Commission Chief” — meaning he was one of the most important figures in the group’s international network. Al Khalidi was identified in Osama bin Laden’s files as part of a “new generation” of leaders al Qaeda groomed to replace their fallen comrades.

July 2017: The State Department released its Country Reports on Terrorism 2016. “Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain and has refused to publicly identify the members in its custody,” the report reads. “Since at least 2009, Iran has allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through the country, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.”

Thus, the language in the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 closely follows previous assessments and statements by the US government.

*Note: The spelling of al Qaeda was changed in some quotes to make it consistent throughout.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD’s Long War Journal.

Islamic Movement in U.S. Preparing for Battle

Re-upping this important post from 2016. This  should make crystal clear why we  need to designate the Muslim Brotherhood in it’s entirety a foreign terrorist organization. The use of terrorist tactics by the Muslim Brotherhood is guided by the principle of gradualism laid out by Sayyid Qutb in his book, Milestones. When they feel that the time is right they have always resorted  to violence to gain power.

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 13, 2016:

For UTT followers who are accustomed to brief articles, this is a longer article because it needs to be.  This is an important topic and needs a little more attention.  Please read this carefully because the implications are significant.  JG

As UTT has continually reported, there exists in the United States a significant jihadi movement led primarily by the Muslim Brotherhood whose organizations include the most prominent and influential Islamic groups in America.

The Islamic Movement in the U.S. continues their daily work of preparing for the coming battle at all levels of the society.  From a military standpoint, the leaders of the American Muslim community are coalescing their forces and preparing strategically, operationally, and logistically for war.

Strategic Overlay

Going back to the early 1980’s, the jihadis set up an elaborate network of jihadi centers known in the U.S. as the Al Kifah Refugee Centers to recruit jihadis for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.  Some of these over three dozen offices were operated by only a couple jihadis with a phone or fax machine, and some had a more sizable presence in the community.  Nevertheless, they created nodes across the United States for jihadis in many American cities, and became centers for possible Al Qaeda recruitment in the future.

For the last few decades the Pakistani terrorist organization known as Jamaat al Fuqra has been establishing jihadi training camps in the United States primarily among black Muslims, many of whom were recruited in prison.  Known in the U.S. as “Muslims of America” or “MOA,” approximately two dozen of the three dozen known camps appear to be operational today.

In the early 1990’s the Chief Investigator for the state of Colorado, with support from the Governor and Attorney General, launched a multi-jurisdictional raid of an MOA compound near Buena Vista (CO) and discovered weapons, explosives, lists of people to be assassinated, evidence that military/national guard bases had been under surveillance, and the like.

In one of the gems discovered in the 2004 FBI raid of the Annandale, Virginia home of a senior Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas leader, a recording of a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader speaking to a group of Muslim Brothers in Missouri revealed the MB has numerous training camps inside America and conducted regular firearms training.

To be clear, they are not planning on conducting violent actions in the immediate future, but are planning for “Zero Hour” – their term for when the violent jihad will begin when the time is right.  They may wait until an outside influence from a foreign power or a major event initiates conflict, and then the Islamic Movement can begin the jihad and act independently or as an ally for a hostile foreign power such as Iran or China.

In the MB’s 5-Phase “World Underground Movement Plan” – discovered at the 2004 FBI raid in Annandale, Virginia – the Brotherhood states (Phase 2) they must “Establish a government (secret) within the government.”  The purpose of this is to have jihadis on the inside of our government who will serve as the leadership for the Islamic Movement when they seize power in the United States.  Until then, their role is to (1) gather intelligence and (2) conduct influence operations at all levels of the society, especially within the decision-making process.

As has previously been discussed, this is much more a counterintelligence and espionage issue than it is a “terrorism” matter.  The enemy is preparing the battlefield now for the eventual battle to come.

The U.S. Network

The evidence in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Dallas 2008) reveals the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. are a part of a massive jihadi network whose stated objective is to wage “Civilization Jihad” to destroy our system of government and establish an Islamic State (caliphate) under sharia here.  The evidence also reveals the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Centers/Mosques are the places at which jihadi train for battle and from which the jihad will be launched.

All of the mosques our military entered during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and mosques that European authorities have raided in the last two years have had weapons in them.  The mosque is what Mohammad used a mosque for, and the launch point for jihad is one of those purposes.

There are over 2400 Islamic Centers/Mosques in America, most of which are a part of the MB’s jihadi network.

In the United States the “nucleus” for the Islamic Movement is the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) whose subsidiary Islamic Societies number approximately 170.  The Muslim Students Associations (MSA) serve as a recruiting arm for jihadis, and there are over 700 chapters on nearly every major college campus in America.

Reports from around the country from civilian and law enforcement sources reveal:  Mosques and Islamic organizations are being built in strategic locations – near key infrastructure facilities, military bases, or some other key position in the community; taxi cab drivers at the largest airports in the U.S. are Muslim; and there is a noticeable increase in sharia-compliant Muslim TSA officers, baggage handlers and airline/airport employees at U.S. airports.

Additionally:  Muslims are purchasing hotels, quick marts, and 7-11 type stores with gas stations, and  a majority of major hotels in cities across the U.S. have a manager or assistant manager who is a Muslim, which is statistically impossible unless this activity is intentional.

Quick marts and gas stations provide their Movement with a logistics train that will be needed in a battle. Having people in leadership positions at major hotels in major cities, where law enforcement and intelligence groups and others hold conferences, serve as excellent intelligence gathering nodes.

Jihadis have penetrated U.S. federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies giving them access to sensitive intelligence systems, while simultaneously they have shut down real threat-based training inside these same agencies under the guise factual/truth-based training is “offensive to Muslims.”

Jihadis have themselves penetrated senior levels of the government (eg Suhail Khan working for two successive Secretaries of Transportation with access to classified critical infrastructure details), and have recruited senior U.S. government officials to promote and protect their interests which are hostile to the U.S. (most recent example – Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson promoting and defending leading MB organization ISNA and speaking at their annual convention expressly to open the door to more Cabinet officials to do the same).

Key jihadi organizations, like Hamas (doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations/CAIR) work on Capitol Hill and inside government agencies to keep truthful discussions about the Islamic threat from ever happening, while plotting to work with Al Qaeda (as evidenced by UTT’s Chris Gaubatz discovery of a CAIR document dated 3/08/04 at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. stating, “Attempt to understand Islamic movements in the area, and start supporting Islamic groups including Mr. bin Laden and his associates”).

Now, the U.S. government is bringing tens of thousands of sharia adherent Muslims into our nation.  From the Islamic perspective, these people are Muhajaroun – those who make the hijra into the non-Muslim lands in preparation for the “Final Stage,” which is armed conflict with the host country.  This is all a part of their strategy, and is consistent with core Islamic doctrine.

Finally, we are currently observing the Marxist/Socialist Movement in the U.S. working directly with the Islamic Movement at the ground and strategic levels.  Both have publicly declared their support for one another, they are both receiving funding from hard-left Marxists/socialists (eg George Soros) and foreign powers, and both are openly pushing for confrontation with and the overthrow of the U.S. government.

The Islamic Movement in the United States is deeply embedded in the U.S. decision-making process, has thousands of organizations and allies, possesses a logistics train of fuel and supplies, conducts weapons training programs, has access to U.S. intelligence systems, is well funded (primarily by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc), has strategic plans for North America (An Explanatory Memorandum) and has a plan to implement the strategy (Implementation Manual) which they are following.

The U.S. response is to say “Islam is a religion of peace” and work with the very Muslim leaders who are driving this hostile network.

Victory is not possible with this recipe.

Each year there are between 70 and 120 new Islamic non-profits being created in America, most of which appear to be working directly in line with the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to wage civilization jihad until “Zero Hour” when the war goes hot.

Until then, they continue to prep the battlefield because they are really at war with us because they are following sharia – core Islamic doctrine – as their blueprint for what they are doing.

****

Did Jihadis Just Execute a Bombing Operation at a CA Mall?

Understanding the Threat, by Jon Guandolo, July 9, 2018:

Evidence reveals jihadis attempted to bomb the Los Cerritos Center in California this past weekend.  This is one more in a string of numerous incidents across the United States indicating an increase in willingness by jihadis to use violence to silence those who speak truth about Islam.

Recently UTT has reported:

  • Some local police work harder to protect jihadis in their communities than the citizens.  See UTT article here.
  • Senior leaders of the FBI aid and abet known jihadi leaders and Islamic Centers.  See UTT video here.
  • U.S. Islamic schools teach what ISIS teaches.  See UTT article here.
  • Jihadis are in control of operations of some U.S. ports. See UTT article here.

So it should come as no surprise when a muslim slides his backpack under the table at the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC) booth in Cerritos, California and walks away.  Literally.

UTT assesses this incident as a thwarted jihadi attack.  Lets look at the facts.

Those of you who follow UTT may remember in August of 2017 UTT published an article on the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC) and its leader Steve Amundson.

This weekend, Steve and his team, including a pastor, set up their booth in a busy part of a mall called The Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, California near Los Angeles.  As they always do, CJC hands out literature about Islam and the threat it poses to America and free people.

Over the last 6 months, Steve has reported an increase in physical assaults on him and his team.

The day began with two men snapping pictures of the CJC booth, then getting on the phone.  Steve Amundson witnessed this and recognized it as “red flag one.”

Steve has seen this behavior before, and it is usually the scouts looking for the CJC booth in order to alert others.

Later, two muslim women approached the booth and began cursing CJC’s people and calling them liars.  As mall security, which was standing in the immediate vicinity, was speaking with the women, a white haired muslim male moved over to the booth and slide his backpack under that table.  He then began speaking with the pastor from CJC.

After a short conversation, the muslim man walked away.

Amundson approached the pastor assuming the man was a friend.  When the pastor told Steve the man was an irate muslim complaining about CJC’s activities, Steve was immediately concerned for their safety.  He called security to stop the man, which was done.

Here are Steve Amundson’s words to describe what happened:

“I told security he left a backpack underneath our booth. The Moslem refused to take the backpack. We started to take cover behind cement pillars and told security to either call the bomb squad or have the guy pick up the backpack. He finally agreed to very carefullypick it up and security escorted him away. Security will not say at least right now if he was arrested, if the bomb squad was called or what. Was this a dry run or the real thing?”

Based on conversations Steve Amundson had with authorities, it does not appear the man’s backpack was ever searched.

This is a very serious incident, and either a dry run for a jihadi attack or the real thing.  The evidence leads UTT to believe this was the real thing.

The jihadis continue to ratchet up their aggressiveness, attacks, and violence here in America.

Will the FBI aggressively pursue this, or continue working with the jihadis to ensure no one puts a piece of bacon on the door knob of the local mosque?

Belgium Terror Attack Mirrors an All Too Familiar Pattern

by Patrick Dunleavy
IPT News
May 31, 2018

Watching summer reruns on TV can be entertaining. Watching reoccurring patterns in Islamic terrorist attacks is not. The latest terror attack in the European Union occurred Tuesday in Liege, Belgium, and appears to follow an all too familiar pattern.

A petty criminal, radicalized in prison and released prematurely, carries out a deadly attack on law enforcement officers and civilians shouting “Allah Akbar” before he is brought down by a hail of bullets.

Benjamin Herman was a career criminal on a temporary release program from prison. Hours after being released, he stabbed two Liege police officers and then executed them in cold blood with their own service weapons. Herman also shot and killed Cyril Vangriecken, a 22-year-old school custodian. He is suspected of having murdered a fourth individual, Michael Wilmet, a former prison cellmate, prior to the attack on the police officers.

Reports indicate he converted to Islam while in prison, where he had spent most of the past 15 years, for drug, assault and theft convictions, and interacted with extremist inmates.

Whether the source of radicalization in prison was literature, an incarcerated terrorist, or an unvetted chaplain or religious volunteer, the outcome is the same. More than a decade ago, I was able to review reports by two U.S. intelligence agencies which examined the radicalization process. They noted that radical Islamic ideology offers an inmate predisposed to violence with a “convenient outlet” for his violent tendencies. It gives him a sense of pseudo-legitimacy for attacking others in the name of Allah. For those people, conversion may be for opportunistic rather than idealistic reasons.

Herman reportedly belonged “to the entourage of an Islamist recruiter,” a source close to the investigation told AFP. Police found a Quran and prayer mat in his cell.

Prison officials also say they placed him on list of radicalized prisoners. It is unclear whether this information was shared with the law enforcement or counter terrorism community.

We do know that Belgium officials have long acknowledged the connection between prison radicalization and recent terror attacks in the EU.

For example, Abdelhamid Abaaoud was a former Belgian inmate who mastermindedthe 2015 Paris terror attacks that left 130 dead and more than 400 wounded.

Belgian brothers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui, two of the suicide bombers who blew up a train station and an airport terminal in Brussels in 2016, had also spent time in Belgian prisons for the violent crimes of carjacking and armed robbery.

The list of recent terror cases involving ex-cons continues to grow and includes cities like BarcelonaBerlinCopenhagenLondonParis, and yes, here in the United Statesas well.

The danger posed by prison radicalization is often misunderstood. It is not, as some would imagine, a thousand inmates in the yard at Attica screaming jihad.

The real threat posed by prison radicalization lies beyond the walls.

“Prison radicalization does not mean that terrorist plots are being routinely hatched in prison (although this has occasionally happened),” Quilliam Foundation senior research fellow James Brandon wrote in 2009. “More often, however, it leads to inmates adopting Islamist ideologies that may ultimately lead to terrorism after their release.”

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., was vilified and accused of bias when he first proposed hearings on the possible threat of Islamic radicalization in the prison system,. Certain Islamic clergy went so far as to claim that prison radicalization was a “myth.”

Ironically, seven years after the hearings, Rep. King’s concerns have been validated by the numerous terror plots carried out by people who, while incarcerated, were converted to a radical Islamic ideology that promoted violent acts against innocent citizens both here, in the EU, and the UK.

Unfortunately, just knowing the threat exists does not prevent it. Decisive action must be taken before the violent acts are carried out. Removing the radicalizing elements from the prison system is the first step. That includes jihadi literature and some religious volunteers. Corrections officials, law enforcement and intelligence agencies must do a better job sharing information on radicalized inmates. A strict post-release program that monitors convicted terrorists also is necessary, because most terrorists eventually are set free.

In less than a year, John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, will be a free man. And there is a good chance that radical Islamic clergyman Anjem Choudary, convicted of providing material support to ISIS, will walk out of jail soon, despite receiving a 5½ year sentence in a UK prison in 2016.

Failure to take the necessary actions to monitor these radicals, and to try to identify and isolate other inmates from their radical mentors will only increase the threat of additional terror attacks involving radicalized ex-cons in the near future.

When it comes to combating radical Islamic terrorism we cannot sit for another season of reruns.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School.

DHS Reissues Bulletin Warning of Potential Terror Attacks

A DHS screening / Getty

Washington Free Beacon, by Jack Heretik, May 9, 2018:

The Department of Homeland Security reissued a bulletin on Wednesday summarizing the terrorism threat to the U.S. homeland.

The National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin is an update released regularly since 2015 that describes “current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism,” according to DHS.

“Terrorist groups continue to inspire, enable, and direct their followers to spread chaos using homemade weapons and by striking soft targets and crowded places,” DHS said in a statement. “They also remain focused on conducting more sophisticated attacks using conventional weapons as well as new technologies and tactics. DHS is committed to staying a step ahead of our enemies, and an informed and vigilant public remains one of the Department’s greatest assets in protecting the homeland.”

In the updated bulletin, which will be active until Sept. 14, 2018, the DHS warns terrorists’ tactics have continued to evolve and now include the use of commonly found weapons for small-scale attacks, including straight-edged blades or knives, vehicle ramming, small arms, poisons, and homemade explosives. The bulletin also warns experienced foreign fighters could attempt travel to the United States from abroad in order to carry out an attack.

  • We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the Internet to inspire, enable, or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts. Homegrown terror suspects increasingly rely on technology, such as end-to-end encrypted social media applications, to avoid detection.

  • Terrorist groups are urging recruits to adopt easy-to-use tools to target public places and events. Specific attack tactics have included the use of vehicle ramming, small arms, straight-edged blades or knives, homemade explosives, and poisons or toxins.

  • Some terrorist groups overseas are using battlefield experiences to pursue new technologies and tactics, such as unmanned aerial systems and chemical agents that could be used outside the conflict zones. Additionally, terrorists continue to target commercial aviation and air cargo, including with concealed explosives.

  • Violent extremist media encourages individuals worldwide to launch attacks using all means possible. Continued U.S. and partner successes in disrupting and defeating terrorists on the battlefield may encourage homegrown terrorists to carry out acts of violence in the homeland instead of attempting to travel overseas to fight or in retaliation for apparent losses.

  • Additionally, foreign terrorist fighters who have acquired training and battle-tested terrorism experience may flee from terrorist-controlled territories with a desire to conduct attacks elsewhere, including the United States.

The department notes that in an effort to combat the evolving threat and protect the American public, it is working with other agencies, especially the FBI.

“DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, ethnicity or identity,” the bulletin reads.

DHS calls on people to be prepared, stay informed, and report suspicious activity or information about a threat so that officials may investigate and prevent any potential attacks.

Trump Admin Designates Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Terror Wings

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Jan. 31, 2018:

Following the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to Egypt two weeks ago, the State Department and the Treasury Department announced today that two Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood terror wings — Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra — have been designated as terror groups:

As I reported here at PJ Media, the UK designated both groups last month. The action by the UK came after the Egyptian government provided evidence of the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial support for Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra. Presumably, Egyptian authorities also provided the same information to the United States.

This has been a long time coming.

As the State Department designation notice observes, Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra have targeted police, military, and government officials over the past few years. As I reported here at PJ Media last May, the State Department warned that Hasm had issued an unspecified threat against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

Just last month, the Muslim Brotherhood declared the U.S. “an enemy of the Arab world,” and warned it would “shed our blood and wage war” after President Trump announced the U.S. would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The State Department notice also states that the leaders of both Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra were previously associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is a bit of an understatement.

Last May, I reported details in my exclusive threepart interview in Cairo with Egyptian terrorism expert Khaled Okasha, the former head of counterterrorism in the Sinai. Okasha traces the origins of Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra to the efforts of Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau leader Mohamed Kamal. Kamal was killed in a shootout with police in October 2016. Okasha explained that the terror groups are still under the effective control of the Muslim Brotherhood after Kamal’s death.

(Coincidentally, Hasm launched a terror attack on police near my hotel during my visit to Cairo last May.)

Just days before Kamal was killed, U.S.-based researcher Moktar Awad published an assessment of the “Islamist insurgency” in Egypt. He noted Kamal’s role in the Muslim Brotherhood’s terror wings, including Hasm, which has assassinated several top officials responsible for local crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last February, Awad noted that a senior Hasm leader killed by Egyptian security forces was eulogized as a martyr on the official Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party site:

An examination of social media posts of the Hasm leader showed explicit support for the Muslim Brotherhood, leading Awad to note the Hasm leader’s “likelihood of being a member of that organization beyond the first tier.”

His posts promoted historical Muslim Brotherhood figures, stating “those are our leaders.”

After Hasm attempted to assassinate an assistant prosecutor general in October 2016, Awad noted that the terror group’s first claimed successful assassination last July was of the chief investigator in Tamya. That investigator had been notorious for cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood in Fayoum.

Last month, 10 Hasm members were arrested after an attack on a Coptic church in Helwan south of Cairo. The arrest revealed plans to launch attacks on Christian churches and tourist sites during the Coptic Christmas celebrations. The Hasm cell had received terror training at a camp near Fayoum, and was operating at the direction of a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader in Turkey.

Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood’s direct hand in these terror groups has not exactly been a secret. Arrests of Hasm operatives have also tied the terror group’s activity to the Muslim Brotherhood:

As John Rossomando of the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported last May, several Muslim Brotherhood terror cells have jointly claimed attacks with the Islamic State affiliate in recent years. As Col. Okasha explained to me in my interview, those terror cells cooperating with the Islamic State were rolled up into Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra by Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau leader Mohamed Kamal.

Today’s designations mark a pushback by the White House against U.S. government institutional support for the Muslim Brotherhood dating back to the Bush administration.

As I’ve reported here this year, the CIA, State Department, and Washington, D.C., foreign policy establishment continue to defend the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, many of our Arab and Muslim allies — as well as Israel — have already designated Muslim Brotherhood affiliates as terrorist organizations.

I have also reported that, in stark contrast to the CIA, Western intelligence agencies have begun to warn about the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood. In November, German authorities denied the citizenship application of a Muslim Brotherhood supporter who had attended a Muslim Brotherhood terror training camp in Iraq.

This action by the State and Treasury departments may also motivate congressional leadership to take action on bills calling on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization (S. 68, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz; and H.R. 377, sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart) that have thus far languished in both chambers.

Also see:

U.S. Shows Beginning of a Response to Muslim Brotherhood by Eli Lake

The careful way to go after Muslim Brotherhood radicals by Jonathan Schanzer