FBI Director: ‘Terrorist Diaspora’ Like ‘Never Before’ May Follow Islamic State Defeat

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, Sept. 28, 2016:

Defeating the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) could lead to an increase in terrorist attacks in Western countries rather than a reduction, declared FBI Director James Comey.

“At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before. Not all of the Islamic State killers are going to die on the battlefield,” he said during a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University Wednesday.

The FBI chief predicted that the U.S.-led coalition would eventually decimate ISIS but added that “through the fingers of that crush are going to come hundreds of really dangerous people and they are going to flow primarily to Western Europe.”

However, he also said that some of those potential terrorists could end up in the United States.

The New York Times (NYT) reports:

He drew a parallel between this scenario and the formation of Al Qaeda more than a quarter-century ago, which drew from fighters who had been radicalized fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“This is 10 times that or more. This is an order of magnitude greater than anything we’ve seen before,” said Comey, later adding, “We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and in Paris [terrorist attacks earlier this year].”

CNN points out, “And just not in the West. There have recently been stepped up ISIS attacks worldwide, including in countries near its home base territory that has been shrinking due to military losses in Iraq and Syria.”

In May, the FBI director told reporters that the number of Americans traveling overseas to engage in jihad on behalf of ISIS has dropped dramatically to an average of one person per month.

Nevertheless, he noted that there are “north of 1,000” cases in which FBI agents are in the process of evaluating a subject’s level of radicalization and potential for violence, of which an estimated 80 percent are linked to ISIS.

He said:

There’s still a presence online, and troubled people are still turning to this and at least being interested in it. But they’ve lost their ability to attract people to their caliphate from the United States in a material way…

There’s no doubt that something has happened that is lasting, in terms of the attractiveness of the nightmare which is the Islamic State to people from the United States.

Various Obama administration officials have predicted that ISIS is on the road to defeat in Iraq and Syria. Some American and Iraqi officials argue that the increase in attacks by the jihadist group are a sign of desperation.

“The FBI director’s warning that the collapse of the caliphate will mean increased attacks in Western Europe and the United States mirrors a consensus among intelligence officials,” reports CNN.

Emmanuel Khoshaba Youkhana, commander of the Christian Assyrian Army known as Dwekh Nawsha, recently told Breitbart News that ISIS “is losing” in Iraq and will “soon be vanquished.”

Nonetheless, he added that their ideology will remain alive and kicking, noting that there is no strategy to defeat the ideals that motivate members of the terrorist group.

The commander’s Christian forces have managed to hold territory in northern Iraq’s Nineveh plains, despite repeated attacks by ISIS.

CNN notes that Abu Mohammed al Adnani, the terrorist group’s chief spokesman and ideologue, tried to reframe how ISIS defines victory in an audio message released at the end of May.

Defeat would not result from losing control of territory but from “losing the will and the desire to fight,” he declared.

One Western counterterrorism official predicted “a metastasis of terror as it becomes increasingly difficult for ISIL to hold on to core territories,” reports the news network.

***

Gorka: Director Comey correct about ‘terrorist diaspora’

Also see:

Terror plots in Germany, France were ‘remote-controlled’ by Islamic State operatives

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn, Sept. 24, 2016:

On July 18, an Afghan refugee named Riaz Khan (also known as “Muhammad Riyad”) assaulted passengers on a train in Würzburg, Germany with an ax and a knife. Nearly one week later, on July 24, a Syrian refugee identified as Mohammad Daleel blew himself up outside of a music festival in the German city of Ansbach. Approximately 20 people were wounded in the incidents.

Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the Islamic State, quickly issued claims of responsibility for the operations. Amaq also released videos from Khan and Daleel in which they swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

As The Long War Journal reported at the time, the fact that Amaq was able to release the videos so soon after the attacks suggested that both were in touch with the Islamic State’s media operatives, or at least knew someone in the Islamic State’s network who could send the clips to Amaq. Therefore, they each had at least one tie to the Islamic State, even if it was only digital. [See LWJ reports: Teenager who terrorized German train appears in Islamic State video and Attacks in France and Germany claimed by Islamic State propaganda arm.]

German authorities discovered that there was much more to the story. Islamic State operatives provided specific direction to both Khan and Daleel via messaging applications. The jihadists did the same for a teenage girl who stabbed a police officer at the train station in Hannover, Germany in February. After the bombing in Ansbach, Bavaria’s Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, said that Daleel had been involved in an “intensive chat” that ended “immediately before the attack.”

“There was apparently an immediate contact with someone who had a significant influence on this attack,” Herrmann said, according to the Associated Press.

The evidence that has been uncovered in Germany and elsewhere in Europe shows that the Islamic State’s external operations arm has devised a new method for orchestrating terror. The group’s assistance goes far beyond mere inspiration in at least some cases.

In both Würzburg and Ansbach, the Islamic State’s external operations network guided the terrorists through their day of terror. The electronic fingerprints uncovered in these cases recently prompted Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, to say that the jihadists were guided by “remote control.” French prosecutor Francois Molins has used the same phrase, “remote-controlled,” to describe a group of women who were plotting terrorism in Paris.

Transcripts published by German press

On Sept. 14, Süddeutsche Zeitung, a newspaper based in Munich, published transcripts of the conversations Khan and Daleel had with their Islamic State handlers. The Long War Journal has obtained a translation of Süddeutsche Zeitung’s report. (Another translation has been published at Worldcrunch, a website that aggregates and translates news stories from around the globe.)

The Islamic State operatives tasked with directing Khan and Daleel are not identified and it is not clear if the same man chatted with both of them.

The details revealed in the transcripts are chilling. Khan and Daleel may have acted alone, in the sense that no other terrorist was physically with them when they struck. But they were certainly not “lone wolves” in any meaningful sense.

During a digital chat with Khan, the Islamic State’s man asked: “What kind of weapons do you intend to use to kill people?”

“My knife and ax are ready for use,” Khan replied.

“Brother, would it not be better to do it with a car?” the Islamic State plotter asked, before suggesting that Khan learn how to operate an automobile. “The damage would be much greater,” he told Khan.

But Khan was impatient, saying he “cannot drive” and “learning takes time.”

“I want to enter paradise tonight,” Khan explained.

16-07-19-muhammad-riyad-768x432As Khan inched closer to assaulting the train’s passengers, he had an “important thing” to tell the jihadist on the other end of the conversation. “Brother, I am sending you my video,” Khan typed. “I will carry out an attack with an ax in Germany today.” (A screen shot from the video, which was released by Amaq, can be seen on the right.) [above]

The handler was pleased, but insisted that Khan should use his ax, not a knife. “If you’re going to commit the attack, Allah willing, the Islamic State will claim responsibility for it.”

Khan said he was sending his video. The man on the other end told Khan to make sure he had created a backup.

“Pray that I become a martyr,” Khan wrote. “I am now waiting for the train.” Not long after, according to the transcript published by Süddeutsche Zeitung, Khan added: “I am starting now.”

“Now you will attain paradise,” Khan’s guide responded.

Süddeutsche Zeitung has also published a partial transcript of Mohammad Daleel’s chats with his Islamic State instructor as he scoped out the prospective target, as well as their discussions on the day of the bombing. The Islamic State’s Naba magazine subsequently identified Daleel as a veteran of the jihad in Syria, meaning he likely developed a rolodex of contacts.

“This area will be full of people,” Daleel wrote as he sent a photo of the venue where the music festival was to be held. “Kill them all in a wide open space,” the Islamic State’s man replied, “where they will lie on the ground.”

screen-shot-2016-07-26-at-12-57-52-pm-768x430The unnamed operative told Daleel (seen on the right) [above] to look for an appropriate place to put his bomb and then try to “disappear into the crowd.” The jihadist egged Daleel on, saying the asylum-seeker should “break through police cordons,” run away and “do it.”

“Pray for me,” Daleel wrote at one point. “You do not know what is happening with me right now,” Daleel typed, in an apparent moment of doubt.

“Forget the festival and go over to the restaurant,” the handler responded. “Hey man, what is going on with you? Even if just two people were killed, I would do it. Trust in Allah and walk straight up to the restaurant.”

It appears that Daleel may not have intended to detonate his explosives at that time. Der Spiegel previously reported that he intended to remotely detonate his backpack bomb, but it went off accidentally. Daleel may have also been planning additional attacks.

The German press has reported on a third instance of “remote-controlled” terror that took place on Feb. 26 at the train station in Hannover. A German-Moroccan girl in her teens, identified as “Safia S.,” assaulted a police officer with a knife. Authorities found that Safia had been in contact via a messaging app with an instructor known only as “Leyla,” who coached Safia as she planned the stabbing.

Part of the Islamic State’s external operations strategy

It is not a coincidence that both Khan and Daleel were “remote-controlled.” This is a deliberate part of the Islamic State external operation arm’s strategy, which aims to both direct and inspire smaller-scale attacks in Western nations. These operations are in addition to larger plots, such as the assault on Paris in November 2015.

Writing in Foreign Affairs, Bridget Moreng provided a comprehensive look at the role played by Rachid Kassim, who is one of the Islamic State’s “most dangerous virtual planners.” Kassim has been tied to a web of terror plots. For instance, as Moreng explains, investigators have found ties between Kassim and the two young jihadists who murdered a priest in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy in July.

screen-shot-2016-07-27-at-2-16-06-pmAs The Long War Journal reported at the time, Amaq News released a video from the two terrorists in which they swore allegiance to Baghdadi. A screen shot can be seen on the right. [above] The video was produced in the same format and style as Amaq’s releases after the attacks in Würzburg and Ansbach. [See LWJ report, Terrorists in Normandy swore allegiance to Baghdadi before attacking church.]

As Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr explained in a piece at War on the Rocks, the Islamic State’s virtual planning network has digital tentacles around the globe.

This network extends into the US. Earlier this year, Munir Abdulkader pleaded guilty to terrorism charges after he admitted to communicating with Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State operative based in Syria who played a key role in the group’s digital strategy. According to the Department of Justice, Hussain “directed and encouraged Abdulkader,” who lived in Ohio, “to plan and execute a violent attack within the United States.” It is likely that Hussain was also in contact with the two gunmen who opened fire at an event dedicated to drawing images of the Prophet Mohammed in Garland, Texas on May 3, 2015. Hussain was killed in an American airstrike in Raqqa on Aug. 24, 2015.

[For more on Hussain, see LWJ reports: Ohio man conspired with Islamic State recruiter, Justice Department says and Prime Minister says 2 British nationals killed in airstrikes were plotting attacks.]

There is a debate in counterterrorism circles over how much credibility should be given to the Islamic State’s propaganda machine, including the Amaq News Agency. Each claim should be subjected to scrutiny. Some statements will be false and others exaggerated. But as the attacks in Würzburg, Ansbach and Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray show, Amaq’s claims cannot be dismissed out of hand. There is often at least some truth to Amaq’s claims. And, on multiple occasions, the terrorists acting in the Islamic State’s name have been anything but “lone wolves.” Instead, a virtual network guides them along away.

Notes:

*There have been conflicting reports concerning Riaz Khan’s country of origin. But most accounts agree that he was originally from Afghanistan.

**Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Nathaniel Barr, and Bridget Moreng are all colleagues of the author.

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

Also see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: ‘It’s Clear That Donald Trump Believes We Are at War, and Wants to Win’

Fox News/Screengrab

Fox News/Screengrab

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept. 26, 2016:

Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined former White House National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner to discuss how the presidential candidates would handle terrorism on Fox News Saturday.

Gorka said voters were looking for “meat on the bone” of an anti-terrorism strategy.

“It’s clear that Donald Trump believes we are at war. This is refreshing,” he said. “He believes this is a serious threat, and ISIS has to be defeated. And he wants to be a president that wins this war. So let’s hear the details, and Monday could be a perfect time.”

“I think it’s a golden opportunity for him, and people would respond to it really, really well,” Turner agreed. “And we’re not talking about a battle plan – because, you know, a lot of people push back and say, ‘Well, you shouldn’t broadcast to the enemy what we’re going to do.’ Of course not. We’re talking about a sort of macro-level strategy that outlines his vision, outlines the general approach he’s gonna take, what elements it will combine, if he ‘s gonna include military, and diplomatic, and political, and ideological, how that’s going to work together – something that at least gives us the contours.”

“I think Hillary Clinton has done a really good job of putting forward a plan like that,” she continued. “It’s not for everybody. A lot of critics don’t think it’s viable. But to her credit, you can log on to her website and read it, and decide for yourself. I think Donald Trump’s got to step up and do that, too.”

Gorka said voters would also be looking at the temperament of the candidates, and whether Clinton can overcome a poor track record of dealing with Islamist terror threats.

“I think Donald’s proven his temperament towards the threat, that this is a guy who wants to win. And that’s what he’s famous for, right? He’s a winner,” Gorka said. “I think the issue is track record, with regards to Hillary. The threat that we see in ISIS is, in large part, a result of policies that the Obama Administration brought when she was Secretary of State. If you look at Libya, if you look at Syria, the ‘red lines’ that weren’t red lines, if you look at the withdrawal of our troops in 2011 – if Donald Trump simply points these out, that ISIS has become the world’s most powerful insurgency of the jihadist enterprise, whilst she was in Cabinet, that’s a problem for her.”

“What she needs to do is be careful to not hedge herself in, which she’s already doing,” Turner suggested. “My biggest criticism of her kind of strategy on terrorism right now is that she’s already making proclamations, like ‘if I was President, I would never put another American boot on the ground in Iraq, ever again.’ That’s exactly the kind of approach that hedges in our military leaders unnecessarily. It really undercuts us on the international stage. If she can really stay away from reiterating that, I think that would behoove her a lot.”

Asked if the first debate might include a moment where Trump calls Clinton out for supporting the Iraq War, Gorka replied, “He’s done it before. I think he’s probably being advised right now to play it cool on Monday, to continue the presidential – I mean, this campaign has been turned around since Steve Bannon took over. In the last month, we’ve gone from problematic, trailing, trailing, trailing to a guy that, in even states that were a slam-dunk for Hillary, she may lose. So he has to maintain that steady hand.”

Deport the Rahami Family

gh-1Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 21, 2016:

The Rahami family came to America from Afghanistan as refugees. They made life miserable for their neighbors. When the police tried to bring some order, they cried Islamophobia.

Two of the Rahamis have posted in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups on social media. The third actually built and planted bombs to kill Americans. He terrorized two states, tried to kill and maim countless Americans and then shot it out with police.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the central figure in the terror case, brought his wife here from Pakistan and she departed days before his attack. His mother left for Pakistan a few weeks before his bombing spree.

The media, eager for a story of redemption, has widely broadcast the claim that Mohammed Rahami, Ahmad’s father, told the FBI that he was a terrorist. But that was years ago. And Mohammed didn’t turn in his son because there was a terror plot, but because he attacked family members.

As Mohammed put it, “Because he doing bad. He stab my son and hit my wife. I put him in the jail.”

This wasn’t Mohammed Rahami being a good citizen. It was a dysfunctional oversized family of Muslim refugees causing problems for local law enforcement over their own internal disputes.

Ahmad stabbed his brother in the leg with a knife. His father told the FBI that Ahmad was a terrorist. Then he recanted the accusation and said that he had made it out of anger.

This wasn’t patriotism. It wasn’t helpful. It was selfish abuse of the system.

We get a lot of lectures from politicians about the contributions of Muslims, especially refugees, to America.

Here are the sum total contributions of the Rahami family to America. 29 wounded people in Manhattan. 1 wounded police officer in Linden, New Jersey. A chicken place that was the subject of disputes with law enforcement. A lawsuit against Elizabeth, New Jersey stemming from that chicken place, which threw around accusations of Islamophobia. Previous legal issues and a jail sentence for Ahmad over his family dispute. 1 assaulted police officer due to issues with the chicken place.

Then there’s Ahmad’s unwed girlfriend and his baby whose case will be wending through the courts.

A conservative ballpark figure for the Rahamis and their various legal issues would be $100 million. Considering the sheer cost of scrambling manpower and resources across states, the hospital bills, the various insurance costs, the jail time, trial and security, that’s probably erring on the thrifty side.

Unless one of the Rahamis cures cancer, there is nothing they can do to even the score.

3 of the Rahami children support Islamic terrorists. For all the nonsense about “internet radicalization”, it’s obvious that support for terrorism and hatred for America ran in the family. And it might not even end with Ahmad sneering on a stretcher. There’s a history of multiple siblings engaging in terrorism. The most effective Islamic terror cells in this country in recent years have been siblings and married couples.

We can waste more time puzzling it out or we can just get the Rahamis out of the country and let them be Pakistan’s problem or Afghanistan’s annoyance. They don’t have to be our problem anymore.

And that is what we should have done back when these “refugees” first tried to set up shop here.

America does not have a desperate need for terrible fried chicken places or domestic disputes. The FBI doesn’t need to waste more time chasing terror suspects who might not have evolved into terrorists yet because they’re too busy stabbing other family members. It doesn’t need more accusations of Islamophobia. And it does not need the Rahamis.

Immigration policy is about making intelligent choices. And we are making the dumbest immigration choices possible.

The Rahamis and the Tsarnaevs, two dysfunctional terror families of asylumites, are typical of our terrible decisions. Both ate up large numbers of resources while giving us only terror and death.

Politicians tell us that Muslim refugees “contribute” to this country. But is it possible that we can get non-terrorists to make us fried chicken? And is cheap fried chicken really worth the cost of bombs going up? Would we be willing to pay a dollar more for fried chicken so we can just get on a plane without the TSA or so that the countless people who have been killed from 9/11 and onward could still be with us?

Let’s have an adult conversation about this crisis. And we can start by recognizing that granting asylum to the Rahamis was a mistake. If Ahmad’s bombs had worked properly, it might have been an even bigger mistake. As it was countless people were traumatized, countless millions have been squandered on dealing with the Rahamis and there’s no reason to believe that’s about to stop.

We can and should undo that mistake.

Denaturalizing those Rahami family members who have made statements supportive of Islamic terror and then deporting them would be an excellent start. It would send a message to other terror families that playing dumb after their son goes on his terror spree won’t work anymore.

But, for that matter, there’s no reason not to deport the entire Rahami family except technicalities.

We let them in under false pretenses. We let them stay under false pretenses. They have been nothing but trouble. We can’t undo the damage they have done in the past, but we can prevent them from doing any more of it in the future.

It’s either that or we can rerun the same tired narrative from every previous attack. The family will offer contradictory statements. Neighbors and school friends will be shocked at how normal Ahmad was. Rahami’s lawyer will blame everything from discrimination to mental illness. The whole soap opera will play out for the next few days until we all get tired of it. Just the way that it did with the Tsarnaevs.

We’ve seen this movie too many times. Maybe we should change the channel.

Denaturalization and deportation will send a message that we’re serious. It will encourage families of terrorists to come forward when they actually suspect something, instead of abusing the system.

When a Muslim terrorist kills Israelis, Israel demolishes his house. This sends a message that the terrorists are destroying exactly the thing that they are trying to gain. They want to conquer Israel and take over its land. But instead their racist atrocities are depriving them of the land.

Ahmad Rahami sought to kill non-Muslims in order to impose the rule of Islam on America. His writings contained a call to kill non-Muslims. They expressed admiration for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Al Qaeda leader, who had declared, “We will implement the rule of Allah on earth by the tip of the sword.”

We don’t need to demolish the Rahami family home or their fried chicken place. But we do need to make it clear that Rahami’s actions have not only failed to bring this goal closer, but represent a setback toward that goal by removing the rest of his family from the country.

The Rahamis have been our problem for far too long. It’s time to make them someone else’s problem. We can go back to living in denial until the next attack or we can send the Muslim terrorists of tomorrow a message.

Why FBI Suspects Keep Attacking Americans

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The reason our authorities don’t take pre-emptive action against Islamic terror — even after solid intelligence warnings.

Front Page Magazine, by Matthew Vadum, Sept. 21, 2016:

Why does the Obama administration keep failing to thwart Muslim terrorist attacks in the U.S. after receiving apparently good intelligence warning of those attacks?

It turns out that Americans keep turning in budding Muslim terrorists to the Obama administration and the administration keeps on doing nothing. For example, the alleged mastermind of the weekend pressure-cooker bombing in New York City was turned in by his own father but the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to do much of anything about him.

These intelligence failures have become a recurrent theme in the Obama era, with deadly results. Excluding the events of the last few days, there have been 89 Muslim terrorist plots and attacks in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001 and 25 of those have taken place since the beginning of 2015, according to David Inserra of the Heritage Foundation.

Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka, vice president at the Institute of World Politics, blamed political correctness for the FBI’s inability to do something about Rahami before he acted.

“There are certain sensitivities,” Gorka said on the “O’Reilly Factor” last night.

“A certain political matrix is being forced upon our operators and investigators,” he said. Usually this kind of political pressure originates not from the FBI, but from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, he said.

The FBI is also hindered by inadequate human resources, Gorka said. There are reportedly 900 active terrorist investigations in all 50 states and the bureau can only do so much, he said.

The FBI has indeed been handcuffed in terrorist investigations by President Obama whose administration has worked with terrorist front groups like the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The law enforcement agency has also become increasingly politicized in the Obama era.

The pressure-cooker terrorist was apprehended after he injured a score of New Yorkers on the weekend but not through brilliant police work. He was caught during a shootout with cops.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a.k.a. Ahmad Rahimi, was charged yesterday with use of weapons of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use. Rahami was born in Afghanistan but became a U.S. citizen.

Prosecutors say Rahami planted a pipe bomb and triggering cellphone Saturday morning in Seaside Park, N.J., before a scheduled U.S. Marine Corps charity run. Later that day he placed a pressure cooker bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan that the complaint states caused injuries and “multiple-million dollars of property damage across a 650-foot crime scene.” Twenty-nine people were wounded. He was previously charged with multiple counts of attempted murder of police officers and other offenses arising from a gun battle when he was captured Monday.

Police also discovered and safely detonated a pipe bomb at a train station in Elizabeth, N.J. Although it is unclear if Rahami is connected to that bomb, his family did sue the city of Elizabeth in 2011 claiming harassment and religious discrimination related to their family restaurant, First American Fried Chicken.

Rahami came to the attention of the FBI two years ago when his father suspected his son was involved in terrorism. Mohammad Rahami told reporters he contacted federal authorities after Ahmad stabbed Nasser, another one of his sons, and attacked another family member, which led to a criminal investigation.

The FBI apparently performed a superficial examination of the case at the time.

 “In August 2014, the F.B.I. initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authority,” the agency said in a press release. “The F.B.I. conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

It would seem the fact that Rahami made a three-month trip to Quetta, Pakistan, in 2011, and visited Quetta again during an 11-month trip beginning in 2013, were ignored by the FBI. Quetta is a Taliban stronghold and a hotbed of Salafi jihadism.

About two miles from the Chelsea attack, President Obama gave a speech at the United Nations in which he said the U.S. should take more immigrants like Rahami and implicitly attacked GOP candidate Donald Trump. Obama blamed America for the world’s problems as he jabbed at Trump’s promise to secure the border, crack down on illegal aliens, and change our asylum policies.

“The world is too small for us to simply be able to build a wall,” Obama said. “We have to open our hearts and do more to help refugees who are desperate for a home,” he said. He added, “today a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself.”

Obama also suggested that Americans and Europeans are racist for not wanting to be swamped by outsiders from hostile cultures. “And in Europe and the United States, you see people wrestle with concerns about immigration and changing demographics, and suggesting that somehow people who look different are corrupting the character of our countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rahami isn’t the first Islamic terrorist law enforcement agencies have failed to do anything about after receiving tips.

Omar Mir Siddique Mateen, who in June killed 49 innocent victims at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., was reported to the FBI in 2014. The massacre has been called the worst mass shooting in American history and the worst domestic terrorist attack since 9/11. Mateen, shot dead by police during the episode, had been under FBI investigation.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack after it took place. Mateen himself “claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and praised the Boston Marathon bombers,” before being killed by police on the scene, the New York Times reported at the time.

In December 2015, President Obama ignored FBI-procured evidence that the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., was an Islamic terrorist operation and ordered federal officials to mislead the public about the true nature of the assault.

Although the FBI knew immediately that the mass-casualty event was a Muslim terrorist attack, Obama and FBI Director James Comey reportedly clashed over why Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, opened fire Farook’s municipal government workmates, leaving 14 dead. They left a trail of social media evidence that went unused before the attack.

Whistleblower Phil Haney, an investigator who helped to create the Department of Homeland Security, revealed the government shut down a database he created that might have helped to prevent the attack. Haney says he looked into groups that had ties to Farook and Malik as far back as 2012. But civil rights officials accused him of unfairly profiling Muslims, removed his security clearance, and destroyed the data he collected. (Haney tells his story in Trevor Loudon’s powerful new documentary film about leftist and jihadist influence in the U.S. government, The Enemies Within.)

And don’t forget the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev. The FBI had been investigating Tamerlan and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) warned the Obama administration about his jihadist sympathies.

But Barack Obama doesn’t like reality intruding on his preferred narrative. Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims have to be given the benefit of the doubt in his view.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”

Also see:

Bomb suspect praised Osama bin Laden, Anwar al Awlaki in notebook

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn,  September 21, 2016

The Department of Justice has charged Ahmad Khan Rahami with the bombings in New York and New Jersey on Sept. 17, as well as other planned attacks. The charges include Rahami’s use of “weapons of mass destruction,” meaning the pipe bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) he planted in Seaside Park, NJ, the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, and in Elizabeth, NJ.

ahmad-khan-rahami-captured-768x981The most damaging bomb was detonated near 135 West 23rd Street (the “Chelsea bomb”). According to the Complaint filed in Rahami’s case, 31 people were wounded in the blast, which also caused millions of dollars in property damage. The bomb, which used a pressure cooker, was “comprised of a high-explosive main charge” and “packed with ball bearings and steel nuts, hundreds of which were recovered from the blast site.”

The Chelsea bomb was placed in a dumpster, which likely limited the efficacy of the shrapnel packed in it. But the impact on the dumpster and the surrounding area demonstrates that it could have been deadly. The dumpster, which was more than 100 pounds, was “propelled…more than 120 feet.” Windows 400 feet away from the detonation site and up to three stories high were shattered.

A second bomb recovered on 27th street was apparently constructed in a similar fashion.

Rahami allegedly acquired many of the bomb components via eBay in the months leading up to the attacks. And he apparently didn’t do much to cover his tracks. Not only were Rahami’s fingerprints found on some of the unexploded bombs, according to the Complaint, he also reused cell phones that were previously subscribed to members of his family. The cell phones served as triggering devices for the bombs. In addition, Rahami’s face was clearly visible on surveillance video near where the bombs were placed.

Still another cell phone belonging to one of Rahami’s family members was recovered by officials. It allegedly included a video, recorded on Sept. 15, of Rahami detonating a “small, black cylindrical object” in a backyard near his residence in Elizabeth.

Jihadi references found in notebook and on social media account

During the course of the arrest, authorities recovered a handwritten journal from Rahami. The notebook was damaged during Rahami’s shootout with the police. It included a number of jihadi-related thoughts and comments, including praise for Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki.

One passage reads: “You (USA Government) continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er] against the mujahidean [sic] be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine…”

Another entry, according to the Complaint, expressed concern that the author (presumably Rahami) may be caught before he was able “to carry out a suicide attack.” The handwritten note references the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security “looking for me,” and then includes what appears to be a prayer to Allah “[t]o not take Jihad away from [me].” The comment continues: “I beg [unintelligible] shahadat [martyrdom] & Inshallah [God willing] this call will be” answered.

The Complaint cites a passage in the notebook that contains a “reference to the instructions of terrorist leaders that, if travel is infeasible, to attack nonbelievers where they live.” This has been a consistent theme in the Islamic State’s messaging over the past several months. Sheikh Abu Muhammad al Adnani, the deceased Islamic State spokesman who also oversaw the organization’s anti-Western plotting, told followers to attack in their home countries if they couldn’t travel to the lands of the so-called caliphate. The Complaint doesn’t cite Adnani, however, and instead focuses on Anwar al Awlaki, who helped pioneer the idea of individual jihadist attacks in the West. Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in 2011, was an al Qaeda ideologue and his teachings have been marketed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He is frequently referenced by both al Qaeda and the Islamic State to this day.

The passage is written in broken English but includes the phrase “back to sham [Syria].” The Complaint continues with additional lines from the notebook: “But [unintelligible] this incident show the risk are [unintelligible] of getting caught under [unintelligible] I looked for guidance and…Guidance came from Sheikh Anwar…Said it clearly attack the Kuffar [non-believers] in their backyard.”

A footnote says that “Sheikh Anwar” is a reference to Awlaki.

Indeed, according to the Complaint, the notebook includes praise for Awlaki, Nidal Hasan (an Awlaki follower who killed 13 people during a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas in Nov. 2009) and “Brother Osama bin Laden.”

Awlaki has inspired multiple plots in the West. In December 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife killed 14 people in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. Farook had studied Awlaki’s teachings years beforehand. Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in June, also listened Awlaki’s lectures. Both the San Bernardino shooters and Mateen pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The Islamic State claimed that they acted on its behalf.

On the same day that Rahami allegedly detonated bombs in NY and NJ, a Somali man stabbed nine people at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minn. The Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq News Agency, which is one of the group’s main propaganda arms.

But the Islamic State has not claimed the bombings Rahami is charged with carrying out. Thus far, no group has claimed Rahami as its own.

Regardless, the Complaint makes it clear that Rahami was drawn to the jihadist ideology. A social media account with the user name Yaafghankid78, which is connected to Rahami, favorited jihadi anthems.

And one part of the recovered notebook reads: “Inshallah [God willing] the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death To Your OPPRESSION.”

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

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NY Suspect’s Mosque Linked to Subversive Islamist Group

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Just to clarify: Rahami’s parents were asylum seekers from Afghanistan, not refugees. Ann Corcoran explains the difference here.

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Ignore what Maajid Nawaz says about Trump helping jihadist recruitment – hogwash. But he certainly knows a lot about the jihadist scene in Quetta:

Also see:

You must be vigilant: How to protect yourself in the face of terror

Sept. 18, 2016: Crime scene investigators work at the scene of Saturday's explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York.  (The Associated Press)

Sept. 18, 2016: Crime scene investigators work at the scene of Saturday’s explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, in New York. (The Associated Press)

Fox News, by Kyle Shideler, Sept. 20, 2016:

In the aftermath of the bombings carried out in New York and New Jersey, Americans are on edge. They know that federal law enforcement is stretched to the breaking point, working literally a thousand cases of Islamic State supporters.

In New York City proper, the epicenter of the latest attack an intelligence program that was once the envy of law enforcement and intelligence officials worldwide has been hamstrung by activists and grievance-mongers who seek to undermine effective counterterror provisions.

In this environment, hearing politicians like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio issue statements downplaying what common sense dictates were acts of terror leads regular Americans to believe that their government officials are unprepared.

In major cities law enforcement have repeatedly been targeted in ambushes, as occurred in Philadelphia and elsewhere. This leads U.S. police to prioritize their own “force protection” posture; so law enforcement can protect their ability to protect us. But it also means we need to do a better job providing our own security, a security which comes from better awareness.

Even the government itself says you have a responsibility for your safety. “If you see Something, say Something,” they urge, with calls to report, “suspicious packages.” But the guidance usually ends there. What are you supposed to see? What qualifies as suspicious?

Americans must develop better “situational awareness.” Too many Americans have their faces buried in Smartphone apps and games.

When you are out in public take a moment to see what’s around you.

To begin with, develop a baseline of your environment. Without an understanding of what “normal” is for your location (whether it’s an airport, a train station, or on your drive to work) you won’t be able to tell what “suspicious” looks like.

We stop and look both ways before we cross the road because we realize we are entering a potentially dangerous environment. This is second nature and no one considers it a burden.

We should similarly stop and look whenever our environment changes. When we walk into a new building, or exit onto the street. Whenever our train stops at a new stop. Your environment has changed as new people get on, and some get off. That means it requires a new look.

We’re told to look for “suspicious” people and items but not what that means, in part because law enforcement doesn’t want to create a mental picture in your head of what “suspicious” looks like. — That way you won’t limit yourself to seeing only what you were told to look for.

Instead ask the question, “Why”?

“Why is that man wearing a winter coat when everyone else is in short sleeves?” “Why did that woman have a bag when she entered and now she doesn’t?” There might be an obvious answer that puts you at ease, but remember it’s not your job to answer the question, only ask it.

Don’t explain away or rationalize behaviors. Call attention to the behavior if appropriate (“is that your bag?”), move away from the area, or find law enforcement. By asking the question “why?” you’ll able to explain what raised your suspicions and not feel hampered by political correctness or accusations about your character.

From the passengers on Flight 93 to the off-duty officer who ended the knife attack in St. Cloud, to the numerous occasions in between, it has been every day Americans, and not the government, who have successfully averted jihadist terror.

You owe it to those heroes, yourself, your family and your fellow Americans to be vigilant, maintain situational awareness and be uncowed in attempts to silence you from speaking up.

Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Threat Information Office for the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank located in Washington, D.C.

Also see:

NY, NJ Alleged Bomber’s Path to Terror

First responders at the scene of the bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan Saturday night (Photo: video screenshot); Inset: the suspected bomber Ahmad Kahn Rahmani (Photo: Twitter/NYPD)

First responders at the scene of the bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan Saturday night (Photo: video screenshot); Inset: the suspected bomber Ahmad Kahn Rahmani (Photo: Twitter/NYPD)

Clarion Project, September 20, 2016:

New York City and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami traveled numerous times to his homeland in Afghanistan as well as to Pakistan in recent years, according to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), as reported by the New York Post.

After his last trip to the country of his birth, he became noticeably religious. “He had changed. He dressed differently, more religiously, the robe and everything,” said Flee Jones, 27, a childhood friend of Rahami. “I really never expected it from him. He was always this fun loving guy, but now he was all quiet. He had found religion. It’s mind blowing.”

Rahmani [Rahami] also began posting radical Islamist writings and jihad-related topics on his personal website.

Those who know Rahmani [Rahami] and his relatives said his entire family became devout after their last trip to Afghanistan a number of years ago, replacing their Western-style dress with tradition Islamic clothing. Neighbors also reported after the trip Rahmani became more serious and lost interest in his favorite hobbies, one of which was fixing up Honda Civics for racing.

A woman who was his childhood sweetheart and with whom he had a baby said Rahmani [Rahami] ranted against American culture, the American military and homosexuality. The woman, identified only as Maria, said she hadn’t seen Rahmani [Rahami] in two years and he never paid child support.

On one of his trips abroad, he returned with a wife and child.

Police officers traced the bombing in Chelsea to Rahmani, whose fingerprints were found on a second, unexploded bomb a few blocks away from the first that went off Saturday night.  Twenty-nine people were injured in the Chelsea bombing.

Authorities also believe Rahmani was responsible for the bomb that exploded at a charity race for marines in New Jersey the next day. After the initial bomb blast in New Jersey, five more homemade bombs were found later that night. No one was injured in the blast which was timed and placed to occur at the beginning of the race. Police officers discovered a suspicious object, postponed the start of the race and evacuated participants.

The Chelsea bombs were made from pressure cookers similar to those used by the Boston Marathon bombers. Instructions for making such bombs can be found in al-Qaeda’s slick, English-language magazine Inspire.

The New Jersey bomb was made from pipes.

A construction worker who used to frequent the family’s fried-chicken restaurant became concerned three years ago when Rahmani and a number of the restaurant workers stopped speaking to him when they found out about his Israeli heritage.

“The first thing I did after I talked to them is I went to check my car underneath…I went to check for a bomb,” said Miguel, who only gave the press his first name.

A former marine Johnathan Wagner, 26, said Rahmani’s father spoke to him about fighting with the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 90s against the Russians and showed him pictures of himself.

Rahmani’s family applied for asylum in the U.S. in 1995 when he was seven years old. After graduating from high school, he studied criminal justice for two years in college before dropping out. An altercation in 2014 with his sister resulted in assault charges when Rahmani allegedly tried to stab her. She later dropped the charges.

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Also see:

When Do U.S. Leaders Who Materially Supporting Terrorists Pay for Their Crimes

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Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 19, 2016:

9/17/16 at 9:35 AM EST:  A bomb explodes at a Marine Corps 5K race in Seaside Park, NJ.

9/17/16 at 8:15 PM EST:  A bomb explodes in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City injuring 29 people.

9/17/16 at 9:15 PM EST:  Somali Muslim Dahir Ahmed Adan enters Crossroads Center shopping mall in St Cloud, Minnesota and stabs nine (9) people while screaming “allah u akbar.”  The jihadi is shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.

9/18/16 at 10:50 PM EST:  Five (5) pipe bombs are discovered in a bag at a train station in Elizabeth, NJ.

9/19/16 at 10:30 AM EST:  A few hours after a city-wide BOLO was put out for Muslim Ahmad Rahami – responsible for the bombs in NY and NJ – and he and police get into a shootout.  Two police officers are shot as was Rahami.  All are in stable condition.

Welcome to a fundamentally changed America.

One must wonder what Andrew Luger – the U.S. Attorney for Minneapolis – is thinking today.  He has invested so much time bending over backwards to appease the Muslims in Minneapolis/St. Paul and continues to apologize for “islamophobia” there while denigrating citizens who speak truth about Islam and the danger it poses to their community.

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The jihadi in Minnesota, Dahir Adan, screamed “allah u akbar” and asked people if they were Muslim before he stabbed them.  FBI sources state that after interviewing nearly 50 people in Adan’s neighborhood, including family and friends, the consensus is Adan was not “religious” (FBI lingo) until he read the Koran three months ago.  They also said he had no history of mental illness.

In the law enforcement realm we call these “investigative clues.”

Adan, like all the other “terrorists” from 9/11 to today are not “radicalized” on the internet or from U.S. foreign policy or from their lack of education or from their economic deprivation or because they are mentally ill or because of the way they are treated or because there are not enough McDonalds in Yemen.

Muslims become more prone to wage jihad the more they read the Koran and the stories about Islam’s prophet Mohammad who waged war against non-Muslims, married a six year old, tortured, and approved the killing of people who mocked him.  The people stabbing others, blowing up bombs, and shooting people in night clubs say they are Muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah to create a caliphate under sharia.

This is exactly what ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hizbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all the other jihadi organizations in the world state is the reason they do what they do.

This is also what is taught to Muslim children in Islamic schools in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.  Why?  Because it is what Islam is.

Maybe we should pay attention.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio with London Mayor Sadiq Khan

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio with London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Meanwhile in New York, Mayor de Blasio – who even the New York Times chastised for not calling the bombing “terrorism” – will have to explain why he too shuts down discussions about threats from the Muslim community in New York, but has no problem performing political fellatio on London’s first Muslim Mayor – who just happens to be in town on the weekend of all of this jihadi activity and who is happily imposing sharia (Islamic Law) in the UK while the British take a knee and surrender.

An argument could be made that Mr. Luger is directly responsible for the nine (9) people in Minneapolis who were stabbed, and Mayor de Blasio is directly responsible for the bombings in New York and New Jersey.  They specifically shut down all discussion of the Islamic threat in their communities while defending and supporting the very community from which all of these threats and attacks come.

U.S. Attorney for Minneapolis Andrew Luger Defending Jihadis

U.S. Attorney for Minneapolis Andrew Luger Defending Jihadis

American leaders like U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger and New York Mayor de Blasio are tools for the enemy’s strategy.  Our enemy states they will get our leaders to do their bidding for them (Civilization Jihad by OUR hands). They – tools like Mr. Luger and Mr. de Blasio – impose the Islamic law of Slander by silencing those who speak truth about Islamic doctrine – sharia (Islamic Law) – while providing material support to our enemies by defending them and promoting their agenda.

Material support for terrorism…aiding and abetting…

Funny, those sound like violations of the law.

The Insistent Blindness of the Elite

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Why do they insist on this ridiculous dance around the obvious truth?

CounterJihad, Sept. 19, 2016:

“[F]or Mayor Bill de Blasio and top city officials, terrorism was the word that could not be spoken on Sunday,” the New York Times reports.  It has become a familiar pattern.  After San Bernardino, we were told not to jump to conclusions about what turned out to be — exactly as expected — an act of jihad by Islamist terrorists.  After the Fort Hood shootings, we were told by the elite that this was really an act of workplace violence.  The first person to disagree was the shooter, for whom it was an act of jihad.  It took six years for President Obama to admit that it was a terrorist shooting.

De Blasio must have felt the irony of his position particularly strongly.  On Sunday he attended a forum with London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to hold the post.  The two of them gave a grand show on the importance of tolerance and  understanding, especially where Muslims are concerned.  The forum, called “Building Inclusive and Progressive Cities,” was a perfect picture of the world these elites wished that they lived in instead of the one they actually inhabit.

The elites are unified in their rejection of reality.  The media waded into the Presidential campaign to chide candidate Donald Trump for characterizing the bomb blast in New York as a bomb — which of course was always the most likely thing for it to be, and indeed what it turned out to be.  The press went so far as to edit out candidate Hillary Clinton’s exactly similar wording, just so they could continue chiding Donald Trump for his jumping to a perfectly correct conclusion.

And now the FBI have come forward and declared that they areconcerned about a possible terror cell, just as expected.  And is there a religious connection?  Yes, just as expected.

Is there a connection to al Qaeda or the Islamic State (ISIS)?  “The official added that it ‘really doesn’t matter whether its inspired or directed’ by ISIS or al Qaeda. ‘We’re way past that. The intent and capability are there regardless.’” (Emphasis added.)

Granting that a capable terrorist cell with murderous intent would be dangerous regardless of its inspiration or direction, it really does matter that we apparently can’t admit the truth.  The most frequently quoted line from Sun Tzu’s classic text on war is this:  “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”  If we refuse to know the enemy, we endanger ourselves.

The elite refusal to speak the truth about the cause and the scale of the problem is only going to worsen the problem.  Longtime security analyst “Wretchard” explains the dynamic:

The announcement that a certain Ahmad Rahami is a person of interest in the NY bombings will have the effect of making those who urged the public not to anticipate the outcome look like fools.Given previous evidence, GIVEN a bombing or public attack the prior probability some sort of Islamic plot behind it was very high. Past frequencies informs the prior. By ignoring this the PC brigade was almost certainly going to discredit themselves.

The argument they really should be making is that an overwhelming majority of Muslims are law abiding peaceful people. This is an entirely different assertion from saying that given a bombing, the parties behind it are unlikely to be Islamic.  It is perfectly possible that say … only 1 in 50,000 Muslims are terrorists while it being simultaneously true that once you observe a bombing, knife attack or mass execution the perpetrator is say 90% likely to identify as Muslim.

Knowing that, you can begin to speak seriously about both the scale and the source of the problem.  No one is arguing that every Muslim is a terrorist.  The argument, and the evidence, is that there is a special problem associated with Islam as it exists right now.  There is no answer to the terror problem facing the West today that does not grapple with those problems in Islam.  It does not matter how much you wish that the answer were “tolerance and inclusion.”  Tolerating these differences opens us to violence.  Including more Muslims in our cities, without dealing with these problems in the faith, is only going to increase the incidence of terrorism in our nations.

As long as our elites keep trying to convince us that this obvious truth is not true, they will continue to lose the trust of the people.  Political movements against this willfully blind elite are already sweeping Europe.  It may well be soon that “the elite” are no longer elite in any sense of the word.

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Washington Free Beacon gives us a sampling of some of the ridiculous mental gymnastics that those on the left resort to in order to preserve their narrative:

White House: We’re in a ‘Narrative Battle’ With ISIS

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Reporter to Clinton: Are You Concerned These Bombings Are ISIS Sympathizers or ‘Maybe the Russians’ Trying to Swing Election to Trump?

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CNN Expert: Possible ‘Two or Three Lone Wolves Somehow Got Together’ for N.Y., N.J. Bombings 

 

Chelsea bomb suspect caught after shootout with cops

Images of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who is wanted for questioning by the FBI Photo: NJ State Police

Images of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who is wanted for questioning by the FBI Photo: NJ State Policedail

New York Post, By Jamie Schram, Reuven Fenton and Yaron Steinbuch, Sept. 19, 2016:

A 28-year-old Afghani native wanted in connection with blasts in Manhattan and New Jersey that left 29 wounded has been caught after shooting at a police officer in New Jersey, according to a report.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested after firing at the cop in Linden, WNBC reported.

Rahami, whose fingerprint was found on an unexploded device, was hunted in connection with the explosions that sparked fears of a local terror cell, according to federal officials.

Earlier Monday, FBI agents raided the Elizabeth, New Jersey, home of Rahami, a naturalized US citizen who was deemed armed and dangerous, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“We need to get this guy in right away,” de Blasio said on CNN. “My experience is once the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them.”

The apartment search began after one of five devices found in a backpack at a nearby Elizabeth train station exploded while a bomb squad robot tried to disarm it. No one was injured.

Authorities have evidence that Rahami also was connected to an unexploded device on 27th Street and a blast Saturday morning at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, ahead of a race for Marines and sailors, The New York Times reported.

A key piece of evidence to Rahami was a fingerprint found on an unexploded device, a law enforcement official told The Post.

Authorities also were able to identify the suspect with the help of a cell phone left behind with a pressure cooker found on West 27th Street — blocks away from the explosion on West 23rd Street, a source told ABC News.

A law enforcement official told The Times there was no direct evidence yet linking Rahami to ISIS or Al Qaeda.

“We don’t know his particular ideology or what his inspiration was or whether he was directed or whether he was inspired,” the official said. “We don’t have any of that.

“So, the ideology, the connection to international terrorism, we might flesh that out as we go through the results of search warrants, looking for computers, discs, things like this. Search warrants that we did Sunday night at the residence in Elizabeth,” the official added.

“Here’s a guy who has been involved in what appears to be four bombings in rapid succession in recent days in crowded places,” the official said. “So we need to get him.”

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that officials believe Rahami is the man seen in surveillance video taken Saturday night in Chelsea.

Rahami is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes and brown facial hair.

FBI agents and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided an apartment where Rahami lives above the family’s restaurant — First American Fried Chicken — on Elmora Avenue.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said at a press conference that Rahami’s father, Muhammad, opened the 24-hour-a-day eatery about 10 years ago and employed his sons,

Neighbors complained about the restaurant, which attracted noisy crowds – some of whom urinated on people’s properties.

The City Council voted to shut it down by 10 p.m., but neighbors said the Rahamis ignored the directive and sued the mayor, the city and about 20 cops – claiming ethnic and racial discrimination.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo now believes there may be a “foreign connection” with the explosion Saturday night in Chelsea.

“I suspect there may be a foreign connection,” Cuomo told CBS News. “That’s what we are hearing today, as the investigation goes on.”

Cuomo hedged, however, suggesting that it is still unknown where the investigation will end up.

“But, again, I was the former attorney general in New York and I did many — I participated in many of these investigations. They take different twists and turns. So you want to be careful what you say early on because you want to protect the information, but that would be my guess,” he said.

Cuomo refused to say whether he believed ISIS was directly behind this attack –and the possibly related attacks in New Jersey.

Read more

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NY, NJ bombings: Suspect wounded, arrested after shootout; 2 officers hit

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Also see:

Dozens Hurt in NYC Blast Hours After Pipe Bomb Goes Off at N.J. Race

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016:

Explosions in New Jersey and New York on Saturday quickly drew the involvement of FBI terrorism investigators, as the latter blast injured dozens and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted there was no terror threat against the Big Apple.

The first blast occurred at the start of the Seaside Semper Fi Marine Corps charity 5K in Seaside Park, N.J., as a pipe bomb detonated in a garbage can. No one was injured at this incident, but the race was canceled.

“Race officials working closely with local authorities made the decision to cancel the race and evacuate the area,” race organizers said in a statement, thanking “all those who showed up today in support of our military for their patience and understanding.”

The race was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Ocean Avenue and D Street, but was delayed due to snafus with runners’ registration, the Asbury Park Press reported. Thus, the start line area was largely empty when the device detonated at 9:35 a.m. About 3,000 people were gathered around the registration area.

Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said three pipe bombs were inside the trash can but only one detonated. “If it was just a matter of minutes, in terms of difference, there would have been a good number of people running past that explosive device,” he said.

Citing federal law enforcement officials, CNN reported that the bombs were “rudimentary” and set on a timer.

At about 8:30 p.m., an outdoor explosion was witnessed by officers on patrol in front of 131 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement.

“As of this time, there is no evidence to indicate that this explosion is a result of any natural gas cause. Again, the exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined,” O’Neill said Saturday night. “As of the most recent information, there have been 27 injuries reported. One of these injuries may be considered serious. The Fire Department is currently assessing the extent of any possible structural damage resulting from this explosion.”

Most of those injured were hospitalized, the NYFD said. The number of wounded was later updated to 29.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted after the explosion: “Investigation is ongoing. Though we believe this was an intentional act, there is no credible terror threat against NYC at this moment.”

De Blasio told reporters there was “no specific evidence” of links between the NYC attack and New Jersey bomb.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state officials are “coordinating our response with federal and New York City authorities, and full state resources have been made available for this investigation.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation and urge New Yorkers to, as always, remain calm and vigilant,” Cuomo said. “Those traveling in or through the area should be advised of closed sidewalks and roadway, and check MTA.info for subway and bus service alerts. As a reminder, the PATH station at 23rd Street is closed for previously-announced weekend closures.”

“We are in close contact with health providers to monitor the extent of the injuries and will provide information as it becomes available.”

A White House official said President Obama “has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation.”

“The president will be updated as additional information becomes available,” the official added.

Then news broke that another device had been found just four blocks from the crime scene: a pressure cooker with wiring and an apparent cell phone detonator, the Associated Press reported, in a plastic bag on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th avenues.

The NYPD said the area was not being evacuated, but the department tweeted a message asking residents on the block to “stay away from windows facing 27th Street until we clear the area of a suspicious package.” The police called it “a precautionary measure only.”

The May issue of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine, which gave the Boston Bombers their pressure cooker recipe, featured step-by-step new recipes on how to build a parcel bomb, a magnetic car bomb, and a door-trap bomb. It also contained what could be an Election Day reference: “Hidden bomb, car bomb, pressure cooker, assassinations,” read a checklist, followed by “make your vote count.”

An ISIS video released in June ripped off mock-up footage from an Al-Jazeera segment on terrorism to portray a man getting ready for a suicide bombing in Times Square. The video then showed news footage of the ABC News building banner in New York scrolling a headline about the November Paris attacks.

Also that month, when the terror group was taking a victory lap over Omar Mateen’s attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the ISIS-linked Al-Battar Media Foundation suggested jihadists target movie theaters, hospitals, airports, trains, amusement parks and restaurants. Lone jihadists shouldn’t “shy away from targeting the so-called civilians… the so-called innocent people,” the statement said.

A new English-language ISIS magazine this month said “the blood of the disbelievers is halal, and killing them is a form of worship to Allah,” thus jihadists should expand their targets to include “the businessman riding to work in a taxicab, the young adults (post-pubescent ‘children’) engaged in sports activities in the park, and the old man waiting in line to buy a sandwich.”

UPDATE 3:30 a.m.: CNN reported that a third suspicious device was being investigated at West 28th Street and 5th Avenue. Police investigated and determined it to be a false alarm.

NYPD shut down traffic eastbound and westbound from West 14th Street to West 32nd Street and from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue. “The closures are in effect until further notice,” the department said.

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‘We Misled You’: How the Saudis Are Coming Clean on Funding Terrorism

download-12On his latest trip, a former senior U.S. official finds a new attitude in Riyadh. But will it stick?

On my most recent trip to Saudi Arabia, I was greeted with a startling confession. In the past, when we raised the issue of funding Islamic extremists with the Saudis, all we got were denials. This time, in the course of meetings with King Salman, Crown Prince Nayef, Deputy Crown Mohammad Bin Salman and several ministers, one top Saudi official admitted to me, “We misled you.” He explained that Saudi support for Islamic extremism started in the early 1960s as a counter to Nasserism—the socialist political ideology that came out of the thinking of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser—which threatened Saudi Arabia and led to war between the two countries along the Yemen border. This tactic allowed them to successfully contain Nasserism, and the Saudis concluded that Islamism could be a powerful tool with broader utility.

Under their new and unprecedented policy of honesty, the Saudi leadership also explained to me that their support for extremism was a way of resisting the Soviet Union, often in cooperation with the United States, in places like Afghanistan in the 1980s. In this application too, they argued, it proved successful. Later it was deployed against Iranian-supported Shiite movements in the geopolitical competition between the two countries.

But over time, the Saudis say, their support for extremism turned on them, metastasizing into a serious threat to the Kingdom and to the West. They had created a monster that had begun to devour them. “We did not own up to it after 9/11 because we feared you would abandon or treat us as the enemy,” the Saudi senior official conceded. “And we were in denial.”

Why this new frankness? First, it’s fair to ask how far the new policy really goes. Clearly, there are some questions about whether some extremist Sunni groups, such as al-Nusra in Syria, are still getting Saudi money. But as the Saudis described it to me, this new approach to grappling with their past is part of the leadership’s effort to make a new future for their country, including a broad-based economic reform program.

In their current thinking, the Saudis see Islamic extremism as one of the two major threats facing the kingdom—the other threat being Iran. On Iran, there is continuity. I remember when King Abdullah asked me to pass on to President George W. Bush in 2006 that he needed to cut the “serpent’s head” and attack Iran and overthrow the regime. The new leadership, like their predecessors, blames Iran for regional instability and the many conflicts going on.

The new Saudi leadership, in other words, appears to be downgrading ideology in favor of modernization. In fact, one senior Saudi official explicitly said that the Kingdom was pursuing a “revolution under the cover of modernization”—meaning that modernization was now the driver of Saudi policy.

Can it succeed, when so little has changed politically in a country still run autocratically by the House of Saud? The biggest unknowns are the temptations of the past—whether the Saudi leadership is united behind the new program and whether those who benefited from the old order will attempt to derail the reform agenda and thus destabilize the country. The opposition could come from the powerful religious establishment, which might oppose the opening of entertainment centers, the reform of religious institutions, even limited co-education and increased female participation in the workforce.

There have been many reform programs announced before in Saudi Arabia, only to fade into insignificance. Also, modernization undermines two pillars of Saudi political legitimacy, the endorsement of the Wahhabi clerical establishment and the traditionalism that undergirds any monarchical government. As modernization creates economic uncertainty for those benefiting from the present inefficient order, the result could be political turmoil. And it is an open question as to whether the Saudi people have been sufficiently prepared at all relevant levels in terms of education and skills to compete in the world economy, as they will need to do in a modernized economy.

If not, social tensions and unrest may arise among those who are not prepared to compete.

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Iran’s Terror Proxy Support Openly Defies Western Pressure

Getty Images

Getty Images

by IPT News  •  Sep 12, 2016

Several high profile Iranian officials recently boasted of the Islamic Republic’s steadfast support for terrorist organizations committed to opposing Western interests and the destruction of Israel, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

An adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker, Mansour Haqiqatpour, bragged that Iran would continue supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) despite ongoing negotiations taking place with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that seek to curb Iranian hardline behavior. Haqiqatpour referred to Hizballah and Hamas as “freedom fighter” groups, citing Islam and Islamic revolutionary ideology as primary motivations for Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism.

Hardline Iranian factions and leaders accuse the Iranian government of preparing to offer significant concessions in return for the country’s removal from the FATF blacklist. Mohsen Kouhkan, an Iranian parliamentarian, referred to the Iran-FATF negotiations as a “Zionist–American plot.” In July 2015, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi insisted that ceasing support for Hizballah in return for an agreement was out of the question.

Since the July 2015 nuclear deal was signed, Iran has expanded its presence in regional conflicts, leading to mounting IRGC casualties. In the last two weeks, six additional IRGC fighters were killed in Syria, including a high-ranking officer. A leader of an Iraqi Shi’ite militia praised IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani’s support and confirmed that Shi’ite militias would continue their regional operations after Mosul is cleared of Islamic State fighters.

Moreover, on Sept. 1, an Iranian diplomatic delegation met with Ali Barakeh – a Hamas representative living in Beirut – to discuss Iran’s ongoing support for Hamas’ violent fight against Israel. Despite notable disagreements since the outbreak of civil war in Syria, predominately Shi’ite Iran continues to court the Sunni Palestinian terrorist organization. The relationship suggests that defeating the Jewish state remains a common objective that supersedes sectarian divisions.

Click here to read the full report outlining recent developments from the Meir Amit Center.

Proponents of the Iran nuclear deal, including many within the Obama administration, argued that the agreement would moderate Iran’s behavior. Earlier this year, senior adviser Ben Rhodes even admitted that the Obama administration misled the U.S. public to promote the nuclear deal by falsely alluding to the emergence of a more moderate Islamic Republic. On the contrary, Iran immediately enhanced its support for terrorist organizations, while extremist factions within Iran gained more ground. Though some may debate Iran’s long-run trajectory, post-nuclear deal Iran has proved to be even more emboldened to pursue its regional hegemonic ambitions, while more pragmatic Iranian leaders increasingly are silenced.

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US official: Navy aircraft threatened with shoot down by Iran

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Report: Obama Admin Provided Iranian Terror Orgs With $37.4 Million in Cash

John Kerry / AP

John Kerry / AP

Washington Free Beacon, Adam Kredo Sept. 14, 2016:

Iran is estimated to have spent at least $37.4 million in recent U.S. cash payments to fund its global terrorism operation, including organizations responsible for the murder of U.S. citizens, according to new research provided to the Washington Free Beacon by analysts.

The recent $1.7 billion cash payment to Iran—which is being described by many in Congress as a ransom payment to the Islamic Republic—will be used in part to fund Iran’s leading military organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is responsible for orchestrating terror attacks that have killed Americans.

The new research comes amid a growing scandal over the Obama administration’s decision to hand Iran billions in cash as part of an effort to secure the release of several U.S. hostages earlier this year.

Leading lawmakers now suspect that the IRGC played a key role in assuming control of this cash, which the White House has admitted to putting directly in Iranian hands, the Free Beacon disclosed Monday evening.

When viewed in light of Iran’s current spending levels, it is expected the Islamic Republic will use at least $37.4 million of this $1.7 billion to fund IRGC operations, which have led to bloody battles in Syria and terrorist attacks across the globe, according to the American Action Forum, a non-profit research organization headed by a former top congressional official.

“Applying the official spending levels to the U.S. payment to Iran, the $1.7 billion would mean $37.4 million for the IRGC,” according to research published by Rachel Hoff, AAF’s director of defense analysis. “Paying ransoms in exchange for Americans held abroad is one bad policy—indirectly funding terrorism is another.”

AAF has determined based on public reports by Iran that the country spends 3.4 percent of its total budget on defense needs, though some experts estimate the number is even higher.

At least “65 percent of that funding [goes] to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Iranian elite paramilitary force,” according to AAF. “That works out to 2.2 percent of Iran’s total budget for the IRGC, which actively supports terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. It is unlikely that Iran accurately reports its military or paramilitary spending, but the reported budget figures are useful as a baseline.”

These latest estimates are likely to draw further outrage on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have launched several investigations into the circumstances surrounding the $1.7 billion payment.

While the Obama administration has been forced to disclose some details about the cash payment, it withheld key information from Congress, including the names and affiliations of the Iranian officials who assumed control over the money when it was handed off earlier this year in Europe.

New admissions by the Obama administration that American officials physically handed some $1.7 billion in cash to the Iranian government are fueling a congressional investigation into still-hidden details surrounding the deal.

Lawmakers suspect the Obama administration may have dealt with members of the IRGC and officials from its intelligence ministry when carrying out the cash exchange, which coincided with the release by Iran of several U.S. hostages.

The Obama administration recently disclosed to Congress that U.S. officials participated in the handoff of at least $400 million to Iranian officials, but has withheld key details about which parts of the Iranian government assumed control of the cash, according to discussions with multiple sources familiar with the ongoing congressional investigation.

Sources familiar with the matter told the Free Beacon it is possible IRGC members participated in the exchange, raising new questions about the Obama administration’s dealings with an organization responsible for facilitating terrorism and killing U.S. citizens.

“On January 17, Treasury disbursed the payment to an official from the Central Bank of Iran, for transfer to Tehran,” the Treasury Department recently informed Congress in a communication obtained first by the Free Beacon. “The funds were under U.S. Government control until their disbursement pursuant to the settlement.”

The Obama administration “withdrew the funds from its account as Swiss franc banknotes and the U.S. Government physically transported them to Geneva” prior to the exchange with Iran, according to the letter, which was sent late last week by Treasury Department official Thomas Patrick Maloney in response to questions submitted by Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.).

At least one leading lawmaker told the Free Beacon on Monday that there is little doubt the IRGC played a key role in this cash exchange.

“For the Obama administration to argue that the IRGC was somehow not involved in the U.S. transfer of $1.7 billion—or more—in cash to Iran is totally unconvincing,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Free Beacon on Monday. “Given the IRGC’s extensive control of the Iranian economy, and its vast influence with Iran’s regime, it was most likely influential in the set-up and execution of the payment. Like other malicious actors, the IRGC is eager to get its hands on cash to fund its terrorist activities.”

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