Iran growing network to train foreign terrorists, dissident group says

Photo by: Hadi Mizban Members of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran boast an extensive spy network, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its special forces wing, the Quds force, and has a track record of exposing clandestine parts of the Iranian security apparatus. (Associated Press)

Photo by: Hadi Mizban
Members of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran boast an extensive spy network, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its special forces wing, the Quds force, and has a track record of exposing clandestine parts of the Iranian security apparatus. (Associated Press)

The Washington Times, by Rowan Scarborough, February 14, 2017:

Iran’s hard-line Islamic regime has escalated its overseas terrorist operations, establishing a network of over a dozen internal training camps for foreign fighters, the regime’s largest resistance group said at a press conference on Tuesday in Washington.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran issued its intelligence report specifying the camps’ locations and the countries represented.

The council’s largest member is the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK). It boasts an extensive spy network inside the mullah-run government, including the all-powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its special forces wing, the Quds force, and has a track record of exposing clandestine parts of the Iranian national security apparatus.

The Quds force played a significant role in the Iraq War by training Iraqi Shiites on how to make bombs that killed scores of American troops. The Quds force is now directing thousands of Iraqi Shiite militia members in Iraq, some of whom have gone to Syria to fight for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The U.S. calls Iran the world’s No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. However, neither the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps nor the Quds force is on the State Department’s list of designated terrorist organizations. The Treasury Department in 2007 designated the Quds force as a material supporter of terrorism, but National Council of Resistance of Iran officials say the U.S. government should go much further.

“The Iranian resistance has emphasized on countless occasions that the source and the epicenter of terrorism, fundamentalism and regional meddling is the fundamentalist regime ruling Iran,” said Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the council’s Washington office.

The council said Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has approved a directorate inside the Quds force “in order to expand its training of foreign mercenaries as part of the regime’s strategy to step up its meddling abroad, including in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

“The camps have been divided based on the nationality of the trainees and the type of training,” the council said. “Both terrorist training and also military training for militias are provided, enabling them to better infiltrate and advance the regime’s regional objectives.”

“Every month, hundreds of forces from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Lebanon — countries where the regime is involved in front-line combat — receive military training and are subsequently dispatched to wage terrorism and war,” the statement said.

In Lebanon, Iran supports, arms and finances Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that is also fighting for Mr. Assad in Syria.

Beyond the Middle East

Some Quds graduates have shown up outside the region and on the U.S. doorstep in Latin America.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testified before Congress, when he commanded U.S. Southern Command as a Marine Corps general, that Hezbollah operatives had arrived in South America and that Iran had opened scores of Islamic centers there.

Critics of the Obama administration’s negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, which freed up billions of dollars in frozen assets, say the concessions have failed to temper Tehran’s bellicosity or its desire to exert hegemony over the Persian Gulf region.

The council’s report says the Quds force oversees 14 training bases from operation headquarters at the sprawling Imam Ali air base. The commander reports directly to the Quds commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who has been directing operations in Iraq and in Syria.

The largest number of enlistees at Imam Ali are from Syria. They learn how to fire heavy weapons and missiles and to operate drones.

The council listed what it said were the locations and secret code numbers for other camps that conduct training in urban warfare, such as riding motorcycles in terrorist attacks. The council’s report, using satellite imagery, locates each camp on a map of Iran.

The Shahriar Garrison in southwest Tehran, for example, specializes in training Afghan mercenaries, who are then sent to Syria.

At the press briefing, Mr. Jafarzadeh, the council official, called on the Trump administration to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds force to the State Department’s terrorist list.

“The IRGC is the backbone of the apparatus established to preserve the dictatorship, which itself rests on three pillars,” he said. “The first is suppression within Iran. The second is export of terrorism and fundamentalism beyond Iran’s borders. And the third is the program to manufacture a nuclear bomb and nuclear-capable missiles to threaten other countries.”

MEK was once on the State Department’s terrorist list, for attacks it was accused of carrying out in the 1970s and 1980s, first against the government of the shah of Iran and later against the clerics who overthrew him and now dominate the regime in Tehran. The group fought a long, battle to get the designation lifted, and the Obama administration delisted MEK in 2012 after attesting that it had not been involved in terrorism for over a decade.

Venezuela’s new Vice-President and Iranian influence in Latin America

elaissami-vicepresidente-980-520x245Although El-Aissami was sanctioned yesterday for narcotics trafficking, there is more to the story.

Center for Security Policy, January 17, 2017:

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro recently appointed Tareck El-Aissami to be his Vice-President. El-Aissami is suspected by the U.S. intelligence community to have ties with drug-traffickers, Iran, and Hezbollah. Iran is a sponsor of Islamic terrorism while Hezbollah is one of the terrorist organizations Tehran supports.

The new Venezuelan VP has many business dealings with Iran. Joseph Humire, founder of the Center for a Secure Free Society, testified before Congress that El-Aissami owns a network of 40 front companies. These shells have bank accounts set up in 36 countries, including the U.S. His network has been integrated with the Ayman Joumaa money laundering network that launders hundreds of millions of dollars and ships cocaine for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels as well as Hezbollah. So El-Aissami’s “companies” are probably responsible for hiding terrorist drug money and helping cocaine get into the U.S.

El-Aissami’s ties with terrorists do not end there. Between 2007 and 2010 as the country’s Interior Minister he participated in “Aeroterror,” which were flights between Caracas and Tehran with a stop-over in Damascus. According to Congressional testimony these flights carried drugs, arms, cash, and terrorists. All of these are worrying, but especially the last one since El-Aissami took part in a clandestine operation to provide fake Venezuelan passports to Islamic terrorists in Damascus. This could mean that he transported terrorists into Venezuela and then provided them with documentation that would allow them to move freely through Latin America.

This has been made possible partly thanks to Cuba. Tehran and Havana have been allies for decades. When Chavez took power in Venezuela he sought close ties with the Castro. In exchange for oil Cuba provided Venezuela with 200,000 workers, most of whom are intelligence officers. Along with Cubans also came Iranians who turned the country into a terrorist outpost.

Given El-Aissami’s strong ties with Iran and Hezbollah his appointment as Venezuela’s VP probably signals an increase of Iranian influence in the country and through the region. If the country opposition is actually able to recall President Nicolas Maduro effectively removing him from power, as unlikely as it is, El-Aissami would take charge.

This would most likely mean an Iranian and Hezbollah ally in control of a country that is in America’s backyard. Even if El-Aissami does not become President he might end up unofficially running Venezuela. If Maduro becomes bogged down fighting recall attempts, Al-Aissami might have more say in running the country. Also, since President Maduro has shown himself to be incompetent it is likely that he might depend on a seasoned politician like El-Aissami to be his chief decision-maker.

With El-Aissami as VP the Iranian mullahs could use their connections with him and the country’s desperate economic situation to get more Islamic terrorists into Venezuela. Given that Venezuela is strapped for cash and basic resources, it is possible that El-Aissami might agree to let in more terrorists in exchange for Iranian cash, not to mention increase drug-trafficking to make up for the missing revenue.

Iran could also use its ties to Venezuela to ship more terrorist to Maduro friendly countries like Cuba and Nicaragua. This would allow Iran and its ally Hezbollah to export Islamic terror into the Caribbean and Central America. From there these terrorists could try to make their way into the U.S using fake Venezuelan passports.

The long established threat capability of Iran in Caribbean and Latin America will only increase. This is an important factor to calculate in U.S.-Iranian relations.

Why the US Should Target Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Photo: Wikipedia.

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Algemeiner, by Heshmat Alavi, February 13, 2017:

The possibility of the Trump White House blacklisting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) is causing enormous tension in Tehran, as the regime understands the political, economic — and, perhaps most importantly — geopolitical consequences of such a move.

An Iranian opposition group has scheduled a Tuesday press conference to provide new information about the IRGC Quds Force “command headquarters for terrorist training of foreign mercenaries and a number of overt and covert training centers” across Iran, according to the online statement.

The IRGC was established supposedly to safeguard the “Islamic Revolution.” The FTO designation of this enormously important Tehran entity would further toughen US President Donald Trump’s push on Iran.

The IRGC is in full control of the mullahs’ cherished ballistic missile program, used especially to lift morale within the regime’s dwindling and highly fragile social base.

Washington has considered Tehran a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984, as the regime has continuously armed, trained and financed a conglomerate of terrorist groups in the Middle East — mainly Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen.

Designating the IRGC, an official armed force, rather than another militia group, would be unprecedented. It would send a signal to Iran that the new US administration is targeting the very core of its apparatus — one that also enjoys significant leverage over its economy.

The IRGC is the leading force behind Iran’s nuclear programballistic missile driveinvolvement in Syria and other states and atrocious domestic human rights violations. The FTO designation would ban any economic transactions and relations with IRGC-affiliated companies, thereby significantly curbing its access to the revenue needed to pursue all the above-mentioned ambitions.

There are already signs of increasing concerns in this regard having a considerable effect.

The France-based international oil and gas French company Total has hinged its plans for a $2 billion project in Iran in the summer on US sanctions waivers, which now seem unlikely, to say the least, with the Trump administration imposing a major policy overhaul.

Companies across the world are already described as wary about doing business with Iran. The FTO designation would bring an end to all the leeway provided for foreign businesses to enjoy working with entities that may be connected with the IRGC.

And while some argue that an FTO designation for the IRGC would result in Iran’s abandoning ship on the nuclear deal reached with the P5+1 in July 2015, they are absolutely wrong. Tehran needs the accord more than any other party, as crippling international sanctions were taking their toll on its economy. And rest assured that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei would never have blessed such a pact were better options available.

The Iranian opposition has a history of shedding important light on the IRGC’s destructive roles, and calling for necessary action in this regard.

Iran’s “nuclear and missile program is against the Iranian people’s interest and must be stopped,” Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRIsaid recently.

The NCRI has welcomed the Trump administration’s recent round of sanctions against Tehran and earlier proposed measures aimed at “banning all deals and trade with IRGC-affiliated companies.”

The Trump administration is now facing a very important opportunity to deliver the message that the mullahs deserve to hear. In so doing, it will be on the right side of history where supporting the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy through peaceful regime change is concerned.

CIA Awards Saudi Crown Prince Counter-Terrorism Medal

Saudi air force personnel at the King Salman air base. (Photo: © Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi air force personnel at the King Salman air base. (Photo: © Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s state sponsorship of the hardline Wahhabi ideology exacerbates global extremism, medal or not.

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, February 12, 2017:

The CIA awarded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, deputy prime minister and minister of Interior, with a medal for his services to “counter-terrorism.”

CIA Director Michael Pompeo presented the George Tenet medal to Prince bin Nayef during a trip to Riyadh in the presence of other senior members of the Saudi government.

Accepting the medal, bin Nayef told media that religion was completely separate from the actions of extremist groups, who misuse religion for their own purposes.

“We, God willing, continue to confront terrorism and extremism everywhere, and with thanks to God we have managed to thwart many terrorist plots from occurring,” he said. Bin Nayef and Pompeo also discussed many issues of mutual concern to the United States and Saudi Arabia, including but not limited to the fight against terrorism.

Clarion Project cannot comment on the specifics of this award to Prince bin Nayef, since we are not privy to the details of security cooperation against terrorism between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

However, Saudi Arabia has certainly been instrumental in spreading an ideology which gives rise to Islamist terrorism.

Here are three things you need to know.

1. The State Sponsored Religion of Saudi Arabia Is Very Similar to the Creed of ISIS

Saudi Arabia as described by Algerian writer Kamel Daoud in The New York Times as “an ISIS that has made it.”

The Gulf kingdom is a theocratic absolute monarchy governed in accordance with the puritanical version of Islam known as Wahhabism. This arrangement has been in place since 1744, before the creation of the state, when the Muhammed ibn Saud, the progenitor of the House of Saud, made a deal with the founder of Wahhabism, Muhammed ibn abd al-Wahhab, that the descendants of Ibn Saud would rule the political sphere, while the descendants of al-Wahhab would control theology. That deal remains in place today, with the Ash-Shaikh family controlling Saudi theology. The two families are closely intermarried.

This state sponsored form of Islam mandates the death penalty for blasphemy, homosexuality, sorcery and several other crimes. It prohibits women from going outside unless covered head to toe, prohibits women from driving, as well as a host of other activities such as working or getting a passport without permission from their male guardian. It also mandates the brutal hudud punishments, which include chopping off hands for stealing and lashes for crimes such as adultery.

Wahhabism preaches loyalty to the Saudi state. Jihadists differ in that they regard the Saudi state as a corrupt Western stooge. They adopt the puritanical ideology of Wahhabism, but merge it with a political revolutionary bent.

This synthesis is identified by scholars as salafi-jihadism. Groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS share this ideology.

2. Saudi Arabia Has Spent Billions Exporting Wahhabism Globally

Last year, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned Saudi Arabia was funding mosques in Germany linked to extremism.

Since the 1960s, Saudi Arabia has spent an estimated $100 billion on exporting the ideology of Wahhabism. It has funded mosques, madrassas and academic fellowships and chairs in universities across the world.

These include grants of $10 million to top American universities such as Harvard and Yale.

This money has been used to smother local pluralistic forms of Islam and has fueled a global upswing in religious puritanism and conservatism. This money has created and continues to create the milieu in which extremism can thrive and grow.

3. Saudi Arabia’s Regional Power Struggle With Iran Is Fueling Terrorism

Sunni jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq refer to Shia Muslims (among other pejorative terms) as “safawi,” referring to the Iranian Safavid dynasty which once ruled the region. The confluence of Sunni-Shia sectarianism with a geopolitical struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran has seen both countries fund opposing sides in wars throughout the region.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a war in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi rebels in support of a Sunni president. Although the war is more complicated than that, it is being used by Saudi Arabia and Iran as an opportunity to fight against each other’s’ interests.

Saudi Arabia also supported Sunni Islamist rebel groups against Iranian-backed President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

This power struggle is fueling armed conflict across the region which creates a fertile breeding ground for more, rather than less, terrorism and empowers extremist groups.

In the light of these three things, whatever the personal and strategic merits of Prince bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s long-term commitment to countering Islamist terrorism should be questioned.

Also see:

The Brotherhood must not be seen as moderates

yusuf

The National, by Hassan Hassan and Ola Salem, February 12, 2017

For many people, Yusuf Al Qaradawi epitomises moderate Islam. From banning female circumcision to allowing coeducation, the Qatar-based Egyptian cleric’s bold and progressive edicts have challenged conservative views for decades. But he often comes under fire for his views in favour of suicide bombing.

In April 2001, Dr Al Qaradawi said it was permissible for Palestinians to carry out suicide operations targeting Israelis, and described the tactic as “one of the greatest forms of jihad”. He was responding to a counter fatwa by Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Abdelaziz Al Sheikh. When Al Jazeera reported on the issue, it concluded: “Such a fatwa is specifically common among Palestinians fighting against the Israeli occupation.”

But the fatwa created a slippery slope. In 2014, Dr Al Qaradawi expanded the remit of his fatwa to civil wars in the Middle East. He said that it was acceptable for Syrians to blow themselves up, as long as the bomber acts as “part of a group”. Individuals cannot do it, he emphasised.

These attacks spare no one, including Muslim worshippers inside mosques. During Ramadan last year, for example, suicide attacks hit Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and killed nearly 350 people. A suicide attacker struck near the burial site of the Prophet Mohammed, killing four security guards.

After the attack in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Munir, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, asked clerics to rethink their opinion on suicide operations. “Killing innocent civilians has become common because suicide bombers rely on these fatwas to blow themselves up,” he said.

Suicide bombing is rejected by traditional clergy because suicide is explicitly prohibited in the Quran. Islamist clerics, such as Dr Al Qaradawi, who have a mainstream following legitimise views long perceived to be fringe and extremist. Also, these clerics sometimes preside over councils or are close to religious institutions that operate in the West. Dr Al Qaradawi is chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.

When he was criticised for his views on suicide bombing after the Medina attack, countless supporters expressed solidarity with him. Some pointed out that other clerics have also sanctioned suicide bombing.

What many of those who defended Dr Al Qaradawi’s view on suicide bombing do not realise, though, is that their cleric walked back on his edict in the summer.

“The Palestinian brothers were in need of the [tactic] to instal terror told in the hearts of Israelis,” he said in July. “They told me they no longer need it, so I told them I no longer approve of it.”

The way he disavowed the fatwa is telling – as though he prescribed medicine to a patient. The prescription was stopped because the patient no longer needed it. He failed to disapprove of the practice in general. He made no mention of his approval of the tactic in Syria. The genie is out of the bottle and the side effects are too damaging.

The story of Dr Al Qaradawi and the fatwa he issued more than 15 years ago should be part of the continuing debate over whether the new United States administration should designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The arguments raised by supposed experts tend to be ignorant of the insidious aspects of Islamism.

A key problem with the current debate is that opposition to the designation has led to outright apologism. Even if one argues that the US government should not label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, a mechanism to address the contribution of such groups to the jihadist world view should be in place. The opposite is happening: academics and so-called experts often call for engaging Islamists as representatives of Muslim communities, as the previous American administrations effectively did.

Suicide operations have become an accepted political tactic against opponents everywhere, not only by ISIL but also by groups that subscribe to less extremist ideologies. Should policymakers continue to ignore the fact that it is Islamist clerics such as Dr Al Qaradawi who approve of such tactics, in stark contrast to traditional clergy?

Designating the Brotherhood as a terroist group might not help, but something needs to be done to counter these views. How do the US and other countries determine that clerics such as Dr Al Qaradawi should be stopped from promoting violence in their communities or online? The Muslim Brotherhood affirm peaceful political engagement yet their television channels and writings promote extremism.

Experts who oppose the idea of designating the Brotherhood a terrorist group tend to gloss over such issues. Recognition of the troubling discourse and views that often help groom youngsters for jihadism is critical, if the world is to properly deal with the issue of terrorism.

Hassan Hassan is a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. Ola Salem is a journalist in Virginia, the United States

Trump’s Travel Ban Is Not Recruiting More Terrorists

donald_trump_29093637770-868x579Bloomberg, by Eli Lake February 10, 2017:

Since President Donald Trump last month issued an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim majority nations, we’ve heard a lot about how it will aid jihadists.

Leading Democrats, counterterrorism experts and even Iran’s foreign minister have all asserted that Trump’s travel ban will end up being used by the Islamic State to recruit new terrorists. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, made this point forcefully on Jan. 30, when he told MSNBC that Trump’s executive order “ultimately is going to get Americans killed.”

The argument goes like this: Jihadists believe there is a Manichaean struggle between Islam and the West. An alleged “Muslim ban” plays directly into this worldview, telling Muslims that they are not safe in the un-Islamic world. No wonder they are calling the executive order a “blessed ban” on Islamic State web forums.

This is a familiar line to anyone who has followed the national security debate since 9/11. Democrats in particular have argued that the Iraq War, the Guantanamo Bay prison and anti-Muslim web videos help to radicalize otherwise peaceful Muslims to murder us at random. Hence Trump’s travel ban is now a “recruitment tool.”

If only jihadi recruitment were so easily disrupted. Sadly it’s much more complicated.

To start, the process by which an individual gets sucked into the death cults of al Qaeda or the Islamic State cannot be reduced to a single cause. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, the research director for the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, put it like this: “The argument that the Trump policy will radicalize people is predicated on the flawed premise that people radicalize as a response to government policy. The reality is it’s a highly complex process that involves religious and personal factors. A government policy may play a role, but it’s one of many factors.”

Meleagrou-Hitchens’s program released an invaluable report last year that studied motivations of Americans who had declared allegiance to the Islamic State. It found that the motivations ranged from sympathy for the plight of Syrians suffering under their dictator’s war to a sense of religious obligation to join a new utopian Islamic caliphate.

Another problem with this argument is that it fails to account for the significant rise in radical Islamic terror under President Barack Obama. He went out of his way to counter the jihadist worldview. He began his presidency by delivering a speech to the Islamic world from Cairo, in which he stressed his own administration’s respect for Islam. He promised, and ultimately failed to, close Guantanamo; he withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, and he scrubbed terms like “radical Islam” and “war on terror” from the government’s lexicon.

And yet despite his efforts, the FBI arrested more Americans for joining Islamic terrorist groups during his presidency than during that of George W. Bush. And while Obama decimated al Qaeda’s central leadership following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s franchises in Yemen, Somalia and Libya grew stronger. Meanwhile, the Islamic State broke away from al Qaeda during Obama’s presidency and managed to gain territory in Syria and Iraq. Only now has the military campaign to liberate Mosul shown some success.

It’s true that Obama also did many things jihadists did not like during his presidency. For example, he used drone strikes against more of them than his predecessor did. And when the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the legal right to gay marriage, Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State posted video of gay men being thrown to their deaths off of high buildings in Raqqa, with the hashtag #lovewins. The Islamic State didn’t like the Iran nuclear deal, either. After all, Shiites like the Iran regime are seen as apostates, and in the battle for Syria, the Iranians are on the side of the oppressors.

This gets to the most important point. The fanatics who seek to recreate an eighth-century caliphate have an endless supply of grievances about our open society. If we succumb to the fallacy that we can counter their propaganda by not doing things they could exploit for propaganda purposes, we are giving them too much power.

A far better argument against Trump’s executive order is that it undermines our own recruitment efforts to counter the jihadists. At first the travel ban applied to translators who helped the U.S. military in Iraq, not to mention leading advocates for the Islamic State’s victims like the Yazidi-Iraqi legislator Vian Dakhil. Fortunately the Trump administration has reversed these elements of the travel ban in the last week. But the perception that America would close its doors to the people who helped us makes it harder to recruit allies against the Islamic State going forward.

Critics of Trump’s travel ban are not inclined to make that argument. After all, Democrats were silent when Obama abandoned the Iraqi sheiks who helped to temporarily drive al Qaeda out of the Anbar province between 2007 and 2009. At the time, they were too busy insisting the Iraq War helped create more terrorists.

Also see:

House Report: ‘Unprecedented Spike’ in Homegrown Terror Threat

Homeland Security Committee

Homeland Security Committee

Breitbart, by  Edwin Mora, February 9, 2017:

The 2017 terrorism forecast for the United States and the rate at which Americans are being radicalized at home is “alarming,” according to a monthly assessment by the House Homeland Security Committee.

Citing an “unprecedented spike in the homegrown terror threat, primarily driven by the rise of” the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the House panel’s Terror Threat Snapshot for February warns that, “at this rate, the forecast for 2017 looks alarming.”

“Authorities continue to track a high number of homegrown terror plots in the United States, and the number of cases since 9/11 is nearing a historic milestone: There have been nearly 200 total homegrown jihadist cases in the United States since 9/11 (the figure currently stands at 193), a majority having taken place in just the past few years,” points out the House report.

The monthly assessment attributes the alarming rise in the terror threat to the pressure ISIS is facing “in its key safe havens,” noting that the jihadist organization’s “external operations plotting appears undiminished.”

According to the report, there have been at least 39 homegrown jihadist plots or attacks across 19 U.S. states since the beginning of 2016.

In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey predicted that, as ISIS came close to defeat in its home turf of Iraq and Syria, the number of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other Western countries would increase.

Echoing Comey, Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement:

I am very encouraged that the Trump Administration is preparing to put greater pressure on jihadists in their safe havens throughout the world. But as they do, we can expect to see militants returning to the West to build new networks and to plot more deadly operations. I look forward to working with the new Administration on shutting down terror pathways in America. We must also remain vigilant here at home, because Americans are being radicalized at an alarming rate.

The Terror Threat Snapshot notes that the jihadist threat against Europe has also increased dramatically.

“European nations are moving forward with counterterrorism reforms designed to cope with the surging terror threat,” points out the assessment. “Yet despite improvements, the continent still suffers from major security weaknesses that make European countries more vulnerable to attack and put U.S. interests overseas at risk.”

Since 2014, there have been at least 166 ISIS-linked plots or attacks against Western targets, including 69 in Europe, 36 in the U.S., and 61 targeting Westerners outside those two regions.

The U.S.-led war against ISIS began in 2014, soon after the group announced the establishment of its now shrinking caliphate.

In the assessment, the House panel also notes that al-Qaeda and its ally the Taliban remain dangerous after more than 15 years of U.S.-led war against the terrorist groups.

“The Taliban threat has proven resilient and powerful in Afghanistan. According to an Afghan Defense Ministry official, the group is responsible for nearly 19,000 attacks throughout the country in just the past 10 months,” states the assessment. “Throughout that time, however, Afghan National Security Forces only carried out approximately 700 counter-insurgency operations.”

U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that a few thousand more U.S. troops would help break the current “stalemate” with the Taliban.

“We remain very focused on the defeat of al-Qaeda and its associates, as well as the defeat of Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is the ISIL affiliate in Afghanistan,” he added. The U.S. declared war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in October 2001.

Trump Admin Releases List of Terrorist Suspect Cases From Travel Ban Countries

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, February 9, 2017:

President Trump responded to his critics who claim his travel ban goes too far by releasing a list of terror cases that involve suspects who traveled to the U.S. from the seven countries listed in his executive order.

Trump signed an executive order two weeks ago imposing a 90-day travel ban on the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, outraging many Americans. A federal judge blocked the order, arguing that there hadn’t been any terrorist-related arrests from the seven target countries since September 11, 2001, Washington Free Beacon reported.

Judge James Robart, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington state, said in court Friday that no foreign nationals from the seven countries targeted by Trump’s travel ban–Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen–have been arrested in the U.S. for terrorist activity.

Robart asked Justice Department attorney Michelle Bennett to tell him how many such arrests have been made. When the government lawyer did not have an answer, Robart said the number is zero.

Robart’s claim is false. The White House circulated a list providing 24 examples of refugees and other immigrants from Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria and Libya who have been arrested on terror-related charges, Fox News reported.

The White House document itself names 10 individuals from Somalia, six from Iraq, one from Yemen, two from Sudan, two from Iran, two from Libya and one from Syria. The cases span the last eight years, and include most recently a case in June in which two Somali refugees were jailed for conspiring to commit murder in Syria on behalf of ISIS.

It also includes a case from March of last year, where a Yemeni native who became a U.S. citizen was sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempting to provide “material support” to ISIS and planning to shoot and kill members of the U.S. military who had returned from Iraq.

The dossier also sheds light on a case in January 2016 involving a Palestinian, born in Iraq, who came to the U.S. as a refugee and allegedly tried to provide materials to terror groups abroad. The dossier cited multiple media reports that the suspect told his wife, “I want to blow myself up … I am against America.”

Earlier Wednesday, Trump met with local police chiefs and sheriffs. He defended his travel ban and told them that he believed the court case was being politicized.

“I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased and we haven’t had a decision yet, but courts seem to be so political,” Trump said. “It would be so great for our justice system if they were able to read a statement and do what’s right and that’s to do with the security of our nation, which is so important.”

“I think it’s sad, I think it’s a sad day,” he added. “I think our security is at risk today and it will be at risk until such time as … we get what we are entitled to as citizens of this country.”

Also see:

Al-Qaeda Guide: ‘Large and Violent Demonstrations’ Can Distract from Terror Operations

Police deploy a chemical irritant as a crowd marches through the streets of Portland, Ore., following Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

Police deploy a chemical irritant as a crowd marches through the streets of Portland, Ore., following Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, Feb. 7, 2017:

A new al-Qaeda guide from one of the group’s most wanted leaders pitches the value of kidnappings to jihadists, including seizing scientists working in “sensitive” areas and politicians, and details how terrorists should map out these operations.

The 39-page guide, released by al-Qaeda’s As-Sahab media, is authored by Saif al-Adel, a senior al-Qaeda member on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. There’s a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of the Egyptian through the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program.

Al-Adel, in his mid-50s, drew from a lecture on kidnapping he originally delivered in 2000. He’s been al-Qaeda’s planner in Iran, and is rumored to have recently spent time in Syria.

He dedicates the guide to, among others, “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is serving a life sentence on federal conspiracy charges in North Carolina, “and his associates in America.”

Kidnapping is described as more than a ransom-generating operation, but “one of the methods …to break the will of the enemy and force him to submit to the wishes of the attackers under pressure,” as well as “one of the most serious intelligence operations and the most controversial and most difficult” in terms of the length of the many stages of the operation including negotiations.

Funding jihad is listed as the last goal for kidnappers, but the list includes angling for prisoner swaps and stoking debate in the media “to gain international sympathy.”

Jihadists are encouraged to intricately plan kidnapping operations down to a “full rehearsal” before the deed at a similar site. Al-Adel tells them to plans ops with surprise attacks, speed and stealthy withdrawal as well as concealment of the kidnapping victim.

He ranks kidnapping targets into three tiers: “money men, and senior politicians and senior military” are considered the top targets, with the second-most desirable targets being “leading scientists in sensitive sciences” as well as celebrities, media and government officials. The lowest priority is tourists and “the citizenry at large,” though al-Qaeda has been seizing tourists, particularly in North Africa, for years.

The planning tips are similar to those detailed in the assassination issue of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine last May: finding a target, becoming familiar with their residence and routines, and formulating escape routes in advance. Al-Adel encourages gathering as much information about targets as possible from open sources such as the internet as well as human intelligence, wiretaps, surveillance and “imaging.” Jihadists are told to get to know the target’s “habits” and “weaknesses,” as well as relatives and any protective detail or home security system.

For targeting tour groups, terrorists are told to observe and learn how different tour companies handle security — “Does the guard at the bus remain after the descent of tourists? Is there a time unguarded for tourists?” — along with what language the tourists on board speak and what routes they take.

Ideal locations for kidnappings are described as accessible sites that pose the “lowest possible risk” to terrorists and allow for “speed and flexibility.” Terrorists are told to budget time wisely to include the operation itself, transferring hostages and conducting negotiations, and to ask themselves questions including, “Is there a dangerous, unpredictable effect on a cell? What is the practical impact on the community?”

Distraction techniques — “a huge fire in a warehouse timber port, car explosion on a bridge, large and violent demonstrations, etc.” — are emphasized to lure security away from potential targets as well as having three plans for one kidnapping: the master plan, the Plan B, and the contingency plan. “Develop a security plan for each individual if arrested,” Al-Adel says of terrorists involved in the op.

He even includes recommendations for people kidnapped by al-Qaeda, including “remain calm and in control” of oneself “and therefore the kidnappers will be the same,” and “you must be polite with the terrorists” while speaking naturally and building “a good human relationship with the terrorists.”

“Do not refuse any service” offered by the terrorists, such as food or drink, he adds, “exercise whenever possible and keep a clean body… try to take advantage of your time so that your mind remains intact.” And, he adds, “avoid the discussion of religion and politics.”

Al-Adel gives an example of how a plan would be put into place and executed with a target of “a money man of the Jews kidnapped while attending a celebration.” The December 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 is also discussed.

The guide concludes with instruction for jihadists to operate in “the spirit of brotherhood and love of self-sacrifice” with “deep and intelligent thinking,” with “a good understanding of the nature of human beings” being critical to a successful terror kidnapping.

Dubai Security Chief Backs Trump Immigration Order

Khalfan is one of the most powerful men in Dubai [AFP]

Khalfan is one of the most powerful men in Dubai [AFP]

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jan 31, 2017:

A prominent figure in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) security apparatus is endorsing President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S., the Jordanian news service Al Bawaba reports.

“We completely support Trump in his ban on entry to those who may cause a breach in America’s security,” Dubai security chief Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim tweeted.

His country is not among the seven – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – covered by the executive order.

“Previous US administrations have embraced all the wanted men of the Arab world and those classified as terrorists. Trump, what you’re doing is right,” Khalfan wrote.

The UAE has cited security concerns for its own reluctance to admit Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war in 2011. After drawing criticism from human rights groups, UAE officials agreed in September to accept 15,000 Syrian refugees over a five-year period.

His support for Trump’s temporary ban generated criticism from Arab journalists such as Iraqi-American Steven Nabil.

“Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad were among the 19 terrorists of al-Qaeda who attacked the World Trade Center and other targets on 9-11, which led to the deaths of thousands of American civilians. They both had Emirati citizenship like Dhahi Khalfan,” Nabil wrote.

Khalfan is known for making irreverent comments.

He bucked the regional consensus last March when he expressed opposition to a Palestinian state, warning it would become another failed state. He also urged his Twitter followers not to treat Jews as their enemies.

In 2012, Khalfan launched a war of words with radical Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi. Khalfan threatened Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar, with an international arrest warrant after the cleric criticized the UAE for revoking the visas of Syrian residents who allegedly demonstrated against the Assad regime.

This spat with Qaradawi should be understood in the context of Khalfan’s criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he has accused to plotting to topple the UAE government and wanting to impose Islamist rule in all Gulf states.

Khalfan’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood stance aligns well with that of his government, which pressured former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to investigate the Brotherhood. UAE officials also classified the Muslim Brotherhood and offshoots, such as the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as terrorist groups in 2014.

Corruption, Terrorism, and Genocide: The 7 Nations Covered by Trump Executive Order

AP/Various

AP/Various

Breitbart, by John Hayward, January 31, 2017:

The media is misrepresenting President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugee admission as a “Muslim ban” – or, more cleverly, a ban on immigration from “Muslim-majority countries.”

In truth, the ban applies to everyone from seven specific countries. In fact, one of the first families caught at the airport when the executive order went into effect was a Christian family from Syria.

These seven nations were not chosen at random. They were all singled out as exceptional security risks in the Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015 and its 2016 extension. In fact, President Trump’s order does not even name the seven countries. It merely refers to the sections of U.S. Code that were changed by the Terrorist Prevention Act:

I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.

A different section of the executive order does refer to Syria specifically, because it calls for the indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee admissions, until such time as the President believes security concerns have been adequately addressed.

The list of seven nations affected by Trump’s executive order was, therefore, compiled by President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, in a series of judgments that actually goes back to Obama’s first term, circa 2011. Barack Obama made this list, not Donald Trump, and there was very little resistance from congressional Democrats at any step in the process of arriving at the final list of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

Nor should there have been congressional resistance, because that list is eminently sensible. Several of these countries are disasters because of Obama foreign policy, while others were security nightmares long before he took office. Here is a review of current conditions in those nations:

Iraq: Of course, Iraq is currently fighting the Islamic State for control of Mosul and other captured territories. This is creating a flow of both retreating ISIS fighters and refugees from contested areas.

ABC News notes that while some Iraqi soldiers fighting in Mosul “feel a little bad” about Trump’s exec order, as one of them put it, others understand his reasoning. “We don’t want our doctors and professors to keep going to another country and make it greater than our own,” said one Iraqi soldier, who punctuated his comment by exclaiming, “Honestly, I love Trump!”

Many of the Iraqi refugees have been mistreated by local forces, which could easily make them targets for radicalization. The UK Guardian reported on Sunday that human rights groups are processing complaints about the outright torture of children suspected of connections to the Islamic State, which in turn has an extensive program for radicalizing children and turning them into brainwashed jihadi killers.

Shiite militia groups backed by Iran, some of which were murdering U.S. soldiers just a few years ago, are heavily involved in the fighting. There are concerns these emboldened, battle-tested, heavily armed militias will move into Syria and cause a new sectarian crisis. Many of these groups are units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, for all intents and purposes, and would become shock troops for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as he finishes off the last elements of the rebellion against him.

The Iraqi government, it must be said, does not have the most sterling record for honesty and efficiency. Transparency International recently rated Iraq’s government as one of the most corrupt in the entire world. The Iraqi parliament reflexively responded to Trump’s executive order with an ill-considered “reciprocity ban” that will do significant damage to the Iraqi nation if enacted, at the very moment it is fighting a desperate battle to drive out ISIS. That is not the kind of government that can be readily trusted to provide the data needed for “enhanced vetting.”

Iran: Contrary to the fictions peddled by the Obama Administration, Iran is still very much an enemy of the United States. Its government is actively involved in subversive efforts across the Middle East, and around the world.

Even in the last months of the Obama administration, long after Obama’s huge economic concessions and cash payments to Tehran, the State Department continues to classify Iran as the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism. The State Department remains concerned about “a wide range of Iranian activities to destabilize the region.”

The Iranians are still taking hostages, including U.S. citizens. They put their hostages through sham “legal proceedings” involving secret courts and lawyers who are not always permitted to speak with their clients. They store their hostages in hideous prisons that would pass inspection in no civilized country.

On Sunday, Iran continued its defiance of Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with yet another secret test of a banned ballistic missile.

Syria: It is astonishing that anyone thinks “vetting” is possible for many refugees from war-torn Syria, whose sinister central government still does not control many parts of the country.

ISIS, of course, is headquartered in Syria, and al-Qaeda is one of the strongest military forces in the rebellion. Syrian resistance groups are so difficult to screen that the Obama administration could only find tiny handfuls of reliable “moderate” fighters to arm and train; they were promptly kidnapped, killed, or co-opted by terrorist groups after Obama deployed them. The “white hat rebel” program ended as a laughingstock across the Middle East.

Terrorist groups are still hunting down and destroying “moderate” rebel units to this very day, even during the “ceasefire” brokered by Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Worse, Syria has become a pressure-cooker for jihad, with groups once regarded as moderate becoming unmistakably radical over the past five years.

ISIS militants fleeing the battlefields of Iraq have been falling back into Syria, while Syrian ISIS fighters have been fleeing from their own battlefield reversals. The return of Islamic State militants, and other battle-hardened jihadis, from Syria to Western nations has long been seen as a major security concern.

The Syrian civil war is universally regarded as one of the worst humanitarian crises in history. Every party to the conflict has been blamed for causing civilian casualties, while some of them deliberately target civilians. The Assad regime has used indiscriminate conventional weapons, and weapons of mass destruction, against rebel-held districts. Civilians have been deprived of food, power, sanitation, and medicine in besieged areas for months, sometimes for years. This will create a huge population that is susceptible to radicalization by terrorists who blame Western powers for either inflicting horror upon civilians, or failing to prevent it.

Libya: Due to the U.S. media’s poor reporting on the continuing disaster of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya, most Americans probably do not realize Libya still lacks a functioning central government. The brief spate of coverage after the rise of Libyan ISIS ended with reports that a “Government of National Accord” had been installed, but in truth it only controls a portion of the country, and some observers believe it is on the verge of collapse. A Qaddafi-era general named Khalifa Haftar is working to seize power, and the Russians have been cozying up to him. The end result of Obama policy in Libya could very well be another Russian client state in the Middle East.

Haftar currently controls the government that used to be recognized by the international community as Libya’s legitimate administration. That government was chased out of the national capital, Tripoli, by a coalition of Islamist militias, widely known as Libya Dawn. They are still a force to be reckoned with, and constitute the third major Libyan government.

ISIS is still a serious problem in Libya, as demonstrated by U.S. air raids against Islamic State positions on President Obama’s very last day in office. “They have been largely marginalized but I am hesitant to say they’ve been completely eliminated in Libya,” a U.S. defense official said at the time.

Somalia: Somalia has been fighting a vicious insurgency from an Islamist terror organization called al-Shabaab, whose name means “The Youth.” It aggressively recruits young Muslims, including young Somalis living in the United States.

The group has links to both al-Qaeda and ISIS. The primary leadership decided not to swear fealty to the Islamic State, leading to something of a schism between different factions of al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab is not just a gang of furtive terrorists lurking in the shadows – it effectively controls large portions of rural Somalia, and has been waging war against neighboring Kenya. An attack launched just this weekend killed dozens of Kenyan troops, according to al-Shabaab claims disputed by the Kenyan government.

Al-Shabaab is one of the most savage Islamist terror organizations in the world, responsible for horrific massacres like the slaughter of 150 students at Garissa University College in April 2015, and 67 murdered at the Westgate shopping center in the Kenyan capital. An attack on the Dayah hotel in Mogadishu killed eight people just last week.

Al-Shabaab killers are notorious for asking potential victims to prove they are devout Muslims in order to spare their lives.

Somalia’s government was ranked the most corrupt in the world by Transparency International, in the same study that named Iraq one of the worst. That is not exactly news, because Somalia’s government has been listed as the most corrupt on Earth for ten years straight. For the sake of comparison, the Number Two and Three worst governments on Transparency International’s list are South Sudan and North Korea.

Somalia’s most recent elections were an absurd carnival of bribes and voter intimidation, even with U.N. oversight. The BBC declared the country “has not had a functional national government since the ousting of its former leader Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.”

Sudan: As mentioned above, the Sudanese government is a corrupt disaster. The country actually split in half in 2011. Over 1.5 million people have been killed in the Sudanese civil war, while 2 million refugees have been displaced from the Darfur region.

The president of the Republic of Sudan is an iron-fisted Islamist dictator named Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been in power for over 25 years, after seizing power in a 1989 coup that came after two decades of civil war.

Bashir is wanted for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. Those charges have been pending since 2009. There are actually three counts of genocide against him. He is supposedly under an international travel ban, but he travels anyway, occasionally cutting his trips short when he thinks he might be arrested.

The Sudanese government imposed sharia law on its provinces in the Nineties. Bashir has been linked to Janjaweed militias, which serve as his own personal storm troopers, noted for their scorched-earth tactics and indiscriminate use of mass-casualty weapons against civilians. Some observers fear the Janjaweed will eventually ship Bashir’s leash and overthrow the government in Khartoum.

Sudan is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism and, until recently, it was politically aligned with Iran. Sudan has proven to be friendly terrain for all sorts of gangsters and terrorists, although its political realignment over the past few years reportedly included more cooperation on counter-terrorism, in a bid to get off the American list of terrorist sponsors. Even after that realignment, Hamas terrorists seemed to have little trouble traveling through Sudan, or raising money there.

Yemen: Yemen is a horrifying bloodbath of civil war and terrorist insurrection, which ties many of the other nations on this list together. Sudan, for example, has been part of Saudi Arabia’s coalition in Yemen, ever since it turned away from Iranian patronage.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are fighting a proxy war in Yemen, where there have been over 10,000 civilian casualties. The U.S. has been providing weapons to Saudi Arabia, whose coalition is blamed for many of the civilian deaths, so Yemeni resentment of the United States is a very real factor to consider when estimating the dangers of radicalization.

The U.S. blocked an arms sale to the Saudis in December 2016 after a Saudi coalition airstrike hit a funeral in the capital of Sana’a, leading to 140 deaths. The Saudi coalition has also been criticized for bombing Doctors Without Borders hospitals.

The internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi was displaced by an Iran-backed Shiite insurgency from the Houthi minority, aided by forces loyal to the previous president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Describing the state of Yemeni government as “chaotic” would be a vast understatement. Major cities like Sana’a have been subjected to violent takeovers and sieges, while the Yemeni wilderness is largely controlled by al-Qaeda.

On Sunday, a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed, and three others wounded, in a firefight with al-Qaeda forces in central Yemen. Fourteen al-Qaeda fighters were reportedly killed, including the brother-in-law of the late al-Qaeda guru, Anwar al-Awlaki. It was the first counterterrorism operation authorized by President Trump.

In October, the U.S. Navy was obliged to strike ground targets in Yemen, after missiles were fired at American ships stationed off the coast.

Gorka on Trump Travel Ban: ‘Facts Are Optional for the Liberal Media’

Fox News Insider, January 30, 2017:

National security expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka said mainstream media criticism of President Trump’s executive order barring immigration from several Middle Eastern nations is a product of their personal ideologies.

“They’re just the chattering classes,” Gorka said, “It’s all about ideology and not national security.”

Gorka said many in the media have refused to acknowledge that, despite calling the order a “Muslim ban”, key countries like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are not listed.

He called left-wing pundits in the media the “Ben Rhodes echo-box”, a reference to former President Obama’s advisor who once told the New York Times he created an ideological “echo chamber” in the press to the president’s benefit.

“This is where facts are optional for the liberal media, Sean,” Gorka said.

Over the past 16 years, several dozen people have been convicted of terrorist acts who were immigrants or in the country on refugee status, Gorka said.

Here’s A Short List Of Foreign-Born Terrorists Reporters Can’t Believe Exist

tsarnaev

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, January 30, 2017:

When arguing with the Left about matters of national security and terrorism, one becomes accustomed to their habitual moving of goal posts and artificial construction of sample sizes that deliberately exclude relevant cases.

The most notorious example, of course, is the beloved “since 9/11…” canard, such as the oft-repeated although false claim that since 9/11 right-wing terrorists have killed more Americans than Islamic terrorists.

The recent executive order by the Trump administration on immigration led to an urgent desire to proclaim that there is no terrorism threat from immigrants. The most egregious example: A tweet from The New York Times’ White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, who is also a CNN analyst. She posed the question, “Other than San Bernardino shootings, has there been a terrorist attack involving a non-US-born attacker since 9/11?”

Of course, there is no sensible reason for excluding San Bernardino shooter Tasheen Malik, who was born in Pakistan, from a list of terror attacks. The attack killed 14 and took place only last year.

But even within the confines of such a ludicrously constructed sample, the question surprised more up-to-speed denizens of Twitter, who quickly bombarded Haberman with lists of successful and unsuccessful attacks carried out by non-U.S.-born individuals, including some of the most notorious recent terror attacks.

Yes, Foreign-Born Immigrants Have Committed Terrorism

Among such individuals: the Tsarnaev brothers of the Boston Marathon bombing, who were both born abroad. Tamerlan was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1986, and Dzhokhar was reportedly born in Dagestan.

The 2015 Chattanooga Recruiting Center shooter, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, was born in Kuwait and lived in Jordan before migrating to the United States at the age of six. He killed five people.

Ohio State University attacker Abdul Razak Artan, who ran over several fellow students with a car before attacking them with a butcher knife, was a refugee born in Somalia who had only been in the United States for two years.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, born in Afghanistan, detonated a bomb near a 5K run event, then another in downtown Manhattan in October of last year.

Dahir Adan, a Somali born in Kenya who immigrated to the United States as a child, launched a mass stabbing attack at a St. Cloud Minnesota mall in 2016. And these are only a few recent examples.

Let’s Just Define Away Counterexamples

While it might be amusing to imagine that a mainstream media figure of some note is totally oblivious to any of the details of recent terror attacks, it’s almost beside the point. Had Haberman known better, perhaps she’d have simply constructed a question that did meet what appears to be her preformed opinion that foreign-born individuals are nearly incapable of representing a threat.

That was the position CNN took in its piece on the Trump administration’s executive order. The piece moved the goal posts yet again, insisting that no refugee had carried out a fatal terror attack in the United States. That’s surely cold comfort to the families of those killed by Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, two Iraqi refugees settled in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

After their fingerprints were discovered on Iraqi IEDs, the two Iraqi refugees were caught in an FBI counterterrorism investigation, where Alwan bragged about using a sniper rifle to kill American troops abroad. The two plotted to kill returning U.S. troops as well. An IED constructed by Alwan is believed to have killed four Pennsylvania National Guardsmen in 2005.

That case resulted in a six-month freeze on Iraqi refugee resettlement in 2011 as U.S. authorities attempted to clamp down on serious screening problems. But, according to CNN’s twisted logic, these Iraqi refugees were never a threat. Ironically, the more attacks American law enforcement successfully prevent or mitigate, the less of a threat there is, according to the CNN model.

If one were truly interested in whether there is a terror threat from individuals born abroad, one would examine the totality of activity, not a narrowly constructed definition aimed to minimize it. That’s what senators Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions did last June when they examined 580 individuals successfully prosecuted on terrorism offenses from September 2001 until 2014. According to the senators, 380 were foreign-born and at least 40 were refugees. While not all of those cases involved successful or attempted terror attacks, all involved cases that were terrorism-related.

Haberman’s offhand tweet is a snapshot of the willingness of the mainstream media to engage in reflective self-censoring, a kind of doublethink, where reporters seem to remain proudly unaware of key evidence that would contradict their pre-established conclusions. Unfortunately for The New York Times correspondent, not everyone on social media was inclined to play along.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.
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Stop Muslim Terror by Stopping Muslim Immigration

151207-farook-malik-mn-1320_c6dda40fc874aca3944397566b7a5acb-nbcnews-fp-1200-800Sultan Knish, by Daniel Greenfield, January 29, 2017:

Lone wolf terrorism is the biggest trend in Islamic terrorism. Unlike classic Islamic terrorism, it requires no cells stretching across countries the way that 9/11 did. The perpetrators don’t even need to enter the country under false pretenses the way that the World Trade Center bombers did.

In many cases, they are already citizens. Some were even born in their target country.

Classic counterterrorism is directed at organizations. It’s inadequate for stopping individual Muslim terrorists like Omar Mateen who was able to murder 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando or closely related duos like the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston or the husband and wife team who carried out the San Bernardino terrorist attack which took the lives of 14 people.

Even the standard technique of planting informants into mosques, deeply opposed by the Islamic lobby in the United States, fails when individuals decide to act alone or only trust their wives or brothers to be in on the plot with them. If an individual Islamic terrorist fails to let his plans slip, either online or to an FBI informant, stopping him can be extremely difficult if not entirely impossible without a stroke of luck.

And Islamic terrorists only need to be lucky once. We have to be lucky every time.

Every absurd Islamic terror plot broken up by law enforcement, the type of thing dismissed by the media and ridiculed by commentators, launching rockets at planes, underwear bombs and blowing up trains, contained the seed of a horrific terrorist attack just like Orlando, Boston or Nice.

When you turn on the evening news and see a running death toll, it’s because one of those absurd and ridiculous terror plots actually succeeded. And it’s happening more and more often.

The reason is simple. Unlike classic Islamic terrorism which required organization and infrastructure, the new brand of Islamic terror only needs one thing… Muslims.

Lone wolf terrorism operates entirely off the existing Muslim population in a particular country. The bigger the Muslim population, the bigger the risk. Any Muslim or Muslims who have settled in a particular non-Muslim country can answer the call of Jihad at any given time without warning.

There is no way that the FBI or other law enforcement agencies could begin to monitor even a fraction of the Islamic settler population sympathetic to terror. The FBI alone has almost 1,000 active ISIS cases it was investigating last year in all 50 states. It does not have nearly the resources it needs to handle them.

As the Muslim settler population in the country increases, the number of cases will grow. No matter how much law enforcement expands the scope of its operations, it will not be able to keep up with the high natural birth rates of the Muslim settler population whose terrorists don’t need a fraction of the training or skills that trained law enforcement figures do. The more the Muslim population grows, the more terror attacks like Orlando, Boston and Nice will get past law enforcement.

Any technological or logistical solutions to this crisis on the law enforcement end will only be band aids.

The source of the problem is Islamic immigration. That is the only possible solution. The only way to reduce the growth of the lone wolf Islamic terrorism problem is to reduce or end Muslim migration.

crop_mass_358_606gIf this is how bad it is when Muslims are only 1% of the population, what happens when the Muslim settler population doubles and then doubles again? Accompanying these rising population numbers will be rising influence by the Islamic lobby. Islamic groups such as CAIR with a history of terror ties and opposition to counterterrorism will have even more power to stymie law enforcement investigations. The end result will be far more successful Muslim terrorist massacres taking place on a constant basis.

Muslim immigrants are already inherently privileged when it comes to their ability to enter this country ahead of far more peaceful and far more deserving groups. For example, the vast majority of Syrian refugees admitted to this country are the Muslims who perpetrated and are perpetuating their religious war in the region rather than their Christian and Yazidi victims who face slavery and genocide at their hands.

This Islamic immigration privilege must be withdrawn. Muslim immigration must at the very least be scaled back to a level that law enforcement can cope with. At best it must end entirely until the Muslim world manages to stabilize its way of life to the extent that it can peacefully co-exist with non-Muslims.

There will be endless arguments over what percentage of Muslims support terrorism, but our own experience of recent attacks shows that many of them came from attackers who overtly appeared to be “moderate” and “ordinary”. For every Islamist activist dressed in Salafist fashion and tweeting praise of ISIS, there is at least one, if not many more, whom you would pass on the street without a second look.

Before the Boston Marathon bombing, the Tsarnaevs did not seem like Jihadists. They would have been classed with the general category of “moderate” Muslims. And then they struck.

That is how it is.

The internet has decentralized terrorist training camps. Any Muslim can acquire the skills and equipment he needs to kill a few or a dozen or even a hundred if he chooses to follow his religion.

160612122351-orlando-nightclub-shooter-omar-mateen-photo-tapper-00000301-large-169Not every Muslim will shoot up a nightclub or bomb a marathon, but we have no foolproof way of telling them apart. And even many Muslims who would not shoot up an office party in San Bernardino will still sympathize with the perpetrators. And even those Muslims who don’t will often continue supporting the Muslim lobby of organizations like CAIR that stymie law enforcement investigations of Islamic terrorism.

Muslim immigration makes Muslim terrorism worse.

Once we understand this inconvenient truth, then everything else naturally flows from it. The type of terrorism that we are dealing now won’t be beaten by breaking up organizations or droning terrorist leaders in training camps in Yemen or Pakistan. The enemy is right here. He speaks our language. He walks down our streets. He looks at us with hate in his Halal heart and he plots to kill us.

He may pledge allegiance to ISIS or Al Qaeda, but he is part of the larger organization of Islam. It is this organization, more than any of its Jihadist factional subdivisions, that represents the true threat.

Lone wolf terrorism is a viral threat that is spread by Islamic migration. We can only end it by closing the door. As long as the door to the Muslim migrant stays open, we will live under the threat that our neighbor or co-worker will be the one to kill us tomorrow or the day after that.

Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooter Pictured in Islamic Garb – Posted on Weapons Forum About Jihadi Videos

santiago-isis-finger-salute

The Gateway Pundit, by Jim Hoft, January 7, 2016:

On Friday a lone shooter killed 4-5 people and injured several more at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport in Florida.
The gunman was later identified…

Shooter Identified: Esteban Santiago

Esteban Santiago was born in 1990 in New Jersey. He grew up in Puerto Rico and currently lived within walking distance of Alaska’s only mosque.

This photo of Esteban Santiago was first posted at GotNews.org.

santiago-1-1

The mainstream media later posted the photo but forgot to mention that Santiago is wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh, a garment made famous by Palestinian terror leader Yassier Arafat. Santiago is also holding his finger in a position common to members of ISIS.

Esteban Santiago told FBI officials in November he was ISIS.

Then there’s this…
It looks like Esteban posted on an obscure internet forum discussing Islamic videos in 2007.
Via Got News:

Here is Santiago’s email address from a criminal report in 2015— “Naota33@hotmail.com”

naotaemail

This same email address “Naota33” popped up on an explosives and weapons forum on downloading Islamist videos back in 2007.

lauderdale-1

“Naota33” comments that “the first link is the only one that works”, indicating he tried to download multiple videos of radical Islamic jihadist propaganda online.

lauderdale-2

This story is developing……

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CSP’s Jim Hanson at the 4 min. mark:

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