The Horrors of Honor Violence: Terrorism At Home

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 18, 2018

She was a 15-year-old student at San Antonio’s Taft High School with a soft smile and dark eyes. Like most girls her age in Texas, she favored blue jeans. Unlike most girls her age in Texas, in 2017 she was promised in marriage to a man 10 years her senior, who would pay her parents $20,000 to take her as his wife.

But the Iraqi-born Maarib Al Hishmawi had no intention of marrying so young, least of all to a man so much older and whom she hardly even knew. She refused.

Her parents, who had moved to the United States from their native Iraq two years prior, were furious. They “choked her almost to the point of unconsciousness,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar. They beat her with broomsticks. Her mother, 33-year-old Hamdiya Sabah Al Hismawi, threw hot oil on her body.

Maarib escaped, running away from home in January. Claiming they feared she’d been kidnapped, her parents called in local police and the FBI to help track her down. But even from the start, Salazar told CBS News, it was clear to him that “this wasn’t an ordinary missing persons case.” When police found her in an undisclosed location some weeks later, Maarib explained her story. She and her five brothers were taken in by Child Protective Services and her parents immediately taken into custody. Her father blamed Maarib for his arrest.

This is not just a story about domestic abuse. It is a story about cultural mores, institutionalized violence against women and girls (and occasionally young men) in the name of family honor. And it happens to thousands of them every year, not just in places like Afghanistan and Somalia and Iraq, but in America, England, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, and elsewhere across the Western world.

Honor violence, according to Phyllis Chesler, the author of A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killings and several studies on the subject, is a form of “tribal violence.” It differs from domestic abuse in that honor violence involves “carefully planned conspiracies and may be perpetrated by multiple family-of-origin members.” Honor violence also differs from domestic abuse in aim: rather than violence directed at a woman’s immediate behavior, such as coming home late, or failing to serve a perfect meal, honor-based violence aims to punish women who “are seen to be acting too ‘western’ or who have relationships or friendships which transgress gender, caste, ethnic or religious distinctions,” according to a 2008 CIVITAS report. “Women’s behavior which is viewed as ‘unacceptable’ by families and communities can include having a boyfriend of different race, religion, caste or wearing ‘western style clothing and listening to ‘western’ music.”

Such violence is also not limited to Muslims, says Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini, author of Murder in the Name of Honor. “While some Muslims do murder in the name of honor – and sometimes claim justification through the teachings of Islam – Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and others also maintain traditions and religious justifications that attempt to legitimize honor killings,” she writes.

Weapons of choice often differ from non-honor-related abuse, involving acid attacks, burning, or hot oil as with Al Hishmawi. Many rights organizations, including the Ayaan Hirsi Ali (AHA) Foundation, also consider forced marriage and female circumcision, or FGM, to be forms of honor violence.

While Chesler’s work focuses on honor killing and not honor violence in general, her observations about the nature of honor killings applies as well to honor violence. “Brothers, uncles, fathers, and other male relatives usually commit the murder, although mothers have also been known to collaborate in the murders of their daughters; sometimes, they are even hands-on perpetrator,” she said in a recent e-mail. By contrast, “Batterers who murder in the West are usually acting in an unplanned and spontaneous way. They alone are the perpetrators. Their own families do not assist them nor does the victim’s family of origin.” Moreover, she adds, “In the West, batterers and wife killers are not celebrated—they are shunned. If possible, they are also prosecuted.” Yet those who commit honor killings and honor violence, she said, “are viewed as heroes who have saved their family’s honor. Thus, they feel no shame or remorse.”

Indeed, even the victims may feel they “deserve” their fates, or at least show understanding of their abusers. When 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi was spotted talking to a boy near their home in Phoenix, Ariz., her mother and sister padlocked her to a bed so she could not escape and then beat her severely. Officials handling the case learned later that Altameemi’s father also once held a kitchen knife to her throat and her mother burned her with a hot spoon when she refused an arranged marriage. Yet at their trial, Aiya wailed that she wanted her mother back, and later defended her to reporters. “We are Muslim,” she said. “Our culture says no talking to boys.”

While growing attention to the phenomenon of honor killings has led to greater oversight by most Western governments, many of which now recognize such murders as a distinct category, honor violence remains largely overlooked and misunderstood. Too often it is grouped with domestic violence, which ignores the true and most insidious nature of the threat. Those facing honor violence have nowhere to run – not their mothers, their sisters, their imams. Consequently, treating the problem of honor violence is far more complicated than handling domestic abuse, or simply putting the husband or other family in prison.

What’s more, Western countries are only now starting to recognize the magnitude of the problem, said Amanda Parker, senior director of the AHA Foundation, an organization that fights honor violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. “Across the board, when you see the data being collected in each of the countries, the consensus from experts is that the estimates are low because these are crimes that are not reported, are kept under wraps within families and then there is a judgment call among those who are collecting the data,” she said in a recent phone conversation. “Are they going to actually define it as ‘honor violence’?”

Even official estimates can vary widely. In the Netherlands, the only country with a special police force dedicated to honor crimes, officials registered 452 incidents in 2015. But police receive approximately 3,000 reports of honor-related violence each year, claims criminologist Janine Janssen of the National Expertise Center for Honor Related Violence and author of the Dutch handbook Focus on Honor. According to Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant, 80 percent of these incidents take place in Turkish-Dutch families, 20 percent in Dutch-Moroccan, and 10 percent in Iraqi, Afghan, and Kurdish homes. Others occur in families with roots in the Balkans, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan, and in Hindu families from Suriname.

These numbers seem relatively consistent Europe-wide. In the UK, for instance, the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO) registered 2,823 incidents in 2011, a 57 percent increase over 2010. It is not clear whether the increase in reported assaults is due to an actual rise in the number of incidents, increased bravery among victims in reporting, or better awareness of the problem by law enforcement itself.

And in Sweden, where in 2016 a man cut off his wife’s nose and upper lip before stabbing her 66 times in her home, 97 people were serving time for honor-related crimes, according to a 2017 State Department report. A separate 2007 report estimated that 1,500-2,000 women “had been subjected to honor-related violence” that year alone, exclusively among Muslim immigrant families. The State Department report quotes cabinet minister Nyamko Sabuni, a Congolese immigrant, as saying that honor violence against women had reached “urgent proportions.”

None of these figures, however, seem to reflect the problem of FGM, which is at least as urgent in the West. “Forced marriage and female genital mutilation are acts of violence in that they are acts of physical or emotional force that are intended to preserve or improve the family honor,” said an Honor Violence Study Report produced by the Maryland-based research outlet WESTAT. The numbers are shocking. The State Department report cites data showing 53,000 victims in France, most of whom were “recent immigrants from sub-Saharan African countries.” In Germany, the numbers are similar, at an estimated 48,000 victims, with about 9,000 adolescent girls at risk; and in the Netherlands, an estimated 29,000 have suffered FGM, with 40 to 50 young girls are still at risk each year according to a 2013 report.

Although FGM is illegal in all of these countries, prosecution is sporadic. “Despite having legislation in place since 1985, the United Kingdom has failed to prosecute any perpetrators of FGM,” the AHA Foundation noted, this while the country recorded 5,391 incidents in 2016-2017. Moreover, “only 26 states in the US specifically ban FGM,” the foundation reported last month, yet more than 110,000 women and girls at risk live in the 24 states that do not. Worse: according to Amanda Parker, “The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than half a million women and girls are at risk of FGM in the US.” And if that’s just for FGM, she says, “the numbers facing honor violence have to be giant.”

Parker and others are also concerned that recent immigration crackdowns in the United States may make the matter worse, as immigrant women and girls become more fearful of seeking help. And the lack of training among law enforcement makes it difficult to prosecute honor crimes when women do report them. “The main thing is that those who are best-placed to count these incidents are really law enforcement, and they aren’t sure what they’re looking at when they see it,” she says. Training, as has been done in the Netherlands, is therefore crucial. “If there were a box they could tick that said ‘reclaiming family honor,’ that would work,” notes Parker, “but we are very far from that at this point.”

Still, she and other activists against honor violence remain hopeful. “As slowly as things are moving,” says Parker, “they are actually moving.”

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands. Follow her at @radicalstates.

Senate: Two-Tiered Justice System in FBI Clinton/Trump Investigations

IG Horowitz, FBI Director Wray Grilled by Lawmakers

By Sara Carter, June 18, 2018:

Chairman Charles Grassley of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee outlined the stark double standard at Monday’s much-anticipated hearing with the FBI’s handling of its investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for government business and the bureau’s highly partisan investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Grassley, R-Iowa, stated “justice should be blind” but contended that it was not in the case of FBI’s handling of the Clinton and Trump investigations. He noted that based on the evidence collected in the more than 500-page report released by Inspector General Michael Horowitz last week, along with information and evidence collected by numerous Congressional committees, evidence of bias against Trump was insurmountable.

Grassley stressed, “most of the time, evidence of political bias is not so explicit. The details in this report confirm what the American people have suspected all along. Hillary Clinton got the kid-glove treatment.”

“The contrast to the Russia probe is stark,” Grassley stated. “The biggest difference, of course, is the appointment of a Special Counsel. Attorney General (Loretta) Lynch refused to appoint one. The appearance of political influence was inevitable.”

Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray were grilled by lawmakers during the hours-long hearing, which consisted of questioning regarding the use of FBI informants in investigations, the handling of the Clinton investigation and the extraordinary bias in the FBI by senior special agents in the field. Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, said he was “disappointed” in Wray’s response last week, to Horowitz’s report telling Wray there was a “serious problem” within senior bureau leadership and that these cases appear not to be an aberration but a deep cultural breakdown within the FBI.

At the hearing Grassley laid out the extraordinary differences in the investigations and questioned Horowitz, asking him if “granting immunity is the only way to gain truthful testimony from witnesses,” referencing the highly unusual decision by the FBI to grant immunity to Clinton and her aides before they were interviewed. Both Wray and Horowitz noted that it was not the only way to extract information from witnesses but did not expand on why it was handled in such a manner. Horowitz also revealed that his office is handling an investigation into Comey’s leaking of personal memos to his friend and the New York Times, which initiated the opening of a Special Counsel to investigate Trump.

Horowitz sent a strong message to the FBI during his opening statement telling lawmakers, “as detailed in our report, we found that the inappropriate political messages cast a cloud over the Midyear investigation sowed doubt about the credibility of the FBI’s handling of it, and impacted the reputation of the FBI. Moreover, we found the implication that senior FBI employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects to be deeply troubling and antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”

Grassley noted that had Horowitz not discovered the onslaught of anti-Trump texts between embattled FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who worked the Clinton investigation and headed the Russia investigation, and his paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, “they would still be there today.”

If the evidence had not been discovered, the pair would “still be investigating the Trump campaign,” Grassley said. “They would still be texting about how they despised President Trump and everyone who voted for him. They would still be plotting about how to use their official positions to, “stop him.”

“We just wouldn’t know about it. Remember these facts every time you hear the press or my friends on the other side of the aisle claim that this report found “no bias.” You may hear that talking point a lot today, but don’t be fooled,” Grassley added. “(Special Counsel) Robert Mueller removed these people from his team. Why? Obviously, because this kind of political bias has no place in law enforcement. When it was exposed so clearly, Mr. Mueller had no other choice.”

Under questioning, Horowitz admitted that the discovery of Strzok and Page texts were disturbing.

“That should not be downplayed by anybody,” Horowitz said. “I cannot think of anything more concerning than law enforcement officer suggesting that they may use their powers to effect a presidential election.”

Grassley Notes Stark Differences in Trump Clinton Investigation:

  • Under Lynch, Comey drafted a public exoneration of Clinton before 17 key witnesses were interviewed.
  • Under Rosenstein, no one seriously thinks Robert Mueller would plan a press conference to exonerate Trump before his investigators’ work is done.
  • Under Lynch, a low-level IT worker lied to the FBI twice about destroying records under subpoena and got immunity.
  • Under Rosenstein, a low-level Trump campaign associate provided the wrong date for a conversation with a professor and got charged with lying to the FBI.
  • Under Lynch, Clinton’s lawyers and aides who improperly held classified information got carefully crafted agreements to limit searches of their computers by consent.
  • Under Rosenstein, Trump’s lawyers and former aides got raided and hauled before grand juries.

Grassley also stressed the breakdown in the culture at the FBI and Horowitz’s discovery that numerous senior FBI agents were being wined and dined by reporters against FBI protocol.

“The FBI has managed to promote a culture that winks at unauthorized disclosures to the press but punishes legally-protected whistleblowing. It stiff-arms Congressional oversight to hide embarrassing facts, while it leaks self-serving tidbits to friendly reporters bearing gifts. Director Wray has quite a mess to clean up,” Grassley stated.

IG Diagram of FBI contacts with reporters

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chided the FBI’s leadership team under Comey and questioned Horowitz about the IG report’s finding regarding the lack of documentary evidence of bias in the FBI.  Cornyn said it was a “fair inference to draw that Comey was worried about his future during the Clinton investigation” and changed ‘grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” and asked Horowitz if he was also surprised that Comey was using a private Gmail account at the same time he was investigating Clinton for using a private email server.

Horowitz said he was surprised Comey was using a private account and that he couldn’t judge whether or not Comey made his decision based on his belief that Clinton was going to become president.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, also demanded Horowitz open an investigation to find out whether former FBI Director Andrew McCabe attended a meeting with Strzok and Page, which they discussed in a text an “insurance policy” against Trump if he were to become president.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Horowitz said he believes “Andy” is in reference to McCabe. Horowitz noted that Strzok said McCabe was at a meeting with him but McCabe said he could not recall the meeting.

Graham, in apparent frustration, asked Wray, “have you ever prosecuted a case based on circumstantial evidence, Mr. Wray?”

Director Wray, said, “yes, I have.”

“If you’re on our side of the aisle this really hits you hard,” Graham added. “I’m not buying that the Clinton email investigation is on the up and up.”

Wray noted that the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, responsible for investigating agents, is in the process of investigating agents and once it is complete “will hold every person accountable,” Wray said.

Grassley pointed out that Lynch, Former FBI Director James Comey, and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe declined to testify.  According to Grassley, “McCabe’s lawyer wrote that his client would rely on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering any questions here today.”

“Mr. Comey’s attorney tells us he is out of the country, although I saw he was in Iowa over the weekend,” Grassley stated in his opening statement. “According to his twitter feed, he seems to be having a wonderful time. This is the second time since he was fired that Mr. Comey refused an invitation to testify here voluntarily. He has time for book tours and television interviews, but apparently no time to assist this Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the Justice Department.”

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Also see:

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IG Horowitz: ‘We Did Not Have Confidence’ Strzok Acted ‘Free From Bias’

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Graham to IG Horowitz: Eventually ‘Very Concerned’ Gets to Be ‘Enough Already’

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SPLC Agrees to $3.4 Million Settlement for Smearing Maajid Nawaz

IPT News, June 18, 2018

A non-profit organization devoted to fighting hate and extremism has agreed to paynearly $3.4 million to another non-profit organization devoted to fighting hate and extremism.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which made a name for itself suing the Ku Klux Klan, admitted Monday that it incorrectly included Muslim reformer and Quilliam Foundation co-founder Maajid Nawaz in a 2016 “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”

“Since we published the Field Guide, we have taken the time to do more research,” SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a video apology. Through that post-publication research, SPLC learned “that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”

The settlement amount is striking given Nawaz’s status as a public figure. He is a radio host in London, the author of a best-selling autobiography about his evolution from radical Islamist to liberal reformer, and he is a frequent guest on cable news programs discussing radicalization and Quilliam’s programs to counter it.

In addition to the money, the SPLC published a retraction and President Richard Cohen issued a video apology.

The field guide, which was offered as “a journalist’s manual,” aimed to silence voices critical of Islam, its political manifestations and terrorism carried out in the religion’s name. It also named Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson, and ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The SPLC removed it from its website in April.

The original report said Nawaz wanted to ban women from wearing the niqab or veils in public, but Nawaz argued it misrepresented his views, which he spelled out in 2013:

“It is … our duty to insist individuals remove the veil when they enter identity-sensitive environments such as banks, airports, courts and schools. … Here’s my test: where a balaclava, motorcycle helmet or face mask would be deemed inappropriate, so should a niqab. It’s simple really.”

The report contained no statements Nawaz made that could be seen as anti-Muslim. It did mention his bachelor party visit to a strip club. Ironically, it claimed Nawaz “is far more interested in self-promotion and money than in any particular ide­ological dispute.”

The report was revised subsequently, but still failed to deliver evidence that a Muslim man who once served years in an Egyptian prison for his work with the radical Hizb-ut-Tahrir, was anti-Muslim. During a 2017 appearance at Duke University, the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich claimed that Nawaz belonged on the anti-Muslim extremist list because he advocated mass surveillance of mosques.

Nawaz angrily denied this and demanded Beirich retract the statement. Monday’s apology does not specifically mention this error.

While Nawaz never filed a lawsuit, he retained a prominent Washington-based law firm known for successful libel actions. They sent the SPLC a demand letter on April 18, saying the SPLC’s “false accusations have also caused substantial economic harm, to the tune of millions of dollars in lost donations and lost opportunities.”Nawaz thanked people who supported him in his threatened legal fight, saying they helped “to fight back against the Regressive Left and show them that moderate Muslims will not be silenced.”

The settlement can be an “instructive moment for all of us,” he said in a video posted to his Twitter feed. He invited the SPLC “to join us at Quilliam, work with us to challenge Islamist extremism and anti-Muslim bigotry wherever we find it,” saying “for too long, the left – many on the left – have been trying to shut down any debate or critique or criticism around Islam, especially by Muslims within Muslim communities.”

It is something Nawaz has been willing to do, which perhaps created the kinds of grudges that landed him on the SPLC’s list in the first place.

While SPLC opened its checkbook, it seems unlikely to accept Nawaz’s invitation to join him. As we reported earlier this month, the SPLC has stayed silent about anti-Semitism and other hate speech from Muslim clerics and Islamist activists.

11 Quick Things To Know About The Inspector General’s Report

Photo DoD photo by Cherie Cullen

The Justice Department inspector general report about the FBI reveals a shocking anti-Trump, pro-Hillary bias endemic to the agency’s related investigations.

The Federalist, by Mollie Hemingway, June 15, 2018:

On Thursday, the Justice Department’s inspector general released a long-anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server that handled classified information. Here are some quick takeaways from the report.

1. Learn How To Interpret An IG Report

The best way to understand an inspector general (IG) report is less as a fiercely independent investigation that seeks justice and more like what you’d expect from a company’s human resources department. Employees frequently think that a company’s human resources department exists to serve employees. There’s some truth in that, but it’s more true that the human resources department exists to serve the corporation.

At the end of the day, the HR department wants what’s best for the company. The FBI’s IG Michael Horowitz has a good reputation for good reason. But his report is in support of the FBI and its policies and procedures. As such, the findings will be focused on helping the FBI improve its adherence to those policies and procedures. Those who expected demands for justice in the face of widespread evidence of political bias and poor judgment by immature agents and executives were people unfamiliar with the purpose of IG reports.

The IG is also a government bureaucrat producing government products that are supposed to be calm and boring. In the previous report that led to Andrew McCabe’s firing as deputy director of the FBI and referral for criminal prosecution, his serial lying under oath was dryly phrased as “lack of candor.” In this report detailing widespread problems riddled throughout the Clinton email probe, the language is similarly downplayed. That’s particularly true in the executive summary, which attempts to downplay the actual details that fill the report with evidence of poor decision-making, extreme political bias, and problematic patterns of behavior.

2. FBI Agent Who Led Both The Clinton and Trump Probes Promised He’d Prevent Trump’s Election

Such as this one! On page 420, the IG says that the conduct of five FBI employees who were caught talking about their extreme political bias in the context of their duties “has brought discredit to themselves, sowed doubt about the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation, and impacted the reputation of the FBI.” The Midyear investigation was the code for the Clinton probe. Or note this blistering passage:

[W]hen one senior FBI official, [Peter] Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, [Lisa] Page, that ‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from being elected—after other extensive text messages between the two disparaging candidate Trump—it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

The report goes on to say that the text messages and Strzok’s decision to prioritize the counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign over the Clinton email criminal investigation “led us to conclude that we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision was free from bias.”

This text is not just interesting because the FBI’s deputy head of the counterintelligence division who was investigating a major-party candidate told the woman he was cheating on his wife with that “we” would stop the candidate from becoming president. It’s also interesting because this text was hidden from congressional committees performing oversight of the FBI.

3. Comey Mishandled The Clinton Probe In Multiple Ways

It’s worth re-reading Acting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s May 9, 2017, recommendation that James Comey be fired as FBI director. He cited Comey’s usurpation of the attorney general’s authority in his press conference announcing that Clinton’s case would be closed without prosecution, the release of derogatory information about Clinton despite the decision to not indict her, and Comey’s letter to Congress announcing the FBI had reopened a probe against Clinton.

The IG backs up each and every one of those critiques, and adds much more detail to them.

We concluded that Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct. We also found that Comey usurped the authority of the Attorney General, and inadequately and incompletely described the legal position of Department prosecutors.

The IG said Comey violated longstanding department practice to avoid “trashing people we’re not charging.” He also inadequately and incompletely explained how Justice prosecutors came to make decisions. “Many of the problems with the statement resulted from Comey’s failure to coordinate with Department officials,” the IG wrote. Had he talked with them, they would have warned him about the problems his statement posed. What’s more, the prosecutors had a very different understanding of why they were declining to charge Clinton than the one Comey claimed they had in his public press conference.

Comey also violated departmental practice in announcing publicly he reopened the probe after additional relevant emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Both of these decisions were controversial inside and outside the agency.

4. Comey Is Slippery And Weird

The 568-page report includes many examples of Comey being duplicitous and sneaky during his handling of the Clinton email probe. For instance, he asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch how to handle questions regarding the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information on a secret server. She told him to call it a “matter.” He didn’t object and even complied.

But a year later, the conversation was leaked to The New York Times in a story that painted Comey as a non-partisan truth-teller beset by both Democrats and Republicans. Daniel Richman, the same man who was used to leak Comey’s anti-Trump memos, was a source for the anti-Lynch story.

Comey threatened to appoint a special counsel in the Clinton probe if Justice officials didn’t help him get what he wanted. He bizarrely claimed he was going to announce he’d make no recommendation on the Clinton email probe. He decided he was going to make a solo announcement trashing Clinton while announcing she was not being charged, but let the Justice Department think they would be making a statement together:

Comey admitted that he concealed his intentions from the Department until the morning of his press conference on July 5, and instructed his staff to do the same, to make it impracticable for Department leadership to prevent him from delivering his statement. We found that it was extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to do so, and we found none of his reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established Department policies in a way intentionally designed to avoid supervision by Department leadership over his actions.

He claimed that he didn’t grasp the significance of the hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails being found on Weiner’s computer because he didn’t know that Weiner was married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Beyond being too ridiculous to believe, the claim is hardly exonerating. It would mean he was not interested to learn that hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails relevant to a highly charged criminal investigation were found on the laptop of an unrelated man.

Comey asked Justice officials for feedback on his decisions but did so through assistants, suggesting he viewed any feedback as a dangerous encroachment on his decision-making.

“We asked Comey why he asked for the Department’s feedback and then ignored the feedback that he received,” the IG wrote. Later, “Both Lynch and [Deputy Attorney General Sally] Yates explained that they were concerned that any direct discussion with Comey—particularly any discussion in which they told him not to send the letter—would be perceived as an attempt to prevent him from fulfilling his ‘personal ethical obligation’ to notify Congress. Both stated that they were concerned that the fact of any such direct discussions would leak and would be portrayed as Department leadership attempting to ‘prevent information damaging to a candidate from coming out’ (Lynch) or ‘strong-arming’ Comey (Yates).”

5. FBI Has A Massive Leak Problem And Is Doing Nothing About It

As mentioned, both Lynch and Yates were worried that performing legitimate oversight of Comey would be leaked against them to the media. Fear of leaks was also mentioned by many top FBI officials as a major reason that the Southern District of New York was able to force the FBI to reopen the Clinton probe.

“We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review,” the report stated. Two attachments were included showing rampant discussions with reportersby people not authorized to be talking to reporters. One FBI executive was caught having had 26 conversations with one reporter and seven conversations with another reporter. They even created charts to help show how rampant the conversations were:

The report showed myriad FBI employees violating FBI policy and department ethics rules.

FBI employees received tickets to sporting events from journalists, went on golfing outings with media representatives, were treated to drinks and meals after work by reporters, and were the guests of journalists at nonpublic social events.

The IG said the leaks were difficult to track down because of how many people had access to classified and non-public information. The IG also said the culture of widespread leaking made it difficult to crack down:

Second, although FBI policy strictly limits the employees who are authorized to speak to the media, we found that this policy appeared to be widely ignored during the period we reviewed. We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. The large number of FBI employees who were in contact with journalists during this time period impacted our ability to identify the sources of leaks.

6. FBI Almost Got Away With Ignoring Clinton Emails On Weiner Laptop

In September 2016, when an investigator in the Southern District of New York found hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails and Blackberry messages on a laptop being searched in relation to an investigation of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, he immediately alerted his supervisors. They alerted the FBI, who sat on the information for weeks, only acting after the New York office complained repeatedly.

By October 3, the case agent assigned to the Weiner investigation expressed concern that the FBI appeared to be sitting on what he’d told them. Later he told the IG:

The crickets I was hearing was really making me uncomfortable because something was going to come crashing down…. And my understanding, which is uninformed because…I didn’t work the Hillary Clinton matter. My understanding at the time was I am telling you people I have private Hillary Clinton emails, number one, and BlackBerry messages, number two. I’m telling you that we have potentially 10 times the volume that Director Comey said we had on the record. Why isn’t anybody here? Like, if I’m the supervisor of any CI squad in Seattle and I hear about this, I’m getting on with headquarters and saying, hey, some agent working child porn here may have [Hillary Clinton] emails. Get your -ss on the phone, call [the case agent], and get a copy of that drive, because that’s how you should be. And that nobody reached out to me within, like, that night, I still to this day I don’t understand what the hell went wrong.

And I told her, I’m a little scared here. I don’t know what to do because I’m not political. Like I don’t care who wins this election, but this is going to make us look really, really horrible. And it could ruin this case, too. And…I said the thing that also bothers me is that Comey’s testimony is inaccurate. And as a big admirer of the guy, and I think he’s a straight shooter, I wanted to, I felt like he needed to know, like, we got this. And I didn’t know if he did.

Although all the relevant information was given to the FBI by September 29, they came back to the agent weeks later to ask questions he’d repeatedly answered. But the FBI agents claimed that the information they learned in late October was new to them. The IG says this is not true: “By no later than September 29, the FBI had learned virtually every fact that was cited by the FBI in late October as justification for obtaining the search warrant for the Weiner laptop.”

The FBI claimed that they didn’t take action on the laptop because “1. The FBI Midyear team was waiting for additional information about the contents of the laptop from NYO, which was not provided until late October. 2. The FBI Midyear team could not review the emails without additional legal authority, such as consent or a new search warrant. 3. The FBI Midyear team and senior FBI officials did not believe that the information on the laptop was likely to be significant. 4. Key members of the FBI Midyear team had been reassigned to the investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election, which was a higher priority.”

The IG said these excuses were hogwash, saying that the first was “unpersuasive,” the second “illogical,” the third “inconsistent” and “insufficient,” and the fourth “unpersuasive and concerning.” The overarching feeling of the report is that the FBI leaders who handled both the Clinton and Trump probes worked very hard to pretend the Weiner incident didn’t happen, only being forced by the New York office’s insistence that protocol be followed.

7. Breathtaking Bias

Some FBI defenders latched onto the IG’s claim that he “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific
investigative decisions we reviewed.” All that means is that none of the politically biased texts specifically said political bias was leading them to make certain decisions. Of course, that would be a weird thing to find in any case.

What the investigators found, however, was breathtaking anti-Trump and pro-Clinton bias from five of the key employees handling the Clinton email probe. No evidence was found of pro-Trump bias. And this evidence of profound bias is only for those who were foolish enough to record their extreme views. The IG also apparently had no texts from Justice Department officials, perhaps because Justice didn’t preserve them.

The texts range from vile insults of Trump and his supporters to fears about how awful a Trump presidency would be and the need to prevent it. One employee said Trump voters were “all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS.” One FBI lawyer discussed feeling “numb” by Trump’s November 2016 election win, later proclaiming “Viva le Resistance” when asked about Trump.

Strzok wrote in July 2016, “Trump is a disaster. I have no idea how destabilizing his Presidency would be.” After the election, Page wrote that she’d bought “All the President’s Men,” adding, “Figure I needed to brush up on watergate.” The two openly fantasize about impeachment.

In the preparation to interview Clinton as part of the criminal probe, Page tells a handful of her colleagues to take it easy on Clinton. “One more thing: she might be our next president. The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear.”

After each text exchange, the IG report includes defenses from the agents, some even harder to believe than the previous:

August 8, 2016: In a text message on August 8, 2016, Page stated, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok responded, ‘No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.’ When asked about this text message, Strzok stated that he did not specifically recall sending it, but that he believed that it was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation.

Sure, hoss.

All five of the FBI employees were referred back to the FBI for disciplinary action.

8. Clinton Got Breaks, But Some Backfired

While Comey harmed Clinton with how he handled his public announcements about her case, the IG report paints an investigation that was overall quite favorable toward her and her associates. During the Robert Mueller investigation, the federal government has played hardball with Trump associates, ringing them up on false statement charges, raiding their offices, arresting them without warning, and encroaching on attorney-client relationships. For Clinton, a much different approach was taken.

To take just one example, look at the case of Paul Combetta, an employee who handled the migration of Clinton’s email accounts across servers then later deleted the emails. Clinton probe members were sure he was lying about the deletion of the emails in violation of a congressional preservation order. In repeated interviews, he claimed he didn’t delete her emails.

The agents had an email where he talked about the “Hilary coverup operation.” They decided that wasn’t a big deal. One agent said he believed Combetta should have been charged with “false statements for lying multiple times.” But overall they decided it was just so confusing, that the failure to tell the truth was “largely due to a lack of sophistication and poor legal representation.” They gave him immunity, and he started singing. He admitted deleting the emails “despite his awareness of Congress’s preservation order and his understanding that the order meant that ‘he should not disturb Clinton’s email data on the PRN server.’” Sounds nice.

It seems likely that Clinton’s handling of classified information on a secret server, and the FBI’s investigation of it, caused her problems during the 2016 election. But it’s also interesting how the efforts by many to help Clinton kept backfiring. More than anything, there is a lack of confidence that political considerations were absent from the decision to let Clinton skate.

President Obama gave interviews where he stated that Clinton didn’t have intent to harm national security, a talking point later carried by Comey himself. Even before Comey followed Obama’s lead, observers worried that Obama was giving guidance as opposed to offering his opinion. An Obama White House spokesman said he knew Clinton was not a “target” of the investigation, suggesting he had insider knowledge. The FBI claimed he didn’t have insider knowledge.

When the New York office told the FBI about Weiner’s laptop, it appears that the FBI tried to run out the election clock before dealing with it. It would have worked, too, if the New York office hadn’t pushed the matter right before the election — the absolute worst time to deal with a reopening of the investigation.

9. Obama Lied When He Said He Knew Nothing About Hillary’s Secret E-mail Scheme

The IG found that Obama was “one of the 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her clintonemail[.]com account.”

In fact, Clinton used her private email for “an exchange with then President Obama while in the territory of a foreign adversary,” a move that led investigators to believe hostile actors had likely gained access to her server. But a paragraph in a draft of Comey’s exoneration of Clinton was changed from Obama to “another senior government official,” and later deleted.

Obama had falsely told reporters he didn’t know of Clinton’s private email system.

10. FBI Agent Joked Clinton Associate Who Lied Would Never Be Charged, Questioned Legitimacy Of Investigation

FBI agents discussed how a witness who obviously lied to them about the Clinton probe would never be charged:

FBI Employee: ‘boom…how did the [witness] go’
Agent 1: ‘Awesome. Lied his -ss off. Went from never inside the scif [sensitive compartmented information facility] at res, to looked in when it was being constructed, to removed the trash twice, to troubleshot the secure fax with HRC a couple times, to everytime there was a secure fax i did it with HRC. Ridic,’
FBI Employee: ‘would be funny if he was the only guy charged n this deal’
Agent 1: ‘I know. For 1001. Even if he said the truth and didnt have a clearance when handling the secure fax – aint noone gonna do sh-t’

That same agent also openly discussed political considerations affecting the Clinton probe. The IG gave a few examples:

January 15, 2016: Responding to a question of when the investigation would be finished, Agent 1 stated, ‘[M]y guess is March. Doesnt matter what we have, political winds will want to beat the Primarys.’
January 28, 2016: ‘…The case is the same is all of them. Alot of work and bullsh-t for a political exercise.’
February 1, 2016: ‘…Its primary season – so we’re being dictated to now….’
February 1, 2016: ‘This is the biggest political sh-t show of them all. No substance. Up at dawn – pride swallowing seige. No headset and hermetically sealed in SIOC.’
February 2, 2016: Responding to a question about how the investigation was going, ‘Going well…. Busy, and sometimes I feel for naught (political exercise), but I feel good….’
May 6, 2016, to Agent 5: ‘pretty bad news today…someone has breathed some political urgency into this…. Everyday DD brief and once a week D brief from now on.’

11. FBI’s Insulting Response

FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a press conference in front of a compliant press corps where he said, “nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the FBI as an institution.” In fact, the report paints a picture of an FBI with a problematic culture.

It’s not just Comey’s usurpation of authority and failure to comply with practices. Multiple people were involved in his condemned decisions. Others were cited for bad judgement in recusal decisions or failure to adhere to recusals. Political bias was rampant in the team of people who handled both the Clinton and Trump email probes. So were leaks, accepting gifts from reporters, incompetence, and other problems.

Instead, Wray issued a strawman defense of employees, bragged about the high number of applicants to the agency, and talked about the low percentage of recruits who were accepted.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway
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Also see:

France in shock: Islamist rapper to give shows in theatre where 90 people were murdered by Islamic terrorists

Tribute to victims of the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attack in Paris at the Bataclan – Photo: Frederic Legrand – COMEO

Voice of America, By ABDELHAMID KADDOUR, June 11, 2018:

Medine, a 37-year-old openly Islamist rapper, will play in Paris’s theatre, Bataclan, the place where 89 people were killed by Islamist terrorist, the Huffington Post France reports.  

The controversial rapper, who made the album “jihad”, produces songs with lyrics like “Crucify the secularists (…) I put fatwas on the head of herks”.

Besides his Islamist and jihad promoting songs, Medine is following the teaching of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder’s grandson, Tariq Ramadan.

After the people of France heard that Medine will rap at the place where one of the most horrific Islamist attacks happened, it immediately became a political issue.

While right-wing politicians and the victim’s families wanted him to play in another place, liberals and far-left politicians support the controversial rapper.

“No French person can accept that this guy goes pour his filth at the same place where the carnage took place”, Marine le Pen twittered yesterday.

Far-left politicians such as Daniel Obono,  a deputy of party “La France Insoumise”, fully backs Medine. “It doesn’t shocks me, it’s just an artist who play at the Bataclan”, she said to BFMTV this morning.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a Muslim-friendly artist played in there since the massacres took place. Just one year after the Bataclan’s attacks, Sting sung “Inshallah”, a title dedicated to refugees.

UTT Answers the Critics

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, June 12, 2018:

Many jihadi and Marxist organizations frequently publish overtly defamatory and false comments about Understanding the Threat (UTT) and its President John Guandolo.

UTT would like to inject some truth into this situation.

The following is a list of the common attacks UTT endures, followed by UTT’s responses:

“Guandolo has made a career out of…promoting ludicrous Islamophobic conspiracy theories.”

In fact, UTT offers $1000 cash and the removal of relevant material we teach and publish to anyone who can bring something to our attention that is not true about sharia’s authority in Islam and what it says, or about the Muslim Brotherhood’s Jihadi Movement in the United States and their modus operandi.

UTT has made this offer on TV, radio, and in direct emails to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leadership for over 3 years.

So far…no takers.

“Guandolo has made a career out of demonizing Muslims…”

UTT believes speaking truth about the evil and barbaric system that is Islam’s sharia brings light to muslims trapped in this system and who are enslaved by it.  This, to us, seems the best way to demonstrate love and compassion to the muslim community, as opposed to calling a barbaric system “good” and “peaceful.”

“Guandolo’s trainings are little more than anti-Muslim witch-hunts.”

In fact, sheriffs, police chiefs, and prosecutors have opened cases as a direct result of UTT’s 3-day “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Threat” for police, intelligence professionals, and military personnel.  One police officer who attended UTT’s 3-day program identified a wanted Al Qaeda terrorist wanted by the FBI less than one week after the training, and stated UTT’s training was the reason he was able to do so.

“At an event in 2011, Guandolo claimed mosques were fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Property records, leadership at U.S. Islamic centers/mosques, investigation by UTT, and testimony in federal courts reveal approximately 80% of the over 3000 mosques in all 50 United States are controlled by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.  The Muslim Brotherhood calls Islamic centers/mosques the “axis” of their Movement, and their stated objective is to wage jihad to establish an Islamic State under sharia – the same objective as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

“Guandolo was dismissed from the FBI.”

John Guandolo left the FBI on 1 December 2008 after being recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense for a significant pay increase and significantly more responsibility.  His departure from the FBI was voluntary and honorable.

“Among his many bizarre and Islamophobic claims…that former CIA Director John Brennan was a secret Muslim…”

In fact, in February 2013, UTT’s John Guandolo was the first to break the story on a TV show hosted by The United West’s Tom Trento discussing U.S. government personnel with direct knowledge of John Brennan’s conversion to Islam when Mr. Brennan was the CIA Station Chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990’s.  In June 2017, former CIA Station Chief Brad Johnson publicly stated on the Glazov Gang TV show that many people in the CIA told him they heard and knew of John Brennan’s conversion to Islam.

See the video HERE.

“Among his many bizarre and Islamophobic claims…that Muslims are “obligated” to lie, and that it is “unprofessional” for officials to seek information about Islam from Islamic religious leaders (imams).”

Authoritative Islamic law – sharia – mandates lying by muslims to non-muslims when the objective is obligatory.  In Islamic law, jihad is obligatory.

The Um dat al Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) is authoritative sharia approved by the highest authority in Islam – Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.  It states:   “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives…it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.”

Islamic scholars and all sharia mandate lying by muslims to non-muslims when the goal is obligatory.  Advancing Islam is obligatory.  Jihad is obligatory.  Islamic leaders who know and understand sharia lie to non-muslims to advance Islam and have been caught doing so on numerous occasions.

Therefore, it is unprofessional for a non-muslim to use an Islamic scholar or Imam as the source of understanding of Islam because Islamic scholars and Imams know sharia and, therefore, understand their duty under sharia to lie to police chiefs, pastors, Members of Congress, Presidents, school board officials, and others in order to advance Islam.

Guandolo claims most Islamic organizations in America are a threat.

The largest terrorism financing trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history – US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Dallas 2008 – was the culmination of a 15 year FBI investigation.  The evidence in this case reveals there is an “Islamic Movement” in the United States primarily led by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

The evidence also reveals the most prominent Islamic organizations in the United States are a part of this Muslim Brotherhood network whose stated objective is to wage “civilization jihad” until they establish an Islamic state (caliphate) under sharia (Islamic law).

The Muslim Brotherhood’s published By-Laws also reaffirm this.

Evidence in the US v HLF trial reveals the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood was ordered by MB headquarters in Egypt to create a Palestine Committee to be a node for the terrorist group Hamas in the United States.  The USMB created four (4) organizations to fulfill this mission, including the HLF and CAIR.

US v HLF and other evidence reveals MB groups in America include, but are not limited to:

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)

Muslim Students Association (MSA)

Muslim American Society (MAS)

Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA)

International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)

Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA)

It is UTT’s hope the reader will read and study these responses so he/she can boldly speak truth using these responses as a guide.

UTT encourages our readers and followers not to be angry with our adversaries.  They are doing what they do.  We should pity them that all they have are lies and ad hominem attacks.

They certainly do not have the truth.

Also see: 

One Year After Pulse Nightclub Attack, Orlando Sentinel Gaslights Omar Mateen’s Motive

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 12, 2017:

One year ago today, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando became a killing zone and the site of the worst terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11 — 49 patrons killed and 58 more injured:

During the attack, the killer Omar Mateen called 911 three times and also called a local TV station to claim credit, saying he did the attack in support of the Islamic State.

But in a trend I’ve documented here at PJ Media, despite these obvious “investigative clues,” there are media outlets, family members, and law enforcement officials who still puzzle over Mateen’s motive.

Remarkably, the Orlando Sentinel, the largest newspaper in the city where the Pulse nightclub attack occurred, published an article last week before the one year anniversary of the attack gaslighting the killer’s motive:

Sentinel reporter Paul Brinkmann floated debunked conspiracy theories that Mateen was secretly gay and self-loathing, interviewing two former law enforcement behavioral profilers — neither of whom worked the case.

Brinkmann also interviewed a gay rights activist who claims that ISIS was a convenient scapegoat for his true motives:

Multiple people have said over the past year they think Omar Mateen was a regular at the club or that he was gay himself — even though U.S. law enforcement officials and the FBI reportedly found no evidence to support those theories. Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch originally called the shooting a hate crime and a terrorist attack.

Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, the group tracking gay killings, sees no conflict between those ideas, and neither do criminal profilers and others interviewed about Mateen’s motive.

“There are domestic factors and international factors, and both are so important,” Stern said, referring to Mateen’s history, life experiences and ISIS. “For Omar Mateen, ISIS was simply the justification.”

It bears repeating that these conspiracy theories floated by the media for weeks last year after the shooting were investigated by the FBI, which found zerp support for them:

Are we really to believe that if the FBI had discovered some support for this conspiracy theory, the Obama administration and Attorney General Loretta Lynch wouldn’t have rode that horse until it died?

As I reported here at PJ Media, the New York Times, too, engaged in gaslighting the killer’s motive:

The fact is that Omar Mateen himself repeatedly stated what his motive was — during the attack.

The evidence: three 911 calls, the phone call he made to a local TV station, discussions he had with the hostage negotiator on the scene, posts he made to Facebook during the attack, and even comments he made to the victims.

All of that evidence is consistent and unmistakably clear.

There is no evidence whatsoever supporting the media conspiracy theories now attempting to call into question all of these verified pieces of evidence:

First are the infamous 911 calls made by Mateen where he openly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State:

As readers might recall, the Obama administration initially redacted the transcript of the 911 calls of any Islamic references:

Only after public criticism did the Obama Justice Department and the FBI release the unredacted transcripts:

The DOJ/FBI joint statement attempted to explain their eyeroll-worthy reasoning for initially redacting the 911 call transcript, claiming the redactions were for the sake of “transparency” but also to be “sensitive”:

The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation. We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda.

Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime.  As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.

Second is the phone call that Mateen made to a news producer at News 13 Orlando where he said that he did the attack for the Islamic State:

CNN aired an interview with that news producer:

Third, a hostage negotiator on the scene who spoke with Mateen inside the night club says Mateen told him he was retaliating for the U.S. killing of an ISIS leader in Syria a month earlier:

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