Shootout at U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo Part of Cartel-Terrorist Attack Plan for Trump Inauguration

arton112949Judicial Watch, January 12, 2017:

A deadly shootout at the construction site of the new American Consulate occurred this week in a Mexican border town where Islamic terrorists and drug cartels plan to launch attacks against the U.S. during the period surrounding the presidential inauguration, high-level government sources tell Judicial Watch. An unknown number of gunmen fired multiple rounds adjacent to the new U.S. Consulate compound in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a crime-infested city in the state of Tamaulipas that lies directly across from Laredo, Texas.

The Mexican military responded to the attack, law enforcement sources on both sides of the border confirm insisting that their identities be kept confidential for security reasons, and at least three soldiers were either killed or critically wounded in the ambush. A local newspaper in Tamaulipas reported that 13 people died during a shootout in Nuevo Laredo, referring to the deceased as heavily armed “delinquents” with an arsenal that includes 12 automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, grenade, loads of ammunition and drugs in three vehicles, one of them armored. The deceased have not been identified and Mexican authorities will continue to investigate, the article states, attributing the information to a press release issued by Mexico’s Defense Secretary.

Judicial Watch’s law enforcement and intelligence sources say the barrage outside what’s soon to be the new U.S. Consulate is connected to a broad operation between Islamic terrorists and Mexican drug cartels to send President-elect Donald Trump a message by engaging in attacks at border ports. “Cartels usually don’t work with jihadists for fear of having the border shut down,” a veteran federal law enforcement official told Judicial Watch. “But Trump is causing so much disruption in Mexico that they are partnering to send a message as to who is in control. This is as outrageous as a small group of guys crashing planes into U.S. buildings.” Another official who has worked in the region for years said “Trump is causing a huge amount of fear in Mexico throughout all sectors; private, government, business, criminal, police….”

Nuevo Laredo is among the border towns that the terrorists and narcotraffickers plan to launch attacks in, according to intelligence gathered by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Mexico. Others include Matamoros, Reynosa and Ciudad Juárez. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported that ISIS is operating a camp just west of Ciudad Juárez, around eight miles from El Paso. Sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and Mexican Federal Police inspector revealed that, during a joint operation, they discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation in El Paso that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

Just last week Judicial Watch reported that a Jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border. Confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources said that, as part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border. An internal Mexican law enforcement report obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that Islamic terrorists have “people along the border, principally in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.” Cartel informants tell law enforcement contacts that “they are only waiting for the order and the times to carry out a simultaneous attack in the different ports of entry or cities of the United States of America.”

The area where this week’s shootout originated is a 5.6-acre parcel just south of downtown Nuevo Laredo on Paseo Colon. The State Department predicts that by September the new U.S. Consulate compound, which broke ground in mid-2015 and will cost $155 million, should be completed. It will have multiple buildings, including an office structure, U.S. Marine Security Guard residence, support annex and other facilities for the consulate community. The primary function of consulates is helping and protecting Americans abroad.

How American Charities Fund Terrorism

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They need to recognize that money sent to terror groups for social services is fungible.

Natonal Review, by Sam Westrop, January 12, 2017:

As the president-elect has repeatedly made clear, his first full day in office will be a busy one. He has promised to effect a wide array of changes. But what about his second day? If he has some free time, we have some suggestions.

As the threat from international terror groups and homegrown radicalization increases, clamping down on domestic Islamist networks should be a priority. In particular: terror financing.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government appeared to ease up on prosecutions of American Islamist charities linked to terror. This was a marked change from the years after 9/11, when scores of charities were shut down after prosecutors found financial and logistical links to terrorist groups across the globe. This effort culminated in 2008, when the Holy Land Foundation was tried in court on charges of financing terrorism. Federal prosecutors listed a considerable number of prominent American Muslim organizations as “unindicted co-conspirators.”

Eight years of a more permissive attitude has afforded Islamist groups the chance for a resurgence. Islamist charities do not just provide a means to move money; they also offer legitimacy to American Islamist organizations struggling to free themselves from decades of allegations of extremism. Islamist charitable endeavors abroad serves to sanitize the Islamist agenda at home.

The most common terrorism link for American Islamist charities involves, unsurprisingly, the Palestinian territories. Where do charitable donations for the Palestinian territories end up? In the Gaza Strip, Hamas, which is designated a foreign terrorist organization, oversees every facet of society, especially the social services in which Western charities work. From the distribution of medicine to the running of schools, orphanages, and kids’ summer camps, Hamas rules the roost.

One example worth investigating is the Gaza-based Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development (UFA). At least eight prominent U.S. charities and, apparently, the taxpayer-funded United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are supporting this Palestinian group. A close examination of UFA shows that it is closely aligned with senior Hamas leaders, provides cash to the families of so-called martyrs in the Gaza strip, and promotes virulent anti-Semitic rhetoric.

UFA claims to “provide relief, emergency and developmental services to marginalized areas and people in need.” And it probably does. Its social-media pages show happy children playing in the sun, buildings constructed, and food packs distributed. But UFA operates with the political support of senior Hamas figures. And the support of Hamas means the support of a genocidal terror group that has pledged to eradicate Jews across the globe, that throws its political opponents off rooftops, oppresses women and homosexuals, fires rockets at Israeli schools and homes, and uses Palestinian children as human shields to advance its murderous cause.

UFA regularly collaborates with Hamas officials. In 2014, envisioning the “right of return” for Palestinians, it organized a ceremony at which the guest of honor was Mustafa Sawwaf, a prominent Hamas minister. Sawwaf had argued in the Hamas newspaper Al-Risala that “Israel’s disappearance is a necessity [according to] the Koran — that is a truth that we have learned and that we have been teaching since the first intifada, which was the Palestinian people’s first step toward ending the usurpation of Palestine by the Jewish gangs.”

In 2015, UFA hosted a public meeting with Mohamed Abu-Shkian, a senior Hamas official and the mayor of Nuseirat. They discussed “joint cooperation to implement projects that serve the various categories of the Palestinian community.” Abu-Shkian, whom Hamas media has nicknamed “Mohammed the Conqueror,” is a vocal supporter of the “mujahedeen” against Israel, has spoken at the graduation ceremony of a Hamas terror-training program, and has addressed crowds at a ceremony commemorating Hamas terrorists.

Not especially shy about its Hamas connections, UFA openly advertises projects funded by U.S. charities in prominent Hamas literature. And on its website, UFA boasts a certificate of support from Ummah University, an institution in Gaza directly controlled by Hamas’s interior ministry. UFA appears to be a cog in the Hamas martyrdom machine — the charity regularly hosts events financially benefiting “the families of martyrs and prisoners.”

Like Hamas, UFA is not shy about its hatred of Jews either. In a post published on one of the charity’s social-media pages, UFA officials wrote: “We ask God to drive away the anguish of the heroic prisoners in the Nazi Zionist jails and to free Al-Aqsa Al-Sharif [the Noble Al-Aqsa] from the filth of the most dirty Jews.”

UFA’s most important U.S. supporter is Baitulmaal, another charity. Saying they help Baitulmaal distribute cash to the “families of martyrs of the Palestinian people,” UFA officials have published photos to corroborate the claim.

These cash handouts are part of an “Orphan Sponsorship Program.” In videos published by the UFA, it defines orphans as those who have lost their fathers (not their mother), some of whom, it claims, were killed resisting “the ongoing slaughter against the Palestinian people.”

It would appear that American money is being given to the families of Hamas terrorists.

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UFA published these photos showing an official of U.S. charity Baitumaal handing out checks, at UFA’s offices, to “the families of martyrs of the Palestinian people.”

UFA and the U.S. charity Baitulmaal have such a close relationship that they even share the same staff. UFA officials Jomaa Khadoura and Amgad Mansor identify themselves as Baitulmaal employees. Mansor has promoted the views of Nabil Awadi, an Islamic cleric whom the Daily Mail has described as the “key financier” of the Islamic State.

Several other U.S. registered charities support UFA by funding UFA projects or hosting joint events. These include Islamic Relief USA, a branch of a charity established in Britain by Muslim Brotherhood operatives. Islamic Relief USA receives millions of dollars from Western governments, the European Union, and the United Nations. The U.S. government has given $370,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide, the parent organization of its American affiliate. As with Baitulmaal, UFA and the Palestinian branch of Islamic Relief have shared the same employees.

UFA boasts of financial and logistical support from another six U.S. charities: Helping Hands for Relief and Development, Life for Relief and Development, the Zakat Foundation of America, Syria Relief & Development, United Muslims Relief, and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). These are just a few American charities at which a Trump administration should take a closer look.

On social media, UFA refers to American taxpayer funding. In 2013, it announced a project funded by the USAID and implemented by the U.S. charity Mercy Corps. Are taxpayer dollars funding a Gazan charity that works with Hamas, funds the families of “martyrs and prisoners,” and incites hatred against Jews? UFA, as with many Western-funded Palestinian groups, gets away with much of this perhaps because of the appearance of its work.

By providing social services, Islamist terror groups gain political and moral legitimacy among the people under their control as well as among their supporters abroad.

UFA appears to function as a “da’wah group that inherently benefits Hamas. Da’wah is a form of social outreach generally employed by terrorist organizations to reinforce their rule. By providing social services, Islamist terror groups gain political and moral legitimacy among the people under their control as well as among their supporters abroad. But da’wah is also “crucial to terrorist activity,” counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt writes. “They provide cover for raising, laundering, and transferring funds, facilitate the group’s propaganda and recruitment efforts, provide employment to its operatives, and serve as a logistical support network for its terrorist operations.”

American taxpayer funding of UFA is not the first instance of its funding of the Hamas da’wah system. In 2007, ANERA (with which UFA jointly organizes projects) provided the Islamic University of Gaza with $140,000 of USAID money. The university was founded by the “spiritual leader” of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In 2007, according to Palestinian media, 16 of the university’s lecturers and teachers were elected Hamas members of the Palestinian legislature. And in 2008, rockets and explosives fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians were reportedly produced at the university.

But da’wah efforts can be more basic. In areas targeted or controlled by terrorists, groups such as Hamas coordinate with charities to provide social services and welfare. Some counter-terrorism experts believe that this facilitates an influx of unchecked foreign funds, frees up money for violent operations, and whitewashes the work of terrorist organizations.

Aid money is fungible, as is already recognized under official understanding of material support for terrorism. In 2010, the solicitor general, Elena Kagan, now on the Supreme Court, explained that “Hezbollah builds bombs. Hezbollah also builds homes. . . . When you help Hezbollah build homes, you are also helping Hezbollah build bombs.”

Da’wah is not confined to the Palestinian territories; it also threatens American lives. Other terror groups have learned from the Hamas and Hezbollah. In 2012, the Times of London reported that al-Qaeda terrorists in Mali “have subsidized state utilities, capped food prices and made welfare payments to the needy.” And in 2014, I discovered that British “charity workers” were building schools in Syria that bore the Islamic State flag, all paid for through fundraising efforts in Britain.

Islamist charities linked to terrorism do provide charitable services, including welfare, children’s summer camps, and educational programs. This allows them to acquire Western funding without raising too much suspicion. But the da’wah system ensures that such charitable services serve to prop up Hamas’s grip over the Gaza strip.

The da’wah problem is not new, but it demands the attention of the new administration. Hundreds of charities operate in the Palestinian territories. Certainly some Palestinian charities do not host high-profile visits with senior Hamas leaders, financially reward the families of “martyrs and prisoners,” and incite hatred against Jews. The U.S. taxpayer and American charities should not be funding one that does.

— Sam Westrop is a writer for Islamist Watch. He is the research director at Americans for Peace and Tolerance and a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

Republicans Propose Bills Designating Iranian Guard And Muslim Brotherhood As Terror Groups

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Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, January 12, 2017:

Two bills reintroduced in the Congress late Wednesday designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz re-proposed the two bills in the upper chamber while Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul and Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart dropped companion bills in the House.

The bills, according to a press release, will direct the State Department to hold accountable both the IRGC and the Muslim Brotherhood “two foreign entities that espouse a violent Islamist ideology with a mission of destroying the West. Both bills require a report on whether these organizations meet the criteria to be designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and if so, will enable the U.S. to take action that could stifle the funding they receive to promote their terrorist activities.”

McCaul introduced the IRGC Terrorist Designation Act in the House, which asks the State Department to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization and Diaz-Balart filed legislation for the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, which urges State to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The passage and adoption of such legislation would be very different from the Obama administration’s relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in Egypt, where the administration supported the previous Muslim Brotherhood Islamist government headed up by Mohamed Morsi.

“I am proud to reintroduce these bills that would codify needed reforms in America’s war against radical Islamic terrorism,” Sen. Cruz said of the legislation. “This potent threat to our civilization has intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically-correct policies that hamper our safety and security.

Rep. Diaz-Balart agreed saying a statement, “I am proud to once again work with Senator Cruz to introduce this legislation in the 115th Congress. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to support terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence around the world.” He added, “This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This designation is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the incoming administration and the appropriate committees to ensure that this bill becomes law. We have an incoming president who appreciates the threat of terrorism and has vowed to defeat it. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is an important step in defeating violent extremists.”

The IRGC terrorist designation bill comes on the heels of reports that the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran announced delivery of 116 metric tons of natural uranium to the Iranian regime on Monday.

Rep. McCaul said of the IRGC legislation that “If a foreign organization looks like a terror group, operates like a terror group, and supports terrorism, then it should be called for what it is – a foreign terrorist organization.” He added, “As obvious as that seems, for years the IRGC has been allowed to operate clandestinely using front companies and illicit networks to evade formal designation. The Obama Administration has chosen to turn a blind eye to these activities for the sake of a flawed nuclear agreement which Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei stated publicly would not alter Iran’s behavior.”

Politicized Mishandling of Russian Cyberattacks Undermines Long-Term Security

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Daily Caller, by William J. Murphy, January 12, 2017:

The Obama Administration’s politicized mishandling of the Russian-orchestrated email hack of U.S. political organizations has distracted from even larger Kremlin cyber threats to American interests. Mr. Obama’s partisan clumsiness has fomented mistrust and confusion among Americans, undermining the ability of the U.S. to formulate an effective response to these dangers.

It is regrettable that the President and his associates have demonstrated more interest in using Moscow’s electoral cyber-activities to undermine the legitimacy of President-elect Trump, than in laying the foundation for an effective, long-term response to this significant, national security threat.

Mr. Obama couldn’t be bothered with involving the President-elect and Congress in a reasonable conversation about how to address Russian cyber-attacks. Instead, the Administration leaked the disputed CIA report asserting Moscow tried to help Mr. Trump win, which nicely set up the stunts to disrupt the Electoral College. In place of what would have been more statesmanlike courtesy and consultation with the incoming president, Mr. Obama displayed his customary petulant unilateralism.

Furthermore, the administration botched the delivery to Congress of the flawed CIA report, releasing it before sufficient evidence had been marshalled to support its proposition that Moscow desired to assist Trump’s election. FBI and ODNI officials contradicted the CIA estimate as soon as it was delivered, transforming the report into a public relations fiasco that raised more questions than it answered.

The peculiar timing of the President’s order for a “full review” of the Kremlin’s cyber-meddling as well as his decision to retaliate before completion of this intelligence review — particularly after neglecting for so long to take any action — likewise suggests greater interest in partisan, anti-Trump initiatives than in shutting down the Russian cyber threat.

But, the President’s focus on the claim that Moscow intended to help Trump win the election is not just unfortunate, it’s dangerous. This rhetoric trivializes the true scope and intensity of the Russian cyber threat, and has compromised the ability of the U.S. to respond effectively.

The fundamental goal of the Kremlin’s cyber-intervention in U.S. politics is to subvert national unity — to impair the U.S.’ ability to promote its interests in world affairs or interfere with the Kremlin’s strategic designs.  Americans should recognize these Russian tactics as contemporary cyber manifestations of KGB Cold War operations to support and manipulate U.S. political interest groups.

An even more important lesson Americans should take from the Kremlin’s 2016 electoral mischief is that Moscow’s cyber-political operations are but one weapon in a formidable arsenal of cyber-attack capabilities Russia has developed to cripple U.S. power. Moscow possesses, and in some cases, has already used, potent cyber-attack capabilities against critical national infrastructure including the electric grid, water utilities, financial system, transportation sector, government agencies, and corporations.

Americans should take careful note that Vladimir Putin and his government view the U.S as a rival foreign power capable of thwarting Moscow’s ability to realize its national interests and have already proven themselves willing and able to wield their cyber-power.

The U.S. has badly underinvested in its cyber-defenses and has failed to develop an appropriate response to the magnitude of the threat. An effective response must prioritize vastly improved cyber-defenses, integrate diverse cyber and conventional retaliatory options to deter future attacks, and strengthen government capacities to promote cyber security.

The partisan pettiness that has characterized President Obama’s approach to the Kremlin’s cyber-electioneering has squandered a valuable opportunity to inform the American people about the gravity of the Russian cyber-threat as well as to build public support for effective countermeasures.

Now that he has been given the appropriate courtesy of a formal intelligence briefing, President-elect Trump has acknowledged the danger and indicated he will bring forward a plan to address cyber threats. Americans would do well to hope Mr. Trump’s proposal is comprehensive, bold, and unifying. Nothing could bode better for the future than reversal of the partisan rancor and dysfunction observed to date.

Dr. William J. Murphy is an Associate Professor of Social Science at the New England Institute of Technology where he teaches courses on Terrorism and National Security, American Government, and Economics.  He is also a Policy Advisor with the Center for Constitutional Reform at the Heartland Institute.  He can be reached at @wjmurphy2.

Also see this: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire via David Shideler on Facebook where he comments:

An interesting little story on election influence that hasn’t received as much attention as some others.

The reality is that foreign actors of all stripes are seeking to manipulate U.S. policy every day through all available means. Many of them are aided and abetted by politicians who see only the next political target, and by law firms and lobby groups whose business is selling influence, no matter who the client is.

We have a responsibility as citizens to be wary, skeptical consumers of information, and to demand better from our politicians.

Also of note:

Mike Pompeo: Attempts to Invalidate Trump’s Presidency Plays into Putin’s Hands

Getty / Joe Raedle

Getty / Joe Raedle

Breitbart, by Warner Todd Huston, January 12, 2016:

During his confirmation hearing, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said he would observe the proper laws forbidding enhanced interrogation of terror suspects and affirmed that he believes Russia is a threat to the United States. He also noted, however, that attempts to undermine President-elect Donald Trump plays right into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate held its first hearing for the confirmation of Rep. Pompeo, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to become CIA chief. While the hearing kicked off with a temporary power outage in the room, the congressman fielded a range of questions from metadata, to CIA-sponsored torture, to privacy concerns. One senator, California’s Kamala Harris, even went off on a tangent asking Pompeo about NASA global warming data and Pompeo’s views on gay marriage.

When it came time to talk about Russia, though, Pompeo had a dual warning.

The Kansan said that Russia is not an ally of the United States, but also insisted that attempts to invalidate Donald Trump’s presidency is serving the anti-American policies of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Agreeing with the U.S. intelligence community’s latest assessment of Russia, Pompeo also said it is “pretty clear” that the Russians tried to influence the U.S. elections.

“It’s pretty clear about what took place here, about Russian involvement in efforts to hack information and to have impact on American democracy,” Pompeo said during the Senate Intelligence Committee meeting. “I’m very clear-eyed about what that intelligence report says. This was an aggressive action taken by the senior leadership inside of Russia.”

Pompeo also said he would support an extensive investigation into just what forms that “aggressive action” took during the 2016 campaign saying, “I will continue to pursue foreign intelligence with vigor no matter where the facts lead.”

“The internet,” Pompeo said, “is a borderless, global environment, easily and frequently exploited by sophisticated adversaries like China and Russia, as well as by less sophisticated adversaries like Iran and North Korea, non-state actors, terrorist groups, criminal organizations, and hackers.”

He also warned though that constant speculation that the election was hacked plays into Putin’s hands. During his response on the matter he said he has “no doubt that the discourse that’s been taking place is something Putin would look at and say, ‘That was among the objectives that I have.’”

As for another topic, many liberals have worried about Pompeo’s thoughts on the CIA using enhanced interrogation. The question seemed fairly answered when Senators Feinstein and Heinrich both quizzed him on the topic. Pompeo told Feinstein he would not re-start the enhanced interrogation policy if he were to become head of the CIA and assured Senator Heinrich that he would stick to the Army field manual for interrogation that currently forbids such techniques.

As to Iran, Pompeo said that despite his personal opinions and his past claims that he would work to repeal Obama’s “disastrous deal” with Iran, he would abide by whatever his President told him to do on the issue.

The congressman also fielded questions about his past comments on gathering metadata. While noting that intelligence is the “lifeblood” of national security, he added that such intel “is more in demand than ever.”

The Supreme Court has ruled that metadata is not private personal information, but nonetheless Pompeo said he would certainly toe the line of the law — whatever that may be — on the collection of data.

He was also asked for his thoughts on demanding that tech companies give the U.S. government keys to their encryption of data. Pompeo replied that personal privacy would be an important concern for him and added, “I think we need to acknowledge that encryption is out there, and not all encryption takes place in the United States,” Pompeo replied.

But even as Pompeo said he’d toe the law on these matters, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn asked Pompeo if he will “play to the edge” of the law as CIA director so as not to play too cautious with national security. The Congressman said he would be sure to be mindful of the needs of his operatives and added, “It’s my role to make sure those lines are clear and bright.”

Pompeo also faced questioning from California Democrat Kamala Harris who seemed to feel his stance against gay marriage would hamper his work to secure the nation. She also quizzed him on global warming, asking if he would accept climate change claims made by NASA.

Seemingly bemused by the quixotic line of questioning, Pompeo assured Harris that as a small businessman he’s never let anyone’s sexuality interfere in what he expected of them as an employee and that, as an engineer by training, facts and data drive his life – so if he found believable data on climate change it would certainly be an important consideration in his thought process.

The hearing was not without humor, either, as Arizona Republican John McCain, a graduate of the Naval Academy, joked that Pompeo’s education was “very poor” because he was a graduate of West Point.

Rex Tillerson Refuses to Label Saudi Arabia a Human Rights Violator

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by Frances Martel, January 11, 2017:

During his confirmation hearing for the Secretary of State post in the U.S. Senate Wednesday, former Exxon Mobil head Rex Tillerson refused to label the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a “human rights violator,” expressing fears that such a label would trigger a regression to more oppressive policies on the part of the Saudi ruling family.

Senator Marco Rubio asked Tillerson whether, in light of rampant human rights abuses against women and non-existent religious freedom in the nation, Tillerson would use the phrase “human rights violator” to describe Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia certainly does not share the same values of America,” Tillerson replied. “However, American interests have been advocating in Saudi Arabia for some time and I think the question is, what is the pace of progress that should be expected for the KSA to advance rights to women and others in the country?”

Sen. Rubio asked Tillerson to evaluate Saudi Arabia’s current human rights status, to which Tillerson replied that he would “need to have greater information.” In response, Sen. Rubio noted that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia and the government imposes Islamic Sharia law on its citizens.
In light of his context, Sen. Rubio then asked Tillerson what more information would make him comfortable on coming to a conclusion regarding the appropriateness of the label.
“In terms of when you designate someone or label someone, the question is, is that the most effective way to have progress continue to be made in Saudi Arabia or in any other country?” Tillerson repeated.
Tillerson’s response echoed his similar refusal to label Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” upon Sen. Rubio’s questioning, as well as his remark that he would need more information to assess the ongoing war on drugs in the Philippines. Tillerson repeatedly asserted that those holding high-ranking foreign policy offices in the United States are privy to pivotal information without which he would not assert a definitive opinion, and left breathing room for nuance in his approaches to global issues.
Saudi Arabia remains one of the world’s most egregious human rights violators, a liberal user of state force against Sharia violators, including those accused of adultery, apostasy (leaving Islam), “witchcraft,” as well as political targets such as human rights activists. Saudi officials have also implemented the death penalty against those with disabilities and minors. Those not sentenced to death can be arrested, beaten, and detained for extended periods of time for such crimes as dancing, “cursing the morality police,” or showing undue affection for dogs, which are considered haram.
Saudi Arabia is also a hotbed of radical Islamic thought, particularly the Sunni extremist ideology of Wahhabism, whose global spread the Kingdom is in part responsible for. “The Saudi Wahhabis regularly subsidize the organizations and individuals adhering to the militant ideology espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood and its murderous offshoots Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda, all three of which are designated terrorist 2 organizations,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Matthew Epstein.
Tillerson later addressed Rubio directly, perhaps not only in response to the Saudi Arabia question but to tensions arising Wednesday morning regarding Tillerson’s views on Russia. “My interest is the same as yours, our interests are not different,” he told the senator. “There seems to be some misunderstanding that somehow I see the world through a different lens, and I do not, I share all the same values that you share.”
Tillerson concluded the questioning by calling Saudi Arabia’s a culture that is centuries old and noting that, while “the pace [of progress] has been slower than any of us wish, there is a chance underway” to improve the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. Tillerson expressed concerns of accidentally committing “some kind of precipitous action that would cause the leadership of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to change that” pace.
While Tillerson did not give concrete examples of the progress he claimed that begun in Saudi Arabia, some recent news articles do seem to indicate that some changes have occurred in the Gulf nation. In July 2016, for example, Saudi Arabia announced it would open a “women-only mobile phone shopping center,” allowing women to buy and sell cellular phones in an “appropriate” environment: one in which men would not see it happen. Saudi Arabia’s morality police no longer have the power to arrest people. At least one Saudi cleric has suggested women should be allowed to work in some medical fields in December, and a Saudi newspaper even challenged the nation’s ban on female drivers.
In his opening statement, Tillerson promised to put the right against radical Islam at the forefront of his work in the State Departmeent. “We need to be honest about radical Islam. It is with good reason that our fellow citizens have a growing concern about radical Islam and murderous acts committed in its name against Americans and our friends,” he told the Senate.
Also see:

John Kelly Proves He Has the Vision, Skills to Improve Department of Homeland Security

As commander of U.S. Southern Command, Marine Gen. John F. Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, "In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation's doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland." (Associated Press)

As commander of U.S. Southern Command, Marine Gen. John F. Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, “In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland.” (Associated Press)

Opportunity Lives, by Tom Rogin, January 12, 2017:

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday held hearings on whether to confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for the next secretary of Homeland Security.

Former Marine Corps General John Kelly did a fine job.

He impressed the assembled senators with direct answers. And where he didn’t know a particular regulation or law in sufficient detail, Kelly had the humility to admit it. Yet Kelly also promised to reform the Department of Homeland Security.

All Americans should thank him for it. Defined by a top-heavy bureaucracy, inefficiency and overlapping responsibilities, DHS needs reform.

While much of his testimony was focused on counterterrorism, Kelly offered specific proposals for reform in other areas.

To improve the department’s organizational efficiency, Kelly pledged to reduce its top-heavy structure. He noted the high number of undersecretaries at DHS, low-morale with junior personnel, and a sense that too many programs are working too poorly. To address these challenges, Kelly said he would appoint deputy-secretaries (his direct subordinates) who have proven leadership records.

As important, he said his deputies would be expected to listen to subordinates and ask for their honest advice. That might seem simple, but it’s a big deal. Today in too many government agencies, respectfully disagreeing with a leader harms a career. But to get the best ideas into action, we need agencies that work to pool their best potential together. We need leaders who can take alternate points of view.

Kelly also argued that DHS is weak on cyber-security and needs dramatic improvement. His solution would be to work with tech firms in Silicon Valley and beyond to leverage their talent and ideas for public benefit. Beyond platitudes, such outreach has been sorely lacking in recent years. Part of the problem is the government’s security clearance requirements have thrown up bureaucratic obstacles to private-sector cooperation. But if Kelly makes a serious push here (perhaps by declassifying some material and offering interim security clearances), we might see some progress. It would help. Leading innovation often comes from the private sector.

Kelly also addressed the nation’s epidemic of opioid-drug abuse, calling for an integrated effort across government to reduce demand. Specifically, Kelly complained that the U.S. government has never had a coordinated strategy to educate, deter and treat drug use. He pointed to the successful efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. What was also appealing here was Kelly’s tone. Rather than escalate a war on drugs, he implied that the key to reducing drug-related crime and suffering is to win individuals from the reach of drug addiction.

Another Kelly priority is strengthened DHS alliances abroad — most crucially, with Central and South American nations. The DHS Secretary-in-waiting knows that this agenda isn’t important solely for reasons of deterring drug smuggling. While commanding U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in 2015, Kelly explained how terrorist organizations and Latin American drug organizations are increasingly collaborating. In order to reduce illegal immigration and criminality, the United States should help Latin American nations improve their law enforcement capabilities. Greater security would also help reduce poverty in these nations.

Ultimately, Kelly has a big challenge ahead of him. Still, his military career gives cause for optimism. Serving the nation, he said, requires speaking truth to power. And we should take him at his word. One of his sons, Lieutenant Robert Kelly (USMC), was killed in action in Southern Afghanistan in 2010. This is not a leader predisposed to playing the Washington game. Kelly’s career proves as much. During his hearing, he noted that while commanding SOUTHCOM, he faced Latin American militaries that wanted to buy expensive jets to gather intelligence on drug gangs and terrorists. Kelly, however, convinced them that outcomes are more important than snazzy tools, and persuaded them to invest in cheaper unmanned arrival vehicles.

It was about doing more with each dollar and individual.

As Kelly carries that ethos to DHS, let us hope that his boss and Congress support him.

Tom Rogan is a senior contributor for Opportunity Lives, a former panelist on The McLaughlin Group and a senior fellow at the Steamboat Institute. Follow him on Twitter @TomRtweets.

GORKA: Obama’s Farewell Speech Puts Narrative and Spin Before Safety of the American People

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-2-04-08-pm-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, January 12, 2017:

Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, appeared on Fox Business Network to offer his take on departing President Obama’s statement that “no foreign terrorist organization has been able to conduct a terrorist attack on U.S. soil” during his administration.

“My take is, I live in reality, Maria,” Gorka told host Maria Bartiromo. “Yesterday was Alice in Wonderland. It was a wilderness of mirrors. It was spin and narrative over truth.”

“This is outrageous,” he continued. “This the moment when President Obama could have shown great graciousness. He could have handed over the baton with style, admitted some of his mistakes, and just welcomed the new administration. Instead, the lies continue.”

“We’ve had more than 13 attacks linked directly to outside jihadi organizations,” Gorka noted. “The Fort Hood shooter – let me just concentrate on one of them, Maria. The Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hassan, wasn’t just ‘inspired by’ jihadism. He wasn’t just reading jihadi literature. He was emailing Anwar al-Awlaki. He was emailing al-Qaeda’s leadership in Yemen.”

“And the President has the bald-faced cheek to stand up in front of the American people and say ‘No, no, no, no foreign attacks,’” he exclaimed. “It is parsing. He took a leaf out of the playbook of President Clinton, when he said well, it depends what your definition of ‘is’ is. That’s what yesterday was.”

Bartiromo noted that another achievement Obama claimed during his farewell speech was the closing of Guantanamo Bay… only to see the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee demand a halt to Gitmo transfers the very next day, following the review of new intelligence reports.

“I was told by various individuals inside the national security enterprise that he is adamant, because he’s so embarrassed that on his first day in office he signed that executive order closing Gitmo, eight years ago,” Gorka said. “Simply through personal sheer embarrassment, he says, ‘I have to close it this month.’ This is not about national security. It’s about prestige and ego.”

“These are bad people, Maria,” he said of the remaining detainees. “And Gitmo isn’t a detention facility. Gitmo is an intelligence asset. That’s how we found out where bin Laden was, through interrogations of KSM. This is again narrative more important than reality, spin more important than the safety of the American people.”

Fox News contributor Robert Wolf, a board member of the Obama Foundation, leaped to President Obama’s defense. He claimed Dr. Gorka’s comments were disrespectful to the outgoing President, arguing that Obama justified the false statement Gorka and Bartiromo criticized with a disclaimer that he wasn’t referring to “homegrown terrorists,” and lauding Obama for reducing the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Your guest, I hope he gets a job in the next Democrat administration. What a water carrier,” Gorka responded.

“Removing troops from a theater of combat is not the definition of victory. I recommend you open a history book. The definition of victory is when the enemy stops killing you. Tell your spin to the dead of Orlando,” he said to Wolf.

When Bartiromo interjected that Obama did oversee the killing of Osama bin Laden, Gorka replied, “Oversee it? Yeah. Anybody who was in that chair would be overseeing it, whether they were left or right.”

“Let me talk about the military,” he said. “You talked about them, your guest mentioned the military. Just before the speech, I had a conversation with a three-star general who is in charge of counter-terrorism issues here in America. He said the counter-terrorism effort under President Obama is shambolic, and morale is at its lowest level ever. That’s from inside.”

“Don’t try and take the bravery of our military and wrap yourself in it, when we have ISIS become the largest insurgent jihadi group in modern history, and when we have the SITE Intelligence Group say outside of Iraq and Syria, we have had a jihadi attack every 83 hours. Not 83 days, every 83 hours. 65 million refugees in the world, in most part thanks to jihadi extremism. If that’s a success story, I have a bridge to sell your guest,” Gorka said.

He predicted Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson would have “a little bit of heat put on him” during the remainder of his confirmation hearings, but noted he is “a man who is in charge of one of the largest, most successful companies in the world.”

“I think he’ll do swimmingly,” he predicted. “He’ll skate through. There will be a little bit of rhetoric and posing for the cameras, but I’m confident that these nominees will be confirmed.”

Hungary to Target Soros Groups

soros-1Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, January 12, 2017:

Soros has done a great deal of damage in many ways. One of those ways is that any organization that he funds is just as tainted as a group receiving money from the Communist Party. And his actions provide justification for larger crackdowns on NGOs that aren’t even funded by him. Too many NGOs have had their hands stretched out to foreign donors. Whether it’s Soros or the EU.

Combine foreign funding with domestic political opposition and the justification for shutting them down is obvious. Israel is one of the worst case scenarios where there is an endless toxic network of NGOs funded by foreign interests, including Soros and the EU, that are dedicated to destroying the country. It’s not always as bad elsewhere, but support for Muslim migration amounts to the same thing.

They’ve made this mess. And one thing leads to another.

The Hungarian government is targeting George Soros after it said it would get rid of non-governmental organisations in the country linked to the billionaire financier.

Szilard Nemeth, vice-president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters that the election of Donald Trump as US president gave Budapest the opportunity to “sweep out” NGOs funded by Soros, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments”, Bloomberg reported.

In April 2017, MPs in Hungary will debate a bill which could lead to NGOs being audited.

The country’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, has been criticised for his lurch to the right and a crackdown on press freedom, as well as NGOs, which he claimed are funded to “organise refugee streams and boost migration”.

There are about 60 groups in the country that get funding from Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Orban told the 888.hu website: “In every country they will want to displace Soros. This can already be seen in Europe. They investigate where the money comes from, what kind of intelligence connections there are, which NGOs represent what interests.”

The actual move will advance transparency.

The Hungarian government would require the leaders of NGOs to post their financial statements because, although they do not receive public money, NGOs can influence public life and their leaders are thus corruptible, the justification behind the planned bill says, according to reports.

Israel launched a similar move earlier, producing a similar hysterical response. Considering the ways in which the Soros network is structured to blunt transparency while its feeder organizations deny having any links to their master, it’s an entirely legitimate move.

Also see:

Trump Admin Inherits Continued Insecurity, Corruption in Afghanistan

Afghan security personnel inspect at the site of roadside bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2016 / AP

Afghan security personnel inspect at the site of roadside bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2016 / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Morgan Chalfant,January 12, 2017:

Donald Trump will need to confront the continued instability and corruption in Afghanistan as well as a resilient Taliban insurgency that continues to challenge Afghan military and police forces, according to the special inspector for Afghanistan reconstruction.

John Sopko, the U.S. government’s special inspector for Afghanistan reconstruction, offered a bleak assessment of the security situation and rebuilding efforts in the war-torn country on Wednesday during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, admitting that little has improved in Afghanistan over the past two years despite billions of dollars in investments from the United States.

The special inspector general unveiled a list of high-risk challenges facing the new administration in Afghanistan, including the capacity and capabilities of Afghan security forces, corruption, sustainability, on-budget assistance, counter-narcotics, contract management, general oversight, and planning and strategy.

Failure in any one of these eight areas, Sopko said Wednesday, could “fatally undermine the reconstruction mission in Afghanistan.”

The special inspector general identified corruption and poor leadership of the Afghan military and police forces as the root cause of the persisting insecurity in Afghanistan. He pointed to the tens of thousands of U.S. taxpayer-funded “ghost soldiers,” as well as evidence of Afghan forces selling U.S.-bought weapons and fuel for profit.

“Afghan commanders often pocket the paychecks of ghost soldiers for whom the U.S. is paying the salary,” Sopko said. “The number of ghost soldiers is not insignificant. It likely reaches into the tens of thousands of soldiers and police.”

“[Corruption] is so bad that there is evidence that the Taliban have instructed their field commanders to simply purchase U.S.-supplied weapons, fuel, and ammunition from the Afghan government because it is both easier and less expensive for the insurgents to do so,” he continued.

“There are reports that when fuel finally reaches the frontlines in Afghanistan, that some Afghan commanders refuse to use it, refuse to go on patrols, so they can save the fuel which they then can sell on the open market,” Sopko said.

The special inspector general has said as much as 50 percent of U.S.-purchased fuel is siphoned off and sold for profits.

“Our new administration and Congress should ask: Is it finally time to stop talking about combatting corruption and time for the Afghan government to start prosecuting senior officials who are either corrupt or feel they are above the law?” Sopko said.

The Taliban has continued to launch attacks and seize territory in Afghanistan, as U.S. and allied forces have withdrawn troops from the country. President Obama last year decelerated his planned drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, leaving some 8,400 service members in the country through the end of his term. Gens. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and John Nicholson, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, have both characterized the security situation as a “stalemate.”

The Taliban on Tuesday set off two large bombs near a government compound in Kabul, killing at least 38 people and injuring dozens. The attack was among 56 security incidents that occurred over the last two days in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, according to the special inspector general.

The Pentagon’s latest assessment of the Afghan military and police forces evaluated them as effective in repelling insurgents in key population areas and retaking territory seized by the Taliban. But Sopko on Wednesday offered a negative take on the assessment, saying that the Afghan forces are “basically playing whack-a-mole, following the Taliban around Afghanistan and retaking territory that was lost.”

“The DoD report reiterates this point by noting that the vast majority of the Afghan national army has little offensive capability,” the special inspector general said. “So, the best spin the Afghan security forces can put on their activities in 2016 is that they were able to retake strategic areas that had temporarily been lost to the Taliban. So, we’re defining success as the absence of failure. At a minimum, they are playing defense and are not taking the fight to the Taliban.”

The United States announced this week that it will send 300 Marines to Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, in order to train, advise, and assist Afghan government forces fighting Taliban insurgents. Obama marked the end of combat in Afghanistan in December 2014.

Trump has not yet outlined a strategy for Afghanistan, which after 15 years has stretched to America’s longest war, but has pledged to end “nation building” by the United States. Under the new administration, the Pentagon will likely be led by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who faces a confirmation hearing to become defense secretary this week.

The United States has spent $115 billion on reconstruction in Afghanistan and is expected to contribute between $5 and $6 billion annually through 2020.

Sopko, who was appointed to the inspector general post in 2012 by President Obama, urged the incoming administration to “conduct a thorough assessment of resources and personnel to ensure they are sufficient to meet our military, law enforcement, and civilian objectives in Afghanistan.” He also recommended the new government work with Afghan and coalition allies to develop a “new and better strategy” in Afghanistan that avoids failures revealed by his office and other oversight investigations.

“Fifteen years in, there is no reason we should be seeing the problems we continue to witness and document in the nearly 250 reports my little office has released,” Sopko said. “My hope, and the hope of my staff, is that the high-risk report we are issuing today and the examples it provides will help guide Congress and the Trump administration as we move into 2017 to ensure a strong, better, and more effective reconstruction effort in what has become America’s longest war.”

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support

cair-plea

IPT News
January 12, 2017

As President Obama’s tenure reaches its final days, Islamists in the United States are waging a furious lobbying campaign aimed at securing the freedom of five men convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.

An open campaign urges the president to pardon five former officials from the defunct, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), casting them as victims of “anti-Muslim hysteria” triggered by the 9/11 attacks. In 2008, a jury convicted the five – Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader – of using a network of Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas to funneling money to the terrorist group.

It is not clear whether the requests to pardon the five, or to commute their sentences and release them from prison, is being considered seriously. Obama’s pardons thus far involved somewhat less serious crimes including fraud, embezzlement and non-violent drug offenses.

But advocates are pushing social media campaigns and online petitions aimed at securing a pardon, or, short of that, a commutation of the five men’s sentences to set them free. The campaign also has enlisted support from at least one member of Congress.

Left unspoken is an undeniable truth behind the pardon/commutation campaign, and behind any ongoing defense of the Holy Land Foundation: Advocates do not believe Hamas support is wrong.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is leading the charge, supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and pro-Palestinian groups.

CAIR’s appeal provided a White House switchboard number for supporters to call and request commutations. Some sites even include contact information for key members of Congress, urging supporters to emphasize the “cruelly disproportionate” length of sentences – from a low of 15 years for El-Mezain, to 65-year terms for Baker and Elashi.

CAIR’s Arizona director Imraan Siddiqui described the prosecution as “a political lynching of charity workers … Its effects still haunt American Muslims.”

After reviewing the entire record in 2011, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw it quite differently.

Pleas from the MLFA and Siddiqi ignore the exhibits – many of them internal HLF and related documents – showing the family ties between some defendants and Hamas leaders, a reliance on Hamas officials to speak at HLF fundraisers along with other, consistent pro-Hamas messages.

In addition, records show, HLF (formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund) was part of a network called the “Palestine Committee” in the United States. That committee answered to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s mandate that global chapters create “Palestine Committees” in their home countries. Their task was “to support Hamas from abroad,” the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the convictions and sentences. In the United States, that task fell in part to Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who helped create HLF and two other branches – a propaganda wing known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a think-tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR).

CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee after its 1994 founding.

“The evidence showed that the long-standing connection between HLF and Hamas began in the late 1980s when HLF arose as a fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee …” the appeals court ruling said. “This fact was notably evident from the … [internal Palestine Committee] documents, which showed that HLF was created along with the IAP.” In addition, Palestine Committee bylaws “specifically recognized HLF as ‘the official organization for fundraising.'”

HLF apologists claim the group was merely interested in helping needy widows and orphans. But, the court pointed out, the orphans included Yehia Ayyash’s children. Ayyash was Hamas’s top bomb maker, nicknamed “The Engineer,” before being killed by Israel.

“An audio tape from 1996 that was seized from HLF’s offices contained songs praising Hamas and discussions of suicide bombers as heroes,” the ruling said.

“We believe that a jury could not help but infer from the above evidence that the defendants had a close association with Hamas and that HLF acted to fund Hamas both before and after Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

Still, CAIR’s Texas chapter called the five convicted HLF officials “humanitarians,” and described their imprisonment as “an immense wrong.” It cited defense attorney Nancy Hollander’s claim that there was no evidence showing her client, HLF executive director Shukri Abu Baker, breaking the law. “Not a word from his lips that he hated Jews. Not a word from his lips that he supported Hamas. These were fictions,” Hollander said.

That cannot be said for Mufid Abdulqader, who performed and acted in a singing troupe that helped raise money for HLF at IAP events. In this video, admitted into evidence during the 2008 trial, he is shown wearing camouflage and a kaffiyeh as he sings, “I am Hamas, O dear ones … I swear to wipe out the name of the Zionist. And protect my land, Palestine.” Then, he pretends to strangle an actor portraying an Israeli.

Hollander failed to mention that Baker ran HLF and was responsible for who spoke and what was said at its fundraisers. Those events routinely featured Hamas leaders and activists. She also neglected to mention her client’s participation in a secret 1993 Philadelphia gathering of Hamas members and supporters who schemed about how to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo peace accord without coming off looking like terror supporters.

It was Baker who set a key ground rule for the talks, which were secretly recorded and translated by the FBI: No one should mention Hamas by name, he instructed. Instead, call it “Sister Samah,” which is Hamas spelled backward.

The gathering, Baker said, was “a joint workshop between the Holy Land Foundation and the IAP.” Participants should not mention Hamas by name.

Hollander then compared the HLF case – brought against a handful of men with documented and recorded connections to Hamas – to the mass internment of 117,000 Japanese American men, women and children during World War II.

The current campaign would settle for a sentencing commutation, essentially freeing the men on time served. The sentences, from 15 to 65 years in prison, were overly harsh, advocates say.

But the Fifth Circuit had considered this, too, rejecting defense department arguments. Its ruling noted that the probation office’s presentence recommendations included significant terrorism enhancements because HLF gave money to Hamas “in order to rid Palestine of the Jewish people through violent jihad, HAMAS’ mission.”

It added that “the trial was replete with evidence to satisfy application of the terrorism enhancement because of the defendants’ intent to support Hamas. The Hamas charter clearly delineated the goal of meeting the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with violent jihad and the rejection of peace efforts and compromise solutions. The defendants knew that they were supporting Hamas, as there was voluminous evidence showing their close ties to the Hamas movement.”

Those claiming the HLF defendants suffered an injustice, or that they somehow deserve relief, lie about this record or pretend it does not exist. To acknowledge reality is to shatter their own argument, or to come clean about their true feelings about Hamas terrorism. They know that’s a losing hand. It’s something Shukri Abu Baker talked about in that 1993 Philadelphia meeting.

They need to mislead people if they are going to be successful, Baker said.

“War is deception,” he said. “Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way … Deceive your enemy.”

Mattis: ISIS ‘couldn’t last 2 minutes in fight with our troops’

mattis2

SecDef nod calls for ‘battles of annihilation” with “no survivors” against terror group, while beating drums of all-out war with Iran.

CounterJihad, by Paul Sperry, January 12, 2017:

Defense secretary nominee Gen. Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis believes ISIS is “al-Qaida on steroids” and must be defeated in head-to-head “battles of annihilation” that leave “no survivors” on the enemy side, according to a recent discussion he participated in with a conservative think tank.

The career Marine, who faces Senate questioning at a confirmation today, also asserts that the US military “can handle Iran” in a shooting war, but cautioned that the Navy needs more warships to challenge “China’s bullying in the South China Sea.”

Mattis made the eye-opening remarks in a little-noticed interview with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif., where he is a visiting fellow.

Before retiring in 2013 after a 43-year-career in the US Marine Corps, Mattis directed military operations of more than 200,000 troops and allied forces across the Middle East as commander of U.S. Central Command.

Mattis doesn’t believe in “managing” the Islamic State threat or just running ISIS out of Middle Eastern towns, but pulverizing the Islamist enemy.

He said the US currently has the forces available to wipe out ISIS, which operates primarily out of Syria and Iraq, but “they’re not in place” due to a lack of “political” will to deploy them, an attitude that is expected to change under a Trump administration.

“They’re a lot like al-Qaida philosophically, but operationally, they’re like al-Qaida on steroids. And when you put that together, they’re a uniquely capable organization,” he added during the revealing 2015 Hoover interview. “But the fact is, they couldn’t last two minutes in a fight with our troops.”

Mattis said America and the West can no longer tolerate “the assassinations, the mass killings, the mass rapes that are going on there,” to say nothing of the ISIS-directed and -inspired terrorist attacks plaguing both European and American cities.

“We should try to shut down its recruiting, shut down its finances, and then work to fight battles of annihilation — not attrition, but annihilation — against them; so that the first time they meet the forces that we put against them, there should basically be no survivors,” he asserted. “They should learn that we can be even tougher than them.”

Added the general: “If they want to fight, they should pay a heck of a price for what they’ve done to innocent people out there.”

Mattis didn’t pull any punches regarding Iran, either, which has aggressively pursued the development of nuclear weapons while threatening both the US and Israel.

Through its proxy Hezbollah, the Islamist regime has carried out terrorism around the globe, including attacks that have killed American citizens. In 1983, for example, an Iran-trained suicide truck bomber killed 220 of Mattis’s fellow Marines while they slept in barracks in Beirut. Iran is also responsible for IED-related deaths of US soldiers in Iraq.

Mattis, who joined the Marine Corps at 18, confidently predicted victory if the US had to go to war against Iran.

“It would take more forces if we had to go with the military option for Iran,” he said. “But we can handle Iran. I have no doubt.”

“It would be bloody awful,” he added. “But could we handle it from a military point of view? Absolutely.”

An invasion of Iran would be tougher than Iraq because Iran is surrounded by mountains, making it hard for tanks and artillery to pass. Behind the towering ranges, the terrain becomes unstable salt flats and dry lake beds oozing with thick black mud that would make it even more difficult to advance on Tehran.

It was the Great Salt Desert where the fateful 1980 military mission to rescue American hostages in Tehran ran into bad weather and had to be aborted.

Asked about Beijing seizing islands in the South China Sea and clandestinely building airstrips and other military installations there, Mattis says the US should no longer turn a blind eye to such territorial expansion in contested international waters. He says the US will need a larger naval presence there to check Beijing’s military aggression.

“In light of China’s bullying in the South China Sea, I don’t think we’re building enough ships,” Mattis noted, adding that China’s military maneuvers will require the Pentagon to adopt “a more naval strategy.”

Right now the Navy has 272 ships, more than 80 ships short of what the Navy Force Structure Assessment calls for to meet the new threat reality in the South China Sea and other global hotspots.

“We may have to give the Navy a bigger slice of the budget,” he added, to help reassure Taiwan and other allies in the region threatened by the communist army’s growing mischief.

“There are a lot of nations out in that region that would like to see more US Navy port calls in their harbors, from Vietnam to the Philippines, from Malaysia to Taiwan and Japan,” Mattis said.

He added that while the first option in the growing conflict ought to be diplomacy, “Sometimes the best ambassador you can have is a man-of-war.”

Mattis, who following 9/11 commanded the First Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Naval Task Force 58 in operations against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, also revealed in the interview that he does not agree with President Obama that the US combat role in Afghanistan is over.

“We have irreconcilable differences with the Taliban,” he said.

Added Mattis: “They will continue to support al-Qaida, they will continue to do this kind of terrorism that they conduct over there every day. And as they do that, for us to declare arbitrarily that the war is over may not match the reality on the ground.”

Since Obama withdrew troops in 2014, ISIS and other terror groups have joined the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, all working to topple the US-backed government in Kabul. All told, there are now 20 terrorist groups operating inside Afghanistan and along the Afghan-Pakistani border region.

Also see:

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack

hamas23

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
January 11, 2017

Hamas launched a public relations campaign in recent days, aimed at capitalizing on a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem Sunday that killed four Israeli soldiers. The campaign sheds a light on Hamas’s plans to encourage and launch jihadist atrocities, but also on its vulnerability to the arrival of ISIS as an ideology and movement.

The truck attacker was Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qanbar, a father of four from east Jerusalem. He acted alone when he plowed into a cluster of soldiers gathered, according to Israeli assessments, under the influence of jihadist propaganda disseminated by ISIS.

That fact has not stopped Hamas from making multiple efforts to claim the attack as its own, celebrating it, and pushing Palestinians to emulate it. The Gazan regime’s goal of setting the West Bank alight is well served by such incidents.

Yet Hamas’s efforts to cash in on the truck ramming also strengthen its domestic challengers in Gaza – ISIS-affiliated Salafi-jihadist groups which have been just as quick to claim Qanbar as one of their own, and probably with better cause.

These same groups wasted little time in using the opportunity to launch stinging attacks on the Hamas regime, whose security forces arrest their members and repress their activities.

For example, an ISIS-affiliated group in Gaza proudly noted that Israel attributed the attack to one who “belongs to the Islamic Caliphate State,” and stated: “Praise Allah, who provided the oppressed people of Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] with trucks they can use to run over the settler herds – [and this] instead of the haram [forbidden] organizations [the main Palestinian organizations].”

A grim jihadist competition is underway, over who can use the Jerusalem attack to boost its political power. Immediately after Qanbar’s attack, Hamas claimed he was an operative of its military wing, the Izz Al-Din Qassam Brigades.

Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, told a rally in Gaza to celebrate the murders that same night: “the [Israeli] soldiers fled from the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operative who carried out the attack for the sake of the Palestinians, the Arab nation and the Muslims.”

Other Hamas officials issued similar statements, praising Qanbar, and calling for his actions to reinvigorate the ‘intifada for Jerusalem.’

As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noted, Hamas’s official Twitter account chimed in: “We welcome the bold and heroic truck operation in Jerusalem which was a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation.”

To be sure, Hamas is engaged in unceasing efforts to set up and launch terror cells in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from where they try to evade Israeli intelligence, infiltrate and commit mass casualty attacks in Israeli cities. Hamas also is a main source of inciting lone Palestinian attackers.

Yet it is also in a state of conflict with Gaza-based ISIS entities, which sporadically fire rockets into Israel hoping to provoke retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets. In essence, ISIS-affiliated groups try to use the Israel Air Force to punish Hamas.

ISIS views Hamas as an infidel movement due to its willingness to blend jihadist doctrines with Palestinian nationalism. Nationalism has no place in ISIS’s vision of a pan-Islamic caliphate, free of so-called artificial national divides among Muslims.

Meanwhile, tensions increased as relations between Hamas and the ISIS affiliate Wilyat Al-Sinai (Sinai Province), which once saw a good degree of cooperation, soured. This relationship enabled Hamas to continue smuggling arms into Gaza via tunnels, and to make Gazan hospitals available to wounded ISIS fighters and commanders. Egypt has long suspected Gaza’s Islamist rulers of being a steady source of weapons and volunteers for ISIS.

Now, the ISIS-affiliated movement in and around Gaza is openly challenging Hamas’s legitimacy. Ironically, Hamas does the same thing to the ruling Fatah movement in the West Bank, which it seeks to topple by provoking a large-scale Israeli military counter-terrorism operation, according to assessments by Israeli security sources.

This deadly jihadist “game of thrones” looks set to continue and could act as a destabilizing factor and a catalyst for further attacks.

The Israeli defense establishment sees the truck ramming as the work of a lone attacker – the hardest type to detect and thwart preemptively.

While the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency is making progress using big data analytics to scan social media accounts and pick out potential lone terrorists, much work remains to be done in this challenging field.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to this during remarks he made on the scene of the Jerusalem ramming, “I think the most important thing to understand is that we are under a new type of attack, by a lone terrorist, who becomes inspired and decides to spontaneously act.”

To counter ramming attacks, Israel has installed concrete barricades around bus stops in Jerusalem and the West Bank, he added. Additionally, Israeli security forces spent the past year intensively developing a “preventative intelligence infrastructure,” Netanyahu said, in reference to data analytics.

As the race continues to improve these techniques, Israel will need to continue to rely on the rapid responses of armed security forces and civilians who typically arrive at the scene of such incidents within seconds and open fire on terrorists.

Whether it is organized large-scale cells or lone murderers, the threat of indiscriminate jihadist violence looks set to remain with Israelis for years to come – though as the past two years have shown, Western cities are also increasingly prone to such threats.

Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is
the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.

Trump has Islamic clerics wetting their pants

fatwa-amjaWND, by Leo Hohmann, January 9, 2017:

North American Islamic scholars have issued a legal ruling or “fatwa” in the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning victory and imminent presidency, instructing the faithful on what to expect and how they should respond to shifting political realities.

Changes are coming, warns the Assembly of Muslim Jurist of America, and Muslims are told to get ready. The fatwa is titled “AMJA Post-Election Statement: Principles and Roadmap.”

While the fatwa received no media attention, this declaration contains the principles to which imams in the nation’s more than 3,100 mosques will be looking for guidance on how to instruct their congregations.

Philip Haney, a retired Homeland Security officer and co-author of the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing,” said the document is loaded with coded language that signals a possible uptick in jihadist attacks during Trump’s presidency.

The fatwa starts out by referring to a “political storm” that has “taken over this country.”

The Islamic scholars at AMJA go on to explain that “Muslims of America are neither guests nor strangers” and they will strengthen their bonds with the country’s civil rights organizations and work to defend Muslim rights “whenever needed.”

“However, at the same time, we must always fulfill our obligations completely and be active participants in society working to protect the security and well-being of its inhabitants,” the fatwa states.

And what are their “obligations?”

“Their obligations are set by Shariah law,” Haney said.

The AMJA never had to issue such a declaration under President Obama because he gave the Muslim community everything they wanted, Haney said.  Now, they are expecting to meet resistance and they are preparing the troops.

“This whole fatwa is about fitnah,” Haney said.

“Fitnah” is an Arabic word meaning “trial” or “test,” which can take the form of oppression against Muslims in a society dominated by infidels. In the modern sense, “fitnah” equals “Islamophobia.”

“And the whole fitnah they expect to encounter is the new administration of Donald Trump,” Haney said. “That is what this whole fatwa is about, that the American Muslim community is about to encounter an intensification of what they consider Islamophobia.”

The AMJA’s Fatwa Committee is led by its senior member, the Egyptian-born radical Waleed Idris al-Maneese, imam of al-Faroq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, which has been attended by at least five Somali refugees who ended up being terrorists, as previously reported by WND.

The fatwa committee never mentions Trump by name, but it’s clear who they are talking about. They quote the Quran to reiterate that they themselves are the proper authorities to which all American Muslims should look for guidance in the coming days of trial.

“They’re laying the groundwork on the response to this fitnah,” says Haney. And what is the response?

While they don’t come right out and say it, the language of the directive will be understood by Muslims to mean that violent jihad could be within the realm of what is expected of them in the fight against the Trump-led fitnah or “oppression,” Haney said.

The threat is made with the following statement:

“There is no blame upon a country if it does what is needed to protect its interests and security as long as it does not transgress or oppress by denying or violating rights.”

Of course under Islamic law, where Muslims are able to rule, the government tramples all over people’s “rights,” especially those of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities. But in a Western democracy where Muslims are the minority, it helps further the cause of Islam to play the victim and claim to be “oppressed.”

“Osama Bin Laden was always talking about oppression,” Haney said. “These are capital offenses in Islam,” he added, as long as it is non-Muslims who are doing the oppressing. Otherwise it is expected that Muslims should oppress and subjugate non-Muslims where Muslims have the upper hand in a Muslim-majority society.

The fatwa continues by stating that Islam, with respect to its beliefs and legal foundations, is “unalterably fixed. It does not accept any replacement for change.”

That’s a warning to any moderates within the Islamic community, that they have no standing to make any claims on behalf of Islam, Haney said.

“What about all this talk about moderate Muslims? This is AMJA telling you there is no conceivable flexibility in Islam, it’s fixed, it will not change,” he said. “This ruling or fatwa is to accommodate anybody through any time or place, that’s why AMJA exists, to help Muslims in this non-Muslim community navigate the challenges of fitnah under Donald Trump.”

The fatwa states that only the AMJA can be trusted to represent the face of Islam in America:

“One must refer to the people of knowledge to know that the principle is being applied properly. A Muslim must comply with his faith and refer confusing or troublesome matters to the well-grounded scholars. AMJA is of the view that there has yet to occur – and they do not expect to occur – a situation in which one is required to flee with one’s faith or wherein one is excused from performing some parts of the faith’s teachings.”

“They’re telling the people you have to comply with the parameters of Shariah law,” Haney explains. “They’re telling Muslims, ‘we’re about to go down into a danger zone, so don’t go off on your own, you must listen to the enlightened ones.’

“They’re saying we’re not at that point yet where you need to flee. They’re telling you you’re not excused from observing Shariah law and we are telling you now you are obligated to keep it. You will flee America before you compromise with Shariah law. ”

The fatwa exhorts Muslims to “reach out to the other ethnic and religious group as well as political movements on the left and right. This will be the only way to stop those who deal in hate.”

The fatwa authors then re-emphasizing that Muslims must double down and support civil rights organizations, which signals that the Muslim community plans to step up its filing of lawsuits against governments and businesses that do not continue the Obama-era policies of affording special rights and privileges to Muslims and mosques that practice Shariah.

Without naming them, the call for donations is clearly directed at lining the coffers of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, which is an offshoot of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, identified as a co-conspirator in funding Hamas terrorists in the Holy Land Foundation trial of 2007.

The fatwa states:

“From among the most important obligations during this stage is to support those institutions and organizations that serve the Muslim community, such as those interested in defending freedoms, civil rights and political activism, those dedicated to social services and relief, and those dedicated to dawah, religious instruction and providing religious rulings.

“It is most unbelievable that there are some who cry over the state of the community and then they are too stingy to donate their time or money to such organizations. Worse than that are those who are even too stingy to pray for them or give them a kind word. But the worst of all are those who seek to destroy such organizations.”

‘Prepare for any possibility’

Haney said this is perhaps the most revealing segment of the fatwa.

“They’re telling you the whole structure of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States right there, and when you see it it’s as clear as day,” he said. “And they’re saying it is your obligation to support them.”

They see oncoming time of trial or Islamophobia as a test but that doesn’t alleviate the consequences for those people who are causing the difficulties for Muslims.

“That last line, where it says, ‘But the worst of all are those who seek to destroy such organizations’ is very revealing,” Haney said. “That is directed at those who go around trying to get CAIR out of our police departments, out of the FBI and out of our military. This could include Congress itself if they designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. This is the worst kind of fitnah, and what is the fate of those people? Jihad.”

The last admonition in the fatwa is perhaps the most chilling.

“No one knows the unseen except Allah. It is possible that an individual hates something while Allah has placed a lot of good for him in it. We must prepare for any possibility while hoping for the best outcomes.”

This comes directly from the Quran.

“The thing you hate you may have to do,” Haney says. “Devout Muslims know when they hear that phrase what it means. So it’s written in shorthand for those who know what it means.”

Flurry of lawsuits, activism on the way

So Haney, the career DHS officer who developed a database that could predict jihad attacks only to see it deleted from the DHS system by the Obama administration, expects to see an uptick not only in terrorist activity under the Trump administration. He believes America Muslims are also going to become more Shariah compliant.

“And that will spill over into the courts,” he said. “We will see more lawsuits filed, more allegations of hate crimes, hijab ripping, mosque defiling, and all those other things they consistently harp on are going to go up, because they see them as catalysts that reinforce this fatwa. They are going to be hyper-sensitive as a community to any perceived offense, because they are going into this new administration with the expectation that Trump is going to be oppressive, that they’re going to suffer, in other words an increase in Islamophobia, which is all fitnah is.

“So you’re going to hear the drumbeat of islamophobia louder and louder and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because if Trump actually does designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization, then AMJA is going to be one too, because they are a front for the Brotherhood that provides the guidance.”

“It will edge them closer to violence because they’re told they must comply with the principles of Shariah and fitnah, and when you’re presented with the fitnah you must fight against it,” he said.

Haney believes the AMJA fatwa should be studied by the Trump administration as he believes it telegraphs the Muslim leaders’ plan to “set the stage” for a new level of activism and violence.

The AMJA is not just an American organization. It’s a part of the global Islamic hierarchy.

“They come to these fatwa decisions after consulting with their brethren around the world. This is not an independent organization,” he said. “It’s a global consortium that speaks in a unified voice, and they wrote this fatwa specifically about their expectation of fitnah with the election, but did it in consultation with the global community of Islamic scholars.”

“It is a declaration,” he added. “They are telling the community how to respond to the new administration, and what they should do. This is a paramilitary declaration, a clarion call to the minutemen, ‘the British are coming, the British are coming’ and they are expecting an open confrontation and telling them in advance that those trying to shut these organizations [like CAIR] down are the worst.”

Also see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Iran Nuclear Deal Is the Worst of Obama’s ‘Many Catastrophic Legacies’

Associated Press

Associated Press

Breitbart, by John Hayward, January 10, 2017:

Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, was tasked by SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily with choosing the “worst thing Obama is leaving this country, in terms of foreign policy.”

“Oh, that’s easy,” Gorka replied. “It’s the empowering to nuclear threshold status of a nation that his own State Department says is a state sponsor of terrorism. The Iran nuclear deal is – of all the many, many catastrophic legacies, it’s the Iran deal.”

He judged that the empowerment of Iran was a worse Obama legacy than the rise of the Islamic State because “we can wipe ISIS off the face of the earth, if we’re serious, and if we really go to war.”

“I mean, think about it: they’ve got maybe, at best, at this point, 40,000 fighters. We have twice that number of special operators alone in the United States,” he noted. “If we’re serious, we can destroy them, and then follow that up with a counter-ideological campaign. But dealing with an eschatologically informed theocratic republic that now has a crescent of influence from Yemen to Persia, which is on the cusp of nuclear capability, that’s even more dangerous.”

Gorka suggested a dissertation could be written on how the realignment of power in the Middle East became a “secret war,” largely unreported by U.S. media, because President Obama wanted to change American posture towards Iran and other regional powers.

“Obama has a legacy for using more drones to kill people in the first six months of his administration than Bush ever did,” he said. “If you look at the fact that on one day, he has bombed six different nations – but nobody’s reporting about it. During the Bush administration, we had embedded journalists. You remember embed phenomena? That doesn’t exist any more. This is the complicity of the mainstream media, that they preach peace, they preach Nobel Prizes, but this is a truly hyper-engaged administration when it comes to doing what they think is right around the world for ideological reasons. But nobody writes about it, except Breitbart.”

Gorka agreed with author Dinesh D’Souza’s contention that Obama was “the first post-American President.”

“His guiding philosophy was very simple: America is bad. If there are problems in the world, from global warming to you-name-it, we are the cause. America is the new imperial force. As a result, we have to be taken down a peg or two – and my, did he take us down a peg or two,” he said.

Gorka had no patience for Obama’s claim of a “scandal-free” presidency.

“Where to begin? Benghazi, the IRS, the Iran deal, the involvement of drone strikes against U.S. citizens without due process – on and on and on,” he said. “That is perhaps the most bare-faced lie of any of the press reporting in the last eight years, that this was a scandal-free administration.”

Kassam asked for Gorka’s take on how the Trump transition team is handling the Russian hacking story, in particular the assertion in the intelligence community’s public report that Russian President Vladimir Putin directly ordered an effort to influence the 2016 election via media manipulation.

“I can’t talk to the transition, but if you listen to the statements that are being made, I think you’ll understand that the transition team understands better than most: this isn’t about ‘hacking.’ It’s hard to hack somebody whose password is ‘password,’” Gorka replied, making a jab at the notoriously lax security procedures of Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.

“This is about influence operations and information warfare,” he continued. “The issue is that Russia, for very little investment, managed to question the probity of our elections, without there really being anything that’s occurred to the elections themselves. That’s the big story. This is old, Cold War-style information operations at their worst.”

He said links to Russia could be seen in the penetration of the Democratic National Committee and Podesta’s email.

“If you look at the code that was used, if you look at the various modus operandi, the report from DHS, FBI, the unclassified one is clear. But the important point is, it’s not a ‘hack.’ The election wasn’t undermined. It is the perception of the probity of the election, and that’s called active measures. That’s called dezinformatsiya,” Gorka said.

Kassam noted the IC report has been criticized for offering far-reaching conclusions about Russian involvement without providing any supporting information, much of which would still be classified – the very same criticism that was leveled retroactively, for years, with white-hot passion, against the intelligence reports on pre-war Iraq. “Why are we just sort of accepting this now?” he asked.

“Look, the thing that has to be remembered – and this is the point I always try to make on any interviews – is that we have patriots and good people working inside the national security establishment,” Gorka responded. “For the majority of cases, that is absolutely true. But who runs them? Who is John Brennan? Who is General Clapper? These individuals are politically chosen. John Brennan has carried the water for Obama for eight years. That is important, and as a result, we have to reassess when one agency says something that the other agencies do not agree with. That’s the bottom line, Raheem.”

Kassam recalled that the last time unanimity was supposedly reached between the intelligence agencies, “it was Colin Powell sitting there claiming that everybody believed we had to go to war in Iraq. How’d that work out for us?”

“Yes indeed – another political actor who I’m sure regrets waving a test tube at the United Nations Security Council. Indeed, the ‘sexed-up’ dossier, Colin Powell’s behavior – these are all things we must remember,” Gorka urged.

Also see: