Another Road on Refugees

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Refugee crises exist in Africa as well as Syria and, increasingly, Iraq. Germany seems to be realizing it can’t just take them all in. What’s the alternative?

CounterJihad, November 14, 2016:

The Washington Post recently hosted a furious essay on Africa’s refugee crisis, which is being ignored in favor of worries about Europe’s:

We don’t often hear about these particular refugees or asylum-seekers, do we? They are, to borrow a term from British historian Mark Curtis, “unpeople,” the poor, nonwhite residents of the developing world who tend to be ignored by the Western media.

Where is the rolling coverage of Kenya’s Dadaab camp, for example? Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world, but in a move that could displace as many as 300,000 people, Kenyan authorities are in the process of closing it down. It puts the recent British media frenzy over the so-called “Jungle” camp in Calais, France, with its 10,000 migrants, into some perspective, doesn’t it?

The inconvenient truth is that while the U.K. Parliament votes to deny entry to 3,000 displaced children from Syria and the Hungarian prime minister vows to build a new and “more massive” border fence to keep out asylum-seekers, refugees in Africa are fleeing from one war-torn region to the next. From South Sudan to Darfur. Yes, to Darfur. From the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Central African Republic, and from DRC back to CAR. From Nigeria to Chad.

Germany under Angela Merkel has been at the forefront of pressuring European governments to accept more refugees, setting the example by directing Germany to flood itself with migrants.  Her success as an exemplar is mixed.  Yet the scale of the crises have long since passed what can be handled through ordinary means such as resettlement.  Camps of 300,000 people can’t be processed, let alone peacefully integrated into a stable society without vast effort, nor can such persons be moved to more stable regions without tremendous expense.  Once they got there, too, they would lack all of the language and cultural skills necessary to find employment or to integrate quickly into the host society.

So Germany has proposed a new idea, which is being compared to America’s Marshall Plan.  The concept of the original Marshall Plan was to rebuild Europe after the Second World War through vast American aid.   The aid was not repaid, but the investment helped Western Europe to recover from the war enough to serve as functional trading partners.  Thus, it ended up being much in America’s interest, as it meant that Europeans could buy American goods.  The Marshall Plan was called “the most unsordid act in history,” and it was that.  It was an act of tremendous generosity.  Nevertheless, it did redound to America’s benefit in the long term.

Germany’s proposal follows a similar line:  what if, instead of trying to absorb endless flows of refugees, Europe led the way in investing in Africa so that it could provide homes and jobs for the refugees already there?

The minister added that there are currently an estimated 20 million displaced persons in Africa.

Last year Europe faced a flow of asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia on a scale unprecedented since World War Two, with over a million people arriving over 12 months. The challenge sparked a rise of nationalism in Europe and strained relations between EU members, some of which reintroduced border control measures and toughened immigration laws.

In other words, the scale of the refugee problem in Africa is twenty times the problem that Europe has already stressed itself to the breaking point trying to absorb.  Europe cannot accept refugees on that scale, if it is driven to such disruption by 1/20th as many.  It can, however, provide aid that would build up Africa’s ability to provide better lives for those who are there.

There is also, by the way, a refugee crisis in Central America.  Latin American governments have enjoyed a great deal of praise for their handling of it from the international community.  Yet the United States has been taking a lot of the pressure off of them by, like Germany, admitting more and more refugees into its territory.  Like Germany, the United States might also reconsider whether that is the best way to respond to these humanitarian crises.  It may be that there is a better way.

Kerry in Nigeria: ‘Trouble Finding Meaning’ of Life Leads ‘Too Many’ to Terrorism

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, AUGUST 23, 2016:

On a visit to Nigeria today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared there are “far too many” who join terrorist groups like Boko Haram “because they have trouble finding meaning or opportunity in their daily lives.”

“Because they are deeply frustrated and alienated — and because they hope groups like Boko Haram will somehow give them a sense of identity, or purpose, or power,” Kerry said after meeting with local religious leaders to discuss community building and countering violent extremism in Sokoto, Nigeria.

“We see this in every part of the world — whether we are talking about the Lake Chad Basin or the Sahel, or a village in the Middle East or a city in Western Europe, it’s the same. When people — and particularly young people — have no hope for the future and no faith in legitimate authority — when there are no outlets for people to express their concerns — then aggravation festers and those people become vulnerable to outside influence,” he added. “And no one knows that better than the violent extremist groups, which regularly use humiliation and marginalization and inequality and poverty and corruption as recruitment tools.”

Kerry stressed that “one of our central tasks — and almost every single religious leader I just heard in the other room talked about this task — has to be to remove the vulnerabilities in our own position.”

“To effectively counter violent extremism, we have to ensure that military action is coupled with a reinforced commitment to the values this region and all of Nigeria has a long legacy of supporting — values like integrity, good governance, education, compassion, security, and respect for human rights,” he said.

The Obama administration has been critical of Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, charging that human rights are being violated as they target suspected terrorists.

“It is understandable that in the wake of terrorist activity, some people are tempted to crack down on everyone and anyone who could theoretically pose some sort of a threat. I caution against that today,” Kerry said. “Extremism cannot be defeated through repression or just creating fear. Fear instilled through repression invites not confidence; it invites contempt. It creates terrorists — trust creates citizens.”

Nigeria is about half Muslim and 40 percent Christian, with indigenous religions making up the balance. Kerry told the Nigerians that “those who would tear our communities apart — pitting one religion or one sect against another — they can only be defeated by citizens’ unyielding commitment to unity and mutual understanding.”

“Equality and tolerance; justice and mercy; compassion and humility — these are values that transcend religions, ethnicities, and all kinds of moral codes,” he said. “They are certainly in keeping with the teachings of Islam that have enriched the world for centuries.”

Kerry’s trip also included a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and a sit-down with northern governors.

The Nigerian Army claimed Monday that “believed to have fatally” Boko Harm leader Abubakr Shekau. The army claimed the same back in 2014, only to have Shekau emerge alive and well.

“In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded,” spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka said in a statement, claiming the terrorists were killed during Friday prayers.

Deaths and injuries from Boko Haram attacks jumped 190 percent in 2015. Over the same period, the Nigeria-based terror group’s use of suicide bombers rose 167 percent. They pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.

This week in jihad: ‘If we lose Africa, we lose the War on Terror’

Boko HaramConservative Review, by Nate Madden, Aug. 18, 2016:

As Turkey arrests tens of thousands of political prisoners following last month’s coup attempt, and ISIS horrifically executes dozens of captives accused of spying, Boko Haram’s new leader and new mission in West Africa highlight the precipitous state of jihadism on the continent.

It has been over two years since almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in April 2014.

New video released Sunday by Nigerian-based ISIS-affiliate Boko Haram highlights the sad and troubling reality that the insurgency — now the deadliest terror group in the world — is still terrorizing West Africa, with a new focus on targeting Christians.

According to a report from the Associated Press:

The video posted Sunday on Twitter shows a young woman, covered in a hijab with just her face showing, who was one of the students abducted from a remote school in northeastern Nigeria in April 2014. She claims that some of her kidnapped classmates died in aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force. She also said that 40 have been “married” to fighters.

The video shows a militant warning in the Hausa language that if President Muhammadu Buhari’s government battles Boko Haram with firepower, the girls won’t be seen again.

“Presently, some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military,” the fighter says, appearing before a group of more than 40 young women in hijabs, some holding babies.

The video’s release comes just two weeks after news broke of an internal shakeup in the Boko Haram’s organization’s ranks, in which its long-time leader Abu Bakr Shekau was reportedly replaced by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who has pledged to re-focus the group’s terror focus on Christians and churches while ending attacks on markets and mosques.

In an interview published by ISIS and reported by SITE Intelligence on August 8, al-Barnawi vowed to respond to what he called attempts to “Christianize the society” by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross.”

Al-Barnawi, who was confirmed by ISIS’ English language magazine, Dabiq, as the new governor of its so-called West Africa Province — a name that Boko Haram adopted last spring — had been a spokesperson for the group for over a year, speaking in lieu of the mysterious Shekau, leading to speculation of the latter’s death.

Boko Haram’s new announced strategy in West Africa echoes sentiments laid out in the latest issue of Dabiq, in which the multinational insurgency focused attacks directly at Christianity with articles as titled “Break the Cross” and “Why we hate you and why we fight you.”

Elsewhere in Africa, a Ugandan Islamist group hacked at least 64 people to death with machetes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The massacre was carried out by the Allied Defense Forces in the town of Beni, according to a report at the Daily Mail. The ADF is known as a quasi-jihadist militant group initially focused on overthrowing the Ugandan government with the intention of installing Sharia law in the East African country.

As pointed out in a previous two-part series at Conservative Review, the continued violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and the spread of jihadism in other regions is largely a result of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failed and reckless Africa policies. These have helped increase the jihadist footprint on the continent.

“We’re on the verge of losing the whole continent of Africa,” to jihadist groups Counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole told Conservative Review in a phone interview for the series.

“Africa is the war on terror,” he added. “If we lose Africa, we lose the war on terror.”

Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religion and culture. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate has previously written for The Washington Times, Catholic News Service, Patheos, and The Christian Post. Follow him @NateMadden_IV.

Two Years Ago Today: Boko Haram Seizes 276 Christian Schoolgirls

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton, April 14, 2016:

Two years ago today the savage barbarians of Boko Haram, an Islamic jihadist organization, kidnapped 276 Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria.

At the time, this was but the latest example of Boko Haram’s reign of terror. Up to that point, Boko Haram had made it a point to target and slaughter Christians–especially Christian worshippers on Christian Holy Days, such as Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter.

In fact, Boko Haram is said to be directly responsible for more deaths than the Islamic State (ISIS).

But it wasn’t until they kidnapped these hundreds of schoolgirls that the world was finally awoken to the danger that Boko Haram posed. And, in fact, since then, Boko Haram has officially joined the Islamic State, meaning that the caliphate now controls territory in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nigeria and has branches and affiliates among some 35 jihadist organizations in as many as 19 nations stretching from the Philippines to west Africa, in addition to supporters and sympathizers across western Europe and in North America.

Despite the fact that the world was awoken to the danger from Boko Haram two years ago today, the world’s response has been feeble, mainly because the so-called leader of the Free World, Barack Obama. doesn’t view Jihad as a global threat, but rather a collection of local, unrelated conflicts in which he doesn’t want to get involved.

imrs

Nothing better symbolizes the Obama administration’s cavalier recalcitrance to the threat from Jihad than Michelle Obama’s hashtag Twitter response to the kidnapping of the 276 Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria.

The fact is, it’s so easy to ignore something like this happening in Africa, because no one really cares about Africa all that much. That isn’t just a shame, it’s criminally negligent because the facts point to Boko Haram being part of the global Jihadist movement, not just a local gang of thugs.

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Can there be any doubt that were these 276 American, French, British, or even Saudi, schoolgirls, someone would be raining hot lead and hell down on Boko Haram by now?

But we all know that isn’t going to happen because our leaders refuse to recognize that we are in a global war and that the Jihadists have one goal in mind: a worldwide caliphate ruling by Shariah.

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The U.S. has been especially slow to recognize the threat posed by Boko Haram in particular. We can thank Hillary Clinton for that. Despite dishonest attempts at revisionist history by Soros-funded Socialist front groups like Think Progress to spin the details, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blocked efforts to have Boko Haram designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for more than two years.

She did so because someone had convinced her that doing so might anger the group to the point that they might target Americans. If that reminds you of appeasement in Europe in the 1930s, that’s because it IS just like appeasement in Europe in the 1930s.

In Hillary Clinton’s world, if the Jihadists want to slaughter thousands of Christians in churches in Africa every Christmas and Easter, that’s okay, as long as they don’t attack us.

I guess Black Lives Really Don’t Matter to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

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Nigerians protest against abductions by Boko Haram, demanding that the government act. (Photo: © Reuters)

Nigerians protest against abductions by Boko Haram, demanding that the government act. (Photo: © Reuters)

Girls Choose Suicide Bombing Over Life Under Boko Haram (clarionproject.org)

A “proof of life” video showing 15 of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in August 2014 has been shown to the parents of the girls.

It is believed to be the first footage they have seen proving their children are still alive.

The video is in the hands of negotiators and the Nigerian government.

The video was probably made in December 2015, CNN reported.

Some of those forced into being so called “jihadi brides” are clamoring to become suicide bombers. A 16-year-old teenager, identified only as Fati, told Britain’s The Express that if girls become suicide bombers they can escape a life of continual rape and potentially be rescued.

“They [the Boko Haram fighters] would ask: ‘Who wants to be a suicide bomber?’” Fati recounted. “The girls would shout: ‘Me, me, me.’ They were fighting to do the suicide bombings.”

“If they give them a suicide bomb” she said, “then maybe they would meet soldiers, tell them: ‘I have a bomb on me’ and they could remove the bomb. They can run away.”

Three quarters of the children used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram since 2012 have been girls, according to UNICEF.

Boko Haram is officially known as the Islamic State in West Africa since pledging allegiance to the self-styled Caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in March 2015.

For more information about Boko Haram see Clarion Project’s Special Report: Boko Haram Nigeria’s Islamist Group

Girls Carry out Suicide Bombing; Kill at Least 58 in Nigeria

The aftermath of a previous attack by Boko Haram. (Photo: © Reuters)

The aftermath of a previous attack by Boko Haram. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, Feb. 11, 2016:

At least 58 people were killed and many others injured in a double suicide bombing attack on a refugee camp in Nigeria. The camp is in the northeastern town Dikwa, 53 miles outside the capital of Borno state. It was serving as a temporary home for people fleeing the insurgency of the jihadist group Boko Haram.

Reports vary from 58 killed to more than 70, with dozens more reported injured.

Two female suicide bombers entered the camp and detonated their devices in the middle of it. A third was reportedly arrested before she detonated her bomb, after changing her mind.

“The one they arrested alive, she confessed,” Ahmed Satomi, of the State Management Agency, told Al Jazeera. “She feel [sic] that her parents would come and that’s why she refused to detonate her own bomb.”

She reportedly recognized her parents and siblings in the camp and therefore decided not to blow herself up.

The attack was carried out on February 9 but information was slow to filter out due a breakdown in the telephone system. It was carried out in revenge for a Nigerian military operation against Boko Haram in the village of Boboshe, according to The New York Times.

Boko Haram is trying to establish a sharia state in northeastern Nigeria and pledged allegiance to the caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year.

Also see:

Iranian Regime Gives Green Light to Qods Force, Proxies to Initiate Plans Against US and its Allies

The Middle East roach infestation has originated from Iran – so who will turn on the light to make them scatter? Source: www.ibdeditorials.com/cartoons

The Middle East roach infestation has originated from Iran – so who will turn on the light to make them scatter?
Source: http://www.ibdeditorials.com/cartoons

June 1, 2015 / / 1 Comment

In Yesterday’s article titled “Arabian Pensinsula Violence Escalates After Second IS Bombing in Saudi Arabia,” we stated that our sources in the region have been reporting back that movement appears to be underway towards targeting westerners – mainly Americans. Specifically, we’ve been informed that the Qods Force may have directed Hezbollah, Kitaib Hezbollah (KH) and the Houthis to begin making plans for conducting William Buckley-style abductions Americans in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Furthermore, reporting from various media outlets have already begun covering the Americans taken hostage by the Houthis and a Hezbollah plot disrupted in Cyprus. None of these are a “coincidence.” Its all by design and timed with the nuclear weapons negotiations. Why do this if the Obama administration is prepared to give them everything without having to sacrifice anything on their end? It all comes down to the fact that the Iranian regime views the US government is weak – and they will be able to be much more “assertive” by escalating their belligerence. Thus far the Obama administration has done nothing to prove otherwise.

Arabian Pensinsula Violence Escalates After Second IS Bombing in Saudi Arabia
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6853

We’ve been warning about the Qods Force working to expand their influence in Yemen and model the Houthis after Lebanese Hezbollah. In “Iranian Regime Consolidates Yemeni Gains, Begins Work on Forming Houthi Intel Proxy” we laid out how such work has already been underway. Furthermore, a consistent theme we’ve been touching on in our Arabian Peninsula reporting has been how intelligence collection against US State Department (DoS) personnel and American citizens in the country had dramatically increased with the influx of Hezbollah and Iranian military personnel into the country – so none of this is “new,” although the Obama administration would like to make you think it is, and that the Qods Force doesn’t exercise any control over the Houthis. The inconvenient truth is that they do, and the man calling the shots in the country is Qods Force External Operations Division (Department 400) BG Aboldreza Shahlai.

Read more

Also see:

Terrorism in Africa: The Imminent Threat to the United States

Ansar al Sharia recruits receive training at a camp near Benghazi.

Ansar al Sharia recruits receive training at a camp near Benghazi.

Long War Journal, April 29, 2015:

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on the threat posed by jihadist groups in Africa. 

In preparing today’s testimony, I reviewed the history of al Qaeda’s plotting against the West. A number of facts demonstrate that al Qaeda’s presence in Africa has been tied to these efforts. For instance, declassified documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound show that he ordered al Qaeda’s branches in Africa to select candidates capable of striking inside the U.S. Bin Laden also ordered al Qaeda’s African branches to coordinate their work with his “external operations” team, which was responsible for plotting attacks against Western interests. Some of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders, including those who have overseen al Qaeda’s planned attacks in the West, have come from Africa. Senior al Qaeda leaders embedded in Shabaab have also trained operatives to attack in Europe. I discuss this evidence in detail in the final section of my written testimony.

Complex tribal, ethnic, and religious dynamics mean that any summary of the situation in Africa will be necessarily incomplete.  However, I will attempt to distill some themes that are important for understanding the rising jihadist threat in the continent. While there are important differences between ISIS and al Qaeda, and the two are at odds with one another in a variety of ways, they are both inherently anti-American and anti-Western. Thus, they constitute a threat to our interests everywhere their jihadists fight.

Since the beginning of the year, the ISIS branch in Libya has repeatedly attacked foreign interests. The group has bombed and/or assaulted with small arms the Algerian, Moroccan, Iranian, South Korean and Spanish embassies in Tripoli. Fortunately, these attacks have caused only a few casualties, as foreign governments pulled most of their diplomatic personnel out of Libya months ago. But these incidents show the organization’s followers are deeply hostile to any foreign presence.

Other ISIS attacks on foreigners in Libya have been more lethal and at least two Americans have been killed by ISIS’ so-called “provinces.” In January, the group’s fighters launched a complex assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. Ten people, including David Berry, a former U.S. Marine serving as a security contractor, were killed. In August 2014, jihadists from the ISIS province in the Sinai killed William Henderson, an American petroleum worker.

Some of ISIS’ most gruesome acts in North Africa have come with pointed threats against the West. In February, the jihadists beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts. The propaganda video showing the murders was entitled, “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” ISIS explicitly threatened Italy in the video and also made it clear that they would target Christians simply for adhering to a different faith. Earlier this month, ISIS’ branch followed up by killing a large group of Ethiopian Christians.

In March, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. More than 20 people were killed in the assault, which targeted foreign tourists. Citizens of Britain, France, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, and Spain were among the victims. Although ISIS was quick to lay claim to the museum slayings, the reality is more complicated. The Tunisian government has blamed the Uqba ibn Nafi Brigade, which is part of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official branch of al Qaeda. Based on publicly-available information, it appears that the attackers may have joined ISIS, but the operation itself was planned by the AQIM brigade’s leadership.

Al Qaeda’s international network continues to launch high-profile attacks across the continent. Some of these operations directly target foreigners. Earlier this month, Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in Somalia, killed more than 140 people at the Garissa University College in Kenya. The gunmen reportedly separated out non-Muslims for killing, letting many Muslims go. This shows that the organization, like other parts of al Qaeda, is very concerned about the impact of its violence in the Muslim-majority world. In this respect and others, the Garissa attack was similar to Shabaab’s siege of the Westgate shopping mall in September 2013. More than 60 people were killed, with Shabaab’s gunmen singling out non-Muslims. Shabaab’s attacks in Kenya and other neighboring countries are part of what the UN has identified as the group’s “regional” strategy. Shabaab has undoubtedly suffered setbacks since the height of its power in East Africa, but it still operates a prolific insurgency inside Somalia, while also seeking to expand its capabilities in the surrounding countries. In fact, America’s counterterrorism efforts in East Africa seem to be principally aimed at the part of Shabaab tasked with exporting terrorism throughout the region.

As we’ve seen over the past several years, al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Africa will attack American and Western interests when the opportunity presents itself.  The September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Mission and Annex in Benghazi and the raid on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis three days later were carried out by al Qaeda-linked groups. The Ansar al Sharia organizations in Libya and Tunisia, both of which are tied to AQIM, were involved in these assaults on America’s diplomatic presence in North Africa. In early 2013, terrorists commanded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar killed dozens of foreign workers during the siege of the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria. Belmokhtar, who is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri, claimed responsibility for operation on behalf of al Qaeda.

There is no doubt, therefore, that both ISIS and al Qaeda pose a threat to Western interests in Africa. Below, I explore current trends within both organizations, highlighting some ways these international networks may threaten Americans both home and abroad. But first, I briefly look at the different strategies ISIS and al Qaeda are employing to build up their networks.

Read more

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Subcommittee Hearing: Terrorism in Africa: The Imminent Threat to the United States

Witnesses

Dr. J. Peter Pham
Director
Africa Center
Atlantic Council
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Thomas Joscelyn
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Dr. Daniel Byman
Research Director
Center for Middle East Policy
Center for Security Studies
Brookings Institution
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]