The FBI still hasn’t found these 9/11-era terrorists

Still at large are al Qaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahiri and fellow terrorist Saif al-Adel.

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, September 8, 2018:

After 9/11, the FBI warned the public about a number of potential terrorists they believed were being groomed for an encore attack. The feds described them as “the next Mohamed Atta” and put them on their Most Wanted Terrorists list. Today, these dangerous suspects remain on that same list and are still at large. Yet oddly, the FBI no longer talks about them.

The only thing that’s changed, besides the descriptions of their appearances, is that the FBI is now offering bigger rewards for them, along with several key al Qaeda leaders also still on the loose.

Families of 9/11 victims want to know why, after two wars costing trillions of dollars, do we appear no closer to capturing these top terrorists? Did the FBI stop hunting for them? Has it given up hope of finding them?

Terrorism experts are equally troubled by the delay in bringing them to justice.

“I’m concerned about these individuals still being at large,” said Philip Haney, former Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism analyst. “It should be the government’s top priority to locate and apprehend them.”

One would-be terrorist who was said to be planning to lead another attack on the US, following in the footsteps of 9/11 ringleader Atta, is the English-speaking Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, who spent time in Florida before fleeing the country in the wake of the attacks.

The Saudi-born suspect, also known as “Jaffar the Pilot,” is still featured prominently on the FBI’s website as a Most Wanted Terrorist. (The bureau has added a “digitally enhanced” photograph of Shukrijumah sporting a full Islamic beard.) In 2010, the feds indicted the 43-year-old for his alleged role in a 2009 plot to attack New York’s subway system.

The FBI believes Shukrijumah is helping run al Qaeda’s operations from Pakistan, while Islamabad claims its military killed him years ago. Considering that Pakistan has lied before about killing al Qaeda members — and about harboring Osama bin Laden — US officials are dubious of its claim.

FBI headquarters confirmed the Shukrijumah case remains open and that counterterrorism agents are still hunting for the indicted fugitive.

“The cases you mention remain open, active FBI investigations with large rewards continuing to be available to those who provide information about the cases mentioned,” said Michelle Goldschen of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs in Washington.

Shukrijumah also has New York connections. His late father served as a translator for the “Blind Sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman, at his mosque in Brooklyn before he was imprisoned for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist plots.

After 9/11, the US government fingered the street-smart Shukrijumah as the ultimate al Qaeda “sleeper agent,” and potentially more dangerous than even Atta. In fact, he was said to have been handpicked by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, aka KSM, to carry out an encore plot to detonate nuclear devices in several US cities simultaneously.

Today, his mentor KSM is locked up at Gitmo, where he awaits punishment for his crimes — which frustrates 9/11 survivors to no end.

“When you consider the US government’s absolute ineptitude and abject failure to prosecute those they currently already have in custody in Gitmo — where they’re still in the pretrial phase 17 years after the attacks — you have to wonder whether, perhaps, the US government has just done a cost-benefit analysis and determined that it’s not quite worth their time to bring any al Qaeda terrorists to justice or provide a modicum of accountability and closure to the innocent victims of terrorism,” said Kristen Breitweiser, who lost her husband, Ronald, in the World Trade Center’s south tower.

Another potentially dangerous suspect still eluding authorities is Abderraouf Jdey. Also known as Faruq al-Tunisi, he is a trained pilot who has a Canadian passport and was said to be slated for a “second wave” of suicide attacks after 9/11. He was identified in martyrdom videos recovered in Afghanistan.

An FBI poster places a $5 million bounty on Jdey’s head and includes a photo “retouched” to show how the 53-year-old might look today. The New York field office is handling tips on Jdey, along with Shukrijumah. (Unlike Shukrijumah, Jdey has not been indicted in absentia.)

Then there are the still-at-large al Qaeda leaders Saif al-Adel, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The trio was listed among the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists after 9/11 and the three remain there today — in spite of $10 million rewards for information leading to the capture of both al-Adel and Abdullah and an additional $25 million bounty for Zawahiri. Just last month, the US doubled the reward offers for al-Adel and Abdullah.

Zawahiri took command of al Qaeda in 2011 after US forces killed kingpin Osama bin Laden, who for years was sheltered in Pakistan. While we don’t hear much about al Qaeda anymore, it’s alive and well. In fact, terrorism experts warn it’s been growing in strength, not waning, since bin Laden’s death.

Zawahiri has declared plans to replace ISIS at the forefront of global jihad. He’s also given a central role in the organization to bin Laden’s son, Hamza. And he recently called on Muslims during a 17-minute videotaped address to attack American interests “everywhere” — echoing a fatwa issued by bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks.

DHS’s Haney said that Zawahiri is “consolidating power” under a new terror umbrella — AQIS, or al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent — adding that the center of gravity of the global jihadist movement is shifting to that region.

“An argument could be made that Zawahari is not only the world’s most experienced jihadist now, but also the most dangerous one,” Haney warned.

And yet the FBI still cannot seem to get much traction hunting down him or other 9/11-era terrorists.

The FBI declined to comment on why it’s taken so long to capture these bad guys.

“We would decline any further comment due to the ongoing nature of the current investigations,” Goldschen said.

Paul Sperry is a bestselling author and former Hoover Institution media fellow.

Exclusive: Obama Administration Knowingly Funded a Designated Al-Qaeda Affiliate

President Barack Obama participates in a news conference at the White House, November 14, 2016. (Jonathan Ernst

The group had been on a list of terrorist funders for a decade when a government agency specifically approved funding for it.

National Review, by Sam Westrop, July 25, 2018:

The Middle East Forum has discovered that the Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.

The story began in October 2004, when the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), as a terror-financing organization. It did so because of ISRA’s links to Osama bin Laden and his organization Maktab al-Khidamat (MK), the precursor of al-Qaeda.

According to the U.S. Treasury, in 1997 ISRA established formal cooperation with MK. By 2000, ISRA had raised $5 million for bin Laden’s group. The Treasury Department notes that ISRA officials even sought to help “relocate [bin Laden] to secure safe harbor for him.” It further reports that ISRA raised funds in 2003 in Western Europe specifically earmarked for Hamas suicide bombings.

The 2004 designation included all of ISRA’s branches, including a U.S. office called the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA). Eventually it became known that this American branch had illegally transferred over $1.2 million to Iraqi insurgents and other terror groups, including, reportedly, the Afghan terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In 2010, the executive director of IARA-USA and a board member pled guilty to money-laundering, theft of public funds, conspiracy, and several other charges.

ISRA’s influence also spread to Washington. Former U.S. congressman Mark Siljander (R., Mich.) pled guilty in 2010 to obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent after prosecutors found that IARA-USA had paid him $75,000 — using misappropriated USAID grant money — to lobby the government, in an attempt to remove the charity from the government’s terror list.

Despite this well-documented history, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in July 2014 awarded $723,405 to World Vision Inc., an international evangelical charity, to “improve water, sanitation and hygiene and to increase food security in Sudan’s Blue Nile state.” Of these funds, $200,000 was to be directed to a sub-grantee: ISRA.

Responding to a Middle East Forum (MEF) inquiry, a USAID official explains that World Vision had alerted it in November 2014 to the likelihood of ISRA being on the terror list. USAID instructed World Vision to “suspend all activities with ISRA” and informed the State Department, OFAC, and USAID’s Office of the Inspector General. USAID and World Vision then waited for OFAC to confirm whether ISRA was designated or not.

USAID emails obtained by the Middle East Forum reveal that in January 2015, World Vision was growing unhappy while waiting for OFAC’s assessment. Mark Smith, World Vision’s senior director of humanitarian and emergency affairs, wrote to USAID, stating that the Islamic Relief Agency “had performed excellent work” for World Vision in the past, and that “putting contractual relationships in limbo for such a long period is putting a significant strain” on World Vision’s relationship with the Sudanese regime. Smith also revealed that World Vision had submitted a notice to OFAC indicating its “intention to restart work with [ISRA] and to transact with [ISRA]” if OFAC did not respond within a week.

World Vision’s statement stunned USAID officials, who complained that World Vision’s behavior “doesn’t make sense.” USAID official Daniel Holmberg emailed a colleague: “If they actually said that they wanted to resume work with ISRA, while knowing that it was 99% likely that ISRA was on the list then I am concerned about our partnership with them, and whether it should continue.”

On January 23, OFAC confirmed that ISRA was a sanctioned entity and denied World Vision “a license to engage in transactions with [ISRA].” Mark Smith and World Vision’s country program director in Sudan expressed their disappointment, stating that they were in discussions with ISRA as well as the Sudanese regime’s Humanitarian Aid Commission, which regulates the activities of international charities in Sudan.

Despite OFAC’s ruling, in February, World Vision wrote to OFAC and Obama-administration official Jeremy Konyndyk (who then served as director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance) to apply to OFAC for a new license from USAID to pay ISRA “monies owed for work performed.” According to Larry Meserve, USAID’s mission director for Sudan, World Vision argued that if they did not pay ISRA, “their whole program will be jeopardized.”

While World Vision waited for a decision, on February 22, a pro-regime Sudanese newspaper, Intibaha, reported that the Sudanese political leaders had requested that World Vision be expelled from Sudan’s Blue Nile state. USAID disaster operations specialist Joseph Wilkes and World Vision’s Mark Smith speculated that this was “punishment” for the cancellation of the grant with ISRA, which a USAID official noted is “well connected with the [Sudanese] government.”

Then, incredibly, on May 7, 2015 — after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State” — OFAC issued a license to a World Vision affiliate, World Vision International, authorizing “a one-time transfer of approximately $125,000 to ISRA,” of which “$115,000 was for services performed under the sub-award with USAID” and $10,000 was “for an unrelated funding arrangement between Irish Aid and World Vision.”

An unnamed World Vision official described the decision as a “great relief as ISRA had become restive and had threatened legal action, which would have damaged our reputation and standing in Sudan.” Senior USAID official Charles Wanjue wrote to colleagues: “Good news and a great relief, really!” In August 2015, USAID official Daniel Holmberg even told a State Department official that he had been approached by the executive director of ISRA, and requested guidance on helping ISRA remove itself from the U.S. government’s terror list.

Obama-administration officials knowingly approved the transfer of taxpayer dollars to an al-Qaeda affiliate, and not an obscure one but an enormous international network that was often in the headlines.

How was this prominent terror funder initially approved to receive American taxpayer funds ten years after it had been placed on the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” terror list?

Existing measures to prevent the payment of government monies to designated terrorist organizations include: first, a requirement that all grantees and sub-grantees of U.S.-government grants register for a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number; and second, a requirement that all government vendors register with the government’s System for Award Management (SAM) database. A designated organization should not be able to acquire a DUNS number, and any designation is explicitly recorded in the SAM database with a note that the designated organization is excluded from government grants.

However, ISRA was in fact assigned a DUNS number — as recorded at the government’s USAspending.gov website — which matched no organization in the government’s SAM database. The only listings for “Islamic Relief Agency” or “ISRA” in the SAM database are the designated Sudanese al-Qaeda affiliate and its branches.

Whoever approved this grant to ISRA either failed to check the government’s database of designated groups or did so and then chose to disregard it. Both explanations are alarming. And neither answer explains how ISRA acquired a DUNS number.

Most important: Now we know that the government deliberately chose to transfer at least $115,000 to ISRA after confirming that it was on the terror-designation list. In other words, an al-Qaeda front received taxpayers’ money with the apparent complicity of public officials.

It is no secret that the Obama administration sought to downplay the threat of Islamism, and even to coopt some Islamist movements to promote its agenda. In its foreign policy, the administration expressed support for Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, while domestically, the White House invited Islamists to design the government’s Countering Violent Extremism program. It is difficult to argue that these efforts were the product of anything but great naïveté and political dogma. Is it possible that this combination extended to deliberately funding an al-Qaeda affiliate?

Congress must investigate this question and, more broadly, where USAID is sending taxpayers’ money, for ISRA might not be the only example. The House’s Foreign Affairs, Oversight, and Financial Services Committees, along with the Senate Finance Committee, must examine how a designated group came to qualify for government monies, why OFAC and the State Department authorized the transfer of funds after learning of ISRA’s terror ties, and which bureaucrat or political appointee was responsible for this mess.

Asked to comment, current State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told National Review: “As this occurred under the prior Administration, the current Secretary of the State, Secretary of Treasury, and USAID Administrator had no involvement in decisions surrounding this award or subsequent license.”

The American people need to know how their dollars funded an al-Qaeda affiliate. They need to know how deep this problem runs.

SAM WESTROP — Sam Westrop is the director of ISLAMIST WATCH, a project of the MIDDLE EAST FORUM.

Islamic Movement in U.S. Preparing for Battle

Re-upping this important post from 2016. This  should make crystal clear why we  need to designate the Muslim Brotherhood in it’s entirety a foreign terrorist organization. The use of terrorist tactics by the Muslim Brotherhood is guided by the principle of gradualism laid out by Sayyid Qutb in his book, Milestones. When they feel that the time is right they have always resorted  to violence to gain power.

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 13, 2016:

For UTT followers who are accustomed to brief articles, this is a longer article because it needs to be.  This is an important topic and needs a little more attention.  Please read this carefully because the implications are significant.  JG

As UTT has continually reported, there exists in the United States a significant jihadi movement led primarily by the Muslim Brotherhood whose organizations include the most prominent and influential Islamic groups in America.

The Islamic Movement in the U.S. continues their daily work of preparing for the coming battle at all levels of the society.  From a military standpoint, the leaders of the American Muslim community are coalescing their forces and preparing strategically, operationally, and logistically for war.

Strategic Overlay

Going back to the early 1980’s, the jihadis set up an elaborate network of jihadi centers known in the U.S. as the Al Kifah Refugee Centers to recruit jihadis for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.  Some of these over three dozen offices were operated by only a couple jihadis with a phone or fax machine, and some had a more sizable presence in the community.  Nevertheless, they created nodes across the United States for jihadis in many American cities, and became centers for possible Al Qaeda recruitment in the future.

For the last few decades the Pakistani terrorist organization known as Jamaat al Fuqra has been establishing jihadi training camps in the United States primarily among black Muslims, many of whom were recruited in prison.  Known in the U.S. as “Muslims of America” or “MOA,” approximately two dozen of the three dozen known camps appear to be operational today.

In the early 1990’s the Chief Investigator for the state of Colorado, with support from the Governor and Attorney General, launched a multi-jurisdictional raid of an MOA compound near Buena Vista (CO) and discovered weapons, explosives, lists of people to be assassinated, evidence that military/national guard bases had been under surveillance, and the like.

In one of the gems discovered in the 2004 FBI raid of the Annandale, Virginia home of a senior Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas leader, a recording of a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader speaking to a group of Muslim Brothers in Missouri revealed the MB has numerous training camps inside America and conducted regular firearms training.

To be clear, they are not planning on conducting violent actions in the immediate future, but are planning for “Zero Hour” – their term for when the violent jihad will begin when the time is right.  They may wait until an outside influence from a foreign power or a major event initiates conflict, and then the Islamic Movement can begin the jihad and act independently or as an ally for a hostile foreign power such as Iran or China.

In the MB’s 5-Phase “World Underground Movement Plan” – discovered at the 2004 FBI raid in Annandale, Virginia – the Brotherhood states (Phase 2) they must “Establish a government (secret) within the government.”  The purpose of this is to have jihadis on the inside of our government who will serve as the leadership for the Islamic Movement when they seize power in the United States.  Until then, their role is to (1) gather intelligence and (2) conduct influence operations at all levels of the society, especially within the decision-making process.

As has previously been discussed, this is much more a counterintelligence and espionage issue than it is a “terrorism” matter.  The enemy is preparing the battlefield now for the eventual battle to come.

The U.S. Network

The evidence in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Dallas 2008) reveals the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. are a part of a massive jihadi network whose stated objective is to wage “Civilization Jihad” to destroy our system of government and establish an Islamic State (caliphate) under sharia here.  The evidence also reveals the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Centers/Mosques are the places at which jihadi train for battle and from which the jihad will be launched.

All of the mosques our military entered during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and mosques that European authorities have raided in the last two years have had weapons in them.  The mosque is what Mohammad used a mosque for, and the launch point for jihad is one of those purposes.

There are over 2400 Islamic Centers/Mosques in America, most of which are a part of the MB’s jihadi network.

In the United States the “nucleus” for the Islamic Movement is the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) whose subsidiary Islamic Societies number approximately 170.  The Muslim Students Associations (MSA) serve as a recruiting arm for jihadis, and there are over 700 chapters on nearly every major college campus in America.

Reports from around the country from civilian and law enforcement sources reveal:  Mosques and Islamic organizations are being built in strategic locations – near key infrastructure facilities, military bases, or some other key position in the community; taxi cab drivers at the largest airports in the U.S. are Muslim; and there is a noticeable increase in sharia-compliant Muslim TSA officers, baggage handlers and airline/airport employees at U.S. airports.

Additionally:  Muslims are purchasing hotels, quick marts, and 7-11 type stores with gas stations, and  a majority of major hotels in cities across the U.S. have a manager or assistant manager who is a Muslim, which is statistically impossible unless this activity is intentional.

Quick marts and gas stations provide their Movement with a logistics train that will be needed in a battle. Having people in leadership positions at major hotels in major cities, where law enforcement and intelligence groups and others hold conferences, serve as excellent intelligence gathering nodes.

Jihadis have penetrated U.S. federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies giving them access to sensitive intelligence systems, while simultaneously they have shut down real threat-based training inside these same agencies under the guise factual/truth-based training is “offensive to Muslims.”

Jihadis have themselves penetrated senior levels of the government (eg Suhail Khan working for two successive Secretaries of Transportation with access to classified critical infrastructure details), and have recruited senior U.S. government officials to promote and protect their interests which are hostile to the U.S. (most recent example – Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson promoting and defending leading MB organization ISNA and speaking at their annual convention expressly to open the door to more Cabinet officials to do the same).

Key jihadi organizations, like Hamas (doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations/CAIR) work on Capitol Hill and inside government agencies to keep truthful discussions about the Islamic threat from ever happening, while plotting to work with Al Qaeda (as evidenced by UTT’s Chris Gaubatz discovery of a CAIR document dated 3/08/04 at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. stating, “Attempt to understand Islamic movements in the area, and start supporting Islamic groups including Mr. bin Laden and his associates”).

Now, the U.S. government is bringing tens of thousands of sharia adherent Muslims into our nation.  From the Islamic perspective, these people are Muhajaroun – those who make the hijra into the non-Muslim lands in preparation for the “Final Stage,” which is armed conflict with the host country.  This is all a part of their strategy, and is consistent with core Islamic doctrine.

Finally, we are currently observing the Marxist/Socialist Movement in the U.S. working directly with the Islamic Movement at the ground and strategic levels.  Both have publicly declared their support for one another, they are both receiving funding from hard-left Marxists/socialists (eg George Soros) and foreign powers, and both are openly pushing for confrontation with and the overthrow of the U.S. government.

The Islamic Movement in the United States is deeply embedded in the U.S. decision-making process, has thousands of organizations and allies, possesses a logistics train of fuel and supplies, conducts weapons training programs, has access to U.S. intelligence systems, is well funded (primarily by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc), has strategic plans for North America (An Explanatory Memorandum) and has a plan to implement the strategy (Implementation Manual) which they are following.

The U.S. response is to say “Islam is a religion of peace” and work with the very Muslim leaders who are driving this hostile network.

Victory is not possible with this recipe.

Each year there are between 70 and 120 new Islamic non-profits being created in America, most of which appear to be working directly in line with the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to wage civilization jihad until “Zero Hour” when the war goes hot.

Until then, they continue to prep the battlefield because they are really at war with us because they are following sharia – core Islamic doctrine – as their blueprint for what they are doing.

****

Did Jihadis Just Execute a Bombing Operation at a CA Mall?

Understanding the Threat, by Jon Guandolo, July 9, 2018:

Evidence reveals jihadis attempted to bomb the Los Cerritos Center in California this past weekend.  This is one more in a string of numerous incidents across the United States indicating an increase in willingness by jihadis to use violence to silence those who speak truth about Islam.

Recently UTT has reported:

  • Some local police work harder to protect jihadis in their communities than the citizens.  See UTT article here.
  • Senior leaders of the FBI aid and abet known jihadi leaders and Islamic Centers.  See UTT video here.
  • U.S. Islamic schools teach what ISIS teaches.  See UTT article here.
  • Jihadis are in control of operations of some U.S. ports. See UTT article here.

So it should come as no surprise when a muslim slides his backpack under the table at the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC) booth in Cerritos, California and walks away.  Literally.

UTT assesses this incident as a thwarted jihadi attack.  Lets look at the facts.

Those of you who follow UTT may remember in August of 2017 UTT published an article on the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC) and its leader Steve Amundson.

This weekend, Steve and his team, including a pastor, set up their booth in a busy part of a mall called The Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, California near Los Angeles.  As they always do, CJC hands out literature about Islam and the threat it poses to America and free people.

Over the last 6 months, Steve has reported an increase in physical assaults on him and his team.

The day began with two men snapping pictures of the CJC booth, then getting on the phone.  Steve Amundson witnessed this and recognized it as “red flag one.”

Steve has seen this behavior before, and it is usually the scouts looking for the CJC booth in order to alert others.

Later, two muslim women approached the booth and began cursing CJC’s people and calling them liars.  As mall security, which was standing in the immediate vicinity, was speaking with the women, a white haired muslim male moved over to the booth and slide his backpack under that table.  He then began speaking with the pastor from CJC.

After a short conversation, the muslim man walked away.

Amundson approached the pastor assuming the man was a friend.  When the pastor told Steve the man was an irate muslim complaining about CJC’s activities, Steve was immediately concerned for their safety.  He called security to stop the man, which was done.

Here are Steve Amundson’s words to describe what happened:

“I told security he left a backpack underneath our booth. The Moslem refused to take the backpack. We started to take cover behind cement pillars and told security to either call the bomb squad or have the guy pick up the backpack. He finally agreed to very carefullypick it up and security escorted him away. Security will not say at least right now if he was arrested, if the bomb squad was called or what. Was this a dry run or the real thing?”

Based on conversations Steve Amundson had with authorities, it does not appear the man’s backpack was ever searched.

This is a very serious incident, and either a dry run for a jihadi attack or the real thing.  The evidence leads UTT to believe this was the real thing.

The jihadis continue to ratchet up their aggressiveness, attacks, and violence here in America.

Will the FBI aggressively pursue this, or continue working with the jihadis to ensure no one puts a piece of bacon on the door knob of the local mosque?

Analysis: Pentagon continues to underestimate al Qaeda, downplay ties to Taliban

Screenshot from video produced by the Taliban in Dec. 2016 that emphasized the ties between al Qaeda and the Taliban. Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and Taliban founder Mulla Omar (center, top) are shown side by side in an image that promotes the martyrs of jihad.

Long War Journal, by Bill Roggio, July 5, 2018:

The US Department of Defense continues to ignore fundamental facts in spinning its latest narrative. Yet again, the Pentagon underestimates al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan while downplaying the group’s ties to the Taliban. The Pentagon claimed that al Qaeda’s “core members are focused on their own survival” and “there is no evidence of strategic ties” between al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Except, the Pentagon and the US intelligence community has consistently been wrong about al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan, and evidence of strategic ties between the two groups does indeed exist.

The Pentagon made these latest claims in the “Threats from Insurgent and Terrorist Groups” section (pages 25 & 26) of its most recent biannual report, Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan. The report was released earlier this week. The paragraph discussing al Qaeda and the Taliban is excerpted in full below [emphasis added]:

The al-Qa’ida threat to the United States and its allies and partners has decreased, and the few remaining al-Qa’ida core members are focused on their own survival. The remnants of the organization likely reside along the southeast Afghanistan border with Pakistan with a smaller element in isolated areas of northeast Afghanistan. Some lower- and mid-level Taliban leaders provide limited support to al-Qa’ida; however, there is no evidence of strategic ties between the two organizations and the Taliban likely seeks to maintain distance from al-Qa’ida. In addition, al-Qa’ida’s regional affiliate, AQIS, has a presence in south and southeast Afghanistan, and in Pakistan, and is composed primarily of militants from within the broader South Asia region.

Underestimating al Qaeda, yet again

The Pentagon report employed language that was used consistently during the Obama administration that downplayed al Qaeda’s strength. Phrases such as “few remaining” (General Joseph Dunford, 2013), “remnants” (President Barack Obama, 2014), and “focused on their own survival” (General John Campbell, 2015), were uttered by the President and his top commanders for Afghanistan numerous times.

Beginning in 2010, CIA Director Leon Panetta claimed that al Qaeda had only “50 to 100, maybe less”leaders and operatives based in Afghanistan. FDD’s Long War Journal repeatedly refuted this estimate and even used the US military’s own press releases on raids against al Qaeda in Afghanistan to rebut the claims. Panetta’s estimate was repeated numerous times by intelligence and military officials, unchanged, for nearly six years. Additionally, the US military claimed that al Qaeda was confined to the northeastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.

This incorrect assessment of al Qaeda’s was proven wildly inaccurate when in Oct. 2015 US forces killed more than 150 al Qaeda operatives in an attack on two al Qaeda training camps in the Shorabak district in the southern province of Kandahar. After the raid on the al Qaeda camps, US military spokesman Brigadier General Wilson Shoffner described the raid as “one of the largest joint ground-assault operations we have ever conducted in Afghanistan.” It took US and Afghan forces more than four days to clear the two camps, with the aid of 63 airstrikes. Shoffner’s description of the al-Qaeda facilities indicated that they had been built long ago.

“The first site, a well-established training camp, spanned approximately one square mile. The second site covered nearly 30 square miles,” Shoffner said. “We struck a major al-Qaeda sanctuary in the center of the Taliban’s historic heartland,” he added.

After the Shorabak raid, the US military was ultimately forced to concede its estimate of al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan was wrong. In April 2016, Major General Jeff Buchanan, Resolute Support’s deputy chief of staff, told CNN that the 50 to 100 estimate was incorrect based on the results of the Shorabak raid.

“If you go back to last year, there were a lot of intel estimates that said within Afghanistan al-Qaeda probably has 50 to 100 members, but in this one camp we found more than 150,” he said.

The estimate of al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan was revised upwards to about 300.

Yet, in mid-December 2016, General John Nicholson admitted that the US military killed or captured 50 al-Qaeda leaders and an additional 200 operatives during calendar year 2016 in Afghanistan. And in Sept. of 2016, Nicholson said that US forces were hunting al Qaeda in seven of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

The US continues to hunt al Qaeda leaders to this day. Most recently, in late April the US announced that it killed a dual-hatted al Qaeda and Taliban leader in an airstrike in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar. The jihadist was described as “a senior AQIS [al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent] and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander” who “controlled fighting forces in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Additionally, al Qaeda’s leaders do not appear to be “focused on their own survival.” Al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab, has increased its production of videos and other materials since mid-2015. Al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri and his heir apparent, Hamza bin Laden, have released numerous statements during this timeframe, while al Qaeda central has dispatched leaders to direct the fight in other theaters, such as Syria. These are not the actions of a group that is focused on survival.

Clearly, the US intelligence community and the military has consistently underestimated al Qaeda and its strength in Afghanistan, and continues to do so to this day.

“Strategic” al Qaeda and Taliban ties

The Pentagon report also stated that “there is no evidence of strategic ties between the two organizations and the Taliban likely seeks to maintain distance from al-Qa’ida].” The groups have long been tied and there is indeed evidence to prove it.

In December of 2016, the Taliban issued a video that emphasized its continuing alliance with al Qaeda. The video, entitled “Bond of Nation with the Mujahideen,” is replete with imagery and speeches that promote the enduring Taliban-al Qaeda relationship. In one section which promoted the martyrs of the Afghan jihad, al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and Taliban founder Mulla Omar (see image above) were shown side by side. Also shown is Nasir al Wuhayshi, Osama bin Laden’s aide de camp who was promoted to lead al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Wuhayshi was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen, not in Afghanistan.

“Bond of Nation with the Mujahideen” also included clips of a speech by Sheikh Khalid Batarfi, a senior official in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. LWJ believes he is likely part of al Qaeda’s global management team. Batarfi praised the Afghan jihad and stressed that the ties between al Qaeda and the Taliban remain strong.

The video is clear evidence that the Taliban, as recently as Dec. 2016, did not seek to “maintain distance from al-Qa’ida,” as the Pentagon claims.

Al Qaeda leaders’ oaths to the Amir-ul-Mumineen [“Emir of the Faithful”], or the head of the Afghan Taliban, is solid evidence of continuing ties between the two groups. Osama bin Laden’s pledge to Mullah Omar was maintained up until the US killed Osama in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. Both the Taliban and al Qaeda have noted multiple times that the oath endured the Taliban’s loss of control of Afghanistan after the US invasion in 2001.

Zawahiri swore allegiance to Omar after Osama was killed, and again swore an oath to Mullah Mansourafter the Taliban announced Omar’s death in 2015. Mansour publicly accepted Zawahiri’s pledge in an official statement released on Voice of Jihad. After the US killed Mansour in May 2016, Zawahiri again issued a public pledge to his successor, Mullah Haibatullah, who is the Taliban’s current emir. While Haibatullah did not publicly accept Zawahiri’s oath, he also did not reject it. Haibatullah is considered to be far more radical than his predecessor, and he served as the Taliban’s chief judge for Mansour, so he would have given approval for Mansour’s acceptance of Zawahiri’s oath.

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, al Qaeda’s branch in south and central Asia, also has publicly declared its allegiance to the Taliban.

Another key indicator that the Taliban’s relationship with al Qaeda remains strong to this day is the ascendance of Sirajuddin Haqqani to serve as one of the top two deputies to the Taliban’s emir as well as its commander of military operations. Sirajuddin is closely allied to al Qaeda. The Pentagon, in a previous section of the Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan report, noted that “Sirajuddin Haqqani’s role as a Taliban deputy probably increased Haqqani influence within the Taliban leadership.”

The Haqqani Network, which is a powerful and influential faction of the Taliban, is known to have very close ties to al Qaeda, and maintains these ties to this day. Numerous designations of Haqqani Network commanders detail the close ties to al Qaeda. (Designations of other Taliban leaders not part of the Haqqani Network also detail close ties to al Qaeda.) The US, in its covert drone campaign in Pakistan, has killed multiple al Qaeda leaders who were sheltering in areas controlled by the Haqqanis.

The Pentagon cannot explain how the Taliban seeks to distance itself from al Qaeda while promoting Sirajuddin to the top echelon of its leadership cadre.

The US military has demonstrated time and time again that is unable to properly assess al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan as well as its close and enduring ties to the Taliban.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

To Win This War Americans Must Know Sharia

Understanding the Threat, by Stephanie Ameiss, June 26, 2018:

U.S. warfighting doctrine states that to professionally analyze a threat, you begin with how the threat defines itself and why the threat states it is fighting you.

From Al Qaeda and the Islamic State to the 9/11 attackers to the Boston Marathon bombers and jihadis killed or captured in Europe and the United States, the Islamic enemy unanimously states they are “muslims waging jihad to establish an Islamic state (caliphate) under sharia (Islamic law).”

To date, the U.S. intelligence and military community has yet to do a professional analysis of our enemy.

They have failed to read, study, and teach sharia.

This is why we are losing the war.

Sharia is the blueprint for how the Global Islamic Movement is fighting the war and it is the thing which the enemy seeks to impose on the world.

They tell us sharia is their goal everyday. They hold up signs, put up billboards, and put it out on television and social media. They say it in open court, they scream it in public, and thousands of speeches by Islamic scholars and leaders can be seen at places like MEMRI where they are constantly and clearly calling for warfare against non-muslims (JIHAD) until the world is under the rule of sharia.

Therefore, the professional response by U.S. military, law enforcement, intelligence professionals and leaders is to simply read Islamic law.

When a person does this they will quickly learn Al Qaeda and ISIS have never misquoted sharia to support their actions.

Crucifixion, beheading, stoning, rape, and other behaviors are all legal under sharia. But you have to read sharia to know it.

When you read sharia you will learn it is a capital crime for muslims to teach other muslims anything incorrect about Islam, and it is obligatory for muslims to lie to non-muslims when the goal is obligatory…like jihad.

Therefore, to be professional you must read authoritative books of Islamic law written by Islamic authorities for muslim audiences.

Reliance of the Traveller or The Islamic Law of Nations are a couple good places to start.

Understanding the Threat’s 3 day program for police, first responders, national guard, military, and others – “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Threat” – rocks people’s world because on Day 1 we lay out what sharia is, its authority in Islam, and what it says.

We use the very books and materials found in U.S. Islamic schools and mosques that muslims use to teach other muslims about Islam.

The reaction of the attendees of this training, including senior military and intelligence officials, as well as FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents and officers is always the same – they have never been taught the information, yet they believe it is critical to protecting their community.

Once this information is known, and professionals learn about the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadi network in America, they put all of their experiences into perspective and can see the magnitude of the threat we face from the Islamic Movement.

Those educated about sharia and the jihadi network realize that when Islamic leaders make demands from TSA or police departments or from prisons or from local communities, they are not asking for “religious accommodations” they are demanding adherence to sharia.

Understanding the Threat is the only organization in America doing what we do.

Here are three things you can do to help grow the counter-jihad movement:

1. Use UTT resources to educate yourself and others on this threat.

2. Bring UTT’s 3-day “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Threat” to your area. Discuss it with your sheriff and police chief.

3. Consider for yourself or others UTT’s Train the Trainer program. This unique week-long program gives graduates the ability to teach others about the threat and defend the information from attacks from detractors.

For more information, please contact us at info@understandingthethreat.com.

UTT Answers the Critics

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

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

UTT would like to inject some truth into this situation.

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

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

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

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

So far…no takers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Guandolo was dismissed from the FBI.”

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

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

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

See the video HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

Guandolo claims most Islamic organizations in America are a threat.

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

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

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

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

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

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)

Muslim Students Association (MSA)

Muslim American Society (MAS)

Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA)

International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)

Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA)

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

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

They certainly do not have the truth.

Also see: