Freed-Up Frozen Funds, Sanctions Relief and Ransoms Only Aid Iran’s Global Crime Syndicate

hCNS News, by Clare Lopez, Aug. 10, 2016:

“As long as Iran has money, Hizballah will have money,” Hizballah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah boasted in a late June 2016 interview. “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added to Hizballah’s official Al Ahed newspaper.

Well, not quite everything.

In the past, Hizballah’s annual income from Iran was estimated at $100-200 million annually, with more received after the devastating 2006 war with Israel. More recently, however, as sanctions bit down on the Iranian economy even as the mullahs ramped up Iran’s nuclear weapons development and poured resources into the battle to save its Damascus proxy regime, the amounts Tehran could provide to Hizballah declined. Hizballah itself was called upon by Tehran to provide fighters, funding, and weapons to the Syrian effort. At least partly as a result, the time since 2011 has been marked by an expansion of Hizballah’s already-extensive global crime network. While Hizballah long has relied on a worldwide network of Shi’ite Lebanese businesses, criminal syndicates, and other supporters for financial and operational support, the urgent need to bolster its own funding efforts has pushed Hizballah increasingly into scaling up its narcotrafficking and related criminal activities—naturally with the full knowledge and approval of its Iranian masters.

Since its creation by Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the early 1980s, Hizballah has been involved in the local drug trade, built on traditional smuggling operations across the Middle East. Then the Lebanese civil war sent a Lebanese diaspora to the Western Hemisphere in which Hizballah operatives easily blended. Its first foothold was in the lawless Tri-Border area of South America, where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. Partnership with Colombian cocaine traffickers and willing collaboration from Venezuela gave Hizballah a new revenue stream as well as a base of operations with hemispheric proximity to Tehran’s number one ‘Great Satan’ enemy.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the drug trade is now Hizballah’s number one source of income. Collaboration between Iran, the IRGC, Qods Force, Hizballah, narcotrafficking cartels, and organized crime has grown exponentially in recent years, according to Michael Braun, retired senior official for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In June 2016 testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Braun reported that Hizballah today is smuggling “hundreds of tons of cocaine from the Andean Region of South America into Venezuela” and from there onto ships destined for European markets via West and North Africa.

Operation Smokescreen was the name given to a Hizballah cigarette-smuggling operation run out of Charlotte, North Carolina, with links across the U.S. and in both Canada and Lebanon. Describing the complex network of banks, criminal operations and front companies that garnered tens of millions of dollars in profit for Iran’s terror proxy, law enforcement spokesmen identified a restaurant, painting business, tobacco shops, and credit card, mail and visa fraud, all as part of this Hizballah operation that was shut down in 2002.

In December 2011, DEA unraveled a large Florida-based criminal used car operation whose known profits netted Hizballah close to $500 million through the sale of counterfeit currency and bulk cash smuggling, some of which was also used to procure “a long list of sophisticated weapons.”

And finally, in January 2016, Customs and Border Protection (CPB), DEA, and international law enforcement partners busted yet another narcotics trafficking and money laundering operation dubbed Project Cassandra. Once again, the direct involvement of Hizballah operatives—always under the authority and supervision of the Iranian IRGC, Quds Force and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)—was uncovered. A South American network of drug cartels called the Business Affairs Component (BAC), set up by Hizballah terror chieftain Imad Mughniyeh (assassinated in 2008) as a criminal division of Hizballah’s External Security Organization, managed this drug trafficking operation and laundered the proceeds through the Black Market Peso Exchange (a drug money laundering system). Managed by senior Hizballah operatives, some of whom are Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) figures, the BAC was moving cocaine and money to Europe, Iraq, Lebanon and the U.S. The arrest of SDGT Mohamad Noureddine in connection with Project Cassandra may have put a temporary crimp in some of Hizballah’s drug trafficking, but officials point to an actual expansion of such operations since a nuclear deal was made with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that took effect in July 2015.

U.S. willingness to deal directly with the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world has emboldened both Tehran and Hizballah. The JCPOA was only supposed to be about Iran’s nuclear industry, but its criminal, narcotics and terror industries got the message, too: individual U.S. agencies do their best, but the mullahs still have top cover.

Billions in freed-up frozen funds, sanctions relief, and ransoms paid for American hostages don’t hurt either.

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

New ‘Terror Jihad Reader Series’ Lays Bare The True Nature And Danger Of The Islamic State

2623784173CENTER LAUNCHES NEW ‘TERROR JIHAD READER SERIES,’

LAYS BARE THE TRUE NATURE AND DANGER OF THE ISLAMIC STATE

Center for Security Policy, August 2, 2016:

As the savage attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) seem to follow on one another at an ever-increasing pace, too many still do not understand what this group is, where it came from, who its leaders are, and most important of all, why they do what they do. Whether the IS-controlled territory called “The Caliphate” survives in its current form or not, the totalitarian ideology Islamic supremacists call Sharia and the jihad it impels will cause adherent fighters, followers and supporters around the world to fight on and, unless decisively defeated, to continue to metastasize.

In the absence of such a defeat, the Islamic State continues to add new groups to its growing franchise. And individual jihadists from nearly every continent continue to step forward to pledge allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they carry out murderous attacks on innocent civilians. Unfortunately, too many at the top levels of U.S. national security, the media, academia and other elites still fail to understand this enemy, typically approaching it as a mere “terrorist organization” or purveyor of “violent extremism.” In particular, unless and until there is a much better appreciation for the phenomenon that is spawning and intensifying Islamic supremacism as practiced by IS, Americans and other freedom-loving peoples will be in mortal peril.

In the hope of enabling such an appreciation, the Center for Security Policy is pleased to present the first monograph in its “Terror Jihad Reader Series”: Jihad! Understanding the Threat of the Islamic State in America, by Ilana Freedman. This publication delves into IS’ inspirational Islamist identity and describes the real threat it consequently poses to the United States. Ms. Freedman brings to bear her rigorous scholarship and sober analysis in order to define this enemy accurately and illuminate its abilities, intentions and motivations.

Vice President for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez introduces the Center’s new book

Speaking on the timeliness of this critical new book, Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney noted:

For much of the past fifteen years, the United States has been preoccupied with the threat posed by al Qaeda (AQ). More recently, attention has preponderantly shifted to what began as an AQ splinter group, the Islamic State. Ilana Freeman’s new monograph, Jihad!, makes plain why the object of this new focus needs both to be better understood, utterly crushed and recognized as just one part of the global jihad movement – which must get the same treatment. It should be considered required reading, especially for those who seek to be our next Commander-in-Chief and charged with protecting this country against such enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Jihad! Understanding the Threat of the Islamic State in America is available for purchase in Kindle and paperback format at Amazon.com. As with all of the Center’s other publications, this one can also be downloaded for free at www.SecureFreedom.org.

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For additional information about the stealthy counterpart to the violent jihad addressed by the Terror Jihad Reader Series, see the Center for Security Policy’s “Civilization Jihad Reader Series.”

PDF of the newly released monograph

A former CIA clandestine officer’s take on the shariah threat

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Secure Freedom Radio, July 19, 2016:

CLARE LOPEZ, Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, former CIA clandestine officer:

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

  • Violence against law enforcement continues – this time in Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Unholy alliance between the US Muslim Brotherhood, Black Lives Matter, and Alinskyite Anarchists
  • Damage done by the US Council of Muslim Organizations and its sister organizations across the Western world

(PART TWO): (podcast2): Play in new window | Download

  • Political agenda of those under the USCMO umbrella
  • Explaining shariah
  • Donald Trump and other GOP leaders’ stance concerning refugee resettlement from Muslim nations

(PART THREE): (podcast3): Play in new window | Download

  • Implications of the failed coup in Turkey
  • How the AKP Party has weakened the Turkish military
  • The Gulenist Movement
  • Aspects of jihad still present in Sufism

(PART FOUR): (podcast4): Play in new window | Download

  • Classified 28 pages of the 9/11 report made public
  • Future implications for the US/Saudi alliance
  • Iran and Hezbollah roles in 9/11
  • Instances of Shia and Sunni cooperation in terrorizing the West

(PART FIVE): (podcast5): Play in new window | Download

  • What to expect from a nuclear Iran
  • Can the MEK Party force regime change in Tehran?
  • Update on Hillary Clinton in regards to Benghazi

Prince Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud Drops Bombshell at Iranian Opposition Rally

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Center for Security Policy, by Clare Lopez, July 13, 2016:

At the annual gathering of Iranians outside of Paris, France on 9 July 2016, where some 100,000 showed up to express support for regime change in Tehran, one of the guest speakers dropped a bombshell announcement. Even before he took the podium, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud, appearing in the distinctive gold-edged dark cloak and white keffiyeh headdress of the Saudi royal family, of which he is a senior member, drew commentary and lots of second looks. The Prince is the founder of the King Faisal Foundation, and chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, and served from 1977-2001 as director general of Al-Mukhabarat Al-A’amah, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, resigning the position on 1 September 2001, some ten days before the attacks of 9/11.

He took the podium late in the afternoon program on 9 July and, after a discourse on the shared Islamic history of the Middle East, launched into an attack on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, whose 1979 revolution changed the course of history not just in Iran, but throughout the world. His next statement sent a shock wave through the assembly: Bin Faisal pledged support to the Iranian NCRI opposition and to its President-elect Maryam Rajavi personally. Given bin Faisal’s senior position in the Saudi royal family and his long career in positions of key responsibility in the Kingdom, it can only be understood that he spoke for the Riyadh government. The hall erupted in cheers and thunderous applause.

Iranians and others who packed the convention center in Bourget, Paris came for a day-long program attended by representatives from around the world. Organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the event featured a day filled with speeches and musical performances. A senior-level U.S. delegation included Linda Chavez, Chairwoman of the U.S. Center for Equal Opportunity; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; former Governor of Pennsylvania and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge; Judge Michael Mukasey; former Governor of Vermont and Presidential candidate Howard Dean; and former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, Fran Townsend.

The NCRI and its key affiliate, the Mujahedeen-e Kahlq (MEK), were on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list until 2012, having been placed there at the express request of Iranian president Khatami. Iranian university students formed the MEK in the 1960s to oppose the Shah’s rule. The MEK participated in the Khomeini Revolution but then was forced into exile when Khomeini turned on his own allies and obliterated any hopes for democratic reform. Granted protection by the U.S. under the 4th Geneva Convention in 2004, remnants of the MEK opposition have been stranded in Iraq, first at Camp Ashraf and now in Camp Liberty near Baghdad since U.S. forces left Iraq. Completely disarmed and defenseless, the 2,000 or so remaining residents of Camp Liberty, who are desperately seeking resettlement, come under periodic deadly attack by Iraqi forces under Iranian Qods Force direction. The most recent rocket attack on July 4th, 2016 set much of the camp ablaze and devastated the Iranians’ unprotected mobile homes. The MEK/NCRI fought their terrorist designations in the courts in both Europe and the U.S., finally winning removal in 2012. The NCRI’s national headquarters are now located in downtown Washington, DC, from where they work intensively with Congress, the media, and U.S. society to urge regime change and a genuinely liberal democratic platform for Iran.

Given the Obama administration’s close alignment with the Tehran regime, it is perhaps not surprising that the NCRI and Riyadh (both feeling marginalized by the U.S.) should find common cause to oppose the mullahs’ unceasing quest for deliverable nuclear weapons, aggressively expansionist regional agenda, and destabilizing involvement in multiple area conflicts, especially its extensive support for the murderous rule of Bashar al-Assad. Nevertheless, the implications of official Riyadh government support for the largest, most dedicated, and best-organized Iranian opposition movement will reverberate through the Middle East.

Although not openly stated by bin Faisal, the new NCRI-Riyadh alliance may be expected to involve funding, intelligence sharing, and possible collaboration in operations aimed at the shared goal of overthrowing the current Tehran regime. The alignment doubtless will change the course of events in the Middle East, and while Saudi Arabia can hardly be counted among the liberal democracies of the world, the woman-led NCRI movement declares a 10-point plan for Iran that does embrace the ideals of Western Civilization. The impact of the Saudi initiative will not be limited to Iran or the surrounding region but at least as importantly, surely will be felt internally as well, among a young and restless Saudi population that looks hopefully to the rule of King Salman and his 30-something son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud.

@ClareMLopez Ms. Lopez manages the Center’s counterjihad and shariah programs, bringing with her also an expertise on Iran, Hizballah, and southern border issues. From 2010-2014, she was a Sr. Fellow with the Center. Lopez began her professional career as a CIA operations officer and later applied her national security expertise as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher in various contract positions within the defense sector. She has been an instructor for military intelligence and Special Forces students and lectures widely on Iran, Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood around the country. Earlier an advisor to EMP Act America, in February 2012 Ms. Lopez was named a member of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which focuses on the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat to the nation and is a member of the Center’s Secure the Grid Coalition.

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Ramadan Jihad Massacre at Orlando Gay Club

52fb1969-043f-43e8-aa59-0e580990385aTown Hall, by Clare Lopez, June 13, 2016:

“First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people,” goes the jihad rallying cry. This year’s warning came first, as it always does, from an Islamic terror spokesman, the Islamic State’s Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. On 21 May 2016, he released a statement entitled, “That They Live by Proof,” that called for Ramadan attacks against “kuffar everywhere,” but specifically called on Muslims to target “civilians…[in] America and its allies of the Jews, Crusaders…and against all of Your enemies.”

Ramadan began on 6 June this year and runs until 6 July. The first to be attacked were in Israel, on 8 June, at the Sarona Market, an upscale food and retail center in central Tel Aviv. Two gunmen killed at least three and injured another five before being captured by police and taken into custody. That the next target was a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL should have surprised no one. Homosexuality is a capital punishment crime under Islamic Law (shariah). This is why the Islamic State is seen throwing gays off the tops of tall buildings—they believe they are obeying the will of Allah. Within Islam, there is broad consensus among authoritative scholars, based on widely-cited hadiths, about the obligation to impose the death penalty on gays. Further, mainstream Islamic doctrine obligates Muslims to take personal responsibility for the enforcement of shariah in the doctrine of “enjoin the good, forbid the evil” that derives directly from the Qur’an.

As if any more warning were needed, the United West warned in April 2016 about the Hussein Islamic Center in Sanford, FL that invited one Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, to speak during the 2016 month of Ramadan. Sekaleshfar, a Shi’ite cleric, has posted a number of his earlier lectures online. In one of them, from 30 December 2013, he spoke explicitly about the shariah obligation to impose the death sentence on homosexuals: “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence … We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.” Please note that as a scholar of Shi’ite jurisprudence, Sekaleshfar cites here to the exact same shariah that holds homosexuality to be a capital crime in the Sunni schools of jurisprudence.

The Muslim killer at the Pulse night club in Orlando, FL has been identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an American citizen born in New York of Afghan immigrant parents. He was married for a time, but his ex-wife said he became increasingly abusive and beat her (indeed, as commanded in Qur’anic verse 4:34). Some years ago, Mateen made the pilgrimage to Mecca known as the umrah, which takes place at other times of the year from the hajj. He is reported to have made a 911 call before the attack, in which he pledged bayat to the Islamic State. He also is reported by eyewitnesses to have been yelling “Allahu Akbar,” as indeed required for an Islamic jihad attack. The Islamic State subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq News Agency while jihadis celebrated on social media. In other words, in every respect, Mateen seems to have been a devout, practicing, shariah-adherent Muslim, possibly connected in some way, formal or otherwise, to the Islamic State.

Unfortunately, the FBI didn’t seem to understand any of that when it questioned Mateen in 2013 and again in 2014 because of reports he’d been associated with Islamic terrorists, including one who carried out a suicide bombing in Syria. According to media reporting, the FBI even opened an investigation into Mateen but later closed it when they failed to understand the indicators and warnings his profile should have presented to them. As now-retired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower Philip Haney has tried so hard to warn, because of the Great Purge throughout the ranks of U.S. national security agencies, officers like him were forbidden to pursue Islamic terror leads or learn or use accurate language to describe jihad or shariah as motivating ideologies for Islamic terror. In his new book, “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad,” Haney explains how the Muslim Brotherhood’s penetration of U.S. defenses and successful influence operations have effectively neutered U.S. law enforcement efforts against jihadis like the San Bernardino shooters or Mateen. In place of evidence-based investigations, the Obama administration willingly worked with Muslim Brotherhood advisors to implement the ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ policy that explicitly avoids anything that would connect Islamic doctrine, law or scriptures to Islamic terror. As Muslim Brotherhood front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) or the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) begin to step forward in coming days, as they already have begun to do, ostensibly to condemn the Orlando Jihad Massacre, they too, must be held to account to repudiate the explicit elements of Islamic doctrine that hold homosexuality to be a death sentence crime

On a final and very disturbing note, Mateen has now been identified as having been an employee of a Florida-based security firm, G4S, that, according to Judicial Watch, has a DHS contract to transport illegal aliens from the Mexican border inland to resettlement throughout the U.S. He worked for G4S since 2007 and was currently employed at the time of this shooting.

The Orlando Ramadan Jihad Massacre is the largest mass shooting ever to take place on U.S. soil. Before there is another or possibly worse attack, U.S. national security leadership must face up to the reality of the Islamic jihad assault that has been launched against us. A new national security strategy must be written and implemented that identifies the enemy threat doctrine as Islamic Law – shariah – and takes immediate, pro-active steps to counter its jihadist, supremacist elements and deny them any further ability to operate in the United States.

Misrepresenting the Threat of Islam

7a9d40b9-13de-40a6-8bd1-9dc11badf8eaAIM, by James A. Lyons and Clare M. Lopez

One of the worst things that political and military leaders of a country at war can do is to misrepresent, or not understand, the threat doctrine and objectives of the enemy. Like it or not, America has been at war since November 1979 when Iran took over our embassy in Tehran.

On 15 May 2016, The Washington Post carried an article by retired General David Petraeus, which was his attempt to offer some insights for our next President on how to combat the current threat posed by the Islamic State (IS). He also attempted to address the broader Islamic jihadist ideology that animates them! In so doing, there is an unstated presumption throughout the article that “Islam is a religion of Peace” that has been hijacked by Islamic extremist groups, e.g., Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, al-Nusrah, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth.

General Petraeus fails to mention that the so-called “violent extremist groups” are all part of the Global Jihadists Movement (GJM). They, in fact, are carrying out the core principles of Islam as specified in the Quran, Shariah and the hadiths. Muslims do not consider Islam to be a “religion.” They call it a “complete way of life.” Clearly, our leaders need to understand that Islam is a totalitarian ideology, governed by an alien legal system called Shariah that obligates all Muslims to carry out jihad to conquer the world and subjugate it to Islamic Law. Jihadists plan to accomplish this by capturing our “soul” through the use of terror. Not understanding this is how we find ourselves in our current predicament.

To be clear, the doctrine of Shariah is not espoused by all Muslims. However, as pointed out by Andrew Bostom in his 15 March 2016 article in PJ Media, Shariah supremacism with its hateful bellicosity and bigotry remains regrettably the predominant mindset of the world’s Muslims. He states, based on the latest available information, that 77% of Muslims from the five largest Sunni Muslim populations and 83% of Shiite Iranians want Shariah as the law of the land. Furthermore, 91% of liberated Iraqis and 90% of Afghan Muslims support Shariah as well. So much for Muslim help!

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Clare Lopez: Gulen and the Gulenist Movement

Center for Security Policy, May 10, 2016

Clare M. Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, is the co-author of the recently published book “Gülen and the Gülenist Movement: Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Cult and its Contributions to the Civilization Jihad.” Fethullah Gülen is the head of a vast political network in Turkey that promotes theocracy and has infiltrated the Turkish state. Gülen lives in the U.S. where he has established a significant number of charter schools. Her remarks included commentary on Gülen’s erstwhile ally, now opponent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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EXCLUSIVE- A Buried Envelope & Buried Questions: Your First Look Inside Declassified Document 17

Tour of Al Janadriyah Ranch

Tour of Al Janadriyah Ranch

Clare Lopez posted this article on her facebook page with this comment:

Fascinating account of evidence, some known, some not-so-much, about Saudi involvement in 9/11 attacks (in addition to collaborating w/Iran to put a mark in hijackers’ ppts so Iranian border guards wouldn’t stamp them as they traveled in & out – see www.iran911case.com, Exhibit #4; in addition to Riyadh allowing Iran-directed Hizballah terror operative Imad Mughniyeh to recruit hijackers in Saudi Arabia in Oct 2000 – see 9/11 Commission Report, pg. 240; in addition to the ‘Golden Chain’ including wealthy Saudis who were allowed to funds AQ & UBL pre-9/11…etc.

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9/11 Commission Work Plan Reveals FBI Found al Qaeda Member’s U.S. Pilot Certificate Inside Envelope of Saudi Embassy in D.C.

Investigators Sought to Examine Possible Political Influence on Examination of Saudi Government, Royal Family Links

28pages.org, By Brian P. McGlinchey, April 19, 2016:

As President Obama prepares to visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, his administration is under increasing pressure to declassify 28 pages that, according to many who’ve read them, illustrate financial links between the Saudi government and the 9/11 hijackers.

Meanwhile, a far lesser-known document from the files of the 9/11 Commission—written by the same principal authors as the 28 pages and declassified last summer without publicity and without media analysis—indicates investigators proposed exploring to what extent “political, economic and other considerations” affected U.S. government investigations of links between Saudi Arabia and 9/11.

Drafted by Dana Lesemann and Michael Jacobson as a set of work plans for their specific parts of the 9/11 Commission investigation, the 47-page document also provides an overview of individuals of most interest to investigators pursuing a Saudi connection to the 2001 attack that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Included in that overview is a previously unpublicized declaration that, after the capture of alleged al-Qaeda operative Ghassan al-Sharbi in Pakistan, the FBI discovered a cache of documents he had buried nearby. Among them: al-Sharbi’s U.S. pilot certificate inside an envelope of the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C.

Declassified in July 2015 under the authority of the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) pursuant to a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) appeal, the document is the seventeenth of 29 released under ISCAP appeal 2012-48, which focuses on FBI files related to 9/11. One of two documents in the series identified as “Saudi Notes,” we’ll refer to it as “Document 17.”

Dated June 6, 2003, Document 17 was written by Lesemann and Jacobson in their capacity as staff investigators for the 9/11 Commission, and was addressed to 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, Deputy Executive Director Chris Kojm and General Counsel Dan Marcus.

Commission Investigators Posed Two Questions That Linger Today

Lesemann and Jacobson had previously worked together on the 2002 joint congressional 9/11 intelligence inquiry and authored the classified, 28-page chapter on foreign government financing of the attacks. Document 17 outlines how the two investigators proposed to extend their earlier research. The plans include many questions Lesemann and Jacobson felt the investigation should answer.

Two of those questions seem strikingly relevant today, as a declassification review of just 28 pages said to implicate Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks has inexplicably taken three times as long as the entire joint inquiry that produced them, and while a growing number of current and former officials who are familiar with the pages emphatically assert there’s no national security risk in their release.

Lesemann and Jacobson, already veterans of investigating 9/11 with the congressional inquiry, asked:

Document 17 Two Questions

They are two questions Lesemann wouldn’t be permitted to answer: Zelikow fired her first. Her termination had an apparent Saudi aspect of its own: Impatient with Zelikow’s neglect of her repeated requests for access to the 28 pages, she circumvented him to gain access on her own. When Zelikow discovered it, he promptly dismissed her.

Organizationally set apart from dozens of other questions as among the more important, overarching lines of inquiry for their particular avenue of the commission’s work, the significance of the questions’ presence in Document 17 is amplified by the absence of corresponding answers in the commission’s final report.

At some point—perhaps after Lesemann’s determined interest in Saudi links to 9/11 led to her dismissal—someone apparently determined a public study of those questions was beyond the scope of work.

Zelikow’s appointment over the commission was controversial, given his previous friendship with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and the fact he’d served on the Bush administration’s transition team. That history and, once appointed, his ongoing contacts with Bush political advisor Karl Rove, led some to question whether he was willing or able to achieve the high level of impartiality so essential to his role.

The Bush administration’s lack of cooperation with Saudi-related 9/11 inquiries is well-documented. According to Philip Shenon’s book, The Commission:

(Commission member and former Secretary of the Navy John) Lehman was struck by the determination of the Bush White House to try to hide any evidence of the relationship between the Saudis and al Qaeda. “They were refusing to declassify anything having to do with Saudi Arabia,” Lehman said. “Anything having to do with the Saudis, for some reason, it had this very special sensitivity.” He raised the Saudi issue repeatedly with Andy Card. “I used to go over to see Andy, and I met with Rumsfeld three or four times, mainly to say, ‘What are you guys doing? This stonewalling is so counterproductive.”

The Bush family has a multi-generational relationship with the Saudi royal family, with ties that are both deeply personal and deeply financial. Prince Bandar bin Sultan was the Saudi ambassador to the United States on 9/11, and is considered a personal friend of George W. Bush.

With many investigatory leads pointing toward the Saudi embassy in Washington, some feel Bandar merits thorough investigation—or that he may even be directly implicated in the 28 pages that Bush controversially redacted.

Saturday, appearing on Michael Smerconish’s CNN program to discuss a Saudi threat to divest itself of some $750 billion in U.S. Treasury securities if Congress passes a law clearing a path for 9/11 victims’ lawsuit against the kingdom, former Senator Bob Graham said, “I believe that there is material in the 28 pages and the volume of other documents that would indicate that there was a connection at the highest levels between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the 19 hijackers.”

Asked by 60 Minutes if the 28 pages name names, commission member Lehman replied, “Yes. The average intelligent watcher of 60 Minutes would recognize them instantly.”

(If you watched the impactful prime time 60 Minutes segment on the 28 pages that aired last week and don’t remember Lehman’s intriguing statement, it’s because 60 Minutes oddly relegated perhaps their most newsworthy quote of all to this web extra.) There are many more examples of the U.S. government’s thwarting of Saudi-related inquiries, both outside and inside the work of the 9/11 Commission.

A Buried Flight Certificate

The FBI’s 2002 discovery of a U.S. pilot certificate or “flight certificate” inside a Saudi embassy envelope was news to Graham, who co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry that produced the 28 pages. 

al-sharbi-excerpt-document-17“That’s very interesting. That’s a very intriguing and close connection to the Saudi embassy,” said Graham, who has been championing the declassification of the 28 pages and a perhaps hundreds of thousands of pages of other documents since 2003.  

Since people often re-use envelopes and citizens of any country may have legitimatereasons for correspondence with the embassies of their government in foreign countries they live in, the Saudi embassy envelope isn’t by itself conclusive of anything. 28Pages.org couldn’t find any other history of the FBI’s find or of the government’s evaluation of its significance.

Al-Sharbi is one of 80 remaining detainees at Guantanamo Bay. His public record includes his graduation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, reported association with other al-Qaeda members and alleged attendance at training camps in Afghanistan.

He is also among the individuals identified in FBI agent Kenneth Williams’ July 2001 electronic communication, sometimes called the “Phoenix EC” or “Phoenix Memo.” With it, Williams attempted—unsuccessfully—to alert the rest of the bureau about suspicions that Middle Eastern extremists were attending flight schools with ill intent, and to recommend a nationwide investigation of the phenomenon.

While those aspects of al-Sharbi’s story have been widely discussed, the FBI’s reported discovery of his flight certificate inside a Saudi embassy envelope buried in Pakistan has not.

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Cruz adviser points finger at Saudis for 9/11

911-world-trade-center

WND, by Garth Kant, April 19, 2016:

WASHINGTON – It’s an explosive charge, but evidence keeps mounting to support it.

“Make no mistake: Support to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks was official Saudi government policy.”

That is the bombshell comment made to WND by Clare Lopez, the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy. She is also a member of the national security advisory team for GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.

The accusation is staggering because, if true, it would mean it was official Saudi policy to help conduct what was, essentially, a military act of war against the U.S., a supposed ally.

WND reported a year-and-a-half ago concerns by lawmakers that some members of the Saudi government did, in fact, assist the hijackers.

But an article in the New York Post on Sunday by former WND Washington Bureau Chief Paul Sperry, based on well-placed government sources, directly ties Prince Bandar bin Sultan to the 9/11 conspiracy. Bandar was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005.

If Bandar was involved, it would likely mean support for the 9/11 attacks went to the highest levels of the Saudi government.

Lopez takes Sperry’s revelation a shocking step further by declaring support for the “9/11 attacks was official Saudi government policy.”

Sperry also reported, “[T]he kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government.”

“After he (Bandar) met on Sept. 13, 2001, with President Bush in the White House, where the two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony, the FBI evacuated dozens of Saudi officials from multiple cities, including at least one Osama bin Laden family member on the terror watch list. Instead of interrogating the Saudis, FBI agents acted as security escorts for them, even though it was known at the time that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens,” reported Sperry.

Former Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Former President George W. Bush, Former Saudi King Abdullah

Former Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Former President George W. Bush, Former Saudi King Abdullah

Lopez told WND, “The involvement of (then-Saudi ambassador to the U.S.) Prince Bandar as well as the passport issue, above all, make that abundantly clear. They may have gambled on the personal relationship between Bandar and President George W. Bush – as well as a very different energy situation at that time – to evade accountability for their role in the 9/11 attacks, but those days are over.”

The passport issue Lopez referenced was from testimony in a court case that she said “talked about the mark that the Iranian and Saudi governments collaborated to have placed in the Saudi hijackers’ passports, so that when they crossed the Iranian border on their various pre-9/11 training trips, the Iranian border guards would not stamp them. This allowed these hijackers eventually to obtain U.S. visas in ‘clean’ passports.”

That testimony was made by Janice L. Kephart, former immigration counsel to the 9/11 Commission, in the December 2011 ruling in the Havlish case by U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels in Manhattan that, according to the court record, “Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.”

What makes the remarks by Lopez and Sperry so timely is the growing bipartisan pressure on President Obama to release classified information from the 9/11 Commission findings that reportedly implicates the government of Saudi Arabia in supporting the 9/11 hijackers and helping them execute the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

For what it called reasons of “national security,” the Bush administration removed 28 pages of the bipartisan “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” that was published in 2002.

Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001

Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001

Republicans and Democrats, including lawmakers who have read the redacted pages, are calling on Obama to release the information. Obama is resisting, apparently because that could seriously rupture diplomatic relations with the Saudis at a time when they are officially portrayed as U.S. allies in fighting ISIS.

Already, the Saudi government is threatening to dump billions of dollars in American assets if Congress passes a bipartisan bill that would allow victims of terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments.

That legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and is even supported by Democratic Party presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Lopez told WND the prospect that the Saudis supported the Sept. 11 attacks is “not shocking at all” because the country “is birthplace of Islam, whose doctrine commands Muslims to conquer and subjugate the Dar al-Harb” (regions where Islam does not dominate).

The Middle East expert continued, “Saudis are guardians of the ‘Two Holy Places,’ in Mecca and Medina, the stewards of the annual hajj. They, along with ISIS, are the truest of the true believers.”

WND asked: If Bandar was involved in supporting the 9/11 hijackers, as the sources claim, what should the U.S. response be?

“Release the 28 pages (redacted from the 9/11 Commission report), inform Saudis that we hold them responsible for their role. They must come clean, pay reparations and we will go from there. Allow them an out, in that leadership now is not same as leadership then.”

She added, “It is not just Prince Bandar. So much more.”

Lopez said it was worth recalling that the 9/11 Commission report stated on Page 240 that in October 2000 “a senior operative of Hezbollah visited Saudi Arabia, to coordinate activities there.”

“This,” she said, “is a much-redacted version of what really happened: Imad Mughniyeh (a senior member of Hezbollah) was ordered by Iran to go to KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to recruit Saudi hijackers.”

“Of course, the Saudi government at the highest levels knew about this and permitted it to happen.”

Lopez said less well-corroborated were reports that then-Saudi Intelligence Director Turki bin Faisal met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan before Sept. 11, 2001.

In addition to spending two decades in the field as a CIA operations officer, Lopez was an instructor for military intelligence and special forces students; has been a consultant, intelligence analyst and researcher within the defense sector; and has authored two books, and contributed to many others, on Iran and jihadism. She turned to history to further her case against the Saudis.

Lopez said more proof was provided by “the funding that senior Saudis and other wealthy Gulf figures provided to bin Laden in the 1990s, when he was mostly broke because he’d spent his family inheritance in the 1980s in Afghanistan.”

“These Saudis may not have been members of the royal family, but they were certainly close to them and there is no way the Riyadh royals did not know they were funding bin Laden and allowing it to happen. This was the so-called ‘Golden Chain’ – including such individuals as Abdullah Omar Nasseef, he of the Rabita Trust, who has been ‘godfather’ to the Huma Abedin family for all these decades.”

Huma Abedin is Hillary Clinton’s top aide and former top State Department official whose family has been repeatedly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group dedicated to spreading militant Islam worldwide.

WND asked Lopez: In light of growing evidence of Saudi support of the 9/11 hijackers, and in light of their continuing export of wahhabism (a form of radical Islam), is that government really an ally of the U.S., or is it an enemy?

She replied, “The Saudi regime is a ‘frenemy.’ The House of Saud made a deal with (wahhabism founder) Ibn Wahhab in late 1700s, which has held, off and on, ever since. The deal is that Wahhabi clergy will lend theological legitimacy to Riyadh royals in return for which said royals will use power and wealth to spread Islam, jihad and Shariah (strict Islamic law) throughout the world, both by force and stealth.”

But the emergence of ISIS has become a grave threat to the Saudis.

“A serious problem now for those Riyadh royals is that they have not been leading exactly devout Muslim lives. Wahhabi establishment today, in fact, finds more in common, ideologically speaking, with the more pure practice of Islam by the Islamic State than by the House of Saud, at a time when both ISIS and Iran pose possibly existential threats to the Riyadh regime.”

Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the spiritual home of Islam

Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the spiritual home of Islam

WND asked the Cruz foreign-policy adviser, what should U.S. policy be toward Saudi Arabia? Is it time to dramatically reassess our relationship with the regime?

“U.S. leaders need to make very clear to Riyadh that, yes, we share certain key objectives: free flow of oil from the Gulf, countering the Iranian regime’s quest for deliverable nuclear weapons and its geo-strategic aggression and expansion in the region, stopping ISIS aggression and expansion, and generally supporting regional stability.”

“That said,” she concluded, “we will no longer permit Riyadh to pretend to work with the U.S., purchase top-of-the-line U.S. military equipment, or pose as American partners while simultaneously funding and/or allowing funding from the kingdom to support the export and expansion of jihad and Shariah.”

“Riyadh must choose: We are willing to work with them on mutual objectives but will no longer tolerate a double game. Decide – or there will be consequences.”

***

Also see:

BOOK RELEASE: See No Sharia: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense

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Center for Security Policy, April 14, 2016:

(Washington, D.C.): For much of the past fifteen years, the United States government has failed to understand, let alone decisively defeat, the enemy that, under the banner of its al Qaeda franchise, murderously attacked our country on September 11, 2001. The reason why that has been so – notwithstanding the bravery and skill of our men and women in uniform and the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars – has been unclear to most Americans, including some in government. Until now.

With the publication by the Center for Security Policy of a new book by two of its leaders, President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. and Vice President Clare Lopez, See No Sharia: “Countering Violent Extremism” and the Disarming of America’s First Lines of Defense, the case has been forcefully made that this sorry state of affairs is a product of a sustained and highly successful influence operation by Islamic supremacists. Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, Islamists in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular have gained access to and considerable sway over policymakers in the White House, the FBI and the Departments of State, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security.

See No Sharia describes the trajectory that has flowed from such penetration and subversion. It traces how fact-based counterterrorism and law enforcement have inexorably been supplanted by an approach defined by accommodations demanded by Islamists – purged lexicons and training programs, limitations on surveillance, case-making and rules of engagement and above all, eschewing anything that gives “offense” to Muslims.

see_no_sharia_thumb-683x1024In addition to showing the perils associated with such policies and practices as America faces the growing threat of global jihad and its animating doctrine of sharia, this book provides specific recommendations as to how to restore our first lines of defense – the FBI and other law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, the military and the intelligence community – whose effective service is needed today more than ever.

Frank Gaffney noted,

“Americans expect government officials to fulfill their oaths of office by protecting the Constitution, the Republic it established and its people from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The vast majority of our public servants yearn to do their duty. Yet, as See No Sharia makes plain, for at least a decade and a half, they have been obliged to conform to policies that greatly diminish their chances for success. We simply cannot afford to disarm those in our first lines of defense against Islamic supremacism and its jihad – both the violent kind and the stealthy sort the Muslim Brotherhood calls ‘civilization jihad.’”

Clare Lopez added,

“As a career intelligence professional, the extent to which our policymaking apparatus has been penetrated and subverted by Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist operatives is deeply problematic. This book is meant to expose their handiwork – and to impel the urgently needed and long-overdue policy course-correction.”

The Center for Security Policy is proud to present this monograph as the latest in its Civilization Jihad Reader Series. See No Sharia: “Countering Violent Extremism” and the Disarming of America’s First Lines of Defense is available for purchase in Kindle and paperback format at Amazon.com. As with all of the other volumes in this Readers Series, this one can also be downloaded for free at www.SecureFreedom.org.

For further information on the threats shariah poses to our foundational liberal democratic values, see more titles from the Center for Security Policy’s Civilization Jihad Reader Series at https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/civilization-jihad-reader-series/

Buy “See No Sharia: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense” in paperback or Kindle format on Amazon.

PDF of the newly released monograph

White House Censors French President’s Mention of “Islamist Terrorism”

Obama-WH-Censors-Islamist-TerrorismCounter Jihad, by Clare Lopez, April 1, 2016:

French President Francois Hollande is in Washington, D.C. this week for the Nuclear Security Summit and met with President Barack Obama and his top aides at the White House yesterday.

Naturally, the discussion turned to recent jihad atrocities in Paris and Brussels, as well as the ongoing chaos in the Middle East. Unexpectedly, however, when President Hollande spoke of “Islamist terrorism” and its roots “in Syria and in Iraq,” both the official White House transcript and the video of his remarks were ham-handedly censored before release to the public.

Europe has been hit more, given that it is also the target of the terrorists and ISIS. We’ve seen it in Paris last year, as well as in Brussels. And together with President Obama, we worked on coordinating further our commitments, our organizations, our services when it comes to fighting against these terrorists. We are also making sure that between Europe and the United States there can be a very high level coordination.

But we’re also well aware that the roots of terrorism, Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq. We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition. And we note that Daesh is losing ground thanks to the strikes we’ve been able to launch with the coalition. We are continuing to support Iraq. This is also a decision we have taken, supporting the Iraqi government and making sure that they can claim back their entire territory, including Mosul.

Apparently, for the Obama White House, Even such euphemistic language as “Islamist terrorism” was too much. This is a president, after all, who cannot bring himself even to utter the words “Islam” and “terrorism” in the same sentence.

Under his tenure, the entire U.S. government, in fact, has been purged of all references in official language or training curriculum to the central role that the Islamic canon, including the life of Muhammad, plays in inspiring modern day jihadis, whether the Shi’ite Iranian regime and Hizballah, or the Sunni Riyadh royals, al-Qa’eda, Boko Haram, HAMAS, Hizballah, Islamic State or Taliban.

Self-censorship in service to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s agenda to criminalize criticism of Islam whether via the UN Commission on Human Rights and Resolution 16/18 or through the OIC’s Istanbul Process so cherished by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is submission to Islamic Law on slander and surrender of the First Amendment right to free speech no matter how it’s couched.

Instead of deploying an evidence-based approach to identifying the enemy threat doctrine of sharia in order to formulate and execute an effective national security strategy to defeat the Islamic forces that promote it, the Obama administration has chosen instead to embrace the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood both domestically and abroad, steadfastly prioritize the advancement of Islam worldwide over U.S. national security interests and those of our allies, and refuse to condemn the savage depredations committed by Islamic terrorists for what they are: jihad in the name of Allah.

New leadership in the White House and across all levels of U.S. national security cannot arrive soon enough to dispense with the misguided “Countering Violent Extremism” policy, end all plans to establish a CVE Task Force or Office at the Cabinet level or at the WH, shed reliance on Muslim Brotherhood advisors and appointees, and replace it all with a determined commitment to defend the U.S. Constitution against the jihadist ideology of shariah.

***

Lawmaker calls out Justice Department on far-left ally

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

WND, by Garth Kant, March 30, 2016:

WASHINGTON – The influential chairman of a committee that oversees the Justice Department is calling out U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the department’s support for, and reliance upon, a far-left group that targets non-violent groups and conservative organizations and accuses them of hate crimes.

WND obtained a copy of a letter sent last week by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., of the House Judiciary Committee to Lynch questioning her department’s support of the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, in which he asked:

“Given DOJ’s (Justice Department) public support for SPLC, does DOJ also support SPLC’s efforts to list non-violent groups that have no history of committing hate crimes on its hate map?”

To find out what prompted the letter, WND contacted a House Judiciary Comitttee aide, who explained:

“On an interactive ‘hate map’ maintained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, several mainstream conservative groups with no history of violence are being grouped with other organizations like the KKK that do have a history of violence.”

The aide also described just how the DOJ was supporting and using the SPLC:

“By attending events sponsored by SPLC and even listing the group as a resource in the past, DOJ has demonstrated that it has a working relationship with SPLC. The letter seeks to find out more information about DOJ’s position on SPLC’s hate map given that relationship.”

And what specifically triggered the letter?

“Organizations from around the country recently reached out to the House Judiciary Committee regarding this issue.”

(Links to a letter from those organizations, and the letter from Goodlatte to Lynch, are found at the end of this article.)

Examples of non-violent groups on the SPLC’s hate map are the Center for Security Policy, the Family Research Council and even WorldNetDaily, the original name for WND.com.

The SPLC went so far as to label former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson an “extremist” for his traditional views on marriage, but the group was forced to apologize after coming under severe national criticism.

The letter to the Judiciary Committee was signed by members of the Center for Security Policy and the Family Research Council.

The Center for Security Policy, or CSP, was founded by former Pentagon and Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, who was recently named to the foreign policy team of GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, along with his colleague Clare Lopez, an Iran expert and 20-year CIA veteran.

The SPLC called the CSP, ” a conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement in the United States” for warning about the Islamic fundamentalist nature of CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood, and their growing influence on the Obama administration.

The Family Research Council, or FRC, is run by ordained minister and former Senate candidate Tony Perkins and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, former commander of the US Army’s Delta Force and Green Berets.

The FRC mission says, “Our vision is a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.” The SPLC claims “its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians” because of its support for traditional marriage.

SPLC seems to have a special animus for WND, calling it “devoted to manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications designed to further the paranoid, gay-hating, conspiratorial and apocalyptic visions of (WND CEO Joseph) Farah and his hand-picked contributors from the fringes of the far-right and fundamentalist worlds.”

The FRC has a particularly powerful reason to claim is has been dangerously maligned by the SPLC.

That’s because the SPLC’s targeting of the FRC as a hate group almost had deadly consequences.

As WND has detailed, on Aug. 15, 2012, heavily armed homosexual activist Floyd Corkins walked into FRC headquarters in Washington, D.C., and began shooting with the intention of killing “as many people as I could.”

He managed to shoot and injure just one person, facilities manager Leo Johnson, who is credited with heroically stopping the attack.

Corkins, a former volunteer at an LGBT community center, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism and was sentenced in 2013 by a federal judge to 25 years in prison for attempting a mass shooting.

Corkins admitted he picked FRC because he spotted the organization as listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by the SPLC on its website and its “hate map.”

Asked how he picked the FRC to attack, Corkins stated, “It was a, uh, Southern Poverty Law, lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that.”

On this video, Corkins tells the FBI how the SPLC website inspired him to attack the FRC:

The FBI interview with Corkins included this exchange:

FBI: “What was your intention … You’re … a political activist you said?”

Corkins: “Yeah, I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chicken-fil-A sandwich on their face.”

FBI: “And you, what was your intention when you went in there with the gun?”

Corkins: “Uh, it was to kill as many people as I could.”

At the time of the shooting, Chick-fil-A was in the headlines because of its president’s support for traditional marriage.

The SPLC still lists the FRC as a hate group on its “hate map.”

Boykin, who is FRC executive vice president and a member of the board of WND.com, wants the U.S. government and its agencies to stop working with SPLC and stop citing its work.

At the time of the Corkins sentencing, the general called the map capricious and noted it had no definition of a hate group.

“More importantly, we think what they’re doing is absolutely reckless, particularly given they put us in the same category as groups like the Klu Klux Klan and the skinheads.”

Pressure has to be put on the SPLC to stop this, because, Boykin said, “It is reckless behavior that has, at least in this case, incited someone to want to kill people who don’t believe what they believe and stand for.”

In his letter to Lynch last week, Goodlatte cited the FRC shooting, then wrote, “Nevertheless, the Department of Justice continues to support SPLC’s mission of tracking ‘hate.’”

The FBI was forced to drop the SPLC as a “hate crimes resource” in 2014 due to intense criticism from both the right and the left, but the DOJ’s relationship with the group appears to have survived.

Goodlatte’s letter mentioned how the FBI had dropped the SPLC, but then pointed out:

“[O]n October 14, 2015, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin delivered remarks on domestic terrorism at an event co-sponsored by SPLC and the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security’s Program on Extremism. In his written remarks, Mr. Carlin stated that ‘SPLC has a long history of tracking and countering hate, and their efforts will continue to be critical.’”

Indeed, WND reported on Oct. 15, 2015, about the announcement made by Carlin that the DOJ was creating a new division that would focus on investigating “extremists” of the home-grown variety.

Carlin cited a study by a George Soros-funded foundation saying “right wing” extremism was more of a danger to America than Islamic terrorists and he applauded the SPLC’s role in helping the government track these “extremist” groups.

At the time, FRC President Tony Perkins told WND it was ironic that the SPLC should be selected for this quasi-governmental role of determining who is a violent extremist when the organization itself provided the inspiration for a domestic terrorist attack against his organization.

WND devoted the full issue of its March 2015 magazine, Whistleblower, to documenting the machinations of the SPLC with an edition titled: “The Hate Racket: How one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis –and rakes in millions doing it.”

David Kupelian, managing editor of WND and editor of Whistleblower magazine, wrote:

“The Southern Poverty Law Center began with an admirable purpose, but long ago transformed into a machine for raising money and launching leftwing political attacks. In recent years it has become more of a threat to free speech and civil debate than a defender of the weak or a foe of violent extremism.”

And:

“[T]his particular far-left organization exerts a major influence on government, including the Department of Homeland Security. It’s no coincidence that the government’s idea of who is a threat, a hater, an extremist, a potential terrorist, a danger to the American homeland, mirrors that of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“For years, government agencies including the FBI have relied on and formed partnerships and outreach arrangements with the Southern Poverty Law Center (although the FBI recently scrubbed the SPLC as a resource from its website after the perpetrator of an attempted domestic terrorist attack identified the SPLC as having inspired him to target the D.C.-based Family Research Council for mass murder).

“Nevertheless, as SPLC spokesman Mark Potok confirms, ‘Law enforcement agencies come to us every day with questions about particular groups,’ and even the U.S. military has been caught on multiple occasions relying on SPLC information for “training materials” on domestic threats – sometimes portraying Christians as a greater threat than Islamic radicals.”

The following is a link to the letter Goodlatte sent to Lynch:

Goodlatte HJC oversight letter to Loretta Lynch 03.23.16 (1) (1)

The following is a link to the letter concerned groups sent to Goodlatte.

SPLC letter

CPAC 2016—Countering the Global Jihad Panel Exposes Islamist Influence Operations

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AIM, by James Simpson  —   March 18, 2016
On assignment to CPAC 2016 for Capital Research Center
This report is exclusive to Accuracy in Media

After a number of years of noted absence, the Center for Security Policy returned to CPAC this year. On Thursday, March 3, the Center presented a “Countering Global Jihad” panel. The panel was moderated by CSP President, Frank Gaffney, and included CSP Vice President Jim Hanson; Danish historian, journalist and author, Lars Hedegaard; British activist and politician, Paul Weston; four-star Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr. (Ret.); and Middle East expert and former CIA case officer, Clare Lopez.

Jim Hanson

CSP VP Jim Hanson outlined a new CSP initiative, the Counterjihad Campaign (www.counterjihad.com). Its purpose is to provide Americans with the facts and the wherewithal to push back in the face of the Red-Green Axis: the leftist/Islamist effort to smear and intimidate Americans who dare to stand up to them.

Hanson related his experience as a second generation immigrant whose family believes in the American values of hard work and patriotism. His family immigrated legally, and enthusiastically assimilated to pursue the American dream. Hanson says that today, “The problem is that we are dealing with a large cohort [of Muslims] who do not, and will not [assimilate]… They’re proudly saying ‘not only will we not assimilate, but we are going to, in some ways, take over your culture.’”

Hanson took a special shot at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SPLC put CSP on its “Hate Watch” list, calling CSP leaders the standard “Islamophobe” for their excellent work cataloging the subversive activities of Islamist individuals and groups. I have written extensively about the SPLC, its communist heritage and calculated “hate” accusations—as advocated by Lenin, Herbert Marcuse and Saul Alinsky—designed to intimidate and silence people. This is a malevolent organization created for the sole purpose of silencing anyone who does not buckle under to the left’s agenda—and makes big bucks while they’re at it. But Hanson put SPLC in its place:

“The bottom line is, it’s not true…When I was in Army Special Forces, one of the main missions was humanitarian assistance. I have built schools, dug wells, immunized hundreds of Muslim kids. And yet I’m anti-Muslim? No…”

It’s not ‘hate’ to love freedom. It’s not ‘hate” to believe that women should not be subjugated… It’s not hate to think that homosexuals shouldn’t be thrown off roofs. It’s love of freedom… That’s something we should be able to stand up proudly and say. That’s American. The people trying to stop that are the political Left—the politically correct police—and the Islamist groups…who are actually pushing an agenda that is not religion. They are doing it under the guise of religious freedom. They believe their totalitarian ideology [Sharia] is mandatory. You can either submit or be conquered. The Counterjihad is for you…to tell you what’s happening and empower you to act.”

Lars Hedegaard

Danish historian, journalist and author, Lars Hedegaard, talked about the ongoing mass migrant invasion into Europe. His was a gripping and engaging testimony:

The vast majority have nothing to do with being refugees, they are simply migrants who want to come to our countries and take advantage of our welfare states…in Denmark, where I come from, people don’t have to work. They can come into our country and claim any benefit that a Dane can claim—meaning free housing, free health service, free education, money if you don’t have any…They can also claim the protection of our laws and any of the benefits that accrue to us. And we have to pay for it…Every dime we can save goes to these foreigners, who come uninvited, and claim all the benefits from day one. And this is just one example. The same thing goes for Britain, Sweden, Germany and other countries.

Hedegaard identifies the Schengen Agreement as a main cause of the problem. This agreement, signed in 1995, allows for free, unchecked travel among most European Union countries. Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are excepted. Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria are candidate countries (although they’d be wise to reconsider the wisdom of joining now). The European Union was supposed to ensure that the EU’s outer borders would seal off EU countries from the outside. But, Hedegaard says, “The European Union, which is a master con artist, did not keep its part of the promise. The outer borders do not exist. Currently anyone can get into Europe…”

Paul Weston

Paul Weston is a former UK Independent Party member and leads Liberty Great Britain, a political party he co-founded in 2013. Weston also spoke about the migrant crisis in Europe. He says Britain is not yet lost, but will be gone in 20 years or so. Sweden is “literally a lost country,” with perhaps five or ten years left. He says:

Malmo, Sweden is now the rape capital of the European continent. Aside from South Africa, I think it’s the rape capital of the world. It is that bad. So we look to Sweden in the way that you need to look to us. And we had, over the last 12 months, 12 mass transit bombings planned for England that our intelligence services, MI5, MI6, managed to stop…and despite this, we keep on saying, ‘you can come into our country…and we have no idea who these people are…

Weston noted how British political leaders refused to acknowledge the terrorist attacks in Britain as motivated by Islam. He said, “This denial of what Islam is, is going to be the downfall of Europe.” He finished dramatically, by saying that we Americans desperately need to retain our First Amendment rights, despite Obama’s efforts to clamp down. “Because unless we can talk about this, unless we can bring it out into the open, you in America will go the same way. You need to stand up and look at what we’re doing and say ‘this is never going to happen here.’”

Admiral James “Ace” Lyons

“Ace” Lyons is President and CEO of LION Associates LLC, a global security, trade, defense and procurement consultancy. A career naval officer, Lyons was, among other titles, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the largest military command in the world. He also served as Senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Nations. As the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) from 1983 to 1985, he advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff and created the U.S. Navy SEAL Red Cell anti-terrorism unit, established in response to the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut. Lyons’ irascible nature, irreverent sense of humor, and forthright, politically incorrect manner endear him to audiences wherever he speaks. This day was no exception.

Marine Barracks Bombing Betrayal

Lyons reveals military history with the unique perspective of being part of that history. For example, he was Deputy CNO when the Beirut, Lebanon Marine barracks was bombed on October 23, 1983. 220 U.S. Marines were killed—the largest one-day Marine loss since Iwo Jima. Twenty-one other servicemen were killed and 60 Americans wounded. The pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) bomb caused a blast equivalent to 21,000 lbs of TNT, and was considered to be the largest non-nuclear explosion ever detonated. Seconds after the Marine barracks attack, another facility housing French paratroopers was also bombed, killing 58 paratroopers and four Lebanese civilians.

As Ace explained, the bombings were carried out by Islamic Amal, a Hezbollah-allied splinter group of the Amal militia headed by Nabih Berri. They were headquartered in a Lebanese army barracks captured in mid-September with the help of Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces. Lyons says the U.S. government knew all this, and had inside sources providing accurate intelligence. Admiral Lyons was tasked with developing a devastating response. “We had the photographs.  We had it nailed down. We had the planes loaded…” he said.

He fingers then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger for stopping the raid. According to Lyons, Weinberger told Reagan there was a risk of hitting Lebanese forces. “In other words,” Lyons says, “he sabotaged the strike.” Weinberger also prevented the U.S. military from participating with the French in their planned retaliatory attack in November. As Lyons recalls, “The secretary of defense would not issue the execute order! Unheard of!” He said that George Shultz and National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane “pleaded with Weinberger to release the execute message, and he refused to do it.”

Middle East expert Ken Timmerman, who was reached for comment on this article, recalled the French raid. “I was having a late lunch in the mountains, on my way back to Beirut after another day of covering the siege of Tripoli (Lebanon) in November, 1983, when the French Super Étendards flew overhead for Baalbek on the botched retaliation strike. I recognized the planes, and remember thinking at the time, wonder what they are up to…”

Lyons says to an echo of laughs, “the French dropped two 500 lb bombs and killed a goat.” One assumes he is joking to make a point, but in fact not. According to Timmerman, someone in the French government leaked the attack plan to the Iranians. The planes arrived at Baalbek, dropped their bombs and managed to kill a shepherd and his flock of goats. The targets were long gone.

Apparently the government also had warnings a month earlier that a major attack was in the works, and the military could have been prepared. Lyons relates that NSA had intercepted a message from Tehran to the Iranian ambassador in Damascus, Syria, on September 24, 1983, saying “take a spectacular action against the U.S. Marines.” However, Lyons did not see message until two days after the bombing.

Timmerman says the note was held up by none other than Colin Powell, at the time Weinberger’s military aide. Powell most likely kept it from the DoD chief, Timmerman says, because he believed a strike on Baalbek risked getting the U.S. sucked deeper into Lebanon, at a time Weinberger was lobbying hard to get the U.S. to withdraw from Lebanon. For his part, Weinberger claimed as late as 2001 that “[W]e still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing…” In 2003, the DC Circuit Court sided with plaintiffs in a lawsuit holding Iran responsible for the attack. But in case you had any lingering doubts about Obama’s loyalties, in 2012 he blocked legislation that would have held Iran accountable for the attack.

Lyons hypothesized that the Iranians may have influenced Weinberger’s decision through behind-the-scenes lobbying. While that must remain conjecture, the Iran lobby is forthright these days. In fact, the Obama administration could almost be called a subsidiary of the Iranian government. Recall that prior to the 2008 election Obama had established a secret back-channel communication with Iran through former ambassador William G. Miller. His message was clear: “hold out against the Bush administration on nuclear talks because you will get a much better deal with me.”

Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden appear to have been heavily influenced by the Iranian lobby, as have Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Al Franken (D-MN) through the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC). Biden and Kerry have also been befriended by the American Iranian Council (AIC) and theIranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN). AIC founder, Housang Amirahmadi, once said he intended to “conquer Obama’s mind.” Biden even suggested sending $200 million to Iran, just for yucks. The nuclear deal includes unfreezing Iranian assets valued between $100 and $150 billion, and the Obama administration will pay $1.7 billion to settle a suit over undelivered military equipment ordered by the Shah prior to the Mullahs’ takeover. Some of these funds will likely be used for terrorist activities, Kerry has admitted.

The bombing remains an open sore for the U.S. Marine Corps, as it should for all Americans. As Timmerman said, “This was a lost opportunity. At the time, a powerful strike on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard troops in Lebanon would have taught Iran not to mess with the United States. Had we struck then, when Iran was severely weakened by its war with Iraq, we might have prevented 30 more years of Iranian state terrorism. As it was, they learned we were weak, and that they could attack us with impunity.”

Ken Timmerman is a rare example of true journalism. He has risked life and limb researching his stories in the Middle East and has developed a network of sources that cannot be made sitting behind a desk in Washington, D.C. Timmerman’s books read like thrillers. His most recent, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi, brings his deep Middle East expertise into play and is one of the most authoritative books, if not the most authoritative, on the subject.

In his concluding remarks, Lyons offered some pithy reflections on our current state of affairs:

  •  “Their [The Muslim Brotherhood’s] penetration into our systems is as deep, or deeper, than the Communists of the 30s, 40s and 50s.”
  • “The Communists had Harry Hopkins as their man in the White House… The Islamists have President Obama.”
  • “On Libya, we changed sides… we provided the armament for the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood militias.”
  •  “Qaddafi was our guy in Libya. He was beating down the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood militias.”
  • “There was no humanitarian crisis in Benghazi. (The pretext for our involvement in Libya’s civil war was the Responsibility to Protect doctrine—a new idea promoted by George Soros and other radicals that justifies military intervention in any conflict where civilian lives are threatened, i.e. practically anywhere.)
  • “Qaddafi was ready to abdicate. He entered into negotiations with Carter Ham the AFRICOM commander… for two days. He was ready to go… Ham was directed to cut off negotiations.”
  • “Here’s the President who received the Nobel Peace Prize for giving a speech. But he couldn’t give three days to work out a truce and save the lives of tens of thousands of people.”
  • “We had forces that were ready to respond [in Benghazi]… They were enroute…”

Clare Lopez

Clare Lopez is a preeminent Middle East expert. A former CIA case officer for 20 years, she speaks several languages, including Spanish, Bulgarian, French, German, and Russian, and currently is studying Farsi. She has extensive expertise in counterintelligence, counternarcotics, and counter-proliferation issues. Clare used this forum to call for a change in policy that would explicitly identify Sharia as an “enemy threat doctrine, with the priority objective to counter it and defeat the forces of Islamic jihad globally.”

Clare backed up Lyons’ testimony regarding Iranian lobbying efforts, saying:

“Within the global jihad movement threats are myriad, including the deep, systemic, institutionalized penetration by the Muslim Brotherhood…of our national security leadership and apparatus. But Iran is far and away the most critical, dangerous and immediate U.S. adversary in this entire region. The Tehran leadership succeeded in blinding our U.S. leadership to its threat, by an equally deep…penetration of the intelligence community, the White House, the Department of State, and that is by the Iran lobby.”

Clare covered a lot of ground in her remarks. Here are some of the points she made:

  • Iran’s WMD program, especially its nuclear and Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) programs pose an immediate threat to the U.S. mainland, “right now, today.”
  • Iran’s behavior has gotten worse since the nuclear dear was concluded—a deal which was never signed.
  • Iran relies on proxy forces for its expansion of power and terrorism, including: Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi’ite militias, the Islamic State and the Taliban.
  • Many of these proxies will be receiving “massive” infusions of the money released by Obama following the nuclear deal.
  • Money is also being sent to both the Houthis in Yemen and the Assad regime in Syria.
  • A letter written by Osama bin Laden and seized during the raid on his Pakistani compound, was released recently. It says, “Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel and communication.”
  • Hamas is working very closely with the Islamic State in the Sinai.

Clare concluded with a call for regime change in Iran and a sea change in U.S. policy. Good ideas that should be considered once President Obama leaves office. There is much more in her presentation.

Conclusion

It was good to see CSP back at CPAC. CSP is one of the few DC organizations willing to confront head-on the difficult subject of Islamist infiltration in the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood and its sister organizations have pretty well figured out the DC racket and their tentacles have become deeply entrenched in the Washington establishment of both parties. Thus, ironically, CSP is criticized by the establishment when it should be welcomed by them. This is a travesty, because the MB’s goal, aggressively pursued by front groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), is transforming our schools and our government, blinding us to the dangers of Islamic radicalism, creating fertile ground for terrorist attacks in the U.S. and threatening our cherished rights—most immediately the First Amendment.

James Simpson is an economist, businessman and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at American Thinker, Accuracy in MediaBreitbart, PJ Media, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on TwitterFacebook

Cruz Assembles an Unlikely Team of Foreign-Policy Rivals

CruzBloomberg View, by Eli Lake, March 17, 2016:

In a year when the Republican Party is breaking apart because of Donald Trump, the only man left with a chance to beat him is trying to build a big tent — by GOP standards — when it comes to foreign affairs.

On Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz is set to announce his campaign’s national security advisory team, and it includes many foreign-policy insurgents and a few more establishment types. The list includes conservatives who disagree on one of the most pressing issues facing the next president: defining and confronting radical Islam.

The first name on the advisory list that stands out is Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan administration Pentagon official who has emerged as a lightning rod in the Obama era, accused by the Southern Poverty Law Center of being one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes.

When Trump proposed a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration, he quoted from a 2015 survey of American Muslims commissioned by the think tank Gaffney founded, the Center for Security Policy. It concluded that a quarter of U.S. Muslims supported violent jihad against the U.S. This led to speculation in the Washington press that Gaffney was advising Trump.

But Gaffney is a Cruz man. In an interview, he said that he met Cruz when he was running for Senate in 2012, and that he has briefed him on the FBI’s investigation into a Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity known as the Holy Land Foundation and on how Sharia law is a threat to America. “I hope that some of that went into his decision to introduce legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,” Gaffney said.

Until this year, these views were considered radioactive by the Republican establishment. George W. Bush, after Sept. 11, famously appeared at a Washington mosque and declared that Islam was a religion of peace. Senator John McCain, when he was his party’s presidential nominee in 2008, famously rebuked a talk-radio host for calling his challenger “Barack Hussein Obama,” a dog whistle to the president’s Arabic middle name. In 2012, the campaign of Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, spurned Gaffney and other conservatives who warned that Sharia was a domestic threat.

This time around it’s a little different. As Cruz makes the case that he is the last, best chance to prevent Trump from winning his party’s nomination, his foreign-policy advisers include not only Gaffney, but also three others who work for Gaffney’s think tank: former CIA officers Fred Fleitz and Clare Lopez and former Army Special Forces Master Sergeant Jim Hanson. Also on the list is Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the first World Trade Center bombing. McCarthy has been outspoken in his view that adherents at least to political Islam are seeking to impose Sharia law in the U.S.

At the same time, Cruz’s team includes former officials who reject Gaffney’s broad view that any Muslim who believes in Sharia law by definition believes in a totalitarian and violent ideology at war with America.

“We’re at war with a coalition of radical Islamists and radical secularists. It’s not all one thing, nor is Islam all one thing,” Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan administration official and a Cruz campaign adviser, told me.

Jim Talent, a former Missouri Republican senator who was a key adviser to Romney in 2008 and 2012, is signed up for the Cruz team. So is Mary Habeck, a former staffer on George W. Bush’s national security council, who is an expert on jihadi organizations and has warned against demonizing the entire religion of Islam.

Another Cruz adviser, Elliott Abrams, helped craft Bush’s policy to empower moderate Muslims in the Middle East against radicals. He told me he feels much the same way as Habeck. “It’s now 15 years since 9/11, and I think it’s obvious that Muslim citizens in the U.S. and Muslim leaders abroad have an absolutely critical role to play in fighting jihadis and other Muslim extremists,” Abrams said. “This is partly a battle within Islam that they are going to have fight and win. Alienating these potential allies is the kind of foolish policy that the Obama administration has engaged in when it comes to Arab states that are our allies.”

Victoria Coates, who has been Cruz’s main adviser on national security since he came to the Senate, told me this tension on the policy team “is by design and not an accident.” She added: “Both Frank and Elliott are people I went out of my way to set up meetings with the Senator. He has met with both of them individually for years.”

Cruz threaded this needle between Gaffney and Abrams in his response to Trump’s call in December for a temporary ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. Cruz never criticized Trump’s position directly. (Marco Rubio did.) But he also didn’t endorse the position, instead introducing a bill to halt refugees from countries with a significant al Qaeda or Islamic State presence, with exceptions for asylum seekers fleeing genocide. “When Donald Trump talked about barring all Muslims from entering into the United States, Senator Cruz of course did not endorse that opinion, in part because he knows the law,” Abrams said.

Cruz also knows politics. He has not won over the Washington mandarins who came out early for Jeb Bush, like former CIA director Michael Hayden. But after Rubio dropped out of the race on Tuesday, Cruz made an appeal to his former rival’s supporters to join his campaign.

Cruz is hoping Republican leaders in Washington will embrace his candidacy now, even though he has railed against them since he came to the Senate. Cruz also knows that long-time supporters like him precisely because he so infuriates the Republican establishment.

His new team of national security advisers, in this respect, has something for everyone.