Canada Condemns Islamophobia as 2nd Mosque Hosts Imam Calling for Murdering Jews

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, March 24, 2017:

Keeping your eyes on the great big shiny ball of Muslim victimhood.

The House of Commons voted Thursday afternoon to condemn “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination” but the vote for the controversial M-103 was not unanimous.

Liberals, New Democrats, and Green Party MP Elizabeth May were in favour; most Conservative and all Bloc Quebecois MPs were opposed. The vote was 201 for and 91 against…

The motion was proposed by Iqra Khalid, a first-time MP representing a Mississauga, Ont. riding.

Meanwhile Islamobigotry continues its glorious reign.

A second Montreal mosque hosted an imam offering a speech demonizing Jews and quoting from the Quran to kill them.

In a speech last December at the Dar al-Arkam mosque, Muhammad bin Musa al Nasr described Jews as “the most evil of mankind” and as “human demons,” the CIJNews reported Monday. He then quote from the Quran: at “the end of time … the stone and the tree will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me – come and kill him!’”

The mosque allowed the West Bank-born imam, a prominent member of the hard-line Salafist movement in Jordan, where he lectures at the al-Ahliyya University in Amman, to deliver more than a dozen other speeches as well.

I’m sure this Imam and his Islamic teachings have nothing to do with Islam. Also the second mosque had no problem hosting him despite the controversy over his first appearance. But we’re focusing on what’s important. Not Islamomurderism, but Islamophobia. It might be more tolerant if the House of Commons condemned Islamophilia.

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Also see:

Here Come the Sympathetic Media Profile Pieces on the London Jihadist

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, March 24, 2017

Sorry victims, you had your 15 minutes. Now it’s time to find excuses for the Islamic terrorist who murdered you. Excuses that divert attention away from the dreaded “I” word.

After privileged childhood, London attacker became a troubled loner – Washington Post

There are two things going on here.

1. The terrorist is individualized. His actions are reduced to an individual pathology. He’s not an Islamic terrorist. He’s a troubled loner. Who just did something crazy.

2. The Washington Post is taking a tone eerily close to sympathy.

But plenty of other terrorists, including the Tsarnaev monsters, received a similar treatment from the media with extensive explorations of their family ties and background. As long as they carefully led away from Islam.

Also see:

Iran’s Spymaster Claims Pro-Regime Agents Operating in D.C., London, Canada

Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, March 23, 2017:

Iran maintains a network of spies and lobbyists who clandestinely push the Islamic regime’s agenda in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, according to the head of Iran’s ministry of intelligence, who touted the pro-Iran network’s ability to spread its ideology to the West.

Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s intelligence minister, in recent remarks independently translated by the Washington Free Beacon, bragged about the Islamic Republic’s ability to operate an unnamed “lobby group” in D.C. that helps to push the regime’s hardline agenda.

Alavi disclosed that Iranians with dual citizenship in the United States, Canada, and England, remain devoted to the “Islamic revolution” and are working to promote this agenda in their adopted homelands.

In D.C., Alavi claimed, a “lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran” is working to bolster the regime’s international status and help legitimize its nuclear endeavors.

“They have a lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran which does not cost us money,” Alavi said, without naming the specific organization. “We should not accuse them and say things that discourage them about the ancestral homeland, this is not good, and losing this capital is not good for the regime.”

Iranian dual nationals living in the West remain devoted to the Islamic Republic, he added.

“It is wrong to say that all dual nationals are traitors, spies, or foreign agents; many of dual nationals love Iran, are a capital for Iran,” Alavi said. “Many who live in Canada, London, or the United States [are devoted] to the [Islamic] revolution and the supreme leader … In those places some attend religious ceremonies. [Those people] love the [Islamic] Revolution.”

While the Iranian official did not name the lobby group in question, the Free Beacon has reported during the past several months that dissident organizations are pushing for a formal investigation into the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC, which has long fought against charges that it lobbies on the regime’s behalf.

A group of nearly 100 prominent Iranian dissidents working to undermine the regime petitioned Congress in February to investigate NIAC’s ties to the Iranian regime and determine if it is actively helping to push a pro-mullah agenda.

“We write to request a congressional hearing on the efforts of Tehran’s theocratic regime to influence U.S. policy and public diplomacy toward Iran,” the dissidents wrote to Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), the heads of Congress’ foreign affair committees, according to copies of the letter first reported by the Free Beacon.

NIAC’s actions in favor of the Iran nuclear deal and increased diplomacy with Tehran also raised concerns in January, when the Free Beacon first reported that two high-level Iranian government backers, including a former Islamic Republic official and another accused of lobbying on Tehran’s behalf, had been hosted at the Obama White House for more than 30 meetings with top officials.

The meetings came at key points in the Obama administration’s outreach to Iran and efforts to push the nuclear deal.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, raised concerns about Alavi’s recent remarks. He noted that organizations pushing Iran’s agenda in Washington are obligated to disclose their work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, even if no money is exchanging hands as part of the relationship.

“The question to ask is whether there is daylight between the foreign policy positions of the Islamic Republic and those of groups of which the Iranian intelligence minister refers,” Rubin said.

“At the very least, it is worth asking whether any individual who is making a couple dozen meetings to the White House and even more to the State Department is acting as what the Iranian intelligence minister might consider a lobbyist,” Rubin added, referring to the former administration’s outreach to pro-Iran interests in the United States. “It’s not a witch-hunt, it’s a matter of law.”

Given Alavi’s recent disclosures, U.S. officials would be wise to “ask the motivations of those fundraising for any group that seems more interested in defending Iran’s ballistic missile work than in human rights and cultural freedom,” Rubin said.

Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iranian dissident and associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon that several years ago Iran implemented a formal plan to “strengthen its ties with anti-war and pro-regime lobby groups.”

This included bolstering ties with Iranian dual nationals in the West and certain organizations in Europe and the United States to help “change the unfriendly governments’ policies and actions regarding the regime,” according to Ghasseminejad.

This network is tasked with discrediting Tehran’s opponents and stopping efforts to foster regime change in Iran, Ghasseminejad said.

“They are specifically concerned about any prospect of regime-change and cooperation between the U.S government and Iranian opposition groups,” he said.

Iran also wants these organizations to promote policies that benefit Iran and will help it garner international legitimacy, according to Ghasseminejad.

Also see:

Westminster Killer Was Muslim Convert, Lived in Several Extremism Hotspots

Christopher Furlong/Getty

Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, March 24, 2017:

The Islamist terrorist who attacked Westminster on Wednesday was a Muslim convert who was possibly radicalised in prison and had lived in several areas of the UK known for radical Islamic activity.

Khalid Masood, 52, had spent time in Birmingham, East London, and Luton before going on to murder four people in central London. After he had been shot dead, Islamic State described him as one of its “soldiers”.

He was born Adrian Russell Ajao in Dartford, Kent, and brought up by a single mother in Rye, East Sussex, before converting to Islam, sources told The Times.

According to the paper, he spent time in Lewes jail in East Sussex, Wayland prison in Norfolk, and Ford open prison in West Sussex.

In July 2000, he slashed a man across the face after an argument that had “racial overtones” and was sentenced to two years, before being and sent back to jail in 2003 after being given six months for possession of an offensive weapon.

In a later incident, he was accused of stabbing a man in the nose outside a nursing home in Eastbourne after a row before travelling to Saudi Arabia.

People go about their daily lives in Soho Road, Handsworth, famous for its multi-cultural residents on March 23, 2017, in Birmingham, England. After yesterday’s London terror attack, police have made a number of arrests and raided addresses in Birmingham and other parts of the country. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Mr. Masood had most recently lived in Birmingham, in the West Midlands, which was identified in a recent report as having the highest concentration of convicted Islamist terrorists in the country.

In 2014, he lived in Forest Gate, East London, an area that has also been linked to a string of recent arrests for terror-related offences.

Before that, Mr. Masood had been in Luton – which according to the latest census is a quarter Muslim – for a several years before moving in 2012, according to Luton Today.

Luton is where Anjem Choudary’s now banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun was based and where the 7/7 bombers met before launching their attacks in 2005.

Raids were carried out Thursday in four areas of Britain – Sussex, London, Wales, and the West Midlands – as police hunted for potential accomplices of the terrorist. Eight arrests were made.

Two further “significant arrests” were made Thursday night in central and northern England.

“Yesterday we named the dead terrorist as Khalid Masood – we stated he had a number of aliases – we now know his birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao,” Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, said in a statement Friday morning.

“We remain keen to hear from anyone who knew Khalid Masood well; understands who his associates were, and can provide with information about places he has recently visited.”

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ISIS claims responsibility for the London attacker & What is to be done? @sebgorka. Deputy Assistant to POTUS. John Batchelor Show

Steve Emerson on BBC Radio Discussing the Attack in Westminster

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on BBC Radio
March 22, 2017

Host: Right then. Let’s get to Steven Emerson, who’s the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, talking to us out of the United States this evening. How are you, Steven?

Steve Emerson: Good evening.

Host: Thank you for your time and tell us, first of all, how you’ve reacted to the events in Westminster.

Emerson: Well, I have no more information than British police and Scotland Yard have released to your public. But there are obviously major patterns of similarity between these quote, ISIS-inspired attacks, here in the United States versus those occurring in Britain, Belgium and in Paris. The only difference today was that this person was just one person with one car able to basically almost insert himself inside the, from Westminster Bridge, inside the Parliament. He didn’t get that far, but can you imagine what would have happened had there been an army of self-styled ISIS soldiers of maybe 30 to 40 storming the Parliament?

I just think about that when I think about what happened last week with one intruder who got 15 minutes into the White House lawn. He wasn’t a terrorist at all but considering the fact that these major icons of Western society – the Westminster Bridge, the Parliament, the U.S. White House, the icons in Paris, the Brussels airport, the underground – it shows that the terrorists know exactly the underbelly and the vulnerability of Western institutions and how to cause mass casualties and, at the same time, cause as much fear and panic as possible with as little investment as possible.

I would imagine that the cost of this type of operation was minimal, even though the cost to the British public was horrendous – five dead, or four dead, a policeman dead. And the British public shouldn’t have to pay for this. No one should have to pay for this. I heard a commentary today on American television saying, ‘Well this is the cost of an open society’ and I was thinking to myself is this really the cost of an open society? Should we have to pay for this? Are there things that can be done to keep an open society, to make sure that there is a mosaic, diversity, and not succumb to the notion that you have to be deemed sort of a racist by saying we’ve got a problem here with radical Islam?

One thing that is very different, last point, the way the United States has reacted in previous years under the Obama administration, from the killing in Ft. Hood that killed I think about 14 people in 2009 to even the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, was that the U.S. government did not label them Islamic terrorism for at least 5 or 6 days. The British government, to its credit, same thing with the French government and the German government, after each of the attacks in the last 2 or 3 years, quickly within three or four hours, were able and willing to label it Islamist terrorism. That’s what should be done.

Host: Steven, thank you for talking to us. Let me just clarify a point there, that the Prime Minister did refer to the attacker as a terrorist but the Prime Minister has not made any reference to Islamic terror in her speech. Mark Rowley did, the acting deputy commissioner of the Met police, and he said that overseas Islamic fundamentalism is forming the basis of their investigation. I just wanted to clarify those comments for you.

Theresa May Calls London Terror Attack “Perversion of a Great Faith”

Answering Muslims, by David Wood, March 24, 2017:

On March 22, 2017, Muslim convert Khalid Masood launched a terrorist attack that began on Westminster Bridge and ended in Parliament Square. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. In response, British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that the London terror attack was a “perversion of a great faith.”

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Gad Saad: Ideas that are grotesque, evil and diabolical should not be granted cover because they are found in a “holy book”

Also see:

KATIE HOPKINS:Welcome to London

An injured woman is assisted after a man drove a 4×4 into pedestrians along Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon

We can say we’re not afraid, light candles and make hearts of our hands but the truth is that we can’t go on like this.

By KATIE HOPKINS FOR MAILONLINE, March 22, 2017:

They stood in the centre of Brussels. Row on row.

Hands held high, making hearts to the heavens. Showing the slaughtered they were not forgotten. Reminding themselves they were here with love. Looking to show humanity wins. That love conquers all.

They lay in the centre of London, face down where they fell. Stabbed by a knife, rammed with a car, flung, broken, into the Thames, life bleeding out on the curb.

And the news came thick and fast.

An injured woman is assisted after a man drove a 4×4 into pedestrians along Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon

A car rammed deliberately into pedestrians on the bridge. Ten innocents down.

A police officer stabbed at the House of Commons. Confirmed dead.

Another woman now, dead at the scene.

Shots fired. An Asian man rushed to hospital.

A woman, plucked from the water.

And I grew colder. And more tiny.

No anger for me this time. No rage like I’ve felt before. No desperate urge to get out there and scream at the idiots who refused to see this coming.

Not even a nod for the glib idiots who say this will not defeat us, that we will never be broken, that cowardice and terror will not get the better of Britain.

Because, as loyal as I am, as patriotic as I am, as much as my whole younger life was about joining the British military and fighting for my country — I fear we are broken.

Not because of this ghoulish spectacle outside our own Parliament. Not because of the lives rammed apart on the pavement, even as they thought about what was for tea. Or what train home they might make.

But because this is us now.

This is our country now.

This is what we have become.

To this, we have been reduced.

People make hearts with their hands during a ceremony in Belgium to commemorate the first anniversary of the bomb attacks in Brussels

Because all the while those forgiving fools in Brussels stood with their stupid hands raised in hearts to the sky, another mischief was in the making. More death was in the pipeline.

As the last life-blood of a police officer ran out across the cobbles, the attacker was being stretchered away in an attempt to save his life.

London is a city so desperate to be seen as tolerant, no news of the injured was released. No clue about who was safe or not.

Liberals convince themselves multiculturalism works because we all die together, too.

An entire city of monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Blind. Deaf. And dumb.

Immersed in a seething pit of hatred, hidden in pockets of communities plagued by old animosities and ancient strife.

These people may have left their lands. But they have brought every tension, every conflict, every bit of fight here with them.

The Afghans hate the Somalias who loathe the Eritreans. As it was before, it is now. London is a city of ghettos behind a thin veneer of civility kept polished by a Muslim mayor whose greatest validation is his father’s old job.

Son-of-a-bus-driver Sadiq.

I see him now, penning a missive about how London is a beautiful and tolerant city, how we are united by shared values and understanding, and how we will not be cowed by terror.

Sure enough, there he was, saying exactly that, just now. Fool.

Even as mothers text to check their children are safe. Including my own, worrying about me as I sit overlooking the scene, feeling fearful of this place where monsters lurk and steal lives away in an instant. For nothing.

I would ask Sadiq to stop talking. Empty words. Meanwhile, banning pictures of women in bikinis on the Underground. How does that help?

Please, no hashtag, no vigil, no tea lights. I am begging you not to light up Parliament in the colours of the Union.

Because we are not united. We are wrenched asunder.

The patriots of the rest of England versus the liberals in this city. The endless tolerance to those who harm us, (while the Home Office tries to shift the focus of public fear to white terror) — versus the millions like me who face the truth, with worried families and hopeless hearts, who feel the country sinking.

We are taken under the cold water by this heavy right foot in the south, a city of lead, so desperately wedded to the multicultural illusion that it can only fight those who love the country the most, blame those who are most proud to be British, and shout racist at the 52%.

This place is just like Sweden. Terrified of admitting the truth about the threat we face, about the horrors committed by the migrants we failed to deter — because to admit that we are sinking, and fast, would be to admit that everything the liberals believe is wrong.

That multiculturalism has not worked. That it is one big fat failure and one big fat lie.

President Erdogan of Turkey said there is a war being waged between the crescent and the cross. But he is wrong. Because the cross is not strong. We are down on bended knee, a doormat to be trodden on, a joke only funny to those that wish us harm.

The war is between London and the rest of the country. Between the liberals and the right-minded. Between those who think it is more important to tip-toe around the cultures of those who choose to join us, rather than defend our own culture.
How many more times?

And how many more attacks must pass before we acknowledge these are no longer the acts of ‘extremists’? That there is no safe badge with which to hold these people at arm’s length, in the way the liberals casually use the term ‘far-right’ for anyone who has National pride.

These events are no longer extreme. They are commonplace. Every day occurrences.

These people are no longer extremists. They are simply more devout. More true to their beliefs. Beliefs which will be supported endlessly across our state broadcaster for the next few months until we buy into the narrative that one religion is not to blame.

That in fact we should blame Brexit supporters. For believing in a Britain. As it was before.

Anything but the truth.

This is why there is no anger from me this time, no rage. No nod for those who pretend we will not be cowed, even as they rush home to text their mum they are safe. No surprise that the city of which I was so proud is now punctured by fear, and demarcated even more formally by places we cannot tread; there were always parts in which a white woman could not safely walk.

Now I feel only sadness, overwhelming sadness.

I will walk over the river tonight and look to the Thames, to the Union flag lowered at half mast, and the Parliament below, and I will wonder, just how much longer we can go on like this.

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UK Parliament terror tied to Antwerp attack

DEBKAfile, March 23, 2017:

The Westminster attacker, 52-year old British-born Khalid Masoud, was claimed as “a soldier of the Islamic State” Thursday, March 23, after he murdered three people and injured more than forty. Some are still in critical condition. The London Metropolitan Police do not now believe he was acting alone. In pursuit of accomplices, anti-terror police made eight arrests at six addresses in East London and Birmingham on suspicion of “preparation of terror attacks.” More arrests are expected.

In Antwerp, Belgium, 24 hours later, a man wearing military-style uniform, was arrested trying to drive at high speed into a crowd before anyone was hurt. He was identified as 39-year-old Mohamed R, a French national of North African origin living in France. Bomb disposal experts found knives, a shotgun and a gas can in his car.

French and Belgian police say the London and Antwerp terror attacks were linked. The second attack was scheduled to take place Wednesday at the same time as the assault at the British parliament, a twin event to “celebrate”the first anniversary of the Islamic State’s suicide bombing on the Brussels airport and subway which murdered 32 people.

Khalid Masoud began his rampage of terror Wednesday by plowing into a crowd of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, then crashing his car into the railings of Parliament Yard and ending with a stabbing attack on policemen guarding the entrance to the House.

He had been known to the police and intelligence services, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed to a shocked House Thursday. She told the MPs he had been investigated some years ago, but was not part of the current intelligence picture, which means he was not under the radar at present.

Police said he had a string of convictions for various criminal offensives unrelated to terrorism.
Masoud, who was shot dead by police officers barring his attempt to storm the British parliament, was a married father of three and a former English teacher. Born in Kent outside London, he is believed to have been living in Birmingham.

Read earlier DEBKAfile reports on the incident.

Also see:

 

London terrorist a ‘soldier’ of the Islamic State, group claims

LONG WAR JOURNAL, BY THOMAS JOSCELYN | March 23, 2017

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has issued a statement claiming that the terrorist responsible for yesterday’s attack in London was a “soldier” of the so-called caliphate.

Citing a security “source,” Amaq states: “The attacker yesterday in front of the British parliament in London was a soldier of the Islamic State, executing the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations.”

Amaq’s claim is similar to a series of statements that were issued after past operations across Europe and the US.

Thus far, Amaq hasn’t provided any specific details about the man responsible for killing at least three people, including an American citizen and a British policeman, and wounding dozens of others. The terrorist drove his vehicle into a crowd, then jumped out and used a blade to assault other people.

The UK Metropolitan Police has identified the terrorist as Khalid Masood, a 52 year-old man who was born in Kent and is believed to have been “most recently living in the West Midlands.” Masood was “known by a number of aliases,” but “was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.

However, the Metropolitan Police says Masood “was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults” and other crimes. His criminal record reportedly extends all the way back to Nov. 1983 and “his last conviction was in Dec. 2003 for possession of a knife.”

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s propagandists have repeatedly encouraged followers to ram their vehicles into Western citizens. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has also promoted the idea.

Last year, jihadists used trucks during attacks in Nice on Bastille Day and at a Christmas market in Berlin. In both cases, Amaq described the attackers as a “soldier” of the caliphate.

Another similar assault was carried out at Ohio State University in November, when a Somali refugee, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, drove his car into a crowd of people before exiting the vehicle and then using a knife to assault his victims. Artan was quickly shot dead by a campus police officer. Once again, Amaq described him as the Islamic State’s “soldier.”

Amaq has repeatedly described terrorists as “soldiers” of the Islamic State

In addition to the instances mentioned above, Amaq and other Islamic State propaganda outlets frequently describe the terrorists who carry out such deeds as “soldiers” of the caliphate.

An Islamic State claim of responsibility doesn’t prove that the group had direct ties to the attacker. However, authorities have found that terrorists had digital ties, or were at least inspired by the Islamic State, in a number of cases. Islamic State operatives have also orchestrated a series of plots in the West.

For example, the Islamic State described the May 2015 shooters in Garland, Tex. and the couple who assaulted a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif. as the group’s “soldiers.” The San Bernardino terrorists were also labeled “supporters.”

The shooters in Garland, Tex. reportedly communicated with Junaid Hussain, a key Islamic State operative who was killed in an American airstrike last year. And the husband and wife jihadists responsible for the massacre in San Bernardino pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi on Facebook prior to their demise.

The team of jihadists that carried out the Nov. 2015 assault in Paris was hailed as “a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate.” In that case, the jihadists were directly dispatched by the Islamic State’s mother organization in Syria. The Paris attacks were different from the other, small-scale attacks claimed by the Islamic State and carried out by individuals in Europe.

Omar Mateen, who repeatedly pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi the night of his shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in June, was described as a “fighter” for the organization.

Amaq said Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, was “a soldier of the Islamic State.” The same wording was also used to label a young slasher in Würzburg, Germany.

After the Nice, Würzburg, Ansbach (Germany) and Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (Normandy, France) attacks, Amaq also emphasized that the men responsible had acted “in response to calls to target countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”

And after the operations in Würzburg, Ansbach, Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and Balashikha (Russia), Amaq disseminated videos of the terrorists swearing allegiance to Baghdadi. The videos were recorded beforehand, demonstrating that the jihadists had at least some digital ties to the Islamic State’s operations.

Indeed, European officials discovered that a series of plots have been “remote-controlled” by the Islamic State’s digital operatives. American authorities have also found that the so-called caliphate’s men had virtual connections to a number of recruits who were intercepted before they could carry out their murderous acts.

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

What’s really behind Trump’s laptop ban

Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, detonated a laptop bomb on this Daallo Airlines aircraft in February 2016.

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn, March 23, 2017:

More than 15 years after the September 11 hijackings, the U.S. government has issued yet another warning about airline security. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced new restrictions on electronics brought on board certain U.S.-bound flights. Passengers on planes leaving from 10 airports throughout the Middle East and North Africa will no longer be able to carry laptops or similar electronics with them into the cabin of the plane. Cell phones and smaller electronics are unaffected by the new measures, but computers will have to be checked in luggage.

The move instantly generated controversy and questions. Namely, why now? Some dismissed the DHS announcement as a protectionist move aimed at boosting the futures of U.S. carriers, who have complained of unfair competition from Gulf airlines for years. Twitter wags called it a “Muslim laptop ban,” whose secret aim was to discourage travel from the Arab world. But by now it should be clear that the new restrictions are deadly serious, even if there are legitimate questions about how it is being implemented.

Initial press reports, including by the New York Times, cited anonymous officials as saying that the restrictions were not a response to new intelligence. But the DHS announcement implies otherwise. One question on the DHS web site reads, “Did new intelligence drive a decision to modify security procedures?” The answer: “Yes, intelligence is one aspect of every security-related decision.” The British government’s quick decision to follow suit also suggests that something new is afoot here.

Subsequent reports from CNN and The Daily Beast indicate that intelligence collected during a U.S. Special Forces raid in Yemen in January led to the restrictions. That is possible. The raid was highly controversial, but the Trump administration argues the costs were worth it because the U.S. learned key details about al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) plotting. A Navy SEAL perished during the operation, as did a number of women and children. Within hours, jihadists began circulating a photo of an adorable little girl who died in the crossfire. The girl was the daughter of Anwar al Awlaki, a Yemeni-American al Qaeda ideologue killed in a September 2011 drone strike. Al Qaeda immediately called for revenge in her name.

Whether new intelligence led to the decision or not, we already know for certain that al Qaeda has continued to think up ways to terrorize the skies. For years, Al Qaeda operatives in Somalia, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere have been experimenting with sophisticated explosives that can be smuggled onto planes.

DHS points to the “attempted airliner downing in Somalia” in February 2016 as one reason for ongoing concerns. That bombing was carried out by al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in Somalia. Al Shabaab attempted to justify the failed attack by claiming “Western intelligence officials” were on board the flight, but that excuse may be a cover for something more sinister.

Some U.S. officials suspect that al Qaeda’s elite bomb makers wanted to test one of their newest inventions, a lightweight explosive disguised as a laptop that is difficult to detect with normal security procedures. At the very least, Shabaab’s attack demonstrated that al Qaeda has gotten closer to deploying a laptop-sized explosive that can blow a hole in jetliners. While no one other than the terrorist who detonated the bomb was killed, the plane was left with a gaping hole in its side.

Al Qaeda-linked terrorists have tested their contraptions before. In December 1994, a bomb was detonated on board a Philippine Airlines flight, killing one of the passengers and severely damaging the plane. The device was implanted by Ramzi Yousef, the nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Yousef planned to blow up several airliners at once as part of “Project Bojinka” and he wanted to try out his invention beforehand. Authorities ultimately scuttled his plot, but al Qaeda didn’t forget Yousef’s idea. Instead, the terrorist organization returned to it again in 2006, when a similar plan targeting jets leaving London’s Heathrow Airport was foiled.

Al Qaeda’s failure in 2006 didn’t dissuade the group from pressing forward with a version of Yousef’s original concept, either.

In September 2014, the U.S. began launching airstrikes against an al Qaeda cadre in Syria described by the Obama administration as the “Khorasan Group.” There was some initial confusion over what the Khorasan Group really is, with some opining that it was simply invented by American officials to justify bombings, or a separate terror entity altogether. In reality, it was simply a collection of al Qaeda veterans and specialists who were ordered by the group’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, to begin laying the groundwork in Syria for operations against the West.

As far as we know, the Khorasan Group never did attempt to strike the U.S. or Europe. Perhaps this is because a number of its leaders and members were killed in the drone campaign. But there is an additional wrinkle in the story: Zawahiri didn’t give his men the final green light for an operation. Instead, Zawahiri wanted the Khorasan cohort to be ready when called upon. In the meantime, al Qaeda didn’t want an attack inside the West to jeopardize its primary goal in Syria, which is toppling Bashar al Assad’s regime.

The Islamic State gets all the headlines, but Al Qaeda has quietly built its largest guerrilla army ever in Syria, with upwards of 10,000 or more men under its direct command. The group formerly known as Jabhat al Nusra merged with four other organizations to form Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (“Assembly for the Liberation of Syria”) in January. Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee months earlier, in June 2016, that Nusra was already al Qaeda’s “largest formal affiliate in history” with “direct ties” to Zawahiri. The merger gives al Qaeda control over an even larger force.

Al Qaeda could easily repurpose some of these jihadists for an assault in Europe, or possibly the U.S., but has chosen not to thus far. That is telling. Zawahiri and his lieutenants calculated that if Syria was turned into a launching pad for anti-Western terrorism, then their efforts would draw even more scrutiny. At a time when the U.S. and its allies were mainly focused on ISIS, al Qaeda’s potent rival, Zawahiri determined the West could wait.

But Zawahiri’s calculation with respect to Syria could change at any time. And the organization maintains cadres elsewhere that are still plotting against the U.S. and its interests.

The Khorasan Group included jihadists from around the globe, including men trained by AQAP’s most senior bomb maker, a Saudi known as Ibrahim al Asiri. U.S. officials have fingered al Asiri as the chief designer of especially devious explosive devices. Al Asiri has survived multiple attempts to kill him. But even if the U.S. did catch up with al Asiri tomorrow, his expertise would live on. Some of his deputies have trained still others in Syria.

Al Qaeda now has units deployed in several countries that are involved in anti-Western plotting. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that al Qaeda “nodes in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey” are “dedicating resources to planning attacks.”

The Pentagon regularly announces airstrikes targeting al Qaeda operatives, some of whom, identified as “external” plotters, have an eye on the West. Incredibly, more than a decade and a half after the 9/11 hijackings, al Qaeda members in Afghanistan are still involved in efforts to hit the U.S. In October 2016, for instance, the U.S. struck down Farouq al Qahtani in eastern Afghanistan. The Defense Department explained that Qahtani was “one of the terrorist group’s senior plotters of attacks against the United States.”

Meanwhile, ISIS has also proven it is capable of downing an airliner. Thus far, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men have used low-tech means. In October 2015, the so-called caliphate’s Sinai province claimed the bombing of a Russian airliner. If the group’s propaganda is accurate, then a Schweppes Gold soft drink can filled with explosives and equipped with a detonator led to the deaths of all 224 people on board. This beverage bomb was a far cry from the sleek explosives al Qaeda’s bomb makers have been experimenting with, but it was effective nonetheless. All it required was proper placement next to a fuel line or some other sensitive point in the airliner’s infrastructure. ISIS could have more sophisticated bomb designs in the pipeline as well.

The truth is that the threat to airliners isn’t going away any time soon. However, this doesn’t mean that every counterterrorism measure intended to protect passengers is the right one. Some quickly questioned the Trump administration’s policy. Why does it impact only flight carriers in some countries? Were security measures found to be lax in some airports, but not others? Why is the threat of a laptop bomb mitigated if it is in checked luggage, as opposed to on board the plane? And what about the possibility of al Qaeda or ISIS slipping a bomb onto connecting flights, before the planes head for the U.S. homeland?

These are all good questions that should be asked. And the Trump administration should answer them.

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

Also see:

Report: Intel for Carry-on Electronics Ban Came from Yemen Raid

Five Days and Two ‘Known Wolf’ Terror Attacks, Yet No Apparent Concern from Western Governments

PJ Media, by Patrick  Poole, March 23, 2017:

We’ve seen two more “Known Wolf” terror attacks in the West, and yet Western government authorities seem unwilling to acknowledge, let alone begin to address, the “Known Wolf” terror problem.

I first identified the “Known Wolf” terror trend and coined the term in October 2014 here at PJ Media, noting that many, possibly most, Islamic terrorists who actually committed terrorism in the West were already known to Western law enforcement, national security agencies, and intelligence services. 

Yet sufficient action was not taken to prevent them from conducting terror attacks:

Since then, I’ve chronicled (in nearly two dozen articles) the continuation of the “Known Wolf” terrorism trend, including the Berlin Christmas market terrorist that killed 12 and wounded 56 others:

In September, I noted that 12 of the 14 Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. during the Obama administration were by suspects already known to authorities:

Earlier today, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that yesterday’s still-unnamed Westminster terror killer had already been investigated by MI5 over his extremist views:

The same is true for the Paris Orly airport attacker this past weekend, who was also already known to French authorities:

What’s the use of having a “terror watch list” if all Western authorities are going to do is watch them kill the citizens they are paid to protect?

Even right now, British authorities are invoking the long-discredited “lone wolf” terrorism theory to explain yesterday’s Westminster attack, including British Defense Minister Michael Fallon:

Meanwhile, in a series of raids, British authorities are arresting a number of people in connection with yesterday’s attack:

Naturally, many have had enough of the “lone wolf” myth and would prefer to hear the truth:

If Western authorities continue to ignore the “Known Wolf” terror problem, they will continue to lose legitimacy with the citizens they serve. And some will consider taking matters into their own hands. That’s dangerous for everyone.

Has any Western politician been forced to resign? Has any law enforcement or intelligence official ever been fired for failing to prevent a “Known Wolf” terror attack? How many more citizens need to be killed before Western authorities acknowledge and take action in response to the growing “Known Wolf” terror problem?

If the reaction to the Orly and Westminster attacks in the past week are any indication, the answer to that last question is apparently “more.”

_____________________

Below, find Poole’s prior coverage of the “Known Wolf” scandal:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015: Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015: France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015: Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

Aug. 22, 2015: European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Oct 14, 2015: Yet Again: Turkey, Israel Terror Attacks Committed by “Known Wolves”

Nov 14, 2015: One Paris Attacker Was Previously Known to Authorities, Marks Fifth ‘Known Wolf” Attack in France This Year

Feb 16, 2016: Machete Attack in Ohio Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

May 16, 2016: News Reports Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ U.S. Terrorists

June 12, 2016: Orlando Night Club Attack by “Known Wolf” Terrorist Previously Investigated by FBI

July 14, 2016: Senate Intelligence Committee to Investigate “Known Wolf” Terrorism Problem

July 26, 2016: ISIS Suspect in Normandy Priest’s Killing Already Known to French Authorities

August 10, 2016: Canadian ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist Planned Suicide Bombing of Major City, Killed in Overnight Police Operation

August 19, 2016: Man Who Stabbed Rabbi Thursday in Strasbourg, France Involved in Prior Attack

Sept. 20, 2016: NY-NJ Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami Already Known to Law Enforcement Authorities

Sept. 28, 2016:“Known Wolf” SCANDAL: In at Least 12 of the 14 Terror Attacks Under Obama, FBI Already Knew Attackers

Dec. 21, 2016:Suspect Sought for Deadly Berlin Terror Attack, Anis Amri, Yet Another Known Wolf

***

Update:

London Terror Killer Named as Convicted Criminal Khalid Masood

Jihadi Attack in London, UK Vows to Defend ‘Tolerance’

In other words, as the body count piles up, it will be business as usual.

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, March  23, 2017:

​There is a good deal of confusion surrounding the attack on the Westminster Bridge and at the Parliament building in London on Wednesday. Most notably, the UK’s Independent initially identified the attacker as a well-known jihad preacher in Britain, Abu Izzadeen; then it deleted that story without correction or explanation. Whoever the attacker was, however, the attack bore all the hallmarks of the jihadist modus operandi, just as the official response bore all the hallmarks of business-as-usual in London: the UK’s Home Secretary vowed to protect Britain’s “shared values” of “tolerance.”

If there was only one attacker, as appears to have been the case, he started by plowing his car into a crowd of pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge, killing two and injuring twenty. Then he got out and stabbed a police officer to death at the Parliament building. This follows the pattern of numerous recent jihad attacks. We have seen a spate of attacks recently in which jihadis used their cars as weapons — and a billboard in Nazareth that actually called for them. “Moderate” Fatah called for such attacks. And the Islamic State issued this call in September 2014:

So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him….

We have seen large-scale vehicular attacks in Nice and Berlin and elsewhere. And in June 2015, a Muslim in Austria drove his car into a crowd, killing three, and then got out and stabbed passersby. Then in November 2016, a Muslim student at Ohio State University named Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove his car into a crowd, then got out and stabbed several others. The attack Wednesday in London by an “Asian” – British mediaspeak for “Muslim” – followed the same pattern.

Scotland Yard obliquely acknowledged that it was a jihad attack. In a statement, it said: “Officers – including firearms officers – remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.” A “terrorist” incident means jihad. It wasn’t the IRA. There are no other significant terrorist groups operating today in the UK. This statement from Scotland Yard makes it very likely that this was a jihad attack, and yet another repudiation of the British government’s policy of appeasing and accommodating Islamic supremacists and jihadists while hounding and persecuting foes of jihad terror, and banning foreign ones from the country.

Yet in her own response to the attack, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “The British people will be united in working together to defeat those who would harm our shared values. Values of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. Values symbolised by the Houses of Parliament. Values that will never be destroyed.”

To speak about “tolerance” with several people dead at the hands of an Islamic jihadist in London is to signal that it will be business as usual in Theresa May’s Britain: nothing will be done to confront the ideology that incites its adherents to violence and hatred. This is clear because “tolerance” is never asked of Islamic supremacists who take to the streets of London to preach the ultimate victory of Sharia; the only people ever accused of “intolerance” are those who speak honestly about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat.

As Bob Dylan said: “Toleration of the unacceptable leads to the last round-up.” And it’s coming in Britain. The London jihad attack was yet another harbinger of that.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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UTT Throwback Thursday: Britsh Leaders’ Inability to Speak Truth About Islam

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March  23, 2017:

See UTT’s new video entitled “British Appeasement to Islam” HERE.

Where is Winston Churchill when you need him?

Since 9/11/01, Britain’s leaders have been unable to see the reality of the Islamic threat which is overwhelming them, and, in the face of their own destruction, have been incapable of letting the light of truth in to see the problem they face lies with Islam and it’s destructive and barbaric sharia.

In October 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair held a press conference where he stated:  “This is not a war with Islam. It angers me as it angers the vast majority of Muslims to hear bin Laden and his associates described as Islamic terrorists. They are terrorists pure and simple. Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, and the acts of these people are wholly contrary to the teachings of the Koran.”

After British Army soldier Lee Rigby was run over and beheaded on the streets of Woolwich, England in May 2013 by two Muslims, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated:  “This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life, it was also a betrayal of Islam and on the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.  There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.”

After British aid worker David Haines was beheaded by Muslims in ISIS on video in September 2014, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated:  “They claim to do this in the name of Islam.  That is nonsense.  Islam is a religion of peace.  They are not Muslims.  They are monsters.”

What will Prime Minister Theresa May say about Islam after the jihadi attack in Westminster?

Is she aware “Fight and slay the unbeliever wherever you find them” (Koran 9:5) is a permanent command from Allah for Muslims until the world is under sharia (Islamic Law)?  Is she aware this is taught in Islamic schools all over Britain?

What will London’s jihadi mayor say?

Here is what Sir Winston Churchill said:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men…Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.  Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
[Winston Churchill, The River War (Volume II, 1st edition), pages 248-250]

The US May Get Drawn Into War With Syria, And ISIS Has Nothing To Do With It

Four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters provide air support for Soldiers conducting an air assault exercise as part of the Full Spectrum Training Event in Hohenfels, Germany, Oct. 14, 2011. The UH-60 crews are assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade-Europe. U.S. Army photo by Richard Bumgardner

Daily Caller, by Saagar Enjeti, March 22, 2017:

Tensions between U.S. ally Israel and the Syrian regime are flaring up after a series of military confrontations, which could escalate into a larger military surge in the already crowded war zone.

Tensions reached their highest level Friday when Syria launched a series of anti-aircraft missiles intended for Israeli jets engaging Hezbollah supply lines. One of the Syrian missiles was destroyed by Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. The incident marked the first known time Syria has fired on Israeli aircraft since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, and prompted a fierce Israeli response.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared to Israeli media “The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added Friday, “When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it.”

Russia, the Syrian regime’s main sponsor, also summoned the Israeli Ambassador Friday for an explanation of the strike.

Russia’s concern underscores the interwoven role of multiple global powers in Syria. Other countries involved directly in Syria include the U.S., Turkey, Iran, Russia, multiple rebel groups, al-Qaida, and the Islamic State. Many of these rebel groups have international sponsors including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other gulf countries.

Any military confrontation between Damascus and Jerusalem would almost certainly draw U.S. support, which could in turn endanger U.S. troops inside Syria. Military confrontation could threaten conventional escalation between Israel and Syria, the U.S. and Moscow, the U.S. and Iran, and deepen the already ongoing conflict.

Israel defiantly followed up on Netanyahu and Lieberman’s pledges when it carried out a series of airstrikes against Hezbollah and the Syrian regime Sunday and Monday. The Sunday strike, carried out by an Israeli drone, killed a pro-regime soldier with reported deep ties to Assad.

Israel appears likely to continue its air campaign and Assad increasingly appears emboldened after his victory in the city of Aleppo. This stance could put the two, and their global allies at war.

Follow Saagar Enjeti on Twitter

World Shrugs as Hizballah Prepares Massive Civilian Deaths

by Noah Beck
Special to IPT News
March 21, 2017

Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently warned Israel that his Iran-backed terror group could attack targets producing mass Israeli casualties, including a huge ammonia storage tank in Haifa, and a nuclear reactor in Dimona.

Also last month, Tower Magazine reported that, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Iran provided Hizballah with a vast supply of “game-changing,” state-of-the art weapons, despite Israel’s occasional airstrikes against weapons convoys.

In a future conflict, Hizballah has the capacity to fire 1,500 rockets into Israel each day, overwhelming Israel’s missile defense systems. Should such a scenario materialize, Israel will be forced to respond with unprecedented firepower to defend its own civilians.

Hizballah’s advanced weapons and the systems needed to launch them reportedly are embedded across a staggering 10,000 locations in the heart of more than 200 civilian towns and villages. The Israeli military has openly warned about this Hizballah war crime and the grave threats it poses to both sides, but that alarm generated almost no attention from the global media, the United Nations, or other international institutions.

Like the terror group Hamas, Hizballah knows that civilian deaths at the hands of Israel are a strategic asset, because they produce diplomatic pressure to limit Israel’s military response. Hizballah reportedly went so far as offering reduced-price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes.

But if the global media, the UN, human rights organizations, and other international institutions predictably pounce on Israel after it causes civilian casualties, why are they doing nothing to prevent them? Hizballah’s very presence in southern Lebanon is a flagrant violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, which called for the area to be a zone “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons” other than the Lebanese military and the U.N. Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The resolution also required Hizballah to be disarmed, but the terror group today has an arsenal that rivals that of most armies. Hizballah possesses an estimated 140,000 missiles and rockets, and reportedly now can manufacture advanced weapons in underground factories that are impervious to aerial attack.

“Israel must stress again and again, before it happens, that these villages [storing Hizballah weapons] have become military posts, and are therefore legitimate targets,” said Yoram Schweitzer, senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

Meir Litvak, director of Tel Aviv University’s Alliance Center for Iranian Studies, agrees, adding that global attention would “expose Hizballah’s hypocrisy in its cynical use of civilians as… human shields.”

Even a concerted campaign to showcase Hizballah’s war preparation is unlikely to change things, said Eyal Zisser, a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Hizballah exploits the fact that “the international community is too busy and…weak to do something about it,” Zisser said. All of “these talks and reports have no meaning. See what is happening in Syria.”

Israel has targeted Hizballah-bound weapons caches in Syria twice during the past week. Syria responded last Friday by firing a missile carrying 200 kilograms of explosives, which Israel successfully intercepted.

If Hizballah provokes a war, Israel can legitimately attack civilian areas storing Hizballah arms if the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) first attempts to warn the targeted civilians to leave those areas, Litvak said. But “it will certainly be very difficult and will look bad on TV.”

While Sunni Arab states are generally united against the Shiite Iranian-Hizballah axis, Litvak, Zisser, and Schweitzer all agreed that Israel could hope for no more than silent support from them when the missiles fly.

Indeed, the “Sunni Arab street” is likely to be inflamed by the images of civilian death and destruction caused by Israel that international media will inevitably broadcast, further limiting support for Israel from Iran’s Sunni state foes.

Rather perversely, the Lebanese government has embraced the very terrorist organization that could cause hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilian deaths by converting residential areas into war zones. “As long as Israel occupies land and covets the natural resources of Lebanon, and as long as the Lebanese military lacks the power to stand up to Israel, [Hizballah’s] arms are essential, in that they complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them,” President Michel Aoun told Egyptian television last month. Hizballah, he said, “has a complementary role to the Lebanese army.”

Aoun’s declaration means that Lebanon “takes full responsibility for all of Hizballah’s actions, including against Israel, and for their consequences to Lebanon and its entire population, even though the Lebanese government has little ability to actually control the organization’s decisions or policy,” said INSS Senior Research Fellow Assaf Orion.

MK Naftali Bennett, a veteran of Israel’s 2006 war with Hizballah, believes that Lebanon’s official acceptance of Hizballah and its policy of embedding military assets inside residential areas removes any constraints on Israeli targeting of civilian areas. “The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases – they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out,” he said. “That’s what we should already be saying to them and the world now.”

In a future war, Hizballah is certain to try bombarding Israeli civilian communities with missile barrages. Israel, in response, will have to target missile launchers and weapons caches surrounded by Lebanese civilians.

But it need not be so. Global attention by journalists and diplomats on Hizballah’s abuses could lead to international pressure that ultimately reduces or even prevents civilian deaths.

Those truly concerned about civilians do not have a difficult case to make. Hizballah has shown a callous disregard for innocent life in Syria.

It helped the Syrian regime violently suppress largely peaceful protests that preceded the Syrian civil war in 2011. Last April, Hizballah and Syrian army troops reportedly killed civilians attempting to flee the Sunni-populated town of Madaya, near the Lebanese border. In 2008, its fighters seized control of several West Beirut neighborhoods and killed innocent civilians after the Lebanese government moved to shut down Hizballah’s telecommunication network.

Hizballah terrorism has claimed civilian lives for decades, including a 1994 suicide bombing at Argentina’s main Jewish center that killed 85 people. As the IDF notes, “Since 1982, hundreds of innocent civilians have lost their lives and thousands more have been injured thanks to Hizballah.”

If world powers and the international media genuinely care about avoiding civilian casualties, they should be loudly condemning Hizballah’s ongoing efforts – in flagrant violation of a UN resolution – to cause massive civilian death and destruction in Lebanon’s next war with Israel.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

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