Gregg Roman: Trump Should Shift Focus from Fighting Obama’s ‘Violent Extremism’ to Fighting ‘Radical Islam’

Associated Press

Associated Press

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 27, 2017:

Gregg Roman, director of theMiddle East Forum, told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow ofBreitbart News Daily that he expects President Trump to proceed with his planned commission to study radical Islam.

Roman said the Middle East Forum has “drafted an off-the-shelf proposal to give President Trump whenever he thinks it’s time to begin this policy idea he spoke about back in August of last year, some really quick ways to get this moving forward.” The Middle East Forum report to which he referred is here.

“There was a working group that President Obama convened back in 2010 that was called the Countering Violent Extremism Working Group,” he recalled. “They came up with such quotes like, ‘Jihad as a holy war is a European invention,’ ‘The Caliphate’s return is inevitable,’ ‘Sharia is misunderstood,’ ‘Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms because terrorism is not Islamic by definition.’ There was a complete muddying of the waters as it relates to the intersection of Islamism as the political ideology that seeks to implement sharia across the West, and that of terrorism.”

“Now, the gem that was really great about Trump’s speech back in 2016, in August, was that he didn’t call this issue ‘violent extremism.’ What he called it was ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’” Roman continued, giving his own preferred definition of the term as “Islamist-inspired terrorism against Western targets.”

“The first thing he did, that I think any president would have to do, is define the problem that the White House would be trying to solve. So he did that. The second thing we would recommend to the president, as it’s written in the report, is to make sure that the structure of this commission should be much like that of what President Reagan put forward when he was trying to find ways in which to defeat the Soviet Union,” he recommended.

“The third thing is once we identify the structure of how this commission would look, we’d have to say who’s going to be on it. We urge the president to put representatives of law enforcement, the military, the intelligence community, diplomatic specialists, but also Muslims themselves, members of the Muslim reform movement and victims of Islamist terror,” he said.

“It’s not just inviting government representatives; it’s also inviting private citizens – those who might be able to reform Islam from within and those who have been victims of terror attacks emanating from Islamist terror groups like al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and so on and so forth,” he explained.

“The fourth thing about this commission is that it has to have a strong mandate. It can’t just be another organization, rather another quasi-organization, launched by the White House without any teeth. It should have the power to subpoena. It should have the power to call individuals not just to testify, but also to offer compelling evidence. And it should have the ability to recommend charges to the Justice Department for American groups that may be supporting Islamist activity in the United States,” he said. “It’s time to get the politics out of countering terrorism, and it’s time to really start sinking American law and teeth into this.”

“Lastly, the commission itself should implement its recommendations through legislation that the Congress would offer and also through executive orders that the president might put forward. It’s time to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. It’s no longer time to dance around the question like the Obama administration has done for the past eight years, prior to Trump being sworn in,” Roman concluded.

Marlow asked who Roman sees as allies on Capitol Hill in this endeavor and “who are the people who might be a force for preventing things like this from getting done.”

“Two of our allies that I really have to give words out to – I think there’s four of them that I would mention, but first Congressman Bill Johnson and also Ron de Santis are amazing on these issues,” Roman replied. “They’re working with us on another project, which is another recommendation for the administration called the Israel Victory Caucus, but they are two individuals that I think are at the forefront of combating radical Islamic terrorism.”

“The other two that I think you have on your show today are Keith Rothfus and Mike Kelly that are individuals that I’ve worked with when I was out in Pittsburgh in another function, before I came to the Forum, but they’re also at this,” he continued. “Especially Keith Rothfus’ work on terrorism finance. He’s doing it right now from an angle on how drugs affect the funding of terrorism, both here and also the criminal organizations behind it south of the border.”

“The individuals with the committees that are taking an interest in this, in the Senate you have the chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and also the chair of the Committee on Homeland Security in the House – McCaul in the House and Johnson in the Senate,” he said. “We sat down with their advisers and some of the subcommittee staff, the subcommittee staff directors,” said Roman. “It’s really important to understand that it’s not just the staff who are on board with defining the problem and trying to find a solution to it, but also many members of Congress are also interested in this. We had great meetings when we went down to the Hill last week, before the publication of the report.”

Marlow asked what Roman would like to see President Trump say to Congress on the topic of radical Islam during his upcoming address.

“I think definitive plans beyond the drafting of the executive order on immigration and extreme vetting that came out in the first few days of his administration, what he plans to do,” Roman replied. “He gave a directive to Secretary of Defense Mattis to draft a plan to defeat ISIS within 30 days of him drafting the order. I think it’s time that that plan not necessarily be shared – because President Trump has indicated he doesn’t intend to share his battle plans, which he shouldn’t with the public – but general guidelines on how he intends on getting that done.”

“The second thing is I’d like to hear him offer a stripping of the Countering Violent Extremism program that the Department of Homeland Security put forward under President Obama and a firm commitment that he will not be giving federal dollars to Islamist groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Committee or the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” he continued. “We saw two subsidiaries of these groups, allies, get hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funding. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give Islamists money to solve Islamist-backed terrorism.”

“The third thing that I’d like to see is him offer a definitive mindset and blueprint for him introducing his committee and commission on radical Islam. Those three things I think would be good starting steps for him to announce on policy,” he said.

“But I don’t necessarily expect this is going to be the platform for which he will make this speech,” Roman added. “I understand it’s more on domestic policy, tax reform, his infrastructure spending plan, so I won’t be disappointed if he doesn’t announce it. But if he does, those are the three things I would look for.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

LISTEN:

Gorka & Jasser: We Are Fighting ‘Not a War with Islam, but a War Inside Islam’

Flickr/AFP

Flickr/AFP

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 24, 2017:

Broadcasting live from CPAC 2017, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow spoke with Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser about national security, Islamist terrorism, and their panel discussion, “When Did World War III Begin?”

Marlow began by asking his guests what they expected from the national security segment of President Donald Trump’s scheduled address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

LISTEN:

“Exactly what we’ve heard before,” Gorka replied. “If you really want to understand the direction of the White House and how much everything changed at 12:01 on January the 20th, you look at two things: you look at a speech that really wasn’t carefully addressed or really paid enough attention to, that’s the Youngstown campaign speech, which was about the threat of jihad in general and what we’re going to do about ISIS.”

“Specifically, it really bears repeating, the inauguration, the address that the president gave at the inauguration, was explicit,” he continued. “Number one, we are going to eradicate the Islamic State – not degrade, not manage, not ameliorate – eradicate. And secondly, words have meaning. When he says our enemy is ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ that is a 180 degree change from the last eight years, when we weren’t allowed to even say who the enemy was.”

“Zuhdi knows it better than anybody because he understands that this isn’t about poverty or lack of education. It’s about people who are fighting for the soul of Islam – not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam; as King Abdullah, as General Sisi has said, for which version is going to win,” Gorka said.

Marlow asked Dr. Jasser about the topic of language control Gorka touched upon and the previous administration’s reluctance to use explicit language like “radical Islamic jihad” to describe the enemy.

“We got to this point because we had an administration who was being whispered to by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, by apologists, by governments that might be our allies against al-Qaeda and ISIS, but they love a whack-a-mole program. They don’t want to treat the disease, which is not ‘violent extremism’ but violent Islamism,” Jasser charged.

“We have to start focusing on our own values,” he urged. “There’s nothing more American than fighting theocracy, and yet the Left for the last eight years has invoked blasphemy laws in America by telling us we can’t criticize Islamist political movements.”

Jasser predicted the new administration would succeed in destroying ISIS but warned that “it will come back in another form – two, three, four years later – unless we engage Muslim reformists, like our Muslim reform movement, to treat the underlying theocracy.”

Marlow complained that the mainstream media swiftly denounce candid talk about the problem of radical Islam as “hate speech” even when confined to straightforward reporting without editorial opinion, making it difficult to have a constructive discussion about the problem.

“I think this is exactly what the Saudi regime, the Iranian Khomeinists, the Brotherhood want, is they want to dominate what Islam means,” Jasser said. “And yes, it’s not my Islam, but we have to thread that needle. Because if you don’t call it political Islam or Islamism as the threat, you’re not going to be able to figure out who to engage. We want to engage anti-Caliphate, anti-violent jihad Muslims who are pro-freedom, pro-equality of men and women, who share our values. If we don’t do that discernment in our verbiage, we’re going to miss it and actually end up helping our enemies and end up actually not only being the firefighters, but the arsonists. We have to stop that cycle.”

“Let’s just take it one level deeper. It’s not just empowering our enemies, which would be bad enough,” Gorka added. “If you don’t talk truthfully about who the enemy is, how are you going to win? What we saw in the last eight years is a policy that actually weakened our most important allies.”

“So when you’ve got the president of the most populous Arab nation in the world say this is a war for the heart of Islam, General Sisi, when you’ve got King Abdullah with his Amman statement saying, ‘Look, we have to stop the jihadis hijacking the religion’ – we have a president here who stands up and says, ‘No, no, no, these are not the droids you’re looking for, the religion has nothing to do with this,’” he elaborated, referring to the Obama administration’s insistence on framing the war as a struggle against generic violent extremism.

“Do you know who we hurt the most? Those Muslims who are on the front lines with the jihadis, who understand this isn’t about poverty or lack of education; it’s about an ideology. So we’ve actually hurt the people who are on the front line the most. We’re not prepared to do that anymore. This administration’s going to help the Jordanians, help the Egyptians, help them fight this war,” Gorka vowed.

“I think we have to own what it means to be diverse,” Jasser suggested. “What is ‘diversity’ in the Muslim community? It’s not ethnic diversity. Being Muslim is not an identity movement of a monolithic homogenous group. It is a diverse ideological movement that has fundamentalist, orthodox, liberal, secularists that are all in this Muslim diverse group. So if the Left actually believes in diversity different from what Pelosi whispered into Andre Carson’s ear – ‘Tell them you’re Muslim’ – Islam is not a race. They’re racializing the faith. That’s the biggest obstacle.”

“I think the other thing I hope to see is not only us being against jihadists, but what are we for,” he added. “I think that will be the difference between some of the dictators in the Middle East, that yes, some of them have been on our side against jihad, the militants, but we are the adults in the world, in being for liberty and freedom. I hope that will be part of a Trump Doctrine.”

Gorka agreed, saluting Jasser as “the point man here in America for sense, for common sense in this battle.”

“The saddest part is there are people like him in the Middle East. There are people every day risking their lives on their blog sites, in North Africa, in the Middle East pushing back on this, saying, ‘I’m a Muslim, but I don’t think an infidel needs to be killed.’ That means he’s put the crosshairs on his chest,” Gorka noted. “In some parts of the Muslim world, that’s an instant death sentence.”

“That’s why the four million Muslims in America need to step up and act because we can do things here that you just can’t do in the Middle East,” Jasser said. “They end up in prison. They end up slaughtered, tortured.”

Marlow proposed that “the stifling of speech in the Muslim world is really what has allowed a lot of the jihadist movements to flourish.”

“Why do you think they use the term ‘Islamophobia’ instead of talking about, yes, there might be some bigotry against Muslims in the West?” Jasser asked. “They use the term Islamophobia because they want to anthropomorphize Islam so that you don’t criticize it, and they suppress free speech. That’s how they invoke blasphemy laws in the West.”

“You’re absolutely right. The freedom of speech issue is huge in the Middle East because it’s a life and death issue in many cases,” Gorka said. “But here, it’s almost as important. It’s not life and death, but it is closing down the discussion.”

“You look at what’s happened in the last four weeks with this administration,” he said. “There’s a phrase in soccer: you play the man on the ball. We’re not going to talk about policies; we’re going to attack individuals, whether it’s Kellyanne, the president, myself, Steve Bannon. They do that how? ‘We don’t want to talk about the threat to America. You’re a racist. You’re an Islamophobe. You’re a xenophobe. Oh, well, in that case, we can’t talk to you.’ That’s as dangerous as just the constant ad hominem attacks because then there is no discussion.”

Jasser said his message to CPAC was that “there is hope” for a lasting victory in the long war against Islamist extremism.

“The first step is to defeat the militants, which this president will finally do,” he said. “The second step is to go back to our American roots and defeat theocracy, work with Muslims and our Muslim reform movement. We have a two-page declaration that can be used, I hope, not only to vet refugees, to figure out which groups are with us and against us. I hope we start doing security clearances through those who share our values.”

“There are so many that are – not in this administration, but that are in the government from the previous administration – that I think are Islamists, that might not be violent extremists, but we need to shift the axis of the lens of Homeland Security, foreign policy, to countering violent Islamism. There’s nothing this group here and the country can do to better empower reform-minded Muslims that share our values than to shift from this blasé CVE to CVI,” Jasser said, lampooning the Obama administration’s acronym for “Countering Violent Extremism.”

Gorka referred to CVE as “garbage from the last eight years that obfuscated the threat.”

He said the most important step taken by the new administration was President Trump’s executive order to temporarily limit immigration from the most unsecure Middle Eastern nations.

“Whatever the final version of the reform measures are, the fact is, when an Iraqi collars me in the halls of Congress and says, ‘My friends back home in Iraq applaud this measure because they know how many bad guys are in Iraq that want to come over here, so do it. Thank you,’” Gorka said.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is deputy assistant to President Trump and was formerly national security editor for Breitbart News. He is the author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6AM to 9AM Eastern.

Listen to the audio of the full interview above.

***

AP: Pentagon Program to Counter Islamic State Propaganda Rife with Incompetence, Corruption

jihadists-cheer-pentagon-counter-narrative-failure-1-sized-770x415xc

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, February 1, 2017:

In 2011, the Obama administration conducted a purge of counter-terrorism training across all relevant federal agencies and imposed a new “countering violent extremism” (CVE) regime in its place to remove any reference in training to role of certain trends in Islamic ideology in support of terrorism.

As I reported last year here at PJ Media, these CVE programs have collapsed into absurdity, with some Obama administration programs intended to directly confront online terror recruitment becoming more harmful than helpful in that effort.

But now an extensive investigation by the Associated Press finds that CVE has claimed yet another victim – the Pentagon’s $500 million WebOps program intended to provide a counter-narrative to Islamic State propaganda.

According to the AP, the WebOps program is rife with incompetence and corruption. Some whistleblowers telling the news agency that the effort has become a laughingstock in the online jihadist community.

The AP reports:

A critical national security program known as “WebOps” is part of a vast psychological operation that the Pentagon says is effectively countering an enemy that has used the internet as a devastating tool of propaganda. But an Associated Press investigation found the management behind WebOps is so beset with incompetence, cronyism and flawed data that multiple people with direct knowledge of the program say it’s having little impact.

Several current and former WebOps employees cited multiple examples of civilian Arabic specialists who have little experience in counter-propaganda, cannot speak Arabic fluently and have so little understanding of Islam they are no match for the Islamic State online recruiters.

It’s hard to establish rapport with a potential terror recruit when — as one former worker told the AP — translators repeatedly mix up the Arabic words for “salad” and “authority.” That’s led to open ridicule on social media about references to the “Palestinian salad.”

Four current or former workers told the AP that they had personally witnessed WebOps data being manipulated to create the appearance of success and that they had discussed the problem with many other employees who had seen the same. Yet the companies carrying out the program for the military’s Central Command in Tampa have dodged attempts to implement independent oversight and assessment of the data.

So according to whistleblowers, you have government contractors tasked with countering Islamic State propaganda – much of it religious arguments – who have no knowledge of Islam. This is a feature, not a bug, of Obama’s CVE policies.

But it gets worse:

Engaging in theological discussions on social media with people who are well versed in the Quran is not for beginners. Iraq and Syria are riven with sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, who follow different interpretations of Islam. Multiple workers said that WebOps “experts” often trip up on language that is specific to one sect or region.

“People can tell whether you are local, or whether you are Sunni or Shia,” said another former worker, so poorly crafted messages are not effective. He said he left WebOps because he was disgusted with the work.

A number of the workers complained to AP that a large group on staff from Morocco, in North Africa, were often ignorant of Middle Eastern history and culture — or even the difference between groups the U.S. considers terrorist organizations. The group was so dominant that colleagues jokingly referred to them as “the Moroccan mafia.”

A lot of them “don’t know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas,” said the employee who left to find more meaningful work. Hezbollah is an Iran-backed Shiite group based in Lebanon. Hamas, based in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is the Palestinian branch of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.

All of this is due to Obama’s purge.

Many of the government subject matter experts (SMEs) in the fields of Middle East culture, Islamic ideology, and Islamist organizations were either removed from their positions following hysterical accusations of “Islamophobia” and biased training, or so limited in what they could teach by Obama’s CVE policies that it was inadequate for the U.S. government departments and agencies to adequately conduct their missions.

A Joint Chiefs of Staff Action Memorandum issued at the height of the counter-terror training “purge” on October 11, 2011, directed a new undefined and secretive CVE screening process for all trainers. It involved “Military Information Support Operations, Information Operations, and Military Intelligence curriculum,” or, the military’s “eyes out” operations.

The failed WebOps program would be part of the Pentagon’s Information Operations branch and subject to the Joint Chiefs CVE guidelines.

The devastating effects of the “purge” aren’t limited to civilian specialists operating behind computer screens. The warriors on the front lines fighting against the Islamic terrorists that have sworn to destroy our society and threaten attacks against our homeland were hurt as well.

In December 2014, the New York Times reported that Major Gen. Michael Nagata, then-head of Special Operations Command Central, had held a series of conference calls attempting to understand why the Islamic State had grown so dangerous:

Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.

In the midst of these discussions, Gen. Nagata issued this damning indictment of how the Obama administration’s CVE policies following the “purge” had blinded the very tip of the American war-fighting spear:

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” he said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

After the intentional purge from the Defense Department’s training of any ability to define the enemy, America’s top warriors now admit they are blinded, with no path to success.

But it’s not just the Defense Department that has been hamstrung by the Obama CVE policies.

On September 8, 2011, Obama signed Executive Order 13584, which led to the establishment of the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) to counter terrorist propaganda.

That State Department program suffered chronic leadership changes and a string of public embarrassments in the face of the growing international terrorist threat from the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

As a consequence, the State Department closed the CSCC.

Now the U.S. government must delegate these vital tasks to foreign organizations, much as the WebOps program is doing with its Moroccan employees.

Among the many embarrassing CSCC episodes was a graphic video they produced called “Welcome to ISIS Land.” It featured severed heads, corpses, and crucifixions interspersed with messages directed at would-be ISIS recruits about the grisly skills they would need to acquire.

That CSCC director — a longtime U.S. diplomat — was promptly replaced.

Another CSCC effort was the “Think Again, Turn Away” program, which pushed out counter-messaging via social media targeting potential ISIS recruits. The program’s Twitter account would regularly “troll” ISIS adherents on Twitter.

But not long after the program was launched, terrorism experts were openly lambasting the program, including accusations that the CSCC’s efforts were legitimizing terrorists. Further, the actual penetration of their social media efforts barely touched the potential terror recruits they were trying to influence. For example, when one well-known pro-ISIS Twitter user, Shami Witness, was arrested, a comparison of the Twitter followers of Shami Witness and the “Think Again, Turn Away account” found that they only shared FIVE followers:

In the comments to that tweet, some users revealed that they were among the five followers that overlapped — and they weren’t even recruiting targets, but terrorism researchers or academics.

In February 2015, Obama’s envoy to the Muslim world, Rashad Hussain, was appointed to lead the CSCC. Yet by that year’s end, a State Department panel of experts concluded that the CSCC’s efforts were not effective, and questioned whether the U.S. government should be involved in counter-propaganda at all. Rashad Hussain was promptly moved to the Justice Department and the CSCC was shut down.

In January 2016 a new effort, the Center for Global Engagement, was launched, but with little prospect that rebranding their efforts will be more effective. Now, most of the State Department’s counter-propaganda efforts have been outsourced to the Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi, which pushes the now-failed CVE strategies. The continued in-country counter-propaganda efforts now have to be characterized as “ninja,” because they are essentially unseen (and unmeasurable).

 On the heels of all that failure, American taxpayers are now on the hook for the $500 million WebOps boondoggle at the Pentagon. Meanwhile, the Islamic State continues to spread its ideology virtually unopposed by the U.S. government.

To defeat the Islamic State will require not just military victories, but successfully rolling back and defeating its ideology. That requires, as Sun Tzu famously said, to “know your enemy.” As Gen. Negata admitted in his conference call, more than 15 years after the 9/11 attacks even our most hardened warriors don’t understand their movement or their ideology.

We undoubtedly require an abandonment of the failed Obama-era CVE policies, and a change in culture where discussions of the various strains of Islamic ideology that power groups like the Islamic State are encouraged — not punished. That’s the difficult task ahead for President Trump and his new administration.

FBI Training Questioned in Recent Terror Attacks

This notebook recovered in the arrest of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami mentions deceased al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki / AP

This notebook recovered in the arrest of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami mentions deceased al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki / AP

Washington  Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Sept. 22, 2016:

Recent domestic terror attacks by Islamic extremists are raising questions among officials and security experts about whether FBI counterterrorism training is deficient.

The chief suspect in the New York City homemade bombing attacks last weekend, Ahmad Rahami, was probed for several weeks by the FBI in 2014 after his father alerted authorities to his terrorist leanings.

Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, told reporters this week that he informed the FBI about concerns about his son after Rahami stabbed one of his brothers in a domestic dispute.

“Two years ago I go to the FBI because my son was doing really bad, OK?” the elder Rahami said. “But they check almost two months, they say, ‘He’s okay, he’s clean, he’s not a terrorist.’ I say OK.”

“Now they say he is a terrorist. I say OK,” Mohammad Rahami said.

The FBI acknowledged dismissing concerns that Rahami posed a terrorism threat. “In August 2014, the FBI initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authorities,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

An FBI spokeswoman did not respond to questions about counterterrorism training.

Rahami is charged with setting off a bomb in downtown New York City that injured 29 people. Other bombs were planted nearby and in New Jersey. He was arrested after being wounded in a shootout with police.

Evidence gathered in the case reveals Rahami carried out the bombing in support of the terrorist groups Islamic State and al Qaeda.

A notebook found on Rahami mentioned ISIS terror leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria last August. The terror leader was quoted by Rahami as instructing sympathizers to kill non-Muslims.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to question FBI Director James Comey about its counterterrorism work at a hearing Wednesday.

“From San Bernardino to Orlando to the most recent terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, the United States has experienced a rise in radical Islamic terrorism and we must ensure that the FBI has the resources needed for its counterterrorism efforts in order to thwart these heinous plots and protect Americans from harm,” Goodlatte said in a statement.

Former FBI Special Agent John Guandolo said the FBI does not lack resources but has failed to understand the nature of the Islamist terror threat and thus has prevented proper training of counterterrorism agents over misplaced concerns of discrimination against Muslims.

“Obviously the FBI’s training program is catastrophically broken,” Guandolo said, noting the string of recent domestic attacks involving terrorists who were at least familiar to FBI counterterrorism agents because of indications they were linked to Islamists.

Six earlier terrorist attacks, among them mass murders at an Orlando nightclub and killings on a military base in Texas, were preceded by FBI investigations or inquiries into the attackers or their immediate family members.

The list of those recent attacks includes:

  • The 2009 shooting at a U.S. military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas, by a Muslim extremist who had been investigated earlier by the FBI
  • The 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people. Hassan was known to the FBI in 2008 through communications he had with an al Qaeda terrorist in Yemen
  • The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by two Islamist terrorists from Russia who were the subject of terrorism warnings provided to the FBI by the Russian government
  • The 2015 shootings at military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, carried out by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, whose father had been placed on a terrorism watch list in the past
  •  The 2015 shooting in Garland, Texas, by two terrorists, one of whom was known to the FBI in 2009 as a potential terrorist
  • The 2016 Orlando nightclub killings of 49 people by Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen who was investigated twice by the FBI prior to the attack

Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka said the FBI’s counterterrorism division has created excellent counterterrorism training courses since the 2009 Fort Hood attack.

“That is not the problem,” said Gorka, professor of strategy and irregular warfare at the Institute of World Politics. “The issue is the courses aren’t being held.”

Since last year, Justice Department funding for counterterrorism training was slashed by nearly 50 percent, Gorka said. As a result, the “Terrorism: Origins and Ideology” course designed specifically for Joint Terrorism Task Force members—whose mission is to catch people like Rahami before they kill—were reduced from eight courses per year to less than four.

“As a result our law enforcement officers are less prepared just as the threat has increased,” Gorka said.

Michael Waller, an expert on unconventional warfare, said the FBI is missing the bad guys in advance of their attacks due to a policy that prevents monitoring jihadists before they become violent.

“This policy began under the previous FBI director, Robert Mueller, and for years has had a chilling effect throughout the bureau,” said Waller, an analyst with the research firm Wikistrat.

Waller says the FBI made a strategic error after the September 11 terror attacks by reaching out to Muslim Brotherhood Islamists and their front groups in the United States to court “moderate” Muslims.

“That’s equivalent to the FBI asking the KGB for help in fighting Communist subversion and violence,” he said, referring to the Soviet-era political police and intelligence service.

“The administration’s whole approach to ‘countering violent extremism’ literally keeps avowed jihadists off the FBI watch list, as long as they are not ‘violent,’” Waller said. “So while the FBI does investigate some of these jihadis in advance, too often it lets them go, or misses them completely, until they murder and maim.”

Waller noted that any expression of Islamic extremism poses a threat to the Constitution because, whether violent or not, it advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government.

“Such individuals, by statute, are proper targets for arrest and prosecution,” he said. “The FBI’s job—like any federal agency’s job—is to defend the Constitution ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ In this regard, the FBI has failed.”

The FBI did not have information about the terrorists in advance of last year’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, in which a married couple pledging loyalty to ISIS murdered 14 people. However, the couple had communicated privately on social media about waging jihad, or holy war, before the attack.

A common tie between the perpetrators of several recent Islamist terror attacks, including the New York bombings, was English-speaking online al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011 but whose recruiting videos are available on the Internet.

Awlaki was an inspiration behind the shootings at Fort Hood, San Bernardino, and Orlando, as well as the New York bombings, according to investigations of those attacks.

Court documents in the New York and New Jersey bombing case reveal that Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, had made “laudatory references” to Awlaki that were found in a journal he carried at the time of his arrest after a shootout with police.

Rahami also praised Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people during the Fort Hood attack.

The FBI complaint against Rahami indicates that he constructed several pressure cooker bombs planted in a two-state bombing spree. The bombs contained homemade explosives and were meant to be triggered remotely by cell phones.

Similar pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon bombings. Plans on how to manufacture the devices have been published in an al Qaeda magazine called Inspire.

Guandolo, the former FBI agent, noted that the FBI complaint against Rahami states that he received “instructions of terrorist leaders” to “attack nonbelievers where they live.”

Additionally, Rahami stated in a personal journal that “guidance came [from] Sheik Anwar”—a reference to Awlaki.

“From whence did that ‘extremist’ idea come?” Guandolo said, noting that the Koran directs Muslims to “fight and slay the unbelievers where you find them and capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush.”

Rahami’s notebook ends with the passage that “the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death to Your OPPRESSION.”

***

Also see:

Today there will be a hearing of the Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency subcommittee, looking at the failure to successfully identify the enemy in our current fight. Former HIPSC Chairman Pete Hoekstra and Anti-Islamist Muslim formers Zhudi Jasser and Shireen Qudosi will be going up against DHS hack and former Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee grievance monger George Selim and Pro-terror Islamist law professor Sahar Aziz. – David Shideler, follow @ShidelerK for running commentary on the hearing

Hearing: “Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terror.” livestream:

Disconnecting the Dots: Blurring the Lines

dotsby Patrick Dunleavy
IPT News
June 22, 2016

In my childhood, one of the fun games in the daily newspaper was a “connecting the dots” puzzle. A simple system of drawing a line from one numbered dot to the other produced a picture any child could see. Every now and then a typo would occur in the printing of the paper and the result was an unsolvable puzzle with a blurred image. The newspaper would issue an apology to its readers and that was that. A harmless mistake in an innocent game.

The same solution does not hold true in more serious fields.

In the war on terrorism, substituting hard facts with esoteric rhetoric blurs the picture and creates confusion. The latest example of this situation, coming on the heels of the terrorist attack in Orlando, is the Department of Homeland Security’s interim report on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee released this month.

This was not a wartime strategy report. On the contrary, this was the administration’s latest initiative to move further away from the war on terrorism and blur the picture as to who the enemy really is.

The subcommittee was formed as part of the DHS’s Homeland Security Advisory Council (“HSAC”) last November. It was described by the department as “an incubator of ideas.” It defines CVE as the actions taken to counter efforts by extremists to radicalize, recruit, or mobilize followers to violence. Who is a violent extremist you ask? According to the report, it is an individual who supports or commits ideologically-motivated violence to further political goals. And what type of weapons would one use in this fight? The committee recommends using “soft power tools.” Soft power is a conceptual idea that persuasive words are more important than the use of force in a time of war.

This formation of the subcommittee and its objectives coincided with the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 and injured more than 350 men women and children. The sophistication of the Paris attacks and the subsequent Brussels attacks led authorities to conclude that the terrorists had received prior combat training. Some had returned to Europe after fighting with ISIS in Syria.

One month after the subcommittee was formed, another terrorist attack occurred in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 injured. The attack was carried out by a husband and wife jihadi team, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

ISIS described the couple as “soldiers of the caliphate.”

In Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, Omar Mateen, having pledged bayat, or allegiance, to ISIS, opened fire on the crowd killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. His goal was not political. It was to rid the world of infidels.

In the original 9/11 Commission report, the committee clearly identified the enemy: It “is not just ‘terrorism,’ some generic evil. This vagueness blurs the strategy. The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed byIslamist terrorism…”

And lest we think that pronouncement has changed in the 15 years since 9/11, we should look at the supplemental report issued by the commission 10 years later. In it, the members informed us that the threat of Islamic terrorism had not been defeated but had grown stronger, and had evolved in methodology, tactics and leadership.

When the current administration removes the words “radical Islamic terrorism” from the equation, it is more than a semantic faux pas. It is an intentional erasure of one of the dots necessary to see clearly the threat facing the United States. It identifies who has declared war on us.

Groups like al-Qaida, al-Shabaab, and ISIS are not looking to attract students to some philosophy or political science class.

They are soldiers, combat-hardened jihadists, sadistic killers. They are using every tool available to them to recruit more – social media, the internet, violent videos, fiery sermons. Soft power means nothing to them. They respond only to the sword.

When the president uses terms like “the full resources of the federal government” and “spare no effort” in responding to the latest terrorist attack by an Islamist, what exactly does it mean? To the average American it sounds like more rhetoric from the “incubator of ideas.”

This administration and Congress must give the FBI and local law enforcement thenecessary resources, including the additional manpower and equipment necessary to face the current challenge of investigating numerous leads on ISIS sympathizers within our borders. And they must restore to our intelligence agencies the ability to collect and analyze the data necessary to track Islamic terrorist organization like ISIS.

In a time of war we need decisive action, not soft power tools.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School.

Also see:

The Fallacy of Focusing on Islamic Radicalization

extreme-koran3Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, April 13, 2016:

There are Jihadists from dozens of countries who have joined ISIS. What do they all have in common?

The official answer is radicalization. Muslims in Europe are “radicalized” by alienation, racism and unemployment. Neglected by governments, Muslim youth band together and become terrorists. Muslims in Israel are responding to the “despair and hopelessness” of the “Occupation”. Muslims from the rest of the Middle East are angry over their “dictators”. Muslims from the Ukraine? Who knows.

Radicalization comes packaged with a set of local grievances and explanations. It contends that all Muslim terrorism is a response to local conditions and that we are responsible for those conditions. Even though the “radicalization” is Islamic, it denies that Islam plays a positive role as a Jihadist goal. Instead, like Halal liquor or hashish, it’s what Muslims turn to when they have been disappointed in the West or in their own governments. Islam is just what happens when a Belgian Muslim can’t get a job.

And yet Islam is the only positive uniting factor for Islamic terrorism.

Why otherwise should a Moroccan youth from a French suburb who works at a nightclub, the son of a rural Saudi farmer who has never been outside his country and an American teenager who converted to Islam all risk their lives to form an Islamic State? The Jihadis of ISIS are a truly multinational and multicultural bunch. They have traveled to two foreign countries that most of them have never been to.

What else unites them into a common identity that they are willing to kill and die for if it isn’t Islam?

Radicalization favors local explanations. But those local explanations don’t add up nationally or globally. Europe spends a fortune on social services and yet Muslim terrorism has only grown worse. Other immigrant minorities in Europe have lower unemployment rates and aren’t blowing things up.

Removing Muslim dictators in the Arab Spring didn’t lower terrorism; it vastly increased the power and influence of Islamic terror groups. Nor have changes in American foreign policy and greater outreach lowered Islamic terrorism. If anything the scale of the problem seems to have only become more severe.

The Israeli peace process with the PLO likewise vastly increased the terror threat and no amount of concessions has brought peace any closer.  There are stateless Muslims throughout the Middle East. Jordan is filled with the same exact “Palestinians” as Israel, many of whom are stateless and have few rights, yet terror rates are far lower. Instead Muslim violence spikes where there are religious differences. As we see in Iraq, Syria and Israel, religious differences are more explosive than political ones. And where religious differences don’t exist, Jihadists create them by denouncing their Muslim enemies as un-Islamic. ISIS is the culmination of a process that you can see among “moderate” Islamists.

The official explanation is that a multitude of local factors cause Muslim disappointment leading to some sort of irreligiously religious radicalism which can be cured by preventing that disappointment.

We are expected to believe that there are hundreds of explanations for Islamic terrorism, but not one. And while no doubt individual choices and emotions play a role in the making of a Muslim terrorist, the same is true in the making of a soldier. An army exists as part of a positive national ethos. Reducing an army to a series of personal dissatisfactions is absurd. So is reducing ISIS to individually dissatisfied people while ignoring what its members actually believe. It’s as absurd as believing that Hitler became a monster because he couldn’t get his painting career off the ground.

Islamic terrorism is a positive ethos. It is horrifying, evil and brutal, but it is not some nihilistic void. You can look at unemployment rates in Brussels or dissatisfaction in Saudi Arabia, but nobody decides to fight and die for a Jihadist group because they’re having trouble applying for a job at McDonald’s. They join because they believe in its mission. Ignoring the organizing principle of Islamic terrorism while focusing on local conditions that might make Jihadist recruitment easier misses the forest for the trees.

Radicalization programs, under euphemisms such as CVE or Countering Violent Extremism, assume that Islamic terrorism can be countered by forming a partnership with Muslim groups and social services agencies. While the West will ease Muslim dissatisfaction by providing jobs and boosting their self-esteem to make them feel like they belong, the Muslim groups will tackle the touchy issue of Islam.

These partnerships achieve nothing because social services don’t prevent Islamic terrorism; they enable and fund the very no-go zones and dole-seeker lifestyles that are a gateway to the Jihad. Meanwhile the Muslim partners are inevitably Islamists looking to pick up potential recruits for their own terror agendas. Western countries fund terrorism to fight terrorism and then partner with still more terrorists to train their homegrown terrorists not to be terrorists, or at least not the wrong kind of terrorists.

This is what happens when the “Islam” part of Islamic terrorism is ignored and outsourced to any Islamist who can pretend to be moderate in front of a television camera for 5 minutes at a time.

None of this actually stops Islamic terrorism. Instead it empowers and encourages it.

The Islamist alliances suppress any discussion of Islamic terrorism as “harming” national security. Condemn the Muslim Brotherhood and you’re interfering with CVE efforts to stop terrorism by “educating” Muslims on real Islam and helping the Brotherhood take over entire countries to address the political anger of Muslims. At least the anger of those that are part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

And yet without discussing Islam, there is nothing to discuss.

There are plenty of unemployed non-Muslims in Europe. There are lots of bad governments all over the world. The non-Islamic factors on which Islamic terrorism is blamed are not unique to Muslims. Only Islam is. Islamic terrorism is unique and so its causes cannot be reduced to joblessness or bad governments. A unique outcome suggests a unique cause. And Islam is a unique cause.

Islam is the unique cause of Islamic terrorism. There is no way to fight Islamic terrorism without acknowledging its organizing principle, its objective and its worldview.

You cannot fight “radicalization” without dealing with what Muslim terrorists are “radicalized” to do. Without Islam, all that’s left is the political and sociological hunt for individual motives while completely ignoring what unites these individuals together. And so CVE plays the seven blind men while ignoring the elephant in the room. And the terror attacks and the futile efforts to avert them continue.

The issue isn’t radicalization, it’s Islamization.

Islamization is what happens to individual Muslims and to Muslim communities. Islamization is also the goal of Islamic movements, overtly violent or covertly subversive. Islamization is not the answer of some radical preacher, but of the Islamic religion. This is not about jobs in Europe or democracy in Egypt.

Islam is not radicalized. It is radical. Like Communism or Nazism, it offers a totalitarian answer to everything. To truly believe in Islam is to possess the conviction that every country in the world must become Islamic and be ruled by Islamic law. Islamic terrorism is one tactic for realizing this conviction.

We cannot and will not defeat Islamic terror without honestly and bluntly confronting Islamization.

Obama’s Denial of Jihad’s Ideological Roots Gravely Endangers the Nation

readingKoran.sized-770x415xt

PJ Media, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Dec. 22, 2015:

The Obama administration calls its national security strategy “Countering Violent Extremism.” In the benighted times before January 20, 2009, we used to call it counter-terrorism.

Why does Obama insist on the more fuzzy “extremism”? Because “terror” has its roots in Islamic scripture. This fact ought to be undeniable, but Obama denies it — and in Washington, he’s far from alone in that.

It is not just that the word terror appears several times in the Koran; it is that the word appears in a particular context: The duty of Muslims to act as Allah’s instrument to terrorize non-Muslims is a recurring scriptural theme. In Sura 3:151, to take one of several examples, Muslims are admonished:

Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.

Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” I prosecuted in the mid-’90s after his cell bombed the World Trade Center and planned similar strikes against other New York City landmarks, was a renowned scholar of Islamic jurisprudence. Indeed — and this is worth pausing over — his mastery of our enemy’s ideology was the sole source of his authority to approve jihadist attacks. Think about that: his blindness, and various other maladies, render Abdel Rahman unable to do anything useful for a terrorist network. He can’t build bombs, command forces on the battlefield, execute assassinations, and so on. But his authority is unquestioned because of his scholarship and rhetorical power in the scripture-based doctrine our president pretends is non-Islamic and of marginal importance.

Sheikh Abdel Rahman was adamant that terror is fundamental to Islamic doctrine:

Why do we fear the word terrorist? If the terrorist is the person who defends his right, so we are terrorists. And if the terrorist is the one who struggles for the sake of God, then we are terrorists. We … have been ordered with terrorism because we must prepare what power we can to terrorize the enemy of Allah and your enemy. The Koran [said] “to strike terror.” Therefore, we don’t fear to be described with “terrorism.” … They may say, “He is a terrorist, he uses violence, he uses force.” Let them say that. We are ordered to prepare whatever we can of power to terrorize the enemies of Islam.

Obama’s national security strategy is suicidal because it mulishly denies two unavoidable facts: (a) terrorism is rooted in Islamic supremacism’s literalist construction of scripture, and (b) even if Islamic supremacism is not the only way of interpreting Islam, it is a mainstream interpretation of Islam.

Islamic supremacism is not merely the creed of outlier “violent extremists,” but of hundreds of millions of Muslims, the ocean in which jihadists comfortably swim. A commander-in-chief who does not or will not come to terms with those facts is unfit for his most basic responsibilities. His stubbornness renders him incapable of protecting the nation.

That’s Obama. Understand: the president is not refusing to associate terror with Islam out of political correctness. His delusion is ideological. It informs his every decision. It is why the terrorist threat has so intensified, and why we are in more peril today than at any time since before the 9/11 attacks.

The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy has gotten some way overdue attention in the two weeks since 14 Americans were killed by the San Bernardino jihadists. As I’ve recently recounted, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security published CVE training instructions for federal agencies involved in national security. All of the two-page “Do’s and Don’ts” [sic] document is breathtakingly detached from life here on earth, but buried in the middle is a specific directive that speaks volumes:

Don’t use training that is all “war stories,” which may rely too much on outdated information and overgeneralizations. Regaling an audience with a blow-by-blow account of a 2003 terrorism investigation does not address the changing nature of violent extremism we face today.

Obama believes the nature of terrorism is changing. This is absurd. The violence today is executed by jihadists. They are motivated by a scripture-based doctrinal command to impose sharia — Islam’s societal framework and legal code, which is the necessary precondition to Islamicizing a society and, ultimately, establishing a caliphate. That is why they kill today, it is why they killed in 2003, in 1993, in 1800, in 1565, in 1064, in 732, and so on all the way back to the raids Muhammad himself led in the seventh century. The technology and tactics of violent jihadism have changed over time; the nature of it has been the same for nearly a millennium-and-a-half.

The Obama administration has thoroughly politicized national security (just as it has politicized law enforcement and most everything else), so I would not disappoint you by saying the president’s approach to “violent extremism” is all ideology and no cynicism. By bleaching out the ideological catalyst for mass-murder attacks and attributing them to “extremism” without acknowledging what the killers are extreme about, Obama promotes an ugly moral equivalence between jihadists and his political opposition, whose members are habitually smeared as “extremists.” It is no surprise that, while unable to bring itself to concede that the Fort Hood massacre was a jihadist attack, the Obama administration was issuing Homeland Security Department memos that profiled conservatives and U.S. soldiers returning from war as potential violent extremists.

Still, Obama really is ideologically impenetrable when it comes to the motivation and even the identification of actual terrorists. In an important report over the weekend, the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes detailed the president’s serial lies about the jihadist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay – lies about how many enemy operatives he has released during a time of increasing terrorist threat, lies about the backgrounds of the terrorists he’s sprung. Particularly telling, though, were the president’s remarks about jihadist recidivism, a combination of duplicity and delusion:

We assume that there are going to be – out of four, five, six hundred people that get released – a handful of them are going to be embittered and still engaging in anti-U.S. activities and trying to link up potentially with their old organizations.

Of course the recidivism rate is astronomically higher than Obama is letting on, but pay close attention to why he says jihadists go back to the jihad: They are “embittered.” You are to understand it is not their belief system – one that burns strong enough in jihadists that many are willing to die for it – but the fact that they are held in captivity.

Yes, some of this is cynicism: It’s a powerful political cudgel to claim that policies you condemn (like Obama condemns Gitmo) are not only wrong but responsible for mass-murder. Obama, however, has internalized his ideological pieties. The nature of terrorism, he believes, has changed. Terrorists kill not because of their doctrine – as the DHS guidelines tell us, that kind of thinking is so 2003. “Extremists” kill because of policy grievances, some of which the president shares. So if we just release them, leave them alone, and change policy course, all will be well.

Consider how the president’s worldview endangers the country. Ibrahim Qosi is now a leader of al Qaeda’s most deadly competent franchise in Yemen. Until 2012, he was a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. But Obama released him – just as the Obama and Bush administrations have released hundreds of Gitmo detainees – rationalizing that Qosi would be participating in a “rehabilitation” program run by the government of Sudan. Many other former prisoners go through a rehab program run by Saudi Arabia. These are Islamic supremacist countries in which sharia is the law. Indeed, the Saudi government competes with ISIS each year over which will lead the Middle East in beheadings. Sending a jihadist to a rehab in a country whose sharia culture is a jihadist assembly line is like sending an alcoholic to rehab at the local bar.

Yet, because Obama will not come to grips with the ideological basis of jihadism, a violent conquest doctrine rooted in Islamic scripture, he sees no problem sending the dynamite back to the fire.

To protect the nation, a president has to grasp the source of the threat, who it is coming from, where and why it is likely to strike next. We do not have such a president. That is why we have become so vulnerable to catastrophic attack.

***

Stephen Coughlin explains The “Countering Violent Extremism” Deception

ghThe Glazov Gang, Dec. 9, 2015:

This special edition of The Glazov Gang presents The Stephen Coughlin Moment with Stephen Coughlin, the co-founder of UnconstrainedAnalytics.org and the author of the new book, Catastrophic Failure.

Stephen discussed The “Countering Violent Extremism” Deception, unveiling how the CVE narrative was fostered by the Muslim Brotherhood -– and how it negates countering terror.

Also see:

Losing the War on Islamic Terrorism

catastrophic-failure-cut (1)Western Free Press, by Nicholas Short, September 20 2015:

“A national security professional’s duty is not to know true Islam; it is to identify and establish a functional threat doctrine, regardless of whether that doctrine accurately tracks with ‘true’ Islam or not. What matters is that we understand the enemy’s doctrines, not whether he is correct about them,” writes Stephen Coughlin in his most recent book Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad

Detailing how the War on Terror has effectively been lost through decision making that is increasingly less focused on the threat as it presents itself and more on the narratives that have reduced the threat to a nameless abstraction, Coughlin notes, “Today, individuals with Muslim Brotherhood affiliations dictate who can and cannot work for the government on War on Terror issues. They also dictate what can and cannot be discussed.”

“As long as they can keep us from understanding the enemy doctrine, they can keep us from winning the war. There is no knowing this enemy without understanding that doctrine, and there is no victory without knowing the enemy. These are facts. We can lose a war— and our country— for want of readily available facts, which are ignored according to policy,” states Coughlin. To the everyday American who for the most part is not aware of the purges that have taken place within our national security apparatus, this may sound farfetched as if it was the making of a conspiracy theory, but it isn’t. As the declared enemy has stated that their fighting doctrine is based on the Islamic Law of jihad, Islamic Law must be incorporated into any competent threat analysis as the enemy identifies its doctrine along Islamic lines. Today, you will not find a single threat analysis within the myriad of national security agencies that even identifies Islam nor jihad.

The reason for this is due to the terrorist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood having insulated itself within our government, military, the national security establishment, transnational bodies, and even interfaith communities. Before we can even grasp how the Muslim Brotherhood today now controls the domestic debate within our own national security circles regarding Islam, we must first look at whom this enemy truly is. The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within as the document that reveals how to achieve this goal was labeled An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.

The 18-page document was entered into evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial. Federal investigators found the document in the home of Ismael Elbarasse, a founder of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, during a 2004 search. The document was written in 1991 by Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram and lays out the Brotherhood’s plan as a “civilizational alternative” for infiltrating non-Islamic forms of society and governance for the “global Islamic state.”

The memo details the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:

The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes.

The memo further identifies numerous groups operating as fronts for the Brotherhood under the heading “a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Such groups are as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), The Muslim Communities Association (MCA), as well as a litany of others are all identified. It is important to note that out of this memorandum the preeminent Muslim Brotherhood front organizations we see working within the United States today were born, those being the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Coughlin details how the Brotherhood operations in America began with this memorandum as it outlined a strategy in which it first penetrated American institutions under the guise of being a “moderate” organization in order to effect downstream efforts from within. Coughlin writes, “this is what the Brotherhood is referring to when it says it seeks ‘a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers.’ While penetrating government and civil organizations is important, the interfaith movement constitutes a major supporting line of operation in Brotherhood penetration operations.” It is from the interfaith movement, or as the White House likes to call it “Muslim outreach“, that the Brotherhood has gained so much influence over our national security.

For instance, in October 2011, 57 organizations made up the likes of Brotherhood front organizations such as CAIR, ICNA, and MSA wrote a letter demanding President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (and future Central Intelligence Agency Director) John Brennan, urging him to take action over U.S. government training materials alleged to demonstrate a prejudice against Islam. In the letter the organizations  insist on firings, “re-training” and “purges” of officers, analysts, Special Agents, and decision makers who created or made such materials available. With information that these groups could have only obtained from sources within, they go on to note specific material as having an “anti-Muslim bias” such as the FBI’s 2011 training manual, books at the FBI library in their training academy in Quantico, Virginia, specific FBI trainers and analysts, and a report made by Army Command and General Staff at the Fort Leavenworth School of Advanced Military Studies.

The same week that the letter was sent to the White House, a meeting was held at George Washington University between these same groups and top DOJ officials, including DOJ Civil Rights Division head Tom Perez. According to a report on this meeting by Neil Munro of theDaily Caller, several Muslim group leaders called for creating criminal and civil penalties for anyone advocating positions they deem offensive. Most notably in attendance were Sahar Aziz, an Egyptian-born American lawyer and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Muslim advocacy group based in Michigan and Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the largest Brotherhood front groups in America.

At the meeting, the Islamists lobbied for: Cutbacks in U.S. anti-terror training, limits on the power of terrorism investigators, changes in agent training manuals, and a legal declaration that criticism of Islam in the United States should be considered racial discrimination. Aziz said that the word “Muslim” has become “radicalized” and, once American criticism of Islam was silenced, the effect would be to “take (federal) money away from local police departments and fusion centers who are spying on all of us.” Magid asked Perez to change the federal government’s rules governing terror investigations, for more private meetings with top justice department officials, for the reeducation of FBI agents, and for more people to oppose criticism of Islam, which he labelled “religious bigotry and hate.”

Days later, after both the letter sent to the White House and the meeting with DOJ officials, Brennan responded by agreeing on the necessity for the “White House to immediately create an interagency Task Force to address the problem and bring the FBI and DHS into compliance with Islamic sensibilities” by removing personnel and products that these Brotherhood front organizations had deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” Brennan further stated that such a review was already underway by the administration in order to improve training for “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE). The process included combining “cultural awareness” with the CVE “training guidance and best practices” directives. It also meant putting out “a bulletin” to state, local, and tribal entities that “regularly leverage federal grants to fund CVE-related trainings” to provide guidance in their efforts.

“The FBI proceeded to undertake the very purging of documents that these Brotherhood front organizations had demanded and the Department of Defense followed shorty thereafter with a Soviet style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education,” writes Stephen Coughlin. Coughlin goes on to state that, “the very information that senior leaders such as Brennan, Perez, and those within the Obama adminstration sought to purge from analysis and censor from discussion was the same information that has repeatedly provided indicators and warnings of threat activity when presented in national security forums.”

It is through the adminstration’s “Countering Violent Extremism” protocols and advisory councils that the purging of work product and personnel continues to this day. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood through various front groups such as CAIR now control the domestic debate on countering terrorism through the CVE narrative, which in effect is a sophisticated information campaign executed through the skilled imposition of a disarming pseudo-reality. National security officials working within the DHS, FBI, CIA, and DOJ now look to Muslim Brotherhood groups like CAIR, ISNA, MPAC, and others for guidance domestically. It is through the CVE that the threat language of terrorist groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood was purged from our national security and law enforcement sectors.

Hence, it is because of the CVE and not in spite of it, that the threat vocabulary defining this enemy has been purged, leaving us defenseless and unable to counter actual terrorists in the War on Terror. “The most disturbing aspect of the CVE,” writes Coughlin, “will be the realization that national security elites beholden to the oath to support and defend the Constitution have been manipulated into taking active measures to suppress true threat analysis that is supposed to be undertaken in support of the primary intelligence mission: to know the enemy.”

As it stands today, America is losing the War on Terror as we are fighting the counter-terror war according to narratives that declare actual fact-based threat analysis unconstitutional on religious grounds yet allow actual terrorists to serve as the arbiters of our counter-ideology campaigns based on language requirements and legal doctrines that are not our own.

***

Stephen Coughlin: Is Al-Qaeda Really the Moderate alternative to ISIS?

al_qaedaThe Glazov Gang, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015:

This special edition of The Glazov Gang was joined by Stephen Coughlin, the co-founder of UnconstrainedAnalytics.org.

He came on the show to discuss his new paper: Exploiting Ignorance in the Post Subversion Phase: Assessing “What ISIS Really Wants” in Light of the ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Narrative.”

He focuses on the question “Is Al-Qaeda Really the Moderate Alternative to ISIS?”, unveiling our self-destruction via our government’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ narrative.

Betting National Security on a Theory

IPT News
February 24, 2015

1137The debate over whether it’s a good idea to use phrases like “Islamic extremism” in fighting global terrorism took center stage last week as the White House hosted a summit to discuss what it generically calls “violent extremism.”

In a speech last Thursday at the summit, President Obama explained his rationale for eschewing references to terrorist groups’ Islamist ideology.

“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy,” he said. “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’ And they propagate the notion that America — and the West, generally — is at war with Islam. That’s how they recruit. That’s how they try to radicalize young people. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists.”

So accurately describing their ideology, or calling the terrorists “jihadists” grants them undo legitimacy as true representatives of the faith, the argument goes. The current policy aims to deny them that mantle.

That’s a theory. But there’s a key question no one seems to be asking: Does it work?

This is a continuation of a policy instituted during President George W. Bush’s second term, meaning it has been in place for more than seven years. If it is indeed the right, best policy, advocates should be able to point to tangible evidence to show its value.

Arguably, the Islamist ideology has never been more popular, given the flood of foreign fighters making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, or Boko Haram’s endless reign of terror in Nigeria. Hamas still enjoys strong support despite following policies which bring devastation to the people of Gaza.

And there is no mistaking the religious motivation driving these groups. Hamas is an acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western education is sinful.” And the Islamic State has a whiff of religious affinity.

The Atlantic this month devoted 10,000 words to explaining the core Quranic ideology, with an emphasis on an apocalyptic prophecy, which drives the Islamic State’s brutality. It “follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior,” Graeme Wood explains.

That’s more challenging when that belief system is deliberately kept out of deliberations.

Jeffrey Bale, an associate professor who studies political and religious extremism at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program, called the continued emphasis on avoiding references to Islamic doctrine by Western leaders and pundits “absurd.”

The policy has “not had any discernably positive impact on dealing with the threats that such groups pose,” he said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “On the contrary. The simple fact is that it is the Islamists, not Muslim moderates, who are winning the struggle for ideological hegemony throughout much of the Muslim world, and that Obama’s efforts to positively ‘re-set’ relations with the Islamic world have completely failed … In short, there is no evidence that this constant pandering to Islamist activists, these embarrassing efforts to whitewash Islamic history and doctrines, and the foolish insistence that jihadist groups have ‘nothing to do with Islam’ have had any beneficial effects. They have mainly served to confuse Western citizens about the extent and nature of the Islamist threat.”

Maajid Nawaz, a former radical who now tries to combat the narrative which fuels Islamist terrorism, argues the avoidance policy could be making things worse for everyone, including Muslims. In recent social media and television appearances, Nawaz, a co-founder of the London-based Quilliam Institute, calls it the “Voldemort Effect.”

Islam is a religion, he writes. Islamism is the attempt to make the laws of the religion supreme over a society. That’s the ideology that must be defeated, but that “cannot happen if you refuse to recognise it exists,” he wrote in a social media post addressed to Obama that he signed “a constantly betrayed liberal Muslim.”

If we dare not say its name, in other words, it can become more frightening to its foes and more alluring to prospective recruits.

In a recent appearance on Fox News, Nawaz expressed concern that this self-censorship actually makes life more difficult for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject terrorist brutality displayed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaida and others.

Non-Muslims in the West “they’re just petrified,” he said, “and that can lead to even more anti-Muslim hate crime. Because if they are unable to pinpoint specifically that we’re dealing with the Islamist ideology, in their ignorance they blame all Muslims. And of course then all Muslims face a backlash. So I think it’s better if we wish to protect mainstream Muslims from anti-Muslim hate crime to name the very specific ideology that we’re talking about, which is Islamism, and distinguish that from Islam the faith.

Nawaz is offering a theory, just like the people who advocate the policy embraced by the Obama administration. There’s a key distinction, however. As he describes in his autobiography, Nawaz helped recruit followers to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which dreams of a global caliphate and has been called a “conveyor belt” for jihadist terror. He knows which messages worked and which did not.

Some American Islamists showed last week that the Obama message is not working. They have criticized the White House summit as hostile toward Muslims despite the verbal contortions invoked to avoid that very reaction.

If we’re going to focus on extremist violence, they argue, the bigger threat to America is from right-wing, anti-government movements. It turns out the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about violence from “sovereign citizen” movements who believe they are exempt from state and federal laws.

But it would be wrong to talk about that, Linda Sarsour and Deepa Iyak wrote Feb. 17 in The Guardian.

“One thing is clear: the federal government’s one-note approach to countering violent extremism fosters distrust and hostility towards Muslim communities while disregarding threats to Americans’ safety from racist hate groups in the country.”

There is a key distinction, however. For the most part, sovereign citizen attacks are smaller scale, often erupting in what should be routine encounters with law enforcement officers. CNN cites a 2012 example involving a Louisiana traffic stop that led to a shootout between police and a father and his son.

What Islamist terrorists want, what they urge followers to carry out, are mass casualty attacks that can target specific groups deemed to have offended Islam or simply any place where many people gather.

The United States has rigidly followed a policy, going at times to uncomfortable lengths, to avoid putting a religious label on terrorism clearly driven by a rabid adherence to centuries-old Islamic theology. The uninterrupted flow of new recruits to the Islamic State indicates that the policy has not had the desired effect.

“American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca),” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, writesin Time magazine.

“How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators.”

For the West, the sanitized language and tap-dancing around the issue makes it impossible to fully understand the enemy’s motivation, writes Robert R. Reilly, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

“You cannot go into a war of ideas without understanding the ideas you are at war with. Yet, throughout the two speeches, [Obama] never mentions the substance of the enemy’s ideas once,” Reilly writes. “…This is like saying, in World War II, that we were fighting the Nazi ideology, but never mentioning the thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Rosenberg or Adolph Hitler. Or, during the Cold War, saying we are fighting the ideology of Communism, but never mentioning the ideas of Karl Marx, Lenin, or Stalin.”

Rather than continuing to do the same thing and hope for a better outcome, perhaps it is time to listen to the Muslim reformers asking for a more honest, tough love approach. Terrorists are committing acts of barbarism daily in the name of Islam. That doesn’t mean all, or even most, Muslim see the same commands in their faith.

It might delegitimize terrorists more to emphasize how most of their victims are fellow Muslims, and to clearly draw the lines between the terrorists and the hundreds of millions of Muslims who reject their savagery.

It’s a theory, anyhow.

NYT Profiles ‘Counter Extremists’ Who Are Actually Extremists

Facebook/Imam Mohamed Hag Magid

Facebook/Imam Mohamed Hag Magid

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 21, 2015:

A New York Times piece on Thursday prominently featured two imams with a long history of radicalism as profiles in courage who lead the movement to “counter violent extremism.”

In a piece titled “U.S. Muslims Take On ISIS’ Recruiting Machine,” The New York Times author Laurie Goodstein writes:

“Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago, at his family’s urging, to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

But the imam, a scholar bursting with charm and authority, has struggled to compete. Though he has successfully intervened in the cases of five other young men, persuading them to abandon plans to fight overseas, the Islamic State’s recruiting efforts have become even more disturbing, he said, and nonstop.

The problem with profiling the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) imam as a counterweight to the Islamic State, quite simply, is that Magid himself has deep ties to radicalism.

In 2002, federal officials raided ADAMS in an initiative called “Operation Green Quest,” where the mosque was suspected of supporting terrorist operations. Federal documents revealed that officials believed ADAMS was “suspected of providing support to terrorists, money laundering, and tax evasion.”

Magid is also the former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was established by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terror group that goes by the motto “Allah is our objective, the Koran is the constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, death for the sake of Allah is our wish.” In the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial, a federal judge found that “the [U.S.] government has produced ample evidence to establish” the association of ISNA “with Hamas,” the Palestinian terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.

Suhaib Webb, the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston, was also profiled as a trusted leader in the counter-extremism movement.

The New York Times piece reads:

“ISIS says: ‘Come here. We’ve got ripped warriors,’” said Imam Suhaib Webb, a popular Muslim leader who moved from Boston to the Washington area last month. “It’s a very simplistic response, but it’s somewhat effective.”

He said that in more than 15 years as an imam, he had encountered only five Muslims considering whether they should join violent militant groups, and that none of them had actually left the United States to fight. “They were all males,” said Imam Webb, and “they all had daddy issues.” He added, “They were not really drawn to this on theological grounds.”

Just two days before the September 11, 2001, attacks against America, Suhaib Webb infamously attended a fundraiser to solicit donations for the defense fund of a man who killed two police officers. It gets worse, though. Webb spoke at the fundraiser alongside al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki. The al-Qaeda cleric would eventually meet the business-end of a U.S. Hellfire missile in 2011 while he was conducting terror operations in Yemen.

FBI documents found that Webb and Awlaki were closely associated through the Muslim American Society, which many believe to be an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.

Webb also served as imam of the sister organization of the mosque attended by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Before coming to Boston, Webb was the imam of the Islamic Society of Oklahoma City, which was home to Alton Nolen, the man who beheaded an innocent Oklahoma woman in September.

Twelve of Webb’s Islamic Society of Boston members “have either been killed, imprisoned, or declared fugitives due to their involvement in terrorist activity,” according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

“The fact that The New York Times chooses men like Magid and Webb to highlight as the best that ‘countering violent extremism’ has to offer shows how bankrupt the concept is. With their ties to Muslim Brotherhood organizations, Magid and Webb know more about radicalizing youth than they do de-radicalizing,” Kyle Shideler, director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, told Breitbart News.

Also see:

Muslim Leader Who Called Israel a ‘Suspect’ After 9/11 Meets with Biden at White House

Vice President Joe Biden at the White House's Countering Violent Extremism summit / AP

Vice President Joe Biden at the White House’s Countering Violent Extremism summit / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 18, 2015:

A controversial U.S. Muslim leader who has been highly critical of Israel and said that the Jewish state should be on the “suspect list” in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks participated on Tuesday in a White House summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that featured Vice President Joe Biden.

Salam Al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), tweeted out a photo of himself at the White House with Biden and bragged, “We joined VP @JoeBiden for a discussion at the @WhiteHouse #CVESummit which kicked off today.”

Al-Marayati has been viewed as a controversial figure due to past statements characterized by his critics as anti-Israel and soft on terrorism.

The White House CVE Summit, a three-day forum focused on countering radical extremism, comes in the wake of multiple anti-Semitic attacks across the globe and pressure for an increased military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) released a detailed fact sheet that contained scores of controversial statements attributed to al-Marayati.

One of his more controversial proclamations came in the wake of 9/11, when al-Marayati pointed a finger at Israel.

“If we’re going to look at suspects [for 9/11], we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies,” he said in a radio interview shortly after the attacks in 2001, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Al-Marayati also caused controversy in 2012, when he was selected by the Obama administration to represent the United States government at a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Despite his past rhetoric, the State Department defended the selection of al-Marayati when contacted by the Free Beacon at the time.

Al-Marayati also has accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its security measures against the Palestinians.

“We’re against Holocaust denial, but we’re also against people who exploit that as a way of shoving this kind of war propaganda and dehumanization of the Arab peoples and the Muslim peoples as if they have to pay the price for what Nazi Germany did to the Jews back in the 20th century,” he said in a 2006 radio interview cited by the IPT in its fact sheet.

Following the deadly 2001 attack on a pizza shop in Jerusalem that killed 15 Israelis and wounded many others, al-Marayati’s MPAC group released a statement claiming that the act of terrorism was “the expected bitter result of the reckless policy of Israeli assassination that did not spare children and political figures.”

In 2012, he accused the United States of doing “dirty work” on Israel’s behalf, according to IPT.

“The other point here, which is very important historically, the United States has done a lot of dirty work that has served the interests of Israel,” al-Marayati said during a debate on the Russian-government controlled RT. “It destroyed Iraq. It supported the destruction and crippling of Egypt. It has crippled the Gulf.

“And now, it is looking to Iran as the next target for crippling and destroying,” he continued. “I think this is madness. Who is driving our foreign policy? President Obama or Prime Minister Netanyahu?”

He also has described attacks by the U.S.-designated terror group Hezbollah as a form of legitimate resistance.

“If the Lebanese people are resisting Israeli intransigence on Lebanese soil, then that is the right of resistance and they have the right to target Israeli soldiers in this conflict,” al-Marayati said during a 1999 interview on PBS. “That is not terrorism. That is a legitimate resistance.”

“That could be called liberation movement [sic], that could be called anything, but it’s not terrorism,” he added.

Al-Marayati’s group, MPAC, has been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for spreading blood libels about Israel harvesting the organs of Palestinians, according to past statements.

Spokesmen for the White House’s National Security Council (NSC) did not immediately respond to requests for comment on al-Marayati and why he was included in the CVE Summit.

“Al-Marayati’s presence at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit tells us everything we need to know about the failure of the Obama Administration to devise an effective counter-terrorism strategy,” said Kyle Shideler, director of The Threat Information Office (TIO) at the Center for Security Policy “Here’s a man who just days after 9/11 said we ought to be investigating whether the attack was carried out by Israel, and has a history of apologizing for terror.”

“If this is the kind of outreach partner that President Obama believes cities nationwide should be seeking out, then we’re better off not doing outreach at all, and returning to good old fashion police and intelligence work,” Shideler said.

When contacted for comment about MPAC’s participation in the summit, al-Marayati dismissed his critics and said they are harping on statements from more than a decade ago.

“That was 15 years ago,” he said by email. “Our [MPAC’s] track record is strong on anti terrorism. I work with local Jewish leaders including Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It’s time to move on and work together to counter ISIS.”

Al-Marayati and MPAC were asked to participate in the summit due to its work with a CVE initiative called Safe Spaces, “which has been lauded by local law enforcement in LA,” he said.

“LAPD first told me and asked that I attend because of the local work in LA,” he said. “I’m also working on preventing young people from becoming foreign fighters on a task force with the Homeland Security Advisory Council.”

Other al-Marayati critics, such as Patrick Poole, a national security reporter and terrorism expert, said that his presence at the summit “speaks to how much of a farce” it is.

“This is exactly why he [al-Marayati] was thrown off the Gore Terrorism Commission back in the late 1990s,” Poole said. “It speaks to how much a farce this White House summit is that in the face of an escalating global jihadist threat they rehabilitate a character like Marayati.”

Report: Anti-ISIS Propaganda Head Tied to Muslim Brotherhood

AP748496654624-640x480Breitbart, by EDWIN MORA, 17 Feb 2015:

The Obama administration is revamping its efforts to combat Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) propaganda. ISIS and its supporters produce “as many as 90,000 tweets and other social media responses every day,” reports The New York Times.

An empowered Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, currently a small component of the U.S. State Department, will spearhead the new campaign to fight the ISIS propaganda machine.

Rashad Hussain, a Muslim American with close ties to the White House, will replace Alberto Fernandez, the center’s director, according to The Times.

Hussain, who has reportedly participated in events linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, currently serves as Obama’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. He will take over when Fernandez retires in April.

“Hussain, a devout Muslim, has a history of participating in events connected with the Muslim Brotherhood,” reported Cal Thomas in an article published by Townhall.

Citing Egypt’s Rose El-Youssef magazine, The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported that Hussain “maintained close ties with people and groups that [the magazine] says comprise the Muslim Brotherhood network in America.”

Some critics describe Hussain as a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer. He is not a confirmed member of the group.

An added component called the Information Coordination Cell will be part of the newly revamped center.

It will be “staffed by intelligence and Pentagon analysts among others” and “will be responsible for the broader coordination functions.”

“Skeptics of the new [anti-propaganda] campaign voiced concerns that the program is an attempt by the White House to end a long-simmering turf war with the counterterrorism center’s director, Alberto Fernandez, and exercise more control over the kinds of messages that are produced and coordinated with domestic and international partners,” notes The Times.

“Other officials questioned whether even a newly empowered center at the State Department would be up to the task. Operating the center on a shoestring budget of about $5 million a year, Mr. Fernandez, a respected Middle East specialist and career Foreign Service officer, and his supporters have long complained that neither the State Department nor the White House fully supported or properly financed the center’s activities,” the article adds.

The Obama administration plans “to harness all the existing attempts at counter-messaging by much larger federal departments, including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies,” explains The Times.

The Times added:

The center would also coordinate and amplify similar messaging by foreign allies and nongovernment agencies, as well as by prominent Muslim academics, community leaders and religious scholars who oppose the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, and who may have more credibility with ISIS’ target audience of young men and women than the American government.

About 80 people will staff the newly-empowered center.

“We’re getting beaten on volume, so the only way to compete is by aggregating, curating and amplifying existing content,” Richard A. Stengel, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, said on Monday, NYT reports.

He admitted that anti-ISIS propaganda efforts by the Obama administration “could have been better coordinated,” adds the article.

In its arsenal, the U.S. government has “more than 350 State Department Twitter accounts, combining embassies, consulates, media hubs, bureaus and individuals, as well as similar accounts operated by the Pentagon, the Homeland Security Department and foreign allies,” points out The Times.

The report points out that the details of the campaign are still in the works, but Obama officials are expected to reveal “broad outlines” of the effort during a summit sponsored by the White House.

Starting on Tuesday, the White House is hosting a three-day summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” to “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.”

The White House did not mention “Islamic extremism” in announcing the event. It has not fully revealed who will participate in the summit.

Hussain’s attendance to Muslim Brotherhood-linked events was defended by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross in an article that appeared in The Long War Journal.

Also see:

Countering Violent Deception Campaign

APT_WashTimes_FPOn February 10, 2015, Americans for Peace and Tolerance launched its “Countering Violent Deception” campaign with a full page ad and an opinion column in the Washington Times. The campaign’s purpose is to draw attention to concerns about the Obama administration’s “Countering Violent Extremism” initiative, announced in 2011 and fast tracked after the Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Casher kosher supermarket.  The White House’s announcement of a conference on “Countering Violent Extremism,” to take place on February 18th, names Boston as one of the pilot cities where law enforcement officials have developed partnerships with Muslim community leaders. Unfortunately, to counter “violent extremism,” Federal agencies in Boston are working with the Islamic Society of Boston and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, which both have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks. Indeed, as APT research has shown, both the ISB and the MAS are Muslim Brotherhood entities that indoctrinate their followers with radical Islamist ideology. Far from being a model, Boston should serve as a cautionary tale – about deception and denial.  To counter today’s “violent extremism” we need to deal with the root cause – the spread of Islamist ideology.  At the same time, instead of the administration’s extremist partners, we must embrace the true moderate Muslims who can defend America by proactively countering the radicalizing doctrines that reach into their communities.

wati article image

Washington Times Column: Countering Violent Deception

By Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistov – – Tuesday, February 10, 2015

President Obama’s project to “combat violent extremism,” to be showcased in a Washington “summit” on Feb. 18, cites Boston as one of three model cities that can lead the way.

That will be a problem: The central Muslim institution that Boston law enforcement agencies are partnering with against extremism is itself extremist.

The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, seen as the go-to groups for civic and law enforcement partnerships, have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks.

In Boston, deception and self-deception have ruled: The first Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge was founded in 1982 by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, a man who convinced both Presidents Bush and Clinton that he was a moderate, but who turned out to be a Muslim Brotherhood operative. He is now serving a 23-year prison term for raising money for al Qaeda.

For decades, ISB radicals have cultivated Muslim students from Boston’s schools and campuses. Some became notorious jihadis. Aafia Siddiqui, a highly regarded ISB congregant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, raised money for al Qaeda at Boston mosques and, as “Lady al Qaeda,” became the most wanted woman in the world. Arrested in 2009 in Afghanistan with plans for a mass casualty attack on New York City, she opened fire on FBI agents and is now serving 86 years in prison for attempted murder.

Starting in 2000, with millions of Saudi dollars, the Islamic Society of Boston built its second mosque in Roxbury, the largest mosque on the Eastern Seaboard. When it emerged that Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was a founding trustee, the ISB told Boston officials that his name on their documents was “a clerical error.”

When informed that federal authorities labeled the Muslim American Society “an overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Boston officials again turned a blind eye. Qaradawi calls for the genocide of Jews and the murder of homosexuals. Interpol has a warrant for his arrest on charges of incitement to murder.

Meanwhile, several Boston Muslim youths, inculcated with the theology of jihadism, have acted upon their convictions. Tarek Mehanna, an Islamic Society of Boston congregant who planned a machine-gun jihad attack on a mall in Attleboro, Massachusetts, was convicted in 2011 of providing material support to al Qaeda and is now serving 17 years in federal prison. Ahmad Abousamra, indicted with Mehanna, fled to Syria in 2006 where he resurfaced as an Islamic State “social media guru.” Islamic Society of Boston congregant Rezwan Ferdaus, arrested in 2011 for planning to send remote-controlled airplane bombs into the U.S. Capitol, pleaded guilty and is serving 17 years in federal prison.

Several Islamic Society of Boston-Muslim American Society leaders themselves turned out to have been jihad supporters. Oussama Ziade, a major ISB donor indicted in 2009 for dealing with terrorist funds, is a fugitive living in Lebanon. According to The Times of India, Hafiz Masood, a Muslim American Society religious leader deported for immigration offenses, raised money and recruited people in Boston for his brother’s terrorist group, which committed the Mumbai massacre. Now in Pakistan, he is the terror group’s director of communications.

Then there are the Boston Marathon bombers. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, caught on surveillance tape placing a bomb, changed his persona, according to his ex-girlfriend, after joining the ISB: “One minute he was a normal guy, the next minute he is watching these crazy Muslim videos.” His brother Dzhokhar, who occasionally attended the Islamic Society of Boston, allegedly helped place and detonate the bombs that killed four and injured 264.

Some leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston-Muslim American Society, who are meant to partner with Boston law enforcement in Mr. Obama’s program, have defended Siddiqui, Mehanna and Masood as victims of a supposed American war on Muslims. All along, the Islamic Society of Boston has hosted speakers and programs that preach Islamic supremacism and hatred. The recently resigned Imam Suhaib Webb, who for years ran the Roxbury mosque, promotes a national program, called “Young Muslims of the Islamic Circle of North America,” which educates American Muslim youth in classical and modern jihad ideology.

Islamic Society of Boston leaders work with senior levels of Massachusetts law enforcement in order to advance their own agenda. In 2010, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office publicly accepted a $50,000 grant from ISB Imam Abdullah Faaruuq to establish Muslim “sensitivity training” for the police. Under the program’s guidelines, law enforcement officers are barred from studying radical Islamist ideology as a motive for the violent extremism that the president’s program is supposed to counter. Imam Faaruuq was later found on tape urging Boston Muslims to “pick up the gun and the sword to defend Aafia “Lady al Qaeda” Siddiqui, who was then on trial.

Far from being a model, Boston should serve as a cautionary tale — about deception and denial. To counter today’s “violent extremism” we need to deal with the root cause — the spread of Islamist ideology. Those who promote and enable Islamist ideology should not be able to do so in secret. How many more Muslim children will be poisoned and turned into terrorists, and how may American lives will be lost before we demand to know what is being taught in America’s Islamic communities and who is doing the teaching? We must embrace the true moderate Muslims who can defend America by proactively countering the radicalizing doctrines that reach into their communities.

Charles Jacobs is president and Ilya Feoktistov is research director of Americans For Peace and Tolerance.