PC Pentagon Caves To CAIR, Agrees to ‘Review’ Anti-Terror Training Program

Assigns case to Muslim chaplain who graduated from radical Islamic school raided after 9/11.

Front Page Magazine, by Paul Sprry, April 26, 2017:

The Pentagon has agreed to formally review an anti-terror training program taught to special forces by a private contractor for material deemed offensive to Islam and Muslims, even though the Muslim group that lodged a complaint against the allegedly “Islamophobic” program has been accused by the Justice Department of supporting terrorism and is currently banned from outreach activities by the FBI.

The instructor hired to teach the program says he fears his class might not get a fair hearing, because military brass have assigned the review to a Muslim military chaplain who graduated from a radical Saudi-funded Islamic school raided by federal agents after 9/11 on suspicion of terrorist activities. He is their second choice for conducting the review. They had originally picked a more radical military chaplain to inspect the training materials before learning he has ties to an imam with a history of ministering to Muslims later convicted of terrorism.

Brass decided to launch the review after receiving a letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations last month demanding the commander of US Air Force Special Operations sever ties with longtime counterterrorism instructor Patrick Dunleavy, claiming his lessons “contain anti-Islamic content.” CAIR, a suspected terrorist front organization, did not cite any examples of content from his “Dynamics of International Terrorism” course to support its claim.

Dunleavy formerly served as deputy inspector general of New York State prisons’ criminal intelligence division and also worked with the NYPD’s intelligence division for several years. His five-day course, which he’s taught complaint-free at the AIr Force for several years, covers homegrown terrorism and prison radicalization, which tie directly into recent ISIS cases.CAIR claims to be a “Muslim civil-rights organization,” but the feds have ID’d

CAIR and its founder as “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood,” while designating them both as “unindicted co-conspirators” in a 2008 terror-financing case involving Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and a US-designated terrorist group.

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists,” US prosecutors charged in one court filing.

As a result, the FBI has cut off ties to CAIR until investigators “can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas.”

Air Force Special Operations commander Lt. Gen. Marshal Webb received the CAIR letter and, in turn, ordered Special Operations School commandant Lt. Col. Christopher Portele to initiate a review. It is not clear if Webb is aware of CAIR’s well-documented support of terrorists. A spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.

Dunleavy says top brass more than likely are in the dark about the extent of CAIR’s terrorism ties. “I’m sure they don’t have a complete knowledge of CAIR or other Muslim Brotherhood groups,” he said in an interview.

He notes that the military also has a problem vetting Islamic clergy.

Air Force chaplain Walid Habash is expected to begin reviewing slides from Dunleavy’s lesson material later this week, despite the fact that he received his Islamic education from a radical Muslim Brotherhood school in Virginia. Habash’s alma mater  the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, or GSISS, was raided by federal agents in 2002 as part of a post-9/11 terrorism investigation. The longtime director of GSISS — Saudi-tied Taha Jabir Alalwani — is an unindicted co-conspirator in two federal prosecutions related to terrorist financing.

Other GSISS alumni include former New York prison chaplain Warith Deen Umar, who preached that the 9-11 hijackers should be honored as martyrs and that black converts to Islam are natural recruits for carrying out future attacks against the US.

Habash has led Islamic prayer service at the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention camp. In 2005, the FBI busted up what was described as an Islamist “spy ring” for al-Qaida at Gitmo involving other Muslim military chaplains, as well as Arabic translators, accused of “serious breaches of national security.”

Habash was substituted last week for Muslim military chaplain Rafael Lantigua after Air Force brass learned of his radical associations, apparently for the first time.

It turns out that Lantigua sits on the board of directors of an Islamist group with a radical cleric who ran a New York mosque where the terrorists who plotted to bomb synagogues in the Bronx were radicalized. That 2009 case — which touches the cleric, Imam Salahuddin Muhammad — is one of Dunleavy’s presentation slides. Muhammad, a former convicted armed bank robber, was a protege of Umar.

In addition, Lantigua recently spoke at a New York Islamic conference where cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin and Luqman Abdullah, a Detroit imam killed in a shootout with the FBI, were honored. Muhammad gave the keynote address at the February event.

Once this information came to light, and questions were raised over how impartial Lantigua, who holds the rank of captain, could be regarding the subject of Islamic radicalization in the prisons, Air Force brass began a search for a new Muslim chaplain to review Dunleavy’s lesson plan.

“The military has an ongoing problem vetting their Muslim clergy,” Dunleavy told me. “Nobody wants to touch this political powder keg.”

In a press release  CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper accused Dunleavy of being an “anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece” with a “personal prejudice against Islam and Muslims.” The same spokesman once told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he wants the US to become a Muslim country.

“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said, betraying CAIR’s real agenda.

Nonetheless, CAIR has found success already in convincing law enforcement to alter training programs, including bleaching references to “Islam,” “Shariah,” “caliphate” and “jihad” and other allegedly offensive terms from state and federal anti-terrorist training materials. It has also pressured the sidelining of some instructors.

Emboldened, the group is now targeting military training curricula for censorship. Dunleavy is just the latest subject-matter expert targeted for a smear campaign.

He and other trainers chiefly blame “political correctness” for the capitulation to CAIR at the highest levels of government. Talking honestly about the violent nature of Islam, a minority religion, is taboo in Washington. It’s much safer for career advancement to apologize for it — even though officials know that sweeping the religious doctrines and motives behind growing Islamic terrorism under the rug won’t make them disappear. In fact, it will only lead to more attacks and more American victims.

“The concerted effort by groups like CAIR to remove any material from law enforcement or military training that outlines the process of Islamic radicalization is fraught with danger,” Dunleavy warned, particularly in light of the case of the Paris terrorist Karim Cheurfi.

Cheurfi, an ISIS-tied Muslim who last week fatally shot a police officer while wounding two others with an AK-47, had all the indicators outlined by Dunleavy in the material the Pentagon is now second-guessing thanks to CAIR protesting. They include: prison radicalization, exposure to radical Islamic preachers, and attraction to jihadi violence. In spite of these and other warning signs, Cheurfi escaped close monitoring by authorities. Identifying ingredients in this “radicalizing cauldron” is key to authorities stopping such jihadists, says Dunleavy, author of “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection.”

It’s also important for screening military recruits, especially now that the Pentagon has started issuing more waivers for applicants with prison records.

Dunleavy says the government is basically letting supporters of the bad guys — working on both the outside and inside — blindfold law enforcement and military personnel to the point where they can’t effectively spot the bad guys.

Indeed, his case is the latest example of how baseless charges of “Islamophobia” and “anti-Muslim bigotry” are used to hamstring legitimate counterterrorism efforts, which will only pave the way for more islamic terror attacks in the future.

PAUL SPERRY IS A FORMER HOOVER INSTITUTION MEDIA FELLOW AND AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLERS “INFILTRATION” AND “MUSLIM MAFIA.” FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER: @PAULSPERRY_.

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Lee Stranahan shares a clip from his upcoming documentary, “Caliphate”. In the clip, Clare Lopez explains the history of  “The Purge”” of counterterrorism training materials. We are allowing the enemy to blind us.

To Break the Stalemate in Afghanistan, America Must Break Pakistan’s Pathologies

National Interest, by Robert Cassidy, April 6, 2017: (h/t Anthony Shaffer)

“Twenty U.S.-designated terrorist organizations operate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan sub-region; seven of the 20 organizations are in Pakistan. So long as these groups maintain safe haven inside of Pakistan they will threaten long-term stability in Afghanistan. Of particular concern to us is the Haqqani Network (HQN) which poses the greatest threat to coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.”  General Joseph Votel, Posture Statement Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 2017.

“The Taliban and the Haqqani network are the greatest threats to security in Afghanistan. Their senior leaders remain insulated from pressure and enjoy freedom of action within Pakistan safe havens.  As long as they enjoy external enablement, they have no incentive to reconcile.  The primary factor that will enable our success is the elimination of external sanctuary and support to the insurgents.”  General John Nicholson, Statement Before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Situation in Afghanistan, February 2017.

After 15-plus years, the war in Afghanistan remains a strategic stalemate because defeating an enemy requires taking away its capacity and will.  The Coalition and Afghan forces have hit the enemy’s capacity year after year but the Taliban’s will—their senior leaders, support, resources, rest, regeneration, and arms—continue to benefit from sanctuary and support from Pakistan’s security establishment.  In his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) in February of this year, the theater commander, General John Nicholson, stated that he believed the war in Afghanistan was a stalemate.  It has been a strategic stalemate for at least the last ten years and arguably for the last 15 years.  As early as 2003 the then-top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General John Vines, stated publicly that the Taliban were benefiting from Pakistan’s sanctuaries to regroup.  So despite suffering many losses in leaders and capacity inside Afghanistan year after year, the Taliban have not quit, and are resilient in regenerative capacity.  Tactical and operational momentum have ebbed and flowed throughout the war.  The Coalition and its Afghan partners have made some errors, but they have improved and adapted during the course of the war.  The Afghan security forces have grown in quantity and improved in quality, and have led the fight for several years.  During the peak numbers of exogenous forces for the war in 2010-2011, the Coalition forces, along with their Afghan partners, achieved marked tactical gains and operational momentum.  To be sure, Coalition and Afghan forces have undertaken many counterterrorism and counterinsurgency actions that have punished, disrupted, and displaced the Taliban and the Haqqani leadership and infrastructure, year after year.

Yet these gains at the tactical and operational levels have been short-lived and have generally lacked meaning in the face of the most conspicuous impediment to strategic success: Pakistan’s sanctuary and support for the enemy.  Killing, capturing, disrupting, and displacing insurgent and terrorist enemies, fighting season after fighting season, absent genuine strategic momentum, have made this a perpetual war.  It is beginning to seem like a Groundhog-Day war where fulfilling the purpose remains elusive.  In theory, the purpose of war is to serve policy; in practice, if war is not linked to strategic rationale and momentum, the nature of war is to serve itself.  Fighting year after year within the context of a strategic stalemate is essentially violence and war serving themselves and not policy.

[…]

Conclusion

Pakistani strategic culture stems from pathological geopolitics infused with a Salafi-Deobandi jihadist ideology, suffused by paranoia and neurosis.  The principal but not exclusive reason that Afghanistan has seen discernibly improved quality and quantity in its forces as well as fighting capacity, yet continues to face a strategic stalemate, is the Pakistani security elites’ malign strategic calculus.  The Taliban would have been a marginal nuisance, without the full support that Pakistan’s security establishment bestowed to pursue Pakistan’s imaginary notion of strategic depth on its western flank by asserting control over Afghanistan through its zealous proxies.

Pakistan has nurtured and relied on a host of Islamist insurgents and terrorists.  It is home to the world’s highest concentration of terrorist groups.  Of the 98 U.S.-designated terrorist groups around the world, 20 operate in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The ISI has maintained links with Al Qaeda, its longtime Taliban allies, and a host of other extremist groups inside Pakistan. It is possible for Pakistan to become a genuine U.S. strategic partner only if it ceases its support of proxy terrorists and insurgents.  The fact that America has paid Pakistan in excess of $33 billion for Pakistan’s malice and treachery since 9/11 is repugnant and ridiculous.

The U.S and the Coalition must desist in the illusion that Pakistan, one of the foremost ideological and physical breeders of Islamist terrorists, is an ally or a friend.  It is neither.  Pretending that Pakistan is an ally in the war against Islamist militants, one that would act in ways to help defeat Islamist networks in the border tribal areas, has made the West complicit in and partly responsible for Pakistan’s machinations.

Since this war began, the U.S. has on a number of occasions stipulated that Pakistan must curb all domestic expression of support for terrorism against the U.S. and its allies; demonstrate a sustained commitment to, and make significant efforts towards, combating terrorist groups; cease support, including support by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, for extremist and terrorist groups; and dismantle terrorist bases of operations in other parts of the country.  Clearly, Pakistan has not complied with these stipulations and continues to do the converse, serving as the most significant supporter and employer of Islamist insurgents and terrorists.

The United States and its Coalition allies have not crafted a Pakistan strategy that uses their substantial resources to modify Pakistan’s strategic calculus.  An effective Pakistan strategy must use the full weight of the U.S. and other regional actors to compel Pakistan to alter its strategic conduct and to stop supporting terrorists.

Investing in and increasing the Afghan Special Security Forces and the Afghan Air Force to create overmatching offensive capacity, to then build tactical and operational momentum, will help assert influence over key population areas and take away Taliban capacity, but this will be ephemeral if not coupled with strategic momentum.  To break the strategic stalemate, the Coalition should cast off its illusions about Pakistan.  For far too long, Pakistan has been viewed and treated as an important non-NATO ally in the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban, but it is essentially an abysmal ally, a veritable foe, because it acts in ways inimical to Coalition troops, our and the aims of the Afghan state.  After 15-plus years of Pakistan’s perfidy, it is essential to go heavy on sticks and light on carrots to break Pakistan of its pathologies and their pernicious effects in Afghanistan.  Sticks and fear will work where carrots, cash, and cajoling have not.  The U.S. and the Coalition must consider tapping into the Pakistan establishment’s fear, honor, and interests.  U.S. fears that the Pakistani state will collapse, implode or fracture are overstated.  Pakistan is hard and resilient in deep and broad ways.

The following stipulations, steps, and ultimatums, in order of escalation, are the way to break Pakistan of its pathologies and break the stalemate: 1) stop paying for malice; 2) end major non-NATO ally status; 3) state intention to make the line of control in Kashmir permanent; 4) shut down ground lines of communications via Pakistan; 5) declare Pakistan the state sponsor of terrorism that it is; 6) issue one last ultimatum to Pakistan to end sanctuary for insurgents and not impede success; 7) invite the Indian Armed Forces into Afghanistan for security operations in the Pashtun eastern and southern regions; and 8) as a last resort, reciprocate Pakistan’s malice and perfidy.  Uncontested sanctuary contributed to the Soviet Union’s defeat in Afghanistan, and it continues be the single biggest obstacle to defeating the Taliban and the most significant cause of the stalemate.

It is difficult, if not impossible to win in counterinsurgency when the insurgents benefit from what is essentially unimpeded sanctuary.  What’s more, if the Taliban were to revive an Islamist emirate in Afghanistan, there is every reason to forecast a future with more attacks against the West, planned and orchestrated with increasing scope and intensity from Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Colonel Robert Cassidy, Ph.D., U.S. Army, is the author of three books and a host of articles about irregular warfare and Afghanistan.  He has served in Afghanistan four times.  The works of practitioners-scholars Fair, Gregory, Husain Haqqani, Zalmay Khalilzad, Ahmed Rashid, Rubin, and the Schaffers informed this article.  These views are from the author’s studies and service in the region and do not reflect the views of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Naval War College, or the U.S. Department of Defense.

France: “Terrorism researcher” says “invasive counterterrorist operations…may be contributing to jihadist radicalization”

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, April 23, 2017:

“’Invasive counterterrorist operations and tough tactics by the general police have [already] led to alienation in some sections of the community and may be contributing to the increasing problem of jihadist radicalization in France,’ said terrorism researcher Frank Foley. Several purportedly arbitrary arrests in counterterrorism raids have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country.”

“Hence, a Le Pen win — and a further marginalization of Muslims — could also be a victory for the Islamic State’s recruitment strategy.”

This analysis is nothing short of insane, but it’s quite common. Establishment “terrorism experts” and the media elites said the same thing when Trump was elected. But step back for a moment and think about it. They’re saying that Muslims who are law-abiding, loyal citizens of a secular republic will be so enraged by police tactics that “have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country” that they will join the jihad that they otherwise would reject and abhor and actively oppose. If they can switch sides that easily and quickly, were they ever really on the side of France and the West in the first place?

These analysts are saying that if Le Pen is elected and institutes strong anti-terror measures, Muslims will be “marginalized” and “radicalized.” All right. Hollande was elected last time, propelled into the presidency by the Muslim vote. Yet France still suffered an escalating series of jihad attacks. Why were they feeling “marginalized” then, when their candidate won and followed exactly the recommendations that are made in this article — don’t fight terrorism too strongly, or you’ll only create more terrorists? Hollande only allowed for “invasive counterterrorist operations” after several devastating jihad massacres, not before. So what caused those jihad massacres? What excuse and method of blaming the West will they come up with to explain that?

These “terrorism experts” are essentially counseling surrender: Don’t fight back, it will only make them angrier.

“France’s terrorism problem divided the country. The election could make it worse,” by Rick Noack, Washington Post, April 23, 2017 (thanks to Darcy):

PARIS — For a few days over the past two years, terrorism helped to unite some parts of French society. Following large-scale attacks, the French rallied behind their deeply unpopular President François Hollande, making his approval ratings repeatedly skyrocket for short time periods.

But the times of political unity are long over.

In Sunday’s first round of the presidential election, following a divisive campaign, French voters will have their choice between 11 candidates and their vastly different approaches to counterterrorism. Even before Thursday’s attack at the Champs-Elysees in which one police officer was killed, a majority of French said in polls that they wanted harsher sentences for terrorists and more powers for security services to prevent attacks.

Sunday’s vote is the first presidential election since the wave of terrorist attacks in France started in early 2015, and two of the four leading candidates are in favor of counterterrorism laws that have been criticized as draconic. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and conservative contender François Fillon have vowed to introduce sweeping legislation to expand police powers if they get elected. Centrist contender Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to increase security measures also attempts to calm the fears of voters, although it remains far less extensive.

Tougher measures might not automatically lead to more safety in France, however. Experts are warning that the opposite could be the case. In reality, a further crackdown on terrorism in the way it has been practiced so far, they say, could end up exposing the country further and making it more vulnerable to attacks.

“Invasive counterterrorist operations and tough tactics by the general police have [already] led to alienation in some sections of the community and may be contributing to the increasing problem of jihadist radicalization in France,” said terrorism researcher Frank Foley. Several purportedly arbitrary arrests in counterterrorism raids have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country.

A Le Pen victory in particular might “lead to a dangerous escalation of the situation in France,” Foley said.

Le Pen has, for example, vowed to proceed with large-scale deportations of Islamists. And following Thursday’s attack, both she and Fillon stated that France was “at war” with radical Islam.

Some say that such harsh rhetoric has only incited sectarian tensions.

“Le Pen’s recent remarks deliver a representation of Islam, which could easily be perceived as incompatible with secular democracy and indirectly play into the hands of radicals,” said Dounia Mahlouly, a French terrorism scholar with the International Center for the Study of Radicalization. The Islamic State and other groups have been trying to isolate Muslims within Western societies for some time to make them more prone to radicalization. Hence, a Le Pen win — and a further marginalization of Muslims — could also be a victory for the Islamic State’s recruitment strategy….

France Identifies 39-Year-Old Suspected Islamist Who Had Shot Officers Before as Paris Attacker

THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty

Breitbart, by Oliver Lane April 21, 2017:

French media have identified a French citizen as the dead suspect after his attack on a police patrol on the Champs Élysées which saw one police officer killed and two others injured.

A so-called ‘suspected Islamist’ went on a rampage in Paris Thursday evening, the third terror attack in France in 2017 so far. Local media has identified 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi as the man who was shot dead by police after a running attack against officers with a Kalashnikov-style rifle.

French newspaper Le Monde reports that whilst the identity has not yet been officially confirmed, the individual named is a native of the riot-hit migrant suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis and was considered by the security services as an “excessively dangerous” individual.

Already jailed for 15 years in 2005 for attempted murder after shooting at police officers, Cheurfi had come under investigation again in March 2017 for using social media apps to communicate his desire to kill officers. In addition to his previous conviction for attacking police, he was also known to the force for other criminality including theft and violence.

Three relatives of the suspected killer were arrested by French security services immediately after the attack. A search of the perpetrator’s car, from which he disembarked before opening fire, revealed knives and a pump-action shotgun.

A second suspect handed himself over to police in Belgium on Friday morning. Described as “very dangerous”, police discovered firearms in a search of the man’s domestic address.

The victim of Thursday’s attack has also been identified in French media as 37-year-old Xavier Jugele. Le Parisien reports the officer, who was assigned to the public order and traffic division of Paris police, had been present at the re-opening concert of the Bataclan theatre in 2016, which had itself been the target of a significant terror attack in November 2015 in which 137 died across the city.

Speaking to People magazine at the time, the Jugele said: “I’m happy to be here… glad the Bataclan is re-opening. It’s symbolic. We’re here tonight as witnesses. Here to defend our civil values. This concert is to celebrate life, to say no to terrorists.”

Many commentators have already remarked that the proximity of the attack to Sunday’s presidential election in France will likely influence the vote, with some remarking it could boost support for law and order and pro-border candidates. Not least amongst those is U.S. President Donald J. Trump, who was moved to remark: “The people of France will not take much more of this.”

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Also see:

America’s ‘known wolf’ jihadist problem: Why haven’t we learned from our mistakes?

Muhammad ud-Deen | Greg A L | Wikimedia Commons

Conservative Review, by Benjamin Weingarten, April 20, 2017:

One of the more disturbing and dangerous trends in American national security is the proliferation of “known wolves” — jihadists who are able to commit terrorist attacks against our homeland in spite of the fact that they are on law enforcement’s radar.

This issue is becoming so commonplace that literally in the midst of drafting this piece, news broke of one such potential figure. Kori Ali Muhammad murdered three innocents in Fresno, California during a rampage in which he reportedly screamed “Allahu akbar.” In spite of authorities characterizing his attack as a hate crime rather than terrorism, Muhammad certainly appears to have been a “known wolf”, with local news sources reporting not only a criminal background but a history of “making terrorist threats.”

More chilling were the revelations detailed in a recent episode of 60 Minutes concerning the would-be terrorists known to the FBI who attempted to shoot up the 2015 “Draw Muhammad” cartoon event held in Garland, Texas. The show’s investigators found that an undercover FBI agent working with the pair of jihadists had urged one of them to “Tear up Texas,” and was in an automobile directly behind them in the moments leading up to their failed attack. Maddeningly, the agent apparently did not attempt to intervene and prevent the potential massacre.

But perhaps the most infamous known wolf of all is Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki was an American citizen who would become one of the leading jihadist clerics and al-Qaeda recruiters in the world before being assassinated via drone in Yemen in 2011.

Awlaki’s name has surfaced in connection with a FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch of great importance and relevance as a new administration grapples with how to defend America from the jihadists within.

Judicial Watch filed suit against the FBI in order to force the agency to produce records relating to its investigation of Awlaki, given his confirmed connection to several 9/11 hijackers.

Fox News recently released images captured by the FBI stemming from this investigation that show Awlaki being surveilled on the same day in February of 2002 as he spoke at a conference at the Pentagon on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture.”

The fact that Awlaki — who was interviewed by the FBI at least four times in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks due to his known ties to three of the hijackers — was invited to speak at a Department of Defense luncheon intended to serve as a forum for Muslim outreach alone is unsettling.

But the story gets worse:

The FBI documents confirm the imam was under bureau surveillance as part of the “IT UBL/Al-Qaeda” investigation, but the information was not shared with the Defense Department’s Office of General Counsel, which sponsored the 2002 Pentagon lunch.

The high-level FBI surveillance – including specialized teams, as well as video and photos – also calls into question the bureau’s explanation regarding a decision eight months later, in October 2002, by FBI agent Wade Ammerman. While Awlaki was held by Customs officers at JFK airport because of an outstanding warrant for the cleric’s arrest from the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego, Ammerman told Customs to release him. The FBI has maintained Ammerman’s actions were routine. 

Meanwhile, the FBI has been reluctant to divulge details of the Awlaki investigation.

As the Fox News report notes:

The FBI first released blurry ‘Xerox’ copies in 2013 of the photos with poor resolution. Chris Farrell, director of Judicial Watch investigations, said they sued the bureau for more because Awlaki had confirmed contact with the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego and Virginia.

“The FBI continues to obstruct and delay the production of records concerning their investigation of the dead terrorist spiritual leader of the 9/11 hijackers –Anwar Awlaki,” Farrell said…

Farrell said the FBI released screen grabs but refused to release the surveillance videos. “Almost 16 years later [after 9/11 attacks], how are the interests of the American public served by the FBI’s legal gamesmanship and excessive redactions?” he said.

This is a valid question that Congress ought to take up in earnest.

The American people also deserve to know the answers to several other pertinent questions:

  • How is it that an individual could be investigated for terrorist links at the same time he was invited to speak to U.S. government defense officials in an outreach capacity?
  • Can the FBI report of any other analogous instances in which this has occurred?
  • What steps has the FBI taken to ensure that figures like Awlaki under FBI investigation are not actively consulting with U.S. government authorities, whether formally or informally?
  • In outreach efforts under the government’s countering violent extremism paradigm, is the FBI contacted to ensure that partners have been vetted for terrorist ties and are not the subject of current or past investigation, a la Awlaki?
  • Does the FBI believe it committed any additional errors in connection with its handling of its investigation of Awlaki? If so, what are they, and what measures has the FBI taken to ensure they will never be made in the future?

In formal remarks delivered by DHS Secretary John Kelly on April 18 on threats facing America, Sec. Kelly devoted substantial space to the issue of “Homegrown Terrorism,” which includes known wolves like Awlaki.

If we do not have an open and honest accounting of past failures on this count, we cannot hope to correct them in the future.

Given the great damage inflicted by the countering violent extremism project —- whereby the U.S. government outsourced its counterjihadist policies to the very Muslim Brotherhood-aligned groups responsible for purging the materials and figures best-equipped to orient our policies towards the Islamic supremacist threat (some groups of which may directly constitute the threat themselves) — time is of the essence if we are to change course and keep the homeland safe.

Ben Weingarten is Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. A graduate of Columbia University, he regularly contributes to publications such as City Journal, The Federalist, Newsmax and PJ Media on national security/defense, economics and politics. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. 

The purge of a report on radical Islam has put NYC at risk

Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, April 15, 2017:

The NYPD has had a stellar track record of protecting the city from another 9/11, foiling more than 20 planned terrorist attacks since 2001. But some worry the department is losing its terror-fighting edge as it tries to please Muslim grievance groups.

Last year, for instance, it censored an anti-terror handbook to appease offended Muslims, even though it has accurately predicted radicalization patterns in recent “homegrown” terror cases. Rank-and-file NYPD officers, detectives and even intelligence and counterterrorism units are officially barred now from referring to the handbook or the scientific study on which it was based.

Former law-enforcement officials fear its removal as a training tool may be hurting efforts to prevent terrorist activity, such as the vehicle-ramming attacks plaguing European cities.

“The report was extremely accurate on how the radicalization process works and what indicators to look for,” said Patrick Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the New York state prisons’ criminal-intelligence division, who also worked with the NYPD’s intelligence division for several years.

Mayor de Blasio agreed in January 2016 to purge the remarkably prescient police training guide “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” to help settle a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Muslim groups who claimed the NYPD’s anti-terror training discriminated against Muslims.

Written 10 years ago, the seminal NYPD report detailing the religious steps homegrown terrorists take toward radicalization is now more relevant than ever, with recent terror suspects closely following those steps. But in 2007, the same year the study was released, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized a protest against it, complaining it “casts suspicion on all US Muslims.” Even though federal law enforcement has long-shunned CAIR as a suspected terrorist front organization, “groups like CAIR were insistent on having it removed, and de Blasio caved into them,” Dunleavy said.

Under the city’s unusual settlement agreement, the NYPD as well as New York state agencies were forced to remove its 90-page anti-terror study — described by plaintiffs as “deeply flawed” and “inflammatory” — from databases and no longer rely on it “to open or extend investigations” into terrorist activities. Also, police must now commit to “mitigating the potential impact” of any counterterrorism investigation on the Muslim community.

The deal has had a chilling effect on other city police forces’ ability to use fact-based, trend analysis to develop terrorism cases, experts say. They warn that purging such studies deprives local law enforcement of the ability to understand how ISIS and other jihadists recruit, organize and operate — which is critical to disrupting terrorism plots.

“The FBI has its hands full with over 1,000 open cases on ISIS terrorist suspects already in the US,” former FBI Agent John Guandolo said, “and it needs the help of well-trained eyes and ears on the ground at the local and state level.”

“The bad guys know if police don’t know this stuff at the ground level, they win,” added Guandolo, who trains sheriffs departments across the country to ID local jihadi networks through his consulting firm, Understanding the Threat LLC.

The authors of the report, led by Mitch Silber, former NYPD director of intelligence analysis, examined hundreds of “homegrown” terrorism cases and found that suspects followed the same “radicalization” path. Key indicators include: alienating themselves from their former lives and friends; giving up cigarettes, drinking and partying; wearing traditional Islamic clothing; growing a beard; becoming obsessed with Mideast politics and jihad; and regularly attending a hardline mosque. In other words, the more they immersed themselves in their faith, the more radical they grew.

“You can take all the terrorist cases since that report and compare the information on the subject and the case and see stark similarities to what Mitch laid out,” Dunleavy noted.

The terrorists who carried out recent attacks in Boston; Fort Hood, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Bernardino, Fla.; Orlando; Philadelphia and at Ohio State University, among others, followed a similar pattern of radicalization. In each case, the Muslim attacker was influenced through “incubators of extremism” within the Muslim community, including Islamic student associations, schools, bookstores and mosques. Jihadi websites also played a role, but what unifies them all is Islamic doctrine. As the NYPD study found, “The ultimate objective for any attack is always the same — to punish the West, overthrow the democratic order, re-establish the caliphate, and institute Sharia,” or Islamic law.

“The radicalizer is Sharia, not the Internet,” said Philip Haney, a former Homeland Security counterterrorism analyst. Haney says the feds are plagued by their own PC censorship. Bowing to pressure from CAIR and other Muslim groups, Homeland Security and the Justice Department have purged anti-terrorism training materials and fired instructors deemed offensive to Muslims. CAIR-launched protests also helped convince the FBI to recently suspend an Internet program aimed at preventing the radicalization of Muslim youth.

“If we fail to correct this situation, it is inevitable that more attacks will occur,” warned Haney, author of “See Something, Say Nothing.”

The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.

Paul Sperry, a former Hoover Institution media fellow, is the author of several books on terrorism including the best-seller “Infiltration.”

***

The report is available on Amazon in paperback:

 

Why Islamic States Can’t & Don’t Defeat Terror: Excuses Instead of Willpower

Human Rights Voices, April 13, 2017:

In a UN report on countering terrorism, Muslim states present a series of excuses for terrorism, including “foreign occupation” (i.e. Israel), “xenophobia,” and “alienation.” The report, “Capability of the United Nations System to Assist Member States in Implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” was released on April 13, 2017 and contains the following statements:

Pakistan: “11. We believe that without addressing the underlying and root causes of terrorism, we will only be fighting its symptoms. We have always advocated that … foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination and political and economic injustice, as well as political marginalization and alienation contribute to the spread of terrorism. Therefore, it is important not to delink terrorism from its political context.”

Turkey: “6…preventive efforts in the framework of pillars I and IV should focus on combating intolerance, social exclusion and all forms of xenophobia.”

Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation: “3.. terrorism cannot be addressed in isolation from political contexts.”

Date
April 13, 2017
Title
Capability of the United Nations system to assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Report of the Secretary-General, A/71/858

Attempts to define terrorism perpetrators as “victims”

The UN’s shift in focus to preventing violent extremism has become a tool to attack the counter-terrorism operations of developed countries. The latter are accused of offenses against the supposedly aggrieved extremists, offenses such as engaging in systemic religious discrimination and human rights violations. The special focus on prevention is abused to delegitimize self-defense or lawful “security” responses. False narratives of victimization reduce essential military options. At the same time, actual drivers of terrorism and violent extremism are selectively omitted (like antisemitism, rejection of free speech, misogyny, and homophobia).

Secretary-General

  • Capability of the United Nations System to Assist Member States in Implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Report of the Secretary-General, A/71/858, April 13, 2017
    Written reply by Pakistan: “11. We believe that without addressing the underlying and root causes of terrorism, we will only be fighting its symptoms. We have always advocated that … foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination and political and economic injustice, as well as political marginalization and alienation contribute to the spread of terrorism. Therefore, it is important not to delink terrorism from its political context.”
  • Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, Report of the Secretary General, A/70/674, January 7, 2016
    “27…Violations of international human rights law committed in the name of state security can facilitate violent extremism by marginalizing individuals and alienating key constituencies, thus generating community support and sympathy for and complicity in the actions of violent extremists. Violent extremists also actively seek to exploit state repression and other grievances in their fight against the state. Thus, Governments that exhibit repressive and heavy-handed security responses in violation of human rights and the rule of law, such as profiling of certain populations, adoption of intrusive surveillance techniques and prolongation of declared states of emergency, tend to generate more violent extremists…”

General Assembly

  • The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review, A/70/L.55, July 1, 2016
    “Reaffirming Member States’ determination to continue to do all they can to resolve conflict, end foreign occupation…”
  • 2016 United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review, July 1 and 7, 2016
    • Algeria’s Statement, July 7, 2016
      “To be more explicit, the international community can not flee its responsibilities with regard to realization of the right to self determination of all peoples that are still under foreign occupation and alien domination. We welcome, in this regard, the reaffirmation through this year’s resolution of Member States’ determination to continue to do all they can to resolve conflict, end foreign occupation…”
    • Lebanon’s Statement, July 7, 2016
      “When dealing with counter terrorism, we must also keep in mind that it should not be associated with other principles recognized under international law, such as the right to self­ determination and to resist foreign occupation. In this regard, my delegation would like to denounce the attempts from one delegation to label the legitimate right to resist foreign occupation as terrorism…”
    • Saudi Arabia’s Statement on Behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, July 1, 2016
      “The OIC affirms that there is a need to make concerted determined efforts to effectively address the root causes, drivers and conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including preventing unlawful use of force and aggression, ending foreign occupation…”
  • ‘Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism – The Way Forward,’ hosted by the United Nations and the Government of Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, April 7-8, 2016

    Organization of Islamic Cooperation: “We’re confronted with a faceless enemy, with no face or creed, which lurks in the shadows of fear and frustration, breeds on despair and disillusionment, and is fed by foreign occupation…It’s a manifestation of growing anger, hatred, and sense of helplessness against continuing wars, injustice, oppression, and the denial of fundamental freedom and rights, particular to those of Palestinians… Muslims are suffering from the scourge of terrorist groups and the Islamophobic policies and discourse.”

    Pakistan: “Why is violent extremism growing in areas which have faced persistent foreign intervention and occupation where people have long been struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination?… It is very clear that violent extremism is being pushed by … foreign occupation … a key factor in the recent rise of violent extremism has been … continued foreign occupation… Will not the rising trends of xenophobia and Islamophobia contribute to strengthen the extremists?… In recent years there’s been a disturbing rise of extreme right-wing parties driven by xenophobic Islamophobic impulses in the West.”

    Syria: “Violent extremism is a multidimensional phenomenon, thus fighting and preventing it should not rest on a selective approach to its goals and root causes. That includes foreign occupation, discrimination and xenophobia.”

    Iran: “In this connection, extremist ideology and hate speech in the media against Muslims should not be condoned in the name of freedom of expression, which helps create conditions conducive for the spread of violent extremism.”

    Jordan: “Among the drivers of violent extremism are unresolved and protected conflicts and foreign occupation. All efforts should, therefore, be focused on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and ending occupation, which provides pretext for recruiting purposes and spreading violent extremist ideologies.”

    Qatar: “We reiterate the importance of the Plan of Action to prevent violent extremisms and to eradicate all the drivers, such as the continuing conflicts, occupation… Facing such a challenge, Mr. Chairman, requires an international joint response and a comprehensive strategy to end conflicts in the world, namely: ending the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories and establishing an independent and sovereign State of Palestine… Also, some parties are using violent extremism acts in order to fuel Islamophobia and other acts of terrorism. Attacking religious symbols would also give more excuses to extremists and their recruiters.”

    Egypt: “There are other main drivers to violent extremism or terrorism that were not identified in the Plan of Action, such as … racism, and xenophobia, defamation of religion… the Action Plan did not include a reference to all the drivers within states leading to violent extremism and, therefore, to terrorism such as Islamophobia and actions that are insulting to Islam and to the Prophet under the pretext of freedom of expression as well as treating Muslims as second class citizens as well as other reasons.”

    Kuwait: “And we call upon the need … to look into the reasons behind this phenomenon, like … occupation…”

    Bahrain: “Israeli occupation of Arabic lands and Palestine for a long time are main factors, are reasons behind this phenomenon.”

    Oman: “[T]here is a need to address all aspects of Islamophobia… occupation are among the causes that provoke extremism.”

    Sudan: “I mean the main manifesto of those political parties is based on this anti-Muslims tendency and anti-Arabs, and I think this is very, very alarming. So the Islamophobia and many, I mean, challenges I think needs to be-needed to be addressed… We are facing, or rather this comes in the roots of many of the international problems that we are facing nowadays, including … Islamophobia, and the provocative media that is targeting Islam and the figures of Islam…. Foreign occupation is indeed the incubator, the main incubator that breeds terrorism and violent extremism… We are facing, or rather this comes in the roots of many of the international problems that we are facing nowadays, including the international occupation issue…”

  • Egypt’s Statement at the ‘Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism – The Way Forward,’ April 7, 2016
    “The Report or Plan by the SG [UN Secretary General] lay down 5 main drivers namely; Lack of socioeconomic opportunities – Marginalization and discrimination- Poor governance, violations of human rights and the rule of law- Prolonged and unresolved conflicts- Radicalization in prisons. I would agree with both socioeconomic opportunities and prolonged and unresolved conflicts as well as long-time grievances as we have seen in Palestine, especially Gaza… Meanwhile, there are other main drivers to violent extremism or terrorism that were not identified in the SG Plan of Action such as (1) foreign domination and occupation that deny peoples the opportunity to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, (2) racism and xenophobia, (3) defamation of religion… “
  • General Assembly Debate on Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, February 12 and February 16, 2016
    • Algeria’s Statement, February 16, 2016
      “The struggle against violent extremism and terrorism must also include the rejection against xenophobia and Islamophobia, which are emerging as the new faces of violent extremism.”
    • Iran’s Statement, February 16, 2016
      “Foreign occupation, which is per se a manifestation of violent extremism, has been used to incite violence out of desperation and hopelessness.”
    • Lebanon’s Statement, February 16, 2016
      “Addressing root causes, drivers, political grievances, or whatever we want to call them, of violent extremism, is crucial: foreign occupation … and impunity, tend to create fertile ground for violent extremism.”
    • Malaysia’s Statement, February 16, 2016
      “We are concerned at the increase of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, resulting in the upsurge of Islamophobia, a phenomenon which is an affront to the human rights and dignity of Muslims.”
    • Egypt’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “Additionally, the plan has not contained a reference to all the reasons inside the states leading to violent extremism, which in turn gives rise to terrorism such as Islamophobia and other reasons…Let us be candid. If there is a serious desire to take action, the international community must realize that Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine is one of the main reasons behind the proliferation of violent extremism leading to terrorism in addition to internal interference in the internal affairs of states, offending Islam and the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the pretext of freedom of expression, treating Muslim citizens as citizens of second class in some other states…”
    • Israel’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “Unfortunately, in Israel the threat of terrorism is all too real. For decades, Israel has been at the forefront of confronting terror and radical ideology. Over the course of the past few months alone, 30 Israelis have been killed by terrorists, and over 300 have been injured in hundreds of attacks… We must not allow excuses for terror – ‘no ifs and or buts’ – terror is terror is terror… Some in this chamber seek to infuse politicization into this discussion – but this background noise must not be allowed to hijack this important topic…”
    • Jordan’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “I would like to state that the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and the failure to achieve just and permanent solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people will lead to more violence and hatred.”
    • Maldives’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “Islam is increasingly being associated with terror and extremism. Islamophobia, as a spectrum of negative expressions continues to expand rapidly…”
    • Pakistan’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “Injustices done to peoples under foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination, long-festering and unresolved international disputes … create conditions that are exploited by violent extremists and terrorists to propagate their twisted ideologies…Negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination and intolerance all need to be rectified to prevent violent extremism… Xenophobia, in particular Islamophobia, is on the rise in the West. This has so far gone unchecked and unfortunately unprincipled, xenophobic politicians have sought to build their political fortunes by spreading fear and deliberate mischaracterization of people of other faiths or culture…”
    • Qatar’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “Attempts by some entities to use single violent incidents and link it with no evidence to specific religions such as Islamophobia [are] misleading and thwart the efforts to verify the reasons behind terrorism. Offending symbols of specific religions give pretext to the extremists to recruit their supporters.”
    • Saudi Arabia’s Statement on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), February 12, 2016
      “On a comprehensive approach to tackle terrorism, the OIC believes that due attention and concrete plan of actions must address the following aspects and dimensions of the phenomenon of terrorism…The deep impact and legacy of historical injustices done to colonized peoples or those under occupation where sufferings and the forced destruction of their national institutions, culture, and identity and the denial of their rights to self-determination. The potential of external actors penetrating terrorist and extremist groups for the purpose of serving their own political agenda, and the threat of non-Arab and non-Muslim fighters…The OIC expresses serious concern over the increase of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, resulting in the upsurge of Islamophobia, a phenomenon which is an affront to the human rights and dignity of Muslims…In this regard, the OIC calls upon all states to prevent any advocacy of religious discrimination, hostility, or violence and defamation of Islam by incorporating legal and administrative measures which render defamation illegal and punishable by law and also urges member and observer states to adopt specific and relevant educational measures at all levels…”
    • Sudan’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “We cannot talk about violent extremism without mentioning foreign occupation, which is the main incubator of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as of violent extremism conducive to terrorism…”
    • Syria’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “My delegation stresses that efforts of preventing violent extremism will not succeed unless the international community put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan and other occupied Arab territories, and stop the violent extremism and terrorism perpetrated by Israeli settlers against the Arab citizens living under occupation. The Israeli violent extremism is backed by the extreme Israeli governments that refused and rejected international legitimacy resolutions, and seeks to create, in the occupied territories, a one religion state that excludes the followers of other faiths.”
    • Venezuela’s Statement, February 12, 2016
      “…the long-term solution to the threats posed today by violent extremism must absolutely require political solution to conflicts in countries like … Palestine. These protracted crises further exacerbate conflicts and serve as a breeding ground for violent extremism, for bolstering organized transactional crime; they facilitate the flow of financing and training of foreign terrorist fighters and, therefore, expanding the capacity of action for terrorist organizations.”
    • United Arab Emirates’ Statement, February 12, 2016
      “The Plan of Action needs to address other factors that propel extremism, most notably foreign occupation and ‘State terrorism.'”
  • General Assembly High-Level Thematic Debate on Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation: Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism, April 23, 2015
    • Syria’s Statement, April 23, 2015
      “Mr. President, those that think that groups such as Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra, Boko Haram, Jemaah Islamiya occurred spontaneously or by accident are deluding themselves or they are just choosing to look away. There are real networks that explain how these groups developed. The most visible are Zionism, the fatwas that have been issued and the extremist educational programs, and the authorization by certain governments of terrorism and extremism as a tool for implementing political agendas that are very doubtful in Syria or elsewhere.”