Spanish Jihadist chatter on the rise say experts, with sights set on Spain

A masked man with an ISIS flag in the background.  REUTERS

A masked man with an ISIS flag in the background. REUTERS

El Pais, by Patricia Ortega Dolz, Aug. 29, 2016: (h/t Blazing Cat Fur)

Spanish counter-terrorism authorities have issued an alert about “the increase in mentions of our country” in recent propaganda material produced by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), including text documents, videos and graphs.

Jihadists are now writing in Spanish, and even analyzing the political situation in Spain through written reviews of election results.

This is raising Spain’s profile on ISIS’ communication networks. “The progressive increase of texts and releases translated into Spanish is giving our country growing relevance from a propaganda point of view, and increasing the possibility of action by an autonomous terrorist working on our territory,” terrorism experts say.

Potential targets include crowded areas, police officers, Christians, Jews and homosexuals.

“…In any place that you consider a valid target to punish criminal Spaniards… through any available means,” reads a document dated July 18 and released by the Wafa Media Foundation, which supports ISIS. The foundation’s spokesman has encouraged citizens of the Maghreb region, which encompasses Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya, to attack Spanish individuals.

Following the Spanish general election of June 26, a media group called Ifriqiya Media, which is the official mouthpiece of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, wrote the following analysis: “26-J: Everyone has lost, except for Morocco.” The document went on to examine the Spanish election from the viewpoint of its impact on Morocco’s prolonged conflict in Western Sahara.

Recent attacks across the world – Orlando on June 13, Nice on July 14 and Normandy on July 26 – have underscored how one of ISIS’s main tools is its propaganda machine, now that it is losing part of its physical territory. The July 2015 issue of Dar al Islam magazine explicitly encouraged readers to attack Christians as a priority target.

Spanish counter-terrorism experts say that propaganda videos with Spanish subtitles have been cropping up regularly since the beginning of this year. One such video, produced by a jihadist channel from Anbar, a district of the Islamic State located in Iraq, was titled “The predators’ incursions” and had Spanish subtitles.

Another 14-minute video titled “The path of the just fathers” and aimed at attracting new recruits also has Spanish subtitles. All these messages are being disseminated from wilayas, or districts of the Islamic State, “which entails action by various individuals following specific guidelines from a central organization,” say Spanish experts.

The Spanish flag has also been seen in an image headlined “One religion, one caliphate” and showing an individual with a black ISIS flag in his hands and 12 other flags, including the Spanish one, at his feet.

A graph made by Amaq Agency, ISIS’ official production company, shows 100 suicide attacks perpetrated by its followers in the month of June. All text included in the chart is written in Spanish.

In fact, the Spanish is so good that experts suspect that some of the copy is being written by native Spaniards, with the goal of encouraging action by “homegrown terrorists who are frustrated at their inability to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight side by side with the jihadists, and instead may choose to carry out attacks in their own country of birth or residence.”

186 Spaniards have traveled to conflict zones

Since 2004 (the year of the jihadist-inspired attacks against commuter trains in Madrid), counter-terrorism authorities have launched 181 operations against Islamist terrorists, resulting in 692 arrests. In recent years, the police and the judiciary have ramped up their efforts, detaining growing numbers of suspects with each passing year: eight in 2012, 20 in 2013 and 36 in 2014.

Most arrests are tied to recruiting activities in Spain, including the practice of sending individuals to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Many of the raids have been carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

So far this year, there have been 15 operations in Spain and one joint action with Morocco. Spanish secret services have identified 186 Spaniards or residents in Spain who have traveled to Syria or other conflict zones, of whom at least 31 may have died there. Authorities are also aware of 25 who have returned to Spain, 15 of whom are in prison and the remaining 10 walking free.

What’s Wrong with These Four Approaches to “Deprogramming” Jihad?

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You have to look past what you wish were true.

CounterJihad, Aug. 26 2016:

Let’s say that you wanted to reach the people who carry out murder in the name of jihad, and persuade them not to kill anyone.  How would you do it?  There are four approaches that governments are trying today, and none of them work.

The first approach is to identify likely candidates for radicalization while they are young, and talk them out of it using government propaganda.  The FBI’s “Don’t Be A Puppet” campaign is an example of this.  It aims at young people using an online video game that rewards them for solving problems associated with recognizing attempts to radicalize them.  The hope is to teach them to recognize that they are being manipulated by radical religious figures so that these young people will turn away from those messages.

Because the FBI is a counterintelligence agency using government propaganda, however, it has a serious credibility problem with young people — especially those in the community that the FBI is targeting.  Credibility is the currency in propaganda operations, just as it is in any other attempt to lead or influence or persuade.  If you’re a young Muslim, you can see that the FBI doesn’t trust you, is thinking a lot about you, and is trying to manipulate you.  Secretive government agencies — of the US or any other government — are operating out of a serious deficit compared with any religious leader that the community takes to have a real relationship with God.  While these propaganda efforts are not necessarily a complete waste of time and money, as they might persuade a few who are inclined to view the government positively, the people you really want to reach are likely to take this attempt to manipulate them as further evidence that you don’t trust them — and, therefore, that they shouldn’t trust you either.

The second approach treats jihad not as a crime or an act of war, but as a psychological problem.  There are significant moral and legal problems for forcing people into psychological programs designed to alter their religion.  An even bigger problem, though, is that there’s very little evidence that such psychological approaches even work.  Thus, in addition to being government-backed violations of the basic human right to freedom of religion, it’s likely that the approach will only harden opposition among Muslims to the government.  Indeed, there’s a reasonable argument that a government that used these approaches to force your children to change their beliefs would really be creating an actual moral justification for violence.

What about an approach by leaders of factions of Islam to persuade the young?  Egypt’s Al Azhar University is attempting that right now.

In a speech to Muslims worldwide and the West, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb had renounced all radical takfiri-inspired actions, saying that such deeds are in no way related to the teachings of Islam’s fundamental Sunni sect….  The top Muslim scholar then confirmed that the sole salvation and solution for such an abomination is the true interpretation and abiding by the true Sunnah teachings of prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and companions.

Allowing that a rejection of “all takfiri-inspired actions” would represent a real improvement, this approach does nothing to solve the problem of jihad against non-Muslims.  Takfiri violence is about declaring other Muslims not to be real Muslims, and thus to be subject to violence as apostates.  The attacks on 9/11, and in places like San Bernardino, Orlando, and Paris, are attacks of jihad against non-Muslims.  The attempt to spread Islam through coercion is a huge part of the problem, and yet in the traditions of Islamic law endorsed by generations of scholars, that is more plausibly a duty than an affront.  A full scale reform of Islam must occur to change that, one that sets aside all of its existing factions for a new way.

Finally, what about divide and conquer?  The Russian government appears to be approaching the problem in this way.  They are backing Iran and Assad against Sunni groups in a manner designed to set various Islamic groups against one another.  There is also a propaganda campaign designed to push the idea that a kind of socialism designed to govern Islam was the real answer to violence.  This campaign paints the United States as the real enemy of Islam (and therefore not Russia), as the United States opposed socialist Islam and Russia supported it.

Divide and conquer does not reduce violence, however, it increases it.  The hope is that it will become manageable not because people stop fighting, but because they expend most of their energy fighting one another.  In terms of the number of people convinced that violent jihad must govern their lives, however, that number will greatly increase if we follow such a strategy.

Ultimately none of these answers work, though in the third answer we at least get a glimpse of a solution that might.  Pushing a real reform of Islam, one that sets aside all existing categories and all traditional schools of thought, at least has the potential for putting an end to the violence.  So far, however, that approach is the purview of only a tiny minority of Muslims.  No government, Islamic nor Western, has endorsed the program.

Islamic Jihad’s Most Effective Weapons

(Artwork by Shutterstock.com.)

(Artwork by Shutterstock.com.)


PJ MEDIA, BY DAVID SOLWAY, AUGUST 24, 2016:

Recently I published a pair of articles proposing in the first a series of severe legislative measures to curtail, if not eliminate, the carnage of jihad inflicted upon innocent people in all walks of life, and suggesting in the second that Islam, unlike Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths, should not be entitled to the protection of the First Amendment. In the sequel, I received a couple of messages accusing me of promoting a “final solution.” One from a former colleague read: Bravo. Your final solution is so simple and elegant. Another from a friend read, in part: Implicit in all your articles is that Islam…should or be made to disappear. The case against Islam taken to its extreme begins to sound very close to a “final solution.” Do we want or should we want to go there? 

My former colleague appears never to have read the Islamic scriptures and ancillary texts and obviously has little knowledge of Islamic history. My friend is considerably more erudite but seems, nonetheless, to believe that direct and aggressive confrontation is not the proper route to take. To imply that I, a Jew, am advocating a “final solution,” an Endlösung, is at the very least rather tactless. It is also, as I hope to show, the height of folly. What I said in my articles is that the terror apparatus needs to be dismantled without delay or equivocation, and that we have to go to the source of the violence, Islam itself. I was not advocating killing anyone, or rounding Muslims up in cattle cars and shipping them off to concentration camps, or burning  ghettoes and no-go zones to the ground.

I said in particular that terror mosques have to be investigated and if necessary shut down (military-grade weapons have been found in a German mosque, but jihadist-inspired sermons are also heavy weapons), that no-go zones have to be disarmed and opened to safe public dwelling, that Sharia, a draconian atavism incompatible with our constitutions, should be outlawed, that unscreened immigration simply has to stop, and that the status of Islam as a “religion” entitled to the shelter of the First Amendment is a legitimate issue to be debated—at least until the Koran, Hadith, Sira, schools of jurisprudence, etc. are sanitized, if ever.

My friend replied to a stern rebuke in partial walkback fashion. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you’re advocating an actual “final solution,” that’s absurd…Explicit in your many articles is that any decent, self-respecting, tolerant Muslim should…defect from Islam (reject the Koran, for all the reasons you have been laying out for years). Their example, taken to the extreme, would have Islam disappear gently into the night, which would be like a “final solution.” That’s all I’m saying. He continued: What your latest article doesn’t allow re. religious protection is a reformation within Islam, which I believe has already begun.

The question is: how long are we willing to wait for this putative reformation to bear fruit? I see a few “moderates” here and there trying to effect change, but they are having little appreciable impact, and most still adhere to the adulation of Mohammed, turn a blind eye to the dictates of their faith, or pretend the offending passages, with which the scriptures and commentaries are replete, mean something other than what they explicitly say.

A substantial and rooted reformation of Islam is the pipe dream of the cowed and complaisant who cannot face the indigestible fact that Islam is at war with us, has been at war with the Judeo-Christian West (and other civilizations) for fourteen hundred years, and shows no sign of relenting. I’d also suggest—assuming reform were conceivable—that my proposals, if taken seriously, might accelerate the reform my correspondent is piously wishing for. With terror mosques closed and fundamentalist Islam in official disgrace, true reformers might gather momentum. But this is only a thought-experiment.

The exception to the rule of Islamic hegemony, according to Supra Zaida Peery, executive director of Muslim World Today, appears to be Azerbaijan, with its history, at least since independence from the Soviet bloc in 1991, of “egalitarianism, democracy, and rule of law.” Such advancements are possible only where the Islamic scriptures are studiously disregarded, which reinforces the argument that canonical Islam is anti-freedom and an ever-present danger.

Ms. Peery admits that traditional Islam, honor codes and all, is making a comeback. Azerbaijan also enjoys strong relations with Erdogan’s Turkey, a political alliance that provokes a degree of skepticism respecting Ms. Peery’s claims. Everything considered, I would agree with Danusha Goska’s critical review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’sHeretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now—a book which claims that Islam is susceptible, however tardily, to modernization. Goska writes: “We must confront jihad for what it is: a timeless and universal threat that requires an equally timeless and universal response.”

I have nothing against Muslims practicing their faith in their homes, as long as they don’t take its injunctions to rape, enslave, subjugate and murder in the name of Allah literally, and I have nothing against imams sermonizing from an extensively expurgated Koran—though their temples should have no greater legal status than, say, a Masonic clubhouse.

Meanwhile we line up at airports, remove our shoes, wait interminably to be processed, and expect to be groped—followed by the apprehension, shared by many, that the flight we have boarded may disappear off the radar. Meanwhile theFrench police are patrolling the beaches lest some “scantily clad” woman or child is knifed by some offended Muslim, as happened not long ago, a Jewish man in Strasbourg is stabbed by an Allahu Akbarist, seven people including a six-year-old child are injured in a “fire and knife” attack on a Swiss train, and an American tourist is stabbed to death in London’s busy Russell Square by a Somalian. “He’s still here, he’s still here,” were the dying woman’s last words, and indeed he is.

Meanwhile entire cities go into lockdown and people are warned to stay indoors after another jihadist onslaught. Meanwhile Pew polls report that young, second-generation Muslims—those we thought were Westernized “moderates”—increasingly favor death for apostates and gays and harsh punishment for criticism of Islam. Meanwhile countries are being swarmed with military-age “refugees,” a troubling number of whom are estimated to be ISIS plants or sympathizers; German intelligence official Manfred Hauser warns that ISIS has infiltrated the migrant hordes and set up a command structure in the country. Patrick Poolereports that the first two weeks of August 2016 have seen five dozen incidents of Muslim-related domestic insurgency in Europe. (As I write, a Muslim convert armed with detonation devices has just been shot by the RCMP in an Ontario community.)

The very conduct of our lives has changed—it’s called the “new normal.” We now hear from the lips of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls that we will have to “learn to live with terrorism.” Is this OK? Are we prepared to accept the limitations upon our traditional freedoms and the ever-present threat of violence upon our persons as a customary aspect of daily life in the hope that one day in the indefinite future the “religion of peace” will become a religion of peace? As things stand, our enemies are laughing all the way to the future.

More to the point, the irony very few observers wish to acknowledge—and certainly not my interlocutors—is that it is no one and nothing but Islam that is pursuing a “final solution “—and not only for Jews.

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Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): An Uncomfortable Reality Check

ghACT for America, by Brig Barker, August 18, 2016:

Currently, with the increased operational tempo of Jihadist attacks around the world people understandably want solutions.  The harsh reality is that people can no longer live their lives as they desire.  The populace around the world now lives with a constant low grade concern that Islamic terrorism is going to impact their life in some way.  Americans, and in particular those of the Christian or Jewish faith, live in this reality specifically because they are considered the highest target to the Jihadist.  Again, because the threat of Jihadist attacks is not going away people inevitably want solutions.

Thus arrives the magical term CVE, now being touted as the elixir to all things Jihad.  CVE, otherwise known as Countering Violent Extremism, is a new program that is being touted as a primary solution to either thwart an attack or redirect an intended Jihadi from his radical bent.  From the very top of the U.S. Government there are a plethora of departments, programs, advocacy groups, and grass roots entities all being stood up and hailed as the answer to the global Jihad.  In a particular community, social workers, psychologists, schoolteachers, and even law enforcement will stand together fighting the Jihadists one meeting at a time.  The concept overall is that the group will be able to square off in a timely yet sensitive manner against a young man who is showing signs of Islamic radicalization.  In reality, however, after having spent the last 18 years deeply interviewing and investigating the most radical extremists, I see this as a futile effort.  Much like the de-radicalization programs in various Muslim countries and the “hope” program of releasing Jihadists from GTMO, the probability of success will most likely be zero.

Nevertheless, global Jihad does call for a solution and much can be done at the local level.  The following represents two tangible yet realistic recommendations that could reasonably lead to the disruption of an individual’s radicalization intentions.

1.  Start with the Imams and the Muslim community.  After the attacks on 9/11 there was increased dialogue between law enforcement and the Imams at local mosques.  This proved invaluable on both sides.  Given the exponential increase in the number and severity of Jihadist attacks around the world, and the 100+ plots on U.S. soil, this interaction has to be resurrected.  In fact, this program can easily be implemented starting with the FBI.  What is the best platform and mechanism?  Monthly meetings at one of the mosques or an Islamic center with the heads of each mosque and each law enforcement agency attending.  The FBI Special Agent in Charge at each field office could host the meeting and determine the best agenda and topics collaboratively with the Imams.  In addition to developing honest relationships, discussions should efficiently and most importantly focus on who is potentially radicalizing within the Muslim community.

2.  Institute community awareness programs educating the public on the signs of radicalization.  After taking in so many years of the Jihadist’ mindset, belief system, and behavioral characteristics the indicators of Jihad are clear.  As such, I developed a 10 point system that enables the concerned citizen to identify how radical an individual is.  Such a system could be formalized and taught in an almost academic setting such as a counterterrorism education center for public citizens.  The 10 evaluative points of radicalization that I find essential includes the following. These should be used in totality as the presence of one factor alone doesn’t necessarily constitute one who is radicalized.

  1. Religiosity:  Radical Islamists will always have a deep trajectory towards all aspects of the religion.  Islam provides a roadmap for such a life system via the guidelines of the Qur’an and approximately 4,500 rules identified under the other books of the Hadith.
  2. Mentorship:  The media often out of ignorance advertises that the Jihadist was radicalized over the Internet.  A Jihadist is never “radicalized” as he/she made the decision to travel down that very unique road and did it deliberately.  Further, there is almost always someone with their arm around the Jihadist guiding through that last six months or so of preparing for an attack.
  3. Travel History:  The preparing Jihadist generally has either traveled to the Middle East or seeks to as part of their desire to study the Qur’an or Arabic on a deeper level.
  4.  Propaganda:  Islamists are always consuming various forms of radical propaganda.
  5. Physical Appearance:  This can be either the presence of one’s Salafi lifestyle or the deliberate absence thereof for purposes of obfuscation.
  6. Fixation on Islamic Theology:  The radical believer is almost always swimming in the deep nuanced ocean of Salafi micro theology.  This manifests itself through uncontrollable discussions sometimes even with non Muslims.
  7. Black and White Belief System:  With radicalization comes a belief system wherein everyone and everything is either Haram (prohibited) or Halal (acceptable), there is no gray area.
  8. Shedding of Western Ways:  Radical followers intentionally will shed their western lifestyle piece by piece prior to attack.
  9. Language of Jihad:  Due to their consumption of propaganda and their presence with fellow believers, the Jihadist will begin using terms that only those with a radical belief system would use.
  10. Apathy Towards Mainstream Activities:  Work and school life, not to mention general relationships with family and friends takes a turn as much of this becomes viewed as “Dunya” or evil.

Brig Barker is an ACT for America fellow and one of leading experts on counterterrorism and radicalization matters in the U.S. He is a retired FBI counterterrorism agent and former U.S. Army officer. Mr. Barker is the CEO of Counterterrorism Consultants International. He can be reached at contact@ct-consultants.com.

Trump Counter-Terror Speech: What’s Right; What Needs Work

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Photo: video screenshot)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Photo: video screenshot)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Aug. 16, 2016:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump outlined his proposed counter-terrorism strategy yesterday. He laid out an impressive ideology-based strategy that includes uplifting Muslim reformers; however, he also vindicated decades of Islamist propaganda by emphasizing his opinion that the U.S. should have taken Iraq’s oil from its people, which would have required a long-term military occupation to protect it.

What Was Right

The parts of the speech about waging an ideological war on radical Islam were a breath of fresh air.

Criticizing of the past two administrations for not identifying the enemy is not an inconsequential squabbling over semantics. It’s an organizing principle. It is necessary for distinguishing friend from foe and waging the war of ideas. Confronting this ideology should be enthusiastically received by liberals/progressives and conservatives alike.

Trump explained, “Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam.”

“My administration will speak out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith. Our administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East and will amplify their voices. This includes speaking out against the horrible practice of honor killings…” he continued.

When it comes to outlining the radical Islamic beliefs that we must confront, Trump knocked it out of the park, saying:

“A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test of the threats we face today.

“In addition to screening out all members of sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles—or who believe that sharia law should supplant American law.

“Those who do not believe in our Constitution or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.”

He also called for deporting non-citizens who preach hatred, teaching our values and patriotism to newcomers and wisely talked about why assimilation is an “expression of compassion,” rather than “an act of hostility.”

Casting aside his ridiculous and offensive idea of a ban on all Muslims from entering the U.S., he instead advocated “extreme” ideological vetting based around American values.

Dr. Daniel Pipes has some recommendations on a vetting process can separate Islamists from Muslims we should embrace showing that this process is possible by using background checks, link analysis of what groups potential immigrants have associated with and questioning.

What Needs Work

Although this may be coming at a later date, Trump did not provide details of his counter-terrorism strategy except for his plan to halt inappropriate immigration. Trump pledged to uplift moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, something that is extremely necessary, yet did not mention embracing the Iranian opposition.

If Trump wants to be an ally with Muslim reformers and pro-human rights, his plan for a temporary ban on immigration from unstable countries known for exporting terrorism has to be amended to account for persecuted minorities or reformist Muslims fleeing those countries. For example, immigration for persecuted Coptic Christian from Egypt or a Muslim who is swarmed with death threats for challenging honor killings in Pakistan must fall into a special category.

Interestingly, Trump sees “secular” dictators like Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad, Muammar Qaddafi and Hosni Mubarak as net pluses. In other speeches, he has blasted the pursuit of regime changes and undermining of governments.

Isn’t this a contradiction to promoting Muslim reformers?

Playing Into the Hands of Islamists

In the speech Trump firmly stated his opinion that the United States should have seized Iraqi’s oil production capabilites, which have required an indefinite occupation of the country.

“I was saying this constantly and to whoever would listen: Keep the oil, keep the oil, keep the oil. I said, ‘don’t let someone else get it.’…In the old days, when we won a war, to the victor belonged the spoils,” he said.

For decades, one of the main—and most fruitful—Islamist talking points is that the West, particularly the U.S., is scheming to steal oil from the Muslims and is happy to lie and slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocents to get it.

This breeds relentless hostility to American and the West and favorability towards Islamism. If that propaganda is seen as an undeniable fact (though statements such as these), then it becomes almost impossible for moderate Muslim reformers to succeed.

Those who argue that violent jihad against America is permissible use this very argument.

Until now, when speaking to the masses, Islamists had to block statement after statement from American politicians that America is not after the oil of the Muslims.

Now, jihadis have clips of an American presidential candidate supported by about 41% of the country advocating what they’ve claimed all along—that the U.S. wants to militarily conquer their land and take their resources.

***

Prof. Ryan Mauro, Clarion Project’s national security analyst, appears on “The Thom Hartmann Show,” the #1 progressive radio show, to discuss Donald Trump’s counter-terrorism speech on August 15.

‘The War Is Here’: Trump & Gorka Warn of Worsening ISIS Threat

gorkatrump

Fox News Insider, Aug. 18, 2016:

Donald Trump joined Sean Hannity tonight for an exclusive town hall conversation about the threats of ISIS and radical Islam.

Counterterrorism expert and author Dr. Sebastian Gorka joined Trump and Hannity onstage at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, declaring that President Obama, Hillary Clinton and those who think like them simply don’t understand the dire threat we’re facing.

“The war is real and the war is here,” Gorka said. “This is a threat that is real and is escalating every day.”

He pointed out that not only has ISIS turned Iraq and Syria into a “hellhole,” there is now an ISIS-related attack abroad every 84 hours.

Gorka said that Trump’s proposals will “absolutely” keep Americans safer than those of Obama or Clinton.

“If you don’t have borders, you don’t have security,” Gorka said. “If Hillary Clinton becomes the commander-in-chief and continues the policies of this administration, American lives will be endangered.”

***

Trump Meets Victims of Radical Islamic Terror at ‘Hannity’ Town Hall

During a “Hannity” town hall event tonight, Donald Trump spoke to several victims of radical Islamic terror.

Karen McWatters, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, said that we need leaders who will speak openly and honestly about the threats facing our country.

Trump said that unlike President Obama and Hillary Clinton, he actually wants to do something to protect Americans from radical Islamists, and that’s why he’s advocating “extreme vetting” of any immigrants coming into the U.S.

Kris Paronto, one of the heroes of Benghazi, and Dorothy Woods, whose husband Ty Woods was killed in the 2012 terror attack, agreed that there’s no doubt that we’re at war with radical Islam in the U.S. and abroad.

“I believe in the vetting process,” Paronto said. “Not all Muslims are bad, but the Muslim community in America – they are Americans because they’re here – they need to start speaking out publicly and condemning.”

***

Trump on ‘Extreme Vetting’: Orlando Shooter’s Dad Should Be ‘Thrown Out’

The Orlando shooter’s father should be “thrown out” of the United States, Donald Trump said in a Hannity town hall event that aired last night.

Trump, who earlier this week laid out his plan for “extreme vetting” of those who want to emigrate from Middle Eastern nations, was asked about how he would handle Seddique Mateen.

“I’d throw him out,” said Trump, mentioning Mateen’s attendance at a Hillary Clinton rally in Florida earlier this month.

“He’s got a big smile on his face throughout the whole thing. He obviously liked what he heard from her,” said Trump.

Hannity noted that Mateen, whose son murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub, had expressed “radical” views in the past and support for the Taliban.

Trump said Muslims living in the United States need to help authorities in identifying possible terrorists before they strike.

“If they’re not gonna help us, they’re to blame also,” he said.

Trump argued that in San Bernardino there were warning signs about the couple that carried out the attack on an office building last year. But he said that neighbors did not call policebecause they didn’t want to be seen as racially profiling the couple.

Watch the whole thing:

Team Trump offers a solid security plan … if the candidate himself can keep it

fighter jets puffy clouds

Trump needs to stay on message, build a real campaign, raise and spend money, and shed the clown show. 

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, Aug. 15, 2016:

When elections are about issues, Republicans win; when they are about personalities, Democrats win. Today’s national security speech from Donald Trump is an excellent opportunity to transform this election from a disastrous reality TV show that focuses around Trump’s personality to a real campaign that centers on issues of grave importance.

There has been a re-occurring theme in this campaign: whenever Trump’s policy staff write his speeches, especially when it comes to national security and sovereignty, they are on message, more so than past GOP nominees. Yet, whenever Trump is allowed to flail around on his own, he goes off the rails, drawing needlessly negative attention to himself that also taints any of the useful or substantive ideas.

Today’s foreign policy/immigration speech was a perfect example. It was a solid speech that must be used as a reboot to relentlessly focus on Hillary’s dangerous policies. Trump should stick to this message and run endless ads exposing Hillary’s record of chaos in the Middle East, her desire to bring Angela Merkel’s immigration policies, and ensuing homeland security disasters, to our shores.

On foreign policy, Trump struck the right balance. He repudiated the Obama/Hillary policies of nation-building, and charted a new course towards focusing on America’s security interests as it relates to Islamic terror. It would have been a useful to also include Republicans in the list of those who made past mistakes, but it was nice to finally hear a policy that directly repudiates the false choice between isolationism and insane interventionism.

The first part of the speech effectively framed the issue by laying out the history of ‘how we got here’ with the security disasters in the Middle East. Trump pinned the blame right on Hillary for setting places like Libya and Iraq on fire, as we have called on him to do. He also effectively wove together the endless rise of attacks in Europe, pointing out how America’s destiny will be that of Europe’s if we don’t change course from the policies that created this fifth column within their entire continent. He smoothed over his previous comments about NATO, and made no mention of praise for Putin or Turkey’s brutal Islamic dictator. He should keep it that way. And of course, no presidential candidate can mention George Patton too often!

The most effective part of the speech was how Trump interlaced foreign policy and immigration by noting that both problems must be dealt with by waging ideological warfare. This cuts to the core of our failures dating back to the Bush administration. We must identify and understand the threat doctrine of our enemies, and as he mentioned in the speech, “all actions should be oriented around this goal” of halting the spread of islamo-fascism.

Such a strategy begins by not voluntarily bringing that ideology to our own shores through suicidal immigration policies. The following line was very refreshing and clearly has the hallmarks of some of Trump’s policy staff: “A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people.”

He went on to say that “Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.”

In my book Stolen Sovereignty, I dedicated an entire chapter to showing how our founders and political leaders believed exactly in this concept – of only allowing in those whose values reflected our constitutional values. All of our early immigration laws (and even existing ones that are discarded) reflect this desideratum. For example, when discussing immigration during the Constitutional Convention, Madison said that he desired to “maintain the character of liberality which had been professed in all the Constitutions & publications of America” and “wished to invite foreigners of merit & republican principles among us.”

It is, in fact, Hillary’s policies that are completely divorced from our history and traditions on immigration. Trump was right to call Hillary “America’s Angela Merkel,” but it will only make a difference if he runs a relentless campaign honing in on that point.

Trump needs to stay on message, build a real campaign, raise and spend money, and shed the clown show. Not to be nit-picky, but one thing I noticed, Trump kept referring to his immigration policies as “extreme.” “We will be even extreme.” “I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting.” For goodness sakes! There is nothing extreme about this, and that’s the point. You illustrate the extremism of the other side, not express self-culpability for your common sense views.

Trump must stop dragging down common sense policies with an “extreme” personality. An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose bringing in more Syrian refugees, according to a newly released poll. Trump must not give an already-zealous media any opportunity to make this about personalities and distract from Hillary’s extreme and unpopular policies.

In politics, the messenger is even more important than the message. Thus far, Trump has allowed a common sense message, at least on immigration and national security (putting aside some of the progressive economic and social policies, and apparent fondness for Putin), to be tainted by his flawed personality. His job from now until November is to elevate his personality to the seriousness of the message, not weigh down the message with his capricious personality

***

Center for Security Policy Vice President Jim Hanson comments on Donald Trump’s speech:

Also  see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka Talks ‘Defeating Jihad’ on Glazov Gang

gorka3
This special edition of The Glazov Gang was joined by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War and Professor of Strategy and Irregular Warfare at the Institute of World Politics.

Dr. Gorka unveils the winning strategy against Jihad, unmasks the Radical-in-Chief, describes the horrific scenario of a Hillary victory, and much, much more.

***

Dr. Sebastian Gorka said  on his  facebook  that he will be appearing at this special FOX townhall event in Milwaukee Tuesday with Sean Hannity and Donald Trump:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hannity-exclusive-one-hour-event-with-trump-in-milwaukee-tickets-24793306447

German Intel: ISIS Hit Squads Entering Europe Disguised as Syrian Refugees

godblesshitler

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug.12, 2016:

For months experts and the media insisted that it was inconceivable and impossible for Muslim terrorists to enter Europe or America by pretending to be Syrian refugees. Now it’s just a fact of life. That’s the way it usually is with the left. The disastrous outcomes of their policies are denied and then they’re just a reality that we’re expected to cope with.

German intelligence services have evidence that “hit squads” from the Islamic State terror group have infiltrated the country disguised as refugees, the deputy head of Bavaria’s spy agency told the BBC Thursday.

“We have to accept that we have hit squads and sleeper cells in Germany,” Manfred Hauser, the vice president of the Bavaria region’s intelligence gathering agency, BayLfV, told the Today program.

“We have substantial reports that among the refugees there are hit squads. There are hundreds of these reports, some from refugees themselves. We are still following up on these, and we haven’t investigated all of them fully,” said Hauser.

Why do we have to accept them? Because we keep accepting Muslim migrants who claim to be refugees. We have to keep eating the whole bowl of candy wondering which of the pieces is poisoned.

***

151005_ard_bericht_aus_berlin_merkel_burka

Why Germany’s New Anti-Terror Rollout is Worthless by Daniel Greenfield

Even after the wave of Muslim migrant violence, including over a thousand New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and multiple plots and acts of terror, Merkel madly insisted on maintaining the migrant crisis. And now her government tried to put on a little show.

The German government is planning a host of new security measures in the wake of a few violent incidents in Würzburg, Ansbach and Munich. The measures include an increase in police personnel, a central crime unit for pursuing crime on the internet, easier deportation for migrants who have committed crimes, and depriving Germans who join foreign “terror militias” of their citizenship.

“I am convinced that these proposals will increase security quickly,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in a special press conference in Berlin on Thursday, before adding that all the proposals could be implemented in this legislative period, which ends next fall.

It’s of course the deportations that matter and leave it to the Greens to explain why that’s an empty production playing to a full house.

Volker Beck said de Maiziere’s plans would do little to increase security. In a statement, the Green party’s migration spokesman dismissed threatening jihadists with losing their German citizenship as “despairing politicking.”

And Beck added that speeding up deportations was not as easy as de Maiziere suggested, not least because many refugees do not have valid papers. “The fact is that not a few embassies simply refuse to issue passports for those affected,” he said. “Accusations and tightening residency laws makes precious little difference. We’d be better advised to give all people whose deportations are impossible for actual reasons the prospect of staying.”

Sure. Let’s give the terrorists a reason to stay. But Beck isn’t wrong about the facts. Until Germany, and for that matter America, cease relying on mutual cooperation for deportations, such measures are a joke. Try deporting a Syrian. Or for that matter, in the US, a Haitian.

De Maiziere resisted calls from state interior ministers – and also members of his Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – to ban the face-covering Islamic dress the burqa in Germany. He called the idea “constitutionally problematic” and added: “You can’t ban everything you oppose, and I oppose the wearing of a burqa.”

But they can ban criticism of Islam.

***

Also see:

Duck And Cover — It’s Jihad!

DuckAndCover2CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Aug. 12, 2016:

The threat of jihadi terror affects almost all sectors of society, since Islamic terrorists target both government/military as well as civilian sectors.  The French have suffered especially.  In January of 2015 after the kosher market attack in Paris, we saw how the French government resorted to drastic measures in protecting its citizens by deploying thousands of soldiers around “sensitive sites” – including Jewish schools, synagogues, airports, and more. One of the most frightening areas of concern are schools. French schools have already been a target of jihadi barbarity such as the Toulouse incident in March of 2012 when a teacher and three children were murdered at a Jewish school. In addition, Breitbart reports how late last year ISIS issued a statement “commanding Muslims to pull their children out of French schools and to ‘kill teachers’, who Dar al-Islam [ISIS’s French online magazine] refer to as ‘corrupters.’” Now we’re seeing more of a concerted effort by the French in prepping school children for possible terror attacks. The French government recently gave an announcement ensuring the public that “security of schools is a top priority.” Breitbart lists some of the safety measures, which include:

From September, children will undergo three ‘exercises’ during the school year, including one bomb threat drill. Schools will also install a second bell, distinct in tone from the fire alarm, which the pupils will be taught to recognise as signalling [sic] that they are under threat, and administrators will also implement SMS text messaging warnings to all pupils in the event of an attack.

In addition, pupils in the third form (14-year-olds) will be taught first aid, and “resilience” – i.e., preparedness and how to react when caught up in a terrorist attack.

Headteachers will be responsible for securing all vulnerable areas of the schools’ premises, increasing surveillance on public roads in the vicinity, and appointing a “security manager” to oversee security and crisis management.

Furthermore, there will be the (translated by Bing) “monitoring of students and staff reported as entered a process of radicalization[.]” It will be interesting to see if France uses this as an opportunity to examine more closely the Sharia ideology that is a driver behind radicalization leading to jihad. In fact, France is starting to take this “radical Islamic ideology” head-on and has even been shutting down mosques where this ideology is preached. For example, since December of 2015, France has closed about twenty mosques/prayer halls. One hopes France will take additional preventive measures when addressing the threat of jihad. French children’s very lives are being targeted and their safety is on the line!

Follow-Up: Geert Wilders Demands Explanation from US on FBI “Egging On” Jihad

160805_atm_nc_man_isis_arrest_16x9_1600As reported last week, affidavits suggest the FBI may have ‘egged on’ the jihadist attack in Garland, Texas. The Dutch government has become interested in the case, while the suspect’s mother claims he is “patriotic” and unfairly targeted because he is a Muslim.

CounterJihad, Aug. 10, 2016:

Last week, CounterJihad reported on suggestions that the FBI may have “egged on” jihadist killers who attacked a free speech protest in Garland, Texas.  The attackers were shot dead at the scene by a heroic off-duty traffic policeman.  The reports of FBI interaction with them were made public during a related trial of an alleged Islamic State (ISIS) recruiter, one Erick Hendricks.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch “Party for Freedom” political party, has demanded that his government pursue answers from the United States on this case.  The Dutch are interested because of similar killings by jihadists opposed to Western norms of free speech both in their country and in neighboring France.

Geert Wilders is demanding clarification from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on this matter. He wants to know whether it is true that an FBI agent contacted one of the terrorists and possibly egged him on. He also wants to know whether the American authorities passed FBI information on to the Dutch authorities. “If so when, and what was done with this information? If not, why not?”

“Are you prepared to ask the US immediately for clarification on these reports? If not, why not?” Wilders writes on his website. “Are you prepared to answer these questions this week?”

So far the Dutch Prime Minister has not responded to the inquiry.  Nevertheless, the matter is likely to be of great interest internationally.  The Netherlands has seen explosive growth in jihadist elements.  Research by the Motivaction group reveals that 80% of Turks in the Netherlands support the practice of jihad in order to spread Islam.  The horrifying Paris attacks of last year provoked emergency meetings of Dutch ministers, and a German-Netherlands football game was canceled due to “concrete” threats of a similar attack targeting it.

European governments depend on the United States to handle a substantial piece of the counter-jihad effort as the European Union lacks genuine intelligence-sharing programs.  In the United States, the Federal government can readily share information with state and local agencies, as well as with partner governments worldwide with whom it has proper agreements.  In Europe, it is often the case that even police agencies cannot talk to each other across national borders.  Even police forces within a nation may not be allowed to talk to each other.

Meanwhile, at the trial of accused ISIS recruiter Erick Hendricks, his attorney and his mother are alike trying to claim that the charges against him are incredible due to the FBI’s use of paid informants to gather evidence.  His mother described him as “patriotic,” and said that the government was trumping up charges against him because of he was a Muslim.

During his detention hearing in Charlotte, Erick Jamal Hendricks sobbed as his attorney attempted to poke holes in the federal government’s allegations that the 35-year-old Arkansas native recruited for the Islamic State, also known as IS, ISIS or ISIL…. Culler argued for 35 minutes that the government lacked probable cause for the case, and that an FBI affidavit cited by prosecutors as grounds for Hendricks’ continued confinement lacked facts and was based on statements from paid informants, some of them with criminal records.

If Hendricks posed such danger to the public, why did the government wait so long to arrest him, Culler asked the judge. “They looked in on him for more than a year, and he’s a threat?”

Cayer, without explanation, ordered that Hendricks remain in custody….

[Hendricks’ mother Lisa] Woods, 62, said he has been singled out because of his religion. “He is a successful African-American Muslim. I feel that’s why it happened, and the rest of them better be ready for it.”

The judge may be motivated by the recent Pulse nightclub shooting, in which the FBI had twice investigated and cleared Omar Mateen, the gunman who went on to murder dozens while pledging allegiance to ISIS.  The FBI also looked into Mateen for a very long time, were unable to prove anything, and yet he still turned out to be a serious danger to the American public.

Obama Former Top Intel Official: ISIS Is Already in America

Michael Flynn / AP

Michael Flynn / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Aug. 9, 2016:

Affiliates of the Islamic State terror organization are already residing in the United States, though exact numbers are unclear due to the Obama administration’s efforts to downplay and hide information about this threat from the American public, the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency told the Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview.

Gen. Michael Flynn, an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who served as a top intelligence official under the Obama administration, warned that “they are here” when asked by the Free Beacon to characterize the threat posed to Americans by undercover ISIS adherents.

“They are here,” Flynn said, disclosing that he is aware of roughly 1,000 instances in which ISIS members have been caught plotting in the United States.

“The director of the FBI has said it,” Flynn explained. “There are dozens and dozens and dozens, and I think the number I’ve heard is 1,000, but I don’t know the exact numbers. But I do know there are a lot of cases against members inspired or directed by the Islamic State in this country.”

Information about these individuals is not well known to the American public due to efforts by the administration to downplay and suppress news relating to these terror plots.

“There should be more publicity about what we’ve discovered,” said Flynn, co-author of the book Field of Flight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. “We ought to expose it, expose its [ISIS’s] weaknesses, expose its dangers to the American public. We’re a tough crowd. The American public is tough. We can take the truth.”

Scores of foreign-born individuals residing in the United States have been arrested on various terror charges in the past few months, multiple Free Beacon investigations have discovered.

Flynn has taken issue with the Obama administration’s refusal to describe these terrorists as adherents to a radical brand of Islam.

The goal of ISIS and other radical terrorists is to slowly infiltrate the West, according to Flynn, who said this is already happening across the United States.

“This is an enemy that actually sees our way of life as something that is not acceptable,” he said. “They’re infiltrating, and their campaign plan is to basically dominate the world essentially through letting Islam bloom.”

Leaders in the United States refuse to acknowledge this reality and are actively downplaying the threat, Flynn said.

“Is this something that is acceptable to our current leadership? Because this is something the enemy says it’s doing. They have declared war on us.”

“They are doing a variety of things. Some are tactical attacks that you’ve seen. Some is just infiltrating into sort of what I call the bloodstream of main street America. That’s just the way they’re going to do it,” he added.

America’s difficulties in facing down ISIS are the result of the Obama administration’s failure to clearly define our enemy, Flynn said.

“Warfare 101 is know your enemy, know yourself, you’ll win 1,000 battles,” he said. “This president, who is also wearing the hat of commander-in-chief, has shown really a level of incompetence when it comes to clearly understanding and clearly defining the enemy we are facing. This is a political problem. We face political incompetence at this point.”

The next U.S. leader, Flynn said, must take steps to clearly define the enemy and the threat it poses to Western values.

***

Also see:

General Allen’s Service to Al Qaeda’s Paymasters

gaFront Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug. 4, 2016:

After two American soldiers were murdered by an Islamic terrorist in Afghanistan while a crowd of protesters shouted “Death to Americans” and “Death to Infidels”, General Allen visited his men.

“There will be moments like this when you’re searching for the meaning of this loss. There will be moments like this when your emotions are governed by anger and a desire to strike back,” Allen pleaded. “Now is not the time for revenge, now is not the time for vengeance.”

General Allen had already apologized to the killers for the “desecration” of the Koran by American soldiers who had been destroying copies of the hateful document being used by Taliban prisoners to send notes to each other. “I offer my sincere apologies for any offence this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan,” he had whined.

The “noble people” of Afghanistan were the ones chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Infidels”.

Meanwhile General Allen was telling the American soldiers grieving the loss of their own that the real tragedy was the destruction of the terrorist books. “Now is how we show the Afghan people that as bad as that act was in Bagram, it was unintentional and Americans and ISAF soldiers do not stand for this.”

Then Allen said that he was “proud” to call General Sher Mohammad Karimi “my brother”. Karimi, was the Afghan military strongman who had defended previous attacks on NATO troops and demanded that the American soldiers be put on trial.

“We admit our mistake,” General Allen cringingly continued. “We ask for our forgiveness.”

Then he praised the “Holy Koran”. Six American military personnel faced administrative punishments for doing their duty in order to appease the murderous Islamic mob in all its nobility in Afghanistan.

This was typical of General Allen’s disgraceful tenure. It is also typical of his post-military career which has included a prominent spot at Brookings and a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention. After his enthusiastic endorsement of Hillary and attacks on Trump, Hillary has insisted that anyone who criticizes Allen is not fit to be president because Allen is a “hero and a patriot”.

If there’s anyone who is an expert on heroism and patriotism, it’s Hillary.

Allen’s heroic post-military career brought him to Brookings. The road from the think tank runs to Qatar which donated nearly $15 million to promote its agenda. That agenda took General Allen to its US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar.

Allen praised the “magnificent institutions” of Qatar. He endorsed the mobilization of the Jihadist terror groups known as Popular Mobilization Forces, some of whom have American blood on their hands and are owned and operated by Iran. Allen insisted that “many PMF fighters are not Shia-hardliners but Iraqis who volunteered last summer, answering Grand Ayatolah Ali Sistanti’s fatwa to defend Iraq.”

Then Allen sank to a new unimaginable low by urging compassion toward ISIS Jihadists from abroad.

“We must strive to be a Coalition of compassionate states,” Allen insisted. “There is no denying that many societies find the idea of rehabilitating foreign fighters objectionable. And indeed, those who have broken the laws of our lands must be held accountable. But long-term detention cannot be the sole means of dealing with returning foreign fighters.”

Then he touted “deradicalization” and “reintegration” programs by Muslim countries for Jihadists.

Allen claimed that seeing the “Muslim faith practiced and lived” in Afghanistan had made him a “better Christian”. But his messaging wasn’t surprising considering his employment and his location.

Qatar was a key international state sponsor of terror.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, had been tipped off by a member of the Qatari royal family. The same Qatari royal family whose shindig Allen had shown up to perform at. Their terrorist media outlet, Al Jazeera, had been Al Qaeda’s media drop outlet of choice.

Qatar is a strong backer of Hamas. It has been accused of funding Al Qaeda. More recently it’s been linked to backing Al Qaeda’s local platform in Syria, the Al Nusra Front. The Taliban opened an office in Qatar. Even an early ISIS leader got his start with patronage from Qatar’s royal family.

A strong backer of the Arab Spring, Qatar exploited the chaos by aggressively smuggling weapons to Jihadists in the region. Two years ago, a bipartisan majority on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and its Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade had called for an investigation of Qatar’s links to terrorist funding.

General Allen’s visit to Qatar was shameful. He was praising and pressing the flesh of the paymasters of Islamic terrorists whose hands were and are covered in American blood. Allen had betrayed the soldiers fighting against Islamic terrorists. He had betrayed his country and his cause. He is a traitor to both.

Allen’s disgusting DNC performance was the climax of a series of betrayals. It is not the worst speech he has ever given. Nor is it the most dishonest or the most despicable.

General Allen has gone from serving his country to serving the enemies of his country. That is the man whose endorsement Hillary Clinton is proudly waving around as if it is a badge of honor instead of a badge of shame.

Allen is neither a hero nor a patriot. He is a man who has sold his soul to the highest bidder. Hillary Clinton has won this latest bid for Allen’s shopworn soul, alongside the tyrants of Qatar who trade in human slaves on a global scale. It is likely worth about as much as Hillary’s own soul. Whatever tattered spiritual scraps are left of it.

The mass deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan under Obama still remains a largely untold story. It is the story of how Obama and his collaborators among the military elite sold out our soldiers and left them to die on the battlefield without allowing them to defend themselves so as not to offend the “noble people” of Afghanistan and their fine religious traditions.

74.5% of American deaths in Afghanistan occurred under Obama. Countless more came home, crippled and scarred. While General Allen hobnobs at parties with Al Qaeda bosses, the men he betrayed come back in body bags.

They are heroes. Allen is a traitor.

***

U.S. Deploying Over 1,000 Military, Intelligence Officials for Olympics

Olympic hoops installed in Parque Madureira, in Rio de Janeiro, on June 22, 2016. Luiz Souza / Fotoarena / AP

Olympic hoops installed in Parque Madureira, in Rio de Janeiro, on June 22, 2016. Luiz Souza / Fotoarena / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Natalie Johnson, Aug. 5, 2016:

The United States is prepared to deploy more than 1,000 law enforcement, special operations, military, and intelligence officials to Brazil with the Olympics set to kick off Friday.

Hundreds of personnel have already arrived in Rio de Janeiro as part of a highly classified effort to protect the 2016 Summer Games, including American athletes and staff, according to a U.S. intelligence report obtained by NBC News on Friday.

The U.S. Special Operations Command has also sent more than a dozen highly skilled Navy and Marine Corps commandos to Rio to work with the Brazilian Federal Police and the Brazilian Navy, senior military officials told NBC.

The U.S. military has also readied rapid response military units if a rescue or counterterrorism operation is needed.

The operation incorporates all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies and employs human intelligence, spy satellites, electronic eavesdropping, and cyber monitoring, according to the report.

“U.S. intelligence agencies are working closely with Brazilian intelligence officials to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio,” Richard Kolko, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, told NBC.

The two governments will vet more than 10,000 athletes and more than 35,000 security and police personnel. They will also cooperate in monitoring social media accounts of suspected terrorists and securing computer networks.

Brazilian police arrested nearly a dozen people two weeks ago who had suspected ties to the Islamic State.

Authorities have not detected any terrorist plans to attack the Olympics, which officially begin Friday with the opening ceremonies.

The First Weapon Against Lone Terrorists: Big Data Analytics

cyberby Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
August 5, 2016

European security and intelligence agencies are scrambling to regroup and reorganize following a steady, growing flow of jihadist atrocities. They have a steep learning curve ahead of them when it comes to thwarting terrorism.

To do so, European governments will need to greatly expand budgets for domestic and overseas intelligence operations, create international security cooperation, and enable real-time intelligence sharing, on a scale not seen before. They will also need to deploy wide-reaching signals intelligence capabilities that will build up a database of leads, for monitoring and arresting suspects. Such tactics work very well against transnational terror networks which involve ISIS command centers in Syria and Iraq dispatching cells to the West, or with localized cells in Western cities acting under the influence of ISIS ideology.

Yet even a country like Israel, which arguably has the biggest scope of counter-terrorism experience on Earth, has not been able to prevent a different type of terrorism, which led to a succession of Palestinian attacks that began last year. In most cases, alert security forces and members of the public responded quickly to neutralize the attackers, but the fact remains that Israel’s vaunted intelligence services had not been able to thwart these attacks, and for good reason.

The vast majority of “successful” terrorism that got through Israel’s security net is of the “lone-wolf” kind. These are Palestinian attackers who woke up one morning, and, influenced by a potent concoction of jihadist incitement to violence and personal triggers, decided that would be the day that they open fire, run over, or stab their victims and die in the process.

The organized kind of terrorism has reared its head rarely in Israel in recent months and years, due to the nightly arrests and 24-7 intelligence-gathering work that thwarts these threats, and prevents Israeli cities from turning into perpetual war zones.

Organized terrorist cells leave behind tracks, such as instructions via phone calls or internet communications, the transfer of money, suspicious purchases of chemicals and weapons, and other warnings signals that can be picked up by a well-funded, hi-tech national intelligence agency with good human intelligence coverage on the ground too.

The lone attacker, on the other hand, does not usually communicate with others and can easily move under the radar of national security forces, at least until now.

Israeli security officials have begun employing a new weapon in the war against lone attackers: Big data analytics. This new counter-terrorism measure could prove to be equally useful and life saving in the West, where cities are increasingly being attacked by lone terrorists inspired by ISIS’s murderous ideology.

Although it is still under development, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency and other security groups have begun using advanced algorithms to sift through a vast volume of social media activity. Their goal is to search for the small – yet deadly – needles in a haystack of online information, and find warning signs pointing to an individual who is primed to strike.

The old thinking, that lone attackers do not communicate with others, may have been wrong, it turns out. They may, in fact, be communicating with the entire world through social media, and if anyone cares to listen to them attentively enough, their murderous intentions might be foiled. The precise details of this technique remain classified, but it is being used on an increasing basis by Israeli security agencies monitoring Palestinian threats.

The internet remains the prime recruitment tool used by ISIS to convert Muslims in Europe into terrorists, and ISIS has expressed a preference for those keen on carrying out acts of jihad to do so on their Western home turf, rather than travel to the caliphate.

Within Israel’s battle against Palestinian terrorism, big data analytics have begun to work, and for the first time, a number of lone attackers were arrested before they could pounce, according to security sources.

Security forces have recently issued warnings to individuals marked as potential future lone attackers, making clear the repercussions of such acts on their families. After terror attacks, the government of Israel often orders the army to demolish the home of the perpetrators.

The number of lone attackers has decreased in recent months for a variety of reasons, and big data countermeasures appear to be among them.

Security forces have begun monitoring Facebook pages of young people who have praised past acts of murder and express desire to become martyrs. Most of those who express jihadist sentiments do not go on to the action stage, but a minority of suspects do, and the correct algorithms can help identify them.

The system remains far from perfect, and security sources say much more work is needed to improve results. It is, however, the first time that technology is being used not only to break up budding, organized terrorism cells, but also to track down and arrest the lone wolves before they pounce.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books, 2011), which proposes that jihadis on the internet established a virtual Islamist state and sought to upload it in failed states. The book was published four years before ISIS declared a caliphate.

Also see: