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

Associated Press

Associated Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Attacks on Top Trump Adviser Gorka a Product of Obama Admin Holdovers, Targeted Leaks

Images via AP and Flickr user Ariel Dovas

Images via AP and Flickr user Ariel Dovas

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 27, 2017:

Obama administration holdovers and loyalists are waging a leak-driven media campaign against a senior counter-terrorism adviser hand-picked by President Donald Trump, with the aim of undermining the Trump administration’s national security apparatus, according to multiple senior White House officials and sources close to the administration.

Sebastian Gorka, a longtime national security expert profiled by senior editor Bill Gertz in today’s Free Beacon, has been the subject of multiple leaks and negative stories portraying him as a bigot as part of a campaign similar to the one that brought down former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Senior White House officials dismissed the media narratives and said Gorka is well liked and respected by Trump’s innermost crowd. Several of these sources would only speak on background because they were not authorized to discuss internal White House workings. They also expressed growing concern about leaks from within the administration that are aimed at undermining Trump’s senior advisers.

The media’s focus on Gorka comes on the heels of a similar situation in which Obama administration holdovers and loyalists targeted Flynn by planting selective leaks of classified information in newspapers across the country. The Free Beacon first disclosed this effort a day after Flynn was forced to resign.

The most recent campaign against Gorka is being fueled by career staffers and anti-Trump insiders who fear being exiled by the current administration, according to senior White House officials familiar with the situation.

“Those who are brought in [to the White House], whether they’re detailed or direct hires, but who are there because they support Trump and the Trump agenda, those people like him,” one senior White House official told the Free Beacon. The official said the attacks were from Obama holdovers who would “have a problem with anybody who departs from their worldview. Seb is just a lightning rod.”

Senior White House staff has not lost faith in Gorka, the official said.

“They just don’t like anyone else in the White House weighing in on foreign policy,” the official added, referring to career National Security Council, executive branch, and State Department officials, many of whom remained in government after Trump’s election.

“The unhinged attacks on Seb Gorka are shameful but unsurprising, as they’re coming from the architects of and cheerleaders for nearly a decade of failed Obama counterterror policy,” said one source who is close to both the White House and Gorka.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), a member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, described Gorka as “very insightful and highly professional.”

“You may disagree with some of his arguments, but his patriotism is beyond question,” Gallagher told the Free Beacon. “And the fact that some of the architects of our failed foreign policy of the last eight years—which has allowed a terrorist state to emerge in the heart of the Middle East and triggered a rise in global salafi jihadism—are now trying to smear and discredit Seb is ironic and irresponsible. The counterterrorism field is highly politicized, and I fear the personal attacks on him are politically motivated.”

As part of the effort to undermine Gorka, multiple publications, including those in the Jewish world, have sought to tie him to anti-Semitic movements and leaders. While multiple insiders dismissed the claims as nonsense, they admitted that the headlines have had an impact.

The attacks on Gorka are partly aimed at muddying the Obama administration’s history of anti-Israel diplomacy, these sources said.

“This has nothing to do with Gorka and everything to do with protecting Obama’s legacy on Israel,” said one source. “Gorka understands that America and Israel face the same threats, and that many of our enemies target Israel specifically because it’s the Jewish state. The Obama administration attacked Israel and downplayed anti-Semitism, but they never admitted it, and the policies Gorka is pushing would make the gap obvious.”

David Reaboi, a national security consultant who has known Gorka and his wife personally and professionally for nearly a decade, told the Free Beacon that the most recent claims about Gorka are false.

“I’ve known Seb for nearly a decade,” Reaboi said. “In addition to our Hungarian backgrounds and our families’ struggles against communism in Eastern Europe, we share an interest in defeating the global jihadist movement. He is a good friend, a bright and penetrating analyst, a brilliant communicator, and a passionate defender of liberty and American values.”

***

Attack dog Michael S. Smith II apparently may go head to head with Tucker. That would be fun to watch!

***

Also see:

John Guandolo outlines his disagreement with Trump advisors on CT policy – plus my take

CJR: There is a fierce debate going on among counter-jihad activists right now over what the Trump administration’s official counterterrorism policy towards Islamic jihad should be. One positive development is the likely end of the disastrous Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policy that de-linked Islam from terrorism and led to both domestic and foreign policy which placed Muslims “feelings” above the safety of our own people. Now the debate is focused on whether ISIS is Islamic. I have no doubt that both Lt General H. R. McMaster and Dr. Sebastian Gorka know that it is. I believe that they are using disinformation strategy to de-legitimize the enemy and gain Muslim allies. However, I believe that now is the time to make clear that Islamic doctrine is the enemy threat doctrine and Muslims who are not following that doctrine to the letter are technically apostates. Muslim reformers must acknowledge this. The Muslims we wish to ally with understand this very well and will not be “driven to radicalize” by an official U. S. policy that states the truth.

I would not impune the character and motives of Lt General H. R. McMaster or Dr. Sebastian Gorka as John Guandolo does in the following article but I do agree with his position that there is only one Islamic doctrine. I would just point out that Muslim belief and practice of that doctrine varies. I see no problem allying with Muslim reformers as long as we are all clear on what Islamic doctrine actually says. There needs to be a complete overhaul of CT training as well as public education on the matter so that we can begin to “orient on the enemy”.

I will continue to post opposing views on this important debate and encourage respectful comments. Perhaps Dr. Gorka should invite John Guandolo to the White House for a friendly chat over coffee like he did with that self-important, weasel attack dog Michael S. Smith II. That would probably be a much more productive meeting!

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mcmaster-and-gorka

“Unfit for Duty” by John Guandolo at Understanding the Threat, Feb. 26, 2017:

The New York Times, Guardian, and CNN all report Lt General McMaster told members of the National Security Council Thursday he felt “radical Islamic terrorism” was an unhelpful way to describe terrorism because becoming a terrorist is actually “un-Islamic” in the first place.

In a talk he gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in May 2016, LtGen McMaster said, “There is a cycle going on where groups like ISIL, who use this irreligious ideology, you know, this perverted interpretation of religion to justify violence, they depend on ignorance and the ability to recruit vulnerable segments of populations to foment hatred, then use that hatred to justify violence against innocents.”

This is incoherent and factually wrong.  LtGen McMaster wrote a book entitled “Dereliction of Duty.”  He may want to look in the mirror to see if he is doing the same thing in this war he accused President Johnson of doing in Vietnam.

100% of all Islamic doctrine, from elementary, junior high, and high school Islamic text books as well as the highest authorities in Islamic jurisprudence, to include Al Azhar University in Egypt, all clearly and doctrinally state Islam is a “complete way of life (social, cultural, political, military, religious)” governed by sharia (Islamic Law).  100% of all sharia mandates jihad until the world is under Islamic rule, and 100% of sharia only defines “jihad” as warfare against non-Muslims.

“The duty of the Muslim citizen is to be loyal to the Islamic state.”

What Islam is All About  (most widely used junior high text book in U.S. Islamic schools)

The violence Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Boston bombers, the attackers in Paris, the Fort Lauderdale shooter, and all the jihadis we have faced over the past 20 years quote authoritative Islamic doctrine in support of what they do.  Al Qaeda and ISIS have never misquoted sharia in furtherance of their actions.

In the last 15 years it has been made clear – the more muslims study Islam and sharia, the more likely they are to support and participate in jihad.

So the questions remains…what the hell is Lieutenant General McMaster talking about because he is not talking truthfully about a real and present danger to these United States?  He is doing exactly what our enemy wants him to do – creating an imaginary target for us to chase while our real enemy prepares to defeat us.

Nearly 16 years after 9/11, the Global Islamic Movement has taken down nations, expanded its power, and defeated the United States in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because leaders like McMaster decided they were too busy to stop and learn the enemy threat doctrine – Sharia – and instead have been given a counterfactual understanding of our enemy by Islamic advisors who are all batting for the other team.

The President’s Counterterrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, is “over the moon” LtGen McMaster is the new National Security Advisor.  However, Gorka’s lack of honesty about the Islamic threat raises much more serious questions.

Some have been lulled into believing he is on the right track because he uttered the word “jihad” but defeating this enemy takes more than pretending to know what you are talking about.

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

Utter nonsense.  There is one version of Islam and one Sharia.  To say otherwise is to be factually wrong, but also dangerous when national strategies are being built off that utter nonsense.

When one’s duties include national security responsibilities, one has a professional duty to know the enemy or do due diligence to know the enemy.  To fail to do so makes one professionally negligent in one’s duties.  When people die (Ft Lauderdale, Boston, Orlando, Ft Hood…) because a person is unprofessional in his/her duties it is called “criminal negligence” and doctors and lawyers go to jail for such behavior.

Several years ago at a town hall presentation hosted by Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL, Sebastian Gorka stated “99.9% of muslims do not support terrorism (jihad)” despite a mountain of evidence and polling data proving this comment untrue, and the fact the entire purpose of Islam is to wage jihad until the world is dominated by Islamic rule (sharia).

Dr. Gorka also writes in his book, Defeating Jihad, we are not at war with Islam (p.129) but our enemy is “the ideology of takfiri jihad” (p.123).

No muslim jihadi who fought on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else, nor any of the jihadis who have died in Europe in the United States attacking us nor the jihadis we have arrested have said they are “takfiri jihadis.”  They have said they are “Muslims” waging “Jihad in the cause of Allah” to “establish a caliphate under sharia.”

This is what Islamic doctrine commands them to do.

erdogan-moderate-islam-capture

On page 144 of his book, Gorka ends with the call for the United States to spend billions of dollars supporting “Muslim reformers” in their “ideological war to delegitimize the message of holy war against the infidel and bolster modern interpretations of Islam.”  This demonstrates Sebastian Gorka is either completely free of any clue of Islamic doctrine or is intentionally lying about what Islam actually teaches.
Since these ideas and strategies to use “moderate Muslims” to ensure the “other version” of Islam wins are based in fantasy not reality, these policies will necessarily fail – and have failed the United States for 15 years.
Is that Dr. Gorka’s intention?  Does he not know that strategies to win a war must be based in the reality of who the enemy is?  Why would Sebastian Gorka put forth such and idea when he knows what he is saying is untrue?
Is it possible Dr. Gorka has remained strategically incoherent for 15 years during this global war?  Is he working on behalf of some outside entity to intentionally mislead the President of the United States, or is he is simply putting his paycheck ahead of the American people and his duty.
The United States will lose this war against the Global Islamic Movement if we do not clearly define the enemy and target the enemy.  We cannot hit a target we do not identify and cannot defeat an enemy we do not target.
Our warfighting doctrine calls for an analysis of our enemy based on how the enemy defines itself.  We begin our analysis there.  Something we have not done since 9/11/01.  If we did, our entire national security apparatus, including our military, would have been studying and teaching authoritative sharia and more of our soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen would be alive today because of it.
Keeping LtGen McMaster and Sebastian Gorka in their current positions will ensure America remains strategically incoherent and will guarantee our defeat in this war against the Global Islamic Movement.
As always, this war will be won or lost at the local level because our federal government is still failing us.

H.R. McMaster is wrong about radical Islamic terrorism

ar-150409218Family Security Mattters, by Lawrence Sellins, Feb. 25, 2017:

According to the New York Times, in his first “all hands” staff meeting on February 23rd, President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster “told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion” and “that the label ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ was not helpful because terrorists are ‘un-Islamic,'” thereby rejecting the viewpoint of President Trump and many of his senior advisors.

It is indeed ironic that McMaster, who often quotes ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, 19th century military theorist, should now ignore their advice, both of whom stressed the importance of knowing your enemy.

As Schmuel Bar, writing for the Hoover Institute, notes “to treat Islamic terrorism as the consequence of political and socioeconomic factors alone would not do justice to the significance of the religious culture in which this phenomenon is rooted and nurtured” and “the problems addressed may be social or political: inequality, corruption, and oppression. But in traditional Islam – and certainly in the worldview of the Islamic fundamentalist – there is no separation between the political and the religious. Islam is, in essence, both religion and regime (din wa-dawla) and no area of human activity is outside its remit.”

Bar concludes: “Attempts to deal with the terrorist threat as if it were divorced from its intellectual, cultural, and religious fountainheads are doomed to failure. Counterterrorism begins on the religious-ideological level and must adopt appropriate methods. The cultural and religious sources of radical Islamic ideology must be addressed in order to develop a long-range strategy for coping with the terrorist threat to which they give birth.”

Although McMaster has not yet made it clear why he dissociates Islam from terrorism, he may be taking a practical approach, one which Daniel Pipes describes as “not wanting to offend Muslims” because “those who would otherwise help fight terrorism feel insulted (‘a true Muslim can never be a terrorist‘) and so do not step forward while those who would be uninvolved become radicalized, some even becoming terrorists.”

In addition, explicit phrases like radical Islamic terrorism, some claim, ‘bolsters our enemy’s propaganda claim that the West is at war with Islam.'”

Thus, by sparing alleged Muslim sensitivities, adherents to that approach fail to fulfill that fundamental maxim of military strategy – knowing your enemy.

It also can be counterproductive.

I agree with Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, it is “not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam,” and that aggressive and violent part of Islam has declared war on us.

By not accurately defining who the enemy is, you can actually set back the efforts of potential Muslim reformists such as President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Jordanian King Abdullah.

Dr. Jasser explains that such ambiguity plays into the hands of the Saudi regime, the Iranian Khomeinists and the Muslim Brotherhood, who “want to dominate what Islam means.”

“If you don’t call it political Islam or Islamism as the threat”, he says, “you’re not going to be able to figure out who to engage.”

In the final analysis, you cannot address the problem without a comprehensive strategy to combat Islamic terrorism at its ideological roots, as Schmuel Bar states:

“Such a strategy must be based on an acceptance of the fact that for the first time since the Crusades, Western civilization finds itself involved in a religious war; the conflict has been defined by the attacking side as such with the eschatological goal of the destruction of Western civilization. The goal of the West cannot be defense alone or military offense or democratization of the Middle East as a panacea. It must include a religious-ideological dimension: active pressure for religious reform in the Muslim world and pressure on the orthodox Islamic establishment in the West and the Middle East not only to disengage itself clearly from any justification of violence, but also to pit itself against the radical camp in a clear demarcation of boundaries.”

Clausewitz supplies an appropriate quote:

“The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgement that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish . . . the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.”

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

Also see:

Countering Islamist Extremism the Right Way

islamist-extremism-governments-must-oppose-it-not-fund-it

Groups that preach Islamism must not be relied upon to counter violent extremism.

National Review, by Sam Westrop, Feb. 22, 2017:

As part of President Trump’s unapologetic promise to defeat “radical Islam,” critics expect an overhaul of the previous administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Under Obama, officials adopted counter-extremism policies that European politicians tried over a decade ago and have since deeply regretted.

To tackle the threat of Islamism, the new administration must identify and challenge the specific groups and networks within American Islam that advocate extremist ideas, or officials may inadvertently repeat Obama’s practice of legitimizing Islamists as leaders of all American Muslims.

The British Experience
In 2005, a month after the 7/7 London bombings, the British journalist Martin Bright sought answers to a question that, somehow, no one in government or the media had ever thought to ask before: Who exactly were the people in charge of the Muslim community, and what did they believe?

After the Salman Rushdie riots in 1988, the British government blindly accepted the claims of self-declared community leaders to be representative voices of British Muslims. The government gave these leaders millions and millions of dollars of community funds, and, after 9/11, counter-extremism grants.

Bright’s investigation, however, revealed something quite different from what these Muslim leaders had been telling credulous politicians. The leading recipient of taxpayer funds, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), was in fact run by a violent Islamist group from South Asia, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which had close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and had been involved in the mass killing of Bangladeshis during that nation’s 1971 Independence War.

The government embraced Islamist groups such as the MCB so tightly that, as Bright revealed in 2005, Britain’s foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and MCB leader Iqbal Sacranie (an early supporter of Iran’s fatwa for the killing of Salman Rushdie) even used the same speechwriter. With the MCB in charge, Muslim organizations could not receive government backing for projects without the MCB’s stamp of approval. Naturally, the Islamists prospered. Moderate Muslims, meanwhile, were left without a voice.

Over the next decade, the true extent of Islamism’s grip over British Islam was slowly revealed, thanks to a motley collection of journalists, bloggers, and anti-Islamist Muslims willing to challenge government wisdom. Prison chaplains, it emerged, had been chosen primarily from the Deobandi sect, a hard-line branch of South Asian Islam from which the Taliban had emerged. Taxpayer-funded schools in Birmingham, the U.K.’s second-largest city, had been taken over by a network of Islamists who preached hard-line Islamist rhetoric to young children. Compelling evidence was uncovered to show that prominent Muslim charities controlled by JI and the Muslim Brotherhood were funding terrorism abroad. Counter-extremism funds were being handed to Salafist and Jamaat-e-Islami groups. And in 2009, the Labour government cut off ties completely with the Muslim Council of Britain after its officials were found to be signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document that advocated attacks on British troops and Jewish communities.

By 2011, the new Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, understood enough to signal a distinct change in government policy, telling the Munich Security Conference:

As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called “non-violent extremists,” and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. . . . Some organizations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement.

The British government overhauled its counter-extremism programs and cut off dozens of Islamist groups from taxpayer funding. Politicians and journalists learned a very important lesson about Western Islam: It is a diverse mix of dozens of different political and religious sects, which includes both violent and non-violent extremists. No single group could represent all Western Muslims, and it was only by delineating British Islam into its diverse, competing constituents that extremism could be effectively tackled and suitable Muslim allies identified. After all, if policymakers did not know which networks and groups within Western Islam were the bad guys, then how could they learn who the good guys were?

As increasingly radicalized Muslim communities across Europe produced eager volunteers for jihad at home and abroad, governments finally began to understand what moderate Muslims had been desperately trying to tell them for years: Non-violent Islamism is not a bulwark against violent Islamism. Extremists are not allies in the fight against extremism.

Meanwhile, in America
Across the Atlantic, American officials distinctly failed to note the lessons that Europe has learned the hard way. The Obama administration’s foreign policy treated Islamists as forces of democratization, and its domestic policy legitimized Islamists as gatekeepers to the Muslim community.

First envisioned in 2011, the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program promised to “support and help empower American communities and their local partners in their grassroots efforts to prevent violent extremism.” In February 2015, the government launched CVE pilot programs in Boston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. To kick things off, the White House hosted a three-day summit. Writing about the conference in the Los Angeles Times, Obama reiterated that the “focus” of CVE “will be on empowering local communities.”

Whom exactly was the White House empowering? Representing the pilot program in Boston, leaders from the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) and the Islamic Center of New England (ICNE) were invited to the White House summit. The ISB was established by the al-Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in 2004 for his role in a Libyan plot to assassinate a Saudi crown prince. The mosque’s trustees have included prominent Islamist operatives, such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to a report published jointly by Muslims Facing Tomorrow and Americans for Peace and Tolerance, twelve congregants, supporters, staff, and donors of the ISB have been imprisoned, deported, or killed or are on the run — all in relation to terrorism offenses.

The ICNE was once a moderate local mosque, until its imam was ousted by Abdulbadi Abousamra (the father of ISIS terrorist Ahmad Abousamra) and Muhammad Hafiz Masood, who is now a spokesman for the Pakistani terrorist organization Jamaat-ud-Dawah. Masood’s brother, Hafiz Saeed, is responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks and was arrested this month by Pakistani law enforcement.

Taking part in the government’s CVE program was not just an opportunity for Islamists to rub shoulders with America’s political elite; it was also a chance to obtain taxpayers’ money. As part of the Boston CVE pilot program, a group based at the ISB named United Somali Youth received over $100,000, despite having initially joined protests against the CVE organized by Islamist groups, which claimed that the program was designed to demonize Muslims.

In 2016, despite widespread media criticism of the CVE pilot programs, Congress approved a further $10 million of CVE grants. As Obama was leaving office, the Department of Homeland Security awarded $393,800 to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an organization with a long history of ties to extremism. MPAC was founded by individuals closely involved with the Muslim Brotherhood. Its founder, Maher Hathout, declared that the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah was “fighting to liberate their land” and exhibiting “an American value — freedom and liberty.” Before being offered almost half a million dollars, MPAC had also expressed opposition to the CVE program.

Another $800,000 of taxpayers’ money was awarded to Bayan Claremont (an Islamic graduate school in Claremont, Calif.), whose president, Jihad Turk, was recently a member of the executive council of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In 2008, federal prosecutors named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial. A judge later ruled that “the government has produced ample evidence” connecting Hamas and ISNA. Bayan Claremont faculty includes Ihsan Bagby, a former senior member of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, which was also designated an unindicted co-conspirator in 2008; Suhaib Webb, a former imam of the ISB who decries the “evil inclination” of homosexuality and “understands . . . animosity” towards Jews; and Edina Lekovic, an MPAC official who was the managing editor of an Islamist student magazine that, in 1999, called on Muslims to “defend” Bin Laden as a “freedom fighter.”

To flaunt its anti-Trump credentials, Bayan Claremont recently returned the $800,000 it received, despite successfully applying for the grant under Obama. Regardless, are these really the “community” leaders that the government’s “countering violent extremism” program should empower?

Making America Safe Again?
The Trump administration’s plans for CVE are not fully known. Most recently, White House sources announced that CVE would focus solely on Islamic extremism and would be renamed “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” Under Obama, all White House, Homeland Security, and Justice Department documents concerning CVE conspicuously omitted any mention of “Islam” or “Islamism.” Clearly, we should be pleased that the new administration is prepared to name the issue that occupies headline news almost every day. But we still do not know what Trump’s counter-extremism plans actually entail, although it seems unlikely that Muslim Brotherhood groups will receive more government grants.

Among moderate Muslims, however, there is some concern that a ham-fisted approach could be just as ineffective as Obama’s flawed ideas. If Trump fails to delineate American Islam into its various components, and instead treats all American Muslims as part of the same problem, then the government will find it impossible to tackle extremism effectively.

By cataloguing and excluding the “lawful” or “non-violent” extremists now in America, and the role they play in the radicalization of American Muslims, the government can work with genuinely moderate Muslim organizations to identify and prevent Islamists from, for example, operating schools and chaplaincy programs, obtaining taxpayer funds under the guise of community work, or using charitable endeavors to fund Islamist terrorism overseas.

President Trump’s former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, reportedly wanted to “wage ideological warfare” against radical Islam using social media. But, as with all attempts to tackle Internet problems, this would be a Sisyphean task, and a distraction from the threat posed by homegrown extremists, who carry out their most dangerous work offline.

Islamist groups thrive on legitimacy, which they obtain either by being treated as representatives of ordinary Muslims (as happened under Obama) or by leading unifying protests against the government (which is happening under Trump).

American Muslims are not going anywhere, nor should they. Islamism, however, should be fought. To do so, state and federal governments must delegitimize Islamism in political and civic circles. This cannot be achieved without the cooperation of moderate Muslims. Only a considered, intelligent approach to counter-extremism can effectively tackle the Islamists who have gripped American Islam so tightly.

At the cost of whole Muslim communities becoming isolated from Western society, tens of thousands of radicalized Muslim youth joining terrorist groups overseas, and civil unrest increasing, Europe has discovered that the pernicious effect of extremism is just as dangerous as an explosive act of terrorism. In America, let’s not learn these lessons too late.

— Sam Westrop is a fellow of the Gatestone Institute and a writer for Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

A White House Initiative to Defeat Radical Islam

trump5MEF, by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
February 20, 2017

Originally published under the title “Defeating Radical Islam: How a New White House Initiative Can Get the Job Done.”

Who is the enemy? It’s been over 15 years since 9/11 and still this fundamental question rattles around. Prominent answers have included evil doers, violent extremists, terrorists, Muslims, and Islamists.

As an example of how not to answer this question, the Obama administration convened a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group in 2010 and included participants who turned up such gems as: “Jihad as holy war is a European invention,” the caliphate‘s return is “inevitable,” Sharia (Islamic law) is “misunderstood,” and “Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms … because terrorism is not Islamic by definition.”

The result? The group produced propaganda helpful to the (unnamed) enemy.

In contrast, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a robust speech in August 2016 on how he, as president, would “Make America Safe Again.” In it, he pledged, “One of my first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical Islam.” Note: he said radical Islam, not some euphemism like violent extremism.

The goal of that commission, he said, “will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.”

How not to do it: The White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, starring Barack Obama.

How not to do it: The White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, starring Barack Obama.

The commission “will include reformist voices in the Muslim community” with the goal to “develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners.”

On Feb. 2, Reuters reported that, consistent with the August statement, the Trump administration “wants to revamp and rename” Obama’s old CVE effort to focus solely on Islamism. Symbolic of this change, the name Countering Violent Extremism will be changed to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism” (or a near equivalent).

To make the most of this historic opportunity, the Middle East Forum has crafted a comprehensive plan for a White House Commission on Radical Islam for the administration to use. Here’s a summary of how we see the commission working and having an impact:

Structure. To be successful, all its members must be selected by the president. Too many commissions have included contrasting ideologies and agendas, grinding out sausage-like self-conflicting reports that displease the administration and end up discarded. Also, learning from the struggles of the Tower Commission, which lacked sufficient powers, and the precedent of the Three Mile Island Commission, which actually had them, the commission needs the power to subpoena documents, compel testimony, and grant immunity.

Personnel. The commission should include a mix of experts on political violence and radical Islam, as well as elected officials, representatives of law enforcement, the military, the intelligence and diplomatic communities, technology specialists, Muslim reformers (as the president insisted), and victims of radical Islam. It should also include liaisons to those who ultimately will implement the commission’s recommendations: secretaries of the departments of state, defense, and homeland security, the attorney general, and the CIA director.

Mandate. The commission should expand on Trump’s commitment to explain the core convictions of Islamists (i.e., the full and severe application of Sharia), to expose their networks, and to develop new protocols for law enforcement. In addition, it should examine where Islamists get their resources and how these can be cut off; figure out how to deny them use of the Internet; offer changes to immigration practices; and assess how political correctness impedes an honest appraisal of radical Islam.

Implementation. For the commission’s work to be relevant, it must coordinate with federal agencies to gather data and craft recommendations, draft executive orders and legislation, provide supporting documents, prepare requests for proposals, outline memos to state and local governments, recommend personnel, and work out budgets.

Finally, the commission should be prepared that its reports may be used as evidence in criminal proceedings, such as was the case several times in the past (e.g., the Warren, Rogers, and Tower commissions).

The overall goal of the White House Commission on Radical Islam should be to bring the American people together around a common understanding of the enemy’s nature, how that enemy can be defeated, and specifics to accomplish this objective.

Perhaps this will start the long-delayed process of winning a war that has already gone on far too long. The United States has all the economic and military advantages; it lacks only a policy and a strategy, which the new administration, relying on a first-rate commission, can finally supply.

Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. Christopher C. Hull (IssueManagement.net, @ChristopherHull) is president of Issue Management, Inc.

White House Aide Criticizes Obama’s Counter-Terrorism Policy for Failing to Mention Islam

A propaganda photo depicting ISIS fighters near Nineveh, Iraq / AP

A propaganda photo depicting ISIS fighters near Nineveh, Iraq / AP

‘Our labels must reflect reality, otherwise we will misdiagnose’

Washington Free Beacon, by Natalie Johnson, February 14, 2017:

President Donald Trump’s deputy assistant condemned the Obama administration Monday for refusing to mention religion in its counterterrorism strategy, particularly when dealing with the Islamic State.

Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist who now serves as a senior White House aide, said the Untied States has had “serious problems” over the past eight years identifying the nature of an enemy engaged in a religiously inspired war.

“The Obama administration in 2011 prohibited discussion of religion, expressly Islam, in all counter-terror training for federal agents and military,” Gorka said during an event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

“That’s like saying in 1944 you can’t say the word Nazi because you’ll offend a German. It’s absurd, it’s in fact asinine. You have to be able to talk about the enemy and the words that they use. When they say they’re a jihadist, you can’t say, ‘Well they’re just misguided nihilists.’ No, they think they are holy warriors,” he continued. “Our labels must reflect reality, otherwise we will misdiagnose.”

Gorka said it is imperative for U.S. officials to understand that 80 percent of the fight against ISIS and jihad-inspired terrorist groups will be fought in the domain of information and media operations rather than in military operations.

A report published last year by IntelCenter, a counter-terrorism research firm, found that between June and July 2016 there were significant terrorist attacks every 84 hours directed or inspired by ISIS outside the war zones in Iraq and Syria. Gorka said the findings underscore America’s overemphasis on a “whack-a-mole” strategy that targets individual terrorists while ignoring the root of the problem: ideology.

“For them, it’s not just a caliphate of the ground, it’s a caliphate of the mind,” Gorka said.

“We’re not going to capture all the jihadists, we’re not going to kill all of them … they’re going to move. They may go North, they may go West, they may come across the Atlantic,” he continued. “We must understand, ISIS’s battlefront begins when you leave your house in the morning. There is no battlefront like World War I or World War II, there are no trenches.”

Gorka said the United States during the Obama and Bush administrations focused too heavily on physical battlefield actions, like death tolls, as the metric of success in the war on terrorism. Meanwhile, the information war fell behind, he said.

Bill Gertz, senior editor at the Washington Free Beacon and author of the newly released book iWar, called for the Trump administration to reestablish a U.S. information agency that can both “promote American ideals” and counteract “lies and deception.”

Obama signed a defense bill in December requiring the State Department to engage in countermeasures, including counter-disinformation, to combat the spread of adversarial ideologies, but Gertz said the bill did not go far enough.

“We need to retool for the information age,” Gertz said at the Heritage Foundation. “We really are deficient in this area of promoting the American ideal and we’re facing competing narratives.”

Unlike al Qaeda, ISIS has been able to adapt and redefine its mission, even as it continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria. The group has had particular success spreading disinformation and propaganda, Gorka said. He suggested the Trump administration combat the terrorist group’s efforts by establishing an information operation that is driven directly by the White House.

“We will have won when the black flag of jihad, when the black flag of ISIS, is as repugnant across the world as the white peaked hood of the Ku Klux Klan and the black, white, and red swastika of Hitler’s Third Reich,” Gorka said.

Four Muslim Groups Reject US Counter-Terror Funding

Four Minnesota youth from the Somali community who were convicted of terrorism-related offenses.

Four Minnesota youth from the Somali community who were convicted of terrorism-related offenses.

For these groups, their image is a higher priority than actually fighting radical Islam and helping their communities.

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, February 13, 2017:

In a revealing trend, four nonprofits groups involved with the Muslim-American community have rejected federal funding for countering violent extremism. For these groups, their image — as well as making a political point – is a higher priority than fighting radical Islam and helping their communities.

The four Muslim groups had been privileged to receive Homeland Security grants to support their efforts to “counter violent extremism,” a generic and politically-correct term that the Obama Administration used to avoid verbiage related to Islam.

Now, these groups are willing to sacrifice that funding and cut their programs just to stick it to President Trump. Their form of protest is not to use their voices, but to try to show how bad President Trump is by increasing the suffering and danger for their constituents and country more broadly.

An organization for Somali youth in Minnesota named Ka Joog is rejecting $500,000 that was supposed to promote education, prevent radicalization, drug use and other harmful activities. Whether you agree with the premise that radicalization is caused by those problems or not, the fact is that Ka Joog chose to deny help to Somali youth in need.

Apparently unaware of how ridiculous his sentence sounded, executive director Mohamed Farah said the decision was made because President Trump is “promoting a cancerous ideology.” Yes, he actually said he’d decline an opportunity to fight the cancerous ideology of radical Islam because he is offended by the so-called “cancerous ideology” of President Trump.

One local Somali activist with a record of standing against radical Islam, Omar Jamal, said he disagrees with President Trump but “the community desperately needs the money” and it’s better to work with the government as best you can, regardless of politics.

A group in Michigan, Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities, won’t take $500,000 because it believes President Trump’s counter-extremism programs involve spying on Muslims. The group provided no evidence that accepting the money would actually require them to do that.

The organization’s programs involve public health, human services, youth development and education. They will suffer because of a hypothetical requirement that hasn’t happened yet or even been proposed by the Trump Administration.

The third group to join in, Unity Productions Foundation of Virginia, was offered $400,000 to develop films featuring Islamic scholars condemning terrorism and Muslim-Americans contributing to society.

Muslim-American leadership regularly complains that Islamic condemnations of terrorism do not get adequate attention and the public doesn’t seeing how Muslim-Americans are a positive part of the country.

This group was given a whopping $400,000 to do just that—but instead, it is responding to President Trump’s alleged anti-Muslim sentiment by rejecting money from his administration to combat anti-Muslim sentiment.

That makes absolutely no sense.

The Bayan Claremont Islamic school in California is the latest to join the trend, turning down $800,000 that was to be given to “improve interreligious cooperation, civic engagement and social justice.” About $250,000 of that would have been transferred to a dozen other nonprofits doing work for the Muslim-American community.

The school’s faculty includes some controversial Islamic leaders accused of spreading radicalism and ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The staff includes Imam Suhaib Webb, Omid Safi and Ihsan Bagby.

Its president, Jihad Turk, said it was partially a response to reported plans by the Trump Administration to rename the Countering Violent Extremism programs to a title identifying radical Islam as the focus.

Keep in mind, Trump’s controversial plans—the travel pause (derided as a “Muslim ban”) designed to identify threats of radical Islam—don’t alter these services. These policies do not stop these groups from combating extremism on their own or from providing charity to those in need. You don’t have to agree with your president to help others and work to protect your country to the best of your ability.

By this logic, schools that dislike Education Secretary Betsy DeVos should punish their students by turning away federal funding.

Another element is at play here: Pressure from Islamists and their allies.

Fox News reports that two of the nonprofits “said they were rejecting grants they had already been awarded under the program because of concerns that it could damage their credibility or come with uncomfortable strings attached.”

Such attacks can make the Trump Administration lose Muslim partners, enabling Islamists to rally the community together like a single political party under their helm. An added bonus is that any danger and controversy that arises from the severed relationships can be blamed on Trump’s policies that these Muslim groups sabotaged.

The good news is that there are plenty of non-profits, including Muslim ones with an unequivocal stand against Islamism that deserve the grant money. These organizations generally lack financial support from which to build a network, provide services, etc.

If certain Muslim nonprofits choose to put politics and ego above fighting extremism, then there are plenty of other options for these grants.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

Dems: Trump shouldn’t fight “Islamic extremism” only, that will offend Muslims

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, February 4, 2017:

“Such a move is wrongheaded insofar as persons who commit acts of violent extremism are inspired by diverse political, religious and philosophical beliefs, and are not limited to any single population or region.”

In reality, there have been over 30,000 murderous jihad terror attacks worldwide since 9/11. What other political, religious and philosophical beliefs have been responsible for any comparable number? A widely publicized study purporting to show that “right-wing extremists” have killed more people in the U.S. than Islamic jihadis, and thus pose a greater threat, has been debunked on many grounds.

“Changing the name to ‘Countering Islamic Extremism’ or ‘Countering Radical Islamic Extremism’ would have damaging effects to our national security by feeding into the propaganda created by terrorist groups and child domestic and international diplomatic relations. Additionally, it could further alienate and create distrust with the Muslim-American communities when the program depends on close cooperation with law enforcement.”

Islamic jihadis routinely cite the texts and teachings of Islam to justify their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims. The idea that Muslims who reject jihad terror will be enraged if the U.S. government takes note of this is absurd. If they reject jihad terror, they won’t embrace it because officials are saying things they don’t like; in fact, if they really reject it, they should welcome and cooperate with efforts to identify its causes and eradicate them. These Congressmen are recommending that we curtail our speech to avoid criticizing Islam, which is a Sharia blasphemy provision that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been trying to foist upon the U.S. by means of “hate speech” laws for years. That the statements of Thompson, Engel and Conyers are simply today’s conventional wisdom is one indication of how successful these efforts have been.

john-conyers

“Dems: Trump ‘wrongheaded’ on Islamic extremism,” by Mark Hensch, The Hill, February 3, 2017:

A trio of House Democrats say President Trump is making a mistake pushing for counter-extremism efforts to focus only on radical Islam.

The Trump administration is reportedly pushing to reshape a government program aimed at combating extremist ideologies to focus solely on the Islamic variety.

“Such a move is wrongheaded insofar as persons who commit acts of violent extremism are inspired by diverse political, religious and philosophical beliefs, and are not limited to any single population or region,” the three lawmakers wrote in a Friday letter to Acting Attorney General Dana Boente.

“Changing the name to ‘Countering Islamic Extremism’ or ‘Countering Radical Islamic Extremism’ would have damaging effects to our national security by feeding into the propaganda created by terrorist groups and child domestic and international diplomatic relations,” they added.“Additionally, it could further alienate and create distrust with the Muslim-American communities when the program depends on close cooperation with law enforcement.”

Friday’s letter was signed Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson (Md.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.) and John Conyers (Mich.)….

Trump Seeks to End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Scam

white-house-cve-summit-sized-770x415xc

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, February 5, 2017:

Among the litany of Obama administration disasters, the rapid collapse of his “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) agenda is among the most consequential.

But groups in line to receive federal CVE grants announced just days before the end of the Obama era are now whining as the Trump administration seeks to put an end to the CVE scam.

Driven directly from the White House, the Obama administration’s CVE agenda was a replacement following a purge of counter-terrorism training across the federal government during 2011-2012 in response to a targeted series of reports by far-Left bloggers and reporters claiming widespread bias and “Islamophobia.”

Many of those claims were later debunked, but with the damage done the administration’s purge pressed ahead as it implemented CVE at the demand of Islamic groups, some of whom were directly involved in the formation of the administration’s CVE policies.

But as it became apparent that terror recruitment was escalating rapidly at nearly the same time that CVE was being imposed on agencies and departments across the board, the inability of CVE to actually countering any “extremists” was exposed. The same Islamic groups that urged the imposition of CVE then turned against the efforts when they realized that CVE was still primarily directed at the growing threat of Islamic recruitment, and not towards stigmatizing the administration’s perceived domestic political enemies.

Read more

Also see:

Flynn’s plan to beat radical Islam starts with schools and social media

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, February 4, 2017:

President Trump’s national security adviser wants to fight not just Islamic terrorists but the “radical ideology of Islam,” and he plans to do it from the grass roots up, starting with our children at schools while also using social media.

Dealing with the global Islamist threat on a tactical level through drone strikes and arrests hasn’t worked, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn argues, according to his largely overlooked 2016 book, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.” He wants to combat it more broadly, using informational warfare, among other things, on a scale not seen since World War II.

But first, he writes, the government has to overcome the political taboo of tying Islamic violence to the religion of Islam, including its sacred texts, which he says the enemy is using as a manual of warfare.

Last week, Trump asked Flynn to work with the Pentagon and other security agencies to draft a comprehensive plan to not only defeat ISIS on the battlefield but “delegitimize its radical Islamist ideology,” and have it on his desk by the end of this month.

Advance details of the plan can be gleaned from Flynn’s book. In it, the 33-year Army veteran proposes discrediting the “evil (religious) doctrines” motivating jihadists — namely the Islamic rewards for martyrdom (or suicidal terrorism) and the totalitarian tenets of Sharia law — using psy-ops and counter-propaganda, not just through federal government channels but also through “our schools, media and social networks.”

“If we can’t tackle enemy doctrines that call for our domination or extinction,” Flynn writes, “we aren’t going to destroy their jihadis.”

He says in the book that the government may have to draft digital media giants to help “wage ideological warfare” against radical Islam: “We can’t possibly have an effective campaign against Radical Islamic ideology without the cooperation of the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.”

He also wants to use radio and TV to conduct psychological warfare.

“It’s long past time for us to denounce the many evils of Radical Islam,” he writes, while highlighting the many defeats of ISIS and al Qaeda to show potential recruits that “the Almighty has changed sides in the holy war.”

Fired by former President Barack Obama from the Defense Intelligence Agency for taking such stands, Flynn vows to reverse the longstanding government practice of whitewashing the violent nature of the enemy’s faith through pleasant platitudes like, “The terrorists are hijacking a religion of peace” and other apologia. He calls such policies “Islamophilia,” and complains they border on appeasement.

“I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed,” he writes.

In his book, Flynn says the Islamist enemy studies our culture “very carefully” and excels at “identifying our weaknesses,” while we, on the other hand, have done very little to exploit weak points in their ideology. We suffer pangs of guilt just “calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”

That “failed civilization,” he notes, is Islam, and he says the government must publicly point out its failures, from depressed economies to high illiteracy rates to oppression of women, while supporting “a complete reformation of the Islamic religion” throughout the Muslim world.

He suggests working closely with the president of Egypt, who has called for a renewal of Islam. He also praises reforms pushed by Singapore to convince Muslims that there’s no requirement to follow Sharia in a secular state and that Allah hasn’t blessed jihad against the West. He also cites the half dozen countries that have banned Islamic headscarves around the world.

“We’ve got to get inside the minds of the jihadis” and understand the doctrinal justification for “the cult of killing, the worship of death” and why they, literally, “eagerly drink the blood of their dying enemies,” Flynn writes. What in their scripture brainwashes them into thinking, “We love death more than you love life?” Once that doctrine is exposed, it can be undermined to the point where it loses its potency.

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

“People need to recognize the strategic power of words and pictures,” Flynn writes. “Ideas, and the words that express them, are very much a part of war, but we have deliberately deprived ourselves of using them.”

He proposes using a modern psy-ops unit to wage psychological warfare against radical Islam — not just abroad but at home, in the American Muslim community.

“The war against Radical Islamists must begin at home,” he writes. “Muslims want to apply Sharia law by using our own legal system to strengthen what many believe to be a violent religious law that has no place in the United States,” he writes, adding the government must stop implying Islamic and Western civilizations “are morally equivalent.”

“Let us accept what we were founded upon: a Judeo-Christian ideology built on a moral set of rules and laws,” he writes. “Let us not fear, but instead fight those who want to impose Sharia law and their Radical Islamist views.”

The West overcame the fascist ideology of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese with ruthlessly effective counter-propaganda. Likewise, defeating the jihadists will require discrediting the Islamofascist ideology that catalyzes them.

“There has to be an entirely new strategy,” Flynn insists, “because nothing we are doing seems to be a winning strategy” after 15 years of war.

“We can’t win this war by treating Radical Islamic terrorists as a handful of crazies and dealing with them as a policing issue,” he writes. “The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

Sperry is editor of CounterJihad.com and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

UTT Throwback Thursday: Bush Redo?

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, February 2, 2017:

On September 11, 2001, and in the weeks following that tragic day, President George W. Bush demonstrated compassion, empathy and love for his fellow Americans, while also showing the world strength and resolve.

On September 20, 2001, President Bush addressed the nation and told us “The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.”

Actually ISIS and Al Qaeda have never misquoted sharia (Islamic law) in furtherance of their actions, and there is only one “version” of Islam – the one that commands jihad until the world is under Islamic rule.

As the weeks after 9/11 rolled on, the Bush administration, like the Clinton administration before it, relied more and more on Muslim advisors inside the U.S. government to tell it about the “terrorist” threat and how to deal with it.  Karl Rove and Grover Norquist brought jihadis (“terrorists”) like Abdurahman Alamoudi (Al Qaeda), Sami al Arian (Hamas/MB), Suhail Khan (Muslim Brotherhood) and others into the Bush camp.  They believed working with “moderate Muslims” was the path to success.

Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi (far left), George Bush (center), Karl Rove (far right)

Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi (far left), George Bush (center), Karl Rove (far right)

As a matter of fact on 9/11/2001, suit-wearing jihadis from prominent U.S. Islamic organizations were scheduled to meet with President Bush at the White House to get him to fulfill his promise to shut down legal proceedings using classified evidence unavailable to defendants (read: “terrorists”) – a proposal driven by Hamas/Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al Arian.

George and Laura Bush with terrorist leader (PIJ) Sami al Arian (center with glasses)

George and Laura Bush with terrorist leader (PIJ) Sami al Arian (center with glasses)

Following this course led to the U.S. losing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq despite the fact our military crushed our enemies on those battlefields, and to disastrous domestic counter-terrorism strategies.  This course failed because we relied on sharia adherent jihadis wearing suits to tell U.S. National Security professionals and elected officials how to fight the war.

This course continued and accelerated under the Obama administration and today there is no training program inside the U.S. government teaching federal agents in the FBI, DHS, the military or anywhere else about the enemy’s threat doctrine – sharia – nor about the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadi network here and how it operates inside our system.  We are strategically blind to this threat.

While President Trump is taking great strides to turn around years of poor foreign and domestic policy related to the jihadi threats to the United States, the greatest hurdles to be overcome include:

(1) Establishment Republicans who still view Islam as a “religion of peace” and defend Islamic leaders in the U.S. despite the evidence on the table most of them are jihadis, and (2) an absence of deep knowledge of the enemy’s doctrine (sharia) and how they operationalize it inside the new administration.

Last week’s UTT article discussed item #2.  Item #1 is the focus of today’s discussion.

This week President Bush’s daughter Jenna proudly republished her father’s 9/17/2001 speech from inside the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. in which he proclaimed “Islam is peace.”  Really?

President Bush at the IC of Washington. Jihadi Khalid Saffuri (l), Hamas leader Nihad Awad (r)

President Bush at the IC of Washington. Jihadi Khalid Saffuri (l), Hamas leader Nihad Awad (r)

Karen Hughes, one of President Bush’s closest advisors who is the former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, sits on the board of the jihadi-defender organization Institute for Global Engagement (IGE).

Karl Rove, the architect for much of President Bush’s plans after 9/11, has never admitted any of his policy recommendations were failures with regards to the Islamic threat nor did he change his positions despite the fact we lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Yet today, Rove retains significant status in the Republican party.

Arguably two of the most venerated U.S. Senators – John McCain and Lindsey Graham – have already demonstrated on numerous occasions they are free of any clue about the Islamic threat America faces, cannot determine friend from foe, and publicly chastised President Trump for freezing immigration from nations hostile to the United States.

This is all pertinent because some of the key positions inside the new administration are being filled by former Bush administration personnel, including the new Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Tom Bossert.

U.S. strategies aimed at “Global War on Terrorism” failed under the Bush administration when the U.S. government wrote constitutions in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005 creating Islamic Republics under sharia, thus achieving Al Qaeda’s regional objectives for them.

This is the price of having no deep understanding of the enemy, their strategies, nor their modus operandi.

As President Trump continues to push his agenda forward to secure the United States, the primary point of friction will come – at a critical time – from establishment Republicans.  The same people who helped propel our enemies into the halls of power under the Bush administration and who were mostly silent under the Obama administration – save a few heroes like Bachmann, Gohmert, and others – will continue along the road of blissful ignorance or direct hostility towards any aggressive actions to actually defeat the Islamic Movement.

Why is this important to average Americans?  Because it’s your safety.  It’s your future.

As UTT continues to state, this war will be won or lost at the local level.  Even if President Trump does everything he promised and acts flawlessly as our Commander in Chief, local and state police must carry the burden to identify and uproot the enemy from their communities.

Currently, they are not prepared to do it because they have not been trained to do it.  By and large, they cannot identify the threat and, therefore, cannot deal effectively with it.

This is UTT’s mission, and we are working with state and local officials to prepare them for the coming battle.  It is what we do.

This mission will have a much greater chance of success if those at the federal level also had a deep knowledge of this threat.

UTT Throwback Thursday: Will the Present Remain the Past?

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandoo, January 25, 2017:

Stephen Coughlin arguably understands the enemy threat doctrine and how our enemy is strategically operating at a global level better than anyone else in America.

scc

In 2008, Coughlin – an attorney with an expertise in international law and a Major in the U.S. Army (reserves) specializing in intelligence and strategic communications – was called to the Pentagon after 9/11 and worked as a contractor for the Directorate for Intelligence at the Pentagon under the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace (USMC) as the Islamic Law expert for the Department of Defense.

A muslim named Hesham Islam, a senior advisor to then Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, worked behind the scenes to ensure Mr. Coughlin’s contract was not renewed because his message “offended” muslims (read: Jihadis in suits) like Hesham Islam on the inside.

Deputy SecDef Gordon England (center) with his advisor Hesham Islam (right)

Deputy SecDef Gordon England (center) with his advisor Hesham Islam (right)

It should be noted that no one in Stephen Coughlin’s chain of command denied the veracity of his message.

And what was Coughlin’s message?  That in order to create strategies for victory against our Islamic enemy we must begin all analysis with who the enemy is and why the enemy says he fights us.  In doing so, we would actually focus on sharia (Islamic Law) as the basis for why the enemy acts, and realize Al Qaeda and ISIS are correctly quoting Islamic Law in furtherance of their actions.

The bulk of Mr. Coughlin’s work is captured in his book Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.

It could be argued the work of Stephen Coughlin was the spark that ignited the counter-jihad movement in the United States.

So where is Stephen Coughlin today?  Is he inside the national security team in the White House?  Has he been brought in to develop the counter-strategy to the Global Islamic Movement at the National Security Council?

No.

So who is the subject matter expert on Islamic doctrine, sharia, and the Global Islamic Movement which the President says he wants to “eradicate?”

That is a good question.

While the President’s actions over the last four days will have a significant impact on the Islamic threat to the United States, the domestic strategy to uproot and destroy the Muslim Brotherhood’s network here at home requires a deep understanding of their leadership, modus operandi, and anticipated response to any actions taken against them.  It is not enough to have a nationwide arrest plan for the top ten Muslim Brotherhood organizations and their leaders and call it a day.

Any and all actions taken at the federal, state, and/or local level must be preceded by and coordinated with a significant messaging campaign so Americans will have a deeper understanding of the threat and why actions are being taken.  State and local law enforcement in this nation are not prepared to confront the massive jihadi network which is preparing for battle and need to be trained quickly on the threat and how to deal with it at the local level.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been in the United States for over 50 years and has insinuated itself into many areas of our society, including our FBI, CIA, political establishment, local/state police, and across the social spectrum.

Their’s is primarily an influence operation.  It is political warfare and espionage.  It is counterintelligence.

When senior U.S. government officials in the new administration say they have confidence in people being chosen to fill staff and intelligence positions inside DHS, the national security staffs, and elsewhere because the candidates are “undergoing FBI background checks,” this is a tacit admission there is still a significant lack of understanding of this enemy and how they operate inside our system.

It also indicates the lack of comprehension of how broken the FBI is at this point.

It is clear President Trump has good instincts when it comes to evaluating the Islamic threat.  However, a strategy for victory will require a much greater understanding of the threat than that.  Men like Stephen Coughlin need to be a part of creating that strategy.

Security Is Job No. 1

NYPD counterterrorism personnel patrol Times Square, December 29, 2016. (Reuters photo: Andrew Kelly)

NYPD counterterrorism personnel patrol Times Square, December 29, 2016. (Reuters photo: Andrew Kelly)

President Trump, when it comes to radical Islam, don’t ‘build that wall!

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 21, 2017:

Say this much for Washington: The Swamp knows how to do pageantry. Beginning on Thursday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery, the solemn and joyful rituals of a presidential inauguration overwhelmed the clown show — on Capitol Hill, where brickbats aimed at Trump’s cabinet nominees left marks mainly on the Democrats who hurled them, and on the streets, where the radical Left’s tantrums couldn’t even sour the mood, much less spark the revolution.

As Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States, American pride in peaceful transfers of power, so historically remarkable, seemed to melt away the rancor. Self-absorbed House Democrats who skipped the proceedings — confounding a celebration of America with an endorsement of a president they reject ex ante — rendered themselves invisible beyond their intentions.

None of us should be naïve. For Americans, the inauguration of a new president is a “we hit life’s lottery” moment. We could, after all, have been born in Bentiu or Helmand or Aleppo. But it is just a moment. We can hope we draw strength from it, and patriotic resolve to remember what unites us. Then we go back to the bitter divisions of our day-to-day.

In the two and a half months since President Trump’s stunning victory on November 8, speculation over how he would manage those divisions — or pour more gasoline on them — has dominated the public debate. That is to be expected. It has been an anxious interregnum: one presidency winding down, unconstrained by political concerns and unabashed about its inner radicalism; a new presidency in waiting, making a splash here and there but powerless to direct policy.

Much of the speculation is idle. Yes, there are matters of enormous consequence before us, the collapse of Obamacare perhaps the most immediate. But presidencies are never judged by what is on the president’s desk when he first enters the Oval Office. Donald Trump’s presidency will be judged by things that haven’t happened yet, by how he reacts to events, especially the unexpected — the Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the 9/11.

Neither success nor failure is guaranteed. In the here and now, what matters is whether the new president is setting himself up for success — and, more important, setting the country on a path to security whatever may come.

So, let’s talk security.

In his ambitious inaugural address, President Trump vowed that the United States would “eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth.” That is ambitious, to say the least. What we call “radical Islam” is not so radical on much of the earth. What makes it “radical” here in the West is the subject of dispute. According to Washington, it is the practice of violent jihadism. For those with eyes willing to see, though, it is the ideology that animates the jihad: the belief in a divine mission to implement sharia — Allah’s law and blueprint for how life is to be lived, as classically understood for more than a millennium.

A bedrock of that ancient law is “oneness.” From a theological standpoint, the oneness and indivisibility of God. From a philosophical standpoint, the oneness of and indivisibility of life — the rejection of the Western principle of separate political and spiritual spheres. And from a strategic standpoint, the oneness and indivisibility of the mission: jihadists, jurisprudents, imams, and activists all working toward the single aim of governance by sharia norms.

The mission does not accept such Westphalian impediments as national boundaries. It seeks a global caliphate. It grasps that tactics must vary from place to place — in Islamic societies, an iron fist works best; in the West, stealth attacks and exploitation of civil liberties to advance sharia’s anti-liberty agenda, each reinforcing the other. But the objective never changes.

It is crucial to understand this because a unitary enemy is not effectively fought, let alone eradicated, by a compartmentalized response. Yet that’s what we’ve tried: A counterterrorism that walls the jihad off from its sharia-supremacist inspiration. A counterterrorism that for too long walled intelligence agents off from criminal investigators, ensuring that neither side saw the full scope of the threat. A counterterrorism that must be dragged kicking and screaming to the term “radical Islam,” and to this day cannot agree on what it means or to whom it applies.

Rest assured, the enemy labors under no such self-imposed confusions.

President Trump takes the helm with the high confidence of a man unafraid to speak hard truths, unbound by tried-and-failed approaches. That is reason for hope. Yet there is also reason for worry.

If media reports are to be believed, there is already some dissension in the national-security ranks. Competing power centers in our multi-layered counterterrorism agencies are a fact of life in every administration. But indications are that the Trump administration is resolving them by contriving divisions of authority that may make org-chart sense but could undermine security. Instead of one national-security adviser responsible for a comprehensive assessment of the threat, responsibility is to be divided between one adviser for foreign counterterrorism and one for protecting the homeland.

Here’s hoping the new administration rethinks that arrangement. It is a poor fit for what we are up against. The enemy uses its foreign jihadist operations to inspire domestic attacks. It exploits the atmosphere of intimidation generated by both to demand concessions in foreign negotiations, international tribunals, and the councils of our government. It is a unitary, global threat. It has to be seen as such and confronted as such.

Today is a day of hope. In due course will come the events by which our new president is judged. Our sharia-supremacist enemies will test him, and he will need to respond, fully aware of who they are and what they are trying to achieve. He campaigned promising to “Build That Wall.” No doubt, some walls are required for America’s protection. When it comes to radical Islam, though, President Trump will find that walls are often the problem, not the solution.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Terror experts hail Trump promise to wipe out ‘radical’ Islam

trump_inaugural_speech2Bachmann: ‘After 8 long, painful years Islamists finally on defense’

WND, by Leo Hohmann, January 20, 2017:

President Donald Trump let the world know up front that he will not shy away from naming the enemy of the United States and the free world.

He didn’t name Russia, China, or any other country.

He named a radical ideology that draws upon religious texts to wage war against Western values.

“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth,” he declared in his inaugural speech.

He said people are tired of empty words by whiny politicians. “Now is the hour for action.”

As the Times of Israel astutely pointed out, Trump’s promise to form new alliances hinted at the cultivation of common interests with another Christian nation and super power, Russia, in eliminating the global Islamic threat.

“Trump’s predecessors George W. Bush – who invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban regime – and Barack Obama – who ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden – also fought extremism. But Trump has gone further than both in his use of language, suggesting that he sees the fight as a civilizational battle between America and a threat springing from the Islamic faith itself.

“And, in an inaugural address otherwise thin on policy specifics, his vow to form new alliances against terror suggests that he intends to work with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

WND contacted a roster of experts on the Islamic threat to get their reaction to Trump’s first words about foreign policy since becoming president.

Michele Bachmann, former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, said Trump sent the right message on day one of his presidency:

“Today, President Trump made the important first move in defeating radical Islam by naming it as a malignant force requiring defeat.

“I cannot underscore enough the importance of President Trump’s Inaugural statement which named radical Islam. His statement was not lost on the Arab world and now the Islamic supremacists, after eight long, painful years are finally on defense.

“By contrast, President Obama’s infamous Cairo speech delivered in June of 2009 lit the match that inspired Islamists to jihad across the globe.

“In Obama’s failed leadership Islamic supremacists did not see the U.S. as a barrier to achieving their goals. That was all they needed to advance jihad.

“The purpose of Obama’s failed Countering Violent Extremism program was to protect Islam from blame as a motivator for Islamic violence.

How long it will take to defeat radical Islam, no one knows, Bachmann said.

“But today, Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, took the first step toward victory.”

Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog for the David Horowitz Freedom Center and of several bestselling books on Islam, said Trump may have been speaking in hyperbole when he talked about wiping Islamic terrorists off the face of the earth.

“Strictly speaking, it isn’t possible within four years, or eight, or as long as there are people who believe the Quran is the perfect and eternal word of Allah,” Spencer said. “However, Trump’s declaration, while hyperbolic, was a welcome indication of Trump’s apparent determination to speak honestly about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and to combat it and roll it back.”

Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy in D.C., said Trump’s heart is in the right place but he will find out soon enough that his task is more complex than just “radical” Islam.

“I think about this challenge a bit differently: We are not fighting ‘radical Islam,’ nor are we fighting ‘extremism,’ or ‘terrorism.’ We fight the forces of the global jihad movement to live free from the forcible or stealthy imposition of Islamic law. We Americans fight to defend our right to live as free citizens under the man-made laws of our Constitution.

“That fight will not be won in four years, but it is heartening to hear our new president speak so forthrightly about the enemy we face, which unfortunately is not ‘radical’ at all, but rather all too normative for those who are faithful followers of Muhammad, the Qur’an, and Shariah.

“I think we begin as President Trump has demonstrated: by confronting the enemy and that enemy’s threat doctrine with honesty, courage and conviction in who we are as Americans.”

Phil Haney, a recently retired Homeland Security officer and co-author of the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing,” said he was “pretty encouraged” by Trump’s comments.

“Overall I don’t think we’ve had such a constitutional/biblical worldview event in quite a long time. It was refreshing,” he said.

“As far as the semantics of how he put it, I think we need to address the threat that is right in front of us, first, before we go wiping it off the face of the earth,” Haney added. “As he so forcefully indicated, it’s America first. He’s exactly right. Let’s recognize the threat that’s right in front of us, address that first.”

More than a physical wall is needed

Haney said Trump needs to think of his overall immigration policy as a series of “walls” that will protect America in these perilous times. And not just a physical wall at the border.

“I’m talking about shoring up our immigration policy, that’s the strongest wall, shoring up the defenses that are already in our constitutional system, using proper vetting and when people apply for visas we go back to requiring them to really prove who they are, and using a whole common-sense approach to immigration that was really abandoned by the last administration.”

Even refugees stayed at Ellis Island for weeks at a time in previous eras of U.S. history, Haney said. They stayed there and were screened, and that was before the day of Islamic terrorism. So how much more so should they be screened today, with real, authentic documents on who they are and where they’ve been, not just a personal testimony.

Finally, says Haney, Trump must re-instate a common-sense approach to counter terrorism.

“This means providing training for our law enforcement that is based on our ability to determine the radical Islamic threat and study the doctrines that are evident in the Islamic texts, and use the Constitution as the strongest wall of all, because Shariah openly and plainly says it is superior to all other forms of law,” he said.

“Article 6 of our Constitution is our strongest wall,” he added. “There are different kinds of walls. There are not just walls of stone or iron there are walls of protection provided by the constitution, and the protection provided by immigration law and also the protection provided by our counter-terrorism policies.”

‘Pass Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act’

Finally, Haney says President Trump should jump-start the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act that is sitting in the U.S. Congress.

“That sends a message both domestically, and around the world,” he said.

“Tactically, in any kind of military conflict you always have to do that. If you have forces 100 yards from your camp you have to address that before you talk about a large tactical operation miles away. You’ve got to make sure your own camp is secure first. That may be the first realization that President Trump needs to come to, that it’s not just ‘over there.’ It’s a difficult tactical approach, it’s cryptic, it’s a chameleon, but it’s there, right in our own back yard.”

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Donald Trump’s inauguration speech:

TRANSCRIPT