John Kelly Proves He Has the Vision, Skills to Improve Department of Homeland Security

As commander of U.S. Southern Command, Marine Gen. John F. Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, "In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation's doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland." (Associated Press)

As commander of U.S. Southern Command, Marine Gen. John F. Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, “In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland.” (Associated Press)

Opportunity Lives, by Tom Rogin, January 12, 2017:

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday held hearings on whether to confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for the next secretary of Homeland Security.

Former Marine Corps General John Kelly did a fine job.

He impressed the assembled senators with direct answers. And where he didn’t know a particular regulation or law in sufficient detail, Kelly had the humility to admit it. Yet Kelly also promised to reform the Department of Homeland Security.

All Americans should thank him for it. Defined by a top-heavy bureaucracy, inefficiency and overlapping responsibilities, DHS needs reform.

While much of his testimony was focused on counterterrorism, Kelly offered specific proposals for reform in other areas.

To improve the department’s organizational efficiency, Kelly pledged to reduce its top-heavy structure. He noted the high number of undersecretaries at DHS, low-morale with junior personnel, and a sense that too many programs are working too poorly. To address these challenges, Kelly said he would appoint deputy-secretaries (his direct subordinates) who have proven leadership records.

As important, he said his deputies would be expected to listen to subordinates and ask for their honest advice. That might seem simple, but it’s a big deal. Today in too many government agencies, respectfully disagreeing with a leader harms a career. But to get the best ideas into action, we need agencies that work to pool their best potential together. We need leaders who can take alternate points of view.

Kelly also argued that DHS is weak on cyber-security and needs dramatic improvement. His solution would be to work with tech firms in Silicon Valley and beyond to leverage their talent and ideas for public benefit. Beyond platitudes, such outreach has been sorely lacking in recent years. Part of the problem is the government’s security clearance requirements have thrown up bureaucratic obstacles to private-sector cooperation. But if Kelly makes a serious push here (perhaps by declassifying some material and offering interim security clearances), we might see some progress. It would help. Leading innovation often comes from the private sector.

Kelly also addressed the nation’s epidemic of opioid-drug abuse, calling for an integrated effort across government to reduce demand. Specifically, Kelly complained that the U.S. government has never had a coordinated strategy to educate, deter and treat drug use. He pointed to the successful efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. What was also appealing here was Kelly’s tone. Rather than escalate a war on drugs, he implied that the key to reducing drug-related crime and suffering is to win individuals from the reach of drug addiction.

Another Kelly priority is strengthened DHS alliances abroad — most crucially, with Central and South American nations. The DHS Secretary-in-waiting knows that this agenda isn’t important solely for reasons of deterring drug smuggling. While commanding U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in 2015, Kelly explained how terrorist organizations and Latin American drug organizations are increasingly collaborating. In order to reduce illegal immigration and criminality, the United States should help Latin American nations improve their law enforcement capabilities. Greater security would also help reduce poverty in these nations.

Ultimately, Kelly has a big challenge ahead of him. Still, his military career gives cause for optimism. Serving the nation, he said, requires speaking truth to power. And we should take him at his word. One of his sons, Lieutenant Robert Kelly (USMC), was killed in action in Southern Afghanistan in 2010. This is not a leader predisposed to playing the Washington game. Kelly’s career proves as much. During his hearing, he noted that while commanding SOUTHCOM, he faced Latin American militaries that wanted to buy expensive jets to gather intelligence on drug gangs and terrorists. Kelly, however, convinced them that outcomes are more important than snazzy tools, and persuaded them to invest in cheaper unmanned arrival vehicles.

It was about doing more with each dollar and individual.

As Kelly carries that ethos to DHS, let us hope that his boss and Congress support him.

Tom Rogan is a senior contributor for Opportunity Lives, a former panelist on The McLaughlin Group and a senior fellow at the Steamboat Institute. Follow him on Twitter @TomRtweets.

20 incredibly popular conservative ideas to tackle national security and immigration in 2017

Burhanuddin | Shutterstock

Burhanuddin | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, January 3, 2017:

It’s 2017, and it’s show time. This is what we’ve been anticipating for years. We have a mandate and now it’s time to use it.

No, we are not going to save every aspect of our national security, economy, and traditional values in just four years. However, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enact some solid reforms as it relates to immigration, national security, and counterterrorism policies.

After fully repealing Obamacare, Republicans should shift to true immigration reform and homeland security ideas while the party works out its differences on domestic policy and economic issues.

The following 20 ideas are not merely a comprehensive list of the best legislation pertaining to immigration and national security. They are also easy to message to constituents, broadly popular, and very achievable during the next four years.

Immigration

1. Build the wall/no welfare for illegal immigrants

And until Mexico pays for it, fund the $2-6 billion cost of the double-layer security fence by requiring a valid Social Security number to be eligible for the Child Tax Credit (H.R. 2478, sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson). This will prevent illegal aliens from accessing American tax dollars and would be in line with Trump’s basic promise to put Americans first.

2. Visa tracking

Finally implement the biometric entry-exit system at all sea, land, and air ports. Also, with more illegal immigrants coming from visa overstays, it’s important to make such an act a felony instead of a misdemeanor (H.R. 5102, sponsored by Rep. John Culberson).

3. No driver’s licenses for illegals

Have Congress explicitly authorize states to block driver’s licenses for illegals. Unfortunately, the courts have made this step necessary.

4. Interior enforcement

Pass the Davis-Oliver Interior Enforcement Act, which punishes sanctuary cities, deputizes states to enforce immigration laws, and bolsters expedited deportations.

5. End sanctuaries for illegals

A number of public universities and taxpayer-funded organizations are pledging to thwart any enforcement agenda by offering safe harbor to illegal immigrants. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md. (B, 80%) has a bill (H.R. 6468), which would cut off funding to any institution or university that disobeyed federal immigration law.

6. Abolish chain migration

It makes no sense that our immigration system is built upon family ties instead of skills. H.R. 604, drafted by Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga. (B, 81%) would abolish the extended-family preference category for legal immigration. This is a clean way of cutting roughly 200,000 visas per year that are chosen solely based on extended family ties. Even Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (C, 74%) have expressed concern about chain migration.

7. End diversity visa lottery

Fifty thousand visas are allocated based on nothing more than a lottery. Most of those visas go to Third World countries, many from volatile Islamic parts of the world. When combined with chain migration, the diversity visa lottery seeds America with many more immigrants who are likely to become a public charge and unlikely to assimilate, while creating an automatic chain for multiplying their numbers in the future. The nation’s best interests are left out of the equation. (H.R. 2278, sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey)

8. End unconditional birthright citizenship for illegals

End birthright citizenship and birth tourism by clarifying the authentic meaning of the 14th Amendment. Harry Reid declared in 1993 that “no sane country” would offer such an enticement and reward for illegal immigration.

9. Zero tolerance for re-entrants

Bar all those who re-enter the U.S. illegally from ever obtaining legal entry for the rest of their lives or require mandatory minimum prison time. With everyone wrongly focused on what to do with those already here illegally, can’t we all agree we should deter future waves of illegal immigration?

10. Fix asylum and parole loophole

Although Trump is not expected to abuse the parole and asylum statutes the way Obama did, it would be worthwhile for Congress to fix the problem permanently and also prevent the courts from misinterpreting statutes.

Congress should explicitly bar the president from categorically bestowing those fleeing poverty from Central America with refugee, asylum, or parole status. (H.R. 1149, H.R. 1153).

11. End the Castro immigration scam

Raul Castro is using our outdated preferential treatment of Cuban asylum seekers against us. Thousands of Cubans are now flooding our shores and becoming eligible for welfare immediately and for citizenship within seven years.

Members of Florida’s Cuban community have been complaining about those coming here just to receive welfare and return to Cuba. Congress should pass H.R. 3818 (introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar), which eliminates the “Wet Foot/Dry Foot” policy and requires that all immigrants from Cuba be treated in the same manner as any other person seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

12. Punish countries that refuse to repatriate their illegal immigrants

Current law, which has been ignored by Obama, requires the State Department to cut off visas to countries that refused to repatriate their illegal aliens. In addition to following existing law, Congress should pass H.R. 5224 (introduced by Rep. Brian Babin), which requires the State Department to suspend any foreign aid to those recalcitrant countries.

Refugees

13. Moratorium on refugees from Middle East

Trump promised to suspend refugees from the Middle East until “we know what the hell is going on.” As we’ve noted before, the president has unilateral authority to suspend immigration from any particular area of the world.

Nonetheless, Rep. Babin has a bill that would ensure any limits on the refugee program are enshrined into statute. H.R. 5816 would place a four-year moratorium on the refugee program for anyone coming from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen. It would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the national security and fiscal problems plaguing the program.

14. Allow states to veto refugee resettlement

A complete moratorium on refugees would be supported by a majority of the public. But allowing states to veto resettlement in their respective jurisdictions would be even more popular and would reform the program in the long run for when Democrats have control of the White House again.

Rep. Scott Perry has a bill (H.R. 6110) that would require the support of the state legislature and governor in a given state for the federal government to enact a resettlement plan.

Terrorism

15. Defund the U.N.

There has never been more momentum behind an effort to finally pursue “Amexit” from the U.N. and defund this anti-American and anti-Semitic institution that has proven to be an utter failure. Between the operating budget of the U.N. and all of its useless peacekeeping missions, U.S. taxpayers easily spend $4 billion a year on this international disaster. What a better way to begin this presidency, in light of the U.N.’s assault on Israel, than to declare independence from this unpopular institution?

16. Eliminate funding for PLO

Why have we funded this terror organization for 23 years? It’s time to end our $500 million annual contribution to the PLO. Congress should pass The Palestinian Accountability Act (H.R. 1337), which would suspend our $500 million in annual aid to the PLO until they change their culture of terrorism. The PLO Accountability Act (H.R. 4522 and S. 2537) would close all PLO offices in our country until they stop inciting and funding terror.

17. Expel the Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood poses a more foundational threat to the homeland than al Qaeda or ISIS. Not only are they allowed to operate freely on our shores, but they also wield influence at the highest levels of our government.

Congress should finally designate it as a terror group (H.R. 3892/S. 2230), which would force the State Department to treat it the same way we treat Hamas, its Palestinian affiliate. Let the Democrats stand before the American people and defend the Muslim Brotherhood.

18. Strip terrorists of citizenship/passports

The Expatriate Terrorist Act of 2015, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa (B, 81%), would revoke the citizenship of those who fight for foreign terrorist organizations, such as ISIS. It applies current law regarding those who fight for foreign armies to those who fight for terror entities. Let Democrats be the party that ignores the homegrown terror threat.

19. Deport immigrants on the no-fly list

Democrats want to strip Americans of inalienable gun rights on account of being listed on the unreliable terrorist “no-fly list.” They call it, “No fly, no buy.” Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. (A, 96%) has the perfect answer. Why then, are immigrants who are on the list allowed to remain in the country? Forget about purchasing a gun; if someone on the list is truly a terrorist and a foreign national, why should he remain in the country? As part of Duncan’s, “No fly, goodbye” initiative, H.R. 6175 would require that anyone on the no-fly list who has not yet obtained citizenship be deported immediately.

20. Prevent terror-supporting countries from funding mosques/schools

Much of the homegrown Islamism stems from foreign influence and funding of mosques and schools, in addition to domestic Muslim Brotherhood groups. Countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are funding radical mosques, schools, and universities and are injecting their hatful poison into our culture.

While all Americans have a First Amendment right even to hateful speech so long as it is not reach certain thresholds of violence or treason, foreigners have no affirmative right to fund projects on American shores.

Rep. David Brat, R-Va. (A, 100%) has a bill (H.R. 5824) that would prohibit a foreign national of a country that limits the free exercise of religion in that country from making any expenditure in the U.S. promoting a religion.

Go big or go home

Not all of the these are massive reforms but solid “base hits” that are more than simply “good messaging bills.” Every one of these ideas will strengthen either our sovereignty or security as a nation and will place Democrats on defense. Given the state of geo-political affairs, most of these ideas will always tie seamlessly into the news cycle. They also speak to Trump’s strengthens and represent areas in which conservatives can work with him to pressure leadership to do the right thing.

At its core, the issue of sovereignty — together with national security — got Trump elected. While he has been somewhat unpredictable on many areas of domestic policy, he ran on an unapologetic “Americans first” platform as it relates to immigration, terrorism, and homeland security. While Hillary won a majority of voters who said the economy was their most important issue, Trump won 64 percent of those who listed immigration as their top issue and 57 percent of those most concerned about terrorism.

Hence, there is a clear mandate to change direction on sovereignty and security — even from past Republican presidents — much less from the Obama era.

As it relates to domestic fiscal policy, there are many knotty issues and inveterate dependency that ensure any conservative reform is presented with head winds. That is not the case with sovereignty and national security. These ideas and priorities transcend most ideological lines and should be achievable within the first two years of Trump’s presidency.

The time for excuses is over. If we plan to preserve our civilization, it is now or never. As Reagan once said, “If not us, then who? And if not now, when?” Or to borrow a line from Obama at the beginning of his presidency: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

It’s time to go big or go home.

House Homeland Security Chair Backs Brotherhood Ban

Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Turkey (Photo: © ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Turkey (Photo: © ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, January 3, 2017:

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and two other congressmen have endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act. A total of 90 members of Congress have cosponsored or voted for the bill’s advancement, including two Democrats.

The other two new cosponsors are Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Glenn Grothman (R-WI).

The act passed the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year but was stalled when Republican leadership in the House did not schedule a vote. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), did not even schedule hearings. It was originally introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Click here to ask your representatives to support the legislation.

The legislation states that Congress’ assessment is that the Muslim Brotherhood qualifies for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department. It gives the secretary of state 60 days to provide a detailed response as to whether the Brotherhood fits the criteria or not.

The legislation outlines the evidence linking the Brotherhood and Hamas to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reiterated his comment to passing the legislation on November 15 and linked to a blog post based on the Clarion Project’s article.

Renewed momentum for the legislation would likely result in the Trump Administration’s State Department designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Trump has chosen several supporters of designating the Brotherhood for his Cabinet, including Rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA director; Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general; General Michael Flynn as national security adviser and Steve Bannon as chief political strategist. Incoming Defense Secretary General James Mattis is also likely to be supportive.

Trump also chose Monica Crowley as the national security council’s director of strategic communications and Katharine Gorka as part of the “landing team” overseeing the transitions at the Department of Homeland Security. Both support designating the Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

We recently reported how a Muslim activist, Dr. Qanta Ahmed, wrote an op-ed asking President-elect Trump to designate the Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. Four organizations representing persecuted Christians are also pushing for the bill. A prominent Kurdish Muslim activist is also supporting the bill.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act must be careful not to squander an important opportunity.

While it is true that the new secretary of state may very well designate the Brotherhood, thus rendering the legislation irrelevant, that is not the best first step, as welcomed as it would be.

By having a vote on the legislation first, the American public gets a rare “red line” moment to find out where their representatives stand and compel them to become educated on the issue. All members of Congress sound tough when it comes to ISIS and Al-Qaeda, but only a minority speak with proficiency about the broader Islamist networks and ideology.

A quick move by the secretary of state would end this period of education for elected officials and for the American public. It would embolden wobbly politicians to say they privately disagreed with the designation when the Islamists raise the temperature. The American people deserve to know their representatives stood at this moment in time when their hands were forced.

Below is a list of those who have cosponsored the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act (HR3892 and S2230) or voted in favor of its advancement. Please review the list and click here to ask your representatives to take a stand if they are not on the list.

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Original introducer of legislation

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Foreign Relations Committee member

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Jerry Moran (R-KS)

James Inhofe (R-OK)

David Perdue (R-GA)

Foreign Relations Committee member

Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

 

Mike Bishop (R-MI) Diane Black (R-TN)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Ken Buck (R-CO) Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Steve Chabot (R-OH) Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Curt Clawson (R-FL) Doug Collins (R-GA)
Charlie W. Dent (R-PA) Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Scott DesJerlais (R-TN) Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Blake Farenthold (R-TX) J. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Trent Franks (R-AZ) Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
Kay Granger (R-TX) Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Darrell Issa (R-CA) Bill Johnson (R-OH)
Jim Jordan (R-OH) David P. Joyce (R-OH)
Steve King (R-IA) Barry Loudermilk (R-GA)
Tom Marino (R-PA) John L. Mica (R-FL)
Steven Palazzo (R-MS) Colin C. Peterson (D-MN)
Ted Poe (R-TX) Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
Bill Posey (R-FL) John Ratcliffe (R-TX)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
David Rouzer (R-NC) Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Lamar Smith (R-TX) Steve Stivers (R-OH)
David A. Trott (R-MI) Mimi Walters (R-CA)
Randy Weber (R-TX) Mike Kelly (R-PA)
Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Candice S. Miller (R-MI)
James B. Renacci (R-OH) Daniel Webster (R-FL)
Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) Tim Huelskamp (R-KS
Charlie J. Fleischmann (R-TN) Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
Dave Brat (R-VA) Todd Rokita (R-IN)
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) Robert Pittenger (R-NC)
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) Richard Hudson (R-NC)
Gene Green (D-TX) Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) Doug Lamborn (R-C)
Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Austin Scott (R-GA)
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Dennis A. Ross (R-FL) Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Robert J. Dold (R-IL) Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
Tom Marino (R-PA) Tim Walberg (R-MI)
John Moolenaar (R-MI) Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Mo Brooks (R-AL) Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Lee Zeldin (R-NY) John Fleming (R-LA)
Lou Barletta (R-PA) Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Brad R. Wenstrup (R-OH)

Glenn Grothman (R-WI)

Also see:

The Trump Administration Should Treat Islamists Like The Mafia

9541686914_d48e1acc23_o-1024x680The analogue is so close that, reading public statements from the early 1970s and replacing ‘Italian’ with ‘Muslim,’ you’d be hard-pressed to spot the incongruence.

The Federalist, by David Reaboi and Kyle Shideler, January 2, 2017:

Thousands attend their rallies, claiming widespread discrimination. They wrap themselves in displays of “interfaith” cooperation. National, state, and local officials pay them heed. Words that “offend” them are removed from movies, newscasts, and even official government reports. All the while, the men who lead this organization have appeared extensively on FBI wiretaps and are known to federal law enforcement to be involved in a national criminal conspiracy.

You could be forgiven for thinking this describes the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its Muslim Brotherhood-linked leaders—a group the FBI, federal prosecutors and a federal judge have all affirmed supported the designated terrorist group, Hamas.

But no. The year is 1971, and the pressure group is the Italian American Civil Rights League (IACRL). Its founder, Joe Colombo, is known to federal law enforcement as the head of New York’s Colombo crime family, one of the infamous “Five Families” of the Cosa Nostra. Its most high-profile spokesman is his son, Anthony, who, for more than 30 years would deny the Mafia existed and rail against dark government conspiracies targeting Italian-Americans.

You Fight Crime, You Fight Italians?

It may seem like a punch line now but, in the 1970s, the effort by gangsters to don the mantle of activists and wrap themselves the flag of “civil rights” was taken semi-seriously. Many prominent Italian-American elites (prominenti in Italian) endorsed the call, throwing their influence behind the grievance-mongering. As scholar Joseph Sciorra of the Italian American Review describes,

A blurring occurred in which the mobbed-up League was conflated in the popular imagination with civic-minded spokespeople, thus diminishing the latter’s seemingly altruistic efforts (Kenna 2007, 193). But as historian Philip V. Cannistraro notes, “the prominenti’s constant preoccupation with the Mafia issue” (2005, 83), dating to the early 1930s when newspaper owner Generoso Pope launched an anti-defamation campaign against cinematic depictions of mafiosi, has historically been a self-serving agenda. ‘The dual focus of prominentismo has always been to promote the separate, self-aggrandizing interest of their own particular elite rather than the community as a whole, and to stress what Italian Americans are not’ (Cannistraro 2005, 84). It is no surprise, then, as Fred Gardaphé observes, that ‘more unified acts by Italian Americans have been launched against fictional portrayal of the mafia than ever were mounted against real mafiosi in the United States’ (2015, 365).

The obvious parallel is to the tens of thousands of Muslim-Americans CAIR enlists to bolster crowds condemning “Islamophobia” and any discussion of Islamic terrorism, but offer at best anemic support for pro forma denunciations of terrorism. As The Federalist’s Sean Davis has noted, the analogue between the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Italian American Civil Rights League is so close that, reading the latter’s public statements from the early 1970s and replacing “Italian” with “Muslim,” you’d be hard-pressed to spot the incongruence.

The way Sciorra described “the mobbed-up League” and its efforts could be an apt descriptor for CAIR, a group founded and run by ex-Islamic Association for Palestine staffers that has had more than one of its employees convicted of terror-related criminal activity. As Sciorra explained, while the crowd at the league’s rallies wore pins discussing their Italian pride, the leadership had more strategic concerns. They focused on attacking federal law enforcement and purposefully conflating all investigation of Mafia criminal activities with discrimination against the large Italian-American community.

The only way to end this perceived “discrimination,” the league insisted, was for the government and media to change its ways; not only must it stop using the word “Mafia,” it must deny that any such criminal conspiracy existed. And they did. The Department of Justice adhered to federal regulations, which prohibited use of the word. “There is nothing to be gained by using these terms,” U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell wrote, “except to give gratuitous offense” to “many good Americans of Italian-American descent.” The New York State Police had a similar rule. The word “Mafia” was deleted from the script of “The Godfather” at the behest of Colombo’s league.

Once, the Media Reported These Connections

Not everyone fell for it, including among the Italian-American community. New York state Sen. John Marchi warned that Italian-Americans had “been had” by their endorsement of Colombo’s Italian American Civil Rights League, only to be denounced as a “self-loathing Italian.” One wonders if Marchi didn’t feel then much the way Zhudi Jasser of American Islamic Forum for Democracy must feel now as he warns the American people about the machinations of Islamist groups, only to be denounced as an “Islamophobe” by known terror conspirators.

In the early 1970s, the media was a lot more skeptical of these obvious propaganda efforts, as well. At the end of a syndicated 1971 article about the League’s alliance with the Jewish Defense League, the Jewish Telegraph Agency slips in the following inconvenient information for context, complete with parentheses:

(Joseph Colombo, president of the League, faces a Federal hearing on April 21st on charges of conducting a gambling business. He has also just been convicted in the Manhattan State Court on a perjury charge and was recently arrested for allegedly receiving stolen goods from a robbery of the Long Island Jewelry Exchange in Mineola.)

The JTA obviously thought it was important to describe for its readers the provenance of the league’s complaint, as well as its unsavory record. Of course, one would wait in vain today for a mainstream media outlet to describe CAIR’s troublesome history with the same forthrightness.

In fact, despite U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruling that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR [and other Islamist groups] with Hamas,” none of the nearly 700 articles the New York Times has run about the group has mentioned it. Even more egregiously, the Times covered CAIR’s 2007 efforts to break free of its designation as an unindicted coconspirator in the largest terror finance trial in American history, yet neglected to cover the 2009 rejection of the Islamist group’s appeal.

What It Takes to Fight International Leagues of Terror

The parallels between the League’s censorship efforts in the ‘70s and CAIR’s efforts today aren’t lost on Rudy Giuliani, and for good reason. In 1983, when he was U.S. attorney, Giuliani launched his successful prosecutions against the New York crime families. One of his first acts was to violate the prior decade’s DOJ regulations and say the forbidden word “Mafia.” In a piece for the Wall Street Journal last year, Giuliani made an apt comparison between the battle for accurate vocabulary in both the fight with the mob and with Islamic terrorists.

I had a different view of using the term Mafia. It reflected the truth. The Mafia existed, and denying what people oppressed by those criminals knew to be true only gave the Mafia more power. This hesitancy to identify the enemy accurately and honestly—“Mafia” was how members described themselves and kept its identity Italian or Italian-American—created the impression that the government was incapable of combating them because it was unable even to describe the enemy correctly.

As Giuliani argued, the similarities go beyond mere forbidden words and get at the heart of what it takes to prevail against both the Cosa Nostra and Islamic jihadists. In a recent piece for the Claremont Review of Books, we argued for a new law enforcement approach to dealing with Islamist movements, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is the most consequential, that draws explicitly on efforts to defeat the Mafia:

Instead of approaching Brotherhood members and organizations as respected community leaders for outreach purposes either at home or abroad, the primary goal should be to acquire the intelligence needed to disrupt terror finance or prevent indoctrination. If necessary, officials can use the possibility of prosecution under the Muslim Brotherhood designation to secure cooperation, which would be similar to the way informants are treated when approaching other conspirators, such as crime organizations.

Since Giuliani crippled the New York mob in the 1980s, Colombo’s League and its campaign to ban the word “Mafia” seems more like a quaint throwback to the 1970s than a threat to the integrity of organized crime investigations. Perhaps the Trump administration will be able to accomplish the same for groups like CAIR, when the inappropriate deference, and White House meetings, become a thing of the past.

Of course, some of the league’s bitter holdouts will always remain. Anthony Colombo continues to write on his mob boss father, insisting the FBI had him killed to halt his civic accomplishments. Even more colorfully, Father Louis Gigante—brother to famed Genovese Mafia Boss Vincent “the Chin” Gigante and a well-known Bronx community organizer—holds up mobsters as exemplars for civic minded Americans, in just the way Islamist groups sing the praises of convicted terror financiers.

For most Americans of all ethnic groups, though, government efforts to act against the Mafia are considered appropriate rather than discriminatory. No serious person insists that admitting Mafiosi were largely Italian-Americans is the same as saying all Italian-Americans are mobsters. The same can and must be done for Islamic terrorism.

David Reaboi is a national security consultant and a Claremont fellow. Kyle Shideler is director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy.

Suspect Sought for Deadly Berlin Terror Attack, Anis Amri, Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’

anis-amri-berlin-attack-sized-770x415xc

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, December 21, 2016:

A manhunt is underway in Germany for 23-year old Tunisian Anis Amri, sought for his possible connection to this week’s horrific terror attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and injured dozens more.

Amri was already known to German police for involvement in an ISIS cell, and had been under police surveillance.

If Amri’s involvement is confirmed, this would make the Berlin attack the most recent case of what I have termed “Known Wolf” terrorism, and would mark the eighth such incident this year:

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Authorities on Wednesday were seeking a 23-year-old Tunisian man who had been on the radar of intelligence services since last year as a suspect in the deadly truck attack at Berlin’s Christmas market, a German security official said.

The man, identified as Anis A., had entered Germany in July 2015 and applied for asylum, the official said. He got temporary approval to stay in Germany even though his asylum application was rejected, the official said.

German authorities had classified him as a potentially violent follower of the fundamentalist Salafi strain of Islam, and suspected ties to Islamic State, the official said.

Another security official confirmed police were seeking the man. Investigators pinpointed him as their suspect after finding his residency permit in the cab of the truck used in the attack, they said. But the document was only found on Tuesday, during a more thorough search of the truck than the one that took place in the aftermath of the attack the previous night, according to one of the officials.

The Tunisian man had used a number of different identities while in Germany, also claiming on some occasions that he was Egyptian or Lebanese, officials said.

Media reports indicate that Amri was already considered dangerous, and had asked a police informant to illegally acquire weapons:

The Ministry of Internal Affairs for Northrhine Westphalia made a statement earlier today about what was previously known about Amri:

As regular PJ Media readers would note, I first identified and termed the ongoing trend of “Known Wolf” terrorism — individuals committing terrorist acts who were already known to law enforcement and national security authorities — back in October 2014.

This year alone, I’ve reported on the following “Known Wolf” incidents: Columbus, OhioOrlando, Florida; Normandy, France; Ontario, Canada; Strasbourg, France; Roanoke, Virginia; and New York/New Jersey.

Note that four of the above seven cases in 2016 occurred here in the United States.

Additionally, in September I documented a dozen cases of “Known Wolf” terrorism in the U.S. under the Obama administration:

Here are links to my previous reporting on the “Known Wolf” terror problem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Combating Political Islam

political-islam-captureClaremont Institute, by David Reaboi and Kyle Shideler, December 9, 2016:

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump voiced beliefs about national security that many Americans have shared since, at least, the early days of the Obama administration. The inability to speak honestly and coherently about the enemy and its ideology, Trump argued, has repeatedly led to failure: terror attacks at home that were not stopped; wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria that were not won.

Millions of Americans agree with Trump’s assessment, believing the Obama White House had, for reasons of political correctness, mischaracterized the terrorist threat, treating Islam as a secondary feature instead of the defining one. Any such assessment, however, necessarily implies this corollary: an accurate representation of the enemy based on its ideology would indicate a far larger threat to U.S. interests, encompassing more of the Islamic world than previously admitted by either of the past two presidential administrations.

On national security, Trump has a mandate from the American people to expand the focus of the Obama years—which fixates on the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, all of whom seek to forcibly impose an Islamic state—to a more comprehensive understanding of the enemy and the threat it poses. “We can beat them,” Trump’s nominee for National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), told Fox News in September, “but we have to decide that this is an enemy first.” This more expansive understanding, then, centers on an ideology that promotes implementing an Islamic political order as the sole legitimate method of religious and political expression.

As articulated by prominent Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary preoccupation of Islamist movements is “Islamic Awakening,” a revivalist strategy activating Muslims throughout the world to impose totalitarian Islamic law—first within a given territory, a Caliphate, then across the world. The imposition of Islamic law means restricting free speech and persecuting minority and non-Muslim communities. These goals being antithetical to liberal democracy, the success of Islamist political movements are inherently destructive of America’s vital interests.

Ideological Threat Focus: Islamism, Not Just ISIS

Among those who have supported a wider national security threat focus, opinions differ as to whether practitioners of this ideology—call it political Islam or Islamism—represent an aberration of Islam generally; a strain among many strains of Islamic thought; or whether it is, as Islamists themselves claim, the only faithful representation of Islam’s historical and legal practices. But few dispute the entity most responsible for advancing the notion of political Islam is the global, secretive organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, the new administration’s counterterrorism efforts are likely to focus on it. Trump campaign advisor Walid Phares recently indicated to an Arab-language newspaper that the incoming administration will designate this Islamist group a foreign terrorist organization, the goal of a year-long legislative effort led by Senator Ted Cruz. While the House version of the bill, authored by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, easily passed the House Judiciary Committee, Republican congressional leadership has stymied its passage. Reports from staffers indicate that establishment Republicans have expressed concerns about how such a designation would impact U.S. policy, both at home and abroad.

One difficulty in making the case for the Muslim Brotherhood’s designation has been a fundamental lack of knowledge about its role in waging terrorism. Since 1928, when it was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian, the Brotherhood has kept terrorist violence—or the threat of such violence—within its doctrinal toolkit, maintaining close ties to other sympathetic terror groups. As the 9/11 Commission reported, the Brotherhood’s comfortable association with violent jihadist terror stretches from establishing clandestine “Special Apparatus” terror cells in the 1930s—which are still active—to the deep influence of Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb upon al-Qaeda.

The Brotherhood also constitutes the ideological wellspring for nearly every current jihadist organization. As al-Qaradawi notes in Islamic Education and Hassan al-Banna, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that invigorated and promoted a view of Jihad that had lain dormant” “The movement of Ikhwanul Muslimoon (The Muslim Brothers) breathed new life into jihad: giving it a place of honor and prominence in writings; stressing its importance in lectures, meetings, and songs; and asserting its sovereignty over individual and collective life.” Where al-Banna provided inspiration and organization, Sayyid Qutb provided the roadmap. His 1964 book Milestones operationalized a plan for the reestablishment of totalitarian Islamic law through a skillful mixture of indoctrination and physical violence, all pegged to long-established concepts in Islamic law.

Any move in Washington against the Muslim Brotherhood faces, even more than a lack of knowledge, intense ideological resistance. For decades, a bipartisan American foreign policy consensus has endorsed engagement with and promotion of Islamists in an attempt to use them as a counterweight, to either other Islamic terror groups or larger geopolitical adversaries.

Seeking to engage Muslim Brotherhood officials or franchises has a long historical pedigree within our foreign policy establishment. As Ian Johnson documented in his outstanding history, A Mosque in Munich, America first turned to Islamists in the early days of the Cold War in order to nurture alternatives to the Soviets. During that time, however, many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment seemed to recognize that, ultimately, the long-term objectives of the Islamists were both anti-democratic and harmful to American national interests. An internal analysis from the period noted that leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Said Ramadan—then a guest in the Eisenhower White House who was backed by the CIA—was “a fascist” and obsessed with seizing power.

Unfortunately, such a blunt assessment of the U.S. government’s Islamist interlocutors seems as quaint today as a 1950s TV commercial. By 2009 skepticism of Islamists’ long-term goals had been thoroughly abandoned, as President Obama formally announced the full-throated promotion of political Islam as the legitimate expression of democratic will throughout the Middle East.

For the Obama administration, the Islamists’ goals, motives, and doctrines were immaterial. It followed that spasms of violent Islamic terrorism are merely the product of authoritarian societies in the Middle East and the citizens’ attendant lack of freedom to pursue their political aspirations peacefully. The most productive response, the foreign-policy class reasoned, was to encourage authoritarian rule by these countries’ leading opposition. Of course, then as now, almost all Islamist parties in the Middle East are either formally or ideologically linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Logic seemed to dictate, then, that support for democracy would, necessarily, translate into de facto support for various local tribunes of political Islam. Since Islamists were the immediate beneficiaries of a democratization policy, the administration was disposed to consider nearly all Islamist movements “moderate.”

Nevertheless, a bipartisan consensus on this issue turned this theory into a touchstone concept of Obama administration policy. Promoting Islamist groups has, over time, come to define the American national interest.

Reaping the Whirlwind

The failures of American foreign policy in the Middle East that Trump articulated on the campaign trail follow from these assumptions about political Islam. The Obama administration’s promotion of Islamism has not only failed to deliver its intended results, but encouraged terrorism, both international and domestic, while destabilizing Egypt, Libya, Syria and other regions vital to America. Long-time Sunni allies panicked as they saw the spread of the Islamists—whom they had once funded to operate against the West—now threatening, with implicit U.S. support, their own rule. Saudi Arabia banned Muslim Brotherhood materials from schools, and the United Arab Emirates designated numerous Brotherhood fronts, including ones operating in the United States, as terrorist entities.

Where the wave of political Islam met success, it was short-lived. Rather than promoting good governance and ending corruption, the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt led to a rapid expansion of jihad in the Sinai, with the Brotherhood leaders’ tacit support. The triumphant Islamists spent more time establishing Islamic law and targeting Coptic Christians than providing desperately needed hard currency, natural gas, and food to the afflicted Egyptian people. The Brotherhood and other Islamists rose to prominence in Libya with the assistance of al-Qaeda-linked fighters, but could not maintain power democratically, rejecting the Libyan election result that favored their political opponents. The resulting civil war has made that country fertile grounds for both al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters. In Syria, despite Western backing, Brotherhood-linked militias continue to insist upon close ties and cooperation with al-Qaeda’s local affiliates. And while the Islamic State has publicly criticized the Muslim Brotherhood for its relationship with the West, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence officials say the Islamic State in fact receives support from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood for its attacks in the Sinai.

Here in the United States, law enforcement has been overwhelmed by hundreds of terror cases. While the focus of the media and the Obama administration has been on the Islamic State and its ability to influence potential supporters via the internet, few have noted the repeated appearance of Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Centers and organizations in attacks in Garland, Texas, San Bernardino, and Chattanooga, as well as in connection to several would-be Islamic State fighters who were caught before they could act.

It appears the new administration understands this error, and will correct it. At the Heritage Foundation last May, Secretary of Defense nominee General James Mattis asked the blunt but essential question: “Is political Islam in America’s best interests?” He went on to demonstrate that the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian theocracy (respectively, political Islam’s primary Sunni and Shia embodiments) were inimical to our well-being. President-elect Trump’s nomination of Mattis suggests he holds the same view.

From their service under President Obama both Generals Mattis and Flynn understand the mistaken premise of the outgoing administration’s engagement with political Islam: the unfalsifiable wish that, through participating in the democratic process, Islamists will be transformed from a source of anti-American terrorism into a bulwark against their more militant brethren. Despite the dangerous results of this hypothesis, the Obama administration viewed it as a way to simultaneously promote democracy and redirect militants’ energies from terrorist to politics. Consequently, even domestic Islamists stopped being the targets of counterterror investigations, and were treated instead as partners in “Countering Violent Extremism” programs.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood “Too Big to Fail”?

While the Bush Administration was engaged in a military and foreign policy struggle in the Middle East, it was also investigating domestic Islamist activity. Following the 9/11 attacks, investigations and prosecutions repeatedly touched upon individuals and groups in the United States affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. A careful study of these early cases revealed that the Brotherhood provided the ideological basis for jihadist violence, but also material support. In the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) case, for example, the U.S. government outlined a decades long plan by the Muslim Brotherhood to provide material support for Hamas. There were other instances:

Not only did each of these cases, and many others like them, involve Muslim Brothers, but the interlocking web of conspirators and co-conspirators makes clear that that the Muslim Brothers are not a cog in the Islamist terror machine—they are the engineers who designed and run it.

Law enforcement soon found that some of these cases were political hot potatoes. Many of the subjects were wealthy, politically connected, well-regarded religious figures, or perceived as prominent within the Muslim American community. At fundraising events held at many of the most prominent Islamic Centers around the country, for example, the Holy Land Foundation successfully solicited millions in donations for the violent jihad being waged by the designated terrorist group Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological offshoot in the West Bank and Gaza. This happened with the knowing cooperation of some of the most prominent and influential Muslims in the country. By late 2008, the Bush Justice Department would prove at trial that many of these organizations and individuals constituted a conspiracy to fund Hamas. Prosecutors would label 306 of these as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the terror-funding scheme, listing organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); as well as individuals like onetime HLF employee Kifah Mustapha and prodigious Hamas fundraiser Mohamed al-Hanooti.

In the wake of the Holy Land Foundation case, those who take the Islamist ideological threat seriously believed that secondary prosecutions targeting Muslim Brotherhood leaders and co-conspirators intimately involved in the Hamas funding scheme would be a crippling blow to domestic Islamist terror networks. But there were no secondary prosecutions. There’s some debate whether those prosecutions were squashed for political reasons by the incoming Obama administration, or by career Department of Justice officials. Regardless, the absence of follow-on cases against unindicted co-conspirators left in place a vast infrastructure that provided millions in hard currency—as well the equivalent of millions of dollars in media and public policy assistance—to terrorist groups. Even now, much of the evidence acquired by the government against the Muslim Brotherhood and its network in the United States—a large portion of which was entered into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial—remains classified. Despite multiple requests in the name of legislative oversight, the Obama Justice Department has taken pains to prevent anyone, including Congress, examining it.

Perhaps the government considered the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. “too big to fail.” For example, a federal judge noted that the government supplied “ample evidence” to link a Muslim Brotherhood organization like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to the terror group Hamas. Yet ISNA is affiliated with something on the order of one out of every four American mosques. How would prosecution of such an entity appear to the broader American community? How would the rest of the Muslim American community respond to an indictment? If the Muslim Brotherhood network in America and its allies were able to raise a political maelstrom over the conviction of Sami Al Arian, a South Florida professor tied to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, how much louder would a hyper-partisan media and an aggressive, social media-fueled activist infrastructure shriek if, for example, the organizing force behind a quarter of American mosques were indicted?

It’s no wonder that capitalizing on the government’s “too big to fail” assessment has proven to be an effective strategy of Islamist leaders in the United States, as pressure groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood routinely conflate their own front organizations and political goals with the totality of American Muslims. Regrettably, an increasingly uncurious media accepts this falsehood—and membership records for Muslim Brotherhood groupsmake clear it is a falsehood.

A New Way Forward

The new Trump administration must be prepared to rebut the inevitable complaints from self-styled Islamist “civil rights” leaders and their enablers in the media. It’s important to remember that this would be the case whether or not the next president orders the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. The Trump campaign and national security team has withstood the overwrought allegations that his proposals target all Muslims.

Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization should give law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to begin a serious, long-term investigation of the Islamist group’s network in this country. The new administration must undertake a genuine effort to map this clandestine system, and key organizational leaders should be made the target of legitimate investigation, and prosecuted as legally appropriate.

It will be difficult to immediately reverse a culture within the U.S. government that has favored engaging the Muslim Brotherhood over investigating it. Since at least the Clinton administration, the White House Rolodex has included officials from domestic Islamist groups whose names routinely appeared in the court documents of terror finance cases. Even more, the Obama administration has quietly removed many organizations and individuals designated as global terrorists from the list, undoing much of the work by counterterrorism agents who were responsible for our post-9/11 response.

Because of the Brotherhood’s political influence, which frustrated Bush-era prosecutions and halted them altogether under Obama, rolling back the Islamist group will require a joint counterterrorism/counterintelligence initiative. U.S. policy should treat all contacts with known and suspected Muslim Brotherhood members the way government personnel examine and report contacts with potential foreign intelligence services. Contact or association with the Brotherhood should be immediately disqualifying during ordinary background investigations for security clearances.

Additionally, a designation should provide added leverage for counterterrorism officials. Instead of approaching Brotherhood members and organizations as respected community leaders for outreach purposes either at home or abroad, the primary goal should be to acquire the intelligence needed to disrupt terror finance or prevent indoctrination. If necessary, officials can use the possibility of prosecution under the Muslim Brotherhood designation to secure cooperation, which would be similar to the way informants are treated when approaching other conspirators, such as crime organizations.

Unlike the prosecution of the Mafia however, a Trump administration will need to accompany counterterrorism efforts with a strong public relations campaign. Informed, articulate spokesmen will need to explain how relevant prosecutions were conducted, why they were necessary, and—perhaps most importantly—how they targeted the Muslim Brotherhood for its criminal behavior, not its religious convictions. Officials will need to be prepared to push back with facts against accusations of inappropriate discrimination. This, in turn, may require a more open approach to terror prosecutions, making relevant documents available to journalists quicker, while doing so in a manner that protects sources and methods.

Additionally, such a campaign to target the Muslim Brotherhood will require gathering more and better intelligence on the group’s ideology than the Obama Administration permitted. Since the U.S. government’s threat-focused counterterror training has been aggressively purged during the past eight years, accurate subject matter instruction will be the first step before earnest policy reorientation begins. Due to the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow Islamic extremists, training for counterterrorism and counterintelligence officials will necessarily address sensitive issues of Islamic doctrine and legal theory. Political correctness mustn’t be allowed to deny access to training based on demonstrable facts.

It Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better

As has always been the case since its founding—and is currently the case in Egypt today—the Muslim Brotherhood has responded to crackdowns by proclaiming that Islam itself is under attack. The group has galvanized its membership to conduct numerous violent assaults, usually under the identity of a “splinter” faction. We can expect that, should it be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, at least some element of the Brotherhood will respond by seeking to increase terrorist violence against the United States. This will be difficult for a U.S. law enforcement infrastructure already strained by the Islamic State, but is a storm that can and must be weathered. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood remains necessary. The potential for violence must be weighed against law enforcement’s ability to take swifter action and develop a deeper, more accurate view of Islamic extremism operating in the United States and around the globe.

President-elect Trump successfully campaigned on the repudiation of the national security views of the Obama administration. With the failure of the “democratic Islamist” project, the time has come to return to the alternative: (a) the promotion of Islamists accelerates, rather than stifles, Islamic terrorism; and (b) the Muslim Brotherhood remains at the center of Islamic ideological extremism throughout the world. Any policy not prepared to abandon America’s promotion of political Islam broadly, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, merely perpetuates old failures.

Why Are Terror Leader al-Awlaki’s Video Messages Still on YouTube?

awlaki-1Fox News Insider, December 5, 2016:

YouTube has the ability to remove videos seen as having the potential to recruit terrorists, says Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.

The judge joined Jenna Lee on Happening Now to discuss growing questions on why the videos of radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki – leader of the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen – have been allowed to remain on YouTube.

Investigators have linked the ideology of al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen five years ago, to at least 11 incidents since 2009, including the recent attack on the campus of Ohio State University.

According to a YouTube representative, “YouTube has clear policies in prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users.” So why then are al-Awlaki’s videos allowed to remain on the platform, Lee asked.

“The short answer is his videos are still out there because like flag burning, they are protected speech,” Napolitano said. “Even though they are hateful, even though they advocate violence, even though they are profoundly un-American, they are protected speech…protected from the government…but not protected from YouTube, which is not the government.

“So the First Amendment says the government shall not interfere with free speech, but YouTube could take them down in a flash just because it doesn’t want this stuff being propagated on its platform.”

Napolitano said YouTube should make a “business judgment” on how to handle this content.

“If they think their their shareholders want a free and open platform where any political idea can be aired no matter how horrible, hateful or harmful it may be, they should keep it on there,” he said. “But if they want to cleanse the airwaves of this horror and terror producing stuff, they can take it down with impunity.”

9/11 Mastermind Reveals Trump’s Plan to Fight Terrorists Works

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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed shows anti-war leftists were playing into Al Qaeda’s hands.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield,  December 2, 2016:

The left aided Islamic terrorists most not with street protests, but by embedding counterintuitive narratives into the framework of counterterrorism. These narratives turned reality on its head.

In counterterrorism, counterintuitive narratives transformed inaction into a virtue.

One of the most pervasive myths was that Islamic terrorists actually wanted us to fight them and that we could only defeat them by ignoring them. The irrationality of the myth that terrorists wanted us to bomb and kill them was exceeded only by its persistence among experts and political officials.

Popularly known as “Playing into their hands”, the goal of this counterintuitive narrative was to make the ostrich approach appear prudent and masterful while flipping around patriotism by accusing national security hawks of playing into the hands of the terrorists by killing them.

Only the appeasers had the secret to defeating Islamic terrorism while the patriots were truly traitors.

Trump faced repeated accusation from Hillary and her proxies that he was playing into the hands of ISIS with calls to get tough on Islamic terrorism. And you can expect the smear that he’s playing into the hands of the terrorists by bombing and killing them to recur throughout his administration.

But the myth has been shredded by James E. Mitchell’s book, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America.” As the man who helped the CIA break terrorists, Mitchell had written the “book” on effective methods for fighting Islamic terror. And now he actually wrote the book on what the terrorists really wanted and fear.

And no, they didn’t want to be bombed. We weren’t “playing into their hands” by killing them or by making it harder for them to come to America. It was the left that was playing into Al Qaeda’s hands.

And that still is.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, revealed that Al Qaeda shared the leftist panic and disaster over Bush’s “cowboy” approach to fighting terrorists. The United States had backed down from Islamic terrorists so many times that they had come to take our defeatism for granted. Al Qaeda didn’t have a masterful plan to lure us into Afghanistan, as the left liked to insist, instead it expected President Bush to follow in Clinton’s footsteps by delivering an empty speech and then writing it off as a law enforcement problem. Much as Obama had done with Benghazi.

It wasn’t expecting the roar of jets over Kandahar.

“How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down?’’ Khalid Sheikh Mohammed whined.

“KSM explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks”, but instead Al Qaeda and its plans for the next wave of attacks were crushed “by the ferocity and swiftness of George W. Bush’s response.”

Like Saddam’s WMDs, the left has made great sport of the lack of major follow-up attacks by Al Qaeda. But Al Qaeda couldn’t follow up because it was under too much pressure. Unsurprisingly, killing terrorists actually worked. Unknown numbers of American lives were saved because President Bush believed that killing terrorists was more effective than appeasing them.

The left had always insisted on treating 9/11 as a law enforcement matter. That is why Obama aggressively pushed to move Islamic terrorists into criminal courts. Even his Osama bin Laden bid was only an effort to capture the top Al Qaeda terrorist so that he could put him on trial in a criminal court.

“My belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against al-Qaeda,” Obama had argued, showcasing a typical counterintuitive narrative myth.

Osama’s death proved to be a lucky political break for Obama, but he hadn’t been trying to fight terror. Instead he was working to appease it.

Various counterintuitive narratives were invoked in defense of this bad policy, including the “Playing into their hands” myth. But now we know that it was leftists who were playing into Al Qaeda’s hands.

The mastermind of 9/11 wanted us to send the cops after Al Qaeda. He wasn’t looking to dance with an A-10. And had Bill Clinton turned over the White House to Al Gore instead of George W. Bush, 9/11 would have been far more devastating as the opening round of a series of major Islamic terror attacks.

Another great counterintuitive myth is that Islamic immigration, which provides fertile recruiting ground for foreign terror groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS to pursue their Jihad on America using operatives already embedded in the country, is actually the best way to fight Islamic terrorism.

When Trump called for a ban on Muslim migration, counterintuitive narratives were deployed that accused him, once again, of playing into the hands of ISIS and Al Qaeda. Islamic immigration, the counterintuitive myth claimed, disproved the claims of Islamic terrorists about America. The more Muslim migrants we took in, the more Muslims would come to love us and reject Islamic terrorism.

But Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealed that he did not oppose Islamic immigration. He viewed it as the certain way for Muslims to defeat America and the free world. Islamic terrorism was a short range gamble. The “moonshot” of Islamic conquest wasn’t terrorism, it was Muslim migration to the West.

And even in the short term, Islamic terror was still enabled by Islamic immigration.

“Jihadi-minded brothers would immigrate into the United States” and “wrap themselves in America’s rights and laws’ while continuing their attacks,” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted.

While the counterintuitive narrative deeply embedded in CVE insists that Islamist “civil rights” groups like CAIR are our best “partners” in fighting Islamic terrorism and that extending every possible legal protection to Islamic terrorists will help discredit them, Mohammed saw Islamic migration and the whole Islamist civil rights scam enabled by the radicals at the ACLU and elsewhere, as cover for Islamic terrorism.

All of this is obvious to any thinking person who possesses enough common sense to come out of the rain. So why did so many important people fall for the counterintuitive myths of counterterrorism?

The strange seductiveness of counterintuitive narratives lies in their rejection of common sense solutions. Instead they follow the standard leftist pattern of descending into the matrix of a logically illogical system which is internally consistent, but makes no sense when applied to the real world.

Counterintuitive narratives make elites and experts feel smart for appearing to transcend common sense to grasp deeper insights into human nature and how the world works. Such gnostic revelations are a big part of the left’s appeal, particularly to college students, but these mythologies are a myth.

The left loves to play with language, but word games don’t change reality. They just seduce those who consider themselves bright into believing that their cleverness is more meaningful than reality.

But eventually the ivory towers fall, the sand castles are washed away by the tide and the lies die.

Common sense was always right. Killing terrorists works. Appeasing them doesn’t. Terrorists are broken through pressure, not milk and cookies. Trump’s proposals work. Those of the left only enable terrorism.

“America will expose her neck for us to slaughter,” Mohammed predicted. And it did.

But just as the mastermind of September 11 had not anticipated what President Bush would do, Islamic terrorists never saw President Trump coming.

***

A good follow-up on the manipulation of language to achieve political ends:

***

Brian Kilmeade recently interviewed Dr. James Mitchell on his new book. “‘Enhanced Interrogation”:

UTT Throwback Thursday: Treasonous Leadership Decisions by Ohio Officials Have Deadly Consequences

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, December 1, 2016:

Ohio is reaping what it has sown.  They have protected and promoted jihadis for several years.

In 2009, the Ohio Department of Homeland Security hosted a day-long seminar which included senior Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood officials, including Hani Sakr, a member of the U.S. MB’s Board of Directors, and the leader of Hamas in Ohio, Asma Uddin.

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Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Hani Sakr Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference

Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Hani Sakr Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference

Ohio Hamas Leader Asma Uddin Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference in 2009

Ohio Hamas Leader Asma Uddin Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference in 2009

In 2010, the Strategic Engagement Group (predecessor to UTT) conducted a 3-day training program at the Columbus (Ohio) Police Department.  At the end of the program, the Ohio DHS Director Bill Vedra, the Chief of the Columbus Police Department, and others came into the room and defended Hamas (doing business and CAIR), the outreach programs to the Muslim community, and commented negatively about the 3-day program even though none of them sat through one minute of the training.

Several of the officers in the room stood up and confronted the leadership, calling them out.

Ohio DHS Director Vedra, Omar Alomari (Ohio DHS), & Hamas Leader Babak Darvish (CAIR)

Ohio DHS Director Vedra, Omar Alomari (Ohio DHS), & Hamas Leader Babak Darvish (CAIR)

One of the people Ohio DHS Director Vedra defended was Omar Alomari, a Jordanian who was later fired from Ohio DHS.  Alomari produced a pamphlet for Ohio DHS which listed organizations they worked with including Hamas (dba CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) – all Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood organizations.

After this was made public in articles by The Jawa Report, Ohio DHS tried to secretly destroy all the pamphlets.

As recently as 2015, Hamas (dba CAIR) trained the Columbus Police Department on “diversity.”

In February 2016, Somali Mohamed Barry walked into the Nazareth Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio with a machete screaming “allah u akbar” and began attacking customers.  He injured four people and was later shot dead by police.  The restaurant is owned by an Israeli.

Columbus police spokesman Sergeant Rich Weiner stated, “There was no rhyme or reason as to who he was going after.”  The FBI investigated Barry in 2012 for making “radical Islamic threats” but then abandoned the investigation, and FBI Special Agent Rick Smith said it was “too early” to jump to conclusions. (dallasnews.com, 2/12/16, “Man Killed After Machete Attack”)

CNN is still searching for a motive.

In describing this attack, the Washington Post wrote, “Did the quiet immigrant suffer a mental breakdown? Or was the attack an orchestrated act of international jihad as claimed by a host of anti-Islamic groups?”

Is it possible the entire effort by the jihadi Movement in Ohio – and everywhere else across the nation – was/is to get the leadership of the police and FBI to place their trust in the Muslim leaders to “help” them “understand” acts of “terrorism” in a way that never points back to jihad, Islam and sharia?

This week, after yet another jihadi attack in Ohio, the response was the same.

Until law enforcement decides to prosecute and lock up terrorists instead of befriending them and allowing them to train their departments, this nonsense will not end.

Citizens must stand firm and hold elected officials, police chiefs and state homeland security officials feet to the fire, and ensure they are trained by UTT, not by Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Get them a copy of Raising a Jihadi Generation for Christmas.

Israeli-based tactics used in Ohio State takedown: Expert

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In an exchange between a liberal and Dana Loesch on the Kelly File the other night it was suggested by the liberal that officer Alan Horujko was too quick to use deadly force. Aaron Cohen explains why it is so important to quickly identify the perpetrator as a terrorist and not a criminal and therefore take the head shot immediately to inactivate the hands holding the weapon.

TORONTO SUN, BY TERRY DAVIDSON, November 29, 2016:

Aaron Cohen, a former Israeli special forces soldier, is an American counter-terrorism consultant who has trained U.S. military, police, and SWAT teams in confronting such threats.

He says Alan Horujko, the Ohio State University cop who shot and killed a knife-wielding man on Monday, used Israeli-based tactics to “neutralize” the threat. Cohen spoke with the Sun about the method, which he has been teaching for years, on Tuesday.

Q: What is unique about these tactics?

A: The tactics he used involved a very Israeli-centric type of response. He initiated a single-officer response, which is rare for U.S. law enforcement. Patrol will typically wait for two, three more officers to show up before making entry into such a situation. The Israeli model doesn’t allow for that. There is no time. He was able to get directly to the threat via sprinting. The philosophy is: For every second you waste, another innocent person is killed. They engage using a point-shooting method, just focusing on the front end of the weapon. In short distances, where terrorism occurs in crowded areas, it allows you to get on target very quickly. Then there is the neutralizing head-shot to keep the threat’s hands from moving. This officer still fired three, four shots to the body, but if the attacker is still a threat, we sprint up to the threat to fire a shot into the head.

Q: In the case of Ohio State, what would have gone through the head of this officer?

A: Going through the mind of this particular officer would be the protocol he was taught via the Israeli model, which is based on a counter-terror response doctrine he had been walked through over several days. He has already been put through the paces of responding alone, with a combat philosophy designed for terrorism: Spot all the threats immediately, neutralize all of the threats immediately, and then continue sweeping and looking for more threats. Also, speed. I don’t have time to wait. If I wait and I don’t take action, and deploy aggression as an actual tactic, more innocent life will be lost.

Q: Are an increasing number of officers such as this being taught these tactics?

A: There was a lot of it happening after 9/11. But once President (Barack) Obama came into office, a lot of the training for these agencies was cut. During the (George W.) Bush administration, there was a lot of counter-terror money and a lot of training happening with these agencies. Then I noticed a demilitarization. I don’t necessarily believe this was the most effective thing to do, not with terrorism.

Gitmo prisoner reveals that Saudi ‘terrorist rehab’ center is a scam

Photo: Kate Brooks/Redux

Photo: Kate Brooks/Redux

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, November 28, 2016:

Counterterrorism experts have long suspected Saudi Arabia’s “rehabilitation” center for terrorists does a poor job of de-radicalizing jihadists. But a Saudi detainee at Guantanamo Bay now reveals it’s actually a recruiting and training factory for jihad.

According to recently declassified documents, senior al Qaeda operative Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi told a Gitmo parole board that the Saudi government has been encouraging previously released prisoners to rejoin the jihad at its terrorist reform school, officially known as the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center.

The Obama administration has praised the effectiveness of the Saudi rehab program — which uses “art therapy,” swimming, ping-pong, PlayStation and soccer to de-radicalize terrorists — and conditioned the release of dozens of Gitmo prisoners, including former Osama bin Laden bodyguards, on their entry in the controversial program.

To date, 134 Saudi detainees have been transferred to the Saudi reform camps in Riyadh and Jeddah. Last year, nine Yemeni detainees were sent there, as well, and more are expected to follow over the next two months, as Obama strives to meet his campaign goal of closing Gitmo.

Photo: Kate Brooks/Redux

Photo: Kate Brooks/Redux

Al-Sharbi dropped a bombshell on the Gitmo parole board at his hearing earlier this year, when he informed members that the Saudi kingdom was playing them for suckers. “You guys want to send me back to Saudi Arabia because you believe there is a de-radicalization program on the surface.

True. You are 100% right, there is a strong — externally, a strong — de-radicalization program,” al-Sharbi testified. “But make no mistake, underneath there is a hidden radicalization program,” he added. “There is a very hidden strong — way stronger in magnitude — broader in financing, in all that.”

Al-Sharbi is one of the longest serving, and most unrepentant, prisoners at Gitmo. A Saudi national with an electrical engineering degree from King Fahd University, he attended a US flight school associated with two of the 9/11 hijackers. He traveled to Afghanistan in the summer of 2001 and trained at an al Qaeda camp, building IEDs to use against allied forces.

Al-Sharbi was captured March 28, 2002, at an al Qaeda safehouse in Faisalabad, Pakistan, with senior al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah. According to his US intel dossier, he told interrogators that “the US got what it deserved from the terrorist attacks on 9/11.”

Given a chance at parole after 14 years, however, Al-Sharbi was surprisingly frank with the board.

He explained that Riyadh is actively recruiting and training fighters to battle Iranian elements in neighboring Yemen and Syria. Saudi views Shiite-controlled Iran as a regional threat to its security.

“They’re launching more wars and the [United] States is backing off from the region,” he said. “They’re poking their nose here and here and there and they’re recruiting more jihadists, and they’ll tell you, ‘Okay, go fight in Yemen. Go fight in Syria.’ ”

Al-Sharbi said the Saudis also are “encouraging” former detainees “to fight their jihad in the States.”

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

“It’s not like a past history,” he said. “It’s increasing.”

A growing body of evidence backs up his claims. Last month, for example, a Wikileaked e-mail from Hillary Clinton revealed, citing US intelligence sources, that Saudi has provided “clandestine financial and logistic support to” ISIS and other Sunni terrorist groups in the region.

Al-Sharbi said the kingdom is playing a double game.

“They will proudly tell you they will fight terrorism,” he said. “That means they will support it.”
Al-Sharbi told the Gitmo board he doesn’t want to enroll in the Saudi rehab program, because he would be used to “fight under the Saudi royal cloak.”

“This is in the cause of a king. This is not a true jihad,” he said. “And I’m not going to Saudi unless I am sure they’re not gonna be using me.”

The Saudi rehab ruse has carried a lot of weight with the Gitmo parole board. Earlier this year, it released “Saudi al Qaeda recruiter and fighter” Muhammed Al Shumrani after his lawyers insisted that repatriating him to Saudi Arabia and enrolling him in its “well-established reintegration program” would cure his admittedly “problematic behavior.”

Photo: Kate Brooks/Redux

Photo: Kate Brooks/Redux

Last year, the defense team of longtime bin Laden bodyguard Abdul Rahman Shalabi insisted that the same Saudi rehab program would make sure he’s reformed. In approving his release, the board said that it was “confident about the efficacy of the Saudi program.”

In both cases, US intelligence warned the board that the hardened terrorists would more than likely “reengage in terrorist activity.”

By Riyadh’s own numbers, some 20% of the terrorist enrollees at its rehab club — which features golf carts, palm trees and an Olympic-sized pool — go back to the jihad, returning to the ranks of the Taliban or al Qaeda. US officials believe the recidivism rate is much higher, but Saudi does not disclose criteria for evaluation.

One high-profile failure was Said Ali al-Shihri. After his graduation from the Saudi program, he returned to Yemen where he ran an al Qaeda branch and helped plan the deadly bombing of the US Embassy and mastermind the failed plot to blow up a 2009 Christmas flight over Detroit, before a drone-fired missile finally caught up to him.

The Saudi center is more holiday resort than halfway house for paroled inmates. Jihadists are rewarded with gourmet meals, video games, ping pong, jacuzzis and newly furnished private apartments reserved for conjugal visits. They also are allowed unescorted visits to family members. In September, the center granted “beneficiaries” Eid al-Adha holiday vacation for 12 days.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Graduates are further rewarded with young brides and new cars.

Lending credence to al-Sharbi’s charges, the three-month program includes a few hours a day of lessons in Islam from Saudi clerics and “Shariah specialists.”

“Beneficiaries spend 15 hours a week in the Shariah program,” according to a local Jeddah press report, which is triple the amount of time devoted to psychological counseling.

Al-Sharbi’s parole was declined; he is still in Gitmo, along with 60 detainees — down from the 241 who were there when President Obama started his term.

But with the administration rushing to reduce that number even further before the end of Obama’s term, how many more jihadists will be released into this highly suspect program?

Congress has an obligation to ask hard questions: Is this a preemptive campaign to prevent terror attacks or more likely an incubator for facilitating more attacks?

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

Germany Shuts Down Islamist “True Religion” With Massive Police Raids

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But they’re still really worried about radical Islam’s opponents, even more than radical Islam itself.

CounterJihad, November 16, 2016:

The German government has been trying to portray itself as completely confident that Islam and the West can integrate smoothly.  It was therefore somewhat surprising when nearly 200 police raids smashed an Islamist sect over the weekend, on the charge of recruiting German nationals for service in the Islamic State (ISIS).

The group, which had been under surveillance for a year, had recruited about 140 people to join militants in Syria and Iraq, the German interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, told a news conference later in the day. In all, about 500 people in Germany are believed to have some connection to the organization.

Its members have been a familiar sight, handing out German-language copies of the Koran on the streets and in shopping centers across the country since 2011. The group has also posted propaganda videos on the Internet promoting violence, officials said.

The story provides a window on the divisions within radical Islam.  Even forms that are not the most radical can apparently be leveraged by Islamists to support the utterly radical.  German-language copies of the Koran by themselves represent a departure from the most radical forms of Islam.  This is because the Koran is supposed to be the word of God in a nearly pure form.  Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad was ordered to “recite” the words spoken to him by an archangel, which words came from God.  If you think of the matter as a kind of telephone game, only two interpreters then stand between you and God Himself.  One of them is an angel of high degree, and angels in Islam have no free will.  (Indeed, free will is undesirable in the Islamic theological picture, since after all the only thing you could do with it is fall away from God’s will — sin, in other words.)  Thus, the angel’s transmission should have been fairly reliable.

Muhammad’s interpretation of the divine revelation is thus the only occasion for error, so long as you stick to the original language.  Theologically, Muslims admit that Muhammad could occasionally err.  A group of verses is said to have been given by a Satanic source rather than the angelic one, and Muhammad is supposed to have passed them on in error.  These verses were the inspiration for Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, which caused him to be placed under a death sentence by radical clerics from Iran.  Nevertheless, the idea that Muhammad could have introduced error into the Koran is orthodox.  Another source of potential error arises with any translation of the Koran into any other language than the classical Arabic in which it was originally given.  Since preserving the integrity of God’s message to humanity is of first importance, the most conservative sects of Islam simply do not allow translation at all.  This German sect, by providing German translations, has thus already departed from the most radical visions.

Nevertheless, they were also providing fighters to ISIS.  Indeed, Syrian refugees to Germany have found its native sects far too conservative for their liking.  That shows that the fact that a sect is not as radical as possible does not imply that it is therefore safe, or not a danger to a Western system.  Groups such as Hizb-ut Tahrir, who claim to eschew violence, similarly recruit for more radical organizations than themselves.  The threat posed by such organizations must be kept in mind.

All the same, Germany has elected to focus most of its attention not on the threat from radical Islam, but on groups opposed to radical Islam.  Much as London has elected to invest vast resources in targeting so-called “hate speech,” Germany has elected to focus its attention on those who object to Islam’s most radical messages.  Germany has raided the homes of immigration critics, considering them hate criminals for questioning the compatibility of Islam and the West.  Though these citizens have legitimate concerns, the government takes it to be more important to block their criticism or skepticisms about radical Islam than to address radical Islam itself.

The degree of “radical” in “radical Islam” is not the point, as this example shows.  Less-radical organizations still feed the most-radical.  Islam needs a reformation, one that addresses its long history of theology in a way that advances human rights.  If Muhammad could introduce error into the Koran, why should he not have introduced error on these points of human dignity and free will?

UTT Throwback Thursday: TSA Surrenders to Terrorists

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, October 27, 2016:

In January 2010, Hamas (doing business as CAIR) complained new TSA security procedures would alienate Muslims.

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The complaints stemmed from TSA’s announcement it would strengthen security measures and give extra scrutiny to travelers entering the U.S. from Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Yemen.

Seems reasonable to reasonable people who actually want our nation protected from terrorists.

Not to Nihad Awad, the leader of Hamas in the U.S.  So Hamas complained.

Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood and is a designated terrorist organization.

How did TSA respond?  Exactly how Hamas wanted them to.

In November of 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood’s MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council) trained thousands of TSA employees.

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But has there been any real impact on TSA over the last six years?

YOU decide.

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NYT: Refugees Pose Overwhelming Challenge to Europe’s Police

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Overwhelmed by refugees about whom they know nothing, Euro police increasingly rely on American intelligence. Is there an alternative?

CounterJihad, October 25, 2016:

The New York Times has a story highlighting the problems facing European police agencies.  It turns on a particular case out of Germany, one in which a refugee turned terrorist without the European police having any idea.  Fortunately, American intelligence tipped them to the terrorist in question before he could stage the attack he was planning.  German attempts to arrest him failed, however, and he escaped back into the flood of Syrian refugees.  Only when other refugees turned him in were they able to capture him.

And then, before they could interrogate him for any intelligence, he hung himself.

The takeaway for the Times is that the Europeans are too reliant on American capacities.

[A] series of [attacks] in Germany, France and elsewhere has exposed the lack of knowledge about the backgrounds of many, if not most, of the newcomers and the potential for them to be radicals or to be radicalized after arriving in Europe.

On both fronts, the situation is creating a particular political tension in Germany. The National Security Agency’s activities are under fierce scrutiny in Germany by a seemingly never-ending special parliamentary committee.

“American agencies are Europe’s best counterterrorists,” said Peter Neumann, a terrorism expert at King’s College London.

Germany’s lawmakers have passed a new spy law that is intended to address some of these challenges.  They are not the first to do so.  In the wake of the Belgian attacks, Italy’s Prime Minister called for a more unified European response to terrorism.  One of the criticisms facing Europe’s response is that it lacks a central police agency like the FBI that can act directly on terror threats across national borders the way the FBI does across state borders.

On the other hand, Marc Tyrell at Small Wars Journal rightly points out that a higher-level bureaucracy is often necessarily blind to street-level indications of danger.  Likewise, the classification of information within major Federal agencies like the CIA and FBI often means that communication doesn’t flow downward to local police agencies either.  There is no guarantee that adding another level of protection will work, especially not if that level of protection is placed behind classification walls.

Likewise, there is a concern about focusing on the right set of dangers.  Spying resources are only helpful if they are properly targeted, but Europe has so far seemed inclined to focus its increased resources on its own citizens instead of the influx of refugees.  For example, Germany has engaged in police raids targeting those who express concern about the refugee influx.  In London, an expensive new cyber security unit — targeting online activity of citizens — will focus not on radical Islam but on “cyber hate speech.”

The scale of the crisis also poses challenges.  Belgian police correctly identified some of the Brussels bombers, but had to drop its inquiry into them because it could not spare the resources for that particular case.  German police are likewise facing a crime wave that is overwhelming their available resources.  Leaked reports indicate that German police only expect this refugee crime wave to worsen.

Even here in the United States, with its advanced security infrastructure, the task is beyond police resources.

[O]f these 1,000 or so suspected terrorists, the FBI only has the resources to thoroughly monitor a select few. The precise number of round-the-clock FBI surveillance teams is classified… but sources familiar with Bureau resources say that the number is “shockingly” low, only in the dozens. At one point last year, sources reported that the Bureau was watching 48 people intensely, a number that is towards the upper limit of the FBI’s regular surveillance resources.

That means that even of the 1,000 American citizens and residents that the government believes are most at-risk of executing a terror attacks—the top .0003 percent most radical threats among the nation’s 330,000,000 residents—only around 5 to 10 percent are under 24-hour watch.

The United States is far richer than most nations in Europe.  It has a government committed to building out the security state.  It has far fewer Muslims, both in raw numbers and as a percentage, and it has accepted only a small percentage of the refugees that Europe has done.  If the United States simply cannot keep up with the terror threat as it stands today, Europe cannot hope to do so.

And that is with the crisis as it stands.  The upcoming Russian-led offensive against Aleppo will bring a new wave of refugees.  The offensive against Mosul, meanwhile, is expected to produce at least a million more just by itself.  Some other solution than admitting floods of refugees, and then trying to police them, must be adopted.

Freedom of Religion or Freedom from Terrorist Supporting Imams?

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The FBI is trying to draw a difficult line between protected free speech and actual support for terror.

CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Oct.4, 2016:

America is well-known for its advancement of freedom and democracy but in an environment where the threat of terrorism is a real and present danger Americans are often faced with the struggle between liberty or security. A recent New York Times article called Extremist Imam Tests F.B.I. and the Limits of the Law touches upon how Imam Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa has been making authorities question the boundaries of this dilemma. Despite, Bengharsa allegedly telling Muslims that they “must strictly follow the shariah, or Islamic law, no matter where they live[,]” according to the Times – one can arguably say that he has went so far as to have caused incitement to violence/terrorism. They report on how Bengharsa has supported ISIS via social media:

But in the last two years, Imam Bengharsa’s public pronouncements have taken a dark turn. On Facebook, he has openly endorsed the Islamic State, posted gruesome videos showing ISIS fighters beheading and burning alive their enemies and praised terrorist attacks overseas.

Could one imagine if a Christian pastor endorsed a terrorist group and posted scenes of their grisly murders online – a group that is dedicated to destroying the U.S. and the rest of the West? There would be widespread outrage. Apparently, one saying that they support ISIS isn’t a crime in and of itself according to FBI director Comey, who has stated, “It’s even protected speech to say I’m a fan of the Islamic State so-called[.]” However, with Bengharsa there seems to be a trend of radical associations. In one case he actually gave money ($1,300check) to a Muslim convert in Detroit, Sebastian Gregerson or Abdurrahaman Bin Mikaayl, who has compiled of a number of deadly weapons – including explosives (grenades). It is possible that Gregerson may have been under the inspiration of former Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki – because when the FBI went into Gregerson’s home they discoveredCDs labeled “Anwar al-Awlaki[.]” The FBI also had suspicions that Bengharsa and Gregerson were possibly involved in the scheming of a terror attack:

Nearly a year ago, in fact, the F.B.I. said in a court filing — accidentally and temporarily made public in an online database — that agents suspected the two men were plotting terrorism. “Based on the totality of the aforementioned information and evidence, there is reason to believe that Bengharsa and Gregerson are engaged in discussions and preparations for some violent act on behalf of” the Islamic State, an agent wrote.

Supposedly, there’s “no proof that he [Bengharsa] knew Mr. Gregerson planned to buy illegal explosives.” The Times piece notesthat in Bengharsa’s checkbook he put “zakat” (charity) in reference to the $1,300 check. We have seen before how zakat funding has made its way to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. In fact, some authoritative Islamic texts on Islamic jurisprudence such as The Reliance of the Traveler, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law reveal that jihadists are one of the recipients of zakat. In this particular book there are eight types of zakat recipients – the seventh category includes:

THOSE FIGHTING FOR ALLAH

The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people’s families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).

The Times article also leaves room for a possible connection between Bengharsa and the radical Yusuf Wehelie. Apparently, in 2010 Wehelie and his brother were halted in Cairo from returning back to the U.S. by the FBI. Of course, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Hamas linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained – CAIR still has a sympathetic letter from Yusuf Wehelie on its website attached here. Wehelie was so radical that:

At Yusuf Wehelie’s detention hearing in July, the authorities said he had told undercover agents that he supported the Islamic State and that if he couldn’t join it overseas, he would attack a military recruiting center, possibly using explosives. (Mr. Wehelie’s lawyer, Nina Ginsberg, said that in later recorded conversations, he disavowed those statements and later stopped replying to the undercover agents.)

It’s no surprise that CAIR would support a jihadist – knowing how the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organization is unwavering in their commitment to “civilization jihad” which seeks “to subvert our society from within using the very freedoms they will then take away.” Jihadists and Islamists may use different tactics but they basically have the same goals.

There might also be a possible connection between Bengharsa and Maalik Alim Jones. According to The Washington Times, Jones was accused of providing “material support to al Shabaab and the receipt of military-type training from the terrorist group[,]” among other things. Apparently, Jones went to a Baltimore mosque where Bengharsa sometimes preached. In addition to everything mentioned above, Bengharsa allegedly “transferred money three times to an unnamed person in Yemen[,]” and “received $902,710 in wire transfers in 2014 and 2015, possibly an inheritance.” Furthermore, a couple of Bengharsa’s social media posts shown below with commentary (gathered from the New York Times) capture the type of hatred and anti-American/Western rhetoric he espouses.

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It’s disturbing to know that Bengharsa was a chaplain for several years in Maryland prisons likely contributing to the Muslim radicalization problem. It’s almost like these supporters of jihad have to directly call for a specific attack in order to be apprehended by authorities. If we keep allowing these jihadists to establish vast networks of contacts, while building up their arsenals we are only making it easier for the next jihadist to takeover and continue the jihadist agenda. We must allow our law enforcement to be able to do their job effectively in combating jihad.