Known Wolf Terrorism: A Dozen Cases of FBI Failure on Obama’s Watch

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PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sept. 28, 2016:

FBI Director James Comey was called-out by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) this week on the growing problem of what I have termed “Known Wolf” terrorism – an act of terror committed by someone already known to law enforcement.

During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, Comey said the FBI is reviewing the missed opportunities in both the recent NY-NJ bombing and the mass killing in Orlando in June.

But as seen in the video of the exchange between Comey and Sen. Paul, the FBI director seemed unconcerned about the problem.

Sadly, “Known Wolf” terrorism is rising rapidly, with four such incidents already this year and a dozen incidents during the Obama administration.

In fact, virtually every Islamic terror attack under President Obama’s watch has been by a “Known Wolf” suspect.

As my friend and PJ Media colleague, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, noted here last week for years the Obama administration has pushed a narrative that Islamic terrorists operating in the U.S. were “lone wolves” – striking out of nowhere and without warning.

But in virtually every case these “lone wolves” were already on law enforcement’s radar, and in some cases, had been placed on the terror watch lists.

As I’ve noted here at PJ Media going back to October 2014, the “lone wolf” canard was spun by the Obama administration to exonerate themselves whenever one of these terror attacks occurred.

However the “Known Wolf” terrorism problem is finally being addressed. Senator Jim Lankford (R-OK) is in the process of conducting a six-month investigation into the break down in these cases.

And this past Saturday, a New York Post board editorial noted my identification and two year documentation the “Known Wolf” problem in the West:

FBI Director James Comey notes that searching for lone wolves is like “looking for needles in a national haystack.” But Rahami was less a lone wolf than what Pat Poole at PJ Media calls a “known wolf” — i.e., someone who had been flagged by authorities but then forgotten.Poole cites at least eight other such “known wolves” — including the Underwear Bomber, the Fort Hood shooter and perps in the Orlando nightclub massacre and Boston Marathon bombing as well as jihadis in Garland, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Seattle; West Orange, NJ; and Columbus, Ohio.

In fact, there have been a dozen “Known Wolf” terrorism cases on the Obama administration’s watch:

New York-New Jersey: After stabbing a family member in 2014, September 2016 NY-NJ bomber Ahmad Rahami‘s father told New Jersey police that his son was a terrorist, which prompted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to open an assessment and Rahami was flagged in the FBI’s Guardian system. The arresting officer told the court that Rahami was likely “a danger to himself and to others,” but no charges were filed. At some point a neighbor contacted authorities concerned that associates of Rahami were trying to procure explosives.

Roanoke, VA: In August 2016, Wasil Farooqi attacked a couple outside their apartment complex shouting “Allah Akhbar” and repeatedly stabbing the couple. He was caught when he arrived at the hospital to have his own injuries treated. While the media has played up his claims to have been “hearing voices” leading up to the attack, he had been on the FBI’s radar after he had traveled to Germany and Turkey, and had attempted to enter Syria, possibly to join ISIS there, but was never charged for the attempt.

Orlando: The mass killer who attacked at The Pulse nightclub in June 2016, Omar Mateen had been interviewed by the FBI on three separate occasions, including an open preliminary investigation in 2013 lasting 10 months, after telling others about mutual acquaintances shared with the Boston bombers and making extremist statements. He was investigated again in 2014 for his contacts with a suicide bomber who attended the same mosque. At one point Mateen was placed on two separate terrorism databases but was later removed.Columbus, OH: In February 2016 when Mohamed Barry attacked patrons with a machete at an Israeli-owned deli and later charged police shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” at which time he was shot and killed, he hadalready been investigated by the FBI for making extremist statements. Barry had been entered on a federal watch list and it appears remained on it until the time of the attack as his car had been flagged by authorities, but no further investigation was made.

Garland, TX: In May 2015, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were killed in a shootout with law enforcement outside a convention center where they had planned to attack a Muhammad cartoon drawing contest. But Simpson had been known to the FBI for years before going back to his involvement in a terror cell in Phoenix. He was even prosecuted for his involvement, and while a judge found that the had lied to the FBI about his plans overseas, he ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to prove Simpson intended to commit terrorism. He was subsequentlyplaced on the no-fly list, and the FBI opened up another investigation after he had made statements online in support of the Islamic State. Remarkably, evidence in a related terrorism trial revealed that the FBI not only had a paid informant inside the cell, the informant was aware of the attack plans and was reportedly on the scene at the time of the attack.

Columbus, OH: In May 2014, Zakia Nasrin, her husband Jaffrey Khan, and Zakia’s younger brother Rasel Raihan traveled to the capital city of the Islamic State, Raqqa, Syria, to join the terror group. According to U.S. intelligence officials, Rasel was killed there. Jaffrey and Rasel werealready known as extremists by the FBI after an informant’s tip. Suspicions were further raised when Jaffrey and Zakia claimed to have “lost” their passports while in Kenya. Rasel admitted to friends that he had been interviewed by the FBI. The report also claims that they were indeed on the terror watch list. And at the height of ISIS recruitment of Muslim-Americans, the FBI took no measures to prevent their travel to Syria.

Seattle, Newark: From April-June 2014, Ali Muhammad Brown went on a cross-country killing spree murdering 3 victims in Washington and another in New Jersey claiming that they were “vengeance” for U.S. actions in the Middle East. As a teenager Brown had reportedly trained at one of the first known U.S. terror training camps, and was later arrested in 2004 as part of a Seattle terror cell. At the time of his killing spree, prosecutors said he was on the terror watch list.

Boston: Prior to the bombing of the Boston Marathon by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013 that killed three people and injured 264 others, the FBI had been tipped off, twice, by Russian intelligence warning that Tamerlan was “a follower of radical Islam.” Initially, the FBI denied ever meeting with Tamerlan, but they later claimed that they followed up on the lead, couldn’t find anything in their databases linking him to terrorism, and quickly closed the case. After the second Russian warning, Tamerlan’s file was flagged by federal authorities demanding “mandatory” detention if he attempted to leave or re-enter the U.S. — but his name was misspelled when it was entered. An internal report of the handling of the Tsarnaev’s case unsurprisingly exonerated the FBI.

Underwear Bomber: When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 with 289 other passengers wearing a bomb intended to bring down the plane, he was already well-known to U.S. intelligence officials. The month before the attempted bombing, Abdulmutallab’s father had gone to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and met with two CIA officers telling them he wasconcerned about his son’s extremism. His name was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database, but not the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database or the no-fly list. When asked about the near-takedown of the flight and the missteps, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano remarkably told CNN that “the system worked.”

Fort Hood: Within days of Major Nidal Hasan’s November 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13, news reports indicated that the FBI was aware of his email correspondence with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki nearly a year before he launched his terror attack. The FBI was quick to issue a press release absolving themselves of responsibility, claiming that the email exchange was innocuous and consistent with Major Hasan’s religious research. But after the emails intercepted by the FBI were made public in 2012, there were clear indications of Major Hasan’s terrorist intent. Hasan had also repeatedly given PowerPoint briefings that proved to be highly controversial to his fellow Army colleagues because they threatened insider attacks by Muslims if they weren’t released as “conscientious objectors.”

New York City: On September 10, 2009, Najibullah Zazi drove his car into Manhattan loaded with backpack bombs intending to bomb the New York City Subway during rush hour. Zazi had received training from al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2008 and orders to conduct a domestic terror attack. British intelligence subsequently intercepted an emailbetween a senior al-Qaeda leader and Zazi inquiring about when he was going to conduct the attack and alerted American officials. The FBI then began conducting surveillance on Zazi, and followed him as he drove from Colorado to New York, during which time he lost the FBI tail (requiring FBI agents to fly to St. Louis to catch up with him), was stopped twice by police along the way, and then had his car searched on the George Washington Bridge by New York and New Jersey Port Authority police at the request of the FBI. The explosive device in the trunk was not discovered in the trunk because the trunk was never searched, most likely because the FBI had failed to obtain a search warrant. As Mitch Silber noted in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, the FBI allowed Zazi to drive into New York City with the bomb. Spooked by the stops and the search, and then by a tip from an imam who told Zazi that authorities were asking about him, Zazi disposed of the bomb materials in a toilet at a local mosque and flew back to Colorado, where he was arrested several days later. Despite the FBI’s repeated bungling of the case, the bureau publicly tried to pin the blame on the NYPD.

Little Rock: When Carlos Leon Bledsoe gunned down two U.S. Army soldiers in front of a Little Rock recruiting center in June 2009, killing Pvt. William Long, it was not his first contact with the FBI. Bureau agents had interviewed Bledsoe in Yemen and after his return to the U.S. in 2008, but had failed to follow up. After the Little Rock shooting, FBI officials said that he was motivated by “political and religious motives,” but refused to identify the incident as a terrorist attack.

In virtually every single Islamic terror attack inside the U.S. since Obama took office, excepting Chattanooga and San Bernardino both last year, the suspects were extremists already known to the FBI. And in the case of San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, she had been vetted by the U.S. government in June 2014and given a K-1 visa, though the FBI believes she had already been radicalized by then.

So after two years of reporting here at PJ Media on the ongoing “Known Wolf” terrorism problem, it seems that some members of Congress are beginning to begin to acknowledge 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’ SyndromeJan. 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

Will there be adequate changes made inside the FBI to prevent future attacks by known suspects? It seems unlikely until there are consequences for the long catalogue of failure by FBI leadership.

But as I’ve documented here, the “Known Wolf” terrorism problem is the rule under the Obama administration, not the exception.

Bombings in N.J., N.Y. not linked to larger terror cell, FBI director says

(Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

(Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

NJ.com, By The Associated Press, Sept. 27, 2016:

The investigation into bombings in New Jersey and New York by Ahmad Khan Rahami earlier this month do not point to a larger terror cell, FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday.

Comey was testifying alongside Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, at a hearing examining threats to national security 15 years after the 9/11 attacks.

Republican senators pressed Comey about whether anything more could have been done to prevent the bombings and other violent incidents including the Orlando nightclub massacre.

Comey said the FBI is fallible and transparent about its mistakes, but he did not concede that anything should have been done differently or that any red flags were missed.

The questions arose because the FBI has said it investigated Orlando gunman Omar Mateen a few years before the June shooting and interviewed him multiple times. The FBI in 2014 also looked into Rahami, the Afghan-born U.S. citizen accused in the explosion, but found nothing that tied him to terrorism.

Two senators, in particular, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Kelly Ayotte, said they were alarmed that both individuals had at one point been on the FBI’s radar but were not intercepted.

“What more do we need to do? What are the lessons learned, and if you need additional support, we need to know about it very quickly,” Ayotte said at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Paul, one of the Senate’s leading civil liberties champions, said he was troubled that the FBI appeared to often seek new tools but didn’t seem to adequately use the ones they had.

Comey pushed back against the criticism, telling Paul that he had his facts wrong in characterizing the FBI’s investigations into both Mateen and Rahami. He said he had commissioned a review into the FBI’s past interactions with Mateen, who killed 49 people inside a gay nightclub, and would be doing the same with Rahami.

“We’re going to go back and look very carefully about the way we encountered him,” he said.

The FBI opened an assessment on Rahami in 2014 following a domestic incident. His father has said he warned the FBI that his son was drawn to terrorism, though law enforcement officials say he never discussed his son’s apparent radicalization.

Separately, Comey said the U.S. remains extremely concerned that violent extremists will eventually flow out of Syria and Iraq and into other countries in hopes of committing attacks.

The number of Americans traveling to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State group has slowed to a trickle in the last year, but as the so-called caliphate becomes “crushed,” many militants from Western nations who are already there will stream out of the region and create new security threats.

“There will be a terrorist diaspora sometime in the next two to five years like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said.

The hearing took place just over a week after bombings in New York and New Jersey and a separate stabbing attack at a Minnesota mall.

Rasmussen said that in addition to the Islamic State militants, U.S. government officials are concerned about the capabilities and ambitions of al-Qaida and its affiliates.

Johnson said terrorist threats have evolved, moving from terrorist-directed attacks “to a world that also includes the threat of terrorist-inspired attacks” in which individuals who live in the U.S. are “self-radicalized” to attack their own country.

Johnson says that by their nature, terrorist-inspired attacks and terrorist-enabled attacks are difficult to detect by intelligence and law enforcement communities, can occur with little or no notice and in general make for a more complex homeland security challenge.

The panel’s chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the threat of “militant Islamic terrorist attacks to the United States remains significant,” citing the Sept. 17 attacks in the New York region and Minnesota, as well as deadly attacks in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida.

“In all, Islamic extremist terrorist have killed 63 people on U.S. soil since our committee last held its annual hearing to consider threats to the homeland,” the chairman said in a prepared statement.

Two years after President Barack Obama stated a goal of defeating the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, “we have made little progress,” said the senator, who is not related to the Homeland Security chief.

Rahami, the main suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings, faces federal terrorism charges after a shootout with police.

Prosecutors say Rahami, 28, planned the explosions for months as he bought components for his bombs online and set off a backyard blast. They say he wrote a journal that praised Osama bin Laden and other Muslim extremists, fumed about what he saw as the U.S. government’s killing of Muslim holy warriors and declared “death to your oppression.”

***

Also see:

Fact-Checking: Hillary’s’The FBI Has Exonerated Me’ Claim

clinton-email-photo_wide-9fd68d210255d74891d319485750b4b54178a9f9-s900-c85PJ Media, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Sept. 26, 2016:

It’s amusing to listen to flacks for Hillary Clinton, a pathological liar, plead with Lester Holt that he must play activist debate moderator, ready to pounce on Donald Trump’s misstatements. The Clinton campaign, when not reviewing immunity agreements, has put out a “Seven Deadly Lies” script in hopes of enticing Mr. Holt to go all Candy Crowley this evening.

Personally, I’d far prefer no moderator to an activist one. Correcting the adversary’s misstatements and turning them to one’s advantage is the debater’s skill – you’re not supposed to need the moderator’s help, you’re supposed to show us you can handle it on your own.

When I was a prosecutor, it was par for the course for defense lawyers to misstate the record in closing arguments to the jury. To leap out of one’s chair and scream, “objection” when this happened was both unsatisfying and risky. Usually, the most you’d get would be a tepid admonition from the judge that “the jury’s recollection of the evidence” – not the lawyers’ – is what matters. But if the judge did try to correct the record, there was always the danger that the judge would either get it wrong (in which case the prosecutor is in the awkward position of having to correct the judge and thus make the defense lawyer look good), or appear to be bullying the defense lawyer – which could engender the jury’s sympathy.

I always preferred to let the lawyers say what they wanted to say. I knew I’d get my turn to rebut. In so doing, I’d not only be able to show the jury that the defense lawyers had made misleading arguments; it would also be the perfect opportunity to argue that people only try to spin you when they know the truth destroys them – which became the launch point for repeating my three or four best facts. That is, the adversary’s falsehoods didn’t hurt me; they were a chance for me to make them look bad while reinforcing my own case.

In any event, I don’t know how interested people are in Mrs. Clinton’s favorite “deadly lie,” the fact that Trump has been disingenuous in claiming he opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A number of us pointed this out during the GOP primary campaign (see, e.g., here), to no effect. Moreover, Clinton voted for the Iraq war and then became part of the withering Democratic campaign to undermine it. To me, that seems a lot more consequential than Trump’s comparatively uninformed and irrelevant meanderings on the subject. (By “comparatively uninformed and irrelevant,” I mean that Clinton, by comparison, (a) was a member of the Senate serving on the Armed Services Committee, who was thus keenly aware of the alarming intelligence regarding Saddam Hussein; and (b) famously accused General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker of lying about progress in Iraq after the surge.) It seems to me that Clinton’s harping about Trump’s stance on Iraq only calls attention to her own wavering – which even many Democrats have rebuked.

One lie I would like to see fact-checked, though, is Clinton’s repeated one – which she’s certain to rehash this evening, namely: The FBI’s year-long investigation “exonerated” her of wrongdoing in the email scandal.

In point of fact, the FBI merely drew the conclusion that Clinton should not becharged with a crime. Even if we assume for argument’s sake that this was a valid conclusion (in fact, it is hugely suspect), finding that someone should not be indicted is far from exoneration.

In Mrs. Clinton’s case, FBI Director James Comey expressly found that Mrs. Clinton and her underlings “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” Comey also took pains to point out that, under Mrs. Clinton’s leadership, “the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.”

Finally, Comey observed that, by recommending against the indictment of Mrs. Clinton, he did not mean:

to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity [i.e., being “extremely careless” with “very sensitive, highly classified information”] would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.

“Security and administrative sanctions” in this context often means, at a minimum, the loss of one’s security clearance and, very likely, the loss of one’s job. A conclusion that one’s conduct would, under ordinary circumstances, render one unable to review classified information or work in a high-level government position is not exactly an “exoneration.”

Hillary Clinton’s inevitable “exoneration” claim should be fact-checked. It will be good for Donald Trump if he is up to the task, rather than waiting on help from Lester Holt.

Obama’s Conflict Tanked the Clinton E-mail Investigation — As Predicted

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Hillary couldn’t be proven guilty without proving the president guilty as well.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Sept. 26, 2016:

‘How is this not classified?”

So exclaimed Hillary Clinton’s close aide and confidante, Huma Abedin. The FBI had just shown her an old e-mail exchange, over Clinton’s private account, between the then-secretary of state and a second person, whose name Abedin did not recognize. The FBI then did what the FBI is never supposed to do: The agents informed their interviewee (Abedin) of the identity of the second person. It was the president of the United States, Barack Obama, using a pseudonym to conduct communications over a non-secure e-mail system — something anyone with a high-level security clearance, such as Huma Abedin, would instantly realize was a major breach.

Abedin was sufficiently stunned that, for just a moment, the bottomless capacity of Clinton insiders to keep cool in a scandal was overcome. “How is this not classified?”

She recovered quickly enough, though. The FBI records that the next thing Abedin did, after “express[ing] her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym,” was to “ask if she could have a copy of the email.”

Abedin knew an insurance policy when she saw one. If Obama himself  had been e-mailing over a non-government, non-secure system, then everyone else who had been doing it had a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Thanks to Friday’s FBI document dump — 189 more pages of reports from the Bureau’s year-long foray (“investigation” would not be the right word) into the Clinton e-mail scandal — we now know for certain what I predicted some eight months ago here at NRO: Any possibility of prosecuting Hillary Clinton was tanked by President Obama’s conflict of interest.

As I explained in February, when it emerged that the White House was refusing to disclose at least 22 communications Obama had exchanged with then-secretary Clinton over the latter’s private e-mail account, we knew that Obama had knowingly engaged in the same misconduct that was the focus of the Clinton probe: the reckless mishandling of classified information.

To be sure, he did so on a smaller scale. Clinton’s recklessness was systematic: She intentionally set up a non-secure, non-government communications framework, making it inevitable that classified information would be mishandled, and that federal record-keeping laws would be flouted. Obama’s recklessness, at least as far as we know, was confined to communications with Clinton — although the revelation that the man presiding over the “most transparent administration in history” set up a pseudonym to conceal his communications obviously suggests that his recklessness may have been more widespread.

Still, the difference in scale is not a difference in kind. In terms of the federal laws that criminalize mishandling of classified information, Obama not only engaged in the same type of misconduct Clinton did; he engaged in it with Clinton. It would not have been possible for the Justice Department to prosecute Clinton for her offense without its becoming painfully apparent that 1) Obama, too, had done everything necessary to commit a violation of federal law, and 2) the communications between Obama and Clinton were highly relevant evidence.

Indeed, imagine what would have happened had Clinton been indicted. The White House would have attempted to maintain the secrecy of the Obama-Clinton e-mails (under Obama’s invocation of a bogus “presidential communications” privilege), but Clinton’s defense lawyers would have demanded the disclosure of the e-mails in order to show that Obama had engaged in the same misconduct, yet only she, not he, was being prosecuted. And as most experienced criminal-law lawyers understand (especially if they’ve read a little Supreme Court case known as United States v. Nixon), it is an argument that Clinton’s lawyers would have won.

In fact, in any other case — i.e., in a case that involved any other unindicted co-conspirator — it would be the Justice Department itself introducing the Obama-Clinton e-mails into evidence.

As noted above, the FBI told Huma Abedin that the name she did not recognize in the e-mail with Clinton was an Obama alias. For the agents to do this ran afoul of investigative protocols. The point of an FBI interview is for the interviewee to provide information to the investigators, not the other way around. If agents give information to potential witnesses, the government gets accused of trumping up the case.

But of course, that’s only a problem if there is actually going to be a case.

In this instance, it was never going to happen. The president’s involvement guaranteed that . . . so why worry about letting Abedin in on the president’s involvement?

Abedin was startled by this revelation. No wonder: People in her lofty position know that direct presidential communications with high-ranking officials who have national-security and foreign-policy responsibilities are presumptively classified.

To convey this, and thus convey the legal significance of Obama’s involvement, I can’t much improve on what I told you back in February. When the Obama Justice Department prosecuted retired general David Petraeus, the former CIA director, for mishandling classified information, government attorneys emphasized that this top-secret intelligence included notes of Petraeus’s “discussions with the president of the United States of America.”

Petraeus pled guilty because he knew the case against him was a slam-dunk. He grasped that trying to defend himself by sputtering, Clinton-style, that “the notes were not marked classified” would not pass the laugh test. As I elaborated in the February column, when you’re a national-security official engaging in and making a written record of policy and strategy conversations with the president, the lack of classified markings on the documents you’ve created

[does] not alter the obvious fact that the information they contain [is] classified — a fact well known to any high government official who routinely handles national-defense secrets, let alone one who directly advises the president.

Moreover, as is the case with Clinton’s e-mails, much of the information in Petraeus’s journals was “born classified” under the terms of President Obama’s own executive order — EO 13526. As I’ve previously noted, in section 1.1(d) of that order, Obama issued this directive: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.” In addition, the order goes on (in section 1.4) to describe other categories of information that officials should deem classified based on the damage to national security that disclosure could cause. Included among these categories: foreign relations, foreign activities of the United States, military plans, and intelligence activities.

Abedin knew, as the FBI agents who were interviewing her surely knew, that at least some of Obama’s pseudonymous exchanges with Clinton had to have crossed into these categories. They were born classified. As I said in February, this fact would profoundly embarrass Obama if the e-mails were publicly disclosed.

Hundreds of times, despite Clinton’s indignant insistence that she never sent or received classified information, the State Department has had to concede that her e-mails must be redacted or withheld from public disclosure because they contain information that is patently classified. But this is not a concession the administration is willing to make regarding Obama’s e-mails.

That is why, as I argued in February, Obama is trying to get away with the vaporous claim that presidential communications must be kept confidential. He does not want to say “executive privilege” because that sounds too much like Nixon. More important, the only other alternative is to designate the e-mails as classified. That would be tantamount to an admission that Obama engaged in the same violation of law as Clinton.

Again, this is why the prosecution of Mrs. Clinton never had a chance of happening. It also explains why, in his public statements about the matter, Obama insisted that Clinton’s e-mailing of classified information did not harm national security. It is why Obama, in stark contrast to his aforementioned executive order, made public statements pooh-poohing the fact that federal law forbids the mishandling of any intelligence secret. (“There’s classified, and then there’s classified,” he said, so cavalierly.) He had to take this position because he had himself effectively endorsed the practice of high-level communications through non-secure channels.

This is also why the Justice Department and the FBI effectively rewrote the relevant criminal statute in order to avoid applying it to Clinton. In his public statements about Clinton, Obama has stressed that she is an exemplary public servant who would never intentionally harm the United States. In rationalizing their decision not to indict Clinton, Justice Department officials (in leaks to the Washington Post) and the FBI director (in his press conference and congressional testimony) similarly stressed the lack of proof that she intended to harm the United States.

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, however, the operative criminal statute does not call for proof of intent to harm the United States. It merely requires proof of gross negligence. This is entirely lawful and appropriate, since we’re talking about a law that can apply only to government officials who have a special duty to preserve secrecy and who have been schooled in the proper handling of classified information. Yet the Justice Department frivolously suggested that applying the law exactly the way it is written — something the Justice Department routinely tells judges they must do — would, in Clinton’s case, potentially raise constitutional problems.

Alas, the Justice Department and the FBI have to take that indefensible position here. Otherwise, Clinton would not be the only one in legal jeopardy.

I will end with what I said eight months ago:

To summarize, we have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama. From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information.

That is why the Clinton e-mail scandal never had a chance of leading to criminal charges.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

The FBI Investigation of EmailGate Was a Sham

FBI Director James Comey. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FBI Director James Comey. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Observer, by John R. Schindler

From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the Bureau to do its job – at least where high-ranking Democrats are concerned.

As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.

Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

This stunning omission appears highly curious to anybody versed in counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less classified than what Clinton and her staff exposed on Hillary “unclassified” email server of bathroom infamy.

This week, however, we learned that there is actually no mystery at all here. The FBI was never able to get enough traction in its investigation of EmailGate to prosecute anybody since the Bureau had already granted immunity to key players in that scandal.

Granting immunity is a standard practice in investigations, and is sometimes unavoidable. Giving a pass to Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT guru who set up her email and server, made some sense since he understands what happened here, technically speaking, and otherwise is a small fish. The wisdom of giving him a pass now seems debatable, though, since Pagliano has twice refused to testify before Congress about his part in EmailGate, blowing off subpoenas. Just this week the House Oversight Committee recommended that Pagliano be cited for contempt of Congress for his repeated no-shows. That vote was on strictly partisan lines, with not a single Democrat on the committee finding Pagliano’s ignoring of Congressional subpoenas to be worthy of censure.

Now it turns out the FBI granted immunity to much bigger fish in the Clinton political tank. Three more people got a pass from the Bureau in exchange for their cooperation: Hillary lawyer Heather Samuelson, State Department IT boss John Bental, and – by far the most consequential – Cheryl Mills, who has been a Clinton flunky-cum-factotum for decades.

Mills served as the State Department’s Chief of Staff and Counselor throughout Hillary’s tenure as our nation’s top diplomat. Granting her immunity in EmailGate, given her deep involvement in that scandal – including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails so they could not be handed over to the FBI – now seems curious, to say the least, particularly because Mills sat in on Hillary’s chat with the Bureau regarding EmailGate.

This was in fact so highly irregular that Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, pronounced himself “absolutely stunned” by the FBI’s granting of immunity to Cheryl Mills – which he learned of only on Friday. “No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case,” Rep. Chaffetz observed of Comey’s Bureau: “They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”

Not to mention that Mills has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation in Washington for helping the Clintons dodge investigation after investigation. When Bill and Hillary need a fixer to help them bury the bodies – as they say inside the Beltway – trusty Cheryl Mills has been on call for the last quarter-century.

She played a key role in the Whitewater scandal of the 1990s – and so did James Comey. Fully two decades ago, when Comey was a Senate investigator, he tried to get Mills, then deputy counsel to Bill Clinton’s White House, to hand over relevant documents. Mills went full dog-ate-my-homework, claiming that a burglar had taken the files, leading Comey to unavoidably conclude that she was obstructing his investigation. Mills’ cover-up, the Senate investigators assessed, encompassed “destruction of documents” and “highly improper” behavior.

Such misconduct is a career-ender for normal people in Washington, but not for Cheryl Mills, who over the last several decades has followed the Clintons everywhere they go. Mills has proven her loyalty to Clinton, Inc. time and again, and that loyalty has been rewarded with a pass on prosecution in EmailGate.

To say nothing of the fact that as chief of staff at Foggy Bottom, Mills was in no way functioning as Hillary’s personal lawyer, as Clinton advocates have contended. Even her other title, State Department Counselor, has nothing to do with legal matters, despite the name. That role is traditionally assigned to an esteemed foreign policy guru who is supposed to offer sage counsel to the secretary of state. Mills’ predecessor as Counselor was Eliot Cohen, one of the country’s preeminent scholars of international relations. Leave it to the Clintons to turn that job over to one of their trusted cabal, translating Counselor in mafia fashion as consigliere.

“The whole thing stinks,” explained a retired FBI senior official who professed dismay about the state of his former employer. “This was impossible in my time, unthinkable,” he rued, expressing shock that the Bureau allowed Mills to remain involved in the investigation, including acting as Hillary’s personal lawyer, despite her own immunity.

How exactly Cheryl Mills got immunity, and what its terms were, is the long-awaited “smoking gun” in EmailGate, the clear indication that, despite countless man-hours expended on the year-long investigation, James Comey and his FBI never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton – or anyone – for her mishandling of classified information as secretary of state.

Why Comey decided to give Mills a get-out-of-jail-free card is something that needs proper investigation. This is raw, naked politics in all its ugly and cynical glory. Corruption is the tamest word to describe this sort of dirty backroom deal which makes average Americans despise politics and politicians altogether.

How high in this administration EmailGate went is the key question, and it’s been reopened by the latest tranche of redacted documents that the FBI released – on Friday afternoon, as usual. There are lots of tantalizing tidbits here, including the fact that early in Hillary’s term at Foggy Bottom, State Department officials were raising awkward legal questions about her highly irregular email and server arrangements.

Most intriguing, however, is the revelation that Hillary was communicating with President Obama via personal email, and he was using an alias. The alias he used with Hillary, and apparently others, was withheld by the FBI, and let it be said the fact that the president wanted to disguise his identity in unclassified email is not all that odd.

What is odd, however, is the fact that Obama previously told the media that he only learned of Hillary’s irregular email and server arrangements from “news reports.” How the president failed to notice that he was emailing his top diplomat at her personal, clintonmail.com address, not a state.gov account, particularly when they were discussing official business, is something Congress may want to find out – since certainly the FBI won’t.

Indeed, when she was being interviewed by the Bureau, Hillary’s ever-faithful sidekick Huma Abedin, was asked about President Obama’s emailing to Hillary using an alias. “How is this not classified?” inquired the mystified Abedin.

How indeed?

The fact that the FBI redacted the contents of that email indicates that is wasclassified, although it was sent to Hillary’s personal email and transited her personal server.

This, like so many aspects of EmailGate, seems destined to remain a mystery, at least for now. The State Department won’t release the full collection of Clinton’s emails until after our November 8 election. Just this week a Federal judge blasted Foggy Bottom for its slow-rolling: “The State Department needs to start cooperating to the fullest extent possible. They are not perceived to be doing that.” Nevertheless, thepublic won’t get to see all of Hillary’s emails until after Americans decide who the next president will be.

For Hillary Clinton, winning that election may be a legal necessity to protect her from prosecution. Congress, animated by these latest revelations of illegality and corruption, will now pursue her with vigor, while an FBI in the hands of Donald Trump seems likely to show an interest in EmailGate which the Bureau never possessed under President Obama.

Regardless, this story has emerged yet again to tar Hillary Clinton’s reputation at the worst possible time, when her campaign is lagging in the polls. We can be sure that her Republican opponent will mention EmailGate in Monday’s inaugural presidential debate. The Democratic nominee should have coherent answers about her email and server at the ready if she wants to avoid a debacle before the cameras.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee.

Why did feds grant immunity to Hillary’s ‘highly improper’ aide?

Cheryl Mills and Hillary Clinton Photo: AP; Reuters

Cheryl Mills and Hillary Clinton Photo: AP; Reuters

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 24, 2016:

If anyone would know Hillary consigliere Cheryl Mills’ reputation for obstructing investigations, it’s FBI Director James Comey. He complained about her lack of cooperation while probing Clinton scandals in the 1990s. Yet he agreed to give Mills immunity from prosecution in his probe of Hillary’s illegal e-mails as secretary of state, where Mills was chief of staff.

As a Whitewater investigator for the Senate in the mid-1990s, Comey sought information from Mills; but wouldn’t you know, the then-deputy White House counsel claimed a burglar stole her notes.

Comey concluded that Hillary Clinton ordered Mills to block investigators. The obstruction, the Senate committee found, included the “destruction of documents” and other “highly improper . . . misconduct.”

Two years later, Mills was in the middle of another Hillary scandal, involving the then-first lady’s integration of White House and Democratic National Committee computer databases.

This time the House subpoenaed information from Mills, who not only withheld the documents but, a government committee said, “lied under oath” — prompting staff lawyers to send a criminal referral to the Justice Department demanding prosecutors charge Mills with obstruction of justice and perjury.

In 2000, a Commerce Department official testified that Mills ordered her to “withhold” from investigators e-mails and other documents exposing yet another scandal involving the first lady — the selling of seats on foreign trade junkets for campaign cash.

At the same time, a federal judge suggested Mills helped orchestrate a cover-up that blamed a technical “glitch” in the White House archiving system that conveniently resulted in the loss of 1.8 million e-mails under subpoena in the Monica Lewinsky, Filegate and other scandal investigations.

Fast-forward to Hillary’s tenure as secretary. In October 2012, Mills sorted through key Benghazi documents and decided which to withhold from a review board. She also leaned on witnesses. Deputy ambassador to Libya Gregory Hicks testified before Congress in 2013 that Mills told him in an angry phone call to stop cooperating with investigators.

The FBI chief was fully aware of Mills’ M.O. when he launched his investigation. Yet even after discovering she was in the middle of everything improper, if not illegal, he treated her with kid gloves.

Comey knew it was Mills who had Hillary’s e-mails moved off her private unsecured server and onto laptops, where she decided which ones were government-related and OK for public release and which were “personal.” He knew it was Mills who shredded the e-mails that were printed out and who had the rest of the 31,000 e-mails deleted, and then had the laptops bleached clean.

And he knew it was Mills who told the Denver tech who maintained the server to stop retaining her e-mails and to delete Hillary’s archived e-mails, all of which the tech dutifully performed after Congress subpoenaed them and ordered them preserved.

Even so, Comey agreed to grant Mills immunity in exchange for her cooperation in the investigation. He also agreed to ground rules that left some lines of inquiry off-limits. When agents in April tried to pin her down on the procedures she used to search for Hillary’s e-mails under order, she and her lawyer stormed out of the room. So much for Comey’s cooperative witness.

Mills claimed such information was protected under “attorney-client privilege,” which is ridiculous. Mills was chief of staff for Hillary, not her lawyer, at the time Hillary was bypassing government security and squirreling away state secrets in her basement.

And even though Mills deleted the records after she left State and was supposedly acting as Hillary’s attorney then, privilege does not apply when a client seeks advice on how to commit a crime and the crime is committed.

Yet Comey’s agents abided by her claim and never pursued the line of questioning again. In effect, they gave her a pass on the whole question of the criminal obstruction behind which she looks to be the mastermind. And then, three months later, they let her sit in on Hillary’s interview even though Hillary was represented by attorney David Kendall!

Mills should be dragged before Congress to publicly answer questions the FBI refused to ask her. But she would just lie with impunity like she did in her past testimony involving other Hillary scandals.

Rather, it would be more productive to grill Comey under the klieg lights. Why did he give a key suspect who orchestrated the destruction of government records immunity as a witness? Why didn’t he demand prosecutors convene a grand jury to question Mills under oath? Was he pressured by the attorney general?

Sweating Mills could have cracked the case wide open. No one would have ever let H.R. Haldeman get away with editing the Nixon tapes. Why would the FBI director let Hillary’s chief of staff get away with deleting her e-mails?

Paul Sperry is author of “The Great American Bank Robbery,” which exposes the role of race-based Clinton housing policies in the mortgage bust.

Also see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Political Correctness Starts at DOJ HQ, Not FBI

Fox News/Screencap

Fox News/Screencap

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept. 21, 2016:

During a Tuesday night appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined human-rights attorney and former State Department official David Tafuri to discuss the Chelsea bombing.

Gorka said that from his travel records, we now know that bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami visited Quetta, “the hotbed of Salafi jihadism,” and home base of the Afghan Taliban’s leadership, the Quetta Shura.

“The fact that we have reports that he made anti-American statements here, and homophobic statements – I think an interview or two would have been very, very wise,” he suggested.

“There’s an amazing similarity between Rahami and the Orlando bomber, Mateen,” observed David Tafuri. “Both were disaffected Muslims, both were home-grown terrorists. Both came on the radar screen for the FBI. The FBI investigated both – but, apparently, the FBI concluded after investigating both that they did not think either of them were a threat to the U.S. That’s where the FBI made a mistake.”

“The FBI can’t get into the minds of these home-grown terrorists, but we would hope that the FBI will change its procedures, and look at threats like this more closely,” Tafuri added.

Gorka suggested there were several possible explanations for why “balls are being dropped in terms of national security.”

“One is simply a manpower issue. The director of the FBI himself has said there are 900 cases they’re investigating that are linked to ISIS alone, in every state of the union. That’s a huge labor-intensive exercise,” he noted.

“Secondly, we have seen that there are certain sensitivities, a certain political matrix being forced upon our operators, our investigators – which isn’t really often from the FBI,” Gorka continued. “If you dig deeper in these cases where something was spotted, and people were pushed back from the investigation – you saw this with Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter – the nexus of the political correctness that is pushed down is usually from the Department of Justice itself, and from the Civil Rights Division.”

“It could be a case of someone getting into the FBI’s protocols and saying, ‘no, we’re not going to focus on this right now,’” Gorka speculated.

Tafuri expected there would be some political fallout from these security lapses, including another mentioned by guest host Brett Baier, the Department of Homeland Securityerroneously granting citizenship to hundreds of illegal aliens who were facing deportation.

“None of these home-grown terrorists are actually refugees, as far as we know, so they did not come here as part of the refugee resettlement process,” said Tafuri. “And, in fact, no refugee so far has committed terrorism in the United States. But specifically look at the Syrian refugees, who are a hot-button political topic right now. No Syrian refugee who has been resettled in the United States has committed terrorism.”

“That doesn’t mean that the U.S. government hasn’t made mistakes with respect to immigration,” he added, calling the DHS story mentioned by Baier a “very important one.”

“We’ve allowed over a thousand people to go from a list where they were supposed to be deported, to somehow a different list, and they re-applied under a different name, and were mistakenly admitted. That is a significant error that needs to be corrected,” Tafuri said. “Luckily, the U.S. government has identified it, and is hopefully correcting it very quickly.”

Gorka agreed with Baier that the DHS debacle “backs up some of the things Donald Trump has been saying on the trail.”

“Again, just go to the chief law enforcement officer who’s talked about this,” said Gorka. “Director Comey said, when you have people coming from a war zone like Syria that is not friendly to us – on the contrary, we’re bombing them – there is no way to vet individuals from Syria, because there’s no database to vet them against. The Syrians aren’t going to give us the data.”

“So what’s the alternative?” he asked. “My parents were refugees. They escaped a dictatorship during the Cold War. There was no way to get information about who they were. So what happened? They spent weeks in a refugee camp, undergoing counter-intelligence interrogations to prove their bona fides. Again, incredibly labor-intensive protocols. Perhaps we don’t have the capabilities.”

Tafuri agreed that “we have to have significant vetting process for refugees, and I’m glad Sebastian pointed out, he’s a refugee.” (In fact, Dr. Gorka is not a refugee, and did not claim to be one; he said his parents were refugees.)

“Refugees have contributed a lot to this country. Donald Trump talked about how we defeated fascism in World War II. Part of the way we defeated it is, we had refugees who contributed to the nuclear program that helped us get out of World War II. Refugees do contribute so much, and so far, refugees have not been a source of terrorism. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to vet them significantly. But the refugee resettlement program has a significant vetting process. It takes 18 to 24 months to come here as a refugee. There are multiple interviews. There are background checks. And so far, it has worked,” Tafuri argued.

Here is the interview:

FBI Training Questioned in Recent Terror Attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The list of those recent attacks includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Also see:

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

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

CAIR Has Always Been Hamas

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo,  Sept. 22, 2016:

The Council on American Islamic Relations was created in 1994 by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee which is Hamas in America.

CAIR is Hamas.  [See the UTT document entitled “CAIR is Hamas” HERE.]

Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist organization by the U.S. government and CAIR is a designated terrorist organization by our allies, including the UAE.

A document recovered from CAIR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. by UTT Vice President Chris Gaubatz reveals Hamas (doing business as CAIR) is willing to work with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden:

“Attempt to understand Islamic movements in the area, and start supporting Islamic groups including Mr. bin Laden and his associates”  (Proposed Muslim Platform for 2004 dated 3/08/04)

A declassified FBI document from the Indianapolis, Indiana field office dated 1987 stated:

“The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) is a secret Muslim organization that has unlimited funds and is extremely well organized in the United States…(an FBI source states) that in this phase their organizations needs to peacefuly get inside the United States Government and also American universities….the ultimate goal of the Islamic Revolution is the overthrow of all non-Islamic Government and that violence is a tool…(An FBI source ) has stated that Muslim in the United States have to be prepared for Martyrdom.”

In a separate declassified FBI document dated 12/15/87:

“The leadership of (MB organizations) are inter-related…having been identified as supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Government of Iran (GOI).”

Former Iranian President Khatami being served by Shurat Hadin with a $1 billion legal action on behalf of 12 Persians imprisoned in Iran. This took place at a Hamas (CAIR) function in Northern Virginia 2006. Hamas leader Nihad Awad on the right of Iran’s Khatami.

Former Iranian President Khatami being served by Shurat Hadin with a $1 billion legal action on behalf of 12 Persians imprisoned in Iran. This took place at a Hamas (CAIR) function in Northern Virginia 2006. Hamas leader Nihad Awad on the right of Iran’s Khatami.

awadSo when we see CAIR host the former President of Iran Khatami at a Hamas function in Northern Virginia, it is no surprise.

They are terrorists.  That is what terrorists do.

Keep this in mind as they get in front of the TV cameras to tell us all about the bombings in New York, New Jersey.

CAIR is Hamas.  Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Why FBI Suspects Keep Attacking Americans

asd

The reason our authorities don’t take pre-emptive action against Islamic terror — even after solid intelligence warnings.

Front Page Magazine, by Matthew Vadum, Sept. 21, 2016:

Why does the Obama administration keep failing to thwart Muslim terrorist attacks in the U.S. after receiving apparently good intelligence warning of those attacks?

It turns out that Americans keep turning in budding Muslim terrorists to the Obama administration and the administration keeps on doing nothing. For example, the alleged mastermind of the weekend pressure-cooker bombing in New York City was turned in by his own father but the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to do much of anything about him.

These intelligence failures have become a recurrent theme in the Obama era, with deadly results. Excluding the events of the last few days, there have been 89 Muslim terrorist plots and attacks in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001 and 25 of those have taken place since the beginning of 2015, according to David Inserra of the Heritage Foundation.

Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka, vice president at the Institute of World Politics, blamed political correctness for the FBI’s inability to do something about Rahami before he acted.

“There are certain sensitivities,” Gorka said on the “O’Reilly Factor” last night.

“A certain political matrix is being forced upon our operators and investigators,” he said. Usually this kind of political pressure originates not from the FBI, but from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, he said.

The FBI is also hindered by inadequate human resources, Gorka said. There are reportedly 900 active terrorist investigations in all 50 states and the bureau can only do so much, he said.

The FBI has indeed been handcuffed in terrorist investigations by President Obama whose administration has worked with terrorist front groups like the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The law enforcement agency has also become increasingly politicized in the Obama era.

The pressure-cooker terrorist was apprehended after he injured a score of New Yorkers on the weekend but not through brilliant police work. He was caught during a shootout with cops.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a.k.a. Ahmad Rahimi, was charged yesterday with use of weapons of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use. Rahami was born in Afghanistan but became a U.S. citizen.

Prosecutors say Rahami planted a pipe bomb and triggering cellphone Saturday morning in Seaside Park, N.J., before a scheduled U.S. Marine Corps charity run. Later that day he placed a pressure cooker bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan that the complaint states caused injuries and “multiple-million dollars of property damage across a 650-foot crime scene.” Twenty-nine people were wounded. He was previously charged with multiple counts of attempted murder of police officers and other offenses arising from a gun battle when he was captured Monday.

Police also discovered and safely detonated a pipe bomb at a train station in Elizabeth, N.J. Although it is unclear if Rahami is connected to that bomb, his family did sue the city of Elizabeth in 2011 claiming harassment and religious discrimination related to their family restaurant, First American Fried Chicken.

Rahami came to the attention of the FBI two years ago when his father suspected his son was involved in terrorism. Mohammad Rahami told reporters he contacted federal authorities after Ahmad stabbed Nasser, another one of his sons, and attacked another family member, which led to a criminal investigation.

The FBI apparently performed a superficial examination of the case at the time.

 “In August 2014, the F.B.I. initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authority,” the agency said in a press release. “The F.B.I. conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

It would seem the fact that Rahami made a three-month trip to Quetta, Pakistan, in 2011, and visited Quetta again during an 11-month trip beginning in 2013, were ignored by the FBI. Quetta is a Taliban stronghold and a hotbed of Salafi jihadism.

About two miles from the Chelsea attack, President Obama gave a speech at the United Nations in which he said the U.S. should take more immigrants like Rahami and implicitly attacked GOP candidate Donald Trump. Obama blamed America for the world’s problems as he jabbed at Trump’s promise to secure the border, crack down on illegal aliens, and change our asylum policies.

“The world is too small for us to simply be able to build a wall,” Obama said. “We have to open our hearts and do more to help refugees who are desperate for a home,” he said. He added, “today a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself.”

Obama also suggested that Americans and Europeans are racist for not wanting to be swamped by outsiders from hostile cultures. “And in Europe and the United States, you see people wrestle with concerns about immigration and changing demographics, and suggesting that somehow people who look different are corrupting the character of our countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rahami isn’t the first Islamic terrorist law enforcement agencies have failed to do anything about after receiving tips.

Omar Mir Siddique Mateen, who in June killed 49 innocent victims at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., was reported to the FBI in 2014. The massacre has been called the worst mass shooting in American history and the worst domestic terrorist attack since 9/11. Mateen, shot dead by police during the episode, had been under FBI investigation.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack after it took place. Mateen himself “claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and praised the Boston Marathon bombers,” before being killed by police on the scene, the New York Times reported at the time.

In December 2015, President Obama ignored FBI-procured evidence that the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., was an Islamic terrorist operation and ordered federal officials to mislead the public about the true nature of the assault.

Although the FBI knew immediately that the mass-casualty event was a Muslim terrorist attack, Obama and FBI Director James Comey reportedly clashed over why Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, opened fire Farook’s municipal government workmates, leaving 14 dead. They left a trail of social media evidence that went unused before the attack.

Whistleblower Phil Haney, an investigator who helped to create the Department of Homeland Security, revealed the government shut down a database he created that might have helped to prevent the attack. Haney says he looked into groups that had ties to Farook and Malik as far back as 2012. But civil rights officials accused him of unfairly profiling Muslims, removed his security clearance, and destroyed the data he collected. (Haney tells his story in Trevor Loudon’s powerful new documentary film about leftist and jihadist influence in the U.S. government, The Enemies Within.)

And don’t forget the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev. The FBI had been investigating Tamerlan and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) warned the Obama administration about his jihadist sympathies.

But Barack Obama doesn’t like reality intruding on his preferred narrative. Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims have to be given the benefit of the doubt in his view.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”

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Just another day at DHS: 858 criminal aliens from ‘special interest countries’ wrongly granted citizenship

Sakdawut Tangtongsap | Shutterstock

Sakdawut Tangtongsap | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, Sept. 19, 2016:

It’s bad enough that individuals like the Somali stabber in St. Cloud, MN and the Afghani bombing suspect in Elizabeth, NJ were brought into the country and granted citizenship. Now the DHS Inspector General is warning that a number of immigrants from “special interest countries” who were ordered deported, were wrongly granted citizenship.

Here is the key finding from the press release, first reported by AP:

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) today released a report that found that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals from special interest countries who had been ordered deported or removed under another name. This happened because neither the digital fingerprint repository at DHS nor the repository at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contains all old fingerprint records of individuals previously deported.

In the new report, “Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S.Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records,” OIG found that the records are missing from the DHS digital repository because paper-based fingerprint cards used prior to 2008 were not consistently digitized and uploaded into the repository. The FBI repository is also missing records because, in the past, fingerprints collected during immigration enforcement encounters were not always forwarded to the FBI. Currently, about 148,000 fingerprint records of aliens from special interest countries who had final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives have yet to be digitized.

Remember, many immigrants who would be eligible for citizenship initially came here before the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service was rolled into DHS. They are a part of the 148,000 fingerprint records that were never transferred over into DHS databases, compromising the ability of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to monitor which aliens were ordered deported when approving applications for citizenship.

Page three of Inspector General John Roth’s report cuts to the core of the problem with this oversight — assuming it is simply an oversight:

As long as the older fingerprint records have not been digitized and included in the repositories, USCIS risks making naturalization decisions without complete information and, as a result, naturalizing more individuals who may be ineligible for citizenship or who may be trying to obtain U.S. citizenship fraudulently. As naturalized citizens, these individuals retain many of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship, including serving in law enforcement, obtaining a security clearance, and sponsoring other aliens’ family members’ entry into the United States.

Oh, and voting rights too. Anyone think these people are voting for Republicans?

It is this literal theft I had in mind when I warned in Stolen Sovereignty about the irresponsible moves of the executive and judicial branches in violating the sovereignty of the citizen. Whether it’s granting unqualified birthright citizenship, preventing states from asking for identification before granting citizenship to children born here, counting illegals in the census, resettling refugees without the consent of local communities, , allowing non-citizens to vote, tolerating fraud in the naturalization process or refusing to deport criminal aliens, the citizens of this country have been disenfranchised time and time again.

Moreover, when viewed through the prism of our current security predicament, consider the following: these individuals are known to have engaged in identity fraud, have already been ordered deported — which means they are likely criminal aliens — AND are from “special interest countries.” As you let that thought sink in, now consider that they already have citizenship in their back pocket, and the rights inherent in being an American.

What has happened to this individuals? One would expect them to be de-naturalized immediately, pursuant to 8 USC 1451(a), which authorizes a court to revoke citizenship through criminal or civil proceedings. As I detail in chapter four of Stolen Sovereignty, our nation has a long history of quickly expatriating individuals whenever the law stipulated that immigrants were no longer here in accordance with national consent. Unfortunately, times have changed.

More from the IG’s report:

However, few of these individuals have been investigated and subsequently denaturalized. As it identified these 1,029 individuals, OPS referred the cases to ICE for investigation. As of March 2015, ICE had closed 90 investigations of these individuals and had 32 open investigations. The Offices of the United States Attorneys (USAO) accepted 2 cases for criminal prosecution, which could lead to denaturalization; the USAO declined 26 cases.

In other words, beyond a handful of cases, these people have never been de-naturalized, much less deported for multiple accounts of fraud (on top of being ordered deported in the first place!).

Raise your hand if you believe DHS will begin immediately combing through the list of 148,000 names whose finger prints have not been placed in the databases used by USCIS. Now raise your other hand if you believe the people’s representatives in Congress, which were purposely vested with the full power over immigration and naturalization, will lift a finger to force DHS to clean up its act.

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In Over 40% of ISIS Prosecutions, Community Members Didn’t Report Perp to Law Enforcement

cair-imageLots of people are taking CAIR’s warning, “Don’t Talk to the FBI,” to heart.

CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Sept. 14, 2016:

It’s bad enough that the U.S. is having to dedicate so many resources into preventing ISIS jihadists from spilling innocent American blood (“more than 110 people have been publicly charged in federal court since late 2013” in ISIS connected cases in the U.S.) – now we have to worry about their friends and family withholding vital information from law enforcement that might be able to prevent deadly attacks. Reuters reports on some of the numbers:

In more than 80 percent of the Islamic State cases that have been prosecuted since 2013, someone in the community of the accused person believed they had witnessed the activity for which the person was ultimately charged, according to Carlin. In more than half of those cases, the witnesses did not report anything to law enforcement authorities until after the charges were made. [Emphasis added.]

One can see why some Muslims are reticent about revealing important info to law enforcement when prominent Islamist activist groups lobby against such efforts. For example, the Hamas affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) California displayed fliers on its website in 2011 discouraging cooperation between Muslims and the FBI with messages like, “BUILD A WALL OF RESISTANCE[,]” as well as “DON’T TALK TO THE F.B.I.”

There is also animosity toward non-Muslims within Islamic doctrine that may be contributing to the friction between Muslims and ‘kafirs‘ (non-Muslims). Some passages from the Quran include:

Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination. –Quran 3:28

And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners. –Quran 3:54

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. –Quran 4:59

O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case? -Quran 4:144

While many Muslims are loyal U.S. citizens, there are some who subscribe to the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) and Dar al-harb (House of War) type mentality – seeing non-Muslims and their governments as the enemy. Therefore, even terrorist sympathizers can be perceived as the lesser of two evils – the other evil being ‘infidel’ governments.

The growing threat of jihadism in the U.S. is real. “The Department of Justice charged 60 people last year with supporting or committing crimes because of their sympathies to Islamic State, the largest annual figure on record.” With jihad knocking at the door the U.S. we must institute reforms to further incentivize cooperation between citizens and law enforcement officials – especially during possible terrorism cases – and punish not just the jihadist but also those in the jihadi’s network that are complicit in efforts to support terrorism. Helping out jihadists whether implicitly or explicitly should not be tolerated.

Islamic State Adapting & Improving Its Escape/Evasion Tactics/Tradecraft

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Image source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-tricks-make-isis-once-easily-tracked-a-sophisticated-opponent-1473613106

Fortuna’s Corner, by R. C. Porter, Sept. 12, 2016:

Sam Schechner and Benoit Faucon had a September 11, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal with an all too familiar theme — that the adversary is evading our attempts to surveil them — by adapting and enhancing their escape and evasion tradecraft.  Our lack of critical human intelligence (HUMINT) can be blamed on a clever adversary who has learned from their past mistakes, our inability to deeply penetrate their inner sanctum, and self-inflicted/unforced errors like closing Guantanamo Bay Prison without identifying a viable alternative.

     Getting a reliable, and highly successful human spy ensconced deep within the adversary’s lair has always been one of the most difficult intelligence collection challenges since time immemorial.  Napoleon Bonaparte once said that “one well placed spy was worth two battalions.”  Now, one well-placed spy could be worth an entire city.

     Our success in the targeted killing of the ISIS leadership no doubt sowed a heavy dose of mistrust and paranoia within the group’s ranks; and, ultimately forced those remaining to change and adapt their techniques, tactics, and procedures (TTPs) with respect to  how they communicate, plan operations, and travel — both locally and abroad.  The adversary gets a vote; and, it is to be expected that ISIS would adapt, change, and enhance its operational security (OPSEC) — especially as the targeted killing campaign eliminated their top leadership.  But, leaks by Edward Snowden, which revealed sensitive and highly lucrative NSA sources and methods, seemed to instill ISIS with a renewed sense of OPSEC, resulting in their use of enhanced encryption software, and other techniques to avoid our attempts to surveil them.

      As Mr. Schechner and Mr. Faucon note, “the extremists group’s communications, once commonly conducted on phones and social media accounts easily tracked by authorities [and intelligence agencies], have evolved into a mix of encrypted chat-app messages over What‘sApp and Telegram, face-to-face meetings, written notes, stretches of silence, and misdirection.”  The use of couriers, and disposable cell phones also remain a staple of their tradecraft.  The group’s move to enhanced encryption occurred within three months after the Edward Snowden leasks.  Additionally, as expressed on the group’s social media websites, ISIS members and followers were warned about Western surveillance techniques — as revealed by the Snowden leaks, and what to do to avoid them.

     The POTUS’s insistence on closing Guantanamo Bay Prison, means the United States lacks a dedicated interrogation facility where high-value targets can be taken and interrogated over a prolonged period of time.  As a result, the U.S. is forced to conduct tactical/limited interrogations overseas; and/or, depend on an ally or foreign partner to conduct these investigations — and never really being sure that such interrogations were adequate.  The next POTUS needs to reinstate Guantanamo as a dedicated interrogation facility, or settle on a useful alternative that does not unduly deprive our, and our intelligence agency partners of the opportunity to thoroughly question those who wish to kill as many Americans and Westerners as they can.

     As former CIA officer Philip Giraldi wrote in the July 23, 2014 edition of The American Conservative, “terrorists now know that using a cell phone is dangerous, that transferring money using commercial accounts can be detected [thus the increased use of Bitcoins], that moving around when a drone is overhead can be fatal [thus the increased use/employment of human shields — women/children, etc.]; and, that communicating by computer is likely to be intercepted or exposed unless it is encrypted.

     And, as Mr. Giraldi correctly observes, “technical intelligence has its limitations:  while it is excellent on picking up bits and pieces, and using sophisticated computers to work through the bulk collection of chatter, it is largely unable to learn the intentions of terrorist groups and leaders.  To do that,” he argues, “you need spies, ideally someone who is placed in the inner circle of an organization; and who is therefore — privy to decision-making.”

     But, the Intelligence Community has a very poor record when it comes to deeply penetrating a terrorist group with a well-placed human spy.  To be fair, these groups are typically close-knit, very suspicious of new-comers, and vet new members through family and tribal connections — thus making a successful HUMINT penetration challenging to say the least.

     At the end of the day, intelligence collection against a low-tech adversary, who learns our sources and methods from leaks such as Edward Snowden’s, and adapts their TTPas in clever and unexpected ways, makes them a ‘hard target’ for a reason.  All the more important that we avoid self-inflicted wounds like shuttering Guantanamo  Bay Prison — without a viable alternative — and, consider establishing a leading-edge, deep penetration center of excellence, designed to try new means and methods to collect against low-tech, hard to penetrate adversarial entities.  V/R, RCP

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Despite ‘28 pages’ release, Saudi’s 9/11 involvement still buried

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 10, 2016:

The White House thinks releasing the “28 pages” summarizing Saudi involvement in 9/11 satisfied the public’s need to know. But don’t be fooled. The full story remains buried under more than 100,000 pages of other, still-secret documents.

The public didn’t even get to see everything that was in those long-classified 28 (actually 29) pages from the congressional inquiry, which narrowly focus on Saudi government officials’ contacts with just two of the 15 Saudi hijackers during their stay in San Diego. The Obama administration blacked-out critical information throughout the document.

In all, there are nearly 100 separate redactions, ranging from single words, such as names of Saudi suspects, to paragraphs and entire sections of text. Obama’s censors offered no reason why any of that information had to be kept secret 15 years after the attacks, even though such explanations are required as part of declassification reviews.

The 29 pages reveal numerous, reinforcing connections between Saudi officials and the 9/11 hijackers. As convincing as they are in tying them together as co-conspirators, they’re merely a summary of the FBI and CIA case files that detail the supporting evidence, including Saudi phone and financial records and statements from material witnesses and informants. The FBI files on alleged Saudi intelligence agent and hijacker handler Omar al-Bayoumi alone are said to run more than 4,000 pages. They are said to include interviews with Saudi government officials who had contact with Bayoumi.

Lawyers for 9/11 families suing the Saudi kingdom, who Friday won congressional passage of a bill removing Saudi’s sovereign immunity, want to get their hands on those documents, along with:

  • More than 80,000 pages of unreleased documents related to the FBI’s investigation of a wealthy, well-connected Saudi family in Sarasota, Fla., who had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” according to a 2002 FBI report.
  • Still-classified FBI case files from the investigations of hijackers based in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as Arizona and Oklahoma.
  • Still-secret material from the 9/11 Commission, including investigators’ 2003 interview with Saudi Prince Bandar, the transcript of which remains under lock and key at the National Archives. (The interview could shed light on why, according to the 29 pages, Bandar personally wrote checks to one of the hijackers’ alleged handlers and why a top al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan possessed an unlisted phone number tied to Bandar’s Aspen mansion, as well as the phone number for one of Bandar’s bodyguards at the Saudi embassy in Washington.)
  • An entire section on the Saudi’s role in 9/11 that was blanked-out from the 2015 report of the 9/11 Review Commission, set up to assess the FBI’s and CIA’s performance in implementing the original commission’s recommendations and to evaluate new evidence.
  • The 2005 “joint FBI-CIA intelligence report assessing the nature and extent of Saudi government support of terrorism,” which remains classified.
  • Some 632 pages withheld by the Treasury Department explaining why a Saudi charity tied to al Qaeda was formally designated a foreign terrorist organization.
  • Documents and other materials recovered from the raid of Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad,Pakistan compound in 2011 that still remain sealed.
  • Redacted pages from a 2002 CIA report titled “Saudi-Based Financial Support for Terrorist Organizations.”
  • Federal documents related to the investigations of as many as 70 Saudi nationals with Saudi diplomatic credentials who were kicked out of the country and sent back to their country after 9/11, most of whom worked in the Islamic Affairs offices of the Saudi Embassy in DC.
  • FBI reports and State Department memos detailing the decision to deny re-entry into the US in 2003 of Fahad al-Thumairy, a Saudi cleric who worked at the Saudi consulate in LA and is said to have acted as the advance man for two of the Saudi hijackers and, in fact, may have been at the center of the US support network for them.

The White House and Riyadh hoped the public would move on after the partial release of the 29 pages.

“Now that the declassification is complete,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, “we hope to continue our close cooperation with the US.” Not so fast. With so much still hidden from public view, the release of the 29 pages should be just the start of 9/11 transparency, not the end of it.

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

FBI files show Clinton claiming ignorance on classification

hillary_clinton3_3_1Fox News, Sept. 2, 2016:

Several dozen pages of documents released Friday from the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email probe show the former secretary of state repeatedly claimed to have little training or understanding about the classification process – despite leading the department that handled such information on a regular basis and having a security clearance.

The document dump also revealed the gaps that remain in the record. Not only were numerous sections – and entire pages – redacted, but the files showed the FBI could not obtain 13 Clinton mobile devices that may have been used to send emails from her personal email address, in addition to two iPads. And they showed Clinton claiming she could not recall numerous details.

But perhaps most striking were Clinton’s repeated statements regarding her grasp of the classification process. In response to the release, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus said Clinton’s claims suggest she either is “incompetent” or “lied.”

CLICK TO READ THE DOCUMENTS HERE AND HERE

According to the files, Clinton claimed to have relied on the judgment of her aides and other officials to handle classified material appropriately. She even told investigators — when asked what the “C” marking meant before a paragraph in an email marked “Confidential” – that “she did not know and could only speculate it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.”

The FBI document notes that the email was in fact marked “classified at the Confidential level.” And when asked about different classification types like “Top Secret,” Clinton went on to say she “did not pay attention to the ‘level’ of classified information and took all classified information seriously.”

The documents also say Clinton claimed she could not recall “any briefing or training by State related to the retention of federal records or handling of classified information.” Further, Clinton “could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined.”

Such passages could help explain why FBI Director James Comey said during congressional testimony in July that there were questions over whether Clinton was “sophisticated enough” to know at the time what a particular classified marking signified.

Clinton was found to have sent more than 2,000 emails with classified material on them. Most were retroactively classified, but Comey has disputed Clinton’s insistence that none of them were marked as such at the time.

The FBI ultimately did not pursue charges against Clinton for her use of personal email while secretary of state, with Comey saying there was no evidence anyone intentionally mishandled classified information. He did, however, call Clinton “extremely careless.”

The FBI took the rare step Friday of publishing pages from the investigation after pressure to release the materials. They released a summary of Clinton’s July 2 FBI interview and a summary of the FBI investigation itself.

Despite Clinton’s apparent claims of ignorance on the classification process, Republicans said the files show how reckless she was.

“These documents demonstrate Hillary Clinton’s reckless and downright dangerous handling of classified information during her tenure as secretary of state. They also cast further doubt on the Justice Department’s decision to avoid prosecuting what is a clear violation of the law,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

Donald Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement that the files “reinforce her tremendously bad judgment and dishonesty.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Priebus called the documents a “devastating indictment of her judgment, honesty and basic competency,” adding that her interview answers “either show she is completely incompetent or blatantly lied to the FBI or the public. Either way it’s clear that, through her own actions, she has disqualified herself from the presidency.”

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon defended the candidate in a statement: “We are pleased that the FBI has released the materials from Hillary Clinton’s interview, as we had requested. While her use of a single email account was clearly a mistake and she has taken responsibility for it, these materials make clear why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case.”

Regarding Clinton’s own authority to classify, the files stated she “could not recall how often she used this authority or any training or guidance provided by State. Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined.”

The FBI’s investigation also concluded Clinton never sought or asked permission to use a private server or email address during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, which violated federal records keeping policies.

Clinton has repeatedly said her use of private email was allowed. But in July she told FBI investigators she “did not explicitly request permission to use a private server or email address,” the FBI wrote. They said no one at the State Department raised concerns during her tenure, and that Clinton said everyone with whom she exchanged emails knew she was using a private email address.

The documents also include technical details about how the server in the basement of Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York, was set up. Large portions of the documents were redacted.

Friday’s release of documents involving the Democratic presidential nominee is a highly unusual step, but one that reflects extraordinary public interest in the investigation into Clinton’s server.

“We are making these materials available to the public in the interest of transparency and in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests,” the FBI said in a statement. “Appropriate redactions have been made for classified information or other material exempt from disclosure under FOIA. “

After a yearlong investigation, the FBI recommended against prosecution in July, and the Justice Department then closed the case.

Meanwhile, the documents said the FBI identified 13 mobile devices associated with her two phone numbers. The Justice Department was unable to obtain any of them.

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, of South Carolina, continued to press the FBI to release more, saying the summaries released Friday are of “little benefit” by themselves.

“The public is entitled to all … information, including the testimony of the witnesses at Platte River Networks, the entity which maintained the private server. The public will find the timeline and witness responses and failures to respond instructive,” he said in a statement.

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Catherine Herridge reporting:

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Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton Discussing New Clinton Emails Found

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Oh Sh*t’ Moment: After Media Revealed Secret Server, Wiped Emails with BleachBit (breitbart.com)

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