House Witnesses: Al-Qaeda ‘Strongest in Syria’ Where It Could ‘Incorporate’ Failing Islamic State

AFP PHOTO / OMAR HAJ KADOUR

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, uly 13, 2017:

WASHINGTON, DC — Al-Qaeda, the primary target of the U.S. war on terror that followed the 9/11 attacks, has evolved and grown stronger mainly in Syria where it has set the conditions to establish an Islamic emirate while America primarily focuses on defeating the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), some analysts tell House lawmakers.

“ISIS has strengthened al Qaeda,” argued Katherine Zimmerman from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in written testimony, adding, “Should ISIS’s global network collapse, al Qaeda will be able to capture the remnants and incorporate ISIS’s capabilities into its own organization.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Seth Jones, the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation, argued in his prepared remarks that al-Qaeda “has been in decline,” failing to “conduct or inspire many attacks in the U.S. homeland.”

The al-Qaeda experts testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence during a hearing Thursday titled, “The Persistent Threat: Al Qaeda’s Evolution and Resilience.”

Zimmerman and Jennifer Cafarella from the Institute for the Study of War agreed that Syria serves as al-Qaeda’s primary base.

They pointed out that the group has capitalized on the international community’s single-minded focus against ISIS to grow stronger and remain a prominent threat to the United States.

ISIS has suffered significant losses in Iraq and Syria at the hands of the coalition and its local partners.

Zimmerman testified:

US strategy is setting the stage for al Qaeda to lead the Salafi-jihadi movement again when that movement is the strongest it has ever been globally. Al Qaeda has adapted and evolved as America focused myopically on retaking two cities [Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria] from the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS). Al Qaeda has become more resilient and ready to exploit our own strategic weaknesses.

Amid the ongoing U.S.-led efforts to defeat ISIS, some analysts and news reports predicted that al-Qaeda would eventually be positioned to establish its own Islamic state in Syria.

Cafarella explained in her written testimony:

Al Qaeda’s main effort is in Syria, which has become the world’s largest jihadist incubator. Al Qaeda’s intent in Syria is to embed within the uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and to transform that uprising into a global religious insurgency… Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al Nusra, announced its formation in a video on January 2012 but did not state its goal to establish an al Qaeda emirate in Syria that could become a future component of a global al Qaeda caliphate.

Although Jabhat al-Nusra claimed in July 2016 it was no longer al-Qaeda’s affiliate, Voice of America (VOA) reported that most Western experts had dismissed the offshoot’s break with the jihadist organization as deceptive.

“Al Qaeda is strongest in Syria, where it has used the conditions created by the Syrian civil war and [the U.S.-led coalition’s] Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS to establish deep sanctuary in the northwest and position itself to expand farther into the Syrian theater,” Zimmerman told lawmakers.

“Al Qaeda has set conditions for the future establishment of an Islamic emirate—not necessarily under al Qaeda’s name—that will secure al Qaeda’s objective to build an Islamic polity in Syria,” she reiterated, adding, “The Syrian al Qaeda network is one of the best-resourced nodes in al Qaeda because of Syria’s primacy in the global theaters for jihad. Syria remains a top destination for al Qaeda’s foreign-fighter flow, creating a large foreign recruitment base.”

Zimmerman accused both Qatar and Turkey of lending support to al-Qaeda, noting that the jihadist group also generates funds from kidnappings for ransom, taxation, and commercial enterprise.

Contradicting the assessments from Zimmerman and Cafarella, Jones from the Rand Corporation testified:

Al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Algeria, and Mali also consistently failed to hold territory because of poor leadership, incompetent governance, limited local support, excessive violence, internal tensions, and other factors. Another problem has been a lack of overall Muslim support.

Nevertheless, he conceded that “the Islamic extremism that al-Qaida represents will not go away soon.”

Zimmerman notes that al-Qaeda has intentionally avoided attacks against Western targets to fuel the “false narrative that it was weak.”

“Al Qaeda is not in decline; it is preparing to emerge from the shadows to carry forward the Salafi-jihadi movement,” she told the Houe panel.

Also see:

House Report: ‘Unprecedented Spike’ in Homegrown Terror Threat

Homeland Security Committee

Homeland Security Committee

Breitbart, by  Edwin Mora, February 9, 2017:

The 2017 terrorism forecast for the United States and the rate at which Americans are being radicalized at home is “alarming,” according to a monthly assessment by the House Homeland Security Committee.

Citing an “unprecedented spike in the homegrown terror threat, primarily driven by the rise of” the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the House panel’s Terror Threat Snapshot for February warns that, “at this rate, the forecast for 2017 looks alarming.”

“Authorities continue to track a high number of homegrown terror plots in the United States, and the number of cases since 9/11 is nearing a historic milestone: There have been nearly 200 total homegrown jihadist cases in the United States since 9/11 (the figure currently stands at 193), a majority having taken place in just the past few years,” points out the House report.

The monthly assessment attributes the alarming rise in the terror threat to the pressure ISIS is facing “in its key safe havens,” noting that the jihadist organization’s “external operations plotting appears undiminished.”

According to the report, there have been at least 39 homegrown jihadist plots or attacks across 19 U.S. states since the beginning of 2016.

In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey predicted that, as ISIS came close to defeat in its home turf of Iraq and Syria, the number of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other Western countries would increase.

Echoing Comey, Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement:

I am very encouraged that the Trump Administration is preparing to put greater pressure on jihadists in their safe havens throughout the world. But as they do, we can expect to see militants returning to the West to build new networks and to plot more deadly operations. I look forward to working with the new Administration on shutting down terror pathways in America. We must also remain vigilant here at home, because Americans are being radicalized at an alarming rate.

The Terror Threat Snapshot notes that the jihadist threat against Europe has also increased dramatically.

“European nations are moving forward with counterterrorism reforms designed to cope with the surging terror threat,” points out the assessment. “Yet despite improvements, the continent still suffers from major security weaknesses that make European countries more vulnerable to attack and put U.S. interests overseas at risk.”

Since 2014, there have been at least 166 ISIS-linked plots or attacks against Western targets, including 69 in Europe, 36 in the U.S., and 61 targeting Westerners outside those two regions.

The U.S.-led war against ISIS began in 2014, soon after the group announced the establishment of its now shrinking caliphate.

In the assessment, the House panel also notes that al-Qaeda and its ally the Taliban remain dangerous after more than 15 years of U.S.-led war against the terrorist groups.

“The Taliban threat has proven resilient and powerful in Afghanistan. According to an Afghan Defense Ministry official, the group is responsible for nearly 19,000 attacks throughout the country in just the past 10 months,” states the assessment. “Throughout that time, however, Afghan National Security Forces only carried out approximately 700 counter-insurgency operations.”

U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that a few thousand more U.S. troops would help break the current “stalemate” with the Taliban.

“We remain very focused on the defeat of al-Qaeda and its associates, as well as the defeat of Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is the ISIL affiliate in Afghanistan,” he added. The U.S. declared war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in October 2001.

Muslim expert TORCHES Obama’s ‘countering violent extremism’ agenda

terrorist-thunderstormConservative Review, by Nate Madden, September 22, 2016:

The United States should ditch its current efforts at “countering violent extremism” and focus instead on “countering violent Islamism” (CVE), a prominent Muslim reformist told Congress on Thursday.

“Our current direction and lack of deeply flawed and profoundly dangerous for the security of our nation,” Dr. Zhudi Jasser, president of the American Islamic forum for Democracy, said at a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing Thursday. “As a devout Muslim who loves my faith, and loves my nation, the de-emphasis of “radical Islam” and the “Islamist” root cause of global Islamist terrorism is the greatest obstacle to both national harmony and national security.”

Jasser went on to say that until America can “name this, and once we can name it, treat it and then counter it,” its national security efforts will remain channeled through a “Whac-a-Mole program” that focuses on tactics, rather than ideology.

A report issued earlier this year from a DC-based counterterrorism consulting firm found the Obama administration’s CVE programs to be a “catastrophic failure” due to its inefficacy, poor management, and, most of all, because of the administration’s engagementwith organizations that have known extremist affiliations, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America.

Both organizations were unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation case; trusting such organizations to counter jihadism is akin to “treating arsonists like firefighters,” Jasser said.

While these groups may not be intrinsically extremist in their messaging, Dr. Jasser said, they “are distributing literature that glorifies political Islam, that glorifies sharia state ideology […] that ultimately ends up causing the harms that radicalize our community.”

Not only does government engagement with these organizations further empower the global jihad movement and “leaves us bare against the threat of radical Islamism,” Jasser added, it also “renders our greatest allies within the Muslim community — genuine reformers — entirely impotent and marginalized.”

Throughout the rest of his prepared testimony, Jasser also suggested that Congress reopen investigations into CAIR’s extremist ties, calling the group “one of the most obvious beneficiaries of this embrace of Islamist groups.” He also recommended that the administration stop all engagement with groups that have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and “recognize their misogynist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and anti-American ideological underpinnings.”

Also on the panel was Shireen Qudosi, a senior contributor at CounterJihad.com, who pointed out to members the difference between Islam and Islamism, and that the latter “is a political ideology that must be studied, understood, and defeated.”

Qudosi went on to attack the “Islamophobe” labelling of anyone who criticizes Muslims, saying that the accusation “moves Islam from a religion into a racial or biological context,” rather than approaching it as a belief system.

“Islam is a religion,” she added, one that should be challenged intellectually without fear of automatically being labeled an Islamophobe or racist for doing so. “It is an idea, a set of concepts and beliefs. As such, ideas, concepts, and beliefs do not have human rights; individuals do.”

“The best way to tackle ISIS, beyond Whac-a-Mole CVE systems, is to tackle their political ideology,” said Qudosi.

During an earlier panel in the hearing, George Selim, Department of Homeland Security Office of Community Partnerships director, told the subcommittee that the current CVE program under his direction isn’t even being guided by a complete, strategic plan, according to a report at the Washington Examiner. After being repeatedly hounded by committee members, Selim admitted that a strategic plan for a $10 million endeavor was “nearly ready,” and that he could only point to “anecdotal” evidence that the program had actually countered some violent extremism.

“I can’t sit here before you today and definitively say that person was going to commit an act of terrorism … but we’re developing that prevention framework in a range of cities across the country,” Selim confessed under oath.

***

Pete Hoekstra: Obama’s Embrace of US Muslim Brotherhood Groups Damages American Foreign Policy:

Texts of all witness testimonies can be found here

Entire Hearing:

Also see:

Whistle-Blower: House Committee Hung Me Out To Dry After Using My Info Against DHS

department_homeland_security_surveillance_records_to_get_purged-1-e1458240698787

Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, June 28, 2016:

WASHINGTON — Department of Homeland Security whistle-blower Philip Haney says he sought help from the House Homeland Security committee after he provided its members with pertinent information following the 2013 Boston bombing, but the committee refused to intervene when the Obama administration retaliated against Haney.

Instead, the committee sent him to an Obama administration official who was himself under investigation for covering up alleged corruption, Haney says. He worked at DHS’s National Targeting Center from November 2011 to June 2012, identifying radicalized individuals associated with terrorist organizations entering the United States.

“I identified individuals affiliated with large, but less well-known groups such as Tablighi Jamaat and the larger Deobandi movement freely transiting the United States,” he wrote in an article published in The Hill newspaper. “At the National Targeting Center, one of the premier organizations formed to ‘connect the dots,’ I played a major role in an investigation into this trans-national Islamist network. We created records of individuals, mosques, Islamic Centers and schools across the United States that were involved in this radicalization effort.”

However, late into President Obama’s first term and early into Obama’s second term, Haney says his work became compromised by DHS when it decided to shut down his investigation into the Islamic Institute of Education in Chicago, which was subsequently linked to the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino, California, and the Pakistani women’s Islamist group al-Huda.

Haney asserts that had he been able to continue his work, he and his Customs and Border Protection (CBP) colleagues may have been able to flag San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook before he caused any harm. According to Haney, Farook’s mosque, San Bernardino’s Deobandi movement is affiliated with Dar-al-Uloom al-Islamia.

Farook’s wife and accomplice in the December 2015 massacre, Tashfeen Malik, went to school at Pakistan’s al-Huda, which also is connected to the Deobandi movement.

After nine months of work and more than 1,200 law enforcement actions, as well as being credited with identifying more than 300 individuals with possible links to terrorism, Haney says, DHS shut down the investigation at the request of the State Department and DHS’ Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division. Additionally, the administration deleted 67 investigative records Haney entered into the DHS database, he claims.

In his first act of blowing the whistle, Haney notified Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of a DHS document casually known as the “terrorist hands off list.” The senator then contacted DHS for further information, and the document’s existence became publicly known in May 2014. Grassley is known as a government whistle-blower advocate.

In April 2015, Judicial Watch sued for the document’s release. Haney wrote in his book “See Something, Say Nothing” that in May 2014 Customs Border Patrol officials “refused to answer multiple questions” about the “hands off terrorist list” in a closed-door meeting with Grassley’s staff.

“I knew that data I was looking at could prove significant to future counter terror efforts and tried to prevent the information from being lost to law enforcement. On July 26, 2013, I met with the DHS Inspector General in coordination with several members of Congress (both House and Senate) to attempt to warn the American people’s elected representatives about the threat,” Haney wrote.

By 2013, as Haney wrote in his book, he met with several members of Congress, including South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert and Grassley to tell them what the administration was doing to his work. One other member, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, also met with Haney and assured him the committee would protect him, and his information, he said.

Then came the incident that he says led him to be placed under investigation.

Days after the Boston bombing that same year, Haney met with McCaul’s committee in person and gave the members information about a Saudi national who was detained after the attack. Based on that information, Rep. Duncan grilled former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitanoon whether the man was going to be deported.

Napolitano said she did not think that the Saudi man was a person of interest.

“I am unaware of anyone who is being deported for national security concerns at all related to Boston. I don’t know where that rumor came from,” Napolitano said.

She said later, “Like I said, again I don’t even think he was technically a person of interest or a suspect. That was a wash. And I am unaware of any proceeding there, I will clarify that for you, but I think this is an example of why it is so important to let law enforcement to do its job.”

After the hearing, the committee wanted documentation  that showed the Saudi man was, indeed, a person of interest. To get that documentation, the committee turned toDHS’s congressional liaison Ray Orzel .

Haney relayed the story of him sending the documentation to the committee in his book “See Something, Say Nothing.”

“It was my day off but I got dressed and went to a secure location near the airport and printed off copies of the files,” he wrote. “At about 4:45 p.m., I faxed the files to the secure number at the House Homeland Security Committee offices in the Ford Building.”

Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier and TheBlaze then obtained leaked copies of the files, which confirmed that the Saudi man had been a person of interest and that he had been added to the government’s no-fly list. DHS said that he had later been removed from the no-fly list after finding that he was a victim of the attack.

Immediately after those media reports, Haney says the Department of Justice, the DHS Office of Internal Affairs and the DHS inspector general launched investigations into him as a result of the information he gave to the Homeland Security Committee that Duncan used to question Napolitano.

McCaul’s committee, Haney says, did not speak up for him or intervene in any way and instead suggested that he go to the inspector general’s office, which at the time was headed by acting inspector general Charles Edwards.

“They knew that I was being investigated,” he told The Daily Caller. “Three separate investigations all at the same time, because they are trying to accuse me of being the one who leaked the information to the media. Why didn’t they help me?”

Acting inspector general Edwards had problems of his own. He was being investigated for corruption when McCaul sent Haney over to him. When asked by this reporter about Edwards during the investigation, McCaul said, “The allegations are serious and there’s also an independent review right now. This is one of those cases that if the misconduct is correct and the allegations are correct, and I know he’s been put on administrative leave — he should not only be fired, the U.S. attorneys office should be looking at it.”

A bipartisan Senate Oversight report stated that Edwards compromised his job with Obama administration political aides as he put forth an effort to be tapped as the permanent inspector general of DHS.

Additionally, Edwards was probed for instructing staff to change an OIG Report of Investigation about the U.S. Secret Service scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, a charge he denied.

Whistle-blowers cited in the report from the DHS OIG office claimed Edwards “improperly destroyed or concealed e-mails, phone records, and hotline complaints, inappropriately favored particular employees, and retaliated against those who brought attention to supposed misconduct through the use of administrative leave or poor performance reviews.”

Haney questioned why McCaul would send him to Edwards in the first place, given the accusations against him. Additionally, Haney sent an appeal letter to Homeland Committee chief counsel R. Nicholas Palarino, expressing concern that Edwards may have tampered with the report he wrote on Haney (p.176 “See Something, Say Nothing”).

The Daily Caller sent an inquiry to McCaul’s committee and asked why the Homeland Security Committee did not intervene when Haney was investigated for the information he gave them as well as why they sent Haney to an IG being investigated for corruption.

“We will pass on the opportunity to participate,” a committee spokeswoman responded.

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12 Hair-Raising Facts from Congressional Terror Report

Islamic-State-Victory-Parade-HP_3Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Sep. 30, 2015:

Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee released the final report of its Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel and its conclusions weren’t pretty. The following are a dozen hair-raising facts from the bipartisan report:

“Today, we are witnessing the largest global convergence of jihadists in history.”

If you consider how the jihad in Afghanistan against the Soviets impacted the terrorist threat to the West, then we’re in for a heap of trouble due to the jihad in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

About 10,000 foreign fighters joined the jihad against the Soviets over roughly a 10-year period, with only 3-4,000 fighter joining at once. Today, over 25,000 foreign fighters are currently in Syria and the civil war is only four years old. When it started in 2011, the number of foreign fighters was a mere 1,000.

“We have largely failed to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists … Several dozen also managed to make it back into America.”

This stunning conclusion will add ammunition to efforts to revoke the passports of Americans who are believed to have joined jihadists overseas. Aside from constitutional objections, one rebuttal has been if the government has the evidence to show an American has joined terrorists, then it can simply arrest them if they try to re-enter. The report shows that these American traitors have been able to evade detection and come back home to potentially carry out attacks and/or radicalize others.

“The U.S. government lacks a national strategy for combating terrorist travel and has not produced one in nearly a decade.”

This statement, unfortunately, speaks for itself.

“The unprecedented speed at which Americans are being radicalized by violent extremists is straining federal law enforcement’s ability to monitor and intercept suspects.”

Over 250 Americans have joined or tried to join the jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, including around 30 females. They come from 19 states, with 26% coming from Minnesota, 12% from California and 12% from New York/New Jersey.

“There have now been twice as many ISIS-inspired terror plots against the West in 2015 than there were in all of 2014.”

This conclusion is unsettling—and charitable. A review by terrorism expert Patrick Poole found that the number of Islamist terrorism cases in the U.S. this year was double that of the previous two years combined. And that was as of about four months ago.

“[ISIS] is believed to have inspired or directed nearly 60 terrorist plots or attacks against Western countries, including 15 in the United States.”

“Military officials estimate airstrikes have killed over 10,000 [ISIS] extremists, but new foreign fighters replace them almost as quickly as they are killed.”

This substantiates the admission that the U.S. fight with ISIS was at a “stalemate.” Our analysis of the numbers led to thesame conclusion back in May. If you look at ISIS’ membership and territorial expansion, the U.S. is barely making a dent.

Additionally, optimistic claims of success exempt ISIS’ growth outside of Iraq and Syria. The Committee mentions reports that there are “hundreds, if not thousands” of ISIS members in Afghanistan now and the Libyan government believes it is dealing with 5,000 of its own jihadist foreign fighters now.

“Gaping security weaknesses overseas—especially in Europe—are putting the U.S. homeland in danger…”

The report raises several warnings about European security procedures, a pressing issue considering that about 1,550 fighters from France, 700 from Germany and 700 from the United Kingdom have joined the jihad in Syria and Iraq. The Committee found that counter-terrorism checks at European borders and airports are insufficient.

One-third of the international community does not issue fraud-resistant E-Passports or utilize the INTERPOL databases that contain the names of terrorists.

“In short, information about foreign fighters is crossing borders less quickly than the extremists themselves.”

The report emphasizes that intelligence-sharing remains a severe problem. There isn’t even an international comprehensive database of foreign fighter names.

“The federal government has failed to develop clear early intervention strategies—or ‘off-ramps’- to radicalization—to prevent suspects already on law enforcement’s radar from leaving to join extremists.”

Someone who is actively trying to join a group like ISIS or Al-Qaeda is probably too far gone to be rescued, unless they get a brutal wakeup call when they see the caliphate first-hand. The report states that 80% of foreign fighters download extremist propaganda and/or engage a jihadist online. It is critical that we target the ideology that precedes the violent act.

“Few initiatives exist nationwide to raise community awareness about foreign fighter recruitment and to assist communities with spotting warning signs.”

The report says that 75% of foreign fighter arrests in the U.S. happen due to the involvement of a confidential informant who is close enough to the suspect to provide the critical evidence. Presumably, this would be a Muslim in most cases. This is why Islamist propaganda that demonizes the FBI and its informants must be rebutted, such as when the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) claims that the War on Terror is “made up” by the FBI and its informants are paid to frame innocent Muslims.

“The Administration has launched programs to counter-message terrorist propaganda abroad, but little is being done here at home.”

The report isn’t exactly kind to our ideological strategy abroad, either. It says the U.S. government has not exploited the opportunity presented by “jaded jihadists”—Islamist terrorists who join the caliphate, realize it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and flee. For example, a State Department video featuring such testimonies had only 500 views over two months.

Keeping Our Heads in the Sand After Boston

IPT News
May 14, 2013

Iran-Hezb’allah: “They Already Hit the Homeland 10 1/2 Years Ago”

 

 By Clare M. Lopez at American Thinker:

At the mid-March 2012 congressional hearings on the “Iran-Hezb’allah Threat to the Homeland,” chaired by Representative Peter King, top officials from the DEA, the FBI, and the New York City Police Department, as well as senior scholars addressed the alarming capability and motivation of this Axis of Jihad to strike inside the U.S.  Critical and timely, this was the latest in a series of hearings that Rep. King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has held to focus attention on the deadly threat to America’s national security from the forces of Islamic jihad and sharia.  There was an unmentioned elephant in the room this time, though, and that was 9/11–when the terror alliance of al-Qaeda, Iran, and Hezb’allah joined forces to hit the homeland for the first time ten and a half years ago.

Perhaps taking their cue from the apparently oblivious director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, the panel of witnesses spoke of Iranian willingness to attack the U.S. homeland in terms of some kind of hypothetical developing threat.  Indeed, Gen. Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in late January 2012 “that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.” 

It is difficult to know where to start, but a logical point would be the mid-1980s, in the depths of the horrific Iran-Iraq war, when the Ayatollah Khomeini commanded the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to “get the bomb.”  That order is public knowledge, a quarter of a century old, and, the duplicitous 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran notwithstanding, it has never been rescinded during the 24-year reign of Khomeini’s successor as supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.  That weapon is now nearing deployment status in the hands of the Iranian regime, a regime known by the intelligence community to have been connected in terrorist alliances with Hezb’allah and al-Qaeda for decades.  That terror team has struck Americans at home and abroad, repeatedly, for decades.  That terror team — Iran, Hezb’allah, and al-Qaeda — has been at war with the U.S. for decades, despite the inexplicable unwillingness of American leadership to acknowledge that what we face is indeed an enemy alliance.

Fast forward to the 9/11 Commission Report, which came out in 2004.  There are multiple references in that voluminous document about the Iran-Hezb’allah-al-Qaeda operational relationship: its early 1990s origins in Sudan; first joint terror operations at Khobar Towers, the East Africa Embassies, and the USS Cole; and continuing post-9/11 alliance.  Moreover, because Commission staffers discovered only at the last minute before the report went to press a treasure trove of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents which constitute the archives of the U.S. Intelligence Community about the Iran-Hezb’allah-al-Qaeda relationship, that material could be included in the final report only in a limited fashion. 

Read the rest…  

Clare M. Lopez is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and an expert witness in the Havlish case.