WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton Says Vetting Refugees Is Impossible

Getty Images

Getty Images

Breitbart, by Ken Klukowski, October 11, 2016:

Hillary Clinton regards vetting refugees as impossible, according to email released by WikiLeaks.

For his part, Donald Trump says his immigration plan does not ban Muslims, but instead requires “extreme vetting” for Muslims arriving from countries with documented problems of Islamic terrorism—consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

Regarding policy, Americans will decide between the sharply contrasting visions of Trump and Clinton—one focusing explicitly on security and America’s interests, the other saying behind closed doors that she believes in “open borders” but does not say so publicly, and that national leaders can have a private position that is different from their public positions.

Apologists for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton say that Trump’s immigration plan is both bad policy and unconstitutional, and that one type of immigrant—Syrian refugees—should be admitted in far greater numbers.

But hacked emails released by Wikileaks show Clinton thinks vetting Syrian refugees is “impossible.” Michael Patrick Leahy reports that Clinton acknowledged this reality for refugees pouring into Jordan.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper already admitted that the U.S. cannot vet these refugees, so this may be an instance of Clinton telling the public a different position than you take in private.

Emails also show Clinton’s inner circle caught in an echo chamber when it comes to constitutional rights for aliens (legal or illegal, not just refugees). Mandy Grunwald writes of wanting to “whack” a Republican “for trying to change the Constitution to deny babies born here the right to American citizenship if their parents aren’t citizens? (basically get rid of the 14th Amendment).”

To the contrary, the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not guarantee citizenship to the children of foreigners, whether they are in the United States legally or not. Congress chooses to grant citizenship very broadly in the Immigration and Nationality Act, but the Constitution does not require it except for the children of American citizens born on American soil.

This is not exclusively a conservative idea; in addition to constitutional conservative stalwarts like Prof. John Eastman, noted judicial activist Judge Richard Posner on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has declared that the Fourteenth Amendment does not confer birthright citizenship, calling the idea “nonsense.”

Moreover, in 1993 now-Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid introduced a bill (the Immigration Stabilization Act) that would change current law, denying citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. Since the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, the constitutional contours of this issue have not changed from 1993 through 2016—only the politics of a cynical attempt to create millions of Democratic voters for those who racially stereotype foreigners from certain countries.

All this goes back to the famous line of Justice Robert Jackson that the Constitution is not a “suicide pact.” It is a document that ensures several fundamental principles of fairness and justice—like due process and equal protection—to all persons, whether citizens or not. But for the most part, it is a document predicated upon American exceptionalism, and showcasing an “America First” paradigm. The Constitution frames issues like national security and immigration in terms of what is best for America.

The Supreme Court seemed split on what the Constitution requires when it comes to immigrants, including refugees. Liberal justices refer to constitutional limits on immigration laws, while conservative justices say that the Constitution gives Congress complete discretion and full authority to determine who can cross the U.S. border and who can stay in this country.

On issues of immigration, refugees, and the Constitution, Trump and Clinton are worlds apart—presenting voters with a clear choice.

Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter@kenklukowski.


Director of National Intelligence: Climate Change (Not Sharia) Leads to Jihad

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies during a hearing before Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee January 29, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on "Current and Projected National Security Threats Against the United States."  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 29: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies during a hearing before Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee January 29, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Current and Projected National Security Threats Against the United States.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Establishing this linkage diverts attention from Islamist ideology at the heart of modern terrorism.

CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Sept. 13, 2016:

It’s ridiculous when an elite university like MIT promotes bogus lectures such as Is Islamophobia Accelerating Global Warming? However, one can argue that it’s even worse when our top U.S. government leaders advocate for similar bogus theories such as linking climate change to terrorism.

This is what happened recently at the annual Intelligence & National Security Summit in Washington, D.C., when DNI’s James Clapper suggested a connection between environmental issues and terrorism.

The political left has been trying to establish a linkage between the two topics to provide a way to divert attention away from the actual radical Islamic ideology that is at the heart of modern day terrorism.

For example, in Paris a couple weeks after the horrific November 2015 attacks, U.S. President Obama had the audacity to insinuate a connection between climate change and terrorism. It’s bad enough that some leftists continue to push the narrative that humans are the main reason for climate change – now we have to hear our government officials promote a political agenda that basically says if we don’t go “green” we can expect terrorism to continue. Defense One reveals Clapper’s rationale behind this climate change and terrorism connection stating:

…Increased competition for “ever-diminishing food and water resources” will amplify socio-economically motivated armed conflicts, countries’ difficulties controlling their borders, and instability more generally, he said.

“I think climate change is going to be an underpinning for a lot of national security issues,” Clapper said. It affects “so many things: the availability of basics like water and food and other resources which are continually going to become matters of conflict, and already are, between and among countries.”

Defense One goes on to add:

The Pentagon has been getting increasingly serious about preparing for it, warning that warming global temperaturesand extreme weather events would act as a “threat multiplier” and foster terrorism. Earlier this year, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work ordered the military to adapt current and future operations to address climate change.

Clapper echoed this warning. Climate change-driven instability and other factors mean that “after ISIL is gone, you can expect some other terrorist entity to arise, and the cycle of extremism [to] continue for the foreseeable future.”

It seems like the line of logic is as follows: Humans (implied) -> climate change -> diminished resources -> struggle for resources -> “extremism”/terrorism

To say that climate change is causing a depletion of our resources like food and water–which then causes conflict that leads to terrorism is a massive stretch of the imagination. Of course, this didn’t stop President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry from linking climate change to the Syrian civil war.

Even left-leaning national security analyst Peter Brookes debunked this in an article last year, writing that, “there seems to be no strong quantitative (i.e., empirical) evidence to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between changes in the climate and conflict.”

It’s one thing to say that natural resources like fresh water are a security concern in arid regions like areas in the Middle East and Africa, and enter into countries’ national security policy. That much is true– and also obvious. However, to say Islamic jihad is a result from supposed conflict caused by a lack of resources is ludicrous.

Jihadists are driven by motives such as Sharia law and bringing back the Caliphate, not by frustration over the contention of scarce food and water supplies. This type of linkage is even weaker than the belief that terrorists are essentially joining the cause of jihad because of a lack of jobs/economic opportunities. ISIS could be living on the most resource-replete land and they still wouldn’t be satisfied until they bring the world under Islamic rule.

Regardless of their differences, there is a commonality between those who are hyper-ideological; a link between those who are so obsessed with their worldview that they believe it explains literally everything: In Paris last year, Obama said, “climate change — affects all trends”; the totalitarian Islamist thinks implementing Sharia law globally is the answer to solving the world’s problems.

Of course, Obama wants to see the establishment of liberal-progressive values, while the Islamist wants everything Islamic; however, both groups need each other politically at least temporarily in order to build up a powerful enough coalition to launch their respective agendas on the world stage.

Leftist politicians tend to dismiss or ignore the worldwide jihadist movement and seek to combat what they call “extremism” with vague solutions that furthers their political agenda.

Anyone with common sense realizes that hardcore jihadists like ISIS are not going to put down the sword of jihad through diplomacy and random acts of global kindness. The West needs to militarily wipe jihadists like those involved with ISIS off of the face of the earth, but also seek ways in countering their Sharia ideology that is reaching our next generation’s youth.

Emails Show Clinton Was Told About MB-AQ Links

scafby John Rossomando
IPT News
May 2, 2016

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails suggest that she may have known about connections between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and hardcore jihadist groups such as al-Qaida early in the 2011 Arab Spring.

Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal noted in an April 7, 2011 email that Egypt’s military leaders expressed concerns about contacts between the MB and al-Qaida. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) reportedly feared that the Brotherhood would work with various violent Islamist groups, including al-Qaida affiliates.

“The main concern of the SCAF leaders is that the MB will begin working with more violent Islamist groups, including the various al Qa’ida affiliates,” Blumenthal wrote.

A source “with access to the highest levels of the MB,” including its Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, privately told Blumenthal that the relationship between the MB, al-Qaida and other radical groups was “complicated.”

“Egyptian military intelligence is aware of the fact that these contacts exist, but believe that the MB, under the influence of … [the] moderates, is carefully controlling its contacts with these radical/terrorist groups, in an effort to avoid providing the military with an excuse to move against them,” Blumenthal wrote.

Blumenthal’s source claimed that Mohamed Morsi admitted that the Brotherhood’s looming Islamist government in Egypt would find it difficult to control the rise of al-Qaida and other radical/terrorist groups, according to a Dec. 16, 2011 email. No context is provided for this statement apart from Morsi also noting that the younger generation of Egypt’s military had become Islamized and anti-American despite training by the United States. The email also notes that younger officers would support Egypt becoming an Islamist state more than the current crop of generals.

Morsi became president about six months later.

However, former CIA Director James Woolsey questions Blumenthal’s sources, telling the Investigative Project on Terrorism that he doesn’t know where Blumenthal found his information.

“This is highly speculative but interesting,” Woolsey said. “The issue with the emails is classification. What matters is the sources and methods.”

These emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server, written while she was secretary of state, were made public as a result of a Judicial Watch lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Many are alleged to contain potentially classified information, and this remains under FBI investigation.

Egyptian security sources recorded calls between Morsi and al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri while he Morsi was in power, according to a Nov. 22, 2013 article in Egypt’s El-Watan newspaper. Morsi allegedly agreed to grant a presidential pardon to 20 terrorists, including one al-Zawahiri had known since childhood, and another who ran Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis – now known as ISIS’s Sinai province.

Communications between Morsi and al-Zawahiri began during the first month of his presidency. Zawahiri’s brother, Mohamed, mediated the initial contacts between them.

“Rule by God’s law for us to stand beside you, there is no so-called democracy, then get rid of your opponents,” al-Zawahiri told Morsi, according to the El-Watan transcript.

Al-Zawahiri and Morsi allegedly agreed to cooperate in establishing training camps in Sinai and near the Libyan border where they could create an army to defend the Brotherhood regime. Morsi allegedly met with an emissary of Zawahiri’s at a Pakistani hotel for two-and-a-half hours, and this reportedly resulted in the international organization of the MB giving al-Qaida $50 million.

Morsi called al-Zawahiri asking for his help soon before the military toppled him, according to the Al-Watan report.

“We will fight the military and the police, and we will set the Sinai aflame,” al-Zawahiri allegedly told Morsi.

The pro-military newspaper’s reporting has been called into question in the past. Its editor remains under investigation for falsifying a report about an Islamist terror cell.

Still, the alleged phone calls with al-Zawahiri contributed to Egyptian prosecutors seeking a death sentence against Morsi.

Attacks in the Sinai increased following Morsi’s fall. The suggestion by Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy following Morsi’s deposition that “Attacks in Sinai would stop the second President Mohammed Morsi is reinstated,” adds to evidence of Brotherhood connections with al-Qaida, according to Michael Meunier, an Egyptian activist who previously worked closely with the Egyptian government.

“There is a clear indication of coordination between the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida in Sinai,” Meunier said.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the group responsible for most of the attacks, belonged to al-Qaida before joining the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. Reports indicate that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was “structurally” tied with the MB.

If true, the ties between the MB and al-Qaida challenge the academic contention that the two groups are mortal enemies. This contention was based upon mutual criticisms, such as al-Zawahiri’s 2006 condemnation of the MB’s participation in democratic elections.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper invoked the idea that the MB and al-Qaida were opposed to each other during February 2011 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Clapper said.

A Feb. 16, 2011 email from an unnamed State Department official who helped draft Presidential Policy Directive-13  – a document that helped frame U.S. policy surrounding Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East – echoed Clapper’s remarks. U.S. policy should not “be driven by fear,” it said, and if it didn’t distinguish the Brotherhood and al-Qaida, it wouldn’t be able to adapt to changes in the region.

Not Just Egypt

Other government documents corroborate Blumenthal’s contention that the Brotherhood and al-Qaida are linked.

The Clinton emails describe a definitive personal link between the Brotherhood and al-Qaida in Libya dating from Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state in the person of Ali al-Sallabi, who founded the al-Qaida linked Libyan National Party (LNP).

A Feb. 27, 2011 email from Clinton aide Jake Sullivan describes al-Sallabi as “a key figure in the Libyan Muslim brotherhood and [Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Yusuf] Qaradawi’s man in Libya.” Sullivan stands accused of sending Clinton top-secret emails at her private account.

Blumenthal noted in a July 3, 2011 email that the LNP was dominated by former members of the al-Qaida-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), “who, according to sensitive sources, maintained ties to al Qa’ida during their struggle with the forces of former dictator Muammar al Qaddafi.”

A March 24, 2011 Libyan intelligence document claims that al-Sallabi coordinated the effort by the international Muslim Brotherhood to assist the LIFG in its fight against Gaddafi.

Similarly, Rached al-Ghannouchi, head of Tunisia’s Brotherhood-linked Ennahda Party,attempted to work with al-Qaida linked Ansar Al-Sharia and its late leader, Abu Iyadh – a former Bin Laden ally sanctioned by the U.S. after 9/11 – during the Arab Spring. Abu Iyadh was responsible for al-Qaida’s assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood two days before the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

These examples also include connections between the Yemeni MB and al-Qaida through Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani. Treasury Department officials described al-Zindani as a “Bin Laden loyalist” in a 2004 press release. He also helped al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki, while serving on the board of the Brotherhood-linked Union of Good, which raises funds for Hamas.

Al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood have also used many of the same funding mechanisms, such as the Lugano, Switzerland based Al-Taqwa Bank.

West Supported Brotherhood Making Egypt an Islamic State

In other correspondence, Blumenthal reported that “MB leaders are also pleased with the results of discussions with the United States Government, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), both of which, in the analysis of the MB leaders, appear to accept the idea of Egypt as an Islamic state.”

Western business and diplomatic leaders at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos“appeared to accept” an end to Egypt’s role as a partner with Israel, Blumenthal wrote, even if the Egyptians had no desire for a military confrontation with the Jewish state.

Brotherhood members, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, advocated an Islamic government based upon the Turkish model, in which civilians rather than clerics rule. All legislation passed by such a government must conform to the Islamic law. Egypt’s 2012 constitution included this principle, which subjected legislation for review by Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most important academic institution. Gamal al-Banna, brother of the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, warned prior to his death in January 2013, that religious law would always prevail in such a system.

“If nothing else, the civilian and religious outlooks will differ and will therefore surrender to the religious outlook,” al-Banna said in a 2011 interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm. “Egypt should thus become a civil state, without involving the detailed legislation of Islam.”

Despite this knowledge Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration chose to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood as just another political party.

Meunier, who helped organize the demonstrations that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, doesn’t find any of these revelations surprising.

“To have that information and to ignore it is criminal. I kind of had an idea about this way back when [Clinton] came to Egypt, and I refused to meet with her when she requested a meeting with me,” Meunier said. “We knew that she was colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“She was encouraging and working with a terrorist organization.”

Top Intel Officials: U.S. Faces Highest Terror Threat Level Since 9/11

James Clapper / AP

James Clapper / AP

Iran, N. Korea enhancing ties, ISIS more powerful than al Qaeda, terrorists pouring out of Syria

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 25, 2016:

Top intelligence community officials warned Thursday that the United States faces the highest terrorist threat level since the 9/11 terror attacks, citing a record-breaking increase in the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, as well as joint Iranian-North Korean plans to boost “attack capabilities” and other efforts by leading terror groups to increase their offensive capabilities.

As Iran “continues to be the foremost sponsor of terror” across the globe, ISIS has emerged as the “preeminent global terrorist threat,” with its combined strength now exceeding al Qaeda’s, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who warned lawmakers on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that “unpredictable instability has become the new normal.”

The United States has never dealt with this type of threat landscape and struggles to ensure it can continue gathering intelligence on these terror groups, which have shown unprecedented proficiency at obfuscating their actions.

Violent extremists now operate in 40 countries, Clapper said. Another seven countries have collapsing governments, and 14 are in danger of falling due to violent instability. An additional 59 countries have been marked as facing “significant risk of instability through 2016,” Clapper said.

Instability in these countries could enable them to become terrorist safe havens, as has been the case in Syria, Clapper said.

“There are now more Sunni [Muslim] violent extremist groups, members of safe havens, than any time in history,” Clapper said, noting that the rate of foreign fighters now traveling to Syria and Iraq is “without precedent.”

At least 38,200 foreign fighters, including 6,900 from Western countries, have made their way to Syria from about 120 different countries since the Syrian conflict began in 2012.

“Returning foreign fighters [to Europe and elsewhere], with first-hand battlefield experience, poses a dangerous operational threat,” Clapper said, citing last year’s massive terrorist attack in Paris.

Meanwhile, threats from global pandemics such as the Zika virus also threaten the U.S. homeland. The U.S. intelligence community expects up to 4 million Zika virus cases in just in the Western hemisphere, Clapper said.

Officials said that as the United States and other countries implement the Iran nuclear agreement, the Islamic Republic strengthens its alliance with terrorist groups and rogue nations such as North Korea.

“Iran continues to be the foremost state sponsor of terror and exert its influence in regional crises in the Mid-East through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, its terrorist partner Lebanese Hezbollah, and proxy groups,” Clapper said. “Iran and Hezbollah remain a continuing terrorist threat to U.S. interests and partners worldwide.”

Intelligence sources have predicted that Iran’s hatred for America will not abate despite the nuclear deal championed by the Obama administration.

“Iran’s supreme leader continues to view the U.S. as a major threat and we assess his views will not change despite the implementation of the [nuclear] deal, the exchange of detainees, and the release of the 10 sailors,” Clapper said.

Technology challenges remain for the U.S. as it seeks to disrupt cyber attacks and infiltrate online terror networks.

Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea continue to collect sensitive data from hacking American networks, Clapper said.

“Targeting collection of the U.S. political, military, economic, and technical information by foreign intelligence services continues unabated,” he said. “Russia and China post the greatest threat, followed by Iran and Cuba on a lesser scale.”

Terrorist groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda have demonstrated an ability to hide their online operations.

“The increased use by violent extremists of encrypted and secure Internet and mobile-based tech has enabled terrorist actors to go dark and serves to undercut intelligence and law enforcement efforts,” Clapper said.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), the intelligence committee’s chairman, expressed concern over the government’s ability to address all of these threats.

“The U.S. faces the highest threat level since the 9/11 attacks,” he said. “The intelligence community is being stretched thin and is overwhelmed by a complex threat matrix.”

Nunes also highlighted several instances of waste, fraud, and abuse in the U.S. defense network.

Whistleblowers have informed Congress that officials at U.S. Central Command have deleted “both files and emails” to hide them from lawmakers.

Additionally, sources have identified billions of dollars in waste and excess spending for programs, including “documentation showing the Department of Defense has provided false information to Congress.”

Several congressional committees are currently investigating this behavior.


An ISIS 9/11 Attack On America With WMDs In 2016

U.S. intelligence agencies confirm that ISIS has used chemical weapons, warn it will attempt direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016, and is infiltrating refugee groups fleeing Iraq and Syria. (Ho/Zuma Press/Newscom)

U.S. intelligence agencies confirm that ISIS has used chemical weapons, warn it will attempt direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016, and is infiltrating refugee groups fleeing Iraq and Syria. (Ho/Zuma Press/Newscom)

IBD, Feb. 12, 2016:

National Security: The CIA director confirms that the Islamic State uses chemical weapons days after the director of national intelligence says ISIS is planning attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016. Connect the dots.

CIA Director John Brennan, in a CBS News “60 Minutes” interview that will air Sunday, said ISIS has “used chemical munitions on the battlefield” and can construct chlorine and mustard gas-releasing weapons.

Earlier this week, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ISIS will “attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016,” and that the caliphate is infiltrating the refugees fleeing the ISIS mayhem in Iraq and Syria.

At the same hearing on Tuesday, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said ISIS operatives are “pretty skilled at phony passports, so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers,” with Syrian passport machines having been commandeered by the terrorist organization.

The “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community” Clapper presented to Congress on Tuesday said ISIS “has become the preeminent terrorist threat.”

So ISIS is “the preeminent terrorist threat” in the world.

It can make and has used weapons of mass destruction.

It is hiding among refugees, using fake passports to cross borders.

And it will “attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.”

Can we please put two and two together? If ISIS is going to cross our border and attack America, why wouldn’t it shoot for the moon and use chemical weapons against us in assaults that would make the 9/11 attacks look like a walk in the park?

ISIS wouldn’t even have to smuggle them in. ABC News recently asked experts such as Michael Allswede of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and Thomas Inglesby of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns Hopkins University about terrorists making chemical weapons surreptitiously within the U.S.

“Because they’re relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture, chemical weapons have long been considered ‘the poor man’s atomic bomb,’ ” they said, and “could be dispersed from a crop-dusting plane, from aerosols, or by distributing the chemical in water supplies.”

This nation should be on Code Red right now with a “severe risk of terrorist attack” — a WMD terrorist attack that could kill many thousands. Except that President Obama abolished the color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale five years ago.

Also see:

US Intel Chief: Islamic Terror Threat Biggest in History

ISIS fighters

ISIS fighters

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 11, 2016:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said February 9 the Sunni terrorist threat “has been on an upward trajectory since the late 1970s and has more groups, members and safe havens that at any other point in history.”

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart also testified and his assessment wasn’t rosier.

More than 36,500 foreign fighters have gone to Syria, including at least 6,000 from Western countries, since 2012, said Stewart. Within the U.S., the FBI arrested some five dozen Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) supporters last year, a 500% increase from 2014.

“ISIL will likely increase the pace and lethality of its transnational attacks as infrastructure and capabilities mature. It will purposely attempt to stroke sectarian conflict between Shia and Sunnis and between the West and Islam to create the chaotic environment in which it thrives,” Stewart said.

Watch the Clarion Project on Newsmax TV’s “Newsmax Prime with J.D. Hayworth” discussing this topic:

The Islamic State will hold onto Mosul in Iraq through at least the end of the year, Stewart believes. It is the centerpiece of the caliphate in Iraq and has enormous ideological value to the group. The reason is that the Iraqi Security Forces, Kurdish Peshmerga and the Shiite and Sunni elements of the Popular Mobilization Forces (a coalition of militias, many of which are linked to Iran) lack the logistics, morale, qualified soldiers and overall military preparedness.

Stewart said the program to enlist Sunnis in the fight against ISIS—which proved decisive in beating back Al-Qaeda previously—is failing because of concerns about Iranian influence, persecution by Shiite militias and a lack of funding and material. The latter two elements validate Sunni complaints that the U.S. is inadequately supporting them due to the Iraqi central government’s insistence that all U.S. assistance be routed through Baghdad.

Clapper’s statement that Sunni terrorism has been on an “upward trajectory” casts a shadow over the Obama Administration’s  boast that ISIS has lost 40% of its caliphate in Iraq and 20% of it in Syria. It is true ISIS has lost ground and the statistic may be accurate, but Clapper’s statement shows it does not tell the whole story.

The testimonies of Clapper and Stewart explain that ISIS is expanding outside of Iraq and Syria, especially in Libya. The U.S. can and should boast of successes against ISIS, but the statistic doesn’t account for ISIS’ gains globally.

It also doesn’t mean progress against ISIS necessarily translates to overall progress in the war against Islamist terrorism. Clapper said al-Qaeda is poised to strengthen in 2016 because of its affiliates in Yemen and Syria. If ISIS’ holdings in Syria transfer to al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Jabhat al-Nusra (or another Islamist extremist group), then there’s no net gain.

Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee the ideological makeup of the Syrian rebels is projected to become even more radical in 2016. The chief reason is the Syrian regime’s advances on the ground with the help of Russia and Iran will cause more rebel groups to coalesce with Sunni extremists.

The two intelligence directors also see Afghanistan as an area with growth potential for al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban and others. Clapper believes ISIS’ branch in Afghanistan known as Khorasan is likely to only be a “low-level threat,” but the intelligence community has consistently underestimated the terrorist group. Stewart worries that al-Qaeda “could establish a significant presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” if pressure on the group decreases.

“[The Islamist insurgency is] steadily chipping away at Afghanistan’s security…we assess that fighting in 2016 will be more intense than in 2015, continuing a decade-long trend of deteriorating security,” Clapper said.

On the topic of Iran, the intelligence chiefs did not predict a change in the Shiite terrorist threat. Stewart warned Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have threatened to attack U.S. personnel there and some Shiite militiamen have attempted to do so. An Iran-backed militia kidnapped three American civilians working as contractors in Baghdad, just last month,.

Stewart absolved Iran of responsibility for the Shiite militias’ violence towards Americans and Coalition forces, saying it is “almost certainly not at the direction of Iran or [militia] group leadership.”

Even if that’s true—a big if—why shouldn’t Iran be blamed? It is supporting extremist militias who have an anti-American agenda and whose members are inclined to do that very thing. Perhaps Iran wants it to happen and knows it doesn’t even need to direct the Shiite extremists to do it. That would achieve plausible deniability while positioning itself as the power broker to whom the U.S. must plead for help.

Stewart also testified Iran is planning to launch a Space-Launch Vehicle equivalent to a nuclear-capable ICBM. He said it could happen this year, adding Iran continues to work on improving ballistic missile accuracy, range and lethality.

Iran was also rated as one of the top three foreign intelligence threats to the U.S. alongside Russia and China. Stewart said “some of these foreign intelligence entities also seek to influence our national policy and decision-making process.”

The most positive parts of their testimonies focused on the U.S.-backed Kurdish fight against ISIS and some encouraging news from Afghanistan.

Clapper said the Afghan National Security Forces will “probably” retain control of the major population centers and their losses will be limited to some rural areas with a small population. Stewart said the Afghan special forces are significantly improving and the Afghans have secured almost all of the provincial capitals and major highways. They have also shown they are capable of launching major counter-attacks like they did in Kunduz after a surprise routing at the hands of the Taliban.

Overall, the assessment was very bleak. Sunni extremists are getting stronger. Shiite extremists are, at best, not weakening and Iran is advancing its ballistic missile program for delivering nuclear weapons.

A summary of two intelligence chiefs’ statements could be written like this: The trend is in the enemy’s favor.

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


Also see:

Intelligence Director: Al-Qaeda ‘Positioned to Make Gains in 2016’

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper looks at his notes during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about worldwide threats on Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper looks at his notes during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about worldwide threats on Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


The director of national intelligence warned Congress this morning that “unpredictable instabilities have become the new normal, and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.”

In a briefing of worldwide threats referred to as his “litany of doom,” James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “violent extremists” are “operationally active in about 40 countries.”

“Seven countries are experiencing a collapse of central government authority, 14 others face regime-threatening or violent instability or both. Another 59 countries face a significant risk of instability through 2016,” he said.

Russia and China “continue to have the most sophisticated cyber programs” and China continues cyber espionage against the United States.

“Whether China’s commitment of last September moderates its economic espionage” — a vow touted by President Obama — “remains to be seen,” Clapper noted. “Iran and North Korea continue to conduct cyber espionage as they enhance their attack capabilities.”

ISIS, he said, “displays unprecedented online proficiency”and “at least 38,200 foreign fighters, including at least 6,900 from western countries, have traveled to Syria from at least 120 countries since the beginning of the conflict in 2012.”

From 2014 to 2015, the number of ISIS supporters arrested by the FBI increased fivefold.

And despite repeated administration insistence that the “core” of al-Qaeda has been decimated, Clapper said they’ve bounced back just fine, with a network of affiliates “proven resilient despite counterterrorism pressure.”

“Al-Qaeda’s affiliates are positioned to make gains in 2016,” the director said, citing al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the al-Nusra front in Syria as “the two most capable al-Qaeda branches.”

Iran, Clapper noted, “continues to be the foremost state sponsor of terrorism and exert its influence and regional crisis in the Mid East.”

“Through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, its terrorist partner, Lebanese, Hezbollah and proxy groups,” he said. “Iran and Hezbollah remain a continuing terrorist threat to U.S. interest and partners worldwide.”

On the nuclear deal, “Iran probably views the JCPOA as a means to remove sanctions, while preserving nuclear capabilities. Iran’s perception of how the JCPOA helps it to achieve its overall strategic goals will dictate the level of adherence to the agreement over time.”

North Korea “continues to produce fissile material and develop a submarine launched ballistic missile” and is “also committed to developing a long-range nuclear armed missile that’s capable of posing a direct threat to the United States, although the system has not been flight tested,” Clapper continued.

Russia, meanwhile, “continues to have the largest and most capable foreign nuclear-armed ballistic missile force” and China “continues to modernize its nuclear missile force and is striving for a secure, second-strike capability.” Russia and China are also the greatest threats to the U.S. in terms of foreign intelligence, he said.

And despite the Obama administration lauding its deal with the Assad regime after it crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons as a triumph of democracy that depleted the dictator’s stockpile, “chemical weapons continue to pose a threat to Syria and Iraq.”

“Damascus has used chemicals against the opposition on multiple occasions since Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Clapper said. “ISIL has also used toxic chemicals in Iraq and Syria, including the blister agent sulfur mustard, the first time an extremist group has produced and used a chemical warfare agent in an attack since Aum Shinrikyo used sarin in Japan in 1995.”

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart warned that ISIS “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.”

In Russia, Stewart noted, “military activity has continued at a historical high.”

“Moscow continues to pursue aggressive foreign and defense policies, including conducting operations in Syria, sustaining involvement in Ukraine and expanding military capabilities in the Arctic. Last year, the Russian military continued its robust exercise schedule and aggressively and occasionally provocative out of area deployments,” he said. “We anticipate similar high levels of military activity in 2016.”

Russian and Chinese cyberattacks “target DOD personnel, networks, supply chain, research and development, and critical structural information in cyber domain.”

Stewart said during questioning from the committee that he does not see Mosul being recaptured from ISIS this year.

“I’m less optimistic in the near-term about Mosul. I think there’s lots of work to be done yet out in the western part. I don’t believe that Ramadi is completely secure, so they have to secure Ramadi. They have to secure the Hit-Haditha corridor in order to have some opportunity to fully encircle and bring all the forces against Mosul,” the DIA director said.

“Mosul will be a complex operation, and so I’m not as optimistic. As you say, it’s a large city. I’m not as optimistic that we’ll be able to turn that in the near-term, in my view, certainly not this year. We may be able to begin the campaign, do some isolation operations around Mosul. But securing or taking Mosul is an extensive operation and not something I see in the next year or so.”

Also see:

Obama Loyalists Pressured Intel Analysts to Downplay ISIS Assessments, Deleted Incriminating Emails

President Barack Obama delivers remarks after meeting with members of his national security team concerning ISIS at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on Monday, July 6, 2015. Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA

President Barack Obama delivers remarks after meeting with members of his national security team concerning ISIS at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on Monday, July 6, 2015. Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA

PJ Media, by Debra Heine, Nov. 25, 2015:

Whether it was because they understood that the president was determined to ignore inconvenient threat assessments, or because they were under direct orders, top Obama officials pressured analysts to downplay  “multiple assessments” from military intelligence and the CIA regarding the “rapid rise” of ISIS in Iraq and North Africa in the year before the group took over huge swaths of Iraq in 2014.

Emails obtained by the Pentagon inspector general reveal that intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command were pressured to avoid negative assessments about the Islamic State threat and were even at one point told to “cut it out.” Moreover, sources are accusing two senior intelligence officials at CENTCOM of “deleting emails and files from computer systems before the inspector general could examine them.”

Via Fox News:

Fox News is told by a source close to the CENTCOM analysts that the pressure on them included at least two emails saying they needed to “cut it out” and “toe the line.”Separately, a former Pentagon official told Fox News there apparently was an attempt to destroy the communications. The Pentagon official said the email warnings were “not well received” by the analysts.

Those emails, among others, are now in the possession of the Pentagon inspector general. The IG’s probe is expanding into whether intelligence assessments were changed to give a more positive picture of the anti-ISIS campaign.

“This is rich,” said Andrew Peek, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, on Fox News yesterday. “How rich was it for the president to give a news conference where he essentially explained to all the reporters who were too dumb to get it — and to all of us — how much better his advisers were to anyone else’s.”

“Of course he likes them, right?” Peek laughed. “They tell him what he wants to hear! I think this is appalling.”

It appears that Obama’s yes-men have been caught trying to cover their tracks.

The Daily Beast reports that the allegations of misconduct include a possible cover-up, with some analysts accusing two senior officials at CENTCOM, Maj. Gen. Steven Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman, of deleting incriminating emails.

One U.S. official said the alleged activity could amount to obstruction and interference with the inspector general’s investigation, which began last summer. He noted that files relevant to the investigation began to disappear from Centcom computers after the Pentagon watchdog’s staff began their work.Two sources said that investigators are piecing together a trail of emails and reports to find out what may have been deleted, as well as what officials outside CENTCOM knew about potential manipulation of intelligence.

The Guardian reported back in September that the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was in “frequent and unusual contact” with Army Major General Steven Grove – “which is highly, highly unusual,” according to a former intelligence official.

Grove is said to be implicated in a Pentagon inquiry into manipulated war intelligence.In communications, Clapper, who is far more senior than Grove, is said to tell Grove how the war looks from his vantage point, and question Grove about Central Command’s assessments. Such a situation could place inherent pressure on a subordinate, sources said.

As the Daily Beast reported, Grove is now suspected of deleting incriminating emails.

James Clapper, meanwhile, has been at the center of several Obama-era controversies.

In February of 2011, he testified before Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular,”  has “eschewed violence,” decries al-Qaeda as a “perversion of Islam,” and really just wants “social ends” and “a betterment of the political order in Egypt.”

This was a little over a year before the Obama administration’s preferred candidate — a  Muslim Brotherhood leader — won Egypt’s presidential election. It took only a year of his ruthless reign for Egyptians to throw Morsi and his Islamist henchmen out and have them arrested. So much for the “betterment of the political order in Egypt.”

On Sept 28, 2012, DNI James Clapper fell on his sword for Obama on Libya.

Regarding the infamous Benghazi talking points, he said, “I got it wrong – not the White House.”

Ace of Spades HQ made a very perceptive observation at the time.

Now people are saying it was indeed Clapper. Actually they’re saying it was his office — the Director of National Intelligence — and any of several people might have made the changes.But I will stick with Clapper. He’s proven himself to be a perfect Obama appointee, by which I mean incompetent and eminently malleable in his claims according to Obama’s political needs.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March of 2013, Clapper seemingly lied under oath.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) had asked him whether the National Security Agency collects data on millions of Americans.

Clapper insisted that the NSA does not — or at least does “not wittingly” — collect any information on Americans in bulk.After documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA collects records on virtually all U.S. phone calls, Clapper apologized for the false comment.

In early 2015, while the president was brokering a nuclear deal with Iran,  the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Communities did not include Iran or Hezbollah after years in which they were featured in similar reports.

Clapper cited “a change in formatting” as the reason for their removal, an explanation that John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, called a “flat lie.”

It’s worth noting here that investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson last week revealed that intel sources have been telling her that President Obama refuses to listen to intelligence assessments of certain terrorist groups which he doesn’t consider terrorists.

“Designated Fall Guy” James Clapper never did take the fall for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2012 over Benghazi, but three years later he and two officials at CENTCOM seem to be skating on very thin ice. It remains to be seen whether any of this tommyrot reaches the Oval Office.

Also see:

Did FBI Director Mislead on Americans Joining ISIS Before Mid-Term Elections?

60comey100514In October, he claimed “about a dozen” U.S. fighters were in Syria. Now we’re told 180 — with 40 already having returned.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, April 17, 2015:

For more than a year, U.S. officials have been warning of the potential terror blowback from Americans who have fought in Syria. Senior counter-terrorism officials have repeatedly claimed that more than 100 individuals have traveled from the U.S. to fight with terror groups in Syria and Iraq.

However, FBI Director James Comey began to walk those claims back in late September and early October — just weeks before the November mid-term elections.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, he claimed that “roughly a dozen” U.S. persons were fighting with extremist groups in Syria.

That was a marked change from his own comments in May, when his own figures were considerably higher:

Comey declined to give a precise figure for Americans believed to be involved in the Syrian struggle but said the numbers are “getting worse.”

“I said dozens last time,” said Comey, referring to an interview with reporters four months ago. “It’s still dozens, just a couple more dozen.”

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official estimated this year that 60 to 70 Americans have traveled to fight in Syria. Comey said that Americans in Syria are actively recruiting other Americans to join the fight.

Several dozen in May 2014 is still considerably more than “roughly a dozen” just a few months later.

An Associated Press article allowed Comey to explain his walk-back on his own numbers:

“When I use a number of more than 100, that means people who have gone and come back, people who have attempted to go and we locked them up, people who have gone and stayed,” Comey said during an interview with reporters at FBI headquarters. “The figure that I’ve been operating with is, ballparkish, a dozen still there fighting with terrorist groups.”

The AP reporters deemed the 100-plus Americans fighting in Syria claim that had been repeated by a number of U.S. senior officials — including Comey himself — as having reached “urban legend status”.

But once America was past the mid-term elections, the stated numbers provided by senior officials quickly soared.

In early March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed that 180 U.S. persons had traveled to Syria. More remarkably, he claimed that 40 such individuals had already returned to the United States.

According to Reuters, Clapper also said that he was not aware of any plots that anyone who had returned from Syria had been involved in. However, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud had already been arrested on state terror charges at the request of the FBI a week before Clapper made his comments.

Just yesterday, a federal grand jury indicted Mohamud on charges of traveling to fight with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. Having received training, he returned to the U.S. with the mission of conducting terrorist attacks here at home. This is the first known case of a fighter returning from Syria with terrorist intent.

According to the indictment, Mohamud became a naturalized U.S. citizen in February 2014. A week later, he applied for his U.S. passport to travel to fight in Syria.

(This case is of particular interest to me not only because Mohamud lived just a few miles from my home in Columbus, Ohio — I have been warning of terrorist recruitment in Central Ohio for more than a decade — but also because Mohamud roamed freely around our city for eight months before he was arrested, during which time he could have committed any number of terrorist acts.)

Was the Director of National Intelligence not informed of this terror plot, or was he keeping critical information away from the American public?

Additionally, why was this rapidly escalating terror threat apparently never mentioned during President Obama’s three-day White House “radicalization summit” just days before Clapper’s Council on Foreign Relations speech? There, all the talk was about “right-wing terrorism,” based on a Homeland Security report that is still kept under wraps.

Earlier this month, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared on 60 Minutes. He restated the claim that 180 U.S. persons have traveled to Syria and 40 have returned:

Lesley Stahl: As I understand it, of the 180 Americans who have gone overseas to fight in Iraq and Syria, 40 have come back. I assume you’re keeping close tabs on those 40?

Jeh Johnson: We have in fact kept close tabs on those who we believe have left and those who’ve come back. A number have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals. But you can’t know everything.

Amazingly, Stahl never asked Johnson about the discrepancy between those numbers and the “roughly a dozen” claim made by FBI Director Comey – on her own program – just six months before.

Was the FBI director deliberately misleading the public about the nature of the threat just four weeks before the mid-term elections?

Our national security leaders have been less than forthcoming about the nature of the threat from returnees who have fought with terrorist groups overseas, and this dishonesty is occurring while these terrorist groups are publicly threatening attacks on the American homeland.

The Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud indictment yesterday, which says he made statements indicating his intention to attack police and soldiers here at home, makes clear that this is not an imaginary threat. But as we saw in both the Fort Hood massacre and the Boston bombing, playing politics with national security will cost American lives, and our leaders are still playing games.

Obama Removes Iran from Terror List, Praises it for Fighting Terrorism

obama-iran-450x286Frontpage, March 16, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

The mask is coming off faster than ever.

You know the country responsible for killing hundreds of marines, which provided sanctuary to Al Qaeda and whose terrorist proxies helped give Al Qaeda the skills to carry out 9/11?

They’re no longer terrorists. Sure their terrorist groups currently control parts of Lebanon and Yemen, but they’re not terrorists. Because if Iran was a state sponsor of terror, then Obama letting them have the bomb might look bad. This way it’s fine.

An annual report delivered recently to the US Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terrorism threats, after years in which they featured in similar reports

In describing Iran’s regional role, the report noted the Islamic Republic’s “intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and deescalate tensions with Saudi Arabia,” but cautioned that “Iranian leaders—particularly within the security services—are pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran.

The only time the report mentions Hezbollah is when describing it as a victim of attacks.

Lebanon faces growing threats from terrorist groups, including the al-Nusrah Front and ISIL. Sunni extremists are trying to establish networks in Lebanon and have increased attacks against Lebanese army and Hizballah positions along the Lebanese-Syrian border. Lebanon potentially faces a protracted conflict in northern and eastern parts of the country from extremist groups seeking to seize Lebanese territory, supplies, and hostages.

That clarifies that Obama no longer considers Hezbollah an enemy (not that he ever did). Instead it’s an ally that is classed together with Lebanon, rather than a threat to it.

Here’s what Obama chose to turn his back on.

“The worst part for me is that nobody remembers,” Mark Nevells said last year on the anniversary of the Hezbollah bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut.

A Marine had thrown his body in front of the truck to try stop the vehicle and afterward for five days, Nevells and other Marines had dug through the rubble for the bodies of the men they had served with.

One of the first Marines on the scene heard voices coming from underneath the rubble. “Get us out. Don’t leave us.”

The Marines lost more people that day than at any time since Iwo Jima and the number of Americans murdered that day by a terrorist group was a record that would stand until September 11.

And more of it still.

The Marines who died in the bombing were lucky. Another Marine did not die as quickly.

Colonel William R. Higgins was captured by Hezbollah, the terrorist group acting as Iran’s hand in Lebanon, and tortured for months until his body was dumped near a mosque.

An autopsy report found that he had been starved and had suffered multiple lethal injuries that could have caused his death.  The skin on his face had been partially removed along with his tongue and he had also been castrated.

Fred Hof, a diplomat who had been a friend of the murdered man, said, “I am one of a small handful of Americans who knows the exact manner of Rich’s death. If I were to describe it to you now – which I will not – I can guarantee that a significant number of people in this room would become physically ill.”

Like Higgins, William Francis Buckley, the CIA station chief, was also captured and tortured for months. On video tapes released by his Hezbollah captors, he was incoherent and his mind had been broken by the horrors inflicted on his ravaged body and his soul.

“They had done more than ruin his body,” CIA Director William Casey said. “His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, medieval and barbarous”

Robert Stethem, a Navy diver, was brutally murdered when Hezbollah terrorists took over TWA flight 847. The Iranian-backed terrorists, one of whom was Imad Mughniyah, beat and kicked him to death.

“They were jumping in the air and landing full force on his body. He must have had all his ribs broken,” Uli Derickson, the stewardess, described. “I was sitting only 15 feet away. I couldn’t listen to it. I put my fingers in my ears. I will never forget. I could still hear. They put the mike up to his face so his screams could be heard by the outside world.”

Obama wants you to believe that the 47 Senators who stood up to him on Iran are traitors. The truth is he’s the traitor.

Also see:

DNI: 2014 Was Deadliest Year for Terror Attacks in 45 Years



Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Feb. 27, 2015:

Terrorist attacks and resulting deaths increased sharply last year, according to statistics made public Thursday by the director of national intelligence.

“When the final counting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,” DNI Director James Clapper told Congress, adding that about half of all attacks took place in three states: Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Last year from January to September, around 13,000 terror attacks were carried out, killing 31,000 people. By contrast, in 2013, 22,000 people were killed in terrorist violence in over 11,500 attacks, Clapper disclosed during a wide-ranging world threat briefing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

More than 3,400 foreign jihadists have joined the al Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State (IS) that is showing signs of establishing its own nation state, Clapper said.

The DNI also testified that IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) is expanding outside Iraq and Syria into the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and South Asia. The group also is planning terror attacks on Western interests and against Shiite Muslims, he said.

Establishing chapters in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and South Asia are designed to project an image of a “global scale caliphate,” Clapper said, adding that the new affiliates do not appear under a central command of senior IS leaders.

“ISIL’s rise represents the greatest shift in the Sunni violent extremist landscape since al Qaida affiliates first began forming, and it is the first to assume at least some characteristics of a nation state,” he said.

Of particular concern are IS supporters who can conduct terror attacks on their own. IS is “able to appeal to people who then can act on their own at a time, and place, and circumstance of their choosing,” Clapper said. “And that is a very worrisome challenge, particularly in this country.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said IS is expanding and its successes are increasing the risk jihadists will attack the West. “We are engaged in the generational fight for civilization against brutal enemies, and defeating these enemies requires significant intelligence resources and focus, given the diffuse and constantly evolving nature of the threat,” McCain said.

U.S. intelligence estimates of the number of fighters that have joined IS range between 20,000 to 32,000, the DNI said, including an estimated 3,400 from 90 foreign nations. At least 13,400 of the fighters have known ties to other terrorist groups.

The statistics were made public as British authorities revealed the identity of the video-taped IS executioner shown in the beheading murders of several foreign hostages as Kuwait-born Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.

Several of the estimated 180 American jihadists who traveled to Syria have returned and are under surveillance, he said, adding that that so far none of the American jihadists have not indicated planning for terrorist attacks.

FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that Islamic radicals linked to IS are being investigated in all 50 states.

“ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song with their slick propaganda through social media,” Comey said.

“Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here, fighting for our so-called caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are,” the FBI director said of the group’s recruiting pitch.

Recent shooting attacks by Muslim jihadists in France and Denmark highlight the threat posed by the resurgent al Qaeda offshoot.

Clapper said IS has launched a sophisticated propaganda and media operation that highlights the group’s success and that has been instrumental in attracting new recruits.

“So their success on the battlefield, or perceived success, or the way they’re presented, certainly helps them in gaining recruits for the fight,” he said.

On funding, Clapper said IS was able to gain a large amount of money by overrunning Iraqi banks last year. Those funds, he said are “going to dry up.”

Air strikes against IS oil facilities also have forced the group to gain funds from smaller oil instillations, he said.

“And as a consequence of the brutality, the donations that they’ve received are tapering off,” Clapper said.

Asked about the rapid increase in IS fighters from around an initial estimate of 5,000 to now as many as 32,000, Clapper said the “mushrooming” was due to an early favorable reception by Sunnis opposed to the Shiite-leaning government in Baghdad.

As funds become short for the group, IS is turning to conscription to fill its ranks, especially after taking heavy losses—3,000 IS fighters killed—in the northern Syrian town of Kobani, he said.

The Obama administration’s strategy of air strikes combined with ground support for foreign militaries has degraded IS efforts to conduct large-scale offensive ground operations. But the terror group remains “a formidable and brutal threat,” Clapper said.

In Libya, terror groups linked to both al Qaeda and IS are using the country to conduct training and plotting for attacks, he said.

Clapper also said the conflict in Syria is increasing the danger of instability in the region, including in Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. And in Iraq, Sunni-Shiite conflict in growing and, if not curtailed, “will undermine progress against ISIL,” he said.

Clapper, appearing with Defense Intelligence Agency Director Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, came under critical questioning from McCain over the Obama administration’s refusal to supply arms to Ukraine in its battle against Russian separatists and Russian forces.

Clapper said providing arms to the Ukrainians would “provoke” Russian President Vladimir Putin to further aggression, and he also warned that a separatist attack aimed at taking over the key port of Mariupol, Ukraine, is “imminent.”

“This idea that somehow we will provoke Vladimir Putin—he’s done everything he wanted to do, general,” McCain said to Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general.

“Well, I don’t think he will view it happily if the United States provides lethal support,” Clapper said during the exchange.

Clapper said a lasting solution that allows Ukraine to pursue western integration “will be difficult to say the least.”

On other issues, Clapper outlined a series of international security threats, including:

  • Cyber attacks from both states and groups that are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of damage.
  • Russia is among the most sophisticated cyber warfare states and is preparing to attack critical infrastructure such as power grids, air traffic control, and oil and gas distribution. The cyber threat posed by Moscow is “more severe than we have previously assessed.”
  • Chinese advanced cyber espionage is “a major threat” and is continuing despite U.S. pressure on Beijing
  • Sunni terrorists pose the most likely threat of conducting deadly attacks in the United States.
  • North Korea is bolstering its nuclear weapons and missile forces that pose a “serious threat” to the United States.
  • Russia’s new Iskander cruise missile violates the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
  • China and Russia are increasingly threating U.S. strategic space systems with anti-satellite weapons.

On cyber threats to the financial industry, Clapper said the most pervasive threat comes from cyber criminals. “Criminals were responsible for cyber intrusions in 2014 in the JPMorgan, Home Depot, Target, Neiman Marcus, Anthem, and other U.S. companies,” he said.



Also see:

FBI Director: ‘I Have Home-Grown Violent Extremist Investigations in Every Single State’

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by PoliPix

FBI Director James Comey explains why fighting terrorism is still one of the FBI’s top priorities during a speech at the National Association of Attorneys General meeting, February 25, 2015.


By Susan Jones, Feb. 26, 2015:

( – “Counterterrorism remains the bureau’s top priority, FBI Director James Comey told a gathering in Washington on Wednesday — the same day federal authorities in New York charged three immigrants, all Muslim, with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State.

“I have home-grown violent extremist investigations in every single state,” Comey told a meeting of state attorneys general. “Until a few weeks ago, there was (sic) 49 states. Alaska had none, which I couldn’t quite figure out, but Alaska has now joined the group. So we have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.”

Comey said the terror threat has “metastasized” in recent years, as the “progeny of Al Qaida take root” in safe havens such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya, using the Internet and social media to spread their propaganda and recruitment “at the speed of light.”

“So why do I tell you this?” Comey asked. “To explain to you why this remains at the top of the FBI’s list, and to explain to you why the conversations I have with our state and local partners in all 50 states matters so much today.

“Because ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda, through social media, that goes like this: ‘Troubled soul, come to the Caliphate; you will live a life of glory; these are the apocalyptic end times; you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called Caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.'”

Comey said terror attacks no longer have to be large-scale to advance the terrorists’ mission. While Osama bin Laden’s followers flew planes into buildings, today’s terror groups advocate the killing of small groups and individuals: And if (they) can capture it on video and if it’s somebody in uniform, all the better, because it will advance (their) mission.”

Comey also said it’s “highly unlikely” that a federal agent will be the first to hear about suspicious behavior: “It’s going to be a deputy sheriff,” he said. “It’s going to be a police officer who knows that neighborhood.”

Comey emphasized the importance of joint terrorism task forces that have been set up all around the country to counter the emerging “lone wolf” or returning-foreign-fighter threat.

“So all of us leaning forward to push information to each other and to make sure that if we see something, it quickly gets to the right place, is critical to responding to this threat.”

On Wednesday, a joint terrorism task force in New York announced the arrests of three men from Brooklyn, two of whom were planning to join Islamic State fighters in Syria.

One of the suspects, 19-year-old Akhror Saidakhmetov of Kazakhstan, was arrested at Kennedy Airport, where he was trying to board a flight to Istanbul, with plans to head to Syria, authorities said.

Another man, 24-year-old Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev of Uzbekistan, had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month and was arrested in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said. Both men were in the country legally.

A third defendant, 30-year-old Abror Habibov of Uzbekistan, is accused of helping to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel plans. Habibov was in the U.S. on an expired visa.

Earlier this week, two immigrants with ties to Southern California were sentenced to 25 years in prison for plotting to murder U.S. troops in Afghanistan and for providing material support to al Qaeda.

As reported, one of the men was a naturalized U.S. citizen who came here from Afghanistan (and later returned). The other was a legal permanent resident from the Philippines.


Published on Feb 27, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Also see:

Intel chief says 2014 deadliest year for terror ever recorded, in counter to upbeat Kerry

Published on Feb 26, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Figures. James Clapper Contradicts John Kerry Less Than 24 Hrs After His Testimony Before Congress (




Fox News, Feb. 26, 2015:

The top U.S. intelligence official on Thursday gave a drastically different assessment than Secretary of State John Kerry of the terror threat — declaring 2014 the deadliest year for global terrorism ever recorded, after Kerry claimed that threat was diminishing.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying on Capitol Hill, catalogued the growing terror-fueled violence in stark terms.

“When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He offered statistics that would appear to challenge other administration officials’ claims that the country and world are safer today.

A day earlier, Kerry testified at a separate hearing that, “Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.”

That prompted a quick response from lawmakers and from inside the intelligence community.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn , former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Fox News that Kerry is “out of touch with reality, he clearly is not listening to the entire U.S. intelligence community.”

Clapper on Thursday said that in 2013, about 11,500 worldwide attacks killed about 22,000 people. But in the first nine months alone of 2014, he said, preliminary data from a University of Maryland research unit show nearly 13,000 attacks killed 31,000 people.

Half of those attacks and fatalities were in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said. He said the Islamic State conducted more attacks than any other terror group in those first nine months.

The Clapper testimony came as Congress focused attention Thursday on what’s being done to defeat the Islamic State — at all levels of government — as more cases surface of westerners trying to link up with the terror network, including a disturbing case out of New York City.

Clapper said Thursday that about 180 Americans have been involved in various stages of traveling or trying to travel to fight in the region. He said more than 3,400 total western fighters have gone to Syria and Iraq.

He spoke after the Justice Department announced Wednesday that three New York City residents plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS militants and “wage jihad.”

One of the defendants also offered to kill the president of the United States if ordered to do so, the criminal complaint alleged.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, has forged ahead with a campaign of airstrikes against ISIS, with the help of Middle East allies. At the same time, though, President Obama has downplayed the threat. In a recent interview with, he accused the media of overplaying the issue.

“If it bleeds, it leads, right?” he said.

FBI Director James Comey has said his bureau is investigating possible ISIS supporters in all 50 states.

Aside from Clapper’s testimony, a House judiciary subcommittee was holding a separate hearing on Thursday on the threat of ISIS in America. FBI and other local law enforcement officials were set to testify.

Fox News’ Bret Baier contributed to this report. 

White House Statement Ignores Brotherhood’s Continuing Hamas Support

797IPT News
December 5, 2014

The White House this week issued a statement explaining why it does not view the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. It was in response to an online petition which attracted more than 213,000 signatures in support of designating the Egyptian-based group.

The statement emphasizes a lack of “credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence.”

The Brotherhood has another decades-long commitment, however, one that clearly endorses and supports terrorist attacks against Israel. That support began with Article Two of the Hamas charter, which clearly identifies it as “one of the wings of Muslim Brothers in Palestine.” It continues today with statements inciting and supporting Hamas attacks.

As the war between Israel and Gaza raged in August, a statement on the Brotherhood’s website translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism praised “the valiant resistance factions [who] gave them [Palestinians] a lesson in heroism, faith, and courage. They decimated their soldiers and their officers…” Violent confrontation, the statement continued, “is the natural position which must be adopted with the heroes of Palestine, who have proven that the defeat of the Zionists as possible, which is closer when the will of the Umma [people] is united, with God’s will.”

President Obama publicly stood by Israel’s “right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas,” including its indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilian communities. The Brotherhood, by contrast, called for more attacks and “the defeat of the Zionists.”

That was not enough for the administration to question its “decades-long commitment to non-violence.” Other Brotherhood statements show that this is consistent rhetoric, even in more peaceful times.

A June message called “resistance to the occupier Zionist enemy” – a sterilized reference to terrorism – “a legitimate right and a sacred duty approved by all laws and customs and constitutions, and it is the only viable way to restore rights and reply to aggression.”

An April 2010 statement, marking the 62nd anniversary of Israel’s creation – what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe – said the only acceptable path is to continue trying to destroy an existing country.

“T]he Zionist destruction will only be by an Islamic, Arab plan which rejects peace begging initiative proposed since 2002; rejects normalization measures with the Zionist entity; reviews peace agreements and diplomatic relations with it; rejects foolish negotiations between Zionists and Palestinians which are like negotiations between the lamb and the wolf pack,” the Brotherhood statement said.

The United States has considered Hamas a terrorist group since 1995, when President Bill Clinton signed an executive order decrying “grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process” and threaten American national security.

The United States has a record of aggressively pursuing Hamas-support operations within the country. It shut down the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)’s assets in December 2001, labeling it a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. This action was based on the foundation’s routing of millions of dollars to Hamas-controlled charities in the West Bank and Gaza. Later, the governmentprosecuted and a jury convicted the foundation and five former officials.

Internal records seized by the FBI and entered into evidence in that prosecution showed that HLF operated under the umbrella of a group called the Palestine Committee, which was created by the Muslim Brotherhood and tasked with supporting Hamas politically and financially.

Some might argue that was a long time ago. But a look at Brotherhood actions and rhetoric indicates it continues to be fully supportive of Hamas and its violent attacks against Israelis.

Reports earlier this week indicate that members of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood branch were arrested for trying to smuggle weapons into the West Bank to facilitate terror attacks.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered the Brotherhood’s most influential cleric, urged Muslimsto wage “the greatest battle of liberation” against Israel and the Jews in an online posting last month. Qaradawi, who also has a highly-rated program on Al-Jazeera, has an ever-expanding record of endorsing terrorist attacks and has prayed for the chance to “go to the land of Jihad and resistance” and “shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews,” before he dies.

Interpol issued a bulletin Friday indicating that Qaradawi, 88, was wanted by Egyptian authorities for “incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder.”

After Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood official, was forced from office in July 2013 in the wake of massive street protests against his rule, the Brotherhood’s political party posted a memo on Facebook inciting followers to take out their frustrations by burning Coptic churches.

“The Pope of the Church (Coptic Pope Tawadros II) took part in the ouster of the first elected Islamist president. The Pope of the Church charges Islamic Sharia with underdevelopment [and] stagnation,” the memo from the Freedom and Justice Party’s branch in Egypt’s Helwan Governorate, near Cairo, said.

“And for the Church to adopt a war against Islam and Muslims is the worst crime. For every action is a reaction.”

Before Morsi’s ouster, the White House welcomed a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood officials, even helping clear their path to avoid standard airport inspections as they landed in the United States.

State Department officials had numerous contacts with Brotherhood officials in the years leading up to Egypt’s Arab Spring revolution.

U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson reported in an April 2010 cable that Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie had “reaffirmed the MB was a non-violent” movement.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper similarly described the Muslim Brotherhood in February 2011 as “largely secular” and said that it “eschewed violence.” Four months later, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. planned to expand dialogue with the Brotherhood as part of a commitment “to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence.”

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AP: CIA given stand-down order in Europe

renderHot Air, by Ed Morrissey, Sep.19,2014:

At first blush, this report looks like common sense. After all, the Edward Snowden cache’s exposure of espionage and surveillance on our allies in Europe created no small amount of humiliation for all sides, and at least publicly, impacted our diplomatic and security relationships. A pause to determine the legitimate intelligence needs of the US, as opposed to a desire to just grab everything possible, makes sense under the circumstances — assuming it doesn’t blind us altogether to the issues in Europe.

That, however, might have been the result, at least according to Associated Press sources:

Under the stand-down order, case officers in Europe largely have been forbidden from undertaking “unilateral operations” such as meeting with sources they have recruited within allied governments. Such clandestine meetings are the bedrock of spying.

CIA officers are still allowed to meet with their counterparts in the host country’s intelligence service, conduct joint operations with host country services and conduct operations with the approval of the host government. Recently, unilateral operations targeting third country nationals — Russians in France, for example — were restarted. But most meetings with sources who are host nationals remain on hold, as do new recruitments.

The CIA declined to comment.

James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said during a public event Thursday that the U.S. is assuming more risk because it has stopped spying on “specific targets,” though he didn’t spell out details.

Spying stand-downs are common after an operation is compromised, but “never this long or this deep,” said a former CIA official, who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s illegal to discuss classified material or activities. The pause, which has been in effect for about two months, was ordered by senior CIA officials through secret cables.

Needless to say, this is an odd time to go dark, and not just because of Russia and their own operations in Europe. The US needs to keep a close eye on the impact of ISIS in Europe, both in terms of recruitment to the battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq but also penetration into the governments of our allies. Assuming that ISIS isn’t attempting that kind of penetration may work out well in the short run while they’re desperate for fighters (and young women), but it won’t be long before the terrorists realize the value in having sympathizers burrow into the bureaucracies of the West, especially in national-security organizations.

The timing of this revelation is rather curious, too. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, revealed earlier this week that the CIA missed significant signals in the rise of ISIS and in the collapse of Iraq’s military. In both cases, Clapper admitted, the CIA didn’t calculate the will to fight on either side properly:

The United States has made the same mistake in evaluating fighters from the Islamic State that it did in Vietnam — underestimating the enemy’s will, according to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.

Clapper’s comments came in a telephone interview Wednesday, in which he summarized the elements of a new National Intelligence Strategyreleased this week. Clapper also answered some broader questions about intelligence issues confronting the country. …

“What we didn’t do was predict the will to fight. That’s always a problem. We didn’t do it in Vietnam. We underestimated the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese and overestimated the will of the South Vietnamese. In this case, we underestimated ISIL [the Islamic State] and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army. . . . I didn’t see the collapse of the Iraqi security force in the north coming. I didn’t see that. It boils down to predicting the will to fight, which is an imponderable.”

It’s not that imponderable. Plenty of people warned over the last several years that an American withdrawal from Iraq would have a negative impact on Iraqi military morale. The abandonment of Sunni tribal leaders to the Shi’ite-dominant government of Nouri al-Maliki was also eminently “ponderable,” even while Barack Obama insisted that the Iraq we left behind was stable and secure. Maliki’s purge of Sunni military and political leaders wasn’t much of a secret, or at least shouldn’t have been to the CIA. The question is less of “imponderables” than of a determination to see the situation in Iraq only through the context of an Obama policy success, at least at the policy-developing levels of the intel community and the White House.

Given that DNI Clapper is now offering mea culpas about being blindsided on the capabilities of both friend and foe, this seems like a very odd — and bad — time to have the CIA closing its eyes even more.