Pay for Play: Where did DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson Get Five Hundred Grand to Donate to the DNC?

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A career civil servant with that kind of money ought to be surprising, especially in lieu [light] of his subsequent outreach efforts to proven Muslim Brotherhood outfits.

CounterJihad, Sept. 15, 2016:

UPDATE:  During the years when Republicans controlled the levers of power, Johnson worked for a law firm that represented the Guantanamo Bay detainees — very vigorously.  Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison attorneys went so far as to smuggle in materials to the detainees.  “If I’d gotten caught passing war news to detainees,” one former DOD official said, “my security clearance would have been pulled.”

This week has seen the release of many incriminating documents from the Democratic National Convention (DNC), via Wikileaks’ so-called “Guccifer 2.0.”  The authenticity of these documents is in some question, as they passed through the hands of an outfit which has alleged Russian ties.  Hackers are in the business of violating people’s expectations of privacy in unethical ways, and the interests of foreign powers are not necessarily aligned with the interests of the United States.  We cannot be sure that the hackers are ethical enough to pass the documents on unaltered, in other words, nor that the release of the documents is not chiefly aimed at some hostile foreign nation’s ends.  Thus, we have to analyze all of these documents with some care.

By the same token, however, it is worth analyzing these documents with that care.  America was founded with a system of checks and balances intended to prevent one branch of government from becoming too powerful.  That was true both within the Federal government, where the three branches are balanced against each other, and between the Federal government and the states.  Those systems of checks and balances have become increasingly compromised by unethical behavior within the Federal government, such as the IRS scandal.  It has been further compromised by the increased centralization of power that has tipped the balance away from the states and toward the central, Federal, government.  We are less likely to see our own system performing adequately to check centralized power, and thus might consider external checks such as that provided by a foreign power with opposing interests to our administration’s.

Likewise, credibility is the currency of “special war” — including information warfare of the type the Russians are using here.  If their outlets are not credible, they will be less effective.  We must always check to see whether they are trying to slip one past us, of course.  On the other hand, they have an interest in providing damaging information that is accurate and that will be found credible on investigation.  We can’t skip the investigation, but there is a prima facie reason to take the charges seriously pending an investigation.

In terms of the Counterjihad movement, the corruption of the American administration creates several problems.  If high posts are for sale, they might not be occupied by the best people.  Worse, though, they might be bought by the wrong people.  The sale of high offices allows a means of influence on our government that is not accountable to the people, especially given that it was handled secretly — and by a political party, not a formal branch of government.

For example, consider the case of Department of Homeland Security czar Jeh Johnson.  Johnson is a career public servant.  Yet he was able to come up with over half a million dollars in cash to donate to the DNC — and then “feigned disbelief” when he got the job of leading the Homeland Security agency.

How has he used this post?  Oddly enough, we were just talking about that the other day.  Johnson decided to appear at the conference of a known Muslim Brotherhood front organization, while “fully aware” of its terrorist ties.

As CJ first reported Sunday, ISNA had been considered off-limits to such high-level appearances since the U.S. Justice Department in 2008 designated the group as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history and a front organization for the radical Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.

Johnson’s spokesman Neema Hakim told CJ that, despite ISNA’s terrorist ties and radical background, Johnson agreed to appear at the event because he considered it an “opportunity” to conduct outreach with the American Muslim community.

“DHS and the secretary are fully aware of past evidence and allegations concerning ISNA and carefully considered them before accepting ISNA’s invitation,” Hakim said.

While there, he shared a stage with a Holocaust denier and a known leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nor was this the only occasion on which he has made moves amenable to the Brotherhood. In June, he testified before Congress admitting that his agency had scrubbed references to Islam from counter-terror materials that they produced.  He claimed to have “no idea” how that happened.

Earlier in June, Johnson downplayed the role of a radical Islamist community in the Pulse nightclub shootings.  He said that shooter Omar Mateen “was ‘self-radicalized’ without any religious, ideological or operational support from friends, family or others in the Muslim community.”  Yet it turned out that Mateen had ties to a known radical imam, one who had served as a bodyguard for the “blind sheikh” who carried out the first World Trade Center attacks.  Perhaps it was worth considering that Mateen might have targeted the gay nightclub in part because of the harsh language his mentor used towards “f****ts” in America, and Islam’s duty towards them?

To be clear, we at CounterJihad have no idea where Jeh Johnson got all that money.  We have no evidence establishing a causal relationship between the inexplicably large donation from a career public servant and his subsequent support of Brotherhood outlets, or the Brotherhood’s agenda.  We cannot even be certain that the documents establishing the donation are themselves fully genuine.  We have to be suspicious of them at first face, given that they passed through the hands of pro-Russian actors.

Nevertheless, we do have questions.  Those questions seem like important questions to us.  We would like answers.  And in a free society, for now, we still have the right to ask those questions and to demand some answers.

Throwback Thursday: 2004 – MB Archives Discovered 10 Minutes from Nation’s Capital

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 15, 2016:

On August 20, 2004, Ismail Elbarasse and his family were traveling on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland.  A law enforcement officer driving on the Bay Bridge at the time drove passed Elbarasse and noticed the middle eastern female passenger filming the support structures of the bridge.  She pulled the camera down quickly when she noticed the police officers vehicle, and resumed filming as he drove by.

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Upon stopping the vehicle and identifying the passengers, the police identified the driver as Elbarasse, who was wanted on a Material Witness Warrant in a Hamas case in Chicago.

The FBI case agent would later write in the search warrant affidavit for Elbarasse’s residence that it was his assessment Elbarasse was filming the bridge in support of a possible Al Qaeda operation to destroy the bridge.

The affidavit states:  “On the basis of the foregoing I have reason to believe that Elbarasse and his wife have been engaged in violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B in that they were providing material support, to wit reconnaissance and surveillance, to a foreign terrorist organization.”

As it turns out, Elbarasse was a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and a senior Hamas official in the United States.  He worked directly with Musa abu Marzook, the leader of the U.S. Palestine Committee, which is Hamas America.  Numerous financial transactions tie Elbarasse to Hamas and monies going to fund Hamas overseas.

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Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

When agents from the FBI’s Washington Field Office raided Elbarasse’s Annandale, Virginia home (10 minutes from the nation’s capital) they uncovered a treasure trove of documents, financial records, photographs, lists of Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood leaders, MB strategic documents, Palestine Committee (Hamas) by-laws and records, audio and video recordings and much more.

Elbarasse fled the country and his whereabouts are not known.

A large amount of the evidence found at the Elbarasse residence was entered as evidence in the US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial (Dallas, 2008) – the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history.

The totality of the evidence in the HLF trial, including the Elbarasse evidence as well as testimony and a large amount of other evidence from this fifteen (15) year FBI investigation, revealed there is a massive Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States comprised of the most prominent Islamic organizations here.  The objective of this Movement is to wage Civilization Jihad until the United States is an Islamic State under Sharia.

Sadly, besides the Holy Land Foundation, all of the other organizations identified as Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas organizations from this evidence, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Students Association (MSA), and so many others are still in operation.

As a matter of fact they are being defended by our Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the President of the United States.

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DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks at the ISNA Conference with a host of jihadis in September 2016.  ISNA is the largest MB organization in North America which raises money for Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.

Sharyl Attkisson Investigates the Cost of Terror

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Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, Sept. 8, 2016

COST OF TERROR:
Full Measure investigates how much U.S. tax money has been spent fighting the war against terrorists and its impact on the American way of life. The head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Ron Johnson, discusses the vulnerability that worries him most today.


MOST HATED MAN:
Scott Thuman reports from London on the so-called ‘Most Hated Man’ in Britain. Anjem Choudary was jailed for five-and-a-half years for urging support of ISIS. Scott reports on the sentencing as the U.K. tries to stop a generation from being recruited as terrorists.


WAR ON TERROR:
Lt. General Micheal Flynn details his plan for winning the war against terrorists. Hear why he believes speaking out about this plan ultimately cost him his job as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.


REFLECTING & REMEMBERING 9/11
Some of the costs of terror can’t be quantified. Like the cost to our collective psyche. Full Measure host Sharyl Attkisson remembers the events of that day and the impact of reporting the story from Washington, D.C.

Lessons America didn’t learn from 9/11

(Photo: Twitter)

(Photo: Twitter)

WND, by Paul Bremmer, Sept. 10, 2016:

This Sunday Americans mark the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It will be a day of solemn remembrance, as most Americans now living still remember that horrible day.

But has the United States learned all the lessons it should have learned from the events of 9/11?

Only six days after 9/11, then-President George W. Bush delivered an address at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., in which he declared “Islam is peace.”

“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith,” President Bush said that day. “And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that… The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”

The idea that Islam is a religion of peace is nonsense, according to former Department of Homeland Security officer Philip Haney.

“In retrospect, 15 years later, was President Bush correct?” Haney asked during an interview with WND. “Has Islam proven itself to be, with the hindsight of 15 years, a religion of peace? There have been 29,100 and counting violent jihad attacks around the world since 9/11, scattered all over the world, not to mention conflicts in probably 15 to 20 different countries, with massive atrocities across the globe.”

The answer is obvious, according to Haney. Islam is a violent religion, and its adherents receive their commands to kill from the Quran itself. Haney cited Surah 9:111 of the Quran, which reads in part: “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.”

He also pointed to Surah 2:191, which reads in part, “And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you.”

So the lesson to be taken from the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent 15 years is that Islam is not peace, as President Bush stated.

“We’ve had 1,400 years of history to evaluate the effect of Islam, and if they were really serious about proving what George Bush said, haven’t they had plenty of opportunity to do so since 9/11?” Haney reasoned.

Not only did Bush fail to learn his lesson, but President Obama has refused to learn it.

Haney noted the Obama administration has allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization whose members hold dying in the service of Allah as their highest aspiration. He said the Muslim Brotherhood considers the Quran its highest law, not the U.S. Constitution. Article VI of the Constitution states the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, so there is a fundamental conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and American democracy.

But last weekend Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front group. ISNA was exposed as a front group during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, as Haney documents in his revealing book “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”

“So the department that was founded in March of 2003 to protect our country from terrorism and threats from terror has now formed an open and overt alliance with the very organizations that state plainly that they intend to oppose all forms of human government, including the Constitution, and implement Shariah law,” Haney said.

Not only did the Obama administration fail to see the connection between Islam and terror, but they have not taken national security as seriously as they should in a post-9/11 world, according to Haney. He pointed to a directive signed by HHS Secretary Johnson in February 2014 that stated individuals only marginally affiliated with known terrorist organizations may still receive a visa from the State Department. This directive severely hamstrung Haney and his fellow counterterrorism officials.

“The U.S. Southern Command notified us a week or so ago that in 2015 at least 31,000 individuals from countries of concern regarding terror crossed the southern border,” Haney revealed. “That means we’re abrogating our responsibilities to protect our citizens from threats, that we’re not doing all that it takes to protect our border, both the actual physical border and the more abstract border of our civil liberties and our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Haney stressed that national security must come first when deciding who to let into America.

“Immigration, helping refugees are noble things, but not at the expense of the freedom and safety and civil liberties of American citizens,” he said.

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of 9/11 has been the War on Terror, which has included crusades to overthrow a number of dictators in the Middle East and replace them with democratically elected governments. But this is a fool’s errand, according to Haney, because devout Muslims prefer to Shariah law to Western-style democracy. Therefore, if they have the chance to vote, they will vote for Shariah and all the repression it brings.

“You know a tree by its fruit,” Haney said. “You look at the countries where Shariah law is practiced, whatever spectrum of intensity, from mild to Saudi Arabia-type – are any of those countries free democracies? Is there a single free democracy anywhere in the Islamic world?”

Haney noted whenever Middle Eastern Islamic countries have the choice, they always move toward Shariah, not away from it. Yet the United States often supports these countries under the banner of supporting democracy. The former DHS officer warned Shariah could creep into America if our leaders continue to ally themselves with Islamic supremacists.

“There are many provisions of the Declaration of Independence and/or the U.S. Constitution that are in direct conflict with Shariah law, and when you have Shariah law, those freedoms go,” Haney said ominously. “They do not make provision for the freedoms discussed in the Declaration or the Constitution. They are eliminated, and if it was to happen here, the same process would happen.”

***

CSPAN, Sept. 6, 2016:

Act for America 2016 Conference, Part 6 Phil Haney, a former Customs and Border Patrol officer with the Homeland Security Department, talked about his allegations of an Islamic infiltration of the U.S. government. He said that his work tracking people affiliated with the Islamic Deobandi movement was stopped so as not to offend the Muslim community. He used slides during his presentation and then responded to questions from members of the audience. Mr. Haney is the co-author of the book See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.

“Refugee Vetting: Is Our National Security at Risk?” was a Refugee Resettlement segment of ACTCON 2016, Act for America’s “National Conference and Legislative Briefing: Taking Back America’s Security.”

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***

Urgent messages from Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch:

EXCLUSIVE: DHS Defends Secretary’s Appearance At Terror Front Group’s Conference

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Johnson was “fully aware” that ISNA was implicated in the nation’s largest terror funding case; he just didn’t care.

CounterJihad, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 7, 2016:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was “fully aware” that the Islamic Society of North America was implicated in a major terrorist fundraising case and ID’d by prosecutors as a front for a global jihadist movement that seeks to turn America into an Islamic state through infiltration and subversion when he agreed to speak at ISNA’s annual convention on Saturday, a DHS spokesman told CounterJihad.com on Wednesday.

Johnson was the highest-ranking U.S. government official and the first sitting Cabinet officer to speak in person before ISNA’s conference held last week in Chicago.

As CJ first reported Sunday, ISNA had been considered off-limits to such high-level appearances since the U.S. Justice Department in 2008 designated the group as anunindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history and a front organization for the radical Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.

Johnson’s spokesman Neema Hakim told CJ that, despite ISNA’s terrorist ties and radical background, Johnson agreed to appear at the event because he considered it an “opportunity” to conduct outreach with the American Muslim community.

“DHS and the secretary are fully aware of past evidence and allegations concerning ISNA and carefully considered them before accepting ISNA’s invitation,” Hakim said. “However, in the current environment, he viewed the opportunity to address literally thousands of American Muslims as crucial to our homeland security efforts.”

Asked why speaking from another venue or through a video would not have provided the same opportunity to address Muslims, Hakim declined comment. He also did not immediately respond to a letter sent to Johnson Wednesday from Rep. Steve King and two other Republican lawmakers demanding Johnson “renounce the Muslim Brotherhood and suspend further dealings by you or your subordinates with its front organizations like the Islamic Society of North America.”

In the two-page letter, the lawmakers said they were “appalled” that Johnson would “legitimize, let alone pander to, an organization or its proxy that poses a threat to our constitutional republic and its people.”

Reps. King, R-Iowa, Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Randy Weber, R-Texas, added: “The fact that you have explicitly called for your appearance before ISNA to serve as a precedent for other Cabinet officials to do the same amounts not just to willful blindness about the nature of the enemy. It is malfeasance.”

In his speech, Johnson encouraged other Cabinet officials to follow in his footsteps, saying, “I am proud to have broken that glass ceiling, and to have created the expectation, in the future, that government officials of my rank will attend your annual convention.”

The congressmen called the Muslim Brotherhood “a foreign terrorist organization” and warned that its front groups and operatives in America “are using a variety of techniques — both violent and stealthy — to accomplish the Brotherhood’s stated goal of Sharia’s triumph globally and the reestablishment of the Caliphate.”

A manifesto of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood recovered by the FBI during a 2004 raid of the Virginia home of a terrorist suspect, details a secret plan to “destroy” America “from within” and replace it with an Islamic state through a “grand jihad.” The so-called “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America” lists ISNA first among 29 groups the Brotherhood claims as “our organizations.”

Also see:

Why does DHS want to designate election booths ‘critical infrastructure?’

woman in polling boothConservative Review, by Hans von Spakovsky, August 17, 2016:

The New York Times and other mainstream outlets have been filled with alarming stories recently about the possibility, voiced by Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that our voting process in the November election could be subjected to cyber-attacks. Johnson told reporters in Washington (and state officials in a phone call on Monday) that he was considering designating our election system as “critical infrastructure, like the financial sector, like the power grid” because there is “a vital national interest in our electoral process.”

There is only one problem with this — there is no credible threat of a successful cyberattack on our voting and ballot-counting process because of the way our current election system is organized. An election official who was on that Monday call, and who has direct knowledge of Johnson’s plan  told me that Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler asked Johnson whether he had any evidence of any credible threat to our election system. Johnson’s answer was “no.”

That confirms what another high-level source who attended a White House meeting last week said – that DHS officials admitted they had no evidence of any “credible threat” of a cyber-attack. But designating the nation’s election system as “critical infrastructure” under a post 9/11 federal statute may be a way for the administration to get Justice Department lawyers, the FBI, and DHS staff into polling places they would otherwise have no legal right to access, which would enable them to interfere with election administration procedures around the country.

Election cybersecurity right now

No one minimizes the threat of cyberattacks by bad actors from the Chinese government to individual hackers. And cyber criminals have managed to get into all kinds of computer systems, from the attack on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that obtained the personnel files of millions of federal employees, to the embarrassing invasion of the DNC’s computer system.  But all of those computer systems have direct access to the internet, which provides the pathway in for hackers once they battle their way through the security firewalls and defenses that are supposed to protect those systems. That is not the case with almost all of our voting and ballot-counting processes. We have the most decentralized election system of any Western democracy, with over 3,000 counties and numerous townships running elections. There is no central computer system running our national elections and the computer ballots used to total votes are almost all standalone computers. (By the way, the Pentagon has an entirely closed computer system without access to the internet in order to protect classified information.) That is why states should entirely avoid any type of internet voting proposals, since then our election process would become highly vulnerable to cyber-attack, as happened to Illinois’s new online voter registration system recently.

The same is true of the electronic voting (touch screen) machines used in polling places in many jurisdictions. The vast majority of counties do not have those machines tied into a reporting system that runs through the internet; they don’t keep their information in “the Cloud” as Louisiana Secretary of State Schedler told me in a separate conversation recently about the cyber issue. Instead, they are stand-alone machines with a cartridge in the back that is removed at the end of the polling day and physically transported to the county elections department, where the cartridge is inserted into the stand-alone computer that totals up all of the votes.

There is no question, as security experts have demonstrated, that the security on some of these individual electronic voting machines is poor, and that they may be subject to hacking if a hacker can get physical access to the machine. But these touch screens are kept in secure warehouses before election day and then are monitored by election officials when they are set up in polling sites. It would be difficult for a hacker to access a significant number of machines in any meaningful way.

That doesn’t mean these types of touch screens shouldn’t be replaced; but the point is that hackers do not have the ability to access either these individual machines or the ballot-counting computers through internet portals. And they have even less of an ability to try to cyber-attack the ballot scanners that are used in the vast majority of polling places. There, individual voters fill out opti-scan paper ballots with a special ballot-marking pen, and the ballots are then run through a standalone computer scanner that counts the vote. Those paper ballots act as a back-up if any questions arise about the computer total. Those scanners are also not hooked into the internet.

Why is DHS pushing for this designation?

So what is going on? After 9/11, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2001 allowing the president or the secretary of DHS to designate “critical infrastructure” that must be protected against attacks (6 U.S.C. §132). In 2013, President Obama issued a revised “Presidential Policy Directive” on “Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience” (PPD-21). If Jeh Johnson designates our election system as “critical infrastructure,” then according to this directive, the Justice Department is given the authority to “investigate, disrupt, prosecute, and otherwise reduce” threats to that infrastructure. DHS will “coordinate the overall Federal effort to promote the security and resilience of” the infrastructure.

Given the lack of a credible threat of a cyber-attack, there could be another explanation for what DHS is doing.  But designating election systems as “critical infrastructure” could grant Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Homeland Security officials, and officials at the Department of Justice access to any and every election and to any and every voting location they “deem” threatened. The government would be able to police the systems, and could demand changes be made to election and voting systems regardless of the views of local officials.

DHS’ actions could stem from the administration’s frustration over the 2013 Shelby County decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, about which Attorney General Loretta Lynch has loudly complained, claiming it severely curtailed the ability of DOJ to send official observers recruited by OPM to polling places. Those officials can only go where a court has given them authorization to be present. Otherwise, DOJ is dependent on local jurisdictions giving DOJ permission for its lawyers and staff to be there. Many jurisdictions have wised up and started saying “no” to DOJ. That must be very frustrating to the partisans who inhabit parts of the Justice Department these days and want their staff out there making sure their political friends get elected.

The realistic fear is that this is the first step towards nationalizing election administration.

In fact, Richard Pilger of the Election Crimes Unit of the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division at DOJ was a participant in the Monday call with the secretaries of state, and Chris Herren, the chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, was a participant in a call last week on this subject with Leslie Reynolds, the executive director of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Neither Pilger nor Herren know anything about cyber security; the Civil Rights Division has absolutely no expertise on that subject whatsoever and has no jurisdictional authority over the issue.

Johnson emphasized in Monday’s call that he wanted to make the federal government available to the states to prevent cyber-attacks; but nothing prevents DHS from making recommendations now —no “critical infrastructure” designation is required. Johnson said he was organizing a federal-state working group that would include DHS, DOJ, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the Department of Commerce. Johnson was still “considering” whether he would be “designating some aspect of the election process as critical infrastructure.” But Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp was very vocal in the telephone call in telling Johnson the states don’t need any help from the federal government.

The realistic fear is that this is the first step towards nationalizing election administration. Federal officials who have already shown they will not hesitate to use their power to tilt public policy in favor of their own personal political agenda could bring that same bias to decisions that affect the very integrity of our election process.

If we have close elections on the local, state, or federal level in November, there is a much greater possibility that they could be affected by misbehavior such as absentee ballot fraud or illegal voting by noncitizens or other ineligible voters than that some hacker will be able to manipulate the system. But just like in The Wizard of Oz, this administration wants you to pay no attention to that particular man in the corner while it launches its election Trojan horse.

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Along with John Fund, he is the coauthor of “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” and “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.” 

Also see:

Homeland Security Chief Speaks At Hamas Front’s Confab; Shares Stage with Holocaust Denier, Muslim Brotherhood Leader

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The DHS head told the group which worked to finance Hamas, “Tonight I will not talk to you about counterterrorism.”

CounterJihad, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 4, 2016:

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson — whose job it is to protect America from terrorists — spoke at the annual gathering of an Islamic group the Department of Justice considered a terrorist front on Saturday, where he heaped praise and unearned legitimacy on his dubious host.

After traveling to Chicago as a featured speaker at the Islamic Society of North America’s convention, Johnson took the stage and boasted, “I am the highest ranking U.S. government official and the first sitting Cabinet officer to ever speak in person before this convention.”

There’s a reason for that: ISNA has been identified by the U.S. Justice Department as a front group for the radical Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian terrorist branch Hamas.

Still, Johnson said, “I am proud to have broken that glass ceiling, and to have created the expectation, in the future, that government officials of my rank will attend your annual convention.”

U.S. prosecutors would argue that’s nothing to be proud of: In 2008, they listed Johnson’s host as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing trial in U.S. history. Despite repeated efforts to expunge its name from the list in court appeals, ISNA still remains on the list today.  Responding to an appeal by ISNA and other Muslim groups to remove it from the list, federal judge Jorge Solis ruled that, “the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”

The federal terrorism case, U.S. vs. the Holy Land Foundation, resulted in guilty verdicts on all 108 felony counts against HLF and five of its leaders, who conspired to funnel more than $12 million to Palestinian terrorists, including suicide bombers.

ISNA was “intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas,” said U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks in a federal court document. “HLF raised money and supported Hamas through a bank account it held with ISNA.”

Jacks said HLF leaders sent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to Hamas terrorists through bank accounts controlled by ISNA and its financial arm, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).

Hamas was designated a global terrorist group in 1995 by President Clinton.

Added Jacks: “The evidence introduced at trial established that ISNA and NAIT were among those organizations created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood,” whose “ultimate goal is the creation of a global Islamic State governed by Sharia law.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder recognized Jacks for “exceptional service” in a 2010 Justice Department awards ceremony. So the Obama administration does not dispute the merits of the terrorism case in which ISNA was implicated.

Johnson said his appearance at the ISNA event was part of carrying out a “priority” set by President Obama to “build bridges to American Muslim communities.”

“Tonight I will not look at the large group of Muslims before me in this room through a homeland security lens,” he said. “Tonight I will not talk to you about counterterrorism.”

Instead, Johnson portrayed Muslims as victims of counterterrorism efforts, comparing the scrutiny of Muslim-Americans in terrorism cases to the historic discrimination suffered by African-Americans.

“I look out on this room of American Muslims and I see myself,” he said. “I see a similar struggle that my African-American ancestors have fought to win acceptance in this country.”

On a more personal note, Johnson compared the suspicion Muslim-Americans have fallen under — after Muslim-Americans launched recent deadly terrorism attacks in Boston, Chattanooga, Tenn., San Bernardino County, Calif., and Orlando — to the “McCarthyism” he said his grandfather experienced in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Charles S. Johnson was investigated for his ties to the Communist Party by the House Un-American Activities Committee following his hiring of known Communist operatives as president of Fisk University and defending them after they had been exposed as subversives. Johnson also faced questioning about his own membership in communist fronts.

In addition, ISNA’s convention program shows Johnson was listed to participate in a breakout session calling on Muslims to “turn the tide, confront our challenges and seize our opportunities.” The panel included Tariq Ramadan, who was formally barred from entering the U.S. in 2006 “for providing material support to a terrorist organization” — until, that is, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted the ban on his visa. Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and the son of the important Brotherhood leader Said Ramadan.

Also listed on the ISNA panel with Johnson was Khizr Khan, the Sharia law advocate who famously took the stage at the Democrat National Convention and complained about GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposed moratorium on immigration from Muslim nations tied to terrorism. In a treatise on the merits of Sharia law, Khan “gratefully acknowledged” Said Ramadan as a source expert on the subject.

In his speech, Johnson called Khan and his hijab-clad wife “American heroes.”

Also listed as “featured speakers” at ISNA’s 53rd annual convention were Jamal Badawi, a founding father of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who was listed among unindicted co-conspirators who helped HLF raise money for Hamas terrorists, and Muzammil Siddiqi, a Muslim cleric who currently chairs NAIT, the bank for the Brotherhood in America and the custodian of most of the mosques in America.

In 1995, Siddiqi defended jihad and praised suicide bombers: “Those who die on the part of justice are alive, and their place is with the Lord, and they receive the highest position, because this is the highest honor.”

During a 2000 anti-Israel rally outside the White House, Siddiqi openly threatened the US with violence if it continued to support Israel. “America has to learn … if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come. Please, all Americans. Do you remember that? … If you continue doing injustice, and tolerate injustice, the wrath of God will come.”

Listed alongside DHS Secretary Johnson was Imam Yasir Qadhi, who has called the Holocaust “false propaganda” and described Jews as “crooked-nosed.”

Also see:

One of the early and most important indicators of the Brotherhood’s surreptitious expanding influence within the Intelligence Community [IC] showed up as a terminology scrub of official strategic documents dealing with counterterrorism. As Robert Spencer explains, the trend toward politically correct Global War on Terror (GWOT) language began with a misguided effort by Jim Guirard, the founder and president of the TrueSpeak Institute[40], a lobbying group influenced by input from the Muslim Brotherhood, including Yousef al-Qaradawi, the senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood. Unfortunately, thanks to Mr. Guirard, senior U.S. government officials, either incompetent or unwilling to fulfill their professional duty to “know the enemy,” fell under the Brotherhood’s influence and began substituting a garbled lexicon of inaccurate Arabic vocabulary[41] in place of the actual words the enemy uses to describe what he does and why he does it.[42]

Cruz Tears Into DHS Chief Over ‘Systematic Scrubbing’ of Radical Islam During Contentious Exchange

C-SPAN 2 Screengrab

C-SPAN 2 Screengrab

The Blaze, by Jason Howerton, June 30, 2016:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Thursday over the “systematic scrubbing of law enforcement and intelligence materials,” connecting the issue to the 2014 Fort Hood shooting and other attacks.

Cruz began by comparing the number of references to “Jihad,” “Muslim,” and “Islam” found in the 9/11 commission report to the number found in several of the Obama administration’s intelligence and counterterrorism materials.

“The word ‘jihad’ appears in that report 126 times, the world ‘Muslim’ appears in that report 145 times, the world ‘Islam’ appears in that report 322 times,” he said sternly. “And yet since that 9/11 commission report, different policies have come into effect. And as a matter of systematic policy, those terms are no longer allowed to be used in this administration.”

Johnson told Cruz repeatedly that he has no knowledge efforts to “purge” DHS material of references to radical Islam. The DHS chief went on to claim that conceding the Islamic State is connected to Islam only gives the terrorist group what it wants.

Cruz ultimately cut off Johnson to reclaim his speaking time.

“You’re entitled to give speeches other times,” Cruz said. “My question was if you were aware that the information has been scrubbed.”

Watch the entire contentious exchange below:

Cruz also pushed back against Johnson’s assertion that removing references to radical Islam is merely a “semantic difference.”

“When you erase references to radical jihad, it impacts the behavior of law enforcement and national security to respond to red flags and prevent terrorist attacks before they occur,” Cruz said.

The Texas senator suggested the Fort Hood shooting may have been one of those instances. When bluntly asked by Cruz if it was a “mistake” not to respond to the “red flags” in regards to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Johnson accused Cruz of citing incorrect information.

“In one minute, I couldn’t begin to answer your question,” he said.

“Pick anything,” Cruz shot back. “Pick one thing, sir.”

“You’re assuming that the federal government in advance of the attack on Fort Hood saw all these different red flags. That’s not correct,” Johnson said.

That’s when Cruz got specific.

“Is it true or false that the Obama administration knew before the attack that Nidal Hasan was communicating with Anwar al-Awlaki?” Cruz asked.

“How are you defining the ‘Obama administration,’ sir?” Johnson said.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Cruz responded.

“The entire Federal Bureau of Investigation? I can’t answer that question sitting here,” Johnson answered.

“The answer is ‘yes’ and it’s public record, sir,” Cruz retorted.

Cruz went on to cite “red flags” missed in the Boston bombings and San Bernardino attack.

Homeland Security Instructed To Combat Violent Extremism With Political Correctness

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before a House Judiciary committee hearing on the 'Oversight of the US Department of Homeland Security' on Capitol Hill in Washington July 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before a House Judiciary committee hearing on the ‘Oversight of the US Department of Homeland Security’ on Capitol Hill in Washington July 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Daily Caller, by Peter Hassan, June 13 2016:

Less than a week before Omar Mateen walked into an Orlando gay club and killed or wounded more than 100 people, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) submitted its Countering Violent Extremism report to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson. The report instructs the DHS not to use any language that might be “disrespectful” to Muslims, including (but not limited to) the words “jihad,” “sharia” and “takfir.”

The report was crafted by an HSAC subcommittee that Secretary Johnson created in November 2015. The head of that subcommittee, Farah Pandith, was appointed by Johnson in May 2015. The subcommittee published the report on June 9.

In addition to combatting violent extremism by reaching out to “gender diverse” Americans and teaching youth “appropriate online etiquette,” the report recommends that the DHS “avoid stigmatizing specific communities.”

The report urges DHS officials to “Reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English.”

For example, the report says the DHS should be “using American English instead of religious, legal and cultural terms like ‘jihad,’ ‘sharia,’ ‘takfir’ or ‘umma.’”

The report acknowledges that, “There is a disagreement among scholars, government officials, and activists about the right lexicon to use around the issues of violent extremism.”

Nevertheless, the report states, “Under no circumstance should we be using language that will alienate or be disrespectful of fellow Americans.”

“We must speak with honor and respect about all communities within the United States. We should give dignity to the many histories and diversities within our nation and advocate for a consistent whole of government approach that utilizes agreed terms and words. Tone and word choice matter,” the report states.

The report includes other recommendations for countering violent extremism, such as: “Focus on gender diversity of youth through careful attention to the range of push and pull factors that attract individuals of differing gender.”

The report also recommends countering extremism by teaching youth “appropriate online etiquette.”

The report instructs the DHS to “Develop a curriculum in partnership with the Department of Education and education experts and non-profits to disseminate to schools, teaching children appropriate online etiquette to mitigate online hate.”

The DHS website states that HSAC, “Provides organizationally independent advice and recommendations to the Secretary, including the creation and implementation of critical and actionable policies for the security of the homeland.”

Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

See also:

US, UN-Backed #CVESymposium Exposes Farce of ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Programs

CfX9i2GUMAAdI52.sized-770x415xcPJ Media, by Patrick Poole April 6, 2016:

A  backed by the Obama administration and the UN on “countering violent extremism” (CVE) is being held today at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. that inadvertently exposed the farce of the administration’s CVE policies.

Multiple news reports in recent weeks have documented how CVE programs launched by the administration in February 2015 at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis are failing miserably and are now openly opposed by the very same groups targeted by CVE programs.

And a look at today’s “CVE Symposium” exposes why those efforts are failing to actually counter “violent extremism”.

One of the keynote speakers today was DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson:

Johnson’s remarks make clear that the administration’s CVE programs are not unfairly targeting the Muslim community, but also identifying where the real culprit spreading violent extremism lies – GOP presidential candidates:

Johnson acknowledged that the government’s CVE efforts have focused on Muslim communities, but he pushed back against the idea that it zeroes in on the Islamic faith.“Many people ask me, ‘Are you targeting Muslims? Why are you targeting Muslims?’” he said. “We’re not targeting a religion or even a specific group. We have a generic mission.”

But, he said, CVE efforts have focused on American Muslim communities because the Islamic State, which he called “probably the most dangerous terrorist organization that we face right now,” is targeting American Muslims.

“So we must respond in counter to that effort, as a matter of homeland security,” Johnson said.

The secretary also pushed back against “overheated rhetoric” on the Republican presidential campaign trail about banning Muslims from entering the United States or increasing police patrols and surveillance in Muslim communities.

“There is no one American Muslim community, contrary to some of the political dialogue you may hear,” he said. “There is not one neighborhood or ghetto or city that one could encircle or surveil.”

Also addressing the CVE Symposium was UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, promising to take action on CVE:

A concurrent CVE event was being held in Geneva:

Back at the symposium in DC, nothing says “countering violent extremism” as a lecture from the Saudi (!!!) ambassador:

Among the helpful insights from the CVE Symposium speakers was a panel that declared that US laws banning terrorist organizations hinder CVE efforts:

Former White House Director for Community Engagement George Selim, now at DHS, let slip how much a farce “countering violent extremism” really is by admitting it was just a term used by the DC ‘smart set’:

Read more

DHS Secretly Scrubbed 1,000 Names From U.S. Terror Watch Lists

jihad denialWashington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, March 1, 2016:

The Department of Homeland Security removed the names of nearly 1,000 individuals suspected of terrorism ties from the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to newly released documents obtained by an advocacy group under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported in 2014 that the Obama administration secretly assembled a terrorist “hands off” list that enabled individuals with terrorist ties unfettered entrance into the United States.

The latest documents, obtained by Judicial Watch and released on Tuesday, appear to confirm these initial reports. They further disclose that at least 1,000 names were scrubbed from the U.S. Terrorist Screening Database as part of an administration effort to protect the civil rights of suspected individuals.

“The documents appear to confirm charges that Obama administration changes created a massive ‘hands off’ list,” Judicial Watch said in a statement. “Removed data from the terrorist watch list could have helped prevent the San Bernardino terrorist attack.”

Lawmakers disclosed in 2014 that the administration has secretly assembled a terrorist “hands off” list that facilitated travel to the United States for those one flagged as a potential terror threat. Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon at the time disclosed that at least one individual, a Canadian Islamist leader tied to Hamas and Hezbollah, had been put on the list.

“These new documents bolster allegations that the Obama administration may have removed information from a terrorist watch list that could have prevented the San Bernardino terrorist attack,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Philip Haney risked his career to blow the whistle on how the Obama administration created a ‘hands off” list of over 1,000 foreign nationals with potential terrorist ties.  And, once again, it was a Judicial Watch lawsuit—and not Congress or the media—that uncovered the key information about this national security scandal.”

The Intentional Obama Administration

President Barack Obama and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett chat outside the Oval Office in the White House, June 12, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett chat outside the Oval Office in the White House, June 12, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

UTT, by John Guandolo, Dec. 15, 2015:

The most frequent question Understanding the Threat’s (UTT) President – John Guandolo – receives when he speaks in the media or during public presentations these days is:  “Are our leaders THIS stupid, or are they intentionally advocating for, aiding and abetting, and directly supporting our enemies.”

The truth is, no one is that stupid.

In the last week or so, UTT has reported:

* The U.S. Attorney General put the full weight of the Department of Justice and her office behind a jihadi organization (Muslim Advocates) while committing to silence any speech with maligns Islam

* Members of Congress (Democrats) called on their colleagues to support a Hamas Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia to show their “solidarity” with them, and actually participated in a function at this terrorist haven.

* The President stated we must involve the American “Muslim community” in any strategy to stop “terrorism” despite the fact that all of the Muslim leaders with whom President Obama’s administration is working are easily identifiable as leaders in the jihadi/Muslim Brotherhood Movement here.

* The Secretary of Homeland Security, speaking at a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood center in Northern Virginia (ADAMS Center), confirmed his father was a target of an FBI investigation because he was a member of the Communist Movement in America.

Secretary Johnson’s remarks may be the first shred of truth we have heard from this administration since the President committed to “fundamentally transform America” during his first campaign.

As this administration provides wide open paths for the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism (jihad) – Iran – to get nuclear weapons, it also continues to suppress all positive efforts to defeat the jihadi threat while openly condemning Americans who speak out against the threat.

This is no accident.

Why did President Obama’s previous Attorney General refuse to prosecute any of the hundreds of un-indicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation, Dallas, 2008)?

Why did President Obama shut down all fact/evidence based training (2012) regarding the Islamic threat in the DHS, FBI, and military after Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood groups like MPAC, ISNA, and CAIR complained Muslims were offended?

Why are the only Muslims who brief the National Security staffs easily identifiable as Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood leaders?

The father and step-father of the President of the United States were both Muslims.  President Obama attended Islamic schools as a young man.  His greatest influence on the President’s life, according to him, was Frank Marshall Davis, a leader of the Communist Party USA.  The President studies radical Marxist revolutionary ideology under Saul Alinsky and taught Alinskism via the book Rules for Radicals, which was dedicated (by the way) to Lucifer.

Where is it that a reasonable person would believe the President holds our foundational principles in the Declaration in any esteem?  Why would we believe he would support and defend the Constitution?

This is why he is not doing it?  He is doing exactly what he said he would do.

Why are a large number of his Cabinet Secretaries and others socialists, marxists, or jihadists?

axelgrease and Jeh

As Paul Sperry wrote in his recent article for IBD (and the evidence support his assertations) that Secretary Jeh Johnson, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and others in very influential positions in the Obama administration are the children of Communists.  That means their lineage is one that opposes our Constitutional Republic and our founding principles.

Let us not look too deeply for answers to why things are going the way they are going in this country.

It is because we have an administration which is necessarily hostile to our Constitution and Rule of Law, and an American people who still cannot grasp this yet.

TREASON: DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to Meet with MB/Hamas Monday

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

UTT, by John Guandolo, Dec. 6, 2015:

How much treasonous and traitorous behavior must Americans endure from our leaders?

Monday evening December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Jeh Johnson – will hold a press conference at the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas ADAMS Center in Sterling, VA.

AC event

The ADAMS Center was founded by senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Ahmed Totonji who still resides in Northern Virginia and was the Chairman of the Board for the ADAMS Center.  Totonji also founded major Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the SAFA Trust (raided by the FBI), and others.

Moreover, the Executive Director of the ADAMS Center – Imam Mohamed Magid – is the outgoing President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), identified by the Department of Justice and FBI as the “nucleus” for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement in America and a funding support entity for Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.

ISNA remains an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation, Dallas, 2008).

ADAMS also states on their website that 1/8 of all the Zakat they collect goes to JIHAD…terrorism.

And this is the place the Secretary of Homeland Security has decided to go to talk about the “civil rights” of Muslims.

At what point do we collectively realize leaders like this cannot claim ignorance of the enemy at this level. Therefore, a rational person would surmise Secretary Johnson is aware ISNA and ADAMS are enemy entities, yet he is going to provide support to them none-the-less.

In these times, Americans have a number of enemies.  In this case, there is the identifiable jihadi threat from organizations like ISNA, NAIT, MPAC, CAIR and so many others.  The enemy also includes senior government officials like Secretary Johnson who is aiding and abetting a Hamas support entity whose doctrine states it is waging “civilization jihad” against us to “destroy America from within” in order to establish and Islamic state under Sharia (Islamic Law).

Seems like that Mr. Johnson’s continued efforts to protect and support enemies of the United States meets the legal criteria of Treason, much like his colleague in the Attorney General’s office.

18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason:  Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treasonand shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Also see:

U.S. Worries About Airport Security After Possible ISIS ‘Inside Job’ in Egypt

TSA-agents-Getty-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Nov. 10, 2015:

Mounting suspicion that a Russian Metrojet airliner was destroyed over Egypt by a terrorist bomb, planted by an ISIS “inside man” at the airport, has led to concerns by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over possible security flaws at American airports.

This is somewhat unusual since, as CNN points out, “The U.S. has spent billions of dollars beefing-up screening of passengers with scanners and background checks.” Transportation Security Agency receives an annual budget of over $7 billion. It is fair enough to perform a review of security practices, to increase public confidence that nothing like the appalling situation at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh airport exists here, but the concerns cited by CNN run considerably deeper than that:

The worries in the U.S. lie partly in the fact that the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees air travel security, relies on the operators of the nation’s more than 450 airports to do the vetting of aviation workers. The airports use TSA contractors to do background checks, including checking terrorism databases, legal immigration status and criminal histories.

A U.S. official with knowledge of American aviation security and its vulnerabilities says that while U.S. security is viewed as the gold standard, the screening of workers poses cause for worry.

“(The TSA) checkpoint is only one part of it. You can lock that front door all you want, if you’ve left the back window open it doesn’t really matter,” the official said.

CNN cites a Homeland Security Inspector General report from June that worried the TSA “lacked effective controls to ensure that aviation workers did not have disqualifying criminal histories and that they possessed lawful status and the authorization to work in the United States.”

The inspector found 73 airport workers who passed background checks, but “should have been flagged for terrorism-related categories.” TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger later argued before Congress that the true number of questionable workers was 69, not 73, and the troubling information about them “wasn’t sufficient to raise known or suspected terrorist status.”

Every review of the TSA’s actual performance argues the concerns may be valid. Screeners have consistently failed to detect explosives and weapons in security tests. Now there are serious concerns about the agency’s ability to maintain personnel security at airports.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, made this point on ABC’s This Week last Sunday. “This is a problem here at home. When we test the TSA, they fail,” said Schiff. “And I think we really need to step up our security here.”

ABC News notes that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced on Friday that enhanced security measures would be be taken with “commercial flights bound for the U.S. from certain foreign airports.” A source told CNN those airports include Cairo, Kuwait City, and Amman, Jordan.

One official who spoke with CNN said the background checks on airport workers are comparable to those for “passengers who qualify for the TSA Precheck program, which typically allows passengers to board by walking through metal detectors instead of more invasive screening machines.”

Also see:

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DHS, White House Tout Ability To Screen Syrian Refugees. But Under Oath, FBI Says Opposite

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 28, 2015:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told USA Today yesterday that the wave of Syrian refugees that will be admitted into the U.S. in the coming year will be subjected to “extensive, thorough background checks.”

But just last week, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director James Comey said exactly the opposite.

When asked about criticisms made by Donald Trump about the administration’s immigration policies and about concerns that ISIS may embed themselves among Syrian refugees as a “Trojan horse,” Johnson replied:

Well, in terms of the level of effort of security review that we will apply and we have applied it will be and it is extensive. Both law enforcement and homeland security have improved the process from the days when we admitted a lot of Iraqi refugees.

We now do a better job of connecting the dots, consulting all the right databases and systems that we have available to us, and the refugee review process is probably one of the most if not the most extensive thorough background checks that someone seeking to enter this country goes through.

Now we’ve made this commitment for 10,000 Syrian refugees in FY2016. It is a commitment that the United States as a global leader should and will meet.

But during a House Judiciary hearing last Thursday, Comey was asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert about the database the U.S. government maintained to screen Iraqi refugees, including an IED fingerprint database in addition to other intelligence obtained by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. Despite the extensive database screening Iraqi refugees, U.S. authorities have admitted that possibly dozens of terrorists were admitted into the U.S. under that program, including two Iraqi terrorists living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who were convicted of attempting to send weapons and money to Iraqi terrorists.

When asked further about the nature of intelligence available to screen Syrian refugees, Comey admitted, contrary to Secretary Johnson, that the Iraqi database  – which possibly admitted dozens of terrorists — was much more extensive than anything they have for Syria.

Rep. Gohmert pressed further about the ability to screen refugees:

Gohmert: Well, without a good fingerprint database, without good identification, how can you be sure that anyone is who they say they are if they don’t have fingerprints to go against?

Comey: The only thing we can query is information that we have. So, if we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen, they’ve never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there and so it will be challenging.

The exchange between Rep. Gohmert and Director Comey on the Syrian refugee issue can be seen at about 2:05 in the video below:

The contrast between Johnson’s confidence and Comey’s concern is striking. This confusion comes on the heels of the White House announcing last month that it will admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the new fiscal year, more than five times the number admitted this year. Adding to the mixed messages coming from the administration, White House spokesman Josh Earnest touted the “robust” databases during the announcement:

Refugees go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States. Refugees have to be screened by the National Counter Terrorism Center, by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center. They go through databases that are maintained by DHS, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. There is biographical and biometric information that is collected about these individuals.

To recap: twice, the Obama administration appealed to the effectiveness of the screening databases to justifying the safety of allowing a dramatic increase in Syrian refugees.

But in a third statement, the only one of the three given under oath, the administration admitted the screening is inadequate.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees overall in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, up from 70,000 in the current year. And Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to Obama asking him to admit another 65,000 Syrian refugees, and former Obama and Bush officials have asked that he authorize an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees over and above the 70,000 worldwide ceiling for the current year.

Also see: